I went to the live taping of @midnight. This is my experience…

This has been several months in the draft stage due to me not having a computer to finish it on until recently.   It’s nice to have something to type on that doesn’t require glasses in order to see.  But anyways,  for my 46th birthday I wanted to visit my family in California.  I’ve been away too damn long and really needed a dose of vitamin ‘C'(alifornia). My wonderful husband made the arrangements and opted to stay home so I could have some much needed family time with my nephew and his wife and 4 littles .  In preparing for my visit I decided to browse around the internet for ideas of things that my nephew and I could do together.  We both are huge Chris Hardwick fans, so I did some research and found out that 1iota (www.1iota.com) offers audience tickets for many live tapings of shows such as @midnight….

by signing up for their website and submitting a request form giving a brief explanation on why you feel you should be selected as a part of their studio audience (I am assuming that originality in this portion of the request form may better your chances in it standing out from the other requests.   I totally played the birthday card on mine!).  I was given the option of requesting 1 or 2 tickets.  If you want to bring a guest, the site requires that you enter the name and email address of the person that is going with you.   After I submitted my request form I received a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of my request.  After that, it’s a waiting game…..you can check the status of your requested tickets in your 1iota account.  Mine were showing as ‘waitlist’.
A week or so later I receive an email informing me that my tickets request status had been moved from waitlist to ‘priority’!   Priority!  That sounded important!    Yay!   On the website you can once again confirm that you do want to go to the show and in the email there is a link where you can print out your ticket. I printed mine out and kept it safely in a plastic page protector.  

Wait…. does that ticket say ‘LIVE’?  Yep it does!   Because the show was on election night they decided to do a special taping.  Since @midnight covers topics happening in the world and current news, it only made sense that they would make election night (aka The Demo-pacalypse) the granddaddy of all shows extra special!

Of course, with any studio audience admission, there are rules that needed to be followed.

Upscale casual meant finding something cute to wear.  Since losing 60+ lbs clothes shopping has become fun again rather than a painful, embarrassing chore.  I had already decided for my birthday that I was going to wear a tiara all day! So i found a cocktail dress that matched my birthday princess tiara and at the last minute decided to also put on something i had acquired from Disneyland the day before…..   why not, right?!


The other instructions on the e ticket are pretty self explanatory.  No cameras, cellphones, food, drink allowed in the studio.  Understandable but I was bummed that I couldn’t at least get one photo sitting in the studio audience or…. even a selfie with Chris himself.  My nephew and i obeyed the rules though, (begrudgingly!)  and left our phones in the car.

Brian and I had originally planned to arrive a few hours early since we had no idea what to expect, and heading to Hollywood on the night of the election was a guaranteed shitshow, however our GPS directed us right to the studio down a series of residential streets. The next thing we knew we saw a couple members of the 1iota team waving us in. We got there just in time to get a parking space right in front!   Check in was a breeze and the staff at 1iota couldn’t have been nicer. They checked our tickets, ids, and asked if we had any cameras/cellphones.  (Again we were reminded to leave them in the car since photos and video were prohibited inside. 😢 *sniffle* no selfies with Chris and the guests…oh well, maybe some other time).

After we checked in we were directed to sit and wait on some benches located outside of the studio door.  We had gotten there early enough where we were at the end of the first of three long benches (think sports bleachers minus the height)   We met and spoke to a few people who had been guests of the audience before. One lady said she had just found out that afternoon that tickets were available so she cleared her schedule so she could attend (if I lived close by you’d better believe I would do the same thing!)   The 1iota crew were all so nice taking the time to stop and chat with several of the audience hopefuls as we waited to get an update on when we would be lead into the studio.

About a half hour before showtime we were finally filed in, grade school style in the order of how everyone had been sitting on the benches. Just outside the door of the studio was a taco truck with the name TREJO’S TACOS brandished on the side.  Brian and I were dying to grab a taco on the way out, but sadly they had closed by the time the show was over. *sniffle*

We were seated in the second row right in front of the stage!!! One of the lovely iota employees made a comment to ‘let the Birthday princess sit right near the front’ which made my night all that more special.  Yay!   The stage was done up with the election night theme (Murica!), and while everyone was being seated the Daily Show with Trevor Noah was showing on the tv on the stage.  Trevor was sitting at his desk with a bottle of pepto bismol next to him and recapping live election updates.   Since none of us had access to the inter webs and social media, we didn’t have any idea which way the presidential election was going.  The update was met with a mixed gasp and groan from the @ midnight audience.

Pretty soon the warm up comedian came out and started discussing what we were to expect when we went ‘live’.   This was a new venture for @midnight, so tensions were extremely high. He told us that usually the show was filmed in a series of retakes over the span of a couple of hours at most, but on this night everything would be done with mistakes and all in 30 minutes. Thirty minutes!  We were also told to not get up from our seats once the show started.  Some of the cameras passed right over your head and I would imagine could easily clock you senseless if one were to stand up quickly. Also, we were told to laugh more than clap. Applause would drown out the comedians as they played the game and cause the show to lag.

The warm up comedian was great!  Interacting with the audience and getting everyone involved and pumped for the show.  He asked me why I was wearing my tiara in which I simply answered “it’s my birthday!”  And when he asked me who gave me the tiara I said “I did!”  Doh!  Seemed a bit egotistical now that I look back on it.

Showtime!
Out walks Chris looking totes adorbs 😊 (fan girl reference, sorry!) albeit a bit stressed.  Everyone was emphasizing how intense this night was being the first time it was being shown live.  Anything could happen, so everyone was super focused.  Chris, with ear piece in place was listening in to the countdown of when the show would go live (as well as an update on the election)
One by one the guest comedians were introduced and walked out on the stage.

Paul F Tompkins! (A fixture on @midnight and I’ve totally been a fan since Mr Show!)

Whitney Cummings! (Comedy Central roast fame, not to mention the reason behind one of my favorite shows 2 broke girls (and Netflix’s Ridiculous Six)

And………
AND…………….
RON FUNCHES!!! Need I say more?
Pretty kick ass lineup!
There’s me!  you can see the back of my head with the egotistical birthday tiara slightly sparkling in the lights…


The whole show went without a hitch, and for the most part us the audience remained well behaved during the live taping.   There was a guy behind us that exclaimed loudly when there was a mention by the comedians that weed was now legal in the state of California.  He let out a ‘WOOOOOOOOOO!” which people snickered at, but at one of the commercial breaks my nephew overheard one of the producers telling the guy to not do that again.   (Of course I’m sure he felt it was worth it since it warranted a response from Funches.)  Also in between breaks the makeup staff would rush out and freshen up host and guests, and Chris would check his laptop, phone and listen into his earpiece all at once.  He did come out once on break and personally thank the audience for being so great on what was a very tense night for everyone involved with the show.

Oh and there was a surprise appearance from Doug Benson… because… marijuana and tacos.
At the end of the show everyone filed our, we got into our car and headed home.  Overall we had a fantastic time and I had one of the best birthdays ever!  The show went really fast but I’m so happy that we were able to attend the first live taping  which happened to be ON my bday and had an amazing panel of guests.   It really made me miss living in California.  Maybe someday.  Maybe after Japan….
One more thing, at the very end of the show Chris went down into the audience and across each row ‘high fiving’ each of us.  When he got to the person sitting to the other side of my nephew, he somehow stumbled and landed a brief moment between Brian and me.   I may not have gotten a selfie with Chris, but I did get to play a part in helping him not fall onto the floor. lol.

If you are ever in the LA area and want to see a live taping of a show, whether it be @midnight or something else,  check out http://www.1iota.com and see what they have to offer.  They are SUPER nice, and have some great opportunities to be a part of some really great events and live tapings (coughTalkingDeadcough).   Actually they aren’t just in California… just go check it out for yourself and I’d love to hear anyone else’s experiences.  Let me know!

 

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My shameful secret. 

So I have a confession to make… A shameful, embarrassing, stupid thing that I did without thinking, without caring about the consequences.  I had just escaped out from under the thumb of my ex,  moved to Seattle and was suddenly exposed to a social life that didn’t have to be pre approved by anyone. Friends I worked with would go out dancing, bar hopping, wandering around downtown Seattle savoring the nightlife.  No, we weren’t sluts, that wasn’t our goal for going out.   We just wanted to have fun, dance, drink and laugh.  One of my friends had a little apartment a short walk (up a steep hill) from a club called the FENIX UNDERGROUND.  It was one badass club with multiple dance floors and music pumpin’ until 3-4am on weekends. We would go there and basically shut that place down then make the staggery trek (in our heeled boots) up that hill to her place to crash out.  One summer I think I slept on her floor more than at my own place.  

It was also during that time that I was introduced to Goldschlager.  Shots and shots of it.  I get nauseous even thinking about it now. 

But anyways, it was those series of events that lead me one day to do something especially stupid.  I got a really bad tattoo!  I haven’t shown many people this since I finally smartened up and realized that what I had inked on my pelvic area looked nothing more than a poorly drawn donut.  It was fully intended to be a halo. Why a halo?   Because that was my online persona nickname at the time.  So I went down to a tattoo place at Greenlake with a friend and we had tattoos done, side by side.  Hers was WAY cooler!  She had a pagan symbol inked in on the same area that I did. It was so impressive that the tattoo artist took pictures of hers after he was done.  Did he take any pictures of mine?   Would you?  ‘Nuff said.  

Since then I’ve fluctuated on my weight and my gut has bloated out my tattoo where I’ve just tried to forget I even have one down there.   But with my recent weight loss I’ve decided to work towards a new goal.  Once my tummy area is a bit more ‘firmed’, I want to get this ugly ass tattoo covered and have something prettier and more like me added there instead.  So far I’ve found some really beautiful ideas on Pinterest which I’m considering.  I’d love to put in a little tribute to my sister as well as a few other things that express me as who I am.  So far I’ve come up with these three ideas.   This will be a work in progress, and i still have a good 20 lbs to go until I reach my weight loss goal so there’s still time. I’m pretty sure this new tattoo i choose is going to hurt a LOT more than the halo did, but bring on the pain!  I’m really excited about this!  

Life lessons from a little boy

As a teenager it was an unwritten rule that I act as bad ass and emotionless around my family as much as possible.  Looking back on it now I have no idea why I was like that but at that time  I had legitimate reasons for everything that I did.  I was in a constant battle with my mother over the boy that I swore was my soulmate and would stop at nothing to prove to everyone that we belonged together.  That resulted in almost nightly arguments with my mother who hated him with every breath in her body.  My sister and her two little boys had moved in with my mom and I so they were unfortunately subjected to my stubborn teenage attitude and my regular screaming matches with mom.  Usually after mom and I were done yelling I would retreat to my room, slam the door and turn up my music real loud (yep, I’m sure that showed her, huh?)  one day after a particular loud argument I went into my room, slammed my door and plopped down on my bed. Then, I heard a few taps on my door.

then a few more……..

 

“Aunt Stacey? Can I come in?”

 

my little five year old nephew Brian was standing at my door with his lips pressed between the crack of the door and the frame. Tapping his fingers rhythm style while he asked again

 

“Can I please come in?”

 

I opened the door and he looked up at me with a smile.   I had laid down the law early on when my sister moved in with the boys that they were to ask before coming in my room.   As if my room held the legendary chamber of secrets,  it was still my safe haven and whatever privacy I had at home I intended on keeping in tact.

 

“Yeah,  come in”

As he walked in I closed the door (loudly) behind him, making my point to whoever else was in the house that I was still upset.   He  sat down on the edge of my bed and looked around.   I know he didn’t have any clue what I was upset about or what was going on, he just knew that tensions were  high in our homestead and he wanted to lighten the mood.   That day  I know I must have vented to him at least a dozen teenage angst’y issues and I know he didn’t really understand a word of what I was talking about.   Still,  he sat there patiently and listened as if he did.   Even if he didn’t say a word during my entire rant it didn’t  matter,  it still helped because he was there, and he cared enough to listen.   After that we would ‘hang out’ pretty regularly when I was home,  even if it was to hide in my room and listen to music.   It made it easier to be home when my sister and the kids were home,  especially as the tension between my mother and I worsened the older (and more emotionally dependent) I became to my ex boyfriend.

One particularly awful weekend I had been sick off and on for the past few days and started worrying that I may be pregnant.  The last thing I wanted to do was tell my mom so I kept it to myself for the time being until I was sure.  That Monday I skipped school and went to the health department down the street and took a pregnancy test.  It came back positive.  When I told my ex that I was pregnant he said he was elated but warned me that if anything ever happened to him that his family would make sure that the baby was raised by THEM and not me.  (** more on this subject will be explained in another entry..  it’s just too much to go into right now!**)  I kept the ‘big news’ from my mother for a few days until one night when I didn’t come home from school and instead had gone out with the boyfriend and went to one of his father’s employees’  homes.   His dad was one of the ‘top bosses’  (or so he kept telling me,  who knows if it was even true)  and I noticed that a  small group of people that worked for his dad enjoyed ‘sucking up’ to the boss’s son.  Chris would bring me along to their house (which only was a few blocks from mine) on nights they played board and roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons.   Despite the fact that they were all at least twice our age,  they were all really nice people and I enjoyed visiting with them.    My mother, on the other hand was furious. In her mind they must have been mentally unstable sickos to allow two teenagers to go to their house.   One night we were at their house and my mother comes knocking on their front door.   I have no idea how she found out where we were but just seeing her standing on that porch with that enraged look on her face made me want to crawl into a little hole and die….   That night when I came home it was on between my mom and I!   Not only had she embarrassed me but she made an ass out of herself acting the way she did to people she didn’t even know!     As we argued my nephew came out of his room and stood quietly in the hallway.   I know he hated to hear us fight and deep down I hated for him to witness anything like this, ever.

“Stacey! I’ve had it with your SHIT!”

 

“You are going to be a LOSER just like he is! You are throwing your life away!”

 

“He is never allowed in this house,  ever again!”

 

That last thing she said sent me over the edge!    I remember my eyes welling up with tears and sucking in a huge breath of air as I blurted out

 

“Well then you’ll never see your grandchildren!!!!”

 

The silence was deafening after that.   My mom sat there and looked at me,  speechless with her mouth open.    I had no idea what she was going to yell next… but she didn’t yell,   she spoke softly.

 

“So, that’s how it’s going to be… you’re pregnant now…”

 

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Brian had vanished from the shadows of the hallway where he had been standing and listening to us this whole time.  I imagined him running into his room, jumping into his bed and hiding underneath the covers to prepare himself for what could only be described as “Mom-ageddon”

 

“YES!  I’m pregnant!   and I feel sick,  and I don’t need this stress!   and I hate YOU! and I hate that you hate Chris because I love him and I am going to marry him!”    I was so mad I could feel my cheeks flush,  and my stomach wanted to throw up.   I knew the neighbors could probably hear me yelling and at that moment I didn’t care.  In my eyes my whole life was crumbling down because nobody understood me.   My mom just sat there and shook her head slowly, burying her face into her hands.  I can only imagine now what she was thinking…   her stupid daughter, and that jerk boyfriend of hers just got themselves into one of the biggest messes of all.    She started ranting on about how I would never go to college now and never have a career.  All of these things that in her eyes had been within grasping distance of me had all been yanked away forever because now I was going to be a teen mom.   She couldn’t even factor consider any of Chris’s family into this situation as being any form of help either.. my mom didn’t like Chris’s father and she thought his mother was a delusional wackjob.   I could tell the gears in my mother’s head were spinning trying to figure out how to even start to comprehend what was going to happen next.   I know she had toyed with the idea of tossing me out of the house more than a few times.   A couple years before all of this  I had abruptly left the house to go live with my father and his new wife for a short time,  but that hadn’t worked out very well.   Back when my step mom and I didn’t get along at ALL.  I was still in the mindset that my mom and dad belonged together and the best thing for both of them was to get back together.   In my mind Donna was just a homewrecker and us living under the same roof was, in her words “a living hell”.   Anyways,  after that short time I had moved out I think my mom had an easier time accepting me getting out to learn life on my own.  Lord knows I wasn’t listening to her!

Just then I felt a gentle tap on my arm.    Little Brian was standing next to me with one of his backpacks over his shoulder  that he used for school.  He had some items stuffed into it,  books, etc.   Tucked underneath his arm was a stuffed toy rabbit that I knew was one of his favorite.   It was a white rabbit with longish springy ears.   Brian used to tell me that this toy was especially special because it had ‘caught his very first tears”.

 

“Grandma?   Aunt Stacey?”

 

I was in no mood for anything else,  and that bitchy, nasty, stone faced teenager once again surfaced in me.  I had never lashed out at my little nephew before .. until now.    He reached up to tap my arm again and I jerked away from him,  even startling myself that I had done it.  I looked down at him and  heaved in a huge annoyed sigh.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT??”   He jumped a bit when I snapped at him but still held tightly onto his backpack and that bunny.  He then turned to my mom,  his grandma
He then said what has to be one of the sweetest things I had ever heard…

 

“We need to start selling some things so we can have some money for Aunt Stacey’s baby”

 

Setting his backpack that contained some of his prized belongings  down at my feet he looked up at me and smiled,  then starting to talk about when we should plan a garage sale as soon as possible.

“I have more things I’ll bring out.   A whole bunch!   We can make a lot of money!”

 

I honestly didn’t know what to say… a lump had formed in my throat that really made me want to throw up.   After all the fighting between my mom and I and all the bullshit we were yelling at one another, the only thing this little boy cared about at that moment was the baby.  As young as he was,  he was so concerned about making everyone around him happy.  His main focus was to try his best to make everything better by trying to help the problem the only way he knew how.     That kid had a heart of pure gold.   Right that moment I  wanted to scoop that little boy up and hug him tightly and tell him how much I loved him,  but then I looked over at my mom who was still staring at me.   I couldn’t let her see me breaking down,  not now..   So instead I did something awful and heartless…

I looked down at my nephew standing next to me and coldly rolled my eyes.   “Oh WHATEVER! That’s so stupid!” I hissed down at him.  I remember he just looked up at me with a big confused look on his face and then quietly watched as I  turned around and stomped back into my room,  slammed my door loudly and turned up my music loud.   Not more than a few minutes later there was a knock my door.  It was Brian…

 

“Can I please come in Aunt Stacey?”

 

“NO!  GO AWAY!”

*deafening silence on the other end of my door*    Then….

“Please?”

“Damnit!   Leave me alone!  Go away!  GO AWAY”

 

I think he stood out there for a few more minutes until he finally walked away.   I had my ear pressed to the door listening to see if he was still there and eventually I heard nothing.    Faintly I could hear my mom telling Brian that he didn’t do anything wrong.     That I was having a temper tantrum and it was nobody’s fault but my own.    She was absolutely right…

That night I laid in my bed buried in my covers and cried my eyes out.  To have treated my littlest ally that way was totally and utterly wrong.  All I could think about was what he had said about offering to sell his things to make our lives easier for a new baby.   He cared so much about me,  and about my well being.     Of everyone under my roof,  this little guy always had my back.. and I had treated him horribly.   I cried all night and woke up the next morning nervous to face him for breakfast.   What would I say?   How would I apologize for being a heartless bitch to this little boy who just wanted to help.   But when I got up to go get some cereal,  he was sitting at the kitchen table watching his cartoons.    He looked up at me with a smile and just said  “Oh!  Good morning Aunt Stacey!”  as if nothing had happened.   The backpack full of things, including his beloved stuffed rabbit still sat in a pile on the floor where he had left it the night before.

 

Brian and I never talked about that day,  at least I purposely never mentioned it again.  Just the thought that I had treated him that way still hurts me to this day.  After that day though,  I saw him in a different light.   He was smarter than the average kid.  His mom had raised him to have a big heart and to put others first.   He was always excited to come home after kindergarten to tell us all about what he learned that day.   Good manners,  always saying please, thank you and excuse me and always helping around the house with chores.    He reveled in doing the right thing and made sure that we were all doing the same.   It was also his influence that helped lessen the tension between me and my mom,   we both realized that if a little 5 year old boy can act more mature than us,  then we had a lot to learn about our relationship.   It didn’t make the quarrels that we had over my boyfriend… but we never fought that way ever ever again.   We worked on a better way to communicate,

 

I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Brian and thank my sister for bringing him into the world.   I love that kid to the moon and back…  Thank you, Brian..

 

 

Valentine’s day, random yadda and more adorable pet pics

Had a very quiet and simple Valentine’s day with my beloved and furkids.    Then tonight we went out to the Pershing Community Club on post and had a five course dinner.   They had it last  year too and it was delish so I have been looking forward to it ever since.    Now, here I sit in a food coma not wanting to move and thinking to myself  “Oh, crap.. I haven’t scanned any new pictures like I said I would!”    Procrastination… it’s becoming a bad, bad habit.   I found a small album that has pages of pictures of just places.   It looks like it was taken on a trip and there are explanations written on them but its just of places, no people.     My uncle traveled a lot so I’m guessing they were his pictures.   You’ll see when I post them,  they are interesting in their own odd way.

I also got an email reminder that my sister’s birthday is in one week.  FTD has sent me that reminder  for years now and I just can’t cancel it,  yet.     I’ve been thinking of doing something in her honor for her birthday… something she would do if she was still here.    Maybe a donation in her name to   http://rabbit.org/    She loved her bunnies.   Right after our mom passed away she went right out and got herself some rabbits,  and not just two…   several.   Like, too many.   Mom didn’t want to have any pets in the house except for her  cat Tigger.

Oh, Tigger… I need to find a photo of him.   There was a house down the street that had stray cats and kittens everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.    I clearly remember the house being in crap shape but people lived in it.    They were nice but somehow their population of cats had gotten out of control.  My friends and I would ride our bikes by the house and see all those cats and kittens that would promptly scatter every which way when we got too close.  ALL of them were feral.   One day one of the people that lived there came out and told us that if we could catch a kitten we could keep it.   I was 12 years old and wanted one of those kittens badly so I went home and asked my mom if I could have one.    “NO”   she said.   No reason given, just no.      So I went and got a kitten anyway.   Hey,  I didn’t see any logic in mom’s decision and therefore in my pre teen mind it must be wrong.   At first I thought I would keep my newly acquired semi feral kitten in my outside playhouse.   I would leave food and water down in there and he would come and go as he pleased with my mother none the wiser.   That lasted maybe a week,  one day I came home from school and I was asked about the orange kitten that kept jumping in and out of my playhouse.   She was angry for a while and would tell me “That cat needs to go to the pound,  we aren’t keeping it!”    Eventually Tigger found his place in her heart   and slowly he became my mom’s after I moved out.   After that Tigger became the excuse for no other animals coming into the house.  “No, because it would upset Tigger”  she would say as if Tigger was a tender soul.  Hah!   I saw that cat jump onto a Golden Retriever’s back and ride it like a cowboy just for it barking at him.   He could have easily handled his own,  but mom was a creature of habit and her habit of saying “NO” to any new animals in the home stayed firm right up until she passed away.    Tigger lived to the ripe old age of 19 and I had the task of taking him in for his final vet visit a few months after mom passed.   After that,   Cindi went rabbit crazy.  I think at one time she had 7 or 9 rabbits and she loved them all dearly.   Her rabbits..  and her neighborhood squirrels.   Loves of her life.   Yep, I think a donation in her name would be perfect!

With that being said here are some more of the cute flufflings that I had the pleasure of helping at the vet I worked at overseas.

IMG_3517 IMG_3519 IMG_3520 IMG_3523 IMG_3524 IMG_3525 IMG_3526 IMG_3528

Rut

rut1
 
  1. 1.
    a long deep track made by the repeated passage of the wheels of vehicles.
    synonyms: furrow, groove, trough, ditch, hollow, pothole, crater

    “the car bumped across the ruts”
  2. 2.
    a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    When I started writing this I decided I wanted to look up the exact definition to the word “Rut”.  It’s a common word used by people in the same mindset that I am right now.   Lately I just have become a creature of habit and I feel like my life is in some sort of auto pilot mode.     My motivation to do anything extra is dwindling away to nothing and it’s causing me to get really angry at myself for feeling that way.    Can someone be self loathing for not meeting their OWN expectations?

    I guess one thing I need to confess on here that’s most likely a huge part of it is this…   even thinking about what I’m about to type makes me nauseous.   I’m ashamed and furious at myself.     For over a year now,  my wedding ring has been lost.   I have no idea where it is and losing that very special part of me literally has taken away a huge piece of my soul.   It was last January,  I had just returned back from Germany to rejoin Mike a little less than a month before and we were getting back to our regular routine.   Our house still has a lot of unpacking and sorting to do, but a year ago it was a LOT worse.   It’s a project that will most likely take years to complete, honestly.   But anyway last year I had a lot of finger and feet swelling due to all the extra salt intake I used to do.  I loved my salt!   When my fingers would swell I would need to take my ring off because it would get too tight.   At around the same time that I got back, a friend came to visit and stay with us for a couple weeks,  so there were a couple nights of Malibu rum and pizza that were hazy.   At the end of it all I realized I couldn’t find my ring anywhere.   What the hell could have happened to it?   Where did I set it?   I feel I’ve scoured everywhere it could have been and it depresses me to the point where I need to push it out of my mind or I’ll cry.   Losing that ring is the worst and most irresponsible thing I have ever done and it sickens me even thinking about it.    I haven’t told many people this and I do know that I’m silently judged by some of the people I work with because I’m not wearing a ring.   Well,  there you go…  I lost it like an idiot.   It’s a feeling of failure.   I keep hoping I will find it someday,  set somewhere stupid that I never looked… but let’s face it… that probably won’t happen.  I hate looking down at my hand and not seeing the symbol of my marriage glittering back at me.  It breaks my heart I let this happen.

    The other thing I’m in a rut over is keeping up on this blog.   I love writing in it and sharing pictures.   Problem is I have no access to a scanner to keep on getting pictures scanned to share.  In fact, if you look at many of the previous photos I’ve shared they are of a low quality.. that reason is that I am having to take a picture of it with my CAMERA.    Well,   I’m sick of doing that so I am looking into other options.   Looking online I’ve seen some services that will scan photos onto a CD for pennies per photo.    Soon as I pick the right one to go through ( and I am open to suggestions, please)   i’m going to get a large amount of them scanned so I can start getting back to doing this regularly.   Doing this has been good for me… and I hate to let something so stupid like not having access to a scanner stop me from doing what I love.

    I wish I had a VPOTD to share but I don’t…   but stay tuned.     I need to get this worked out soon,  for sanity’s sake.
    Blah..  that’s all i have to say.

When a boy kills a friendship…

Have you ever thought about someone from your past just out of nowhere for no reason?   Someone you haven’t spoken to or even thought about for well over 20 years?  Last night I had a dream about this person, and just like back when we were both kids, we were friends again.

It was the beginning of the  summer of 1986,  My pride and self esteem had just been completely trampled on being  freshly ‘dumped’ by the boy that eventually I got back together with and made my life miserable for the next 12 years,  so I completely immersed  myself in my friends in order to stay busy and be as active as possible so I wouldn’t be tempted to sit home and sulk.     This was going to be MY summer, damnit!   So,  that particular day my friend and I were headed on our bikes to the library.    The local library was only down the end of my street then a block over so we frequented it a lot during summertime.   Back then our idea of a good time was curling up in one of the beanbags on the floor and reading books for the summer reading Olympics thingie they did every year.   We were even really too old to sit in on children’s  storytime with ‘Lolly” the librarian but we did anyway.     yeah, I was a party animal..   but anyways…

I don’t remember exactly who all was there that day but I do know that was the day I met C.   She was sitting on the sign  of the Southeast Torrance library with a few of her friends yelling at cars going by. (back then you weren’t in danger of getting your face shot off just by acting like a stupid innocent teen)   I don’t remember the details of how we all got to talking but pretty soon I was up on that sign next to her and her friends laughing, talking and  shouting at cars too.    After that we became inseparable. Up until then I was pretty much a recluse when it came to friends.  Sure,  I HAD friends.. but I wasn’t a social butterfly that was invited to parties and absorbed myself in social groups like the other kids my age did.   I chose to hang around a small handful of people and stuck with those same people until one moved away and the other dropped out of school.   So, if my small clique of friends weren’t around  I went off by myself.    Thing is, it didn’t bother me.  I had teachers in grade school always call my mother with concern giving her reports of me sitting off by myself during recess when my friends weren’t there.  My teachers feared I had a social disorder but I think I just preferred to stick to what I was comfortable with.   She lived about 6 streets up from me which was an easy walk or bike ride every day to hang out.   That first summer was a blast.   We had formed  a small group of  her  friends that would sneak out late at night and cause what we called back then ‘mischief’.     We uprooted stop signs (when they were still easily lifted  wooden posts pushed into the soil and not metal posts in concrete) ,  Century 21 signs and carried them around,  pushed each other around in shopping carts and was home before daybreak.  We experimented with wine coolers (that was serious booze to us back then!)  and prank called people from school that we didn’t like.   We spent countless hours at the mall,  going to the beach and living the summer the way any teenage girl should live it.    She knew I was pining for a boy and I did blabber on about him occasionally…( ok, more than occasionally I would have probably throat punched me if I were her!)  My goal at the end of summer was to show up on my first day as a sophomore looking drop dead gorgeous and win back the boy who I thought was the love of my life.   She listened to all my banter over that and offered her support as best as she could.   Hell,  looking back on all of this  I don’t know how she did it without slapping me silly .    During that summer though we spent pretty much every waking moment together and I can say that she quickly became my best friend.    She fit the definition of what I had originally blogged about that a best friend is,  to a tee.   I’ll always remember that summer as one of the bests ones of my young life.   Getting to know her brought me out of my shell socially and made me some amazing memories.

Fast forward to the end of summer to the first day of school.   I showed up looking fine!   I’ll never forget… black denim mini skirt,  sandals and a pink and black top (it was the 80’s.. that was the style so no hating!)   I wish I had a picture of what I looked like that day.  My plan worked and I made Cris’s jaw drop to the ground.  (much to the dismay of the high school Banner Squad girls who all had crushes on him)  I didn’t care… I had just experienced an awesome summer, met some new people, made a new best friend and now won back the boy I thought I was meant to be with.

X’s father got him an apartment a few miles down from the high school for convenience,  threw a bunch of money at him and headed back to his soon to be ex wife in Alhambra. His dad considered his son an annoyance most of the time, and so just giving him wads of cash that were supposed to be going towards his child support made him feel like he was taking care of him.    He wasn’t.  X had no grip on reality and knew that if there were any problems he had gotten into that his dad would pay it away.  No amount of money could, however take care of the new friendships I had made over the summer.   That hurt his pride because he wanted to be the center of my universe.   Everyone remained neutral as long as possible.    Most likely occasionally exchanging glances with my mother who had now begun to full on hate him.  She saw what being with him was doing to her daughter, but I didn’t listen.   All she could do was helplessly sit back and watch me make bad decision after bad decision.

My best friend had sort of staged a bit of an intervention for me.   She had our group of friends come over and they tried to convince me that I could do much MUCH better than him.   In fact,  it was right during that time when a fellow classmate approached me and admitted he had feelings for me.   He asked me out on a few dates, and then to prom which I accepted.   Truth be told, I had begun to grow tired of living under X’s thumb… but his temper and constant threats of suicide made me feel obligated to stay with him.  He pretended like he needed me, but what he really needed was someone to stay with him that made him feel good about himself.   When I had no self esteem I was easy to manipulate blah blah blah.   The more that happened the more I noticed my once close friends were slowly pulling away

The straw that broke the camel’s back happened one night when C decided to have a party at her house.  I think it was a birthday party if I remember correctly.  I do know that the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp was rented that night so we could sing and purr along to the Siamese Cat Song.  Well,  the X got word that I was at C’s house and drove over.  I should have never went out to talk to him that night… that’s something I’ll always regret.   Because I went out there,  this was the night that mine and C’s friendship abruptly ended.   I don’t know how much she heard of what was going on between me and him in front of her house but X kept telling me to get in his car and I kept telling him no.  He then lit up a cigarette to try to upset me and puffed on it for a while.  I think I called him stupid for doing that and then told him I was going to go back inside to spend the evening with my friends.  It was then that the X pulled out a knife.   Things got scary very fast.   He told me if I didn’t get in the car he would hurt everyone I cared about.   There was also a claim of him having a gun underneath the front seat which turned out to be a lie,  but I got in the car with him that night and we drove away A few of the people at the party called the police and they chased after us.  He drove us to his apartment with the police in close pursuit,   They spoke to the X and it was determined it was a simple domestic incident between he and I.   I should have told them about his knife and about the threats, but I kept my mouth shut.  Well   after that night C never spoke to me again.   We went from being the very best of friends to strangers.   She had nothing to say to me and so we both went our separate ways.   I know I wrote a letter to her once not long after that incident,  I mailed it to her home address and got no response.  In 1998 when my mother succumbed to her brain cancer  I half expected to hear from her since our moms were friends,  but I got nothing.  After that I tossed out any pictures we had together and considered her dead from my life.   I could have really used her friendship during that time,  having a family member dying should trump any stupid argument in my opinion.  At least I know I apologized to her for being an idiot and the fact she didn’t accept the apology is something I’ll have to live with I guess.   X wasn’t worth losing my friendship with C but I learned that a little too late,  chalk it up to bad timing  😦

Something I need to get out

Call it “thought vomit” because it’s been on my mind for so long I’m about to scream if I don’t at least write about it.   Usually the person I would call when I was having these issues is my sister and well…   she’s gone.   I’m hoping that once I can get this all out I can feel even just a little bit better.   SO sick of being frustrated over the same damn thing.

Is it just me or do other people have this problem-  that at some point in their lives that people tend to tune them out more often.   Suggestions, opinions, even just venting to release some steam after a long stressful day fall upon deaf ears.  For instance,  when my significant other is sick I go into ‘how can I get him to feeling better asap’ mode.   I guess I got that from my mother?    It’s not meant to be a nag but rather just trying to help.   Anything suggested whether it be “drink more fluids’  (note:  diet coke is NOT a suitable “fluid”)  to “hey, did you take your medication this morning yet?  you should do that now to keep on schedule”   It’s like I’m shrugged off and my opinions and suggestions don’t matter and it hurts me more than it annoys me.  I feel like I’m wasting my time trying to help someone I care about.    Another example.. the workplace.    Between the busy times when there are lulls it is nice to take a breather and chit chat with fellow co workers.  I like to bring some laughter into where I work since working where i’m at can go from zero to 100000000000000 on the stress scale.  Well, I’ll be halfway into a discussion with someone when someone else will come out of nowhere and just interrupt.   Talk over me and pretend like I’m not even there.    Usually the subject is changed as if what I had to talk about never really mattered anyway. A few times I was apologized to after the fact by the person I was originally talking to.  Having that happen puts them in an awkward spot.     Rather than just try to increase the volume of my voice in an attempt to dominate the conversation that was originally mine, I just turn around and go back to work finding something to do.  I’ve learned it isn’t worth it if it’s that easy to do that to me.  Fuck em,  but I gotta ask though goddamnit… does this happen to other people???

My sister passed away from multiple health problems.  She was diabetic, overweight and had incontinent problems alopecia and im sure a few other things she never wanted to tell me about.   I always tried to help her with her diabetes.   I think I even sent her some information on diabetic meals and healthy cooking,  but her idea of eating was buying 2 foot long subs from Subways and eating a quarter sandwich for every meal.   In fact, when she died she had subway sandwiches in her fridge that had recently been purchased.  I always have wondered if I could have helped her just a little bit more if she’d still be here today.

When it comes to the career I’ve chosen for myself.. I love doing what I do.  I’ve had the opportunity to work at different places and obtain hands on  experiences that most could only get if they went to school (I wish I had gone to college but I was stupid.. end of story)  because of that I have always loved sharing my experiences with others.  I’m hardly a ‘know-it-all’ in any sense but life experiences can be worth their weight in gold.  Maybe I do come off as a know-it-all,  so maybe that’s why I am easy to ignore.  I don’t know, and honestly I don’t have the energy anymore to try to figure it out.

Anyways, just wanted to get that out.  Hopefully I’m not the only one that feels this way

Happy thoughts

happy thoughts

We keep happy memories filed in the the back of our minds so we can bring them out to remember when you need a smile.   Have you ever been someplace beautiful or experiencing something absolutely breathtaking when you think silently to yourself   “Never forget this moment as long as you live”  You immediately open all your senses in order to try to remember every single detail from the smells, how the wind feels blowing through your hair and the wonderful, free feeling of having no worries at that very second in your life.   It’s your very own Peter Pan happy thought, so to speak because when you take yourself back to that moment you swear you can fly!

I had one of those moments last week

A couple months ago my husband and I went on a cruise to the Bahamas.   First cruise ever and hopefully not the last.   It was such an amazing time!    The ship, our cabin,  all of the shows and dancing and music and the waitstaff.  Oh, the waitstaff!   They treat you like royalty!    On that ship amongst the passengers there was an unspoken rule.   Nobody discussed the fact that  this vacation we were on would eventually end.   It was a taboo subject.  After having such a wonderful time nobody wanted to return to the ‘real world’  with hardships and responsibilities.

One of our stops was at a private island called Little Stirrup Cay.    We boarded a smaller boat from the cruise ship that took us to the island and then we had the day to do whatever we wanted.  It was beach and sun surrounded by tropical’ness for a whole day!   The feeling of walking around that island surrounded by nothing but sand, clear blue water and coconut trees was paradise.   After taking a trip out to ‘Stingray City” and encountering an enclosure full of stingrays  (yes, we got to pet and hold them!, I wanted to cry I was so excited!  )   We went out to the beach area to dip our toes in the ocean.   I remember every detail of that day right down to the temperature of the water and the feeling of the fish whisking past my legs.  There were needlefish and puffer fish that swam around us as if it was nothing.  Looking at tourists’ legs and feet must be the norm for those fish.  The beach was easily waist high at least a quarter mile or more out towards the ocean.   My husband and I walked out into the ocean headed for the deeper water for a while until I found a rock that was deep enough to kneel on.   There were most likely hundreds of tourists on the same island that day but where I was it didn’t feel like it.  I had my own little piece of paradise right there sitting in that salty ocean.   IMG_1245 IMG_1244

So as I was saying,  last week was rough. Some family drama going on as well as trying to get a handle on juggling a job and keeping the house from falling into disarray.  I think as I’ve gotten older I have developed more OCD behavior when it comes to cleanliness.   I can’t stand mess,  but some days I’m so tired when I come home that I don’t have the energy to do anything.   Then the next day is the same thing,  and the next,  rinse, wash, repeat.   By midweek I was so flustered I went outside and sat on the front porch (in the below freezing temps) and just needed to collect my thoughts.    I thought back to that day on the beach and how it felt to be carefree and relaxed at that very moment.   The feeling of the fish swimming past my legs and even how it burned my eyes when I accidentally splashed a little bit of that salt water up in my face.

A few minutes of pondering that and I felt a lot better.   Main reasons were,  it was my own memory that I made from experience and it shows that life isn’t all bad.   Through the tough times there are moments that you can escape to in your mind that helps make getting through it even if just a little bit easier.   It also inspired me to start planning for that next opportunity where I can have my next adventure and make more memories.    Life is what you make of it,  and even though I can be the poster child of depression I’ve been getting better at remembering that.

So close your eyes and breathe the next time you are having a bad day.  I’m sure you have something stuffed away in your memories to make you feel like you can fly.   Just think of a wonderful thought…

V(sort of) POTD 11 January 2015

This picture is a great example of why pictures are taken in the first place.   To stop time at a moment that you want to look back someday on and remember.   That’s me in the red and white silly sailor looking top and horrifying bangs.   I am going to guess it was in the 1980-1983 timeframe.  Next to me is my mom and my cousin Jane.    We used to drive to Jane’s farm in Fresno.  It wasn’t that far of a trip,  but to a kid sitting in the car even for a few hours it seemed like we were traveling to another world.    Going there was my first taste of ‘country’ life. I remember climbing all over their farming equipment and once finding a tiny lone homeless kitten in their barn.   It was hotter in Fresno than it was in Los Angeles so I remember fussing to my parents about that (like they had any control of the weather)  I also remember there being a long running family joke about Jane’s husband Floyd loving ketchup so much he put it on everything.   At dinner there would always be a comment like “Where’s your giant bottle of ketchup, Floyd?”   Isn’t it odd what things you remember back when you were a kid?   Small trivial things,  but I don’t remember this picture being taken.   I wish I had.

jane and mom

We were all obviously sharing a laugh.   Mom was always the jokester in the family, she would come up with the funniest things to say at a moment’s notice  (I think I inherited that from her).    No doubt mom had just said something that made Jane and I laugh,  although I have a creepy smirk on my face.   Ugh, that hairstyle!     It’s a piece of time I’m glad that is preserved in a photo to look back on.  It is nice to see my mom laughing.   She’s been gone now 17 years in March and I like to think I still remember what her voice sounded like.   Over time though, I’m so afraid of that fading from my memory.   In this picture though the sound of her laugh comes through clearly just by looking at it.

I cherish that,   but not my choices of hair and clothing back then.

Jaycee Dugard

It’s 6:26 am and I’m wide awake.  My dachshunds decided that this is the perfect time to go outside into the icy yard for a potty.   The TV has been on all night on the ID channel and a    20/20 show is on.   The story of Jaycee Dugard and her life being abducted when she was 11 years old back in 1991.     I’m watching, in her own words all the things she dealt with.   From being tased before she was thrown into a car as she was walking to her school bus to being held captive in a makeshift shed in the back yard of a convicted sex offender.    Cris and I had moved up to South Lake Tahoe later that year.   It was where my father and step mother were at the time and I wanted to live close to him.    Cris’s own mom and step father were moving from Torrance up north to Foresthill so we came along with them.     We packed all our things into the moving van, along with our cat Jolly and headed on for Tahoe.    Posters of Jaycee were up all over town,  at every business.  Purple ribbons on trees and people wearing them as lapel pins.   One time I found out where Jaycee’s family house was and drove up there.  It was in a nice area near a place called Tahoe Paradise.   There was a HUGE purple bow fastened to their garage door.   I basically drove down the same road where the kidnappers had driven when they took that little girl to get to that house.   There were a lot of people that didn’t believe that the girl had been kidnapped,  that the parents had something to do with it.  There were a lot of fund raisers for the family, and some people voiced concern that it was all a ruse just to get money.   There was a 1950’s style drive in diner where  Cris and I would go and hang out with a group of locals.   They were some of the people that doubted the Probyn family.   They used to make snide comments like “Oh, look!  Another fund raiser so the Probyns can buy a boat in case they find Jaycee on the North side of the lake!”    Now that we know everything that we do,   I hope those people felt awful about what they had said.   That family was genuinely struggling and although there WAS a huge community rallied around them, there were many nay sayers that would accuse them of such awful things.  This teaches us an important lesson  not everything in life is a lie,  even things that look too impossible to happen CAN happen.   I hope she lives out the rest of her life with her daughters happy and fulfilled and someday finding love of her own.

By the way, if you ever get the chance to read her book “A stolen life: A memoir”,  I highly recommend it.

book