Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Healthy Living

Back in August, for the Thursday blog project, I wrote about a plastic surgery. Though the focus was suppose to be on why I wouldn't have plastic surgery, I talked about the part of my body I don't like the most and other matters related to fitness and health. This was quite hard for me to put out into cyberspace because it an especially sensitive topic; however, as fate would have it, it ended up reaching someone who felt similar as I and helped them feel better about their struggles with this part of their life.

Though I don't give full credit to the positive changes that have taken in place in my life over the past year, the fact that I'm more active and exercise on a regular basis surely doesn't hurt things. I can totally tell the difference when I'm less active or not exercising regularly.

The thing I now struggle with the most when it comes to this area of my life is that I don't see changes in my appearance when I look in the mirror, nor do I feel them when I put on my clothes. I've never been large to the point that this individual was so maybe that is why -- the changes I experience aren't as dramatic.

All said and done, I think this is an inspiring video for anyone, of any size, who is looking to make a change in the area of health and fitness.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Various things this week have taken me down memory lane . . .

• Today I woke up to a message from M regarding a friend of hers, that I also know. The long and the short of the situation is that I use to spend time with this person until out of the blue they stopped calling me. Six months later we ran into one another at a post-Thanksgiving party M had. They were even more of a douche bag to me that evening.

That was 3 years ago, and since then I've moved on -- I mean really, how much time can you spend on douche bags?! Anyhow, they asked M if she'd ask me if I'd be ok with them contacting me again. A lot has changed in my life and to be quite honest, I'm not sure if I want to be their friend in real life (we've been facebook friends this whole time). I said they could in fact contact me only because BFF reminded me of a similar situation I've experienced where I was on this persons side of the table. It's a scary place to be, and at the very least I wanted to give them the chance I wanted so badly.

As one might imagine, there has been a lot of reminiscing going on this morning.

• This situation also reminded me of that party of M's... It was a matter of days before my birthday. For whatever reason M thought it would be a good idea to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. I'm not a big fan of people singing "Happy Birthday" to me so you can imagine how I felt about this. (And I'm thankful for the waitress whoon one of my bdays gave me a free dessert in honor of my bday without the serenade! She is a goddess!!!)

The last thing I'll say about this situation is don't serenade someone for their bday if they don't know anyone else at a party, and they don't like that type of thing to begin with -- it just doesn't end well.

• "You're the knitter, aren't you?!" That is what some lady sitting across from me on the train home said to me the other day I literally just sat down in my seat -- no knitting to be seen -- when she blurted that out.

Again, RANDOM. I haven't been on that particular train, in that particular coach in a LONG time. (At least close to a year?!?!?!) This got me thinking about all my travels back and forth into the city on the train. This then got me thinking about all the things I "could" be known for and made me feel good that ultimately, I'm known as "the knitter."

As it turns out, this individual is learning to knit and is super excited about it. Seeing that all knitters should stick together and help each other out, I gave the woman my business card I use for networking. It only has my phone number on it so she can't really stalk me.

• All the randomness of the train/knitter situation got me thinking of last summer and how random it was to have made a friend on the train. (Which, as my train buddy told me a few months back, is a really rare situation as though they have talked to others on the train before, they never made a true friend from those conversations.)

I was very lucky to have a train buddy, and it is a rare situation. We had so much fun on the commute home. It was like being in knit group -- without the knitting... or the large group. We would talked about a lot of different things and I'm sure we kept a lot of people in our coach... ummm... ummm...entertained!

It's for this reason I was more than happy to be know as "the knitter" because honestly there are a lot of other ways people on this particular train could remember me.

• It was also fun to think about my senior year opinion papers that I wrote for my English class. I really enjoyed writing those which is why I've kept them all these years. Even back then I wasn't shy about sharing my two cents on things.

• For some reason I started playing Farmville again this week. (I say this with some shame.) Back in 2010 I played this ALL the time. I even remember I once stayed at a friend's unexpectedly one weekend and was trying to figure out if all my crops would be wittered by the time I got back home. Yes, you can laugh at me for this -- I give you full permission if you feel so inclined. In 2011 I stopped playing. Mostly because you basically have to plan the game around your schedule and I wasn't up for that anymore.

I'm not sure why I started up again, though I really haven't looked at "my farm" in a day or two which leads me to believe I'm not THAT committed to the game anymore and the fact that I touched it was purely just an aberration.

It is, however, kind of fun to think, and talk, about.

• If anything really started this stroll down memory lane this week, it was my text conversation with my friend at the beginning of the week. We were talking about the past -- or I should say, they were talking about the past. Eventually it came time for me to share, but I didn't because what I have to say seriously isn't meant for text message -- actually isn't not something I share typically share over e-mail or a phone call (or I rarely share it that way). However, it's a part of my life that has had a significant impact on who I am today so once I've decided someone is worthy of really knowing me I'm happy to share it with them.

So, as you would imagine, knowing at some undetermined point in time my friend and I will be having the second half of this conversation I have been thinking a lot this week about how much my life has changed and how much I have changed (both for the better).

In some really messed up way (and trust me, it is very messed up that I am making this next statement), I'm happy for what I've been through. Don't get me wrong, if I could have a "do over," I would totally change this part of my life, but alas it DID happen so... I had a lot to learn and I guess this is how I was meant to learn those lessons. I can't change what happened, so I figured out how to become a better person from it instead of letting it get the best of me (which at one point I was concerned would be the case).

Personally, I think right now I'm the best version of myself I've ever been. (Though, I am kind of bias.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Putting things off for later ... otherwise known as procrastination.

I've had a horrible bout with procrastination over the past month or so. Normally, when I have something to do I get it done, however that hasn't been the case lately. Lately it's been . . . Procrastinator = ME!

So when it got to be Monday evening, and I still hadn't picked a topic for this week's Thursday Blog Project (something I should have done last Thursday... Sunday at the latest), I decided on the topic of procrastination -- honestly, I had NO ideas for a topic so I just turned what I was practicing into the topic.

(Yes, the topic selection process for this project is quite intense and scientific -- at least my process is!)

So what's on my "to do" list that I'm putting off, you ask?

The first thing that comes to mind is . . . Lots and lots and lots of writing!

You'd think I wouldn't be putting this off since I love to write ... Unfortunately, that isn't the case. I blame it on the fact that I haven't learn to "write on demand." I have to be inspired. (It seriously took me WAY too long to write my first personal statement. Thankfully the second one went a lot quicker.) I've always putting off writing assignments. Even in high school I've put off my writing assignments until the last minute. My senior year, I my Spring term English teacher assigned a TIME magazine article each week that we were to read and write an opinion paper on. I wrote those papers on the day they were due, 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the day(right before my Algebra II class started -- good thing I had no issues with putting off my homework for that class otherwise I would have been REALLY SCREWED!!!) For the record, I think the lowest grade I got on these opinion papers was a B+. If I were really concerned about being 100% accurate on this I'd pull them out right now and check, but honestly I'm not THAT concerned . . . And yes, I have all of these writing assignments from my senior year in high school which was back in the dark ages when I didn't even know what the hell the internet or e-mail. They are together with all the writing assignments I did in elementary school and Jr. High. (You think I'm kidding, but I'm not!)

I wish more than anything that I could learn to just sit down and write. It would make my current project a lot easier to manage. For instance, I just got a writing assignment for a blog that caters to the Jewish community in the Chicagoland area. My first post is due to the managing editor Tuesday, and I have no freakin' clue what to write about. Truth be told, when I contacted this site about becoming a contributing blogger I really didn't think they'd say yes so I wasn't prepared with any ideas of what I might write about in the event they did in fact say yes -- which they did. (Go Me!) Then there are some press releases I'm helping with for one of the non-profits organization I do work volunteer work for. Oh yeah, then there is my personal writing stuff that I want to do that somehow always seems to take a backseat to everything else -- until.

There are other things going on in my life I'm procrastinating on, but it's more fun for me to share the writing stuff I'm procrastinating on than the other stuff.

Now I feel as though I should share with you what I do instead of doing what I am suppose too -- but I'm trying to keep this post to 800 words, as that is all the words I get for the above mentioned blog post that is due Tuesday, and as of this sentence I am at 654 words. (Thank you Microsoft Word for counting the words for me!) I'm afraid if I go off on the "this is how I procrastinate" tangent this post is going to turn into something more like 8000 words. Because that is what I do . . . when given the opportunity, I ramble to my hearts content. (Some find like this, some don't.) So, you can see how having only 800 words to play with can be tricky for me!

Instead, I will thank you for reading my rant about procrastination and encourage you to read what my fellow bloggers have to say about their thoughts on the topic:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Side note: With this side note, this post is 799 words long! (Phew! Made it just under 800 words... GO ME!!!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Climbing to New Heights

I tried going "wordless", but who am I kidding. "Wordy" is more the way to title these Wednesday posts...

The video below is another one that was sent to me by a friend. It was their belief, until recently, that I could watch this video without a problem because I enjoy skydiving and want to go zip-lining and repelling.

That isn't the case. To be honest, it took me awhile to watch this video because I kept pausing it so my stomach would stay in tact. (It was a bit touch-and-go there for awhile.)

(With that in mind, in one of the first "Bachelor" episodes I watched this season Ben and his date climbed up the side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Though it looked really scary, I have to admit it would be a cool thing to do sometime.)

Please note: This video is close to 8 minutes in length -- so give yourself ample time if you plan to watch it all at one time. I hope you can make it through better than I did...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So my forefinger will hypertrophy into a giant texting tool & my larynx will shrivel?

The other night I had a rather long, and deep conversation with a friend of mine.

The topic of conversation touched upon a sensitive topic and a lot of personal information was shared. After my friend finished "dumping" (their phrase, not mine -- to me it was more like sharing) all this information on me they commented that they couldn't believe that they had just shared all of it via text -- "don't people talk anymore? they asked. (Either one of us "could have" called the other when it became obvious that the conversation topic was more than a short interlude... but we didn't.) "No. People don't talk anymore. One day talking will be obsolete," I texted back. Though my response was meant to be sarcastic, it was also somewhat a honest opinion of mine.

This seems to be a frequent topic of conversation of recent usually prompted by a comment on how actually picking up the phone and calling someone "just to talk" seems to be some weird foreign concept or something our great, great grandparents did back in the "old days."

It's atypical for me to call someone "just to talk." I am without a doubt guilty as charged when it comes to using electronic means to communicate with those I keep company. This is all ironic considering how just a mere four or five years ago making actual phone calls was in fact my primary means of communication -- which was fine by me since I am an uber talkative person.

My first instinct is to blame this all on the acquisition of my iPhone, but I can't say with 100% honesty that is the case. Prior to that purchase, I relied heavily on e-mail and instant messaging for sometime as a means of communication. As D once said to me, "You're an e-mailer." However, it has been since the acquisition of my iPhone, and a bump in messaging capabilities, that I've come to rely more heavily on texting and e-mail rather than a good ol' fashion phone call, to communicate with others.

There are a few people in my life I can count on to call me out on this behavior. Sometimes it's stated quite directly, and other times in a subtle way -- for instance, when Bostonian pointed out the next obvious question I had for him was when was the best time to call since I knew he didn't like carrying on text message conversations. No, that wasn't the next obvious question I had for him, but it was obvious what message he was communicating to me. (And I will admit, instead of calling, I e-mailed "the next obvious question" to him instead of making the phone call I believe he was looking for me to make.)

Over the past couple of months I've tried calling folks more often, "just to talk"; especially my mom and any friend whose preference is an actual phone call. This effort has gotten mixed reaction -- typically my mom's first question is, "What's up?" whereas Bostonian expresses how nice it is of me to call vs. e-mailing or texting. Hopefully overtime the only reaction I'll get is "Hey!"

Ultimately, I hope I'm wrong about the fate of verbal communication. Despite my day-to-day actions, I do believe it is, on so many levels, an important skill to have. Also, verbal communication is much more personal, and less alienating and isolating. No, I'm not a psychologist, but I don't think you need to be one to see that that though electronic communication can aide in fostering relationships, it also fosters habits that are negative such as alienation and isolation.

Also, who in the world wants a large forefinger and shriveled larynx? Gosh, I hope this consequence (that was suggested by my friend) doesn't come to be... how funny would we all look with over developed index fingers? I'm also kind of fond of my voice box. (Remember, I DO in fact like to talk despite evidence that suggests otherwise.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Are we really back here, again?

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." ~ Karl Marx

The Tragedy:

Amongst the many guidelines I live my life by is that I respect the way others choose to practice their religion. I may not agree with the way others practice their religion, but I will not tell someone it is wrong, nor will I push them to practice their religion in a particular manner. In return, I expect the same courtesy.

A long time ago, I receive a lot of pressure to practice my religion in a manner that I did not feel fit where I wanted to take my spiritual journey at the time. However, despite trying to explain this to others, I received a lot of pressure to change. As a result, I ran the opposite direction and became even more disconnected from my religion -- and some people in my life that were otherwise near and dear to me.

The journey through this situation was long, and I learned a lot from it. Through it all, in my inner-most soul, I still continued to desire a connection to my religion. So, when the time was right, I began venturing back into the world I had ran so quickly from all those years before.

The Farce:

Someone I know, and call a friend, consistently tries to get me to practice our religion (we both have the same religion) on a more observant level. Most of the time I kindly refuse and go about my day. However, this person has been pushing me more and more on this matter and recently "lectured" me on the fact that I admittedly oppose trying to observe this upcoming Pesach on a strict observance level, but yet I talk about giving something up for Lent. (I believe they did this out of frustration that what I "gave up for Lent" this year came about because of them, however that involves another matter that they don't respect my wishes on either and is unrelated to the point of this post.) Whatever the source of their frustration with me is, the fact remains that they do not respect my decision to not practice religion on the same as they do.

In past weeks, all this has been upsetting me. I've had an adverse reaction to all of it. Thankfully, not as adverse as I did the first time. I am not running for the hills in a completely different direction like I once did. Instead, I've consistently communicated my position on the matter in the a clear, firm and concise way without being disrespectful. (To make sure this is the case, I've shown some of my communication to another friend for feedback.)

I'm not sure if this repeat of history is coming to an end with the last communication regarding Pesach -- I sure hope so! Either way, I stand strong on one promise to myself (and myself alone) . . . I promise that I will allow the actions of another derail my connection to my religion as I did in the past.

This is one time, for sure, that I will not let history repeat itself completely.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day! (Or in other words, a special Valentine's Day memory.)

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Susanna asked us to write about: Our funniest Valentine's Day memory.

I don't have a funny Valentine's Day memory. Of the few V-Day memories I have, none of them jump out at me as humorous. Honestly, at this point they all seem to blur together into clusters -- Valentine's Day as a kid, Valentine's Day blunders (aka - never send a boy a stuff animal EVER again), Valentine's Day with someone who is no longer in my life and Valentine's Day spent alone.

That said, there is a Valentine's Day memory I'm willing to share, just for the mere fact that it was a nice way to for someone I was just getting to know to wish me a Happy Valentine's Day -- plus showed me a lot about the person before I really got to know them. (Ok, it also made me smile as well!)

In my opinion, starting a new relationship around the beginning of the year can provide some awkward moments -- especially if it's close to Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day just seems to put new relationships in an awkward place, however I apparently forgot this fact when I started e-mailing with someone new just a day or so before V-day one year. (Go me!) Anyhow, that particular February 14th I received an e-mail from the person I was getting to know. The e-mail started off with, "Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day / Valentine's Day to you (I do love 30 Rock)." This of course prompted me to do some research on who Anna Howard Shaw was, and what she had to do with Valentine's Day and 30 Rock... Here is a video I found that will explain it all:

Honestly, I don't know what I would have done if the ball had been in my court to send the an e-mail on Valentine's Day in this particular situation. I probably would have wished the person a Happy Valentine's Day, but felt a bit awkward about it. However, the individual in question handled it much better... in my opinion, they handled it perfectly! As I mentioned above, it showed me a lot about this person. It showed me their ability to be considerate, and creative which were two of many reasons that I dated this person for some time.

Since then, I use "Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day" as my way of wishing my friends a Happy Valentine's Day.

Now that I've talked about my Valentine's Day memory, please take a moment to read what my fellow bloggers have to say about their V-Day memories:

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Momarock (Sara)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Please Note: I did not take this video. This video was sent to me in an e-mail forward. I don't know where it originated...

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Chicken that almost killed Me

• About a month ago, while feasting on boneless chicken wings, I almost choked -- some bites went down the wrong pipe. I didn't realize this was the case until I tried to take a drink of water. I immediately spit the water up and started coughing in an attempt to dislodge the piece of chicken wing. In the process, I bent over, and began to tear-up. After the piece of chicken wing dislodged itself -- and without the Heimlich Maneuver might I add -- I took a few moments to regain my composure. Now, if this were a normal night out, this would have been a scary moment, but this wasn't a normal night dinner out, and thankfully that is why there is actually some humor to the whole situation.

See, the restaurant my friend and I were at was quite busy, so we agreed to let two strangers sit at the same table as us -- a nice couple whom by the end of our dinner I wanted to friend on Facebook because they were so awesome. Ok, I will digress and get back to my story... This all took place the evening of the 49ers/Saints conference game ... the table we were sitting at was perfect for all of us to view the action since there were tvs in all possible directions. So even though there was conversation taking place, watching football was taking place as well. As I was regaining my composure, the guy sitting next to me, whose name escapes me, could see I had teared-up, so he said to me, "Are you a 49ers fan? Did that last play upset you?" Apparently he thought the reason I had teared-up, had to do with a play that wasn't in the 49ers favor at had taken place at the same exact time as my little digestion issue. I laughed, and then told him why I had teared-up. He had no clue what was going on.

I realize that it was about a month ago this took place (and I might not being doing a very good job at telling this story at the moment), but I still laugh about it. That weekend seemed to be chicken-oriented as I had spent the prior day at a friend's house with the specific intent to checkout the chickens that reside in her backyard.

Nowadays, I merely mention the word "chicken" and some of my friends start telling bad chicken jokes. (Crap Monkey! Is this my legacy?) Mostly, I won't forget the innocent ignorance of a stranger that made a scary situation into a funny memory for me.

• Normally I would pass on even posting something like this, but I just LOVE Jen Lancaster's response to a request she received from a guy asking her to help mend things with his wife after he cheated on her.

I wish I could understand why those that cheat think it's ok.... It's not like fidelity is a difficult or obscure concept to understand... I mean, it's pretty basic and straightforward if you ask me.

Anyhow, kudos to Jen! It was the perfect response!

• In the middle of winter heat and hot water are ideal... at I think so. Glad I didn't really go THAT long without them the other day. It probably helped I was gone most of the time they weren't working.

• Sadly, my adverse reaction to Garrett's popcorn wore off, really quickly!

• Pinterest = My new time suck!

That said, I have to impression that I'm somewhat ahead of this trend (even if it's ever so slightly). I can't tell you how exciting this is for me -- typically I'm YEARS behind on stuff like this.

(Have I mentioned I'm just starting to watch The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother? I have 5 seasons worth of BBT to catch up on, and 6 seasons of HIMYM to catch up on. I see a lot of loafing around watching tv in my future!)

• I'm having trouble passing up the opportunity to go somewhere that a friend of mine described as "an utterly picturesque resort town with wine, eating and beaches"? I've been told it's well-known town, yet feels like it's undiscovered. I love places like that -- I'm leaning towards packing my bags and checking this place out!

• My first 2012 sock club package got delivered today . . . SO EXCITED!

I forgot how much fun it is to anticipate a yarn delivery. Thankfully, I was able to hold off on looking at any spoilers on Rav. I'm so glad, and I didn't have to wait long to see what kind of yarn we got, and what the patterns look like!

(And yes, I will always been a nerd when it comes to yarn and knitting -- and damn proud of it!)

• How do you explain to insurance companies and the IRS that yarn should be considered a covered medical expense? (Only knitters and crocheters will understand why I say this.)

• Once upon a time I use to be able to post at least 14 thoughts on these random thoughts post... Now I can barely get nine, what's happening to me???

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lent 2012: Let's Not Argue Anymore

Last year I gave up chocolate. When I did this, I joked it was what I was giving up for Lent since my decision to not eat chocolate anymore started on Ash Wednesday. (Coincident... totally coincidental! Remember, I'm Jewish so technically I don't recognize Lent.)

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were tweeting back and forth about Wrigley Field -- we both have rather strong views on what should, or in my case shouldn't be done, with this ball park. As the "conversation" began to get a bit heated I found myself getting aggravated, and I started feel down right icky.

As I began to feel the iciness starting to set-in more and more all I could think was, "Was it really worth all this debating that would lead nowhere"? I mean, he wasn't going to change my mind, I knew nothing I could say would change his mind on the topic. So why the hell were we debating in such an intense fashion? That's when I made the decision on what I was going to give up for Lent this year.

That's right, I'm giving up arguing folks! Or, at least arguing on matters, such as the ones I have with this particular friend regarding Wrigley Field -- amongst several topics. I'm giving up arguments that are basically not essential, and only cause more harm than good. I believe they call this "picking your battles."

Often, S has tells me, you may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control your reaction to the situation. So, I'm controlling my reaction to such situations.

Though Lent doesn't start for another week and a half or so, I've already started controlling my reaction to the topics of conversation that lead to the heated debates. I started the day I made the decision which was around the 23rd of January. I plan on making this a permanent change in my life. Arguments are an energy-suck for all involved -- so why would we want to have silly ones?

So, I'm off! I'll be sure to check-in from time-to-time to report my progress!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Let's add acquire a few millions dollars to the list as well...

Back in December, as part of my Thursday blogging group, I wrote about the things I'd like to accomplish this year.

One of the things I talked about was writing for a Chick Lit Blog. Back in 2010, I was asked to do a tribute post to one of my favorite authors. At the time I said that I would do it, but couldn't at that moment. Aside from the state of affairs being what they were at that point-in-time, I had doubt that I could write a post worthy of being published outside of the safe confines of my blog; however, as 2011 drew to a close I decided to stop listening to my nay-saying beliefs which included committing to writing the tribute post in 2012.

As fate would have it not too long after I made that commitment, I was asked to help with the site's social media activities. The founder of the blog was aware of my vast social media/marketing experience and how I had been using to help a variety of non-profit organizations around the Chicagoland area and thought I'd be a valuable addition to their team. I was flattered, and immediately accepted. So, I started to help out Chick Lit Central with their social media efforts as of early January.

But that's not why I want to add acquiring a few million dollars onto my "I would like to" list . . .

Two of my goals for 2012 were to get published outside of my blog, and to read more. As fate would have it, I'm well on my way to achieving these goals.

First the goal of being published outside of my own personal blog. In January, I wrote a article on a Meet the Author event featuring Rachel Bertsche, author of "MWF Seeking BFF". Then, a few weeks later, while in the process of writing a book review for the blog I ended up writing a tribute article to Tori Spelling. (I'm not sure how I got from writing a book review on another author's book to writing about Tori Spelling, but somehow it happened...the creative process is a mysterious one if you ask me!)

Recently, I found out that one of my favorite bloggers is releasing a memoir in April. Once I read this, I immediately e-mail CLC and asked if I could do a review of the book for the blog. The answer? YES!!! (WOOHOO!!!) I was elated to hear this. See, not only does that mean I get more chances to write for this blog, but it also means that I'm forced into achieve the second goal I want to highlight in the post -- read more!

I make no secret of the fact that I struggle with reading comprehension. I have my whole life. This is why I typically don't read. When I do decide to dive into a book I usually opt to listen to audiobooks vs. picking up a physical book. It's not that I don't want to read a physical book, it's just a struggle for me and takes away from the experience. However, I do want to overcome this negative reaction I have to actually reading.

I'm so thankful to CLC for not only allowing for me to showcase my writing on their blog, but also for giving me a catalyst to achieving this very important goal of improving my patience with, and enjoyment of, the reading process. And it may, quite possibly make me an even better writer as well. I know that I've earned the chance I've gotten with CLC, but that doesn't mean that I'm not thankful for the chance to prove myself worthy of space on their piece of cyberspace.

These are just two reasons I would like to add acquiring a few million dollars onto my "I would like to" list. There are other things going on in my world that I'm thrilled about that cause me to think almost anything is possible. That said, these two things are two HUGE one for me as they feed into a larger self-improvement goal I've had for years. I guess sometimes you just need to give yourself a swift kick in the butt -- and now was the time on this one. No matter what it is, stepping outside of this comfort-zone is scary, but I'm happy to be here nonetheless!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Once upon a Bachelorette

This week for the Thursday blog project Melissa ask the group to: Create something based on a fairy tale: TV series, movie, novel, musical...your choice! Talk about how you'd do it and if it's performance based, who you'd cast.

Even though I know millions around the world watch this reality tv show, I'm still embarrassed to admit I watch it as well. However, it's the show I'm basing the fairy tale Cinderella on. And for the record I'm changing up the topic just a little bit . . .

As many were led to believe that after the Prince Charming slipped the glass slipper on Cindy's foot, they "lived happily ever after." Unfortunately, that is not the case. I'm sad to report that Cindy and Charming ended up having irreconcilable differences, and their divorce was finalized a few years back.

After giving herself some time to heal, Cindy is ready to find love again so she is the next Bachelorette. That's right, Cinderella is leaving her hometown of Far Far Away and heading to Hollywood with the hope to find love. She will date 25 eligible bachelors with the hope of a second chance at love.

What Cindy doesn't realize that Charming has contacted the produces of the show, and he will be making an appearance with the hope that they can rekindle their love. It's an exciting season you won't want to miss!

Now that I've talked about the show I'd stick a fairy tale character in, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Momarock (Sara)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: We've Got Your Back

The first time I ever took my digital SLR out to play was at a local park in Glen Ellyn, IL -- Lake Ellyn. There they have a man-made lake that community members skate at during the winter. As lucky would have it, the day I ventured there was the first day of this community open skate. The series below is of three girls that caught my eye that day. This is my "Wordless Wednesday" because I believe the images of these three girls speaks volumes . . .

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Operation Reverse the Curse

Ever Thursday, myself and three of my friends blog about the same topic. We all take turns picking the topic. This week, Momarock Sara pick the topic: If you could go back in time and change one historical event, which one would it be? Why would you, and what changes do you think would come from it?

After taking time to consider my options, I recruited a few of my fellow internal optimists and we set our time machine coordinates to October 6, 1945 around early morning. (I want to give us enough to go over our plan, and scope out things so we get a feel for our location.) Our destination -- Wrigley Field, which is the site of Game 4 of the World Series that afternoon. It is also the site of the infamous "Curse of the Billy Goat" incident.

For those of you that are not familiar with this curse, here is what Wikipedia has to say about that:

"The curse of the Billy Goat was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at the Cubs' home ground of Wrigley Field because his pet goat's odor was bothering other fans. He was outraged and declared, "Them Cubs, they aren't gonna win no more," which has been interpreted to mean that there would never be another World Series game won at Wrigley Field.The exact nature of the curse differs in various accounts of the incident. Some state that Sianis declared that no World Series games would ever again be played at Wrigley Field, while others believe that his ban was on the Cubs appearing in the World Series, making no mention of a specific venue. Sianis’ family claims that he dispatched a telegram to team owner Philip K. Wrigley which read, 'You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat.' Whatever the truth, the Cubs were up two games to one in the ’45 series but ended up losing Game 4 and the best-of-seven series, four games to three. The curse was immortalized in newspaper columns over the years, particularly by syndicated columnist Mike Royko, and gained widespread attention during the 2003 postseason when Fox television commentators played it up during the Cubs-Marlins match-up in the National League Championship Series."

It's my team's mission on this fateful day to stop Billy Sianis and his goat from being kicked out of Wrigley Field so the curse wouldn't be placed upon the beloved Cubs franchise.

Once accomplished, instead of the Cubs being known for constantly losing, and subsequently going without a World Series title in 103 years, they would be known for endless wins and many World Series victories. Furthermore, Steve Bartman would be a nameless fella, as his supposed role in the loss of Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship series, which many also believe eventually led to the Cubs losing the National League Championship altogether, would not have happened -- after all, wasn't the "Steve Bartman incident" just another chapter of this ongoing curse that has inflicted Northside Chicago baseball for decades?!

Another change that would occur after the reversal is that Cubs fans would be more respected, and would no longer have to constantly justify their allegiance to the club. Think of all the time and energy this would free-up! Time and energy that could be used to ... say... root for the Cubbies!!!

Every Spring and Fall, my family and I gather for Passover Seder and Yom Kippur respectively. At the end of our Passover Seder and during Yom Kippur services we recite the words... "Next year in Israel. Not to minimize the meaning of this religious tradition... I find it appropriate that these words are recited when they are as it reminds me of similar words us Cubs fans recite. Each Spring we chant, "This is the Cubbies year!" Then in the Fall, when reality has once again set in, we chant, "Next years is the our year!" Once my fellow internal optimists (a.k.a. Cubs fans) and I are successful in reversing the "Curse of the Billy Goat", the common chant heard from Cubs fans would be, "Here's to another World Series title!"

However, sadly, the "Curse of the Billy Goat" does in fact exist so I will simply say that I love my Cubbies and will be a fan for life.... GO CUBS GO!!!

Now that I've talked about what event I would alter, please take a moment to read about what my fellow bloggers said about the event they would alter:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mr. Not-So-Perfect

A few months ago I wrote about someone I know whom my friend gave the nickname "Mr. Perfect."

At the time of this post I knew very little about this individual. They were someone I had seen around here and there. At the time of the post "acquaintances" described our relationship best as we had only spoke no more than two or three times. As I mentioned in my post, I realize no one is "perfect," but until I got to know this person better I would not know how they were "not-so-perfect." Thankfully, this was someone I wanted to get to know better so I figured it was only a matter of time that I would break this image I had built-up in my mind.

In the beginning, everything I learned about Mr. Not-So-Perfect supported my first impression of him. Attractive, uber smart, came from the most functional family I have ever heard of, professionally successful and socially normal. "Where the hell were his flaws?" I kept wondering to myself.

(Before I proceed, I would like to state for the record, Mr. Not-So-Pefect and I are not a couple -- just friends. I don't want any misunderstanding or untrue rumors circulating, and ultimately ending up in my mother's e-mail inbox. Oy! What a mess that would be!)

As of recent, I've began to consider Mr. NSP a friend. Over these past months, I have been able to dig deeper into his world and figure out some of his flaws. However, it wasn't until the past week or so that I was privileged to some information about him that really got to the core of who he is. Or, should I say, I learned of something that has had a great impact on his life. This all came about when I shared with him an event in my life that had great impact on me. While we were talking about it, I asked him the one question I had been dying this whole time to ask, but was too afraid to do so. I guess the fact that I had shared with him my "secret" made him feel comfortable enough to share with me as I had shared with him.

Mr. NSP and I don't discuss our not-so-perfect life experiences whenever we communicate with each other now. I do, however, see that we're even more comfortable with each other than we once were. (Or at least I am more comfortable with him than I once was.) There is surely a greater sense of camaraderie and understanding than there once was.

This morning as I made my way into work, I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's book "Committed" for a second time. Right before I turned off the narrative, Ms. Gilbert was talking about how she made a list of her flaws for her beloved so he knew what he was getting into. What Ms. Gilbert went on to explain is that she believes part of marriage is not loving someone for all the great things about who they are, it's loving them for their flaws. (Or at least that is what I got out of that part of the book.) I may or may not have stated this in my previous post, but others joke about this need I have to discover this part of the individuals I wish to get to know better. I realize it's weird to focus on the imperfections of others. I fully admit I see how it can seem that way. However, I recognize that if I'm going to let someone into my world I need to make sure that I can accept them for everything they are -- the good... the bad... and the ugly. On the flip-side, I expect that they too are doing their due diligence when it comes to me. I believe it's a person's imperfections that makes someone human, and gives them true character. It's our shared vulnerability that I believe connects me to others, and provides the much needed glue to solidify true, meaningful bonds.

I am not perfect -- FAR from it actually. However, there are at least of a handful of people who think I'm pretty damn awesome, regardless. These folks know my good, my bad ... and my UGLY! Yet, they've chosen to look past those things, and share the experience of life with me -- as I have done the same with them.

I'm glad Mr. NSP isn't perfect, that would have been just plain boring if you ask me.