She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sweat Shop

I had an irksome day today.  The kind of day that makes you not start over from the beginning, but move forward to the next day.  I did not want to go anywhere but home, but I decided to go to the gym instead. I joined a gym this year.  In an effort to get back in shape, I decided to take a friend's recommendation and join a local health club where she's a member.  It is the kind of gym with a spa, tanning salon (like I need it), juice and sandwich bar and a 'spinning theatre'.  They ran a special for the new year.  New members are reimbursed their joiner fee if the individual visits the health club 36 times within the first 90 days of joining.  And I am behind.

In an effort to make sure I get the most out of this deal, I have been visiting the gym, swiping my card, going to the locker room and coming back out in about 10 minutes.  You heard me, no exercise, just a quick locker room visit.  Today the club had some special celebration going on; I couldn't dip out as usual.  So I decided to, for the first time ever, sit in the sauna.  And I liked it!  First of all, when I entered the hot as Hades room, there was another woman in there lying down.  So I was trying my best not to seem like I was cruisin' for chicks.  When she left, I felt more comfortable.  Upon entering, I almost immediately started sweating all over.  My nose opened up and I felt really relaxed.  The heat and steam melting my stress away.  Plus, afterwards my skin looked great.  I will be doing this again. With 15 visits down, this is my new way of getting closer to that gift certificate.  I still plan on exercising, but for days when I don't feel like it, it's good to know I have options.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Mega Million Reasons to Gamble

The Mega Millions pot rolled over to $363M and today some co-workers decided to play.  I was faced with a bit of a dilemma.  A dilemma I feel every time the question comes up, 'you wanna play?'.  I am not a gambler.  I am a shopper.  I like experiences, restaurants, traveling and such.  I have a difficult time giving my hard, or soft (however you choose to look at it) earned money to someone without having something to show for it.  But, with that said, I also don't want to be left behind while my co-workers leave for greener pastures and an early retirement.  So, I hand over the $5 that I could be using towards something more responsible, and secretly cross my fingers.  Like the commercials say, you have to play to win.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Loose Change

Today I took the Red Line from Roosevelt to the 69th Street station.  I have only taken the train sporadically within the past year.  So there are some things I miss by taking a quick bus trip to my car, which I park in a nice neighborhood.  One of those things is uncomfortable homeless encounters.  A couple of weeks ago, I saw the new Robert DeNiro film, Being Flynn.  It chronicles the homeless experience in a way I have never seen on film before.  It is very raw and honest.  Having recently viewed the film, combined with my natural empathetic personality, today's ride put something on my mind.

There was the usual car-hopping individuals selling any and everything.  Although it's easy to ignore a sells pitch, I struggle almost every time from a moral standpoint, when I hear that pleading, whining unabashed cry for help.  Especially when the person asks only for food.  Today a man came to the car I was riding in and asked if we had food or water.  My heart sank.  Just as it is now while typing this.  With no immediate response received, he asked for just 'a little money to get something to eat'.  Finally a man gave him some loose change from his pocket and a woman gave him what appeared to be a leftover sandwich from her bag.  The homeless man was genuinely appreciative.  He thanked each.  Then what happened next, broke my heart further.  He proceeded to stand there, open the Italian beef sandwich and pull the meat out and eat it with vigor.  He was indeed hungry.  He kept eating and finally moved on to the next car.

I had no cash money, only pennies and random coins that were spread throughout the bottom of my oversized purse, which would have been a pain rounding up.  I had no food.  The bottle of water I had in my purse, I had already opened it and drank out of it.  I have been battling a sinus infection.  I would hate to give him my heebee jeebees.  The man has no insurance, so I know that would be a pain.  Yes, those were my lame-ass excuses.  So I offered nothing.  I felt totally helpless and guilty.  What I hate and love, is that those feelings never seem to go away.  I hate it, because guilt sucks.  I love it, because hopefully that gut feeling will keep my grateful.  It will keep my desire to help others fresh.  It will remind me to consciously thank God for my life.  As I sit here and type this post, I am full.  Maybe a bit stuffed.  I overindulged on some hand cut, homemade fries that I made.  They were good, but did I need those last five?  The man who gave loose change turned around in his seat for whatever reason.  We locked eyes.  I do not know what he was thinking; but the look he gave me was the kind of blank stare that makes me search my soul.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

She's Back!

On Thursday, when my good friend dropped me at my car by my dad's house, after post-work cocktails and an art opening at Zhou B's, I noticed a familiar-looking woman getting out of the car we pulled up next to.  When the woman's and my eyes met, I realized it was none other than my very own mother!  She had driven from Tampa with her sister, my aunt, all day long and had just arrived to stay at my dad's house.  Although I had just spoken to her and she said the words, 'I'm home', I still didn't expect to see her that very night.  I figured our ships would cross and I would make a point to see her the next day.

I squealed and jumped out the car to give her a hug.  You see, my mom and I are close.  Before she moved to the Netherlands and then subsequently to Tampa, FL after retiring, she was my ace.  We did so much together.  My free days were her free days.  We would call each other at the crack of dawn and see what we were going to do that day.  Whether it was the flea market, grocery store, visit family, a festival, movie or breakfast, it was usually done together before noon (we like to get out early).  When my mom announced she would be moving, I was excited for her, but dreaded the idea that she would be gone.  Who would be my independent movie buddy?  Who would I lay around and watch 10 straight hours of The First 48 with?  Who would I drive to the North Side with to do...anything?  Quiet as kept, I was freaking out.  So I began filling my days with activities.  I stepped outside of my normal familial shell and started hanging out with new, and some old, friends.  I discovered that my mother and I were not the only ones who enjoyed independent films, art, books, travel, plays or the opera.  I just had never given anyone else the chance.  The next thing I know, I was actually busy.  Sometimes too busy to even talk to my mom.  But when we did talk, usually at least 4-5 times per week, we kept each other posted on everything going on in our individual lives.  We talk so much, I really don't feel like we've missed a beat, just time.  That is what I cannot wait to regain with my mother, time.

 My goal now is to figure out how to reincorporate her into my daily life (that's easy), and still weave my friends, who have been great substitutes, around our time (a little more challenging).  It will work itself out though; I am sure of it.  Just like it did when she left.  I feel good about this.  My mom is home.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Writer's Block

I have had the hardest time writing lately, if you haven't noticed.  As always, I like to write about my life, what's going on, my gripes, complaints, etc.  Well lately, everything has been fine.  So fine, I am not nearly as introspective or thoughtful.  I have been in a cloud of sorts.  So the question is, what's there to write about when life is all good?

For instance, there is one aspect of my life that has definitely  evolved, grown and changed for the better, in the past month.  But because it's good and sacred to me, I don't want to release any information about it (him), yet.  I well up with giggles and my heart smiles when I think about my gift (I am not talking about a baby people!).  But with that said, I don't want to flagrantly spread the word without consciously considering the consequences that may come with that.  I don't want anyone's negative thoughts or internal battles tainting  or attempting to taint what I am thoroughly enjoying.  The 'gift' will be revealed at a time when our lives have been so intertwined there is no room left for denial.  Until then, I will keep trying to come up with colorful commentary, or just keep quiet all together.

MJMW MiniMix Wk1

So last week on my Facebook fan page, I started something new.  I will now feature a different dj every month, every Friday, to kick off the weekend.  This week, I featured Jackie Moon.  Here's the mix.  Enjoy!!!  P.S. if you haven't already 'liked' my page, make sure to do so...there's more where this came from.  Click here to get your house on!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ghetto Queen

I previously wrote about a girl who irks me to the highest hilt (read).  A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with the same young 'lady' who, through conversation said that she really had no desire to work.  She instead wanted to 'sit at home and collect unemployment.'  I was floored.  I know I am unrealistically optimistic about some things, but I could not imagine, in this economy that someone would opt out of work if they could, to sit at home.  Especially with the knowledge (I thought) that employment in this country is still very unstable; companies are still only moderately hiring.

I brought this to her attention and she, in her, 'I must get the last word', a la Kanye West: you can't tell me nothin' attitude, shrugged that off.  I just kept shaking my head repeating, 'ugh...don't be that girl.'  She is a single mom with a child and I just couldn't conceive the sense behind her bold statement.  She responded that she was that girl previous to me meeting her.  Her (lame) argument was that she was a 'better mom' then, taking her child to soccer, dance and whatever else, more during that time.  A point I countered with the fact that the child is in school during the day, so activities are not taking place until after school or in the evening.  There was no reason to stay home during the day, if you really could not afford it.  She did agree, but kept shrugging her dumb-ass shoulders.  I literally shook my head.  I told her she should want to be a better role model for her impressionable 6-year-old daughter.  

Needless to say, as much as she typically annoys me, I lost absolutely all respect for her that day.  I entertain no conversations with her outside of basic, cordial chit chat.  Not just because she says she would rather stay home, and do what she wants, shoot most of us would.  Or that she wants to spend more time with her daughter, that too is fine.  It is just the way in which she wants to go about doing it.  You will sit in my face and let your ovaries hang low enough to say that you essentially would quit if you could, collect unemployment, which granted you have paid into, but which will inevitably be subsidized by public assistance.  Which I will end up paying, (please forgive any Republican-esque under/overtones).  She once and for all proved herself to be the ridiculous ghetto 'queen' that we all knew she was.  It is so disappointing.  *exhale*

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Fast Life

We are now officially well in to the Lenten season and I find myself chuckling every time I think of me explaining to someone what exactly I am fasting from this year.  The thought occurred to me to give up junk food weeks before Ash Wednesday.  It seemed quite simple and perfect, that is before I had to start defining 'junk food'.  It has such a broad definition, with everyone having different ideas of what it means.  So here, for anyone who actually cares, is a quick breakdown of what I have given up and what stays:

The pop, chips and cookies in the office.
One of the hardest things for me when I joined my current firm, was being able to say 'no thank you' with so much food floating around.  Plus, snacks are ordered weekly for the entire office.  Guess who orders said snacks?- yes, yours truly.  So the fact that I have not had any of these items since my fast is actually really good, because the convenience factor alone makes this hard.

The brownies from Whole Foods.
This item alone is what started the debate.  I had, for the first time, a fresh, moist and oh so gooey chocolate brownie from Whole Foods only two days before Ash Wednesday.  From that moment on I thought to myself- A1: this is the best freakin' brownies I have ever had.  (I am a brownie lover, so that says a lot.)  B2: to remove this from my diet indefinitely would be a sin in itself.  So although I have not had this again since that day, I would hate to have to turn it down should the opportunity arise.

The Sea Salt Caramel Gelato from Whole Foods.
This item was consumed and introduced to me the same day as the above mentioned brownie.  The fact that eaten together, these two taste divine, is reason enough to keep my options open on this one as well.  Like the brownie, I have not experienced this slightly salty, yet sweet snack since that day, but I think about it- often.  The argument I have for the Whole Foods treats is that they do not use 'junk' in their products.  The fact that something is a sweets item does not make it junk.

My normal candy fixes.
These include, but are not limited to:  gummy bears, Twizzlers, Symphony chocolate bars from Hershey's, Now and Laters, Sour Straws, fruit snacks, etc.  I have not had any of these.  This is big, because I do like to munch during the day and it is readily available.

I am game when it comes to this one.  Because pizza does not have to be non-nutritious.  This gives me a pass for the deep dish with spinach and garlic from Barraco's, the thin crust from Lou Malnati's and the extra thick thin crust sausage and pepperoni from Beggar's that I heartily ate all within a week and a half period.  I really could slow down on the pizza.

Cocktails, beer and wine.
Are all a 'go'.

I have been told anything that does not add nutritional value to your diet could be considered junk food.  With that ideology, my 2012 Lenten season would be a very long one.  The office snacks alone are so monumental. Yes, I know my list contradicts itself at times, but in truth, I feel like I have done really well.  Although it all sounds like food strategizing at every turn, it works for me.  What have you given up or added for Lent?