Saturday, June 27, 2009

Alabama: The Boob Sweat State

Well, I'm off to Alabama today to visit my dear ol' dad. Not exactly getting an early start as I've spent most of the afternoon searching for the perfect road trip songs. Have been haphazardly packing for a few days now and am pretty sure I have not included anything that remotely matches. However, this shouldn't be a problem as I foresee myself living in the pool trying not to combust in the sweltering heat. I'm thankful my AC has decided to take a vacation this summer, as I now feel fully prepared for the onslaught of UV rays and impending boob sweat. Will be back the 3rd as I plan to take Summerfest by storm and actually have plans for the Fourth of July that don't include mind numbing parades or foreigners.

Should have some good stories when I return, assuming a renegade band of hillbillies do not capture me for breeding.


Friday, June 26, 2009

My Bucket List

Everyone needs goals, right? I typically live 5 years in the future, completely managing to ignore what's going on at the present time, but staying true to form I've created my Bucket List:

1. Survive an African safari without contracting a flesh eating disease and/or being enslaved by natives.

2. Discover a way to maintain my tan for longer than 2 days.

3. Own a European villa

4. Learn to play the guitar...not just Gwiitar Hero

5. Finish reading Tocqueville's "Democracy in America"

6. Speak fluent Spanish

7. See a Packer Superbowl

8. Travel to Europe by myself

9. Climb a novice level mountain - we're not talking Everest, let's not be ridiculous

10. Write and subsequently get a book published

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Want to own a home nestled in a nuclear testing site?

I was indeed productive today...for a consecutive 3 hours. That's about all the "work" I can do at a crack before I feel compelled to completely shun responsibility. I say "work" because when you're not getting paid, it perhaps falls under volunteer services or maybe really boring and tedious hobbies? Either way, my bank account stays the same, and my brokers get one more day of stickin' it to me...I'm a chump. When the first couple commission checks never came in I figured they simply forgot. When asked for them, I was given the run around for a few weeks and then a guilt trip. Tough times...recession...housing market Porsche needed to be detailed...However, I've now accumulated 5 commission checks (one dating back to February 2008 in the staggering amount of $600) and now can't manage to locate my burglars er, brokers. Not to mention, the subdivision where my spec home resides looks to be either a nature preserve or a nuclear testing site. Overgrown weeds, For Sale signs toppled over, someone thought a t.v. from 1982 would be a nice addition to one of the lots, and my poor solitary home set within the back drop of a neglected real estate development. Have they fled the country? Could I rent out the subdivision to a cattle farmer and recoup some of my losses? Maybe allow RVs and campers to use some of the space for a nominal fee? See, I've got ideas on how to salvage this project!

I'm a huge fan of making lists. I make lists for everything. Shopping lists, to-do lists, packing lists, etc. A cursory glance at the to-do list sitting beside me, provides a tangible reminder of how much more I should have gotten done already. I choose not to allow this piece of paper to bully me around on such a beautiful day. So what if I've only crossed off 8 of the 23 tasks that need to be done before I leave for Alabama Saturday. I'm certain when the temp drops another 10 degrees I'll be reinvigorated and show that list who's boss. Now, if 90+ degrees is here to stay, then I can only throw up my white flag and succumb to the inevitable conclusion that 8 tasks is my limit.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Enigma Known As "Dating"

Went out for drinks last night with a dear friend of mine. Our conversation mainly tackled the current pressing issues of our 'love lives,' or perhaps, the lack thereof. The concept of dating to me is as foreign as soap to the guy who demands money from vehicles attempting to get to the on-ramp near my condo. I am utterly baffled and disconcerted, the nuances completely elude me. I've been seeking advice from trusted friends and relatives, but being roughly a decade behind the curve I feel like a foreign exchange student. One good tip I've gotten was that if the guy isn't a complete tool, you should give him at least 2 to 3 dates. Why is this helpful? Because I have a tendency to write people off pretty quickly. Not everyone brings their A-game to the table right off the bat. Especially, I've noticed, guys seem to take a bit longer to open up or expose their personalities. I suppose many girls too, but that's never been a problem for me. In fact, my in-your-face assertiveness could probably be taken down a few notches if I ever hope to find someone brave enough to tolerate me long term. Seeing as I'm a fledgling to the dating world, I feel my observations may bring a new perspective to those of you fortunate enough to have been an active participant in it already.

For starters, why do men and women constantly pursue what they've already had when it clearly did NOT work out in the past? Although your new guy/girl may differ physically from your previous disasters, the underlying personality flaws are almost always the same. For example, a friend of mine whom I suspect is a serious glutton for punishment, continues to date domineering, emotionally unstable women. Why the shock when the relationship crashes and burns? Sure, a strong-willed woman seems confident and sexy at first, but if you do not possess the backbone to reign her in a bit, you will be a despondent doormat before I get sick of blogging. A girlfriend of mine seems to have a magnet for unavailable men. Let me quickly define an "unavailable" man: He is emotionally stunted in some way, shape or form; fears or lacks the necessary skills to commit to someone other than his dog; priorities are not conducive to a meaningful relationship; may be married or an illegal alien. Yet every single one of the unavailable men she attempts to ensnare always "breaks her heart." I will admit, I lack sympathy. When you are so clearly repeating your previous mistakes I cannot muster the conviction to tell you it's not your fault - it is! You knew better! I digress...

I think my biggest issue at the moment is I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for anymore. I feel as if I've had a lobotomy and can no longer remember what type of man suits me. Which brings me to my next observation - pursuing other's 'dream' men/women. I look at those relationships around me that I envy and think "I need to find a man like that!" What I fail to envisage is that I am NOTHING like that particular guy's woman. I do believe opposites attract, but you have to be cognizant of your limitations and what you're willing to put up with. As previously noted, I'm assertive, stubborn, at times bossy, slightly neurotic and completely idealistic (really sounding like a catch now, right?). I've found that men with these similar traits DO NOT a perfect match make. However, submissive, quiet, pensive men do not always hold my attention. Where's my happy medium?

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Blame Game: Your mom is ALWAYS a winner!

"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it...You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it...If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments." [Excerpt from "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert - fantastic book if you've just come out of a relationship or need a little perspective on life.]

I am happy. Not shout it from the rooftops happy, but really truly happy...for the time being (I have never been accused of optimism). Maybe content is a better word, but my contentment has inexplicably forced me to be happy. A few years ago contentment was equivalent to mind-numbing boredom and something I desperately needed to escape from. However, this new found sense of contentment is born through a general feeling of peace. It's like waking up in a panic only to find out you've got at least another hour to sleep before the alarm assaults your dreams. I'm not happy because of any particular person or occurrence in my life recently, rather simply because I've chosen to be happy. I think that's the first monumental step, as trivial as it may seem. For the past 2 years I have chosen to be anxious, disappointed, hurt, bitter, filled with regret. I recall many nights spent feeling sorry for myself and thoroughly enjoying my own personal pity party. Everyone else hurt or misunderstood me, but I could always rely upon myself for sympathy and a relentless barrage of "poor me's." To anyone who has gone through a similar state of malaise, you can understand how absolutely draining and utterly unproductive your life becomes.

Case in point, my journal entry from June 2008: Have yet to post my resume (this was at a time when I was still pretending to look for a "real" job). Looking for jobs apparently interferes with my 5 hour naps. I'm a ridiculous person. Could this be re-worded to sound like an accomplishment? "Able to completely shun duty and responsibility to take coma type naps in the middle of the week for no reason and without hesitation." That proves commitment and courage I think. I wish being a waste of space was profitable.

July 2008: Another monumentally unproductive day. My life is seriously slipping away. Each day that passes is another missed opportunity, neglected relationship and major setback. I can't seem to find the motivation or courage to change things. I'm lonely, bored, and wholly unsatisfied with my plot in life, yet I make no progress towards change as each hour passes by. I'll lose myself in a book just trying to expire the day. I know what needs to be done or accomplished by something's holding me back. Fear? Laziness? I can't tell but the outcome is always the same. Laying my head down at night knowing I've survived yet another day, fearful of the next, disappointed in everything.

Ever since the 5th grade I have filled hundreds of pages in numerous journals, but not until the past couple years did I really notice this trend of self-loathing and pity. For those of you who don't journal, I encourage you to start. It's an amazing way to gain clarity of oneself and see how far you've come (or perhaps, in my case, where things started to fall apart). After what would have been my one year wedding anniversary I decided to engage in a little self-torture (huge fan of this activity; think watching the Notebook or Braveheart when you're emotionally unstable) and read through some of my old journals. What I discovered was a good way. It made me realize that the majority of my unhappiness was due largely to no one's fault but my own. I think for awhile I actually enjoyed being miserable. However, this pursuit of perpetual anxiety and distress eventually cripples every facet of your life. A quote from Mark Twain that I love, "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened," sums up my habitual melancholy beautifully. All of the perceived injustices from those around me promoted and reaffirmed my piteous thoughts and actions. My epiphany finally came when I realized no one else gave a shit. I was too busy tormenting myself, feeling as if I were some sort of target, that I failed to realize no one else was giving me a second thought. My narcissism was in full tilt. You mean to tell me, no one is conspiring to ruin my day? No one soul is concerned with my current state of being? Gasp! I'm embarrassed to admit it now, but I believe it helps paint a more vivid picture of why this new found happiness is such a relief.

I'm a huge fan of the Blame Game. I have an uncanny ability of finding reasons why my inadequacies are not my fault. Usually the winner of the Blame Game is my mother. In sort of a sadistic, albeit juvenile thought process, I can turn any situation into a "mom screwed me up" conclusion. For example, why did I go 3 years without health insurance? Mom never taught me how to get it. Why do I despise working out? Mom didn't set a good example with her own fitness routine, nor renewed my gym membership. You see how easy this game is.

I'm happy right now because I choose to take responsibility for my happiness. I choose to stop blaming everyone else for things that may upset me because I'm the only one who can control my reactions. When you realize that happiness is something attainable for all, yet fleeting as warm weather in Wisconsin, you learn to embrace it and fight to keep it. You need to remind yourself daily to stop feeling badly about the things you can't control and take ownership for the things you can. It is your choice on how to regard the circumstances of your life. Execrable existence or opportunity for growth?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cos-NO, NO, NO-politan

As I sit here waiting for the rain to stop, mindlessly flipping through this month's Cosmo magazine, I'm noticing a common theme: really stupid, "get noticed," look like a nutcase advice. Don't get me wrong, every human being with a vagina has felt at some point or another that Cosmo, the 'Bible,' has had a few poignant moments of clarity, but seriously? Do girls need more reasons to feel insecure about their appearance? More tips on how to please their guy? More trivial things to obsess about? Newly single myself, I confess I'm more intrigued by Cosmo's articles than when I was in a serious relationship. After years with the same man, one no longer feels compelled to dress like a school girl, work on her oral technique or try out the new flying lotus sex position. (Perhaps why I'm now single?) So with an open mind, I devoured the articles with a new sense of vigor, just waiting to find that perfect, fool-proof, "a-ha" piece of dating advice to help me navigate through this new stage of life. Sadly, my "a-ha" moment came in the form of "WTF kind of advice is this to give to an already confused single gal?" Let me highlight some of the articles I found particularly unhelpful. In fact, one might say they are monumentally detrimental to finding a guy, let alone keeping one interested. Particularly in the "Man Manual." For example: the titillating "What kind of smile is he flashing?" article. As if girls don't obsess enough over a guy's 'signals,' why torment yourself one step further by worrying about whether or not his smile is "polite, contemptuous, or sensitive?" If you're with a guy and staring intensely at his mouth aren't YOU sending the signal that your either a lusty lunatic or perhaps hearing impaired? Then there's the "Hold your guy's gaze" Turn-On Tip. Instructions: Mid-kiss, pull back and penetratingly stare into his eyes to convey passion, intimacy and more importantly, stalker-ish obsession. If a guy did this to me, I would find it creepy and obtrusive. Just finish kissing me, then we'll gaze menacingly into eachother's eyes. My favorite tip in "Feel So Freakin' Sexy," while watching a movie (by yourself or with a guy) involving a sexy actress, strip down to your underwear. This is somehow suppose to boost your ego and put you in a sexy mood? WTF? Who sits in their underwear watching movies trying to feel sexy unless they're watching a porno or just really weird? Finally, 4 pages of "What He's Really Thinking" to give a girl lucky enough to have found someone to put up with her brand of crazy, a surefire way to screw it all up. You can take 1 of 3 life altering quizzes, or really get ahead of yourself and do all of them, ensuring that you will take your relationship from "yeah, we're happily dating" to "why did he take a restraining order out on me?" Given the fact there's 2 possible answers per question, one should deduce that the results may be slightly biased. Here's what I've deduced - Cosmo gives you the perfect advice on how to ruin your self-esteem, thus ensuring you'll buy more magazines for the beauty and fashion tips; perfect advice on how to over analyze and potentially ruin your relationship (or chances of ever being in a relationship) because you're obsessive and insecure, thus ensuring you'll buy more magazines for the Man Manuals and Love & Lust sections. No wonder so many of the women I know are neurotic messes...including this gal. Marketing at its best!

Best of the 100 Naughty Sex Questions #100 - What does being inside me feel like for him? Stick your finger in your mouth and suck and you'll get an know you're going to do this regardless how stupid and inaccurate this may be. Food for thought - what does this mean if you're a thumbsucker as a child?

The Essence of Boredom

I think by the time you're 25 and can't find a better use for your time other than blogging, it can only mean one of two things - a) your bursting with creativity that will not rest until it's shared with the world, or b) you really need a meaningful hobby, job or fish to take care of. I'm going to have to resign to option b. Woke up bright and early this morning, not quite sure what the plans were for the day, but filled with optimism at the possibilities of what this Friday might bring. 3 hours later...I started a blog. In my defense, I would be doing something else if the weather had fulfilled its end of the bargain - sunny, mid-80s - however, it's humid and raining. How can I be expected to take the world by storm when the storm is keeping me away from the world? Yes, I do own a raincoat; No, I will not be wearing it in public, walking around like a purposeless lunatic. So here I sit, waiting for the storm to pass, waiting for inspiration to strike. Suppose I'll settle for mild introspection at this point.