Friday, December 24, 2010

2011 Resolutions

Let's take a look at my 2010 resolutions, why don't we, and I will get back to you! I think I am lacking in some areas, but I have forever changed my life in other arenas. I will get back to you~ Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Done...and Done..

I have successfully stopped smoking (after that 6 day relapse beginning with certain movers, certain medical appointments, certain professionals....)! This is getting really old. Seriously. Did you say you were done again, Alyssa?Yeah, seriously! I have a certain sense of looking back to last year when I quit on New Years Eve. Perhaps I should just do that?!Okay. That makes no sense. Why would I buy another pack for a week when I know I am done now? That is a masterful justification. Excellent work. I am seriously done. I can't risk that I won't be able to stop like I am now. There are times that I can just stop cold turkey and now is one of those times. So Done.

I am actually completely done with my Christmas shopping. Which is most fortunate as I am Jewish. I am so blessed that I have wonderful people to spend Christmas with! I am so blessed that I have a job to go to and a home to live in and a car to drive on Christmas. THAT INDEED is my holiday gift and I am so happy that I have a roof over my head and a bed to call my own! Four pillows that belong to me! Max has been amazing at adjusting.I am not sure if he loves that elevator too much, but I think he knows it delivers him to the outside and he DEFINITELY LOVES his walks. The fact that I have a roof over my head and a job to go to and retained Max as my permanent roommate is incredible! If I am not positive, things are going to start going in reverse. Its enough that I can't stop thinking about last year at this time, when we were in Key Largo, when I had just finished my open water SCUBA certification (see my December 2009 entries), when I met incredible people and Jeff and I talked about quitting smoking together, oops....crap. STOP! I just can't do it any more. I can't think about the past....because then I would have the incorrect notion that this Christmas will never be the same. It will NEVER be the same. That much is true. It will have to be different. Different it is!

Done... and Done.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I hate smoking...really I do!

Which is why this long weekend of a few cigarettes has come to an end. I did not smoke any till the night before my stuff FINALLY came. There was a pile of other stressors, and this never stopped me from seeking more spiritual answers. Why now? Did I give myself permission to relax my stance, my recovery from the nasty call of nicotine? Who knows? Who cares? I am done now. Yeah, yeah....we heard that before Alyssa! SO really, how long this time? Well, I am doing the best I can.

Well, maybe not the BEST I can, but under the circumstances, I think I am doing pretty damn well. Thank you very much. Just putting a dose of honesty out there.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

High risk behavior: Coach, Crate and Barrel, Camel cigarettes...oh my!

What classically would go in this category? Smoking, drinking, obsessively shopping, men, gambling ....And the list goes on ad finitum. I'm talking about me, but, really, am I also speaking in behalf of anyone who just wants that tried and true warm and fuzzy feeling?

Addictions come in many different forms and I know I have argued with people that they can all be harmful. So yes, that crack I DID NOT do last weekend isn't going to give me a heart attack, but if I just spend $1200 in a new wardrobe and no home to put it in (since I don't have rent anymore), well, there's no harm in that, right? I mean, smoking cigarettes is much better than smoking some heroin, right? Speak up junkies! Speak up! Speak up junkies everywhere that keep telling me that quitting cigarettes was harder than heroin. My point is simply this: scary street drugs and scary street people who have lost everything present the whole "high risk" behavior very nicely and neatly. I find it terrifying that high risk behavior is so much more obscure and difficult when you can make it as pretty as you want: hot guys, Camel no. 9(pink) smokes, darling clothes and countless Coach & a kitchen full of needless Crate and Barrel accessories, and really where are you now? Seriously, high risk behavior can look gorgeous. If looks could kill....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Catching up...I swear!

It's been more than a month since I started working and a puff here and there maybe, but I have not smoked a FULL cigarette of my own since before October 25. What with everything going on, I would have to say "that's pretty freaking cool". Does this mean I reserve the right to light up after I leave the Starbucks where I am writing this post. As Mr. Big would say, "abso-fucking-lutely". Will I? I sure hope not.

I have to say the best part of my life is getting back into a routine and doing the things I love to do. With that being said, I have started to watch episodes from my master collection of Sex and the City DVDS from the very beginning and started crying at every other one. I felt I was right there with Carrie. Now, please, I know this sounds trite and contrived and just super-over-the-top-frivolous that I am using Sex and the City for my therapy, but why don't you start falling in love with Mr. Big with your close friends all around when it completely falls apart and explodes and see what happens?! And then get honest with your self. And after that, see if you have shed a tear or see if your eyes are a bit moist. If they aren't, I beg of you to go shopping and get a soul. I thought I made a Faustian deal, but it turns out that even though I may have, I am trying to get my soul back. And for that, I got to cry. I consider that a blessing.

I love Carrie Bradshaw. I swear, if I could have had a cosmopolitan after work decompressing with my episodes, I would have whipped up a pitcher and watched and cried till I fell asleep. I think I will start a blog on starting over and my articles will be much like hers. With a twist of spirituality and shopping (Can you mix the same in one post?Is that allowed?I suppose it's all about creative license!).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Current events

So I have to say, I have been horridly irresponsible in relating to the internet what exactly I have been up to.
Trust me, its not that thrilling. And if I told you, well, I'd probably have to kill you! Things have been a bit stressful and I so much want to get into specifics, but let me just say that I want all my personal belongings in Colorado safely before I jinx myself. Understood?

I really can't believe my whole life has turned around on its head and jumped off the cliff on a bungee cord. Or at the very least, that's how it feels at the mo. Let me tell you,
... I do not ever intend to go bungee jumping. EVER. That should clue you into my current state of mind. That... and given the time of this post, you never know when I will have a wicked moment of clarity. I have made it through the last 60 days with unexpected and a most profound support from my family. And some members of this family had not really had much in the way of a real or civil conversation in maybe a decade or two. When I say that despite what's going on, that I am truly grateful for my family, you can be very certain, beyond any shadow of a doubt, I am 100% REAL.

I have to tell you, for once, I have chosen fantastic friends that haven't judged me and have supported my re-entry in Denver. Thanks to my best friend, I have even met a few new friends! How do you like that?! Gratitude and humility have been at the forefront of my mind in the last few months, my head survived a corporate restructuring and hefty downsizing. I guess Carrrie Bradshaw would say it best: "My head is in the witness protection program." The problem I have with that is I can never re-emerge as myself. Hmmmm.....oh my god...maybe that's the point!!! Perhaps, this is a self-proclaimed self-preservation mode til a new version of me is released. I know you have all been so patient. Keep checking back.

And yes, I will keep updating my book and movie list. And I will let you know when a new blog is released that best describes the newer version of me. You will probably have to email me first!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Confessions From a former smoker

So you have noticed I have not blogged lately, hmm?!!? I have been under a bit of stress lately. I have had to move back to Denver to look for employment, a place to rest my head, and transportation. There are a few details I need to figure out before I share them. Suffice it to say, this non smoker has been a bit weak. Weak in the sense I have been seduced by Marlboro. I have actually tried my best to remain as strong as possible in the face of adversity!

So I have cheated a bit and gave in on my road trip back here to Colorado. In a rental car. Because I don't have a car anymore. Details to follow, like I said. I have smoked between a portion of a cigarette to two cigarettes a day since giving in after almost five months of abstinence. I may have grabbed a few drags off a smoke in the week preceding around the time I smoked those four back to back and threw up. I can't stand smoking and I don't allow my self more than two a day. Such restraint. Such will power. Yeah, right. Like I said, details to follow!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Consequences of an ex-smoker

Due to a few circumstances in motion at the mo, I smoked four cigarettes fairly quickly in a chain smoking fashion. Boy, was I stressed! And as a faithful ex-smoker, I promptly vomited and heaved some more. Perhaps it's the stress, but more likely, it was the smoking. It's so awesome to be an ex-smoker. If I took to it like I was smoking a pack yesterday, I'd be in real trouble. Just a blip on the radar. These things do NOT have to happen, but it did and I will move on. I have absolutely no desire to make smoking something I do today... Or ever again. Gross... For me, that's all. I'm not judging. I'm just saying, for me... Gross. In fact, I will probably buy some water and institute a detox plan even though the nicotine is out if my system by now.

I will be on the road pretty soon again, but I will have my laptop with me. So many things happening. Once, I get over the big transition, I will be able to get everyone up to speed...maybe in a few months. I will be writing faithfully on subjects of books, movies, etc... And of my daily desire to continue a life as an ex-smoker!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Peony in Love was great! My nook... Fantastic!

So, in finishing my first official book on my Nook (that's the Barnes and Noble version), I have become an avid fan of my Nook! I learned that keeping it in airplane mode keeps the charge much longer... even when you are reading late at night, nice and comfy on your bed. When I need to download a book from the Internet, which is imminent, I will take it off airplane mode to get that temporary Internet connection I need to buy the book from B&N.

Regarding Peony in Love, I loved the historical fiction; I had no idea this book was written about a real opera. I was intrigued by the story line and while the customs are so different from our Western modern culture, I surprisingly did not find them hard to believe (in the context of that dynasty, that period, that hemisphere). I have enjoyed reading Lisa See's other novels. I am not sure about starting her detective series, but I am sure I will be reading them in the not so distant future. This book is on my list of favorites, do I decided to not be so redundant and omitted it from my recently read page.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A public service announcement from your favorite former smoker

I know I have not spoken about this resolution for a really long time. I needed some strength and longevity between me and my last Marlboro Light before providing updates on the subject! So, we all remember when I set this as my new years resolution. I honestly do not recall if I confessed my nicotine relapse, but it happened a day after Easter and I continued to smoke til April 30. I have NOT smoked since. SERIOUSLY!! I have quit for the longest time ever at this point and having over four months has been fabulous for my health. I can breathe better; I haven't gotten sick; I have really been cooking way more (and eating a lot). Of course, I think about it... I did enjoy smoking to an extent. The problem was that I didn't like any of the side effects (ash tray breath, smelly hair, smelly clothes, respiratory compromise,etc). Around the time I have stopped, the Marlboro brands have discontinued their use of the qualifying characterstics (no more lights, ultra lights, etc). There is a gold pack, silver pack... Yeah, yeah ... Every devoted smoker will still know what they are smoking, but the idea of a "lighter" cigarette is disappearing from marlboro labels. I am really happy to hear this. It is definitely not a safer cigarette!! I have smoked reds; the old "lights" were simply not as harsh feeling. That's all... Just a few more chemicals added to make my perception warped enough to smoke more. And just so we are clear, it took me a very long time to get these four months. I am not judging. I'm just saying....

And for you smoking haters out there: this isn't about you! I actually loved smoking. Couldn't put it down! How do you think I got to this point!
I enjoyed the social aspect, but realized I can be social with out taking a drag. I longed for the calm I would reliably cling to within a few seconds that only lasted a few minutes. However, this calm can easily be achieved with focused meditation which I have been working on daily lately. Overall, I just love that I've divorced myself successfully from the Marlboro Man. Y E S !!!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010 a jet plane

Just a quick note to all of you faithfully checking in and seeing what I am up to:

I am leaving in a few hours and will be in D.C. later this afternoon! Jeff will not be joining me till he arrives late Monday afternoon with the car! I'm going solo to stay with my mom, then Jeff and I will meet up at the lovely Savoy Suites on late Monday afternoon and see family on Tuesday (lunch with Dad and dinner with Mom and some of Jeff's family)...

I won't have my computer, but I will post from my fabulous iPhone!!
See you all soon!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy anniversary TotheMax!!

I was going to start this post, honestly, with a bit of a blurb on how deja-vu it is that we are going on a trip to the north a tad earlier than last year and I was just starting my blog about a year ago this month. I said to myself, "whoa, I really think it was right about now that I started this blog". So, in doing about 45 seconds of research I realized that today is the ONE YEAR anniversary of my first post! On September 6, 2009, I wrote "How to fall in love with a puggle". I got one comment from Shireen, I believe. So, in dedication to my beautiful puggle, I will dedicate this anniversary post to Max.

Max is now 3 years old and has seen the country: he has romped with horses in New Jersey; Max has been in the pond on Jeff's mom's property in Greenville, Maine, treading water next to our canoe; he has smelled the fragrances of thirteen states! I have posted about a number of these states and while I haven't shared stories of all Max's adventures, rest assured, he is quite content. I think he was thrilled the day we packed up the RV to leave Rock Harbor Marina. It was a great stay for us and I learned how to SCUBA there (remember TA?), but the dogs struggled daily with the broken glass and scrappy aluminum garbage street side as we took our daily walks. Finally, we brought the family up to Naples, Florida to a RV park with a plush walking path. The dogs were in heaven! We spent a few weeks there and then it was off to what would become our last RV park, the Venice/Myakka River KOA. We spent about 3 weeks there and between my posts on our real estate adventures, you know the trek ended here. We found a house in nearby Englewood on about 1.5 acres of property; the dogs are starting to be experts in their territory.

This year has been pretty crazy: new RV experience, new states, starting a RV trip in the first year of our marriage, leaving behind a lot of friends, Lidiya having a boy, the list could go on ad infinitum. The point is, I think is that I thought my life couldn't get any more unpredictable than January of 2009. Here I am, starting a dog walking business and I have Max, Sadie, and Fenway to thank for that inspiration, and of course Jeff, for his support!

Thanks for reading and keep following! On a note regarding following and my anniversary, I have decided to keep it fresh with new changes all the time and I am going to add a new list! You are always free to comment!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Peony In Love: my first Nook Book

I am currently reading Peony In Love and because I enjoyed reading Lisa See's other novels about young girls growing up in China (at very different times in history), I am now reading a third novel by her. The difference is that I am finally getting around to using the Nook Jeff gave me for my birthday. It is amazing that while you can swipe the bottom of the nook to simulate turning a page (which does not seem to work that well and I will have to check that out), you can also just press a button to advance the page. Push a button. Wow!! Reading books is even easier than before and it was pretty simple then. Even though I have about 4-7 other books that are physically waiting on my shelves to read, they have taken residence getting dusty as this Nook is going to be so much easier to pack in my purse and I don't have to have another heavy back up book in case I finish this on the trip I am taking next Friday. I can just download another book just before getting on the plane. Very cool!

To be honest, I really wanted the Nook, while at the same, waxing nostalgic that I would miss the printed page and the organic feeling of having a real book in my hands to grasp and reread pages, look back to the cover, etc. A book to finish. A book to feel accomplished with by putting it on the bookshelf with all my other novels. Yesterday, I took a look at that small pile of books yet to read and felt a few pangs of guilt as I picked up my Nook (with a sweet Kate Spade Nook cover to boot!). When I get back from my two week journey to visit family between Washington, D.C. and Maine, I will work on completing those books. I look forward to lighten the load of those physical books, both paperback and hardback. After bringing some to my mom up in D.C. and having Jeff sell some on the internet, I plan on taking a hiatus from purchasing books other than the Nook. This is simplifying and it's starting to feel great just thinking about it. Maybe once in a while, I will buy a real book. If an author comes into town and I want his/her book signed. If I am buying a book for someone else. If I actually have to buy a book....then again, the old compulsion to take home real books may seduce me. I can't help it. I love books. I love my Nook.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A list of favorite books will be coming soon!

I will keep my running list of recent books read, but people have been asking if they are my favorite books. Nooo, not really! I haven't read something that would qualify for a while. I will review my list to make sure, but the favorite list will come up this week some time! Now, when I say "my favorites", I am talking about books I have enjoyed reading the most; I have loved reading tons of impressive books for English class, Shakespeare literature courses, blah blah blah... I don't have the time to impress people with all the amazing literature I have read in my lifetime. I could care less. I want to share with you the books I loved so much because they changed the way I think or because they made me cry or smile and laugh! They are the books I keep coming back to when people ask me for books they should read! I haven't recommended Shakespeare for a really long time, or D.H. Lawrence for that matter!

I need some focus here...

So, it occurred to me lately that I did have focus for my blog last year. The whole point of starting it 11 months ago (can you believe it?Almost a whole year?!) was so that I could relate the adventures of our RV trip across the country. Now that we found a place to live, I've been losing focus and writing about random stuff, old dating stories, rants about Facebook, whatever... When I started this blog I had three followers and now I have five! How cool is that! Now that I have left Facebook and this is my sole forum for reaching friends and family and maybe absolutely complete strangers, I think I need a little focus so people know what to expect. Of course, it's still my site and I may have to rant or tell some random story whenever it pops into my head and deems suitable enough to write down.

I am thinking that I need to find a book club to join as I have never stopped loving reading, devouring and talking about books! That must be my new focus; it just makes sense! So all of you followers, please let me know about any books you think I may enjoy... No trashy romance or fantasy science fiction. I don't think I have ever picked up a self-help book, but if there is one or a whole library you think I should read, suggest gently, yes? If anyone in the Venice/Englewood/Sarasota area knows of a book club, let me know as the hasn't given me any indication of one. I am going to visit craiglist next. Then, hey, maybe I will just have to start one, hmmm??!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

One last note on Facebook and I'll shut up (and by the way, I have left Facebook, finally)!

So, I finally made the plunge. What made me do it finally, however, was not my word that I would finish my scrabble game with an old high school friend; unfortunately, I could not wait that long. I was annoyed by postings of people who were simply expressing their opinions of Eat Pray Love, but it seems that their opinions were not derived from any actual life experiences. Instead they were commenting on Eat Pray Love, the movie. They even were commenting on the book, according to Oprah's show. It was not even evident if all the commenting on this blog was based on reading the memoir. It seemed these people were simply thinking that the movie was about some woman wallowing in simple self-pity and went around the world and spent a lot of money in a year and maybe, this would be some good eye candy, at least. Hmmmm.....

So, except to say that if any of these commenters had the courage to admit to the world self pity, let go of lots of material possessions, with no guarantee of a place to stay or work, I really can't take the opinions seriously. Really, how could I? It is so easy to talk about an individual's self- pity and judge how some one lives their life and makes choices. I couldn't imagine having the courage to do what Elizabeth Gilbert did, but I think about it sometimes. I LOVED this book and I related so intimately to it. I know countless other women who related as well. I am pretty sure I read this with my book club, but I know I read it before then. I have to go back to Ms. Gilbert's website and see what's going on with her these days (aside from her book still in hardback, Committed). I think that the commenters on my friend's page may not have understood the self-esteem that plummets with the relationships Ms Gilbert had and the choices she made in the trappings of those same relationships. Maybe they do and think it's a mistake to let everyone know that you are in self-pity and seeking spiritual help. Maybe, just maybe, that's why the post on Facebook listed it as one of the worst books or movies (I can't remember which one). I am planning on seeing this movie again with another wonderful woman this coming Sunday. I saw it the first time with my best friend; we both could relate from the VERY FIRST SCENE. Yes, the.very.first.scene. Tears and tears...and more tears and smiles. Everyone has issues, even those who judge others admitting defeat and self-pity.

So, now, I guess that you readers are really clear on why I left Facebook. I know, some haters are just going to say "well, you just don't like any opinions that are not yours" or "be more tolerant" or "won't you miss the daily posts and pictures of people growing up". Seriously, I have been tolerant for more than a year; there comes a time when you DO GET TO DECIDE how you spend your time. You don't have to be forced to read Facebook posts or choose which of your "friends" you are going to avoid and "hide" from your view. I never wanted to hide my high school friend's posts, but I am not going to listen to people who constantly trash talk people (the President of the United States or Elizabeth Gilbert, for that matter). It's a free country. They have freedom of the press and I have the freedom to leave Facebook.

Oh, and by the way, according to Vickie, if I leave Facebook book, I have to blog more. Point taken. You will definitely see more of me!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Leaving Facebook

I have to say that sometimes it is hard to let go. My family and close family friends have an active presence on Facebook; I will miss their photos and updates. If they want, they have my personal email and my blog address; they can come for a visit in this virtual play land. That will be the challenge to let go. And...sometimes....people make it really freaking easy to deactivate from Facebook. Seriously, I have had this big issue with several people on Facebook, whether they owe me large sums of money and still pretend to be my "friend" or people that are so politically oriented to assassinating one person on an almost daily basis. Can you imagine being attacked daily (I imagine if you are in politics this happens)? Would you stay on Facebook and keep listening/watching someone being character assassinated? That does not make sense. So one friend continually attacks a public and political persona, yet expends no positive energy toward the advancement or accolades of his chosen party, well at least not as often as he vents against others. We used to respect the President of the United States, even if we did not vote for him or don't agree with him. I guess there is a decline of morals in the U.S. of A. Who knew! We even left people alone rather than defaming the character of others. Because it is kind. Because it is human. I have realized on Facebook it is just so easy to defame and libel because it makes someone feel bigger, more important because he can scream louder. Wow, very spiritual. Freedom of speech is powerful and it is a privilege we possess in the U.S. It does not come with out consequences. Can someone yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater. NO! It's misleading and sends people into panic and chaos. If someone wants to abuse their sense of freedom of speech, this isn't spiritual; watching people panic in chaos seems masochistic. If a woman cries "rape" on Facebook, is it freedom of speech?Absolutely. But if it is false, it's damaging. Freedom of speech may be a right, but it should be used rightly, not to harm. Justice isn't going to be served on Facebook. I just don't get much of what goes on Facebook lately.

Of course, I can defriend anyone any time. You know what that is? That is, to me, in my humble opinion, cowardly. Press a button and denounce your friendship? Really, it's that easy? Well, for those people who I friended as old acquaintances from high school that mean nothing (other than maybe three or four people who even TALKED to me in high school), yes, it is THAT easy. Should it be that easy to push a button and defriend those I had friendships and relationships with for years? It is, but it should not be. Though people are telling me that it is that easy, I have my doubts. On one hand, the people I would defriend that are closer than antique high school acquaintances may not even know I have defriended them. The other hand is my conscience. The other hand tells me that it is not about them. To thine own self be true. If I am being honest, I need to know that defriending someone means to me, I really don't want to be their friend so much. At all. IN.REAL.LIFE.

I think that by leaving Facebook, I will have time to work on my blog, my new business web site, my new life and opportunities with greater focus. There is also that vague chance that developing an identity here in Florida can be done successfully without my involvement on Facebook. According to Betty White, Facebook is a colossal waste of time. I am not sure I 100% agree because, after all, I did get back in touch with wonderful college friends and a few of those high school friends that talked to me back then. And if they talked to me back then, I want to talk to them now.

I know people are not going to agree with going to extremes and just leaving Facebook. As soon as I finish playing Scrabble with an old high school friend, I am outta there!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting settled, then taking off!

I am starting to really get settled here and get a little less nervous with my business and just have fun with it! I am currently working on the web site and I hope to redesign my business cards as soon as I get my amended certificate of status from the Florida state department. One step at a time. One day at a time. Take it easy. I am so glad I can slow down and not get to stressed; I am sleeping so much better when I remember not to take this too seriously. Enjoying the work motivates me to get the next right thing done much more quickly!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

things are always changing

I wanted to just let you know that change is constant and I feel like my company name is constantly changing. So finally, I think I have it down. I think I have it handled. Perhaps, I was a doggy darling all along. I have a few more calls to make and then more business cards to recreate. This is definitely a learning experience. If anyone has bits of advice for a small tiny little business, particularly dog walking or pet sitting, by all means, let me know:) I will keep you posted!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A New Look!

Every so often I think I want to change it up a little bit. Today I figured, "go with more colors"! I am designing my professional site and that's going to be all about the pets and slightly less feminine and less about the chick details, so here is where I can be fun and creative. I have added a few buttons just to be different. Don't feel obligated in any way to click on a reaction button or to share my posts, but it's just an option and an alternative to writing a comment. Since more people seem to use the internet to share stories, these icons with the different internet feeds (twitter, facebook) are available, I may as well use them. Maybe, I will even use them on my professional site, except I did not purchase a blog product on that site. It's a learning process and there is way more to building that site than this site, as I get more say on where things go on that site. I have a lot to learn and coding is not even involved.

I will certainly let you all know when my business is all set. I think I should be hearing from the state of Florida in the next week; at that point, I think I will be more comfortable with creating my site for public consumption, although the domain is there and so is a coming soon post (on my doggydiva site). See you guys soon! No more fear~~ I can't take my self too seriously. This is a dog walking business!

Keep coming back (to the site)!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Business cards and a web site~I am on my way, except...

So I went to the FedEx/Kinko's office first. I went there first since the lady who helped Jeff with his business cards was very helpful and efficient. She knew what she was doing. However, when I arrived there, the other lady was there. The lady with no answers. The lady who wasn't able to help me by even knowing if they could help me with graphics that were original. Apparently, they have some "new system". The lady that wasn't even sure if the other lady would have time to help me with the other jobs she had to do. So, I took my business to Office Depot. Yay for choices in America! The Office Depot was great; they helped me with my logo, even though I realized after I put the order in, that I may have to add or change certain things about the card based on feedback or business traffic (or the lack thereof). I am pleased with my Doggy Diva cards. They are so simple. Love them! I look forward to showing you!

While I love to keep you all informed and I love to keep this site updated, today's post is all about procrastination and fear. Yes the P word and the F word. They have loomed large in the last few days right after I purchased a domain and followed that up with purchasing a web hosting/building product on MY VERY OWN site. That I bought. That I continue to envision. That I have to build with help from the other company. Sorry, Blogger, but its slightly unprofessional to try to use a free site with blogspot in the name and the logo on the bottom. You are fantastic, however, for my personal blogging and all. So thanks, Blogger for understanding!! When I have this other site all ready, I will let you all know; if you want to visit the site, let me know and I can send you the link. I am not sure if I will put it on the blog site or not. I definitely don't have this all figured out. I am in fear that I will have no business. I am in fear that after all this, I will actually have to get up really early in the morning again. Which obviously means I am in fear of actually having clients after I have practiced heartily the act of sleeping in late for the last year and half. In fear with the prospect of lots of business or no business at all. So, I will back up a little bit and realize that I haven't even marketed myself and I have not even started at the humane society, which is coming up next! One thing at a time. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

So I completed the humane society's volunteer application and called the lady in charge. I am awaiting the return phone call. One foot in front of the other. The next project is to read the email from the web host on hints on how to set up that site. One foot in front of the other.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Doggy is the winner!

After getting over my excitement about all office supplies colored pink, I got down to business, literally. I had to make the important distinction between doggie and doggy. Doggy seemed to be quite popular on web sites. In fact, it was so popular, I could not get the domain of my first choice, a dot com address. Go Daddy wanted to know what it was going to be: .org, .me, .mobi, .biz. The ....'s go on. I chose the dot biz because it suited me and it was very helpful to know which were intended for different purposes (other than the obvious non profit dot org). This dot bizness is new to me. So very new.

I signed up for a year because it seemed to be the cheapest and you can renew it and if I was a bigger business, maybe I would spend more and buy a longer commitment. A year seemed just fine. Just like a 250 count of business cards will be more than enough. I am still figuring out the lay out of the card, but I think I have a few ideas! Apparently, I need to focus on the next right thing. First cards, then web page design. It seems that I will need a little help in the form of paid assistance on line or via a phone call to Go Daddy's tech support. It's not quite as easy as a DIY fee blog site (thank you by the way Blogger!)...

I will keep you posted. Promise. I will even let you see the site when it's born.
Now to find some clip art!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Doggie or doggy?

I went to a humane society yesterday to volunteer my time and gain valuable experience for my new business. As soon as I picked up an application for the volunteer position, I was compelled to pick up one for fostering as well (Jeff knows I am going to come home with a pet sooner or later). But seriously, as soon as I realized how seriousI am about volunteering to walk animals that have been abandoned and possibly harmed or abused, I realized how much I loved animals period. Picking up the application was a catalyst to get the business really off the ground. I started thinking of "the name" that would look great on my new business cards. It was off to Walmart to finish my errands for the day.

I promptly drove directly to the Walmart to pick up a notebook and hole puncher for work I am doing with another agency when the whole idea of buying office supplies hit me. OFFICE SUPPLIES! I love office supplies, even when my dad brought me home cheap day- timers from previous years and random highlighters from his office when I was a kid in his Georgetown brownstone. I became giddy with joy in the aisle of really cool and awfully cute supplies. Pink supplies. Supplies I would need were pink and I think there were striped and polka dotted supplies. I absolutely MUST start my business now. An application and a stroll through a Walmart aisle. Who knew?

This morning, during the time in which I was waiting for a fax to be transmitted at the Office Depot, I started pricing business cards. Glossy, semi-gloss, matte...oh my! Two-sided also? This is too much fun. I can't wait to get started.

And I still need a perfect name! I am narrowing it down. So, is it doggy or doggie? I have a Doctorate, and yet, I can't spell a cutesy name! What gives? Any suggestions?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I decided after a bit of confusion and lack of focus that this would be my last entry in the2008 Dating Experiment. I had at least one moe, but recently realized that living in the past is really jacking up my ability to live in the moment. I promised you all a few of these memories and this is my most memorable disaster in my 2008 Dating experiment. Chronologically, the Cougar Town guy was the LAST disaster before reuniting with my now-husband Jeff. I will divulge the short and bittersweet tale of this not-so-superhero. I will just call him Superman, as really, he would be so proud.

So, this was a choice meeting. We met through photos and profiles (and I won't even divulge the site or his screen name, but think of key words like SUPERMAN). Anyway, we talked on the phone a few times, but both of us, equally tired by the same mode of dating, agreed to just meet. He knew I did not drink so he was wise to not suggest a bar, but he did suggest dinner downtown. I dressed nicely and so did he. Based on first impressions, he scored big. He had class, charisma, and a really good sense of humor. He wasn't even hard to look at. I have to say that things went quite well that night. We had a long date, but all in public and quite G rated (are you allowed to kiss in G movies? I know cartoon characters can...or is that when they are married?). So maybe PG.

He walked me to my car and I only heard one mention of Superman; he was wearing a Superman watch. I think he had a belt, but don't quote me on that because I am not 100% certain. So after this date, he surprised me a few days later with a visit to my house and picked me up to go bowling. We had a lot of fun, though I think I had only bowled once before with absolutely no beer involved. This was a novel date for me (though I am sure this is a fairly cliched date for many). He invited me that weekend for a pre-season Broncos game and I think this was going to be my first sleep over date. I had not yet seen his house. I had heard about it, but again, I took a separate car and brought my dog (he was cool with my dog Max) over. Now, like I said, I am not certain about the Superman belt buckle. As I toured his house, I saw the Superman towels, Superman quilt/blanket, and I was reminded of the Superman watch, which I told him "I remember our first date", though I have seen that watch on the subsequent dates. I get it. He LOVES Superman. What I did not prepare for, what I could have not expected, when I decided to date someone my own age (being 39 and all) were the contents of his closet. He opened the door. He showed me his outfit.

Yes. He had a SUPERMAN cape and outfit with a big S on it. I am not joking. I can not make this shit up. I swear to God, at this moment in time, I wished that I had taken a picture with my cell phone. After I spent the night, he left for California early in the morning. I knew that was the plan. Accidentally (and definitely not in the insecure chick way), I left my contacts, my socks and my favorite pink J.Crew hoodie. That was definitely an accident. I loved that hoodie. If I was leaving stuff in the insecure manner, I would have intentionally "forgotten" something far less significant to me. Don't ask how I know this. After spending time with Superman, he did divulge his Kryptonite. He over -shared. I knew a little bit of what could bring him to his knees. It just never got that far. He called me when he came back.

I saw him Monday evening, though now 2 weeks after our very first conversation and a week or two after our first date, he was very late and promised that he would take me out for a proper date and spend more time later that week; he just had a deadline that was very pressing. Hmmmm. I did actually believe this at first as he really gave me no reason to doubt him. Other than a few rocks of Kryptonite lying around. He promised a date for Wednesday and indeed, followed that up with a few phone calls on Wednesday delaying the time. Becsause he told me he would pick me up at my house, I was not fully inconvenienced, other than the obscene lack of respect and consideration for my time! He called twice; ultimately, he called at 6:30 or so promising he'd see me in an hour and would call on his way.

That 6:30 phone call would be the last time I would ever hear from Superman. I never heard another word, another text message, no email, no correspondence from our origin of meeting. NOTHING. That night I called him. Many times. At first, I was angry. He was late and inconsiderate. After a few hours (around 9 p.m.), I was actually worried. Can you imagine? I was actually concerned that he would be in a car accident, preventing his ability and dedication to keeping our date and calling me with the news of crashing his car. If he was really Superman, his omnipotence would have gotten him to my place at 6:35 after he popped in at the closest phone booth. What gives? So, after the evening passed, I did not really know how to feel. I went to bed. Then I knew. Very early the next day.

I called my best friend and we engaged in some very irresponsible stalking in the next several days, which led inevitably to the next week;there was a road trip to his neighborhood and a brief evening waiting for him at his favorite bar (after we hung out at a country western place, but you know how compromise is!). There were guesses in how long it would take before he would come to his senses, before I would at least get my crap back. Then, one day, it occurred to me (when I was being all spiritual and stuff), "LETITGO". Letitgo.Letitgo. And that's how I let go of Superman, my contacts, my hoodie and the memories of picking up some one's Krytponite (maybe he didn't want me to see it so early on, hmmm?).

So that's the last little tidbit of my 2008 dating experiment. I wanted to share the last little tale, but I actually run into this person once in a while when I am back in Colorado. Even the title of the tale that's in my head would elicit an enormous amends. I really can't live that way anymore. I don't have the time.

Another birthday...another day

I just had another birthday yesterday. It was awesome and between all my Facebook contacts and family and friends off that network, I felt quite loved. Jeff held all my family gifts (sent to me)hostage and presented them to me on my birthday, which was necessary so that I had something to actually open. I tend to rip anything open right away if its addressed to me. Jeff then surprised me with a Nook from Barnes and Noble. While I have at least five books I have not even read at home, he knows that I am going to finally plow through those now that I am back from Colorado and San Antonio and I am almost halfway through my current book which reads more like a history book than anything (because it is). As soon as I get to my pleasure books, I think I will be getting through one a week. We had a nice little lunch in a not so fancy place and went to Barnes and Noble so I could get a bit of an education about the Nook (though I did most of my research in Denver). I got to select my favorite Nook cover and actually found a cover that matches my Kate Spade day time (and to think that Kate Spade makes Nook covers-she really covers all the bases. I wished I knew that when I was smoking. Just kidding, Mom!).

After the Barnes and Noble purchase, we went home and Jeff blew up one of the rafts given to us by my sister and her family (for my birthday). We had a brief dip in the pool, until Jeff remembered that I get 41 dunks. Very wet. Very very wet. I felt like I was in a washing machine for about 45 minutes. I am sure it was more like 10 minutes, but it felt like 45. The time went so fast.

I spent the early evening making cupcakes and getting ready for friends to come over for burgers and cupcakes after the meeting. By the time they came over, I needed help and realized I did spend the whole day acting like a birthday child and not a responsible adult expecting dinner guests. I employed my female guest in the kitchen and she out-cupcaked me! She decorated my two dozen cupcakes and they look fabulous! I wish I had a photo for you all. While she decorated my cupcakes brilliantly, I was making rosemary and garlic oven potatoes. Again, a photo would have been a great addition to this post, I know. We had tons of fun cooking and eating. Before I knew it, my birthday had vanished in the night and I looked at my watch when our guests had to go and tend to their dog at home. ONE A.M.?! And that marked the beginning of my forty-first year. Not too shabby!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A new business can call me names, but please make it the right one!

As I am sure quite a few of you know, I have been thinking of starting a business for the past 6 months. I have thought a lot about working, changing professions, or just starting a business with much more autonomy (it has been great to not have to plan my vacation time a year in advance).

I have done some research, and probably in the process of overthinking it too much, I am going to complete my research when I come back from my wonderful vacation in Texas and draw up some business card designs. Meanwhile, I have been thinking of clever business names for my walking business. Yep, that's the business I chose because I love dogs and getting mild exercise is never a bad idea (yes, let's not get carried away, okay?), all on a schedule that the clients request and I finalize. I love the autonomy and the creativity. I can't stand the whole idea of being told to predict my vacations anymore, or hold my breath for someone else to dictate my schedule (although I had a pretty nice schedule for the last few years of working, still trying to predict vacation time, which bit me in the ass when someone wanted to propose and start a new life with me, but I digress, all in parentheses!). As I am now fortunate to not have to make a quota, I can relax and do something I love. I am hoping to get even more experience by volunteering at the humane society and watching a few "Dog Whisperer" videos!

So, this is a call for any dog walking business names. I would love a clever or cute name, as long as its not too cutesie and it sounds somewhat professional. I don't have to take myself too seriously here and honestly, I really don't care if my name is in the business name. I am thinking about offering the following services below:

  • dog walking (up to 2-3 at a time, one client, one walk: will not mix clients' dogs)
  • pet sitting in client's home
  • caring for dogs, cats and possibly other small domestic pets in client homes
  • dog adventures (extra $ for taking them to the dog park and dog beaches)
  • extended visits
  • pet taxi
  • pet related concierge services (vet services, dog food, dog transfer /transport)
  • still considering other services: there is a list online of the 8-11 top requested services and I would like to offer about 5-10 of those minimally
When I get back, I am getting a really cool book just for the pet sitting business (including dog walking) and I will be getting that book, getting business cards, volunteering at the humane society and really getting started! By the way, I was thinking of Doggie Diva (Dog Girl is actually a company out there already-is my name too close?)....what do you think....comments welcome!!

A Vision For You in 2010

So, its Wednesday and I promised myself and Jeff that I would have "AA Comes of Age" read by the time the convention starts. I am on page 70 and there are 300 pages in the basic text (not including appendices, etc). No problem! It is actually very intriguing, though I doubt it would make anyone's summer reading list and I wouldn't really rate it as much of a beach read. Technically, it's hardback and I don't want to ruin it when I go to the beach, so it stays at home! I am still enjoying the book.
I am headed to Texas for the 2010 International AA Conference Monday and we will be at a pretty nice little Hyatt for a week! I can not believe we really went ahead with this. There will be so much to do there and so many people to meet. One of the cool things Jeff wanted to do was to create pins that we could trade and maybe sell to others. We created several pins together (Colorado, Florida, and Texas) and there is one that Jeff created on his own to commemorate Dr Silkworth's contributions to the field. He was definitely ahead of his time. I know we are getting ready to mostly trade the Florida pins and mostly sell the others, but if you are curious, let me know as I can try to put up other photos of the pins. I only have one photo as he sent it to me when the Texas pins arrived and I was visiting in Colorado as you can see above.
Like I said, we leave Monday, though I don't think the convention begins officially til July 1. We have our badges and in pure AA fashion, they got part of it absolutely correct: Jeff is from Englewood, FL and I am from...Golden, CO. Hmmmm...I wish I still had my Colorado pins. I guess that's just how it is; I don't care tremendously! I just am excited to be a part of this hugely magical time.
I do feel kind of bad that there will be 90,000 convention goers spending Fourth of July in your town as you were kind enough to host us and we won't be drinking any of your alcohol...oops, but I kinda think you knew what you were getting into San Antonio!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Last Supper in Cougar Town

So, I would never go to the Stampede alone in my former party days. Someone always dragged me there who fared better with Western Two-step than I ever did. In the days of pre-2003, it was always about the party; in 2008, I had no idea what it was about. So, Sarah got my 39 year-old body there there this time and we got there somewhat early I believe (we were not major night owls with our respective work schedules). Other than chatting with Sarah (who had gone off somewhere temporarily, dancing probably), I was people watching. Watching drunk people is not as entertaining when you are not drunk yourself. I was actually pretty bored and out of sheer boredom and a splash of regret, I started talking to some tall person next to me. I met a result of my infinite wisdom of talking to strange men. Some habits die hard, I tell you. And this strange man, my friends, was very much a boy, as it turned out.

After chatting outside (I really needed fresh air at that moment, if not sooner) and smoking way too many cigarettes(I know that concept of fresh air and getting a smoke was too logical for anyone to follow), I thought this boy was quite the grown up. Here I was, 39 years old and all; I should definitely know who all you are, wise men of the world. Wait, oxymoron, I know....anyway... So, this guy C. tells me he is twenty-something, and as bored as I was, my head was taking a very vivid time-capsule trip back to Sex and the City's episode of "Valley of the Twenty-somethings". This is my version.

He divulged information appropriate for an attractive pedigree. Things like college degree, new truck, CPA, employed in his field as a CPA (equally impressive as holding the CPA title), dog owner. Pretty cool for a twenty-something. I definitely didn't have all that going on at that young an age. I, for exactly 5-10 days (maximum), thought that was very admirable. So he asked for my number so he could pick me up the next day for a sushi dinner. He arrived that next day in same said truck, dressed in nice clean clothes, looking nice even though he drove to my condo directly from work; he drove me to Hapa Sushi in Cherry
Creek. We had a great time and for a few more days, things went along a very trendy dating pattern. I was fairly satisfied. I ended up at his place one night after watching movies way late (Lidiya was watching Max; I could never forget Max), and I saw that the dog was still outside and honestly, in the late hours that were were out, I totally forgot he had a dog and it was very cold. I made the mistake of warning him about keeping the dog outside with the really cold weather. The dog owner piece of the pedigree was suddenly questionable; he quickly brought the dog in, objecting to my admonishments. Jesus, the dog had some mighty frosty fur. I left early in the morning to get back to my dog whom (or is a dog just property in which case I would us "which") suddenly missed greatly and subsequently, I submitted to pangs of guilt over leaving him with Lidiya (though she took great care of Max). I should have been home and not over there helping to thaw out his pup.

A few days later, we went to the movies and he paid, which was nice. While waiting for the movie to start, I found out that this guy and I did NOT see eye to eye on pretty much any political scenario (Steve C, I am sure you guys would have hit it off and I am so glad I never dated you Steve!). He made a comment about Walmart's employees being so lucky to have jobs with Walmart. Back then, when I had a political boycott against that place due to some Frontline (or some such show) expose, I couldn't contain myself. I just couldn't-it was off to the races. We debated on all things Walmart, employee benefits, employee vacation allotments, pay wages, etc. I was livid. I didn't think C. was really going to make it in Cougar Town much longer. I stayed for the movie and even sat next to C.the whole time, which was pretty big of me, seeing as his Walmart politics were definitely not jiving with mine. So after 2 hours in the dark with C and watching the movie, I wasn't impressed with either. The best thing about being in that movie theater was the popcorn and my cherry icee.

My last date with C. was about 1-2 weeks in and I was to arrive at his house for dinner. I arrived there and what was waiting for me, quite frankly, disgusted me. He was getting ready to put some sausage in a pot of boiling water to boil...with uncooked pasta. The idea of pasta getting all soft and boiling in a pot of water and cased sausage made me want to hurl, almost immediately. Before he made the pasta (and sausage), I asked him if there was anything else that perhaps we could, because I didn't want to stomach the sausage (I was trying to be nice because sausage does give me some excessive gastric issues), but it soon came out that I thought the idea of boiling the pasta and cased sausage(or any kind of sausage would have yielded the same verdict from moi) was hideous and un-chef like. He said "then I guess you won't be eating anything because you should like what ever I make for you". Excellent. "Go look in the cabinet and see if there are any vegetables you want". Wait, aren't vegetables usually in the produce section of your fridge, C? Nope. Apparently they are stacked in cans of salty fluid in the pantry. Canned asparagus?yummy. I am in for a treat. Not. I asked if we could both go to the grocery together and make dinner together. I passionately tried to plea vigorously for this option so that we could try to enjoy the night and simultaneously not sounding so fussy (though I really think I could make a case for not boiling together the pasta and sausage). Wow, what a mature very cool. No, not according to C., who consequently called me ungrateful and other equally savory names. Exciting!! And look how much I missed the drama. Ummm, notsomuch. I just lost my patience with the man-child at that precise moment I saw canned asparagus and he declined to opt for fresh veggies. Immediately, I wanted to leave and grab food with Lidiya (I texted her, telling her I would be home very soon to eat dinner and she was all good with that). I told him something NOT quite this polite: "maybe, this is a dinner better left uneaten;I think I just better leave period.". I left and called Lidiya before my car was even warmed up.
That was the last straw, and indeed, the Last Supper was much better left uneaten.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My next 2008 Dating Experiment post is coming soon!

I have no excuse for not posting. I could say I have no Internet connection, but I have access to my blog on my iPhone and yet, it's been too long and I apologize! Accept my apology knowing I will post my next installment in the 2008 dating experiement by this weekend. Hang in there Megan (and other fans!) and keep reading! I have some more experiments gone awry. For example, you will soon read about my experiment my friends fondly coined my "cougar" experiment (I hate that phrase, and I will explain more later). You will further read, as you patiently wait, about my experiment also known to some as my "non-judgmental" phase; I kind of call it my slumming experiment. I think you will figure it all out. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the 2008 Dating Experiment: the Russian

I honestly can not remember the general order in which some of these memorable men came in to my life, albeit so briefly. The fact that I still remember them is a dubious honor for them, since the stories don't represent them fondly. I can't resist; I have to tell you just a few little experiments that happened as a result of and As to not slander or libel (I really don't have time for lawerly like people), I am going to stay shush about who is who. I actually met only two out of four of these people through those sites and one from a bar late at night when I was tired and bored; the remaining guy (yes, yes...I am going to have to keep you all guessing) was a mutual aquaintance. I may throw in another one or two from the year if they come up. Seriously, it does not really matter, does it? I am glad I can laugh about it now. At the time, I knew that I seriously had a defective frog issue. There was not a single frog I kissed that didn't just belch in my face, basically saying "can you still not tell in your late 30's who is who? You still are kissing the toads and not even an eligible frog!!". I could have sworn that, until December 5, 2008, the entiretry of 2008 was a colossal dating nightmare. Maybe thats why one of my wedding songs was Peter Gabriel's Kiss that Frog. But I digress.

So, down Memory Lane, I finally met a guy who was not huge or drunk sounding on the phone and he was decent looking and was not trying to pose for the profile pictures. ...So you are probably thinking this was a dating site. You are probably right. He was the Russian. He had a baseball hat on and a teeshirt in his picture; he wasn't smiling, but looked pleasant enough anyway. This whole bit of baseball hat and lack of teeth (I know I am not buying a horse, but still) should have been a red flag. But no, I gave him a chance; my 2003 dating year was the year for slumming it, 2008 was going to be much better. So he finally called as I felt okay giving my phone number out with a sufficient number of email exchanges.

We met at a coffee shop nearby and I had plans to hang out with my friend Steve later on and I told Steve "please please call me when you are near by as I may need to leave this date". I get there and see a guy that's just a few sizes larger than previously represented, but not huge (this reminds me of a poor case of a 2006 date that was obsessed about BMI since he was skinny in so many areas except his stomach and was looking for an overall percentage). The Russian was carrying a caramel macchiato type drink (very large) to the table. Then he smiled. Then I didn't (smile) so much. His teeth were horrid. They were grey. They were uneven. Some were missing. Please, can I get a break this year? Please? Yes? NO! The answer is a resounding NO as evidenced by the subsequent dates of 2008. ANYWAY, not only were his teeth damaged, but he has literally admitted that he does not care about fixing his teeth as he loves his sweet drinks and the diabetes doesn't help, so why fix it? WHY FIX IT? Hello?? So, his obesity and teeth have now been explained by things other than, but not excluding , caramel macchiatos. So as I completed the initial physical assessment, he provided me with his very own in-depth psychoanalysis. He told me about his ex who took a few of their chidren "somewhere". Something happened to the children when he and the ex went to jail and did some drugs. I was fuzzy on the details while his Russian accent was yammering on. Please say these children were safe somewhere. I did not dare ask. I was really starting to lose patience until he exposed his arms. Then I lost the rest of my patience. Right there. On the spot. So, you ask, did he have tattoos all over his arms? No. not really. As I have tattoos, that would not have really bothered me, other than the objectionable nature of such tattoos. But, he revealed no tattoos at all; the Russian displayed an unhealthy quantity of hash marks all over his arms. Yes, arms is plural; he told me the winter before (approximately 9 months maximum), he attempted suicide. "I am taking Prozac and I am all better". Yes, did you hear that? All better. Ithinknot. He proceeded to tell me how it was everyone else's fault as to how he got this way ("I had to quit drinking and quit the crack," said the Russsian.). Jesus. I would say honestly, when I thought I could not take it any longer, Steve called. Saved by the bell, literally. I thanked the Russian for his time. "So do you want me to call you tonight when you get home?"NO, really, that won't be necessary.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A little trip down memory lane...circa 2008

So, after watching Sex and the City 2 Friday night as I promised I would, I started to take a detour down memory lane as I was chatting with a friend at Cherry Creek Mall. We both reminisced my dating blunders and I told her that while I was thinking how funny and dramatically pathetic my latter single-hood was, I was a feeling not so right in sharing these stories now in this forum. Because, after all, I am married, happily! We had a little discussion, oh, for about 1 minute, and concluded that because it was inspired by SATC, and I was mostly single when I was watching SATC (except for this last movie), it would be okay for me to take a supervised detour down that road. For a very limited time. And because a few friends (married before me) always had the joy of vicariously enjoying my exploits (regardless of my temporal pleasure). Now, I can laugh about it and hopefully, my husband has a sense of humor.

So, I bring to you Memory Lane's newest and most recent addition before being shut down, the year 2008. 2008 included the Sausage Guy (seriously, this pertains to food, really!!!), Superman, and the Russian (and believe me, this Russian is no where as enticing as Carrie's Russian). There are a few others. I am going to enjoy the holiday tomorrow and I have some plans as long as Lidiya does not have her baby tomorrow. Look forward to a walk down memory lane this week! Bring a Diet Pepsi and a cupcake to the computer and have a few short reads!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Am I a visitor already?

After spending so much time getting acclimated to Florida, I felt a little odd coming back to Colorado. I did not really think about it till about a week before my arrival in Denver. Jeff told me that I may feel like I am out of place. I definitely feel out of place when I went to pick up my bags and Sarah and Kaya were there waiting for me, the traveller. Colorado is finally enjoying nice mid 70s weather and I can't even appreciate it since I have been going to the beach, tanning, and swimming every day in 85 degree weather. I knew weather would have its effect. Just being back in Colorado with out my own car or place to live obviously makes me feel out of place. I am so grateful I have a car to use on the weekdays and a place to live for the total three weeks that I will be here.

On the few occasions where I feel like a local, I am reminded that I live in Florida when someone at the store asks for my ID, or someone asks for my number. I am no longer a 720 person; I belong to 941. How odd is that? And that's coming from someone who had to accept a 720 area code who lived in 303 land for a long time! If it was not for a few favorite people in Colorado, I think I would still be enjoying the Florida sunshine! Maybe, THEY should be the visitors! I am heading back June 8. Is anybody coming with me?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sex and The City

So, I am obsessed. Obsessed like a school child. I love SATC. I even tried to win two tickets to the movie. FB had me as a fan of SATC and I somehow signed up for an opportunity to have SJP call me on opening day. Oh my God, how high school. So I punched in the number that they said SJP would call for. How ridiculous do I feel to have "Sarah Jessica Parker" on my phone list? Really freaking ridiculous! But let's not stop there.   When I found out that I could read an easy cheesy brain candy kind of book, I felt lucky!Joy!! The Carrie Diaries was a fast read and a little introduction to the beginnings of Carrie Bradshaw before New York. It's kind of funny that I always was wondering about her beginnings as I related to her the most (we are all always a mixture of the four women) and she never really talks about her past at all. I read this book in about 2-3 sittings. I had to have a SATC fix before going this Friday to see SATC2!

So, what's the plan for Friday? Sarah and I (and maybe others, if they can escape for the event) are meeting up for dinner and a late show of SATC2. I am going to dress up the best I can and we are going to have a nice dinner and off to the races! I am even going to get the movie tickets early so they are not sold out! Thinking ahead...nothing will get between me and my four OTHER friends. See you then!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Learning Italian in my spare time or Why I love free iPhone apps

While I see how much joy the $15 MLB app has brought Jeff, I am not interested in the least little itty bitty bit in paying for apps if I can get useful ones for free. I have found some very useful ones that I use almost daily or weekly. My newest favorite finds are my two foreign language helpers. I have a translating program for free and an Italian study app. While it is not surprising to have a free translator (people use them all the time from the Internet to mislead people into actually thinking they know the language or if they want to engage in foreign foreplay with people on Facebook on other continents), it is a really easy app to have on the iPhone to just click on the icon and it goes right to the site. The other app is an Italian study site that is very basic (I am sure the one they want to charge customers for is much better and thorough). The basics are audio flash cards of 155 words and quizzes and flash cards set up to help you pronounce the word (and it will correctly pronounce when you are ready). I have a beginner's Italian textbook, but I haven't had a chance to delve into it, so exposure to Italian words in my spare time (waiting for a pedicure, for American Idol to start, during TV commercials) is a much better use of the wasted minutes, far better than smoking in my spare time.

These are the apps I have installed and I am searching for a scrabble app. You are supposed to rate them, I suppose. I will just rate them here:
*:haven't actually tried yet
**:okay (meaning if I don't use them in the next 60 days I will unintstall them)
***: very usable
****:I use it all the time

Facebook:*** (except I don't think I am fully utilizing iPhone's capability for FB)
Elle shopping guide:**
Lucky magazine: **
IMBD(Independent Movie Database):****
What's on?(TV schedule):**
Translator: * (I will keep it for when I go to Italy next year)
Free Tutorial by AccelaStudy(Italian):***
Facebook **

New Recipes I've worked on while NOT smoking

So, I've decided that smoking was the same experience it was on December 31 and thus, my 25 day smoking habit in April came to an abrupt halt on April 30. I am happy that the 25 day blip on the radar was just that, a blip. I am so happy to be a non-smoker again. I have been baking cheap desserts for the whole month of May to obtain and justify very refined sugars (like eating  Betty Crocker cream cheese and classic chocolate frosting on cupcakes or right out of the tubs).  Fun-dip and Haribo gummy bears are part of my smoking cessation diet, but Jeff has been cutting me off from sugar around 11pm. 

Other than Betty Crocker invading my kitchen weekly, I am actually keeping true to my resolution to try a new recipe every week. I have made Shepard's Pie (using ground beef and a DIFFERENT recipe that I used for book club years ago), a BBQ sauce and ribs,  a new Alyssa-made concoction to marinade my stir fry (absolutely a zen creation, but tasty nonetheless). The stir fry marinade ingredients were not original by any means, but the quantities were invented on the spot using ginger (fresh off the root), soy sauce, and garlic and a dash of olive oil (I don't know, but EVOO invades most of my recipes somehow).  This cooking horizon is broad and open. I have a year to see how far I can push myself and test my creative juices. I also made a sesame noodle salad with my mother's recipe which turned out well and Jeff liked it as well.

It is fun to cook when you are not smoking for so many reasons:
1.The wonderful aromas are more enticing when you can actually smell them
2. and appreciate the taste!
3.You can actually get cooking and cleaning done faster when you don't have to take frequent smoke breaks.
4. It seems a bit cleaner to cook when you are not dealing with nasty butts (even if you are constantly cleaning your hands before and after smoking which brings me back to #3 with a vengeance!).
5. At least for me, I have an enhanced appetite when I am not smoking and the rewards are actually reaped!

Friends don't let friends cook and smoke!!! COOK, don't SMOKE!!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

2010 Resolution Recap

So, I was doing so well. I have been smoking since I was two days into my road trip and I want to stop the insanity. I am glad I quit December 31 and I will do it again. I am thinking that I will keep quitting. I am thinking of the other resolutions and the "gossip" one is something I have been doing fairly well with. I am accepting minimal new gossip (listening to gossip is as harmful as spreading it; don't let anyone else tell you differently). It is just so juicy; progress, not perfection! As far as learning a new language, I am intent on learning Italian and making new recipes, but I need to actually unpack my kitchen stuff in order to make new recipes. I believe I ventured to do one new thing this year and I moved to a new state. I am making some good progress here! More to come.........Come back soon!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rocky mountain farewell: two decades of friendships in Denver, severely abbreviated as this is just a blog post.

I actually wrote this in parts. I wrote some of it during the move and some after the move. I only edited for clarity(if you can call it that) and spelling to the best of my ability!

It’s really obvious I can’t stand the work of moving and getting our house packed. I am not trying to be selfish. I am not trying to get anything material and just hang out here and eat at restaurants. I can’t stand this haunted house. I can’t stand moving stuff from one house to another. I have done my best to let go of about 100 books (and we know I love books) and 100 more trivial items of unimportance. I have done my best to leave things alone that don’t belong to me when I would rather burn them in a big bonfire (certain photos, certain checkbooks, certain books that don’t belong to either Jeff or me). I will let Jeff inherit the headache I have lived with when he comes for a very short stay.

The only reason I wanted to come to Colorado is to see my friends and the fellowship at AA. That’s not altogether true, I confess. I knew that there was going to have to be a highly organized approach to the move and the disposal of unneeded items. I knew that I was going to have to get as much as I could get done every day and fit in friends and get together around the move and around the BMW, which happens to be a very self absorbed car if I may say so myself. I have gotten some closure, but not in the way that I thought I would. The people I thought I would get to talk to more I haven’t really talked to. Certain people are so distant now, it really does not matter. Some never change. The people I knew I would get to talk to more have been there and I am blessed to know they are not going to just discard me when I am in Florida.

It’s so different than moving from Maryland. I had my family, which was hard enough, but I didn't have friends I was leaving. Just family and at 22 I was in a hurry to start an adventure. Here I have a completely different family, my friends. I had no friends really in Maryland, except several (if that) high school friends. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that I have been here for 17 years (it would be 18 years this Independence Day). That’s almost half my life. I moved to Colorado in 1992 with Bill. I lived on my own since 1995. I lived with two guys VERY temporarily and under very bad circumstances (lost jobs and the like) for less than several months. Other than those undesirable aberrations, I have been independently living in Denver as a single woman from 1995 to 2009. I have made friends before sobriety and since sobriety. It is so interesting that there is ONLY ONE friend that really still has kept in contact with me from back in Pennsylvania through the years in Colorado, though there were some absent years for whatever reason (and I really don’t care why);she knew me in college and in Colorado and did not reunite with me just because of Face book. We went to the Deadbeat Club on Thursdays and we both dated a Bill at one time. We listened to the Cure and other music we had in common and muddled through unreliable cars. Then she married her Bill and had a couple of kids while I was still out there dancing around and doing a lot of experimental living for the rest of the decade (90's).

I met a lot of people during my sobriety, some who really back stabbed me and some who stood by me and were very patient (some people at work as well as those in AA). I had the good fortune to become involved in a book club primarily with work friends. I don’t think I could have joined if my sobriety was not stable, so because of working on my sobriety in AA, I got to meet non alcoholic friends as well. Isn’t that ironic!! I am going to miss them a ton and I can’t wait to celebrate my last in-Denver get together this Saturday night. Finally, we get together without the ruse of meeting for some book discussion. I am going to miss that group and they should be glad for their wine collection that I never drank with them. I think the only one from the RMPC that I drank with never really was friendly with those book club people anyway! Thank God!And I couldn't forget Brandi at work, even though neither of us are there any longer.

Then there is my AA family. I really don’t know what to say. There are a bunch of people that fall into the following category: “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all”. Then there are people that fall under the category of “if you have four friends like these, you are one of the lucky human beings on this planet”. I am blessed that I can name people in the second category. Remember, I am not naming anyone in the first category! But I bet you wish I would, you petty thing! I am not, however. So there! For those people I have been blessed to meet, I don’t want to leave Denver. I have this fear that I will never ever meet anyone in AA, in life, on this planet quite like the small handful of people I have met in Denver (AA or non-AA). I never had the social skills, in high school perhaps, to meet and maintain good friends throughout. So maybe I am making up for lost time. Maybe these friends with the exception of the one I mentioned above came at a time when I was capable of being a friend to them.

Like I said, I consider myself one of the lucky people on this planet. I can’t thank you enough, people of Denver, for making this such an awesome place to spend two decades of my life. I am going to name some people that had a positive significant impact on my life in Denver and I am only naming positive people that I have had repeated (read: too many late nights talking to start counting) beneficial interactions with, because really the list could go on ad infinitum. Due to anonymity, I am going to name only first names and specific references: Bill, Diane, a specific RN at OBHS, Brandi, Shireen, Vickie, Kim J, Bryan, Sarah F, Mark S, the guy who bought me to DHMC on my last night of drinking (I know his name but keeping this anonymous), Heidi, and every single sponsee I have ever had the pleasure of working with. There are a few others that I absolutely am not certain what I will do when I leave Denver other than hold them hostage in Florida. Just kidding. Kind of. I have made so many mistakes and have had so many experimental blunders in Denver. It turns out I had an experimental life. I turned it in and exchanged it for a spiritual one.

It’s obvious the death of distance had made 21rst century friendships more plausible across area codes; God knows, it has worked for me and Brandi and foreign land is only several hours away if I want to hang out with Heidi (and did so). The problem is the frequency of intimate conversations, just kicking it on the sofa watching Sopranos or Intervention, is minimized or even dissolved unless a sincere effort is made on both sides. Sarah and Steve are two people that I am going to miss so much. And guess what, in the beginning, the birth of these friendships, neither is one that I gave much mind to. Can you believe that insanity?

I met Steve at a time when I was not talking to ANY guy that I did not meet in my first year or so and was established friends with (like Mark S. or Bryan). I had apparently snubbed Steve a few times, not really talking to him outside meetings and did not really give him the time of day. I am pretty sure he thought I was a bitch. Then, at a particular 4th of July party in 2005 (yes, Steve? 2005?), I started talking to him mostly because he seemed harmless and didn’t try to talk to me. Give it up, I am no intrigue addict. Anyway, Steve and I started talking that night. I realized he would be more of a big brother kind of guy and for whatever reason, would remain platonic. I think that not talking to guys for a long time really helped me here. I really scored big, more than I would EVER know till now, by discarding my old behavior for an exceptionally valuable friend. I don’t know where to start with Steve, but I don’t think I have to start. I know he’s going to be around for a long time. I can’t explain how this friendship persisted because I know I have had my selfish and self-absorbed times. What I know about now and what I learned as a result of befriending Steve after a year or two of sobriety is that NOT every guy has to be my boyfriend and I can stay as loyal and true to my friends. That’s really I think the success there. When I mean loyal and true, these are important virtues to both of us. I am going to see more of Steve, maybe in Florida. I definitely hope I haven’t seen the last of Steve.

Now, as far as Sarah. Wow! What can I say about a best friend that has one of the biggest hearts of any human being that I could have ever come in contact with in one lifetime? I am not even going into detail about how we ended up being friends. My friends know by now. I would not even have the opportunity of having this woman in my life if it wasn’t for her over sized heart. Of all the years I have had in Denver, I did not even get to meet her until 2006. I don’t have time or space to even qualify this woman as my kindred spirit. There is no space here to describe how kind she has been when I have had a trillion emergencies. I just can’t go into it here. There are just not enough words. I have the worst confession. I wasn’t sure if she would want to move on and find another best friend. I didn’t have the faith. I knew I wasn’t going to even want to find another best friend. Then she told me she wasn’t going to even try to replace me. I felt awful that I thought she might. That I didn’t believe in her level of friendship. Is that awful? I wish she would move to Florida. I really don’t even know if I can go without her. I hope she knows that by now. Especially, since she has my furry sex and the city coat.

I love you Denver!

Safe and sound at home

 It has been 5 days adjustment, of Jeff and I being around each other all the time, of walking the dogs, acquainting Julie with Florida, etc. I love the warmth and I knew I would. There's also the adjustment period of becoming immune to the annoyance of the mosquitoes. I don't know how I will get used to that, but it beats shoveling snow and dealing with being trapped by snow. I will surely deal. I am looking forward to getting everything unpacked (that took me 5 weeks to pack, mind you).

I am still a bit nervous about meeting new people. I am so picky about who I am friends with that I imagine that this will be the largest adjustment period of them all. I haven't met anyone yet that I would want to hang out with at all (except maybe one person and I have only seen her once since getting back). There was another girl I had met prior to moving, but as she completely blew me off several times in February, I doubt seriously she wants to befriend me. I will make an effort, really, but I know I am not even trying to replace my best friend Sarah and others who know better than  to think I am just going to "make a bunch of friends" right away out here.  I have some options though, like a meet-up group and AA. We will see what happens. I am looking forward to engaging in my beginning Italian language text and a new interest in gardening, as well as a new start up company that I think I will try to activate after Independence Day when I get back from Texas.

I have written a little blog post that I will run next reflecting on my (almost) 18 years in Colorado. I find it fascinating I stayed in Colorado this long. I had no idea I would leave, that I would have this opportunity.  I am going to work on the reflection piece and then I promise to get more photos on this site of the house, the dogs and Jeff and me! See you soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On the road...with Julie

So I finally got it all done! With a lot of help from Stacy, Tom, Molly Maids, my mother and others that I am sure that I am forgetting at this moment. Collaboratively, we got it all done with out me having to smoke. For now, I am going to be pretty grateful about that. Ask me later, on the road.

So two days ago, when I thought I was almost all done and my mom and I were getting the car all packed, Julie appeared out of no where. I have NO IDEA how she materialized because while Jeff was confident she was "around somewhere maybe with a new owner", most other people told me to resign myself to the fact she was eaten by larger mountain animals or was just dead because of all the cold weather. What faith I had! I was so happy to see her and I wanted to immediately go to Walmart and buy her supplies. Mom thought I was nuts to bring a cat in my crowded car as was Tom. Tom gave me a few helpful hints.I know cats hate travelling like this and I am almost positive she will sound like she is dying and she will carry on, but I will make sure she is walked (though I know walking a cat looks horribly ridiculous). While I realize that cats don't eat much while travelling, she has been getting food in her room at my house (and I am picking her up today). I have food and water dishes for her for travel and fortunately Brandi has been kind enough for me to bring Julie in her house. I have toys for Julie, catnip and I will give her a comfy towel or something to lay on.

So enough about Julie's travelling idiosyncrasies: let me give you my itinerary, in case I don't have free wi-fi. I have already entered each general city into my iPhone so that I know the weather coming into each town. I must buy a bathing suit as some of these places are seeming mighty warm and everything is all packed!

April 4: Goodland, KS
April 5 & 6: Staying with Brandi in Blue Springs, MO (right near Kansas City, MO)
April 7: Cape Girardeau, MO
April 8: Ridgeland, MS (just barely north of Jackson, MS)
April 9: Navarre, FL (just east of Pensacola)
April 10: after a 8 hour plus drive, I will be HOME in Englewood!

I am truly nervous about this adventure, but also extremely excited!!
If anyone has feline travelling tips, leave me a message on this site or email me; most of my hotels have free wi-fi and I will be bringing my lap top in every night.

NB: For those in fear of my directionally challenged ways: I have used mapquest, my iPhone and most helpfully, my GPS on my dashboard! I think I will be okay!!

I am going to miss all of you in Denver! Wow!! almost 18 years!! and 7 of them sober! How cool is that!!
See you on the road!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

BMW safely arrived and now for the finer points of moving

Just one day before Jeff was to leave to arrive in Denver to help me with this massive collection of stuff, his BMW arrived in Florida. Well, that was just so much fun. Notsomuch. Through out it all, I still have not smoked. I am happy to say that I can undergo a fairly stressful month and still keep my resolution. Some people would say a cross country move ranks up there on the stress list. I am fortunate that I don't have to work and I am grateful for that right from the get-go. Jeff didn't stop noting how nice the weather was & had "no idea're complaining so much". I glared at him and he would just start laughing. He got mileage off our fabulous weather for almost two days then it dumped 21 inches. Then he shut up.

Jeff came to Denver and accomplished a LOT. I got sick. We had a great time in Central City Wednesday night and then it was down to business. Thursday I had a 7 year sobriety birthday and we got to celebrate together. I am still recovering from a very sore throat. This would not have prevented me from smoking back in the active smoking days,but as an ex-smoker, it kept me far far away from those nasty cancer sticks. Yuck. I am so glad I have kept to that resolution.

During this past weekend, I started doing some of the laundry and just started laughing. I almost pee'd in my pants. I found the ORIGINAL BMW keys in an old pair of Jeff's pants underneath a bunch of rugs that covered any hint of clothing. The fact that I can laugh about this was a very good sign that I can get over a resentment or at least a week long frustration.

At least the BMW move is resolved. I am trying to recover from this horrible throat ache and cough/sneezing while trying to move. It's quite exhausting. Thank God I have had Stacy's help! Thank you Stacy! I have employed this moving-experienced friend to help me pack, organize, donate and stay sane. She's coming back to help me one last time the morning of my move. She is brave!

Next up: how to accomplish a cross country moving plan during a week long continuous sneeze.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Packing it all up (and the BMW is still stuck in the garage)

I simply can not believe I have neglected TotheMax for the past week or so. I will NOT go into extreme detail on what a production it is to pack up a house and actually manage everything that goes into selling said house. I must not forget the BMW. We are trying to transport that through an auto transport service. We are also having the septic system and well system inspected in addition to the actual house inspection which is March 9, 2010.

The BMW was a little issue. "Please find the keys (they should be in the garage) and move it outside and I will arrange the service to have it taken away." That was the short version of what Jeff said. That is what Jeff said before he realized he did not put the keys in the garage or in the ignition of the BMW and neither one of us could find the keys. Of course, he is in Florida, hanging out by our pool, racking his brain. I am shoveling snow and alternately searching the house. For hours. AND.HOURS (shoveling and searching, respectively). It was grueling and frustrating and mentally exhausting. So after hours of NOT finding the keys, I hired a locksmith. The locksmith came (on the same day and almost the same time as my moving consultant from Johnson and my packing assistant) and fixed my basement key issue. After 4 more hours (for a total of 5), I had a car & trunk key for the BMW (as well as the basement key) for $213.

Fortunately, I wanted to take care of business and get the registration taken care of earlier in the day. I was thinking ahead. That way, I thought, once the locksmith comes and works his magic, I could arrange to call Jeff to get this car on the road and call the service that has been already calling me several times. I went to the Taj Mahal that is our Jefferson County courthouse with checkbook in hand. "You need emissions. I can't register this. Your insurance is fine. You need emissions." EXCUSE ME? So I left with no temporary tags (to everyone who asked me about temp tags, this would have been useful advice early Thursday at 0920). So after calling Jeff to report this bit of news, he feels worse ( and so do I, what with my growing migraine). He told me to call after the locksmith comes.

So, now the locksmith left at 5:30pm (spending 5.5 glorious hours at my house) and I have no registration, no ignition key, and ABSOLUTELY no patience left. I called Jeff. Guess what?! Phil, his friend and previous BMW owner may have the key!! WOW! Some information like this would have been so ultimately cool BEFORE the last 48-72 hours of my life happened. Could I get those two or three days back?No? Okay, just asking. So now, at 6:30pm (just a mere 12 hours after I picked up my packing assistant to start the day), Jeff recommended I go to pick up the keys and call Phil and bring cheesecake. Seriously, the cheesecake had to be a joke. But I am not laughing.

I get all the way to Phil's and vent a tad (just an eensy little bit) and head back to put this key in the ignition. It fits! The car still needs to be jumped. I go to bed. Which is very nice as Jeff said I could take a few days off after this fiasco.

The next day, I received a copy of an email from our realtor. It seems our well has e. coli and "coliform"(sic) in it. Huh? I want a day OFF!!
See you Monday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our new home in Englewood Florida

So we dodged our first real estate bullet and scored on our next find (previous post, Part II)! This is a picture of me with our closing papers in our lanai room next to our cloud shaped pool (Jeff has informed me that this is the official shape of our pool). I think I'm in love now! I think Jeff feels the same way, but I feel so at home here. I know the dogs like it and I will do my best to post a video of Sadie and Max near the pool. Fenway will absolutely go out of her way to completely avoid the pool situation at all. We got her in the pool once to see what her capabilities were when we were right there. The poor dog was so scared and did not even try to navigate the steps (as Sadie and Max learned fairly quickly). The video and/or any photos of the pool will likely NEVER include Fenway. I will see what I can do about posting a video or two on TotheMax!
See you soon.