Thursday, November 26, 2009

Classic Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my boys....all three of them. I love that we're all together for Thanksgiving, having fun, watching football, relaxing and going through the ads for all of the after-Thanksgiving sales we (I) am going to hit tomorrow. I am thankful for the wonderful friends I have and how they have touched my life in many ways this past year. Most of all, I am thankful for my family...right up to the point that I call my dad 2 minutes 27 seconds left in the 2 quarter of the Texas/Texas A&M game for the first time today to wish him a happy Thanksgiving and he is irritated that I am calling in the middle of a very nail-biting game. He loves him some Longhorns. He asked me to call him back at half-time. Suck it, dad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Best Friend

About 18 months ago I signed up for Facebook to reconnect with friends. For the past 18 months we have caught up and enjoyed (from afar) each other’s lives. I am no stranger to the publicity of my personal life on FB. Then again, I am pretty much an open book with BIG print. Since joining FB I have noticed several memes making the rounds among my contacts. See WIKIPEDIA for your question I need not address. Anyway, I'm not usually a fan of memes and couldn't tell you exactly why, I think it goes back to being forced to participate in group activities when I was growing up in church and how the trauma of having to act like I was having a good time is such that when someone even mentions Pictionary my brain starts to liquefy and drizzle out my ears. The quickest way to get me to sneak out of your party is to suggest we play charades, unless the rules are that you have to take a shot or undress every time someone yells out, "SOUNDS LIKE?" Then I'll be sleeping on your couch, naked and stealing your Ibuprofen.

I recently saw one going around where you're supposed to answer several trivial questions about your relationship, and I realized that as much as this website reveals about me, it says a lot less about the man who has captured my heart. So I thought I'd bring this meme here to give you a small peek at the person I spend my entire day with. Every day. All day every day. DAY IN AND DAY OUT. AND SO ON AND SO FORTH....

What are your middle names?

My middle name is Renee. Huck’s middle name is Ralph. Can you guess which one of us is a great-great-grandchild of Nazi’s?

How long have you been together?

5 months.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?

We've known each other for a year...He was one of the first people to take me under their wing when I moved to Washington.

Who asked whom out?

Hmmm... I guess that would have been me, except I didn't ask him out, I asked him to sleep with me, because I don't waste time.

How old are each of you?

I'm 36, he's (OLD) 37. This age difference is an endless source of amusement for us.... we are exactly 11 months, 2 weeks and 4 days apart. I’d get down to the hours and seconds but that would be a little OCD of me, now wouldn’t it?

Whose siblings do you see the most?

He’s an only child and I tried not to expose him to my little-over-the-top-stricter-than-my-father-Texas-bred-small-town-detective-not-afraid-to-use-my-gun-flesh-eating brother back in September. He did hang out with my aunt who was going to pack him in her suitcase and take him to Mexico with her. My family is a circus event AT. ALL. TIMES.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

I think the thing that causes the most stress in our lives, and consequently the most stress in our relationship, is the same as it is for a lot of couples: work. It’s not actually the job itself, yet sometimes it IS. It’s more so the fact that we work side-by-side. LITERALLY. His desk is right next to mine...THEY. TOUCH. So when most couples get that break from each other during the day when one or both go off to work...we leave separately and go to work where we see each other all day, then we go home and see each other all night. I take more trips to the bathroom, just to get a moment ALONE and even then, he will text me or IM me out of shear torture. Our jobs don’t chain us to a desk all day long, we do actually go on appointments with the reps we work with. Many people wonder how we keep work and personal life separate and let me tell you how hard THAT IS but we do it. Just know dealing with that toll can upset the balance of the rest of our lives. I communicate much differently than he does. I tend to observe and grasp everything that I can. I internalize it and let it simmer until I vomit all of my thoughts and feelings and emotions at one time and it can be very overwhelming. Sometimes I just don’t express any thoughts and he's probably had to spend way too much time than is fair trying to pull things out of me. I'm working on that. I'm always working on that.

Did you go to the same school?

Uh, no. Remember that huge age difference? I went to 6 high schools between California, Utah, & Texas. Started at BYU then finished at North Texas. He grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, went to some snobby high school in Bellevue, WA and then off to college to play baseball.

Are you from the same home town?

No. I grew up in a small town called Colleyville, TX. And did I tell you that Huck is from snobby Bellevue, WA? He’s learning to love my Southern style cooking wherein I add butter to EVERYTHING.

Who is smarter?

Huck is far smarter than I am and can retain details like a computer hard drive. He remembers everything he listens to. I have to work a lot harder to process information, but I'm far more driven and persistent than he is. I have to work twice as hard to be half as quick.

Who is the most sensitive?

Ahem. Next question.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?

One of our adventures is to eat at all of the top burger restaurants as chosen in SEATTLE Metropolitan magazine. Huck introduced me to Sushi which I am still trying to choke down and I introduced him to bacon. ON EVERYTHING.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

Does Hell count? As of now, just Texas. Huck owes me a trip somewhere because I won a bet. Back in June or so we bet which one of our favorite baseball teams would end up with the better record TEXAS or the MARINERS. That was a no-brainer. There's also talk of a trip to Scotland.

Who has the craziest exes?

I wouldn't call my exes crazy as much as I would call the experiences themselves crazy. It's also that there are so many of them to keep up with. And I can't really talk about Huck’s exes as some of them are probably reading this right now. I will say this: none of his exes ever asked him to stick an object up their butt. He wins.

Who has the worst temper?

You may want to ask him how many objects he has had to dodge.

Who does the cooking?

Definitely Huck. I have a lot of dishes that I make, and I don't really vary from that menu. Huck loves trying new things and rarely ever goes wrong when introducing something new he found in a cookbook or on one of the many cooking shows he DVR’s. However, I often have to remind him to add more salt...and butter.

Who is the neat-freak?

Let's just put it this way: I have never mastered the GAP fold.

Who is more stubborn?

I am Southern-Capricorn stubborn, he is OMG-she-is-being-ridiculous-again stubborn, and, therefore, we have a lot of VERY HEATED PASSION.

Who hogs the bed?

Um....all 6’3" of him likes to lay right in the middle of the bed when he first crawls in so that leaves me this tiny sliver on his right....wedged between him and the 100 lb lab. At least once a night my feet will make their way to find his.

Who wakes up earlier?

Huck. He's always up at about 5 AM to go work out, or trying to disrupt my peaceful slumber. He has not figured out that disrupting my sleep is not healthy for him.

Where was your first date?

Las Vegas

Who is more jealous?

This information is protected by the therapist-client privilege.

How long did it take to get serious?

We don’t know what serious is. It’s been fun from the beginning. It was June when we decided to throw caution to the wind because of the whole work thing. We’ve recently come to the conclusion that we can’t live without each other...making those trips alone to the bathroom fewer and farther between.

Who eats more?

Hellooo, he's 6'3"!!!! He’s usually finishing off the meal on my plate. I can give him a good run for his money, but his portions are waaaay bigger.

Who does the laundry?

Someone cannot ever remember that he is not supposed to put my bras in the dryer, so someone is no longer allowed to do the laundry. Since he can fold like he has worked the sale table at GAP for 20 years, he can forever have that title.

Who's better with the computer?

I get the laugh as he shakes his head and says, “You’re ridiculous” when he looks over and sees that I have never backed up my hard drive or ran a software update.

Who drives when you are together?

Huck, but not because he's a better driver. OK, maybe he does only due to the fact that I’m quite the multitasker. I did learn to drive in Los Angeles and I’ve done enough driving for a lifetime, so I'd be happy if I never had to drive again. However, he's recently started to drive more slowly, I think it’s due to him getting older.

So this is a small, but significant look into who has captured my heart. Feel free to answer some or all of the same questions about your significant other in the comments, or leave a link to your website if you prefer answering there.


All In A Day's Work

I never will understand the way people think. What could possibly be going through their heads to make them not so smart? I was calling on several medical offices today to encourage them to transform their medical records over to an electronic format. Thanks to Obama, every medical office where patient paper records are kept has to change them to electronic format to protect the weak and innocent or something like that...Any Who, you can see how stressful it is as you look at the horror built into the faces of the records department and medical staff. You can see the lengths of football fields of medical files for every patient that has possibly graced through their door since 1492. I spoke with several today that were just finishing up this transformation with a sigh of relief and an exasperated, “It took us 9 months and we're almost done.” Seriously? Was someone hand typing each and every document one by one because your medical office could fit in my living room....OK, and the kitchen. So one lady tells me, “We don’t plan on doing that for the next 5-7.” “Like in 5-7 months?” “No, like in the next 5-7 years.” Mmmkay, “You know that by law (and I threw this out there loosely in case they had never seen a computer or ever heard of the Internet) you have to go electronic by the end of 2010?”

And that’s when it happened.

That’s when the gates opened up and I personally put down that there soapbox for this woman to climb onto and give me her every thought on the HIPPAA regulations in her loudest inside voice in which I generously wanted to throw out to her that I never once mentioned HIPPAA as I looked around the waiting room for some culprit I could point my finger at. I threw out an “Amen” so I wouldn’t be condemned to a life in Hell trapped in a cell with Jimmy Hoffa positioned next to a public toilet for interrupting or for not calling her “ma’am.” All I can say is that Fire and brimstone was falling all around me while she was going off on the urgency of HIPPAA compliance and the threat of getting fined for a violation....has anyone ever been charged?...are there HIPPAA police?...who's going to enforce THIS new law?...AND, OMG, BREATHE WOMAN, BREATHE. I MEAN, MA'AM!!

Onto the next office… where the receptionist said, “I don’t know if we’re already electronic or not.” Insert sarcasm here: Um, I’m going to go ahead and ask you to turn your head and look at all of the file folders you have catalogued to heaven back there and also on your desk. I am sure you have a room or better yet, a storage unit, filled with dead or non-current patients, am I correct? Well, just for future reference, you’re not paperless.” OK. That’s what I said in my head and, of course, I very politely, dripping with sweetness informed her that she most likely wasn’t paperless due to the stack of files I was pointing to. That's when she let out a hearty laugh. Wow. Please don’t be the one that's left alone with small children.

Every day is interesting at work and I could write daily on what me and my comrades encounter . It’s good stuff. You know who has better stories? Doctor's offices! I could tell you some juicy ones that I have overheard but then that would be a violation of HIPPAA and we just couldn’t have that now, could we?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nothing Else Matters

This may seem like child abuse to a certain fraction of you, but I don't audit what my kids listen to. I never really let them listen to children's music ever since I could sing every damn song the Wiggles came out with and perform all of the dance moves to go with it. I think it was the day that I was singing one of their songs while I was in a store...BY MYSELF. I guess I should say I haven't ever introduced more to them because I was afraid it would induce seizures and/or homicidal behavior in their mom. I get enough of the repetitive, seep-into-your-brain-and-rot-it-from-the-inside-out tunes in the television shows they watch. HANNA MONTANA I'M LOOKING DIRECTLY AT YOU.
If I say the words SAY WHAT?!? I think I will trigger an unwelcome twitch in a certain percentage of you who have had to watch hour after hour of that kid running around with her hillbilly daddy and the overacted drama AND OH, HEY, I NEED THERAPY.
So they're growing up listening to my music, and that means they hear a lot of Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Relient K, and lately a lot of Drake. I recently made a CD of my favorite songs to play in the car: See November Playlist, but my oldest is always going NO NO NO, LET'S PLAY MY CD, MINE! What are you 2? And people, do you have any idea how many times we have had to listen to his CD? I don't even have to break out my superpower here, you know the one, where I tear off my button-up shirt to reveal a golden H on my chest that stands for HYPERBOLE! And I run around labeling things THE ABSOLUTE WORST or THE BEST THAT EVER WAS and when I have to wait on the phone for customer support for ten whole minutes I'm all THEY MADE ME WAIT SO LONG I DIED FROM DEHYDRATION.
That kid loves Heavy Metal, specifically Metallica and we listen to it all the time, every day. We're listening to it right now. It is his favorite, no other band compares, and he cannot stop his fingers from tapping on everything to its rhythm. And his head thrusting back and forth as if he truly was on stage. I know in some circles it is patently uncool to like Heavy Metal, and well, those certain circles can suck it. In fact I would have to say GIVE ME AN EFFING BREAK, and please go shave your ironic mustache. I grew up listening to Neil Sedaka, ABBA, and the Bee Gees, so I would say he's already ahead of me. My only wish is that I can at some point move on to another mine. I know, I know, it's about as likely as him looking up from his McDonald's for dinner and saying, "This again?"

Happy Birthday, Jake. Way to hit the big 11. Now go listen to your new Pearl Jam CD.


Calmness In Our Lives

I am passing this on to you because it definitely works and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Oprah show, you too can find inner peace. Dr. Oz proclaimed, 'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.'
Sooooo, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Tequila, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now.

This gave me a good hearty laugh as my beautiful friend, Alissa G., passed it on to me early this morning. Thank you for putting a smile on my face this Monday.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

This Is It

I took my oldest to see this movie much to his chagrin. It's sad to know that he will never know the MJ that I grew up with. He will not understand MJ other than what he was accused and what the media has guided him to believe. He loved every moment of the movie. It's the first time I have ever sat through a movie where as it ended, nobody moved. It was as though for a small moment, we didn't want it to end, we didn't want to realize that the King of Pop is gone. His music lives on as my child tries to mimic the moves until I have to get up and teach him the dance to Thriller.

This is it. This is the Michael I love. Traces of a boy suspended in between the gravitational pull of a miscarried childhood and the machine that made him the most grandiose entertainer the world has ever witnessed. Enjoying a sliver of downtime in a cable knit v-neck sweater, he is a style icon for the ages. This is the Michael I remember when I’m pumping my fist to “They Don’t Care About Us”.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

November Playlist

Fidelity Regina Spektor Begin to Hope 2006
Get U Home Shwayze Let It Beat 2009
Starstrukk 3OH!3 Want 2009
Whatcha Say Jason Derulo Whatcha Say 2009
The End Pearl Jam Backspacer 2009
Fireflies Owl City Ocean Eyes 2009
Never Say Never The Fray The Fray 2009
Meet Me Halfway Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) 2009
Party In the U.S.A. Miley Cyrus Party In the U.S.A. 2009
Hide and Seek Imogen Heap Speak for Yourself 2005
Best I Ever Had Drake So Far Gone 2009
Society Eddie Vedder Into The Wild 2007
Chasing Cars Snow Patrol Eyes Open 2006
Forever Drake Feat. Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem More Than A Game 2009
Russian Roulette Rihanna Rated-R 2009
Nightswimming R.E.M. Automatic For The People 1992

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One Foot In Front of the Other

I was written a letter by someone who read my blog and it deeply touched me. It touched me in such a way that I actually carry it with me. I choke back tears every single time I read it. I want to share it with you, perhaps in some sort of way, it can encourage you.

Honest. Tough to deal with on many levels...not because of the infidelity (I understand your need to be close to someone). Difficult from the perspective that you found every reason to be happy and yet you were completely miserable. That can lead to harsh questions about yourself and the path that your life is taking and that, alone can raise doubts that are hard to dismiss. I can tell that the affair was hard on your estimate of yourself. Guilt is what you feel when you think someone should be looking. It's the little governor within that keeps us between the lines and often in our own private hell. But for all its moral outrage and self recriminations Guilt is not Truth, it is a judgement we make about our behavior in the absence of others. A kind of place holder judgement for when our courage will allow us to discover the truth. It has nothing to do with the reality of the situation and the truth about how you really feel.

I have no doubt that you loved your ex-husband with every fiber of your being. I have no doubt that somewhere along the line the love you shared was not enough to sustain you...for whatever the reason...and your choices cascaded from that sense of lack between you...THE LACK WAS NOT IN YOU...but between you. The hard part to accept is that maybe that lack would have turned to sufficiency with time, or with a word or with an act of faith and courage. That is not knowable. That grief will lay fresh within until time dulls the sharp wound to an ache. That ache will be the reminder that you have loved and lost. Nothing more, nothing less. Grieve for the love you lost and shed all the tears you can muster but Forgive yourself...You did nothing wrong. It failed to work out long before the affair. And that's okay.

"You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done. It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you've lost them forever."

Wayne Dyer

Author and Speaker