Monday, February 28, 2011

No boys allowed

I got into a twitter conversation last week with a few of my favorites (Ava, Stella, derryX and Trina) about why women need men. Long story short - I promised to blog about how I'd eliminated my need for men.

Way back when, I was a young twenty-something [in my thirty-something opinion, way too young to get married, but that's a different post] who couldn't imagine my life without my soon-to-be-husband. He did everything....he cooked, he did big projects around the house, he helped when I had a problem with my car, he shoveled, mowed the lawn...the list goes on.

So, when he left - I freaked. I kept thinking, "Now what will I do? Who will take care of this? Who will do that? Who will help me get this or that done?" [Yes, I cared about the marriage, too, but that's also a different post. Try to stay on track, will you?] I've learned a lot in the last few years.

Shoveling and mowing the lawn? Not really that hard. Sure, it takes me longer - but it's doable, and it's a great workout.

Car repairs? Pay a mechanic. Breakdowns? Join an auto club. Home repairs? You can pay people to do that as well - though tackling smaller projects by yourself can be fun, too.

Cooking? No problem. The way I see it, in this economy, eating out is the responsible thing to do. Do you want to be responsible for all those waiters and chefs and bartenders being unemployed? I didn't think so.

What else are guys good for? Stuff off the top shelf. Yeah, that's an issue for me (I'm short). Two words: step stool. Plus, guys don't clean the cupboards or pay attention to how they put stuff away. Doing it yourself is not only just as easy - it's better for your housekeeping.

Guys will give you compliments. I've observed this happens mostly when they're wrong, they've screwed something up or they want something. Know who else does that? Kids. So if you have kids, you're set. If you don't, borrow a niece or a nephew to get your fix. None available? Get a cat. Same thing.

Guys often tell you you're right - though they do that at the same moments they give compliments. I'll admit, kids and pets aren't very good for this sort of validation. I suggest getting a twitter account. I guarantee you'll find someone on the interwebz that agrees with you.

So what's that leave.....?

Riiiight. Listen - one of the main reasons I don't have kids is to avoid conversations like this. But, if you really can't figure out how to handle sex on your own...drop me an email. I can refer you to a couple of websites, and I also know a lady who does home parties.

Want my suggestion? Make a list of all the reasons you think you need a man; then, one by one, teach yourself how to handle the task or situation on your own. Even if you're already in a relationship - it's empowering and liberating - and it will force him to step up his game, which is always a good thing.

If you want a man, that's terrific. If you can find one worth wanting, even better. But please trust me - you don't need a man. For anything.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Follow Friday Fun - Amanda Talar

There are blogs I admire; blogs that make me laugh; blogs that make me think; and blogs where I love the community. There are blogs of which I cannot get my fill.

Amanda Talar's blog is all of those.

She talks about relationships, fashion, music, TV, movies, trends....and more. The title of her blog is her "views on the humorous, fascinating and semi-trivial things in life" - and it is just that. It's been written that her posts are full of style and class, wrapped up in cool, and told with smarts and humor. I (truly) could not agree more.

She has a great community, and engages them with great posts like this. She can write a serious post in the morning, and then come back with something absolutely hysterical in the afternoon. You just never know. 

I've had the pleasure of meeting Amanda on several occasions - she's as funny in person as she is in on her blog. She dresses fabulous, and yes, she really did wear heels to a bowling alley. I recommend you follow her on twitter, friend her on facebook and read her other blog here

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I think, therefore I...

One of the reasons I like road trips is because I do my best thinking in the car. Which is great - it helps me sort through problems, make decisions - and come up with blog ideas. The problem, especially with the ideas, is that it's not really practical (or safe) to act on the writing, or even make reminder notes. 

Recently, though, I took a long trip (more on that later) where I was a passenger. What's more, with two shorties in the car, we had to be quiet while driving during sleep and nap times. 

I found myself lost in my own thoughts for a few hours. I also found myself without pen and paper, but that was no problem - I grabbed my phone and emailed the ideas to myself.

Good idea, no? Of course, now I have a list of one or two word reminders, broken down by blog. While I sort through that, and my work emails, and my laundry, and my mail....and recover from my vacation-coma... 

Tell me, where do you do your best thinking?

My newest in-car hobby.
Taken with my head out the sunroof.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Party of one

I'm an only child. I think I've mentioned before, my parents divorced when I was very young, and my dad raised me. So I'm also a daddy's girl, who learned early on how to play the guilt-card and one parent off another.

I'm like the perfect storm of spoiled.

So, I went through life not really wanting for much as a kid. "Wardrobe" is really the only fair way to describe what I got for back to school clothes. I got Christmas and Birthday presents like none of my friends had ever seen. Other kids got candy for Easter - one year, I got a television for my room. Everyone - everyone - assumed when I turned sixteen, my dad would buy me a car. When I said, "Dad, I need a car," he said, "No, Susan, what you need is character."


I was old enough for a job, and I was expected to work. Dad didn't care what job I got - but whatever it was, I'd better take it seriously and do my best.

I got a food service job at a local mall. I worked as much as the law would allow and saved every single dime I earned for a year. I bought a car - and no, my Dad did not match what I had saved. I learned what it meant to earn something, and the value of working hard to have what you want.

I certainly learned that lesson. I also learned about responsibility, work ethic and what it means to have to take care of yourself.

Dad did good, huh? Confession: he still spoils me. The cost of a gift isn't the issue; if it's a gift, it's something I don't need, but might want, or something nicer than I'd normally buy myself.

I've been asked several times over the years if I feel "guilty" or "silly" for being a thirty-something who still gets the best gifts from her dad. My answer? Ask me again in twenty years, when I'm taking care of my dad - by myself.

Because I will still be an only child. And I was raised to do things right. I was taught by the best - and he did his job well.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Good deeds

As I mentioned, I've been watching Friends a lot. The other night, was an episode called The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS. She's mad because she wrote a letter to Sesame Street that went unanswered, which is...well...rude. I mean, you expect better from Muppets.

Anyway, the show evolves into a debate between Phoebe and Joey about whether or not there is any such thing as a truly self-less act. When you do something good, even if someone else benefits - you feel good. So, it's not completely self-less.

If you think about it - that sort of makes sense. It feels good to help a friend. Whether you can be there for them when they need advice, or support, or to loan them money or do them a feels great to know that you're able to be there for a friend.

But is that selfish? I mean - you don't do the favor or good deed so that you feel good - it's just a side effect. So what makes something selfish? The end result - or just what motivates you in the first place? I sort of think it's the motivation...but what do you think?

Plus - I don't really want Joey Tribbiani to be right, either....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Follow Friday Fun: Simply Stella Sage

I found Stella when I started reading Super Blogettes (which, if you're not reading, you really should be). Then she started her new blog, Simply Stella Sage. It's more serious, where Stella is sharing her story of how she ended up marrying a guy while she had feelings for someone else - and how her marriage ended.

Way back when, Stella commented on one of my posts about my own marriage, and how it ended (in part) due to an emotional affair. She even shared that post with her twitter followers, and encouraged them to read what I had to say. If you read her comment, you can tell she understood what I was feeling, and that she really was sad, seeing the story from the other side.

Her blog is real. She's telling a real story, from a point of view that is often not shared. It takes a lot of guts to share the way she does; she puts herself out there for the world to judge - flaws and all. She's a talented writer, and if you read her posts from the beginning (which I encourage) you can see how she gets better with each one.

If you've ever had your heart broken, or broken a heart - you should definitely check out Simply Stella Sage. Also, follow her on twitter and like her on facebook - her fun side is just as phenomenal as her serious side!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter blah blah blahs

Have you ever had the winter blahs? I have them now. I'm tired all the time, I have (even) less patience than I usually do, and I am having trouble looking forward to things.

Part of it is because of the weather - I'm really not a huge fan of winter, but this one has been especially hard. A lot of snow, really cold temperatures - I'm just ready for spring. That coupled with some very stressful weeks at work has left me feeling - ho-hum. 

I mentioned that to my friend, and said I was trying to find ways to combat the depression - exercise, diet, and making plans with friends being at the top of my list. Her response to me was to ask if I'd considered counseling. 

Here's the thing - I have depression. Not a get-the-white-coat level of depression, but it's there. I deal. I used to go to counseling, but stopped when I really no longer saw a benefit. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think the fact that I can actually identify when I'm depressed, and think of ways to rationally handle the feeling, suggests I learned a lot from my counseling days. No? 

Anyway, I reminded her I'd been to counseling before, and that there isn't much a counselor can do about the weather or my job stress. She responded by saying that a counselor can give me "coping mechanisms." 

Such as - exercise, diet and making plans, I asked. She said that was a great idea, that I should do those things. 

It's weird; I almost don't even need to be there for people to have a conversation with me. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crazy train

"Here's all you need to know about men and women: Women are crazy and men are stupid. The main reason women are crazy? Because men are stupid." George Carlin

I tweeted a few weeks back that I didn't know whether to be appalled or astounded by the lengths to which some women will go for a guy. It prompted a fun conversation between myself, Cute Ella and kicknknit, about various lengths to which our friends have gone. (Someone even had a friend who actually redecorated her apartment for a visit from an LDR - only to return the items after he left.)

I know of women facebook stalking their boyfriends; liking all their posts to keep track of who comments - even friending complete strangers to keep track of conversations that their SO has with his friends. I've heard of women creating fake facebook accounts, or profiles on a dating website to meet and chat with their boyfriends - either to "catch" them doing something wrong, or to learn more about them. I know of women who search through their boyfriends' wallets, cell-phones - even email accounts.

I've not actually gone to any of these lengths. Partly because I, apparently, have an edit chip in me that still works and keeps me from crossing that fine line that separates the funny-story-crazy from the call-the-cops-crazy. Nowadays, I just don't happen to think most men are worth the effort it would take to go through all that. Plus - I've got stuff to do. There was a time, though....

I've done the "let's just drive by her house...." thing, and I've also done the, "Oh, no, we're having this fight NOW" thing. I don't recommend either. I'm not at all sure what I hoped to accomplish; reassurance, or validation, maybe? If you find yourself tempted to do a drive-by, for example, try to remember that it's simply not worth your effort - you won't confirm anything anyway.

Suppose you find he's where he's "supposed to be" - what then? That doesn't confirm that everything is okay. It doesn't confirm how he feels, or that he's never done any of the things you're thinking. On the other hand - if he's not where he's supposed to be, you still don't know anything for sure. Just because he's not home, for example, doesn't mean he's out doing something he shouldn't be.

So you friend all his friends, and follow all his follows - and now? You can't monitor someone's communication constantly. There's private messages you might miss...text messages they could have deleted....and then of course, the infamous in-person conversations (which, let's face it, is what you're ultimately worried about, anyway).

The truth is - it won't matter. If someone's going to go behind your back - knowing about it won't change anything. You won't feel better; and he won't feel worse. He also won't change. You won't be prepared, and nothing will be easier to handle. The quicker you accept that this - whatever it is - isn't working, or isn't right, the better off you'll be.

The truth is, your crazy won't hurt anyone but you.
What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

Monday, February 14, 2011

The big day!!

It's here!! The big day - the day we've all been waiting for. All the planning and excitement comes down to this. We can stop the silly countdown, and get down to celebrating. The glamour, the romance - the thrill of it all!!

New York Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training today! Finally - the baseball season can get under way. We're closer to ballpark hot dogs...warm, summer game-nights....and Derek Jeter taking the field as a our captain - still.

****huge sigh of relief****

Wait - what day did you think I was talking about?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Follow Friday Fun: Photo 365 Project

A little known Sue-fact: I love photography. A lesser-known Sue-fact: I actually took a photography class in college. That was back in the days of the dinosaurs when pictures actually came out on film, which had to be developed with chemicals. I'm still recovering from the emotional scarring.

I wasn't very good at the whole photography thing. Much to the chagrin of my artsy-fartsy teacher, I really liked taking pictures of my kittens. Nowadays, my photos are usually of something silly I find in my travels, my family and friends, my garden...and my cats (who no longer kittens). While I may not have any real skill or talent - I know what I like, and am impressed by anyone who displays real talent with a camera.

Like Erin Covey, whose blog Photo 365 Project is absolutely amazing. We met on twitter and I found her blog after she did a wonderful post about a lady who I think rocks in her own right. [Yes, guys, I know her; yes, she really is that gorgeous. No, I will not introduce you (unless your name is Mark Texeira)]

This blog is so cool - she posts a photograph for every day, and tells a bit about the scene. The truth is, her photos are brilliant, and speak for themselves. She does some of the coolest things with technique and effects that I've seen, and has a brilliant eye for capturing just the right moment. I adore looking at all her posts.

I'm sure my college photography teacher would be interested to know that she photographs animals and children and couples. Ha! My favorite photos are those she calls love. You know those moments in life when you can't really come up with words to describe how you feel? She's got you covered.

Simply amazing. Follow her blog, follow her on twitter; heck, follow her around New England if you want (okay, maybe don't do that). But check it out - you won't be sorry.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Flying solo

Is there anything that you like to do, but will simply not do on your own? For me, that list used to be huge. Eating out, movies, bars, parties, traveling - I never wanted to be alone.

Then, suddenly - I had no choice. It was either do stuff on my own, or don't do anything at all. I'll be honest - it sucked at first. Walking into any situation alone made me feel like I had failed. I felt like the fact that I didn't have a date, or at least a partner in crime, meant there was something wrong with me. 

It's gotten easier, especially in the last few months; and it's really taken off in the last few weeks. I go places with friends - but I spend a lot more time on my own. Me, myself and I have gone to movies and museums and dinner and shopping and road-trips...and we've had a blast. Myself and I are great people for me to hang out with.

I figured that I was the last person to realize that anything you can do with friends, you can also do on your own. Apparently, I'm not, though. I have friends who think I'm absolutely insane when I suggest they do the same. 
Here's my advice: Don't wait until you have to go it solo; do it because you want to. Start with a movie; they're easy, because since you don't talk in a movie anyway, the actual experience is the same when you're alone as it is when you're with a group of friends. While you're there, maybe walk the mall for a bit - on your own - and get a taste of what it's like to hang out with you. Are you cool? I bet you are.

Next up - dining alone. If you're afraid to do the whole "sit at a table" solo - go to the bar. It's full of people just looking for someone else to chat with. When you finally get up the courage to get your own table - you'll find it's not much different. You can eat and relax. No, there's no one to chat with (other than your cute waiter/waitress) - but then again, it's rude to talk with your mouth full, anyway.

A road-trip alone? Sure why not. Crank the radio/CDs/iPod and just go. Pick a destination you love - and bring your camera. The best thing? It's all about your schedule; all about what you want to do. Bummed that you don't have anyone to share the pictures or memories with? 

That's what facebook is for, my friend. Now go. Do it. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No Words Wednesday: CSN Contest

I commented on this post at Albany Eats!, completely unaware of what was going on. So I really was surprised when Albany Jane sent me an email saying (appropriately), "Surprise - you won!" I am not a foody, a cook - or even a responsible homeowner. I bought purses and shoes. Shocking.

Aerosoles Blue Gene 595 Faux Patent
Murval Yves Glitter Small Satchel

Goodhope Iris mini-tote

I am in love with all three. The tote is the perfect size for a handbag; it's cute and it goes with everything. It was also inexpensive, and cleans easily, so I don't care if it brushes up against the car and gets covered in salt. The satchel is just adorable, and fun to carry, especially for going out (cause it sparkles, and all). The boots are cute - and could not be more comfortable. I'd recommend all three - and I'd recommend buying from Ordering was easy, shipping was cheap (free for me!) and my order arrived quickly. I didn't have to use it, but the return policy seems pretty painless, too. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There for you

I've been watching Friends marathons for about a week - because it's my most favorite show ever. I have all the seasons on DVD (thanks Dad) so I can watch them whenever. I'm finding that they are filled with blog posts. (You've been warned.)

I tweeted a couple of the lyrics from the theme song - "...your job's a joke, you're broke - your love life's DOA..." It describes a time in your life when things are up in the air; a period of change, when you're trying to figure things out, and nothing is settled.

That's how my life is right now (kind of). At first I thought - that's cool. I have great friends, and I (sort of) know what I want to be when I grow life is off and running in the right direction; I just need a little momentum.

Then I realized - this show is about a bunch of twenty-somethings. That's the time of life the song is meant to describe - your twenties. I'm a thirty-something - and I'm still there. So, I figure, my life is roughly ten years behind schedule.


At least now I have a cool theme song...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stupid should be taxable

I wrote this post a few weeks ago, talking about kids and parenting. It's worth noting that the whole freakin' reason I wrote the post in the first place was because I really do have a friend who was looking for a place to have a baby shower. But just saying that is boring to me. I wanted to tell a bit of a story.

As it happened, the very same night that my friend asked me for venue ideas, I was at the mall with a friend, we did hear a little kid crying, and we did look at each other in that "make it stop" moment. I told that I think a parenting license is a good idea. She laughed; I assumed others would too.

Soooo - I blogged it. All I really wanted to do was to share a fun little story related to babies and showers and what-not and then get some input for my friend. Could I just do that? Of course not. A commenter latched onto my comment about "vetting" parents and a follow up comment about parenting classes - and all but suggested I'm a nazi.

I'm no nazi (I was never even a girl scout for crying out loud) but I have been looking into this whole ruthless leader thing. I started a list of laws that I would enforce if I were a ruthless leader - and penalties for violating the rules. The list really grew too long to share in a post - but I noticed a theme.

I'm all for improving the basic infrastructure of our society. I think wifi should be free - everywhere and always. I think every business that can be paperless should be. I think roads should be well-maintained, I think the disabled and elderly should be cared for and respected. I think taxes should be lower, and government should be smaller.

The problem? Solutions cost money. If taxes were reduced, where do the funds come from. My idea? I think we should tax stupidity. Ask a stupid question - like, how do I call someone's cell phone if they're in Europe? - you pay a tax. Take up two spaces in the parking lot - pay a tax. Call someone after you've sent them an email? Pay a huge tax.

You get the idea. Like one, giant stupid-jar. Every time we say (or do) something that could be avoided through plain-old common sense - we pay a fine. That money (which I think would pile up fast and furious) could be used to fund all the projects.

I don't pretend to be an expert; I've never run a business (or a government). Maybe there are some details that would need to be worked out. It just seems to me that the world could use a little less stupidity, and this might be one way to curtail the problem.

But then again - what do I know?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Follow Friday Fun - Dri 1 Humanity 0

Do you know any super-cool women who are outrageously funny, smart, pretty, and nerdy, all rolled up into one fabulous package? No? Well let me introduce you to Dri:1 Humanity:0.

Are you looking for posts about the latest rage in techy goodness? She's got 'em. Or maybe you like to read movie reviews from an actual fan, and not just a reviewer? She's got those, too. Or maybe you like to read about girly things, or social media or how a couple of twenty-somethings live without a car? Yup, yup and more yup.

My point? She's got something for everyone. Her blog is just about life - and she lives with it with a style all her own. She's classy, she's smart, she's funny - and she's freakin' cool. I recommend you follow her on twitter and like her on facebook, too.

You're missing out if you don't.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday thirteen: Things you might not know about me

I'm stealing. Okay, borrowing. But I'll totally give credit. I liked this post by Cute~Ella so much - I'm doing my own here.

1 Nuns hate me.
2 I hate cooked carrots.
c My first pet was a cat named Jennifer.
4 When I was 12-14, every clothing item I owned (except jeans) was pink.
e My favorite group as a little girl was Menudo
6 I'm afraid of the dark
7 My favorite sound is my cats purring
That purse does not go with that outfit.
h I had knee surgery when I was 15, and have no cartilage in my left knee at all.
9 I've never been outside of the US - not even Canada.
j My paternal grandmother was like a mom to me. I felt guilty when she died, and I miss her every day.
k I'm not good at sewing.
12 No one, including my doctor, knows how much I weigh. I aim to keep it that way, too.
m The only episode of Saturday Night Live I've ever seen the whole way through is the one hosted by Derek Jeter

And you?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No Words Wednesday: Border Project

Out with the old....

Lighthouse themed border paper in my
bathroom...time for a change.
Something more neutral was in order...

Nothing can be easy - new paper smaller
than old paper, which did not want to come off....

I eventually won! A little more neutral so I can redecorate -
but still goes with the blue. Mission accomplished. with the new!

So that was a little more than "no words." I guess technically this is a "few words" Wednesday. Ah well, no one is perfect. If only I could've gotten a photo of myself dangling off the step stool, over the vanity to reach that one corner....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Grey Goose is my favorite

I'm not really a fan of those silly facebook status games. You know, the ones that involve posting mysterious status lines about the color of your bra or where you keep your purse? I like the premise (to raise awareness for a charity) but I think it's a mis-guided use of facebook.

Still the most recent game did give me a reason to smile. It was a game for only women. We were to post a one word status, representing our current relationship situation.

Tequila: I'm a single woman
Rum: I'm a touch and go woman
Champagne: I'm an engaged woman
Redbull: I'm a woman in a relationship
Beer: I'm a married woman
Vodka: I'm the "other one"
Sprite: I'm a woman that can't find the right man
Whiskey: I'm a single woman but with friends that won't stop partying
Liquor: I'm a woman that wishes she was single
Gin: I'm a woman that wants to get married

The idea, of course, was to make the guys guess what we're talking about. At this point, I think most...well, everyone on earth...has figured out that the status never means what it seems. The guys all know it's a joke, and the ladies all wait to see the rules before they post.

All, that is, except my friend Chrissy.

About an hour after I got the message telling me what the lines meant (which, by the way, came from her sister), Chrissy updated her status to read: Grey Goose.

Now, I don't drink. So, I wasn't 100% sure...but I thought Grey Goose was a brand name for vodka. So I emailed Chrissy at work. This was what that email exchange looked like:

Me: What is Grey Goose? It wasn't on the list I got from (your sister)?

Chrissy: Huh?

Me: Your fb status? It says Grey Goose?

Chrissy: I didn't see a list. I just named my favorite drink. Grey Goose is vodka.

Me: You just randomly posted the words Grey Goose as your status? (then I sent her the list)

Chrissy: Oh, look! I didn't even see the list...but I picked the right one!

Me: Vodka means you're the "other woman." It means you're dating someone who is married or in a relationship.

Chrissy: I don't care what people think. Grey Goose is my favorite. (this was via email, but I guarantee she shrugged her shoulders and shook her head as she typed this)

Me: If only you could see the look on my face right now.

That's sort of how things work in Chrissy's world. She makes the rules up as she goes along; she changes rules that don't fit with what she's doing. Even she'll tell you it's a fool-proof plan. She always wins - either because she's actually right - or her opponent just gives up the fight.

Which is exactly what happened; I gave up the fight. No word yet on what Chrissy's mom thought when she saw the status her daughter posted.