Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review - Dear 2011 and a Plea to 2012

Dear 2011...
It doesn't seem like it has been a year since you entered my life.  I remember when I first found you...I had a childlike naivety that the you and I would have a good relationship yet at the same time, since the horrible break up with 2010, I certainly went into it with some trepidation.  I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised...

Looking back on my letter to 2010,  I put in a note for you remember? I asked you to give us more love in our lives...more laughter...more fun. I was looking for hope in the new year as most people do.  What I found was a year like I haven't had in awhile.  I can honestly say, for the first time in several years...2011...I will miss you.

I know you must leave. I know I get 365 days with each new year and it is important to me that I use those days in a positive way.  Does it always happen that way?  No. Does it need to? Nope.  Even on the days that may not have been spent in the most productive or positive ways, lessons were learned. That's what it all comes down to, my friend...even in those bad years...where I struggled to find the money to put food on the table (or lack there of, since I didn't really have a table), the months I needed help with my rent, the two years I lived in New York City on unemployment (damn miracle and I still don't know how I did it) hard as it was...the tears I cried...the frustration that enveloped me was all a lesson learned and I wouldn't give it back for anything. Each tear, each scream of aggravation, each worry that wrinkled my all made me who I am today, December 31, 2011.

You weren't there, 2011, so I know you might not understand.  Your pal 2010 was...2009 was as well.  I wished them good riddance, but you are different.  You were a spark of hope...of happiness...of dreams beginning to take shape.  You  were different than other years I have lived, but different in a good way. Though there were surely times we wish that hadn't happened, they have to happen in order to form us into the people we really are.

2011...good and bad, I am thankful for all the times...the ones that made me laugh, cry, scream and take a deep breath in order to recenter myself. In 2011 I learned that my lifetime dream could actually come true. I learned that I am more than a number.

I learned that working at home isn't always the wonderful thing you think it will be. I learned that people don't really think you have a "real job" if you work at home, but in reality, you work harder than you ever have in your life.

I learned that sometimes the maid of honor can overshadow that bride...and that sometimes the maid of honor is all that you really wanted to be. I learned that weddings are not always the happy occasions they should be for everyone. I also learned that a hat at a wedding can be the star...even if it looks like an octopus on crack.

I learned that justice is not always served and the American justice system is bullshit. I learned that murderers can walk free and innocent men can be put to death.

I learned that the Kardashian's are like a plague to me and that a heterosexual "marriage" of 72 days is preferred in this country (by law) over the chance that same sex couples who have been together for 25 plus years may be able to tie the knot.

I learned that the phrase "in vino veritas" is...well....for real.

I learned that Rebecca Black's "Friday" can make my ears bleed and Adele can make me lose by breath.  I learned we can all "move like Jagger" if we try and that Lady Gaga is still pretty damn cool. Brittney still has it, the Decemberists still kill it and Rachael Owens is certainly on my radar.

2011, you gave me a huge surprise that I certainly wasn't expecting. Tomorrow, January 1, 2012 will by my 11 month anniversary of quitting smoking. I have not had a cigarette since February 1st, 2011...and there is still a part of me that can't believe it happened. It wasn't wasn't came to me in a dream and the dream materialized in front of my eyes.  I will say, however, that the 20 pounds I put on after quitting smoking was also unexpected and not appreciated. That is one beef that I have with you.  I mean, I can still fit into my clothes, but I am not happy.  Luckily you also brought me a gym membership that I plan to continue with as soon as I get back home from my little extended Christmas break.

Oh, 2011...the political climate this year was horrible.  I can't even believe that the American people have not had an uprising over the idiocy and stupidity that is going on in our government at this time. I am a liberal...I am a proud Democrat...but seriously...every single member of Congress, DEMS and Republicans...they need to be fired.  Normal people could NEVER EVER get away with what they get away with in their jobs. I recently read that Michelle Bachmann has an 8% attendance rating as a rep for the poor people of Minnesota...8%?????  Are you KIDDING ME????  How is this APPROPRIATE???  (For the Right, I am NOT focusing on Michelle Bachmann because she is a Republican, I am using her because I saw the stats...Dems do it too and it HAS to stop.)  Ugh...I can't even talk about it anymore, 2011. taught me that friends can become family and family can become friends.  You also taught me that friends can save your life...literally. I learned that at 32 years old, you can still get roofied at the bar...and you can lose your memory for two days, lose your ability to drink white wine and though you can still like hummus, you don't love it with the same fervor you used to.

I learned that when the family you respect pressures you to do something you don't agree with, you will do it anyway.  I also learned that even if you do the "right" thing, you get no glory, no promises and no changes. It is also possible to feel like a stranger in your own family. Sometimes things just are not fair, but you deal with it.

I learned that even if you see things in black and white, others don't.

I learned that you can go on a hell of a lot of dates and still be single at the end of the year. I learned that it can be embarrassing to be single with zero prospects. I learned when you give up on love and focus on you, great things can happen. However, it still really sucks when you are the oldest one in your family and all of your cousins are married and having babies. (This is not to say I am not EXTREMELY happy about the good fortune these cousins have found...I love their spouses (and baby and pets....except Princess Jasmine))

I learned that even if a guy is hot, if he is a Pentecostal Republican, he is not the guy for me.

I learned that you can hear your biological clock ticking away if you listen closely enough.

I learned that when your dog wears a sweater, people will make fun of you. Speaking of dogs...2011...seriously?  The dog that lived downstairs?  What was THAT all about?

I learned that dancing to Britney Spears can mess your feet up for months and listening to Alica Keys still gives me chills.  Music matters, no matter what year it is.

I learned that Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewery can knock you on your ass very quickly, that a pretzel can break your tooth in a second and sometimes you can find kindred spirits in the strangest places. You can find solace in a photo, your heart can fly away in a moment and you can be self conscious, even among those you consider the closest of friends.

I learned that when I look at the clock, more often than not, it is always 22 past the hour...(what in the HECK is that about???)

Hey, 2011...dreams can come true, or at least be very possible and you can find the strength in yourself if you look heard enough. That was the biggest lesson I learned this year.

For the first time, I am having bittersweet feelings about the New Year.  You were good to me, 2011. You give me hope that 2012 will be even better and I love that thought. I will miss you, 2011, believe me...this was a good year and I am thankful for all that you taught me. It is with a heavy heart I say good bye, but looking forward to all year 2012 has to offer.



Dear 2012...

We haven't met, but I know you are on your way. I just wanted to send you a short note and let you know that I was very close with your colleague 2011 and I will miss them.  I have a sense that since I see the number 22 all the time, that you will be a good year for me and that this will not be the end of the world like the stupid people who believe the fake Mayan calendar think it will be. I look forward to getting to know you better and I would love if you could do a few things for me. I would love to find my true love. I want to be motivated to write creatively and get a novel going. I have several ideas, and need some focus on one of them. I wish for good health, an easy tooth extraction ( I am TERRIFIED of this), support from my family no matter what path I choose and the continuing good fortune that 2011 brought to me. Bring me good friends, good times, good music, good love and good health, and you too, can get a glowing good bye letter like your friend 2011 received from me. I also want you to bless my new blogging venture, which will be a real and raw site where anyone can share their creative musings.  In closing, 2012, lets have a hug, shake a hand and start off on the next 365 days as partners in crime.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day in Review - Updates and What the Future Holds

Ella Grace is here.  Congratulations to my cousin Jason and his wife Katie. I wanted Ella to be the first thing I wrote about tonight since it is her birthday. She is a beautiful baby and I can't wait to meet her in person.

The last time I wrote I was dealing with a barking dog and talking music.  I am currently listening to the Adele version of "Lovesong" and thinking about how I could die and be happy if I was listening to this on my deathbed. I hate to wish death on anyone or anything actually.  However, when you have listened to a dog bark for hours on end in the same three syllables, I will admit, I wanted to KILL the owner for putting the dog through that.  As much as I want to get rid of the dog and as wonderful as it would be to get a bit of silence as I work, I know, deep down, it is not the dog's fault. The fault lies with the bastard who owns that dog.

I love dogs, I do...for real...I mean, I let a dog sleep in my bed with me every night...that should be proof enough that I love dogs. I feel bad for this dog...but it is making me go insane...slowly...painfully....utterly....insane. I lose all concentration (bark, bark, bark) and I can't concentrate on my (bark, bark, bark) work. I feel bad because I write for (bark, bark, bark) a living and sometimes really need to focus on what (bark, bark, bark) I am doing. I would hate to (bark, bark, bark) turn in a bad article or assignment because (bark, bark, bark) of this damn dog (bark, bark, bark).

Luckily the dog is moving...this weekend, in fact.  . Finally I will be free, but I am unsure that I will regain my sanity. You see, each time this dog barked I lost a bit of my sanity...I almost feel like Britney Spears when she went through her head shaving phase. I don't think I will do something really crazy and shave my head or become a conservative, but I cannot be certain that I won't do something else a little crazy...

I have been so busy with work lately but I have been able to work on my Festivus post as well as get a few snippets done for a possible novel.  I seriously have about 15 novels going right now. (Slight exaggeration...more like three)  My New Year's resolution is going to be to focus on ONE of them and stick to it. Is it bad luck to announce your resolution before the actual New Year? (Let me know if it is and I will erase this section) See...I have the funny one that is a reflection of my dating life...then I have to total fictional one that is based on real people that I know (Yes, if you are reading this, one of the characters could be you) then I have the one with the historical perspective that I love so much but only nerds will read it. (On a side note, I don't actually think I am nerdy enough to write it). My dream is to write Jodi Piccoult. I hope 2012 leads me deeper into that world. ( letter to 2011 will be coming in about 2 weeks! It will be pretty awesome!)

OK...I cannot stop listening to Adele....don't judge me, I have a slight obsession at the moment.  I go through stages with music where I listen to artists over and over again. The good thing about me and music is that once I like it, I like it forever. Adele, Rachael Owens, The Decemberists, Florence Welch...all that I mentioned in the last blog post...I will likely be a fan forever...even when it is not "cool" to do so. I can still sing every word to "Please Don't Go Girl", "Spice Up Your Life" and "That's Why They Call It The Blues" and "Hot Cross Buns". I feel like these people are my friends. (This may be the dog bark insanity speaking) I am actually concerned at this very moment because Rachael Owens hasn't posted to Twitter recently. I notice these things...

Read excerpt from a story I could go places...or it could suck.  It is an interview of one character about another...

"The rope was cutting tight on her wrists. I could see her breathing deep, the girl with the blue eyes.  She was focusing on something unknown like she was bearing a child. Her hair was like no color I could imagine, but her eyes...they were very blue. I didn’t know why she was here in the prison, but from the looks of her, she was almost ready to collapse.  She was standing, but obviously weary.  She had blood on her face.  Her hair looked like string. She was European or American based on her features. It was like she was determined to show no pain. Her teeth were clenched and her eyes were shut like a vice. At intervals she would open them and look ahead.  She only kept them open long enough for tears to begin forming. At that point she would close them.  When I saw that, I knew she was strong.  I wondered why she was in prison since she had a very innocent look to her face.  She looked like a cherub in the books I had seen in my father’s library of western religion. I saw one tear fall from her eyes and I knew it was a tear for her beloved.  It was so touching that I wanted to hold her, but I knew I couldn’t.  I knew I had to take the rope and lead her to prison.”

Still to airing of grievances, my letter to 2011 and the answer to the questions..."What is this new blog she keeps talking about?"

Day in Review - Festivus...It's Time to Air the Grievances

Happy Festivus to You and Yours...Have you aired your grievances?  I am about to air mine.  Festivus is that magical time of year where you can tell everyone else how much they have disappointed you over the past year.  It's like a free pass to let the bitchiness out that has been plaguing your inner soul for the past twelve months. It is a time to be honest with those you hate  love tolerate.  So, without further ado...I will air my grievances...

To the dog that lives downstairs...or used to live downstairs - I don't know your name.  I don't know if you are a male or female. If I saw you in a line-up I am not sure I could pick you out (unless you barked). I have seen you and your owner from afar but I have never met you in person. Each time you bark a piece of my sanity disappears forever. When I hear the pitch of your bark it is like a million tiny daggers stabbing my very being. You have caused me to stomp on the floor like a child in the throws of a temper tantrum, you have made me yell allowed to get the frustration out, you have pushed me to storm down the stairs in ugly purple sweat pants and a pair of socks with a hole in it in an attempt to stop your barking...but it never stopped.  It was just bark, bark, 7am and 5 pm.  If I was lucky, that was it...if not, it happened at happy intervals throughout the day. Bark, bark, bark.  Bark, bark, bark. Bark, bark, bark.

To Blackberry - You were in my Airing of the Grievances last year and once again, you have made an appearance.  What in the HELL does that tell you?!??  I had to struggle through 11 months of using a shitty phone that dropped calls, froze consistently throughout the a day, that restarted whenever it felt like it and that was just a thorn in my side. I told you last year if you didn't shape up I was done.  I am now loving my iPhone.

To the Kardashian's - Why are you on TV again?  All I ask is for one full day without hearing your name.  I don't think it has happened yet. I don't place all the blame on you but on the American obsession of watching train wrecks. By the way, please explain why Kim's marriage is a legitimate union but my friend cannot legally marry the man that he loves.

To the Republican Presidential Candidates - I have to admit, I enjoy watching you really enhances the buzz I have going on from the bottle of wine I have to drink in order to listen to the garbage that pours forth from your mouths. I don't hate or disrespect Republicans...I don't agree with them. I believe that it should always be a fair fight and we have a right to our difference of opinions....but....Really??  This is all you have???  The best of all your party?

To Congress - Sticking to my politics soapbox...each and every one of you...Republican, Democrat and should be ASHAMED of yourselves. You should NOT have a job today. There are too many hardworking American's out there collecting unemployment or unable to even get unemployment because you can't work together to get this problem straightened up.  The only reason this country is in the shape it is at this point is because of YOU. 

To Harold Camping - Once again you have led innocent dumb asses to believe the world is going to end and once again you have been proven wrong. It may be time to stop making predictions and to work on  maybe getting those ears pinned back. "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves." Matthew 7:15

To Princess Beatrice - Your hat ruined the royal wedding. It distracted the world from William, Kate and most importantly, Pippa.

To my Meth Lab neighbor - For many months of 2011 my poor dog, random dates and myself had to suffer through the smell that emanated  from your apartment. I gagged, I had to explain what the smell was and I went through cases of air freshener spraying down the hallway.  Now that you have bought your new Kia Rondo I have noticed you have stopped making meth.  I am proud of you. I know it can be hard to make car payments. I would like to ask for 2012 that you remember that it is not appropriate to slam your door four times in a row each time you run your meth supplies down to the dumpster in the garage.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day in Review - If I Ran Music Monday...

Bark, Bark, Bark...Bark, Bark, Bark...update on the dog situation...after a meeting with my landlord she said she would send the owner of the dog a note. This was before Thanksgiving.  From  11/24 to 11/27 the dog barked and barked. I lost control yesterday at 5:15 pm when the dog started howling....I immediately called my landlord and while on the phone with me, she walked over to my building in the complex...she definitely heard the howling. Her exact words - "I didn't know it was this bad."  REALLY?!?!?!?!??!  I HAVE ONLY COMPLAINED SEVERAL TIMES!!!!  Her next words - "I will take care of this TONIGHT!!!".

Today is 12/5...the dog barked from 7 to 7:30 am, then from 4:00 to 4:45 p,, then from 5:30 to 6:00-ish.

Once again I called her.  I think she is getting as annoyed with me as I am getting with this dog. She said she has spoken to him several times and she has to give him time to come up with a solution. I get that, but how long????

My Best Annoyed Face....That I Have A Picture Of...

After this exchange I felt the need to meditate and listen to some fantastic music. Warning...This will be a different type of post from me than regular readers are used to. (If you love music, you will probably enjoy it.  If not...see you next time)

For those of you who do not know or understand my love of music, perhaps this post will give you a bit of insight. I think my love of music goes back to the days of Mrs. Taddie and my first few piano lessons...I can still play "Hot Cross Buns" on the piano, in fact. Mrs. Taddie was my first piano teacher, but not my last. My parents found Tom, a crazy Irishman who had the brogue and the rhythm I probably needed to secure my love of music.

From the piano I went to the trombone (very briefly) to the trumpet that I played throughout junior high and high school.  I also picked up the guitar.  I honestly loved playing guitar and I taught myself how to play a few songs.  What I didn't like were the broken nails and calluses on my fingers.  Recently, however, I have felt the inspiration to get my guitar out of hiding. I know when I get that guitar into my hands I can say goodbye to my baby butt smooth finger tips and my long-ish nails, but perhaps it is worth it. I am at least going to bring my guitar out of storage and into my hands.The thoughts of my guitar made me think of music...and the reason for this post.

Back in high school, I always thought that the music my friends and I listened to were like a soundtrack of our lives. In fact, I can hear obscure songs and bands today and get an instant flashback to one moment in my life, even if it was an insignificant moment to everyone else. We went to school in the late was grunge, indie and  quite honestly, just awesome. Kurt Cobain touched our lives, Dave Matthews was a god and my friends and I listened to bands that were essentially one hit wonders when we look back on them...we loved it.

As I got older, I came to realize that music, rather I liked it or not, would always be a part of my life. I found that some music actually touched my very soul.  (If you don't get what I mean, that's ok...If you do and you are single, give me a call...we may be the perfect match.  Still looking for my soul mate. I have a feeling that my perfect match loves music as much as I do...Though I did give up on love,  I will make an exception for a music lover.)

Now that I am in my early 30s and have found the most amazing invention on earth (YouTube), I have had access to music that I have never imagined.  I have discovered so many new bands and singers...I can't even name them all.  I just know that my ipod is almost constantly in danger of spontaneous combustion.

Almost as much as I love music, I love the far back as I can remember, I have watched the news.  Though I don't have a great memory of this, I apparently named one of my parakeets after one of the local news anchors as a young child. I do remember setting my alarm clock in junior high so I would be able to wake up in order to watch the Today Show.

I are probably wondering what music and the news have to do with each other...the answer is coming very now...

Most people hate Monday.  Me? I love Monday...for one reason...Music Monday. Music Monday is a segment on CNN that features different music artists. I have to is a bit creepy...why is it creepy?  Only because some of my most favorite artists have been featured on Music Monday. Last week, for instance, I was kind of on a Tori Amos kick and listening to an internet radio station that featured several of her hour later, I see a message on Twitter that Tori Amos was being interviewed for Music Monday. Perhaps it is only coincidence, but to my's a little strange.  Creepy things like that happen to me though. As my mom would say, things like this could only happen to me, so I just roll with it. (She's right)

Since I live for Music Monday, I have been thinking about who I would choose if I had the power to pick Music Monday. When I thought about it and looked back on the artists who have been on previous Music Monday segments, many of the people I would choose have already been featured. (The Decemberists (favorite song at the moment - "We Both Go Down Together", Bon Iver - loving "Holocene", Cyndi Lauper - definitely "Time After Time", Indigo Girls - Hard to choose, but just got their new album...liking "Birthday Song" , Cage the Elephant - the hit "Aberdeen" and Journey...I will never stop believing) There are a few of my favorites that have not yet been featured and if I had three Music Monday wishes, these are the artists I would choose...

Adele...I am pretty positive that the Music Monday team seriously would kill to score an interview with Adele, but if you are a fan of hers, you know she has been having some throat issues and hasn't been on tour in the US at all.  If anyone on the "dream Music Monday list" has been able to touch my soul, it is Adele. In my opinion she is able to touch my soul like Alicia Keys does...and that is saying something. If Adele doesn't touch you in some way, you just have no taste in my opinion.  Here is my Adele song of the moment...

My second choice for Music Monday would be the one and only Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine. I totally admire her for one reason besides her amazing voice and music....she is 100% her own person.  I am absolutely loving her new release "Shake it Out".

If I get competitive about anything, it is discovering new music before anyone else.  With this artist, I think I did it well...I found Rachael Owens randomly on Twitter before anyone I know and she turned out to be an amazing singer (and actress) who I immediately fell in love with. Since I have known her through the internet, she has released several singles and an album (that I own and sing out loud to).  It has a permanent place on my iPod's main playlist, in fact.  My favorite Rachael Owens song....totally live is "Take a Chance on Me". :)  If you love this, support her! (


Let's Pause....(20 minutes have passed)

I have just spent some time thinking about bands and artists I like and I am a bit overwhelmed...there are a lot. It is definitely hard to choose just a few to feature. Above, we have an artist who has a place in music history if she wants it, one who is her own person and one who is new and exciting with amazing promise.  All of them have a place in my playlist and all would be tops on my list for Music Monday. 

I am "no joke" when it comes to music.  I love all kinds....I will even admit to loving Enya and classical music can totally touch my soul as well. I listened to a great rendition of "Bolero" last night in fact if that tells you anything. Other favorites are Robin Thicke, Enigma, Alicia Keys, Safety Suit, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Rebekah Del Rio, The Strokes, Buxter Hoot'n, The Golden Dogs....there are just way too many to list.  I will get way too distracted if I keep going with this.

Moving on... if you love music, you must check out "The Book of Cletis" . He has "Music Saturday" on his blog and had a very interesting clip of The Ross Sisters this past Saturday.

I'm sorry if this this not the normal Christa post you are used to, but I totally felt the need to let out my music love tonight since I am thinking about my guitar. Your regularly scheduled Christa post will be back soon.  If you are new to the post, give a little follow if you love it, leave comments if you hate it and let me know what you are listening to.

Coming Soon ---- "Airing of Grievances", "Letter to 2011", the launch of my new blog (very real and raw) and anything randomly that comes to my mind.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day in Review - Barking and Shrieking

First..before I even start this post, I want to thank each and every person who is reading this.  Last week I hit 10,000 views on this blog.  That is HUGE to me and it makes me feel like it is worth writing (despite what past men have said).  Thank you so, so much.  In fact, as of the writing of this post, we are up to 11,000 plus views.  This is amazing and awesome. Thank You!!!!!!!

Now on to our regularly scheduled blog post.... 

This is the third week in the a row I have released an audible shriek during the final scene of "Glee".   (Don't judge me.) The shriek reminded me of something that has been going on in my apartment building. No, it is not the meth lab/garage door neighbor across the hall, this little problem is one that is directly below me.

Every weekday...anytime between 6:57am and 7:03am...I hear barking.  This is no ordinary barking.  This is the most annoying barking/howling combination that has ever met my ears. Luckily I wake up early or I would be even more pissed off than I currently am. The problem is, I tend to start work at 7am and it is very hard to write when you hear bark, bark, bark....bark, bark, bark....bark, bark, bark...bark, bark, bark....bark, bark, bark...bark, bark, bark...are you annoyed yet?  No?  bark, bark, bark...bark, bark, bark...bark, bark, is a pattern...three barks and a pause.  This makes it even more annoying to me for some reason.  I don't like order or neatness so much. I like variety and three barks with a five second pause followed by three barks with a five second pause makes me insane. This has been going on for a few weeks now.  I actually suspect it has been going on throughout the summer, but since my air conditioning was on, I didn't hear it.

I did some research.  I can't help it, I am a researcher at heart.  There is actually a list of steps you are supposed to take when a dog is annoying and also several rules.  This first rule of dealing with a dog that barks uncontrollably is to remain anonymous.  There are (very surprisingly) several murders that have been committed by dog owners. These dog owners have murdered people who diss their dogs. Yes...MURDERED, which is why you are supposed to remain anonymous.  I knew the first rule was to remain anonymous and the first step was to write a simple, anonymous note. This note should be three to four sentences and politely slipped in their mailbox or under the door.

I wrote said said "Your dog barks from 7am to 6pm. Please do something about the barking. It is not safe for the dog and it is very distracting."  I is certainly not poetic, but this was the guidance I got from several websites and templates.  (You would be surprised by the vast amount of people who have dealt with this.  I was simply following the rules of "dog bark etiquette")  For almost two weeks, there was silence....

This past weekend it all changed.  Starting at 10am on Saturday til about 7pm all I heard was barking.  I know it was the weekend, but I still shouldn't have to deal with this noise! Sunday was identical.  Monday, the barking began at 6:58am. Today, it began at 7:01am.  (Yes, I have been tracking)

The second step, according to several websites I saw, was to write a second note.  This one should be more in depth and again, you should remain anonymous so you don't get murdered and should be totally disconnected from the first (so it seems like more than one person is writing).  My second note was slipped under the door today.  It said - "We have noticed that your dog is barking on an daily basis. As dog lovers, we are extremely worried that your dog is experiencing stress, which is not healthy. Additionally, the barking is distracting to the neighbors and our own dogs are stressed out as well since they can hear your dog. We would ask that you take steps to stop your dog from barking. Unfortunately, if you do not control your dog, we will be forced to contact the apartment management for further advice on this matter."  (We = my across the hall neighbor.  He has been "anti-dog barking" too. Furthermore, this is not the meth lab neighbor, but the other guy across the hall)  Fingers crossed that the note works.  I will certainly keep you updated.

Breaking I am writing this, I just heard a strange noise in the hall...I looked out of the peep hole and my meth lab neighbor was spraying air freshener throughout the hallway.  Seriously...he looked like a soldier walking up and down...spray, spray, spray, spray, spray, spray.  Instead of time to make the donuts....well...who knows what he makes in there.  I can vouch that it smells awful.

Not my neighbor, but it is appropriate in this case...

Sorry for that message, but I felt that it was worth mentioning especially if you are a follower of the blog.

I do have an announcement to close this post. If you follow me on Twitter or you are my Facebook friend, you may have seen a special announcement that I have a second blog.  It is nothing like this one.  The new blog is called "The Flip Side" and will be much more serious, likely much more liberal and much more spiritual and  poetic. It will certainly not be for everyone who reads "Confessions of a Girl". If you think you may like "The Flip Side", I invite you to read it as it get's updated. "Confessions of a Girl" will continue as it is...random thoughts, random events, and I daresay, making fun of men I meet online, though I have given up on love (much to my mom's chagrin) I envision "The Flip Side" to be less about me and more about things that mean something to me including poetry, people, events and spirituality. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day in Review - The Day After Halloween

Happy is NOT freakin' Christmas yet
It is November 1st...this is apparently the day that the holiday season officially begins.  Pardon me, I thought I still had some time.  I heard my first holiday song today..."Winter Wonderland"...on an indie internet radio station of all places. It is too early.  The day after Halloween should be spent fending off a candy handover and thinking about all of the Saints while you try to decide if you should eat a Snickers or Kit-Kat bar. (we all know you will eat both)  

Maybe I am a Scrooge, but I will not participate in holiday merrymaking on November 1st. I will also not mention any Lohan's or Kardashian's because I don't think they matter to our world. It saddens me that legitimate news channels are focused on these two.  I know...its ratings and money...I get it, I just wish it wasn't like that.  I appreciate entertainment news...I'll be honest, I like entertainment news. I get all of the entertainment news I need from TMZ, and from Lisa France on All of them do an amazing job at entertainment news.  I just don't think that any Lohan or Kardashian should be one of the top news stories in the first 3 minutes of a newscast. I could get on my soapbox about this because I seriously have no idea what contribution any Lohan or Kardashian brings to to my life but I won't, because there are some funny things I have discovered over the past few days.

Let's talk about one of my least favorite people...actually we will eventually talk about two of my least favorite people, but first lets focus on Harold know this hottie....he is the guy who has predicted the end of the world three times (and been unsuccessful I may add)  He announced today that he is retiring. He also apologized for being wrong about predicting  the end of the world.


So on to my other favorite person, who I have not spoken about very often recently as she is just...well...not important?  It isn't like she was really important before, but she was more noticeable in the world I guess.  If you haven't guessed, I am speaking of Sarah Palin and I stumbled upon this photo randomly and just had to share...

It is not in my nature to ignore this...

If you cannot read what this picture says, this is honest to goodness Sarah Palin toilet paper. Not only is it Sarah Palin toilet paper, it is Sarah Palin toilet paper that isn't even worth $ is now on sale for 99 cents a roll. If this doesn't make me happy, not a lot will.

Speaking of happiness, I have been a bit "blah" recently.  I need to find some happiness I think.  I guess it's just that time of year.  I needed an attitude adjustment so I did do something that was not only unexpected but quite private.  I let it all go and that is all I will say on the subject. I feel better and I am anticipating good things.

One of the things I figured out when I was trying to find some happiness this week was that today, November 1st, 2011 is my 9 month anniversary of being tobacco free. There has not been a cigarette in my mouth since February 1st.  That is a happy thing, right?

Another happy thing I want to share is that I am estimating, by the end of this week, this little blog, will hit 10,000 views.  TEN FREAKIN THOUSAND.  That is a huge deal for me.  I remember when it hit 1,000 and now it is up to 10,000.  I wonder if I should send that information to the guy from the last post who said no one ever reads this...MUHAHAHAHAHAHA

If anyone is wondering, I have given up on love, so I haven't been on any dates. I did watch a television show about a woman who is in love with and wanted to marry the Berlin Wall, so I am looking into that lifestyle.  I think the Terminal Tower is single and last I heard, Severance Hall just went through a bad break up so I may swing by both places and see if there is any interest.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day in Review - The End of the World, Take 2 and Giving Up on Love Part 755

The End of the World is May 21st October 21st

According to Harold Camping, tomorrow will be the end of the world...part 2.  If you don't remember, Harold Camping is the wackadoo who "predicted" the end of the world on May 21st, 2011.  If you read this post It's the End of the World and I Feel Fine, you will remember that I stated I would be celebrating my birthday on October 24th and I still intend to, since the world will not be ending tomorrow.  I actually forgot it was my birthday until a few days ago, so I had no time to plan a party.  If anyone wants to go out, let me know...maybe we can get some peeps together Saturday night and have a "The World Didn't End Party/Christa's Birthday Party".  Send me a message on facebook or an e-mail here if you want to meet up or have no plans.  I will tell you where we are. 

Remember Me?
Damn you dating....I gave up on know, thinking my Prince Charming would come riding in since apparently EVERYONE has met their significant other when they weren't looking...I stopped signing into the website, focused on work and totally forgot about dating since the Pentecostal Republican from several weeks ago. Last night, I got an e-mail indicating I had a message from "Monkeyman99", so of course I was intrigued.  I wondered if it was my neighbor.....

 It was not. 

This was a guy named "Sergei" (Name changed to protect the asshole)
It started out fine.  The first message said "A writer? Awesome!!! That fascinates me. What sort of writing do you do?" and went on with niceties for several messages and he gave me his number and said he would love to text instead of writing via the site.  He seemed harmless enough, so I said fine and gave him my number.  Keep in mind, we have exchanged five e-mail messages at this point, the longest being 3 sentences long...

The first text from "Sergei" "would you mind meeting tomorrow afternoon? maybe get some coffee and talk?"
Me: I have a very full schedule tomorrow. I like to at least talk before meeting so fast.
Sergei: hmmmmmmmmmmmm, then do i get to kiss you for having to wait?
Sergei: can kiss you then? hopefully you can find 20 or thirty minutes tomorrow to meet up.
Me: I have a full day tomorrow like I said. Can't meet.  (For the record, at this point I know I will NEVER go out with this guy)
Sergei: ok. can you text tomorrow so i can get to know the woman i'll be kissing?
Sergei: if you need a break...let me know. one of those rare free days.
Me:  Lets see what happens.
Sergei: i see you are ignoring the kissing thing. I must warn you, i'm a very affectionate person.
Me: I like to get to know someone before randomly kissing
Sergei: fair enough....but, if i like you in person, is it ok to do it?
Me: As I said, I like to get to know someone before kissing
Sergei: I'm definitely gonna hug you, that's a given. , if i have the courage to kiss you, you be cool with it?
Me: Hugging is fine on a first the end.
Sergei: And kissing would be ok? I hope you can make the time. I know we're gonna be really good friends. I can feel it. Will You text me tomorrow?
Me: If I have time, maybe
Sergei: by the way, you like back massages? very relaxing you know.
Sergei: ok. would you like a massage tomorrow? i love to do them.
Me: Nope. I think you are probably pushing a little too much for me to be honest. I think I will pass.
Sergei:  Fine. I will piss off then.
Me: I just prefer to let things happen naturally.
Sergei: ok. but i'm probably gonna kiss you
Me: I am not meeting you tomorrow.  I am going to bed.
Sergei: sweet dreams. imagine me giving you a nice little kiss on the forehead goodnight.

Sigh.....lets move on to this afternoon.....for the record, I did NOT text him

Sergei: I need a hug
Me: Sorry to hear that. (I know, I shouldn't have even responded)
Sergei: Would it be possible for me to call you tonight?
Me: No. I am just not interested. I am very busy today as I have told you several times last night. After texting last night I just don't think it will work between us.
Sergei: No wonder you are single. You need a psychiatrist you crazy f*** (he wrote the word, I will censor it since I know Sarah and Todd will be reading this)
Me: Wow.  Forget my number please
Sergei: Youre a f****** moron
Me: Thank you for giving me another chapter in my book and an excellent blog post.  You will be famous.
Sergei: Bitch, i'll be competing in london olympics so i will be famous you stupid f****** loser c***
Me: I will be sure to mention that in my blog post
Sergei: Oh no a c*** is gonna post about me in a blog nobody reads. Go f*** yourself you stupid bitch who cant get a man
Me: Stop texting me. Final warning

To be honest, I don't know what I was possibly warning about at that point...I was kind of into watching Wolf Blitzer and finishing up an article I was working on. I think Wolf actually said the word "warning" and I thought it fit in my situation. 

THIS IS WHAT SINGLE WOMEN DEAL WITH PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!  It is REALITY.  The sad thing is, as funny as it is and as stupid as HE is, it still affects you, no matter how hard you try to not let it. That is reality as well.

It is times like these I want to just move to a deserted island with my little dog. Hopefully a warm one as I am already freezing here in Cleveland and it is only October 20th.

Once again, giving up on love.  I had a dream that I got married the other night and I was happy, but it was a crazy ass wedding, with a crazy cast of characters to be sure. 

My final thought of the day, like Jerry Springer does is this:  I am already looking forward to "The Airing of Grievances" for Festivus and have already thought about my annual letter to 2011.  Stay tuned, my friends. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day in Review - For Jeannette

I has been a really long time.  Too long.  I had my reasons for staying away. Though writing is like therapy to me, sometimes things cannot be shared that I want to be shared and sometimes it is too hard to have a blank page and not get on my soap box and give you every reason in the world why I am right and why I have been treated badly. I have no regrets on anything I have done.  In my time away I stumbled upon a song.  I am not a fan of country music, but I think the Dixie Chicks say it best in their song and video "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice".  When I found it a few weeks ago it was like I wrote it myself.  Some of you reading this will know what I am talking about, some will not.  It doesn't matter, really.  I won't talk about it because no one will really be on my side and no one will stand up for my side.  It's OK.  Really, I know what you have to lose because I lost it...but I am ok with that after this weekend.  As the song goes, I made my bed and I sleep like a baby...I'm not discussing it any longer.

Lets talk about Jeannette.  As you can see, this post is dedicated to her.  Jeannette is a loyal reader of this blog and has sent me several reminders to update this space.  Jeannette...this ones for you...

As I left off in my last post, I had a mystery to solve.  There was a possible meth lab with a rabid monkey across the hall from me and it's rancid scent was making its way to my apartment. Chloe and I were getting contact meth mouth and finally I made the call to my landlord.  Actually she called me to find out if I wanted to change my parking spot, but I took it as an opportunity.  As I explained it to you, I explained it to her. (I did leave the part out about the monkey and the meth lab, but fully described the smell.)  After a short conversation, I felt that she had explained everything.  I felt guilty actually.  I felt sad. I hugged my dog. This is what I was told...

Neil lives across the hall (Remember, this is the same guy who banged the garage door on the top of my car several times) Neil had a cat but no monkey. According to my landlord, Neil's cat was 21 years old. This cat was so old that she said it had some kind of illness that was causing it to literally begin decomposing slowly from within and all of these chemicals were leaking into the carpet. The cat was hanging between life and death.  My landlord convinced Neil that it was time for this cat to be put to sleep peacefully and she went with him to do it.  She thought the smell was probably the cleaning products he was using which she told him to stop using because this industrial grade cleanser had been actually eating through the carpeting.

As I said, this is a sad story...but I ask it true?  I am telling you, I thought this was solved.  I was saddened for a person I don't like and a cat I had never met...but I think the story is bunk.

I am certainly not accusing my landlord of lying, I think it was convenient for Neil to blame the smell of his meth lab on cleaning his carpeting.  Now that the cat is gone (I believe that part because I haven't heard it) I still smell the nasty smell, I still hear random people coming in and out of his apartment and he still sprays his little air freshener outside in the hallway.  I have also started Febreezing when I smell it, so it isn't as nasty out there anymore but there is always a bit of "Ode de Methlab" lingering in the air.

So Jeannette...I told you this was a sad story, but I don't think it is totally true.  Only time will tell I think.  It has gotten better, I will admit, but I think because I am fighting Glade Air Effects with Febreeze.

Before I close up, because I have to work on a side job (a book about marriage, HA HA HA), I have to mention the last guy I dated....and if you are wondering if I spent my hiatus with a wonderful man, I didn't...I spent it with a Pentacostal Republican who played Dungeon's and Dragons and doesn't drink.
Luckily I did not have to purchase this....

 Long story short, I didn't know he was Pentacostal or a Republican when I agreed to go out with him and though I maybe could have possibly looked past the Dungeon's and Dragons part (wishful thinking because I probably couldn't), he just didn't fit well with me, someone who believes in God but not organized religion, who has broken most of the 10 Commandments, obviously quite Liberal and if I don't have a glass of wine every few days or so I begin to go a little crazy.

Finally, my "Thank You of the Day" - this goes out to Laurel (and Pippa), Devon and Brendan (even though he made fun of me for much of the time) for hanging out with me this weekend and sticking with me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week in Review - Exciting Stuff, My CNN Behind the Scenes Moment and Smelly Neighbors

I was way excited this week when I was mentioned in a "Behind the Scenes" video on CNN for a great Tweet I sent to the amazingly awesome Brooke Baldwin. Now I have definitely mentioned Brooke in this blog before and I am sure I will again, but just want to thank her for talking about my excellent taste in music (She's right! :) We like a lot of the same music. I would definitely pay money to just get a glance at her MP3 player. If I was ever really motivated to take a music tour of the US following awesome bands, I would absolutely ask her to come with me.).  If you want to check it out, the video is here: Christa mentioned in WeekWinddown   It is about 2:30 on the video if you don't want to watch the whole thing. I am assuming I will really be on her show in the flesh one day when my novel gets published and everyone loves it.  (Positive thinking on....) I try to have her show on every day - 3-5pm EDT.  Check it out on CNN. 

Another excellent thing that has happened is I have signed on, FULL FREAKIN' TIME as a writer for a communications firm.  I have been very busy writing articles and the work is fun.  It keeps my attention, it is different every day and most of all, it is steady work.  On top of this, I have been hired for a month long project for an Australian company writing articles for them, so you will have to excuse me if you notice misspellings like "energise" instead of "energize". (This is also why I am home writing a blog post on Saturday night...I had to work!) It is nice for everything to fall into place like this.  I am very thankful for it all. Though I have had pretty steady work writing e-Books and articles for other websites, it wasn't always as steady as I would have liked, so this is amazing.

Speaking of being thankful, I want to say how thankful I am as well for my friends.  I have been lucky enough the past few weeks to have seen a few college friends in addition to re-connecting with the friend I spoke of in my last post.  One may have given me mono and another may have given me a new perspective on life, but that's what friends are for, right? 

Let's talk about my neighbor for a minute...this particular neighbor is the one who slams the door 17,000 times per day and who has the mysterious smell coming from his apartment that may or may not be a meth lab.  It should be mentioned that I do not live in a neighborhood where meth labs are prevalent.  I live in the "Gold Coast" area of Lakewood, if anyone is familiar.  I feel very safe here, love the diversity and have never  seen or heard of a major crime of any kind even remotely near me. Honestly, I have no idea what this smell is like no smell I have ever had the displeasure of smelling in my life. I don't know what meth labs typically smell like, so it could technically be anything, but I would bet $5 something illegal is going on in there. Today, I was sitting on my couch with my laptop at 7:30am writing about how to get your baby to sleep when I noticed this horrible smell was lightly seeping in. (Yes...I know I only have a dog and a few plants. I  have little to no experience with babies...though in my defense I was able to grow two little mini tomatoes and Chloe is almost 6 years old...that has to count for something)

I don't know if he likes to make meth at 7:30 am on a Saturday or what, but I opened the door to take Chloe outside for a little walk and I gagged because the smell was so noxious and offensive. I don't know that it has ever been so bad as it was this morning.  Honestly, I have no idea what the smell is, all I know is it is nasty beyond belief.  To make things even more mysterious, there is something alive in that apartment...I hear it's first I thought it was a cat, but after hearing it a few times...that sound is like no other cat I have heard before.  Seriously, I almost wonder if it is a monkey of some kind.  It almost sounds like a baby (human, not cat), but not a baby, if that makes any sense whatsoever.
Are You My Neighbor????

As an animal/monkey/sometimes human lover, I now feel it is my duty to help whatever creature may be in there to safety, so I am going to try to talk to my landlord about it.  Now that the smell is actually coming into my apartment, I am going to take offense. There is, however, another reason for my vendetta against this neighbor.....

I stopped at Subway today for a $5 foot long. I love Subway because they are reasonably healthy and where else can you get lunch and dinner for $5? Anyway, I pulled into the driveway of my building to get into my garage and I see my neighbor's car in front of me. (We park near each other in the garage, so I know his little Toyota). Oh wait....I need to preface this story first...I drive an SUV....he drives an older Corolla.  There is a definite size difference between our cars...this will be important in a moment) Now to get into the garage, there is a key you must use. Since he was already at the key stand, I simply pulled up behind him to enter the garage. To close the garage, soon after you enter, there is a pull-string you use to close the garage. I see him reach out to pull the string....except ALERT, ALERT, car is right behind his, directly under the garage door! At this point, it definitely goes all "slo mo" and I hear BANG on my roof as the garage door comes down on my car.  I beep the horn and start yelling "MOVE UP! MOVE UP!" BANG on my car. Honk again, BANG on my car. I see his car door opening, BANG on my car.  He leans out and looks behind him, BANG on my car.  I start screaming at him to move forward, BANG on my car. Finally the imbecile moves forward and gets out of his car.  I also move forward and immediately get out of my car, climb up in the door frame and look at the top where it was SMASHED by the garage door.  There were no dents, just paint and rubber marks from the bottom of the door. I finally turn to him and this is the conversation we had:

Him - "Wow.  Um...I didn't see you there" (Remember, I have an SUV, he has a small Toyota!!!!)
Me - "How could you not see me?  I was yelling and beeping my horn at you!"
Him - "I am really, is your car OK?"
Me- "Well it looks OK, but I will probably want to have it checked by a professional" (Meaning have my dad look at it, who is NOT a car professional)
Him - "I'm sorry, it's not like you don't know where I live if something is wrong, (Maniacal laughter from him) I will take care of it. I had a medical procedure yesterday and I am a little out of it"
Me - (In a higher octave) "Then you shouldn't be driving!!!!"
Him - "I know.  I just went to CVS.  I am really sorry.  I will take care of it if there is damage." (Mind you, CVS is directly across the street.  I walk there all the time)
Me - "Yes.  I will let you know."

I got into my car at that point and drove to my parking spot.

A few hours later, I got this note under my door:

"Dear Resident: The rollers on the garage door entrance have snapped off.  The garage door company has been alerted, and will stop by to see what parts they need....."

The letter goes on about the door being fixed on Monday and to call the Management office if you have any questions.

I crumbled it up, threw it away and went back to writing about baby sleep schedules.

Have an awesome weekend.

PS - By the way, my dad is celebrating his birthday tomorrow (8/21) so wish Jim/Todd a Happy Birthday.  I have been  looking for a funny card for him (a little tradition between us).  I finally found one today that made me not only laugh out loud, I almost peed my pants.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day in Review - Friendship and Feelings: As Scary as it Sounds

This is not your typical post from me.  It actually has feeling....sure I could make fun of Sarah Palin, talk about how I want to send Michelle Bachman to Antarctica and how I think Ron and Rand Paul should be locked in a room covered in honey filled with angry bees, but I won't tonight.  Politics in general is leaving a bad taste in my mouth from both sides of the coin. This is about friendship at the deepest levels, when it almost seems like it feeds your soul.

I recently reconnected with an old friend.  Old friends....they carry a part of your heart sometimes. You can live without it, of course, and you probably don’t know you are missing it until you hear their voice or have a conversation.  Within 2 minutes, it can be like the 11 months you spent not speaking never even existed. It is simply a continuation of the last time you saw each other. The memories flood back and take their place in your mind like they never left. You feel safe, complete and you yearn for those times you spent together from the totally ridiculous times where the two of you were causing trouble to the deep talks where you couldn’t speak through your tears. 

"You were the one who made things different, you were the one who took me in. You were the one thing I could count on, above all, you were my friend." 

The times you remember are covered in a haze of Pinot Grigio, laughter and Sarah McLachlan’s Greatest Hits album.  Every word of every song rings true and explains everything you feel for this friend that you can’t verbally express either due to embarrassment or not being able to utter your words the right way. Fear that they won’t get it...that she will take it the wrong’s not like never was.  It is purely and simply a connection you can’t explain. Nothing you felt with any lover, friend, parent, or anyone else.  A soul connection that you are half afraid of because your friend can look into your eyes and read everything you hide.  It doesn’t matter that you hold back from everyone else, this friend sees past the walls with an x-ray vision that both terrifies and fascinates you.  You hope, that in some way, she understands.  This isn’t a romantic relationship at is a friendship at the height of friendship...something not everyone can experience, but you wish they would.  You know, however, that people will judge and people will think whatever it is they think.  Why can’t two people be that close, love each other unconditionally and not be romantically involved? Who are you to judge another? 

"Through this world I stumbled. So many times betrayed Trying to find an honest word To find the truth enslaved"

Friendship can be extraordinarily simple, yet amazingly complex. I have other friends.  I love each and every one of them. I hold friendship above most other things and though I have few friends that I really let in, those friends that do can count on me, no matter what.  This friend though....she is not just a friend...I don’t know what she is.  Certainly like family...her family was my family for a few years...I wish I could go back to that.  It isn’t that I don’t love my family, obviously I do.  I need my family, but when I wasn’t near them, her family was mine...they took me in, no questions asked. They made sure I was warm, fed and did all they could when I needed work.  

Ultimately I made a choice...that choice was something I needed to do and still do not regret.  I am in a much better place physically and mentally. I have come far, made changes and grew closer to others.  I still missed my friend.  I thought about her, prayed for her and her family daily and dreamed about her.  I knew she would contact me and she did.   It is hard to explain a connection like that.  Almost no one understands it.  I won’t blame you if you think I am insane. All I can say is she knows things about me no one else knows.  I think I probably know the same about her.  We have said things to each other we never have told anyone else.  She taught me to dance. She gave me confidence. She accepted me for who I was, even with my faults. 

And now I channel Sarah McLachlan...who we listened to, in silence, letting it feed our souls as we drank good wine....the lyrics are amazingly accurate.  

I had the sense to recognize I didn’t know how to let her go when I I just left. She didn’t fight it.  We fought to try to make it easier...probably hurting each other in the process. I did what I had to do.  She did what she had to do.  Whatever made it easier. I couldn’t stay, she couldn’t go. She expected nothing but friendship and I did the same.  Sometimes I failed...not because I didn’t want it, but because I was afraid to open up to someone.  As she would say...I was the ”Typical Scorpio”.

“Hold on...hold on to yourself...because this is going to hurt like hell” – “Hold On”. 

I can listen to the song “Full of Grace” and every word rings true in one sense or another.  I listened to it often when I moved away...there are a few songs that can touch my soul, but this one is really the exception to all the rules. She may be the only one to understand....and that’s OK.  It’s probably how it should be.

The whole point of this post is to tell you, if you have a friend like this...and I hope you do...hold on to them.  Tell them you love them, give them a hug, a kiss, let them know what they mean to you. I hope to do the same with this post. 

I love all my friends, and all of them hold a special place in my heart, each different than the last. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day in Review: Why I am Still Single and a Special Thank You - Part 2

Part 2: How a Random Event Saved My Life....

I assume it saved my life, but no one really knows....I guess I could be run over by a truck tomorrow, but I have the feeling I have a lot left to do on this Earth.

Randomness is weird, isn't it?  Obviously something you aren't expecting, but sometimes you aren't surprised when it hits you...

I was a smoker.  I smoked cigarettes and had for years.  I was an addict. (I suppose I still am and will always be) I started smoking regularly in 1999 and was still at it. 

I had seen people fight against cigarettes, seen people sick from cigarettes and seen people die from cigarettes...yet I still smoked.

Lets be real. If you smoke...and are truly a smoker, no amount of pictures of diseased lungs, body bags or lectures from concerned loved ones are going to make you stop.  You have to make the choice yourself, when it is right for you to do it and you get the right influence. I did it 6 months ago, on February 1st. Lets go early January, 2011....

I was sleeping....and dreaming....and in my dream, I saw a woman...and she was my friend, though I didn't know her.  She held my hand and led me along.  We were friends in the dream...I felt closer to her than anyone...then she disappeared.  In her place a very old man...all I remember is him telling me this: "Remember the woman".  I can still feel her hand in mine to this day.

When I woke, I was nervous...I almost always remember my dreams...I interpret them regularly.  I was afraid of what this meant. Why did I need this woman and why was she in my dream.  I knew her, but I couldn't place her yet in my mind. How do I interpret this? I didn't know this woman in my waking life so why was she invading my dreams?

I am a dream interpreter, as I said above.  (Everyone should listen to and interpret their dreams in my opinion, especially if you see people who are unknown to you!)  I have done research.  It is common, among those who believe in the power of dreaming, to believe when other people visit our dreams, they are one of two things: 1) Our loved ones visiting us from the other side or 2) The souls of people on Earth, connecting with our own for a reason.
This woman intrigued me...and bothered me.  I knew her...but I didn't.

I kept her face in my head as I went through my month...I smoked a cigarette almost hourly...I was at a pack a day....I saw her face in my head...I felt like she was my friend, but it bothered me that I could not place who she was...until I did.  I had seen her over and over in my head and honestly, it annoyed the hell out of me...until one day...I saw her.

It was similar to a movie moment, where things moved in slow my mouth opened slowly, my hand went to my mouth in shock and I just stood there...staring, kind of afraid to move like it was a ghost...I lit a cigarette...and smoked.

I watched her often...(I know, probably like a don't have to tell me!!!) trying to figure out the mystery. The more I learned about her, the more I heard her talk about herself, we really did have a lot in common...freaky things like a love of the same obscure band that no one I know had ever heard of.

She said two words...and that's all it took for the light bulb to come on. "Don't Smoke". That's all it took. That day, I smoked my last cigarette. I don't know why it was her that set the process in motion, all I know is I knew I had to do it. I just stopped. No patch, no gum, no nicotine replacement. (Although as many of you know I put on about 100 pounds from eating nothing but 500 pounds of peanut butter M&M's for a week)

So that's it.  Is it that simple? Do I say thank you? She didn't really know what she did. (I did tell her later, though I don't know if she remembers) What did she do? Maybe she saved my life? Is that too dramatic? I'm a dramatic person though. It may not be so dramatic, it may just be truth. No one knows if that next cigarette could have been the one that started the process of disease. I feel like I have known her for years.

When I think about this, I think of the book "The Five People You Meet in Heaven". Who knows if it's true, if that's what happens...there are millions of interpretations of Heaven...what I do know is I am thankful for the dream, thankful for this person crossing paths with me and I thank God I was there at the right place and right time to run into her and hear those words.

So if you are reading this...Thank You. Just remember, when you have a bad day or feel down like we all do sometimes...that you made a difference. Smile.

"So raise a glass to turnings of the season and watch it as it arcs towards the sun" from "Don't Carry it All" - The Decemberists

Day in Review: Why I am Still Single and a Special Thank You - Part 1

Hello. I am 32 years old and as single as a numeral bout you? How has your week been? This is a two part post. The first part discussing how I solved a mystery, the 2nd how my life was saved by a random event. Both are momentous in my life and both are insignificant in everyone elses life. That's just how life rolls....

Part 1: Mystery Solved

Picture it...Cleveland, 2011...a poor writer discussing her life with an old friend. The poor writer is sick and tired of being alone so she shares her woes with a friend. The friend shares her advice and the poor writer is struck by the simplicity of said advice. Perhaps this is what she has been needing.  Perhaps this is the secret....What was this magical information?

"You are way too won't let a man take care of you".

Those were the words of my friend. (I am the poor writer if you haven't caught on)  I spoke with a fiend one the phone and that was her thought....I am single because I am too independent.

It makes sense to me on one hand...on the other, I wish for someone who can just be my equal partner and look past the lack of "need" and focus on the "want".

She is right, my life-long friend.  I don't need a man. I have cared and supported myself for years. Though I am a poor writer at the moment, I left the corporate world for a reason.  I followed my heart.  I made a lot of money a few short years ago...more than many people make...but I wasn't following my dream...I put the wheels in motion and set myself on a new unknown path...and I found happiness.  I don't need a man...I want an equal partner. Is that too much to ask?

That being said, I still don't need a man to support me. I certainly didn't before and I don't now. Is that what men want? A woman who will really be the submissive one in the relationship?  I can't do that and I won't do it.  If that's what it takes then I won't marry. It confuses me because I see so many strong women in my life...  I was born into a family of strong women.  Hell...even my dog will stand up to any dog in the area, even those 4 times her weight.  (She is single too, by the way, but only because I make her choose that life!)

Is this what I am missing?  Is the big secret the fact that I should act like I "need" a man versus want a man? Do I need to play the role of the damsel in distress and wait for my prince to come sweep me off my feet?  I would much rather be the Queen on the throne and have the knights in shining armor fight for the love of the Queen.  Perhaps I am just totally disillusioned? Who has words of wisdom?

I am at a loss.  Of course I think I am not fit enough or pretty enough or smart enough...because that is what society teaches women.  I will never be as pretty as the women on TV (They have professional make-up people and 3 inches of foundation...seriously, have you SEEN TV make-up?) . I will never be as fit as models in magazines (They have personal trainers and cocaine....well, some do) I will never be smarter than I am supposed to be.  I didn't go to Harvard and I can't go back in time to change that.  What I do know is I have amazingly beautiful eyes and the beginnings of nice biceps, and 2 college degrees (One in History, the other in Communications with an emphasis in TV/Radio Broadcasting)

Is that enough for someone?  Only time will tell, I suppose.  In the meantime, I am focusing on me...and my accomplishments.  Like quitting smoking, which will bring us to part 2...

PS...this was more of a "tongue in cheek" post than anything. Don't take it too seriously :) Discussion is fantastic though.  I love hearing people's views on issues.  Thanks to Heather, Katie and Elisha for really getting into the discussion on Facebook.