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Magic and Madness

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I saw this one today on my Instagram feed and I thought to myself, how very appropriate, especially for how I have been feeling this morning. And then I realized, well damn, it’s been one month since my last post and that last post was about this very person, who likes to pop into my brain about a week or so out before my cycle. It’s like a certain madness consumes my mental health with shitty thoughts of the past and those who were once stars in my life like to make guest appearances. This is like a movie playing a specific traumatic scene in a repetitive loop when really, I just want that “SCENE MISSING” card to come up.

This person, that scene, although well over two years old, is one of those that has been hard to erase from my memory. But I have since cut that person out of my life because she did pull the madness out of me more than the magic. There was nothing good about her for me. It’s just funny that I only ever really think about that time, her and that situation when it’s PMDD time. It’s a monthly struggle and I’ve identified it and now I deal with it a hell of a lot better than I used to.

And while I surround myself today with people who bring out the magic in me, my ability to stay grounded and present in the here and now is also my magic. Being present, writing it out, and not assigning a whole lot of reality to these thoughts and feelings that pass is my therapy. And these though do pass, like a Vegas valley windstorm: strong, dusty and annoying as all hell, but once it has passed, it’s gone. Thank God for time and healing.


When Friendships Die

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I saw this meme on Instagram the other day and it made me think of the not so distant thoughts and memories of a long-time friendship I terminated nearly two years ago:


And here was my response:

Damn straight. They stop, they listen with their entire presence and they don’t respond with things like, “Oh, this will be between us. Nobody has to know.” when it should go without saying. That’s when I knew, I never had a friend in that person. The length of time knowing a person you once believed was your friend means nothing. Soulfully feeling connected to a person, knowing said person has your back, no matter how long you have known them, means a whole lot more. This is the lesson I learned when I ended the so-called friendship and later learned she disparaged my name anyway after I confided in her.

Truth be told, I walked out the door of that friendship, because I had to. No friendship should ever make anyone feel drained, irritated, conflicted, confused or wondering if you’re getting the whole story or truth from them when they confide in you. My gut kept telling me, something is off with her, but I chose to ignore it until I could no longer take it anymore. I have since accepted the fact that we are under no obligation to stay friends with someone based on however many years we know a person. In order to keep my peace of mind, I did what I had to do by walking away and I’m glad I did. I have no doubt that what I told her in confidence made its way to other people who don’t even know me. She was the type that talked a lot of shit about other people, including her own mother. Why would I be spared?

She was, essentially, my teacher who imparted a very valuable lesson. She made me realize the types of people I do want in my life and the ones I can do without and she was one that I can definitely do without. Always stay true to you, your heart, your gut instincts when it comes to the people you consider friends in your life. Surround yourself with the ones who make you smile and bring you joy.



Exclamatory Episodes & Adrenaline Highs & Lows

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I have an exclamatory affliction. Or at least that is how a former co-worker of mine described me whenever I became extremely stressed at work and was “in the weeds” so to speak. Deadlines and 11th hour work tossed on my desk as a legal assistant for the past 14 years can do that to me. But in this industry, you’re either built to facilitate the shit or you’re going to break down, cry, and fuck everything up. So what if I scream and shout and let it all out? I still manage to get the shit done right and on time despite my tirades. BUT, I don’t have to react like that about anything and I can learn to create a peaceful space within myself and everyone around me regardless of how heavy and intense the shit gets. I’m currently a work in progress when it comes to re-wiring this ol’ brain of mine.

But sometimes, especially when it’s that time of the month for me, my mind takes me to Chaos and Havoc Land and one tiny thing will set me off. This morning, it was my Keurig. The fucking Keurig! #firstworldprobs, this I know. I was running late, I wanted one last cup of coffee to go before heading out to work and the machine was asleep. Of course, it didn’t help that I never set it up correctly as it read the time as 8:15 pm as opposed to 8:15 am. My husband, always on high alert whenever I’m in these moods, hears me throwing a fit, and came to my rescue. I love and loathe him for this. I love that he wants to help me and he does calm me down. I loathe that he thinks he needs to rescue me, like I am some infantile child. But then again, whenever I act like this, I do come off like a hissy fit throwing child…only with tourettes.  My signature brand of cursing like a Tarantino character whenever I get like this is beyond terrifying and annoying sometimes, unlike my usual moments of conversing in curses.

My husband talked me down the ledge and reminded me to breathe. I could actually feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins when I stopped to do exactly what he said. My heart was racing as I took a few deep breaths to come back down. But this time unlike most of the other times I’ve gone through this, I caught myself feeling that adrenaline actually pumping and the episode only lasted a few minutes. It felt like a seismograph needle, spiking that unnecessary adrenaline rush super high and then dropping it super low, crashing fast and hard. I had to hold on to the kitchen counter to keep myself upright.

I have been dealing with these mental and emotional episodes for a while now and they come on like a tsunami. I can never really predict when I’m going to blow, but 9 times out of 10, it’s usually around my period. And today would be day 1. These episodes are short, but they impact those around me. No one is safe and I sometimes stand there wondering how the hell I got there and what the hell happened once the storm passes. Yes, I’ve lost time. Then the apologies and tears come. But today, I give myself a 6 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of disruption and damage.  It was mild, no one was driven to tears, it was shorter, and I actually felt myself coming down. I was also cognizant and willing to listen to my husband calm my ass down with his suggestion: DEEP BREATHS.

This is progress and it is a beautiful thing. Talking about what I’m going through is also a beautiful thing because I know I’m not alone.

Solo Act Seeing the Act

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My husband Jeff and I had two tickets to go see The War on Drugs a couple of weeks ago. We bought the tickets the month before when there was nothing on the calendar. The calendar is something we live and die by, especially given my husband’s work as a freelance video editor/production guru. He works a couple of different gigs and he got on board with his dream job last fall working for Las Vegas’s first ever professional sports team, and a hockey team to boot, the Vegas Golden Knights. I have always tried to be supportive of his work schedule, be it late nights or out of town trips. I was resistant for a little while, but I had to learn to accept his schedule as it is, whatever it may be. And just my luck, the universe tested me on my acceptance aptitude when the Vegas Golden Knights made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs and the first game of the playoffs was last minute scheduled, you guess it, the same night as the concert. Serenity now!

Initially, I reached out to a few people to see if they wanted to attend the show with me but not one person was available. At least, that’s what they told me. The truth is, I don’t have too many friends who live in Vegas anymore. But a part of me wishes I had at least one friend who I could do stuff like this with, someone who was like-minded in terms of life and our lifestyles. Another mother type, a tribe member for a tribe I haven’t found yet. Then again, maybe if I was more open to finding my “tribe” and that specific type of friend, a “mom like me” friend, it would be. But I’m not holding my breath. Vegas has been a strange transient mix of temporary people and jobs for me since I’ve returned 7 years ago. That’s a whole different story for a different entry though. Back to the issue at hand: extra ticket, no takers.

Of course I was a little frustrated and annoyed that Jeff bailed on me due to work. But I had to buck up and deal not having him as my date that night, or any date for that matter. Jeff then suggested “Why not go by yourself, it could be very therapeutic.” One of his indulgences is seeing movies by himself, especially whenever he travels for work during his allotted downtime. It’s not like I haven’t gone to a movie or out to eat by myself before. And when I really started to think about the concert scenario as a solo thing, I thought back on my youth and my time going to gigs while I was in high school. I would almost always go by myself. It’s not like my friends at the time could get out on a school night to hang with me at a concert they may or may not have wanted to pay to see. I was going to shows for free at the time because I was the editor of my high school paper and I was doing marketing for the venue where these shows took place. It was a sweet gig – no pay but unlimited shows to cover.

Thinking back to that time, I thought, fuck it. Yeah, why don’t I attend this show by myself? We would just eat the cost of one ticket, which Jeff accurately pointed out that his night at work would more than cover the cost of the entire evening (babysitter included). Since he was going to be down on the Strip and the show was north of where he was working, he said he would meet me after the game at the show. Having never been to the venue where the band was playing, I took it all in once I got my tickets at will call. We paid a little more money to be on the balcony instead of the general admission floor, which is where I am used to being at a show.

Once the doors opened, I headed upstairs and carefully scanned the dark area where I noticed a dimly lit bar right away. I grabbed a spot at the left side of the stage since I usually always gravitate to that area of a concert stage and got myself a drink to chill. Hey, unlike high school, I could now have a cocktail at a show. I was in good company that night, surrounded by a couple of other people who were not there with anyone in particular, but who were there to enjoy the show. It was a really good feeling, watching this band, who I discovered for myself a few of years ago after hearing the single “Under the Pressure” on Sirius XMU. I learned that it was off their third album. Last year, the band released their fourth album, “A Deeper Understanding” and the single “Pain” truly resonated with me at that time. Upon hearing it, I downloaded and played the album ad nauseam, specifically during my trip to my beloved birthplace Bozeman, Montana for my first ever (and possibly last) full marathon. The song and the album apparently resonated with many people as it won a Grammy for Best Rock Album in January this year. And further judging by the crowd that trickled into the venue, it is safe to assume that this band is no longer an underground indie group, but is gaining quite a following.

The guy standing next to me at the show certainly seemed to be one who was a fan from the get-go, perhaps their biggest fan, going so far as to refer to himself as the band’s “stalker” since he was following them on tour. I laughed nervously upon hearing this, hoping that he was in fact joking but at the same time, a little envious. I wouldn’t mind following my favorite band around the world to see their shows if I had the ways and means. In between the songs, uber fan shouted down at the band, “Yeah Adam!” calling out after the lead singer Adam Granduciel as if they were best buds and at another point he shouted, “The only band that matters!” All superfan aside, the guy was clearly enjoying himself and the band’s performance and even asked me how liked them live. In one word, I responded with “amazing” which is true. A band’s worth in my eyes is how well they perform their songs live. I was very impressed with the performance of this sextet, and the lead singer, Adam Granduciel, had a presence about him that I dare say is the same way as Trent Reznor leads Nine Inch Nails. There’s a feeling that he is The War on Drugs like Trent Reznor is Nine Inch Nails such that both lead singers and songwriters are backed by a very talented group of musicians who quite possibly change over time. And that’s okay. What made it even more clear to me is seeing the front man Adam surrounded by a crescent shape of guitar pedals laid out before his microphone. The roadie was definitely earning his money that night, running out different guitars for Adam to play. He seemed to change his guitars after practically song to get a distinct sound from that particular instrument in hand. It worked – the sounds were absolute perfection of his songs.

Incidentally, the game was won by our home team and Jeff made his way to the show. I found him downstairs and we got to see the last part of it, including the encore, together. The band played well into midnight and it was the best date night I have ever had with myself. Read the rest of this entry

6 Years Come & Gone

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It’s been 6 years since I last wrote anything for this blog of mine. My 5 year-old son is now a moody, but sweet and sensitive 12 year-old middle schooler who has YouTuber ambitions. I have another child, who I never even mentioned before writing those two posts from 2011 and 2012. She’s 8 going on 18. It’s crazy, but I didn’t remember that I even had this account or that I wrote those two posts, until the other day when I received a “like” from another blogger for that “Back Off Momma” post about helping my son with homework. Stranger still is that lately I have been exploring my heart for what it is that I want to do with the rest of my life. I sometimes get like this when my job hands me a lot of downtime, causing me to think too much. It comes and goes in waves and my passion, which is writing, gets shelved when the tide is high and I’m completely buried at work and in real life. I haven’t been on this site in years and when I received a “like” or thumbs up or whatever affirming thing I got sent to me via email, it was like the universe’s way of saying come back to what you love. Do what you love. If you have the time, take advantage of it now. Stop worrying about whether or not you will be read and just write it, see what happens. Who knows, maybe in another 6 and a half years, someone will randomly see what I wrote here and compliment me again.

So much has happened in the 6 years since I wrote those two pieces, which was so like me back then. I’m still impatient when it comes to helping my kids with their homework, but I am working on it. My husband’s job has him traveling a lot more than it did back then so I stepped up my game in this department. I have handled my business, growing both as a parent and a 40-something year-old woman on a self-discovery mission and what I’ve discovered is that I’m not the same woman I was 6 years ago or 6 months ago for that matter. And that’s an amazing thing.

I am definitely not as helicopter as I once was. And because of that, my kids are both doing pretty well for themselves in school and have grown into their own selves. Each one of them has an amazing sense of humor and they are both equally smart and talented at what they are pursuing. My son, Julian, has a gift for making movies and music and my daughter, Zoey, is an athlete and I swear, she will be the president someday (and why shouldn’t she – she could do better than what we got now after all. Oh and if you’re sensitive to this sort commentary, you can either keep reading if wish or don’t. Beautiful part about this country is that we still have that freedom to express our like or disdain of our nation’s leaders).

All gushing about my kids and current day political snark aside, I noticed what I wrote in the “About Me” section. I must say, everything and not that much more has changed about me. I’m still work a full-time job, collecting a paycheck, paying my bills and raising my family. But, I have cut down my nightly wine consumption, saving my imbibing for when I soak in my tub as my Friday evening ritual.  Eucalyptus lavender epsom salt baths and a glass of red is how I prefer to spend my hot Friday nights. And yes, I still look forward to an annual get-away vacation, one that is absolutely earned and necessary for the mental health. The very last question I ask is poignant and beautifully simple because after all of the shit I have experienced, allowed, endured, suffered, survived and lived to tell these last few years, yes indeed, what more could I possibly need? Not a damn thing and I am grateful everything that I do have. So I come back bearing my soul, and if you like my shit, awesome. If you don’t, well, there are plenty of other bloggers out here in the void. I’m just another voice with a keyboard.

Back It Off Momma!

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Last night I fought with my five year-old and my five year-old self.  I often find myself pushing my kindergarten kid harder than he really needs to be pushed.  His motivation is evident and clear: he fears disappointing me and my husband.  Most kids his age do not possess such fear because they don’t listen to their often aloof and hands off parents.  I see those parents all the time and their kids reflect those attitudes by constantly begging for their attention, no matter how they get it.  Everyone has seen those kids: the ones who are overly aggressive playing on the playground with your kids, dying for someone to yell at them for getting out of line with other kids.  But not my kid.  No way, no how.  He is, if anything, careful and considerate to a fault during his playtime.  He genuinely cares if someone gets hurt while playing; this includes his own little sister.  If he is the one who gets hurt by one of “those kids,” he may cry, but he will do his best to hide it from me and others on the playground.  He doesn’t appreciate when I meddle or hover to see if he’s okay and that’s exactly what I was doing last night while helping him with homework.

He is only 5 (and will be turning 6 in exactly 10 days) and his plate is already full for an about to be 6 year-old.  Aside from little league practice, he has school work.  Kindergarten these days is a whole lot different from when I was in school.  It’s no longer about arts and crafts with clay, paste and glitter.  There are no nap times and recess is probably, if maybe, 15 minutes long.  My son’s kindergarten curriculum includes weekly homework of doing 4 to 5 pages of worksheets which requires writing actual letters and numbers.  He has graduated up to fill in the blanks, writing actual words from a list provided for that assignment.  In addition, the kids are given a list of 6 words to identify and read each week.  These words are known as “sight words” which are simple words used in many stories and books written for his age group.  The words prepare them to read independently and at the end of the week, the children are tested on the list of words.  At home, it’s our duty as his parents to help him practice identifying these words.  If he is successful, we sign off on the list and he takes it back to school each Friday where his teacher then tests him herself.  She presumably does this with each child, pointing to each word for the child to read and recite to her.  If the child cannot identify the word, she will circle it and send the list back home to the parents.  FAIL…or at least that’s what this over-achiever thinks.

It’s no wonder my husband is the primary homework helper.  My shortcomings of being impatient as well as possessing such great expectations of others (especially those I love and care about) often times causes more headache (and heartache) for the one I’m supposed to be helping.  This probably explains why I’m not a teacher.  It’s a real talent to be patient with others while teaching them something new.  What seems so simple to me may not be so simple for my son.  Instead of walking away to let him handle the task at hand, I hovered around him too much.  When he did not handle the problem himself, I erased it and did it for him thinking I just showed him how it’s done.  It’s no wonder he could not figure out the next problem and then I got mad.  I see a lot of me in my son.  I also never wanted to disappoint my parents, especially my mom.  But unlike my parents, I have greater expectations for my son to meet and a lower threshold of disappointment and that is unfair to my son.  Even writing that out makes me feel like the Joan Crawford of the 21st Century.  My children should not have to pay for my shortcomings.  But aren’t all of us somehow, someway screwed up products of our parents’ issues and shortcomings?  Therapy sherapy!  I got this!

He’s 5, going on 6 and despite his challenging schoolwork (if nothing else, it’s a preview of what is to come), he’s still just a kid who wants to do his best and not disappoint his parents.  I let him know every day that he could never disappoint me as long as he tries.  I let myself know every day he is not me, but his own person as I continue to work on my own issues.  Is there an exlixir for impatience?


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It’s official: I’m back in my hometown of lovely Las Vegas, Nevada.  And if that weren’t enough, I got the privilege of paying my fair city $100 to get my car registered.  Now mind you, this is not $100 payable to the DMV.  This $100 did not give me my car registration and shiny new Nevada plates.  It’s a forced fee I had to pay before I could get my car registered in the state since I got into trouble for driving around with California plates for a few months.  For shame! 

It seems a lot has changed since I last lived here, including how the city handles its transient offenders who have lived here longer than 3 months.  Nevada law states that if you are residing in the city, have gainful employment, you’re not military, an out-of-state college student, a tourist (Um, DUH!) or a part-time snow bird, you MUST obtain a Nevada ID within 30 days and you have 60 days to register your vehicle with the state.  A new law passed in 2009 which allowed the Las Vegas Township Constables to issue citations to vehicle registration offenders.  The upstanding Las Vegas Township Constable’s office refers to this as the Fair Share Program.  Sounds like a catchy GOP pledge, don’t it?  ANYWAY, through the Fair Share Program, the LV Constables encourage citizens to turn in anyone they see on a consistent basis driving around with out-of-state plates or expired tags.  Seems a little reminiscent of Nazi Germany, but who remembers history anyway, right?  Besides, to not be in compliance with the law is being an outlaw and what’s right is right and all that jazz.  I got slapped on the hand for my no-no and I paid up and got myself Nevada-fied, complete with a brand new driver’s license with a better looking photo than my Cali license.  Woo hoo.

I wish that was the end of the Nevadacation story, but sadly it’s not.  Less than a week later, I got hit by a car while  backing out of a parking space at one of Vegas’ many strip malls.  The driver who hit me was coming into the parking lot at what seemed like top speed since one second she wasn’t there and the next she had plowed into the ass end of my car which was obviously pulling out of the space.  I also had a witness to second my proclamation of: “SHE CAME OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE!”  Well, maybe my witness wasn’t as vulgarly exclamatory as I was, but she did back me up with that observation.  Meanwhile, the driver who slammed into me, a young girl wearing a Bluetooth in her ear and way too much black eyeliner under her eyes, seemed unfazed by the fact she hit my car.  As a matter of fact, she seemed quite calm and collected, writing down the pertinent information one needs to exchange whenever these little oopsie daisies happen.  I got the feeling she’s done this before, whereas I am not as familiar.  I lived in Los Angeles for nine years and I only experienced one car accident the entire time I lived there.  Again, I was hit by someone who came out of nowhere which translates to: the asshole who hit me wasn’t paying attention to the road to realize me and my car were right in front of them and then it was too late. 

Of course, her insurance company heard something completely different.  They took my statement of: “She came out of nowhere” to mean: “I wasn’t paying attention” which is apparently how Nevada auto insurance companies view these kinds of accidents since I got read the speech from my insurance company.  The one entering the parking lot has the right of way whereas the one pulling out of a parking space is the one at fault if there is a collision.  The one backing out apparently needs to have 360 degree neck turning radius and prepare to brake for the one entering the parking lot at whatever speed they want.  Oh and FYI: there is apparently also no Nevada statute on the books about any speed limits in parking lots and 15 to 20 miles per hour is the norm.  Oh well that is good to know Geico claims rep douchebag.  So your insured gets to put in a claim with my insurance company for a broken front turn signal light and I get to pay my $500 deductible to get the side of my right panel popped back into place?  Awesome!  

It’s been such a nice homecoming with these back to back out-of-pocket vehicle issues.  I’m over it now, lessons learned.  I continue to count my blessings and I’m now vigilantly protecting what’s left of what’s mine.