Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Basic decisions

I noticed the other day, as I was folding laundry and putting it away, that I have underwear I love and underwear that is ok.  Why do I have underwear that is ok?  Shouldn't all of a ladies underwear (or should I be saying panties?  underpants?  undergarments?  foundations?) be underwear she loves?  I was thinking about this while I was folding.  I even decide which undies to wear based on my mood for the day, what I am wearing, where I am going, etc. etc.  For instance, if I'm going to work, I put on the ok underwear.  It's just work, right?  But why shouldn't I go to work with a smile on my face because I know under my outer clothing I am wearing underwear that I love.  I also wear the ok underwear when it's, well, you know, that time of the month (I tried to go gentle with that, there are male readers here).  That way if there are any leaks, I don't have to worry about my undies that I love being trashed.

I then started thinking, "Why do I even buy ok underwear?  Why don't I buy only underwear I love?"  I realized then that there was a time when the ok underwear probably fell into the love category.  Then something better and newer came  along and they were demoted to ok. 

Am I the only one who does this?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Distracted Driving

There's a lot in the news these days about texting while driving.  Many cities and states are outlawing the practice and with good reason.  I personally almost rear ended a friend's car while texting and driving.  Of course, we had just outdriven a tornado and I was probably suffering from PTSD from the bed bug incident, so I was doubly, or maybe triply, distracted.  I haven't texted while driving since.

My entry today is not a lecture about driving while texting and how I think people should lose their license on the first offense.  Nope.  It's about other types of distracted driving and I wonder why people have gotten away with these things for so long.  Examples include:
  • putting on makeup while driving
  • sleeping while driving
  • typing on the laptop while driving or reading the paper/magazine/budget report while driving (hey, at least this guy has his hands free Bluetooth on!) 
  • eating while driving
Of course, I can't fail to mention the times I parents who drive while reaching into the back seat to pass a toy, a bottle/sippee cup or to smack their children into submission.

And what about changing the DVDs for the precious little ones or trying to get the iPod to work with the radio speakers.  The distractions never end!

Are we going to end up with one all encompassing bill outlawing all distracted driving or are we going down the road of lots of little laws to regulate all the different was we distractedly drive?

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm not a people person.

This may come as a surprise.  It may not be a surprise at all if you read here very often.  I am sure I have mentioned this in the past, but I am too lazy to go back and look at all of my posts to see if/when/how often I have written about this.  I find in general, that a lot of people are not my kind of people.  But the people I do have in my life I think are the coolest of the cool!

I keep flashing back to a conversation I had with my BFF when we were in Hawaii last year.  We both went to all-inclusive resorts for our honeymoons.  If you've been, you know you pretty much see the same people for the entire time you are there - at the restaurants, at the beach, at parties, at excursions, etc.  I don't remember exactly what she and I were talking about, but she said something like, "Remember on your honeymoon when you met other couples..."  I'm pretty sure my fresh Hawaiian tanned face went pale and I started convulsing in fear at the thought of conversing with strangers.  I laughed and said, "Are you serious?  I don't like people,  MG doesn't like people.  We are not people people and we didn't talk to anyone except maybe for a passing hello.  Oh, and to order a drink."  That's the kind of people person I am.  Or not.

I guess this is currently on my mind with this BlogHer event coming up.  I keep thinking about all those people that will be there and how I am going to have to smile and chit chat.  And be nice.  Kind of like networking, which I am not good at.  See, the thing is, I do like most people once I get to know them.  But that takes time and we only have a weekend for this gala and that may not be long enough for me.  Or it may be TOO long.  I do find there are often people I like immediately.  I meet someone and I automatically think "this is one cool chick/dude and I know I will love to hang with her/him."  Some of you I already like through your blogs and talking to you personally via e-mails and Facebook and I can't wait to meet you in person.  The other 1,999 people?  Yikes. 

Through a somewhat tragic event in the past, I discovered that I may have missed out on some good friendships by making quick judgements.  I am better, but I still need improvement.  And a weekend of struggling with ignorning my first impressions of people (though when it's a REALLY strong impression, I totally go with it!) is going to exhaust me.  But I know it will be worth it.  Totally worth it, because I will meet a lot of really cool people.  I do like socializing once I get up and running and I am fun to be with.  Well, at least I think so.  It just takes a while for me to warm up, relax and find the "best" of me in these situations.  So if you are reading this and you meet me at BlogHer, please be gentle.  I promise, I will come around.  I ask that if your first impression of me is "What a snotty bitch," that you give me a second chance.  It's really just me struggling in a crowd.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Who am I?

I often wonder this question.  I think most people do.  Or maybe they don't and I just tell myself that to make me feel better. 

In one way, the answer to this question about me is pretty straightforward:
  • I'm a mom and a wife.
  • I LOVE my husband and kids more than I could ever put into words.  I feel almost that strongly about my extended family, even though many of them get on my nerves.  And some of them I prefer not to spend much time with.  Doesn't mean I don't love them, though.  I just might not like them very much.  Make sense?
  • Though I am happy here, I could do without living in the suburbs.
  • I love music and concerts, especially alternative/indie rock.
  • I like to laugh until I cry, but I don't do it enough.
  • I rarely cry.
  • I love, love, love to read.
  • I think my friends, girls and guys both, ROCK!  Especially my BFF.
  • Flying causes me anxiety.
  • I like my prescription drugs. (see above bullet point)
  • I'm a licensed massge therapist.  I was a Human Resources Manager for several years before having children.
  • I am outspoken.  Sometimes TOO outspoken.  I am working on that.
  • I love hair stuff, jewelry, clothes, shoes...but the girliness kind of stops there.
  • I'm glad I had all boys because I don't think I could handle the dolls and ribbons and fairies and tea parties of a girl.
I think most people know those things about me.
Some things about me may be a little less known or may down right confuse people about me:
  • I am not a traditionalist, but WHEN (and when I say when, currently that seems to mean "if ever") I go to church, I prefer it to be an "old school" type of service.  This is one area where I have not moved forward.  I just hate those contemporary services so many churches are now doing.
  • I lean to the left, in politics and life in general.  However, for a variety of reasons (none of which are religious or morally based), I don't think people should live together before being married.
  • I don't like guns but think people should have the right to LEGALLY carry one if they so choose, though I think automatic weapons are unnecessary for civilians.  I just don't want to be around them when they are toting a gun. 
  • I'm fairly laid back, but suffer from quite a bit of anxiety.
  • I like change, but it causes me a lot of anxiety. 
  • Ok, let's just face it.  I have anxiety issues.
  • I am quick to judge though I am much better than I used to be at not letting those judgments prevent a friendship.  The result of that change is I've met some really neat people.
  • My best friend, of 20+ years, and I DID.NOT.LIKE.EACH.OTHER when we met and for quite a while after that.  I thought she was a bitch and she thought I was a snob.  Could be true?
  • I think many of the husbands I know are jackholes.
  • I don't like other people's kids, in general.  I like most of my friends' kids and my niece and nephews.  (Depending on who you are, you may think this should have been in the first list!)
  • I am forgiving, though it may take a few years for me to get there.
 So there I am.  Well, at least part of me.  I'm Jo.  So nice to meet you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Getting to know you...

I am reading up on NYC.  BlogHer is coming up and I'll be there.  But I'll also be visiting the Big Apple for a few extra days.  I bought the Fodor's book for NYC and will be brushing up on the ins and outs of the city.  It's been many years since I have visited and I'm not a college kid any more! 

So for those of you familiar with the city - any suggestions?  Any places that are a MUST (that aren't already obvious)?  Any restaurant(s) that you can't leave the city without dining at first?  What about shopping?  I'm always looking for things to do, see and buy that aren't the mainstream chain stores, restaurants and tourist attractions.  Any tips for getting around?  I have managed my way through other big cities here in the US and overseas and do fairly well, but any insider information is always a help!

And finally, will I see you there?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Freedom of Speech

Over time, I have let y'all into my little community where I live.  For those who are new, it's a small city (about 30,000 people) that is the suburb of a southwest OH metropolis.  It's a fairly culturally diverse area due mainly to the large international corporation in this neck of the woods.  It's a city of means (and I don't mean "meanies," I mean "means" as in resources and income).  It's also a city that still has some of its way back roots of farming and small town living, which is nice.

There are also some scary people who are here.  People you don't want to meet in a dark alley.  I won't go into all of the details, but they are here - living and/or working.

We have a little pub in town.  I have never been there, but I drive by it several times a week and have seen it on the news due to some bad behavior of those who frequent the place.  Quite frankly, I couldn't go there because I would most likely get my ass kicked.  And I'm not looking for an ass kickin' anytime soon.  They have a sign in the window that says "Speak English only."  Their other sign usually has some other equally inflammatory political comment on it.  In 2005, the Civil Rights Commission ruled against the pub for their sign that used to say "For service, speak English."  I guess since the "new" sign doesn't flat out say they won't serve non-English speaking customers, they can get away with it.

It appears some of the businesses around the pub aren't appreciating the "Speak English only" sign too much, because I have noticed other signs.  The dry cleaner, across the street, has a sign that says "We speak clean," and the art dealer, also across the street, has a sign that says, "Art spoken here."

I love that the surrounding business are "using their words" to make their point. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

What would you do?

Before I get started, let me explain about where I live.  My subdivision is a little off the beaten path.  We are not directly located near a strip mall or other public or private business.  We are not off of a major road.  We are surrounded on each side by other subdivisions and across the street on one corner is a farm (we can even hear the cows mooing if they get to the side of the farm that is closest to us).  I have no doubt that at one time, our subdivision land was a farm.  My subdivision is quite diverse - many, many Indian and Asian families, several African American families, and the majority is white familes, though the number of Indian/Asian families is quite high.  Most families have kids - ranging in all ages throughout the subdivision, though there are many who are becoming empty nesters.

So now that I have set the stage, I will continue with my story.

I came into our subdivsion about 8:00pm and noticed what I thought was a kid sitting on the curb with a phone in his hand and an ear piece for music or bluetooth.  I assumed he was waiting for his friends to come outside.  As I got closer, I thought he seemed a little older than the kids who live in the house near where he was sitting and now think he is probably a twenty something male and immediately wonder what he is doing.  I will also point out he was African-American.  I turn onto my street and head into the house. 

A few minutes later, I come out to work in the flower bed and Sous Chef is out riding his bike.  We live in a culdesac.  After being outside for about a 1/2 hour, I now notice this young adult is sitting on the corner of our culdesac.  I went about my business and eventually went inside.  A few minutes later, I notice he is still sitting there.

I called my neighbor to see if she knew who he was because I didn't.  She didn't but said she saw him in the same location I first saw him when she was out walking at 5:00.  It was now about 8:45 and he is still lingering around our section of the neighborhood and I can see him from my house. 

My neighbor and I discussed a variety of "possibilities" of why this young man could be in our neighborhood including:
  1. He had a cell phone, but maybe he called someone for a ride because he is stranded in our neighborhood for whatever reason and they said they would pick him up but they never showed up OR he had no one who could pick him up.
  2. He was totally lost and didn't know what to do.
  3. He was taking a lot of time to take a rest.
  4. He was up to no good.
Of course, the topic of calling the police came up. She wanted to, but her college aged son accused her of racial profiling, something neither of us wanted to be guilty of. However, I decided I was more concerned with the safety factor and not about his color and called the cops, after confirming with my husband that was the right thing.  I had to take a few minutes to make sure I was not doing this just because he was a young black male.  I hoped I was calling the cops because there was a stranger in our midst for several hours, not because there was a black stranger in our midst for several hours.  I'm 99% sure I would have noticed ANYONE who was lurking around my street for several hours and I feel comfortable with my decision.  I'm observant that way and I would recognize, if not personally know, the majority of neighbors in my vicinity if it was one of them hanging out on the street corner for a few hours.

The cops came, chatted with him and apparently offered him a ride somewhere because he got in the front seat of the cop car and they left.  I still have no idea who he is or why he was here.  I hope it was #1 and he just needed some help.

So how would you have handled this?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can't shake it.

I woke up the other night from one of those dreams where you think, "Damn, I'm glad that was just a dream!"  But I keep thinking about it, it was so real.  I dreamt I went to the doctor for what should have been a rather innocuous MRI and found out I had some kind of brain tumor that would kill me.  The doctor said it could kill me five minutes from right then, or that I could live no longer than 45 days.  Don't ask me where that timeline came from, I have no idea.  But as a mom, you can realize what that news did to me in my dream.  I was not afraid to die, but I was afraid for how my kids and husband would be affected.  In that dream, I also sat down with my best friend and planned my funeral - location, songs, burial, flowers. 
The funny thing is, in a round about way, this dream is my reality, minus the death sentence.  My neurological birth defect (Chiari malformation), that was originally diagnosed (though mis-diagnosed because it was 1985 and technology did not include MRI's then) through a CT scan to figure out what was wrong with my ear, tunred into a much more serious diagnosis.  So there is part of the dream - going in for what is a "non-life threatening" concern (right ear popping constantly and the ENT thinking I had some scar tissue or something odd like that going on) and coming out with a completely different and much more serious diagnosis.  However, it did explain a lot about my childhood experiences of walking into walls and falling down for no reason and tripping over things that weren't there.  Increased symptoms over the next 10 years and improved technology that results in a re-diagnosis, which is the final diagnosis.  Several more years and then surgery #1, resulting in my planning my funeral, just.in.case.  Thus the second part of that dream is also my reality.  I have done this - planned my funeral. When I was having my first brain surgery, I planned everything out, just.in.case. I didn't want my husband to have to worry about what I "would want." It was all in writing.  Surgery #2 happened a couple of years after that.

Thankfully, no one has told me I have only 5 minutes - 45 days to live.  I hope that part is never more than that part of a bad dream.