Thursday, September 29, 2011

Celebrating Difference Today!

Today, you can find me on Janine Ripper's wonderful and relevant blog, Reflections from a Red Head.  She has a series called The Beauty of Difference which tackles stories from different people from all over the world highlighting their heritage, experiences on being treated differently but most importantly, celebrating the diversity we find all around us!

I am truly honored to be able to participate in this series and to have been given the chance to speak about my roots and personal views on diversity.  So I hope you can hop on over to Janine's site to read A Richer, More Colorful Life for the Color Blind.  While you're there, make sure you check out the other stories under "The Beauty of Difference" because I'm certain you will learn a lot!

Thank you and see you all there!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Cursed Dress Is Saying 'OM'

One of our nieces is getting married this coming October and I can't help but think that my dress is somewhat cursed.  

I ordered said dress in mid-April and was told by the store that it will be arriving by the end of July.  I told the sales associate that I would need it as soon as possible since I'm moving out of state and they don't have a store here in TN.  She said it won't be a problem.

By the end of July, lo and behold, my sister-in-law (Mother of the Bride/M.O.B.) found out that the sales associate who was our contact and from whom we bought the dress has resigned and my dress has not arrived. Both of us made phone calls to follow up and after several attempts, we finally heard back from the store saying that it will be arriving by August 19. That date came and still no dress.  I left IL on August 22 without my dress in my suitcase.

I resisted the temptation to sweat it at this point since I knew M.O.B. would come visit us at our new home by the beginning of September and she was kind enough to volunteer to pick up my dress for me once it arrives.  Finally, by September 3, the gorgeous-yet-previously-MIA dress finally made its way to my closet.

Now of course it was time to worry about alterations.  My gown needed to be shortened a bit and the straps also needed adjustment as they were falling off of my shoulders. Nothing major, just a couple of inches here and there. I found a small local bridal store close to our home and brought it in.  I was pleasantly surprised when I was told that the alterations, plus a shawl I needed sewn (I provided the fabric), would only cost $36 total! Score!!  I left and was told to come back a week after.
That was two Fridays ago and I still don't have my dress!!  I went there last Friday and they said the shawl was not done and they asked for one more day.  I came back Saturday and when I was given yet another excuse I got really pissed and headed home fuming mad, all ready to write an angry, awful online review of their business.  My husband just stopped me and reminded me not to do anything yet as they still have my dress hostage.  Wise man, isn't he?

Anyway, yesterday, I went there again hoping that indeed, third time's a charm.  I guess not.  I waited in the shop with my son for 40 minutes before my dress came out for fitting. Obviously, I was lied to the first 2 times because the seamstress was still working on my dress when she previously told me that my dress was all done and that it was just the shawl that was not finished yet.  And then after the long wait and I fitted my gown, I found that the straps were still loose.  I suspect she did not even alter them yet and forgot those too.

The seamstress was extremely apologetic, offered me explanations for all the inconvenience caused and their failures.  At that point, it became clear to me that I had a choice.  I could lash out at her, or at the very least, make it clear to her how utterly displeased I was with their unprofessionalism.  Or I could stay centered and take in her explanation, while still very calmly and pleasantly convey to her how much they have inconvenienced me, as well as explain where my sense of urgency was coming from.  I chose the latter.  I don't know what it was but I did not feel like getting angry. Disappointed, yes, but not angry.  

By the time I reached home, it became clear to me that we always have a choice as to what to feel.  I think we sometimes let ourselves feel a certain way mainly because we know it is what is expected of us.  In this given situation, a lot of people would probably say I should've asserted myself more, made it clear that I am the customer and I deserve to be treated better.  My choice not to say more than I did may be labelled as 'doormat' behavior by other people or being 'too nice'.  But really, objectively, what good would it have done to raise my voice and play the 'angry role'?  My anger would still not produce my gown, and neither would it guarantee improved service from the shop.  Anger won't even make me feel better, so in the end, we'd only be left with two upset individuals (or worse, only one!).  It's so much easier to be angry than to try to detach from it and control rather than be controlled, overpowered.  But it is in the discipline of distancing from your raw emotions where true power can be found.  It's not about being in denial, but knowing when not to be overwhelmed or be overcome by your negativity.  

I may not have gotten what I came for when I drove to the dress shop yesterday.  But I sure left the situation feeling more empowered than ever.  To realize that I always have a choice as to what to feel, what thought or emotion I will allow to wash over me, is a valuable lesson.  I can no longer make excuses and say 'I can't control what I feel!'  I now know I am accountable and stronger than what I previously thought.  

Oh I will still write a review of that local bridal shop, an objective one.  But this time I won't type on my computer seething with anger and frustration, banging on the keyboard while cursing under each and every breath.  Not being controlled by anger doesn't mean being okay with everything and everyone around you all the time.

My dress may be cursed but it definitely paved the way for lasting blessings! (P.S. I got a call confirming that my gown is finally ready for pick up today...for real!!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Strike Three!

This is a long overdue ‘response’ but by no means does that say I don’t feel honored.  My internet connection was not existent for a while and then things just got busy and made it impossible for me to have the energy to go online and write.

But here I am, celebrating two Versatile Blogger Awards passed on to me by two amazing writers, Rachel Joy of Cool Bean Mommas and Janine of Reflections From A Red Head.  Thank you, ladies!!  Make sure you visit their sites and I promise you won’t regret it.  I had this same award earlier this year so the challenge now is to not repeat things about myself. 

According to the rules, I need to

        --thank the person/s that gave me the award and link back to them
        --share 7 things about myself (hopefully they will be new to you instead of old news)
        --pass the award to 15 recently discovered bloggers (let them know).
So here are seven (more) things about me which hopefully I’ve not shared before:

1.  When 9/11 happened, I was in Manila and it was night time.  I was on the phone with my bff as we were doing a postmortem on a Sex and The City episode that was just aired.  I had the television on , watching CNN and when I saw images of the WTC, I initially thought it was a movie and could not believe it was actually for real.

2.  I lose all control when face to face with a bag of Lindt Lindor Truffles.  I pretty much get into a trance-like state, focused only on consuming said heavenly treat.

3.  Since my fairly recent discovery of Lisa Eldridge, (thanks to my friend Kat), I have been quite addicted to watching her Youtube videos.  When I was much younger, I was never into girly stuff but now, oddly, I have become more interested in such things.  It could also be that I'm seeing more lines, spots and wrinkles now and feel the need to do some magic on my face.

4.  In high school, I was a huge fan of Spandau Ballet and had an insane crush on Steve Norman, the saxophone guy.  I'm proud to say that to this date, even after decades, he's still the cutest, don't you agree?

Steve Norman (L-R) Gary Kemp, Tony Hadley, Steve Norman, Gary Kemp and John Keeble of Spandau Ballet attend the Spandau Ballet Party held at the Nikki Beach during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2009 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Gary Kemp;Tony Hadley;Steve Norman;Gary Kemp;John Keeble
He's the one in the middle (S.Norman)

5.  One of the things that struck me about my husband when we were still dating were his hands/arms.  I think I have a thing for hands and more importantly arms.  They need to look quite masculine (not necessarily muscular) with the right amount of hair.  I think it's sexy.  (Is this getting too weird now???)...

6.  Dreams are important to me and unlike most people, I actually don't feel rested when I wake up and find that I can't remember any of my dreams.  I know this is the opposite of having a truly restful sleep but I enjoy remembering my dreams and get a kick out of being able to analyze them.  Oh and yes, I am capable of lucid dreaming.  This totally comes in handy when chased by vampires, demons or hit men.

7.  Stroller Moms (or any group of mothers I see hanging out together) terrify me.  I've had terrible experiences with some mothers in play groups and have concluded that I will never gel with any of them or their kind.  These are the moms who believe in their hearts they know everything about 'proper' child-rearing, refuse to talk about anything else but their children and every breath, hiccup, fart, poop and drool made by their 'angels' all day, and carry the facade of Super Mom.  What scares me even more is the thought that they COULD BE truly Super Moms and hanging out with them only further highlights my inadequacies.  I don't need anyone to do that for me.  I am perfectly capable of doing that myself, thank you very much.    

And now, to pass on this award to (15) bloggers (not recently discovered, though, but these ladies are some of my all-time favorites, in random order):

*Jen of Writings of An Infertile Ballerina
*Marie of Scrollwork
*Kathy of My Dishwasher's Possessed
*Suzanne of List, Lust, Lost
*Sophia of Sophia The Writer
*TV of TV's Take
*Samantha of

Okay, so I don't have 15 on my list.  Aren't you thankful I'm not asking you to visit too many?  Have a great day reading these awesome writers!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Brain Must Really Need A Reboot...

I’m running out of apologies and beginning to hate myself for repeating excuses but it’s true.  I can’t seem to write these days.  My muse seemed to have decided to take a stroll somewhere and got lost somehow.  Could I have accidentally dropped her off at some interstate during our move or perhaps packed her in one of my still unopened boxes?? 

I find myself occupied with thoughts but every time I try to sit down and write, I can’t seem to have the ability to expound on them and say anything interesting.  So here I sit, trying to type something out of nothing, obviously filling the void with what surely feels like arbitrary noise in my head…

*I have a headache right now.  Perhaps it’s a tension headache, wondering if my husband would be able to resist the temptation to kill me later once he finds out I stupidly ran over a concrete parking block earlier today.  I totally forgot there was one in front of my car and instead of backing out of my spot, I drove forward.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I screamed ‘SH*T’ inside the car and felt totally stricken with panic, trying to decide whether I should keep driving forward or back up.  I chose the latter on the basis of trying to localize the damage to one part of the car.  Hopefully, said damage is not too serious.  I’ll find out in a few hours and I’ll report back assuming I’m  still alive by midnight.  

*I found myself challenging my trust issues today as I took a totally unfamiliar and unplanned for route to my son’s preschool.  For once, I decided to just follow the GPS and really go with the flow.  Pleasantly, I found myself ending up with a more scenic route with hills and cows and more importantly, less cars tailgating me.  Indeed, it’s amazing what happens when you decide to step out of your comfort zone a little…just a little for now…

*I can’t stop thinking of how old I felt when we went bar hopping last weekend in downtown Nashville.  It was fun and the amount of talent we saw was amazing but somehow, I felt kind of out of place.  It felt like I couldn’t keep up with the energy around me and no, I don’t think it’s just because of my age.  Somehow I knew it was because of my personality, that I’m just not built for a night life like that. *sigh*

*Isn’t it strange how we keep dreaming of an ideal house, more space and things brand new, planning for designs and furnishings, and then you finally get it and have no clue as to where to begin and how to decorate?  (I told you, every hint of creative fiber in my being seems to have gone on strike!)… 

*Apparently, no amount of random thoughts can distract me.  I’m still thinking of my vehicular booboo and my headache persists.  Damn you, concrete parking blocks!!!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed....and built its nest!

I must apologize for being MIA for so long and I’m hoping ya’ll will understand.  Yes, I’m officially a Southerner now, all moved in but not quite settled.  I still don’t have internet access at home, hence this quick update.  So, did you miss me?  Well, did you, did you??!!

Oh alright, I know you all have busy lives too.  Truth be told, I also only missed being online for a couple of days and then was too drained to feel any sort of significant emotion.  If you’ve moved before, you know exactly what I mean.  Every waking moment of your life gets devoted to packing, then unpacking, and you know that the only real motivation that gets you going is the thought of once again achieving some semblance of normalcy in your daily life.  This is one time in your life when the mundane, the predictable, becomes a delicious thought worth fantasizing over.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but I actually want to be bored.  Ah, sweet ecstasy…routine, routine, where art though?

So my life these days are filled with stocking our pantry, installing temporary paper blinds (Who would’ve thought deciding on curtain rod styles was so challenging!), doing laundry (and I don’t understand why this seems never ending these days), and the most time-consuming of all, watering the lawn.  I never knew sod was this demanding and I am seriously dreading our water bill next month.  I absolutely hate this task, but then again I was never a yard-work type of person. 

Well, since my physical exhaustion has seemed to have sucked out all my creative juices and has rendered me incapable of writing anything with real depth and substance at this time, let me leave you with a few photos of our new abode.  It still looks quite sparse at this point but we’ll probably take our time decorating.  Homes are never-ending projects anyway.  Thanks for dropping by to make sure I’m still alive and have not completely lost my mind…(or have I already accomplished that?).  I will do my best to return here as soon as my fully functional brain decides to check in.

the bane of my existence these days....