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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Brittany, Herself - September Writing Prompts

Howdy there!  Yes I'm finally back writing again.  Still having a difficult time getting back on the horse, depression does that to you, but I'm chugging along.  Still no job prospects, but I did have a marathon of interviews this week so hopefully one of those will work out for me, send good positive thoughts my way!

I chose to sort of change one of the prompts that Brittany had on her list this week.  She had one that said that September was Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.  While this is definitely an issue that deserves much awareness, there is another illness that is near and dear to me that almost no one knows about that is also being highlighted this month.  This month is also Interstitial Cystitis Awareness month.

We call it "IC" for short, it is kind of a mouthful.  It is a personal thing for me because I have had IC since 2007.  It is a chronic condition for which there is no cure.  It is not life threatening, but it can be very debilitating and painful.

What the heck is Interstitial Cystitis?  If you haven't heard of it, it is a chronic inflammation of the lining of the bladder wall that causes small pinprick bleeding.  This can make it extremely painful as the bladder fills with urine and causes the person to feel as if they have a urinary tract infection.  Of course, when the doctor tests for this the result is negative.  Symptoms, other than pain, are frequent urination, painful urination, and painful intercourse. 

IC mostly affects women, and is also related to other conditions such as fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome, both of which I have as well. 

IC can go into a type of remission, and come back.  I have had several remissions over the years, but it does come back.  I manage my condition with medications, and with decreasing the amount of acidic foods I eat, such as citric fruits, tomatos, anything spicy, etc.  There is more information about IC on www.ic-network.com if you want to know more.

Everyone supporting the IC awareness cause is "dressing up"  their Facebook page with a profile pic and banner pic, check mine out if you'd like to see it.  These pics are also on the IC network page if you'd like to support us.  We also do other things, like dye our hair blue, which is the official color for IC.  That's a little adventurous for me, so I always paint my toenails blue instead for the month to show my IC awareness love.  I encourage anyone to do just a little something do support us, spread the word about IC, and help us find a cure.  There are some people that have it so severely, they have to have their bladders removed altogether.  Show the love folks!!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Do you ever feel pressured to be perfect and have it all together, even when you don't?

I haven't written in awhile, so I'm jumping into the fray with August Writing Prompts with a month of Body Blogging with the Curvy Girl Community.  Who knows if I'll write every day, but I'll write as often as I feel inspired - deal?

The prompt I chose is this one: 

Do you ever feel pressured to be perfect and have it all together, even when you don't?

The truth is, yes I feel pressured everyday and I don't have it together at all.  Why, do you ask?  Well, a whole shitload of stuff has happened to me in the last several months that has pretty much turned my life upside down and it has yet to turn itself upright again.

I lost my job in March, and haven't found anything yet (which has gotten really fucking frustrating).  I've gone on numerous interviews and applied for at least 100 positions.  My significant other and I make it work on his paycheck, and for awhile my tax refund was helpful but that is long gone.  Depending on others for help is not something I do well, and asking for help is not something I do at all but it's something I've had to do in order to make ends meet.

I don't know why we as women feel that we have to put up this front that we have it all together and are perfect girlfriends, wives, mothers, and have perfect careers, make it home each night to cook the perfect dinner for our perfect families......it's all some made up bullshit that was put into our heads as kids or something.  There is no such thing as perfect....anything! 

None of us are perfect, we don't have perfect kids, sometimes our men are assholes (our kids are too), our jobs suck sometimes and some nights we have to just bring home McDonalds because we are just too fucking tired, frustrated, or irritated with our day to worry about cooking. 

I don't have a nice little bow to wrap this post up with, but I suppose if I were to say anything it would be this:  You don't have to be perfect girls!  It's okay to lose your shit now and then.  My situation is not going to right itself tomorrow, even if I do find a job.  It's going to take time to get everything un-fucked...and that is okay!  I believe that there is a job out there for me and that I will find it.  Until then, I'm okay with not being perfect and I'm not going to try to appear to be.  Things are not okay right now, but they will be at some point and I'm willing to be patient until then.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Life is a highway and there are potholes: 2014 and New Beginnings

Life is a highway and there are potholes: 2014 and New Beginnings: I'm a little late getting going on the obligatory January, "new year's" post this year but there's been a lot to think...

2014 and New Beginnings

I'm a little late getting going on the obligatory January, "new year's" post this year but there's been a lot to think about for me for the upcoming year.

For me it had a lot to do with reflecting back to where I was during the holidays 2012 and new years of 2013 which was dealing with a separation and living alone for the first time.  The holidays were not fun for me in 2012, so 2013 didn't start off that great either.  I had my family and some friends but for all intents and purposes, I had to work this shit out on my own.

In February, the unexpected happened......I met someone.  We went on a first date, then a second, then next thing you know a relationship began to bloom.  I put the brakes on it a few times, fear can really screw with your mind so we took things very slowly but by the time this year's holidays were rolling around we're both all in. 

We had started living together, and we celebrated our first holidays together in 2013.  We have each met the parents, and things are good there.  I got a promise ring from Chris for Christmas, which (for those of you that don't know what those are) is basically a promise of committment without actually getting engaged since we're not quite at that point yet.

For us, 2014 is about letting go of the past for good (I hope to finalize my divorce in a few months) and for he and I to move towards making a future for ourselves.  We both still want children (even though I am a tad over 40) so that is something that is important to us.  Hopefully that will happen for us and if it doesn't, perhaps adoption is in our future. 

Either way, I'm not afraid of the future anymore.  For a long time I was and living that way makes all parties involved so unhappy.  I know that whatever happens, I'm finally with the person I'm supposed to be with and 2014 looks bright!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Perhaps I've Said Too Much" by the Midget Man of Steel...I loves me a midget man! - Update!

Perhaps you've heard of the Midget Man of Steel before, otherwise known as that nutjob Rodney Lacroix.  Blogger extraordinnaire of "Mental Poo," Draw Something game expert, and bestselling author of "Things Go Wrong for Me."  The book was released on December 3rd, and for the entire week, it has been on Amazon's Top 100 on the humor best seller list!  I got my "official" copy today, so I get to read the final version now (the review below is based upon an advanced copy).  I'm not going to go into what Rodney wrote in my book when he signed it.....needless to say that man needs help.  If you've read any of his musings though, that's not a big surprise to you now is it?

In case you missed it the first time, I'm reposting my review of this crazy book below.  Order details are at the very end of this post.

Here's the review:

Well some crazy person thought it would be a good idea for him to write a second book (thanks a lot Ross), so here we are with a review of Rodney's second outing, "Perhaps I've Said Too Much."

I literally just finished it, and I am still giggling.  The premise of the book (loosely) is about Rodney's years of not quite lying, but messing with people.  REALLY messing with people.  No one is safe, not even his children, Cam and Payton.  However, they are getting old enough to get revenge on their old man and that is just enough karma to kick Rodney's ass.  (Still love you Rod!)

Rodney still has that great way of telling his stories that you feel like you're in a conversation about them instead of just reading a good.  His wonderful and relatable style is what makes his writing so personable and likeable.

He starts out with a story from his childhood where he had his classmates believing he had a bionic finger, like the 6 Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin.  (If you don't know who the 6 million dollar man is, first I feel sorry for you and second, go google him)  Damn I'm old.  Anyhoo, of course little Rodney got busted by the teacher for his little ruse.

If you've also read Rodney's first book, the Brain Nuggets are back in full force.  I won't give any away since they are all golden!  Plus, another section on his Draw Something masterpieces. 

There are 2.....yes TWO stories of his parents picking him up from the pokey (that's southern for jail).  The book is worth it just for those stories people, I thought I'd pee my pants!

His endless pranks continue into his workplace, I can't wait for my copy of Poultry Today to arrive by the way. 

Kerri, his then fiancee has of course put up with a lot, and now that she's married the schmuck, she's really in for it.  I'm so sorry honey! I have a spare room in North Carolina if you ever need it.  LOL!

Anyhoo, to wrap up a little since this review is a bit all over the place, I loved this book.  I really think it's even better than "Things Go Wrong For Me."  I look forward to book #3 if they improve with each book then #3 ought to be a doozy you guys! 

Go immediately and get your copy of "Perhaps I've Said too Much" by Rodney Lacroix.  You can also get a copy of his first book, "Things Go Wrong for Me."  Might as well get the set right?  See ordering links below, one of which you can order from and get yourself an autographed copy!  I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I'll be re-reading it when I get my autographed copy.

Oh and Rodney, some women do have a thing for midgets so you better watch it!  Rawr!!! ;) 

Title:   Perhaps I've Said Too Much
Author:  Rodney Lacroix
Genre: Humor/Comedy
Publication Date:  December 3, 2013
Published By:  RCG Publishing

Purchase Links:

Paperback: http://amzn.to/1aWcJsM
Kindle: http://amzn.to/1c8rOsh
Autographed copy: http://www.rcgpublishing.com/?op=order

Synopsis
"It's not a lie if you believe it."

Bionic fingers. Self-combusting Tiffany lamps. Rubber spiders and ventriloquist dolls. Vindictive mothers throwing women down stairs.
Rodney Lacroix has lived his life trying to fool people. Some of this is on purpose. Some of this just comes naturally. But no matter what the story he spins, there is always retribution - and it is very rarely a happy ending.
Join Rodney as he walks you through hysterical stories told through the eyes of a perpetual liar. Wince at his untruths, told in the same unconventional style that won him two awards for his 2012 release, "Things Go Wrong for Me." Feel his pain. Shake your head. Learn some lessons.
As usual, all of the stories contained herein are true.
Or are they?

About the Author
Rodney Lacroix is a comedian, father of two amazing kids, reluctant 40-houra-
week software engineer and best-selling author. In 2013, Rodney was
awarded an NGI Book Awards Medal for his memoir, "Things Go Wrong for
Me." This beautiful medal is currently on display around his neck because he
has not taken it off since receiving it. Also he's not very humble.
Rodney firmly believes that fabricating grandiose tales about one's self makes
a person more impressive. That's exactly what he told Playgirl Magazine
when they did a 4-page nude spread of him.
It's probably best you don't believe anything Rodney says.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Laura Jo, we still miss you! Oct 20, 1971 - Oct 20, 1989

I hope you guys don't mind a bit of a rewind post today, but a friend reminded me the significance of what yesterday was, and I'd like to re-post this in honor of my friends who also still mourn this friend, but also for her family.  It has now been 24 years since our friends' death, this post is my homage to her and her affect on me, and on everyone in our community.  We miss you Laura Jo!

Today is a special day, but also a sad day for me and for many of my old friends.  24 years ago yesterday, I was a senior in high school....and 24 years ago yesterday, we all lost one of our most special friends and classmates.  I wanted to share the story of that day with you, and some of how it affected me. 

October 20th, 1989 was a Teacher Workday and, as I said earlier, I was a senior in high school.  I went to Eastern Guilford in Gibsonville, NC.  My parents were at work, and I believe it was a Friday.  Saturday was cleaning day at our house normally, but because I was home I was working on getting it done a day early, as I had some other things to do on Saturday.  It was sometime around or after lunchtime I think, and I was vacumming the living room when the phone rang.  It was my best friend at the time, Tracy on the other line.  She told me that Laura Jo was dead.  I think I floated up out of my body when I heard that, and I asked her to repeat what she said.  Through tears, she again told me "Laura Jo died, it was a car accident."  I don't remember much after that except that I melted down onto the floor and just cried.  I immediately called my Mom at work to tell her the news when I was able to speak again.  I was - and still am, very close to my Mom and I share everything with her.  I didn't know much about the details, only that it was a head-on collision with a truck at a back curve on Mt. Hope Church Road here in McLeansville.

I discovered later, probably Sunday at church that she had been down at the haunted house working for most of the day.  See, our youth group had a haunted house we put on every year at this old abandoned house (it has since been torn down), it was our big fundraiser for our summer mission trip.  We worked for months before Halloween getting things ready for 3 days of long lines of people parading through.  My plan was to go work there on Saturday.  Anyway, she worked there with some of the guys all morning and then left to go home when the accident happened.  To this day, I don't know if she veered over or if the truck driver did...I guess it doesn't matter.

Monday arrived and we all went to school.  I don't know about everyone else but I was numb. I had cried all weekend and was exhausted emotionally.  They had grief counsellors at the school available for us to talk to, I remember just sitting in the library talking with classmates, reminiscing and remembering Laura Jo.

The funeral was brutal, and huge.  We went to a rather large church and it was standing room only that day.  I don't remember much about it, or the graveside service.  It was emotional, I know that and I do remember visiting her gravesite many times over the years. 

After her death, our class grew very close.  We were a small group, and we clung to each other to cope with her death.  She was a popular girl, everyone loved her.  She was involved in several sports and organizations, she was posthumously voted Best All Around in our superlatives for the yearbook.

I knew Laura Jo from the time we were both in preschool at the daycare at our church.  We went to kindergarten together, and basically grew up together.  We weren't very close friends when she died, something I regretted.  We didn't have a lot in common - she was very athletic and I wasn't, we just had completely different personalities I think.

Regardless, I had a really difficult time with her death.  This was the first time I had experienced such a loss, especially of someone my own age.  I was forced to consider my own mortality, and realize that life is short.  When you are 18 as I was then, your whole life is ahead of you and you think that you have all the time in the world.  That was the first time it really hit me that things can change in the blink of an eye.  It really took me awhile to work through the grief and all the feelings I was having about her death.  I started writing to deal with it - first journalling, then poetry, then I started hearing a melody in my head...which turned into a song. 

I was playing in a band with some musicians from my church at the time, outside of the youth group I was in.  We played at a few locales around town and rehearsed in a basement.  I shared with them my song and finally in the Spring of 1990 we had the opportunity to share it with the community.  The school had an event, a sort of "battle of the bands" type thing and we performed a set.  I debuted my song at this event....and received my first and only standing ovation.  It was one of the most thrilling moments of my life, to share a song that was so personal to me and that had provided me with such healing. 

Graduation was sad for us, we all had to say goodbye to each other after a very difficult year together.  We all went our separate ways, I didn't run into any of my former classmates anywhere until we started reconnecting on Facebook.  There have been a couple of reunions, but I have had to miss them. 

What's the takeaway from this post?  I'm not sure I know.  Just that everyone experiences loss and grieves in different ways.  What is the story of your first experience with death?  How did you deal with it?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 years ago....where were u?

We all know what today is, unless you grew up under a rock. Today is the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon. Each year, I think back on that day and I remember it clearly.

Every generation seems to have an event like this. It's just like my parents...they remember exactly where they were when JFK was shot.

I remember where I was when the Challenger shuttle exploded in 1986. I was 13 years old then and in about the 7th grade. We were watching it on TV because it was the first schoolteacher going up into space. No one understood what was happening at first, but then it became abundantly clear what had happened.

As for 9/11, I was at work. I was working for a publishing company at the time, on one of the in-flight magazines for one of the major airlines. I had barely gotten into the office when I got a phone call from my then boyfriend and future husband about a plane hitting one of the buildings of the World Trade Center. I went on CNN.com and indeed there was a breaking story about it.

About that time, there started to be a lot of buzzing around the office as word started to spread quickly. We didn't know what it was, we thought perhaps an accident, no one knew what kind of plane it was or anything. There was so much speculation. I got off the phone and a bunch of us went up to the conference room where someone had turned on the television so we could see what was going on.

I don't remember how much time there was between the first and second plane, but I remember seeing the second plane hit. Once that happened, all of us knew what this was...we were being attacked. I just remember looks of horror around the room but none of us could comprehend the scope of the events that would continue to unfold that day.

A little while after the 2nd plane hit, we were hearing about a low flying plane close to the Pentagon. I knew deep down already what was going to happen, and about 20 minutes later it was confirmed that plane did hit the Pentagon.

At this point we were all terrified, what the hell was going on? What was coming next? Some of us thought we might be bombed somewhere, that this was a declaration of war, we had no idea.

Then we hear about a 4th plane heading to Washington. We knew it was either heading for the White House or the Capitol Building, those were the 2 logical targets there that would strike the most fear, but then the plane crashed into a field. We were confused by this at the time, but later were filled in by what really happened on that flight. (Flight 93)

All this time the news was going from scene to scene to scene, trying to cover everything - it was madness. We went from seeing people jump out of their office windows of the World Trade Center buildings to seeing the Pentagon burning and people running out of there, back to the Trade Center.

I must say, seeing people jump from those buildings to their death is something that is forever burned into my brain. The fire was below them, they knew they had no way out and they chose to jump. It makes my heart ache even thinking of it now, 12 years later.

The only thing worse, was when those towers fell. We knew that there were still thousands of people in those buildings, and there was nothing to be done for them. We stood in that conference room clinging to each other and crying for those people as one tower fell, then the other.

We all watched the coverage for days.  We were seeking answers, no one knew who did it, how many died, why that plane crashed in that field, there were so many questions everyone was glued to the TV.  For me, seeing New Yorkers walk the streets to get out of that area, covered in the dust from the towers just looking exhausted and disoriented at times just broke my heart.

I don't live in New York, I've never been to New York. I don't know anyone that was there that day or who died that day. I will say this, here in North Carolina it was as if I was there. I felt the same pain as if I were there.

All Americans did no matter where we lived or where we were that day.

Teach your kids about what this day means to us lest we forget the sacrifices made by those on Flight 93, the firefighters and police that were caught in the towers when it went down, and everyone else who died that day.