Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Being Almost 50 Means You...

Routinely leave the house without makeup, wash your hair every other day and have a shorter list of people you feel the need to look presentable for.

Have a favorite outfit that consists of baggy sweatpants or yoga pants with a baggy sweater. (Baggy clothes are the bomb.)

Have left childish, emotional drama behind you.

Are grateful for your current health but fearful of what’s to come.

Realize you’re expert on things you never thought you’d know or never wanted to know.

Acknowledge the years, months, days and moments you squandered and vowing to appreciate every moment from now on.

Give yourself permission to be who you are and don't care who doesn't like it.

Still hate your stomach and thighs and wish you were hard-wired to feel differently.

Have no tolerance for mean people and bullies and understand that life is too short to spend any energy on their jack-assery. It also means you have the courage to eliminate them from your life while pitying them because they hurt so much they have to make others feel badly.

Are learning how to appreciate your spouse in more ways every day.

Enjoy the opportunity to watch your children grow into independent young adults, feel grateful they appear to have turned out okay but remain fearful that they may have inherited some of your own neuroses.

Want to hang on to your youth – to a certain extent. You may not get Snapchat or Twitter but you still love spending some time drinking, dancing and hanging out with friends.

Continually count your blessings while worrying about when your luck will run out.

Often feel as if your brain has reached its capacity and has little ability to retain additional information.

Are learning to not sweat the small stuff because you’re more concerned about the bigger stuff looming in the horizon.

Have a better idea of how things in life work even though you don't quite understand it all.

Know that spending a quiet evening with your family in the home you built together pretty much trumps everything else.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

OMG, I Really, Really, REALLY Hate Winter!

You know how some people say they forgot all the horrific details of childbirth because if they remembered how horrendous it was, they wouldn’t have any more children? Well, that’s how I feel about winter.

When the weather’s warm and sunny and when I spend a lazy Saturday afternoon sitting at the pool and when I’m cutting the grass, I completely forget what a pain in the ass winter is.

If I remembered the coats, gloves, boots, hats, scarves, colds, flu, the extra asthma medicine we need, coughs, snotty noses, having to heat the car, the pile of dirty snow slop in our garage that inevitably gets tracked through the house and the way I always feel cold because it always IS cold for 5 damn months, I’d pack up everything I owned move to Florida.

Which is exactly what I want to do RIGHT NOW!!

OMFG! Will this winter EVER end??!!

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

You Don't Need To Worry About Me Being Crazy Because I'm Way Past That Point

Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m almost 50 years old. I never imagined myself at 50 years old. When I was little, 35 seemed old – and now I’m 13 years past that age and I’m worried about things on my body not working right any more. I suppose everyone worries about that. It hardly makes me unique. It’s just that for years now, I expected some medical problems.

I had a grandfather who had a massive stroke at a young age so I’ve always been frightened at the slightest headache. I've had relatives on different sides of the family die from colon cancer, so I’ve been permanently on standby waiting for the cancer cells to strike. For a long time I was terrified I was about to be struck down by a motor neuron disease for no other reason than the fact that I’d read a very moving article about a young baseball player who contracted ALS. He first noticed a problem when he was struck on the wrist with a baseball. I broke my arm water skiing about 15 years ago and sometimes it still feels funny. Whenever I feel a twinge in my arm, I think, OK here we go. Once when I was seeing a therapist about an anxiety issue I told him about my fear of ALS and how I’d cope getting around in a wheelchair and he actually rolled his eyes and said, “Are you for real?!” (Which is probably what you’re thinking right now.)

Those are all things I have gone through in depth because, when it comes to worry, I am a crazy person. There’s been other things too. I get a dry, irritating cough every winter that takes about a month to go away. (Lung cancer?) Sometimes my knees and ankles feel stiff (Arthritis?) I’m legally blind in one eye (What if my other eye goes?) and have numerous food allergies. (Suppose I accidentally eat something with egg in it?!) One the plus side, I have excellent teeth.

I find time in my day to worry about all of those things. I insure against those things by worrying about them – and more. Every day I remember to worry that Bill will die in a car accident. I make sure I worry in regular intervals about Justin – going through childhood diseases, STDs and any other awful stuff that might happen to a kid, a teen and a young adult. Before I go to sleep, I worry that a good friend or someone else I love will die. Every morning I worry that someone I know will be killed that day in a freaky accident. That’s a waste of time, Bill has told me. He doesn’t understand that I’m fighting off freaky accidents by worrying about them. It’s my own personal War on Freaky Accidents and all the other bad stuff that might happen.

Of course the sensible thing to do is to learn to control my worrying because it’s obviously just stupid superstition, and childish too – it’s as if I’m the center of the universe and what I think actually makes a difference. But then, worrying has been such a BIG part of my life for such a long time that stopping at this point might make me feel dull inside. Besides, chances are I’m NOT going to stop worrying. I like worrying. I come from a long line of worriers. It’s in my blood – and I’m really, really good at it.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

State of the Union: Women are Still Screwed and Congress Needs To Stop Being So Worthless

Let me say upfront that I considered not writing about President Obama’s State of the Union address because every time I write about politics, people get soooooo rattled if you don’t share THEIR opinions. (People can be pushy and mean in real life and they can act even worse behind the anonymity of the Internet.) Then I decided to write about it anyway because I had a few thoughts -- so excuse me if I have an opinion you disagree with. This IS America.

Anyhoo, back to the State of the Union. The point of this speech is to bring hope and optimism to U.S. citizens. Sometimes we get so caught up in bitching about what our government HASN'T done that we need to be reminded of the things they HAVE accomplished. And...well...the State of the Union just didn’t do it for me. Instead, I'm irritated by stuff that's still happening and shouldn't be and stuff that's not happening in this country and should be. For example: 

Today, women make up about half our workforce.  But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.  That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. 

Yep. Yes. It is an embarrassment. AND it’s 2014!! Why is this still something we are even talking about? 

She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job.  A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too. 

Amen to that. Problem is, women are still being treated like they’re getting “special privileges” when they’re “allowed” to care for a sick child. Talk to just about any woman who sacrificed her career for her children and she’ll tell you what bullshit the whole “having it all” idea really is. (Hellllooooo…..legislated maternity leave HINT HINT) 

It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode.  This year, let’s all come together – Congress, the White House, and businesses from Wall Street to Main Street – to give every woman the opportunity she deserves.  Because I firmly believe when women succeed, America succeeds. 

President Obama should have just said, “This year, let’s all come together, and hunt for unicorns, find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and shake hands with the little leprechauns.” Does ANYONE REALLY think Congress is going to do ANYTHING to move this country forward? Especially when women aren’t even being given the opportunity to make decisions about their own bodies. 

Then there was the reminder that “women hold a majority of lower-wage jobs.” (That is, if they actually have a job since unemployment is STILL an issue.)

I’m not bashing our President…okay…I kind of sort am…and I have no right to do that because I didn’t vote in the last election and I'll be the first person to tell someone “If you don’t vote, don't complain.” But I’m going to say this anyway: I’m tired of politicians (Democrats, Republicans, all of you!) talking about what women need and what we as a country need and then putting little or no action behind those words. I don’t want to be told what I can and can’t do with my body and I’m tired of crappy employment opportunities.

And geesh, don’t even get me started on unemployment and how the thousands of unemployed people in this country are making ends meet. But let’s be clear, personally I don’t think we should extend unemployment benefits. How about we create REAL jobs that pay a wage people can afford to live on?! We’re fighting for a minimum wage that is still not livable.

In conclusion, most of this feels like Extreme Butt-hurt. Women are still screwed, an executive order is being signed to raise the minimum wage for federal workers under new contracts in the hope that states will follow, too many people are still unemployed, and Congress needs to stop being so worthless.

I’m going to stop hissing about these things now because I can feel a giant stress-vein bulging between my eyebrows. How about some happy blog posts next week? All happy stuff. I promise.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

In Case You Didn't Know, Being a Professional Cheerleader is a Suckfest

Hey blog readers! Today's post is about cheerleaders, which may seem sort of ridiculous, except for two things: 1) I understand why she's upset and 2) I'm feeling so brain dead from the winter and the negative temperatures that I didn't know what else to write about today. So here you go:
Being a professional cheerleader is HARD and UNFAIR. That’s according to Lacey T, a 27-year-old Oakland Raiders cheerleader who knows firsthand what a suckfest professional cheerleadering is. On behalf of all 40 Raiderettes, Lacy recently filed a lawsuit against her team citing unfair labor practices and wage theft.

Before we review Lacy's list of grievances, let's have a moment of silence for her well being. (Silence) Okay then, here we go. According to Lacy:

Raiderettes have to buy their own fake eyelashes. You just feel for a girl who has to wear fake eyelashes every day. Not only does she have to stick those things on her eyelids, she has to trudge over to Sally Beauty and buy them...AND pay for her own hair AND makeup AND tights!! That's not even the worst part. Apparently...

Cheerleaders who look “too soft” aren’t allowed to cheer for the day. UGH.  So many eye-rolls over this. I'm sure its frustrating as hell to get time off from your job just because you're having a bloated day.

Girls on the squad are required to do the annual cheerleader swimsuit calendar photo shoot without pay. Raiderettes don't get paid for the charity events the squad participates in. I'm calling bullshit on that. Work is work, even if it consists of smiling and looking pretty.

Bringing the wrong pom poms to work will get your pay docked.  It must be hard remembering whether to pack the small-sized, super sparkly pair instead of the medium-sized, not-very-sparkly pair. (Other offenses that may result in pay loss are wearing the wrong workout clothes and forgetting to bring your yoga mat to practice.)

The pay is terrible. Chances are no one ever planned on making a career out of cheerleading. However, Raiderettes are paid $1,250 per year. That comes out to about $5 an hour and is probably not even legal minimum wage. What's especially bothersome is that the cheerleader's pay is held until the end of the year. Meanwhile, those who work as team mascots for the Raiders receive full pay and benefits.

As Lacy has said through her attorney, "I hope cheerleaders across the NFL will step forward to join me in demanding respect and fair compensation.

I can see where she's going with her lawsuit. Lacey and her fellow cheerleaders are entitled to be paid least minimum wage, which is one of her biggest complaints against the Raiders. I mean, it's as if the Raiders' owners believe that the laws that protect all workers in California just don't apply to them. But seriously girl, if you're looking for respect, you probably shouldn't start your argument bitching about eyelashes.

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