Friday, March 26, 2010

Pick yourself up and dust yourself off...and learn from your mistakes

It would seem that Sandra Bullock has been weaving in and out of my psyche as of late. I watched her performance in The Blind Side last night and think it was Oscar worthy, although I still think Meryl Streep was better as Julia Child. But that is not what I wanted to talk about. I want to talk about what is happening to her. Not only has she been in the news with her successes, but her personal failures as well. I suppose "personal failure" is an unfair description, but if she is like most women, she probably does blame herself in some way for the crumbling of her marriage to Jesse James. Once the perfect man in her eyes, turns out he was nothing more than a lying cheating prick. She picked him out of millions of others that were available to her, so she must have been a poor judge of character. At least that is possibly how she sees it now as she takes her journey down the path of pain and humiliation. I journeyed down that same path once. My first husband couldn't keep it in his pants either. I was lucky he didn't bring much baggage into our marriage and left with little as well. No kids before, and none during. It was a simple even split of what little assets we had accumulated in our 4 year union and he walked out the door with his tail between his legs, muttering how sorry he was. The mutterings were too little, too late. I was, and have never been the forgiving kind. One of the benefits of a failed marriage I later learned was the opportunity it presents for self-analysis. It really almost forces you to stop and take stock of who you are, who you became during the marriage, and who you will never be again. That process doesn't necessarily happen immediately. There is usually a period of anger and blame and sadness that comes prior to that journey, but it ends up being the best part of the whole damn thing. I hope Sandy moves on to that part quickly for her sake. That guy isn't worth a single wasted negative emotion from what we can see, but she won't likely move into that zone quite yet. It was one thing for a gal like me to go through the agony of separation and divorce, but quite another thing for someone like her doing it in the public eye; millions of strangers following her along her path like voyeurs peering through her fish bowl existence. She has no where to hide. No where to pause and lick her wounds. The paparazzi will lie in wait for her first public tear, or better yet, an angry confrontation with him in a restaurant or her driveway, or some other place. I can see it now. The tabloids commenting on her appearance. Headlines screaming - "Bullock fading away - unable to eat!", or "Sandra spotted at fast food joint scarfing down burgers - eating away her pain!" What is it about someone else's problems that interest us? Why should we care? Celebrities we have never met become the topic of office gossip. We take sides. Remember the "Team Aniston" and "Team Jolie" T-shirts that made the rounds? I know there are folks out there who manage to ignore this type of fluff. They are usually academic types who profess to have bigger, better and more important things to think and talk about, but even they hear the news. We live in a society that worships celebrity. No matter how much we reason they are just human like the rest of us, we still can't help but be intrigued by their stories. Why are their broken hopes and dreams any more or less important than our own? They're not really, but they have risen to the top and we have a sort of sick obsession with observing their rise and fall. And the fall almost always comes. The pedestal we perch them on is never strong enough to hold them forever. They are simply human like the rest of us. Surely it is only a matter of time before we all fall. There are the likes of Obama and Oprah and Ellen - the ones we love.....for now. We loved Tiger and Brad once too. How long before everyone stumbles? It's in the picking yourself up after the stumble that creates the necessary change. Humans have evolved, but we're not there yet. Some of us, apparently more evolved than others.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tattoo or not Ta Too, that is the Question

As mothers go, I think I lean toward the permissive type. I don't have a lot of rules, don't enforce chores the way I probably should and I rarely have to say no to my daughter since she rarely asks for anything inappropriate or outrageous. She is a great kid. She is obedient to a fault sometimes. In fact she is far more rule abiding than I even expect her to be or need her to be for that matter. She does not hang with a fast crowd. She does not go to parties or gatherings where there might possibly be drinking or drugs as she does not feel comfortable around that sort of thing (yet). She is only 15. She is self-composed, happy in her own company, and mature for her age in many ways. Perhaps because she is an only child and has spent most of her life surrounded by adults, she actually does not enjoy being around a lot of noise and chaos - aka - small noisy children. If we are shopping or anywhere out in public and a toddler starts screaming, or a baby starts wailing, she finds it very annoying to the point she wants to leave the area. One of her great loves is music. Crying babies are apparently not music to her ears. I have to admit, I am not a big fan myself, so when she was a baby, I made sure I tended to her every need before she ever had to cry, 9 times out of 10. With no siblings vying for my attention, it was easy. She was fed before she got too hungry, changed before she got too wet, and hugged before the boo boo had a chance to smart. It worked for both of us. Silence reigned supreme. But I digress; back to her love of music. She is self-educated when it comes to various music genres. She may ruin us financially one day with the amount she spends on I Tunes, but we don't discourage her interest. She is not much interested in fashion or other expensive hobbies, so we allow a generous allowance for books and music, (books being high on her list as well). Most of her friends know little about the kind of music she listens to, and as time has passed, it has become her stamp of individuality. She thinks I lived through the greatest era for music and laments the pop and rap that have defined her childhood. Complete crap as far as she is concerned. To commemorate her love of music and anything to do with Japanese culture (another interest - think... Manga), she asked me if she could get a small tattoo for her 16th birthday. She wanted the small Japanese symbol for music (pictured above) or possibly the symbol for fate/destiny in a discreet location just behind her shoulder. She impressed me with her choice for starters. I have never been a fan of tattoos, but that is a generational thing and I know her generation think nothing of inking their bodies with expressions of their individuality. She said she did not want a "tramp stamp" (that was a relief!) (for those of you unaware, that is the tattoo just above one's ass crack). She had brought this topic up a couple of years ago. At that time I was adamant that there was no way any kid of mine was going to desecrate her pristine skin with permanent marks administered by some seedy middle-aged ex-biker in an unsanitary parlour with questionable needles. That was then. I have mellowed since. In fact, I have mellowed so much, that I decided if she really wanted to, she could have one even prior to her birthday later this year. Being the ever-obedient kid that she is, she scolded me, saying, "MOM, you have to be 16!" Hold on a second. Who is the parent here? The reason I gave her the go ahead now was because she was heading west to spend a week with my brother and his family. My nephew's wife is the only person I know who is what I would consider a tattoo expert. She has several artistic inkings herself and I figured she would be the one to talk to and the one who would know the best place to have one done. I was right. She knew of a very reputable "studio" that specialized in "tattoo art" and they even had a lovely website with samples of their intricate work. All I had to do was sign a parental consent form and she was good to go. I signed the form this morning and as far as I know, she will get her tattoo tomorrow. I hope it is not too painful and that she does not regret it one day. That is really my only fear. But she won't be alone. Now it is almost odd in this decade to NOT have one. There was even a funny line in an episode of 30 Rock when Alec Baldwin said he had an idea for the next big money-making venture of the next decade - "Tattoo Removal Clinics" for all those regretters out there in the years to come. You may call me permissive, but she calls me cool. At 52, I'll take cool - it sure beats "my mom is a strict mean old bitch." Any day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Don't look back Sandy!

How could he? How the fuck could he? Who in their right mind would intentionally fuck around on Sandra Bullock. She's pretty, smart, talented.....and bloody wealthy! Surely to god Jessie what's his name must have stopped for a brief moment before he rammed it into Miss Tattoo and thought - "Am I out of my mind?" But apparently not. Not only had she married the asshole, she had taken his 3 kids under her wings like the ideal step mom should. She publicly thanked and adored him for her Oscar, her Golden Globe , her Razzie, and whatever other awards she just scooped up recently. The woman was crazy about him. But that was not enough for old Jessie. Nooooo! He just couldn't keep it in his pants. He had to risk everything for a bite of the forbidden fruit. One of the girls I work with today had a theory. She pointed out how almost every Best Actress Oscar recipient in recent years experienced philandering husbands shortly after they won. The list is impressive. Halle Berry and Kate Winslet for two. She reckons it is an ego thing. They can't cope with their wives success, so they have to get stroked - quite literally by some piece of trash they just happen upon shortly after, or just before as was the case with Jessie James (stupid name too). How pathetic. Clearly, beauty, brains and wealth are no competition for the adoration of some no-name broad. I must admit, I always wondered what Sandra saw in him. I didn't think he was all that good looking and he was no match for her talent or wealth. Maybe he was good in bed - that was what I figured. What else could it be? He wasn't exactly a good catch. She on the other hand, could have her pick as far as I was concerned. She obviously deserved much better. As painful as this entire thing is for her, in the end she will be better off without him. We're all pulling for ya Sandy - fuck him.....NO - don't do that.....ever again, but you know what I mean - FUCK HIM! Maybe Tiger can fix him up with his therapist. Obviously he needs some help.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If it's Custom, it ain't CHEAP!

For whatever reason, I was a little impatient with some of my "potential" clients yesterday. One of the girls in my office claimed it was probably because Mercury was retrograde, but I just think most of the people I had to deal with were a bit moronic for the most part. By the end of the day, I had a pretty short fuse and a phone call was directed to me from an inquiring (no) mind. His accent put me off from the get go, as politically incorrect as that seems, but there are certain cultures that are stereotypically and notoriously CHEAP and I knew as soon as I heard him start to talk where the conversation would lead. He wanted to know how much it would cost to make a custom made valance box for a 4 foot window and he expected the answer to roll off my tongue as matter-of-factly as his asinine question had rolled off his. Well, I said, in my forced patient tone, that depends on quite a few variables. What type of fabric are you considering? That will influence the cost. Silk or burlap? He did not know. What about the design? Are you thinking a simple rectangle or something more decorative and intricate? (likely simple like him I thought). He did not know again. And would we be doing the installation, or was he capable? So I told him that I could not really give him a price without knowing a little more about his project and that the sky was the limit really depending on his choices.
This was not good enough for him however. Still he insisted on an estimate. OK, fine, I thought - you want an estimate - here you go. "You're probably looking at a minimum of fifteen hundred dollars for a custom treatment of this nature but it could be much higher depending on the things I mentioned a moment ago."
"FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!", he shrieked into my ear. "Why so much?" Did I not just finish explaining why to you moron? At that point I wanted to tell him he could go buy some plywood from Home Depot, a mitre saw and a few nails and some fabric from some place like Fabricland and make his own and install it himself if he felt paying a fair price for custom treatments was too much.
However, in my ever diplomatic fashion I told him it might be a good idea to come into our showroom and have a look at the type of things we do and we could discuss his project in more detail.Where in his experience did he ever associate the word "custom" as a synonym for "inexpensive"? He told me a friend had referred him to us as a good place to have this done. His friend obviously understood "custom" but was unaware of his friend's limited budget and ignorance regarding such things. I hate time-wasters like this. Like the woman the other day who wanted to be able to finish off her living room with an assortment of tables and accessories for 2K including taxes. She was obviously in the wrong showroom. No matter how I tried to work it out for her, it was not gonna happen. I told her I would contact her when some floor models went on sale. It was the best I could do. Maybe these bargain-hunters are new at the game. Maybe they don't know the first thing about bargain hunting. Don't get me wrong - I love a bargain myself, but I know where to shop for them and where not to bother. And I would never waste the time of an employee of a higher end retailer with my idiotic questions that would never give me the miracle answers I was looking for. I don't go into Hermes and ask which scarves are half price or Prada to find a purse for under a hundred bucks. I know better. It's not rocket science. Someone needs to tell them. Please.

Friday, March 5, 2010

90 Days may be Rushing it!

For those of you waiting for my "getting ripped" update, you may be waiting a little longer. The program is in my hot little hands and I have watched and even participated in a few of the workouts, but the part I am struggling with is the 6 day per week commitment and the sheer difficulty of some of the exercises. So.....I am incorporating some of the new moves into my present work-out which I thought was already fairly capable of getting me at least half-way ripped over time. This fitness program is HARD! P90X is not for someone trying to start a new exercise program after years of sedentary behaviour. I have a pretty active life, have been working out regularly and a lot of it is beyond me. I am not saying I am giving up - I am only saying I'm not sure I will be able to keep up - hence - 90 days to a "ripped body" may not work out for me. Perhaps 180 days or longer. And truth be told, maybe "ripped" is not what my goal needs to be. I am thinking, toned, strong, flexible. I must admit though, "ripped" just sounded so amazing. And of course, the followers in the DVD's - male and female are certainly "ripped". It's like watching fitness porn. Sinewy, defined muscles staring at you from the TV screen taunting you to work harder, faster and longer. They make it look easy, although even they break a sweat and have moments of trembling whilst trying to hold some positions. So you can imagine what happens when I try to do some of these things. Ouch! I sort of wish I would have gotten motivated in my thirties to getting and staying "ripped". It's harder now in my forties. (Did I say forties?) Whatever! Stay tuned - I may get there yet.