Randomness from a quirky mind.

I want what I cannot have. I know that I can’t have it  but I wish that I could have made the decision about not having it. Eventhough I would have concurred that having it was probably not best, at least not right now, I still wish I could have had a choice in the matter. I don’t like that I could not choose. And if I could choose, what would I have done? Probably agreed that it was best that I not have it but maybe I would have played with it a little first! Oh well, I can’t do anything about it. I just wanted to vent that I want what I cannot have. And I hate it! But I have to live with it. Okay, moving on.

Gratitude is exhibited in several ways. In this case, self gratitude is very reluctant  and usually happens because someone else has pointed out a trait or an accomplishment I have that is significant to them. I tend to think that I am not tall enough or overweight till someone short or morbidly obese tells me that they wish they could be like me. I spent 4 years getting a degree which for a while was stored in my laundry hamper and at this moment I have no idea where it is. But ever so often it takes someone struggling to achieve that very same goal I consider a nonentity to remind me to be proud of my accomplishements. I am a grad. I am 5’10. I am …lbs.lol I have a great job that allows me to travel to all four corners of the world for next to nothing. I have a pretty smile. I have friends who will always be there for me no matter how absent I sometimes am. I have a mother who makes breakfast for me when I come in exhausted from work. I have wonderful family. I am grateful.

 So I have been in my home for almost a month now and I am still to take a bath.  I get back from work a couple of days ago and decide I am going to spend a sexy time with me. I light some candles, run some bath water, pour myself a glass of wine and get ready to climb into a steaming bath of heaven when my mother calls. My cousin has somehow managed to park her car at the bottom of the hill in the pool house and she needs me because she just cannot deal with it. So what do I the dutiful daughter do? Of course I rush over. I am not quite sure what to expect or what I am going to have to do but I go there nontheless. When I get there, the police are taking statements and the car is quite firmly lodged in the pool house. I do not know how it happened but the story involved confusion between the accelerator and the brake. Either way, 2 inches to the left and she would have hit a light pole, 10 inches to the right and she would have ended up re-enacting an episode of  What would you do if… your car crashes into a lake? 

I tried. I really did. Besides my bed and kitchen gadgets, my home remains largely unfurnished. The reason for this was that I decided that instead of buying new furniture, I would recycle: get it from someone else. I am a firm believer in being conscious of how we treat our planet. I may be long gone before it gets worse but I still think I have a responsibility to leave as little a carbon footprint as I can. To do so I recycle paper, do not use a dishwasher, brush my teeth in the bath and eventually intend on having a compost heap. I believe that same concept should apply to children; recycle them. I did not want to buy brand new furniture because I was hoping to reduce the amount of trash that makes it to the landfills but I have recently realised that some people think too much of their used items. People! It is used furniture! Your germs and cooties do not make it more valuable than when you bought it. Even a car depreciates the minute you drive it off the lot. Why shouldn’t a couch? I tried freecycle.org but unless you are a stay at home mother with too much time on your hands that 5.5 seconds after an article is listed you have snatched it up: which I am not, that was of no help. Hence I find myself in this predicament: I have to let my mother buy me a brand new sofa! Oh my poor conscience! Then again, she did say there was a Bed bug convention being convened about this bed bug epidemic. Maybe new is not so bad. I guess I can live with it.

When I see you

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a mini Fantasia concert. I am not a huge fan of live music/concerts but she managed to draw me in, giving me goose pimples through her voice and her performance. For someone who did not want to live a couple of weeks before, she was overflowing with life and energy. I am nowhere near the top 1000 sentimental people in a town of  1000 but two of her songs have struck a chord with me and I am expecting a bill from youtube in the near future for playing the heck out of these two songs. I rarely ever pay attention to the lyrics of half the songs I listen to and even sing along to but these songs resonate for me. They are Bittersweet and When I see you.

 When I see you reminds me of a primary or high school crush. It is a sweet song that makes me smile. Even as an adult, I have felt this way about one or two people. I don’t feel the need to pursue the issue or tell the person anything, rather the giddiness I get from their presence and my reaction to them is sufficient. My favourite lines in the song are: You’re always on my mind
When you come around I get shy
Never know when you might walk by
So I gotta be right on time                                                                                                                                                                                              With all the trials and tribulations of living life day to day, it is nice to have someone who can make you feel inherently happy without making any demands on them or of yourself. It is like having a little secret that you never want to share.

 While Bittersweet does not apply to me presently, the song gave me pause for thought. The song is about her having left someone who did not treat her well but still being in love with him. Part of her wants him and part of her does not – to parapharse the lyrics. She wonders if she made the right decision as she cannot forget him and when she thinks about him, I guess there are conflicting emotions hence the title bittersweet. The phrase bittersweet got me thinking about people who get into situations that feel good in the present but that they know holds no gold at the end of the rainbow. What is it that makes people pursue instant happiness knowing fully well that it is leading to major pain? I figure that it is a human trait that some of us cannot help comparable maybe to female animals mating with their male counterparts even though they are aware they the male is not going to be around to help rear their offspring. That may not be the most eloquent comparison but I think it may illustrate instinct- something we are wired to do. Seek out happiness however we can  and deal with the consequences whatever they may be. Afterall, happiness no matter how fleeting is still a warm and fuzzy emotion, no?

Groceries and Friends.

So I shopped for groceries this morning after work. I went mainly because Publix was having a sale on crab legs and I just had to have them. However, since it is very easy to get carried away while shopping, I made a mental note about what to get, keeping in mind that I cannot buy anything that requires long-term storage. I must say I am very proud of my haul. I got two loaves of bread and that was only because they were on sale -BOGO (Buy One Get One free). How could I pass that up? I am on the night shift at work and have been battling with what to eat on my “lunch” break if anything at all. So far I have been bringing in the meals I have made at home but because I am concerned about eating heavily at night even though I am most active at that time, I decided to start making sandwiches and since I do not eat meat, I had to get creative with cheese. I ended up with 5 different cheeses: provolone, muenster, havarti, butterkase and a jalapeno white cheddar. I am quite excited about the cheeses but a little more so about the light and easy lunches I can now prepare. I also got some stir fry vegetable and an onion and garlic. My one and only compulsive buy was a bottle of stain remover and even then, I did need it. So all in all, I must say I had a great shopping expedition that I hope can last me at least two weeks.

Now the friends part of the blog. I have a cousin who it seems calls random people, friend. Yesterday morning, I drove the family to a dealership so that we could all participate and celebrate my cousin picking up her very first car. As I parked the car, my cousin exclaims that she sees her friend. I look around but all I can see is a salesman. I ask her where her friend went because I do not see said friend and she points to the salesman. Now, this cousin of mine is notorious for meeting people in the weirdest places. She has made friends at bus stops, in parking lots and even restrooms… I don’t have proof about that last one but I would not be surprised. So when she points to the salesman, I immediately get condescending and ask her how long she has known him for. She responds that she has known him for 2 months as she rushes out of the car to give him a hug. At this point I am laughing from a sense of superiority at how simple she can be to call this man who I believe she barely knows a friend. Side bar:  While she walked away with her “friend” to finalise the details of her purchase, my other cousin and I fawn over the brand new 2011 Nissan Z and the Nissan GT-R which I am very seriously considering. We are in the GT-R, day dreaming about how cool we would look driving down Peachtree Street when my mother comes storming out. She accuses me of being selfish and not helping my cousin with her purchase. I am stunned as, I am thinking to myself, well what the heck am I supposed to be doing? The deal was finalised in my absence and I assumed we were  there to pick the car up. Well my mother insists that I take a look at the car and 5 minutes later, I find myself staring under the hood of a car, not quite sure what I should be looking at. On both sides, I am flanked by my cousin and my mother, who are both staring at my face as if trying to read my verdict as to the condition of the vehicle. Mind you, while I can tell you the make, model and average year of a car at a mere glance, what exists under the hood is as mysterious to me as what goes on at the Bunny ranch. I know how to check for oil, refill windshield washer fluid and where the fan belt and battery are located but that’s about it. However, in order to appease my mother, I stare for a little bit, poke a few things, hum my approval and declare the car worthy. But no, I have to sit in it as well. Okay, so I do that, and this vantage point is more familiar to me. It looked aesthetically sound and I was able to give an actual educated opinion about it. Inspection done, we returned to the salesman’s office for the exchange of the keys. Okay now back to the topic. Later that day as I refected on my reaction to my cousin and her friend, I had to pause and review my thought process. What makes a friend? Is there a time limit on when one can be called a friend? Is there a particular criteria for classifying and assigning friendship? I admit that my friendships can be fickle. I do not make very many friends and I judge the ones I have sometimes very harshly. In my opinion, sometimes I take more and give less and do not nurture some of the friendships I have because I just do not appreciate them as I should. While I am starting to recognise these traits more and I am making a conscious effort to address them, I cannot help but imagine the very rich experiences my cousin is able to take away from all her numerous friendships. The lives she is able to affect and how much more enriched of a person she can become. It gave me considerable pause, and I am going to make a conscious effort to try to become more like my cousin. I am going to try to become a better friend and even leave myself open to meeting and making friends in the most unlikely of places. This is not going to be an easy task for a self-proclaimed social introvert but I can only try. As I write this, I also cannot help but think about my friend Fritz. He seems to keep in touch with everyone and even does so after what I sometimes perceive as no response from some individuals he has reached out to on numerous occasions. Now personally, I would have and have written people off at the first “infraction”, but when you look at it bare bones, he loses nothing. If anything, he is showing the true mark of a friend: to persevere and be there no matter what. And how can a person not be personally enriched and fundamentally blessed by that?

P.S: I just found out that the Nissan GT-R is Nissan’s version of the Porche 911 with an MSRP of $85,060. Dream deferred.

Life is a journey and this is mine.

Eat Love Pray I – Writing to God

Every once in a while, you read a book that is so poignant to self, it feels like it was addressed to you personally. It does not have to be a major work of literature, all that matters is the message we get from it and how it influences us.

Eat Pray Love is that book to me. It speaks very deeply to me in the present and seems to mirror where I want to go, what I want to do and the life I want to live. The book is written by Elizabeth Gilbert and chronicles her journeys georgraphically from Italy to India and then Indonesia and also emotionally from an unhappy marriage, divorce and then a new marriage having gained a lot of insight about herself in between. The book was the pick of the month for my book club but I was slow in purchasing it as I had not heard any buzz about it and figured I would get it last minute and race through it just in time for the book club meeting. On a movie night with my family about a week ago, my mother picked the film adaptation of the book. And while I am absolutely against watching a movie before reading the book, I partly went along with the movie choice because I was hoping to get some insight that might help me get through the book faster. Surprisingly enough, to me at least, I left the movie theatre with the intention of ordering the book the very next day; which I did. I was still skeptical about whether or not I would be able to get into the book and I think I carried that mindset with me for the first few pages before it sucked me in. My book club is in 3 days and I am reluctant to finish this book. I feel like it is a book best read slowly so that one can take in and ponder the message one chapter at a time.  There is so much that touches me in this book and presently I am fascinated by the idea of writing a letter to God asking for something specific. Like the author, I believe that God alone knows what I need and deserve and I should not ask for specific things but that his will be done however he sees fit. On the advice of a friend, the author pens a letter to God and mentally adds the signatures of friends and anyone else in the world (dead or alive) who she thinks would vouch for the authenticity of her request. I think that is a very powerful way of communicating with God or even so, just being able to see what you want on paper and being able to acknowledge what it is you want. Later on in the book, the authour starts a journal wherein she records conversations she has with God. She writes that “Maybe the voice I am reaching for is God,…or maybe it is indeed a subconstruct of my subconcious, invented in order to protect me from my own torment.” This speaks to me very personally becuase as an avid journaller(sic) I believe in the release that comes from writing things down. Therefore, I am going to start experimenting with writing and asking God for specific things. I am not expecting an answer and maybe I should not even start the process with preconceived notions as such but the author does write that getting responses where ever they may come from are her own experience. However, for the sake of living a better life and learning and growing into a better person, I am going to do it. I wish the best for myself.

Life is a journey and this is mine.

MY home.

My spice cabinet.

I was standing in my kitchen last night when it hit me. I am standing in MY kitchen located in MY home. The concept of having my own place had once seemed almost impossible and then scary. I had not had to be responsible for myself for so long that independence was both exciting and downright terrifying. Nevertheless, I realised that I just had to go for it. One of the biggest motivations was making the changes that I have been making so far in my life. Earlier that day, I received the first two bills ever made out to my name. I must be the first person ever to have gotten excited about opening bills. I can definitely say that was a one time thing though; I am not insane. My home is total electric and given that I am rarely at home, the electric bill was not as high as I expected. There was an activation fee which I question as I question all activation fees, but other than that it was okay. My internet/cable bill had a little issue. Although I initially balked at the idea of getting cable, the lady offered me a deal wherein I would get about 20 channels for $9.99. That sounded good enough as I did not want people to come over and have to stare at the walls but at the same time, I did not want to pay for more channels than I would ever watch. She mentioned that I would get a cable receiver box thingy but when the cable guy came to install the services, he failed to give me a box. So when I saw that I was gtting charged for a box I had not received, I immediately called the company to get the charges taken off. She did so and told me I was still eligible for the box and offered me dates and times when it could be dropped off. However, the wheels in my brain were turning. The amended charges without the cable box reduced my internet/cable bill  by $10. So I figured, given that I barely watch TV anyway, why did I need a box? Yes it offered on-demand and instant TV guide: since we all know that the TV Guide is practically a network channel now with orignal shows and everything! But for $10 less, I could deal with it. You cannot imagine how proud I was about that decision. It made the hypocrisy I felt about getting cable in the first  place sting a little less.

My dish cabinet.

So back to my kitchen. It is nice and small, and eventhough I have had a real problem in the past with over stocking on kitchen gadgets and utensils, I am working on it and seem to think I am doing great so far. My spice cabinet overfloweth a little but the more I cook the more the problem shall solve itself. I think I have too many plates and cups. I wanted to keep the number at four, but I figure as time goes by I will grow more comfortable at getting rid of some of the extras.

My "pantry".

Life is a journey and this is mine.

To microwave or not to microwave?

So, it has been just over a week since I have been at my new place. I am loving it so far. However, I have to admit I am starting to reconsider this whole no-microwave rule. I love oatmeal and tend to make large batches at a time. Well guess what I have to do everytime I get off work and want a huge bowl for breakfast? I have to lug out a pot and reheat the portion I want to eat.  I have had to do that everytime for the past 5 days it has take me to finish the pot of oatmeal. Today after a long day of unpacking two boxes, I decided I wanted to drink some tea. Guess what? No microwave to heat some water in. I used to have an electric kettle and a whistling stove kettle but I lost them in the move. While I am still conflicted about the microwave, I am now battling over electric kettle versus whistling stove kettle, and which one is more eco efficient.

So back to my microwave dilemma, I was craving pasta today and decided in the spirit of no microwave I would boil all of the pasta and heat it up in the sauce whenever I needed to eat.  Then, my neice came over and after a brief moment of panic in which I imagined the painful death she would have to endure because I did not have a microwave in which  to heat up her food, I was ingenious enough to boil some water and sit the jars of baby food in it. Given  the resourcefulness I displayed in the face of those “no microwave scares”, there might still be some hope for me yet.

I am also pleased to report that I still have no pantry and my fridge only contains what I need and nothing more. I don’t think there is anything in there older that a week!

Life is a journey and this is mine.

Bed bugs versus Dust mites

In college a mattress was provided to me and at home…well there was a bed. I have never had to buy one, but moving out of the familial abode created the necessity for one. At the begining of my search with a budget of $200, I considered getting a used one. Now wait, I knew I did not not want one that had been slept on daily, more like the mattress that had been in the guest room and was rarely used or one like a Craigslist poster put that  his ” sweet mother got for him after he had just bought one”.  I know all this was rationalization for my thrifty nature but after realising that for some reason people online seemed to think way too highly of their body fluid and dead skkin infested mattresses, I decided to find a cheap dealer. I saw an ad for pillow top matresses by Sealy and Serta that were $219 and felt like I had hit the jack pot. The fact that the warehouse was located on Metropolitan Highway did not faze me as much as it should have initially(Metropolitan is a… “low end” street in Atlanta). When I got to the warehouse, there was a chain barrier and the guy who came out would only talk to me from across the barrier. He asked me to sit down and went to find the owner. At this point several scary movies started flashing across my mind, Texas Chainsaw Massacre featuring prominently in 3D. Then the fact that I was on Metropolitan hit home and I seemed to see things very clearly. When I had initially walked up to the warehouse, I saw huge rolls of fabric and even larger spools of thread being carted across the warehouse floor. Upon closer look at some of the mattresses which I could see from my vantage point behind the chain link fence, I noticed that the “pillow top” mattresses were actually just a band of fabric sewed on to mimic the pillow top layer of genuine mattresses. These people were reupholstering mattresses! I could not get out of there fast enough. This episode as well as two words that started to come up frequently: “bed bugs” drove me to my first mattress store. When I walked in, the sales clerk gave me a test to determine what mattress would be best for me. He then had me test out some beds blind, that is without looking at the price. I finally picked one out and he asks me if I would like for him to check and see if there are any in stock. I ask for the price first, remember I have $200 budget. The price tag on my favourite mattress? $1199. I then started to realise that this was going to be harder than I thought. For one, I realised that my budget was going to need some adjusting and I would have to expand my search radius. This is how I found myself on Jimmy Carter with all it’s furniture discount stores. The first store we stopped at was called Mattress Giant and two of my cousins had bouught their mattresses from there for about $399, so I was sure I could definitely get a mattress with my now doubled budget of $400. The owner of the store was very helpful and answered all my mother’s qestions, and there were plenty. However, we both gained a lot of knowledge about mattresses and an even greater fear of those two words: bed bugs.  Like every good shopper, even though he was  very knowledgeable and was prepared to give us a great deal, we had to comparison shop. As we walked out of his store, he offered the ominous warning that we be careful about stores that sold used mattresses as new which the state of Georgia still allows. While this might have been a sales tactic to scare us, I only had to think of the factory on Metropolitan to take heed. We stopped by just one other store for me to realise that I was going back to the Mattress Giant. Even though I went several hundreds of dollars over budget, I know that I made a good choice. As we left the store, he recommended that we look into a bed bug and dus tmite repellant cover for the mattress as I had mentioned that I was never taking my mattress out of the plastic it came in. With everything a mattress is susceptible to, like me carying bed bugs from someone’s dirty house or someone spending the night and leaving behind several hundred presents, I was not taking chances. I could already see my new facebook status: if you plan to spend the night in my house and in my bed, bring a hazmat suit! As much as that mattress cost, I am going to be watching it like a hawk.

So I get my new baby home, and take a trip to Wallyworld for an anti bed bug and dustmite mattress protector. Imagine my shock: there is a mattress cover for bed bugs and another mattress cover for dust mites. None for both? Am I supposed to chose which nasty I am going to sleep with? Was it not possible to make a cover that prevents both nasties? My mother suggested that they are prevented by two separate types materials, but hey either way, I am still having to make a choice about one nasty over the over. And what does your choice say about you. Would you prefer a blood sucker or a dead skin eater? I am absolutely disgusted that I have to make a choice and think someone needs to make a cover for both becuase until then, my mattress is going to stay in the plastic. I don’t care how much I pespire because of it!

Food for thought. After a series of fires at the familial abode, I ended up sleeping on the floor while getting the house back together. I have noticed that, ever since I got my mattress, I would rather go and fall asleep in my bed, than to lay down on the floor and fall asleep infront of the TV. I wonder if it has to to with my lack of interst in TV or that I have been spoiled by my new plastic covered mattress? Hmm.

Life is a journey and this is mine.