Friday, May 31, 2013

Sharing a goal....beh.

In my academic strategies class in the first week of school, we discussed how making a long term goal is great and all, but getting there is what really counts. One way of reaching your long term goal is to share it with those around you so that they can help you, even if it's just by keeping you motivated.

That only works if the people around you are positive, supportive, and can see how it will benefit them. Because let's face it, if someone thinks what you're doing will hurt them, they will tear you down every chance they get! Sometimes, "hurting them" simply means making your life better.

I finally shared my goal of cafe ownership last night. Most of the girls were really excited. But one, for who knows what reason, said, "That's a lot of work. You'll be a slave to it." Gee. Thanks for the pep talk!

"Being a slave" to the cafe is one of the things that keeps holding me back. I really didn't need to hear what a bad idea it is to open the business. I'm quite sensitive to my short comings, and really don't need or appreciate people pointing them out to me. And she's been doing it more and more. Not overtly, but in a subtle, under cutting way that hurts just the same. I feel like everything I try blows up in my face, and she's rubbing salt in the wound. The worst part is, if I want to keep dancing, I'm kind of stuck. I really want to teach, to explore my own style further, but I can't talk anyone into giving me the opportunity. Opportunities for anything I try seem to be few and far between, and most of them already taken.

It's frustrating at the best of times. Most of the time, it's just same black hole shit that I just can't seem to escape.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I saved the world again, and no one will ever know...unless they read my blog

I have been driving myself nuts in my management course with this week's quiz. I took it 4 times.

The first time I scored a 90%. UNACCEPTABLE!

I was disgusted with myself. I got one wrong? Idiot! Steve meanwhile is standing behind me saying, "90% is great! That's amazing!"

"NO! I must retake the quiz."

The second try I got 80%. What the fuck?! NOOOOOO!!!! That explains why there are clouds over Southern California this morning- the world is coming to an end. Isn't idiocy one of the signs of the apocalypse? No? It should be.

I immediately took the quiz a third time and got back to my 90%. Still unacceptable, but less unacceptable than an 80%.

Here's the thing that is so ridiculous. When Ian comes home and says he got a 70% on a test, I'm over the moon. He sat down and actually took a test! He followed instructions and answered questions! That's amazing! He's a genius!

When Lauren comes home with a 40% on a test, I'm thinking, hey, she got a couple right. That's pretty impressive. She's actually making an effort at something.

But for me, 90% might as well be a 0. A big fat loser grade. I'm not top of the class, well then, shoot me now. I'm not worthy.

Instead, I got on the elliptical and exercised. And as the sweat started to drip, I suddenly realized something. When I changed the answer to the question I couldn't find the answer to in the book, I got an 80%. When I changed it back to what I originally thought, I got a 90% again. THAT'S NOT THE QUESTION I'M GETTING WRONG! It's that other one. That other one is not asking what I think it's been asking. It's a tricky son of a bitch!

So I went back and did the quiz again. This time, I got a 100%. Oh look, the sun is trying to come out to play.

And that's how I saved the world this morning. You're welcome.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

So what are you doing for Memorial day?

I've been out of the country for 6 years, so this is really my first Memorial day in all that time. I know the PC thing to say is that I use this day to remember all the men and women who have fought and died for this country. Really, though, it's just a day off. Because every day there are still men and women fighting and dying for this country- some of them even on the battlefield.

So, to everyone who has ever fought for the freedoms too many take for granted, thank you. To all the rest of us, let's try to make this a place where their sacrifices will not be in vain.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Down the rabbit hole, but not in the way that you think

I'm back down in the bottom of my deep dark hole.

Go away pervert, I'm not in the mood.

Basically, it started with Facebook telling me I'm wrong and a bad person. How did they do this? By saying that the link I posted to my wall showing that New York state has deemed arresting women for being topless is unconstitutional on the basis of discrimination is inciting hate speech. I'm still a little bit confused as to how that's hate speech, but fine, whatever.

So I started using google +  instead because the people running the show over there don't seem to have a stick the size of a redwood up their ass. It's refreshing. But all my friends are over on Facebook. I'm alone. I have no support network, or at least a significantly smaller one since now it's just Steve. And there is far too much crazy in my head for just one person to abate. And having just started school again, I'm really in need of that support network. So I thought, well, I'll check my Facebook and see if I've got any messages wondering why I haven't been on all week when I'm usually on several times a day.

Nope. No one gives a flying fuck if I'm around or not. Correction, things seem to be better if I'm not around. Fine. I'll leave you all alone and go fight my monsters by myself. Maybe I'll just make friends with my monsters. They seem to understand me better.

So yeah. That's where I am. I think that's where I'm gonna stay. It's a lot safer in the dark. If you don't try to get help, you can't be hurt when people tell you to fuck off. I still hurt, but at least they can't make it any worse. At least I know where I stand now, and I don't feel like such a huge idiot. Well  I do, but that's from the realization that I was deluding myself for so long.

I'll smile, tell everyone that I'm doing good. Such a weight off my chest, you know? And I'm getting so much more done now!

Except I'm not. Why should I?

Sunday, May 19, 2013


If there's one thing that really riles me up, it's discriminatory practices. It's fine for you, you, and you, but not you. You're different, go away.

You may be aware that this debate took place in New York recently, and New York Courts realized that discrimination is wrong. Policies in the state have now changed to reflect the realization of equality. Basically, women were being arrested for wearing pants, when clearly, only men are allowed to wear pants.

Silly, right?

Well, that's not really it, but the truth is not much different if you can get around your own mental limitations. What actually was decided is that there is no law against being topless in public, so when women were being arrested for baring their breasts, that was discrimination. Of course, the prudish turn it into a debate about nudity. My response to that is get over yourself and see the real issue at hand. When you can get in trouble because you are the wrong gender, that, boys and girls, is called discrimination. 

The fact of the matter is, you can discuss the values of it all you want. It still comes down to discrimination. Gay marriage? When you are not allowed to do something based on your sexual orientation, it's discrimination.

How long are we really going to debate this? I'm so sick of it! Women's suffrage and Civil Rights really kind of nailed this stuff on the head. Discrimination is wrong.

And yet, there seems to be no escaping it. I'm a woman so therefore, I am by nature less than a man.

I don't agree with that. My husband doesn't agree with that. In fact, if I were to put it that way to most anyone, my guess is most people wouldn't agree with that. Yet, if aliens landed here today, that's exactly what they would see.

Anyway, I posted a link to the article about New York on my Facebook feed. Of course, it incited an epic debate between me and a friend. I felt, however irritating the debate was, we both kept it civil and stated our views. There was no name calling, flaming, bashing, etc. It was simply a heated debate about an issue that we disagree on. It happens. Believe it or not, it's ok to disagree about things.

This morning, I had a message from Facebook telling me that they pulled the thread and I'm on warning. Of course, they can't really say why, but basically, freedom of speech is a myth.

I am beyond livid. Once again, I'm being told I'm wrong because I'm a woman and I don't follow the cattle. Sorry, but I don't think I'm wrong here.

Oh, and Facebook, you discriminate. How many topless men's photos are on Facebook? I've even seen them as profile pictures. Yet a photo of a woman that was unfortunately placed so her elbows, at first glance, appeared to be nipples, was flagged as inappropriate.

The Federal Court system has ruled that it is unconstitutional to have a law/rule apply to one gender only. In other words, if you don't want topless females, you can't have topless men. Or, better in my opinion, grow up, join the rest of the civilized world, and get over it! A breast is not bad.

Back to Facebook.

I'm not really sure how I want to deal with this. I'm entirely too tempted to walk away, nurse my wounds for a bit, and chalk it up to the end of the human race. But you know, the woman in New York sued the state and won, setting a precedence and creating change.

So, if you are a lawyer or know a lawyer who would be interested in a pretty solid case, please contact me. I follow this through if someone shows me the way.

Stop telling others that they don't have worth because they're different. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

End of an era?

Last week, as I was eating a piece of toast for breakfast, I suddenly felt a tiny hard ball rolling around in my mouth.

Get your minds out of the gutter!

My tongue ring had, once again, unscrewed itself. It's not something that happens often, but it is common enough that I'm paranoid about it. I swallowed a ball once and considered myself lucky. I've read about people swallowing the shaft and it piercing their intestines on the way out.

So, with that in mind, some of you may be wondering why anyone would have a pierced tongue. There's no easy answer, and no one answer will fit everyone. I had plenty of reasons for getting mine pierced 8 years ago, but lately I've been wondering if it was still something I wanted.

Honestly, I've been debating this with myself for months! Do I or don't I? Because the thing is, the tongue heals so quickly that if you do decide to take the jewelry out, the hole closes pretty quick and if you change your mind you have to repierce. So I really wanted to be sure of my decision to leave the stud out.

I took the incident with the toast as a sign.

I do miss it a bit. My mouth feels a little lonely. After all, it's been nearly a decade having a ball resting on my tongue, making me aware of my mouth. Suddenly, it's the absence of that stimuli that's making me aware. And as silly as it sounds, even to me, I feel like this one little thing is redefining me. I have to figure out who I am all over again because of the loss of something most people didn't even know I had.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

School girl is much less sexy when you're actually going to school

Yesterday was my first day back in school after nearly 7 years! And no, I'm not really counting the cafe services course I took last year, because I didn't have to write essays for that.

I'm doing an online degree in business management to help make my dream of business ownership come to life. Now, I know that to own your own business, you don't really need to have a degree. This is more about picking up the skills I need to feel confident in my choices of ruling the world running a small business.

But oh, it's so much harder than I remembered! Or maybe it's just because I'm older and have actual responsibilities now. I really didn't need fate to thumb her nose at me, though, and pretty much flat out tell me this was a huge mistake.

Allow me to explain.

My first seminar EVER was due to start at 10am. So, at 9:30am, I was preparing to log in- I'm seriously paranoid about missing a class due to technical difficulties which I already experienced with the orientation seminar. So my paranoia was deep red. As I'm typing my introduction paragraph, the power shuts off. CLICK!

I swear I went through the 7 stages of grief in 10 seconds! I was so angry, depressed, and stressed out that I started cleaning. This is why houses in the 50's were so tidy. There was no internet to distract house wives, and they were still depressed and stressed out so they cleaned. Although, I don't think I'll make a habit of cleaning. Especially now, but I'll get to that.

Anyway, 15 minutes before my second seminar started, the power came back on. Thank goodness. Of course, I didn't have time to prepare for said seminar since the "classroom" had only been "opened" yesterday morning. I'm still not 100% on how all the pieces of these classes fit together. At least I was able to attend the second seminar which was a bit like being sucked into a wind tunnel with 12 cats. Overwhelming is a light way to put it. And I wasn't alone. Over in the chat window, it seems like a LOT of my fellow classmates were feeling... well, the words that were thrown around a lot were "lost" and "confused." Oh yes.

And after spending close to 6 hours yesterday sitting in front of my computer, developing a crick the size of Asia in my neck, losing half my hair, and indulging in a couple of crying jags, I feel like I have made absolutely NO progress.

Yeah. This is going to be hard.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Will there ever be an end?

Job hunting is the pits.

So, still looking for a job, but starting to feel like it's a serious waste of time. Everything is online now, which is great because you can apply for a job in your pj's with your morning coffee. Not so great because sometimes the internet has some serious issues.

Half the time, I'm unable to complete an application because "the system is experiencing technical difficulties" or "there was an unexpected error." It's incredibly frustrating and I'm starting to really feel that I'm the error. Like this is fate's little way of telling me, "no, you don't get a chance at this."

And before you think it, yes I know that it is occasionally possible to go into a place to apply for a job, but here's the thing. I can't. I'm sure there's some huge name for it. I'm sure there's medication I can take for it. But I think it simply comes down to the fact that I've maxed my brain out on risks. And they all keep blowing up in my face. Just the idea of putting myself on the line again makes me cry and wee a little.

It's bad enough putting myself out there for the things I want. Most of the job listings are the pits! Honestly, if there wasn't such a shortage of good jobs, no one would apply for these things. I'm amazed they can even list that sort of thing.

If you're in school, and can handle sick people, go into a nursing course. Seriously, those are 90% of the jobs listed! And take Spanish. Learn Spanish. Talk to people in Spanish. Because, in Southern California at least, they don't even want to hear from you unless you're bilingual.

Bah. Oh well. I guess I'll just keep plugging along. Hopefully, one of the things I do will take fruition and I'll be rich and famous.

Or something like that.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

My mother's day started much like any other day. Woke up and growled that the day starts much too early. That noise alerted the fur baby (our dog) to the fact that we were awake. His interpretation of morning is a bit different to mine, though. He jumps on the bed for snuggles. Unfortunately, the jumping on the bed part resulted in a few more bruises for me.

So, here's to all you mothers and single dads out there! I hope your day involves less pain.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Food for thought

This morning I logged into my coke habit Facebook, as per my morning routine. The very first post on my notifications was actually a link that one of my friends posted to a blog.

This is that link.

Ok, so now that you've read it and come did read it right? Yes, I know it's long, but just trust me on this. It's worth it. Just make sure you come back to this blog after you've read that one.

Ready now? Awesome.

So, if you're in the same frame of mind that I'm in, you probably got teary eyed while reading the list. I figure that's ok. I don't know why it's ok, specifically, maybe it just has something to do with my level of passion.

See, my problem is that I want to do too many things. Right now, I have not one, not two, but three businesses that I want to start. And when I think about throwing two away to focus on one, well, it's kind of like picking a favorite kid. Besides, I don't think my mind can really focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else.

What are the businesses, you ask? Ok, fine. You didn't ask, but you get to hear it anyway.

First, the oldest: Batty4Arts. Steve is a fantastic artist, and I do a crapload of crafts and stuff that could, in theory, fit into Batty.

Hey! I just looked and our website for Batty is still active. Imagine that! I really wish I had the know how to run that website. As it is, all our website functions have to go through Steve. My mind cannot comprehend how to deal with the inner workings of websites. I may be able to do a class. But for the time being, Steve is it. Which is a problem because his job, the one that allows us to do things like eat and live, takes up most of his time. I wish he could cut down to 40 hours a week. Especially since that's how much he gets paid for. But most of his weeks are 50-60 hours! That doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else.

Which sucks and makes me angry.

Anyway, my second business is Katcina Belly Dance. Whereas Batty is both Steve and I, Katcina (pronounced ka-CHEE-na) is completely me. And, possibly for that reason, it's a bit flaky. See, I'm not sure if I want Katcina to be just for teaching and performing, or if I want to also sell costumes through it. Although, I think I may leave the costumes under Batty.

The third business may be the most painful for me. Silver Fern. This is another that's between Steve and I. Basically, it started (and until we can work through all the bureaucratic nonsense, still is) Silver Fern Cafe. In New Zealand, a cafe can be a range of businesses. It can be a full restaurant, a simple coffee cart, or pretty much anything in between. Here in the States, the apparent perception is that a cafe is a full on restaurant, which isn't really what we're going for.

I don't know, maybe we'll leave it as is.

If we can ever get the damned thing off the ground.

Ok, maybe I should go back to read that bad ass post again. Not now, though. Right now I have plants to repot, and costumes to start!

Friday, May 3, 2013


Warning: This is a mommy post. Just thought you should know.

Recently, I've read, heard, and/or dealt with a couple of things that have raised an issue for me. My son has special needs. It's not what he is, it's just one of his aspects. But if you were to say to me, "Oh, he's special needs," I'm not going to bitch you out. In fact, most of the time I won't even notice that little slip because I still do it myself. I'm trying not to, because in my mind it makes him a bit easier to live with if we're living with a little boy who has special needs rather than living with special needs connected to a penis.

It's not a personal affront to me if you use the word "is" not "has."

It is a personal affront if you decide you know how to "fix" him. Trust me, he's not broken! Yes, there are times I wish for a miracle. Yes, there are times I hope to wake up in the morning and find this has all been a nightmare. Yes, there are times when my husband holds me while I sob because it's just too hard.

Guess what? My friends who have typical children do the same thing. Not as often maybe, but it still happens.

Now, I wish I could say what labels fit my son. Not to describe him, but rather so other parents dealing with special needs can say BINGO! There's another member of our clan. Because it's kind of like a special club in a strange way. We do need support, and sometimes, the type of support we need can only come from other parents of children with special needs. So, the list of labels that have been heaped on my son are as follows: PDD-NOS, ADHD, ODD, Asberger's, Anxiety Disorder. Also on the suspected but unconfirmed list is bi-polar disorder.

Of course, every single doctor, therapist, teacher, and random "expert" on the street disagrees with one or more of those labels. "No, he talks to people, so he can't be Asbergers." "He sleeps at night, so that rules out ADHD and Anxiety." "PDD-NOS? No, I don't see that." Actually, the only label that's never been questioned is the ODD. But he exhibits traits from all of the above and others that no one can explain.

My son has Ianism. It's not an affliction (usually), it's not a disorder, it's just the way he is.

Do I wish he were different? Yeah, quite often. I wish I could have a whole conversation with him. I wish I could understand his perspective. I wish we could go for a random outing and not have to map out where exactly we're going, how long we'll be out, when and where food will be available, what food will be available, who's coming with, where the bathrooms are, etc. I wish I knew that when he grows up, he'll be able to have a job, a home, a family of his own. I wish I knew, with certainty, that he will be ok.

But he doesn't need to be fixed.

My son is not broken.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Love the things!

Ok, quick follow up to yesterday's wee adventure.

After we got our "pathetic" refund from George at Furniture and Beyond on Winchester Road in Temecula, CA- the worst shop in America- we headed to Living Spaces. They should rename it Loving Spaces! So pretty! So affordable! So...!!

Steve had actually looked online and found the bedroom set that was perfect for us, so the very nice lady working there had a really easy time selling us stuff.

The thing is, yes it was slightly more expensive. As in $100 more. But it's a solid set of drawers! The bottoms of the drawers are made of wood, not cardboard. And they delivered it to our house, same day, and even put it in the room!! That's service!

And they were all very nice. And didn't say our money was "pathetic." And didn't tell me to "zip it."

So, although the memory of George will fill me with righteous anger for a bit longer, at least there's a happy ending. One that involves gorgeous furniture!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Customer Service

I'm not one to brag, usually, but if there is one thing I do exceptionally well, it's customer service. So, it really pisses me off to get bad customer service. And when that bad customer service bleeds over into abuse, well. I'm left speechless.

Or at least that's what the jackass was probably hoping for.

Back story: April 19, Friday. Steve and I decided enough is enough. Our bedroom is filled with boxes of clothes and whatnot, the floor is covered in clothes, and I can't find 3/4 of my stuff. When we moved from New Zealand, we sold off our bedroom furniture. The houses we had been looking at on the market here all had amazing storage and closet space. So how did we wind up in the one that doesn't? The point is, we desperately need a dresser, and bedside tables would really come in handy, too.

So, April 19, we head out. The first place we stopped was Basset Furniture. Have you ever been there? Because they have gorgeous things. Oh I want all the things! And the lady that walked around with us was really nice. But, you pay a lot for gorgeous things, and it's just not in the budget right now. <Heavy sigh.>

The next place we went into was a budget furniture place. I didn't like any of the things in there. Probably because we had just come from the land of gorgeous furniture. But, again, the lady was nice and showed us the catalogues  of the furniture they have available "in the warehouse." Low and behold, we found a dresser and bedside tables that, while I didn't love them, they were serviceable. Still a bit more than I wanted to pay, but close enough that we could swing it.

We were informed that they would receive the items the next Friday, and we could pick them up on Saturday. She would call us Friday to let us know all was well.

Now, I keep debating whether I should name the store, but the fact is, if you get really good service somewhere, you don't hesitate to name that place. For instance, Cash n Carry in El Cajon? Great place! I wish there was one up here because I'd be in there every week! But if it's a bad place, you might tell your close friends and family, but to publicly denounce the place? Someone might get offended! So, I've been arguing with myself all day about it. I figure it's a bit like ripping a band aid off:

Furniture and Beyond on Winchester Road in Temecula, California is a very bad place. Avoid 

That's better. Back to my story.

April 26, Friday: the day they were supposed to call. Yeah, you guessed it. No call.

April 27, Saturday: We called them. And by "we" I mean I made Steve call. The woman who answered the phone remembered Steve from the week before, and thought it was strange no one had told her the items had come in. She'd "check into it" and call right back. Checking into it took 2 hours. When she finally called back, we didn't hear the phone, so she left a message saying the items would be delivered to the store on Tuesday, and she didn't know why.


April 30, Tuesday: Again, no phone call. So Steve called, again. Different woman this time, but same reaction: No idea,check into it, call back. This time, though, "checking into it" took 4 hours. When she called back, finally, she told Steve that the items we had ordered were out of stock in the warehouse, and that it would take 3-4 weeks from the time the order was placed for the items to be delivered to the store. Did we want to place the order?

I forgot to mention that on the 19th, a week and a half ago, when we placed the order, we paid in full. That's right. They took the entire payment, and now wanted to know if we wanted to place the order.

As it turns out, it was a deceptively easy question. The answer: No. No, we do not want to place the order, we want a refund. Easy peasy.

May 1, Wednesday: This is where it got fun. I was already upset at the service, or lack thereof, and upset that we still don't have any drawers, and I've been having a rough week anyway. So, I was very grateful that Steve came with me to the store to get the refund. Sometimes I just need his strength.

And oh how I needed it today!

We walked in, and the woman who had taken our order that first day was standing around. "Are you looking for George?" she asks.

"Anyone," replies Steve. I kept my mouth closed because I wouldn't be nearly so nice. Yeah, anyone who can see daylight out their rear, is along the lines of my thoughts.

George, a short, late middle aged, Israeli immigrant is standing by the counter with his plastic smile. Dude should be selling used cars.

Steve tries to explain the situation. Tries being the optimum word here because during his explanation, George is talking over him, interrupting (have I ever told you how much I loathe interruptions), and then. THEN! He makes a call to the warehouse, WHILE STEVE IS STILL TALKING! And I'm thinking, it just doesn't get anymore rude than this.

How wrong I was.

He gets off the phone and says, as though we were naughty children, "It be here next Friday." Um, fine, maybe someone else will want to buy your crap. Steve, showing a herculean amount of patience, starts to explain, once again, that we are walking away from this fiasco, and just want the refund.

I'm not nearly so patient. "It was supposed to be delivered LAST Friday!" Now, I admit, I raised my voice slightly. I wasn't yelling, Steve can certainly attest to that. I'm loud by nature, and sometimes I have a hard time hearing people. I figured maybe George was having that problem since he certainly wasn't listening.

"Zip it." Seriously. He told me to "ZIP IT" and made that motion like he was zipping his lips shut.

My eyes went really wide, and Steve started moving in between George and I. George is so lucky Steve was there.

It went on from there. Honestly, I was so angry I don't remember exact words. He did suggest that women are second class citizens. I wasn't allowed to talk. At one point I thought Steve was going to deck him, and it takes a LOT to get Steve's feathers ruffled. Hell, he lives with me!

Eventually, Steve sent me out to the car before I did something we'd...well, I can't say I'd regret it. But court dates can be rather inconvenient.

Apparently, George kept getting more obnoxious. He couldn't work the point of sale machine, so had to call that company. Steve said George was screaming at the person on the other end of the line and slamming his hand on the table. The word of the day on George's calendar was "stupid." "Stupid machine," and "stupid California," "stupid Temecula," "stupid customer."

The thing is, in addition to being the world's worst customer service person, George is giving a horrible name to Israelis and immigrants. I've known Israelis. Granted, not a lot, but a few. I've always found them to be very nice.

I also pay attention to the current public opinion of immigrants, being married to one, it's a personal issue. Let's face it, the general feeling towards immigrants in America is not positive. And a lot of it has to do with people like George. George didn't come here for a better life. He didn't come here so that his children could have opportunities that he didn't. Some immigrants have come to America for those reasons, and they work hard for the right to be here. People like George come here because the people in his own country can't stand him either.