Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Another senseless death

An eighteen year old man was shot and killed here in a neighborhood that is usually quiet and definitely not known for trouble or violence. There have been a lot of shooting deaths here in Tacoma. Young people. Teenagers. Some of which weren't involved in anything illegal. Just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or came across the wrong person.

I'm truly at a loss for words about shooting deaths anymore. When all the facts are laid out it's been proven that less guns means less death. Having every person in the US armed is not the answer.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie is Dead

Normally this day would be reserved for my newly launched Monday Bullshit Sessions, but in lieu of David Bowie's death, I've changed course.

My oldest sister, Dana, has always loved Bowie. She followed him from the very beginning of his career, which was the year I was born, so I grew up surrounded by all things Bowie until my sister moved out. I was a fan.

There were years I really didn't understand him and his music, and some of his musical phases didn't really appeal to me, but no matter, his performances and ever-changing styles were always mesmerizing.

He became a bit more mainstream in the 80s with his Let's Dance Album. It was the height of my Let's Dance album, my favorites were always Space Oddity, Changes, and Heroes.
teen years and when MTV played music videos, and those videos told a story. Bowie's music and videos were always a piece of art. Although I was a big fan of that

That tour was also the first and only Bowie concert I would witness. Dana and I went together. It was an amazing experience.

Since then, he's always been somewhere in the background, on the car radio, a whistle in the shower, a karaoke song...it wasn't until my second daughter Rachel was born and watching movies that Bowie made another appearance in my life. Rachel's dad suggested we all watch Labyrinth. Admittedly, I had never seen the movie before then, around the year 2000. When it first came out I was too busy watching movies like 16 Candles, Better Off Dead and Breakfast Club.

Labyrinth became Rachel's favorite movie. She watched it her first time around three years old, and she still watches it to this day at age 18. In fact, I'm pretty sure she just watched it last weekend. She is now a huge Bowie fan.

One thing that stands out about Bowie and wife Iman, is that they weren't whores to the paparazzi. For the most part, they stayed out of the drama that can come with stardom and the spotlight altogether.

I'm saddened by the news of his death. He made a huge impact on the music world, and made his mark in film and theater as well. Bowie was a man of innovation, style and class. His spirit will be missed.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Bullshit Sessions Installment One: Misdiagnosis

I wouldn't necessarily call this a resolution, but I'm tired of people's bullshit and I think they should be called out. This could be a monthly thing, weekly, hell, daily. Depends on how much bullshit I see fit to post about.

Session One Bullshit goes to the doctor at the Urgent Care that took care of my kid a little over a week ago. When I say "doctor" I'm using the term loosely. My younger daughter wasn't feeling good on Christmas night. The next day, she complained of a sore throat and said she had bumps on her tonsils. Her voice sounded like Kermit the Frog. Okay, I didn't take her in to the Urgent Care right away, I like to give things a day. I had her gargle with salt water, drink warm water with lemon, made her broth, gave her lozenges to suck on yadda yadda yadda. The next day, Sunday, she couldn't really talk. I figured I'd keep up with the same routine and call her doctor's office Monday morning.

Her dad thought it bad enough to take her to Urgent Care, which I felt was not a bad idea. The doctor there is sure it's strep. She takes a culture which comes back negative. Even though the test was negative, she still diagnosis her with strep and prescribes antibiotics.

This course of action did not help at all overnight, which it should have, at least a little. I get her in to her own doctor's office that day. The first thing, after checking out her throat, that the doctor does is check for mono. Her exact words, "the way her throat looks, I'm going to check for mono first." Granted, I'd already told her about the negative strep test, but sounds like had she done a strep test and it came out negative, she would have checked for mono after. Something apparently Urgent Care doctor totally blew off.

She said it would take about ten minutes, it took about two. Mono showed up immediately. She said the antibiotics are worthless. She prescribed a couple days of steroids, which only helps the throat, not the virus, then said my daughter would get better depending on how she took care of herself...liquids to stay hydrated, and rest.

She feels better the same day. However, she breaks out into an itchy hivy rash about a day later. Could be mono related but could also be a reaction to antibiotics I guess (been brushing up on WebMD).

So, thanks for the misdiagnosis Urgent Care doctor...much appreciated bullshit.

Ah, that felt good. Please feel free to submit your own Bullshit Sessions. I'd be glad to post them.

Peace, Love and Joy in the Year of the Monkey,


Friday, January 1, 2016

Resolutions for 2016

I'm not a huge fan of resolutions, but I do like to take some time at the end (or very beginning) of a year and map out some goals for myself.  I also like to re-evaluate the goals I made the previous year and see how I held up.

If you read my blog yesterday, you will know that 2015 wasn't the easiest year for me. Of course, the last few have been a struggle. Even so, I am always hopeful that the next year will be a better one full of endless possibilities and worthwhile challenges.

Let's go over last year's goals and achievements, and plans for 2016.

Last year: Continuing in my business plans. A friend and I, after we lost our jobs, began a business
venture. It hasn't sucked, but it isn't mapping out like I expected. There's nothing wrong with that though. She found full time work, and I have been doing contract work in both writing and marketing, plus, I have a job back at the family wine shop. All is good on that front.

2016: I love all the work I do and plan to continue all of it. However, I am placing heavy focus on the wine shop. I will be working there more come next week and eventually taking over. My plan is to buy the place. It is a fun place to work with so much potential. My goal is to make it a success.

Last year: My goal was to write more. I'm pretty much still working on the same stuff I was last year. Though I appear to be at a standstill, I'm not discouraged. I know I will finish one of these books. All of these books. Some of these books. It may not be this year, but it will be someday. Someday is a hopeful word. It's not never. And though I didn't write as much as I may have wanted to, I did write. I worked on the old and I started something new.
2016: I will more than likely continue in the same vein. I mean, I'd like to write more, and maybe I will. But I am not going to set myself up for failure. I have prioritized some projects, and that will help to reach some of my writing goals.

Last year: Didn't look for love. At all. That was one of my goals. If it were to find me, that would have been fine, but I didn't go out of my way to track it down. At times my world is a lonely place, without a significant other, but I have my family, good friends, and my amazing daughters to keep my occupied. And thank god I have no cats.
2016: Still not going to look. If it falls in my lap, fine. Truth be told, I'm not sure I'm in a place that I could even have a relationship if I wanted to. And I'm ever so picky. Not about looks or money or whatnot. My set of ideals centers around kids, pets, freedom, and aspirations.

Last year:
Since I'd been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and/or Adrenal Fatigue,
my goal was to do what it takes to get better. That was a struggle. Adrenal fatigue's main cause is stress. With the overwhelming amount of stress I felt last year, getting better was near impossible. I did have good  days, but when times were very stressful, it was hard to function. I had a naturopath to help me, but when I lost my job, my new insurance didn't cover it and I could not afford it out of pocket.
2016: I want to feel better. I know there are ways I can. I need to try to eliminate as much stress as possible from my life. For a time I ate clean and it made me feel better. I'd like to eat as clean as possible. I bought a new bed, which helps with sleep. I need to follow cues I get from my body with regard as to what to eat, drink, to take a nap if I need to, to ask for help, take time off...My goal is to get my mind, body and spirit in alignment this year. I've purchased some books to help me with this goal.

Last year: With CFS, exercise is really hard. I was taking a kickboxing class when I first starting feeling its effects. It became so hard I quit. However, I did end up joining a gym last year. Did I go? Yes, at first. Then sporadically. Then when the CFS worsened toward the middle of the year, hardly at all.
2016: I'm back at the gym. I do cardio and strength training. I cannot yet participate in classes because it's too hard on my body. One day of overdoing it and I am in bed for half a week. So I'm careful. The kickboxing gym is opening a location in Tacoma, and I think I will use the remainder of my classes there. I did love that class and the form of exercise. I will just have to pace myself. I have a goal. About 5 years ago I was probably at my fittest. I want to get back there, or at least close. I want to be in good shape as I age.

Last year: I traveled. I went to Scottsdale, Austin, and made many road trips throughout Washington
State. I was supposed to go to Vegas, but for personal reasons had to cancel two different trips. I had New Orleans and San Diego on my list, but didn't quite make it there.
2016: Traveling is one of my favorite things. I will continue. I already have plans to go to Scottdale again and Hawaii. Again, I'll be road trippin' it. Possibilities include Montana (don't laugh, I've never been and my daughter is looking at a college there), New Orleans is still on the list. I'd like to go to Vegas, and I have my sites set on Italy, though that may have to wait another year. Of course I still have my crazy goal of driving cross country. It's not come to fruition yet, but it continues to lay dormant in the back of my mind.

Last year: My goal was to make new ones. I think I achieved this handily. Just a couple, but I think I chose well.
2016: Just keep it up. You can never have too many friends.

Anything else? Hmmmmm...

  • I think I would like to try something that scares the hell out of me. I don't know what, but I want my life to be full of adventure. 
  • I would like to get more organized. I kow this is a total cliche resolution, but in my case, it is truly needed. I think it would help me to balance my time between home, work and relationships better. 
  • Think positive. I tend to be a glass half empty type of person, but I don't want to be. I want to be able to take things in stride, look at the bright side, breathe with ease.
  • Read more, for pleasure.  I think I can count on one hand how many books I read for pleasure last year. Don't get me wrong, I read plenty of business and health books, but I'd like to read some fiction. I'm starting with The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbraugh.
  • I want to be blissful - truly happy. I think if I really work on the goals I've set for myself, bliss will fall into place.
So, did you have goals you achieved last year? Want to share your goals for the upcoming year? I think it helps to talk these things out. It makes you accountable. I also think it makes things more doable if you have "people," you know, the ones that are rooting for you, lifting you up, the ones that have your back.

I will be your "people" if you need me.

Well, that's all. Have a great New Year's Day and best wishes for a 2016 full of possibilities. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Highlights and Lowlights

For some reason I kept wanting to write about how awful 2015 has been to me. I kept stopping myself. I mean, yeah, things have been hard this year. Things sucked. But I'm not a Syrian refugee, a victim of terrorism, afraid to be a Muslim in the U.S...no. I'm just a middle aged woman to whom shit has happened this year.

As I continued to think about the last year, I realized, although much was completely sucky, so much of it was good too. So I thought I would create a little highlight blog of things that happened, good and bad. I think it will give me some closure of the awful things and help me remember the awesome experiences I had this year.

We'll start with the lowlights and get them out of the way. 

  1. Books continued to get pirated. I gave up trying to save them. Sigh. 
  2. Writing was a non-factor for me this year. Just no time.
  3. Got trapped in Ocean Shores after a huge storm. Had to stay three extra days. The town of Hoquiam was hit hard by the damage. 
  4. My father's ex-partners turned on him. This is a long, sordid story, but it lasted all year and was awful and devastating to many. All turned out for the better eventually, he is happy at the office he's in now, but we were all disappointed at how fast my philanthropic, kind, gentle, wise, hard-working father was back stabbed.
  5. My work environment was hostile for about 4 months which put a lot of stress on me.
  6. Then I lost my job.
  7. I couldn't find work for about 6 months.
  8. My best friend stopped talking to me.
  9. My chronic fatigue and depression hit me hard this year. There were days I could barely get out of bed. Days I wanted to run away. 
  10. People I love were plagued by mental health issues and addiction. Sometimes I could help, kind of, but mostly it just made me feel useless, like there was nothing I could do.
  11. Watching my children go through frustrating, difficult, unfair things that are out of their control and mine.
  12. People my age died. At least 4 or 5. Some just dropped dead. It's sad and scary and I will miss seeing their faces and it makes you think about your own health, your own mortality.
  13. Had to cancel a couple trips for personal or medical reasons.
  14. No boyfriend, no dates...frightened of becoming cat lady with no cats.
  15. Lost a freelance job I really liked. Had to quit another freelance job.
  16. My mom being burglarized while she slept. Of course, it went viral, but still, scary.
  17. Having my basement flood and getting my yard dug up for a small fortune.
  18. Continually butting heads with the school district over  policies damaging to those they affect.
  19. Younger daughter coming down with mono at the end of the year. Oy.

Now, the highlights...

  1. My Hawks went to the Superbowl again. Totally exciting. I'm hoping we can have a
    three-pete, we 
    shall see. This led to...
  2. My dad going to the Superbowl. Awesome!
  3. I saw some great live music: Ian McFerran, my brother's band, Death Cab, 21 Pilots, Alabama Shakes, Cage the Elephant. Actually meeting Cage the Elephant! 
  4. Took a beginning graphic design class. It was awesome.
  5. Won $1200 at the casino.
  6. After about six months of not speaking, I reunited with my bestie. Best thing ever. 
  7. I went on amazing vacations and road trips. I went to Arizona - twice. I also attended a few rodeos with one of my best friends, Deann and her daughter Jordan, who participates. Drove many times to the ocean, whether alone for some down time, or
    with friends or family. Moses Lake for fourth of July with my bestie, Heidi. Austin, TX, a trip which I actually almost hated had it not been from my awesome friend Rachel.
  8. Lots of good nights out with friends.
  9. I joined a gym. And I went. Maybe not as much as I wanted to, but I went.
  10. Doing work now that I love including freelance writing and contract marketing. And now the wine shop, eventually taking over. 
  11. I coined some funny shit.  " a couple penises just slipped through" - referring to Google searches.  "phone full of dicks" - referring to online dating.
  12. My parents, my two kids, and my siblings all turned another year older. Which means they are still alive. This is always a good thing.
And what about the world? Our country...

The bad: 

  • Bill Cosby
  • Subway's Jared
  • The Duggars
  • Deflategate
  • Climate change
  • Killings of black men by police officers
  • Mass shootings
  • On air shooting
  • ISIS
  • Paul Ryan
  • Wildfires
  • Donald Trump
  • Terrorism in France
  • Syrian civil war and refugee crisis
  • Attacking Planned Parenthood
  • The loss of: Mad Men, Leonard Nimoy, Stuart Scott, Beau Biden, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Frank Gifford, Wes Craven, Yogi Berra, Lesley Gore, Maureen O'Hara, Omar Sharif, Percy Sledge, Ben E. King, Anna Meara, Christopher Lee, Moses Malone.

The Good:

  • Iran Nuclear Deal
  • President Obama
  • Pope Francis
  • Opening Cuba
  • Legalizing same-sex marriage
  • Caitlyn Jenner
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Star Wars
  • Homelessness declines
  • Unemployment down
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Transparency
  • Beatles on Spotify
  • US wins Women's World Cup

Quotes I will live by for the next year...

There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle. ~ Robert Alden

There is nothing we cannot live down, and rise above, and overcome. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

You can not find peace by avoiding life. ~ Virginia Woolf

Have a safe and sane New Year's Eve.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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