My blog is about the scenic, stressful, spectacular life (and everything screwy in between) of a
California girl turned expat transplanted to the land down under: North Queensland, Australia.

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! *wipes tears*

It seems I have been MIA for the last couple of days, but Thursday we had to take a drive to THE CITY! And Friday I wrote on my other blog. Speaking of my other blog, I don’t really have a set name for it. The address is “Hed0068.blogspot.com” (shameless plug), because that’s the username I signed up with. I was thinking of re-naming it something like “Hed’s Head” because it deals with all thing mental. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Yesterday Mum and I went shopping at Woolies (Woolworth’s, the local grocery store), and in the produce aisle they were selling “carving pumpkins”. In America you would see this normally. You would see makeshift pumpkin patches by the side of the road. There would be giant stores that sell only Halloween-related items. Houses would be decorated with fake spider webs, carved pumpkins, witch cut-outs on the door, and orange Christmas-type lights. Not in Australia. Halloween isn’t really celebrated-actually last night I threw a silent tantrum when my father-in-law called Halloween “a stupid Yank holiday that was created just to make money”. Some of the articles I have read lately in the newspaper mirror his sentiments. My husband tried to placate me by saying that it would be like Australia celebrating the Fourth of July or Memorial Day. Um…no! It’s freaking HALLOWEEN! The second best day of the YEAR! I totally understand I won’t have Thanksgiving, or Martin Luther King day, but Halloween? Ugh, I’m heartbroken!

Halloween in my family is a big damn deal. I would actually choose to work on Thanksgiving then have to work on Halloween night. I trick-or-treated until I was 15 (I was Elvis that year), and when I was seven months pregnant at 18 I dressed as “Snow White who swallowed a Dwarf”. My hometown boasts the best damn pumpkin patch in all of Southern California! My mom lives in a nice tract community, so its a safe and compacted place to trick-or-treat. Every year my mom spends about $60 on candy, and we actually tally how many kids come to our door (a few years ago I remember there were 240 kids!). We all take turns getting up and handing out candy, and we all have to come to the door when there is an awesome costume or a cute baby dressed as a bee or a bear. My grandpa lives on a sparse street where few kids come , yet every year he always buys tiny paper bags and fills them to the brim with candy bars. That was always the best treat we got each year-and even in our adult years my siblings and I get a bag from Pop (aww now I’m teary eyed because I’m missing it!).

On Halloween night we usually play cards at the kitchen table while AMC’s “Fearfest” is on playing a “Halloween” marathon. Yesterday I downloaded the 2-disc limited edition of “Halloween” (my favourite scary movie!) and “Halloween 2” so J and I can pop popcorn and have a scary date night. I also downloaded “Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments”. If you haven’t seen this special and like scary movies, you are truly missing out! Oh, and jack-o-lanterns? That’s our thing. None of us are freehand artists or anything, but we loves us some carving kits! At Woolies there were only pumpkins (and two days ago they were $22. $22! I got one for $5), so I bought it and have an idea on what I’m going to carve. I’m just hoping it comes out well-and I will definitely post pictures, good or bad! Here are some highlights of J’s first ever Halloween, in 2008:

J hard at work on his inaugural pumpkinJimmy Outlining

 

What skill! He definitely belongs in our family!Jimmy's Phantom

 

My pirate shipHed's Pirate Ship

 

Side by sideThe Pumpkins

 

Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2010

I’m Excited! (Not in that way!)

So it’s 3am…yeah, my schedules still a little bit backwards. My brain isn’t working too hard at the moment, so I’m posting mostly photos. Yesterday I mentioned to my husband that come December we will have been together 3 years, married 2. Last year I was in the throes of my depression, so we didn’t celebrate our anniversary or decorate the house for Christmas (my favourite holiday!). I asked J, “babe, do you think we can spend our anniversary on Magnetic Island?” and he said, “sure babe, whatever you want to do”. So I started doing some research.

I am freaking IN LOVE with “Maggie” Island, by the way. About 25% of it is a nature reserve and its so small you can drive around the whole island in maybe 45 minutes. OH! And you get to drive a moke! (although I’m gonna see if J will let us rent scooters this time) When I was visiting in August of 2008, J took me there and I instantly loved it. It was so beautiful, you have no idea. We drove “Tinkerbell”, isn’t it adorable?

Magnetic Island Sunset

Sunday is a universal day of rest over here, so about 60% of things are closed (God I wish my friends in the States had the same plan, but we’d all go crazy if things were actually CLOSED! I still have a hard time with it here!). But…Sunday is also market day! You may remember a month ago I blogged about our failed trip to Townsville because I got sick. The day was completely planned, and I even had a map with the market locations and their times on a map. I was so bummed because I love farmer’s markets and we were spending the night at Jupiter's Casino (AND my hubs requested chocolate covered strawberries in the room!), but I felt awful, so we drove back home. I really want to have a do-over of the day we were planning to have, so I thought since J is off every Sunday, we could spend the morning in Townsville at the markets and stay on Magnetic Island that night. Before I set up the day, I asked J if I could book a room tonight and he said that was fine, anywhere I wanted. There was only one place I wanted to stay: Bright Point!

mantra_one_bright_point_hotel_magnetic_island_33537304

There were no bookings available for the month of December (the 7th is our anniversary), so I got a room for the last weekend of November (it’s so weird-I’ll be starting summer and BBQ’s while my family will be stuffing themselves with turkey and pie *tear*). I’m so excited! You know what I’m the most excited about? After I booked the place I googled “Magnetic Island dining” and came across a place which serves:

TRADITIONAL NACHOS - with Roja, Guacamole and Sour Cream

and

TAQUITOS -

2 - 6” soft flour tortillas rolled tight and fried, and topped with salsa.

I may not ever leave!

October 25, 2010

Where’s my “Reset” button?

These last three days have been horrible! Not for any other reason except my sleep schedule did a topsy-turvy on me. I’ll backtrack to Thursday.

I’ve been having a hard time sleeping lately, which never happens. Give me a pillow and a flat surface and I’m out. Lately when I lay down my body likes to fight my brain and not get comfortable, or my brain fights my body by looping “Ale Alejandro Ale Alejandro” in my head (they play a lot of Lady Gaga on the music video channel over here). Also there is a bird outside that chirps non-stop. I mean it’s 1:30am right now and it’s going “Who eee! Who eee!” What the hell kind of vampire bird chirps at 1am? It’s been taking me at least    1-2 hours to doze off, and then I can’t wake up. My husband’s been disciplined by waking up every morning at 8am, which is an ungodly hour for me. I tell him to wake me up at 11am. Then one more hour…then one more….until I wake myself up around 3pm. I don’t want to get up at 3pm, but my body feels exhausted (there has been some suspicion that I may have Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, but I’ve either been too busy working 50 hours or without medical insurance to be able to follow through on a diagnosis). Thursday morning I tried to crash at 3am, but I tossed and turned until 5am, and had to wake up at 7:45 for my first appointment with the psychologist in town.

He was an old guy…I’m not particularly fond of old guys, especially when I have to try and talk to an old guy about my issues. I swear he kept looking at my boobs (or my tattoos poking out), and I could barely understand his Aussie dialect. But I’m pretty much stuck with him since I live in the woop woop (or BFE or the middle of nowhere, whatever you’d like to call it). Back home if I didn’t like doctor #1, I go to doctor #2, or doctor #434, but over here your choices are extremely limited (also I read like every day there are months and months long waiting lists to see a dentist, even in an emergency situation…ugh). J says I should stick with the doctor and follow through with his treatments, since I pretty much quit everything I do. The one thing he did say is my depression is a demon that needs to be exorcised out of my body (okay I paraphrased that-it was more like “that’s not you, that’s the depression talking”).

J promised me brekky (breakfast) in town after the doctor, and I picked the Stock Exchange Cafe because I read they had gourmet coffee. The place was really cute (and small!), and their coffee didn’t disappoint. I ordered scones with jam and cream (I am IN LOVE with cream here. It’s fresh whipped cream but not as thick or sweet), but they were out, so I ordered pikelets, which are apparently silver dollar pancakes. Yum. J ordered a bacon and egg burger. Let me vent about food YET AGAIN in Australia. When my brain hears “bacon and egg burger”, I expect a variation of this:

This was J’s burger:

How in the bloody hell is THAT a burger?!?!? Also on the menu was a “mince burger” (ground beef pieces on toast) and a “steak burger” (a slice of meat on toast). I hate the food here. So much. My taste buds yearn for spicy, familiar foods that make me smile, and I’m constantly being let down. Except pastries and coffee and chocolate. They are all fan-freaking-tastic here.

They had coke in bottles, and a real espresso machine! I’m sold.

We got home and I went to take a small nap around 1pm. I ended up sleeping until 8pm. By the time I woke up everyone had already eaten and my husband was at work, so I think I made myself a cup of noodles. I stayed up until 5am, and then woke up at almost 7pm. Ugh! Same as the day before, made a burrito, stayed up until 5. I told myself if you wake up at 11am Hed, you’ll have gotten 6 hours, and that’s fine. Same.As.Yesterday. Had some spaghetti, stayed up until 7am. That was yesterday morning. I woke up to eat, fell back asleep, and woke up at midnight. I feel terrible (as expected), and I hope to go to sleep around 6pm tonight to hopefully get out of the cycle I put myself in. My husband wants to start walking, but he says it’s not up to him to push me, that I have to want to do it. My brain is screaming NEW START! NEW START! NEW START! I think I need to actually start listening now instead of going with my natural instincts, which tend to suck ass. Let’s hope tomorrow’s blog is at a decent hour!

October 23, 2010

Day 15.

Okay, so my schedule is completely backwards at the moment, as I have just woken up-at 6:30pm. I think I may be coming down with something or I’m anemic. I have no energy. I can’t get to sleep, but when I do, I sleep about 12 hours. Ugh. Let me see if I can jumpstart my brain today with a new question:

Day 15: Something or someone you couldn't live without.

Over the course of these 30 days I’ve posted a lot about my family, my husband, my cats and my friends. Obviously they would be what I can’t live without. But, you know, this question is a moot point to me, because this year I have pushed the limits of what I need and don’t need by moving to Australia.

Months leading up to the move I personally took every item I owned into account, wondering if this was a need or a want. I have about 6 boxes back in the States waiting to be shipped over here with the things I chose to need. All my Paul Frank stuff (and I even got rid of a few PF items-now THAT was hard), scrapbooking crap, shot glasses from around the world, the green fridge knick knack I’ve had since I was 8, pictures, albums, yearbooks, my two “chicken bowls” (the soup bowls I use when I’m sick and they magically make me feel better), Christmas ornaments, and my pirate hat. These things all hold great significance to me. But hey, I’ve been here almost two months, and those things are still in America, so they can’t be too crucial, right?

Now, if we are taking this question lightly (which I totally am), I think what I couldn’t live without would be:

Chap stick.

Coke Zero or Diet Pepsi.

My laptop.

Paul Frank!

Ice cream.

Tweezers.

That’s about it. It’s funny how we think about questions like these when we play the “what if” game. I don’t think any of us would die if anything material was taken away (unless that was insulin or an inhaler I guess). I gave up everything that mattered to me to move over here and make a new start with my husband. I miss our couch, our apartment, the desk I assembled by myself (girl power!), my car, Mexican food, sushi, Christmas in Winter (its Summer here during Xmas, and it just seems blasphemous to me), and all the little things that I took for granted because it was always there. Now it’s not, and I’m coping. I think for some who have never been pushed against a wall their answers would be different, but honestly, as long as we have our basic essentials and our health, we’ll be fine.

(I just realized this whole post was crap, so blame my lethargy today, will ya?)

October 22, 2010

Day 14.

Can’t…type…eating Neapolitan ice cream out of a sugar cone…mmm.

Day 14: A hero that has let you down.

I’m not really one for heroes. I think I tend to see the “average” in people. In US Magazine, they always have a page that says “Stars: They’re Just Like Us!” showing Reese Witherspoon carrying groceries or Will Smith taking a poo (okay, they have never shown that). Um…yeah? They’re human, aren’t they? They just happen to be in the public eye. I don’t think that makes them better than us or heroes. Anyone can be a hero, not just someone famous (cone done, back to typing with both hands!).

On the same note, I can’t see why we pay movie stars or sports people $20 million for their job. I know the fundamental reason is because stars and players bring in the money by having us regular folk go to their games or watch their movies, but there are people that live for acting/basketball/ baseball and would do it every day for free if they could (and some do). I remember reading about LeBron James and how he was a basketball prodigy pretty much out of the womb. Now he’s this megastar, and it has completely gone to his head. He could have stepped up and helped out other young players or donate some of his bajillions to basketball camps, but no. He lives in the lap of luxury and walks around with a sense of entitlement. According to Wiki, he is the sixth most disliked sports personality.

A hero is defined as “a man (or woman? Hello?) of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities”, or “a large sandwich, usually consisting of a small loaf of bread or long roll cut in half lengthwise and containing a variety of ingredients,as meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes”. Mmm…hero. When I think about my personal hero, it would have to be Angelina Jolie. Yep. I’ve been a huge fan since she started out in Hackers and Girl, Interrupted, and when I would read articles about her she was so honest and truthful-which made the general public think of her as creepy, but not me. I identified with her. She didn’t have a publicist. She just told it like it was. I admire that in a person. As she matured, her eyes opened up to injustices around the world and she vowed to help in any means necessary. She could have just been another actress in Hollywood who dined at the Ivy or slept with another…persons…man (okay I won’t get into that!), but here she was in war-torn countries trying to be one person making a difference. She has promised to donate half of her income to charity, and she has shed light on many causes that we don’t generally see (unlike other celebs who poke their head into the latest popular charity or aid relief). So yeah, that’s my hero. And she hasn’t let me down…yet!

I’d also like to give an honourable mention to my friend, who I’ll just call Jo. Jo had a hard upbringing. She was shuffled around family members when she was young due to a hard-partying mom. Jo’s mother died in her tweens, and she ended up being raised by her grandma. I met Jo in my teens, and she was pretty well-adjusted. We ended up becoming fast friends and I realized I found someone who was wackier than I was (in a good way). Guys would be in awe of her, and she never seemed to notice or care like my boy-obsessed ass did. She was very independent, and always worked hard, taking classes like Calculus and working after school. I was always clinging onto guys in my twenties, and she chose to create a path and stick to it, even if that meant living alone and paying the bills alone, which I was terrified to do. She decided that she wanted to go to college (which I had tried and failed three times), and she did. And graduated. And is now in graduate school. All while working 40 hours a week. Her perseverance floors me. She’s happily single, and when she walks into a room people seem to instantly gravitate towards her. She has like 874 friends on Facebook (okay like 200), and she really doesn’t have one mean or spiteful bone in her body. Like any friend, she has let me down-but we’re all human, I expect her to. But she is strong and resilient, and she is my hero.

October 20, 2010

Colour my…Wednesday?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted if anyone wanted to be postcard pen pals, and I got my first one today! Miss Erica at Recycled Fashion is officially my postcard pen pal <3. The rules of the postcard is you have to recommend a song (mainly because my IPod is lacking new music) and her pick is “Nine Million Bicycles” by Katie Melua. I’ve never heard her before-she reminds me of Colbie Caillat in the sense that you want to drive down PCH on a sunny day and play her music. Maybe that’s just me, listen for yourself:

 

Erica just started a "Colour my Week" blog. She writes:

Wear your best clothes or the cheeriest colour from your wardrobe. You’d be surprised how much your clothes could affect the way you feel about yourself...I will focus each Monday's post on one colour, I will show various recycled fashion items I have found with that colour, and invite other readers to share their colour finds to the blog, by the way of a linky link McLinky.

I added my blog to her linky, so I am required BY LAW to follow through on my obligation (just kidding). now green isn’t my favourite colour-my wardrobe consists mostly of black, grey, red, pink, and some blues. But I have had a tee since 2006 that I still have as a lounge shirt. It says “This is my ‘Get Lucky’ shirt” that I bought at my old job Torrid. My only green shirt!

 Drinking Heather My 27th birthday party. 2007. I was wasted! And drinking Green Apple Smirnoff, how fitting.

When I think about the colour green, a few things come to mind.

 Leprechauns!

  Irish Spring Soap

Edamame (Soybeans). I can’t find them ANYWHERE!!!

As for fashion, I am a dunce. I wear lots of patterns-especially stripes and polka dots. But if money and cowardice was no factor, I’d be all about Lolita-a fashion subculture originating in Japan that is primarily influenced by Victorian clothing as well as costumes from the Rococo period. How fun would it be to dress up every day?

courtesy of Fan Plus Friend

 courtesy of Maruione

  courtesy of Fan Plus Friend

 courtesy of Milanoo

Okay, Erica was totally right. Googling “green” and finding drool-worthy items has made me feel a little brighter! Now to lose weight to fit into them…Weight-loss Wednesday, anyone?

October 19, 2010

Warning: Neurotic post ahoy!

I happen to suffer from neurosis (Dictionary.com says: a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment). I’ve always had this weird value system where people are either above me or below me, and I would say 90% of the people I meet are usually included in the “above me” pattern. While writing my other blog, I got some feedback from people saying things like “I feel that way too” or “I’ve never told anyone this, but..”, and it gave me a moment of clarity that made me realize that there is always more than meets the eye. A moment. I’m still neurotic, and I still see people as better than me. It could be the smallest reason: You went to school, you are raising children, you own a house. Lately there has been one more reason that’s eating away at me: You have more followers than I do.

Now, I read many blogs, and some are downright spectacular: Barb @ Bouncin' Through Life, Content Unrelated, Fully Fashioned, and The Bitchy Waiter are a few that come to mind. The stories they tell and the humour that seems to flow out of them is magical. There are others that I read that are good, or interesting, or sometimes they seem to have a gem of a posting. Then there are ones that make me fall asleep, like the blogs of Timmy’s first poo; the long, drawn-out post of choosing ecru or eggshell on the wedding stationary; and any post that has to do with religion I usually stop following ASAP. There are bloggers that just phone it in, maybe blogging once a month or posting a generic picture with a title and nothing else. Yet all of these different kinds of people have a strong influx of followers.

Some blogs have been around only a couple of months (like mine) and are well on their way to 100 followers. I know the schmoozing we bloggers have to do in order to get our blog out there, and I do them-within limits. If I follow a blog it’s because I really like it and will read every posting, not because I want to say “good post! Heddownunder.blogspot.com”. I don’t want to get into detail, but there is one blog I really enjoy and comment on and the blogger seems to always skip past my comment and comment on the other comments (does that make sense?). Why do I feel upset when an anonymous person doesn’t reply to me? Why the hell should I care? Because I do. I’ve always been that person who genuinely cares about people, even strangers.

Just like in the real world, in the blogosphere I feel like an outcast. I have a couple of core readers and followers, but those readers have fantastic blogs of their own and everyone seems to know about theirs. I’m on the outside looking in. I’m grateful that I even have 19 followers (and 29 Facebook peoples), but when I see blogs with hundreds, I wonder: am I not interesting? Do I portray my blog self like I do my real self and people just choose to see me from afar? I don’t know. I could have just put this crap in a journal and let it be all mine, but I chose to try and express myself and my life publicly so hopefully someone like me could identify with it and feel better by reading (that applies tenfold to my other blog).

I won’t stop writing. Back in May when I started blogging about the pain I feel inside from being Bipolar, my pain would dissipate as I wrote. No one can take that away from me, even if I have zero followers.

October 18, 2010

Day 13.

So I am like, 5 days behind. I suck. But after making the fam a meal of chicken chop suey, I am full, happily refreshed, and ready to blog! The question is:

Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough times.

I just posted on my other blog about how lately I feel like I’m twelve years old again. To make a long story short, at twelve my dad dropped me off with my grandparents and I ended up living with them. Kind of. They gave me the guest house behind the main house. The only time we saw each other was to eat. I was in the pre-teen angst of wanting to be alone, yet I was too alone. I felt like I was in solitude. I had a TV that only had two channels that worked, and a little tape player.

Right before I moved in with my dad (kind of), I had discovered Pearl Jam. One day MTV was on in the background, and I heard “Evenflow”. I stopped what I was doing and watched the entire video and was in awe. I had recently started watching Headbanger’s Ball and 120 Minutes (at my dad’s, who didn’t care if I stayed awake until four in the morning), and had already fell in love with Metallica. When I was ten my brother made me a tape of “…And Justice for All” that my mom wouldn’t let me listen to. One day on MTV I heard the song “One” (the Metallica version not the U2 one-duh!), and I played it over and over and over when she wasn’t around. But Pearl Jam, this was like something I had never heard before. I bought “Ten” right away, and played it almost every day.

I would study the liner notes and buy rock magazines that featured them. All of the songs made sense to twelve-year-old me, especially the songs “Why Go” and “Release”:

she scratches a letter into a wall made of stone                                                  maybe someday another child won’t feel as alone as she does

I see the world feel the chill which way to go windowsill                                           I see the words on a rocking horse of time I see the birds in the rain                 Oh dear dad can you see me now? I am myself like you somehow

I even met one of my best friends through Pearl Jam, even though I hated her for months. Once my mom took me away from my dad (kind of), I had to go to a really ghetto middle school because the one closest to me (in the nicer part of town) was full. I wore my “Ten” shirt:

  Remember this dude?

Some girl, in the middle of lunch, walked up to me and said “Jeremy spoke in…” (if you don’t know what this means you lived under a rock in 1992) and this cafeteria bench full of girls started laughing. I was humiliated. Months later I had a class with her, and she told me she did that because she really liked Pearl Jam, and she apologized for making me feel stupid. Al and I happily shared a music obsession, and even though we took different paths in the rock music fork in the road (I still like hard rock while she…likes death metal? WTF?) the times we spent as teens rocking out will always be amazing memories.

In my later high school years Pearl Jam took an almost softer turn whereas I was full on into Grunge: Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana. I was also able to start appreciating hard rock through them and Metallica: Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Hole, Deftones, Filter, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. These bands revolved around the orbit that is me in my teens. So many songs to this day bring me right back to where I was when I first heard them, and even though some bands have dropped off the radar (*cough* Limp Bizkit and Korn *cough*), I still love their earlier works. The other day I was feeling terrible and I did what I used to do when I was a twelve-year-old: lock the door, start the CD, lay down on the floor and just absorb the music. I have yet to see Pearl Jam in concert, but if I ever had a chance to meet Eddie Vedder and Co., I would tell them that their music was my lifeline for many, many years.

October 17, 2010

Writing makes me happyface.

The blog community seems to run in small circles, and I’m happy I have a core list of blogs that I follow who also follow me. When you read about someone’s life, it feels like you are right there with them. It’s almost impossible for you to judge someone just by their writings (in my opinion), because most blog entries are a snippet or a story in a chapter of a very long book. Once you familiarize yourself with someone’s pieces of their puzzle of life, you become almost protective of them. I hope that my readers feel that way about me and my blog, but even if they don’t, I will soldier on and continue writing because writing to me is therapy.

One such blogger I feel that way about is Canadian Blogger Girl. A few days ago she was asking for help in the form of donations for her broken couch and someone went wayyyyy too far and made a blog post shitting on her and many other hurtful, venomous things. I’m constantly throwing tantrums like a little girl screaming that life isn’t fair, and a big reason I feel that way is people who have evil, hateful ways for no reason. Why would you write something so mean about someone you don’t even know? Does it make you feel better? Are you so pathetic that you get off by making fun of others? I try my damndest to follow the golden rule and not ruffle feathers unless the cause really calls for it. It makes me wonder what the parents of these types of people did to them as a child, or how they would feel if they knew that their own blood was so spiteful to others. I would be so disappointed at my kids if they ended up like that.

On a brighter note, Miss CBG gave me an award! Yay!

the_versatile_blogger_award 

The rules for accepting this is to point out seven things you may not know about me.

1. I am phobic of cockroaches. Phobic! (a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.) I hyperventilate and start shaking if I see one, and I can’t even watch them on TV.

2. I bite my nails like a crackhead. They are really bad! I knew J was my soulmate because his nails are as bad as mine, and he wouldn’t be like my mom, smacking my hand out of my mouth!

3. Not only did I get kissed by Fred Durst, he signed my boobs (mind you, this was in 1999 when Fred Durst was relevant). Other celebs I have met: Drew Barrymore at Magic Mountain, Pauly Shore, the bands Staind and Kid Rock’s crew, Wes Borland, Robin Finck and Danny Lohner from Nine Inch Nails, Josh Freese, and Chuck Freaking Norris. I once stood next to Tommy Lee and Mark Wahlberg and was too chicken to talk to them!

4. My favourite TV show of all time is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (followed closely by Grey’s Anatomy and The Simpsons).

5. My son’s name was supposed to be Bowie, but everyone hated it. My grandma kept pronouncing it “Boy”, because she’s from Oklahoma. If I ever have another kid, his name will be Bowie (or maybe his middle name ha ha).

6. Random hairs drive me crazy (like eyebrow, chin, arm, greys, etc.). I have been known to monkey out and literally rip the hairs out with my fingers-my poor best friend is always getting his hairs pulled out by me!

7. I have 23 tattoos. Okay to be fair 17 of them are stars on my back (for my birthday), two of them are matching bows near my collarbone, one is my name on my wrist (pictured above), one is a dragon at the top of my back, one is a Virgo girl in the middle of my back, and my first tattoo is a rainbow dotted pinwheel at the base of my back (tramp stamp).

March 2007

March 2006

Virgo Girl Tattoo

March 2008

So that’s that. Another rule is I have to give this to 15 bloggers that deserve it, but my core blogs have already gotten awarded! Go to the bottom of this blog for some great writers, photographers, expats, and everything in between. And thanks for coming to mine :)

October 15, 2010

I got the blues.

I haven’t had the push to write in a few days. My moods seem to be fluctuating a LOT lately, and the doctor over here that prescribes the crazy meds (what I like to call them) is on a 3+ month waiting list. My family and friends in California are going through severe dire straits due to the recession, and my mom’s knee replacement is still bothering her, and seems to be getting worse. My arm is covered in mosquito bites, and I’m waking up every hour with a severe case of the itchies. So yeah. I wanted to re-post from my other blog a story that makes me happy and yet sad at the same time. My mom asked me the other day when I was on the phone with her, “how can you be so sad yet your blog is so happy?” Well, that’s why my other blog exists. It’s the Hyde to this blog’s Jekyll I guess. So here it is.

 

I'll be 30 in three months. 30. Where is my house that I'm supposed to own? My 2.5 kids? My recreational vehicle? My food in pill form? (Okay, I didn't think we would be THAT FAR into the future.) I still feel like a teenager. I feel emotionally stunted. When I see high schoolers, I think, "wow I just graduated". No I didn't. I graduated 12 years ago. My son is a year away from being a teenager. I look back at my twenties with nothing but sadness. I did everything wrong, wrong, wrong. My friends and family that are just barely becoming an adult, I want to shake the crap out of them and say, "enjoy this time in your life! Don't be stressed! Don't be sad! LIVE!!!", but instead of going to jail for assault, I thought maybe I could write a letter to my 19-year-old self.

Dear hed,

Hi! It's you from the future. You are doing well for 19. You have a part time job that is paying $2k a month. SAVE IT. Trust me. Don't stress about the stupid people in the world. They will get theirs in the end. You are in a volatile relationship. Either work through it or get the hell out. Don't wait for another guy to catch your eye to leave. You will be fine alone. You have an 18-month old son that is starting to slip away from Autism. Be by his side. Your mom will fight you, and try and protect you, but prove to her you are capable of being a mom without her help, and mean it. Research everything you can on Autism, and make your son your number one priority. Wake up early. Get used to it. You will have to do it the rest of your life. Your best friend is your lifeline, and 10 years later, you will look at her and smile, because she is still there and living the live you should have lived alongside her. Don't let depression rule your life. On your days off, do an activity. Get used to the outdoors. Use sunblock, damn it. In two weeks you will have heart surgery, and you are scared. You will be fine, I promise. Please take this surgery to realize your health is a gift, and try to eat well. Exercise. Get used to it. You will have to do it the rest of your life.

When life hands you lemons (or a terrible boyfriend), make lemonade. You are okay single. I promise. The only man that is important in your twenties is your son. By the way, you are soooo not fat. Trust me. No one thinks you are a fat old hag for being a single mom. Spend more time with your grandparents and your great-grandmother. They are getting older. Enjoy the comfort of living with your parents. Yeah, it sucks, but you are living there rent-free. Go to as many concerts you can afford. Take road trips with K. Get more tattoos, you will still love them at 30. Breathe. Take pictures, lots of pictures. There is nothing at your age to be anxious about. Learn how to overcome roadblocks. It's okay to cry. Don't love a man just because he seems interested in you, learn to love yourself first. If you don't, you never will. GO TO SCHOOL. The still-fresh knowledge from high school will start to fade, do everything you can to preserve that knowledge to better you and your son's life. Read lots of books. Your son's father is a good dad, just not a good boyfriend. Appreciate him. Breathe more. Take your life one day at a time. Moisturize your face daily, and take off your make-up before you go to bed! Get a hangover. Have a blast. Don't stress, don't stress, don't stress. You will be okay. You will be loved.

hed.

Obviously I can't go back in time (oh, how I would), but I hope that my young friends, even my friends hitting 30, that they could take their days one day at a time, and know that every day is a gift. Wake up and smile that you are healthy. I have about 90 more days until my twenties are a memory, and I don't see some sort of turning point for myself before the big 3-0. I pray, I pray, that I can wake up on my thirtieth birthday and wake up and smile that I am healthy. And alive.

October 13, 2010

Write something nice on my tombstone…

Because I am doing to freaking DIE OF MALARIA HERE!!!

Mosquito Death Oct 10

I noticed a mosquito snacking on my hand so I smack it. Within five minutes I see the telltale bite, and shortly after my elbow starts to itch. I look and this is what I find. Instead of soap I need to clean myself with INSECT REPELLANT!!!

Day 12.

This question is a pretty easy one to answer:

Day 12: Something you never get compliments on.

For most of my twenties, work was my life. Let me rephrase that a little: work was my life in the jobs I stayed with and enjoyed. That list is small, but when I found somewhere that I felt semi-confident or semi-belonged, work became my passion. Everyone who ever walked into my store I cared about, whether you were the customer, the part-time employee, the delivery person, the boss, or the president of the company.

When I worked as an ice cream scooper at 16, I worked like I was the boss there. When the other kids would work, they would usually clean to a minimum and stock empty ice creams (if that). When it was cold or rained, I would take the huge ice cream containers out and scrape the thick parts of ice out of the machines and use polish on the metal to get it shiny. I would go into the below zero freezer and alphabetize the ice creams so they would be easier to find on busier days. I would keep a list of items that needed to be replenished for the next ordering date. Not once did I get anything other than a “thanks” (if that).

As a bingo caller, I would spend the first two hours chatting up the seniors and regulars. Doing this was important not only for the business (gaining regulars and hearing their ideas), but for the seniors themselves (seeing a friendly face every day). It would break my heart if I heard someone passed away, and I made sure that everyone was comfortable (even if every day one person would be too hot, another too cold; it was too smoky; I was too quiet or too loud…). On my birthday I received a card from a regular with $50 in it, yet the whole time I was there did my boss say anything worth merit about my job performance.

I loved, I mean adored the clothing store I worked at. Working there was like a golden age for me. Because it was all girls, people constantly gossiped and made little groups, and I always felt like the outcast. But as a manager, I think I did a good job (when I wasn’t sick, which I admit was often). I welcomed the customers and went out of my way to help them. I was constantly organizing the backroom or making sure the prices were correct on clearance. When the manager quit, myself and the other assistant were told we would be co-managing until we got another manager. A month into this arrangement I was notified that the other manager would be the only interim manager. I was crushed.

The restaurant was a very stressful job for me, but I wanted to prove to everyone around me and also myself that I could handle ten hour days with thirty minute breaks. I loved my staff, and always tried my damndest to make sure that every customer left happy and satisfied. There were a lot of behind the scenes actions that left me defeated and wondering why I tried so hard, and the staff themselves made me once again feel like an outcast at times. If they only knew how important this was to me, I would think to myself. Even on the day before my wedding I called the store to see if everything was okay and how business was, and I was out-of-state at the time! If I ever got anything, it was “Hed, you’re doing fine. Just focus on…”.

I’m convinced I will never manage again. I don’t have it in me anymore, and it makes me sad for a few reasons. One, the reason I got into managing was because the people over the years that trained me really helped me and my work ethics. I always wanted to give the people with me as their first manager a good head on their shoulders because I know how much that fuelled (damn those two “l”s)me. Secondly, I choose places that I would enjoy working, or places that I would want to see prosper, and I don’t know enough about the Australian workplace to really feel comfortable enough to manage. Lastly, I was never told that I was an asset. Or a hard worker. Or a good addition to the team. Towards the end of my last job my depression was eating away at me that I became a liability, and my confidence was eradicated. I made sure every day to tell my staff they were awesome in one part of their job (even if it was something so minute as sidework) because deep down, that’s what I wanted someone to tell me.

October 12, 2010

On the hunt.

The lovely Barb from This and That tagged me in an Internet scavenger hunt. It’s a cute way to get to know your fellow bloggers, and you all KNOW how much I like to write about myself (it’s kind of my thing). So here goes:

Tell everyone who tagged you- um, I kind of just did?

Find and post each item on the list:
Your favourite YouTube video- oh, this one is easy…it’s the wedding dance! I watch this all the time, yet I still cry when the bride comes out dancing. If you haven’t seen this you’re like, the only one on Earth. So watch it!

And just for the sake of laughs, this video never, ever gets old. The video quality is crap, but Jeebus it’s funny.

A photo that will make everyone say “awww”- Every day I tell myself that I’m over my cats, yet when I see them again, I crumble. They were my kids, and I think about them every day. This is the first day they met, and they were instant brothers.

Sam and Portal

A funny T-shirt-Pardon my sense of humour…

Something geeky-If you know what this is, then you are definitely a geek.

 Murgururururrugrgrurl!

A link or photo to your favourite movie-That’s right, it’s Vanilla Sky. And I don’t want to hear NO LIP ABOUT IT!!!

 Why’d Tom Cruise have to turn into such a weirdo?

A link to the newest blog you’ve discovered-That would be the amazing Minx! Go read her stuff (and her R-rated stuff, too)!

A photo of something on your wish list-I’ll pick two, and neither of them are available in Australia. Sad face!

 Paul Frank “Skurvy” beach cruiser bike. !!!!!!!!

hurst_dodge_challenger 2009 Dodge Challenger. Sex on wheels.

Tag seven other blogs-Well, I’ve already tagged two, so I’ll give a shout-out to

Canadian Blogger Girl-She’s Canadian!                                                                   Content Unrelated-He’s hilarious and insightful!                                                    Fully Fashioned-She’s English and fashionable!                                               Running Rabbit-She’s creative and funny and family!                                             Musings of a Bipolar Girl-She’s CRAZY! (It’s my other blog, but I am crazy)

Notify each blog you tagged-I’m getting a migraine, I’ll do it later!

October 11, 2010

Day 11.

Random note: Australian chocolate is unbelievably melty, like, even when you get it from the fridge. So I’m sitting here trying to eat a small (honestly!) block of chocolate and getting my laptop sticky. It already feels like it’s been a month, yet I’m only on day 11 of my 30 day journey. Day 11:

Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

I suck major ass at compliments, which is why I can remember to a tee what people have said negatively about me, yet I have a bitch of a time remembering the good. The earliest and most frequent “compliment” I was given growing up is “you’re weird”. Yep. I think it may have been because I was goofy, or always the new girl at school, so I would ham it up and people didn’t know what to think of me. In second grade I even thought of a comeback: “that’s what makes me special”. I didn’t think much of it until I mentioned it to a psychologist, who told me I was brilliant. Hell yeah!

I’ve always been told I am funny…for a girl. Isn’t that a backhanded compliment? I guess its my icebreaker. I remember one time going to this really VIP club with a couple of girls from the cosmetic department I worked at. They were gorgeous, and I was…fat. I felt out of place, I didn’t belong there at all, but I really wanted to make the most out of it and not be a letdown. You know how when you first walk into a club, you kind of feel awkward until you scope out the place (or immediately start drinking)? That was us. We sat down and watched everyone, and a few guys came around and started chatting up two of my friends. I was joking with them and at the end of the night, I was the one that got their numbers. Hell yeah!

This one by far is the best compliment I have ever received. My best friend is not one to dish out compliments. Even if you ask for them! But one day I asked if he thought I was pretty and he said “no, you’re striking. Even my mom said you are movie-star pretty”. He might have been high, or maybe just wanted to get a little piece, but that one sticks with me the most. Hell yeah, indeed.

October 10, 2010

Day 10…on 10/10/10? Sweet.

Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know.

I thought about this question for about three seconds. Like I said in my last post, the people I have chosen to be a part of my life are still in my life, so it would be hard to say who I would need to let go-but someone I wish I didn’t know? That one’s easy. Smith.

I met Smith just before I turned 20. He was just barely 18 and full of hope and promise. I literally saw him from afar and was like, “oh my God, who is that?” His background was complicated: his father (who was actually his grandfather but adopted Smith when he was around 9) just recently passed away. He also grew up in a conservative Christian household: 12 years of Christian school, church four times a week, no sleeping over at other people’s houses, 8pm curfew, etc. I, on the other hand, had an eighteen-month-old, was a single mom from divorced parents and never, ever went to church (once Smith’s mom actually called me “Jezebel”). We hit it off instantly because he was sweet and pure and innocent, and after all the bad boys I had encountered over my life he was a breath of fresh air….but his mom was a pain in the freaking ass.

I would only be allowed over there when she was home, and even then it was on the outside of her property. That suited us just fine, because we were happy just being in each other’s company. About three months in, his mom went upstate for Thanksgiving and he had the house all to himself. I didn’t plan on staying the night, but I came over and watched movies with Smith in his room. I changed into some of his PJ pants for comfort. We fell asleep, on top of the blankets, fully clothed, and his mom had come back because she had forgotten something or whatever and freaked out. She threw Smith out, and my parents took pity on this sweet kid and let him stay at our house until he could get back on his feet. That was a huge mistake. The sweet taste of freedom after eighteen years of solitude and strictness had really made an impression on him.

Eventually we got our own studio apartment and he got a job at Rite-Aid. One day after a couple of months he comes home early in tears because he had gotten fired because his “ice cream scoops were too big and it was considered stealing”. I consoled him and helped him get a job at the photography place I worked at. I didn’t find out until later that my mom’s neighbour (who worked at Rite-Aid as a security guard) caught Smith taking packs of beer and leaving it outside on the loading dock for his “friends”. I didn’t believe it, and we moved on from it. After about six months in the studio we moved to a duplex, and shortly after Smith got fired from the photo place because of “unreliable transportation”. Okay, we’ll get you another job. Rinse and repeat. Also, he would answer ads in the paper about “make $500 a week! Ask me how!” and was convinced we could make all this money if we just bought computer software/a set of steak knives/a vacuum to sell door-to-door. Really?

During this time he opened up to me and gave me the full story on his family and his background, which could be an afterschool special. To try and keep him anonymous I won’t bring it all out in the open, but it was pretty bad. This only made me want to help him more. His mother wanted no part of him anymore (by the way it was his stepmom-his real mother was in prison for life), so grandma came to the rescue and helped out when we needed it (which, by this point, was all the time). I ended up having to file for bankruptcy at 22 because there was not enough money coming in. Smith was getting more and more distant: he would say he was going to a friends house to play video games for a few hours, and he would take my car. My grandfather was making car payments for me, and the one rule he had was “don’t let Smith drive that car”. Smith didn’t care, and would leave for hours and hours until I pretty much screamed at him to come home. Most days he would come home reeking of pot, which I told him from day one was a dealbreaker. He didn’t care. Not that he wasn’t a sweetheart, that’s just it: he treated me like a princess. He would pretty much do everything for me, and after the bankruptcy I became so sick I didn’t work for a year (the doctor later told me it was from extreme stress), and he made it unbelievably easy for me to sleep twenty hours a day and eat whatever I wanted. I put on forty pounds during that year.

Smith would get a job, then lose it, and it was always their fault, not his. He got a final warning from his teacher assistant job because one of the teachers was told by a student that Smith was outside smoking pot with the kids (“that teacher had it out for me”). He finally got fired when the computer he signed in to was flagged because someone was trying to access porn (“one of the kids was trying to get me in trouble”). Porn was another source of contention. He would set up profiles in adult websites and use my guy friend’s picture and write up a bogus “about me”, yet he was too stupid to hide the evidence-he used my computer! When I would confront him, he said it wasn’t a big deal, he just liked to “be someone else” sometimes. These scumbags would come to our house and just use him up and he never saw it. He would beg me to let him borrow my car to take a friend to a city hours and hours away because the friend “needed help”. One time a new guy came over and I swear to God, started casing the joint. He noticed I had two identical Paul Frank posters in the house, and within three minutes of me meeting him asked, “can I have one?” WTF?

One day, out of nowhere, I woke up and said, “I’m done”. I gave my landlord my notice and told my mom I was moving back in. Smith freaked out and was like, “where am I supposed to go? Why are you mad at me?”, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. He never took responsibility for his own actions. He never grew up. I told him let’s give it six months and see what happens. He moved in with his grandma, and when that six months was up he had already been in jail. A friend he was driving with got pulled over and the guy already had two strikes, so he begged Smith that if any weed was found, to say it was his, which he agreed to (who does that!?!). Turns out there was over an ounce of pot in the car and a scale, which is considered “intent to sell” and a felony.

Its now been six years since we split, and I have risen and grown, yet he is still sleeping on his grandmother’s couch trying to find a “get rich quick” job when he feels like working. We would catch up every once in a while (I almost felt like I had to make sure he was okay), and every time he would tell me I was the best thing he ever had, that we needed to give it another shot, blah blah blah (he even did this after I was married). He violated probation twice by smoking pot and failing the monthly drug tests, and did another stint in jail and another in rehab followed by a group home. The last time I spoke to him he told me he had a medical marijuana prescription (“my eyes hurt”), and apparently had some slipped discs in his back and was given the drug Dilaudid, an extremely powerful morphine-like painkiller (my mom had been given Dilaudid after having knee replacement surgery). It’s so strong that Smith was also given a bottle of Methadone just in case he ever wanted to get off of Dilaudid. So tell me why, when I mentioned to him our favourite band was coming to L.A., he was like “I’ll go with you!” My mom was in so much pain when the Dilaudid was prescribed to her she could barely walk, yet Smith can go to a rock concert? Give me a fu*king break.

So yeah, I wish I had never met him. He ripped apart so much of my twenties. I thought back then that love conquers all, but now I know better. I feel so sorry for him, and when I look back scratch my head on what I ever saw in him. Yes, everyone you meet throughout your life teaches you a lesson, but I think I would be just fine without all the shit he “taught” me.

October 09, 2010

Day 9.

Pardon my two day absence as I am being stabbed in the back of the head by a migraine at the moment. I’ve taken my migraine pills, sinus pills, even muscle relaxers and it’s still doing its worst. I wouldn’t even be typing right now, but I ate some soup and a pb&j sammich and decided to make this entry short.

Day 9: Someone you didn't want to let go, but who drifted away.

I’ve been blessed enough that the people I choose to have in my life are still in my life, but there are three people that in one way or another mean a lot to me and are now MIA. I’ll go in chronological order.

I met Jason in seventh grade, and he was a chubby headbanger that played the drums in my band class. He was a cool guy, and when I went to another school the next year we still talked on the phone all the time. The summer of ninth grade saw a huge mall open in our town, and I made him meet me there to catch up in person after a year of phone time. I walked around and around the mall, trying to picture Jason’s face in my head and scanning people who may be him, with no luck. About fifteen minutes before my mom was supposed to pick me up I grabbed a hot dog on a stick when I see this really, really REALLY hot guy walk my way. I turn away so I wouldn’t be staring at him when he passed me, but he stopped and said “hey”. OMG, JASON!?!?!?! He was HOT! I was freaking out inside. I actually grew out of my awkward brace face phase that summer so boys seemed to be actually looking at me, and he was no exception. We started dating shortly after, and he was the king of my world. Seriously.

He was one of those guys who were kind of emo before there was an “emo”, and when I would ask if he was happy, he would say he was “content”. I was always sure he would break up with me for someone else, but it was actually me who broke up with him when I fell for the guy I ended up losing my virginity to. It turned out we were better friends than a couple, and we stayed in touch throughout the years. And he grew a big ole heart, too. He has been with his girlfriend for at least the past eight years, and when I first got on the phone with her, she was like “I’ve heard SO MUCH about you!”. A few years ago though he stopped calling me (he had got a big promotion and had to take the soul-crushing 91 Freeway every day to and from work), and eventually stopped answering my texts as well. I love this guy like a brother, and I’m still sad I can’t catch up with him anymore.

Then there’s Adam. Adam was my son’s father’s best friend when we were all in high school. There was no one as sweet as Adam. He was perpetually single, but I also think it was because he was perpetually shy. Around the time R and I broke up, R was going into this I-have-a-Honda-Civic-I’m-better-than-you phase and stopped hanging out with Adam, who actually cared about R as a person, not “what he can do for me guy” like all his other new friends. That summer Adam and I became good friends (and had that weird “should we or shouldn’t we? attraction going on), but eventually R came to his senses and became a decent human being again, and started hanging out with Adam again. I get the whole “bros before hoes” thing, but it still made me sad because Adam was the kind of person that would always have your back and be loyal, but he and R were friends way before I entered the picture, so I understand. Kind of.

Lastly, there’s my “one that got away”, and that was Robb. He was like no one I had ever met before. I still remember the first time I met him. I was working at Thrifty’s and this tall, slim guy wearing a beret and a second-hand suit walked in, and when he saw me he immediately came over and started talking to me. Turns out Robb and his twin brother were in town from San Diego for Thanksgiving, so we hung out that night. I used the sly “I’ve never kissed anyone with a tongue piercing” bit and I was in. But he lived in San Diego. And I was 17 and he was 20 (although that wasn’t an issue for me, just him).

One day I used the “I’m staying at my friends house” bit and drove two hours to San Diego to surprise him where he worked, at a coffeehouse (A COFFEEHOUSE! HE WAS SO COOL!!!). That day he took me all around San Diego, and I fell in love with the city. I called my mom from there and fessed up to where I was, and she was furious, but eventually understood that I was going to go down there whether she liked it or not. He came up to my neck of the woods a few times, but I loved San Diego so it was pretty damn one-sided. I loved the drive, I loved the people, I loved spending time with Robb. He would finish my movie quotes. He had this boisterous laugh. When I would get frustrated or angry, he would laugh out loud and ask me, “is it REALLY that big of a deal?” After about a month of dating, he said he wasn’t ready for where we were headed, as his father had died months prior and he hadn’t had time to get over it yet.

I was crushed, but within three weeks I was dating my ex, and within three months I was pregnant with my son. Three months after we split, he ran into a girl he had a major crush on in high school and they started dating. They are still married, thirteen years later. Funny how life works, eh? Every once in a while I would find him on Myspace or something and we would text or talk back and forth-but only when he was either at work or leaving work. Once I called and left a message on his phone and when the wife heard it, she was like, “is that THE WHORE? IS THE WHORE CALLING YOU???” I’ve never met her, I don’t even know what she looks like (I find it really funny when women do this, by the way-you’re married to the dude. Gain some confidence and trust! Sheesh!). It was too hard for him to keep talking to me, so I understood and we stopped talking. But he’s a great guy, and I miss his amazing humour and outlook on life.

Okay, so this was supposed to be short. My bad. I’m going to go put an icepack on my skull now.

October 07, 2010

Day 8.

I actually made this post yesterday because I just want to get it over with.

Day 8: Someone who has made your life hell or treated you badly.

There are three people that I have a vivid image of that I hate. Hate. HATE. People who are probably doing fine in life, because that seems to be the way the world works. I give most people the benefit of the doubt, so I’m always boggled when I come across people who have made it their job to shit on you or make you the most uncomfortable. I’ll start with Leticia.

When I was in fourth grade (yeah, that’s how much she made an impact on me-it’s been twenty freaking years), I lived next to a boy I had a major crush on. We would sneak kisses, but that’s about it. He wasn’t my “boyfriend” or anything (sounds silly to type, but you have to remember that at ten, he was PERFECT!!!). In sixth grade I entered junior high pretty damn awkward looking: short curly hair and braces. I only had a handful of friends because most of mine elected to stay in 6th grade at elementary school, and I chose to enter junior high. I had P.E. with this super short popular girl, Leticia. She was a grade-A bully. She picked on me for some reason, and as I am a pacifist (or coward), I never fought back. She would whisper to her friends and point at me, and they would all giggle. When I would roll my eyes or walk away, she would get in my face and say things like, “I saw you roll your eyes at me”, and I would deny it or wuss out and apologize. Well, near the middle of the school year her and my fourth grade crush became an item. I was furious! I would complain to a couple of my friends, then I would get her coming up to me saying, “I heard you were talking shit about me”, and I would deny it or wuss out and apologize.

On Valentine’s Day (this is still a very clear memory) at lunch, me and my friend Brooke were walking onto the basketball courts and there was a group of people in a circle. I was at least fifty feet away, but as the crowd broke I noticed in the centre of it was Leticia and crush boy. I started to walk the other way and I hear someone yell, “HED!” I turned around and the entire circle was looking my way. As soon as I lock eyes with Leticia she yells, “you’ll NEVER get Crush Boy!” and the crowd laughs and turns away. I was so mad I was shaking. In my yearbook I have her picture scribbled out so hard it dents the few following pages and above her photo it says “HATE HATE HALF TO DEATH!!!” The next year I moved to a new city but ended up back with my dad in my hometown for a month. By seventh grade all of my friends were in junior high. One of those friends was friends with Leticia. On the last day of school the two of us were being picked up by my dad, and as we were waiting Leticia comes up and hugs my friend and tells her to have a good break. She eyes me up and down and says, “Sup, bitch”, and I just stood there. You have no idea how many times I have played that moment over and over in my head, only this time I can picture getting out the heaviest book in my bag and slapping her with it as hard as I possibly could. Over and over.

The next person is someone I knew for three minutes of my life. When I was 16 I worked as an ice cream scooper at Thrifty (awww, Thrifty). This man and his maybe six-year-old daughter come in and he says, “I’ll have a scoop of Chocolate Malted Crunch and Strawberry Cheesecake in a cone with a cup” (yeah, I actually remember the order). I take the first scoop and place it in a cup (what we usually did then set the cone on top), and he says, “I SAID in a cone WITH a cup”. I apologize and semi-annoyingly shake the ice cream out of the cup back into the drum. I scoop both flavours into a cone and plop the cone into a cup (seriously, what the hell is the difference?), and ask, “anything else?” he says “yes, I want another of the EXACT same thing”. I start to make it, and I hear his little girl go, “what’s wrong, daddy?” and he tells her “maybe this girl is too stupid to understand our order”. I lift my eyes to comprehend what he just said and he says, “yeah, I’m talking to YOU”. I was 16. I was scooping ice cream. Really? I hold back the tears and hand him his other order with shaking hands and tell him, “that will be $1.98, sir” (on a side note, a double scoop was 99 freaking cents back then. I miss those days). He hands me the money and walks out of the store. The next family is up and I can’t even choke out words. I start sobbing and run into my manager’s office hysterical. I’ll never forget that guy.

The last person is Norman. I hope he’s dead. I hope he has a violent, painful, agonizing death. I’m totally and completely serious. Scum like him have no reason to be on this Earth. When I was 18, I worked in a casino. About six months into my employment I get teamed up with a man in his late 30’s who happens to be “tribal”, meaning he is a part of the tribe the casino is owned by and gets certain liberties given to him, like being handed a job. I loved my job. LOVED IT. When I had to work with Norman I dreaded it and complained to my boss. My boss hated him just as much but had his hands tied. Norman was disgusting. He would see a pretty girl in the casino and tell me “when she gets up, I wanna smell her seat”. He would make little comments to me and I would say, “aren’t you worried about sexual harassment?” and he would say to me “shit, I’ve had three girls claim that here. They won’t do nothin’ to me”. After a while when I was on break I would read magazines to keep myself from being bothered by Norman. Every once in a while my mom and grandma would visit the casino, and once he said “you know, looking at your mom, your grandma was probably HOT back in the day. I would f*ck her. And your mom too”. I was livid. Who the hell says that? I was coached by my boss to just let it slide, just do my job and he’ll get his one day. But something happened that let me know it was either me or him.

One night after work, he was complementing me on how I looked. I thanked him and started to walk away. He pushed me into a corner and said, “I’m gonna have you. We’re gonna end up together. Oh yeah”. I pushed him out of my way and called my boss. My boss suggested I write down all of the events I’ve witnessed and file a sexual harassment claim against him. I wrote a clear, concise letter explaining the issues I had with him, and the next day the head of HR called me into his office. He started out with letting me know that Norman categorically denied any wrongdoing towards anyone he worked with, and that I was not named as the claimant. Then he asked me if I’ve ever brought pornography to work. What the??? I said no, of course not. Then he said, “suggestive magazines?”, and at that moment I knew Norman realized it was me. I brought in fashion magazines like Cosmo, Glamour, Allure, etc., and every once in a while he would look over my shoulder and comment on the hot women in the pictures. By then I started to cry (the kind of cry where you can’t catch your breath) and I said, “look, I am not comfortable working with him any longer. I have done nothing wrong and if you don’t discipline him, I have no other choice but to resign”. They had a security guard escort me to my belongings and walk me to my car. I actually called around lawyers and drafted a certified letter to the head of HR and the manager of the casino, but no lawyers would touch my case because the casino was on federal land and the laws are different with Native Americans.

So yeah. I wish I could wash these three out of my mind, but I can’t.

Day 7.

The question today is:

Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living.

Now, I had to get clearance on this one from my husband-not because he’s a jealous overprotective ass, but because he reads my blogs and I didn’t want him to get butt-hurt if I chose someone other than him. Of course my husband is my life. He made me realize that I’m loveable, no matter how crazy I can be. But if I really have to pick someone who truly “made my life worth living”, it would be my best friend SS. Without him as my “life coach” I probably wouldn’t be alive right now.

 Shaun! This is him. No, he’s not a cartoon!

I met SS in 2001 when me and my then-boyfriend moved next to him and his then-girlfriend. He and my ex had video games in common, and one day SS came to my door looking for him. He wasn’t home, so SS and I made conversation and realized we had a lot in common (or something like that). Eventually he and I became friends and would go out together for dinner-much to the disappointment of my ex, who liked SS but truly had nothing in common with him. At the time my ex and I were “engaged”, and SS would ask me why I felt it necessary to marry someone at such a young age (he was a year older than me, but his soul is like, 42). I told him he didn’t understand, that we were in love, that we wanted to settle down and have a family, blah blah blah. Eventually the ex and I split up (THANK JEEBUS), but SS and I stayed close friends.

Close friends…friends with benefits…really close friends, you know what I mean. Only he was different from well, anyone I’d ever known. He didn’t play games. He didn’t keep score. We would have these extremely long conversations and instead of being a listener, he was almost like a counsellor. He asked me questions and made me really think about who I am, why I did the things I did. There were times in the beginning of our friendship where I would get mad and throw a little girl tantrum, and he would have no part of it. He refused to placate me or give me attention (I was pretty bratty), and eventually I stopped throwing fits because I knew it wouldn’t work. I had to start using my big girl words to get across how I was feeling or why I was angry.

This was also one of those weird periods in both of our lives where we were both pretty vulnerable: I was getting out of an almost four-year relationship and back at my parents’ house; he had broken his leg in a motorcycle accident and was having major complications. He’ll never admit this, but at that time we needed each other. After about six months I realized I loved him. I was up front and told him, and the four words he told me will haunt me forever: “You’re not girlfriend material”. He said I had too many issues within myself to work on, that I wasn’t interested in the world around me. At the time I was crushed and angry, but looking back (oh, bittersweet hindsight), he was 100% right. I was still the kind of girl that would change everything for a guy, so I started getting into the things that he enjoyed: Current events, politics, history, fishing, kickboxing, video games. Instead of just getting into them, I realized I loved them too, with or without him around. I cared about my world, not just the world of Brangelina. I’m very proud to say I was a poll taker in the historic 2004 presidential election. He and I would fish for hours, and I was excited to go to Bass Pro Shops and read the fishing reports. I lost forty pounds kickboxing and eating around him-he was diabetic and pretty disciplined about not eating sugary foods; I always needed dessert after a meal. I would want to order cheesecake, and he would tell me, “that’s what a fat girl eats”. Okay, I know that’s pretty damn harsh, right? But I’m the kind of person that needs the truth and not to be poo-pooed around. SS was the person to introduce me to World of Warcraft-we would play for hours together. If it wasn’t for him, I would have never met my husband…who I met playing WoW. (I hate typing that by the way-makes me feel like a mutant!)

After I broke up with my ex, I tried hard to follow my dream of working with make-up, and ended up getting a job in men’s fragrances at Robinson’s-May (it was still the “cosmetics department”!). Later I got a job at Macy’s working for the Japanese luxury brand Shiseido (which I freaking LOVE), but it was only 13 hours a week. While I was looking for another job to actually pay the rent I stumbled across a counter manager job for Clarins at Nordstrom. My goal was to one day become a counter manager, but I wasn’t good enough to be one-especially at Nordstroms. SS told me, “what’s the harm in trying?” After a small pep talk I called Nordy’s and spoke to the cosmetics counter manager, and got an interview! Okay, not only an interview-I got the job!!! I was floored. Never in a million years would I have thought I would get my foot in the door in cosmetics, especially a counter manager! I was sad to leave Macy’s because I really liked my team and LOVED Shiseido. When I gave my two week notice, my manager counter-offered the Nordstrom pay, fired my Shiseido counter manager and gave the job to me!

For the next few years we were off and on, but always friends. He gave me the courage to move out on my own for the first time, and supported me emotionally whenever I needed it. We were both young, and both only had a few relationships under our belt, and he was antsy to make sure he had the chance to date and get out there before ever settling down. Even though I thought he would be “The One”, I started dating too and started talking to my current husband. I always believe things happen for a reason. SS is going to be a father early next year. I live in Australia. If, in 2005 you were to ask me where we would both be in 2010, those would definitely not be the answers I gave.

He’s still my voice of reason. I texted him earlier this week that I was homesick and he asked why I was so upset. I told him the usual, and he replied, “nonsense, break it down, what are the issues?” and he text-counselled me. Typical SS. Now I am much more aware of myself. My good, my bad, my depression, my strengths, my weaknesses. When friends come to me crying or needing advice, I don’t poo-poo them anymore, either. I tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Nothing comes out of that. I still have my (many) moments of despair, times where nothing feels like it’s getting better and the why-am-I-here feelings, but now I’m able to (usually) pull myself out of those funks and remember that tomorrow is another day. I honestly feel if I didn’t have someone like him in my life I wouldn’t be the person I am now.

October 06, 2010

Who’s With Me?

I kind of stole this from Xylina, so apologies for not being creative. Before I left home, I sent my prized monkey pirate lamp to my friend’s 8-year-old daughter as a surprise. She sent me back a super cool letter, and I promised her I would send her a super cool postcard from Australia in return.

She and Xylina got me thinking about how cool it would be to get postcards from someone and have someone to give cool postcards to. I collect shot glasses from all over the world, but how easy (and cheap) is it to have a picture of somewhere you may have never been before? (C’mon, use your imagination!)

So I propose a pen pal exchange, if you will, with a few ground rules:

1. When you get the postcard you have 15 days to send one back. This will keep us on our toes and make sure we don’t slack off.

2. Write whatever you want on the back, but you have to include a song and why you like it. I’m always complaining on Facebook that I need new music, so this would be a good way to get some new ones onto my IPod. And come on, anyone who can use the Internet can figure out how to find a song (Amazon, ITunes, YouTube, etc. etc.).

I’m pretty sure I’m not an e-stalker (and I live in a remote area), so it’s all good, friends. If you’re interested, send an e-mail to hed.mitchell@gmail.com . Heck, maybe we can start up some sort of “chain postcard” thing where we rotate postcards from all over! That would be KICK-ASS! Tell me you can’t wait to see a dingo and a kangaroo!

A Major Award!

(Brownie points if anyone can tell me what movie my blog title comes from!)

The lovely Barb from This and That awarded me with the “One Lovely Blog” award, and I am super excited! Thanks Barb! It seems like once a week I get about one new follower, so to get an award on my blog is very confidence building. If it were up to me, my blog would be everywhere in the world to see, but Google and myself can only do so much sadly…so please, spread the word around if you like my blog and for God’s sake, hit the “Follow” button!

This award has a stipulation: I have to pay it forward, if you will. I have to list 10 things I love and 10 bloggers to give the award to. So here goes, in no particular order:

1. I love Paul Frank. Seriously. Like obsessive love. I met the real Paul Frank in 2000, and he actually called me and we talked for about 20 minutes, and it was like meeting Jesus. When I first started counting how many items of Paul Frank I had, it was around 2001 and the number was around 83. Yeah. That number has grown exponentially. I even have two Skurvy tattoos:

  fresh tattoo!                                               

2. I love food. My best friend likes to make fun of me because when I go out to eat I only order one of the following: Beef dip, chicken fingers or a patty melt. There are none of these in Australia. I made a burrito today with a can of refried beans, white cheese and salsa and I died it tasted so good. You make do with what you have, folks!

3. I love my computer. Ironically, my computer is my link to the outside world. I can Facebook my friends, e-mail my mom, organize pictures I have taken, write to my hearts content, download “My So-Called Life”, and play The Sims and World of Warcraft (oh yes, I play). It’s my most prized material possession, the first thing I would grab if there was a fire.

4. I love my cats. I wish I didn’t, because they are not with me anymore. I had to give them back to the rescue organization I adopted them from. It’s been three months and I still cry at least twice a week when I think of them. They were my kids. They will never be replaceable. I check their website and they have yet to be adopted, and it breaks my heart. I really contemplate flying back home if only to have them again in my life. I love you, Sam and Portal, and I will never forget you (damn tears).

The Cats Dec 09

4. I love my family. This is a given, if you’ve ever read my blogs (especially yesterdays). I never thought I would live so far away from all of them, and everyone with the exception of my mom lives in the same town we grew up in. I miss them, and it makes me sad to know I won’t be there to watch my niece and nephew’s grow up.

5. I love my friends. If you’re on my Facebook friends list, you mean something to me. Really! My husband has like 374 friends, and it’s people that he like, borrowed a pencil from once in sixth grade. I’m not down with that. If you’re on there, you have made some sort of an impact in my life and I care about you. Granted, I wouldn’t necessarily call all of them “friends”, but they all hold a special place in my heart.

6. I love Grey's Anatomy. Holy crap. Every episode I watch makes me cry. Every episode. Shoot, my eyes tear up the minute Dr. Bailey comes on screen. Did you see last season’s finale? SHE DESERVED AN EMMY!!! Here, I have this scene in my Youtube favourites, and I still get chills!

7. I love music. Okay, once upon a time music was my life. It saved my life. I’ve been to many concerts and have met a handful of rock stars (I’m still proud to say Fred Durst signed my boobs!). It doesn’t hold the same kind of magic that it did when I was growing up, and I don’t know if I blame that on the quality of music now or if the passion I hold for music has waned. My brother gave me a tape of Metallica’s “…And Justice for All” when I was 9, and something about it awoke feelings I never knew I had. I hit puberty when Grunge exploded. Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, these were my brothers. My voice when I didn’t have one. The two bands I hold the highest regard for are Tool and Nine Inch Nails. Thank Jeebus they are still making music, and every year as I age and mature, their music seems to age and mature. My son’s name? Trent. I love music.

8. I love sleep. Sleep is my protector. Sleep is my reset button when things get too overwhelming. When my emotions take over, I don’t get mad. When I cry so much I can’t think, I don’t get suicidal, I get sleepy. I wake up each time refreshed and know that tomorrow is another day. They recently did a study and found that too much sleep is as bad for you as too little, but I will gladly shave 10 years off my life for sleeping too much now than taking my own life one day because I can’t regroup and function properly.

9. I love the five most important men in my life. Men used to be scary and unreliable growing up due to my father. I never trusted them, and was always wary around them. My grandpa was always there for me and my family, so he made me understand that men can be strong. My stepdad stood by me even when I was a total bastard, and he made me understand that men can be loyal. My son makes me step back and notice how awesome and silly and dorky he can be (just like his mom), and he made me understand that men can be loved unconditionally. My best friend pulled me out of too many ruts to count and made me a stronger person in the process, and made me understand that men can be supportive. My husband is a saint and perfect to me in so many ways, and made me understand that men can actually love me (And a shout-out to Windsor, my brother, and my nephews who all possess these same traits).

10. I love the five most important women in my life. My mom is a freaking rock, someone who brushes the dirt off her shoulder and always triumphs over adversity. Al is so similar to my mom. She and I were total opposites growing up, yet best friends. I was the one who always needed a boyfriend, yet she wouldn’t care if someone liked her or not-and when it ended, who cares? Di rescued me from a lonely last year of junior high by asking “hey, you wanna come eat with me and my friends?” She was my peer pressure, and the source of nearly all of my crazy high school stories. She is now a wife with a beautiful son and a solid head on her shoulders, and I am so proud to call her a true friend. Kato is my crazy insane other half. She is the Christina to my Meredith (I love Grey’s Anatomy!). She defies any type of explanation, and she has many times in my life been the person I wish I could be: extremely motivated, independent, always busy and active and surrounded by people who love her just as much as I do. She is a diamond in the rough. Lastly is my niece Gracie. She (or my sister, her mom) may not know how much she means to me, but when I see her I am extremely happy. She is a free spirit, always smiling and cheerful. I may not have any more children, but I can live vicariously through her and my nephews, who also make my heart swell up.

As for the 10 people I would award the “Lovely Blog” to, a lot of the blogs that I read are outrageous, off the wall, or for people like me. I could only manage to consider 5 of those blogs “lovely”, and I’ll tell you why:

1. This and That. Yes, I know you should reciprocate thanks, but I would have given her this award even if she didn’t give it to me in the first place. I have an urge to call her mom, because when I read her stories they are so similar to the ones my mother and I have shared. She is true and unflinching and I am so happy I found her blog.

2. Speaking of unflinching, Canadian Blogger Girl has been through some shit in her life, let me tell you. There are some blogs you read like watching a train wreck, but not hers. She handles struggles given to her with grace and strength. When life hands her lemons, she makes a freaking gourmet lemon pie out of them!

3. Fully Fashioned. I stumbled onto her blogs when I was looking for Australian expat blogs. She is a Pommy (from England) who lives in Melbourne (so jealous!), and is f*cking hilarious. Not always, though-she is deep and really tells it like it is. I wish to find her a man online someday ;)

4. Recycled Fashion. I found her blog through Fully Fashioned, and was smitten. I by no means am creative, but her blogs show how to make something out of well, anything! I once called her the “Fashion MacGyver”.

5. Lastly, Diary of an Indy Grrrl is just so awesome. My last Sunday Shout-Out (yes, I’m behind) was about her, and for good reason: she is an artist, fashion maven, movie critic and so much more.

Ladies, I salute you! Holla!