Saturday, May 30, 2009

Obligatory Cute Kitten Photo


For those wondering how Sunny is growing, here's a photo I took last weekend of him getting into my stuff as I switched purses. The little guy is growing on me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Is it Okay To...

Is it okay to be angry at people who have died? I miss my Grandmother immensely and there are so many things I would have liked to share with her over the past few months and times I reached for the phone to call her but then had to remember she's. She was my primary family here in Southwest Florida and with her gone there's still a big hole in my life.

But I'm not referring to her. She was 86-years-old and she lived a good, long life and although there are more things I would like to ask her, I'm wondering if it's okay to be angry at Peter, my ex-husband, who passed away last February (read: "I Had No Idea How Many Tears I'd Shed" and "Time to Begin Again" if you need a refresher on my life).

Other than a Friday night which emotionally sucked, I had a decent weekend. Strike that, it was more than decent, it totally rocked with roller derby Saturday and a bike ride followed by beach time and visit to the movie theater to see "Star Trek" today. (Another) The emotional hiccup came midway through this morning's bike ride (on the Cape Haze Pioneer Trail) when the trail freakishly reminded me of Flamingo and the Everglades.

Tarpon were rolling above the water, I could see small fish jetting in between slender mangrove roots, water had the brownish-tanic color (like tea-stained from the mangroves), shore birds called out and there was that distinct saltwater-mangrove-earthy scent. All combined and opened floodgates of Flamingo memories.

And then I became angry. Not at a situation and not angry at myself but mad at Peter for dying. After he died and when I pieced together what his true feelings were for me I was angry at the situation. But now I'm mad at him.

I realize he probably didn't have a say in the matter, for some reason it was his time to go. But I'm angry because like with my grandmother, there have been times when I've grabbed the phone to tell him something he'd appreciate but then have to remember he's not around. At least once a day I think about what he's been missing. Today was no exception. It's been more than a year and I'm still struggling to accept that he's gone.

Perhaps this new found anger is part of the grieving process I didn't allow myself to have. I don't want to diminish his life but need to move forward with mine.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Not You, It's Me: I Need a Break

I really wish I had more time to get my other blog going and I know in time it will be on its way. I'm behind in articles for Suite101 and am devoting this week to catching up and getting at least two blog posts for SoloTravelGirl.com. To do so, I'm taking at least a week-long break from this blog to recollect my thoughts and reconnect the mind and fingers to write.

I'll still be making my posts over at the Resort Rentals International blog.

Here's the skinny on my roller derby world, things are going great (!!!) and I should be taking my skills test on Thursday. Keep those fingers crossed that I pass. The skills test is basically a set of simple skills such as single and double knee drops, a t-stop, skating on one skate, skating while squatting and...I think that's all. Pictured is the new skates I've acquired from a friend of a friend. Do you see the little skull and crossbones in the wheel well? Notice the pink laces? Oh, and aren't the socks cute, too?

As I learned when I took my driving test, I'm taking my skills test in my original skates and will break in these new ones once I make a team.

I spent Saturday and Sunday in Miami catching up with friends and family. Stayed with Miss Shep at the Marriott Biscayne Bay which had a fabulous view. Check out this photo. We also met up with Tom and Jody from the Everglades. Sunday was breakfast with aunt and uncle at the Gables Diner for Crab Cake Benedict to die for!

Today was a comp day and the entire morning was spent in the presence of medical people. Ugh. A simple exam to check out the female plumbing turned into a trip to the imaging center for an ultrasound. I'll learn in about a week or so if the foreign lump in me is an alien baby or a cyst. Honestly, I'm pulling for a 40-pound benign tumor. I'm sure all is fine.

I picked up the book Travel as a Political Actby Rick Steves and hope to read it over the next couple of weeks, too.

Don't worry, I'm not going away forever, I just need a break.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yup, I've Been Stimulating the Economy May 13 - 15, 2009

Older I get the quicker time flies. I'm not really in the mood to blog but find it's a commitment to myself. Did I stimulate the economy the past three days? Yes I did. On what? Couldn't tell ya, not because I'm hiding it but because I can't remember.

Maybe I need to take a blogging/writing break to mentally regroup and recharge to tackle new endeavors (i.e.: my SoloTravelGirl.com blog) but I have commitments to other entities, too. The extra cash is nice.

As for roller derby, I'm suppose to take my skills test next Thursday. Keep those fingers crossed that I pass. Miss Yankee Tripper is ready to roll!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What I Did to Stimulate the Economy May 11 & 12, 2009

I'm grateful for having a job, however, I'm needing a little mental downtime. The weekend wasn't enough and my head is still swimming yet stuck in "stop" mode. Suppose I'll find my groove soon.

Derby practice tomorrow night, at least that's the plan, but afraid I'll have to skip it (again) to get work projects done. Have a Friday deadline for three projects and haven't started any! I'm a planner haven't had the time to get these things started. In my "other" life, I'm behind in invoicing.

Carrying out my patriotic duty I continued to stimulate the economy the past couple of days. On what, I couldn't tell ya, it's been a blur, so trust me. Anyone else stimulate the economy?

And speaking about keeping the economy flowing here's a recent blog post I wrote about National Travel and Tourism Week and the importance of booking a vacation to stimulating the economy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What I Did to Stimulate the Economy: May 7 - 10, 2009

How on earth can it be Sunday night? This was my first weekend off since Easter and while I didn't accomplish everything I wanted, I spent some much-needed friend time with various people. Rather than list the how I stimulated the economy the past few days, take my word that I did ranging from meals to paying bills.

Life with the new kitten is settling in but still not sure if I'm set on keeping him. He's been spending the evenings rocking and rolling and have no clue when he's sleeping (okay, I realize he's sleeping during the day). My arms and legs are also covered with little bits and scratches from him wanting to play. They're a nice complement with the bruises from derby practice.

I'm still looking for my blogging/writing groove, not sure where it went. Maybe I'll find it this week.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What I Did to Stimulate the Economy Yesterday & Today: May 5 & 6, 2009

Of course I carried out my patriotic duty of stimulating the economy yesterday and today, what about you?

Yesterday marked the day that I officially became old. I had a follow up with the doctor through the new County clinic and while he wasn't concerned with the fact my blood pressure has shot up 20 points in 10 days, he was somewhat concerned with my cholesterol which is borderline bad. Rather than prescribe medication he told me to take fish oil and red wheat yeast. Silly me, I thought I had to take shots of fish oil and was happy to learn it comes in a nice pill format.

It's not that I'm now taking these supplements that's making me feel old but that I purchased a pill box to take them to work. *sigh* Suppose it's time to grow up. Here's a run down of my patriotic efforts:

Tuesday, May 5
  • CVS Run
Wednesday, May 6
  • Lunch @ the Mall
  • Mother's Day Expenditure

900th Post - It's About Chia Obama

I'm really enjoying watching Determined Chia Obama grow. As you may recall, I received him as a birthday gift from LB last week. I've been tracking his progress each day over on Twitter via TwitPic. I'm up to day 6 and here are links to the images so you can check out his progress, too.

And happy 900th blog post to me! One thousandth post, here I come! I've also launched SoloTravelGirl.com. Not much is over there but figure everything needs a starting point so I'm just jumping in and building groovy content when possible. I plan to get into a regular posting schedule and will have an official launch later this summer, maybe I can coordinate it with the launch of To Japan with Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur (To Asia with Love), I have at least a couple of stories in the book. Honestly though, I'm afraid with the current economic climate and how the project has been pushed back for three years that it's not going to happen. Fingers crossed!

Here are the six days of Chia Obama, enjoy!

Day 6 Chia Obama
Day 5 Chia Obama - End of Day
Day 5 Chia Obama - Beginning of the Day
Day 4 Chia Obama
Day 3 Chia Obama
Day 2 Chia Obama
Day 1 Chia Obama
Day 1 Chia Obama Soaking (no comment about this photo)

Get your own Determined Chia Obama

Monday, May 04, 2009

I'm a Roller Derby Girl, Not a Freak

"You must be feisty," a guy said to me yesterday when I told him I had joined the local roller derby league. I just gave him my half-cocked smile.

"You're the last one I'd expect to do derby," another person told me.

Making of a Roller Derby Girl: Super Freak?
I joined the league for various reasons. After seeing my first bout in Tallahassee last year I knew it was for me: the speed, adrenaline rush, attitude, empowerment and ultra cool factor.

Based on their reaction, I'm sure my parents would have preferred I took up knitting or bocce ball rather than a sport requiring a helmet, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards and a mouth guard that needs to be boiled in water and molded to the mouth, just like in high school. I was a field hockey chick back in those days and a force to be reckoned with thanks to the years of growing up playing street hockey with the neighborhood boys. I'm guessing those blocking and dodging skills will come into play once I hit the track. But I digress…

Once people learn of my extra-curricular activity, I get a certain look and it's as though I've earned some unattainable coolness level. It's also interesting to hear the conversation change towards more personal topics, ones that make a true lady blush. This usually happens with guys and honestly I don't mind piquing their curiosity.

I haven't had anyone say this but I can tell by the glimmer in their eyes -and let me clear this up - roller derby girls aren't freaks. I'm not a freak! At the same, I'm not the total ultra-conservative chick I need to portray in my professional life so if roller derby busts that misconception, hallelujah!

Derby girls are no freakier than the next person. Everyone has their quirky hang ups. Sure, on the outside a lot gals don't look like mainstream society. Some have gorgeously elaborate tattoos, multiple piercings and wear their hair like pinup icon Bettie Page. I’ve been too chicken to get a tat due to indecisiveness (although I've thought about the same Celtic design for the past five years), my only piercings are in my ears and I can't get my hair to do the Bettie Page thing because it's too darn curly.

It's what's on the inside of a derby girl that counts (I know, should've warned ya about the sappy, sugary trite phrase) and I can honestly say these girls I've been skating with are some of the most genuine and nicest I've met in quite a while. Usually when a bunch of women get together there's competition, cattiness and bitchiness but I haven't seen nor experienced this (yet). Roller derby is a team effort.

It's also a culture and I’m slowly learning, embracing and loving it. I feel comfortable in the derby setting probably because for the first time in a long time, I'm not being judged by my character but by my skills, my insecurities are washed away and am accepted as I am. No matter what our reasons for joining, we have the common tie of roller derby.

Making of a Roller Derby Girl: All About the Name
And if you haven't heard, my derby name is "Yankee Tripper." Somewhat of a play on "Yankee Clipper," its true meaning is a connection to my Buffalo heritage. While I don't necessarily feel out of place in Southwest Florida, while living in Tallahassee I was definitely a Yankee. Tripper is two-fold. It's "trip" as in travel and the obvious, being a tripper on the track (not one who trips!).

Next practice is Wednesday night but I may head up to Sarasota tomorrow to get some skate time in at a rink promoting Christian Family Night. Not sure what that means because if they deny me entry for being single, I wouldn’t find that very Christian.

What I Did to Stimulate the Economy Today: May 4, 2009

Well, it's been a while since this happened but I didn't carry out my patriotic duty in stimulating the economy. There was no spending but saving which is a good thing, too. I tried to do a little shopping but not just diggin' the styles out there.

And how did you stimulate the economy today?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

What I Did to Stimulate the Economy this Weekend: May 2 & 3, 2009

As usual I was a good American citizen this weekend an stimulated the economy by:

Saturday, May 2
  • Rent
  • Breakfast @ Chick-fil-A
Sunday, May 3
  • Canning Supplies @ Wal-Mart
And what did you do to stimulate the economy?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Thirty-nine and Counting

I'm not in the mood for blogging but feel obligated to do so. I'm behind in writing content for clients and myself and wish there was some way to take a USB cord and download thoughts from my mind onto the laptop so I can spew out my thoughts. Twitter's there for that but only so much can be said in 140 characters. Also, there are some things that shouldn't be posted. (I realize some readers are finding it to believe I have a filter for what I post but I do.) I was planning on launching my new travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com, today but that will have to wait another day or two.

Today was my 39th birthday and Lindsey from the office gave me a Chia Obama! Remember, I blogged about wanting one for my birthday and someone was reading! And, Lindsey chose "Determined" Obama over "Happy" Obama, a much better choice. I've never owned a Chia before, nor a pet rock or the ever intriguing sea monkeys, so I'm extremely excited about watching this one grow.

My birthday dinner plans with Zelda Mae and Dennis fell through so rather than meeting up with them, Lindsey and I were chasing wild kittens outside the office. Can you see where this post is going? Yes, I'm well on my way of being the crazy (quirky) single cat lady. *sigh*

Walking into the pet store with the little orange ball of fuzz nuzzled into my neck I felt the challenges of being a mother. I had to coordinate the shopping cart, gathering supplies and holding him. More power to moms!

"Why?" you ask. I caved into the thought process that my current cat needs a friend. After bringing this little guy home, my instincts about her enjoying being the sole cat were pretty much confirmed. Not sure how things are going to go and I'm too tired to deal with two hissing, growling, fang-showing cats.

In one aspect, the day turned into what I expected. Birthdays are usually a let down when living single, a day where time doesn't pass quick enough and just want to get it over with just like Thanksgiving, Christmas and the dreaded Valentine's Day. On the other hand, it definitely ended much differently than anticipated.

What else is new? A case of swine flu has been confirmed in the county to the south of where I live, a car was stolen from my apartment complex parking lot last night and tomorrow is day 20. It's been a long haul but I can see a light waiting for me on May 9. I MAY be able to take this Sunday off, fingers crossed.

As for a roller derby update, that will have to wait until tomorrow.

What I Did to Stimulate the Economy Yesterday & Today: April 30 & May 1, 2009

Yes, I stimulated the economy yesterday and today by:

April 30
  • Breakfast @ Chick-fil-A (FREE! Beautiful thing for a single gal)
  • Lunch @ Taco Bell
  • Derby Dues

May 1
  • Starbucks - Green Tea Frapp, yum!
  • Trip to the Pet Store
Did anyone else carry out their patriotic duty of stimulating the economy?