Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dude...They Just Aren't That Into You

Poor Neil.  He went into his American Idol Audition full of hope that his 160 IQ would get him to Hollywood. 

Actually, it wasn't so much hope as it was delusion. 

Nothing against Neil or any of the other contestants that try out for the show when they, well, ummm, clearly don't have talent.  It takes guts to stand there and sing your heart out and then wait for the merciless judgement from the "Big Three." 

Honestly, most some of the contestants who are truly, in Simon's words, "bloody auwful,"  know that they can't get their few minutes of fame from their talent so they choose the other route - get it from their extreme lack of talent.

Then there are the Neils.  "There is no Reality but what we make for ourselves," he said.  Unfortunately for him, the reality the judge's made was one without him in Hollywood.

My husband pointed out that most of the contestants with fantasy talent are single.  "Wives aren't big on entertaining their husband's illusions," he said.

Yes, I know - I tucked that comment away for a future conversation, just in case he has an illusion he wishes I'd support. 

Back to American Idol.  Where are these contestants' friends and family when they are needed the most?  Where are they so they can tell their poor deluded loved ones, "I love you and support you, but don't do this...you will be famous for the wrong reasons."

Maybe they need to get married for a reality check.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm on Restriction

I've put myself on restriction from blogging.  I have spent entirely too much time reading and commenting on other people's blogs, showing my daughter how to blog, changing my blog template a zillion times, adding and un-adding widgets, making buttons, and all sorts of creative, but non-money making ventures.


So I put myself on restriction until I do the following:
  1. Put out a newsletter for realtors so I can promote my business (check.  I did this one today)
  2. Post a good profile on Active Rain
  3. Ditto for Linkedin
Because quite frankly, I'm broke.  And I know I can fix that with a little more effort and a little less playing around on my blog.


My husband just pointed out that I could be doing numbers 2 and 3 above right now instead of blogging about how I'm on restriction from blogging.  What does he know anyway? 


I have lots of good blogs knocking around in my head though, and I really need to get them out soon before something else gets in there and takes their place.  Yeah, my brain is sort of like musical chairs.  When the music stops, the idea without a place to sit is out.  BA- BYE.   *insert picture of idea waving BA-BYE here*


I think I'll be back tomorrow. 


One more thing I just have to say before I go is that my lovely 18 year old daughter, Sissa, has started a blog too.  It does my heart proud.  I helped her with a template and she's off and typing.


Look what she typed for her very first blog:


So today is my official 1st day of beginning my 365 days of dance. Since I don't have work until 4 today I have made it my "todo" day. After I finish tending to my firebelly toads, I will begin working on my solo for a performance at my old school. The auditions are Feb 5th, and it has to be perfect. I'll write how it goes tonight. Stay tuned!!!



-Marissa
(love you mamma)


Ballerina practicing dance at ballet barre

Awwww, it just warms my heart!  I love her so.  You can read her funny experiences teaching 3 - 5 year olds to dance at 365dance.  Please excuse her confusion of "there" and "their".  She's here and I'm happy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Apollo 13

"You never know what events will transpire to get you home."

Apollo 13 is one of those movies that my husband and I always stop and watch if we're channel surfing and happen to find it on.  I love the story, the drama, the suspense, the history, Tom Hanks, and everything else about it.

My favorite scene is when Jim Lovell's (played by Tom Hanks) wife and family are watching the news stories on T.V. about the crisis happening to the space shuttle crew, and they show a clip of an interview with Tom Hanks.  The reporter asks him if there was a time in an air emergency when he felt fear.  Hank's wife moves closer to the T.V. and listens intently to his reply. 

He tells a story about how he was flying at night in combat conditions and the carrier he needed to land on had no lights, his homing signal wasn't working, and his maplight in his cockpit shorted out and caused all his instruments to shut off.  He didn't know if he was flying in the right direction and he's running out of fuel.  Then he looks down and sees a green glowing trail of phosphorescent algae which is only visible like that when a big ship passes through it and stirs it up.  He realized he could follow it and it would lead him to the carrier.

"It was leading me home.  You know?  If my cockpit lights hadn't shorted out, there's no way I'd ever been able to see that.  So uh, you never know what...what events are to transpire to get you home."
Life is full of shorts and malfunctions and things that don't go according to plan.  Chock full.  But sometimes it's the things that go wrong that lead us to just the right thing. 

My failed first marriage was a painful episode I don't ever want to repeat, but if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't be with the love of my life today.

My sister ended a 9 year relationship that she hadn't been happy in for a long time, and wasn't sure if she would ever find love again.  I can still remember her calling me from her car, crying, as she drove into town, leaving the relationship behind her, and wondering if she was doing the right thing.

She found a great guy and got married three years later.  And you know what song was playing as she walked down the aisle?  "Feels Like Home to Me" by Bonnie Raitt.  Is that mushy or what?

The other thing I love about the quote is the hope it gives his wife (played by Kathleen Quinlan).  She was sad and helpless and hearing those words from her husband gave her reason to hang on and believe that he was going to get through the oreal and be ok.

When our families are going through a tough time, sometimes the people we love need to hear us say that even though times are hard, we have hope.  They need to know that whatever the crisis is, we believe that we'll find our way through it and our family will be stronger for it.  They need for us to give them hope.

The "wicked shimmies" in life are what help get us home.  (Yeah, that's another Apollo 13 reference - I can't help it, I've seen it a zillion times!)

Thanks to imbd for the full dialogue between Tom Hanks and reporter.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Penelope

"It's Not the Power of the Curse, it's the Power you Give the Curse"

My daughter and I watched Penelope the other night.  If you haven't seen it, it's a quirky little movie made in 2006 about a girl (Christina Ricci) who is cursed with a pig nose.  She is told that the curse can only be broken if she finds true love with "one of her own kind."  She sets out to do just that, and in the end, a little boy utters these words and I think it's the best line in the movie.  But I'm sappy that way.

When I heard the words, I thought of my step dad.  I intensely disliked him. I only had to live under his roof for a few months because I turned 18 not long after he and my mom were married and I moved out.  But that was long enough for him to curse me.

He was a selfish, mean-spirited, obnoxious man, but he fancied himself a smart one.  One day he picked up something I had written - a grocery list, or a note, or something - and pronounced his analysis of my handwriting.  "Weelllll, it looks like you're all right kid, but you got high ideals and sloppy habits," he said with his too loud voice and his Brooklyn accent.

I've never forgotten those words.  The man meant less to me than a mascara clump, but those words hung over my head for years.  They were my curse.

Any endeavor I started, I would question if I could finish it successfully because of my "high ideals but sloppy habits."  Some aspirations I haven't started yet because I'm afraid I won't finish them - like writing a book.  How can I write a book with "high ideals and sloppy habits?"

Oh, there were a few things I started that didn't pan out - selling Tupper Ware (that was a brief one when I was a teen-ager), learning medical transcribing, selling insurance - but it wasn't "sloppy habits" that did me in.  I just wasn't good at those things.  Or maybe I could have been better if I had better habits.  There I go again, giving the curse power.

I've been doing mortgages for going on ten years and damn it, I'm so detail oriented when it comes to closing a loan, that I border on anal.  "Sloppy habits," my ass! 

I guess my point is that most of us are cursed with our baggage.  Past mistakes, labels our parents or teachers gave us when we were kids, beliefs we formed about ourselves based on others beliefs about us are all curses.  They don't have any power if we don't give it to them.

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

And that's why this is my quote of the week.

Silly Hubby, Pics are for Slims!

My husband thinks I'm beautiful. 

Even after 4 days of camping stink with my greasy hair and ape like legs, he can still look into my make-up- less eyes and tell me I'm beautiful with nary a choke or guffaw.

Even when I'm sick, or had one too many green apple Martinis, or a nicotine lozenge, and my head is bent over the loo, mascara running down my face, barf splay in my hair, he will tell me I'm beautiful.  Stupid, but beautiful.

Even when I feel fat (ok, look fat) he thinks I'm beautiful.

So beautiful, in fact, that he posts (and tags) pictures of me all over his facebook page.  Yes, even the fat pictures.  It's almost endearing.  Almost.

Silly man.  Most of the time he has a pretty good understanding of women, but this one he just doesn't get.  He can't conceive the feeling of dread that washed over me one recent morning when I opened my email and saw the "Fred tagged a picture of you on his Facebook Wall!" announcement seven times in my inbox. 

My heart sank and my fingers trembled as I clicked on each message and saw one picture after another, each one more horrendous then the next.  I saw my own wide face smiling back at me and my chubby arms, well, they were just hanging there...chubbily.  I was mortified.

But my husband was quite proud that he had dug up these photos to share with the world. 

What could I do?  This was one of the very reasons why I loved him so.  I sighed, posted a few joking remarks about myself, like, "Hottie, hottie, two-by-four," and made myself a martini.  It was 8 AM.

One of the not so bad pictures my husband posted
It was a costume party...I'm kind of diggin the blond!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Roadtrip


I took a road trip this past weekend.  My brother, sister, daughter, and I went to visit my mom as a surprise for her 70th birthday. 


Road trips with my family are fun interesting noteworthy.  First there's the "what's the source of that smell" game that is not so much entertaining as it is revolting.  I'll spare you the details. 


Then there is the timing of my 16 year old daughter's bladder.  It never fails, we make a stop, I say "Do you have to use the bathroom?"

She doesn't respond. 

I ask again.  My sister yells her name, and my daughter takes her ipod earphones out and says, "huh?"

I repeat the question.  She shakes her head, and puts her earphones back in.  My brother, sister, and I use the bathroom, pile back in the car and hit the road again. A half hour later my daughter announces she has to pee. 

It's like she's 5 again, only minus the throwing up.


My brother and sister got their revenge though.  At one point my daughter took off her earphones to see what CD we were listening to and requested a song. 

My brother and sister were happy to oblige her with a duet.  She didn't take her earphones off much after that.


Once we got into California, my brother bought my sister and me each a lottery ticket. 

Being from Vegas, these were foreign to us.  It should have been a simple concept - scratch them off and see if you win.  But there's like 50 different kinds and you have to read them to figure out how to play.  The exchange went something like this:


Me - "Where do we scratch?"
Bonnie - "It says you need 3 matches."
Me - "It says you have to mail it in if you win."
Bonnie - "What do we win?"
My brother - "Just scratch it and see!"
Me - "But where do you scratch?"
Bonnie - "Just scratch 3 spots."
Me - "It says you have to watch a television show to see if you win."
My brother - "You scratch off the whole thing - just scratch it already!"
Me - "Where do we scratch?"
Bonnie - "I see where to scratch.  You scratch 3 spots like this." (she shows us her card with three scratch marks and meaningless parts of words beneath)
My brother - "No, DINGY, you scratch the whole card!"
Me - "How can you read that? You can't even tell what you scratched."
My brother - "YOU SCRATCH THE WHOLE THING!"
Me - "Oh, I see, you scratch the whole card.  Oh....I didn't win."
Bonnie - "That's a waste of a dollar."
My brother snatches the cards and throws them out the window.
Bonnie - "Don't litter!"


When we got to my mom's, my brother said he needed a nap.


Have you ever noticed how slow time goes when you don't have anything you have to do? 

My mom and her husband are retired, and spend their days feeding the sparrows and rabbits that live in their yard, cooking, perusing the internet, gardening, and, well, whatever the heck they feel like.

I soooo look forward to being retired.  Whenever we visit them, it's like time stops.  It's a delicious change from the rushed, crammed schedule I keep at home.


We filled our time playing the Monopoly card game. I was sorry I taught my sister how to play because she whipped me twice.

It wasn't just that she beat me that was so annoying, but her accompanying gloating and poking my love handles.

When my brother and daughter joined in the game though, the odds were evened and it was every sibling for him or her self.


Mom's "Red Hats" friends took her to lunch for her birthday. I'm not really sure what the Red Hats are or how it started, but from what I can tell, it's older women who get together to chit-chat, eat, drink, and have fun without caring whos watching. Kind of like teenage girls.

My mom's little group are rebels who call themselves "Black and Bling." They're lovely, and funny, and love having their picture taken. Mom showed us about 50 snapshots that they took of themselves just at lunch.

The best shots were the ones where they posed wearing the piercing rings that my sister had given my mom as a joke.  You know, the fake rings you can put on your lip, or in your nose, or on your eyebrow, or if you are very adventurous, on your tongue?


Seeing your mom with a tongue ring is not for the faint of heart.


Soon it was Tuesday, and we had to head back home.  We stopped for a restroom break and my brother decided he was hungry for lunch. 

While he waited for his food, us girls waited in the car.  Never leave anti-smokers alone in the car with your cigarettes.  Especially if the anti-smokers are your sisters. 

Bonnie pulled each of his cigarettes out of the pack and wrote inspiring little messages on them, then put them all neatly back.  Yes, the food took that long.  Now when my brother smokes a cigarette from the pack, he gets to read little nuggets such as, "Choke!", "Gasp!", and "No, No, No!"  Ok, we could have been more creative, but we only had a few minutes.


I told Tom and Bonnie that I was going to write about our trip in my blog.  My brother asked me what the name of my blog was.  I told him.  "What the hell's a reverie??" He said.  I told him it's the thought balloon above a cartoon character's head.  He understood.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Bravest Person I Know

My mom is the bravest person I know.  When I was little, "brave" meant someone who faced something bigger then themselves, like a monster, or the dark, without being afraid.  Now that I'm older I realize brave isn't the absence of fear, but facing our monsters despite it. 


Mom's monster was her childhood.  It was marred by the people who should have safeguarded it, who should have safeguarded her.  They used her and betrayed her trust and this was a secret she carried with her for a long, long time. 


She buried it so deep inside her that she forgot it was there.  She got married, had three kids, got married again and had another kid, and through it all, cooked, cleaned, entertained, helped others, worked, was involved in her religion, and was a good mom and wife.  Her life was busy and full but not truly happy and she didn't know why.


Then the day came when the last of her kids left home, and she had only herself to take care of.  She had more time to herself than she ever thought she would.  What does a person do with all that time?  Mom choose to give it to others and immersed herself in a ministry work with her church.  But no matter how much ministering she did, she still wasn't truly happy. 


And now comes the brave part....she began to reflect on her life.  She started soul searching to find out what kind of person she was.  I haven't asked her this yet, but I don't believe she did this in a quest for happines, but rather, in a quest to know herself.  Her motive wasn't to attain something afterwards, like peace, or joy. She simply wanted to know herself. 


Introspection reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly in a person.  The bad and the ugly are each of our monsters to face.  Mom had several revelations about herself.  One of which was what happened to her when she was a child.  The memories of it hit her so hard that she had brain seizures.  But she did remember.


Through therapy, she learned that she had survived her trauma by having two personalities.  As I look back on my life growing up, I remember them both distinctly - the strong one and the weak one.  But that's for another blog.


Back to my mother's bravery.  She didn't run and hide upon seeing how ominous her monster was.  She knew it had destroyed others, but she faced it anyway.  She accepted that it changed her.  She began to understand that what happened to her made her feel bad about herself, so she tried to make up for this by doing good things for others so she could feel good about herself again.  Thus, her involvement in the ministry and her works in her religion.


Here's the other brave thing my mom did.  She stopped doing things for the wrong motive.  She stopped practicing the religion she was raised in because she realized she had done it all those years for her gratification, not to please God.   She didn't just stop, she stood up and declared that she wasn't going to be a hypocrite anymore.  She stood up for what she believed in.  That's brave. 


She still does good things for people, but it's not so that she can like herself.  She likes herself just fine now.  She figured out the best parts of those two personalities she had and rolled them into the one she should have had all along.  For the first time, my mom is happy.


Thanks mom, for showing us that we can look inside ourselves and not be afraid of what we might find, no matter how scary it is.  Thanks for teaching us how to give freely, for showing us it's ok to be happy, and for showing us it's ok to say what we feel.


Happy 70th Birthday, mom.  I love you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No one knows I'm here

Well, it's five days into the New Year and I've spent every free, non-work time hour trying to fulfill my resolve of having a larger internet presence.  The results are astounding - one comment on my blog. And it was my husband's and I told him to.  Then it got deleted accidentally when I uploaded this new template.  It's clear I have alot to learn about the web.

I might have been able to post more stuff if I weren't so busy looking at the oodles and oodles of blog templates.  I have to say, there are some talented web artists out there.  And can I say how helpful and cheery most bloggers are? 

I think I'm going to like being part of this new world.  Even if no one knows I'm here. 

I promise to write something more interesting tomorrow.  My mind is mush from surfing for templates.   

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions

Fresh starts. That's what the beginning of a new year promises. Whether it's our personal life or our business, we look ahead and set our goals for what we want to accomplish.

It occured to me that a resolution is the solving of a problem. So when I compiled my list of New Year's resolutions this year, I thought about the dilemmas in my life first, then made the solution my resolution. For me, that was a resolution revelation.

First I want to lose 10 more pounds. Ok, 20...Oh, all right, it's my blog and I can be honest--25. That sounds like a resolution, but it's really the problem. The resolution is to change my eating habits and what I eat.

I won't bore anyone reading this with the details of how I'll do that--well, just one detail. I'm going to have fewer cocktails in the evening. Not that I'm a W.C. Fields or anything, but a glass of wine or two or a little whiskey and diet coke with a squeeze of orange symbolizes the end of my day and I quite enjoy it. But parmesan flavored Cheezits go great with wine so then I snack and evening snacking is not conducive to loosing weight.

Neither are the calories in the alcohol.

Second, I want to write more. Writing is fulfilling to me. The solution seems easy--just write more. But the dilemma is that ideas for articles or blogs come to me when I'm in the middle of trying to solve a client's loan approval issue or other such inopportune times. Usually it's the issue that sparked the idea, but for me inspiration is like a tide that washes over me and if I don't ride the wave at the moment, it's gone. There I sit, bobbing in the surf.

So my resolution is to write a few lines of indignation (indignation not at the clients, but at the lenders, and sometimes other parties to the transaction) when the inspiration hits. Hopefully at the end of the day when I go back to finish writing the article, the words will stir the passions that led to the inspiration and I can pick up where I left off.

Third, I want to increase my home loan business. The caveat to this is that I need to reduce my marketing budget. I know the mantra is that you have to spend money to make money, but I just really need to simplify things. My solution is to increase my web presence as a person of value. Wow, that sounds like it came right out of a Mari Smith seminar.

I see the truth in it though.

I need to establish myself as an expert in the mortgage industry. Writing blogs and articles for consumers and industry professionals is a great way to do this, plus I'll be accomplishing my resolution to write more at the same time.

My solution to save marketing dollars is to get rid of my $600.00 a year website and build my own for a fraction of the price. I've found that building my own website isn't as overwhelming as I thought it would be.

Of course, it helps that I'm married to a guy who is very computer savvy. But even before I got to the point of hair pulling frustration and asked for his help, I learned quite a lot about servers and html, and microsoft publisher. It's still a work in progress.

Let me tell you though, I successfully built a webpage in a few hours but agonized for a day and a half trying to make a facebook business page. Seriously. I gave up on that for the moment.

My increased web presence will be minus the facebook business page until I have the sufferance to figure out how to add a widget.

So there it is, my first blog of 2010. I lift my glass to fresh starts...don't say it - it's juice.
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