Friday, May 30, 2003

The Friday Five

1. What do you most want to be remembered for?
I'd like to be remembered as someone who made people laugh. Of course, being a good mom, wife, friend, etc. would be nice, but I like to picture my memorial service filled with stories of weird, clumsy, embarrassing, and animated things I did to make people laugh.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?
If it's not fun, why do it? I think one of the guys from Ben and Jerry's said that. Of course, I do things that aren't fun, things that are required to get through life. But I try to have a good time throughout the majority of my life.

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?
I would have to say my daughter. I'm amazed that my body could create such a beautiful girl, that it went through such trauma to bring her into this world. And everyday, I am amazed at how much she knows, how much she grows, and how much she has become the center of our lives.

4. What about the past ten years?
That I've finally gotten my life under control. It hasn't been an overnight thing. I'm definitely a work in progress. But I'm especially happy about two things. One, that I paid off the massive amounts of debt that I had after my divorce from my first husband. I had more than $10,000 of debt from multiple credit cards and department store cards, as well as bad credit from late fees. Now, my credit is almost perfect, and I have only one credit card with just a small amount on it. The second thing is that I've really cleaned up my life. Before I married my current husband, I had way too many drunken weekends, where I worried the next morning about what I did or said. Too many hungover mornings where nothing but fast food would calm my stomach. Too many empty cigarette packs from the night before. I sometimes cringe at the thought of some of the really stupid things I did under the influence of alcohol. And while I know I can't take any of those things back, I truly appreciate where I am now. Of course, I still partake of a few beers on the weekend or maybe an occasional couple of beers while watching the latest reality show, but it's been quite a while since I had a night that I couldn't remember.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?
I'm having a hard time trying to think of just one thing. So I'll just say what comes to mind: Remain true to yourself; don't try to be what someone else wants you to be. Don't be afraid to try something, even if you fail. Work hard for what you want; you'll appreciate it more. Look out for others; they'll look out for you. Even if you don't think you're an interesting/brave/smart/beautiful person, someone else does.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

I have two job interviews next week. I'm pretty excited about them. Obviously, I'm excited because it's a possibility of a job, but I'm also excited because they sound like two really great jobs. And the companies I'm interviewing with know what I'm expecting in pay, so that's a plus too.

So I went out today and got myself a new suit. On my two other job interviews, I wore an old suit that, while it's a nice suit and looked really great on me in the day, just doesn't fit right anymore. I tried to fool the suit by wearing very tight control top tights, but I still felt like I had to hold my breath so the buttons didn't gap in the jacket. And wearing the jacket open wasn't an option because of my tummy bulge that looked even bigger due to a waist that was too tight.

So while I don't necessarily have the money to buy a new suit, I figured it was an investment in my future and needed to be done. So I got a nice new black suit, made of this nice material (not real shiny like some suits, not too stiff, not too light) and some cool stitching that makes it look a little different from typical black suits. I don't think the suit is going to make or break my interview as far as looks go, but if I feel more confident in it, hopefully my interviewers will have a more positive impression of me.

Oh, and by the way, I went ahead and squinted my eyes and bought a bathing suit. It's a cranberry-colored Speedo tankini. It holds me in in all the right places, and actually has underwire supports. What more could you ask for (well, besides a perfect body that doesn't need a bathing suit to be held in in all the right places).

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

A great man named Norb passed away last night. He wasn't technically my grandfather. His son is my dad's sister's husband. But while we're not related by blood, he's always been like a grandfather to me.

My mom's dad died when I was a year old, but he wasn't a very good man, so I don't think I missed much. My dad's dad died when I was 19, but unfortunately, he wasn't a great man either and wasn't really around for me to miss him when he left.

Norb was such a wonderful person to be around. Every summer, while we visited our relatives, my cousins, my sister and I would go stay the night in the "bird house." I'm not really sure where the name came from, but it was basically a separate house from Norb and his wife, Clara's, main house. It was just a small building that acted as storage for a lot of their things. But on the second floor, was a big room where we slept on the floor and shared secrets.

Norb was always telling funny stories and playing practical jokes. I remember when I was about 8, I noticed that his middle finger was missing. He told me he had gotten in a fight with an Indian who had chopped it off with a tomahawk. I was amazed at his bravery. I don't think I ever found out what really happened to his finger. I think I preferred the tomahawk story.

Over the years, Norb's eyesight deteriorated, so much so that sometimes he thought I was my mom, or vice versa. But he never really forgot who we were. Once you said your name, he'd remember stories from the past, and would ask about your family members by name.

He was also someone I admired. He and Clara were married for more than 50 years. I was there to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, and they looked as in love on that day as I'm sure they looked when they first married. They both are amazing people, and I hope that Clara is comforted by those around her. I can't imagine losing someone so close to you after all that time. I wish I could be there to give words that might help to ease her pain, but unfortunately, a cross-country trip from California to Florida isn't feasible for me right now. I'll just have to hope my thoughts and prayers reach them.

Norb, you touched so many lives while you were here. I hope your eyes can now see clearly how much those you left behind really loved you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Why is it that store dressing rooms make you look so terrible? Especially when trying on bathing suits.

It's bad enough that I'm don't have the deep summer tan, because as the catch-22 goes, I need a new bathing suit to lay out in, but in order to get a new bathing suit, I need to try one on with my light winter skin.

But here's where the real issue begins for me. It's not so much the way my light skin clashes with the bright summer colors. It's the way the tone of my skin looks in the mirror. I've seen my light legs in my mirror at home, and while I'm far from supermodel status, at times they look fairly toned. I'll never have long, svelte legs; mine are more of the stocky athlete legs, at least when I'm in shape. Which I'm not exactly in right now. As stated in several previous blogs, I'm still desparately trying to get back to my prepregnancy shape. So I will admit to some "dimpling" on my upper thighs.

But these dressing room mirrors make my arms look dimpled, my stomach look dimpled, and not just my upper thighs, but my entire thigh. Do my legs really look like this? Does this mean that whenever I wear shorts, my legs look like golf balls? I didn't think so, but apparently these dressing room mirrors are saying yes. I even asked my adoring husband when I got home if my legs look dimpled all over. His eyes got that deer-caught-in-the-headlights look and said, "Um ..." I didn't need him to finish the sentence. The pause was enough.

So here's my solution. I'm going to get a new bathing suit, but just kind of squint in the mirror to see what my body would look like in its best light. Then I'll lay out in my backyard, in complete privacy, until my summer tan hides the divets in my skin. And maybe I'll start writing the stores I frequent, asking them for a little dim lighting in the dressing rooms (I think candle light makes us all look great). I think they'd make more sales that way.

Monday, May 26, 2003

So, another holiday weekend has come to an end. Time to decompress and get ready for work tomorrow.

Oh, wait. I don't have a job. That's one downfall of being unemployed ... holiday weekends just don't have the same appeal. They just have more barbequed meat. I think I've had my fill of hot dogs and chips for a while.

And while I was bummed like the rest of my family and friends that it wasn't a nice weekend (well today was nice, but yesterday, when we were supposed to go swimming in my sister-in-law's pool, it was cloudy and cold), I can bask in the knowledge that tomorrow is supposed to have beautiful weather and I'll be home to enjoy it.

Not that I sit around all day, lounging in the sun and reading the latest novel. That doesn't happen with a one-year-old running around, demanding my attention. And besides, I do have a job to look for. But my job search is usually done in the morning. So, if it's nice outside, I can hang out in the backyard, enjoying the blooming flowers and watching my daughter climb around in her sandbox and on her swingset.

I guess I should appreciate these moments, instead of getting so down about the disappointing job market.