Saturday, July 23, 2011

Eat, Drink, and Be Married…

I am in awe of the world’s obsession with food. It seems that everything we do, whether it surrounds happiness, sadness, holidays, dating, etc…is all directly connected to food. What is this about? It seems that there is no way to get away from the over consuming celebration of- well…life?...Will our bodies explode from it one day? Will our families sit around a table of food while we sit nearby in a box waiting to be lowered into the ground by 10 weight lifters…who, by the way have their own food issues…

So why do I ramble on about food when it’s so obviously a tradition that goes back in time- even before Jenny Craig existed (is she even alive still?...I would think that her heart has to have stopped by now from over consumption of ephedra and cardboard frozen meals)? Oh well…I guess I’m feeling out of control and as though there needs to be a way to say “no thank you” without people taken offense. Is there an exact amount that society likes people to eat? Too little deems you an anorexic. Too much deems you a pig! I love food as much as the next person but WHY…oh WHY? it the center of the universe? Can’t people just eat in bed all alone once in awhile and enjoy the fact that no one’s talking at them while they unknowingly shove 4000 calories frantically in their mouths out of “celebration”?

My fiance’s family eats every single meal out in an Italian restaurant. This is a big problem for me. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE Italian food. The problem is that I’ve taught aerobics and eaten rations of protein, fruits, and vegetables out of Tupperware containers five times a day for over 15 years. I am not the kind of girl who can have a slice (actually…a loaf) of bread unleashed on her! I know it’s a social thing but to me they may as well be shooting me up with heroin. I have been swiping empty plates from the people at the tables next to me while they aren’t looking and pretending that I have just eaten so much I couldn’t eat another bite. YET…Somehow they know??? “Calia hasn’t eaten! Get Calia some butter and a slice of chocolate cake?”…I say “no thank you. I’m full.” They say “but the chocolate cake is made with only half the sugar, and the icing is only made of butter, flour and eggs, not shortening like it’s supposed to be made”… “oh…great then…get me 2 pieces in that case. I thought it might’ve been fattening. I’ll just roll myself into my car later.”

Anyway…I do rant on and on…My “wedding” that I refuse to call “MY” anything is going to have food after the mass. I’m calling it the “after service- food consumption gathering.” It will be nice to see my family on that day- even if I can’t fit into any of my 5 wedding gowns that I carefully picked out to look as beautiful as I could on “my wedding day”. That is, when I was going to have a private mass with just my “husband to be”- before I even met him. (I like dresses!) I guess I’ll find some sort of burlap sack to throw on over my sauce, cheese, and bread clogged arteries…or maybe I could sew a couple of them together this week sometime. Where’s that stapler?...

Friday, July 22, 2011

You sing better than Fergie

No two minds think alike! That is why one person’s compliment is another person’s diss. I sing a Black Eyed Peas song and people always come up afterwards and say, “You sing better than Fergie.”…um…well geez…Thanks? The thing is that as a “singer” who has spent many years learning the technical elements of how vocal chords work, I sure as heck better sing better than Fergie! The real question is “Am I Fergilicious?” The way I see it, Fergie’s thing is not singing. I thought her identity was wrapped around being extremely attractive.

We all have something that we’re good at. The trouble we face is when we get mislabeled into a category in which we do not belong. I would be considered a complete failure if I considered myself an auto mechanic. It’s not that I can’t fix cars…wait…It is exactly like I can’t fix cars. I do know how to put gas in them but I this doesn’t make me a very good mechanic. In fact, if people brought me their cars to fix, I would most certainly let them down 100% of the time!...This is why they don’t. My constant failure would ruin my self image.

There was a guy who used to come into to work to fix the copy machine. One day as he was leaving, I smiled at him and asked, “all fixed?” He said, “No. I couldn’t fix it. I need to come back next week with parts.”…um… “Okay (I thought), but since his only job was to fix the copy machine, leaving without it being fixed seemed a little sad to me.” I wanted to help him by giving him a different title. Perhaps “guy who dressed really nicely and had a nice smile?” Somehow it seemed like if that was what he was going for, he had achieved his goal for the day. Clearly “copy machine fixit guy” was not the best category to place him in this time.

I contend that too many people are spending time doing things that don’t make them feel good. I know that as children, we are told that we can be or do anything we want to in life. I suppose that’s true and I definitely believe in doing the most we can to stretch our own abilities, BUT there is something to be said for recognizing our own individual strengths and capitalizing on them. The most important thing when it comes to living a happy a full life is finding what it is that we excel at and working to make ourselves the best we can be at it. Of course it isn’t wrong to try new things, but setting unrealistic goals for ourselves is counterproductive to seeing the value in what we, as individuals, have to offer the world. Not everyone can be a singer, an engineer, an auto mechanic, a copy machine repairman, Fergie…BUT, every ONE can be amazing at whatever has been gifted to them. The key is to figure out what that is! Once we do, if we love it and take the time to foster its growth, it will provide happiness to us forever.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brake Failure: Stop Safely ASAP

My car has been mocking me a lot lately. Personally I think it over warns me. It’s sort of like a car that cries “wolf.” It’s a Volvo and really like it but I can’t just assume it’s always right. I mean…it is right when a headlight burns out. Of course I have mixed feelings about that warning too. Usually people don’t know they have a headlight out until they get pulled over for it. NOT ME- I have to know the second it blows. This would be considered a gentle reminder to a normal person that she should make sure she stops and picks up a bulb. Again…I don’t have the ability to let things go. I have to stop everything I’m doing and take care of it right that minute and for the entire ride down the street to the auto parts store, that warning screams at me from my dash “DIPPED BEAM”…I find that very upsetting.

As for this “brake failure” thing…what the heck is up with that message? I come from a family that used duct tape to cover up the check engine light when it was on. I don’t think that’s supposed to be the “normal” response, but nothing ever caught on fire…well…once…but it didn’t happen that often. The point is that my brakes work fine. My ABS is another story…but the brakes themselves are fine…

So what did this warning message trigger in my mind you may ask? Well…it reminded me of all the times I have complained that I’ve given friends advice and they have completely disregarded it. I need to “brake” this down a little bit. What are the reasons that I am not heeding my car’s warning?
  • Obviously brake failure isn’t going to be cheap if I take it to the dealer 
  • I would have to borrow a car or get a ride from a friend- I’d be completely reliant on someone else.
  • I don’t believe it’s really broken.
  • I actually know it’s broken and I really don’t need anyone telling me that it is because I have no intention of fixing it.
Interesting…so it appears that I have an awful lot in common with some of my friends who have ignored my advice on occasion. When it comes to relationships, the excuses for ignoring a giant red flashing message compare to my dashboard quite nicely:

  • If I was giving my 2 cents about a guy that I don’t think is ever going to pan out, my friend would weigh out the cost- If she chose to believe me, she would have to give up the one thing that, though a huge negative factor and life stunting relationship, is the one thing that gives her enough “nothing” to feel excited about for the few minutes a day she gets said “nothing.” So what if the “stop safely asap” message is correct this time?…it hasn’t happened before…She’ll take care of it when she absolutely has to…maybe from the bottom of a lake or something…
  • She would have to eventually allow someone new to drive her around…ie: dinner, movies, etc…the early stages of dating always suck…
  • She knows it’s keeping her frozen and broken but it’s too hard to let it go for fear of the outside possibility that the person just might come through for her just after she lets go. It would just be easier to ignore the problem for now and hope that in a few years, another person will present himself once this current one has gotten married to someone completely different.
So it makes complete sense…people do what they want to and pretty much only heed warnings if they are convenient for them. Brake failure: Stop safely asap. Exactly how many warnings will I get until that one time that my brakes actually do fail?...don’t know yet…There might be a lesson to be learned in this though. People will eventually find out their own answers to the open ended questions of their lives. Maybe warning lights and well meaning friends are set in front of us to help save us from catastrophe or perhaps they are holding us stuck in full view of what just might happen one day. Would it be better to just drive until the brakes go out completely knowing that we’ve lived right now to the fullest? Does everything have to have a happily ever after attached to it? Maybe some people just don’t worry that much about what is ahead of them. I wish I was that cool. I think I’m going to go tomorrow and have my brakes checked.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

If Every Day Was Christmas…

If every day was Christmas…would you be too excited to sleep the night before? Would you stand peering through the door hoping to catch a peek of a shadow leaving presents under the tree? Would you make a list of everything you wanted and hope upon hope that Santa would get it for you?...or would you save the list for one day when it wasn’t Christmas so there would be something to get excited about?

The truth is that the world is full of so many special occasions that we forget what we’re celebrating. People celebrate birthdays, secretaries, bosses, bringing children to work, Halloween, winning a game…etc… Come to think of it, when I was a kid, I was on a softball team that never won a game- ever. The other teams used to load into the back of their coach’s pickup truck and celebrate their win by going to the ice cream store. Our team only went once and that was at the end of the season because we really had tried to do our best but still lost every game. We just weren’t all that good at sports. Don’t get me wrong- my sisters and I singing in the outfield was likely a much better show than the game itself- but I guess that would depend on if you came to watch a softball game- or hear little girls singing. Personally…I would choose the singing kids any day. The point is that I have to wonder if that one day that we went to the ice cream store to celebrate our hard work was more memorable and exciting than the other team’s daily outing for ice cream cones. I wonder if they have a specific day that they would consider to have been special or if they just remember those 4 years that they went to the baseball field, hit the singing girls in the faces with balls and got ice cream for it? I remember that one day. We were so excited. We got into the back of the truck with our hats on and drove around the block to the ice cream store. The girls at the counter took each of our orders. Mine was for a small soft vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles. I love soft serve vanilla with rainbow sprinkles still! It reminds me of one of the best days of my life.

The point is that sometimes I feel like what we do on a regular basis takes the excitement out of memories we may have the ability to capture. I get dressed up every Friday & Saturday (and some Sundays and even weeknights) and dance and sing. It is a huge party. I have so much fun. I laugh all night and I would consider myself to “party” for a living. No- I don’t drink or “party” like many people would consider that word. I just have a huge amount of fun dancing and singing. It’s like New Year’s Eve every single weekend. Dress up, dance, sing…I wonder if there’s a danger in doing the things you love to do too much? Don’t get me wrong…I still love to do it but it is definitely my job. I’ve gone to people’s weddings every weekend for years and years and years now. People come up to me to tell me that I sang at their wedding 10 years ago and introduce me to their beautiful children (and new boyfriends). They remember me being there and are excited to see me because they had so much fun on their wedding day that they will never forget it. That’s nice. Unfortunately I can’t make any distinction between the weddings unless a cake fell or if I went into anaphylactic shock from accidentally eating a walnut in a cookie I shouldn’t have eaten anyway… To me, everyday is Christmas.

This seems like a strange thing to be complaining about and I really am not complaining…exactly…I am more noticing that too much of a good thing takes the wind out of the sail of something that should feel amazing. I LOVE my jobs. I have fun all the time. I just wish I knew how to capture one moment as different from the rest. Everyone always thinks their party is different or better than others. As someone who has been at every single party every thrown, I need to say that there is very little difference between them. I contend that the reason the person throwing the party thinks theirs is special or different is due to the anticipation of preparing for it. They make their list of what they want… they can’t sleep all night the night before… they wake up early on the day of it and run down the stairs so excited that they could burst. Perhaps celebrating Christmas only once a year is a much better way to make it memorable? I don’t know though…I do everything too much…I’m too excited…I jump around and sing all the time…everyday is Christmas…What would be memorable to me right now? Maybe a walk by myself around a lake where I don’t know anyone…AH! I would remember that for a good long time!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Vein, Vane, Vain…

Age is a very strange thing…I find that people struggle with aging gracefully. I recently saw Suzanne Summers on tv. I have always loved her. In fact, in 1983, her thigh master was part of my daily elementary school regimen. I think I overused it because it eventually broke in two…Of course two thigh masters were quite useless…but perhaps equally as useless as one. As for “Chrissy Snow?”…well…at 70 years old, is it really possible that her hair is still platinum blonde like that?...

I think there comes a time when being comfortable with your age is more useful when it comes to looking your best than working so hard to look like you’re 17 years old. I see 60 year old women all the time who have had their eyes done to look as though they are 30 years younger. Unfortunately, there is a point when it goes too far. What happened to personal acceptance and sophistication?

Of course the “beautiful people” are paraded in front of cameras as the norm! Not only that, men in their 50’s and 60’s seem to think they want girls in their 20’s with no regard to their own beer guts or darkened grays. This all started when they invented the telephone and then started developing housing in neighborhoods! It just didn’t happen in centuries before us. 16 year old men married the 13 year old girl from the farm 20 miles down the road and they grew old together. There was no fox news to distract the men by showing them perfectly toned, glitzy, blonde bombshells that they could fantasize about. You can’t really blame them actually. Those women certainly are beautiful. I always give credit where credit is due!

Now I don’t mean to say that this is only a male problem. I run into women all the time who are looking for really young guys. No 40 year old woman that I know really wants a 40 year old man. Far be it for anyone to make it easy on themselves! There is a sense of entitlement once a person has gotten to a point in her life when she knows what she likes and what she wants. Sometimes she’s fresh out of a bad marriage. Sometimes she is fresh out of school and waking up after many years of putting her personal life on hold. She is 40 years old and wants someone she finds attractive. Unfortunately we don’t always find our own age to be attractive. We didn’t think 40 was hot when we were 20 and we still don’t. My 93 year old grandmother commented the other day when she saw a woman who was 92, “Wow. Did you see how many wrinkles she had?”…um…yes I did. There’s a certain point when there is just NOTHING you can do. The body wasn’t meant to hold up for an entire century! Eventually the miniskirts and half shirts have to go!

So then what can we do to make ourselves happy with our single lives? I contend that people tend to fill their heads with limitations and requirements in order to stay in the safety zone. Once we are older than 21, our lives become layered with experiences and clutter that build a protective shell around us. I’m quite certain that we don’t even realize we are doing it but if we get a little “real” with ourselves, a 50 year old woman doesn’t really have all that much in common with a 30 year old man, and a 60 year old man has even less in common with a 20 year old girl. My fiancĂ© is 2 months older than I am. I have to say that I don’t usually like older men BUT he is really great and has lived a healthy lifestyle! He is perfect for me and people don’t stare at us in the street wondering if he is my father or if I am his mother…or do I need to sound out the words for him when he reads books!...(BUT on a side note: the other day I signaled to him to do a sound check for my band and he completely misinterpreted my hand motions as I pointed to the audience and then to my ear. He walked out and found a cookie and never returned…baby steps though. I guess the cookies were good and we eventually figured out that we hadn’t turned on the main speakers ourselves!- I digress…) The point is that I DO believe that there is someone for everyone! The catch is to strip off the underlying protective tactics and strong beliefs of what “we have to have” that keep us frozen in the “there is no one out there for me” stage…

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In My Opinion...

Boy! People sure are strange. I have to wonder if maybe it’s me. AND- I guess we know the answer to that question. I think the biggest issue that people face is in trying to see things from other people’s perspective. Come to think of it, possibly we don’t have any way of doing that completely. Perhaps the biggest problem is that we aren’t walking away and agreeing to disagree and then moving on from there. I have wasted many, MANY hours trying to explain myself in hopes that someone might say, “Oh. I get it now.” This in fact is not what happens. I laugh things off and poke jokes at myself to make light of “my own personality defects” in order for others to not feel as though their opinions are wrong but to help them to understand why I like things a certain way. BUT-The truth is that my opinions aren’t wrong- or are they due to personality defects. My opinions are my opinions. That’s why we use the word “opinion.”

I was out last night and watched as a lady begged everyone in sight for a cigarette. I joked about it with her friend. I said, “She’s a grown up lady and yet she wants me to walk around and ask people for a cigarette?” (For some reason, she thought that people would be more likely to hand me a cigarette…We can discuss why I’m not sure that’s a compliment at a later date ;) The girl with her said, “Well! In 20 years, when you’re her age, you’ll understand how she feels. She’s just trying to have some fun!” My friend and I looked at the girl and said, “How old is she?”…well…it turned out that her friend that she apparently thought was 20 years older than I am, was a year younger than me. Thus the reason for her to go back in time and not smoke cigarettes…AND on a side note: her friend is obviously not all that great at doing math equations in her head because clearly I am not in my teens. Don’t get me wrong- I’m childish…but I’m no teenager...(tangent ;) Anyway... The point is that I have actually spent time trying to help people quit smoking in my day by using reasoning and photos of damaged lungs. They don’t understand. It’s their opinion that life is too short and I’m not the boss of them- and neither are their lungs. Walk away Calia…no one cares.

I guess the question is why do I care? Why do I think it’s my walk in life to help people “understand”? I contend that I would be much happier if I just allowed people to screw up their own lives, damage their own lungs, cheat on their own wives, drive their own cars into ditches while they are on their cell phones…In the end, they are going to do what they want anyway. I’m not saying that I know best. People are a product of where they come from! No two people have the same set of experiences so it’s no doubt that every single person will see things through different eyes. I guess that’s what makes the world interesting. Besides…if everyone used a bluetooth while they were driving, what would the traffic policemen do to keep themselves awake on midnights?...On the occasion that my own view might’ve been the safer choice, I can stand next to the car in the ditch and simply act shocked and say “If ONLY someone would’ve seen that coming!”…

Friday, July 1, 2011


A very wise…bastard… taught me a lesson over the years. I could never understand why his correspondence would just drop off from time to time. It took a long time for it to make sense to me. He told me once that he didn’t respond to something I sent because I was upset with him and he said “what do you do when someone sends you something negative? You delete it.”…hmm…This actually explained a lot.

For instance:

You get a text from a friend that says: “You have a really fat butt.” This irritates you and you instantly write back, “Yeah? Well I’ve always thought your face looked like it had been beaten in by a truck. I can’t believe you even got a guy looking the way you do.”…You get a response back saying, “What? My 10 year old just sent that to everyone in my contacts as a joke.”…oh. Let’s see you fix that one!!

This is why we need to not respond with our immediate reaction. It is irrational and will egg on the situation beyond repair. I once got 8 texts from a guy. I had been in a concert with my phone off. They went something like this:

“Hey. What are you up to?”

“Do you want to get together?”

“What are you doing?”

“Why aren’t you responding to me?”

“I can’t believe you are doing this to me?”

“Forget it! I’m sick of this crap!”

“When I first met you, I didn’t even think you were pretty anyway!”

“Have a nice life!”

Okay…When I got out of the concert and turned on the phone, I was perplexed…then I was annoyed…then I sent back a wiseass “Which one of these texts would you like me to respond to? I was in a concert with my phone off. Have a nice life.”

He and I are not together.

The truth is that if you don’t respond to an initial text or email when someone is ranting and upset, the bastard is right- People will put out their own fire! You just can’t provide them any fuel in the meantime. I always tell people that when they break up with someone, don’t bother trying so hard to communicate. If you disappear for awhile, they will return. If you keep nagging at them, they won’t remember why they broke up with you in the first place, but they will have a whole new story to tell their friends. You probably won’t get back together if that is in fact what you want. Of course there’s a good chance that you are better off without the person. But wouldn’t you rather be the one who was right in the end?...I know I would…