Of Oh My God and I’m Back Again

*sings* Emmy’s back, back again. Emmy’s back, tell a friend.

Funny story – my mom hated it when one of my aunts called me Emmy. It works for the intro, though.

Can we believe it’s been two and a half YEARS since I updated this bad boy? Needless to say A LOT has gone down (yes, there will be A LOT of ALL CAPS in this entry). Though this entry itself will actually be fairly short because Mr Emily & I are off to Vegas for yay-cation (you can thank one of my friends for that term) for a week starting tomorrow. For now, here’s a list version of the high (and low) points for the past 29 months.

The Good

  • Still married (obvs if we’re about to go on vacation).
  • Got accepted to Emory University for radiology (changed my life path, but that’s a whole entry on its own).
  • Made a bunch of awesome new friends during my time at GPC. I will miss them muchly when I start at Emory in the fall.
  • I actually did get an exit interview for Crimerica (aka Primerica) in the form of a giant packet of paper. Thus I was able to rip Jordan and Kyle the appropriate new ones. That felt SO GOOD.
  • I’ve become heavily involved in the indie nail polish community (it’s a thing. Promise.)
  • All the kitties are still alive and well.

The Bad

  • My dad passed away July 19, 2017. It wasn’t entirely unexpected. He’d been doing poorly for several months leading up to it. The cancer had spread to his entire body. In the end, it was almost a relief when he died because he suffered so much in the end. It doesn’t make it sting any less, though.
  • The friend who helped me navigate online dating from the male perspective (I believe I referred to him as The Fling, but I could be wrong) basically stopped talking to me when I got married. He later up & moved to Chicago. His kids are in college up there so that’s not a huge surprise, but it kind of felt like getting dumped all over again just because I was a married woman. That sucked.
  • A ton of family drama has sprouted in the wake of my dad’s death. I won’t air too much of that dirty laundry here until it’s been fully sorted out. Suffice to say that if my dad were alive, he’d be pretty pissed off at how his sisters are treating my mother.
  • My therapist who I’d been seeing for 6 years retired at the end of 2016 & I’ve yet to find a new one (I know, I know. Shame on me).

All of these things will get more airtime later, but that’s the gist of it for now. I hope y’all haven’t completely forgotten me. I know I haven’t forgotten you over the years!

XOXO!

Of keeping promises and favorite colors

I promised a happy, uplifting, funny post. I was informed today that I must provide a happy, uplifting, funny post. I threatened kittens and rainbows, but I’l too lazy to pull them off Google Images.

So what’s a girl to do? Make a list! Ah ha!

Things That Make Me Smile:

  • Unexpected gifts. Who doesn’t love that?
  • My Harvey Prince Hello body stuff. I smell *amazing*
  • My new Sketchers memory foam sneakers. Holy shit, it’s like walking on a cloud. Where have you been all my life?!
  • Getting a super enthusiastic recommendation for a job in another department. As in, she walked down to the hiring manager and sold me like a cheap sarong at a flea market in the Bahamas.
  • My gross, threadbare tee that I’ve had for forever and a day that I refuse to get rid of. It’s practically sheer & absolutely can’t be worn in public, but I love it.
  • Glitter nail polish. My favorite color is sparkles. Le-fucking-git.
  • Using an exercise ball as a chair. Hilarity ensues.
  • Stupid jokes. Apparently I didn’t play along appropriately today. Oops. There was a do over.
  • Hair flowers. I’m pretty goddammit.
  • Renewing my ClassPass subscription. Kickboxing, here I come!
  • Fizzy water. Proper hydration = good. Or so I’m told.
  • Shit talking people on House Hunters.
  • Getting my hair blown out. Again, I’m pretty goddammit.
  • Kitten cuddles
  • Rainbows 😛

Okay, so not some of my *super* best work. One of these days I may post a “vlog” entry so everyone can hear my charming intonation. That is, if I can get past hating how my voice sounds. I let you decide, fair readers. That’s what the comments are for. Also…

Stalk Me:

Instagram: @retroindiequeen

Twitter: @retroindiequeen

Scintillating I am not, but you’ll see lots of pictures of clothes and my cat. And whatever random shit pops into my head while I’m driving (#commusing).

XOXO!

Of Jesus Christ and What the Fuck?

If you can’t handle profanity, then skip this one.

Last week, my friend Elizabeth and I somehow got on the topic of when we use certain profanities. I have a mouth like a sailor, so foul language is nothing to me any more. As I thought about it, I use certain words in very specific situations. Because I love lists and it’s a good laugh, here’s what expletive is appropriate in what situation:

  • “Jesus Christ” – If you surprise me (I don’t so much count this as a profanity, but some people do).
  • “God damn it” / “Damn it” – If I drop or spill something.
  • “Jackass” / “Asshole” – If you cut me off in traffic.
  • “Dickbag” / “Douchcanoe” – A descriptor for a particularly irritating male.
  • “Bitch” – You did something stupid. Usually accompanied by an eyeroll.
  • “Shit” – I forgot something / messed up something. Typically comes in groups of 3.
  • “What the fuck?” – I have absolutely no idea why something just happened.
  • “What the hell?” / “The hell?” – The former translates to “Hey! Why not?”. The latter translates to “Seriously?”.
  • “Mother fucker” – A exclamation of frustration.
  • “Bastard” – An intractable inanimate object.
  • “Kiss my ass” – My original admonition & only saved for special occasions.

The story, which my mom still loves to tell to this day, came about when I was in 8th grade (13 years old for my international readers). I rode the bus home from school in the afternoons. We had assigned seats with the oldest being in the back with a same sex seat mate. My seat mate, a 7th grader, only rode every other day. When she wasn’t there, I would sit sideways with my legs stretched out across the length of the seat. One afternoon, one of the 7th grade boys got it in his head that he wanted the coveted back of the bus seat next to me. I was reading and he came up to me and told me to move my feet. I ignored him. He told me to move my feet a second time. I ignored him again. He told me to move my feet a third time. I looked up from my book, waited a beat, and replied “kiss my ass”. He promptly tucked his tail between his legs and sat back in his assigned seat the row in front of mine. He never bothered me again.

I hope all of you have a fucking awesome rest of the weekend. 😉

XOXO!

Of wish lists and sequined outfits

One week from today is my 30th birthday.

Instead of putting down New Year’s Resolutions, I’m simply putting my intentions out there for my 30th year. As a friend of mine put it after listing all the things she wanted in a relationship, “it never hurts to ask”. So for my birthday (and beyond), my list of intentions:

  • Find an occasion to wear all the fancy clothes I got over Christmas.
  • Don’t stifle my passions in the name of practicality. If I’m physically and financially able, go for it.
  • Laugh more. Mostly at myself.
  • Put on some lipstick more often.
  • Don’t let the bastards get me down.
  • Work a little magic in someone else’s life.
  • Say “yes”.
  • Don’t interpret ignorance as hate.
  • Perform a “digital detox” at least once this year.
  • Keep the dining room table clean (this is far more difficult than it sounds).
  • Get the art print we bought last February framed.
  • Volunteer at least once this year with an organization that supports a cause I can get behind.
  • Soften the edges of my opinions when expressing them to someone else.

Also a viewing of “13 Going On 30” is necessary. And Boy is taking me to a Monster Truck rally to mark my birthday. Vroom vroom!

XOXO!

Of lighting things on fire and aliens

For those of us in the States, tomorrow is Independence Day. It’s traditionally a day of drinking lots of beer, cooking meat over an open flame, and setting things on fire (meat or otherwise). Sarah of Yes and Yes posted her personal declaration of independence. I know I good idea when I steal one, so here’s mine.

I declare independence from my past views of people, places, and things. I pursue my right to allow myself to evolve and allow others to do the same.

I declare independence from petty sniping at others behind the safety of a computer screen. I pursue the right to make new friends from behind that same screen and meet people I never would have found otherwise.

I declare independence from running the highlight reel all the time. I pursue my right to be authentic, honest, and ridiculous. 

I declare independence from the “should” and the “must”. I pursue my right to do what’s best for me at that very moment.

I declare independence from the entrepreneur vagabonds. I pursue the right to work for someone else and enjoy it.

I declare independence from fitting into one tiny little box. I pursue the right to have Backstreet Boys, Lana del Ray, and LMFAO on the same playlist.

Somewhere in between lighting things on fire and watching things being lit on fire, Independence Day will be watched. Favorite quote: “I’m stuck dragging your heavy ass through the burning desert with your dreadlocks sticking out the back of my parachute. And what the hell is that smell?!”

XOXO!

P.S. 11 days until Big Kid Dance Camp! (aka Summer Intensive)

Of strength, toughness, and tough pills to swallow

Sorry if my updates have been sparse, dear readers.

My dad went back into the hospital last Thursday with severe pain in his leg. After three days of various medications and tests, it was determined he has an infection in his left hip. He’s being transferred to an orthopedic hospital and will likely have surgery to clear out the infection. One of the crappiest feelings ever? Seeing someone you love dearly in horrible pain and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. My weekend wasn’t so much a weekend as an exercise in not sobbing every time we delivered food or went to visit for a bit. It’s by no means fatal and hasn’t spread beyond his hip. Still, it’s like being punched in the chest. To see my former Army Ranger dad, the strongest person I know, reduced to hitting a pain button every 15 to minutes “to stay sane”, is difficult to process. I remember years ago when I was sobbing over a boy, he said something to me that stuck firmly in my head.

The whole point of Ranger School is to break a person, physically and mentally. If you get through it, you’ve exhibited the strength and toughness it takes to survive a combat situation and keep your shit together. He told me that I inherited that same toughness. I might bend to the point I think I’ll break, but I’ve got everything I need to get through it. I just have to know where to look. He was sitting in that hospital bed taking it like a champ. I have no doubt he felt the way I do now when I was going through my epilepsy diagnosis. I may not find myself literally crawling through mud on my hands and knees to finish a course, but I’ve crawled through my fair share of figurative mud.

Today also marks the anniversary of my DUI. It taught me how to pick myself back up after a self inflicted wound. I haven’t had a drink in a year. Moreso, I don’t miss it. All it took was the right motivation. I never thought I’d look at my epilepsy and say thank you. As cliche as it sounds, sometimes the worst situations have the most to teach us. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. That’s a memory I will quite happily leave behind me.

I’m not so sure where I read it or saw it, so I give credit to the general Internet. For every negative thing or complaint, counter it with 7 positives. Challenge accepted:

1. Boy sitting there holding me while I sob into his shirt because I felt so helpless. It takes a special man to take snot in his shirt without so much as a word. It helps that I’m the one who does laundry. 😀

2. We bought a Keurig this weekend. I’ve been eyeing my parents’ Keurig with great lust in my heart. I made my own coffee this morning and brought it to work with me. It will take some experimentation to get the proportions right, but that’s part of the fun.

3. New work clothes. I got rid of a bunch of my work clothes when I lost weight last spring and summer. Now that it’s warming up again, it was time for a wardrobe update.

4. This blog. I was laughing so hard I was crying at some points. I gave myself the hiccups from laughing in Chapter 8.

5. I smell good. Perfume = awesome.

6. We watched the kittens this weekend since they’d been alone for almost 3 days. Maggie was extra cuddly. How can you feel bad with a warm, fuzzy kitten in your lap?

7. My boss and my employees. We can bust each others’ balls, laugh, and still get the work done. We’re one happy motley crew.

XOXO!

Of warm weather and tattoos

In my part of the world, the weather is starting to warm up. Soon it will be tank top season and once again, people will remember I have tattoos. The vast majority of my work is on my arms. I have one on my thigh that all but covers my right quad. Shorts and sleeveless tops make for a whole host of questions. For those of you who don’t know someone heavily tattooed, especially a woman, here’s a quick and dirty guide of how to handle summer weather.

*Don’t touch me without my permission

I’m happy to show you my tattoos if you ask. Don’t just grab my arm and start examining it. Firstly, it’s assault (learned that in my CNA class). Secondly, it’s just rude. You wouldn’t touch another random person without tattoos without their consent. I’m sure my pregnant friends can relate to this. Also, if I hold out my arm for you to look at my tattoos, don’t wrench my arm behind my back to look at the detail on the back of my arm. This isn’t a martial arts class.

*Don’t ask me if they hurt

Of course they did. There were needles involved.

*Don’t ask if they “mean” anything

Most heavily tattooed people are collectors. Most of my larger pieces were done by a well known artist in the Southeast. None of mine “mean” anything. In some cases, apprentice artists will tattoo themselves to get more practice. I’ve seen a lot of strange tattoos on thighs and calves from practice sessions. Also, don’t get offended if someone says they don’t mean anything or flat out doesn’t want to answer. Things like an evil magician pulling an octopus out of a hat or the traditional sparrow on the chest tattoos aren’t exactly deep statements of one’s inner feeling.

*Don’t ask me what you should get tattooed

I’m not going to tell you what to get etched on your body for the rest of your life. I’m happy to give recommendations for artists I’ve worked with. I’m happy to offer placement advice after a design has been chosen. Beyond that, you’re on your own.

The fact is my tattoos have become part of my skin, just like a mole or a birth mark. I don’t notice them at all. I’ve even forgotten about some of them. The ones I don’t see on a daily basis or only in a mirror have all but faded. This post is merely to educate on the greatest hits of ignorant questions we tattooed folk get asked. Education is important, no? 

So let us all enjoy the sleeveless top weather in happiness and peace. And perhaps even frolic in fields singing, tattooed or otherwise.

XOXO!

 

Of Furry Cuteness Friday and things that make me smile

To give everyone a break from big cats, here’s a baby tapir. And his stuffed lion buddy.

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To kick off the three day weekend (for those of us in the US), a list of things that make me smile:

*Hugs that knock the wind out of you

*Antibiotics. I can finally get a decent night’s sleep for the first time in 2 weeks.

*Glittery lip gloss

*Taco salads

*Google All Access. Got my “work jams” playlist on right now.

*Getting the second highest rating on my review. 😀

*Being able to go into my boss’ office, scream obscenities, and he just laughs. Then walk out under control.

*The mental image of throwing glitter into the air to release my grudges.

XOXO!

Of cooking, food, and other things that make me smile

I was reading one of my regular blogs earlier and the post set off a lightbulb in my head.

I love to cook. I learned how to bake when I was 11 or 12 starting with boxed mixes. Then I expanded to making desserts and pastries from scratch (frosting is stupidly easy). Then I expanded into cooking when I lived on my own. Since I’m currently splitting my time between my parents’ house and Boy’s apartment, cooking and eating have become a bit of a hot mess on toast. Lunch is either a frozen meal or bought from the cafeteria at work. I totally forget there are microwaves by the cafeteria and end up eating my lunch at my desk in a rush because I don’t want to look like I’m slacking off. Not the goal. My mother, God love her, is very territorial with her kitchen. The only opportunity I have to use it is when she’s either out of town or asleep. Otherwise, you enter her domain to be served or microwave something if you don’t like what’s on the menu for dinner. She shows her love by cooking for my dad and me every night. Rarely do we get take out or delivery. I appreciate that, but a lot of times I want to do my own thing. Which usually means microwaving something or picking up food. At the other end of the spectrum, Boy lets me have free rein in the kitchen. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, and he doesn’t care. I find that I tend to fall back into my old habits even when I’m with him. Something quick and easy, typically that can be microwaved or picking something up on our way back home.

In an effort to save money, we decided to only eat one meal out or get takeout between Friday night and Sunday night. That’s only been moderately successful. Frequently, we find ourselves at the grocery store as an afterthought. We went to Target for something else and rummaged through the grocery section. Trader Joe’s was on the way from Point A to Point B. It’s almost never a case of going to the grocery store with a list and the intention to get all the ingredients for several meals or one recipe that would provide enough for several meals. That’s the first step. The next step is actually taking the time to prepare things. I have several recipe apps on my phone and food blogs I enjoy reading. Trader Joe’s website even offers recipes for all kinds of meals with everything available to get in the store. Boy is a carnivore, I could live happily as a vegetarian. He likes sweet stuff, I can take it or leave it. However, he’s got a very short list of things he won’t eat and I’m the picky one. As the main cook, I have way more control over what’s on the menu. Cooking or otherwise preparing food with intention is the real crux. Lastly, sit our butts at the table, turn off the TV, ignore the smartphones, and have an actual meal with each other. Studies have shown that without those kinds of distractions, you eat more slowly and your body has time to register satiety with your brain. That can take up to 20 minutes. If you’re scarfing down a burrito in front of the TV, before you know it, you’ve overeaten and feel disgusting (totally scientific).

Most of my eating habits have become just that. Habits. I eat a lot in the morning, mostly just because I’m bored. I’ll have breakfast anywhere between 7a-830a on a work day because I’m actually hungry. I’ll have a snack around 10a out of habit. Then I’ll eat lunch around 1130a out of habit.  I’ll have a cookie with lunch out of habit. And I’ll go all afternoon without a snack. Some days, it’ll be 8 or 9p before I eat dinner. I ignore my body’s cues and eat even if I’m not hungry or to the point of feeling bloated and overly full (like right now). I know that’s crappy for my metabolism and general health. If I know I’m going to be doing some kind of physical activity after work, I’ll try to have a snack in enough time to digest before getting the heart rate up. Most of the time, I totally forget that. Then I’m starving after class and way overeat again. Thus the cycle continues. Like any other habit, it will take time to break them. When I’m at work, eat lunch in the cafeteria. Sit at a table while I eat breakfast. If my breakfast is a latte on the way to work, take my time drinking it. Set an alert on my computer to have a snack before I go to class, even a handful of trail mix. If I think I’m hungry, drink 16oz of water, wait 20 minutes, then determine if I’m actually hungry or just doing it out of habit. Time to embark on breaking those habits, experiments in cooking, and not relying so heavily on foods that can be cooked in a microwave or form a grease puddle in a bag.

In light of the news of my coworker’s cancer yesterday, I compiled a list of the things in my life I so often take for granted and should celebrate more often:

I live in a first world country with access to clean water, electricity, food, computers, and smartphones * My family and friends are healthy * Aside from the epilepsy, I’m healthy. All my vitals and bloodwork are excellent. * I have a crazy, weird, mismatched group of friends who I wouldn’t trade for the world * I have the ability to walk, jump, run, dance, and contort myself in unnatural directions * I make people laugh * I have a job with benefits and I boss I love * I can finance my expensive hobbies * My parents let me live with them without the expectation of rent * I have people who are willing and able to drive me around for 6 months so I can still work * My form of epilepsy is easily managed with medication and common sense about taking care of myself * I’m in a happy, loving, and mind blowingly awesome relationship with someone I would do anything for * I have people who are happy to help me and guide me when I find myself in situations I’m not sure how to handle * Kitten cuddles * Getting to watch my (surrogate) nieces and nephews grow up from day 1 * Lush body products * Paid holidays * Waking up next to Boy even at 630a * Ballet classes * Cosmically speaking, having the world by the tailfeathers

XOXO!