Archives for posts with tag: blog

My reply to the prompt Unseen

dorothy-2

There was a time back when I was first married that my sister and I played in a volleyball league together. We played every Wednesday night, and many times went out for beers afterwards.

We were in the league for a year or two when I became pregnant with my first child. I continued to play as long as I could, but by the 5th or 6th month, I had to stop. My belly would get in the way more times than not, and it was hard to curb the instinct to dive for the ball.

At the end of the season, everyone got together for drinks and food at a local bar. My sister asked me to come along, and even though I couldn’t really drink, it would be nice to see all my league-mates again and catch up. After all, I hadn’t seen anyone for a month or two.

At the end of the evening, they gave out silly awards. I clapped and laughed as each person was called up to get a certificate of merit for their particular talent (or lack thereof). With each new award, I thought, “is this me?” Nope. Next award, “is this me?” Nope.

And then the awards ended. I had been totally ignored. Nobody even thought to include me, just because I had missed a month or two of playing. Hell, my award would’ve been easy to come up with…”best setter with baby on board” or “best baby bump.”

But I got nothing, and it really hurt my feelings. l was forgotten. I was unseen.

The rest of the evening I forced smiles and laughs when all I really wanted to do was cry. I thought these people liked me. It felt like high school volleyball all over again; surround by team mates who in reality didn’t want to play with you at all.

I stopped playing with them. I might have gone back few times after I had the baby, but it just wasn’t as fun anymore. I didn’t feel at all like I was a part of this group. It was as if when I showed up to play, they were thinking, “oh, she’s here?”

My sister stuck with it. Where it had started as our league, it finished as her league. Sometimes I’d ask, “What are you doing this weekend?” and she’d mention a party someone in “the league” was having, and I’d feel a twinge of sadness, shame, and anger.

Hell, I spent most of my life outside the in-crowd, and at the age of 30 I was surprised at how much it still hurt to be an outsider.

walking

Yesterday I booked my passage on the Island Home ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. We are going as a family over the July 4th weekend to spread my father’s ashes. While the reason for the trip may be somber, we are going to celebrate the place that, thanks to my father, was our summer vacation spot.

July.

6 1/2 months away and yet I feel like it’s right around the corner. I’ve got just that long to shed some of the lbs. I packed on last year. I’ll admit, compared to 2015, I was really inactive over much of 2016. The time to turn that around is now.

I made a goal of walking at least 30 miles in January, and shy of contracting the flu, I plan on shattering that number by the 31st. It feels good to have set a goal and even better to be sticking to it. I sort of gave up on my walking regime towards the end of last year. It was super hot during the summer, and then I just got lazy once the cooler temps came.

Sticking to a plan, even if it is just walking more, is quite motivational. I’m making other small changes each week that passes, and with any luck, it will raise the gung-ho spirit I need to really put my rear into overdrive.

Cause July really is just around the corner.

angry_twitter_by_roweig-d5jv8f2

For years and years I was not a fan of Twitter. I just didn’t get it…throwing a thought out there for nobody to see. Me? I’m more of a Facebook gal…friends and comments and likes and sharing. I love the interactiveness of it. I had a Twitter account, I just rarely used it.

Until the election.

I quickly realized that posting my feelings about then candidate Donald Trump turned my Facebook page into a battlefield of opinions. I didn’t like that. I also didn’t like seeing other people’s crap about Hillary, so I stopped posting political things. And, after unfollowing the majority of my über vocal and misinformed Republican friends on FB, things got a lot better.

But I needed to vent somewhere.

So, I turned back to Twitter. There I could pretty much say whatever I wanted to. I only had 40 or so followers…who was there to offend? I voiced my outrage against Trump and my love of Hillary on a daily basis during the election.

I spent all three Presidential debates at the computer, Tweeting good points and bad, and reading what others had to say. It was very enlightening – maybe there WAS something to Twitter that I had previously overlooked.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-3-42-25-pm

And then, numb, afraid and pissed off on November 9, I began my new relationship with Twitter. I began to follow like-minded Americans who refuse to swallow the Orange Kool-Aid. I am hash tagging and retweeting to anyone who will listen to my outrage against Trump’s lies and contradictions.

Twitter is my platform where I can stand up and scream, “THIS IS WRONG!” And I love it.

I’ll still post a few things here and there regarding our liar-elect on Facebook, but I mostly reserve those things for Twitter. Now I just need to get more than 46 followers….

In response to the daily prompt word, which was Float

girl_floating-ocean-1

Around 10 years ago, we were on our yearly family vacation in Palm Coast, Florida visiting my dad. Our beach of choice while we are down there is Flagler Beach, a) because it’s right down the road from his house, and b) because it’s just an awesome beach.

My girls were young, and were playing in the surf under the watchful eye of their dad, and I decided to swim out a little.

A little.

I was treading water and decided it was time to head back in. I start kicking and paddling, and realize I’m not really getting anywhere. Every time I point a toe down to feel the sandy bottom of the ocean floor, all I feel is ocean.

I looked at a dude on his surf board, who was only a few yards away. I thought to myself, “should I ask him for help?” At this point I was very jealous of his floatation device. He could sit there cool as a cucumber, while I was beginning to feel the warm seed of panic growing in my lower belly.

Was I caught in a riptide?

rip-current

And then I remembered my father, who always said if you can’t get back to shore, swim parallel to the beach and eventually you’ll be able to make you way in.

For the next 5-10 minutes I floated and swam, floated and swam parallel to the shore, but moving slightly toward the beach with each kick and stroke. And finally, I could touch bottom. I lumbered my way through the surf and onto the beach where I heaved an audible sigh of relief.

I was safe, and I did it on my own. I didn’t need to be rescued by either surfer dude or the lifeguard. I walked back to where we were sitting…I was a good 75 yards down the beach…and plopped into my chair, out of breath. I told my sister and nieces what had happened, but seeing that I was back safe & sound, they didn’t make much of it.

But it had frightened me. I doubt either of my girls would have been able to keep cool and figure their way out of it. Now, I repeatedly tell them the same advice my father gave me every single time we are at the beach, and I encourage them to bring a boogie board with them in the water just in case.

And I watch them very closely…from the beach.

fired

This morning I fired a pesky freelance client, and it feels so good to be rid of him.

For the past year I’ve been designing a brand new magazine that deals mainly new age ideology – lots of fung shui and astrology and shamanism…stuff I know zilch about. However, that didn’t stop me from creating a pretty page.

At first.

My client was a guy who decided to start a magazine with no techno experience, no publishing experience, and no design experience. I was not aware of this when I started with him, but as the weeks dragged on, I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

He knew nothing. Didn’t know how to use dropbox. Didn’t know how to use Facebook. Didn’t know how to scan something on his printer so he could send me a pdf. The man didn’t even know how to search for images on Google.

And all this would be fine, except he’s a control freak. I would send him a finished layout, and he would say “Wow! Beautiful!” and then the fussies would start. Lower the point size of the caption. Increase the size of the caption rule. Make this photo bigger and that one smaller.

And many of his changes would really effect the layout to where it looked sophomoric and unprofessional. Arguing with him got you no where…he wanted it how he wanted it. Which is fine.

By the 3rd issue I changed my title in the masthead from “Creative Director” to “Editorial Designer.”

By this last issue he was practically giving me design instructions with each story – bad instructions. And that’s when I said to myself, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

When I started with him, I was only working part time and was hoping this magazine could turn into something down the road. But now I have a full time job that I really love, and his magazine was just a chore I had to do at the end of the day and on weekends.

And I feel bad because he has nobody else to design for him. I also found out as months went by, that lots of other people; artists, writers, and social media people, had started and quit with him after a short time. I mean he pays on time, so it’s not that.

I think it’s a personality thing. He’s just really annoying and a control freak. But he’s nice at the same time. Does that make any sense???

In any case as Elmer Fudd said, “good widdance to bad wubbish.”

via Daily Prompt: Mope

bad-2016

With the exception of two events, 2016 really sucked.

The two events? My daughter’s graduation from VCU and getting the best job of my life. Those are the only saving graces from 2016.

I spent a lot of 2016 moping. I remember long days at my desk at the real estate office, with little to do and less motivation to do what little work I had. I hated my job. I hated that it was only part time. I hated that I was chained to my desk, that getting time off required the approval of several people (in an office that only had 35 employees). I hated that I had no health or dental insurance, sans what little Obamacare offered me.

While I hated my job, I was grateful to have it, which was also mope-worthy. There had to be more to life than just working at a job you hated going to in order to pay the bills.

I had also stopped walking as much as I did. After pounding the pavement to the tune of 900 miles in 2015, and losing almost no weight in the process, I was discouraged. This year I only squeaked out 251 miles. The end result? I feel like shit as 2016 comes to a close.

The election? Let’s not even start. I am so disappointed in our country, who let a lying, racist, p*ssy grabbing con man get control of our lives. Fuck moping – I want to scream almost every day. I think my main goal in 2017 will be ignoring the fact that we have a president. I’ll just float down that river we call DaNile for a little while.

And my dad. Losing my dad sucked. Thinking back on all the vacations my family took to Dad’s house in Florida…all those days at Flagler Beach, playing volleyball in the pool, shots of slivovice with my sisters, and long dinners followed by story telling and reminiscing with dad. All gone.

That coupled with the election of Trumpsy Dumpsy really let wind out of my sails. I didn’t care about Christmas, I really didn’t care about anything.

But a new year is coming – it’s just days away and I can look forward to making improvements in my life. I’ve got this great job, with great benefits…I’ve got everything to live for, so it’s time to start taking better care of myself. Time to ignore the giant pumpkin in the white house and look at the joy in my own house.

Here’s to 2017.

matchbox-logo

For Christmas my girls bought me a Matchbox Karmann Ghia. I have a small collection of Karmann Ghia cars on my desk because it was the first car I ever owned and it is quite possibly the coolest car on the planet.

I was excited when I opened it, and then I looked closely at the car. Wait, was this a Karmann Ghia? I quickly scanned the packaging…Yep, it says Karmann Ghia down the side. But this car really looks nothing like a Karmann Ghia.

good-car

Here is an example of a good Karmann Ghia model. Note the rounded headlights that protrude, the rounded front nose. Note the back that slopes downward, but has small fins. Also note the convertible top. I had a convertible, and the when the top was down, it looked just like that.

Now, look at the piece of crap Mattel/Matchbox tried to pass off as a Karmann Ghia

bad-car

This looks nothing like a Karmann Ghia. Nothing. This could be any car – it lacks all the tell-tale characteristics…the personality of a Karmann Ghia. Really look at them side by side…do you see ANY similarities?

I was so disappointed. It sits among my other Karmann Ghia’s because it serves as a reminder of how toy manufacturing sucks these days. How could Mattel let this slide by? How could anyone look at this model and think it’s a proper representation?

What a rip off.

In true Typical Tracy form I have written Mattel and voiced my displeasure and outrage. I doubt I’ll hear back from them. But someone out there needs to know that this is bullshit.

Rant done.

4620639717.jpg

I don’t know what is wrong with me. I have zero Christmas spirit this year.

It might be because December was very busy for us this year. We had things to do every weekend from visiting family, one daughter’s birthday, and another daughter’s college graduation. The next thing I knew it was 10 days before Christmas and I didn’t even have my tree up.

Here’s what I did do.
I got a tree and put lights on it.
I put up lights on the house.

That’s it.

The tree has no decorations. I haven’t addressed a single Christmas card. I have started our family newsletter, but can’t seem to finish it. I didn’t set up our Christmas village…didn’t even take one box out of the closet. I didn’t set out any of my Christmas chachkis…The tin santas, the snowman on the sleigh, my wire reindeer, and the wooden santa with the little tiles that count down the days to Christmas are all still in their box up in my closet crawlspace.

As it got so late in December, I figured it was a waste to take them out only to have to put them back a week or so later. Same with the tree decorations. We don’t have a single ornament on the tree.

I had almost no time to shop. I did a fair share of it online, and one of my packages didn’t come at all even though I ordered it in November. Fucking low rent seller on Amazon. They’ll be getting a call from me on Monday.

Even wrapping presents today was a chore. I came to the realization as I huddled over my bed, struggling with cheap paper and a stubborn roll of scotch tape, that I hate wrapping.

I have deemed 2016 as the most unmerry of Christmases ever.

This may have a lot to do with my dad dying and a giant dangerous Cheeto as president elect. It seems life has little meaning.

At least I have good health coverage.

ice_skate_toe

When I was in college I took figure skating lessons for a whole semester, and I was pretty good. By the time I finished I could skate both forwards and backwards, and do both front and back crossovers. This was 1986.

Fast forward to 2000, when my husband landed a job at our local ice rink. We put our daughter in skating lessons, and she got to be pretty good too. I would still skate from time to time…I could still go forwards and backwards, but crossovers? Nah.

So I took adult lessons. And then I got pregnant. Not wanting to hurt the bun in the oven, I stopped my lessons. That was 2001.

Hubby recently began working at the same rink again. We got my younger daughter involved with skating lessons, and as I watched her unsteadily glide across the ice, it made me want to get out there with her.

So yesterday during my lunch I walked to the rink and slipped on a pair of skates. It was public session and the ice was sort of crowded. I gingerly stepped out on the ice and realized, with much dismay, that was not at all sure on my feet.

I hugged the wall 3/4 of the way around the ice, nearly losing my balance a time or two, and begged my husband to open up the door of the away-team bench so I could get the hell off. I couldn’t even make it back to where I had started. My head and body hurt from being so tense for the short time I was on the ice.

It really bummed me out. I used to glide with ease, helping my girls to skate, being the rock for them to lean on while they gained their footing. Now I’m just a fat fuddy-duddy hugging the wall.

Meh.


Sidenote: Thank God I stopped myself before trying to show my youngest how to do a cartwheel a year or so back

 

Sauce.jpg

Last week I published a post giving my review of the new Wegman’s grocery store that opened in town. I mentioned how they carried Rao’s pasta sauce, which I never buy because it’s way too expensive. After reading that, my friend John told me in no uncertain terms that I had to try it…that it really is that good.

So I tried it. While at the store, I saw the Rao’s jars on the shelf, saw the sale sign below it ($6.99!) I figured it was meant to be. I decided to pair it with cheese ravioli as opposed to pasta, because cheese ravioli has always been a favorite of mine.

Let me tell you, my friend is no liar. This sauce was GOOD. I mean wipe your plate with a hunk of bread good. I’ve never been a big fan of sweet sauces…brands like Prego and Ragu gross me out. But Rao’s had a flavor that was right up my alley.

In short, my humble bowl of ravioli did not taste like I made it at home. It tasted like something I would have gotten at a restaurant. It was really that good.

Sigh.

How am I ever going to be able to pass a jar of Rao’s by after this? How can I ever grab a jar of Classico again, knowing there is something so much better, and 3 times as expensive, on the shelf to the left?

I guess Rao’s will have to be my special occasion sauce. My “I just got paid” sauce. My Christmas bonus sauce. My “I won the Powerball” sauce.

I’m just so glad I still have 3/4 of a jar left at home.