Addiction

My Week Without Cable

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I did it. I unplugged and stepped away from the corporate machine that sucks my life into a vortex of faked reality shows that remind of my level of poverty. I am no longer chained to my television or wireless internet in my home. Yes, I forget to pay my cable bill. Evidently, I forget to pay it two months in a row, because the balance due was the equivalent of a car note.

I am now protesting the cable company and their unfair advantage of oligopoly in my neighborhood. I am protesting because I don’t get paid until Friday and I really need to see how severe my addiction to all things technology related really is.

Wednesday: Day One of my stand against the Oligarchy Gods; Hubby and I made homemade Chinese, talked about our feelings recounted fun moments from our vacation. We each made a mental note to spend more time talking to each other and less time in front of the television. We washed dishes together, shared a glass of wine and made moon eyes at each other.

Thursday: Day Two I cursed the cable company and went about my afternoon. I got some mopping done that had been grossly overlooked. I did laundry and actually folded and put the clothing away in the same day. I have cleaned the cat box and I think the cat meowed “Thank God!” I then moved on to clean and dust my bedroom furniture. I had forgotten how pretty my bedroom furniture is.

Friday: Day Three I am pacing back and forth and thinking something may actually be wrong with me emotionally. Hubby found the free convertor box thing that we ordered two years ago. Great we now have at least three basic channels. One problem, every third commercial is about the box that we have just installed. My beautifully polished furniture is now spouting “rabbit ears.” I haven’t seen those since my Aunt Lillie’s house. Curse you, you Cable Bastards.

Saturday: I am feening for some internet. My rapacious need for some HGTV is taking over my mind. The walls are closing in on me and I am scratching like fleas have burrowed into my hind quarters. I even attempted to log into the wireless systems in my neighbor that were not locked. It is sad, I know. I think I need some support. I am going to phone a friend. I am calling a friend that has wireless and HBO. I am protesting, not abstaining people.

Sunday: I have a very productive day, but at five pm and dark thoughts over takes my mind. I even read a quick book over my iPhone, which I do not recommend. I was at a loss. It is Sunday and it a True Blood night and time for Longmire at 10pm. I can’t wait. I have to be at the water cooler on Monday to discuss the idiocy of Sookie and find out whether the Authority was actually killed. I needed support. I phoned a different friend who also had wireless and HBO. I was smart, I took her dinner since she had worked all day.

Monday: To hell with cable. I watched two episodes of M*A*S*H and sweated along with Lucas, The Rifleman when Mark and Jonah tried to figure out how to get the rattle snake out of his bedroll. Then there were two back to back episodes of Law & Order SVU, when Olivia was young and not so jaded. I even tuned into American Ninja Warrior and felt bad when those guys were omitted from the competition. None of the training was enough to calm such fragile nerves. They will not be going to mount Midorijama in Japan.

Tuesday: One of my fellow instructors will not be returning this quarter and I have to take over her class. I will now be teaching on Tuesday and Thursdays from 6-8 pm, so up yours Cable Punks.

Wednesday: I give. I am going to head to the cable company and write a hot check tomorrow.

I have learned a great deal this week. I am a creature of comfort that spends too much time with television as my background noise. My dependency on the internet is way too high but it is who I am. I am Cheryl and I am an addict.

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That’s Just Nuckin’ Futty!

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This past week has been an exercise in patience. I have found that evidently, I am not very virtuous because I had very little. I am amazed at the rationale behind some decisions that are made based on logic that is in essence, irrational. It is like watching an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive and failing to understand why Sue is breaking down over a bottle cap. We can’t understand the thought process because if logic were to prevail, someone would tell the individual, your behavior is nuckin’ futty.

Let’s examine the first instance.

    I sat in a faculty meeting with an overactive, underachieving colleague. I knew she was going to make an issue in the meeting of how smart she was, how much she was teaching, and how much smarter she was than all of us. She brought up two class exercises she used in which three of us had no clue what she was talking about. I teach English. I am a writer. I have written four books and I don’t know that. I don’t know it because I don’t care. It has no impact on my day to day life and in essence no one gives a flying monkey! If your colleagues are telling you they would not take your class, then aren’t you missing something here? It’s called a point. It was amazing to sit and listen to her pontificate about what she was doing, when, in reality, if your colleagues don’t give a rat’s ass, and then do you think the students will? It is just nuckin’ futty to attempt to teach students everything you know. Teach them what they need to know, and then focus on one or two skills sets for the 11 week period. What makes this even more insane is that she was told that adult learners brains are not as malleable at a12 year. Of course your middle school students will get it, their brains are still developing. A 35 year old woman, forgive the bad English, “don’t want to be hearing about nothing she can’t put to use in her everyday life.” Why are you making people feel stupid for not getting it? Maybe she will get it when they escort her ass out the door.

    I sigh in exasperation.

Let’s move on to the second case. I often, out of sheer curiosity, surf over to http://Blackmediascoop.com because truth is so much more nuckin’ futty than fiction. There is a lady that is in danger of dying because she refuses to cut her toenails. Again, I shall repeat, she refuses to cut her toenails which are preventing her from exercising as required to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Here’s the irony, if you don’t get the exercise, as a diabetic, they will probably have to amputate your feet. There goes your damn toenails. Don’t believe me? Well check out the video. If you can’t see the video I have included some photos.



Yeah, my thoughts exactly; this is just nuckin’ futty.

Life is too short to be irrational.

My Favorite Things!

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If Oprah can have a list of her favorite things, then why can’t I? As I was walking through the grocers, I came across the magazine rack and saw the Lady Oprah dancing across the cover of “O.” She looked so pretty I almost bought the magazine that is until I saw the $4.50 price tag. I was bad, I picked it up and flipped through the pages. Personally, her favorite things weren’t really all that awesome. I can see no real use for these Chocolate Bears for $12 plus shipping and handling. For exactly the same twelve dollars, I can buy some of my favorite things, like frozen vegetables at the ten for $10 sale, which mean I have vegetables to eat for at least 10 days.

    I continued to look through some of Ms. O’s favorite things. I did see some items that made me stop and wonder what where she came up with these items.

 http://zappos.com retail $120

Originally $137, now $109 with code OPRAH  DeuxLux.com
$125 | Saks.com

These are really nice items, but really, we are in a recession and I can’t afford these things. What I have learned over the years is how to take the things that I truly love, and make a version of them.

First on my list is Moose Munch made famous by Harry and David, retailing at $29.95. This is Crunch and Munch on steroids. I sometimes will buy it as a treat, but most of the time, I make it myself. Here is a simple recipe.

Second on my list of favorite things are any items that I can make. The holiday season I love placards for my holiday table settings. Oriental Trading Company is always on my holiday shopping list, because I can pick up these easy placards for about $5.00. The kit creates 12 settings, and at this price, I can afford to buy several, even to give them as gifts.

And last but not least, some of my favorite things are bags. Purses, satchels, book bags, shopping bags and anything that I can carry my stuff in. I love to shop on http://Ebags.com. There is everything there for your pockets and your pocketbook. Best of all, the prices are right for your purse.

The whole point to my thought process here is to not over spend or get caught up in the haze of Black Friday and the holiday shopping madness. There is enough retail therapy to go around without breaking the bank and acting like a mad person on a spending frenzy. Out of curiosity, what is on your list of favorite things?

Coupon Crazy!

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I am addicted. I am not shame and I will shout from the rafters that I am hooked. I watched an episode of Extreme Couponing and once I saw how much money they were saving, I said, “I can do that!” I started clipping and I also started saving money. I am far from extreme, but I am, unequivocally a coupon clipper.

Ironically, I can remember a time when whipping out a coupon was considered low class and made the bearer appear to be a cheapskate. People who clipped coupons were rumored to live in a house full of cats, made quilts and homemade jams. In essence, they were regarded as a step above being a hippie. Not anymore, welcome to the new breed of savvy shoppers and coupon clippers. Let me help you get started. It is easier than you think.

First we must determine what kind of shopper you are. If you are not organized enough to have to deal with a little purse of coupons, or have hours to spend price comparing in the grocery store, then we can start here. The easiest way to save is with your frequent shopper cards and make them work for you versus just having them dangling on your key chain. Kroger and Bi-Lo offers you Fuel Perks. The money you spend in the store earns you a few cents off your gas purchase at each visit. You can also download coupons to your rewards card and when you check out, they automatically take the savings off your final purchase! BiLo even offers you double coupons so you can save twice the money. I know right! No clipping, no coupons and you don’t have to seem like a crazy cat lady who makes quilts and jam.

Saving at the grocery store isn’t your only option. Crafters have long been saving at Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. The great thing about craft stores, if you have a coupon from another store, they will honor the discount. We can take it one further. If you are a teacher, you can also get teacher discounts at Joann’s and save an addition 15%. These programs are also available at Staples and Office Max. No matter what you are into, if you look, there is a coupon, a Groupon, and Living Social break. If you have a smart phone, you can download coupon apps and have discounts and bargains at your fingertips.

Now, I can understand if all of this couponing is far too much of a commitment, then here is the perfect solution, just price compare. Use that smartphone to help you make some smart decisions. There are several bar code scanners that will scan the price, and give you the best deals in a 50 mile radius, including online.

There are all types of coupons to help you save money when you want to dine in or dine out. Find out if your favorite location has a frequent shopper program or a loyalty program. I am one who believes in getting my money’s worth and each day I am out looking for ways to save money, cut lost and reduce my back end, literally and figuratively. You can find the savings approach that works best for you or you can search on Twitter and search under coupons. You can get real time updates on savings.

I have looked into Coupon Suzy and a few other sites, but those are more regional. The economy isn’t going to turn around on its own and in the meantime and in between time, I am working on some Christmas quilts for my great nieces and some jam from some pears my friend send over from her tree. Happy savings!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Much Information

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In an instant messaging status updating world, our days are filled with the overflow of information on our personal lives.  Depending on the number of friends and followers, one can be constantly bombarded with information of other’s existence.  Those social vampires that you have avoided personal contact with are now filtered through your phone and they still find a way to suck the life out of you with their problems. We certainly have the ability on Facebook to “hide” their ramblings, but how do you adjust the streaming feed in real life?  Or has it progressed to a level of a constant need for attention that has removed our ability to know when we are sharing too much information? As the Queen of Tweetdeck updates, allow me to explain.

              As I was undergoing another round of nap therapy, the thick accented patient next to me was asking the therapist a question that she could not decipher.  He looked to me for help so I translated his words. This opened the door for Therapy Lady to unload her sadness unto my mat. First she explained that husband number two was also Puerto Rican and she should have understood his thick accent. My eyebrows arched in disbelief, one, because the gentleman next to me was German, and two, who asked her. Evidently misreading my arched brows as “tell me more,” she then proceeded to inform me that her first husband, a high school sweetheart, was Bipolar, and when he hit child number two with a backhand, she knew she had to leave him. 

            Arched eyebrows now furrowed, inspired her to continue this tale and let me know that husband number two was in jail. I tilted my head looking for the hidden camera while waiting for someone to jump out and tell me that I was being “Punked.” Ashton did not answer my prayer because Therapy Lady continued this depressing diatribe by informing me that husband number two molested her 13-year-old. Eyebrows are again arched. She then says, “yeah, and he was quickly escalating towards something more serious.” Furrowed brows again, this time with my hands up, inspired her to add “yeah, I’m single now, and don’t want to be alone, but I can’t trust anyone else….” 

Was that a tear I saw trickle down her cheek?  I am now frowning, more serious than three years of him diddling your daughter, who thought there was nothing wrong with step daddy’s behavior because you didn’t think it was necessary to explain good touching and bad touching? Was it more serious than you using your daughter’s molestation as a sympathy pump and now it is all about you because it wasn’t your fault? More serious than me wanting to take the ice bag off my knee and knock some sense into your empty head? How could it possibly be more serious than the contempt I feel for you right now?

            Our heavy accented friend read my face correctly for he cleared his throat, which now drew the attention of Ms. Munchausen By-Proxy –Therapy-Lady and reminded her that she was actually at work. My lips, now pursed, and sister girl is evolving in my eyes, which are slowly widening as I raise myself to a sitting position. She must have taken the visual cues for what they actually were this time because she took the hell off.

            Don’t ask, because I don’t know what I was going to say or going to do, I just knew I had experienced enough “oversharing” for an afternoon.  But here is the sad part, I did not report her. We are in a recession and she is a single mom. However, if she should choose to be so dumb and share with me once more, I will offer her this advice.  Your friends are there to share your burdens in life, not complete strangers. Your friends will also get tired of listening to you go on about poor me.  Take your misery off of your Facebook status and stop taking the phone into the bathroom with you; the person on the other line does not want to hear you pee and I don’t want to pee and hear you.  I am not investing in Botox so stop trying to read my expressions as I care and you should unburden yourself on me. Last but not least, shut the bleep up! Be miserable by yourself and stop subjecting those around you to your pity party. If this isn’t enough information, then I will plainly state that some stuff, you should keep between you, your God and a good psychologist.

A new dirty word

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A  new dirty word

By Cheryl Aaron-Corbin

             Initially I think I was deluded into believing that students had changed.  As an educator, we hear every excuse known to man and few new ones made up for women. Yet, recently, I learned a new dirty word that goes across any genre, any board, and even across generations; that word is accountability. When did we stop being liable for our actions? We can now let the finger pointing begin.

            There is the school of thought that rationalizes wrong doing by compartmentalizing our actions. Saying that oral sex is not in fact intercourse, and because intercourse did not occur, one can stand before the American public and emphatically state, “I did not have sex with that woman!.” Or we can fast forward to the new millennium, and place our playthings in a house in the desert along with our love child, and hope that no one finds out that the love child is a month older than my child. Naturally, it wasn’t his fault, because his wife, at the time, was pregnant, moody, and not paying him enough attention.

            We hear it in songs, where singers tell their mates, “Blame it on me, and say it’s my fault” in which she encourages her cheating spouse, to say that she’s a liar, a cheater, or say anything that he wants.  This codicil was made under the supposition that he would be leaving in haste. Has it come to a state where we accept the bad behavior and excuses just to rid ourselves of the headaches?

            This does not work for me. I think we need to want more, and we need to do better. I teach a customer service class where I taught my students about their communication styles.  I taught this lesson under the premise that if you consistently receive bad service, then maybe it’s time to look at what you are putting out. If your attitude is “stank”, then the response of those serving you will be matched. Further, a student who consistently has poor attendance, does not pay attention in class, and can not for the life of all that is wholly, turn in a consistently formatted document, ends up in tears, then is it my fault?  According to the student, the fault lay with me.

            In the litany of her tears, I was accused of being harder on her, unfair in my assessments of her work and last but not least, she was able to read my disapproval of her in my body language. As the professional and the only adult in the room, I stood back, folded my hands across my lap and took a deep breath.  I calmly asked, “What about you?” Perplexed and confused, she stopped crying and looked at me as if I had just passed gas. When I asked if her lack or preparation, typing the speech in class as others presented their work, while being the only student who was still reading her speech in Week 7, and turning her back to me was an indicator, did she take any accountability? Of course she did not, because she had a list of reasons why she was not prepared, and of course, since I did not like her, she tuned me out.

            I give up. I hereby am selling licenses to any who are interested in becoming a Professional Dumbass Assessor (PDAss). Why not, the country is loaded with them, you live next to one, work with several and probably have dated a few. As a carte blanche card holding aficionado, you will be licensed to speak to your mind and call a spade a spade.  And here is the best part; the fine print on the back of the card says that you are not accountable due to your Tourette’s.

Surviving My Addiction….to Facebook.

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I was reluctant to admit that I had a problem. Like most addicts it did not become real until I looked in the mirror and found myself with a love jones to get to it, to feel it in my fingers, to connect with my new-found poison and drink it in. My family and friends all knew but none wanted to confront me, but I had to confront myself with a an intervention. I can now say it with pride as I start my recovery, Hi, I am Cheryl and I am a Facebook addict.

It started so innocently. I was speaking to an old college beau and he mentioned that “You should be on Facebook.” I was familiar with the social application, but at the time, you had to have an .edu address to be a part of the network for college students only. Evidently I was misinformed, Facebook had grown up. I had a few extra minutes and I logged on. Please understand, I already had a MySpace account and had gathered some famous movie star and recording friends. I felt like I was moving and shaking, but then I tried Facebook.

It was like manna in my hands and felt as if I had found something that understood me, where I wanted to be and things I needed to say. The world was at my fingertips and all I had to do was push the little button that say “connect”. Yet, as innocently as it started I began to notice changes in my behavior. I had to upgrade my phone to a Palm OS with a Facebook interface so that I could stay connected anywhere and at anytime.

I started slow with just one or two friends and a couple of game applications, hereinafter referred as apps. I connected with my son and a few of his pals that were all at my house, no harm in “friending” them. Then I began to connect with my old high school pals and a few from college. My Army buddies began to sign on and suddenly, people I had not heard from in years were a mouse click away. I had to learn the hard way though, I was in a Mafia, working on a farm in Farmville and was hanging out in Yoville. That turned out to be a waste of time because now I had clients that I had put on Facebook. I went from one account to six in a matter of months, and it was becoming difficult to keep up, so I discovered Tweetdeck.

I did not think it could get worse, but it did. I turned into a Facebook snob. I began to “remove” those friends I thought were undesirable. Friends, who had nothing worthwhile to post but negative updates with comments about other people, were removed. I even went as far to call a few friends and suggest they make their daily post quotes about life until they were able to clean out their list of friends. I even had the audacity to suggest “cooling it” with so many personal pictures and if they really had that many “haters”, why would you tell them where you are going to be every moment of the day? I know….. right?

My addiction is not common place, my addiction is nasty. It is all-consuming. I have addicted others, I have set a standard. I have people who follow my drivel. Why? Because I am addictive. LMBO, yeap, it’s true. Each month I go as far as having a common theme, where my posts are aimed at helping you live a better life. Fancy tidbits of information for websites you did not even know existed for free stuff you didn’t even know you could get. I even set it to music, why, because I am a form of a music and movie savant. I have a photographic memory and love music. I start the day with a praise song and end the day with a pensive piece. Some days, I share my love of music with others and post items on their wall with love notes of “Just because it’s Tuesday”, which has caught on. During Oscar week I posted famous clips from past Oscar winners like On the Waterfront and All About Eve and even included Sydney Poitier’s 1969 acceptance speech.

My favorite fix, I must admit is to post a movie line and see how many people know what it is, while others chime in with other famous lines from the same movie. The high is amazing. It is like being the popular kid in cyberspace. I have to check it at least five or six times a day to see who responded to my post, and to see if the invites that I had received were for events that I actually wanted to go to with people who online, were cool, but did I want to hang out with in real life. I purged my friends list again. If I didn’t want to hang out with you “for real” I didn’t want you in my Facebook sandbox.

        My family wants to stage an intervention, but I don’t think it is THAT bad. I do however, know I need to cutback. And I will, once I make my music selection for the night, so that I can sign out. I am thinking “Why” by Annie Lennox. I know why…and so do you.

Good night my Friends. Ms. Lennox, you have the con……

I may be mad
I may be blind
I may be viciously unkind
But I can still read what you’re thinking