Latest Event Updates

Too Much Information

Posted on

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.

Advertisements

Marriage Vows vs Home Improvement Projects

Posted on Updated on

The other day while watching DIY or HGTV, I witnessed something beautiful. I saw a married couple working on a home improvement project and they were laughing, smiling and feeling proud of their accomplishments. I found myself smiling and feeling euphoric as well which lead to my latest disaster, and next big question, should marriage vows be changed to include home improvement projects? Does death do us part include the completion of a home improvement tasks?

Our son has hit that age where he still is a resident, but does not officially reside in the house. It was time to redo the room of a teenager and make it the residence of a man. A fresh coat of paint was needed as well as new crown moldings, dual functioning furniture, and an extra bedroom in case of guests when he was away. It started nicely enough, but by the end of day one, I had evolved from Suzie Helpmate to Seaman Foulmouth. Day two ended with me as a full rear admiral and swabbing the poopdeck. I can vaguely remember a sentence that started with an F word and ended with you, the horse you rode in on, his stable master, the groom and your cockeyed brother! Allow me to explain.

My husband is a real man. If it breaks, he can fix it. He can buy it, install it, rewire it, remove it, grout it, caulk it, seal it, and make it dance should it require such. However, no matter how big, or small the project, he has to tear up every room in the house. It is utter chaos, which leaves you swearing to all that is unholy just to find a pair of panties and a matching sock. This project was no different, but to paint the room it had to be emptied.

Emptying this room meant he had to store the items somewhere else which usually meant sticking them all in my space. Never fear, we just need to run to Lowe’s to pick up an item or two. We did go to Lowe’s. We went to all three Lowes. By now the only thing I felt Lowe’s and I could build together was a hostile relationship.

We went to both Home Depots and the angry woman in me wanted to know, when did they become some F*****ing helpful? We went to three furniture stores, and when I began to become snappy and crabbish, we went to lunch. Discussing paint colors and finishes of door knobs and handles evidently appeared to be fascinating to our waitress who decided to add her two cents. I think that will be the last time she ever does that again! My questioning of the origin of my friendship with her sans the eyeball rolling and neck gesturing, still had the same affect especially when my sentence ended with “we aren’t friends, I don’t know you, get out of our conversation and bring me another Diet Coke!” Hubby stopped talking to me for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, back on the home front and the beginning of day two, my paint trimming was not up to hubby’s standards and he decided to give the trim a fresh coat of paint that morning. The carpet installers commented on the paint still being wet. Over the rim of my cup of coffee, I provided a quick retort of something close to “Lay the F***ing carpet, I have another can of paint,” which came out in a militant soul sister sneer that did include eyeball rolling and a neck gesture. Hubby went outside to work on his truck, the carpet guys went out there with him and the cat hid under the table.

So what did I learn? I learned my son has hoarding tendencies as evident by the two bags of rocks, his favorite cowboy boots when he was three and the 14 gym bags. I learned that I am a control freak that likes to move in an orderly fashion and chaos blocks my mental chi. After going through bag number three of my son’s belongings, each sentence was ending with “WTF is that?” clued me in on the idea of having son boy finish the task I assigned him. But, what I learned most importantly is that my husband not only loves me, but he also likes me. We have completed in the past three weeks, four home improvement projects to include installation of new carpet and appliances, and he still wants to talk to me. He may want to wash my mouth out with soap, but we will not have to alter our marriage vows to include til death do us part this home improvement project.


Please consider the environment – do you really need to print this email?

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.—Albert Schweitzer:

A new dirty word

Posted on

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.

How much, is too much?

Posted on Updated on

            There is a great generational divide occurring and it is not the older generation versus the newer generation, but it is life versus living.  Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, life was a simpler time but our values were also simple.  Treat others as you want to be treated was the golden rule.

            In the 80’s we were introduced to music television, mainstream rap, a half-naked woman who wanted to be “Like a Virgin”, and music that moved mountains. Health and fitness began to take form and we flocked to the gyms so that our power suits fit well and we were attractive to the opposite sex. A big disease with a little name awoke a sleeping giant and we began to live once more in moderation.

            However,  Generation Y moved aside and Generation Next began to grow up, grow out, and outgrow those simple items that made childhood enjoyable so they could “connect”.  Video games became more violent, children became more reticent and parents became busier.  It now took twice as much money to drive a car we didn’t need, live in a house we couldn’t afford, and work a job that we hated.  Why? So we could give our children, whom were squirreled away in their oversized rooms, more stuff that said, “we make money” but can’t spend time on you.

            Celebrating the arrival of the 21st Century brought more gadgets, more doo-dads, more debt, McMansions, and more stuff neither we, or our children needed. However, plastic surgery was something we could now afford, and if we were just plain ignorant, we could score our own television show. There was no longer a need to study or hone a craft, just score a show, bring some stupid friends, get drunk, curse out people, and poop in the floor and you were an instant success.  You could also score double points if your private bedroom escapades were “leaked” and everyone could see your cooter.

            I don’t want to see your cooter. I don’t want to see his wangdoodle. I want to see a movie that has real sustenance that I don’t have to read. I want to go to lunch or dinner with a friend and not have to eat my meal while watching the top of their head. I want to be able to say I had some work done, and it still means to my house, or my car, and not my body or my cooter. It has all become too much living and not enough of enjoying life.  I am starting the revolution. I am taking a stand and I pledge to live my life, not through my iPad, Nook, or $800 cell phone.  I want to have a cup of coffee with you face to face; and just to make sure we are clear, I don’t want to talk about your cooter.

The Artistry of Life

Posted on Updated on

It often amazes me how an artist can see the world in brush strokes or treble clefs.  I once explained to someone that I see the world in words.  I can paint a verbal picture and draw a reader into my world and have them see what I feel. However, I am finding so many local artist across different mediums, that I must ask are we all artist in our own right?

          I don’t have an answer for that question, but I have learned in the last nine months, that one of the biggest fears of individuals is writing.  It seems simple enough that as an adult, we can sit down, and take what is troubling our minds, and transpose it paper. Yet, it becomes cumbersome, and an art form that many refuse to attempt unless absolutely necessary.

          It is a rhythm that does require some finesse to master, but so is the art of song.  We are all amateur song birds in our showers or our cars, but I am thinking of becoming an agent and contracting some of the talent I hear late at night in the aisle of Wal-Mart. Humming along to ring tones that aren’t always age appropriate, which is amusing when you see a 55 year old woman humming “if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it”, but I am a firm believer of live it how you feel it.  I feel music and being a music savant, as a friend called me, I can and will chant along to almost anything that comes on Muzak or the radio. I, however, was born with the uncanny ability to miss a note if thrown at me with an underhand slow pitch, but I still love music.

          I also love art.  I have come into contact with local painters, sculptors, graphic artists, and quilt artist. I am floored at the amount of talent that lives and creates in this city. I am totally stoked about Westobou and the Arts in the Heart.  If you are an artist and are not participating, at least come out and review what is on display and be encouraged whether your medium be word, song, pallets or dance.  Life has a rhythm.  Art has a rhythm.  Take a moment and find your medium and engage in the artistry of life.

Midlife Brain Cramp

Posted on

On Friday, my husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage.  As pleased as I am on our personal, professional and parental progress, I had to take a moment and assess where I am as a woman. Honestly, I think I am having  a mid-life brain cramp.

            I had lunch with boss on Friday and she began to discuss my career path and options with the company and I said, “hmm, no thanks”.  She looked at  me as if I had lost my mind.  I haven’t lost my mind, I just want to enjoy my life. I don’t want to climb any corporate ladders, I did that in the ‘80s and 90’s.  I don’t want to be in charge of anyone or anything, I did that the first ten years of the millennium.  I want to show up, do my job, get my check and offer advice on “what you shoulda did…..”  Sure, sure, I am all about making a difference in my community, but only if it is not an inconvenience. No, it is not selfish and I will tell you why. 

            There are organizations that can use my expertise and guidance, but the mentality of today’s worker have changed. You not only want my guidance and expertise, but you want me to do all the work, make you look good and you want me to do it almost for free. I’m all about giving back, not giving away, if I am giving it away, then I am supporting my personal charities.  I would like a tax write off for that one please. My brain is not that cramped  where it will cause me to suffer from a rapid onset of stupidity.  

Why I am suffering from a mid-life brain cramp is that my personal space needs to be shifted. I need to refocus my karmic energies and shift the dynamic of my brain’s synergy and where it needs to take me. I have been surfing the net and I have found some great things that will aid me in unknotting the grey matter that I call friend. I sought items that would shift the Chi flow of my personal living space and infuse new energy into my home, which is the center of my world. In turn, I know it will shift the “whoo-sah” that has left me “‘cause me brain is tired” of being stuffed with items I really don’t need to process. (No, that is not a typo). I need to dump the free radicals of my  friends issues, what is going on at the office, and reality television, that is clumping my grey matter into soggy heaps of dingy pudding.

            First, redo the art on the walls. I found this fantastic web site  where you can get original art work for a fraction of the cost and you get to choose the medium and the price point http://www.zatista.com, and I am really feeling this Prickly Pear piece for $65! 

I think it moves me.

Even a cactus has a bloom.  He focused on just one pad that is growing, just a sum of the parts, and not the cacti as a whole.  That is deep.

The green inspires me to think outside the box and I think I want to find new ways to also go green. 

Check out http://www.worldofgreen.com for ideas how to reduce your carbon foot print.

And last but not least, I see no reason whatsoever to reinvent the wheel. We as a society have pretty much come up with everything there is to make life, chores, relationships, child rearing and even sex, easier.  So started to search for a means to let someone with too much time on their hands take care of the things I don’t have time and or refuse to make time to do. 

I found her.  She is the consumer queen. http://www.consumerqueen.com, she is even a Frigidaire test drive mom.  How in the bleep do I get to test drive the latest  appliances?

I don’t know but I am about to find out.

Until next time, find a way to reset your whoo-sah and check back in with me.

Surviving My Addiction….to Facebook.

Posted on Updated on

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