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.

Trick or Treat! Put some clothes on!

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It befuddles me that women choose Halloween to release their inner demons, literally.  I am not certain when the trend started, but nice girls turn into ghoulish vamps, tramps and scamps.  The whole trend is not only creepy, but scary. It is no longer a treat, when your best friend shows up anywhere, let alone your home, looking like a Trick.

It started this morning on my way to work.  I saw my 60 year old neighbor dressed as a naughty nurse.  That is just wrong on so many levels. I too wanted to participate in the Halloween festivities, so I grabbed some red wedges, a red cape, a long black skirt and top with a Puritan ruffle to complete my ensemble.  I grabbed a twig from the back yard as my evil wand.  I add some colorful makeup to my eyes, bushed up my eyebrows, and stopped by Walmart to add a witches cap with a spider veil.  I am not too evil, nor am I uncovered, wearing fishnets, hooker boots, or a skirt that is WAYYYYY too short. it was out of the norm for me, but honestly, the naughty nurse should be reserved for private parties.  I an not a prude, or prudish, I just know there are some things we do not need to see.

I want to believe that somewhere in all of us there is a nice little girl and little boy who want to play with the other kids. However, there has to be a line drawn somewhere.  Some of these ideas are simply just in poor taste.

If you wish to let your freak flag fly, then by all means, do so, but please take this word of caution. If you think for one minute that you our coloring outside of the lines, and no one is expecting you to be so edgy, then you are wrong.  Your friends and co-workers already know that you are freaky. Showing up to anyone’s home, half dressed, looking like a Hallowhore is not really cute. Be the adult here and just find a costume that is appropriate and for Pete’s sake, put some clothes on!

That’s what friends are for……

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    I have been running hard and eating poorly these past three weeks. New quarter, new classes, new students and a new schedule added up to a recipe for disaster. My body rebelled and told me to stop the nonsense and when I refused to listen, it shut down. We are not talking about a head cold, I am talking a full blown system purging.
I was laid out. Flat on my back is where I ended up after a night of personal conversations from several perspectives with the King of the Lavatory.

    I couldn’t be sick. Tomorrow was my scrapbooking day with my friend, Saturday I was hitting the Oktoberfest with another friend and the flea market, plus I had to get the Quilt Show, and the Fair to get a turkey leg. I can’t do any of these things sick! The fever I had said otherwise and I called it quits.

    My friend called my cell at 10 am on Friday. When I did not respond she called me at 11:15 and this time left a voice message. At noon she sent a text and at 12:30 she called my house. I had not responded which, she stated, was not like me. And yes, we have a land line. No, I am not a dinosaur. On with the story about friends…stay focused please. At 1:30 she was at my front door with a bag of peppermint tea for my upset tummy and although my son had placed a chair on the opposite side of the bed of sickness, she opted not to use it. Instead, she brought me a hot cup of bitter ass peppermint tea, fluffed up the pillows on hubby’s side of the bed and climbed in beside me.

    She climbed on beside “Oh, my gosh, I have a fever” breath. She climbed on beside I smell like I’m sick, fever soaked sweaty tee shirt. She climbed on beside my matted afro and crusted nose that had started to drip from being so hot all night from fever, that now resembled a 5 year old with hayfever. She did so with a smile and simultaneously grabbed the remote and began to ask me why I was laid out like I was on a crucifix.

    I started to laugh. She then commented on my smelling like I had been riding a horse and my desperate need of a shower and washing my face. She stayed for 2.5 hours and when she left I felt better. Not cured, but better and ready to get well.

    Ironically, my friend that I was supposed to meet on Saturday, called while she was there as well, and she too called my house because I had not answered my cell; she too figured something must have been wrong. Something was wrong; I had made some poor choices on rest, exercise and food. I did not, however, make poor choices in my friends. They know me well enough to know when I am up and sharp enough to know to call my house when I am down. They also know my home number.

    Don’t be confused, any friend can be at your side when you are the life of the party. It takes a special friend to climb on your sickbed and hold your feverish hand. Friends are there to make you feel better when you are down, help you celebrate your accomplishments and cry when you need it. Remember, a friend is someone to also thank for putting up with you…..

    

What You Won’t Do For Love….

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    It is sometimes difficult to hear the pain a loved one endures at the hands of what they believe is love. I just can’t recall a time in my life when love made me do dumb things that I could not recover from or a time when love told me to be stupid. I cannot recall anyone in my life that I loved more than I love myself and my mental well-being. I definitely cannot recall a time when love or being in love put me in debt or impacted my credit rating. Can I ask why people do these things?

Please don’t misunderstand. When I was in my twenties I did some crazy things, and often made a fool of myself over a boy/fella who could have cared less or just didn’t return the sentiment. In my thirties as a married woman, I thought of doing some things that would not be too smart, but I was wise enough to make the right choices. I was reacting on a feeling of maybe I was missing something and possibly needed to make sure. Common sense took over and made me realize that what I currently had was not worth the risk of losing what we had built. I also realize that common sense is also not that common.

It can’t be if we can find ourselves making irrational decisions about our lives, the well-being of our children and finances, based upon our need to have someone say, “I love you.” Our need to connect to another human can put us in mental jeopardy and can invoke insane doses of asininity. This need can allow us to let down our defenses as another person chips away at our self-esteem. With self-esteem in jeopardy, defenses down, thoughts become jumbled and we begin to miss sleep. Sleep deprivation mixed with slow self-esteem and craving for love is a recipe for disaster. Are you really this in love, or are you in love with being in love?

Don’t be stupid. If what you are doing would seem insipid if it was happening to your friend, how can you not see how see how ridiculous it looks on you? You must then make yourself a list and write down the things you won’t do for love. Being stupid is at the top of mine.

 

 

 

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!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Feel Cheated

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I was excited and ready to read my favorite author’s new book. Normally, I don’t really say anything negative about a book or a particular writer, but I feel cheated. I paid $20.00 for Julie Garwood’s latest book, “An Ideal Man” and was sorely disappointed. Of course, there was man meet woman, man rescues woman, burgeoning chemistry, they fight it, hot steamy sex scene, man rescues her again, they get married, have more sex, the end. All of the basic, formulaic elements to each of her stories are present in this one. I feel cheated because it is the same characters that were in the last four stories, the only difference is the location and the crime.

Ms. Garwood, I feel like you phoned this one in. I am a fan and have read everything you have ever written and I feel cheated. I want you to do better. I want you to stretch your writing ability and reinvent yourself and please your readers again. This stuff is fine for people who are just discovering your magnificent talent, but for those of us who have been with you since “The Lion’s Lady” want more. Well, at least I do.

Allow me to elaborate.

The main character in The Ideal Man, Max Daniels is an FBI agent, who falls in love with a gifted surgeon that he was protecting. There is a hitman that was hired to kill the surgeon. They go on the run and hide in South Carolina. There is also a crazed man after them who also wants pretty surgeon girl dead.

The main character Nick Buchanan in Heartbreaker was an FBI agent assigned to protect his best friend’s sister. Nick falls in love with Laurant who is being stalked by a crazy hitman that was sworn to kill her.

In Mercy, we meet Nick’s brother Theo, which works for the Justice Department and falls in love with a gifted pretty surgeon who is being stalked by the same hitman that was after Laurant.

We meet Theo’s pretty surgeon wife, and her brother John Paul.

John Paul, hates the FBI and law enforcement, but runs across a pretty damsel in distress and kills the hitman that has been drug through these three books. However, this damsel in distress is an analyst for the FBI. Another character drug through the three books is character named Noah Clayborne, FBI agent. Noah, falls for Nick & Theo’s computer genius sister. Jordan is stalked by a hitman and FBI agent Noah has to save her in Shadow Dance.

Their other sister Sydney has a friend who is in trouble and needs to be protected from a hitman, or mob guy or some dude who is trying to kill her ass too. Along comes the handsome FBI agent Sam Kinkaid in Sizzle.

Stop the madness.

If you really want to stretch yourself, why not write about the one African American sub character in Ideal Man, Simon Daniels?

He is a football player, who has an FBI agent brother, but at least we get a new angle. Something fresh, but of course, his father is an attorney, with FBI friends.

Ms. Garwood, if you are reading this, I love you and will always love you, but damn it woman, I need you to dig deeperI Get out of the FBI’s pants, walk away from law enforcement in the next book, and give us a man, who wants to be loved and is rich and famous, and have him be swept off his feet by a poor church mouse waitress.

Hell, have him pretend to be poor to get closer and win her over. Make it a happy ending and he buys her a diner, but please, for the love of Pete, Nick, Theo & Noah, give us something fresh.


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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