Monday, December 31, 2012


Let's just say, I've been rejected quite a bit over the past (nearly) 45 years.  The first thing that comes to mind is probably romantic rejection, right?  While, yes, that's happened a few times and was especially awesome when I summoned up the courage to do the asking out only to find out the guy I liked, liked guys; I've certainly been rejected more in my day-to-day life.

Everyone always says that rejection builds character. Rejection gives you a thick skin, people say. I must have the skin of a turtle. Of course, turtles have a shell so that must be what I have. No wonder I never get asked out. People say that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. I've kissed - well, we'll just move on.

As a professional fundraiser, or as my dad fondly says, professional beggar, I hear rejection on a daily basis. "No, I don't want to give you any money."  "I'm sorry but I can't give you anything this year."  "We really like you but my budget is gone for the year, how about this chotskie no one else would buy, for your silent auction?"  To be fair, I do hear quite a few yeses but, of course, hearing no rings louder.

One of my best rejection stories is about how I got fired from a hotel front desk job - on my birthday -  over the phone. Even though I totally deserved to get canned, did it have to be on my birthday? Couldn't she have looked at my file or something and maybe picked a different day? I actually don't remember what birthday it was - 22 or 23, I think. So, I was old enough to drink it off which I'm sure I did, which is why I can't remember what birthday it was.

The latest story in the seemingly long thread of rejection tales is when I got canned from the mall earlier this month.  I had taken this job for some extra cash to pay down my debt. A seemingly easy gig with decent hours that I had no qualms about handling.  My only concern was figuring out time to get to the gym in between all the gift card selling and my regular job.

The week after Thanksgiving I walked in to said mall job and heard my 'boss' summon me into his office.  He didn't really summon me; he said my name to which I stopped at his office door. Now keep in mind, this was the second conversation with my 'boss' I'd had since hiring on in September. I stood at his office door and he awkwardly looked at me and I realized he actually wanted me to enter his office and have a seat.  What a goofball.  Anyway, I sit and he tells me 'that it's just not working out' and that I needed to turn in my key and leave, right then.  The movie "Office Space" came to mind and I thought about a red Streamline stapler and a dark basement. I said, "Seriously?"  He proceeded to tell me that he was going to pay me for that night but I needed to go.  What the fuck?  At this point, I got a little angry. Okay, a lot angry.  I asked him why and all he could muster was that I had left the gift card drawer unlocked and that this didn't mean I was a bad person or anything.

In the nine shifts that I had worked at this silly job, I had made about three seemingly egregious errors. I had left the drawer unlocked - once. I had messed up an entry into the gift card software - once. And on my first day, I had given away, unbeknownst to me, the wrong, poorly labeled door prize to someone. Clearly, all horrible, fireable offenses.  As I left the building, I immediately thought about what a horrible person I must be. I had just helped raise $55K at a Turkey Trot fundraiser but couldn't quite handle running a credit card machine or selling tickets to see Santa.

After a couple of days of feeling like a total loser, I went back to my normal headspace of 'everything happens for a reason' and I got over it. I didn't, however, get over what an incompetent 'boss' I had at that job.  If an employee is screwing up so badly don't you think they deserve the courtesy of knowing how they're messing up?  It appears that the full-time gal that gave me my 20-minute training has also been axed.  Clearly, something else was up and I got caught in the crossfire. Or, I'm just a loser that can't handle a credit card machine.

On to 2013, I say!  2012, on many levels, was not a good year for many, many people.  So much heartbreak and pain, death and destruction.  Even though I, personally, was not touched by the numerous tragedies that took place this year, I think everyone is peripherally affected. Tragedy on the level we saw this year seeps into a person's soul. I've cried at my desk way too many times this year as I read about the latest killing spree or gang rape or car accident.

I don't have a traditional New Year's Resolution today, just the sense that I'm going to try a little harder to be less judgmental, more loving and to tell the people I care about that they mean something to me, for what it's worth. I'm going to try to be more mindful of this moment because as I heard someone say last night, 'this' moment is all there is.

Happy New Year!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another Lifestyle Center Friday Night

This Lifestyle Center Friday night doesn't include dancing to a local Journey cover band like last year's experience.  This Lifestyle Center Friday night, let's call it LCFN for short, is being spent working at the mall office to help pay off my root canal bill from this summer.  Right now, dancing to "Don't Stop Believing" sounds much more fulfilling.

This part-time gig isn't so bad, truly.  I sit here and sell gift cards to the masses - no masses yet but I'm hopeful. Instead, I've answered some odd questions like the one last night from a fella holding a small child who asked me if we had a diaper dispenser machine. Do they even make those?  Seriously?

Most of the time I chat with the security guard, check my Facebook, LinkedIn, work email, Yahoo account (where tonight I deleted 804 sent emails dating back to 2005) and my gmail. I move on from there to check into Huffington Post and E! online. After exhausting all of that, last night I got excited when I remembered that I could browse through my Pinterest too! That lasted about 10 minutes and then I started to knit.  So, basically I'm being paid to stay up-to-date on NPR, the latest DIY project, slow-cooker recipes and to knit.

Tonight, I got excited when I realized I could write a blog post to feel productive!  This after dealing with a highly pissed off dude who came in to pick up a gift card that wasn't here. The gift card was for the woman with him who didn't utter a word during the entire interaction. Very odd and disturbing. Again reminding me of how dealing with the public can sometimes be a total pain in the ass. What is it about the service industry that says, "Hey, I'm here to help you but I'd really enjoy it if you talked down to me and treated me like crap." Anywho, after flipping him off in my mind, I'm going back to Pinterest and my knitting. And thinking about how nice it will be to pay off my new tooth!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Random Musings
(because I feel the need to write but have nothing noteworthy to write about)

I always feel like I've got nothing going on, nothing exciting, nothing to talk about and nowhere to go.  I talk with Cheryl and I find myself saying, "I got nothing" repeatedly. She says it too and I find that we're both totally lying when we say it!

I've always said, "If you're bored, it's your fault." While I do spend a bit of time bemoaning my singledom every now and then, most of the time I find that I have no time to do all that I want to do. I think if I were coupled it would be annoying figuring out when to spend time with said fella. As my married friends remind me, it's not always that great being married either.  I guess you pick your poison, huh?

The highlights of the last month or so:
I saw Rise Against and Gaslight Anthem in Denver and Rise Against was incredible - political, loud, smart, amazing.  I also saw the Afghan Whigs on their reunion tour 3 days before one of my biggest events at work and don't regret it one bit.  I definitely should've been sleeping and working more that week but I had to take time out to see Greg Dulli again. As an added bonus, my friend Ken, who I met in college and worked at a record store with, was at the show with his beautiful lady-friend after recently moving to this great state.

I started reading "Anna Karenina" so find myself turning down NPR so I don't hear about the movie that's coming out. All the reviewers assume everyone knows the whole story.  I went to such a small school that NONE of the classics were required reading. I've read them all as an adult and there are many more on the list. So many books, so little time.

I've learned to use my sewing machine and have made numerous pillows and am now one of those women at JoAnn Fabrics on a Saturday night.  I would much rather spend time sewing than out on the town. I don't know what that says about me but I have a lot of pillows to show for my time. If you're a friend of mine, expect one for Christmas.

I finally caught up with a couple of friends last weekend that I haven't seen in what seems like months and it was so nice to just sit, eat and catch up with them.  My isolation needs keep me separate, sometimes for longer than is healthy.

November 6th came and went and a collective sigh was heard amongst those of us voting for Obama.  I cried tears of joy and relief watching the returns, and a drunkie Diane Sawyer, on election night.  My parents are here for the Thanksgiving holiday and my desperate hope is that politics do not come up anywhere in conversation.  I've refrained from putting my Obama sticker on my car and have put away any remnants of the election in my house.  I'm trying to adhere to the Jefferson quote: "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosphy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." If Kid Rock and Sean Penn can do it, so can I.

I've seen a couple of great movies, and a few not so great, yeah, you, "Magic Mike."  "Argo" was incredible and my fantasy love affair with Ben Affleck continues (even though I do like Matt Damon better). Especially now since Mr. Affleck is developing a screenplay to direct "The Stand."  Yesterday, I saw "The Sessions" with Helen Hunt and John Hawkes. There were three people in the theatre with all of the others full of Twi-hards.  I'm no prude but this movie was a bit of a challenge to watch. It's based on an article written by Mark O'Brien, a disabled poet who, as a virgin in his late thirties, hired a sex surrogate to remedy his situation.  This movie, while uncomfortable at times, is so worth seeing.  The acting is incredibly brave, a marvel, really.  It reinforces the fact that humans have a lot of sexual hangups that keep us from experiencing true intimacy and love, in all forms.

Well, that's it. See, "I got nothing," ain't true. Now onto the next thing!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Random Synchronicity

After a couple of weeks of discombobulation, nothing major, just a general feeling of malaise, I once again feel centered. (I really hate that phrase because, truly one is never off-center if you believe everything is happening the way its designed. Sorry, I digress.)

I have a big event at work in about a month and have found myself waking up at 4 a.m. the past few nights worrying that it won't come together.  On Monday and Tuesday of this past week I watched "Half the Sky" on PBS and afterward felt that I clearly don't do enough to justify my existence on this planet. On Wednesday, along with most of the country, I watched the Presidential Debate and afterward felt, not hopeful, but disappointed. And I've taken on a new part-time job and am worried that it will bite into my relatively lax lifestyle.

I have a couple of mantras that I've clung to for years that have served me well but, like everyone, I get sidetracked and forget them when I get overwhelmed with life.  The first one is 'Everything happens for a reason.' Trite, to some, but to me those five words have gotten me through some difficult times.  The second is 'Whatever needs to happen will happen.' This second mantra I put into play while at United Way when I felt responsible for the $4 million dollars a year we raised at that time along with every campaign, every event and generally a little too much to be honest.  This second mantra serves me well as an event planner responsible for a nice chunk of fundraising but also for every donor's experience at any of our events.

Here in my beautiful town the temperature got down low enough this week for me to justify turning on my furnace.  I had forgotten that at the end of winter this spring I came home to a 90 degree house as the furnace had kicked on and stayed on all day while I was away.  So this week when I turned it on and it stayed on I immediately went to the worst case scenario where I'd need a new furnace costing thousands of dollars or at the very minimum I'd need to call a tech to have it looked at which would cost a couple hundred dollars.  As you know, I've recently started my Total Money Makeover and don't quite have my $1000 emergency fund established so was totally worried about having to put whatever this furnace repair would cost on my credit card.

On Friday, I got home from work and immediately headed out for a run in the wonderfully cold air.  As I was running I realized that my furnace is probably fine. It kicks on and off and I had it inspected last year.  It came to me that the problem is probably the thermostat!  This device looks to be as old as my house, about 35 years or so.  So yesterday I went a purchased a new thermostat, for $26, and will install it today.  It really think this is the issue - have total confidence in this in fact.

After that run my general malaise disappeared.  Certainly, the run itself is therapeutic, but more importantly my mind was quiet for about an hour and I could see more clearly.  The gala will come together just fine and no matter what I do with my life, I'm doing enough. Whichever man becomes our next President, life will go on and the new gig is purposeful and short term. I can do anything for a month and my naps can wait for 30 days.

Today at church Lynn talked about peace of mind. Truly, when you have peace of mind, everything seems to fall into place.

btw - if you haven't seen "Half the Sky" please put it on our list. Incredible. Sad. Transformative. Important.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's been a weird year, for me, for a lot of people. Some good weird, some bad but in the end, or today at least, I'm feeling optimistic and healthy. I'm sitting at my favorite Fort Collins coffee shop listening to the Silversun Pickups and basically enjoying life.

Recently, I felt like the pieces of some giant puzzle have fallen into place.  I have a sense of calm that's palpable. This week I read a book about getting your financial shit together and I realized that I've just been playing around with this determination to eliminate my debt. I've riddled off excuses as to why I have it in the first place and being single sits at the top of the list. That's a silly excuse. Getting rid of this debt will be a challenge but I feel like I have the tools to do it now.  I estimate it will take me two years to get rid of it ALL, once and for all.  I've also realized that writing about it can be kind of dull. 'Ooooh - I made a payment on my credit card today - how exciting!'  Instead, I think I'll write about whatever I feel like.  There are no rules to this thing and really, it's just for me anyway, so who cares, right?

So, today's topic is music.  I'm dismayed that my local NPR station changed it's schedule and I can't listen to World Cafe at noon and 7pm anymore.  Quite the bummer.  World Cafe is where I hear a lot of new tunes and now instead of just hearing them come out of my computer at work or on the radio while I cook dinner, I have to go in search of said new tunes.

I have a coworker that's in her early 60's and she still enjoys cranking out the tunes while driving. She listens to classic rock mostly and I bought her the latest Tedeschi Trucks record from last year, which she loves. She told me the other day, after driving me somewhere, that she thinks she needs to start listening to music more appropriate for her age group.

What is appropriate for my age group, I wonder? I thought about this the other day while driving home singing along loudly to the Gaslight Anthem.  How foolish does one look, at 44, singing along to a rock record?  After thinking about it for like, a second, I realized I could care less about what is appropriate. Who determines 'appropriate' anyway?  I hope that when I'm in my 60's I'm still listening to whatever appeals to me at the time and not trying to adhere to some societal appropriate playlist.

This all makes me think of something my ex-boyfriend did many years ago when we were in our early 30's. He had bought this new-to-him old Subaru which apparently didn't have good enough speakers in which to crank out his record of choice at that time in his life - Kid Rock's Bawitdaba.  He took the speakers out of the house and hooked them up in the back of this Subaru wagon and drove around with the windows down and Kid Rock blaring.  I was so embarrassed at the time but I would congratulate his crafty nature if it happened now.

And, I'm super excited about seeing Rise Against and The Gaslight Anthem next week in Denver. I know I won't be the oldest one there and really, who cares anyway?  I still rock out with the best of them!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


It's all the rage now, being frugal. You see 'experts' on TV shows talking about saving vegetable scraps to make soup (a tad extreme for most of us) and how you can turn an old t shirt into a snappy reusable bag. I then read an article about how a family of four has a hard time living on six figures. This family actually spends $1000 a month on food - that's not a typo - $1000 a month. What the hell? I honestly don't think I could spend $1000 a month on food if I tried. Not even at Whole Foods. This family also spends over $15,000 a year to send a kid to private school and spends $175 a month on their cable bill amongst other expenses.

I read said article while waiting to go into a meeting with a coworker. I was reading parts of it to her and she was sort of taking their side. I told her it really isn't about sides, it's about choices - in my opinion, which I know is worth about buck and a quarter. People spend what they make - we all do. I've found that there are few exceptions to the rule - one being my friend Julie. I have no idea exactly how much she makes but I know that she's a smart saver. I would bet my house that they're set for retirement, at the age of 45. And I have no judgement against rich people, none at all. Some of my best friends are loaded. Anyway, back to choices. If you choose to send your child to private school and pay $2100 a year to watch TV, then those are your choices which means you don't get to complain about not making enough money. In today's world anyone that complains about making more than six figures and not being able to 'make it' is either ignorant, stupid or both. I know everyone is struggling on some level 'in this economy' but once again, to me, it's about choices.

You know who doesn't get to make the choice of paying $15,000 to send their kid to private school? MOST PEOPLE!

I feel that I make a really decent salary for the job that I do yet I am on the hook for some serious credit card debt. I do not, nor have I ever, blamed anyone but myself. I made some shitty decisions, some decisions I felt backed into a corner to make and some simply frivolous choices - like when I think it's prudent to purchase yet another pair of black pants at Macy's (I recently paid off that card, by the way).

The recent choices I've been making are all about paying off my debt so that I can travel to Italy next year for my 45th birthday. These choices come up everyday. We live in such a consumer culture that every single day I am making choices on what not to buy, what do I really need, etc. The really cool side effect of my constant attention to paying off my debt is that since I've started seeing progress, I've felt my life open up a bit. Feeling like I'm getting rid of the giant Chase credit card that I've been dragging around is freeing me up to try some new things, be adventurous and think about possibilities that I thought were out of my ballpark. Taking control of my financial situation gives me a sense of confidence I had long ago buried.

Saying no has a lot of power. It allows me to say yes more and I'm getting good at it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

One of the Best Days

In my life it's almost a holiday. With a few clicks and a few stamps I'm able to check off some major line items on my life list of things to do. The day I get my tax return is quite magical, really.

Ever since I've made a mortgage payment instead of paying rent I've gotten some fat tax refund checks. All that interest adds up. Last year I received my biggest refund but had to pay $2500 to cut down a giant, dead Cottonwood tree in my front yard. I was glad I had the cash to do it but super sad that I couldn't pay off some debt with that money.

That's what I do every year - pay off debt. I was able to pay off over $3000 worth of debt this year and I can't tell you how amazing it feels! I have a ZERO balance on my Macy's card, for one and less than $100 left on a couple of other stupid credit cards. I will not set foot inside a Macy's for the rest of the year, and hopefully longer. The fat (or is it phat?) tax return also allows me to take care of other things I otherwise would have to put off or just not do. I'm able to get Cadence's teeth cleaned, pay off a couple of doctor bills that weren't covered by my insurance and finally pay off the tree limb clean up bill (all $500 of it!) from the big storm we had back in October. Few things feel better (maybe sex but let's not talk about that).

The Austerity Plan is in full effect and life is good.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Because so much of my musical inclination is stuck in 1992 (and how nice is it that this sound is considered 'new' again). I've found my new favorite band - Yuck. Yep, that's their name, Yuck.

Due to my year-long sabbatical from purchasing music on iTunes my dear friend Chris sent me a flash drive filled with records, old and new, for my birthday. This is where I found a folder titled Yuck. I thought it was music he didn't like but that he thought maybe I would. I looked it up, Yuck is an actual band! They sound like a British Soul Asylum with Sonic Youth overtones. Nice. There is so much music on this drive I don't think I'll even want to look at iTunes for a couple of months. Thanks, Chris!

A little bit of serendipity occurred on Thursday last week. To spare you all the silly details suffice it to say I need to quit doing something that I've been doing for over 20 years in order to get my health in order. As I was resigning myself to this fact I got a call from my friend, Mary. I've known Mary for going on 20 years and a couple of months ago I asked her if she could possibly get me an entry into the Colorado Half Marathon. She helps organize the kid race for the event. I rarely, if ever, ask for free entries into things but I thought it was worth a try since the $90 entry free was not part of my austerity plan for the year and I knew Mary wouldn't be offended by my asking. Long story short, I got one!

Getting this entry requires quite a bit of training, training that I can't do while doing the thing I need to stop doing. So there ya go - I need to stop doing something bad for me but I now have a goal of something I want to do so the quitting will be easier. I'm looking at it not as I can't do this thing anymore but instead as I get to run the half marathon again!

And training starts today.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Down With Complaining

I've long been a glass-half-full type of gal. I truly believe in the power of our thoughts and that our lives can be a manifestation of said thoughts. (Not like if I just think of owning a totally refurbished Karmann Ghia it will magically appear. More like, 'what you focus on expands' type of thinking.)
Lately, it seems there's a lot of complaining going on. Not like there's a shortage of things to complain about but it does seem like there's been a proliferation of negative thought of late. What with unemployment, insurance reform, the holidays, Katy Perry's divorce, the 2012 election getting under way, and my neighbors insistence on parking in front of my house, there's a lot of shit to be pissed off about.
New Year's resolutions always seem to be about what we're going to quit doing,s as I was reminded of in church today. I've had plenty of resolutions of things to quit doing over the years and sort of have more this year by cutting out concerts, traveling, 5K races and buying anything new. When I first thought of my 'year of austerity' I spent a lot of time focused on what I wasn't going to be doing - I made a list so I would remember everything. At first, I was a little sad thinking about what this year was going to be like without all of my normal activity. At first.
Soon after I made this list of things I wasn't going to indulge in during 2012, I found myself getting a little excited about the possibilities ahead. How I was going to have to be more creative in my thinking in order to keep myself entertained and fulfilled, how there are so many free things to do in the town, how I could spend more time being crafty and making things for friends, how I could run more, how I could read some of the books I've been putting off, and so much more.
I am choosing to focus on cutting my debt in half - that's it. Nothing Earth-shattering but still important to me. By focusing on the positive fulfillment of cutting my debt I can look at saying no to an event or concert or whatever as a good thing and not look at it from a point of lack.
It's all how you look at it, or think about it.
I still can't stand it when my neighbors park in front of my house but that's another story.

Sidenote: Cadence needs his teeth cleaned. The quotes I got from a variety of vets in town ranged from $287 to $850 not including blood work, extractions, etc (why do they even give you a low number when it doesn't include everything?). Let's just say that Cadence and I will be taking a road trip to Cheyenne for a complete dental cleaning including all the incidentals for $250 - $350. In an effort to focus on the positive, I will spare you my diatribe on the ridiculousness of spending $850 to get my sweet Cadence's teeth cleaned. Now I just need to find something to do in Cheyenne for the day while I wait.