Jul 25, 2013 - Mi familia    No Comments

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

My dad has been wanting to move for several years, but especially since my mom left us in 2008.

At first, he thought it would be a great idea to move to the suburbs.  I vetoed that idea.  When my mom was sick, I spent far too much time traversing the city to get to their house, and they only lived 15 minutes away.  I needed him closer to me, because none of us are getting any younger.  Even though he’s the most active octogenarian I know, we should still err on the side of caution.

Then, he thought maybe a fixer upper.   I had to laugh at that prospect.  Here’s a man who starts off changing a light bulb and ends up needing an electrician.

I had to take matters into my own hands. (Something that’s coming back to bite me square in the ass.)

So . . . a year ago, I located a fantastic condo and it’s right across the street from my house.  Even better that I know this building very well.  I watched its construction back in 2006, at the top of the market.  I know the couple that owned it, and felt sad when they moved to TX, and sadder still when I heard the remote news that they were divorcing.  It was bittersweet that they were underwater on the mortgage, as were most people who built/bought at the top of the market, because that perfect storm created the opportunity for us to snap it up at a great deal and significant discount from the original asking price.

It’s a pretty large space — 3 bed, 3 bath duplex — obviously more than he needs, but I would rather he have the space and not need it over needing it and not having it.

We put in the offer in April of 2011.  We waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I made a few hostile calls to the seller’s broker, who kept blaming it on the bank.  I was convinced that good old Bank of America was stringing us along, hoping that we would rescind our offer which had been accepted by the seller, but was still significantly below the asking price.

FINALLY, 10 months later, we received word that we would be closing on the condo in a hurry.  They waited so long that we were trying to beat the clock before the property went up for judicial auction — which nobody wants.

Where we sit now is that we own the unit, and my father is preparing to move.

What have I done?

First, my father has at least two dumpsters full of shit that needs to be thrown away.  And who is going to execute that nasty task?  Not the 86 year old (who thinks he can lift furniture). Nope.  That job falls into my hands.

And who is going to organize the place?  Not the man who was yelled at for years by my mother to pick up his socks.  Not the man who has a penchant for collecting newspapers from the past month.  Nope.  Again . . . my job!

And WHO is responsible for all of his moving administration, such as the vetting and hiring of movers, change of address cards, switching the utilities, etc.?  Him?  NOPE!  Once again . . . all me, all the time.

He moves on August 15th.  I wonder if we can sell the place back before then.

She Got Game

I started this post as a column, and then I never finished it.  It didn’t make the cut . . .

I didn’t think of myself as a person with a lot of Game in the dating world until years ago, when a friend approached me about the potential for being in his documentary, aptly titled “Game,” that would feature men and women in Chicago who were known for their sixth senses in dating.  I couldn’t resist, so I participated in a roundtable conversation with several people – mostly men – who had great grasp of the opposite sex and tactics to reach their end goals.  Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), the documentary never went farther than an initial conversation, but it got me thinking about Game.  What IS Game, exactly?  And is it a good thing?  Or is having Game another way of saying that you’re a dating menace?

Even after attending and participating vividly in the discussion, I was still leery about my level of Game.

The first issue was that men didn’t find me to be so attractive.  For most of my adult life and formative dating years, I’ve been a dating columnist. The irony is that nothing turns men off faster than the possibility of being analyzed and exposed in front of a large audience.  My entire package usually wasn’t appealing enough to take the risk.  There were very nice men who wouldn’t have touched me if they were paid large sums to do so.   And then there were the doozies who wanted to date me just so that they could be featured in the column.  Those were men to be avoided.

Second, I wasn’t necessarily a “boyfriend person.”  I knew serial monogamists who seemed to easily move from man to man.  Not me.  I’ve always had a vibrant social life and lots of fun friends, which enabled me to effortlessly go long stretches of time in between serious relationships.  There were many men that I was attracted to, so I dated the ones who weren’t scared off to indulge myself, stay current and to generate content for the column, but I was all about having a good time – which didn’t include waiting for a man to call.

Also?  I knew women with what I perceived to be Game. Those were the women who were showered with gifts and financial rewards for their efforts.  I was certainly not in that camp – and I began to think that if I really had game?  I had taken a wrong turn somewhere.

I couldn’t figure it out, so I decided to ask another male friend if he thought I had Game.  He pondered, and then told me that I have Game in the sense that I’m analytical and aloof.  I recognized Game, didn’t fall for Game, and didn’t seem to care if anyone was running Game because my emotions were beyond reach.

His theory didn’t make sense initially, but I eventually saw his point and determined that Game – or the manipulation of another’s behavior to suit your purposes – is born from a place of apathy.  If you’re running game on someone, you simply don’t care much about them.  Likewise if someone’s running game on you, you need to be aware of their intentions.

Somehow, it made me feel better that I wasn’t someone who had game, as much as I was a person who can deflect game.  I think.








Jul 23, 2013 - Home Improvement, Neighbors    4 Comments

Catching up

I feel like I could write four posts … if not more.  It isn’t that I’m not encouraged to blog, or that  I don’t have things to blog about.  Social media has evolved in a way that our soundbytes are smaller, and the things we say are shorter and less meaningful. Don’t get me wrong — I enjoy “getting it done” in 140 characters or less, but the nuances aren’t there.  There are so many people who I follow on Twitter. Some of them are perfect for the character limitation, while there are others that leave me wanting more — at least a paragraph of information and witticism.  So, here we are.

The summer is going reasonably well.  My fitness plan has gone completely awry.  I took on a new project and have had no time to maintain a steady workout schedule, let alone ensure that I have healthy food.  Sad.  Very said.

In other news, I had a deck built — a deck that I’ve yet to truly enjoy because of the infernal temperatures that we’ve experienced lately.  I was forced to build the deck because my back porch was threatening to secede due to years of neglect.  With me on it.  I entered the project kicking and screaming (largely because of associated costs), but I have to admit that I like it.  I haven’t spent a lot of time outside because I had been neglecting the backyard.  Significantly.  To the point where weeds on the periphery became trees.  Not kidding.  One had grown so tall that it was mistaken for a tree.  I hired my esteemed contractor to cut down said tree-like weeds without the knowledge that someone might have grown attached to it.

While the deck was being constructed, I left the contractor to his business and went on a shopping trip to the Container Store — which is one of my favorite places to spend money.  So many possibilities for an organized home!

While perusing shelf organizers, the contractor called.  Apparently my neighbor was upset about the demise of the “tree” that grew between our properties, but technically on my side.  The trouble was that I didn’t know this neighbor.  Had never seen her before. She lives in the rental building next door and had moved in two weeks earlier.  Apparently she had grown attached to the growth, which she surmised was a Mulberry Tree.  Also, she was upset because she chose that unit because it covered the back bedroom window and her 7-year-old liked the tree because it attracted birds.  He handed her the phone so that she could make me feel like Mr. T., and I could explain my reasoning for cutting down foliage that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.  She said “I could understand pruning the tree, but I don’t understand cutting it down completely.”  To which I responded, “I’m sorry, WHO are you, again?”

My first inclination was to explain a few things to this new neighbor:

  1. The tree is NOT a tree, first and foremost.  You are not a botanist by any stretch of the imagination, because 1) a mulberry bush does not even remotely resemble the monstrosity that was removed, and 2) if you were, you would understand that the “berries” that grew on this tree were born of pure evil, and were on the verge of releasing their seed into my flower garden and creating offspring.
  2. You are RENTING, which means that you can move in a year, without consequence, while I’m left to deal with the possibility of jungle creatures setting up residences in my yard.  Not gonna happen.  Aside from the fact that this weedy tree originates from my side of the property line.  If your landlord isn’t upset, you don’t have a leg to stand on.
  3. If you were stupid enough to choose a unit because of an alleged tree, I don’t know how to help you.
  4. They’re called BLINDS.  Invest.
  5. This conversation is moot because the weedy tree?  Was already laying on the ground.  Done.

My second inclination was to be a little nicer while explaining everything I described in the first inclination — although my contractor was betting on the first, to the point where I disappointed him a tad.  We left the conversation in a friendly capacity and she bought curtains.  Crisis averted.

Fun stuff, yes?

More later . . .like maybe in a few minutes.

Jun 8, 2013 - Rants, Uncategorized    3 Comments

Why Being A Celebrity is Overrated



I have a few famous friends. I don’t think of them that way for the most part, but I’m reminded of their fame from time to time, like when we’re in public and they’re recognized, or when I read news items about them.  It’s a little weird, to be honest.

Most people are envious of celebrities, and I used to be.  What’s not to love, right?  There’s the money, the fame, the fact that your art is being shared with the world, the notoriety. The list goes on.  However, there are a lot of byproducts that I wouldn’t love about being a celebrity:

1.  The scrutiny.  People are mean, and now that there’s so many avenues for people to express their opinions publicly, it’s hard to avoid the negative comments.  No matter how good you try to be, there are always going to be people who don’t like you . . . just because.  When I was writing for RedEye, a few of my columns weren’t reacted to favorably, and the negative comments flew.  When the Six Brown Chicks were on “Iyanla Fix My Life,” the message boards were hot.  Some of the comments were complimentary, while others were mean assessments of how we looked and who had the worst personality (I’m most often vilified for being one who didn’t cry.  Whatevs)  I didn’t like those tiny tastes of it, and I can’t imagine being a celebrity and having that potential bad press every day.  No thanks.

2.  The lack of privacy.  Just because people are good actors, singers, athletes, it doesn’t give everyone the right to delve into their private lives.  Yet everyone does. Celebrity prying seems to be a multi-million dollar business.

3.  Having to be “on” whenever in public.  Whether a celebrity is at the gas station, in the drug store, or having a family dinner, there is the expectation that this person should cheerfully accept questions and intrusions from weird fans who would like to interrupt them to take pictures.   This is where a celebrity with a personality like mine would fail miserably.  I have nice moments, and I have bitchy moments.  I’m in my own head most of the time, and I don’t think I’d react kindly to someone approaching me for a snapshot while I’m buying tampons — even if their comments are complimentary.  And then we’re back at point #1, where the (interloping) fan (who feels shunned) then writes things on blogs about how their encounter wasn’t positive, and that said celebrity is a bitch.

4.  The inability to make anonymous mistakes.  When you’re a regular person, your mistakes are your mistakes.  Your drunken misconduct, bad haircuts or poor relationship choices are not a matter of public record or concern (unless that drunken misconduct turns into a DUI, in which case it IS a matter of public record).  Your friends might remember, but the incidents won’t be forever logged in blogs or on a search engine.  Celebrity mistakes are blasted all over the tabloids.  Although I’m not a fan, I feel badly for poor Taylor Swift, whose teenage relationships are ruthlessly dissected.  People .  . . do you know WHY she makes bad choices?  Because she’s a frickin’ teenager, for Chrissakes! She’s not supposed to have long-lasting relationships at 19 — or 20, 21, 22 or 23.  She’s supposed to have meaningless flings and quasi-relationships with men that she’ll look back on and regret when she’s 30 — like the rest of us do!  So, I’d say she’s right on track.  The difference is that she can write hit songs about them.  Which is actually the only part of being a celebrity that might be enviable.

5.  The body image issue.  Most people fluctuate in and out of shape.  Personally, there are moments when I’m really good, and stretches where I succumb to the pizza cravings and look like the before shot in a lipo ad.  But, really?  The person who cares the most is me.  And I like it that way.  But to take a vacation on a remote island and have the stalkerazzi take a secret bathing suit shot when I’m in pizza shape and blast it all over People as one of the World’s Worst Bikini  Bodies?  Would be a harrowing experience, and one that I might never recover from.  Granted, I’m known to say that it’s a celebrity’s job to look good, but really?  They’re human beings.  Cut them some slack.

6.  The expectation that the celebrity life is perfect and stress free.  To quote the Notorious B.I.G., “Mo Money, Mo Problems.”   I think the celebrity life is highly stressful.  Let’s examine . . .  say a woman — we’ll call her Bella La Diva — has a breakout hit movie.  She’s on the cover of Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair — all of the reputable periodicals.  She can bask in the fame for a little while, but really?  The pressure is on.  She needs to be worrying about the next thing.  Can she sustain her fame or was she a one-hit-wonder?  Will the public continue to adore her?  Or will she be unable to get work for a while afterward?  Well  . . . if we run the numbers, she might in a bit of trouble.  The first contract is never the best, so she’s certain to have made WAY less money than everyone thinks she has.  With her first check, she probably made an ostentatious expenditure, like a Ferrari or a Cribs-worthy house.  She must pay her “people,” her taxes, and maintain a lifestyle commensurate with public expectation.  Her friends and family have outstretched hands, because she’s a celebrity who obviously has millions of dollars sitting around to fund her trifling cousin’s latest wacky scheme, or take her friends to over-the-top dinners and spas.  But what if she can’t afford that lifestyle?  What if her career flounders and she really needs a job — any job — but she can’t take just any job because people will then ask if she “used to be” Bella La Diva?  These are the things that pill addictions are born of.

7.  Being a child celebrity.  There are no good stories about child celebrities.  Period.

So there we go.  If anyone has anything to add or rebut, please do comment.  I’m not a celebrity, so I’m sure this blog will go without much scrutiny.  :-)

Rant over.  Thanks for reading!

May 26, 2013 - Baby Steps to Fitness    3 Comments

Restarting the Challenge

If you read my last few posts, you’ll know that I had a false start on my fitness challenge.  Well … it’s time to start it up again.

I have a few catalysts.  First, I refuse to fail.  Second, I caught a glimpse of myself on TV the other day and thought “who’s that fat chick,” before I realized that the fat chick was me!

So, back I am on my mission to dump this 13 pounds.  We’re back in the game on Tuesday!

I’m planning to set myself up for success this time.   I will take the stellar advice of Dre and Stephanie (see comments from two posts ago), and prepare my food prior to the restart.  I will set my workout schedule.  I will have less of a love affair with wine.

Baby steps . . .

May 24, 2013 - Rants    2 Comments

Credit Card Theft — RANT!

Someone got a hold of my debit card number.  I’m not quite sure how, but this diabolical small-time criminal has been trying to nickle and dime the living shit out of my account, and I’ve been catching them at every turn.  I’m a relentless activity checker.

But here’s the thing.  I can’t be upset with criminals for doing what they do.  For whatever reason, they’re despicable miscreants whose lives took a wrong turn and instead of applying their creativity toward being productive members of society, they would prefer to steal from hardworking tax-payers.  I can’t stop them; I can only protect against them.  Which is why I use reputable banking institutions.   Or at least that’s what I thought I was using.

Although fraud alerts are mildly irritating and occasionally inconvenient, I felt somewhat protected and happy to know that someone is looking out for my financial well-being.

When I traveled to Miami earlier this year and all of my cards were declined at CVS, including my ATM card (despite the fact that I input my actual PIN number), I was slightly annoyed.

Okay, if I’m being honest, I was HIGHLY annoyed and told the customer service agent who was from another country that leaving their customers high and dry with absolutely no resources is not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous.  When she suggested that I inform them when I decided to travel, I retorted that my financial institution works for ME — not the other way around — and I shouldn’t have to report my whereabouts to a bank, especially not when my charges are authentic, and can be verified with a quick phone call.

At the end, I conceded, and have made a point of telling the bank when I’m planning to be in another city so that I won’t get declined while trying to buy mundane things, like water and q-tips (or important things, like rounds of cocktails).  I decided to cooperate for my alleged safety.

With all of the concessions that I’ve made to help the bank help me, I’m shocked and amazed at what this moronic card-stealing mofo has been able to accomplish with my card.

While doing my daily perusal of charges, I noticed a strange charge from bodybuilding.com.  I’ve never ordered anything from there — especially not anything that costs $77.81.  A few lines later, I saw a reversal of that same charge, so I assumed that it was a mistake that had been rectified.

That was probably a good assumption until I received a UPS notice that I had missed a package.

Now . . . if you know me, you will know that I’m a chronic shopper with a penchant for online shopping. Especially late at night.  While sipping a glass of wine.  Yep, no earthly good can come of it.  That said, it’s not uncommon that packages arrive and I can’t truly recall what I’ve purchased and when.

Because I missed the package, I had to go to the UPS distribution center.  If you’ve never been there, consider yourself lucky.  It’s a hell-hole.  Trust me . . . you’d rather have a pap smear.  Even if you’re a man.  Nobody is happy to be there, which counts doubly for the workers who unenthusiastically search for your packages, wearing brown polyester, in a warehouse the size of a small country, moving slower than a corpse in the beaming sun.  If ever there was a place that needed a DJ and a full bar, it’s the UPS distribution center.

I waited 1/2 hour for the package (while listening to the woman next to me on her cell phone, having a loud conversation about how she busted her man cheating).  The only saving grace was my hope that the package could have contained a cute dress.  Maybe even two!  Nope.  It was a huge jug of berry-flavored protein powder from bodybuilding.com.  WTF?  Berry?  (I would have been less upset had it been chocolate.)

So, not only does the card thief have terrible taste in supplements, but he somehow had his booty sent to my address.

I called to straighten it out, and the good people at bodybuilding.com promptly removed the charge and sent a return label for the berry delight.

A few days later, I noticed another erroneous charge.  This time from Christianmingles.com.  Really?  So not only does this idjit mainline protein powder, but he’s buffing up to improve his appearance so that when he trolls religious dating sites, he’ll be attractive enough to either fleece some unsuspecting zealot, or get some good God-fearing ass.  Either way . . . not on my dime!  I called the good Christian minglers who reversed the charge and deactivated the account — although I couldn’t coerce them to give me the name of the hypocritical child of God who set up the account.  (In retrospect, this was a good thing, because I would have hunted him down and done unholy things to him.)

I had a choice to make.  I could have changed my debit card number.  But I didn’t want to do that, because I have so many automatic payments that it would have turned my life upside down with having to change that number with so many institutions.  My better option was to reset alerts.  If there was a charge over $20, I would receive a text message so that I could catch it immediately.

All was quiet for about two weeks, although the bank did send me two fraud alert texts because they were concerned about a $26 purchase at Jewel (where I go every week), and a $29 purchase at LA Fitness (which is a recurring monthly purchase for my dad’s health club account).

I was hoping that the criminal would have grown tired of getting declined and moved on to the next theft.  Not so much.

One morning, I received an alert about a charge from AutoZone to the tune of $135. I called the bank immediately.   The conversation went something like this:

Gina:  I’d like to report a fraudulent charge on my account.

Customer Service Agent:  Okay, I have your account.  Can you tell me which charge?

G: Yes, the Autozone charge that occurred roughly 10 minutes ago.

CSA:  I see that.  And you didn’t make that charge?

G:  No, I didn’t. I’m sitting at home in my office.  Can I asked where that charge originated?

CSA:  In Orlando, Florida.

G:  So, let me get this straight . . . every time I travel, I have to tell you where I’m going or else my card gets declined.  Is that right?

CSA:  Um . . . yes ma’am.

G:  Okay . . . so what you’re telling me is that while I have to check in with you to use my own card, a criminal can easily get away with charging something on my account in an entirely different state.  Aside from the fact that I haven’t been to Orlando this year, and haven’t informed you that I planned to return to the state of Florida.  Right?

CSA:  Um . . . right

G:  Also?  I need to understand your algorithms

CSA:  I’m sorry?

G:  I need to know how you determine what might be a fraudulent charge.  Because so far you’ve frantically contacted me for small charges that I make at places that I frequent, yet you think it’s a stellar idea to approve obviously criminalistic charges from places that I’ve never been, in categories that I don’t have a history of visiting . . . such as Christian dating sites and body building sites?  Does that make sense to you?

CSA:  Well . . . no . . . I see your point, but . . . would you like to change your card number?

G:  And the only way to rectify this, in your mind, is for me to completely inconvenience myself by changing my card numbers, which turns my entire accounting system completely catawampus?

CSA:  Excuse me?

G:  Topsy turvy?  Oh, never mind.  It’s a mess!

CSA:  Well, ma’am, it’s the only solution that will completely eliminate the problem.

G:  While I realize that, I can’t help thinking that a fine financial institution like yourselves, with whom I have several accounts, would extend themselves to assist me.    By the way?  Can you please reverse that Autozone charge?

CSA:  Sorry ma’am.  You’re going to have to call them yourself once the charge changes from pending to actual.

G:  So, you can’t even call on my behalf?  What exactly do you guys do besides hold on to my money?

CSA: Umm

G:  Never mind.  Just please change my account number.  If you have to cut it off now, can you at least express the card to me?

CSA:  For a fee.


Sometimes I think it would be better to keep my money in the floorboards.

As it stands now, I have a new card number that I haven’t yet memorized, and I’m starting to get emergency alerts from creditors that my card is no longer valid.  If I receive an alert from Christianmingles.com, I’m going to lose it.

Thanks for listening!

May 20, 2013 - Baby Steps to Fitness    3 Comments

Failing Miserably

As you might have read in my previous post, I started a fitness challenge on the 15th, and it turns out that I have to hit the reset button and start over.

I REALLY hate to fail, so I’m looking at this as a brief hiccup in the ultimate plan.

Why have I hit a speed bump?  Well . . . it’s my own fault.  Here’s where I screwed up . . .

Failure to plan.  Dre’s going to say “I told you so.”  She warned me that I would need to plan my meals for the on days.  She wasn’t kidding.  I know that I’m a haphazard moody eater, and I’m also an infrequent eater by nature, and am accustomed to eating only once or twice a day.  Six is a bit much, although it can be done.  However, in order for me to eat every three hours, there has to be a mechanism in place that supports it.  And by that, I mean that the meals need to be prepared and ready to grab.  While I love to cook, cooking 6 tiny meals each day is not a good plan.  Or a realistic one.  I need to set myself up for success.

Soreness.  I’ve been good about the exercise portion (relatively).  Dre’s classes combined with my in-home routine have made me extremely sore.  I used to absolutely LOVE that feeling of soreness after a good workout, and now it’s an annoying impediment which is making it difficult for me to forge ahead (or walk).  I realize that it’s important to continue exercise to work out the lactic acid, but with the way my thighs feel, I have no motivation to do squats.  Not a one.  Of course this is just me being whiney, but I’m going to have find a solution. Or perhaps it will just go away over time.

Love of wine.  At risk of sounding like a wino, I always find myself in social situations where having “a glass of wine” seems to be the focal point.  I’ve managed to slip up on my on-days, but the good news is that I’ve been able to nurse one glass of wine throughout the entire event on those days.  Probably not a tragedy in the grand scheme of things, but definitely not the best way to allocate calories.

These aren’t insurmountable problems.  I just need to do better.  WAY better.

Onward and upward!

May 17, 2013 - Baby Steps to Fitness    No Comments

Fitness Challenge — Comments from the trainer

As promised, I will be documenting the fitness challenge, and I would like to introduce Andrea Nichols-Everett, aka Dre of Dre’s Diesel Dome, as the creator of this challenge, and the person who will be whipping my ass into shape.

Here’s Dre, and her comments about the challenge and my current state.  She’s a little hard on me, but I suppose it’s warranted.  She has a hot body because she knows what she’s doing.


Over the past year or so, Gina has complained to me, over and over again (I’m just saying ), about her weight and has wanted to “lose a few pounds and tone up a few spots” on her body. So when she finally asked me to help her accomplish this goal, I was super excited because I have been dying to help her become satisfied with her body once again.

The Baby Steps To Fitness program, which will be available to the public in September 2013, is a program I created to help people slowly get acclimated to an active, fit and healthy lifestyle. It’s a program for people who have never worked out or lived a healthy lifestyle and it is also for people like Gina, who have previously lived a healthy lifestyle but have fallen off track. I think most people desire to live a healthy and fit lifestyle but they either don’t know how to get started or it seems so unattainable that they decide that it’s just easier to be unhealthy. The Baby Steps To Fitness program adopts a “start low, go slow” approach to healthy eating and exercise so the participant will be able to make small lifestyle changes over time until they reach their goal.

While on The Baby Steps To Fitness program, Gina will be eating a clean diet of high quality foods at around 250 calories per meal every 3-4 hours (5-6 small meals per day) which will stabilize her blood sugar levels and make her body a fat burning machine. We chose every other day because she is new to this and I want her to get comfortable with adjusting her lifestyle around these changes. On the days she is off the plan, she is not allowed to gorge on “bad” food but she will not be as regimented on her “off plan” days. She will also workout at least 3 times a week at my gym in Chicago: D3 Dre’s Diesel Dome Fitness, LLC and she will complete short online workouts at home as well.

Gina is very fortunate because she has fantastic genes. She is naturally muscular, has a relatively low fat percentage, and has a smaller frame. She is also aware of all the advantages of working out consistently because she has been a consistent participant of exercise in the past. Gina is unfortunate because she hates to work out and she LOVES pizza! My challenge is to help her see that exercise can be fun by getting her into classes that she will actually enjoy. So far, she has taken my Turbo Kick class which is a dancy kickboxing class and thank goodness, she actually liked it. She will be taking at least 3 classes a week at my gym and my goal is to keep her engaged and excited about her workouts! As for the pizza, she can have a slice on her off days but can’t eat the whole pie, as she usually does !

I know I have my work cut out for me with Ms Bee, but I am sure by the end of the challenge she will be where she wants to be and if not, I may jump over my balcony…head first! Love ya Gina, see you at D3!

May 12, 2013 - More positive posts    1 Comment

Changing Some Habits

I’ve always glamourized the concept of journaling.  I have multitudes of beautiful little blank books, and when I buy them, I always have romantic thoughts of my little book perched on my nightstand with my beautiful pen (generally a fountain pen with purple ink), where I scratch out my thoughts in perfect penmanship on a nightly basis before falling into a thoughtful deep sleep.

As you might imagine, this is not what happens.

Instead, what happens is that I buy the book with ambitious good intentions (further paving my road to hell), and then I struggle to find a thought worthy of inclusion. (I realize that I shouldn’t be intimidated by an overpriced leatherbound journal, but here we are.)  When I finally find something profound to say, I’m further disappointed because I have the handwriting of a serial killer, and instead of the gorgeous script that I imagine, it comes out looking like something that’s included in a trial as a part of a psych eval.    My scribble, however, was in purple ink — oddly the only thing that was in line with my expectations.  Which is discouraging.  I abort mission.

UNTIL I’m in another store that sells beautiful journals, and I think that all I really need is a fresh start with a new book.  So I suck it up, and eagerly buy another one.

(Am I crazy?  Absolutely!)

While cleaning out my office closet the other day, I discovered no less than 10 pretty blank books, each with 1-5 paltry pages of written content included.  I haven’t bought one in a long while because blogging has taken over.  Blogging is far more convenient, and even though it’s far less private, it doesn’t involve my handwriting.

There is a common thread between journaling and blogging.  I only either journal or blog when I’m distressed, whether that’s work, life, relationships, etc.  If anyone were to read my blogs to get an accurate impression of my life, they would think that I was an angry person who has a LOT of run-ins with customer services bureaus of any company that I come in contact with.   Okay, so I admit that I can be a bit acerbic, and I DO have a penchant for customer service run-ins, BUT I don’t blog when I’m happy because I’m too busy enjoying life to document it.

So, as a challenge to myself, I’m going to try to blog more frequently, and when I have positive things to report.  Don’t fret . . . there will always be rants (because this IS the Rantspot, after all), but there will be other blogs to counter them.

For my first topic, does anyone else love Pinterest?  I’m an addict, and believe that Pinterest does what the concept of bookmarks and favorites originally set out to do.  But with sharing.  If anyone is interested in my inane posts about home decor, and my snarky original ecards, feel free to check out my Pinterest page.  I’m just getting it off the ground, but it’s been fun so far.

Also?  I’m starting an 8-week fitness challenge on the 15th with my good buddy Dre, of D3 – Dre’s Diesel Dome.  Am I crazy?  More on that later, but I will chronicling it on this blog and ChicagoNow with Brown Chicks.  Feel free to follow me.