Sunday, November 23, 2008

Beautiful Disaster

I highlighted where Part 2 starts because I like you.

My boyfriend once told me I was a "beautiful disaster." I didn't mind because I just heard "beautiful" and that was it.

Also, because it's true.

In work life, I am super organized. I am copious, I know where everything is. It's right under neath that pile of binders, scripts, notepads, post-its and pens that have no ink.

Yeah, disaster.

I'm cool with my work life way of being because it works for me, meaning, it does not hold me back. I always get my work done and always on time. I like having everything I need around me... I'm good with it.

Now, where being a disaster affects me is in my personal life. I would like to not have you over right now because I don't want you to see that I am a perfectionist... but in a bad way.

See, I can't recycle magazines. I have to sort them by theme and then by those themes, divide them into piles according to which hospital, clinic or dialysis center I will bring them to. I can't take clothes to Goodwill, that's what everybody does. I am a perfectionist so I have to scour out the most random shelter and bring them there.

But not until I have sorted them between stuff a teenager could wear (that goes to one shelter), stuff a woman could wear to an interview (that goes to a different shelter) and day-casual (that goes to a shelter all the way across town, the one with no parking... but I'm definitely going there... one day.)

Yeah... perfectionist.

Well, "perfectionist" until I am completely overwhelmed by piles and boxes and random bags of clothes.

If you knock on the door and I let you in, do not look surprised.

PS, the perfectionist in me wants you to know that my place is super clean. You just can't tell because you can't take your eyes off the pile of "Shape" magazines that are stacked to the ceiling.

So I have this talk with my shrink because life has really turned around amazingly for me recently. I have a great job and my butt is shrinking in ways that make me say "Yes!" with a fist pump when I try on my jeans.

I feel good. I want everything to look good.

I have this wish for this place that I live in and love and this is not it. I read "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Big?" by that organization guy who's always on Oprah. I get that this is a problem.

One issue is I am sentimentally attached to stuff. For instance, when my Dad was really sick when I was 12, we had to get 10,000 signatures from people in our state to protest that my Dad was going to get kicked off his health insurance because they didn't want to pay for his expensive, life saving, take his heart out and replace it with someone else's surgery.

When it was all said and done (we got the signatures, we won, he got the surgery), my Mom threw out the reams and reams of paper with people's signatures.

And I crawled into the garbage to get them.

Beautiful. Disaster.

We stood outside of churches, grocery stores and gas stations to ask people to save my Dad's life. And they did. And I wanted to be close to the people that had done it. That made my Dad be alive.

Maybe that's what all this perfectionism in donating clothes or magazines or other things to "the right place" is all about. I want the people I'm donating to, to feel cared for. Like some busy person rushing into that Stop N' Shop all those years ago made me feel by taking the time to sign that petition.

Part 2

Long story short. I xoxoxo my new shrink but when I talked to her about my weird "donation" hoarding she pegged me as possibly slightly ADHD and said some people cannot be expected to organize for themselves because they are "too genius."


I mean, I lapped it up... but even I know that is bullshit.

She was trying to convince me to hire someone to organize me and my possessions and all of a sudden I was having some kind of freaked out vision of all my stuff being laid out in the drive-way while a camera crew from "Oprah" filmed me while I cried over an old Ritz cracker canister that I couldn't part with because it had too much meaning to me.

When someone tells me I can't do something, I become quite determined that, "Yes, I can."

I decided to go all Obama on my living room. Here's what I did:

I got some colored masking tape and I taped off 10 zones of my living room. All of a sudden everything became a manageable 2 x 3 area which I could attack daily. I had to be merciless and when I couldn't be merciless it went into a "Deal With This Later" box.

Everyday I have to deal with one zone. Buh-bye, off it all goes to be donated or recycled or thrown away.

I realize if someone walked into my apartment and saw masking tape lines everywhere, they would think I'm crazy but what's crazier - figuring out a way to do this myself AND overcoming a huge hurdle or having to pay someone $300 or $400 bucks to do it for me?

You let me know what you think. I'm about to tape square boxes all over my bedroom floor.


This blog is dedicated to eatin' pants.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Best Calorie Free Treat

Yesterday, after I left the gym, I stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up some groceries. On the way out, I saw this homeless man and he asked me for some change. I literally only had 32 cents.

32 cents is not going to get anyone any where or any thing.

I said, "Are you hungry, do you want a sandwich?" He looked completely shocked. "Yes," he said. "Turkey? Do you want turkey?" (I tend to take charge of things).

He said what he really wanted, and let me know I could get for the same price, was a Pizza Hut Personal Pan pizza... pepperoni.

I just thought... there was something so sweet about that.

I asked him if he would like a soda, too. Again, he looked at me with such a sense of surprise, it let me know the moments of compassion in this man's life were few and far between.

Lately, I've been thinking of all the things I have and how frickin' lucky and blessed I am. I don't even mean monetary. I have clothes, I have shelter, a hot shower every day. I have health care. I have friends who love me. I have a job.

We forget about the little things. Or, I guess I should say, we forget about the big things.

I did this little bit of volunteering and this girl emailed me saying I would never know what it meant to her what I had done for her. I told her - she would never know what it did for me. Just like that man yesterday, it totally filled me up...

So, it's right before the holidays and we are all hustling and bustling. But I wanted to give you guys some super ways to help other people that are easy and will fill YOU up and make you happier than 2 Twinkies and a glass of milk:

1) Ask everyone in your office to give you their old magazines. Then drop them off at a hospital, clinic or dialysis center. You will be loved!

2) If you're gathering friends for a holiday party, ask everyone to bring some clothes they don't wear and set them aside and then take them to a women's shelter. The women will act like you just gave them the keys to Macy's, that's how appreciative they are!

3) If you know someone in your neighborhood is sick, offer to walk their pet.

4) Tossing out some old sheets or blankets? Take them to your local pet shelter.

5) Keep a couple of McDonald's $1 gift cards and if you see someone who asks you if you can spare some change, buy them lunch instead. Smile, you just made someone feel like they matter.

6) There is a man who comes on my street looking for cans and bottles to turn in for change. Some days I see him with his 6 year old son and that breaks my heart. Now I keep my bottles and cans aside and give them to him when I see him so he doesn't have to rummage in a 4 ft. bin.

7) Do you have a winter coat you never wear? I think I have more than I need. You can donate your extra coat to a shelter, you can give it to someone in need (maybe keep it in your car, trust me, you'll find someone), also, there are winter coat drives - search for one online.

8) This is reader Noble Savage's awesome idea. "Last year I made up 15 Christmas packages for the homeless, each one with a pair of gloves, a scarf, a warm hat, a chocolate bar, a first aid kit and some toiletries. It was very rewarding and I got everything from thrift stores or dollar stores. The looks on their faces when I handed them a gift and walked away was priceless."

9) Sponsor a family for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Call a shelter, Vet center or search online. You can send an email to five friends and ask them to pitch in $10 dollars each. That $60 dollars will feed a whole family (maybe more) and make them be able to stay home and have a real family Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Have I overwhelmed you? Given you too many ideas? Well, you're in luck!

I'm going to give you the name of the shelter where I am sponsoring a family. I just sent a mass email to all my friends, so the hope is I might be able to sponsor 3 or 4 families. Feel free to grab an envelope, put ten bucks in it and send it off right now.

Here's the info: Amanecer Community Services Administrative Offices, 1200 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Attention: Laura Gonzalez. Tell her the money is to sponsor a family for Christmas dinner.

You will feel so good making a difference, putting a smile on someone's face and most importantly, making someone feel like they are loved.

This blog is dedicated to little bits of love.

If you do something kind... even if it's in a week or a month from now, write back in and inspire us with your story.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Lost 15 Pounds :)
Yay Me!

Yep, I did it. And I'm gonna do it again so I can get to 30 pounds lost.

I don't mean to brag but I rock, y'all.

The other day I was in a fancy meeting with all these big time people but since I'm a writer I like to dress super cas (as in casual) even though I'm usually so nervous I want to throw up or have diarrhea.

So anyway, I bust out THE JEANS. "The jeans" are the jeans in the next size down that didn't fit that I bought hoping they would one day fit, even though I swore I would stop buying jeans in next size down that would one day fit but do not fit right now.

But they were so cute!

Dark denim.

They were on sale for only twenty dollars!

C'mon. I can resist a donut but I cannot resist cute, dark denim on sale jeans for twenty dollars.

I try them on for my meeting. They will not zip. I lay on the bed, I lay on the floor. Nope, they ain't zipping.

Okay, I have a plan. I drive to the meeting with unzipped jeans on. During the twenty minute drive to the big fancy meeting, the jeans will probably stretch.

They will HAVE to stretch! Dear God, I hope they stretch.

I pull into the valet and he watches me curiously as I am jumping up and down and trying to zip my unzippable jeans.

I get them up on the third try! Yay! Now it's just the button that will not button. I can keep them unbuttoned but then it looks like I am smuggling something under my shirt. Not good. I bust a move for the ladies room.

It's there that I get the button of the jeans buttoned. Problem: I am now restricting blood flow from the top half of my body to the bottom half.

I decide it's totally worth it because I look good. Fifteen pounds lighter in a size smaller jean. AMEN!!!

I am sitting with the super important people and this is the part where you make small talk but all I can think about it how I am probably going to pass out and then they will have to call an ambulance and then a fireman will come and have to cut me out of these jeans.

I'm asked by one of the very important people, "So what's new with you?" I couldn't speak, I didn't know what to say... I couldn't think of anything funny, witty or charming when the only thing I could see is a swarm of executives watching me being cut out of my jeans and revealing the giant grannie panties I bought in a six pack at Target.

So I say: "Um... I went on a diet and lost fifteen pounds and thought I could wear the next size jeans down and basically I'm just sitting in these super tight jeans waiting to pass out and then have to be emergency air lifted out of here."

The whole room cracked up laughing.

I won them over. I did not die. I looked super cute for the whole hour. I was confident, composed, attentive.

And at the end of it, I smiled, I said my goodbyes and then I ran like hell to my car, unbuttoned my jeans in the parking garage and drove home.

If you like this post, send it to a bunch of friends by using the little envelope icon below. When you do, men will chase you down the street and invite you out for shrimp cocktails.

This blog is dedicated to just doing it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adventure Bowl
Flying Trapeze Girl

Is your life stale? Boring? Are you stressed? Job, boyfriend, back fat got you down?

Then you need to do something crazy, spontaneous and out of your comfort zone in order to remember what is so easy to forget...


As most of you know, when life was bringing me down and I found it easier to crawl under the covers with a bag of Cheetos than face all my problems, I made a promise to try one fun, "get out of my rut" (or at least my bed) activity a week that would shake my life up and remind me who I was.

Last week, out of the Adventure Bowl, I picked, "Today you will take trapeze lessons."

What really surprised me the most is how high 30 feet can feel up off the air. (Or maybe it was 1000 feet... okay, it was only 30.) My heart started to pound like it knew something I didn't.

"Um, what is your refund policy?"

The cashier raised his eye brow, "If you don't wanna do it, don't do it." Oh, I want to do it, I said. I would just like to see your past ten years of safety records. That seems like a normal request, right? It's not that I'm scared (I am so fucking scared), I just want to be safe. He rolled his eyes. There was a challenge in that eye roll.

Fine, I'll do it. Just to prove it to eye roll-y guy. But just to be safe, I tucked my insurance card in my side pocket. Along with directions to the nearest hospital.

The instructor at the top had me chalk my hands and then he wanted me to inch out on the platform. I use the word "platform" loosely because it was about half the size of a dental bib.

"Um, what is your refund policy again?"

The instructor was amazingly encouraging but there was no way I was jumping to my death and then paying for it.

No. No way. Forget it.

I felt chunky. I felt weak in my body. I knew I could swing but I'd never be able to dangle from my legs or pike up or grab the opposite swing. It wasn't going to happen. For me, if I'm going to do something, I want to do it big. I want to be perfect. I want to do what all these other girls are doing.

I said: "I'll never be able to do anything but swing."
My instructor said: "You have to start somewhere."

Right. Okay. Light bulb moment. Oprah Ah-Ha moment. The whole point in coming was to try something different. To be thrilled. To see a fear and kick it in the face.

To let go.

So I did.

I let go.

And IT WAS AWESOME. Amazing. There are no words. I was so damn proud of myself. Smiling as I free fell into the net.

Do it. Take a trapeze lesson. Or a dance lesson. Or something, anything you haven't done before. Lose yourself then gain yourself. Have that feeling of "Yes, I did it!"

And then imagine all the things you are afraid of, and then know you don't have to be afraid of them anymore because you did this... this impossible thing that you thought you'd never do because of the fear.

I feel so strong today. Strong, like I want to take that incredible trapeze feeling and go after some things I've been afraid to do. Stand up for myself with the boss, the ex-boyfriend... and that lady who keeps letting her dog crap on my lawn.

Look out world!

This post is dedicated to pink wigs and tutus.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

This Is Super Cool

I saw this quote and I thought it was cool. I wish I knew who said it.

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, your body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "Woo hoo!" What a ride!"

If you substituted pizza for chocolate, I have a night like this about once a month but after reading this, I know I need to bump up my fun quota.

It's a great reminder as we get closer to closing out the year, a time when a lot of people reexamine their lives.

Are you having enough fun? If you knew it was all going to end in a week could you giggle at all the mischievous good times you had? Or would you be filled with regrets of the things you haven't done?

This blog is dedicated to chocolate martini fun.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Just Got Asked Out By An 80 Year Old Man


I need to have a better moisturizing regimen if the only guys I'm going to be asked out by are the ones that take their teeth out at night.

So, I'm at the dog park and I start talking to this adorable old man. I think, "Look at me, I'm a good person. I talk to old people." (I also bought a homeless man a burrito at El Pollo Loco, not that I'm bragging, except that I'm bragging.)

And then he asks me out. For sushi. Now I'm feeling awkward and this is weird. He's 80.

And as I float off into a fantasy of becoming the Anna Nicole Smith in sweatpants to his J. Howard Marshall in a Members Only jacket, he snaps me back into reality by saying...

"Of course, if I take you out, we would have to go dutch."


All of a sudden, I've been shut down by someone I didn't even want to go out with. Someone who, quite frankly, can't even promise me they'll be alive for a date next week.

It hurt my feelings.

And then I gave him my email address.

I'm going to make him love me enough to buy me sushi.

I wonder what I should wear when I go to meet my new step-grandkids.

This blog is dedicated to wasabi nuts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Naked Victory Laps

I will write more tomorrow but I did want to say...

I am very pleased with the Presidential outcome tonight.

First, we drank martinis out of nervousness.

Then we drank champagne out of victory.

And I thought of all the people who fret about keeping their houses/having health care/people they love going off to war...

So I drank more champagne in relief.

And then when we were done, I tried to get one of my BFFs to run a naked victory lap for Obama in one of the posh-est neighborhoods in LA. And he said:

"But it's cold."

"OMG! It's history! Are you kidding me?"

So I took off my pants. He said, "Okay, I will go pantless." I said, "Pantless is lame. It's all or nothing!" Then I motioned like "off with my top."

He would not budge.


I said, "I'm chunky. If I'm willing to do it, you should do it, this should be nothing to a skinny rail like you."

He wasn't buying it.

And then the other part of me just wanted french fries and to let my dog out so he would not urinate in my bed. So I gave up trying to convince him.

But I would have gone naked for Obama and I will make my friend pay for the rest of his life for being a lame-o. But in the meantime, I am, french fries in hand, over the moon.

This blog is dedicated to OBAMA! and victory being sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!