society

year end rambling….

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I’ve been pondering, yes more than usual, and I think that I am going to throw some of my thoughts out there.  No order, no goal.

I’m sick and tired of the economy.  And seeing as I am part of it, I’m going on strike.  For the year 2017 I will only buy necessities like food and toilet paper. And of course home repairs, car repairs, and vet bills…..but you get the idea.  F-them.

About social media, yeah it sucks.  It time sucks and it can be a wasteful distraction from better things.  I mean seriously, you’d feel one hundred times better if you took a nap rather than spend an hour on Facebook. Cutting back, but not cutting out.

And regarding Donald, I dont want to hear what he tweeted.  Until a story is actually news worthy, I’m tuning the Donald out.  Can I tell you something? When I hear his name my stomach literally turns.  He, and the mention of him, makes me physically sick.

I will support issue that are dear to my heart.  Mother Theresa once said,

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

I never understood it until this year.  It’s that mentality that I have to carry to get through this f-up world.  War and social issues are complicated and there is just way too much negativity.  My body can’t take any additional turmoil.  So I hope this year, to support some of the most simplest causes protecting human rights, animal rights and our environment.

You do know I am extremely liberal.  And by the way, I am proud of that.

I made a list to live by, for my daily grind….it’s a bit over reaching.   I can’t find it now. Shit.  I forget everything.  It was things to do everyday.  Making life habits.  Now I have to think it all up again.

  1. read
  2. give something
  3. do art
  4. play with dogs
  5. write something
  6. I cant remember… probably yoga….I’ve been meaning to take that up for years.

Anyway you get the idea.  I just can’t waste another year filling my head with all the crap in the world that I can not control.

Those are my thoughts for now. Just ramblings …. I hope to be writing better stuff real soon…..Carry on and cheers!

Not buying into it

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So I am still on my treacherous journey to living better with less, however I’ve had a few roadblocks thrown my way.  For instance; perpetual moving. We moved last year, and we moved again this year, plus for some added fun we moved our office last month.

When you have to move with deadlines, you tend to throw things where ever they will fit, and this only leads to more chaos.

Welcome to my chaos land.  I have piles of crap, a storage unit that is totally filled again due to overflow from the business move, and a basement that needs to be transformed into livable space by Thanksgiving.

I hate it.  I have been working on this for over a year.   Sometimes it feels as if I am getting nowhere fast.

sampling of my inventory -tip: never do auto-delivery anything!

My focus yesterday was make-up. I didn’t take any photos (took the one above just now), because I just forgot. I forgot that, “hey maybe I’ll blog about this and get back on track.”  Nope, my only thought was, “What the f*ck is all this stuff?”  Tons of anti-aging shit. Really expensive brands that I never even used. I have wrinkles, because I should.  I am the perfect age for me.  But back when I didn’t even need the stupid wrinkle cream, I bought it.  I was convinced I had to have it, time and time again.  I bought into the hype, hook line and sinker.

And still I hang on to it; why?  I mean seriously, some days I don’t have enough discipline to even remove my mascara before bed.

( best tip ever: use a little olive oil to remove mascara, I promise you’ll never go back to anything else )

What makes me think I will ever want to go through some “ritual” every night to see maybe a 5 % difference in fine lines in 60 days?  Nothing.   I would never see the difference anyway.  In 60 days I would forget to even look.

In addition to the many miracle wrinkle creams, I  found duplicates of various blushes,  “glows” and even some Lip Venom. Lip Venom I bought maybe 4 years ago – unopened.  Like I need Lip Venom.  Big sigh.

I rarely wear make-up beyond mascara and lipstick and for special ” I give a sh*t days”  days I may wear some cover.  Even still haven’t pulled the trigger to go ahead and thrown away all these concoctions.

I can see now, I am really writing this post to psych myself into throwing hundreds of dollars of cosmetics away.  Tonight is garbage night.   Which means if I do it now, there is no turning back.  (Update I didn’t throw anything away on garbage night.)

I am half Swedish, I should know this already.

One good thing has come from this huge burden of material things, I have stopped purchasing items I think I want.  I have been sticking closely to buying only needs.  Lucky for me, my “needs” are really very few and far between. ( not to say big ticket items don’t pop up when unexpected -like brakes, tires, tie-rods, flight for children, and animal care, etc.)  But I have stopped buying meaningless stuff, and that’s a step in the right direction.

A guy I know once told me that his goal was to ” live below his means.”  I like that thinking.  That’s where I want to be; less stuff, no debt, and a simple life.  This is my goal.  Everyday we are getting closer, but it’s  a long process and along the way we do stumble.

The only thing to do after you stumble, I mean FALL, is get back up.

Here’s to getting back up.  Cheers.

(*Ignore my foul language that’s  just how the words came out today. )

Assholes clutter a good life

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Do you know how many assholes clutter this world?

Here’s the thing, we are supposed to take the high ground and let it go.  Let it be, etc, but you know what?  The assholes aren’t getting the message this way.

I am sure you have read about the “everyone gets a ribbon” syndrome that is plaguing American youth. Well this same idea, of not telling someone they suck, applies to assholes, jerks and rude people.

We ignore them. We take the high ground.  As a result they see no negative repercussions for their rude inconsiderate behavior. They think what they are doing is acceptable, a-okay, so they continue.  Most of these people have no person close enough to them who will say , “Hey knock it off, you’re being an asshole.”…..They live in this bubble of self- absorption, only thinking about their own needs as a primary focus of each and every waking moment.

So here is the question:  Do you call them out, or let them continue?  You know if they continue they will pass it on to their off-spring, thus we are promoting the trait.  Or do you protect your own well-being and peace of mind? In other words, let them live in their pathetic asshole lives and cut them out of your circles, and move on. ( thus living in a bubble of your own creation)

Yep, everyone knows an asshole, has seen an asshole, and encounters them frequently.  From what I see there appears to be a growing number of these characters around.  Are we somewhat to blame for allowing  them to exist?  Has our choice not to get “involved”with their low-life behavior embolden them?  Are we now “Asshole-Enablers?”  (AE groups starting at a church near you)

I see both sides of this coin.  I know I want a peaceful and kind life, but can I have that when I am not doing my part to squelch the jerk?  When I look the other way, am I being selfish by helping only myself and not society as a whole?

It’s like that show on T.V. calledWhat would you do?  Notoriously they have actors acting very badly, and they wait to see if anyone (any civilian in the area), will speak up.  Audiences are joyful, even tearful,  when someone stands up to the asshole and conversely the audience is totally disgusted when the people look the other way.

I believe it takes a village to raise a community, but those days appear to be gone for the most part.

I am positive I don’t have the answer here.  I am working on this one because I think we as a people have to start playing an active role in what we see and what we deem as acceptable in our communities and in our lives.  Sadly I am not yet ready to play in the mud, but some days I get real close.

Please let me know your thoughts on this one, I am very interested in all points of view.

Free from the grip

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This is basically how I feel and what I believe in a nut shell.

Please watch and actually take a moment to see how materialism has shaped your life.  I was forced to look at my ways, and I am better for it.  At least, I feel better and I am happier.

I am free from the grip of corporations, and I strive to become even more free each and every day.

Cheers!

Help them now.

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A person can only be pushed so far.

I really do not know how people do it.  How do people continue on peacefully when the world around them is crumbling?

Last week a young mother was shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.  From what I understand there was a fight going on between two groups of girls.  Someone pulled out a gun, shots were fired, and people ran away.  This young mother was running away, to save her life.  It didn’t work.

This was in a neighborhood of housing.  People live there, sleep there, laugh there, feed their children and sing lullabies.  Yet outside at any given moment someone can be shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.

I am so touched by this story, and so entirely confused as to why this violence  is allowed to continue.  Is it because these people are poor? Is it our cities failing to make security and safety a priority?  Is it the crumbling school system, or the rarely existence family support? Is it caused by the onset of  the gun culture?  Or is it really because the rest of the city and surrounding suburbs just don’t give a sh*t?

We need to take a moment and wake the f*ck up.

_____

Since writing this many months ago, a terrible shooting happened in a small quaint town of about 5000 named Chardon, not too far from Cleveland.  One morning before classes started, three students were shot dead.  A 4th student  is recovering in the hospital and the fifth shooting victim is recovering at home.  Three young people shot dead in cold blood by a 17 year old student.

I have pondered the effects of the school shooting and nothing I come up with makes any sense except that we the people have to start caring about each other.  We need to teach kindness, and tolerance.  We need to teach the basics of  right from wrong in our homes.  We need to be reminded that people can be cruel and bitter, but usually because they are in a painful place, and they need help. We need to do all we can to build bridges in stead of walls.

We need schools that are safe.  And if that means we need police there, then put police there.  If it means we need metal detectors then place the detectors are the door ways.  We need to take bullying seriously, and we need to listen to our children, especially if they are saying something that sounds off-base or unusual.

We need to wake up to the fact that there are drugs in every school.  It’s a fact kids drink and drive, and they have parties and drink their parents booze.  Students cheat on test and make trades for homework, and just like always they have unprotected sex.

Parents need to get their heads out of the sand.  School administrators need to be fair and consistent when enforcing the school codes.  No more hiding the dirty little secrets.

We need to recognize that all students are not the same, some are gay and some students are homophobic.  Students are every race and racism is alive and well in America.  These are issues that continuously harm our society as a whole.  And if we want it to change, each one of us has to personally stand up and say enough is enough.

Regardless of differences each child deserves an education in an environment that is safe physically and emotionally no matter what it takes.  And they are not going to get it unless we demand it.  They need us now, not later.

Start a conversation, let your voices be heard.

Live like a dog.

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I am convinced that dogs have the world figure out.  I know am not the first to say this, but I don’t care.  When a dog barks he is not saying anything new.

Dogs can read another dog as easily as we can read directions on a cake box. Those direction are very clear and concise leaving no room for errors.

When dogs meets other dogs and there’s an instant positive vibe, then they are perfectly okay with that new friend(s).  It’s simple.  Dogs just trust their own instincts. If they don’t like what the meet , they bristle and let that dog know to stay the $%^# away.

Think of how many times you’ve gone against your own best judgement or a feeling you had but couldn’t exactly explained.   We humans call that a “gut instinct” or ” intuition” but I really believe it lives as truth in the heart section of your brain. I don’t even know if there is a heart section of the brain, but I choose to believe there is.

I think we need to pay super close attention to whatever we tell ourselves inside our heads and hearts.

I have had some difficult times, we all have, and I have tried to fix problems I didn’t cause.  ( May no good deed go unpunished)

I am here to say forget those problems. Whatever issue it is, if you in absolute truth can not control it, then it isn’t something to waste one once of energy trying to correct or fix. Don’t worry or fret, don’t ponder or gossip, don’t talk and re-talk, just choose live without it.

Shake it off. Wag your tail, take a walk and smell the air. Dig in the dirt. Be happy that you were fed today, smile and carry on.

Woof!

Tip: Always put your keys in the same place.

Inspiration: ” We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” -Barbara De Angelis

One-day one-thing: Plan a picnic for the next nice free day you have.

lawyers, liars and cold cash

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Okay so have you ever met with situation where someone screws you out of money and you think to yourself, “I’ll sue them.”

But after you settle down reality kicks in – you can’t possibly afford an attorney. Or you find an attorney who down-plays your case to cover his ass. The first thing out of every attorney’s mouth is: “If this goes to court I can’t guarantee you will win.” Believe me I have been there. So I want to offer advice.

First off: People who are going to make money off you lie. <;- Sear this into your brain.

Second: People who lie rarely put things in writing. Some will provide contracts but then they have you sign first, but they themselves never sign. (I’ve seen this trick in construction and employment)

So here is what you do, try to guard yourself against the two items listed above.

Say you have some work that needs to be done at your house. Take a notebook and date and time stamp everything that is said, no matter how trivial you think it may be. Little details will jogged your memory as time passes and it makes your record keeping more believable.

Set up your phone to record conversations. I have a cell only so I am currently looking for a way to do this. ( any apps out there? if not I will develop one)

I remember once I taped a lawyer from a huge firm, who said to me,” we really f*ck up your case.” It didn’t matter that this recording never saw the light of a court room, it was enter into a court doc and filed which made it public record. They dropped all fees right there and then, that is all we wanted.

Just recently a person on the phone asked if they were being taped before saying some very incriminating statements. (note: ANYONE who asks if they are being recorded is about to tell you the truth.) Of coarse I wasn’t taping him, I was ill prepared. If you are taping anyone do not admit it. It may not be admissible in a court of law, but the proof is there and that proof alone will spark a settlement without going to court. If nothing else remember you can always go viral with the tape.

Another tip is ALWAYS have someone with you for discussions if possible. Witnesses are very powerful. Plus they can help you recall details.

Okay, so if you just got screwed, whether you have a lot of proof or just a little proof, take your complaint to small claims court. The courthouse in my town makes this very easy. Your local municipal court should have similar forms and instructions available. If not , use these two docs: 1. instructions 2. claim form, as a reference and make your own. The worst that can happen is the court will correct you and provide guidance. The cost to file a small claim here is 65.00, .05 cents for copies and they will notarize on the spot.

I always remember those sh*tty landlords that wouldn’t refund my rent deposit. I never fought for return of my security deposit. I didn’t know how.

The limit for small claims is thee thousand dollars, that’s way better than nothing. And you will not rack up any lawyer fees. So if you win or lose at least you tried to get you money back.

If you are in a position where you need help regarding family law. Do it your self. Believe me divorce lawyers want to keep you in court and fighting as long as possible. The more you disagree, or the more a lawyer leads you to believe you can get XYZ, the more money that lawyer makes.

I used Nolo press for child support and visitation issues when I lived in California, it worked like a charm. Also nothing quite beats Legalzoom for so many different legal needs.

The moral of the story, you don’t need a lawyer and you don’t have to take getting screwed.

Fight for yourself, you are the only one who truly cares.

Cheers!

OOPS! ****Forgot this important tip. Make a paper trail that shows you attempted to resolve the matter before you go to court. It always looks good to the judge if you can prove you made an effort to avoid his/her courtroom.

Tip: Stick with facts and stay calm and always be polite in correspondence.

Inspiration: “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.” – Don Corleone, in The Godfather – Mario Puzo

One-day one-thing: Organize important documents. This may be a repeat, but with tax time, I have new docs to organize. It’s never stop

KONY 2012

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I would like to ask my readers to watch this film, and then share it with everyone.  There are few things in this world that are truly important.  This is one of them.  We now have the power to actually make change happen.  We can’t sit silent.

Most issue are too much for any one individual.  But here is an opportunity for you to actually make a difference.

Please watch. Please share.

To watch click:  Kony2012

To buy action kit/bracelets: http://invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/
To make a donation: http://bit.ly/yp5Ffv
To sign the pledge: http://www.causes.com/causes/227-invisible-children
To watch the film: http://vimeo.com/37119711

“Do you feel lucky?”

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It hasn’t been much more than a week and already I am breaking retracting the contract on our new house.  I was ready for the experience to live in the city with everyone and anyone.  We haggled a bit and signed an agreement last Wednesday.  Over the weekend we checked out the yard because we needed to determine where the fence should be installed for our dogs.

Two days ago, I was at the property with my fence contractor.  He had to measure the entire perimeter, and as we spoke he began to discuss the area behind the garage.  We walked over and to my surprise I found this:

He said, “This is fresh, someone is sending a message.”  It could have been wet for all I know, I was too stunned to touch it.   The graffiti wasn’t there when we made our offer, it wasn’t there Saturday as we walked the yard.  No other nearby garage got tagged, just ours.

This little white girl raised in suburbia, isn’t fit for this.  I started thinking I would actually have to shoot someone.  Then my mind raced on, and I thought if they come in my house, I’d have to shoot them inside and all their guts would be everywhere.  My dogs would probably eat nasty thug guts.  Gross.  At that point, I decided its better to shoot when they are on the porch or when they step onto the property. Less mess.

Oh my God.  Am I going to live like this? I have never even held a gun in my hand, but you know what?  I am going to learn. And when I get good, I am getting the biggest caliber I can handle.  Peace,  love,  don’t f*ck with me.

I called the police, they told me to send the images to the detective unit that handles gangs.  I did that.  I will never hear back, because I am not buying that house. Ever. This is not going to be my problem.

I was only joking previously when I compared this house to the one in Gran Torino .  (awesome movie) Little did I know just how close I was to the truth about lucky house number #7.

However, I do still see the luck in this.  I was lucky to find the graffiti  before we closed and transferred the title.  We literally dodge a bullet or maybe two.  Call me crazy, but so many things lined up, it makes me feel like someone was watching over us.  ( I like to believe that is true, because it warms my heart)

I just sent off the mutual release form and hopefully that will be signed tomorrow by the sellers.  Back to square one, just a bit wiser and a little stronger.

Stay Tuned.  Cheers.

Update 2/24/2012: Seller says they will NOT sign the release.  However, we never signed or initialed the seller’s counter offer so there is no contract in place.  Hopefully now they will sign the mutual release.

Tip: Trust yourself.  I have said this before but it bares repeating, trust your instincts they will never let you down.

Inspiration: ” We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.” – Louisa May Alcott

One-day one-thing: Be grateful when something works out.