Saturday, February 28, 2009


"When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
You roll outta bed and down on your knees
And for a moment you can hardly breathe..."
Dreaming with a Broken Heart ~ John Mayer

I heard this song on my way into work. I couldn't have said it better. Thank God for lyrics; they're raw emotions with a tune. Parts of my life feel like this right now. Like I'm stuck in a bad relationship with no easy way out.

Where's the reset button?

The divorce rate applies to half of all marriages in this country. Earlier today, while I was aimlessly and simultaneoulsy surfing Facebook and Myspace, I came to the realization that there are five people I know who are newly engaged or just married. By new, I mean that three out of five of them have known their other half for less than a year. Five new marriages seems like a lot but then I look at their stories and realize that they are all made up of a different fabric.

One I've known since we were in high-school. In the last few years, he reinvented himself and found the man he wanted to be. I like his story. I don't know him well, but I do know that he learned to love who he was and then he found someone who loved him for that.

The second isn't complete unless he is in a questionable relationship and I quote "I've been married and divorced once before and made it through. Really if it doens't work out, it's all just money in the end." Is he addicted to heartbreak like cutters are to bleeding?

One work acquaintance swore she would never again get married. Ever. Not getting married was part of her personal mantra for years until 6 months ago when she met Mr. Right and he changed her mind. I've worked with her for 8 years and I've never seen her happier. Find someone who makes you want to be a better person - one of my favorite idealogies.

Another former friend and current co-worker always said she thought she would never get married because her parents had such a great love story and long marriage, luck couldn't strike twice. Her and I spent a lot of Summer nights together out on the bar's patio with a cold one disecting the happenstance of finding Mr. Right. She said she didn't need a ring on her finger to prove that someone loved her. A little over a year ago, over beers and karaoke, she got to know a new officer we work with. Turns out beer and karoake would end up changing her mind about all things marriage.

The final one used to be my best friend. She helped me foster my love for travel, photography, and scrapbooking - the things that bring me peace and serve as my creative outlet. We were inseperable and then our frienship shattered. I regret that our friendship was once so close and now is non-existent. We could have both been better to each other but for whatever reason it ran its course and I'm at peace with that now. After 20-something years, she is finally getting married for the second time. She didn't intentionally choose to be alone that whole time, but for whatever reason, her long time fate was being a party of 1. The man she is engaged to now is someone she used to despise; she used to be his ex-wife's confidant. He has a sorted history and the rumor mill still prints out reports of his out-of-town activities. Looking from the outside in, we can all see the signs and the writing on the wall, but I guess this is why they say that Love is blind.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Only a Marley-ism can soothe this.

"Who are you to judge the life I live? I'm not perfect and I don't live to be. But, before you start pointing fingers, you better make sure your hands are clean." ~ Bob Marley

The thin line between:


boldly or brashly self-confident

confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities

1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.
3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.
4. courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.
5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.
–verb (used with object)
6. to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
7. to destroy the independence, power, or will of.

I work in an male-oriented, ego-driven, adrenaline-pumped career. On both sides of the radio. The exception to the rule is that in this male, ego driven career, you have a lone group of women who are the first point of contact for nearly all emergencies. I have to make split, snap decisions on a regular basis and I have to be steadfastly confident in that split second. I look at some of the above definitions of "humble" and think that I would never want anyone who was low in importance, feeling insignificant, inferior, or broken of their independence answering the phone when my child stopped breathing or my sister was just assaulted. I want the person who is unquestionably confident and unshakably sure in their course of action. I want the person who believes that they are infallible to be my lifeline to safety.

I've been doing this job since I was 20 - still not old enough to drink or gamble, but old enough to be put in a position of authority. Everyone who works here has a certian set of walls that they put up to survive - it's called mental and emotional security. Mine have been built up over the years from experience both positive and negative. You have to have both to ever grow or succeed in my line of work. The entrance to getting behind my wall is on a little pathway called respect - it might seem like a small thing, but it tends to grow and reciprocate the more it is given. It is the backbone to succesful relationships in all arenas of life.

Dealing with the stress of the public is not as bad as dealing with the backbiting of the people you are supposed to call "partner". Apparently for the first time in my career, my boss has been told that I've crossed the line from self-confident to cocky. This is according to two sergeants who were solicited by my supervisor for annual feedback for my evaluation. They're anonimity is to be expected so I'll never really know who said what, but considering that there is a well-known minority of them who get called into the office on a regular basis for their negative interaction with all employees of the department, including dispatchers, I'm would bet good money that its the same chevron sleeved micro-managers that baked the anti-humble pie.

Although I hate to live true to my newly revealed label; I don't care if that's what they think of me. I will never win the popularity contest here because I don't care to be the most popular. I don't care to sit right by the door so I can make conversation with everyone who walks in the door; I'd rather sit towards the corner where the socialization of the room doesn't interrupt the ringing of 911. I care to do the things that are right and just, both internally and externally, wether or not they are the popular thing to do. I care to do the best job I can do even if it means not enabling my co-workers to slough off their responsibilities they were sworn to uphold. I care to be safe, skilled, confident, and capable of doing my job so that everyone on my watch goes home safely to their lives and their families. Highly skilled, capable, and confident - I was also labed as all those things just prior to being called "Miss Bad Ass" and "lacking humility".

It's ironic. The breaking point in my career when I feel the least amount of pride and ability in what I do and feel the most disconnected from the skills that I've had in the past is when I get labled as the cocky bad-ass who is unapproachable and lacks humility. Is it Karma? Is it Irony? Is it just bad managerial skills? I'm supposed to be learning a lesson out of this somehow, but I just don't know what.


Dear Lord, help me keep safe those who depend on me.
Give me healthy ears, for they are my link with those who need me.
Keep my mind sharp and alert, my fingers quick and nimble.
Grant that I never forget how to do ten things at once, and do them all equally well.
Bless me with patience Lord.
Patience to deal with the public, with the officers, with the firefighters, and with everyone else who makes me want to grit my teeth and yell.
Give me nerves of steel; That I may listen to a mother screaming for her child to live, the man with a gun, the family watching their home go up in flames, or a request for backup or more equipment and not give way to panic.
Grant me empathy, that I may help the caller in need,
and not cause them more pain than they already have.
God, give me the ability to learn what I need, to remember it quickly, and give me the wisdom to use the knowledge properly.
Bless my family Lord, for they will have to make sacrifices to shift work, overtime, canceled plans and times when I just can't take on one more thing.
Help them understand the missed ball games, school programs and dinners for two.
Lord, give me courage. Courage to persevere when I feel undervalued, unappreciated, overworked and unrecognized.
Courage to keep trying when I feel in my heart it's hopeless.
Last of all Lord, help me to never forget why I chose this job in the first place, to never lose sight of what is important in the midst of the stress.
Help me to remember that I make a difference;
however small it may seem some days, and that I matter.
I am a dispatcher, Lord, grant me peace.

A friend with a better perspective on these things (once a dispatcher who eventaully saw the light and is now a real-estate agent) gave me this advice:

"How did I deal with it? Hmmm...not very well since I was not healthy and stressed all the time (sound familar). But I didn't realizle it until I moved "4 states away". You have to find a way to not take it personal. Easier said than done. Don't give them any power. When you go home, they don't effect your life. Just do the best job you can, learn to get feedback that can help you and ignore what can't help you. I know you're type A like me, but in the big scheme...the eval is nothing but an annoying pimple on ur ass. Pop it and move on."

And to think...the last day I was here at work, I was feeling great about my job again. I knew it felt suspicious...I knew it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wagon wheel

My picture-a-day goal is easy here. I slept in ‘til lunchtime, collaborated with Patti on a baby scrapbook, drove out to the gate in my pj’s to see some deer, and walked down to the creek before the sun went down. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

I took enough pictures for the rest of the month in a matter of hours. Here’s the highlights:



Monday, February 23, 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow

Today's photo of the day and a new favorite. I couldn't have asked for a more beautifully composed picture. Nature is it's own picture frame. This was one of those scenes you see that you just can't pass up. I was really impressed with it on the little 2x3 inch digital screen, but then I saw it on my laptop and fell in love with it!

~ Happy Valley Ranch in Susanville, CA.
(click on the picture to see it full size)

Now that I realize I have a little bit of an audience reading my scenes, I’m starting to do more editing in my head and about the things I want to plaster here in my writer’s free space. I’m leaving too much on the cutting room floor before it even hits my fingers and comes out into print. This is kind of like singing in the shower. Belting it out is easy until you know someone is listening to you. I can’t let myself think like that though, so I’m gonna try that age old fearful public speaker’s tool of imagining you, my reader, in your skivvies reading my blog wherever you might be.

There. Now I can bear little bits of my soul and you can read them unfiltered, but only now that we’re both a little bit compromised.

I spent my rainy day driving around Susanville with my tour guide Patti. Scratch that. I spent my day driving around and around and around Susanville. You can pretty much see most of it in a straight shot - cute little town. Patti and I had time to kill before she had to get Kenz at 2:30 from school. The school day update from the back seat included details about all kinds of friends; the crazy kid who wanted to stab himself with scissors last week, Miss Tween California who couldn’t join in PE cause she hurt her ankle in ballet yesterday, one of the teacher’s kids who gave away a pencil just to be nice, and a something about skinny jeans and a girl named Macy Sunshine Something (forgot her last name).

It only took nearly 12 hours later at o’dark terrible AM, just as I was going to sleep, for me to be struck by a memory from quite a few years ago when I was still in the 18 to 25 check box. You see I think I lied when I blogged about never being the girl who dreamed about my future and picking out pretend names for kids I was going to have some day. I did have a girl’s name picked out once upon a time…about say, nineteen to twenty-ish years old. I mean, yeah, I’m still well within my 20’s checkbox and the beginning of this decade for me wasn’t that long ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago. Until now, I forgot about this day in that chapter of my story…

I have a love story. It’s a tale really; an adventure that was dreamt up, but not well planned out by two crazy kids who were only 3,000 miles apart. It’s a long tale, so you might want to get comfy if you plan to continue.

When I was 19, I met this guy online. Yes, I know that sounds like the beginning of a Kidnapped! movie or a Cold Case, but it is a good story. You see, I was way ahead of the curve in 2001. Way ahead. Before there was the booming popularity of or E-Harmony, there was me and a boy whose middle initial was W. No actual name behind it, it wasn’t short for anything, but since all the men in his family had W-something middle names, he had to at least have the initial and that’s all he ended up getting. W.
Sounds like: Dub-yah. Period.

The website that was our fate wasn’t a dating site at all though. It doesn’t exist anymore, but it was a basic, early version of My Space. My oldest and dearest friend who has been with me for more chapter openings, writings, and closings, than anyone else, was with me for this particular chapter. Turns out we would be with each other on dual journeys that neither of us saw coming. My chapter would end up being more of a paragraph compared to the one that she is seeing end all too soon. Funny, I still remember her telling me about the website and my instant preachy reaction about how I couldn’t believe she resorted to meeting people online at such a young age and how unsafe it was. “You know this is how women get kidnapped and disappear, Chrissy. You never know what kind of weirdo you’re talking to online, then you meet them and next thing you know you’re killed on some back country road. This is crazy talk. Don’t you watch Dateline?”

Within two weeks, I ate my words big time. I was hooked on this site that paired up like personalities from all over the world. It was a social network where you could take these personality quizzes and the results would be posted on your “profile”. There was an entire bevy of surveys: What is your superhero personality? Are you the biggest bitch? What occupation is meant for you? If you were a cheese, what would you be?

Based on the answers, you were given some description, a cartoon character representing what your result was, and percentage of likeness compared to other users on the site. People would then compare notes and make comments on each other’s pages and that was that. Harmless enough, right? Well I don’t know when or where it all happened, ok, I take that back too - it was around January 13th, 2001 - that I got a comment that was simple enough from a “personality” in New Jersey. Many short banters full of one-liners later (AKA flirting), became longer emails, became instant messenger, became that first phone call that lasted for three and a half hours - with of course the three hour time difference. That tends to happen when there are 3,000 miles from one side of the coast to the other. Physically, me and Dub-yah could not be in the same piece of US earth and be farther apart.

He was exactly 6 months older than me, worked part time as a intern for the FAA, wanted to be a flight medic, and was a 5th generation volunteer firefighter through and through. Somehow the exactly 6 months younger Police intern former Cadet, full-time student, part-time waitress who wanted to be a cop caught his attention in a very serious way.

Infatuation is a tricky, tricky thing. It is a drug like none other. It’s like an emotion driven bitch slap that hits you so hard, it makes you think funny despite all the things you’ve ever been taught and all the gut feelings you’ve ever felt. It was decided – we had to meet. Had to. In the world of two 19 year olds, there was just no other option. I made Chrissy come over while I got to the business of telling my parents. I needed a witness in case they tried to strangle me or chain me to the bedpost until I was 30-something. I remember the scene in the kitchen, me standing propped up against a chair where I could make a quick getaway if I needed to, my mom standing by the stove, my dad somewhere in the general vicinity, and Chrissy sitting with her arms crossed just waiting for the fireworks to begin. She knew the scene well; growing up there was always some comedic fireworks show happening in my Osbourn-esque home.

Classic Lauren style, I just came out with it. Dropped the bomb. “I met this guy online and we’ve been talking a LOT and he lives in New Jersey and we want to meet in a few weeks. I’ll pay for the ticket, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to go.” Then the words that will go down in infamy for the entirety of my life, “He’s a fireman. He’s a good guy. He’s ok.” My mom just stared at me. I don’t think my dad heard me at all the first time - this was post hearing aids. I cannot imagine being a parent in this room at that moment in time. I was the oldest of three kids, graduated honor student who was putting herself through college, and worked two part-time jobs, one of which was for the police department. Never as much as smoked a cigarette or been drunk, but I was dead set on getting on a plane to the East Coast. My mother’s first question was “He didn’t do anything crazy like as you to marry him, did he?” “Of course not! That’s is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! Do you think I’m stupid?” I said back without hesitation not making eye-contact with Chrissy. He had. He had asked me that a week before I had “the talk” with the ‘rents. Told you we were crazy nineteen year olds; just children playing dress up in an adult world.

Many disgustingly lovey details later, it was decided that sending the female off across the continent was much worse than having Dub-yah fly his happy ass out to California for 10 days. I remember the “meet”, as it would be titled if this was a movie and I was setting up the storyboard. His flight landed sometime after 9pm in San Francisco. That was a long butterfly filled drive to the airport. It was post 9-11 then, so it was still allowed that you could walk freely up to concourse and wait at the actual gate for your loved one’s flight to arrive. I got there too early – I paced the carpet waiting for that flight to land and deplane. I paced and paced and paced and I totally missed him, first person through the doorway. A phone call later, he had me playing a game. It was a comedy and I was the punchline. All of 6’2” Dub-yah had found his way across the busy hall and propped himself up against the wall as I looked around the crowd trying to find a familiar stranger who I had studied in many a picture. Cell phone technology wasn’t fabulous then, but it served the purpose for that scene.
L: “Ummm, your plane is here. Did you get on it? Where are you?”
Dub: “Right here looking at you.”
L: “What? Where? I don’t see you.”
Dub: “Right here, put your hand up.”
L: “OooooK. My hand’s up.”
Dub: “Now, turn around in a circle.”
L: “What the hell? A circle? Fine I’ll do it, but where are you? What is this? The jacked up hokey-pokey? I’m gonna leave you here.”
Dub: “Look to your right against the wall.”
And then the other infamous words…”Hi I’m Lauren and I’m trying to remember how to breath.” Followed by another infamous act…the world’s worst first kiss. In hindsight, the jacked up hokey pokey and slobber junction are what we calls “signs”.

Just the airport scene alone is enough. I cannot even begin to get into the details of the rest of the 10 days. It will send me into a diabetic coma with all the love-sick scenes that rival Act 2 of Romeo and Juliet. There is just one more that I will share though, the one that jogged my conscious back about eleven paragraphs up in this story:

I still remember the mushy scene that played itself out in the front set of my white Toyota Tercel on the way back from Bodega Bay somewhere along sunny highway 116 just between Sonoma and Napa counties.

*Let’s pause here for a second to remind ourselves that while you might be reading this blog in your skivvies, this scene contains all articles of clothing for the entirety. It is not one of “those” car stories.*

Back to the scene: We, at all of nineteen years old, having known of each other’s existence for less than six months, and into all of a week of knowing each other face to face, were talking about what we would name our kids (I know, it's ok. I just threw up at the gross puppy-loveness of that too). Looking back on it, the name game was more of his fantasy than mine. I went along with the show, but not completely. It was agreed that a boy would be called Jacob (Jake for short) and W-something of course in the middle. However, it was not decided that a girl would be called Sharon. I have a cousin Sharon and although I love her, I don’t think this era is naming its baby girls Sharon. Even after the story about how Dub-yah had lost a Sharon named friend in Jr. High to leukemia, I put my foot in my mouth, but I would not budge on that name. I had decided that I liked the name Macy (minus middle W), but would substitute Sharon as the middle name.

Turns out that was a year for the books. Infatuation took over the fist 9 months of my year, met in the middle with heartbreak and multi medical traumas. While I was in New Jersey one of my few trips, my grandmother had “the” fall - the last and final one that stripped her of her independence and started her downhill spiral. My uncle had surgery not once, but, twice through the back of his neck and then the front of his neck to repair some spinal nerve damage. The real kicker came in late July, on a the day when my dad, who had ignored the throbbing ache in his left leg for many days, felt something burning before he would take the Life or Limb flight to Stanford. They say things like that always come in 3’s. Well, not for me. Before the summer of family medicals was up, Dubyah decided that he just couldn’t take the 3,000 miles anymore. When the going get tough, the 19 year olds get going. We briefly changed our minds around 9-11, but frivolous air travel was not an option that anyone would be looking at for quite some time.

Jump eight years later to today’s backseat update about a grade-school girl named Macy Sunshine Something. I finally remembered that sunshiny day on highway 116 when there was a serious conversation with a boy from South Jersey about a baby girl who would one day be named Macy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snow 'n flip-flops

Typical girl road trip “necessities” for 48 hours: 1 Aero bed, 2 pillows, 1 blanket, 1 expandable case of makeup that weighs approximately 12 1/2 pounds, 1 pair of camel colored Kuggs (Knock-off Uggs), 1 pair of brown boots, tennis shoes, 22 makeup brushes, 6 pairs of earrings, 3 necklaces, 4 bracelets, 3 long sleeved shirts, 7 short sleeved shirts, 2 hoodies, zebra print pajama bottoms, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of sweats, 1 pair of brown corduroys, 2 scarves, 1 baseball cap, 1 zip up sweater, 1 jacket, 4 pairs of socks, 1 laptop, 1 digital camera with all the lenses and filters, 3 Netflix movies, 1 scrapbook project to share with fellow scrapper, 1 apple, 1 banana, and 5 oranges. Options. Give a woman options and you’ll keep her happy.

Lauren road trip necessities: Music.

~ P!nk, Hinder, James Otto, Colbie Callait, Shakira, & Muddy Waters. Daily servings from all the major music food groups. A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, with enough blues, spice, and Bubbly to keep things interesting.

So far today, safe trip, good scenery, good friends…great day off.

Quote of the night:
Gary (mid-story): “We were drinking one night…was it a holiday?” (ponders the thought, looks up, scratches his chin).
Patti: “No. There was no occasion, Gary. It was Summer and you had a porch.”

Today, I took myself on a 4-hour road trip to visit the Robinsons up in Susanville. I have to admit I wasn’t overly thrilled at the thought of driving in the rain, and possibly the snow, for 4-hours by myself but I had already planned on being gone for my weekend and I was expected.

~Just outside of Red Bluff

My GPS was steering me towards all kinds of routes as I drove north up I-5, but I took the “pretty” one on good advice. Glad I did, because it was absolutely beautiful! I gotta get out and get my drive on more often!

I was mesmerized by the greenery as I turned out of Red
Bluff onto I-36 and then I was captivated by white snow as the elevation got higher. Every time I passed one of those big, yellow “Watch For Snow” signs, I chuckled to myself. I am! I am! I swear I am! Minus the windy, rain-slicked, winding road bordered by 4 foot snow banks on both sides, I was watching the snow all around me like a kid glued to cartoons on a Saturday morning. I must have stopped about a half a dozen times to take pictures. This is the most snow I’ve seen in my 27 years. Really, truly, it is. It’s strange (and sad) for me to hear myself admit that considering how often I take flight and travel. I figured I would have spent at least a little time in the snow by now during one of those adventures, right?

~ Mill Creek, CA

I am not a snow person, but it’s not like that on purpose. I can count the number of times I’ve been in the snow in my lifetime on one hand. The last time I was “in” the snow, it was April or May of 2005 and I was:
1) in the snow
2) in the Swiss Alps
3) in flip-flops.
Yes, you read me right. Flip flops. The only thing that could have been more obvious was a blinking fluorescent sign around my neck with an arrow pointing down at my next to naked feet: “Tourist, tourist! Look, it’s an American tourist!” You see, I am never prepared to be in the snow. Ever. I don’t live close enough to snow to have snow clothing. I mean, it’s a cold day in Vacaville if it hits below freezing at 4am on a mid-January night. It just doesn’t ever get that cold where I frequent.

~ Lake Almanor just outside of Chester, CA

Really though, I could be a snow person. I think I want to be a snow person on occasion. I live pretty damn close to Tahoe, so I could have snow gear - really I probably should have snow gear, but I don’t. My family was never an adventurous one while we were growing up. We didn’t really go anywhere on vacation. I can only think of a couple trips that we ever took as a family. One summer when I was about twelve maybe, we went to Hearst Castle and the Monterey Bay Aquarium and it was miserable the entire time. Imagine a two-tone brown Ford Aerostar van circa 1989 filled with the sounds of childhood misery, bickering, and the non-stop nagging of 3 siblings, 1 cousin, and 2 parents. Needless to say, we never bundled up as a family and headed towards the powder to revel in a full day of cold, wet, miserable non-stop nagging and bickering. Still, as close as we were to the snow growing up, I should have made at least one snow angel as a kid even if I had to sit in that brown van to make the trip.

Note to self: when you have some, take your kids to the snow while they’re still kids. Just make sure they’re not in flip-flops.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Just roll with it.

I feel


work is good tonight. Actually good. Not soul crushing or blood pressure elevating. I don't want to put my foot through the radio or rip anyone a new anything. It's an odd feeling.

I feel like it's back to when it used to be fun and managable and rewarding. When we used to set up the scenarios for the night...a pursuit of a stolen vehicle with shots fired, tc'ed into a house, fully engulfed, multi-alarm structure fire, foot bail, perimeter, SWAT call out. That's the stuff we used to wait for.

Dare I even say it? Tonight felt like it was a few years ago. I hate being that "it was never like this back when I started" person, but I that's what I've become.

I used to feel unshakable. Unbreakable. I was so confident and believed in the work I did 40+ hours a week so strongly, that I actually used to say that. "This job might make me stumble from time to time, but it can't shake me. I've got this. Whatever it is, I can handle it. 'Cause that's just what we do. Whatever the situation might be, we'll find a way to work it out."

And we did. The great shifts and crews that I've been assigned to in the last few years have handled all kinds of natural disasters, crimes, and ridiculous shenanigans and we thrived off of that stuff! Just a bunch of adrenaline junkies just waiting for THE Code 3 traffic.

Tonight: I understand the officers, I'm not stumbling over what I need to say, I didn't miss anything, I didn't forget to add a unit or upgrade a response...I was into it. I cared.

I've always told myself to be the best at what I do and be proud of it. I felt like that tonight - proud and into it - and it baffled me just a little bit. I even said outloud..."I don't...quite...know what to do?"

My answer from the far corner of the room, "Just roll with it."

Yeah. Just roll with it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I've been shot

by the anti-cupid. Playa down!!! Yes, anti-cupid is exactly what it means. The anti-Christ of relationships just hit me with a shit arrow completley out of the blue. So, this is what Bon Jovi was singing about.

You give love a bad name.

You see there is an ex-troll, an ex-hole, and ex...something that I just can't seem to escape. The saying "don't shit where you eat" - yeah, he was somewhere in the making of that saying. He's the plague, but he's not the issue here. The problem is the former friends, now acquaintances, that feel the need to tell me when they see him at the grocery store with his new female victim or at starbucks at 8 o'clock on a Friday night. I don't need to know. No one needs to know.

It's one thing coming from the ex-hole - the random late night texts, the mass Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas tidings, the accidental "bumping" intos - that's always been part of his game, and trust me, I hate the player AND the game. It's entirely different when I have my guard down and I get struck by a wayward arrow from some random bystander who's head is so far up, they can't see the daylight. Really? What did you think I was going to do with that new nugget of info?

I got it - he's just not that into me. I read the book, I eventually applied the principals to my life, now let's just let it alone. Now is the time to let the troll crawl back under his bridge. Anti-Cupid, stop misfiring on me or I will drown your fat little punk ass in my dating pool!

I found serenity in my living room

I'm in a serene moment in time right now.

Ok, I'll level with you, I do have some Advil PM on board, but I'm not giving a couple of pills all the credit for this.

It's 0137 in the morning and I'm sitting in my living room at a 6 foot table covered with baby/Hawaiian scrapbooking supplies. There are 5 candles lit in the room filling the air with just enough frangrance to make you stop and wonder what the scent might be. Is it mango, rose, peach, melon something? At this point, I couldn't even tell you which one it is.

Always - always - always there is music. Right now it's the calm strum of Let Him Fly drifting out across the room. A second ago you would have caught me in a trance singing along with Bonnie Raitt. I love her voice. If I could sing and play with half of the talent she has, I would hit the road with my guitar in an instant.

It only took me about 4 months, but I finally figured that I could set up my external portable speakers to my ipod. So far there are just shy of 1800 songs on there. I think I know them all by heart. The reality is that I should be at work still, but not today. Not right now. Today, I took a day to myself - part recovering from this weekend's intestinal evacuation and part just because, well, mental health counts too.

I love moments like this.

I force myself to have a photographic memory on occasion. There are some moments in time that I tell myself to snap a picture of while I'm in them so I pull them out of my memory bank when I need a good thought.

There was the "Aretha Franklin" moment. That was a great one. :) Have you ever seen a 26 year old Filipino-Irish woman dressed up as Aretha Franklin? Yeah, imagine it. That's one of the reason's why I've become Karma's Punchline. Win the karaoke "contest" drunk early in the week, perform in the all-stars show sober at the end of the week.

I remember that moment right before I went out on the stage, dressed in full costume head-to-toe black wig and all, holding the mic in my right hand, holding on to Mateo's arm with my left, taking a deep breath, closing my eyes, tilting my head up to the sky, and asking myself with a smirk on my face, "Lauren. What. In the Hell. Are you doing?!? Well, it's too late now, you got yourself into this, now you gotta get yourself out." No one saw that...I was still standing behind the curtain then but I'll always remember that self-pep talk. Then in about 3 was all over with, but that brief moment in time, standing behind the curtain, that moment was all mine.

Peacefulness escapes me on a regular basis. So when I do find it, I take note. I remember a day in late October, two years ago, and about an hour north of the Michigan/Ontario border. It was sunny, beautiful, cold day; but from where I sat in the driver's seat, you'd never know it. The sun was shining on me just strong enough that I could feel it's warmth on my skin. My passenger was sound asleep, which left me alone with the sunshine and Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio. I can still imagine what the flat green Earth looked like against the blue sky, it was simply beautiful. There were clouds too, but not the meacing ones. Remember that painter guy with the afro who used to be on PBS all the time? Bob Ross was it? The guy with the voice that was waaay too soft and waaaay to smooth...he used to say things like "ok, and now we're just gonna paint in a happy little cloud here, and a happy little cloud there. There you go, just some happy clouds." Those were the clouds, there were happy clouds all over the sky. Every once in a while there would be a few Cypress trees or a car would pass me by, but for the most part it was just me singing along to every song that played. Just about then, my passenger woke up just long enough to mention how ugly the "flat" scenery was before rolling over and going back to bed. Funny, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Somewhere in Ontario.

I have a picture of that moment somewhere. It was worth capturing. Right then, I didn't think about anything else but being in that car on that highway. I was completly wrapped up in that moment in time. It was like a band-aid for my soul and I clung to it as long as I could. I still remember thinking that I was so at peace with myself, I could feel myself breath and I could hear myself think. Clarity. It was an absolute moment of clarity. There were no smudges and marks from every day life in that moment. That was a good trip. No, actually that was a great trip.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wrap around porch

It's a rainy Tuesday. I'm in bed eating chicken soup and watching Fireproof on my laptop. It's a calm and peaceful scene until you interject the reality of my otherwise "lazy" Tuesday. I have a) the stomach flu b) late onset Montezuma or c) food poisoning. I have lost 3 lbs since 10 am when my trainer text me to see if I was still coming in to workout. There was NO way, squats and crunches would have propelled my intestines with a velocity that would impress NASA scientists. This is really no way to spend a day off.

Made you smile. :)

The upside: laying in bed has afforded me the chance to seriously daydream. I'm currently daydreaming about living in the Midwest or the South - somewhere on a horse ranch or a plantation. I spent all day looking up ranch real estate and properties with big barns. I am currently distracted by the idea of living in the grand daddy of all states - Texas. I don't know why exactly, but Texas seems like it would be an experience and a place that I could get into. I can't pinpoint exactly when I got all these romanticized dreams about living on estate, but I suspect they run pretty deep.

I had a flashback to when I was 11 or 12. I read Gone With the Wind in a few days (the hardcover edition); which if you've seen those novels, just their size alone is epic before you ever crack the pages of the cover. "Great balls of fire. Don't bother me anymore and don't call me sugar." ~ Scarlett O'Hara

I loved the Anne of Green Gables series growing up; I couldn't get enough of those movies. I still get hypnotized by them when I catch a glimpse now and again.

I'm a sucker for Nicholas Sparks novels and all of those are set in the South. I am in love with the scenes that I managed to paint my mind from his last one The Lucky One. If for nothing but the music alone, I could live in the South. Country, rhythm, and blues sing to the soul of me.
"All I can say is that there's a sweetness here, a Southern sweetness, that makes sweet music. . . . If I had to tell somebody who had never been to the South, who had never heard of soul music, what it was, I'd just have to tell him that it's music from the heart, from the pulse, from the innermost feeling. That's my soul; that's how I sing. And that's the South." -- Al Green

I could live in Hope Floats. Granted Justin Mattise (AKA Harry Connick Jr.) is one fine piece of cowboy to stare at on the horizon, but it's the scenery and the landscape of that movie that is just as romantic as the story. Speaking of, don't get me started on them boys with the Southern accents. I won't lie. You see, I'm a sucker for a good accent.

I think I've always been a little bit country at heart, but now it's really starting to manifest itself. The hustle and bustle of having an adult job with adult responsibilites weighs heavily lately and living in the city with neighbors breathing down your neck has never once appealed to me. I never used to understand the urge for people to move their families from the city to the country, but I get it now. I totally get it.

I am a strong believer in keeping some things sacred. We are all so "wired" and "plugged in" to myspace and facebook and all the other online portals, that everyone knows your thoughts and dreams and desires at all times of the day and night. It's nice to have some of your dreams still tucked back away and safe in the conrners of your mind. Blogging about my life is both theraputic and intimidating at the same time. Who says that I always want everyone to know what I'm thinking or what direction I want to take my life in? I mean there's some benefit to putting all out there for the world to see, but at the same time there's that reservation about letting the world in to criticize, or question, or even steal your dreams and ideas.

I could see me here. Not just imagine myself here, but see me here. This is my dream home. Not what most of the people who know me would have imagined. In my mind, this is in a clearing on property that also houses a stable and a barn, a tree lined driveway, and a lot of land to roam on. I can see a lot of other scenes here too, but those are the ones that I get to keep in my mind.

I have a new background on my laptop. It's my dream house. I've never actually found a picture of anything that I can say was my "dream" anything. Really... I found it during another one of my late night insomnia searches on "wrap around porches". You see this is all a little bit strange for me to admit because I've never been the girl who dreamed about picket fences, her wedding dress, or what she wants to name her children. Not to say that those thoughts don't cross my mind, but I've never staked anything on them. I've been busy in the way of being single, independent, industrious, and travelled. Has the thought of settling down struck accord somewhere inside me? I guess it's high time that I dust off some of those dreams that float around in my head and wash away the cobwebs. It's one thing to believe in keeping things sacred and a whole other thing to breath some life into your dreams by making them known and speaking of them outloud. I think it's time to start writing a new chapter in my life. After all, there were 63 chapters in Scarlett O'Hara's story. 63.

I better get to writing.

Picture of me

A webcam can be dangerous business. I tried playing it off like I didn't know how to use it last time I was asked to show myself. It's like being in a fishbowl on display for everyone to see. It's strange stuff, the webcam. I'm not a fan, but I'm not a hater either. I It dashes the anonimity of hiding behind your keyboard. I couldn't imagine being on one of those reality shows having cameras follow you day in and day out. Funny, I can't even be in real life without getting caught doing stupid shit. Today I got caught adjusting the bottom of my nose ring by some guy in a silver Saturn. I guess from his point of view, me sitting up so high in my Tahoe with my pinky finger so close to being up in my brain, it looked like I was mining for gold. It was like a scene out of Seinfeld. "I swear, it was just the nose ring. The nose ring!!!"

So yeah, the camera. I guess it's ok to come out from behind the lens now and again. Just now and again...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weather the storm

There's a war happening in the sky above my head. The sun and the clouds are at battle with each other. It's actually a beautiful sight. Some wars aren't gruesome or bloody. I suspect the rain will win for tonight, but the sun always finds its way to shine through somehow.

I have found the perfect blog spot in my driveway, Safety tucked away in my urban assault vehicle. Just me and my laptop listening to tunes watching the clouds roll by. This car is my safe place. It's carried me to and from some great moments in life. It's also been part of my long drive home after those oh so many walks of shame. I just saw "He's Not That Into You" - I liked it. I've had that book for years now...years. I've worn the pages slightly, yet I still chose to ingore it's advice when it was convenient for me. I like to think that I am the sun in that battle in my life. Always managing to shine through somehow...always managing to weather the storm.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Did you see the chest rise?"

and then...someone's grandfahter stops breathing and you try your hardest to explain CPR to them and save someone's life but it doesn't work. This job is crushing my soul. It's one extreme to the next. Few and far between can do this job successfully and I think my ticket might be up. You only have so much energy and strength and drive to fight the uphill battle for so long. I'm tired. I'm just tired and worn out.


I hate people. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. I am a public servant which in turn for some people means that I am their doormat. Well, I've been a doormat for years not and I am done with it. I've been called a bitch first thing at the beginning of my 7am shift because someone thought that an ambulance wasn't driving fast enough. I've been threatened on more occasions than I can remember and on a regular baiss told that I have to do whatever some random public person at large decides they want done because they "pay my salary". Well, you know, I pay my salary too. I've lived in this town for my entire life. I pay local taxes, state taxes, and property taxes, which almost means that I nearly work for free sometimes. I hate this town. I hate the high and mighty people who live in this town that think they are the be and and end all of small town living. Look around people! This is a town with a major state prison, along the I80 corridor, within less than an hour's drive from Oakland. This is not Mayberry. Yes it did happen to you, yes you did actually do something to bring it on yourself, and yes, leave. Go, get out, and don't look back if you don't like the way that business is done around her. I want to give this city and these citizen's the biggest middle finger that I can find. I want to build a giant one out of foam and put it on top of my house. But, alas...if I do that, if I choose to so express my freedom if speech, there will be some cartoon character councilwoman publically ranting about how things like this don't happen in her pristine town. I work with men and women who have good pay and good benefits for working with the lowest of the low and the most soul-leaching people and demands that someone can deal with on a regular basis, and what do we get? Shit. We get shit for wanting to have a decent life outside of that with medical benefits that won't carry most of us into long life like those people who work in the private sector. I could go on and on, and really all this rant hasn't done much for me or my current stress level, but I feel the need to publically make it known to all those public persons out there who feel that they can abuse the system and make demands on "their dime" that you don't count for anything other than being a leech on this society. Karma is a big, nasty, ugly bitch with a rockin' sense of humor and you can only burn her so many times before you alter your fate.

I'm over this. Bankruptcy and the life of a vagabond traveller is calling my name. I hate my job, I hate this town, I hate these people...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Quote for the day

"If you have lost your joy, start looking! It's in there, perhaps buried deep insdie, but definitely worth finding again. Pay attention to what you love and put your focus there."

~ Permission to Dream

Good quote. I'm keeping this one.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A woman should have...

enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to...

I wish, I want, I should...this kind of freedom would mean the world to me some days.

something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

I've managed to collect some pretty versatile things over the last few years. I'm more in touch with my feminine side and I'm really starting to understand my own little touches of flair (for lack of a better word).

a youth she's content to leave behind...

I'm not going far from this yet, but I do feel the need to be more reckless. Life passes by real quick. I'm gonna be 28 this year. When the the hell did that happen?! I remember thinking that when I was 17, that would be so cool, and then when I was 21, that would be the beginning of so much, and then when I was 25...well, little less thinking, lot more doing. I think these things when I'm running at the gym staring out into traffic.

a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age....

See above. I already retell my stories and get great laughs now. Life is too shy to be bashful and embarassed. People can relate. Really, they can and the best remedy is laughter. Always.

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

Check, check, and check

one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...

I have amazing friends. My real, true friends I can count on for anything. I'm grasping onto the idea that my diversity of friends is my wealth and that they all serve a great and different purpose in my life.

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

I have a furniture mecca. Buying furniture makes me feel like an adult. I did get the pub table all on my own and that's a pretty cool belonging.

eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored...

My mother is a great cook. I've learned from her and cooking is one of my favorite activities. When I retire, I want to just have big dinners with good friends, great music, and the best food. I want to have one of those houses that always has the door open. Marlena said that once. That she wished she had a house like mine where the door was always open. It made me think about my house and its availability in a different light. Not as a burden, but as an open door.

a feeling of control over her destiny...

I do and I don't. I believe that Someone has control over my destiny, but I still feel independent enough to throw caution to the wind now and then and say F@#& it! You only live once. I like how my MakeupGeek has taken control of her destiny. Those are the stories that I love to watch unfold. I'll unfold more of mine in the years to come...

how to fall in love without losing herself..

I'm horrible at this. Absolutley horrible. I fall and I fall to pieces; but it's in the picking myself up that I learn about myself. I've picked myself up over and over again and I've made promises to myself that I've broken, but I think I've learned for the next time. I always try to remember that love is risky and I would rather be broken now and then and find my strength to rebuild than never take the risk at all. I fear that I'll be a person who looks back on my life and doesn't see where I took any chances.

how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship...

No, no, no, and no. As much as I think I'm afraid of committment, I have a hard letting go of what I know. I've had the same type of job since I was 16, I'm horrible at confronting friends, I've obliterated some friendships because I let it all build until I just blow, and breaking up with lovers...not proud, not clean, not easy.

when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...
I'm learning. That's all I have on this.

that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents...

I've been pretty confident and bold with the body that I've been given. What most people don't know is that I am always, and I mean nearly every minute of every day, aware of all of my flaws. I dream about the body that I want to have and I feel like it will never be within my reach. I don't breath insecurities like some women do, but I don't often feel pretty or feminine. I have some pretty negative thoughts on my worthiness when it comes to relationships. I think that I am my own worst enemy.

that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...


what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

I know, but I still make mistakes. Love hurts.

how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

Haven't had the opportunity but I know that I would be a chicken about it.

whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...

Learning the difference between these people is exhausting and painful. It's an ongoing battle and my biggest dread as of late. I think that trust is the key to any relationship and finding someone you can trust no matter what feels next to impossible some days.

where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table..
or a charming Inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...

I have my friends and my spots. Thankfully, there is always someone who is there to lend me a sholder or an ear. When you find those spots that sooth your soul, hang on to them with everything that you have. These are the places with the people that are going to get you through the toughest times of your life.

What she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year...

Sometimes the things that I have accomplished and all the things that I want to accomplish are just nothing but a blur. I make lists of things that I want to get done and never manage to check everything off of one entire list. It is my goal to finish a list in a day. It is my goal to have all my "should haves" become "did thems" at some point in my life. I want to live a full life without regrets. I think that's the #1 thing that I want to check off my list.

Midflight thoughts

Heartburn has me up at 5something more ways than one. Being gone in Mexico for a week was only a small band-aid. In fact, I think it just magnified some of the other problems. There are a lot of fake people out there with no real substance or motivation in life. Weeding them out of my life is proving to be harder than I ever thought it would be.

I usually have a lot of time to think when I'm flying. I just plug in my ipod and let the music carry me to wherever my mind needs to go. I watch the clouds roll by and the landscape below dot its way across the horizon like notes on a scale. I'm always amazed at clouds - the more I look at them, the more I think they must have been one of God's greatest creations. I also love watching the sunset from the sky. It's like nothing else. You'll never be able to see the colors that are created with the sun boucing off the tops of the clouds unless you're in the sky to see where they meet. I don't like the suffocating feeling of flying, but the time it gives me to gather my thoughts is usually welcome. My mind wandered all over the place on this flight. I think it found permanent residency in some of the places that it travelled to.

I watched a Tyler Perry movie "The Family That Preys" on the flight and it settled in right next to my thoughts. I love his movies for the underlying messages that he conveys. The tagline for this movie is "Follow your heart, but watch your back."
There were a couple of questions posed throughout the film that I made note of on a personal level...
Remember when you used to dream? At what point did you stop dreaming about what you want from life?
Are you living or just existing? This was acompanied by the lyrics of the theme song:

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I love the lyrics from that song, but I forget to listen to them with more than just my ears sometimes. It's high time I started listening to things with my heart more often. Settling for the path of least resistance seems to be the story of my life as of late...

Despite my best efforts, flying is always an comedic adventure somehow and this one was no exception. I lost one side of my earphone cover before the flight even started, cut my toe open on my computer bag midflight somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico, broke the underwire on the right side of my bra as I was talking to my flight neighbor, and cracked the Mexican pottery that I was so careful to carry on while I had to repack the liquids prior to reboarding in Houston, Texas. As I practically crawled out of my skin from being stuck on a plane for far too long with an achey toe and the fear that I was going to be stabbed through and through by razor sharp wire, I couldn't help but imagine that all the times I've been on a plane, I had never felt so conflicted about coming home. If home is where your heart is, then I don't quite know where to hang my hat, but I do want to find out where that place is. I think I'm going to have to start down some paths of resistance while I'm still young enough to believe that I can do anything.

Right now I'm going to try and believe that I can sleep despite Insomnia's best efforts to keep my mind from drifting off into those clouds again...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Broken compass

Something is off. My internal compass is broken and I'm not sure what direction I'm headed lately. I don't even really know how to explain it other than I don't know which way is North anymore. I realize that there is a certian spiritual meaning in that last sentence.

I have everything and nothing to say in this blog. I almost feel like life as of the last few years was just one social event to the next and I know there is much more purpose to life than that. I got a random text tonight that made me want to throw the phone across the room. I swear my heartrate jumped and my blood started to boil. Why? Why would I want to go back there to that place even for a brief response to an otherwise seemingly harmless question. That chapter has had it's last sentence written. There's nothing more to say, yet, it keeps popping up.

Maybe it's not my compass that's broken; maybe I just had a switch inside me flip on, or in that case, I had another one flip off.

Sometimes I feel like I'm having an out of body experience. Like I'm looking at my life and not only do I not recognize myself sometimes, I don't like what I'm seeing in its place. I read this great article titled "The 7 Reasons You're Not the Woman You Want to Be" and related to pretty much every single topic. I get that people reinvent themselves and learn and change and grow, but there has to be a baseline to keep things grounded.

This is a partial emotional roadmap of my day:

Regret. Woke up with a feeling that I haven't had in a while. I said something over the weekend that I reallly didn't have any point in saying. I'm not even completly sure where it came from. I don't know that I regret the implication of what it resulted in as much as I regret the person it made me look like. I've had this thought on my mind a lot lately - Every is their own person. We get caught up in taking up causes for other people and I think that is where we lose some of ourselves. I'm trying (and failing usually) to find the fine line between where my moral compass rests and my social loyalties fall.

Vulnerability. I went and saw a lady about a wax. Let me tell you, there are a few moments in time that I have told myself "Self, remember this moment for what it is" This was one of them. Nothing more awkward and intrusive than a bikini wax. As I lay there in an otherwise compromising position, I actually said, "The things women do for beauty..." and just shook my head quietly to myself. I'd like to paint you a picture of hilarity and synicism of this actual scece from today, but then I realize that I haven't flagged this blog for "adult content". I guess that story is for another place and time.

Nostalgic. As I watched my sister drive off with her friend and my friend, I realized that I was missing out on a potentially great couple of days with them. I don't spend enough time with my sister and as far as my friend...she's a good one, frustrating at times, but a good person. I tend to let the frustrating part take over the good part and I loose focus. Gotta stop doing that.

Proud: I've lost 9 lbs. That's a big deal for me. I haven't managed to do that with any consistency or permanency in a long time. I have managed to put myself first in one arena, now if it would just carry over into the other ones.

Hopeful: Even with my broken compass, I can see the light shining through. I know where my loyal, true freinds are and that's all that counts. I think that the implosion of certian circles is a blessing in disguise. I have put off a lot of things and haven't prioritized some of my relationships and passions and that is what is ultimately paying the price.

In about 24 hours, I'm going to be leaving for Mexico for a week. I'm going to try and just have one thought and feeling for the week - happiness. Maybe it will help me get my compass pointing back in the right direction.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Scenes from my weekend

Cake a la Angela Stefenoni, baker extrodinare and auto mechanic. Women with amazing and diverse talents have a little piece of my heart. I admire them even when it comes in the form of diet-sabotaging bakery items. The sweet things that come out of her kitchen might as well have the tag line from Field of Dreams...If she bakes it, they will come.

I carried my camera in my purse with me all weekend (PS, it's a heavy camera!); to work on Saturday and to the Superbowl party on Sunday. It was a semi-good weekend.

Saturday: The dark cloud that looms over my head whenever I go to work is starting to lift. While I'm gaining my attitude back, I've come to realize that I've let some of my skills slip and slide through the cracks and I'm not OK with that. I heard one of the Lieutenants say something in briefing the other day and it stuck in my head.

"Do your best work and be proud of it."

Simple and to the point. I used to actually tell my trainees that but I've forgotten to abide by it myself. Through various circumstances, situations, and co-workers, I've lost my faith in what I do. Luckily, faith can be renewed. I used to say that I was a good dispatcher because I cared to be the one they knew could be counted on and I knew that I could be the best at what I do. Working on the wrong side of the week, I got lost in the sea of mediocrity and not giving a damn and slowly I abandoned my Be-The-Best-You-Can-Be Ship. It's time I threw myself my own lifesaver and quit sniveling. There's no crying in dispatch.

The latest addition to my locker wall of good tidings courtesy of Tiny Beckster. It applies to many things in my life.

In the hallway that leads to the break room, we have a virtual gallery of pictures, snapshots, quotes, and comics. I'd have to say that it's probably my favorite part of the police department. Everyonce in a while, I get a present on my locker from one of my co-workers who is still on "the ship" with me (see above). One of the best compliments I've received, was in that form, unsuspectingly taped to my locker one day.

Sunday: The other part of my weekend was just ok. I've been to a work Superbowl party for years now...I haven't missed one since we started throwing them - it's tradition. Why break tradition I say? It's usually a variant of the same crowd with the few strongholds - one of which I am - same place, same time, but this year it was altogether a different vibe. I know it was a combination of a) I wasn't shit faced drunk and b) I've developed a low bitch tolerance in recent years.

Sidenote: since this is just about the first year I haven't been shit faced drunk at one of these parties, I actually watched the game of football. Usually I'm involved in the bottom of a pint glass, drunken barrage of picture taking shenaniganery, or trying to figure out why so-and-so feels the need to be doing whatever we're calling "it" now with other so-and-so in front of all their co-workers. Back to the game - not that I don't have an appreciation for sports, but this game was really great. It made me think of what it must have been like to watch the gladiators in the Roman Times. There are some friggin' brutes barreling into each other. Like President Obama said...there's nothing more American than a game of football! The best reaction by far was the screaming, shouting, running, jumping, whooping, hollering, hi-fiving, beer bottle clinnking, table dancing, and general kindergarten pandemoniom eminating from full grown adult men as the Ravens scored their last touchdown for the game.

Sometimes I feel like I have a lot of friendships come and go, but then I realize that the ones that go are the ones that probably were never meant to be in the first place. I can't stand liars, fakes, and women who will do anything and sacrifice good friends for a little bit of attention = low-bitch tolerance a.k.a. low-asshole tolerance. It doens't have to be gender specific.

Me and my BF Jen. She is the first mate on my Don't-Abaondon-Your-Career Ship. S.O.S.

My final thought for this blog is just a random thought and philosophy. Just before the 4th quarter, I ran across four lanes of traffic with the Ho Exterminator to get some sweets with some wanna-be Pimp money. There was one bag of Chocolate Chip cookies left and a little bit of diversity in the cupcake arena. We chose these for one main reason - since we knew that the drunk monkeys were going to be devouring them, we figured we might as well get the ones with the sprinkles so that at least it will look pretty when it comes back up later. That is truly a lesson learned from Superbowl parties past. Oh the memories...