The Love-Hate Challenge

Hello, world!

Once again, life has been busy and I’m checking in to say hello and tackle the Love/Hate Challenge handed down to me by one of my favorite bloggers, Kimboxin.  In this challenge, I have to list ten things I love and ten things I hate, then nominate other bloggers for the challenge.

Initially, it doesn’t seem too complicated.  How hard is it to list things you love and hate?  So, I spent a few minutes pondering the many nuances of what it means to love or hate something.  If you really think about it, love is not the opposite of hate.  Indifference is the opposite of love, but I have not been asked to write about things to which I feel indifferent.  So, for me, this is not an exercise of opposites, but rather a list of items that either make me feel extremely happy or extremely unhappy.  Oh, and I’m leaving out the obvious stuff, like loving my family or hating anchovies.  Seriously, who likes anchovies?

Hate, hate, hate….

These are instruments of torture.

These are instruments of torture.

1.  I hate high-heels.  Why, as women, do we choose to wear shoes that after about twenty minutes of wear feel like razor blades are imbedded on the inside?  I admit, high-heels make legs and ankles look more attractive.  They add that special something to a dress or an outfit that flats just can’t imitate.  They are incredibly feminine and just make you feel fancy.  I occasionally attempt to wear them.  But high-heels make me feel insecure.  Insecure in that I know the pain is inevitable, and I know that with one small misstep or slip,  I will fall ass over tea kettle in front of anyone watching.   Friday night Dan and I celebrated our anniversary.  We got dressed up and went to dinner at Beso, in Hollywood.  Then we walked to the theatre and saw Phantom of the Opera.  The theatre was less than two blocks from the restaurant, and in the seven minutes it took to walk there, I honestly felt as though my toes were being severed from my feet.  I then made the classic mistake of taking the shoes off while I was at my seat enjoying the performance, because my toes began to swell, which then made trying to put the shoes back on feel like a fresh new hell.  After the show, I put on a brave face, and hobbled out of the theatre, hanging on to Dan’s arm for dear life.  It was all I could do to maintain my dignity and not look like a drunk hooker falling down on the street.  About half way up the first block, I said fuck it.  I took off the shoes and walked down Hollywood Boulevard in my bar feet.  I figured, what the hell?  It’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it’s probably one of the nicest sidewalks in the country.  I did enjoy a laughable moment though when we walked passed a strip club whose marquee read, “1000’s of Beautiful Girls and 3 Ugly Ones!”

2.  I hate being the center of attention, or having too many people looking at me at once.  It makes me feel very insecure and nervous.  Even at my own wedding, knowing that everyone was looking at me filled me with anxiety.  I prefer to blend in with the natives.  This anxiety does not exist for me in this medium, thankfully.  I want people to read my blog.  And it doesn’t feel like the same level of scrutiny for some reason.

3.  I also hate crowds.  Too many people.  Too much noise.  No parking.  And people tend to behave poorly in large crowds.  I prefer smaller, more low key environments.  Causal, laid back places.  Pubs, not clubs.

cockroach4.  I hate allergies.  I am allergic to everything.  If I was stranded on a desert island, I’d probably be dead within hours from touching a leaf or a plant, or being stung by an insect.   A handful of years ago I saw an allergist and she did that skin test on my back where they scratch your skin with a hundred different allergens and then see what you react too.  Within seconds of the nurse applying the allergens, it felt like fire ants were biting me everywhere.  The allergist sort of freaked out when she entered the room and it took several doses of antihistamine to calm the reaction and welts on my back.  When I looked at the chart she gave me, it said one of the items  I was allergic to was cockroaches.  WTF?  I want to know what part of a fucking cockroach they rubbed on my back to find out if I was allergic to it.  Gross.

5.  I hate most reality TV.  Mostly because it’s not reality and there is very little substance to these shows.  I don’t give a fuck about the Kardashians, the Desperate Housewives of any city, or who the Bachelor or Bachelorette is making out with this week.  And don’t even get me started on the Duggars.  There are a few reality shows my family enjoys, but we’re pretty selective.  My family loves MasterChef, American Ninja Warrior, the Amazing Race, and more recently, BattleBots.

6.  I hate hypocrisy.  If you talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk.

7.  I hate it when people don’t take responsibility for their choices, or try to negate the choices of others.  In life, your choices, for good or bad, is truly what defines you.  Own them, and use your powers for good, not evil.

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8.  I hate Jalapenos.  Does this need further clarification?  I think not.

9.  I hate technology when it doesn’t work.  My last cell phone sucked.  It was an older model Samsung that had the drop down keypad for typing.  I preferred that to the touch screen because my fingers always hit the wrong key and it took me forever to do anything on the phone.  So, one evening my friend was over for our regular Friday night wine o’clock, and I was bitching about my phone and how long it took to connect a call.  And she said, “Can you just give it a second to let the signal come back from space?”  LOL!

10.  I hate skinny jeans on men.  I can’t think of many things more emasculating than seeing men wear skinny jeans.  Biggest fashion mistake, ever.

For the love of….

1.   I love fresh, clean paper.  There’s something about a new notebook or journal that fills me with excitement.  It’s a clean slate.  You can write or create anything.  I would hoard them if I was crazy.  But I’m not crazy.  As far as you know.

2.  I love office supplies.  I have no idea why.  I have always loved stores like Staples and Office Max.  I love buying stuff that makes me feel organized.  Shopping for school supplies as a kid felt like Christmas to me.

3.  On this same note, I love making lists.  I write lists for everything.  Again, it helps me feel organized, and my brain needs this in order to feel peace.

4.  I love getting flowers, for no special reason.  Or for a special reason.  That’s fine too.

5.  I love giving and receiving compliments, especially when they are unexpected.  Admit it.  Getting a compliment at an unexpected moment can make you feel on top of the world.  Especially because we rarely see ourselves the way others see us.  And when you give a compliment, even casually, and you see that person’s face light up, it’s an amazing feeling.

6.  I love it when I’m on the treadmill at the gym and one of my favorite Kid Rock songs hits the playlist.  When Bawitdaba starts playing, it takes all I have to not start singing out load and head banging in front of everyone.  That song, among others, just pumps me up and makes me feel like I could run a hundred miles.  I can’t, of course, and about a minute into the song I have to slow down and remind myself that I’m forty and my knees can’t take that shit.

7.  I love my husband’s photography.  He enjoys photography as a hobby, and I love his pictures.

My kids, walking down the street, holding hands.

My kids, walking down the street, holding hands.

8.  I love candles that make my house smell good.  I specifically love Gold Canyon Candles.  They are the best.

9.  I love reading.  I love being absorbed and transported by a story, and the devastation you feel when the book ends.

10.  I love my husband.  I know I said I would leave out the obvious stuff, but we just celebrated our anniversary, so it feels important to include him in this list.  I love the life we have together, and the balance we share in our relationship.  I’m proud of the man he is and I’m proud to be his wife.

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

I nominate the following blogs to participate in this challenge, if they so choose.

1.  https://myspokenheart.wordpress.com/

2.  https://nosajnawk.wordpress.com/

3.  https://lindsaysmiles.wordpress.com/

4.  https://brandedexplorer.wordpress.com/

5.  https://sweetykannoth.wordpress.com/

6.  https://hysterectomy4dysmenorrhea.wordpress.com/

7.   http://catsatthebar.org/   (I would love to see the cat’s perspective on this!)

Wanda Says…Blog awards, Rick Springfield, and other random stuff.

one-lovely-blog-award[1]Recently another great blogger, Weight2lose2013, nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  This is my second ‘New Blogger’ award since I started this blog four and a half months ago.  I won’t lie, I’m pretty thrilled about it.

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow bloggers who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with viewers and followers.

You think I’m lovely?  Really?   Even though I use the F-word a lot?  Awww, that’s fantastic!

Prior to blogging, I’ve never won any awards.  Not ever.  Not even a perfect attendance award in elementary school.  This was partly due to how shy I was as a kid, and I didn’t really outgrow that shyness until I was in high school.  Even then, I never liked to be the center of attention so I learned to fly under the radar.  I’ve always been social and enjoyed being included in group activities but I never really put myself out there to try and accomplish something I could be recognized for.

So having my silly, ridiculous little blog acknowledged in a positive manner by my peers in the blogging community feels pretty amazing.  I never thought anyone would read it, so I am beyond flattered that any of you enjoy it enough to keep coming back and checking in on Wanda.  I truly enjoy being a part of the WordPress community, and I want to thank Weight2lose2013 for the nomination and support.  All of you should go check out his blog immediately!

Now let’s get to the rules… 

In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  2. Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  3. Share 7 facts/or things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blogs

Here are seven random facts about me:

1.  I often read to myself, out loud.  I can’t help it.  When I’m engrossed in a good book reading out loud to myself just happens, and when I try and suppress the urge I get frustrated and end up re-reading a paragraph several times trying to concentrate.  I don’t like to read with other people in the room for this reason.  Does anyone else have this problem?

e2e9241c60145eca0ead8eaa485ad1dc[1]2.   I’ve had a white hot crush on Rick Springfield for about 30 years now, and I don’t see that changing, ever.  Growing up, I really wanted to be Jesse’s Girl so Rick would love me too.  (Sigh)

3.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people ask me if I’m wearing contacts.  I have blue eyes, and five out of ten people will ask me point blank if I am wearing contact lenses.  Here’s what irritates me about this…they don’t ask if I’m wearing colored contacts, just contacts.  I do wear contacts because I have horrible vision, but they aren’t colored.  Frequently, people just assume my eye color is enhanced with blue colored contacts, and when they ask it’s almost like they’re accusing me of something.  It’s the knowing tone of voice they use, like they just out-smarted a used car salesman that annoys the shit out of me.  I usually reply by saying, “Yes, I wear contacts because my vision is horrible, but how could you tell that just by looking at me?”   My point is that people shouldn’t assume that because someone has an interesting feature that they’re fake in some way.  And even if they are, why should you care?

coffee cup4.  Coffee is my favorite beverage.  I worship coffee.  I could drink it all day, especially when it’s cold and raining.  I don’t like black coffee, though.  I like my coffee like I like my ice cream…sweet and creamy.  When I travel, I even pack my own sweetener (Stevia) and non-dairy creamer.  So many people and hotels don’t have Stevia or the cream I like, so I never leave town without it.

5.  I love books of all kinds and I read books from every genre.  Historical fiction is my favorite, but paranormal romance is my secret, guilty pleasure.  Sometimes, after reading something heavy and thought-provoking, I need a book that doesn’t make me think too hard.  Something that just makes me laugh, takes me to the edge of my seat, and makes my heart race with the anticipation of the two main characters finally getting their shit together and realizing they belong to each other.  Some of my favorite series include the Fever series, the Immortals After Dark series, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and the Charley Davidson series.  All of these series are sexy, smart, action-packed and hilarious.

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6. I really do have a weird obsession with the zombie apocalypse.  Last month my husband was cleaning out the garage and he knew to pile everything he wanted to get rid of in the driveway for me to look at first, just in case I wanted to save something for my zombie stash.  He wanted to get rid of a Brita water filter tank and several new, replacement filters.  I was like, “What if the zombie apocalypse comes and we need a way to filter water for drinking?”  He calmly put the water tank and filters back in the garage, without saying a word.  I think he appreciates the fact that I’m thinking ahead.  😉

7.  Sometimes, I spontaneously start dancing around my house.  Sometimes with music, most of the time without music.  My dancing is usually motivated by doing something silly with my kids.  I think I’m a great dancer.  My kids think I’m ridiculous and my husband just thinks it’s funny.

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Now for the blogger nominations!  I don’t know fifteen new bloggers to nominate, so I will nominate the bloggers that I do know and believe you will enjoy as much as I do.

http://jurassicmom.com/

http://lindsaysmiles.wordpress.com/

http://sweetykannoth.wordpress.com/

http://redcarpetsquare.wordpress.com/

That’s it!  Thanks again and I hope everyone has a fabulous week!  🙂

Wanda Says…On the subject of Margaret, Playboy & Spin the Bottle.

images[1]One of my favorite books from childhood is Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume. 

It’s a pre-teen, coming of age book about an eleven year old girl trying to handle a series of changes in her life.  Margaret is growing up, and she has a hard time talking about puberty with her friends, or her fear that she may not be like other girls her age.  So Margaret confides in God.  Margaret talks to God about everything from her anxiety about fitting in at a new school, to her concern that her breasts aren’t growing fast enough.  It’s charming, innocent and funny.

I recently bought this book for my daughter, Bryn.  She loves to read and since this was a favorite book for me when I was her age, we have been reading it together.  We sit on Bryn’s bed at night and take turns reading chapters to each other.

I remember reading this book as a ten year old girl and being fascinated because the characters openly talk about puberty and periods and their budding interest in boys.  As a mother of a ten year old daughter, reading this book again gave me a completely different perspective.  Keep in mind that I haven’t read this book in 30 years, and aside from the main storyline, I had forgotten quite a few important details.

playboy_bunny_logo_30242[1]There were multiple pop-culture references in the book that were appropriate for the time period and seemed to be no big deal when I was a kid.  But having to explain those references to Bryn was not something I was prepared for.  For example, in the book, Margaret and her friends swipe a copy of her dad’s Playboy Magazine so they can see the centerfold and speculate how their own breasts and bodies may look one day.  As Bryn and I are reading this chapter, and Margaret and her friends are staring with wonder at the eighteen year-old centerfold, I’m thinking, “Oh dear God, what can of worms have I just opened?”  And of course, Bryn looks at me with wide, startled eyes and says, “What is Playboy Magazine, and do eighteen year-olds really take their clothes off for pictures?!”  Shit.

Oh wait, there’s more…

In that same chapter, Margaret’s friend sneaks a copy of her dad’s medical anatomy book, and the girls giggle and laugh as they look up pictures of the male genitalia.  There are also scenes in the book where Margaret stuffs her training bra with cotton balls, and she and her friends attend their first co-ed party, where they have to play spin the bottle and go into the bathroom with a boy for two minutes and receive their first kiss.  In another scene, the girls do arm and chest exercises that they believe will help their boobs to grow.  And while they do these exercises, they chant “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!”

images[10]Bryn vacillates between laughing uncontrollably and hiding under the covers with embarrassment as we read together.  I vacillate between sweating, stammering out my answers to her questions, and taking deep, calming breaths so I don’t shout, “You will never play spin the bottle!  Do you hear me?  Never!”

At one point, I had a moment of terror when I imagined her going to school and telling her friends about the juicier details of the book.  I let her know that because we were reading this book together, and I felt she was mature enough to handle it, I was willing to answer her questions and be honest with her.  But I couldn’t make that decision for her friend’s parents, so she had to agree to keep these discussions between us.  I said, “No going to school and telling your friends about this crazy game called Spin the Bottle.”  Yeah, I know, fat chance of that happening, but I had to try.

Despite the embarrassment and discomfort we both felt, it’s still a great book, and an age-appropriate way to start some important discussions.  The mom in me rebels at the idea of her growing up, but the woman in me understands that it needs to happen.  I want her to learn about puberty and periods from me, not her friends. I want her to always trust that she can come to me for anything, and it’s up to me to help her develop that trust through my willingness to be honest and have these tough conversations with her.

On a lighter note, Bryce must have been listening in on our reading, because the other day he was marching around the house chanting, “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!”  🙂