Category Archives: Musings

When rags attack…

To say I’m quirky would be an understatement I’m quite sure! I’m very much aware of how left of center I am and, for the most part, am quick to accept that and move on. Others may need a second look and warm up to my randomness. Who wants to be ordinary anyway? What’s so special about that??

Genes are a strong thing indeed because my baby girl is a carbon copy of me in almost every way. I’m not too sure how the rest of the world feels about there being two of me running around, but I think you’re all pretty damn lucky! I quite often joke it’s her father’s curse – to never REALLY be rid of me completely : ) He’ll be fine, don’t feel that bad for him!!

But my daughter definitely embodies the “Mei Mei moment” mentality. Even in her dreams… lol. I normally catch her sneaking in and out of my bed at night and let her think I’m none the wiser. Last night though she was curled right up under my armpit. We laid quite contently this way all night. (On another completely separate note, I think she senses when I’m at my lowest emotionally because she was there right when I needed her last night. How can I ever stay blue too long when the gorgeous one is there to pick me up??)

When we woke up I asked her why she came to my bed. She told me “I had a nightmare about a rag.” Of course confused, I asked “A rat?” “No a rag, mommy.” Well who wouldn’t be confused about this? So I asked her to tell me more about her dream. Basically the story goes as such:

“I had a nightmare about a rag. It was just there, like a ghost. I knew it would attack me, so I had to attack it first. But when I went to attack it, it attacked me! I ran outta there!!”

This may not seem like some big hilarity of the week to you… but come on, kitchen rags that attack?? And my baby girl being so brave to thwart it’s evil plans with a preemptive strike? Hearing this story, in her super sleepy voice with her wide eyes totally made my morning.

I love that she’s like me. As stated just the other day, I’m on my way to being a better me and if she takes away only the best of me… imagine just how awesome she’ll be!! Sometimes it freaks me out to no end, but I want to believe that it’s a beautiful thing. And at least now I know when I go for a drink in the middle of the night, she’s got my back ; )

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On my way to being a better me

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not who I thought I’d be. Nothing about my life is how I envisioned it when I was younger. To say I was (am??) a nerd is an understatement to the extreme. I literally had my entire future mapped out, probably from infancy lol. I was an overachiever and always expected to excel at anything I tried – and normally did. Somewhere along the way though, I went astray and it all went downhill.

If any of us were to examine our dreams and ambitions from when we were kids, we’d realize none of it came true the way we wanted it to. I mean if I ended up with the job I wanted since I was a kid, I’d be a princess or marine biologist right now. It’s not to say that these dreams aren’t achievable, I just think all those hard knocks I got in my life made me more of a realist these days. Maybe too much??

I struggle on a daily basis to be a better person than I was the day before and almost always at the end of the day I realize I failed miserably at accomplishing that. I’m not being too hard on myself… I know I could do more. I keep asking myself “Am I the kind of person I want my daughter to be?” The answer is not yet… not yet. *sigh*

Maybe I’m just sad today, maybe I only see the glass as half empty today. Maybe I do a better job of beating myself up than others ever could. And believe me… I’ve had my fair share of ego killers and heartbreaking let downs. I do know I want to be a better person and that I’m capable of that. I probably just need to stop thinking about it and do it already. I need to stop confessing my damn sins just to commit the same ones again a week later. I need to stop accepting the circumstances of life. I need to set this freaking bar higher than I have been – higher standards for myself, from others, from life. I should expect more, want MORE. And not feel like I’m being selfish about it. Stop feeling guilty that I believe I deserve more. Especially when it comes to the choices I make in my love life. God, especially THAT. But this rant is not just about a bruised heart. It’s about ALL the relationships in my life. This is about that and all the pieces of me – the parts I hate, the parts I love; the parts that bind me, the parts that attempt to set me free; the parts I know are toxic and the parts that very well may save me from myself.

At what point in our lives did we suddenly decide it’s over anyway?? It’s like I’ve given up or settled. I’m 20 effing 8 years old. My life is far from over – so why am I mourning it’s death already? I value myself so much more than I show to the world. I keep so much of me hidden. And if I can’t project a person worthy of love or respect, who’s going to give it to me? Who’s going to know it’s what I deserve? The whole little pity party thing is way played out and I decided I’m not attending that soiree anymore.

This is a big year for me – so many exciting things are happening. (And don’t worry I’ll share those incredible moments with you as they do.) The first being: Friday is the first day of my last semester in college. Ahhhhh, I know! So long overdue, but it’s here. Imagine me: no longer the “professional student” ; ) That’s only the beginning of my soon to be awesomeness – so definitely stay tuned. So with that being said, Friday is pretty much the first day of the rest of my life! Like I said before, I’m not who I thought I’d be… but I’m soooooooo on my way to being a better me.

Let’s get some drops in this bucket list baby!

So my last post was kind of a downer I know… but sadness reminds us of all the awesome things we have. I get my moments just like everyone else when the sky opens up and pours down. Well… I’m dancing through this storm and decided I just can’t dwell on things that won’t change. So, let’s put all that in a bubble and blow! Woooooosh!

I also mentioned in my last post some of the things on my bucket list. WELLLLLLL why not share that list and update you with cross offs?? Sounds like fun to me! The list is pretty long and it’s going to take forever and a day to finish, but that’s what’s the point of life otherwise?? So of 110 items, I’ve managed to cross of 17. My goal this year is to cross off another 10 – the ones I’m considering this year I’ve bolded.

So here’s the list:
Travel:
1. Live in a foreign country
2. Visit 6 of the 7 continents
3. See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre
4. See Rome – all of it
5. Visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
6. See the Christ Redeemer in Brazil
7. Visit the village where my mom was born
8. Go to Carnival
9. Visit a castle in Ireland
10. Gamble in Vegas
11. Go on safari
12. Go to a film festival
13. Attend a winter or summer Olympics
14. Be in two places at once
15. Go to a wedding abroad
16. Have a road trip
Adventure:
17. Go scuba diving
18. Go sailing
19. Go white water rafting
20. Go surfing
21. Swim with the dolphins
22. Ride a zip line
23. Go rock climbing
24. Ride in a hot air balloon
25. Bungee jump
26. Jump out of a plane
27. Jump off a cliff
28. Ride in a race car
29. Ride a motorcycle
30. Ride in a helicopter
31. Audition for something just because
32. Shoot a gun
33. Buy a random pair of tickets at an airport
34. Throw a dart at a map – visit where it lands
Edification:
35. Finally learn Spanish!
36. Graduate from college
37. Take a photography class
38. Graduate with a Master’s degree
39. Be fluent in at least two foreign languages
40. Learn how to REALLY salsa dance
41. Learn to play the guitar
42. Learn to play poker (and be good at it)
Financial:
43. Buy a car
44. Own my first car
45. Create a trust fund for Aimee
46. Save $100,000
47. Save $500,000
48. Start a non profit organization
49. Sponsor a charity
50. Make a loan on kiva.com
51. Own a dog
52. Own a home
Accomplishments:
53. Get my driver’s permit
54. Get my driver’s license
55. Publish something
56. Create my own website
57. Start a blog
58. Make a documentary
59. Write a children’s book
60. Run a half marathon
61. Run a marathon
62. Quit smoking
63. Read Crime and Punishment
64. Read War and Peace
65. Break a world record
66. Conquer my fear of closets
67. Compose/write a song
68. Write my memoirs
Life:
69. Have a friend for at least 20 years
70. Be the Maid of Honor at least once
71. Be someone’s Godmother
72. Fall in love
73. Fall in love again
74. Get married
75. Celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary
76. Start a tradition
77. Have a huge 30th birthday party
78. Attach a lock on a love bridge
Family:
79. Find a way to reconcile with my mother
80. Find and get to know my half sister
81. Find and get to know my half brother
82. Host a family reunion
83. See Aimee get married
84. Write Aimee a letter for when she’s older
Random:
85. Slap someone in the face and really mean it
86. Watch a sunset and a sunrise on the beach
87. Witness a miracle
88. Plant a tree
89. Skinny dip
90. Be an extra in a movie
91. Make a time capsule and bury it somewhere
92. Go to an NFL football game
93. Laugh until I cry
94. Go fishing – bait my own line, catch the fish and eat it!
95. Go on a blind date
96. Name a star
97. Have sex in a public place
98. Get a tattoo
99. Dance in the rain
100. Kiss in the rain
101. Send a message in a bottle
102. Make a difference in someone’s life
103. Inspire someone
104. Learn to forgive
105. Go to a concert
106. Lose 50 pounds
107. Be in a protest
108. Build a giant sand castle
109. Find a four lead clover
110. Save a human life

I challenge you to create a list and just get out there and live your life!! I’ll update you as I go because I know many of these will inspire some major Mei Mei Moments and isn’t that the whole point? 😉

I miss her in forever ways

I started writing this blog for a few reasons. First, it was number 57 on my bucket list and seemed like a fairly easy one to cross off – especially compared to cliff diving and reading Crime and Punishment (numbers 29 and 63). Second, what better way to look back at my life than through a series of silly moments that slowly help define me – to know I didn’t just go through the daily motions; I actually lived my life and have the scars to prove it. But most importantly, I wanted to leave behind a piece of me that maybe most people won’t ever get to see. It’s one thing to recall the silly “Mei Mei Moments” and be able to laugh at myself… but in a way I also wanted to expose myself – even if it wasn’t a funny occasion.

We all have these moments that may very well define us or change the course of our lives altogether. I had my grandmother to get me through those moments. She was more than just a presence in my life, she WAS my life. I drew my strength from her and she did everything in her power to shield me from the horrors of reality. Losing her is still one of those things I haven’t quite found a way to get over yet. Today is her birthday and I’m overwhelmingly depressed that I can’t just curl up into her arms. There’s times I need her in the worst way. I’m reminded of that today…

Another item on my bucket list is to publish something one day. I’m hoping for an epic love story, of course – No inspiration yet, I’ll keep you posted on that one ; ) For now it’s a series of short stories that basically chronicle my biggest heartaches. (A little “woe is me” I know – but it’s when we’re our most honest.) I carry this little green notebook with me everywhere I go and in it I record every and any thought I possess. It’s me at my rawest and I guard it with everything I have. My best friend is the only person to have read it or selected pieces from it anyway. I surprisingly let someone else read something from it very recently. It was quite liberating actually… In a very big way I exposed myself and it gave me a little courage to share an excerpt from one of these stories. It’s about my grandmother:

“Sometimes late at night, I light a candle and lay on the floor. I talk to the flame as it dances. I tell her the things I’m ashamed of, the things I wish so desperately I could change about myself. I tell her how scared I am that my daughter may turn out like me, because sometimes I’m terrified just how horrible that might be. I talk about my other fears, about how alone I feel, about how I don’t want to lose the other people in my life that get me through the day. I tell her how I miss her, how despairingly much I miss her. That my world feels empty without her. And that I fill the void with too many vices. That even when I manage to kick one vice, I trade it with another or even two.I tell her I’m most scared of myself and what I’m capable of. I lay still and quiet for a while and listen hard. I don’t hear anything and it makes me even sadder. When I blow out the candle the smoke always swirls and rises, and I hope my bad thoughts go with it.”

I don’t know if I’ll ever actually publish any of these stories but maybe one day I’ll have the courage to do it. For now I have this blog anyway… and I’m okay with that for now. So I’ll keep writing, and hopefully you’ll keep reading.

RIP Rose Marie Brantman 1/17/29 – 2/12/04 I miss you in forever ways </3

I always win my battles! Except apparently with inanimate objects… CURSES!! >:/

So first things first: I’m a lover, not a fighter… okay, okay I’m lying! I can’t even say that without giggling. = ) I just like to be right is all, it’s not that I LOVE to fight or anything. (But there is SUCH a sense of victory in knowing I’m right and winning that fight, whether I’m actually right or the other person gave up because I’m THAT stubborn) Anyway, the point here is I don’t go looking for fights or anything and if I do it’s going to be a fight I KNOW I’ll win. So that being said, it’s my very sad duty to report that I lost a major battle this week with a wily, lone showerhead. Yes, that’s what I said – a showerhead!! A crafty, devious showerhead bent on destruction. You weren’t there… you don’t know!

I was visiting a cousin this week in an attempt to connect with my family and get away for a day or two. It was a great visit and I felt super relaxed after a very hectic holiday week. Before leaving I decided to of course bathe and was first struck dumb by the cunning bathtub’s mechanisms… I couldn’t figure out how to turn the dang thing on!! I turned this knob, adjusted that switch, even reached up to the removable showerhead. (I believe THAT is when I first challenged it to a duel!!) After sheepishly asking my cousin for help, the water was a-flowing.

Now we don’t need the scary movie shower scene scenario inserted here at all – sorry, that’s another kind of story altogether… BUT once I stepped into the shower I noticed the water was spraying from the showerhead a little funky. So I reached up to adjust it when it fell from its cradle. As it descended to the floor it shot blistering water at me burning my skin off. Okay I’m being melodramatic here – but that sucker was still hot! That vicious thing literally slithered like a snake spraying up at me. All I could do was stick out my arms and kick it. Now a smarter me would have just turned off the water, right? Well don’t forget this has all the makings of a classic Mei Mei Moment and of course that became the furtherest thing from my mind. I continuing to wrestle with this sneaky showerhead until I finally subdued it. The damage was done though… I meekly finished my shower and turned off the water, gently placing the head back in its cradle. (I didn’t want to further seek it’s wrath.)

My only solace to this disastrous loss? The amazing memory foam bath mat that caressed my feet when I stepped out the shower. I swear it was like stepping on a cloud!! It was almost like a parting gift of sorts. I stood there for a few moments, tending to my bruised ego and plotting my revenge.

Mark Twain once said “I thoroughly disapprove of duels. I consider them unwise and I know they are dangerous. Also, sinful. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet retired spot and kill him.” Oh yea, showerhead… it’s on!

Enjoy! Love, your neighborhood… Cupcake Lady!?!

Last year I decided I wanted to bake more. And why not? It’s the ultimate “mommy label.” (Of course we can never forget all the other random acts of kindness that make us awesome mommies, ie: scooping their favorite hair tie out of the toilet {eww, I know}, surprise mini vacations, tracking down all the books in the Junie B series, playing yet another round of Guess Who?, harassing the entire online shopping community for Beanie Buddies to find yet another Suzie Bear, etc., etc., etc.) But yes, I wanted to be a baker and bring yummy goodies to all my friends and family. And not just baking from the Betty Crocker cake mix either! So I started baking and making random desserts – cookies, cakes, pies, cupcakes, cornbread, truffles… I tried a little bit of everything. (Okay, okay, maybe SOME of those desserts Betty helped with – I’m a busy woman!) BUT I must admit I became a little majorly obsessed with cupcakes. Martha Stewart gets a MAJOR shout out here because all my lip-smacking, well received cupcakes came from her recipes. My favorites would be the carrot cake cupcakes and the s’more cupcakes.

You would think I’d be super happy to hear that people LOVE my cupcakes. But it turns out I’m officially committed to every major holiday, event and gathering for the rest of my life to bake RED VELVET CUPCAKES!! This week alone I’m baking them for two different events. (I will be attempting this while juggling a corporate finance textbook and Aimee talking my ear off like the mini me she is. *sigh*) Even my own family almost ushered me out the door this past Easter when I showed up with apple pie and not those dang red cakes. I sincerely believe if I show up to the next thing we have without it, I may just be banned forever.

ANYWAY, imagine my surprise the other day when a counselor at my daughter’s school asked me if I’d like to contribute something to their “Lights out something or other, whatever Dinner.” So the scenario went a little something like this. And yes, this is MY version of the truth, so of course I’m paraphrasing, but it pretty much went down like this:

Counselor: Would you like to sign up to bring something?
Me: Sure!
Aimee: My mom makes THE BEST cupcakes!
Counselor: Great! The kids love cupcakes.
Aimee: Yea, mommy brought red velvet the last time!
Counselor: YOU made the red velvet cupcakes? *grabs the signup sheet*
Me: Well, I can make something else this time. How about cooki-
Counselor: Red velvet sounds great!
Me: Or maybe some brown-
Counselor: Red velvet cupcakes!
Me: Red velvet cupcakes?
Counselor: Well, if that’s what you want to make

I then reach for the signup sheet and *GASP*, no need to write anything because magically there I am with red velvet cupcakes.
So to everyone who gets to eat one of those cupcakes this week: Enjoy! Love, your neighborhood cupcake lady!

A “near death” experience?? Or just another Mei Mei moment?

So the other night I caught on fire. But we’ll get to that later…

My “near brush with death” (yes, I’m THAT dramatic) has made me ponder where I’m currently at in my life. You all know what I’m talking about – the point when you sit in a room by yourself and a glass bottle of wine and have a woe-is-me kind of moment. You think of the good ol’ days when you didn’t have a care in the world and the hardest part of your day was deciding what outfit to wear. Yea, one of those moments.

So anyway, I’m 28 years old and have yet to accomplish half the things I wanted to at this point. This is not to say I’m not happy, I mean my life IS pretty awesome after all. ; ) But this is not what I envisioned for myself. Do we ever end up where we thought we would? Hardly ever. But most of us ignore the ride along the way because we’re too damned concerned about where we’re going. I decided to STOP having a nervous breakdown every time I get another statement about my student loans or see an episode of Bridezillas. What did I decide to do instead you ask? Why, write a blog of course! I mean, why not? My best friend always says my life is like a novella anyway. (When she makes millions off of my life story, I’ll be living in the west wing.)

Oh… you want to hear about the fire story then? Well, first I’d like to point out: who the hell uses real candles in a bar anyway? I mean REALLY – you know there’s nothing but drunk silly people walking around. AKA May Ling! Simply put, while trying to whisper seductively into the bartenders ear order my vanilla vodka and diet coke, my super long hair swept over an open flame. But ahhh, like a good friend, my drinking buddy came to my rescue… and slapped me on the side of my head. I survived obviously and the only damage done was to my poor ends and my ego as a group of guys watched and did nothing. So the end result was nothing more than my current vendetta with candles and a new purpose in life.

So I’m writing down all my randomness while I continue on a journey to some unknown place. Not original, I know. But this is still me. = ) And you’re invited along for the ride and to experience some more Mei Mei moments.