September 17th, 2017, 9:25 AM by Goddess

Every once in a while, life throws you a do-over.

I went to a Brad Paisley concert a couple years ago. Facebook Memories likes to remind me of it every year around this time. And thanks to the power of a free ticket and a friend who knew I needed a do-over, I got one this weekend.

I was everything I dreamed it would be. So happy I got to go again and enjoy every single moment.

Southern Boulevard selfie.

Rewinding a couple years … I started out doing well the last time Brad came to town. Ate healthfully, had one (admittedly big-ass) beer, and that was that.

Then it rained. And we took cover under the tent of another group of tailgaters. Who had Fireball. Lots and lots of Fireball.

Yeah, the next several hours are a blur. I remember upgrading our tickets and getting super-close to the stage. I also remember going to the bathroom before the main performer’s set … and losing my ticket.

Kept this one!

I vaguely recall arguing with the people checking my ticket. Like, you just let me in there before. I dropped my ticket. YOU KNOW ME. Let me in. I even have a brand-new spiced-rum-and-diet-Coke sitting under my chair … waiting to be reunited with me.

No luck. So I sat on the sidelines and watched the concert on the Jumbotrons. And did some texting I shouldn’t have, that finally gave permission to someone who was trying to start a relationship with me to do so.

In any event, fast-forward to today …

This time I had a small beer in the parking lot. That’s it. Sat on my little square on our little blanket the whole time. Didn’t have to run to pee because I wasn’t drinking.

What was really cool is that we went to the very back of the lawn, high atop a hill that overlooks two lakes. I didn’t get any photos because my phone sucks.

Well except this one.

But that’s OK. We were far from the cigarettes and pot and, even better, other people.

The ground was soaked from Hurricane Irma. It quickly permeated the blanket and my jeans.

It was OK. We lived through the storm — now the skies were clear, a million stars were out and we were seeing a fantastic show for free, thanks to Brad donating a bunch of tickets to local first responders … many of whom were working the show so their families could go and invite their friends. (I.E., how I got there.)

In any event, I’ve said before that if I could do-over the part about the text conversation that started so many summers ago, I wouldn’t do it at all. I always wondered what I missed while it was going on.

But I see now that life happened as it needed to. And it all turned out OK.

And at a time when my outside world is littered with dead, uprooted trees and debris and fallen electrical lines, it’s good to have my inside world tidied up again.

9/11 — post-Irma (and post-11/9) edition

September 11th, 2017, 12:35 PM by Goddess

When you spend a week glued to Jim Cantore & Co … a day and a half staring at the destruction unfolding outside your window … and another half-day-ish with no cable/Internet/electric and delusions that your four fully charged phone banks can somehow power your Keurig because you live in an apartment and can’t buy a generator … you have a lot of time to think.

I mean, I mostly thought about all my snacks. And ATE THEM ALL.

Not pictured: Ice cream and wine. Because, in mah belleh. *burp*

Obviously, that I am even typing this means we made it through. At some point I gave up on being annoyed at everybody and their “Sending prayers!” And in fact, when a friend said she fucking hated even writing those stupid words, but felt so helpless having nothing else to offer, I said it was welcome. That it’s not like any of us have our wits about us right now to pray for our safety. Thank you for doing it for me.

I don’t want to say their prayers worked. (But that won’t stop me from thinking it.)

But we got off pretty easy compared to Cudjoe Key (Category 4 impact), Key Largo, Islamorada, Marco Island (Category 3 impact) and the Naples/Fort Myers area. I won’t take that for granted.

I think prayers helped. And I know we got a big assist from Cuba, the Virgin Islands, Barbuda and everyone else who got nailed before us. The destruction outside the U.S., and/or in the U.S. territories (which half the nation seems to forget), helped to curb Hurricane Irma’s impact in a big way.

The storm was called historic because we’d never had two Category 4 storms make landfall in the same year. (Harvey was the other.)

Hurricane Jose also helped us — it pushed Irma westward, and dry winds to the west also helped to tame Irma a bit.

But anyone who wants to keep denying climate change and saying it’s a liberal Chinese hoax can suck my big fat furry cat nuts. The air was hundred-plus-degree soup and the water was even hotter.

This was the first time I breathed yesterday, as the storm moved just north of me … and kept moving:

So yeah, I’m ready to rage on our idiot president again, now that I’m out of danger. (What do you call a flock of assholes? A Trump rally.)

That and that he mumbled through two moments of silence in honor of 9/11 today does not shock me.

And I will maintain till the end of time that 11/9 was a more-devastating day in our country’s history than 9/11.

In any event, it appears Jax is underwater (again — they got the hit from Matthew last year) and Pensacola is a hot, wet mess. Funny how those areas were set to be spared and WE were supposed to meet a watery end right where I am.

That’s one more message (missive) I want to send, If you have something to say, go ahead and send a prayer.

Don’t fucking put me down for my choice of where to evacuate to (or not evacuate at all).

Cribbed from Faceypages:

Dear Non-Floridians,

Rules when discussing the hurricane with Floridians need to be put in place….

1) Calling people who don’t evacuate “idiots” or saying “they deserve what happens to them” is a judgement statement that without facts, you are not qualified to make.

2) Just go get a plane ticket! (You can’t just fly out.) Don’t make statements or give advice on how we should evacuate. You don’t have the slightest knowledge of what we are up against. There are challenges to leaving. Flights out are being changed, cancelled, delayed. Tickets are $2-3,000 higher than they normally are and that’s one way.

3) Don’t say “Get in your car and drive fast out” A) Gas stations are getting fuel still, but that fuel is gone before the lines are empty.
B. ) There is no driving fast. Cars are moving 5-7 mph on highways trying to get to safety. The lines are long and imagine, with a gas shortage, being stuck on highways in jams for 12-15 hours.

4) Florida has one way out, and that is through the top (Northern) part of the state. There are basically 2 major roads out. Those roads are jammed, backed up, and not expected to change.

5) To post “Florida is about to be wiped off the map” because you are watching the news reports and panicking from 3,000 miles away- is not the most uplifting thing for us to see. Plus, don’t speak your devastation to us. Be positive!

6) “If I lived in Florida, I would have evacuated a week ago.” Well I’m not so sure that you would have. It’s not that simple if you have a heart…not only that, you don’t know until the final days which path the storm is going to take. Homes have to be boarded up. Things have to be done to ensure that if you do leave, you have somewhere to return.

7) Stop saying God is angry and that’s why Texas went through what Texas went through and that Florida is being hit. God isn’t angry. Every person in the path of destruction was created in His image. Every person not in the path of destruction was created in His image. He is not angry. He is not judging us. He is not putting His wrath down. If you believe that, we don’t serve the same God.

8.) “Go to a safer part of the state.” Yes, we thought of that. No one knows exactly what part that is. If Irma takes a turn it could hit the west coast- if we are all fleeing to the west coast because it says the east coast is the most dangerous, then that could be costly. We know what we need to do and we are monitoring the situation.

Feel Free to pray for us!

Feel Free to check on us, text us, call us. But, don’t text your fears of our demise. Don’t call us crying because you are scared for us.

We have a storm to conquer and we need to be healthy, mentally and physically.

When your son or daughter or friend gets ready to go play in a competitive sport … before the game, do you call them and say ….
“you are going to lose”
“don’t show up for the game”
“The odds are against you”

I would hope not… well we are preparing to overcome this storm. Send us some prayers and encouragement! We welcome it! If you are going to do anything less than that, turn your TV or radio off and keep your mouth shut!

God bless all, stay safe, love and help your neighbors.

If I had time/money, I would have taken up my friends’ offers for North Carolina, Baltimore and D.C. If I could have gotten a flight or a hotel or GAS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, there were many possibilities. If I didn’t fear NOT being able to return home (there are downed power lines everywhere and roads blocked by trees and roads that are totally underwater), money wouldn’t even have been a factor.

Not many people were stupid enough to snark to me. They did however tell my mom that I was dumb deciding to go back home.

But if there’s something I know about hurricanes, it’s that they change their mind a thousand times before landfall. And even then, they can pivot.

I asked my guides and the stars what to do. At first my gut said “Orlando. You have to be in Orlando.” Then when I got home I felt like, “OMG, this was the best decision I could make.” And that was before the weather proved me RIGHT.

Speaking of consulting one’s gut on all sorts of things, that’s a blog entry I want to tackle next. Stay tuned …

Viva la resistance

August 24th, 2017, 6:55 PM by Goddess

Major props to Dreamhost for resisting that piece of shit dangling from Pennsylvania Avenue and not providing info about folks who planned to protest the stupid fuck’s latest vanity rally in THE CAMPAIGN THAT NEVER ENDS.

Sorry you have to deal with this DDoS shit that has been fucking up our nation, one day and election at a time. It’s a clear message from President Putin what we’re in for if we don’t behave in a fashion Mother Russia prefers.

Hard to find things to smile about in this fucked-up world. But like they teach you at Weight Watchers, happier people lose more weight. Today they asked us to list three things that made us happy. (And as my cool new leader said, it doesn’t have to be on par with splitting the atom.)

Going to a meeting made me happy today. Losing the same pound and a half that I’ve been losing and gaining for the past three months was a win too. And being a Dreamhost customer definitely rounds out today’s trio.

Promotion, all I ever wanted …

August 19th, 2017, 6:14 AM by Goddess

I’ve been sitting on a secret for a few days. That I was going to get a promotion.

Well, the news is out. My first official day doing the same ridiculous sum of work for a slightly higher salary sum was yesterday.

The news was bittersweet because two people were let go in the same two-sentence announcement.

“X and Y are out — Goddess is your new Queen.”

Not that I plan to give up the Goddess title. I mean, really. It’s who I’ve been my whole life.

But after five years of hollow promises from my former supervisor to correct the record and anoint me queen, it only took three months in the new gig to get my royal robe.

It was the surprise of a lifetime, though.

I figured they didn’t worship me as much as I deserved. And, to be fair, I wasn’t exactly in love either. All my friends had been fired and my BFF and I were waiting our turn.

So when I got a call a month ago to apply for the perfect role (title-wise and money-wise) … and I got that job OFFERED within a day’s time … I was ready to say yes.

But I didn’t. In fact, I said no.

Then they came back with more money. That was a hard one to say no to. I agonized. Literally lost sleep for days.

And when I envisioned accepting it, the only thing that made me happy was that I could deliver the exit-interview soliloquy I’ve been working on since Easter.

My BFF got an offer to leave too … and didn’t exactly have the same gut-punch feeling at the thought of leaving. She’s thrilled with her new salary and job. As my friend upstairs said, her only question was “What day do I start?” My debate was, “Will I be giving up a career I actually love?”

The second no was harder to arrive at. Yet, easier to say. Because, I knew. The job wasn’t for me. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

In the promotion process where I’m at, I mentioned the other offer. (That kind of mention comes with great risk. They don’t play with folks who have their eye on the door.)

But I wanted them to know about it. That I’d said no twice. That the position is still available, and that I’d told the interviewer to go about their business and maybe we can circle back in a month to see where they are and where my head is at.

Who knew that, in that month, I’d have the job I REALLY wanted?

Mom knew. Psychic.

I was badgering her for weeks with “what if” scenarios. Mostly what if I take this new gig and it’s even more of a flaming dumpster fire than my May and June were?

Eventually she said, “What if … you got the job you want at the company you’re at?”

That’s all I needed to call the would-be employer and said so long and thanks for all the fish.

And it’s not that July was any less of a dumpster fire. I just knew I had a ticket out. And I could get one at any time.

Once I had that, I got the perspective I so desperately needed.

That, and I had finally stood up to my new (super-nice but super-micro-managey) boss and told him to pipe down on the micro-management.

He did, for the most part. And life was better in Goddess-land.

Today, I have his job. Which, to be fair, I took over three months ago anyway and was frustrated that he was living on Easy Street while I was (voluntarily) busting my butt.

But the overlords were watching. They don’t miss a trick. And they tell me they had this plan for me since Day One.

Which may explain why they all tortured me so much. Man, getting sent home for my dress shorts, being talked about within earshot, having things I said half-ass repeated/twisted (I mean, talk about me all you want. Just quote me accurately), etc.

They just wanted me to be better, to be ready for what was in store.

Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Anyway, I’m happy with the outcome. Terrorized a bit by the process. But as they say, if you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu. It was nice to be where I was this time, instead of the one guessing.

Congratulations have been quick and hearty. But everybody’s suddenly a two-handed economist:

“Oh that’s great. We love you. We know how hard you work. So deserved …

“But damn, why did (collateral damage) have to be let go?”

Not my boss, who I have to state again was truly the nicest boss I’ve ever had. But one of his friends got let go too. And everyone LOVES the friend. (No one really saw the boss. Least of all me.)

So the victory, as it were, has been hollow.

I was texting with my friend upstairs while all this was going on. She said fuck them. You busted your ass for how many years and didn’t get a drop of recognition before today? Did your superiors’ work and got none of the credit before now? Fuck them, you earned this. You deserve YOUR moment.

I did celebrate, by the way. I walked out and right over to the nearest Weight Watchers center. I hadn’t been to a meeting in YEARS. But that was the night I had planned to return. And damn it, I returned.

My new leader is fantastic. I’ve hated almost all the meetings I’ve attended in South Florida. But I am so happy I picked the leader and the night I did.

She asked what brought me back. I said I was always planning to return. And that I got promoted and I really wanted to go home and stuff myself full of wine and cake. But that my ultimate mental challenge was to stick to my original plan. And this proves I can do it.

She said “Honey, you celebrated in the best way possible. I have no doubt you’re going to ace this, too.”

It’s good to be queen.

Tired of being this tired

August 13th, 2017, 7:38 AM by Goddess

I don't post about weight loss much because I've been stagnant.

Actually I lied. Not stagnant at all.

In fact, since we got ripped out of our old jobs on May 1 and put into our new reality, I've gained everything back that I lost since Jan. 1.

Of course, I'm the last Mohican standing from the Dream Team. So I ain't got nothin' to complain about. At least my paycheck keeps coming and I have the opportunity to keep working my ass off for it.

(My bestie's last day of work, this week. I miss her so much already.)

And I'm tired.

Not of the work, the job or the incredible shrinking number of friends who are still there with me.

(The "mean girls" at dinner Friday. I love us!)

I'm tired of always having to be "on." Of saying yes a whole lot more than I want to.

And that, lately, has been true of cakes and beer and chips and BREAD OMG BREAD and other things that I've avoided like the plague these past two years.

Yes, yes to all of it! Especially the 2-for-1 wine specials at our favorite after-work haunt.

I've been slipping with my weight loss because I'm sick of my friends ordering what they want while I'm trying to be "good."

I'm sick of ordering the "healthy" option, only for it to be 25 SmartPoints and I'm only supposed to have 30 in a day.

It's exhausting to ask disinterested servers what's in this and can you change that up. I hate being "that" customer and I hate that half these people waiting on me (or their kitchen staff) can't get it right, anyway.

It's frustrating to need something to crunch on when you ask for help and they either lie and claim they have no time to help ("But by all means, call me for anything else you need, even any of the 'grunt work' because I'm not above doing whatever it takes to help.") …

Or, worse, they claim that they helped. (In six minutes? You read a 17-page Word doc TWICE in SIX MINUTES before your daily extended lunch break? No one else got a lunch break. Or, ya know, FOOD.)

I'm tired of corking these feelings. And of complying with this person's rules for when I can and cannot leave my desk.

And of never feeling safe. And of letting my mind wander to what would happen to mom and me without money to pay the rent. Hard enough for her to be sick in a house where everyone is loud and nasty and meth-addicted duck-murdering and Trump-voter-level deplorable. Better here than in the streets, though.

I'm going to turn this around. There are going to be some big changes this week. New routine. And a couple other new things I’m not ready to reveal yet.

Out with the old, and that includes the pounds …