The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Burger King Life Lesson

Recently, I had a break down and an AH HA moment.

I broke down and went to Burger King.

Sometimes, I just need some Onion Rings with Zesty Sauce.

Of course, I went to the drive through (less likely to be seen at slumming at the BK). After the order taker read my order back to me, he/she asked if I'd like to show my support to the troops and donate a dollar to the VFW.

ARGH. I'd have loved to have a picture of my face at that moment.

Anyone who knows me, knows A) That is the line I use to pressure people to donate to various causes (show your support to the troops! Kids with cancer! People who can't afford food!) and B) I HATE constantly hitting people up for donations. Most of these "causes" are run by CEO's who make enough money that fast food to them is a Bison Burger flown in from Montana.

Here's my favorite quote about charities: "What starts as a cause, quickly becomes a business and then turns into a racket." - Eric Hoffer.


So, damn. I said, "YES, I will donate." Anyone who knows me also knows I love and support the military. And dogs. And police. And bacon.

But mostly I agreed to donate because I was afraid they'd spit in my food if I didn't. Because, though I try NOT TO JUDGE people who don't donate, I become highly annoyed by people who have purchased VENTI Starbucks and are wearing designer clothes and buying organic gluten free food but can't afford A DOLLAR to help Children With Cancer.

Then, I pull up to the fast food window. The cashier has horribly chipped blue finger nail polish. And very short hair. I can't tell if he/she is a girl/boy.

This bothered me.

It bothered me that it bothered me.

But I've noticed it a-lot lately...not being able to identify if the person is a boy/girl. Man/Woman.

And who am I to judge? I do extremely creative and "LOOK AT ME NOW!" things to my body.

A few days prior to Burger King, a friend had complained to me that the police department he worked for kept changing the rules. Or worse, that the rules applied to some of the people and not ALL of the people.

"I work in job that is constantly changing moment from moment. I want to have rules that I can count on. I want to know, ok, this is the situation, these are the steps to follow."

My Burger King journey was after the attacks on Dallas Police Officers and prior to the attack on Nice, France.

I was feeling out of sorts after the Dallas attack. I was angry. I was frustrated that I grew up (and lived all over the USA) and racism was not a part of my life. We did not see color. We saw stupidity. Of all colors and races and genders. And suddenly, in the last few years, we are a country divided.

Black VS White. Religion Vs Spirituality. Science VS Common Sense. Gays Vs Traditionalist. Fat Girls Vs Skinny Girls. Everyone VS Police. Liberals. Progressives. Conservatives. Tea Party. No Party. Country Music Vs Alternative. Gamers V Gamer Gaters. Patriots Fans and EVERYONE ELSE.

For a country that seems really eager to promote "NO LABELS!" everyone sure is busy labeling.

And by trying to NOT be a male/female, you are, in fact, defining yourself.

Now, here is why it bothers me.

I was a paramedic (I know, I mention it a million times). I understand chaos. I thrived on it. But, just as much as I loved it; it was so very important to know I had a partner I could count on. That I could count on the police. The firefighers.

There was STRUCTURE.

What's happening in society today is there is so much upheaval, chaos, and most of it is SELF INFLICTED. By listening to the media and believing them over common sense. Over our own experience.

Yes, life is all about challenges. Rising up to meet whatever life dishes out. But damn, is it not enough that we have nature, cancer, health problems, to deal with? (And must we believe every video-taped (edited) tape we see?)

People might say, WE DONT LIKE RULES! (I am not a big fan), HOWEVER, many of those very people who claim to hate "rules" and 'tradition'  are science addicts. They can repeat theories. Math equations.

The periodic table. They like knowing concrete "facts." Because it GROUNDS them. It makes them feel in control in a constantly changing world.

Does this make sense people?

And when horrible tragedies happen - like in Nice, France, don't labels come in real handy? When one is in the midst of chaos; one looks for the uniform of police, EMS, doctors, firefighters.

Easily identifiable. An anchor during rough seas.

And here is society and culture encouraging young people, easily influenced people, to not identify with a gender. It's become the trendy thing. But as someone who has taken many cues and tried on many trends (not Tinder though! Thank God!), this is a trend that is (almost!) as harmful has fake boobs.

Don't buy into the hype. Don't by into the "freedom to not identify!"

It only causes confusion. It makes people feel broken. And when people feel broken, they read everything they can on the subject; forums, facebook, books, magazines! They turn to drugs (prescribed, legal, or illegal). They go to therapy; all in order to feel better.

Not "identifying" is not liberating, it's debilitating.

There is nothing wrong with tradition, people. It took me a long time to learn that.

It also took me a long time to get that Burger King Zesty Sauce out of my system.

Learn from my mistakes!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

My Rebuttal To New York Post Boob Job Story

On July 6th, I received an email from a reporter from the New York Post asking if I'd contribute to a story about people who regret getting plastic surgery.

I knew it was possible/probable that what I said and what she interpreted would not mesh.

So this is my rebuttal; these are the top three points I was hoping to highlight to inform women who are thinking of getting breast implants.

Link to New York Post Story:

The first video I made about why I regretted getting a boob job:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Thirteen Lessons Learned From Working In A Grocery Store

Marshmallow Crispy Oreos
I have had a million jobs. 
It started with a paper route when I was 12 - then baby sitting, and then everything from store detective at Bloomingdales (seriously the most fun job I've ever had). Waitress.  Paramedic. Sales for a Fortune 500 Company. Decorating cakes and cookies in a bakery. 
The one thing I've been consistent at is being curious and researching and writing. 
My writing may never lead to anything. 
I'm okay with that. 
I don't know that my husband is. 
He could end-up being my ex-husband if I don't win the lottery or sell a-lot of books. 
I knew as soon as the wrinkles and gray hair popped up on me he'd poop out!
At least I'm always working though (right?).
I know a few women who stay home and don't even clean or cook  and then bitch when the husband works too much. 
Not that I cook (anymore). And at least I pick up the dog poop in the yard. 
But you'll never  hear me complain that my husband works too much! Or golfs too much. 
The key to a great relationship is to spend as little as time together as possible. I read it in TIME magazine, so it must be true. 

I've met so many people. Learned so much about human nature. And what I discovered is, no matter WHERE you work...from slinging bacon to saving lives; it is always the same. 
Clicks. "In groups." 
Miserable co-workers who bitch about their bosses and the job but do nothing to change it. Employees who WANT to raise their voice and change things, but they have obligations to meet and so, they don't want to rock the boat. But please, if you're not willing to rock the boat, stop complaining about the stagnate sea. Muck it up or suck it up and shut up. 

And it seems the more diplomas and certifications/schooling  that bosses/managers have, the more removed from acting with common sense and kindness they become. My best bosses have been the ones with the least "professional" schooling and the most experience in the field. 
The past year, I worked at a grocery store part-time. That job has taught me much more than I ever expected to learn about human nature. 

Who knew working in a grocery store could provide so much insight to life? 

The Top Thirteen Lessons I've Learned From Working In A Grocery Store: 

1) We are HUGELY influenced by what we are exposed to. This sound ridiculously simple and like plain common sense. But I don't think we are really, acutely aware how influenced we are by the people/culture we surround ourselves with. How greatly it impresses the choices we make. I worked in a fabulous BAKERY and didn't gain any weight! Tortes. Cookies. Cheesecake. CANOLI cheesecake! Gained no weight!
Then I worked at a grocery store and gained almost fifteen pounds. It also gave me huge insight into why we are so fascinated with sex, fitness, sports, and, of course, food.  - I will write more on this in the future. 

2) Old People (I'm talking late 70's and 80's)- have far more pride and determination to remain self-sufficient than most young people I know. 
 Even though they have disabilities, they refuse help to the car. One sweet older lady who suffered a stroke and has only use of one arm, always turns down my offer to help her outside, saying, "Save the offer for someone who really needs it." They set a great example to me and give me something to strive for. 

3) Far too many people abuse food stamps. This is not a racial thing. All colors do it. All nationalities do it. What PISSES ME OFF is, that the senior citizens I described in #2, count their pennies (literally!), and live on oatmeal and fruit. The people abusing food stamps are carrying Coach purses, have manicures, and rack up 300 dollars on shrimp, steak, Cheetos, soda, and snack cakes. It's disgusting. 

4) Criminals have more protection than honest citizens due to lawyers and threats of lawsuits. Our country is upside down:Corruption is ignored or worse, rewarded!  Shoplifters are rarely stopped and even rarely ever prosecuted. You have to be REALLY STUPID to get yourself arrested. 

5) Liberals allow their kids to roam the store and stand on the seat of the carts. This does not apply to all liberals; only the liberals that wear Birkenstock sandals.  And have unshaven armpits. And filthy FILTHY re-useable bags (why can't you WASH these out? Do you realize how many germs they have?) They also rarely donate to charity. They buy gluten free and organic everything. 

6) Conservatives donate to charity almost every-time they come in. I know they are Conservative because they wear USA PROUD hats, send their kids to the local Catholic school, and talk about Trump in hushed, reverent tones. They also profusely thank the physically/mentally challenged baggers even though the baggers often put their cakes in the bag upside down and sideways. Note:*** There are a few customers I have on the "Right"  that are so smug and superior and pretentious (they buy Philadelphia Magazine), they can't even look me in the eye, god forbid they acknowledge me when I thank them and tell them to enjoy their day! They are, however,  the exception. 

7) The self-check out computers make mistakes. Often. 

8) The decision makers at the corporate office are completely, irresponsibly, out of touch with real life. Every solution seems to be: "computerize!" 

9) Low prices are fabulous, but they only get you so far. Customers would pay more to have cheerful, thoughtful, well trained, dependable,  employees. 

10) People are REALLY GETTING TIRED of being asked to donate for a new charity every-time they come in. It's getting out of hand. And employees are just as tired and feel awful for harping after customers to donate. However, employees have been threatened with write-ups and possible termination for not asking each customer. 

11) I'd say half the teenagers stand at the end of the checkout, scrolling through their iphones instead of helping to bag the groceries if there is no bagger. The parent ends up bagging while the kid stands there. Holy heck. This is why we are spiraling down the tubes people! Parents allowing perfectly capable kids to stand around while the parent does the work! See my number #2 lesson. 

12) Oreo's come in a variety of flavors and they are constantly changing. They are available only for a Limited Time. The limited time is a marketing ploy to get people to buy them. It works on me. Every. Single. Time. 
They are the number one purchased brand of cookie.  

13)  Almost everyone buys bananas. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happiness is Freedom. Freedom is Trust. Trust Is Character. Happy Fourth of July!

I will share with you my recent experience about my broken heart - misplaced trust. But. It is the Fourth of July. So here's a video about why I love the holiday. It does have to do with trust. But today should be a day of celebration and gratitude. Plenty of time for bitching later in the week! Haha.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

When You Trust The Wrong Person

Happy Fourth! Freedom isn't Free. Crazy Is!
I’m such a sucker.
From dating horrible guys to marrying the wrong guy(s) – you’d think I’d have learned by now who to trust.
But, in fairness, we learn as we go along.
And, in fairness, I recognize danger much more quickly than I once did (perhaps it’s because I rarely drink anymore?).
Perhaps it’s because as I’ve become older, I rarely feel the overwhelming desire for status.
Seeking status is human nature, but it's very easy to corrupt your character for the risk of Being Number One (or, number 20. Just as long as you're not on the bottom heap).
I'd by lying if I said I still didn't care about status, however, not as much as I once did.
I do still care about looking good and striving to do my best, but that’s not about status, that’s about wanting to be the best person I can be. That’s human nature.
For me, being the ‘best person I can be’ also includes warning people when I spot frauds and phonies.
When I have bad experiences.
Yes, being nice is GOOD. It’s wonderful. And 95% of the time, I am really nice. At least, I hope I am.
Being nice is actually EASY. It rarely pisses anyone off (except atheists – they are really never happy anyway. Unless they are watching Star Wars).
Stepping up and disagreeing with or questioning popular organizations or people is not a fun place to be caught in.
But, one thing I have tried extremely hard to do is tell the truth.  Because I want to be able to trust someone else. I want to be able to let my guard down and just enjoy myself, or pursue goals.
I want someone to not only believe in, but I want to TRUST that person or organization. You waste a-lot of energy when you are unable to trust.
You lose focus when you lose trust.
You lose freedom when you lose trust and faith in whatever it is you believed in, because you then spend time chiding yourself for believing in that person (or organization) for the time you wasted when you could have been with someone (or something else).
Your heart breaks.
Isn’t there someone, anyone, anywhere, that will give you a soft place to land when you’ve had turbulence in your life?
And when do you, as a person, stop providing a soft place to land for that person, that family, that friend, that job, that has abused your trust and your heart?
And how can you trust yourself to make the right choices in the future?
Who can you believe in anymore?
Well, I have the answer.
And I also want to admit my latest stupid disappointment – mostly in myself for not having known better in the first place.
And I’ll tell you tomorrow.