The Worst Car Commercial EVER

It’s that time of the year ago folks – no, not the Christmas decorations at the end of the Halloween/school supplies aisle in Wal-Mart (though that IS coming) – it’s the end of the model year car advertising.

You know, that time of the year where every automobile maker bombards every TV, radio, and any other ad on your phone or tablet, dirigible and billboard (electronic and otherwise) with their 30 second assumption of allegedly hipster doofus coolness that your life will never get back. Yeah…that one.

There is one commercial, that I utterly LOATHE …more than nails on a chalkboard and liver and onions: the Infiniti QX60.  Sidebar: misspelling the word ‘infinity’ doesn’t make the car brand ANY cooler. My hatred of this commercial is so complete that I hit “Mute” AND change the channel whenever it comes on.  And it comes A LOT…several times an hour…on every damn channel I watch.

Let’s break down my hateration of this commercial into several parts, shall we?

The Theme Song – The Baddest Man Alive – Note to The Black Keys: my hope is that you’re reaping some major bucks from letting Infiniti use your song.  Outside of the 30 seconds of it playing in this commercial – I NEVER EVER EVER WANT TO HEAR THE ENTIRE SONG. I would think that if you’re truly the baddest man alive, YOU DO NOT LISTEN TO A SONG CALLED “THE BADDEST MAN ALIVE” !!!

The Car Itself – The hood looks like it’s stifling the equivalent of a vehicular fart, the tail lights look like Method Man after blazing up a blunt and the grill is just plain frightening.

The “Stylish Dad ” –  Part One: *sigh* Dude, you’re getting all dressed up to get in your farting hood car to pick up your daughter and her friends from a pool party? (We’ll get to the trip in just a second)  Seriously? Dad jeans, white New Balances with black socks and a “Super Dad” T-Shirt is more apropos.

The “Stylish Dad” – Part Two – That “Neck Roll”: *smdh* I put quotes around neck roll because whatever the hell this dude is doing is NOT the definition of a neck roll, at least where I come from – it’s more like an off beat neck spasm with the WORST duck lips action.  In fact, whatever the hell that thing is that you’re doing when that song is playing is NOT something that the baddest man alive would do. EVER.

The Trip to Pick Up the Kiddies From the Pool – where in the hell does her friend that has the pool live???  “Stylish Dad” goes over a bridge, through the woods and past Grandma’s house to get there!  He needs the damn GPS to get there and probably used a full tank of gas. Isn’t there a pool at “Stylish Dad’s” house?

The Trip Back Home from the Pool with the Kiddies – I counted 5 girls including the daughter that pile into the car.  That means at least 4 stops on the 12 hour ride home, having to fill up at least 5 times all the while listening to that frikkin song the entire ride home.

I think The Black Keys need to re-do the song… the new title needs to be: “The Worstest Car Ever.”  Go ‘head “Stylish Dad”, get that off-beat neck spasm-like thing on with your bad self.

 

 

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Dante’s Inferno and Three’s Company

I think I’ve discovered the one thing that’s just as bad as looking for a job (and more painful that sticking knitting needles in your eyes): looking for a new place to live.

Notice, I did NOT say, buying a house; I’ve fortunately not had to deal with that  – but that torture is out there…on my horizon … Woot-woot.

Let me recap for you, dear reader, what I’ve learned in the few short weeks that I’ve been looking:

Four Bedrooms for $790?? One of a Kind - Lots of Updates? Really???

Four Bedrooms for $790?? One of a Kind – Lots of Updates? Really???

Craigslist is The First Floor of Dante’s Inferno: Where should I start?  Nearly 83% of ads have a minimum of 17 misspelled words, no punctuation whatsoever AND only one picture, most likely of the outside of the house.  The remaining 17% of ads have 3 million blurry pictures of the places that most likely have been on “Hoarders”, posted vertically, have the phrase “with many new updates” somewhere in the ad AND have been posted a minimum of 15 times on every day for the past week.

Zillow, Realtor.com and Apartments.com are all sleeping with each other: These three sites are all in bed with each other like it was hinted Jack, Chrissy and Janet might’ve been on Three’s Company.  It’s abundantly clear that the listings on these 3 sites have stopped on the First Floor of Dante’s Inferno.

Cuz I didn't read your typo enough the first 7 times - thank you reposting it another 10 times; IT'S SPELLED W-I-T-H!!!

Cuz I didn’t read your typo enough the first 7 times – thank you re-posting it another 10 times; IT’S SPELLED W-I-T-H!!!

These sites suffer from the Specifically Vague /One Picture Syndrome described above.  And did I mention that they all have this handy widgit thingie that lets you email the “Property Manager” to let them know you’re interested in a listing? It’s a great feature WHEN the real estate agent, owner, Hoarder that’s destined to be on The Hunt with John Walsh, calls you back.

“Showing” means the house and NOTHING ELSE: Please, for the love of God, Allah, and/or your Higher Power and everything you may hold dear, sacred and holy, PLEASE PUT YOUR DIRTY, NASTY UNDERWEAR OUT OF SIGHT of potential tenants! Either throw them in the washing machine or hide them in a better hiding spot than on the floor of the bathroom, near the hamper you obviously missed when you went for the 3 pointer. I’m unable ask you questions about your place because the voice in my head is screaming “OH NO YOU DIDN’T LEAVE YOUR DRAWERS ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR!!! There ain’t enough bleach in the world for me to clean that bathroom floor!”

I realize that you might be in the process of moving and some clutter is expected, i.e., boxes, Rubbermaid plastic bins, suitcases – I get that. It’s a showing, meaning you need to show off the highlights of your place, how wonderful it is and why I should consider signing a lease.  I don’t want to consider all your weaves drying on the towel rack in both the master bath and the other full bath and thinking that Wendy Williams doesn’t even have that many wigs!!!!

And so we press on, looking through the Dante’s Inferno and Three’s Company menois a trois of listings, booking appointments with property managers, hoping that they realize they should NOT wear flip flops with hangnails when showing the 2 bedroom models (them nails scraping on the hardwood floor – *shivers*) as we keep moving one step closer to our new “home”.

I wonder if it’d be too much for us to wear a surgical masks, gloves and have an emery board in hand at the next appointment?

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Moving Out… Moving In… Moving On!

Buddhas Seven Steps

Buddhas Seven Steps

There’s a belief that the number 7 is a very special number…the number of completion.  In Sanskrit’s most ancient holy book, the Rig Vega, it describes seven stars, seven concentric continents, and seven streams of soma, the drink of the gods. According to the Jewish and Christian Old Testament, the world was created in seven days and Noah’s dove returned seven days after the Great Flood.  The Egyptians mapped seven paths to heaven, Allah created a seven-layered Islamic heaven and earth, the newborn Buddha took seven strides and in Numerology, seven signifies creation.

Over the past 14 years, there have been parts of my journey that I’ve completed, which in turn lead to the creation of a new path for me. At those times, I knew that I was at a crossroad – sometimes I felt empowered, sometimes confident, sometimes stupid, and sometimes scared as hell! In 2005, I left a bad relationship and the place that I lived in during that bad relationship.  Most significantly, both of my parents left the earth within a year of each other.  I had completed two paths: girlfriend and daughter.

Back in 2008, I moved closer to my sister and her family, found a wonderful place to live that was close to the river, out in the country with fields of corn, lots of natural light, plenty of space – truly the ‘garden’ part of the Garden State.  I worked on healing myself and developing a deeper and more personal relationship with God and the universe. I started to forgive myself and others (still walking THAT path!) and began painting and writing again. I was walking the path of self-rediscovery!  I resigned myself to the fact that I might continue the rest of my life journey alone and made peace with that fact.

LuggageIn 2012 (exactly 7 years after my previous relationship), God answered my prayer – Rob and I fell in love. I remember one time when we were talking on the phone and he said to me, “You know, I wish we had met earlier.”  I told him that I didn’t – I wouldn’t have been ready for him.  I would’ve brought all my baggage from my past relationship into this one.  I needed those 7 years to heal and grow and learn so I could evolve into who I was, what I was and what I wasn’t when we met.  If that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t love him as much and as deeply as I do.  And because he was in a bad relationship too, he needed that time to heal and transform as well. Ours is a love that could not have happened any sooner than it did. We both needed to get back to who we always were, but forgot, so we could find each other and have the love we always knew was out there. Go ahead, take a minute and reread that sentence – it’s deep, I promise!

In 2013, I left a position that I was in for 7 years that had become VERY toxic and unhealthy.  A dead-end, literally. Another path completed: the persona I had to become based on other people’s expectations and perceptions was something that was done in order to persevere and survive.  I now began walking the path of student – I went back to school while I collected unemployment. I landed a job with a fantastic company in 2014 and began walking MY path in a firm that respects, appreciates and sees me for who I am and what I contribute – not what they need me to be.

Everything-in-your-lifeAnd here we are now in 2015. Once again 7 years later, I’ve completed another path on my journey: transformation and healing.  My home in this sleepy little town has served it’s purpose, my time here was very well spent, and while there are things I’ll miss about living here, it’s time for me to move on to the new paths that have been created.

Transformation will always been part of my walk along each of the paths in my life – you can’t go through life and not have it effect and affect you.  For the next part of my journey, I’ll be moving in with Rob: my best friend, my other half, my partner in crime and the love of my life.  There are two new and wonderful paths that I’ve been waiting my entire life to walk: wife and (step)mom.   I’m ready…I’m moving out… moving in… and moving on!

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Who’s Sitting in My Seat?

This time last year, I was sitting in the gallery of the House Chamber as the guest of Senator Cory Booker to watch President Barack Obama give his State of the Union address.  WOW… I still can’t believe it and it’s a year later!  And as I prepare to watch tonight’s SOTU, I can’t help but wonder who is sitting in MY seat – yeah, that’s right, it’s my seat…I claim it…to infinity and beyond!  Will attending the SOTU be as life changing for them as it was for me?  God I hope so!

Not many people are either fortunate enough, aware enough or insightful enough to be able to look back on their life and witness on a particular day, their life changing.  Experiencing the shift as they move on to a new path, or into a new level.  Some people see it AFTER it happens… not me.  January 28, 2014 was one of several days in my life that I watched my life unfold into an amazing positive place…and I continue to stroll on a fantastic, positive path.

I’ve been in my job for almost a year and LOVE IT!  I’m on a phenomenal team, have a great boss and manager, work with professional, knowledgeable, mature and hysterical people and have learned so much!  I finished school, got my certificate, though I haven’t taken the PMI test and not sure if I will. I promised God and the universe that once I got a job, I would help as many people as possible get a job, albeit reviewing their resume, offering advice, playing “Connect the Dots” or encouraging them to just keep on keepin’ on.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to help an old high school friend get a new job and help someone who I’ve never met in person, get a new job as well.

All of my good friends, my peeps, that I left at my old job have moved on … to much better opportunities.  They’re all very happy, appreciative of their job, situation and/or team, excited about the future and I know deep down in my heart, they’re gonna continue on an awesome trajectory!!

And all my haters on the job have reaped what they sowed…like Lauren Hill said:

“Now don’t you understand man universal law?
What you throw out comes back to you, star…
Never underestimate those who you scar,
Cause karma, karma, karma comes back to you hard.”

Part of me is grateful that those weapons that were formed against me DID NOT prosper.  Another part of me feels sad for them as they wallow in their hatred and pain.  Hopefully they’ll have the courage to move towards a break through soon and begin their healing.

One of my peeps (that’s on her way to her next level where she’ll kick some serious ass!) just texted me and asked how I felt watching the State of the Union on TV like the rest of the commoners…

I’m good with it… REAL GOOD with it!

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The 7 Day Gratitude Challenge – Days 2 through 5

I’ve been SUCH a slacker in posting my Days of Gratitude to my blog, so here goes a condensed version to get you up to speed:

Day #2 of My Gratitudeness
I’m most grateful for the love of my life, Rob, every day he continues to teach me the true definition of real love and makes me happy down to my soul!  Rob and I have known each other for a while – from afar. He worked in the same building I did and we’d see each other almost every day. There has always been an attraction and connection between us. One day he finally asked me for my number. I waited and waited for him to call me – I was SO disappointed when I didn’t hear from him. Not too long after that, I was in another building for a meeting, and when we broke for lunch – THERE HE WAS!!!

My heart and my love

My heart and my love

I decided that I was going to give him my number again. In front of everyone in the cafeteria I said, “Hey Rob, remember that information you asked me for – here it is” and gave him my business card (with my cell# strategically written on the back). It was right before the Christmas break, and I wasn’t going to be in work until after the New Year, so I was expecting he’d call me.


On Christmas Eve 2011, he called me – he didn’t realize I had written my cell on the back of the card and was calling my work number and leaving me messages! We talked for almost 2 hours that night and that’s when he told me that he had lost the napkin that I wrote my number on months back. A few days later we went out on our first date to Carrabas and we’ve been together ever since!

He takes my breath away with his kindness, consideration, thoughtfulness, and generosity. He’s a fantastic father, righteous, dedicated, motivated, respectful and sexy as hell. He’s patient with me when I’m being stubborn, a gentleman, a warrior, my partner in crime, my best friend, and my peace. He is God’s greatest blessing in my life.  
Day # 3 of My Gratitudeness
They are in the form of animal, vegetable, mineral and/or some other substance in totally random order, off the top of my head:
#1: Cawfee: the magic elixir that starts my brain and tastes good with lots of delicious cakes, pastries, cookies and is even better with family and friends.Water: another magic elixir that makes up 98% of our bodies and covers 3/4ths of the earth. Among other things, it tastes delicious, cleans our bodies, clothes, food, helps grow everything, and is the source from where of all life flows.
#2: Avocados: regardless of the form they come in prior to consumption, i.e., a slice, a cube or guacamole.Sushi: Godzilla and tiger rolls from Aikou (my sushi place) – nuff said.
Ziggy and Buddy My 'tiels a.k.a "The Buggy Brovas"

Ziggy and Buddy My ‘tiels a.k.a “The Buggy Brovas”

#3: Pets: complete and total unconditional love, for my fellow human beings, they are one of the sources of our living longer, happier lives because of the bazillion gazillion laughs they give us.

#4: Trees: Provide shade, give oxygen, bear fruit, look beautiful in ALL seasons and makes you wonder what they’ve bore witness to standing and growing where they happen to be.
#5: Sriracha: that “something” that’s needed to bring out some more flava in what you’re eating

Now, there’s a whole lot more I could list – I wanted to keep it my list of gratitudes small since I’ve kinda rambled on for my first two days. Not to say that my rambling won’t be back – you’ve been warned!  (my 7 Days is gonna turn into 2 weeks if I don’t get my ish together *smdh*)

Day #4 of My Gratitudeness

#1: Sunrises – This is the time of year that when I start my drive to work, the sun is just coming up. Every morning, my ruling planet, the sun (I’m a Leo) quietly comes up over the horizon and paints a masterpiece that I’ll never be able to recreate or capture in with my brush or my camera. The palette of colors and the hues of pink, lavender, blue, orange, and gold that are in the sky and permeate the clouds is breathtaking. For about 15 to 20 minutes, I watch an ever-changing painting that will finally become a blinding glare that makes me squint, slow down driving and wash the windshield in hopes that I can see where the hell I’m going.

This morning's painting

This morning’s painting

#2: Snaggling (Snorting while you laugh) – You know that laugh, the one where you can’t breathe, your face hurts, you’re crying, you just know that you’re gonna pee in your pants, people are looking at you a little more weirder than they normally do and thinking all of those things PLUS whatever it was that made you laugh in the first place, makes snort REALLY LOUD.. and that just sets you off all over again!

#3: Someone else Snaggling – You’re sitting there either trying to figure out what the hell this person is laughing at so damn hard or waiting on them to tell you and they can’t because they can’t breathe or talk. For me, at that point, it doesn’t really matter what’s cracking them up – I’m laughing my butt off at them snaggling!

and last but NOT least …

Day #5 of My Gratitudeness

#1: Acupuncture – I stumbled upon one of the tenements of traditional Chinese medicine about 5 years ago. Acupuncture is thousands of years old and aims to treat you holistically, stimulating specific points to correct imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians (which is why you have pain or sickness). I go once a week for a treatment and have not had a cold in 5 years, haven’t suffered with my seasonal allergies and feel more energetic, better and well rested after a treatment. If I happen to miss a week, I feel like total crap!

#2: Music – one of the things that soothes my savage beast – Iike the O’Jay’s said: I love music. Freestyle, old school, R&B, jazz and especially house music. I’m a house head from back in the day. We used to go to this club called Paradise Garage and it was like going to church because of the music, the crowd and the atmosphere.  Everyone was bound together by one thing: house music. It is a healing force – I never ever want to be without my music.

The greatest club EVER

The greatest club EVER

#3: America’s Funniest Home Videos – yes, you read that right. This show never fails to make me LMAO in some way, shape or form EVERY WEEK. I will guarantee you that I’ll have at least one snaggle at some point during the show when we’re watching it. I don’t care if it’s some kid swinging a bat to hit a pinata and winds up hitting his dad in the nuts or a dog getting blinds stuck around his head, Sunday night….snaggling will commence and endorphins shall be released!!!!

 

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The 7 Day Gratitude Challenge – Day #1: Forgiveness

forgiveness-Quotes-

My sister has challenged me to the Facebook 7 Day Gratitude Challenge, and you dear reader of my blog will now be subject to reading over the next 7 days  what I’m most grateful for.  Ain’t YOU lucky???forgiveness-gifts

The first thing that I thought of when I asked myself “What am I grateful for?” was Forgiveness. I’m SO grateful for forgiveness… the saying goes “That in order to be forgiven, I must forgive.” It’s taken me the later part of my life to really understand that saying.

Most of my life, I didn’t do “forgive and forget” – I didn’t know how. It didn’t matter if it was towards other people or myself, I carried it around in my heart, mind and soul, festering, growing, making me bitter and angry. It wasn’t until a few days after 9/11, in a conversation with my Dad, that I started on a path of healing and learning what forgiveness was and why it needed to be done. From that point on, I started working on forgiving others, myself and accept forgiveness from others. Forgiveness-Quotes-1It wasn’t easy, in fact there were times it was hard as hell and I struggled – there but for the grace of God, support and patience of my family and friends, the journey got easier.

Flash forward to December of 2012, I was diagnosed with a fibroid within my second chakra – the sacral chakra. This chakra governs life lessons involving blaming and guilt, sex, power and control; this Chakra is the base for your sense of morality, your creativity, manifesting, money and prosperity. Information kept in this Chakra involves your emotions, feelings, and feelings of duality. In my mind, having a 5.9 lb. calcified mass in this area meant that all the ‘forgive and forget’ that I didn’t do for most of my life was physically manifested in my body. If I was serious about “forgiving and forgetting” then I had to properly mourn whatever perceived losses I suffered and work at letting them go…FOR REAL. The other thing was letting go of any misdirected self-blame or shame I was harboring.

The day before my surgery, I laid in bed and stated OUT LOUD, everyone that I forgave over the course of my life AND MEANT IT. I was performing my own surgical procedure. Then I apologized OUT LOUD to anyone that I could remember that I may have hurt, offended or treated badly AND MEANT IT. Then I apologized and forgave myself – and really tried to MEAN IT.

One of my many daily prayers

One of my many daily prayers

On the day of the winter solstice in 2012, the anger, bitterness, self-blame, shame, and other negative manifestations were removed from me. Since then,  I’ve continued to try to truly forgive…others and myself. I have to say that when I look back, I can see how far I’ve come and that motivates and inspires me to keep on the path of where I have to go.

 

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Fitty… Plus One

As most folks do when their birthday rolls around, I tend to look back, reflect, appreciate and marvel at how far I have come on my journey in this life, how much I’ve grown and changed, and how hopeful and excited I am about what’s still to come.

Now, I could write about my deep philosophical discoveries I’ve made over my half century plus one, the soul searching I’ve done, how I might have figured out a few of the great mysteries of life and all like that.  NOT!!!! I’mma  write about much more important things!!!  Submitted for your amusement:

Right in the middle??

Right in the middle??

Gray Eyebrow Hair – I’ve noticed over the past couple of years that each of my eyebrows have sprouted a gray hair…not gray HAIRS, plural.  No.  Just one single gray hair in each brow, at different times, strategically sprouting in the middle, under a bunch of other eyebrow hairs, that when I try to pluck JUST that gray hair, I pluck everything AROUND it and NOT the gray hair.  Needless to say, it’s made for some interesting early morning stenciling so as not to frighten, the gas station dude, other drivers or my colleagues.

Snap! Crackle! Pop! – For most of my life I’ve been able to sit Indian Style, albeit in my chair, on the floor, the couch.  I now notice that whenever I sit this way it results in a cacophony of knee poppage, a holding on of something to  get up,  most likely a chair, counter, or small child,  the inside voice count of 1-2-3 and then upsy-daisy and the brief pause before walking, stiffly to where I was going (if I remember).

Famous People – Who’s That? Or He/She Died So Young – I’ve noticed recently that any awards show, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, or heaven forbid –  MTV, I don’t know who 85% of the folks are being nominated or winning.  Additionally,

*sigh* :(

*sigh* 😦

many of the celebrities, artists, performers I do know and grew up watching  seem to be leaving this Earth more frequently.  Talk about having a sense of your own mortality!

You Call That Music??!!!  – I’ve always known that I’ve been fortunate to grow up during a time when music, songs, and the artists that performed them had talent.  The musical soundtrack of my formative years spanned the 70s, 80s, and 90s – so I got ALL the good stuff.  Motown, R&B, Soul, Hip-Hop, Rap, House – , I can’t listen to what’s loosely defined as music in any of these genres today.

So, I’ll be at the half century mark plus one this week – #FittyPlusOne – not a bad place to be at all.   I’ll take each and every of the “old” jokes, Facebook and Twitter birthday wishes, phone calls and text messages and laugh and enjoy them because I know that I’m loved AND that I’ll be able to do the SAME THING to my peeps when it’s their birthday!!!  I’ve earned every wrinkle and gray hair and I’m PROUD to have them – well except maybe the gray hair, I make sure to get rid of all of them every 4 to 6 weeks.

I’m another year wiser, another year happier,  another year grateful  FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE in my life and so VERY blessed!

 

Fitty plus one!

Fitty plus one!

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The Garden State Guide to Roadkill 101

I’ve done my hour and half commute one way to/from work now for about 3 months now.  Yes, it’s a bit long, it tests my patience with my fellow drivers, as well as my bladder capacity at times.  There are times when I’m driving that I sing at the top of my lungs (with the windows rolled up  – I do NOT want to subject the world to my off-key howling) while doing some fierce car seat dancing.  There are times when I call my friends so we can catch up and they can keep me company.  There are times when I drive in complete silence.

You’d be amazed by what you see when you’re driving.  My routes to/from work have me driving some of the major roadways in the great Garden State: routes 78, 80, 202, 287, and the Garden State Parkway.   The one thing that is consistent during my daily 3 hours of driving is roadkill.

Let’s start with Route 78.  It has the usual roadkill alumni: deer, racoon, opossum, and the occasional squirrel.  Sidebar #1: Rocky, you need to tell your furry brethren that you absolutely CANNOT make it across 3 lanes of highway and NOT get hit.  Squirrel pancakes are just sad.

You had one job highway line painter dude...ONE JOB.

You had one job highway line painter dude…ONE JOB.

Then there’s Route 80.  It has evidence of a different kind of roadkill: humans.  There are a lot of crosses and memorials along the shoulders of Route 80.  Where Route 287 connects with 80 is rife with construction and pothole maintenance with contributes to another type of roadkill: tires.  I think if you collected all the shredded tires between Parsippany and Paterson, you’d have a nice set of tires for your car.

Route 202 has the most non-human, non-tire roadkill.  I’ve driven by a plethora of deer, racoon, opossum, and skunk during my daily excursions to/from work – with the same turkey vultures pecking at them in afternoon as there were in the morning.  Sidebar #2: to all the towns along Route 202, you really need to hire more carcass picker-uppers.  It ain’t cool being subjected to turkey vulture butt pecking early in the morning or when I’m on my way home trying to figure out what to eat for dinner.

Here's a handy roadkill tally sheet to help you keep track.

Here’s a handy roadkill tally sheet to help you keep track.

Route 287 is where the bulk of my commute takes place in either direction.  Oh, the fun on 287!  From the slowing down for NO DAMN GOOD REASON in Morristown to the 12,000 lane changes that everyone has to do in Parsippany – 287 has it ALL!  Deer, racoon, shredded tires, mattresses, twisted ladders that fell off trucks, bags of trash, crazy monster truck drivers, trucks, trucks and more trucks!

The Parkway has the least roadkill, trash, shredded tires and some of the other things mentioned above. Glad to see that my toll money is hopefully contributing to the roadway pristineness.

All people who can't drive, please exit here.

All people who can’t drive, please exit here.

The GSP has the honor of having the most unusual ‘roadkill’: people who can actually drive.  Between the Essex and Union tolls, albeit North or South, it seems that there ain’t too many folks who can drive.  Once you get past Mahwah, the ‘driving’ crazies are less – but the obnoxious luxury car drivers are a pestilence.

Now, there are some beautiful things that I see or occur during my commute.  The mountains in all their blooming stages from spring to summer, rainbows,  the sun setting, woodchucks, deer and bunnies nibbling on tender shoots of grass, falcons and hawks sitting on a telephone poll, the billboard that states what the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are for that day.

Yep…the billboard reminds me that if I take a moment to play either lottery, I may not ever have to commute ever again!

 

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BFFs Forevah Evah

There’s an old saying that “Friends are the family you choose for yourself”.  We all have acquaintances, associates, dudes, partners in crime, etc.  What do you think about those people who you’ve bestowed the title ‘friend’ upon as you read this – are they the “family” that you’ve chosen for yourself?Friendship-Quotes-Best-Friendship-Quotes-Best-Friends-Forever-true

I truly believe that over the course of my life, the few true, close friends that I have ‘chosen’ as my extended family have had a huge influence on the person that sits here writing this blog.  While I’m a social person, I’m very particular about who I let into my inner circle.  The friends within my inner circle you can count on one hand – they’re ride or die, the ones that love and accept me no matter what, are there for me no matter what, at any time, for whatever reason.  We’ve bled the same blood, cried the same tears, held each other up when the other fell, laughed our asses off at things that other folks just wouldn’t understand, fought some good fights and some bad ones…yet still we have loved each other, appreciated and celebrated each other HARD and without question.

This past weekend, my best friend, my sister from another mister, my bish (that’s a term we use instead of ‘bitch’),  for over 30 years celebrated her 50th birthday.  I’ve had the honor and privilege of marking so many wonderful and sad milestones with her during our friendship.

We met when I started working in a hair salon as a shampoo girl on Saturdays and she was a hairdresser. Both 20-somethings that loved 80s freestyle music, clothes, going out and dancing at Foxes, Passions or Temptations waaaaaaay back in the day. Our little posse was THE posse in those clubs back then – we were out every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (sometimes). We’d get ready at my apartment, go to the club, get our drink and swerve on, then come back to my house to sleep it off – we had SO MUCH FUN!

Foxes - we RULED that club!

Foxes – we RULED that club!

I remember when she and her then boyfriend, now husband, got engaged – I was a bridesmaid in their wedding.  I remember when we went shopping with her mom and sisters for her wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses.  Her mom was BALLING her eyes out when I came out of the dressing room wearing one of the bridesmaids selections – not to mention how all of us broke down when my BFF came out wearing “the” dress!

I remember when she got pregnant with my niece and how happy and overjoyed I was for them both.  I remember buying Blimpies’ Best sandwiches for her when she was craving them like MAD.  I remember when my niece was born – I called my BFF at the hospital and she said to me, “Geek (yes that’s what she’s always called me), I’m sitting here holding my daughter and crying like I’ve never cried before in my life. My life will never be the same.”  I told her that she was going to be a phenomenal mother because she’s a phenomenal person.

I remember the devastation when she lost her oldest niece to a drunk driver – just a block from her Mom’s house. All the Christmases, New Year’s Eves, BBQs, 4th of Julys, birthdays and ‘come over and hang out, we ain’t doing nothings’  we’ve passed through. I remember when my niece graduated day care to go to kindergarten and both of us crying like a bunch of idiots in the auditorium while they ‘sang’ “It’s a Small World” in sign language!   I remember we were shopping in a dollar store near my house and my niece calling me ‘cheap’  at the register in front of everyone because I refused to buy her candy!friendship013

I remember their move out of Jersey – I was helping them pack the U-Haul the night before they were going to leave.  I remember as my boyfriend at the time drove me home, I didn’t cry because they were leaving Jersey and how that surprised me.  Then I realized why: I was going to talk to her when they got down to their new place the next day.  That’s when I had an epiphany: our friendship transcended time and distance –  she was my BFF no matter where she lived.

I remember when her Mom’s health began to decline and her Mom’s eventual passing – and my Dad passing a year and a week after her mom. I remember my niece’s communion, her graduation from grammar school to middle school, then her Sweet 16. And in a couple of weeks, I get to share another milestone in our friendship: my niece’s graduation from high school and her going to college.

Which brings us to this past weekend – another milestone that I get the honor and privilege to be a part of … her 50th birthday.  How blessed I am to have had the privilege of being called your friend, for your gift of true friendship, love, acceptance, laughter, understanding and most of all, the gift of time to share and mark the milestones of both our lives.

My BFF Geekus Forevah Evah

My BFF Geekus Forevah Evah

To my BFF forevah evah Geekus, Sharon… I LOVE YOU!!!!  Happy Birthday Bish!!!

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Real Freedom is Freedom from Fear

After I thanked God for waking me up this morning, I realized that it was one year ago today that my life changed –  I started on a new path.  I drove to work this morning in complete silence, no radio, no calling anyone on my way in – all I did was reflect on what has unfolded since a year ago today and how amazing it’s been!

I walked away from a door that God closed and ran, happily, into the unknown – without fear or regret, because I knew that the unknown was infinitely better than staying where I was. I knew that God was in control, He had a plan for my life and that all I had to do was trust and believe in Him.

From going back to school, to rediscovering my painting, to reconnecting with friends who I neglected because of my work schedule, to a once in a lifetime opportunity, to helping whoever with whatever wherever I could, to getting a wonderful job that will allow me, Rob and Thorne to begin to build a solid foundation for the next chapter of all our lives. What a journey it’s been!

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

I’m humbled, honored and grateful for this year, more than any other year in my life – God has kept me through it all.  Fear is a choice that you make, a choice that takes away your freedom.  Fear can paralyze you, stop you dead in your tracks, keep you in darkness… in pain and alone.

Fear is no longer a choice for me….in any area of my life.  To be truly free, you cannot fear – you have to trust and have faith, not just in God, but in yourself.

I choose to be free!

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