Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To "B" or Not to "B"

I have discovered that there is a fine line between a women asserting herself and being a bitch. So my question of the day is, to bitch or not to bitch? Although I think it's wrong, a simple fact of society is that a woman who asserts herself is frequently considered a bitch. Many times throughout my teenage years and adult life, I have been called a bitch. Frankly, the term doesn't even bother me anymore. Usually, I'm telling the truth and the person, usually a man, that my comments are directed to, simply doesn't like it. Now I don't want to do any male-bashing, I certainly love men, but I only know what I have observed and cannot help but wonder why the double standard? Now I admit, women tend to be more emotional than men, which can cause them to behave irrationally, but I still think that society looks upon a woman asserting herself with negativity while a man asserting himself is considered a positive trait. "He's a go-getter. He doesn't take any crap from anyone. He's strong-willed. He's aggressive." Then about women they say, "She's just a bitch. It must be her time of the month."
The past few years of my life, I have learned to let a lot of stuff go. The little, petty everyday things that we allow to get to us when we shouldn't. Instead, I try to focus on the stuff that's really important and will have an impact on my happiness. Frequently, this frame of mind has allowed me to feel "stepped on" or has put me in situations I should have never allowed myself to be in. For me, that's a problem; however, had I asserted myself in many of those situations, I would have been perceived as a bitch.
Now perhaps I do swing from one extreme to the other, sometimes not asserting myself at all and others asserting myself in a manner that is condescending to others, but where is the line and how does one know when they cross it? Particularly for a women, for which the standard seems to be different. Yesterday, a friend told me I need to be more ruthless. Although he admitted that may not be exactly the right word, I think he's on to something.
Be it wrong or right, I've let other people in my life, who are not in a position to do so, tell me that I'm too hard on people or that I'm just a bitch. In an effort to be nice, I've allowed myself to become too nice and get stepped on and taken advantage of. Then when I've finally had enough and I do blow up, I am a real bitch.
I am slowly but surely ridding my life of the sort of people who claim that I am too hard on people and I am just a bitch. I am finding that these people have problems with their lives and their overall philosophies that are dragging me down. Then when I've had enough of their foolish behavior, finally, and tell them the truth, perhaps in a bitchy way out of frustration, they accuse me of having a problem. They're right...they are my problem and I fully intend to remedy the situation.
So I really don't know the answer to my question, to "B" or not to "B", but I certainly know this, I am sick and tired of giving people a pass that do not deserve it. Perhaps if society were a little harder on these people, we wouldn't have the spineless, gutless, whiney babies our society is full of. Perhaps I am a bitch, but at least I can take care of myself, hold a decent job and pursue my own happiness. If other people cannot find worth in my asserting myself, then I shouldn't care what they think and I certainly don't need them in my life.
So look out! The bitch is back! :-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Unwilling Nanny

Someone emailed me the following youtube clip today and I lauged when I saw it, but then it made me angry. With smoking rates declining all the time, who do you suppose will eventually get stuck with this bill? So basically, now I'm paying for everyone else's retirement (Social Security), health care (Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP), groceries (food stamp and other welfare programs), babies (wic card program), education (public schools, college grants)....WHERE DOES IT END?!? I guess when I'm broke and bankrupt and/or have to go looking for a handout myself, that's where it will end. Why is it my responsibility to take care of anyone else, much less everyone else? And why in the world is it a cigarette smoker's responsibility to pay for the health care of some dolt who had kids yet couldn't afford them? If anyone has a logical response to any of these questions, please feel free to leave your comment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series


Miscellaneous Odds and Ends

I am finding it increasingly difficult to focus on any one thing in my life right now. I think I have so much stressful crap going on (and most of it is just that...crap) that I am having a hard time dealing with it or prioritizing any of it. Perhaps if I list it out and brainstorm about each item, it will help me gather my thoughts?? It's worth a try. 1.) Explorer needs an oil change and anti-freeze flush 2.) order Why Businessmen Need Philosophy by Ayn Rand for my next FROG meeting 3.) cancel the Dish Network service in my spare bedroom 4.) order glass for an end table in the living room (in a drunken stupor, Danny fell, hit his head on the glass and shattered it...didn't hurt his head, of course...too hard for that.) 5.) complete built-in desk in loft area (yet another project Danny started and hasn't completed) 6.) refinance my home equity line of credit, if possible 7.) hire an attorney to handle the citations Danny received as a result of last weekend's wreck 8.) continue dealing w/ body shop and insurance adjustor to get Danny's truck repaired 9.) try to find room in our ever-increasingly tight household budget for Danny's $500 deductible while still maintaining enough funds for him to GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!!! 10.) follow up on warranty work that KB Home has planned for Thursday (replacing downstairs carpet, replacing two garage door panels and leaky faucet) 11.) write letters of appeal to United Health Care with regards to the three claims they are not covering from last January when I broke my leg 12.) get a new brain because mine is fried I should mention the three things I managed to scratch off my to-do list yesterday. (Gotta focus on the positive, you know.) I filed the remaining divorce paperwork, so now it's all up to the courts to send me the final documents within the next 30 days. (Yahoo!) I also resolved my allergy medication dilemma. (No insurance company is willing to cover any allergy meds that actually work for me.) My new allergist recommended a Canadian drug website where I can get a three month supply of my allergy meds for less than what my insurance copays are! (Yahoo again!) And last, I finally exchanged some clothing at a retail store, which I have been needing to do for about a month now. (Seems small and insignificant, but it's nice to get the small stuff off my to-do list too.) Thank goodness things are a bit slow at my office right now, otherwise, I'd probably be completely insane. In addition to a longer-than-normal to-do list, I'm dealing with the stress of the divorce, new living arrangements and all the other little odds and ends that life throws at us daily. Some days I wonder if the smile on my face is because, somehow, despite all of the stress right now, I'm still happy or if it's because I've gone completely nuts. Either way, at least I'm still smiling! :-)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cat Got Your Tongue?

Even though I've liked them okay and I find some worth in them, I have yet to be impressed by any of my blog posts yet. Nothing yet that I am extremely proud of. Tonight I sit here full of "stuff" going on in my life, but I am so stressed that I can't even figure out what to say or where to start, and if I did, would I just sit here and complain? If so, what good would that do? Since I have nothing really constructive or positive to say, I will resort to a simple, humorous story from my FROG dinner last night. After my FROG meeting, we went to a really good Chinese food restaurant. After dinner, my new roommate, Jenni, got the best fortune of all. It read, "The greatest achievement in life is selflessness." Classic!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

There Is No "I" In Teamwork

The Colorado Rockies won the National League Pennant last night and in doing so earned their first trip to the World Series. The game wasn't over until just before midnight Mountain Time, so it was pretty late when they started giving out the hardware. As the team accpeted the National League Championship trophy and as Matt Holliday accepted the trophy for Nationa League MVP, I couldn't help but be sickened by the lack of pride each player, coach or executive had for himself. It was all about the team. Matt Holliday even went so far as to accept his trophy on behalf of his 24 other teammates. Ugh! You know what makes a good team? When each individual player plays to his highest potential, and that's exactly what the Rockies have done the past month or so. Each game, a different player or players has stepped up to make the game-winning difference. By each player playing his best at different times, they caused a good team effort, but it was the excellence of individuals that brought them their success. How distorted is our society when a man cannot even accept an MVP award in recognition of his own acheivements without shying away from the camera and changing an individual award into a team award? Would it have been so horrible for any of the players, coaches or owners to come out and admit that they worked really hard for this recognition? Now I can see them thanking the other members of the team for helping them to be the best they could be, but to shun the praise that the indivdiual rightly deserved is just ridiculous. If I had been Matt Holliday last night, I would have accepted the trophy with a proud smile on my face, told everyone how hard I worked for it, how much I appreciated being recognized for my hard work and how proud I was to be a part of a team full of individuals who constantly strive to do their best. Hard work, determination and intelligence are rewarded in this great nation of ours and we shouldn't be ashamed of it. I think it's time to put the "I" back in teamwork!

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Rebirth

This week is shaping up to be quite interesting for me. My new roommate is moving in although my soon-to-be ex-husband has not quite moved out yet. It should be just a matter of weeks before he is in his own place, and I certainly appreciate him sticking around and helping me with the mortgage until I was able to secure a roommate. Besides, everyone always likes my husband. Frankly, he's a very likable guy and I think that's the only reason I was able to stay with him for so long. He and my new roommate will probably get along just fine during the few weeks that we all have to live together. Besides filing the divorce paperwork, this is the next really big step in what a friend of mine called my springtime, but I like to call it my renaissance. I like the term renaissance for a couple of reasons. First, for its literal meaning, the revival of learning and culture, and second, because the term is also associated with romance. The first meaning is quite obvious for those that know me. Since moving to Colorado, I have become very independent and I am able to think with much more rational clarity than I have before. There are no crazy, emotional decisions being made and I am not living on a whim, just trying to get by day to day. I have a clear thought process and my decisions are based on what's best for me, and me alone. I have clear and realistic goals and aspirations. The second meaning I have not yet discovered fully. The Renaissance typically refers to the end of the middle ages in Europe and a period of rebirth of art forms and culture. For me, it means much the same thing...a rebirth of the romance in my life, of what's important to me and what I like to do. Bogged down in a bad relationship for so many years, I had nearly lost everything that I had once considered important to me. The "stuff" of life that makes one passionate about living. Besides continuing to learn more about Objectivism and develop new and meaningful relationships, there are a few other activities I would like to try. First, I want to sign up for ballroom dance lessons. Not only do I think this would be incredibly fun (I've always loved to dance), but I think it would be great exercise and a wonderful way to meet new friends. Second, I want to sign up for an adult kickball league I found up in Denver. (Who didn't like kickball when they were a kid?) And finally, I want to hike to the Continental Divide from Grand Lake, Colorado. (A two-day hike.) Now none of these things will be possible for several more months or years. Due to my broken leg, doctor said no kickball until Spring of 2009. I haven't specifically asked about ballroom dancing, but since it still hurts like hell to pivot, I would imagine dancing would be out for a bit longer. The hike to the divide will require me to continue to lose weight, continue to rehab my leg, take a few practice hikes and acquire the appropriate gear, so I have made that a five-year goal. (If I do it sooner, great, but I want to be realistic so I don't get discouraged and do nothing.) So for now, I will continue to meet with the Objectivist group I found here in Denver, Front Range Objectivist Group (FROG), develop my new friendships and read more books by Ayn Rand and other Objectivists. And maybe I'll sign up for that pottery class that's offered at my town's rec center. I could use a few decorative items for my home and what better way to celebrate my renaissance than with a few pieces of artwork?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Rotten Apples Make Sour Grapes

Baseball, America's favorite pastime. Whether you love or hate sports, the thought of a full ball park on a sunny day, full of people eating hot dogs and peanuts and the sound of the crack of the bat just makes you think red, white and blue. It's competition, it's tradition, it's all-American. So what happened in Arizona during game 1 of the NLCS last night? I played sports growing up, and as a both a fan and player, I can certainly understand the frustration and angst one can feel during a tough loss, but to intentionally try to take out another player by playing dirty is just sad. Then for some fans to start throwing objects onto the field just punctuated an already pitiful situation. When I see something like this, it tends to instantly turn me into a sour grape. I lose hope for society in general and the pessimism sets in. After a few moments of watching, however, I noticed a few things that gave me hope. Many of the fans started pointing out the offenders to stadium officials and/or indicated their disapproval of the unruly fans' behavior. And relatively few objects were thrown for such a large crowd. It was really just a few rotten apples ruining the whole bunch, so maybe things aren't as bad as I initially thought? Could it be that everything else is that way too? It's so easy to turn on the TV at night and see all the worst the world has to offer, brought to us by the ratings-seeking and frequently inaccurate media, but are things really as bad as they seem? As Anne Frank said, "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart." She's right. I believe we are all good at heart, but some of us let our situations and our surroundings jade us and change us for the worst. We begin making bad assumptions about everyone and everything. Instead, we should always remember what's really valuable to us and keep in mind that our fellow man is probably not evil as we thought he was. Maybe someone is just having a bad day, maybe someone just lost a loved one, maybe they're just lonely and discouraged with the world and need a friend? Maybe they're just a sour grape? Granted, there are psychos and crazies out there that will always try to ruin it for the rest of us, but we have to keep that in perspective and know that they are just a few rotten apples in a whole bushel of beautiful, red, delicious apples. So what's the moral to this tale? Don't let bad apples turn you into a sour grape. GO ROCKIES!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bits & Pieces

Since the whole point of starting my blog was to journal, I decided to start both a public and a private blog. I figure I can post everything to the private blog then copy over to the public blog the entries that are suitable to share. I am calling my private blog Bits & Pieces, as in bits and pieces of me. At this particular moment, I can't think of anything too interesting to say. I'm pretty tired from getting too little sleep last night. In general, I haven't been sleeping well lately. Either I don't feel sleepy enough to fall asleep, even though I'm tired, or once I fall asleep, I wake up during the night. Either way, it amounts to me not operating at full capacity. I have been slow at work and every day there are things left over on both my professional and personal to-do lists that I must carry over to the next day. So I'm stuck in this Catch-22 at the moment. Hopefully, finalizing my divorce and living arrangements will allow my mind to slow down a little. Well, I'm off to watch the Rockies. It's Rocktober, baby!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Anniversary

I was a little more excited today about the 50th anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, than I expected to be. I had forgotten about it until Danny called to tell me they were talking about it on 850 am. Then my boss sent me a link to the Wall Street Journal, then the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) emailed me two more links to articles in California newspapers. It seemed to be everywhere, and that's good!

Atlas Shrugged has changed my life in so many ways this year. It all started with me ranting to my boss, Sean, about how taxes are "really just stealing" on or about April 15th. (The US and Colorado income tax filing deadlines.) Sean said, "You know, you should read Atlas Shrugged." I asked him if he meant the guy that holds the earth and then I shrugged my shoulders, and he said, "Yes! Exactly!" I looked at him confused, so he proceeded to tell me a bit about the book and the author.

I can't remember if it was that day or the next, but I ordered the book not very long after that conversation. When it arrived, I was somewhat shocked by the thickness of the book, the fine print and the large amount of text. This thing looked like a monster, but I jumped right in, or so I intended to. Rand's writing style was unlike anything I had ever read before. She used vocabulary I had infrequently heard or used myself and she used very literal meanings of words. At first, it irritated me because I just wanted to get into the story and I felt like the unusual words were going to make that difficult, but then, as I settled into the book, finally, I began to appreciate it more and more.

Not only did I become completely engulfed in the characters, but I felt like I could really identify with the theme and the ideas presented in the book. What I found even more inspiring and coincidental was the fact that the state of Colorado plays a large role in the book and I had just moved to Colorado less than a year before. In addition, I was despondent over the state of US politics and the 2006 elections. As a conservative, the elections were pretty disastrous for me. And finally, as I was reading the first third of the book and reading about The People's State of Mexico taking over d'Anconia's copper mines, Hugo Chavez was nationalizing the last of Venezuela's privately owned oil fields and threatening to do the same with TV, banks and steel mills.

After reading the book, I was starving for more information. I had been presented all these grand and noble ideas that resonated with me, but what do I do with it all now? It did not take me long to find, an online forum for Objectivists and/or those wanting to know more. After only visiting the forum for a few days, I found out there was an Objectivist group meeting right here in the Denver area. I contacted them and the next month's meeting was very near my home. I have been to two meetings and two social dinners now and am thoroughly enjoying the reading and subsequent discussions. It has also been very nice to meet new people who I find interesting.

Perhaps the most interesting result of my reading Atlas Shrugged and discovering Objectivism, has been the effect on my marriage. I simply realized, finally, that I'm not happy in my marriage and things weren't going to change now matter how hard I tried to force change. My divorce will be final about a month from now, I have a new roommate moving in soon and soon Danny will be moving out. I certainly hope we will continue to remain on friendly terms, but I must say that I am eager, excited and a little nervous about moving on with my life. I feel like I have so much going for me and so many things that I like about myself, that the sky is the limit when it comes to my happiness. And with the wide open spaces, beautiful mountains and seemingly endless skies of Colorado, I feel like I can say for the first time in a long time, if not my entire life, I am happy, I am at peace with myself and I am home.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Opening Night!

Well, here it is. My first blog. Live From The Rock. (Castle Rock, Colorado that is.) I am not sure that I have much to say tonight, but I read another blog earlier this evening that suggested keeping a daily journal. Even if you don't have much to write some days, a journal can help one introspect. Since I think we could all use a little introspection, I thought, why not give it a try? Blogging seems to be the preferred method of choice these days, so here I go.