Friday, July 30, 2010

If you really think that...

being unemployed is fun or a vacation I'm gonna ask you go straight to ...
The idea that extending unemployment benefits after this whole bank/wall street debacle is creating a hand out system is ill informed at best.

When I was layed off I didnt get the chance to lounge on the couch or anything but I did need the help that unemployment (money that they had taken out of my check when I was working as a conting...ency should one become layed off) gave me. I didnt qualify for any of those 100 grand a year jobs or anything so I had to look for a job that I was qualified for. Since the pool of people looking for those jobs was larger than those in the 100 grand a year range, my search was pretty difficult. I was terrified as anyone who suddenly becomes unemployed can likely attest to, so I never got the chance to weigh the pros and cons of either laying on the couch or earning an honest day's wage.


None of the people I met at the Texas Employment Commission at the time seemed excited about the prospect of getting a third of what they were making as employed citizens from the government and what used to be their tax dollars. You only get unemployment if you were employed and then were let go because of the company could no longer use you or afford you, so you are getting your own money back essentially. You only get a fraction of what you once earned and that is not enough to lay about on.

I didnt qualify for food stamps while I was unemployed, many don't (I'll try and find the numbers on this, I used to know them when I was unemployed).

I was only unemployed for about 6 weeks and I bit my effing nails everyday that no one called me back. I had 2 degrees at the time and took a pay cut (which is tough in retail management) to get back to work. I luckily didnt have kids to feed.

That was a while ago and I dont have these issues any more but that doesnt mean that the issues dont exist for anyone else. The presumption that we know someone else's life is a narrow view and completely irrelevant one.
I say help people who had jobs and lost them because of big business and fancy math that is indecipherable until millions find themselves out of work and summarily demonized because of it.

I've lived around good people who felt desparate and it is dangerous. You dont want desparate people living around you.

That's the last thing we need in the country right now.
 
Karma--blame it on you, not Me!
Us!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Freedom

I've been thinking about Freedom and what it means to me lately...I know that financial stability is very freeing. I can make plans in a way I couldn't before and that really feels free!
I know that mental freedom means the ability to process feelings in a way that encourages you to rejoice in your victories and learn/grow from your setbacks (I refuse to say defeats).

My meditations (typically done while on the floormats for stretching at the gym these days) help me see how I have freed myself from self-imposed prisons and how I can break free of boundaries that inhibit my success. It's difficult to do because the bottom line is always the Self. How I feel depends on Me, how I behave depends on me and how think depends on me and only me.
I'm free because everything in my little life depends solely on little ole me. While it's freeing it also a little terrifying, because rejoicing in the ups means taking responsibilty for the downs. That is hard but its the truth and living the truth is the ultimate freedom in my book.

Just a little reflection.
Have a Karmically Charmed day!
Us!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Curry was the Case that They Gave Me

Today I made curry. You know, mortar and pestle to crush the herbs, the coconut milk and jasmine rice. Everyone was please if I do say so myself. It was nice to be back in the kitchen after so long. cover your chicken with the herbs and spices and pan sear briefly in olive oil.

 Get the aromatics going. I kept it simple with just onions and bell pepper.
Drain off the oil from your chicken, and add 8oz of either water or in my case, chicken broth, add the aromatics and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of coconut milk.
 Start your rice...cook according to package instructions....This fragrant and taste rice adds another level of flavor to the dish.

Simmer your chicken for about 30 minutes. I didn't add cornstarch because it's summer and it seemed too heavy, so I thought a nice light curry broth would be best.



That's all for tonight.
Watch that Karma so you dont have to watch your back.
Love and Light

 Us!

Friday, July 23, 2010

This is what happens when no one fact checks

So everyone knows about the whole Sherrod debacle by now and my only question is for the left. WTH? No one is in charge of fact checking? Why would you even attempt to take anything these days at face value without giving it at least a preliminary scan if you're just not interested in some long-drawn out in depth probe? I expect what I expect from the Right. Period. They haven't surprised me yet unfortunately. But come on Left...you know better than to hop-to based on anything out of the jowls of the Right.
Now I'm no Lefty nor am I on the Right but I'm certainly a liberal and even I don't take everything I read in my favorite liberal rags and podcasts at face value.
Heads have already rolled, so now what? Unreal!

On another topic :
HUD AND VA LAUNCH $15 MILLION DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM TO PREVENT VETERAN HOMELESSNESS
New effort to benefit homeless prevention programs near five military bases.
Under the new Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration Program (VHPD), existing HUD grantees or 'Continuums of Care' located near the following military installations will each receive $2 million: MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida; Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California; Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas; Fort Drum in Watertown, New York; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington. In addition, VA medical centers in the following areas will each receive $1 million: Tampa, San Diego, Dallas, Syracuse, New York; and American Lake in Washington.


Excellent! I am behind any program that helps citizens who are without adequate resources. I know some awesome veterans (and some LESS than awesome ones) and have more than a few vets in my family. I like knowing that we (as a Nation) are constantly working to get it right for our soldiers and their families.
I tell my conservative friends that the one thing you dont want is a bunch of impoverished and desparate people living around you (especially ones with combat training). Rather than running them off, why not help? You never know when someone is going to have to pick you, dust you off and give you back some basic dignities. Everyone is worth something (even if all they do to brighten your life is get their toxic behinds out of your life each person is worth at least a little something).

Anyway, it's Friday so it's Happy Hour night with some friends from my bookstore days (damn I loved that job--before all the crazy changes). No gym today which may change if I can get in a 15 minute sprint directly after work, of course I could always go later since it's 24Hour Fitness, meh, we'll see. I'm trying to get into tip top shape for my annual trip to the Grand Canyon and this time I really wanna get down and back up Bright Angel Trail.
Bah! For Ren Faire I am gonna be a Barbarian Fairy. I know it sounds kinda crazy and really silly but I like Barbarians and Fairies so...why not a marriage?
I know, lame, but I dont mind lame if you have a good time and no one gets hurt.

Love and Light
Good Karma to all
Us!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Other Stuff I Dig

I use my iPhone at the gym because I can listen to Pandora radio. If you don't know what this is then let me tell you, its only the best internet radio (for free) that I have come across in the hot minute that I have been all tech savvy. You can create a radio station around a song you like by simply pressing the create station tab and typing in the name of the song! Pandora then opens up a world of like music for you (get how I got all box-like). Anyway, I was listening to an old hip-hop group that my friend Troy put me on to called Blood of Abraham and they are awesome. Through Pandora I was able to find more groups like them that I had never even heard of and a number of them that I did, like Del the Funkehomosapien. I love that darn station.

In other news, I'm a little concerned about getting involved in Mayor Bill White's campaign for Governor. That is I was until I read all the stats on the current Governor Rick Perry. I can't believe the stuff Perry has pulled and I just want him out. So I guess I'm gonna be helping out Mayor White who may be too honest for politics (Jimmy Carter). We'll see.

all for now
Wishing you love and light and good karma
Us!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh Just a Bunch of Nerd Stuff

Sigh...I'm concerned about someone who is not even close to being a friend but I think we likely could have been had things been different in our lives. I cant believe I feel any level of empathy for the person but I do. I truly do. I really hope it all works out well for them, and I wish I could do something to help. I cant of course but I would if I could. My spiritual beliefs teach me that the way to enlightenment is to lead another out of the dark, and the way to realizing richness in our lives is to aid another out of poverty (in whatever form, literal or figurative). The way to heal a broken heart (for those who are not obliviously clueless as to what one is--lucky them I reckon) is to love openly through the pain. Man does it hurt though, I mean it is a real S.O.B. but you learn more about love and life during the loss of both. That being said, I hope anyone with Karmic debts gets the chance to make good on them with the universe, with a minimum of collateral damage. Peace. Now on a lighter note-----

Well, today was a busy day at work, I like it but it is challenging, especially for the lowly trainee, who, by the way, becomes a regular cubicle drone as of September. That means my grade changes, which means my pay changes, Yippee! I know, yippee is pretty lame but, yippee. I change tax brackets but I also get to change lifestyles. It's been a long road out of the mud for sure but mud is good for the skin so, I'm gonna guess it was worth it.

I noticed that the chubby chasers were in full force today at the gym. What's that about? When I was in the market for someone who digs the fluff, I dont remember no buff dudes hounding me on the streets, and believe me, I woulda remembered for sure. Now it's all "oh do you need a hand with those weights" and "Here, let me help you set the machine, you sit down and I'll adjust" with my giant manly muscles (okay I added that bit). Still...what gives?

Oh oops, Dragon-Con is in September not in August, I jumped the gun because I'm so freaking excited. I am gonna be in primo, star-gazing/chasing shape. Last year I shook hands with the legendary skin job Saul Tigh from Battlestar Gallactica! I just stood there with my mouth open while he shook my hand. LOL. and Yes he has a real name but it just doesn't seem relevant. If the Dr. Who crowd from this season is there then I am gonna lose it for sure! God, Sci-Fi is fun!

Oh snap, Adrian and I went to see the Eagles last month at the Toyota Center! Awesome seats and the concert was Wonderful! I mean we went to last year's "Hell Freezes Over Tour" and it was sublime but this year's "Long Road Out Of Eden Tour" was even better! Those old dudes still got it! We missed the Doobie Brothers, although I can't imagine how. I watch the concert sites like a hawk for my favs, like Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Knicks, Sting (who is actually coming to Houston's Cynthia Mitchel Woods Pavillion this year) and a myriad of others I dig. Anyway they got by us, con-sarn-it! LOL.

I know, you're checking out my playlist and wondering how you too can be this Cool! hahahaha
Love and light
Good Karma to all,
US!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What a difference self Reflection Makes

Well, I haven't been here in a while because frankly, I've become a FaceBook junkie and everyone I wanna talk to is there. It's an instant gratification kinda thing I suppose. This isn't to say that I don't have a ton stuff to yak endlessly about, its just a matter of dragging myself over here to talk about it.

The job is going well. I'm learning to be better at serving our veterans everyday and I actually enjoy what I do, I still belong in a classroom though and so I will be heading back to classes next month to keep plugging away at that certification and M.Ed in Secondary Education.

I start volunteer work soon, the plan is to do veteran services outreach so that I can really begin to be a force in politico-activism (if there is indeed such a thing).

DRAGON-CON is coming up in Atlanta next month and of course I bought my plane ticket over a month ago with points I earned throughout the year. Awesome. Who knew that managing your life rather than just pulling a day by day could be so fruitful. The Artist is doing well, he made some amazing progress in one of his young adult tales and honestly, from what I have read it is excellent. The artwork ain't too shabby either, but then I'm biased.

I am still sticking it to my fat cells and am like a gym junkie these days. Water aerobics twice a week break up the monotony of my regular daily workouts (I don't work out Friday nights--party night!).

My friends are wonderful as always and making dramatic changes in their lives for their betterment. I am well loved and I'm thankful to the point of mushy (but then, I've always been the sensitive type).

Positivity yields positivity, believe me. I was so negative a while ago and all it brought was sadness and misery. I had to make a conscious effort on the daily to just find a silver lining. I went nuts with pain for a long time but it got me nowhere. I had a retail management job that I didn't care for, even though to this day I LOVE retail as career. I was eating poorly. I wasn't working out and I was blaming myself for things that were the responsibility of others. I internalized the shortcomings of the people I had in my life at the time. I just felt trapped in my emotions all the time. Then I went into myself and really asked some difficult questions. I found that I constantly put others first (not in the way you think)--I worried about others finding me accessible and useful to them. I never thought about how I could be accessible and useful to me first.
Now, I look out for me. I make myself happy so that I can be a source of happiness for others. I let my friends know when they have hurt me and I apologize sincerely when I hurt them, because I care about them and I value them as a part of my life. I value ME so they value me.
I can't believe that something as simple as self acceptance can make one so abundantly happy but here I am.

Well I'm planning my 40th birthday trip to the Mediterranean with one of my best gal-pals (shout out to Adrian) for 2011 (when I actually turn 40).
This year for my 39th in December I plan to visit California (shout out to you Suzy-Que) and of course in January, I have my annual trip to Arizona for the trek to the Grand Canyon with one of my favorite couples and two of my favorite individuals The Guthries.

Love and Light and good Karma to all.

US!