Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fun with PhotoDraw:)

So yesterday's photo was done with transparent clown face. Today, I did opposite with transparent "monster" face. I wanted to see which looked better.
Definately, though subtle, this was more in line with what I was going for. I started out by cutting and pasting features and putting on, but that looked kind of stupid. So I finally figured out putting one picture over the other, and then playing with the transparency and order (size and sahpe of overlaying photo) did more what I was trying to convey in my Wordless Wednesday posting.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tuesday Terror-Ghost of The Needle

Orignal and clever little film, I thought. Some questions regarding whether the killer would be so stupid as to.....[don't want to spoil the fun here], but then again, who said every serial killer needed to be bright?

Actually, serial killers are arrogant, and that's usually how they are caught. So I guess it's not that far fetched.

Some orginal ideas here. Some things done before. Overall though, I think it worked in a home spun horror kind of way. I liked and recomend it.

Monday Memories

I can't help but peer at the photos and try to see any semblance of happiness on my face after the third grade. Most of these photos were clearly taken by outside parties during Christmas. Others were taken by my husband for me. None were taken by my S Donor so he could "show off" his beloved daughter, trust me.

The one my husband took where I had to lighten it to show S Donor on the other side of the table, disinterested, is a photo of two strangers (I am smiling at my husband who is taking the photo, and that is what I look like when I REALLY smile). It is the real relationship, and not the "put on" during holiday festivities.

I fail to see one real smile on the S Donor's face, one look of love towards me, or kindness for that matter. It was always about him, and whether I was reflecting his whim of the moment rather than any interest in my whatsoever after the third grade. The significance of that is the third grade is when I began having my own thoughts and opinions.

The photo in front of Mountview School, this was a day I was feeling pretty and was celebrating with my best friend. My E Donor took me inside and said how disgusted she was for my grandmother saying she was proud of me. I mean, I didn't think it was any great accomplishment either, but apparently it was inconceivable that I should revel in any love or affection on that day (or any other as time went on). Gosh, I wonder how I got that feeling of worthlessness that I have fought against by being arrogant my whole life, and making myself do things no matter what? In that way, it was a blessing. Especially because later on, I knew the kind of people (kind also being an adjective that describes people that I enjoy) that I would surround myself with and live with.

Regarding the graduation photo (I am holding up my diploma and the monster and s donor are behind me), I am looking off to the side away from the group. I am pretty sure that I am thinking, why are these people behind me in the photo? They had NOTHING to do with this. I have another of me and my husband right before the ceremony. That is who should have been beside me, as he was the one there supporting and encouraging me NOT my family. Sadly, that does include my grandparents as well. They were alright with the monster hitting me and being verbally abusive towards me. They loved me, but in this they were very very wrong, and at that very moment, I was probably not feeling very kindly towards them. I think I thought of my family as interrupting an otherwise lovely day. The thing is that I probably invited them, because that's what "one is supposed to do".

Here are the sum total of all the photos that I could find of me and my father:

S Donor and Monster's New Condo

Can you imagine that the S Donor did not send me a forwarding address? It was very embarrassing when I sent the family calendar out with the address of a man who shares the S Donor's name (and was also a principal LOL) but was no relation. I am sure embarrassing for him.

I did figure it out by talking to family members, but haven't updated the address to reflect it. He can change it if he wants to call and explain how he did not bother to send contact info (unlike how I did in my last Thanksgiving Greeting 3 years ago that went ignored). He's a loving guy, and I remain surprised that no one has replied to my advertisement to find him a new daughter to be emotionally and verbally abusive to.

Any who, here's his new house, and I hope he and the monster spent all their newfound inherited gains on this property and their new cars. I hope all those material things give them the happiness that they have searched for in vain, and perhaps made them a bit less miserable to be around.

View Larger Map

Google Maps-My Grandparent's House and Street

Here is my grandparents home (deceased and since sold) and street where I spent a fair amount of time as a child.

View Larger Map

Google Maps-Where My Husband Grew Up

Here is the street (no street view available sorry), where my husband did most of his growing up.

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Google Maps-Attempting to Add The Street View

Trying to add the street view of my old street. That would be the large grey one with the for sale sign LOL, still out in front on it's third year, sponsored by the cracker jack real estate agent OR also known as my monster. Pretty friggin cool, huh? The street view map is a bit fickle, if it does not open up, just click on the title of the post, and you will be brought to google maps location.

View Larger Map

Google Maps-My Old Street

This is where I grew up from age 7 to 17 approximately. Not good memories, except some activities that I used to do alone. We are the second house on the left, counting as if house number one is the one on the corner of Main Street and Hawthorne.

View Larger Map

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen (13) Thirteen Ways Controlling Parents Manipulate

Here are thirteen ways that controlling parents will use to manipulate you:

  1. "You will not be in our will" or threats of being disinherited.. Now this is pretty humorous in my family, as we are products of a family that went through the great depression. My family was poor in other words, and is not quite the Roosevelt family, if you know what I mean. Even if they were the Roosevelt family, I have not been waiting around for parents and grandparents to die in order to inherit or survive. I have not been scheming of ways to get real estate signed over to me, so that nursing homes can't take it when they are later old, and instead it would revert back to me. Go figure, huh? However, my S Donor and Step Monster have been very involved in seeing to it that "stuff" comes to them from their parents demise. My father used to always say "you and your step brother will get the summer house" as a way to keep his control over me. This never worked because 1) Andy is like his mother and I don't want the house especially if I am going to have to adhere to his "rules" and 2) They are in debt, so to pay off the estate you would have to put money in anyway. Enjoy it, I urge my step brother. The price is too high, and I am just not interested.

  2. Withholding affection. There were always pictures of my step brothers around the house, but never mine. My S Donor's co-workers had no idea he even had a daughter as he never talked about me. When I was moving up in corporate America, suddenly the S Donor wanted something to do with me.

  3. Triangulation. A third party speaking on behalf of another, so that other does not need to confront the problem, but can make the one spoken to feel guilty.

  4. So that brings up, of course, guilt. So if you confront your bully, things are said like "it makes me feel so bad that you said that" while ignoring what was said or apologizing for it. They would rather make you feel guilty that acknowledgement of their abuse made them feel bad. Then it becomes your problem again if you let them. Course it could be guilt over an infinate number of this (not coming home, not allowing them into every nook and cranny of your life, not allowing them to have financial involvement in your affairs)

  5. Making it hard or uncomfortable for your family to see you. This is done by talking behind your back, and spreading lies especially if you are not doing the same. If you are being fair about not talking behind one's back, they will take advantage and do it. They have no caring that they are making others feel uncomfortable, they only care about themselves. This is not to say that others should not be accountable for their own actions or decisions.

  6. Threatening to withhold college tuition and other finances when you are young, and not quite ready to be out on your own OR not faced the fact that you need to cut the ties NOW.

  7. Threatening to cut you off emotionally if you don't make the decision in the way they want you to make it. Most children from families like this don't realize this really could be the biggest gift to you, and you will not be able to count on most parents like this later.

  8. (related to triangulation) Will try to get the confidence of a spouse or best friend to argue their position for them OR to try and turn them against you. If you have a good spouse and best friend, this does not usually work, and is only quite annoying.

  9. Try to keep control by giving things of financial or material value.

  10. Early on from childhood, they try to instill the sense that you will never survive without them, and that any seperation from them would certaintly ruin your life.

  11. Will not respect your boundaries. Even when told what they are, they will find excuses not to respect one boundary.

  12. You only hear from them or receive affection when they want something from you.

  13. Your pressence at family gatherings is only requested for appearances or to be the transportation for someone else. You are never valued unless you reflect what they want appropriately or can do something "useful" for them.

Some additions:

  • Critical of your appearance and/or clothes which are never good enough (or posture or skin condition as with S Donor) so as to let you know that you are not worth anything. It doesn't matter that your parent may not exactly be a runway model.

  • Critical of your spouse or any healthy friendships or relations that you may have. They should be the center of your world.

  • Allows others to abuse you emotionally, verbally or physically to let you know that you deserve it, while not getting THEIR hands dirty.

  • Never actually apologizes for anything without putting an addendum, excuse, or critisism of you into it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Debts to the Old Folks

Many children like me have heard about the debt they owe their parents. How we ruined their lives and yadda yadda yadda. We are groomed with the expectation that in the future, it will be us taking care of the old folks.

Much like the way my parents said "shit happens" about my childhood, I don't feel an obligation to save for or contribute to their retirement. And you know what? If I had children, I would certaintly not expect them to have to take care of me. It's one thing if y'all get along and have a good relationship, and even then I would not even think of encroaching upon their families future because I did not look out for myself.

Imagine, mostly to the S Donor, this has probably ended up being a shock that I won't be there. That's because we come from a huge Italian family, where it was made known that you would be in servitude to your parents. My grandmother loved her kids, but she hurt them a lot by this being a demand, and not something that was necessarily appreciated. She never understood that her kids had jobs for both parents, kids, et. Everyone was happy to give time to her, but it was unfathomable to her that my S Donor might be an important meeting when she called to put eggs on the list of groceries. I think they let the S Donor know early on in childhood that the reason they had him, was that he would be mostly responsible for them. Not a real excellent way to let someone know you love them, if you in fact do.

My grandparents showed me a lot of love. Not that there weren't those tough times, but all in all, I felt loved by my grandparents. I tend to think that their kids didn't feel that. Likewise, I don't think my grandmother felt very loved by her mother. But my Great Grandmother doted on us and her grandchildren.

Is this just the way it's been in Italian families like mine? I always wonder that non of my female cousins nor myself ever wanted or had children. Also, I am the only one of four of us to get married.
These thoughts were crossing my mind as I was watching news shows about approaching your parents about old age and finances. It occurred to me that my "parents" expected a debt repayment in so many ways for me being born. I have IMHO paid my debt to them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Terror-Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth is a very dark "fairy tale" or fantasy story. I did enjoy it, even though it was one of those pesky subtitled foreign films. Very imaginative story line, and I was totally engrossed until the end.

I do love dark fairy tales. Brother's Grimm is another one of those movies (though more Disney than this movie) which is in the dark fairy tale genre IMHO.

Again related to estrangements, step parents, children being shunned et. Really very well done. I would give this four and a half stars, and maybe five.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Grandmother

Tomorrow is the day that my grandmother died about three or four years ago now. So we are estranged by death now, I guess. Although there have been moments where I have thought she was about.

Right after she died, I drove to her house to sit on the stump that used to be "my" boison berry tree. As I was driving down her street, I swore that I smelled her rose perfume in the car with me. She was suffering, and the afternoon before I had visited her. She was unconscious and had pneumonia. I held her hand, and told her if she needed to go that we would all be okay. That I loved her and I would miss her, but I didn't want her to suffer. The next morning I was called and told that she had died.

In the last weeks when she was conscious, she did not recognize who I was. Sometimes she thought I was just a nice nurse that had come in to put extra blankets on her or call for some help. This didn't upset me, as I knew she had loved me in her life, and this was in no way caused by her. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's, which was the reason that she was moved to the nursing home from her home. Stoves suddenly become potential instruments of tragedy in these cases, especially with someone who used to be such a good cook, and could no longer remember that she shouldn't use the gas stove anymore:(

Grandma saw ALL but one of her brothers die before her. Their were eight brothers and sisters in her family, I think. Plus ones that may have died as infants or in childbirth. Grandma was the oldest, so this was like seeing her kids die before her in many ways, and also best friends.

Her sister in law, Aunt Sophie (I used to call her aunt soapy) died shortly after her robe caught on fire from her gas stove. She lived behind my grandmother, and I used to play in her yard with my second cousins. She was a very nice and loving family.

Watching my poor grandma grow old and then die, I realized how much sorrow comes with that. Grandma outlived her husband, and most of her peers (siblings and friends). It seems unfair somehow. I also know she did enjoy as much of life as she could right up to the end. She was always involved in activities and field trips. However, if she heard we were visiting, she would drop whatever it was she was doing.

I remember and love you Grandma.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen (13) Things That Make Me Relapse Into Negativity

Here are thirteen things that contribute to lapsing back into my feelings of resentment due to my estrangements (not that any of these can be helped):

  1. The "sighting" of a family member from whom I am estranged.

  2. Other people's happy and seemingly normal interactions with their families.

  3. Any time I see a father and daughter or a mother and daughter that I don't know having a good time together.

  4. Television shows that show "special and happy" family moments of which I did experience a great many of them.

  5. A white Lexus "SUV?" with silver logo.

  6. A white Jeep Cherokee (okay my monster has a thing with white, as you will follow)

  7. Any living room that has all white furniture (on tv or in person).

  8. Moms or step moms on shows like Dr Phil that are nasty and out of control (especially if the claim "that's not me" while watching video of themselves).

  9. Antique shows, dealers, or antique shops.

  10. Women in fur coats.

  11. Holidays, though that is getting less and less as our own traditions are coming into play.

  12. People on the beach that look like the monster and S donor from a distance.

  13. Other friends or families divorces or marital problems.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday Terror-Rob Zombie's Halloween

I actually watched Rob Zombie's Halloween before the New Year. I adore House of 1000 Corpses, and so wanted to like this movie (much like I WANTED to like Devil's Rejects).

I did appreciate the back story, but didn't feel the movie went far enough or was creative enough. Probably my expectations were way to high for this. I would recomend watching it, but don't expect it to be any kind of horror movie revelation.

There were things I liked about it. They made Laurie's adopted parents real people, and they had a part (don't want to spoil it) in the story that they hadn't in the orginal. Enjoyed Michael's solution to a bully problem, and thought that was very well done.

The chase scenes had some moments, but the orginal IMHO was much scarier. I liked the alternate ending that they did not use, and not the one that was used.

Worth seeing, but below what I expected Rob Zombie to produce. Course, he is still beginning in this genre. I would give it three stars. (out of five). Maybe two and a half, it's hard to seperate how much I want to like the movie, and how much I actually liked the movie. Whether I am judging it on expectation or how it was if I didn't have expectations for the director.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blizzard Conditions Make Me Thankful

Back in the day, I used to work for corporate America. Some jobs I loved, most jobs I hated even though I was well compensated, and thought well of. Corporate politics and games that affect your everyday life are just not worth any amount of money. I worked too hard, and went in on days like these. Blizzards.

Now when it snows out like this, I think how lucky I am that both me and my husband largely work out of the house. Both of us are able to arrange our schedules to avoid going out in days like this. While we may be working indoors, it's with a hot cup of chocolate and whipped cream.

Life is good.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Good Lord It's January 13th Already?

The weather this week has been sunny, relatively warm, and wonderful for beach/dog activities. Really great January so far, the only problem is that it seems to be winging by fast.

My business has a lineup of 5 regular training customers in a month that normally has no customers. None of these are "emergency" cases, and all the owners seem very into and loving towards their dogs. And they are doing the work!!

My marketing plan for my business seems to be coming together, and by the increase in business might actually be working :) Jack, Brie, and Devon's training is coming along so that we will be competing by late winter or early spring.

I am almost caught up on personal and business paper work, and my taxes are ready to go when my w-2 comes in.

Life at the beginning of 2008 is good. Not that I have that much to complain about anyway.

Oh maybe one thing, it's not very funny that the higher power has seen fit to make my dog allergy kick into high gear this year. But if I have to train dogs with itchy eyes and skin, so be it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Good Morning & A Dog's Take on Proper Nutrition

We have a lovely lady Doberman named Jazzabelle. Jazzabelle has been with us for 11 years, and was adopted at age 3. So she is a very old lady of age 14 (Dobermans' average age is about 11). She has been healthy most of her life, except for very mild epilepsy which never resulted in grand mal type seizures.

As an old lady now though she has a slight heart murmur (nothing that will necessarily get worse) and wobblers. Wobblers has to do with the spine, and is neurolgical in nature. She can't always be alerted to when her poops (and sometimes pee) will come out. So I time her goings out to approximately when I know she will go, and also every first thing I do in the morning and last thing I do at night. Recently, (like this year) crate sleeping has helped to keep the clean up to a minimum and help better control this.

Course, the thing is, Jazz is incredibly stubborn, especially if she is feeling especially "perky". She has been especially perky lately, so I gave in and opened up the crate after 15 minutes of barking. I could have quieted her, but I knew she would go back into the crate, she just didn't want the door closed because that means "she was made to go into the crate". Very fluffy yet highly washable bedding insures that she likes the crate.

So this morning she came up, trotted to the bed, and hopped up before I could get to her. I would have thought nothing happened, but Leon wrinkled his nose, and then a "smell" came to me. Two poops had plopped out on the bed!! So I am in the process of getting everyone off to drag the bedding downstairs, when Jazz snatches one up and eats it. Horrors, my little delicate flower has done this more than once, I am guessing.

Dogs are gross.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Got the Infection Under Control

Got a few more days on the drops, but the ear is feeling like an ear again, and not as the gateway to hell in the form of pain. God, it even hurt to chew food. One would think I would have lost weight during that period, but no.

Anyway, back to working out as of right now. Okay, I have been inspired by one of my blogging buddies. Here is the God awful ugly truth about my belly.

Husband sooooo helpfully wanted to get just the right angle on that one. Thanks hon.
Really, the boobalas are what bother me the most. I don't like them big, first of all. Second of all they look sloppy to me and not attractive at all. Course that would make this site more adult contented LOL, so you got my gut to ponder on.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

It's Been Awhile, Ear Infection

I am in sorry shape right now. Not only do I have very uncomfortable swollen eyelids, I also have what doctor's call swimmer's ear. I don't swim, but there you go. So painful. This started three weeks ago, and I just broke down yesterday to see the doctor.

That's my eye above, feels more like the picture of the other eye. In the mirror, you can see how dry and scaly it is. Both of these things, so uncomfortable but not the worst things I have ever had. Glad I finally got some things to treat these with.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008 Personal Goal

My personal goal for this year is to get as healthy as possible. I want to be able to do a pull up by the end of the year. You have no idea how FAR away I am from this, or even from doing a non-assisted push up. In a buzzed state, I thought I could last night, without my ball. HAHAHAHAHA. I went down supporting myself alright, and certaintly felt like I could go back up.

Then came a thunking sound of me hitting the floor as soon as I tried. Followed by my husband laughing his ass off. He can't do a pull up either, but he can bend his arms up so they are supporting his body. I can't even do a dead man's hang without having my feet on the bars for support. Thems some weak arms.

I am going to find a solution to this winter allergy problem that I have been having. I think I am allergic to certain dogs that I look after (God damn it). Really my eyelids look hideous right now. I dub me alligator lady. My ears are suffering as well. Itchy itchy itchy. Time to see the doctor and nip this in the bud. And if they doctor says I need to not have dogs or make dogs my business, I will be getting a new doctor. That is not an option.
By the way, I am wearing my perscription sunglasses 24/7 so noone sees my hideous eyelids. I feel like a vampire or something.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Okay 2008 is here. Best thing I loved about 2007? No one (pets or people) that I know and am close to died this year. We were not on a good streak for the last six years or so (feels like anyway).
Biggest accomplishment related to this blog? I feel like I have really come to terms regarding the way my parents are, and that we just don't mix well. Understatement, so that they do not fit into my life in a positive way. They are only damaging and negative, and my energy is better spent dealing with other things. Like my business for instance.