Penny Rene: January 2008 Archives

Tough Love

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As part of my calculated attempt to remain up to date on all the important events in the world, I watched the reunion thingy of The Real Housewives of Orange County the other night. Low and behold, I think Vicki might get a divorce. And because crying in my bed with a pint of Guinness at my side was not an option, I decided to weigh in on this not so recent divorce trend. Because I am slow like that. And shy.

Years ago, when Prince fans all over Philadelphia were partying with big hair, I started writing publicly about my life. Because my life revolved around my repeated failures in love, loyalty and career, this is what I wrote. I had no shame then. At the very least I wrote how I felt even if I couldn't say why. More often that not, the blame of my failures was all mine. But by far, the biggest thing I sucked at was marriage. And that is why I am oh so qualified to talk about it now.


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Number One:

Number Two

Number Three

Decisions Decisions

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I got a few political-ish emails the other day from a close friend of mine who lives far away. We both grew up in Oklahoma and have similar backgrounds. However...

Our current political preferences appear to be as far apart as our zip codes. It never occurred to me that my political conclusions would be so different from this particular friend. I read her email and I was all "Huh! That's wild."

Thoreau said,  If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. 

I don't think I'm pushy regarding my opinions on the US or our government or the role of the people. I do have this little blog, however and those who visit know that I sometimes say how I feel regarding those issues. However....
And this is a BIG HOWEVER. When someone's political views differ form mine, it doesn't enter my mind that this person may be less intelligent or selfish or whatever. My first thought in that circumstance is that this other person has a different view of the situation and likely valid reasons for coming to different conclusions than my own. 

Being from Oklahoma I can easily see the conservative and Republican point of view. Having lived in southern California and Jersey, I can totally understand the liberal and Democratic way of thinking. I am registered for nether party, but this year I plan to vote for Barak Obama. I say that, not because I'm interested in convincing you to vote for him, but so that you will know I do have an opinion and that I'm not ashamed of my choice.

This year, there will be a lot of people who refuse to talk politics. You need not be concerned with those who do not share your views or prefer not to join in a debate. Just be glad they do have an opinion and do vote accordingly.  

It is those with no opinion at all who worry me. Those who don't educate themselves enough to vote for the candidate they align with. Those are the people who will later cry for help because Washington is unable to read the minds of the silent.

Here is a great website that will help you start your presidential selection process. (And it IS a process) You might be surprised at your results. Another easy way to learn is just to visit some of your favorite candidates websites and read their views regarding the issues that are important to you. It cuts out a ton of the crap that CNN will try to suffocate you with in the next nine months. 

Make It Work

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I got this video from Moby who never fails to inspire me.

Pacific.jpgWhen the other blogs complain of snow I play the miniature violin and whisper curses to the authors. Oh yeah? Try living in NJ. You like to complain about weather? Bring your ass here and have a ball. Snow? That's just a tease. Here, we like to freeze our asses off, but snow is for tender hearted wusses. 

I can't count the number of times I have been teased about my inability to tolerate the NJ weather. People act like I'm lying when I say I'm cold. Sometimes I want to shove a fist-full of California sand down their throats.  I mean, I see people going to the post office in just a sweater and jeans. In my car, I'm wearing a hat, scarf and gloves with the heat cranked up.

I've always hated the cold weather and I knew early on that I should be living in a warmer climate.  That's one of the main reasons I moved to southern California. Duh. But then life brought me here to a place where the cold weather is not even softened by snow.I think it is God's way of having a laugh and saying "Look, you were just too happy there! It made me look like I play favorites!"

And so this post is just my way of saying to God. "You're not funny."

Locked Up

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"I'm cold all the time." (puts her cold hands on his arm)

"You're a cold hearted snake. Look into my eyes."

"You been tellin' lies"

"I don't know how or why I know that song."

Uh huh.
My. God.
My neighbors are so damn crazy. There's Lois outside now blowing leaves around the driveway like she's clearing the White House Lawn for Jenna Bush's Wedding. For the love of all children with ear infections who are finally napping - it's January! Nobody cares about your damn stray leaves leftover from November! Her husband, John, a late 40's/ early 50's dude with a mullet has a bad habit of screaming at their teenage son and calling him into the street for a fight. So far, no punches have been thrown. I think I am more likely to call John into the street, though if I hear such foul mouthed screaming through my closed windows again. 

No wait, There's more. My neighbor Tim, he wipes down his cars every morning. Top to bottom. Wearing his spotless sneakers out there in the wee hours with his immovable hair. His wife, Meena - she blows her leaves off her lawn, across the street, under another neighbor's truck. Passive aggressive anyone?

My neighbor directly across from me - a flight attendant, she stands outside and smokes while she cackles on the phone over the latest work gossip. Cackles, pierces my eardrums and brings my blood to a boil.

The neighbors to our left top them all. They win the Crazy Badge because from what we have been told and seen with our own eyes, many of the seven or so people who live there are, in fact, crazy. They are also incredibly messy and have not made an improvement, including a paint or scrape job on the exterior of their house since, oh say when the pilgrims still lived there. But the funny thing is, I don't mind them so much because they keep to themselves. I don't hear a peep except the night before recycling is picked up and the poor mom is gathering up to two or three garbage cans full of glass beer bottles. It sounds like the back of the Beach Comber Bar on a Sunday morning then.

I live on a nice street. Seriously. I do. I just never realized how crazy people are until I had to live right next to them in this house with the paper walls. I mean that must be what they used to build houses in the 1800's, right?
Most of these people are totally nice. John brought August back a cute stuffed bear from his family vacation in Florida. His wife has shared not one, but two pots of stew with us this winter. Their dog is August's surrogate pet. And Tim & Meena - they would loan us their children as slaves if we asked. But they are a sitcom. There is so much irony on this street, it puts Arrested Development to shame.

I am not a suburbanite. 

There are days when I am afraid my Cool Kid Membership will be revoked. Oh, the things we do for that kid of mine.

street elmo1.jpg

This weekend I will celebrate 2 years of marriage to the sexiest man I have ever known. What is it, you ask, that makes a man so sexy? So much to say, so little time. Let us go on a photographic journey that will make him cringe and many women weep inside.


All Over Again

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slide.jpgWow, those holidays just fly by!

To celebrate the end of 2007, MJ and I decided to spend our NYE and first hours of 2008 waking up every hour or so to suck the snot out of our daughters runny nose, listen to her cough and generally feel sorry for her. Okay, so MJ did most of the getting up part, but I did feel bad and I was only immobile due to nausea brought on by a greasy cheeseburger at dinner. But still.

Yay 2008! 

Every year I have made grand resolutions. Many I have kept and many I have not. For the first time ever, when MJ asked me what my 2008 resolutions were, I really wasn't sure. I don't have much of a plan. At first this made me feel slightly sorry for myself. What have I devolved to? But now I'm thinking that maybe I don't have much of a plan for 2008 because I am not that displeased with 2007. 

NY resolutions usually come from that nagging voice inside my head that says "Don't screw up this year like you did last year!" But last year was kinda nice. So instead of loading myself down with a To Do list this year, I just have one area of myself that I will work on. 

At the risk of sounding totally void of faith in others: This year I resolve to rely on no one but myself to do the things I want to do.

Last year I worked hard to make new friends and ended up with some very unreliable acquaintances plugged into my cell phone. I also didn't do many many things I wanted to do because I was hoping to have a friend or family member do those things with me. You know - take a class, go to the beach, work on a project. I know it sounds entirely pessimistic, but I realize now that this IS the life I have here. I can't wait on others anymore. I just have to live the way I want and if I make friends along the way that would be awesome. If I don't make friends - that would be unawesome but acceptable because at least I won't be sitting on my ass wishing I had spent more time at the beach. 

Mike's resolution is "Less talk, more rock".  I inevitably think of my old personalized license, "Live It". He's already been snowboarding alone.

What's your resolution for 2008? Really? Why?