Monday, February 28, 2011

I have legs!

This is the first time I have been on my laptop in two days. I officially have the flu. Mom, you suck. She has been sick since last Monday, and finally went to the doctor where she was diagnosed with a wicked sinus infection and flu and was given some antibiotics. I had been in bed since Wednesday (for emo reasons), and when I woke up Friday night I was miserable. Apparently my nose is bipolar…it won’t decide whether it wants to be a vacuum of evil stuffiness or run like hell (TMI). I have been creating makeshift tissue nose plugs so I can actually sleep at night (double TMI).

My mom just came in with a homemade smoothie just now. She no longer sucks.

Other than the obvious wanting to feel better because being sick is AWFUL, guess who got an e-mail yesterday about setting up a job interview? Just last week I was bitching that out of 1200 job postings on Monster and Craigslist, I applied for three. How surprised was I that one of the three actually contacted me? And just my luck, on my sickest day yet they wanted me to come in for an interview (it’s a bakery, just in case you were wondering). I extremely politely stated my case to them in a reply e-mail that I was very sick and couldn’t come in because I didn’t want to infect anyone, and if it was at all possible could I come in around the middle of the week because I was very interested in the position (come on, 3 out of 1200!)? I held my breath and got this e-mail a few hours later: “Not a problem! We are both just barely getting over it and it been 6 days already. Email me when you are feeling better.” OH THANK GOD. Seriously!

This week’s poll had your fear of snakes just barely beating out your fear of spiders with one vote. This week’s poll may sound harsh, but I am SO TIRED of these two! I mean one is barely an adult and has a parent who lets her accept absolutely no responsibility for her behavior, and the other is a full-grown man who is just a total douchebag (even more so since he hit the talk-show circuit this weekend), who thinks everyone else is in the wrong EXCEPT him. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these two, people.

I haven’t talked to you guys about my first appointment with my new psychologist from Wednesday yet. Her name is Nadia, and although I called her Dr. Nadia through the entire appointment she politely corrected me that she was a medical intern and not really a doctor. She reminded me so much of the sister from “Sixteen Candles” with the way that she talked and her mannerisms.

“Darling, is something bothering you?”

She listened to me mostly explain my problems (which in itself could have taken up the entire hour), and then she told me how she approached therapy and counseling-she believes in a mind/body connection, and that even if you are having the worst day, you need to always have a positive outlook. “So Hed, when you wake up, and are having a particularly awful day, think of something that you are grateful for-like, ‘I have legs!’” I started to laugh, and then I felt bad that I was laughing and told her she was right. I mean I have the flu, not spinal meningitis or anything. And electricity to power my laptop to write to you wonderful people. And fruit for a delicious smoothie.

I think the only problem I have with this way of thinking is that when my depression gets really bad, all rational thought goes right out the window. And I also know that one session isn’t going to do much, that sometimes it takes years to change your cognitive thoughts. I’m glad I liked her, and I’m doubly glad that I feel I can be honest with her without feeling stupid. At the end of our session I asked, “so you’ll take me on as a patient?” She gave me this warm smile and said, “firstly I don’t think of you as a ‘patient’. You are a ‘client’, and more than that, a ‘person’. And I would be honored to see you again”. Awww.

AND TRENT REZNOR WON THE FREAKING OSCAR! YAYYYYYYYY!

I’m alllllllll yours!

One last thing: last week I gave a shout-out to my new (and old) readers for hitting 75 readers over the previous weekend. I am now at 81! Holy cow! It occurred to me I have had this blog for three months as of the 19th of February, so 81 readers is a BIG DEAL to me. Thanks to each and every one of you for reading, and I hope I have many more things to write about as time goes by. Much love! <3

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lies, lies lies, yeah!

Okay. No “woe-is-me” post today, I promise. You can keep reading now.

I think I’m cursed when I write stuff like “I will post about that tomorrow” because then unseen forces always make me not write about something the day I promised. Always. Because I am a day late on the “Four Truths and a Lie” answer blog! Oh, and I guess when some people did this, it was the other way around with “Four Lies and a Truth”, which confused a couple of my commenters. Sorry about that!

Here’s what you thought was the lie:

#1-1 person
#2-2 people
#3-1 person
#4-3 people
#5-6 people

Here’s a reminder of what the choices were:

1. On a trip home from Las Vegas, I flashed a group of guys the goods-then ran into them at the restaurant I was eating at an hour later.
True! My best friend and I were next to an SUV full of about seven really cute guys our age that kept yelling “show us your boobs!”. Finally we just did. No big deal, we laughed about it and said, “I can’t believe we did that!” as we eventually lost them on the freeway. Fast forward an hour later…we are just sitting down to eat at a burger joint when seven really cute guys walked in…they ended up sitting with us and we got two of their numbers (we never called them!).

2. I have a tattoo in a place that only my hubs is allowed to see.
FALSE! I have four tattoos on my back, two near my collarbone and one on my wrist!

3. I once won over $5,000 on a keno machine-on $10.
True! I worked at an Indian casino when I was 18, and every night I would put $20 in one of the eight keno machines that I liked. I always used the same numbers-they formed an “H” and also added the number 68 (my favorite number). At the $10 mark, the bells started going off and someone congratulated me. I screamed so loud that security came over! Someone tried to rain on my parade by telling me the reason the jackpot was so low ($5084.62 to be exact) was because the night before someone had won $14k on the machine. Hell, I didn’t care, I JUST WON FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!

4. I twisted my knee so bad attempting to snowboard for the first time that I had to be carried in a toboggan.
True! When I was 18 I flew for the first time ever up to Mammoth where my friend was a lift operator for the winter. On day 2 she let me borrow a snowboard and some gear and tried to explain (in words not actions!) how to ride. The bunny and advanced bunny slope were full, so she took me on the black diamond trail (not really, but it sure felt that way). I should have known I was fail when I stepped off the lift and face planted in the snow. The operator had to drag my ass from underneath the ski lifts so I wouldn’t get whacked by one! I got about 100 feet down (and thought to myself I’m doing it! I’m doing it!) before I freaked when I got a little too much speed and tried to turn and slow myself down. While doing it, one knee tangled under the other and all I felt was PAIN. My friend called in the first aid guys and I got to be dragged (safely) down the hill.

On the same note, snow and Hed just don’t mix. My first time skiing when I was 8 I sprained my ankle, and when I tried snowboarding again in 2008 I was so frustrated I walked down the hill with the board in my hand and sat in the snow for the rest of the day, pissed off and teary eyed.

It was all fun and games at this point…stupid snow!!!

5. I had all my teeth pulled when I was three, and have had braces twice in my lifetime.
True! I had a calcium deficiency when I was a baby, and all my baby teeth rotted (gross). All of my school pictures have me smiling with various types of metal in my mouth. At 11 I got braces, and throughout junior high I was a curly haired, flat-chested brace face. I got them out the summer before high school (yay!).

At a check-up with my dentist in 2007 she told me, “you need braces!”. I thought she was joking. I went to the same orthodontist I went to when I was 11 and sure enough I needed braces. It’s hard to look like a manager when you have a mouth full of metal. I got them out two weeks before my wedding (yay!)

The week I got my braces. They do look pretty damn crooked now that I look at em.

This is the after. Yay!Heather no braces Nov 08

Hope everyone is doing well!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aargh! And may I add, sigh.

It takes a lot to write your thoughts down in public. It takes even more to man up and submit your writing to another blog, group or magazine.

I felt comfortable enough with Mynx at Dribble... to ask her about posting my first guest blog about Australia, which she obliged and it turned out very well. I have submitted a few stories to a zine that is still in the works. And last night, I submitted an article for the Studio Thirty Plus magazine.

I did so for a few reasons. One, I like the community. I have been contacted by a few members and I like their style. Second, they do a great job of pimping out their guest bloggers on Facebook and the web page itself. They have a segment called “The Weekend Spotlight” where you send them your favorite post and they include it on their list as a backlink, so all the web traffic goes straight to your blog.

I wrote a story that I had hoped would be on the website. The stipulation is it has to be an original piece. I submitted it last night and when I woke up it was published in the magazine! Another writer was also published this morning, so woo hoo for both of us!

I’ll totally admit that all day I’ve been checking the page to see if anyone commented on it (they did), and also if it had been posted on the S30P Facebook fan page. Nothing. That’s okay, maybe they will post tonight? I stay away from my computer until 6pm, and when I check the FB page it shows that Studio Thirty Plus had advertised the featured post. Woo! It says, “Have you stopped in to read Today's Featured Post yet? If not, now is the time! It's by our lovely (other member that posted at the same time as me)”

Sigh.

Now I’m full of self-doubt. What if the moderators publish everything that gets submitted, and mine just plain sucked ass? I really considered the article to be relevant to what the website was about, which is why I posted it there and not here. I’m trying to just think it was an oversight, but honestly, I’m sad. I wanted to be proud and tell my friends, “hey look! I’ve been featured on a website!” That may sound stupid or something not to really worry about, but right now, writing is all I’ve got.

Maybe in the future I will send others my work, but not for a long while. I would be too afraid of people not liking it or thinking it as stupid (yes, that is how I am in a nutshell-I care too much about what others think).

And the article is here if you choose to read it. I’ll post my answers about the “Four Truths and a Lie” thing tomorrow.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

6am still exists?

A whopping 60 of you voted in the poll this week-good for you! Over half of you chose In n’ Out Burger…and rightfully so. There is nothing better when you’re really craving a cheeseburger. It’s downright sexual…or is that just me? Plus there is the “secret menu”-I recommend Animal Style (um, I’m still talking about the burger by the way). Someone ordered an 100x100 and they actually made it-it cost the $98! That’s the American way!

You’re probably thinking to yourself ah, Hed’s talking about food, she must be feeling better! Meh. I have slept probably 30 hours in the last two days. Serious. I just got out of bed, and got right back into bed. The times that I wasn’t asleep I was crying. Sleep was a much better option. I think my brain is having a rebound thing going on, which is why I am awake at 6am and on a functional level (I showered. Go me!).

I forgot to mention last week that I was approved to see a psychologist at a reduced rate after being on the waiting list for six weeks. I start Wednesday. For anyone that has never been to therapy, the hardest part (for me at least) is where to begin. I mean, do I start with “hey, I’m bipolar and think about suicide every day!”, or “I love my husband, but he’s in Australia and I sleep in a bed with Thomas the Tank Engine sheets at my mom’s”? Maybe the “I have severe daddy issues” route? Plus my social anxiety is going to screw me up as well. I know one of the first things I will say is “so, um, I have an intense fear of people judging me, and it’s really hard to talk to strangers. Please don’t take offense and please stop judging me!!!”

I’ve been seeing that “4 Truths and a Lie” thing going around and no one has tagged me for it yet (PS Becca I owe you a questionnaire!), so I’m just going to throw it out there. Four of these are true and one is false. Comment on which one is fake!

1. On a trip home from Las Vegas, I flashed a group of guys the goods-then ran into them at the restaurant I was eating at an hour later.

2. I have a tattoo in a place that only my hubs is allowed to see.

3. I once won over $5,000 on a keno machine-on $10.

4. I twisted my knee so bad attempting to snowboard for the first time that I had to be carried in a toboggan.

5. I had all my teeth pulled when I was three, and have had braces twice in my lifetime.

Oh, and I hit 75 followers over the weekend. Thanks to every single one of you for reading <3

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Rabbit jumps rope.

I am about two days behind on reading all of my 70+ blogs, and I said everything I needed to say in yesterday’s post. When I logged onto Facebook this afternoon, I see a post from my aunt Roxy that says, “Written for my niece Hed. Sometimes family is not much fun” and a link to her blog, The Artful Rabbit.

I read it and I cried. I’ll first state the obvious by saying that “her brother” in the story is my estranged father. I only know bits and pieces of him and his side of the family, and that is only from stories he told me when we were close in my childhood. As an adult, I have only begun now to see how broken and flawed he is-and how I am so much like him-and it scares the holy crap out of me.

So here is a story for you all today from my aunt. Roxy has so many memories. I can only one day hope to experience even a portion of the life she has led (and I mean the good parts-I don’t know how many more bad parts I can take at the moment).

 

I am just getting to know my brother’s daughter, Hed, and this entry is for her. Sadly enough my family of origin’s inherent and ongoing craziness has kept me as far away from all of them as I can get.  Yes, I love them and I visit them, but I measure the time spent carefully, gauging my ability to avoid a complete meltdown by timing my escapes right. Hed is estranged from her dad, my brother, so we didn’t have a chance to connect until this past year, after she was a wonderful grown up woman.  

Me with Rabbit and my brother with Teddy. I still have Rabbit, you didn't think I got that name from nowhere did you?

A little background: I didn’t know until I was over eighteen and away from my family that some people have peaceful lives. My parents lived at a high decibel level that was  a blend of anger, drama and frustration. When I was a kid there was also a lot of love and laughter thrown into the outrageous mix, but as they have aged the fun has leeched out of their lives, leaving behind a bleak desert made up mostly of complaints and failure.   

My brother is just 18 months younger than I am. He was a geeky kid who had two eye surgeries before he was six. He was cross-eyed and saw double. He wore thick glasses and somehow flunked first grade. I mean really, how do you flunk first grade? He has a September birthday and nowadays he would have just started a year later, but in his mind he is still scarred with that flunking grade.

To make the situation even better (sarcasm intended), we were uprooted from our cozy California childhoods and hauled off to Germany. We adjusted, we made friends, we loved it—all but the army brats we were stuck in the army school with, it was like being sent to hell every single day.  That experience shaped my character and made me the fearless woman I am today in a way. Back then I had at least two fights daily with other kids for the entire first year we were there. One was my fight and the other was my brother’s fight. I had to take care of both of us and keep us safe in that horrible school full of horrible ignorant military brats. My mother got to where she didn’t bat an eyelash when I walked in with bloody scrapes and black eyes. She would just ask if I won and nod her head; she got it and she didn’t make a big deal out it.

My brother in front of our house, Number 3 Prieger Promenade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She loathed the military families in general and a few in particular. We were air force brats and we were a better caliber of brat in her mind. We lived “on the economy”. Translation: as far away from the base as possible. We spoke German, we dressed in German clothes and we were the only Americans dressed for the climate in the winter.  I was always snug in my long woolly stockings and reindeer hide boots. In the attic I still have my brother’s lederhosen and our wooden clogs. We assimilated, and even with crazy parents we were happy.

My mom and our maid Ooshie, Ursula turned out to be an East German plant. That's another story entirely...shortly after this photo mom yanked that door handle off going down a narrow German street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our friends were German, we lived in a German house on a German street and we shopped at German stores. I remember being sent to the bakery on chilly autumn evenings with 50 pfennigs to get bread, hot crunchy bread.  There was always just a little left over to get some penny candy but that didn’t stop us from eating the ends off the bread, they were irresistible and worth the spanking.

Dinner at the Faust Haus, that's my dad on the end and my little brother grinning in the middle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our family traveled across Europe in a black and yellow 1957 Dodge station wagon that would barely fit down some of the streets.  We camped weekends in Heidelberg with our friends, swam in the Neckar River and played all over the castle and in the old streets. The adults, German and English, played bridge and drank Steinhager and laughed a lot. It was wonderful part of my childhood and I remember all of it.

The infamous black and yellow station wagon in the background at our campground on the Neckar River

It broke my heart to come home again. I loved Europe and to some extent it is still the home of my heart.  My brother and I never quite fit in again. We spoke two languages; we had been to the great museums and seen and done amazing things. We were alien beings in our own country. We spent that first year home in Colorado with my mom forcing my dad to retire and return to California.  He caved in and did what she wanted as usual, and we came home to a small farm town where we really did not fit in, ever. Perris, California. 

My brother and I were miserable in a whole new way. He was now a double geek, with high culture and thick glasses. He never had a chance. My mom slid into angry craziness probably fueled by frustration with my dad. She always wanted a race horse, but she married a cart horse and that’s all he ever has been or will be. The best cart horse in the world, but it was never enough for her aspirations.

Lost boy, my brother somewhere in Germany, in better days

During those years the spankings became beatings accompanied by verbal abuse that broke my brother and put some serious cracks in me.  My dad was a shadow on the moon, my mother was always between us and I never had a chance to know him until it was almost too late. I was the lucky one. I escaped the craziness. My trajectory was up and out from the day I got out of high school.  Yes, I have lived my own form of craziness but it’s always been fueled by joy and hope and possibility.  

My brother never got away. My mother bound him to her with guilt and money. My grandmother treasured him and my dad, and spent every penny she had on the two of them to spite my hated mother. They had to borrow money to bury her when she died because she had given it all to “her boys”.  My parents bought my brother a car, paid the insurance, bought him everything he ever wanted and extracted a high price in guilt and pain and anger.

Their relationship was and is toxic, like two pit bulls fighting in a bag. They are compelled to bite and tear at each other. Neither has ever figured out how to accept responsibility for their actions, it’s always someone else’s fault.  My little blonde haired blue-eyed gawky brother turned to drugs in his twenties.  He put a successful landscaping business up his nose, destroyed two marriages and lost his children to ex-wives who were fed up. He still talked big and told stupid annoying jokes and slid downhill into petty theft, meth and crack.

My mother is the most profoundly selfish person I have ever known. She is the center of her universe and if she gives you anything there is a high price to pay in both money and expectation.  Mother kept him living in his house that she purchased according to her, in complete denial of what was happening to him.  She took everything he got in return.  I think somewhere along the line he gave up on ever getting out and focused on hating her, stuck in the web and too damaged to get out.

He is back living in her house, in a single room in the garage with his alcoholic girlfriend and their dogs and cats. He stopped doing drugs a few years back, but he couldn’t get a driver’s license or a job. Too many years of unpaid child support and failure have cost him everything.  I choose not to see him or speak to him, too many bad choices lie between us, but I am grateful to have his daughter in my life.

It’s like a do-over because in Hed I can still see that bright boy, the one who was almost my twin, the funny curious kid I explored the world with.  Hed is an incredibly talented writer who is battling her own set of demons. She suffers from bipolar disorder and every day is a fight for her.  She has a husband in Australia who doesn’t want to live in America. Like me, she has food issues and  I wonder if that’s genetic too? I just love good food and good food loves me. It loves my whole body to the tune of about 80 pounds I need to lose.

So Hed, here’s the thought I had today. Beginnings are like jumping rope, the kind where your friends are holding the rope and turning it. You are standing there counting and deciding where to jump in. It’s always going to be in the middle as long as the rope is turning.  There is no clear beginning when you jump rope or begin a diet or anything new because that rope is always turning and the best you can do is run in and believe you can keep jumping, hell, KNOW you can keep jumping.  You have to have faith in you and the jump rope. Sometimes you’ll step on the rope and it will stop, but you’ll go around, count and jump in again. People who love you are holding the rope and they won’t let go so keep jumping! I love you.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

It’s over.

(I know I just wrote a post about Barb and her awesomeness, but I didn’t think it was fair to write about her in this same post, because this post is pretty damn emo.)

I couldn’t get out of bed yesterday or today. I wanted to. Wednesday is homework day. I haven’t done any homework or looked for a job in two weeks now. Not since J said he wouldn’t be coming back to America.

The plan. The plan I thought we had was…I couldn’t live in Australia. I thought I could. I thought I was strong enough to adapt and be this cool international traveler but that’s just not me. I fear change. How could I have been so stupid? I sold everything I had. I left my friends, family and Mexican food. It would all be fine once we get to Australia. And it was anything but.

I am bipolar. Unless you have literally lived with someone who has mental illness, you don’t know how bad it gets. I thought I could hide it from J’s family. I thought I could forget about the past year and just bounce back. New country, new life, new start. But sadly, you can’t escape your brain.

I came back to the States and thought I could forget about the past year and bounce back. Old country, old life, new start. J is in school, and when he gets done he’ll just move here again, and we’ll start over. Sure, we don’t have a car, furniture, money, or jobs. Sure we’ll have to live with my parents. But we’ll be okay! I won’t fall apart like last time!

J had a return ticket set for May 28. This whole time he was excited and gung ho about coming back. I was excited. I won’t fall apart like last time! Then he dropped a bomb-I won’t be ready by May, Hed. I’m sorry. It sounds simple, but it’s not. J and I spent a lot of money and man-hours getting him a visa and a green card. Since he was my fiancé, he was granted a two-year conditional green card that expires in October of this year. He needs to be in the country and file 90 days prior for his ten year card. There are no extensions or exceptions. Also, immigration considers you to have abandoned your green card if you are out of the country for longer than a year unless you file a re-entry permit-the condition being you are in the States to file it.

I took it upon myself to call Qantas and extend his ticket to August 7. That’s roughly two more months, and we will still be doing the legal thing and making sure he hasn’t been out for longer than a year and all that. Great idea, baby!, he tells me. All is right with the world again. I continue school and buy a Wii.

Finally last week. He tells me he really doesn’t think he will be coming back. At all. Not even to visit in August because that will require a return ticket with money that we should be saving. Great. Thanks, J. Thanks for telling me this now. If, when I told him I wanted to go home last November he told me my home is here, then maybe I wouldn’t have left (who am I kidding I hated it and I missed my family). But now I am here and he is there.

Now I have to consider going back to Australia, which feels like a death wish (not really, but I don’t have another word for how I am feeling…dread?). I told J I wouldn’t move back unless this time we have our own place, but even that makes me feel terrible. His parents opened his home to us, rent-free, and now I sound like an American diva demanding he spend money on everything? The only reason I want an apartment is because there is no way I can face his parents again, and that’s the truth. The day I left J’s mum hugged me and with tears in her eyes said, “we’re not terrible people”. The whole time she thought I hated them? Again, you cannot understand bipolar unless you have lived with it-and I stayed so isolated from them because I was in so much despair that they never even had a chance to understand.

And what about leaving my family again? And the major issues I had with food? I know it may sound so stupid and trite in the big picture, but I have MAJOR ISSUES with food. When I lived in Australia I practically existed on white rice, beans, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and mac n’ cheese. Everything else was awful. Food is my only comfort. I don’t drink/smoke/do drugs. I eat. And the MAJOR ISSUES with food I had over there will never go away.

So here I am.

I haven’t talked to J in almost 24 hours now. I’m angry. I’m more angry at myself than I am at him because I did this. I fell apart. I lost the job and the house. But, if in December 2007 when we were first talking he told me “I like you and I think things would be amazing with us, but I will never leave Australia. I’m sorry”, then that would have been that. I would have kept working and living where I was, and I would have found someone else one day. So yeah, I’m angry. I’m suicidal, to be honest. I have nothing. Everything is gone because I thought Australia would be great and wonderful and happily ever after. But I am not happily ever after. I never will be.

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Blog love <3

You all guessed right on Tuesday’s singer challenge-it was Amy Winehouse! The person to guess right first was Barb from This and That (As I Bounce Thru Life), so she gets a big ole shout-out from me!

By the way, the shout-out was supposed to be a line and a link, but…not for Barb. Heck no! Do you know Barb? You don’t? Well, you SHOULD! She is our bloggy godmother, didn’t you know?

She’ll give you an offer you can’t refuse.

When I first started out, I didn’t follow any blogs. One day I was going through “Blogs of Note” (what a joke-the exceptions being few and far between), and one of the bloggers in one of the comments was doing a “30 Days of Truth” challenge, so I signed up. I figured it would be a nice way to do some critical thinking. Some of the other bloggers that signed up for it were Canadian Blogger Girl, Fully Fashioned, and Barb. I followed them because it was interesting to see how others were answering the same questions (PS you can read mine at my old blog Hed Down Under-my life as an Australian-check the September 2010 archive).

I loved Barb from the first blog I read of hers. She was funny, insightful, and could tell the shit out of a story. I would comment on her blog, and she would comment on mine-except her comments were different from the scarce ones I was receiving. She always had words of wisdom or encouragement for me, and I loved that. It made me feel like she actually read every word of my posts.

We mutually realized that we carried family similarities-my struggle with bipolar gave her some information on mental illness and how it may be affecting her estranged son. I read her wild and crazy stories and they mirrored my mom when she was young. Eventually she deemed herself my “East Coast mom” and I couldn’t be happier.

So, my line and link of a shout-out turned into an entire blog post. But Barb is seriously worth it. Maybe take the time one day to pay it forward? Make a post about a blogger that really affected you!

PS-CBG and FF are still two of my favorite bloggers as well, and if you go check out them you won’t be disappointed!

PPS-Here’s my custom t-shirt that I picked from being the winner of the Studio Thirty Plus 500 members giveaway! You jealous? :)

Oh crap and PPPS-I FINALLY got a haircut-after seven freaking months!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

YouTube Tuesday.

I’m going to pull a Copyboy from Not Worth Mentioning! and do a “Lame Hieroglyphic” (omg I spelled that right!) of a famous female singer. The first person who guesses her name correctly gets a shout-out on my next blog! (PS add your blog name to your comment-it helps me AND you!) Here goes:

Good luck!

So last night in the throes of my migraine I was laying in the dark. My brain starts up the game of, what random shit is going to pop into my head tonight? Of all things, it turned to “I Love Lucy”.

On YouTube I tracked down my favorite clip from the show, the one where Lucy decorates the house like they’re in Mexico, and comes out looking like Carmen Miranda and starts to sing to Ricky in Spanish. I love this song, and when I was a restaurant manager I made one of my cooks sing it because he had a great singing voice and actually knew the song!

What is your favorite Lucy clip of all time?

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday roundup, and a super S30P shout-out!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Bear Grylls has something special for you:

A resounding 53% of you would choose a diner cook as your millionaire splurge. I voted for that one too, but…a Starbucks inside my house is a close second. Do you know Tommy Lee has one in his house? That’s always an option I guess, marry Tommy Lee. Ew. I also loved all of your answers on what you would spend your money on if you were a millionaire. Especially ib's. He wrote, “I chose Starbucks because it was best of the four, but if I my choice, I would buy a brothel.” Hey, I said to be honest!

This entire weekend has been a major bust, with a little light shedding down come Sunday. Let’s just say the hubs and I barely spoke all weekend. One day when I’m objective I will write everything out on here regarding our situation and how complicated it has become. Our hearts are still completely in it, but our brains recognize logic and the impossible situation we are in. I’ll leave it at that for now.

I told him in the beginning of February that for V-Day I wanted sushi and a poem. I couldn’t wait for the sushi. I actually got it the day he said “that’s fine” since I had been craving it for months! Anyway he sent me a message about ten minutes before midnight his time on Valentine's Day that he would be sending me my present at midnight. It was beautiful. How can I stay angry at the man I love on V-Day, you know? So right now we are fine-just no talk of real life…

As for me today, I have had a migraine of death all freaking day. It started in my left eye and spread to my nose (my nose? WTF migraine?), my ear and my neck. I finally got out of bed at 7pm to eat and take another migraine pill. I am functioning enough to write, so that’s good, I guess. I check my e-mail and I have a message from Sugar Free via the blog community Studio Thirty Plus+ that said “Hey! We're friends on here now! Yay! Congrats on being the 500+ winner! Now I just want to end one more sentence with an exclamation point!”

Whaaaa? So I log on and this is what I see on the front page:

(credits go to Studio 30 Plus for their front page, of course)

SWEET! Not only am I the winner of their 500 members giveaway, but they made a little button with a link to my blog on the front page! Holla! I think my gift is a tee or coffee mug or tote from their Cafe Press online store, but I can’t find a link to the original giveaway, so I’m not sure (honestly the button is gift enough!). If I do get to choose, I may do this coffee mug because it’s pretty bad ass. But the tote and tees are cute too!

Just a quick note on what S30P is about: It is a blog community for bloggers 30 and over. A handful of my blog buddies are already signed up there, and they also have a Facebook page and group page. I enjoy it because it’s really a cross-section of the blog community and I relate to the bloggers there. Go check it out!

Lastly, I’ve been slacking. A couple of weeks ago both Jumble Mash and Life in the Mom Lane tagged me in a post titled “5 Things You Can’t Leave the House Without”. Mine are pretty simple:

1. My Paul Frank wallet. Sometimes I don’t want to take my purse with me when I’m just running somewhere, so I grab this and I’m out the door.

2. Chap Stick. I usually have three somewhere at all times (in my purse, on my desk and on my nightstand). It’s my crack.

3. A hair tie. Now that my hair is long enough to be a lazy bum about it, I tend to always have a hair tie either in my hair or on my wrist.

4. My Hoodie Buddie Sweatshirt. Right before hubs and I moved, I bought a sweatshirt because in Australia it was winter. I found a black plaid one that was big and soft, and had built-in earphones and a jack in the pocket to plug your IPod into. Genius! I’ve been wearing it ever since I got home.

Not my actual jacket, but now I WANT THIS ONE. NOW.

5. Clean teeth. I know that sounds weird but I know a lot of people that, if they are just zooming somewhere, they’ll skip the toothbrush or at least mouthwash. Not me! Can’t do it. I just know someone will get all up in my grill when I’m ordering food/picking up a prescription/getting a pelvic exam and I don’t want to be stuck with funky breath!

Since I’m so late on the draw I’m not going to tag anyone since it’s already been done on most blogs! One more thing: A blogger tagged me in a post about the four lies/one truth game that was circulating and for the life of me, I can’t find the link to it! If that was you can you re-send it and the rules? Thanks!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not in the mood.

I don’t want to write today. I did. I had an idea last night, but then I cried myself to sleep. Long story. I’m meh today.

I’ve been reading all my fantastic blog buddies’ guest posts over the last couple of weeks, and I even branched out and did one for Mynx at Dribble... (you can see it on the tab “where I was when I wasn’t here as well).

My question is: how do you DO a guest post? I mean, I know the logistics, I just don’t know how you get someone to post on your own blog. With the lovely Mynx, I had a post in mind, so I stuck my neck out and e-mailed her my idea. She liked it, and BAM we’re in business.

What about all of the bloggers that are chicken to e-mail their favorite blogger and say “hey! I want to write for you! Is that okay?” Well, I’m giving you guys an invitation to guest on my blog.

Here are my two conditions: I want it to be an original post and I want it to have emotion, because I am sad today and damn it, this is my blog. It can be a happy story, a sad story, a hurtful story, a joyous story-I just want it to be something that maybe you haven’t wanted to post on your own blog due to perhaps the nature of your blog, or maybe reading about my own struggles with mental illness you have something you would like to share. Does that make sense? I’m giving you the OK to let it out here.

Hell, I’ll even put together a kick-ass badge you can add to your own blog if you like. It will be like a freaking badge of heroic awesome. Or something like that.

You can contact me at Hed@hedabovewater.com if you have a story or idea you’d like to throw my way. Looking forward to them, actually.

Oh, and to prove that I’m not always emo, here’s a picture of me from my dinner date with my two best friends last night. I left the house! Hooray!

I’ve got crazy eyes.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My mother the killer.

So last night my mom and I are catching up on our “Grey’s Anatomy” reruns from Lifetime. I’m a Grey’s junkie and I got my mom hooked on it a month or so ago and now it’s kind of our thing to watch together.

I heart YOU, George O’ Malley.

Anyway, last night the episode was about O’ Malley’s dad going in for surgery to remove his cancer, and his dad says “I ran over the dog you had as a kid”. George says “stop talking as if you’re gonna die”, and they have a moment. My mom presses pause and looks at me with sad eyes. I thought maybe the moment made her all ferklempt. Then she drops a bombshell.

“Hed, I ran over your cat Dinky when you were a kid”.

What? Who the hell was Dinky? I never had a cat named Dinky! Are you drunk mom? She says, “well, we had so many after we moved…it was the runt of the litter with Bud and them that we brought with us…”

My brain starts going through my cat family tree. My first cat (on my mom’s side) was St-Bone, named after that kid Boner from “Growing Pains” (first off my mom must be a little loopy to let me name a cat after BONER) when I was nine. St-Bone was a stray that wouldn’t leave our porch, and one day she got into the house, hid under my bed, and had four kittens. From that moment on she was pretty much our cat. I named the four cats. There was Bud, the all black cat; Mojo, the wacky cat that my brother liked; Mickey the mellow tiger; and D.D., the fluffy beautiful cat that-

Mom? Do you mean D.D.? “Maybe that was it. You thought it had ran away…”

Oh…my…God. My beloved D.D. My first D.D. I had loved that cat so much I ended up having three more D.Ds in my life that would all run away. They were cursed, or just stupid I guess. I remember when I thought it had ran away I was devastated. As a matter of fact, D.D. was the reason, the literal reason I started to pray to God. I was in Awana at the time, and I knew from church that good people who prayed to God sometimes had their prayers answered. When D.D. ran away I thought if I prayed hard enough he would come back. So much for that, he was freaking dead the whole time.

My mom goes on to tell the story. “Well, it was the day of the family reunion, and me and your sister were making all those egg rolls to bring? Anyway, we got in the car, and the cat must have been behind the tire. We quickly put him in the trash can and I turned to S and said, ‘you can NEVER tell Hed about this!’ She agreed and said ‘no way, she would flip out!’ Remember when Bud died? You were so upset! And I didn’t want you to think I did it on purpose or anything…”

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Tell me why, twenty years later, I was shocked. Mom?!?! Why the hell would you tell me this??? “Because I didn’t want to take it to my deathbed or anything, and the dad telling George reminded me of it…” Thanks for clearing your conscience, mom. And my fifteen-year-old sister, she was an accomplice? Mom, did S even cry when she saw the cat had died? “No, I don’t think so”. Great, my mom is a cat murderer and my sister is a sociopath.

I tossed and turned all night. My mind kept going back to that poor kitty. I honestly would have rather my mom kept that secret in until she was dead and gone. Do you have any secrets that you can’t tell a family member? You can tell me, I won’t narc. Has this ever happened to you? I may be scarred for LIFE!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

YouTube Tuesday.

I’m dying today! SO HUNGRY!!! I have literally already eaten 50% of what I am supposed to have eaten today calorie-wise, and it’s because of midnight snacking. I was SO HUNGRY last night around 10:30, but I wanted to wait until after midnight so I wouldn’t go over my calories for the day (stupid rationalization, I know). By midnight I was SO HUNGRY I ate three times what I was planning to eat.

I suck at dieting…portion control….choosing the “right” foods…all of it! NOW I find out that the total calories I am keeping track of is my “resting” calorie count, meaning it’s the amount I should eat to MAINTAIN my weight-to LOSE weight I have to cut 500 calories or more! That would mean roughly 1500 calories. I mean…wow. Just wow. I’m fat. 1500 calories is a SNACK! I HATE THIS!!!

Pardon my grumpiness, I’m just SO HUNGRY!.

How I feel right now is beautifully summed up by Sinbad. This is my favorite comedy special of all time. I can recite this whole thing because it’s hilarious and true! So watch it, best three minutes of your life if you’ve been where I am!

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday…blurghhhh.

The weekly poll is a TIE! You guys couldn’t choose between wanting to be vampires or unicorns, but depending on what kind of vampire we are talking about, I would rather be a unicorn!

Preach on, Count!

This week’s poll is pretty straightforward, as I was up the other night tossing and turning, thinking about what I would do if I had millions of dollars just lying around. I’d love to hear your comments on what frivolous crap you would buy if you had unlimited funds (yes, we all know we’d donate to charity and give to our families blah blah blah, but I want to hear about DECADENCE!).

Yesterday I woke up feeling terrible! My throat was swollen and my nose was stuffed up, and my butt, thighs and shoulders were aching from doing exercise for the first time in years. On Saturday my stepdad noticed the Wii, and gave me his signature look-the look that says, oh Lord, she spent money on stupid shit again. Back in the day I would get defensive and yell and scream IT’S MY MONEY!, but this time I decided to use reverse psychology.

“Yeah! J said I could get a gym membership, but we decided on the Wii instead because I can do it at home. It’s really fun, and I got it all used so it was half the price! Ooh! And it comes with Wii Sports! Let’s play! 'I’ll bring it out into the living room! We can BOWL!”

“Nah, maybe another time.”

“No, come on! It’s really fun! LET’S BOWL!!!”

I finally convinced him to let me move the Wii into the living room and play a game of bowling. By the third frame he tells my mom, “D, this is what I want for my birthday!” At the end of the game we’re pressuring my mom to join in, and after about six “no’s” she gives in…and plays eight games! They even played without me! I even made them their own Mii characters so they could keep track of their scores and stuff. And the Wii is still in the living room.

So yes, about yesterday. I felt crappy all day, and ended up with a migraine by day’s end. Probably a mixture of laziness and fried foods. I think Super Bowl Sunday kind of gives you an “out” when it comes to hard work, exercise, and eating sensibly (notice how I didn’t include “and all the days that end in ‘y’”, like I used to. It’s all about moderation, people!). I felt too blah anyway to whip up a good meal (kind of my Achilles heel), so I gave in to my mom’s feast of nachos, semi-homemade salsa, homemade artichoke dip, sweet and sour meatballs, and BBQ bratwurst as we watched the game. I was kind of a bottomless pit since when I’m not feeling good, willpower goes right out the window.

This was pretty much me yesterday.

Today I’m trying to get back on track. Half of a chicken breast Subway sandwich, some leftover artichoke dip (my bad, I know. But it was two spoonful's), and a protein smoothie as a mid-day snack. I did my homework today too…now tomorrow is job day. Ugh. I know…I KNOW I need to get a job, but my aggressiveness is completely lacking. I’m applying online and just expecting someone to stumble upon my resume and go, “this is it! This is our new employee!”. I’ve been a freaking manager for years. You get a job by making yourself known and being aggressive. I haven’t gotten a haircut in seven months. I have no interview clothes if someone called me tomorrow. I have to get on the ball. If I don’t, my husband won’t be able to afford to come out here this summer and that’s that.

How is everyone this week? Any news? New plans? Ideas? How do YOU get motivated when you’re slacking (with anything-dieting, exercising, doing something you should be doing)?

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

I think my Wii hates me.

I bought a Wii! I bought a Wii! And a Wii Fit!

On Wednesday after finding out my hubs was still alive and well, I went out and (impulsively) bought a Wii. The reason? I’m sick of being fat. The other reason? Social anxiety is slowly creeping up on me and I couldn’t bear to walk into the gym. I mean it’s getting so bad that when I would even visualize walking into a gym just to talk to someone about a membership I would start to fidget and panic.

I have been a bum for five days now. No looking for a job. No schoolwork. Nada. Just switching between sitting at my computer desk and sitting on the couch watching TV. I feel like a zombie this week. I was talking to my best friend about it and he asked, “have you joined a gym yet?” I tell him no. He asks, “why not just buy a Wii?” That’s it! I’ll buy a Wii! That way I can do all this awesome work at home in private where no one can judge me and I won’t look like an idiot. I call around and find a used one and a balance board for the Wii Fit. Woo hoo!

You may be asking, “where did you get this money Hed??” Well, hubs was on board for paying for a gym membership…so I rationalized that we would be saving money if I just bought a Wii. So I bought a Wii. Cue angry hubs mad that I didn’t consult with him first. My bad. I’m good at rationalization, and I’m impulsive. Two pretty bad qualities. After the steam dissipated from his ears, he was okay with it and understood my explanation.

Today I tried out the Fit game. It starts out all cute and you get to create a “Mii”, which is basically you as a Nintendo character. You start out by doing a body test, where you enter in your height, step on the balance board and the game calculates your weight and BMI. This is where it stopped being cute. My little avatar all of a sudden turns from a cute oval shape to a big old circle and shouts, “That’s obese!” What the? How dare you! You’re a butthole!

I thought you were on my side!!!

After the tests the game determines your “Wii Age” by combining your weight, age, BMI, and balance. I’m 30. I got…41? DAMN IT!!! My fat little toon hunched over in pain at the sight of the number, as I did myself in real life!

After I get over the shock of a computer calling me a old fatty, I follow the instructions to figure out my center of gravity. Not bad-it was something like 45% left 55% right. The instructions show how posture really weakens muscles, so I instantly suck in my gut and pull my shoulders back. You’re given some balance tests and then you put in a goal weight and time. I entered 20 pounds in 3 months (3 pounds a week, roughly).

Then I was on to the actual “fit” part of the Fit game. You choose from Strength, Aerobics, Yoga, and other exercises. I choose Yoga. I figure Yoga is kind of the “gateway” exercise, since it’s just posturing and junk. First is the deep breathing exercise. Breathing? That’s my kind of exercise! It was easy and fun to watch your trainer show you how to do the exercise, and also the game shows you a yellow circle which is your center of gravity-while breathing you try and stay in the circle for your posture. So far so good.

Next was the half-moon pose. You lift your arms up over your head then slowly stretch to one side and hold. Oh.My.God. Did my age say 41? It should have said 81 because after about six seconds I was shaking and aching. IT’S A STRETCH! WTF??? When we switched to the other side my arms seemed to have enough because they kind of stopped moving.

I was going to show the exercise, but this was way cuter.

When that exercise finished I got off the board. I felt nauseous. I yelled out to my mom in the other room, “okay! I’m done for today!”. Ugh. Two exercises stretches and I was wiped out? Am I really that out of shape? I go to the main menu and the game shows you your training time. Four minutes. Yes, I am really that out of shape.

Even as I write to you now, two hours later, my arms and shoulders are sore. Do they still say “no pain, no gain?” Because apparently I haven’t exercised since 1982.

Tomorrow’s another day, though-and I plan on catching up on my school along with my “Simpsons”, and I will master the Fit!!!

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Friday, February 4, 2011

He’s alive!!!

First of all, thank you ALL SO MUCH for the comments/prayers/hugs/concerns about my husband and family being in the path of Cyclone Yasi. It helped a lot! Especially the comments from others who have actually BEEN in hurricanes and came out a-ok.

I haven’t blogged in three days. It seems like forever! Tuesday (Cyclone Yasi day) all my Internet tabs were flooded with the Australian meteorology website, a live UStream of an apartment located in CBD (the center of the city) Townsville that was being broadcast as the cyclone hit (until the power went out), and other sites about the cyclone. Also on hand was the hubs on webcam, who assured me over and over that he wasn’t dead and all was right with the world. I stayed up with him until 3am my time (9pm his time-the cyclone was scheduled to hit his area after midnight), and even then I was still so worried I had to take a Xanax to get to bed.

I woke up on my own at 8am (2am his time-the cyclone was pretty much in his neck of the woods) and tried to call him on his mobile-and it went straight to voice mail. I hopped on the computer and saw that 150,000 homes were without power, and I assumed his house was one of them. This is the map of Yasi at approx. 9am my time (3am):

He lives in Charters Towers, FYI.

I hopped on my Facebook and wrote, “Stressing. J and the whole area have lost power so now I have to wait for the cyclone to pass and pray he's okay...”. A few hours later J’s sister (who lives in New Zealand) replied, “Hed it's all good mate, they still have power and they are all fine. J is sleeping and has already eaten half the food for the next couple of days lol. Couple of trees down, but they'll be fine. No need to stress. Home phone is up and running. xo”.

I called the house phone a little bit later and J was still asleep (during a cyclone! I wish I could sleep that peacefully), but I spoke to mum and she said that even Big J (J’s dad) slept through it. Crazy men. She said a couple of trees were down in the yard, but other than that, everything was fine. Thank Jeebus! She then told me that her real estate agent called from up in Kennedy (which is located on the map directly above Cardwell RIGHT in the red zone). Mum and dad have a house there that they are fixing up to sell or rent. A tree fell on it. Doh! (No one lives there though thankfully)

On Wednesday they did some clean-up in the yard and went into town to survey the damage, which was minimal. As of this blog post, there has been one fatality recorded due to the cyclone. One. And that was due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator. I’m glad that the Australian government and its people were on board to keep everyone safe!

On that note, I read somewhere that a big difference between Australians and Americans is the way we have been brought up to take care of one another. Americans back in the day ventured out alone or with their family to achieve their version of the “American Dream”, while Australians had to band together due to the unforgiving land they were in to make settlements and survive. Australians have a huge sense of “Mateship”, and I really think that was a defining reason why there wasn’t as many fatalities as there could have been.

One thing I did say on Tuesday is that I was angry with the American news and how they didn’t really care to broadcast something as big and foreboding as a Category 5 cyclone on the news. Some of you disagreed and some of you said my blog post was the first you had heard of Yasi. I don’t want to sound condescending, but until you have left America and gone overseas you really don’t understand the scope of how insular we are as a country. Our “world news” is usually “something global that affects America directly or indirectly”, and it’s sad. It’s just the way most Americans are brought up, I guess-and even I am one of those people that, up until six months ago, thought Germany was next to England (yeah…my bad). I’ll end my rant with a picture that ran on CNN news to prove my point.

Don’t see it? Grab a geography book! :)

So once again, thanks to everyone for e-standing by me and making sure I don’t FLIP OUT, as I have a tendency to do (see this post title for confirmation of that, lol!)

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My nerves are shot.

Of course I have this awesome news today, right? I mentioned a few weeks ago in an e-mail to Mynx at Dribble... that I wanted to do a silly post about translating Australian slang into “American”, and it’s posted today over there. I’m really happy how it turned out, and I want to thank Mynx for hosting it. Give it a looksee if you want a laugh today.

picture courtesy of Mynx’s blog

I, for one, do not want a laugh today. I am worried sick. A couple of days ago my husband mentioned that there is a cyclone (hurricane for all you Northern Hemispherers) headed towards the coast. Okay, I hope my Townsville friends are safe, I’m thinking-my husband is about two hours inland. Last night he tells me that Cyclone Yasi is meant to be pretty big and will stretch into his neck of the woods come 7am my time Wednesday. What does that mean? I ask him. He tells me it means people are stocking up on long-life milk and water at his grocery store just to be safe and it will probably be windy and rainy.

Um, no.

This afternoon J calls me and says, “I have some news I should probably tell you sooner rather than later. The cyclone is now a category 5 and is going to be the largest cyclone on record. We’ve battened down the house and I should be getting a call from work calling me off tonight-they’re thinking of closing at 6pm tonight”. At first I’m cool, I’m just asking about the storm (Townsville and Cairns, two major coastal cities, are supposed to be hit the hardest-and they have closed the airports and shut off the power to my knowledge), and I jokingly say something about the roof coming off like in “The Wizard of Oz”. He tells me, in all seriousness, “well if that does happen we’ll just have to bunker in the bathroom”.

Cue tears.

You know, it’s one thing to be away from the person you love the most for an extended period of time and the “what-if’s” that could happen: car crash, health woes, work injuries, etc…but this cyclone is headed towards him. And there’s nothing I can do.

Granted, I’m not Superman-it’s not like if I was there with him I could stop the cyclone somehow. But I would be with him. If shit went down I would be there going down with it. I’m so stupid, you would think I would be relieved that I’m NOT there anymore, but I’m not. I feel guilty and awful. If something happens I will never forgive myself for leaving him to be in America.

Cue more tears.

Right now I’m just planning on keeping in contact with him via webcam and MSN Messenger-but eventually the power will probably go out and that terrifies me. I have to sit and wait for him to contact me. I’m not good with patience.

To try and put this in perspective, I’ll give you some of the info I have read today:

*The cyclone is roughly the size of Hurricane Katrina, which battered the Gulf Coast of the United States and wreaked havoc in the city of New Orleans in 2005. Yasi is almost 300 miles wide and could affect an area larger than 400 miles across and up to 600 miles inland from the Queensland coast.

*Satellite images showed Yasi as a massive storm system covering an area bigger than Italy or New Zealand, with the cyclone predicted to be the strongest ever to hit Australia.

*The storm will be making landfall sometime by Wednesday, Feb. 2, and bring with it winds of 175 miles per hour and deadly flash flooding. The area that could be affected by the storm is roughly the size of England, Scotland and Wales combined. The storm was recently upgraded to a Category Four (5 on the Australian scale) storm and is so large that the it could take more than an hour for the eye of the storm to pass overhead.

J lives in Charters Towers, so he won’t be bearing the full brunt of the cyclone’s power.

Queensland (the state the cyclone is landing in) just had those devastating floods in the Southern region, and now this. This area is also in the tropics, which is a boon for banana and sugar cane crops-and they’re expected to be wiped out at least a little bit.

And I’m angry. I’m angry that as Americans we are so bubbled in that “world news” is only limited to what affects us as a nation. I have been watching the major news networks for three hours now only to have seen a five-minute feature on CNN’s World News Tonight. Heck, this may be the first time some of my readers have even heard about this cyclone, and why shouldn’t it be? It doesn’t affect you, or our families. But it affect me. So I’m freaking out. I’m scared. I am thinking of all of my North Queensland family and friends right now.

Here are some links if you guys are interested:

Australian Gov't Bureau of Meteorology

News.com.au

Reuters

Wiki-Tropical Cyclone Yasi

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