The aches and pains of living in a large city

plate_sony_clie_84172_l.jpeg

Me, I am a country girl at heart….I do love the big city because it offers many wonderful opportunities for employment, culture, music, the arts and so forth.

Along with these precious items…comes a price and that oh so love price is dealing with individuals who have no cause for concern over another person’s well-being OR personal property. 

Case in point….I got stopped for speeding—yes, shame on me—most of the time I would say 99% I always watch my speed. I was stressed and I guess with having so much on my mind I did not realize I was going over the limit.

Stopped….police lights were flashing and that huge spotlight which is probably like 1,000 megawatts of power was shined in on me lighting up the interior of my car like I was sitting right in the sun…I was like oh man….four years went by and I kept my record clean. Well, come to find out SOMEONE had taken tin cutters and cut out my registration sticker on my rear plate.  I have specialized veteran’s plates and this just brought me to tears. HOW can people be so thoughtless?  They have aboslutely no concern nor care regarding what they just put a human being through.  My only solace is that karma will bite this person in the ass down the road.  I am a hard working individual who is scrimping to save for a house and now this.  I HAD to vent here.

Filing a police report and then head to the BMV.  I need to find a cloud in this so-called silver lining.

UPDATE:  BMV only charged me $3.50 for the sticker and I get my military plates (same ones) for free and have temporary tags.  (Def. going to buy a protective plastic covering and will use a razor blade to mark up my stickers. ).  Yes if these bastards want my registration stickers by God they will work at it to steal them…

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Thinking about changing my gym membership

Currently I have a membership where I can frequent the gym on an every other day basis but may very soon change that.  For example, I want to go out and I am slotted to go workout say like today….do I WANT to end up all hot and sweaty (okay get your mind out of the gutter)…before going out with friends or reserve the workout for another day? I don’t like to pin myself down when it comes to things like this. I want to be able to work out and also go out. 

The hardest part of starting up an exercise routine is starting up.  I don’t want to fall into the trap again where my evil mind will say:  “Now, you can always go tomorrow…” and then end up not going.  I am at a quandry.  But I also know how I am and I need to stick with a routine.  Ahhhh..decisions!  I will probably end up upgrading my membership…which I am sure the higher heads that be at my gym will love it….more money for them.  I just have to do what is best for me.  (I also need to buy more “hip” exercise clothes)….don’t want to look like a grandma out there. :^)

The dilemma of not being a morning person

saucer_cafe_table_18374_l.jpegIt is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.
– Aristotle

Never, not ever in my entire lifespan have I ever liked getting up in the morning. There is that cotton head feeling, bleary eyes…stumbling to get ready.  My team mates make fun of me almost every morning (good thing I am so cheery huh?)….because they know I am like Oscar the Grouch before my 1st (and usually only cup of coffee) in the morning hours.  I am up normally around 6am and that is to beat the local St. Louis traffic.  (TRUST ME) growing up in rural Southern Indiana and despite my Army travels I have always been accustomed to smaller cities and their traffic.

My brain usually kicks in I would say around lunchtime.  Not much of a night owl either.  probably in between somewhere.  Though when the alarm does go off I am bounding out of bed like a triathlete ready to conquer the day however spiritually I would much rather take a few more zzzz’s and feel pampered…..Now as I sit here plugging along on my keyboard I am seriously considering leaving for break early to drink my delicious cup of joe. THANK GOD FOR COFFEE!

Some interesting info regarding this predicament:

What makes some of us “night owls”–people who perk up in the evening and don’t go to bed until 2 a.m. (or even later)–while others are “larks”–early birds who wake up bright-eyed and ready to go at the crack of dawn? The answer lies mostly in our internal body clock, which is largely determined by our genes. In addition to driving our 24-hour (or circadian) sleep-wake cycle, this clock regulates hormone levels, body temperature, blood pressure, alertness and performance ability.

The cycles themselves are controlled mainly by a region within the brain’s hypothalamus known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (what a mouthful). This area responds to signals from the retina, specifically, the light that travels from our eyes to our brain, which is the most important factor in orienting our bodies to daytime alertness and night-time sleep.

Some solutions:

1-2) Exercise

3) Alarm clock

You can cold brew low acid coffee at home, (????)but remember caffeine (like most stimulants) is most effective when applied in a low dosage at intervals over the required shift. (Not for me….I need a heavy shot)….

According to the individual who wrote this piece he feels that  nobody is naturally nocturnal, and that no one actually likes getting up in the morning (I wonder about this….I have seen some really happy people here at work..all smiles and poking fun at my crabby ass)- these are habitual behaviors and nothing more. (Though I do begin to warm up and am my usual optimistic self once my brain cells are awake)….With a little discipline and some time you will begin to notice positive changes in regards to your bodies reactions to your daily schedule, as it stands now the two are at odds with each other.

Body-clock dilemma: “Help! I over-sleep and am late to work a lot!”
Reset solutionsThe only clock your boss is likely to care about is the one that says you’re a half-hour late. So to get yourself going earlier in the morning, you need to get enough sleep the night before — seven to nine hours for most people. “Make it a point to never watch the 11 o’clock news,” advises Timothy Monk, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and director of the Human Chronobiology Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Not only is it on too late, but the stories can overstimulate you, making it harder to fall asleep. The same goes for scary movies or stressful activities like paying your bills. Instead, try to wind down with a good book or warm bath about 90 minutes before bedtime. Avoid bright lights, caffeine and alcohol.

When morning comes, take a short walk outdoors or open all your window shades and eat breakfast in the glow of natural light. “Get as much light into your eyes as possible first thing in morning,” Monk says. This helps your brain register that it’s time to be alert. Strong coffee can jump-start your day as well, he adds.

Once at work, keep your body clock in mind when scheduling tasks: Plan easier activities — e-mail correspondence or organizational projects — first thing in the morning whenever possible because you’re not operating at your mental best. Late morning, such as 11 a.m., through the lunch hours is better for challenging tasks, such as a meeting that requires you to think on your feet.

Body-clock dilemma: “I can’t keep my eyes open after lunch.”
Reset solutions Built into our circadian cycle is what researchers call a “post-lunch dip,” though this afternoon sleepiness tends to occur whether or not you’ve had a midday meal. The dip happens around 2:30 for most people, though larks may begin to nod off sooner and owls later.

 Websites:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0846/is_4_24/ai_n6357615

http://modifiedmummy.co.uk/blog/?p=27

http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/05/how-to-become-an-early-riser/

http://ask.metafilter.com/72870/not-a-morning-personfilter-how-do-you-force-yourself-to-go-to-bed-when-youre-not-tired-and-how-do-you-get-up-when-you-are

http://www.shape.com/livehealthy/7184

The Shrinking Middle Class

Is this class becoming the overladen donkey?  We seem to bear the worst of it when it comes to taxation, overworked….underpaid…struggling……In order to make it these days with an average family:  two parents and 2.4 children…what must the income be?  Can we even save for retirement? Our children’s education?  A home?

Coments most welcomed…..

—-

An article written by Clammyc addresses this most delicate of issues.

According to the author: Wayne State University demographers recently conducted a study with respect to the middle class, the disparity between the wealthy and the lower income class as well as the shifting economic demographics in a number of large cities around the country. And the Brookings Institution released a report late last month which looked at the shrinking middle class over the thirty year period covering 1970 – 2000. The Wayne State University study was incorporated into or at least formed the basis of part of the Brookings report and was not released in a separate report.

The results are sobering.

From the NY Times article:

[s]ociologists and many economists believe that there can be non-economic consequences for cities that lose a lot of middle-income residents. The disappearance of middle-income neighborhoods can limit opportunities for upward mobility, the authors of the Brookings study said. It becomes harder for lower-income homeowners to move up the property ladder, buy into safer neighborhoods, send their children to better schools and even make the kinds of personal contacts that can be a route to better jobs. The Brookings study, which defined moderate-income families as those with incomes between 80 and 120 percent of the median for each area, found that the percentage of middle-income neighborhoods in the 100 largest metropolitan areas had dropped to 41 percent from 58 percent between 1970 and 2000. Only 23 percent of central city neighborhoods in 12 large metropolitan areas were middle income, down from 45 percent in 1970.

Meanwhile, New York University researchers reported last month that the number of apartments affordable to households making 80 percent of the median household income in New York City dropped by a fifth (over 200,000 households) between 2002 and 2005.

The article also discusses the potential for this demographic shift to not have much of an economic impact in the short term if labor and services is still available. However, that seems to be pretty shortsighted to me. Rightfully so, as the article continues with the warnings above, as well as the observation that such a reduction in the middle class only creates a larger “haves vs. have nots” situation when it comes to public vs. private schooling, options for shopping or other services.

Websites:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/23/123025/562

Interesting conversation at work today…

dadi.jpgWe discuss pretty much anything and everything here…well some people do.  I tend to refrain from the more personal aspects of my own life.

I forgot how we even got on the subject about men and women’s roles in the home.  Someone told me the reason I am not married is because I will not cook and clean for a man. THAT is not the reason.  But I DID tell this guy that with me working full time I find it hard press NOT to have a husband help out in the home.  I do not see the equality among the genders here.  Women still take up most of the slack when it comes to the upkeep of the house.  Being a single mother I am “used” to it because I have NO CHOICE…however, when you are living with someone and both work it behooves each of you to assist the other.  Makes common sense to me……WHY should one partner be left with the burden of working AND tending to the home while the other barely lifts a finger??????? THAT makes NO sense to me!!!! AY CARAMBA

He was quiet after my ranting.

Dealing with the winter blah’s….

winter_snow_branches_281928_m.jpegThere are various reasons for going off my rocker and ranting in the last few posts, some I will not mention here but when Fall creeps up on us and all the leaves wither–leaving behind skeletal shells….I tend to get a little down in the mouth.  I don’t like winters, never have.  I love the way the snow looks but anyone who lives in the Midwest understands that winter = gray skies.  I love the sun, cherish it…revel in its sunny hue of brightness.

As winter plogs along and temps hover in the 30’s my heart aches for the first flower, longer days and sunny bright skies. Perhaps one of a variety of reasons my dear brother moved to Florida.

I have to confess though if I did move to say Florida or Arizona my a$$ would miss the seasons, the colorful Fall crisp days.  But I know one thing I would never miss…gray skies. (Maybe the sweaters).

Frustrations dealing with people not of my faith

I am not an Evangelist nor wishing to convert “non-believers”.  I don’t preach the gospel to anyone nor do I care for what I call:  “bible thumpers”. 

However….when my faith is smeared through propaganda I will get upset.  I understand that the Vatican came out with a proclamation to “evangelize” and I understand that there are people of the non-Catholic faith who don’t care for this. I don’t care for it either. For me, just live your life as a good person, whether you follow God’s teachings or not.  If you wish to convert fine.  If not fine with me also. I could care less.

What I do get upset about are people who will take this proclamation and twist it to fit their own perverted agenda.  I sometimes am galled into some very heated religious arguments on this forum based in Oman.  Some people will tell me I am just asking for it….It is predominately Muslim. No big deal….quite a few of them are open-minded to civil dialogue.

What makes me upset is that certain members will take an issue like this proclamation and as I stated twist it to fit their own agendas and make Christians look bad.

I know that we have missionaries in other countries who use money and health care to convert others. Trust me I am totally against that.  What I am for is Christians and non-Christians working together to well…assist humanity…eradicate hunger, poverty and sickness.  Don’t use religion as a backdrop to get this done. Do it because….IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!  And quit telling me your religion is all pure and sin free when you have people killing in the name of your beliefs….and when these people do kill in the name of your religion or drag it through the mud in some fashion (Christian or not)…then speak up for God’s sake….condemn these acts and stand together as one to promote peace and unity.

The road not taken……

paris_tag2_tag1_73190_l.jpegThis picture kind of represents how I feel at the moment….wondering where my life is going to take me…what road I shall travel…will it be the one as Robert Frost chose…the road not taken?  For I believe I have done that through my years…I have been fortunate to travel, to find friendships in uniform…college…wow how our life can just flash before our eyes.  Sometimes a song can cause me to be transported back to a certain moment…I can see it all within my mind’s eye….the same rush of feelings, smells, everything.

I ponder about the future allot. Today seems as if am posting quite a few thoughts on this.  I think about what else is in store for me down the winding road.  Whatever it may be I shall meet it with strength and mostly with smiles. :^)

ROAD LESS TRAVELED

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost