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All Work and No Play

11 Oct

… makes me an uninspired, uncreative, dull, dull, dull girl.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad I have a job. Maybe even lucky. But lately, my job has left me completely drained – of energy, of time, of creativity, of inspiration. Every day, I go to office, put in eight hours (sometimes more) of my time, my energy, my talents, my heart, my mind, my LIFE.  And at the end of the day, I feel I am left with nothing but fatigue and frustration.  I have nothing left for God, for my husband, my friends, my family, even myself.

I know that part of the problem is my own perfectionism. It kills me to have to deal with mediocrity. (And that can almost be taken in a literal sense, as my intensely high daily stress level surely is doing nothing good for my health.) But every day, mediocrity is what I deal with. On top of that, the people I am surrounded with don’t seem to even notice it. So, every day, I take it upon myself to “cure” us (by us, I mean the media company I work for) of mediocrity. And I’ve realized that I CANNOT do that anymore. I can’t take it upon myself to “fix” everything. I just can’t.

I need balance. I need ME back. When I leave work, I need to LEAVE work. No more taking work home every weekend. No more stressing out during my vacation time and being unable to RELAX because I’m worried about this project, or that impossible deadline, or this article that I need to finish and to perfect. No more skipping workouts or turning down social invitations because I’m exhausted, because I’ve spent too much of myself on work, work, work. No more. I’m done. Done.

Well, until the next time I lose sight or my priorities and lose myself again. Help keep me accountable, will you?

Dear People in the Park Pushing a Baby Stroller,

10 Jun

Please don’t smoke. Just because your lungs are black, it doesn’t mean that his have to be.

Thank you,

Laura

Dear Starbucks Barista,

30 May

Please do not speak to me in that really, really high pitched voice first thing in the morning … before I’ve had my coffee. It’s quite annoying. And don’t ask me how my morning is going. You’re likely to get sarcasm. Is anyone ever having a good morning before the caffeine hits? I doubt it. The people who wake up in the morning singing about the birds and the sunshine most likely aren’t the ones hitting you up for a venti double shot cappuccino to start their day.

You can, however, ask me about last night. Chances are that if I’m desperately needing a caffeine fix, last night was pretty darn good.

Thank you.

PS- Don’t try to sell me your breakfast “food,” either. We all know it’s made out of cardboard. The fancy names and pretty colors aren’t fooling anyone.

Related:

Welcome to the Twilight Zone aka Starbucks

More Hip Action, Please

15 Apr

I was watching Dancing with the Stars last night (yes, I know I’m a reality TV junkie), and I heard a conversation that kind of disturbed me. Shannon Elizabeth, whom I really like on the show, danced the samba, and it wasn’t that great. Contrary to what you would think, Shannon is not good at the “sexy” Latin dances at all; however, she is really good at the elegant ballroom numbers. I digress. Her samba was not good, and she received critique from the judges for a lack of hip action. Len wanted a little more hip action, please.

During the backstage interview with the dreadful co-host/E! correspondent Samantha Harris, the following conversation took place (not a direct quote, only an approximation):

Shannon Elizabeth, in an attempt to explain her lack of hip action: My problem is that i have no hips. My hips and my waist are the same size.

Samantha Harris, in response: Well, I bet there are tons of women in America who would love to have that problem.

Really? Are there really millions of American women who want to have the figure of a 12-year-old boy? (Not that Shannon Elizabeth looks like a 12-year-old boy. I’m only commenting on Samantha’s remarks, not Shannon’s figure.) I’m sure there are some women out there who aspire to that “ideal,” but that is most likely because people like Samantha Harris tell us that’s what we should look like.

Dear Samantha, real women have curves, and it’s okay. In fact, it’s quite normal and natural. Please stop trying to make us believe otherwise. What’s not normal and natural is starving yourself to be a size 0 because someone decided that’s the paradigm of female beauty.

Disclaimer: I have no problem with naturally thin women. I only have a problem with people who profess that’s the only way to be.

5’9″ and 140 lbs. Does Not a “Big Girl” Make

13 Apr
clipped from www.msnbc.msn.com

Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Ann Curry, Hoda Kotb — co-hosts of TODAY’s fourth hour.
blog it

This past week while doing a little Internet research on TODAY show host Hoda Kotb, I came across the following Q&A:

Q: A viewer wrote in the following, and I quote: “In the looks and age driven industry you compete in, how do you find the courage to be open about your actual weight numbers? This morning you said you weighed 140, and I was thrilled that a celebrity of your status would openly talk actual numbers. So many women lie and put an unfair pressure on others to lie as well. Not all women weigh 110 pounds! Thank you for your support of normal, healthy, shapely women!” What do you think about that?

Hoda: You know, I do weigh 140. And that’s on the good days! Some days the scale goes a little higher than that. But I feel like that’s me. Look, I’m 5’9″. I’ve always been a big girl. I’ve always been the big girl in the back of the picture or on the bottom of the pyramid. I have a lot of hangups I’m sure, but one of them is not my weight. That’s just not my issue.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I look at that picture, I don’t see a “big girl.” She’s tall, but she’s not exactly “big.” To me, 5’9″ and 140 lbs. is slender. 5’9′ and 110 lbs.? Now, that’s just anorexic, not normal, not some ideal that all women should strive for. In reality, not TV land, the ideal weight (according to Weight Watchers) for someone of Hoda’s height is 135 – 162 lbs. She’s actually on the low end, especially for someone of her age. Personally, I get tired of hearing “big” celebrities like Hoda Kotb and Kate Winslet constantly being asked questions about their weight and being praised for representing bigger women when in actuality both of those women are on the low end of the healthy weight range charts.

Word of the Day: Ambulate

1 Apr

Ambulate

Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): am·bu·lat·ed; am·bu·lat·ing
Etymology: Latin ambulatus, past participle of ambulare
Date: circa 1623
: to move from place to place : walk

Why would you use the word “ambulate” when the word “walk” will work just fine, especially if you have already used the word “walk” to set up the sentence in which you use the word “ambulate”? The word “ambulate” does not add anything to your writing. I know in grammar school, we were all taught to use descriptive language and replace words like “walk” with flowery synonyms like “saunter,” “stomp,” and “lumber.” However, if “walk” works just fine and gets your point across, then just use “walk.” Don’t try to replace it with some random word that most people will have look up in the dictionary anyway. It’s pointless.
People who use unnecessarily complicated words in an attempt to come across as well-read, well-educated, intelligent, or whatever are just plain annoying, not to mention bombastic, grandiloquent, and possibly supercilious.
Related:

51 Items

20 Feb
I went to Walmart. I bought 2 storage boxes and a 20 oz. Dr. Pepper. With my 3 items, I got into the ”Speedy Checkout (20 items or less)” line. The very “well-to-do” lady in front of me had 51 items in her shopping cart. I know this because the lovely (I really mean that; she was great.) cashier, who was probably grumbling under her breath about how “some people” think they can do whatever they want without any consideration for anyone else as a long line formed behind us, told me so as soon as Ms. 51 Items was out of earshot. She then apologized and went on to explain how she is not allowed to kick people out of her line because they have too many items (a fact of which I was previously unaware); it’s company policy. “I don’t mind checking her out. I got to stand up here and ring up items regardless of how many there are. It just gets on my nerves because I know people like that are inconveniencing all my other customers, you know, the ones who follow the rules, and I can’t say nothing, not nothing,” she says while I nod my head in agreement. “You know what I think they should do. I think they should charge you 5 cents, yeah, 5 cents for every item you go over the limit. That’s what I think. Maybe stop some of this nonsense. 51 items.” (I think I heard an amen from the choir.)

She finished ringing up my 3 items, and I swiped my debit card and I headed to my car. Along the way, I passed the 51 item lady. Her Escalade (which did not have a handicapped sticker or mirror hanger) was parked in the handicapped parking space closest to the entrance, and she was hurriedly tossing plastic Walmart bags into her car griping to her daughter about how they had to hurry on because they had an early flight to catch in the morning.

Ah, adventures at Walmart, the paradigm of corporate America.