Living through an American Recession

Dealing with never ending life changes. Who says making lemonade is the best thing to do with those lemons life throws at you?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

DIET changes and moving

Diet changes certainly add to the challenge of moving especially when your used to a certian type of food. Going from fish and greens to meat and potatoes has shown a mixed reaction from my body.

Quality fresh fruits and vegetables
Organic Foods & Supplies
Healthy Restraunts
Cultured Foods

Quality fresh fruits & vegetables
I don't know about you but spending money on "fresh" fruit and vegetables has yealded costly. The fruit is picked too early and molds or rotts before it ripens. I have thrown out more fruit than I have almost eaten. When you do get good fruit, it's expensive but tastes wonderful. This is not just a local issue but nationwide. The local farmers market is the only way to go here. Now during the winter we go back to either canned fruit or the cardboard crap they sell in the stores.

This one has proved obvious. One cannot get "fresh" fish this far inland without paying $17.00 a pound for a $2.00 fish. When you come from the coast where FRESH fish is abundant you know what fresh is. The grocery stores here seem to treat their fish with something that masks the odor but not the texture or cloudyness of the liquid. Nice try... There is a fish store here that I have not purchased at only becuase the prices are shockingly overpriced. The frozen fish is imported from Tailand and other far off countries and when defrosted smell like the dead fish. The only fish I have gotten here worth eating is at the restraunts, it has the closest taste to fresh fish. So when I eat out, it's fish I seek first.

Organic Foods & Supplies
Trader Joe's & Whole foods market were top of my list back home. The nearest stores are about 3 hours away, too far for my hoopty car to make the trip. So the only "whole foods" type store in town is also pretty expensive and has little selection. Their dairy cooler is usually too close in expiration for me meaning they don't move products fast enough. There are a couple of main stream grocers here that offer organic alternatives to things such as kechup and chicken but not all in one store, so a few trips are needed.

Healthy Restraunts
Almost every fast food chain that exists is here along with the typical restraunts. Even the smaller local joints offer the same basic foods, burgers, overpriced salads, fried stuff and goopy sandwiches. The local fave here is called a horseshoe. My stomach churned to look at it when I moved here. Imagine a bottom bun with a heafty burger patty loaded with fries and topped with a cheese sauce. The secret is in the cheese sauce, so they say. A coronary on a plate! There are a few little hippy joints peppered around town that have things such as the illusive avacado or a bean sprout here and there but their hours of operation are odd making them difficult to visit.

Cultured Foods
It is true, you can't get good Chinese food in the mid west, let alone sushi, forget it! Although Osaka came here offering Japanese cuisine that is pretty damn good. What I would do for a great Greek restraunt with authentic Greek food and maybe even a little music. The Chinese restraunts are pretty much all the same, along with the Mexican. We need more REAL cultured restraunts!

Time for that later?

I remember when I was a kid and wanted to play outside. Dad would remind me of all the chores that had to be done saying, "There'll be plenty of time for play later." When I was a teen and wanted to hang out at the mall with friends again I heard, "There'll be plenty of time for that later." When my son was born I wanted to go dancing, but this time reminding myself, "There'll be time for that later."

Later came and went when the realization hit that playing outside was no longer interesting, nor was hanging at the mall or going dancing. Today I want to travel and experience the world but again being told, "There'll be time for that later." What if later I am too old to travel, loose the interest, or whatever else could come up? This place is great but no where to be found on my list of shit to do. 

I used to believe in the "master plan" but as I get older and have some time to look back on the only "plan" that ever happend is when I got off my keester and went a did it. Do we leave out destiny or fate up to something unseen that may or may not even exist? The only time I was every truly happy was when I made my own way and living as NIKE says, "just do it." Don't wait for the world, your reletives, neighbors, friends, co-workers, or the ramdomness of life determine where or who you are. Choose for yourself.

Friend Finder

When I first got here the first thing I looked for was good food, I do like to eat. I realized my idea of good food was ethnic food, what the hell kind of city doesn't have a good Greek, Middle eastern or vegan restraunt? Shit... My second search was for coffee/book store hang outs for the local social-ippies. I found the typical run in and out mega coffee chain or the place only open till 2pm. WTF!! NEXT! What about local music, drama groups, hiking, fishing? The panic set in.

Although everyone here is very friendly, they have adapted to this environment which seems to take years to "fit" into. Everyone has their routine which includes work and friends they've had since grade school. Trying to break into this routine has yealded a big fat zero on my end. They keep themselves busy with crafts, tv event nights, card games, and various activities to keep from realizing this place is a 1 on the excitement scale. Which they don't seem to invite "outsiders" to.

Although my honey says I'm not trying hard enough to make friends, he's has no idea. I've given out my phone number to more people than the drunk dude in the bar. It makes you think after a while that "nobody likes me...." "Waaaah, what am in 5th grade?" Bit me I say!  City dwellers unite!

Now I know people are busy with other shit in the big city, too busy to even notice you walking down the street but at least you had a plethera of shit to do besides cards and tv. Being cooped up for 5 months with temperatures of 10 degrees outside sucks so I took up beading, painting, playing the flute, sewing, video games, reading, and soooooo on. Yeah, who am I kidding. I'm not the crafty type but it beats reality tv. Now that summer is here it's f*ing hot and humid as f*ck! Talk about zapping your energy. Shit, back to crafts.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Sexy is an attitude, not a size"

I think every woman has been told that at least once in her lifetime, especially if she's over a size 12. So now that my size hot has turned into a size not why can't I believe what I have preached for years?

I remember about 15 years ago sitting in a bar with friends. At one end of the bar sat a gorgeous blonde woman, tall, thin, long sexy hair, all the right stuff, so I thought. At the other end sat a heavy set girl, kinda cute, bubbly brunette. "Hmmm" I thought, a size 4 vs. a 16. Why were the guys laughing and having a good time with the brunette and not the blonde? The blonde had a shitty attitude about her and  scared away even the drunks, the brunette glowed with fun and flirt, she was sexy and they could sense it. So why are we so obsessed with size?

As I sit here trying to take my own advise and rev up the sex-ay, I sulk. How do I get my sexy back?

I'm overweight, riddled with hang nails and staring at cute clothes haunting me from the hangars that used to fit while I look down at my frumpy t-shirt and yoga pants. ugh.....

Sure, I could go out and buy a new set of under ware, get  a new hairstyle or even a pretty dress but does that work? Sometimes it is all we need to "see" ourselves in a new light allowing us to smile changing our attitude towards ourselves. But we have to continue that attitude.

Like our bodies, we must continue to feed it healthy food to get the output we want. We have to feed our minds with love and acceptance for our sexy to shine on the outside. Imagine yourself as a beautiful flower. You may have bloomed last year and withered today, but you will bloom again. We all do, we're human, part of nature that moves through cycles. When we appear to wither, we reflect inward and bloom with new insight on life.

YOU, are sexy no matter what package you come in!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Moving to the mid west - Current Status

Moving to the mid west has certainly had it's challenges. I moved here three years ago from Las Vegas, where I was for 12 years, growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. While in Las Vegas I sold and rented many homes to people from all over the world and was always fascinated by all the different stories of how these people ended up coming here. From jobs to family to "why not, its Vegas baby." The average lifespan of most newcomers to Vegas was 3-5 years before they decided to return to wherever they came from. Yeah, real estate was good because of the constant and amazing number of turnover. But why did they leave? Vegas was a mecca fishbowl all it's own, a lifestyle like no other. It's hot, dry, desert landscape is hard for most to adjust to, I loved it and miss it.

I ended up in Illinois following love, I'm sure being the terrible dart player I am would have never hit this part of the map. We've been here two years now and believe me I'm just starting to adjust. My size 6 pants have magically transformend themselves into 12's without my permission, the 2003 Jetta Turbo turned into a 98 Oldsmobile and my clientele has only built to a quater of what I had accuired back home. (and it only took 8 months vs.2 years) They weren't kidding when they said everything is slower here.  I have made a good friend that I talk to regularly which is very important for the "female" connection thing. Diet, weather changes, and social activities have been the biggest challenges.

I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be coming from another country adding major challenges like language, culture, diet or religious practices. Like minds stick together. I have seen much more prejudice here than anywhere I have lived, and granted I live on the outer rung of the hood circle, it is me they look at. Segregation exists everywhere but I now see a difference between mindset and grouping. Poverty is a state of mind feeding off it's own self. It's hard to find or create opportunity when your struggling against the Eeyore attitude. When I was in real estate we were unable to tell anyone even when they asked "Where is the Chinese neighorhood? The Jewish part of town or little Italy?" What difference does it make? As I find myself looking for liberal minded, educated, go-geter hippy folks I'm reminded of why they sought the like minded. The longer I sit struggling to build a clientele trying to pay bills the harder it becomes to keep a possitive attitude that this will get better. The only thing I cling to is the memory of being financially sucessful and knowing working hard does pay off, but what if you're born into this? How do you change a social mindset from birth? A little old house in a poor neighborhood with a minimum wage job, a family member, a friend or neighbor with a bad attitude enforcing the situation. I now see why roll models are so important. Whether your father showed you how to build a business or a basketball player makes the team, it shows us not just to chase the golden carrot but to change our attitude about doing something. Surround yourself with Eeyore's and how long will it take before you become an Eeyore?

The best thing that has come out of this for me is a different perspective of life. How state of mind is key to determing happiness and satisfaction. The people that live here are down to earth, friendly, helpful and just live. They aren't pushing and shoving for the last loaf of bread, racing to the next stop light or stealing each others customers, they're just living. The lifestyle in Vegas was a fight to the finish with eveything, fast, furious and trying to "be somebody". If they only realized we are all somebody.