Thursday, August 14, 2014

No title is worthy.. Rest in Peace Robin Williams

Robin Williams passed away this week.  It's a tragic loss and is such a shock, that it truly has taken me days to deal with my feelings and emotions concerning his passing.   I am not alone, and I am not special in my mourning.  Robin Williams, I am sure, means more to so many others that he does to me.  His family,  his friends, his peers, and his many, many adoring fans are all grieving in their own way, at their own level of loss.   I see posts on social media sites showing personal tributes and depictions of scenes from his more famous movies.  I witness the media sensationalize his death and its circumstances.  He took his life, it is tragic and hopefully now we all realize that even the happiest seeming person can have an overwhelming sadness inside.

We all have a Robin Williams story and a reason why we mourn him.  He was that comedic powerhouse of quick wit, brilliant impersonations and he possessed a natural aptitude for finding the funny in everything.  My story is most likely, no different than many stories out there. I also don't pretend to think for a moment that it's any more special.  But I need to release it, to let it be known, to let it go.

When I was a child, my dad and I would watch Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and then Mork & Mindy reruns every Sunday morning.  Mork was always my favorite because of the fact he seemed childlike, innocent, and in total wonderment of the world around him.   We were fortunate to have HBO and in the late 80's,  Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg started an awesome comedy special called "Comic Relief".  My dad loves stand up and he would let me watch most all of the comics with him.  His laugh would fill the room, and if things were really funny.. he would give his loud "laugh clap".  Robin Williams was one of his favorites.  Therefore, becoming one of mine.     I equate Robin Williams to my father's laughter.

Many of you know that my dad is fighting Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma.  He has tumors in his lungs, brain, colon, and abdomen.  While he is in treatment, it is just that, a treatment. Not a cure.  I have had to wrestle with the reality of my fathers mortality as of late and hearing of Robins Williams death hit me particularly hard. Harder than it may have, if circumstances were different.   His passing created a reality for me that I wasn't quite ready to accept.

I  realized that one day, I will no longer get to hear my dad laugh. My dad has a great laugh. And now someone that made my dad and I laugh together for decades, is gone.  No longer able to continue to make my dad "laugh clap" at a time he needs laughter the most.

I am heartbroken, but so are we all.  All of us differently, but also in the same way.  We lost a person who created happiness and joy in a world that can be filled with sadness and pain.  We needed Robin Williams.    He brought joy to us in everything he did.  Now that he has gone, life just feels a little less...funny.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Invasion of the Crappy People..


Most of the time, I usually struggle with this little Blog ( as you can note from the 7 month hiatus) for one of the two following reasons:

1)  I am to busy to take care of everything else much less this bloggity blog blog.

or  - and most likely - 

2)  I am scared shit-less that I am going to offend someone.  (see, right there... I probably just offended someone with my crassness.) 

As with most things in life, you run the risk of offending some one.  I run that risk everyday.  I have a major problem with speaking before thinking, OR thinking and speaking AT THE SAME TIME!!  (EEK!!)  You know that moment where you realize you just said something in your "out loud voice". So knowing that I am socially inept, I try very diligently to run in circles of people that I except me to who I am, that won't judge me or who won't be offended with a slight vulgarity once and a while.  

So that all being said,  I wanted to touch on a subject of when you can't avoid people who judge.  Who make you uncomfortable in your own skin.  Those who will never just accept you for who you simple are.  While it is an awkward feeling, it shouldn't be a powerless one.  Knowing that it's their issue, not yours, is HUGE. The minute you know that, the better off you will be. 

For so many years, I was so concerned with what other people thought.  This was due to years and years of listening to my mother tell me, actually ask me, "What will 'so and so' think?" I was seven!  Why should I be troubled with questions like that?!  It took me awhile to realize that people don't really give a damn about me and my troubles.  People are pretty self centered.  They don't go home and think... "I wonder what she is doing?"  I mean, I had secretly wished all those boys I had crushed on in school did, but I now know that they didn't.  People have lives, they have bills, they have troubles.  They don't worry about my shoes and the scuffs on them, nor to they care if the braids on my little girl are perfectly straight or not.   I look at my mother now, and I see this question still plaguing her.  I have many times told her to stop caring to much, and she says "I Know, I know"... but I know she still cares what the neighbors think... even though she has never EVER let the neighbors into her house.  

So back to those judgemental crappy people.  I think that Dr. Seuss said it best, " Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."   Think about that.  Surround yourself with people who matter to you, and you matter to them.  Sometimes we just have to be around terrible people, but make those moments learning moments. Look and see how you do not want to act by way of how they are acting.  Know that these moments are temporary and look at those judgemental, crappy people and hope that they have people in their life that make them better people. Because while you may not like them at that very moment, someone must and they matter to someone too.  

As for this blog,  I am going to stop worrying so much about offending you guys.  I am pretty sure that if you get offended, you can avert your eyes, move your mouse, or just click delete.  I would hope that you would start a conversation... that would be the awesome thing to do... but you know... just a suggestion.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy... what can one do?

While my world; my circle of friends, family, loved ones, and acquaintances is fairly small,  I cannot help but feel that my actions have the potential to help or hurt others.  Because I try to be so very mindful of this fact,  I am so deeply saddened in regards to the NewTown, CT massacre.  One person can effect many.

I do not care about the politics, news stories, or media that will surround this event for, what most likely be weeks, maybe months.  I do not feel my stance on gun control is important to the grieving parents who will not be able to hold or kiss there children good night, tonight. Not to mention the children that won't fully understand why mommy or daddy didn't come home from work today. Or how innocent children will be to frightened to go to school again. Frankly,  my heart is raw just thinking about the ripple effect that surrounds this tragedy.  I feel impotent and weak.  With my own children are at school, and my initial reaction is to run and gather them, hold them until they are purple and a appendage possibly falls off. To tell them how they are my everything.  

I look into myself and ask "What can I possibly do?".  Right now, for me, the most effective thing I can do is to properly grieve for the lives lost.  To recognize how substantial a child's life is, and how pivotal a parents role.  I will not focus on the propaganda, the media, or spectacle that social media is going to create.  I will focus inward, looking at my own family and hold them, love them, and honor those who have been taken by embracing what I still have.  When the time comes, of course, a reaction will be necessary for prevention and awareness. But right now... I choose and encourage a moment of silence for those who are grieving and to remember those who are the victims.  Turn off the T.V., put down the mobile devices, stop reading this Blog and go hug your children tonight. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Business trips suck...

In the last year, my husband has travelled for work more that he ever has during our 7 year marriage.  While the first part of the series of trips were 2-3 days at a time, they quickly grew to weekly trips with the longest being a month in Europe.  After the first few trips, I figured the next one would be easier.  I wouldn't miss him as much, that the kids would get used to him jumping in and out of the activities, and that it wouldn't bother me so much being in an empty bed.  I never got used to it, and I hope I never will.  They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.. I now believe in that adage.

Yes, while he was gone, the house stayed cleaner, the kids kept to their schedules, and there weren't little black hairs all over the bathroom. (He's italian)  I didn't have to fight for the middle of the bed, I finally had a hot shower, and I was able to watch all the Nic Cage movies I wanted, and didn't have to bargain or bribe to do so. At first, this distraction worked, but somewhere about the 8th viewing of Moonstruck or maybe during my Raising Arizona/ Valley Girl double header,  Nic's piercing blue eyes and perfectly arched right brow, didn't cut it.  It was official,  I was Tieg-sick.

I can now understand Edward and Bellas romance in "Twilight ".   It actually hurt to be away from him.  I woke up, looking for his head on his pillow.  I would smell his soap, just to smell him.  I would wear his t-shirts and sit in his chair. Anything that made me feel closer to him.

I would rather have a sloppy house, unruly kids, a small edge of the bed, a luke warm shower, and all the little black hairs in the world on my floor - then to NEVER have them at all.   The point of this bloggity blog you ask? Kiss, hug and hold on to your loved one.  Never complain or nag.  Smile when you look them in the eyes.  Tell them that you truly, madly, deeply love them. And be grateful for what you've got, because you never know what you have until it is gone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hotel Schmotel.. I've got your deals right here....

Okay, so I am going to do a quick little rant/blog about making a gosh darn hotel reservation.  I know.. I know.. but if over a decade in the travel business taught me one thing... its how to book a hotel room, at a good rate, and to fit the needs of the hotel-goer.

All those search engines are great, really they are... and if you navigate them correctly - they will save you a pretty penny.  But if they make your head spin ( I don't blame you), stick to the one that has the best layout (User Interface) that you can understand clearly.  They ALL have the same prices. Swear it, I'll put blood down on this. Travel Agency search engines are powered by any one of the top four travel sites. So if the price is lower on one.. taxes or a fee or something else isn't included. My experience - Travelocity has the most competitive and honest fares.  Now that we have covered that, here is what else you need to know and consider before hitting that confirm button...

1- LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION : Use the sites map option, if you know where you want to stay, or easily get to.  A exact address of a function, concert, meeting, or whatever is best. If you don't know an area, go with a major landmark. Putting in an airport will get you hotels closest to the airport... not what you what most of the time.

2 - ROOM TYPE : Make sure you pay attention to this if you are going to stay longer than 2 nights.  YOU WILL CARE what your room is like, really, you will.  Square feet, coffee maker, blah blah blah... some rooms in some towns can be quite spartan for that $119.00 a night special.

3. PERKS : Need WiFI? Got pets? Looking for shuttle services? Workout Addict?  Make sure your hotel stay has what you need, at little or no cost.  If the perks that you want are not included in your hotel pricing, expect a fee-a-palooza when you check out.

4. PARKING : Yeah, so where ya gonna put your car? No choice sometime, valet or die.  Thats another $25-$50. I stayed in San Francisco once with an $80.00 a day parking fee.  Consider point #1, and make sure that your hotel doesn't charge you in-out fees if you need to drive. And ALWAYS tip your valet.

5. JOIN THE CLUBS : Sometimes you can join a hotels' frequent guest program and get all these above charged amenities, wait for it ...  FOR FREE.  Thats right FREE!!

6. AAA : If you don't already have this little silver card in your wallet, get it.  AAA will get you another 10% off that hotel bill.  If you stay at a hotel at least 2 times a year, you have just paid for a basic AAA membership.  AAA usually can beat an online "best buy".   Also - they give FREE travel arrangement assistance. Bonus!!

7. GO TO THE HOTELS WEBSITE : Thats right, go to the site directly.  They might have a nifty package/special/rate just for making that extra click.  Also, you can see additional pictures and notices (like construction) online.  Don't be afraid to call the Sales Manager yourself if you want to find a lower rate also. It is their job to be competitive.

8. KIDS : Okay... I have three of these things, and you can't just take a whole brood like mine and stay just anywhere.  Be aware of Max. occupancy of a room. DO NOT LIE, and say you don't have as many as you do.  They will either turn you away, or charge you WAY more at the desk.  Request a roll-away or crib prior to check in, and call 3-4 hours to confirm you have one in room.  ALSO!!!! If your child has allergies/breast feeding or formula storage needs, you can request a refrigerator or microwave to be in your room. Some hotels do this without a fee, some charge $10-$25 dollars.  In addition, request a ground floor room. NO ONE likes hearing your childrens' pitter-patter but you. If you can't get a ground level room, get one near the elevator. Kids running through halls is not cool, it's fun, but not cool. Another perk that some hotels offer  Kids' under 12 to stay free.  Try to look for a hotel with a free breakfast, kids love a buffet that lets them call the shots, and its easy on the wallet as well.

9.  POOL : Do you need one?  Some charge more a night just for the simple fact that they have one.   If you are looking for a resort-like hotel with an awesome pool - look at the pictures.  Is there shade? Do they have lots of lounge chairs compared to the size of the pool? Do they have an adult only pool, or will you run the chance of sharing your pooltime with toddlers. Oh - and more importantly, do they have a poolside bar?

10.  PRICE :  If it seems to good to be true, it is.  A hotel advertised as $200 on one site,
and one has it for $150... be very wary.  Extras most likely will be tacked on to that baby like a bumper sticker to a volvo.  Take into consideration State and Local Taxes, Hotel & Resort Fees, parking fees, WiFi, Gym Fees, and blah blah blah... If a site doesn't charge you these in your "Total" - they will add them at the hotel upon check in.    Look at your check-in bill to make sure you aren't being charged for frivoles fee as well, like in-room phone service.

We are trained to help you. We love to help you. We are here to help you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Perfection is SO overrated...

So, this past week when I was locked away in a cozy little cabin in the woods with my family, I stumbled upon this past holiday issue of Martha Stewarts "Living".    I was intrigued, sucked in, then convinced within the first 15 minutes of reading the issue, that I needed to desperately step up my game.  I look over at Tieg and said that we need this, we should do that, and how could we have lived our past decade without it!  He quickly brought me back to reality by saying "because we don't need it, we don't have to do that, and we can continue to live without and still be happy.  I looked back at the perfect glossy magazine pages and smiled, then placed it back on the coffee table.  He was right.

Perfect isn't all its cracked up to be. Perfect is what I don't want to be. Perfect should be a word only used to describe babies.  

Unfortunately, I had been striving for perfection since I was a child, groping after my parents affection and approval.  I grew up thinking that if things weren't perfect, they just weren't finished.  It has been almost a decade, but I have slowly been accepting my "averageness". (Thats another Stacey'ism and you are more than welcome to use it.)  

I always felt that I needed to compete, speak louder, and be the best at whatever I did. Until the one day I didn't do the dishes.  Thats right...I left them. Rinsed, but I didn't do the whole "dishes" thing.  Surprise, surprise, the Pope didn't come.  They were done the next morning while the bread was in the toaster.  Only I knew.. and I know that if my friends had came over, they wouldn't have cared or judged. (I have great friends)  Thats when it dawned on me, who do I need to be perfect for?  No One

I am not in a race with anyone. I don't need to speak loudest, brag about my accomplishments, have the best story, be the prettiest in the room, have the best car, make the best cake, or have the most money.  Those things don't make anyone happier or make anyone love you more. (If anything, it makes them loathe you) I realized - just be me. 

"And that's a good thing."

Disclaimer:  no magazines were hurt or used as coasters during the research of this blog.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fifty, Fifty, Fifty....

Yes... I succumbed to the sensation that is "Fifty Shades of Grey".  But this is NOT a book review.  This is a blog about reading it.
  You may or may not know that the books were based off essays of "Fan Fiction" for the Twilight trilogy, and E.L. James essays were so well received, she got a book deal. I say, "Huzzah!" to her.  Being a married woman, and in my thirties *ahem*  I enjoyed these three books MUCH more than the Stephanie Meyer version of Edward and Bella.  Maybe because it is Erotica, maybe not... but they were great reads.  Entertaining, and also informative.  My husband didn't complain one iota while I was reading these books, but while I was reading "Twilight"  I was mocked mercifully.   

I hear and read all the comments and critics saying that the book is smut, porn for mommies, and how it is being banned from libraries across the nation.  I say, if you want to read it... read it. If you don't want to read it.. don't read it.  If you can't say the word "sex" in a normal voice, or you blush when someone says vagina.. this book is definitely not for you.  If you have no problem discussing your sex life with others, read this book... because after you do... it is all you are going to want to do.  

I read this along with two other girlfriends, a "twisted little book club" if you will.  It was amazing how this book effected us each individually, in extremely different ways.  I was entertained, but not at all shocked or turned on.  My one friend compared everything Christian did to her husband and it made things terrible at home. (She did this with Twilight, so I wasn't so surprised.)  My other girlfriend improved her sex life by reading the books, and read them all twice over.  whats your point, you ask??  My point is - that everyone reads a different story when they read a book.  My point is -not to listen to anyone but your gut when it comes to books. 
Don't discount these novels simply because you have heard that it's smut.. judge for yourself.  Besides, I read she based the physical characteristics of Christian Grey off of Christian Bale in American Psycho...  true or not... that is a GREAT reason to read it... that visual alone. 

Enjoy... and keep reading!