Friday, February 28, 2014

The Good Side of Anger & What I Know For Sure

When I was younger, my mother used to call me Angry Angie.  She was making fun of me, but she was right.  I was angry a lot, about a lot.  Years later, a therapist told me that my anger saved me from a life of crime.  I'm kidding, but she did say the anger probably saved me from making some unhealthy choices or from sinking into a depression during some of the more difficult times in my life.

My anger wasn't a mean, all I want to do is fight with anybody I meet kind of anger.  It wasn't a I'm going to rain on your parade because I'm mad at the world kind of anger.  It was more a oh yeah, I'll show you, you think you're so great, well watch out world kind of vibe.  Of course I definitely had a short fuse and would never hide from confrontation because you know, I'll show you and all.  

I was kind of an independent, angry, bad ass until I met Tim.  When I fell in love I became all vulnerable and hopeful and um, happy.  And then of course I started having panic attacks because duuuude, being so happy can be a shock to the system of such an angry person.  And what if I lost it all or what if he leaves me or what if I do something to screw it up or what if...what if????? 

Over the years, I got a handle on the anxiety and just got happier and happier.  Good marriage? Check. Four cute kids? Check.  I find myself living the suburban dream, well my version of it anyway.  I try to live in the moment, be filled with compassion and wonder and laughter. Ahhhhhh.

But every now and then, the old me comes out.  For example the other day, Tim texted me about something negative another parent had said about one of our four cute kids.  I calmly texted Tim back a message full of expletives that would make a lot of people blush.  I might have mentioned "that assholes of the world need to take notice because I will go all Liam Neeson on them."  Yeah, that's right.  I like Liam as my new anger metaphor.  He's older, unassuming, but really pulls off intimidating I'll show you kind of anger in his recent action films.

Oh my gosh, watch this and you'll understand why he's my anger idol.

Now I most likely will never act on this anger, other than keeping a close eye on this parent and how they interact with my child.  But I must tell you, knowing I still got it, doesn't feel bad to me.  I like knowing I still have a little fire in my belly.  

Now that I'm older and so much wiser (and happier) I believe that anger isn't all bad.  I don't like when people are angry and mean, like all those mad people that comment on everything on the Internet.   Anger can be okay.  Anger can help people cope and get through.  Anger can motivate people to create change.  Anger can fire people up right out of a rut.  

Here's my list of things I'm okay with being angry about:

I am angry my metabolism has pretty much died.
I am angry that yoga pants aren't just called pants.
I am angry that angry, mean people lash out.
I am angry about injustice.
I am angry that people are prejudice and racist and sexist.
I am angry that I don't live in a state with more sunshine.
I am angry that some parents don't care.
I am angry that bullying doesn't make more people angry.
I am angry when anyone tells me "no way" or "you can't" when it's something I know that oh there's a way and you bet I can.

Sometimes, it's okay to get angry, I know that for sure this week.
**Disclaimer** I am not encouraging rage, because that's a whole different beast.  And I've had enough therapy to know that anger usually masks sadness and all that and at some point you/we/I need to deal with it all.**  

Here's what else I know for sure this week:
  • I'm looking forward to Oscar Sunday. Come play along on twitter with me during the show, I'll be live tweeting (@AngelaYBlood).  Here's my latest vlog where I give some solid advice to the honorees on how to not have crappy acceptance speeches:

  • Life is better when you use different accents.  That is the wisdom I shared with my children this past week.  They are used to my accents, I have been doing them all their lives.  During the Olympics, of course it was all Russian.  But now I am trying to perfect my Irish accent because you know, Liam Neeson is from Ireland.
  • JT is a cute mouse.  Nothing to get angry about here, JT nailed his sweet little mouse role in the second grade musical this week.

  • Late night is my must-see TV. I am so loving everything on at 11 p.m. & later. The Jimmy's, The Daily Show and Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live...I mean come on, it's just so much fun.  It seems like I might just have a clip from Jimmy Fallon every Friday from now on.  Here's today's:

  • Lucy was an adorable baby.  She totally wins "Cutest Baby" in our family mock elections.  Super Lucy turns 10 this weekend and I can't really believe it.  

What do you know for sure (this week)?  C'mon, we're friends, share what you know. 

Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Please come play with me on Instagram @jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oscar Sunday & A Vlog

This Sunday is Oscar Sunday.  I'm kind of a huge fan of the broadcast.  I'm kind of a huge fan of movies and storytelling and escapism.  I'm also kind of a huge fan of celebrities, red carpets and fashion and opening musical numbers.  

I've watched the show for as long as I can remember, even before I was old enough to see any of the movies nominated.  It was always a big deal.  Ten years ago, I went into labor during an Oscar show and waited until it was over to go to the hospital.  Yup, true story.  Little miss Lucy was born the next day.

This year I haven't seen all the movies nominated, but who cares?  The movies I saw I really enjoyed.  I liked Wolf of Wall Street even though I felt like I was on a drug-induced ride throughout the movie and I couldn't stop saying f*ck when I left the theater.  No seriously, I don't normally like Leonardo but I thought he was amazing in this movie.  It made me forgive him for that Great Gatsby garbage last year.  I loved American Hustle....just loved it. The acting was incredible and I am now obsessed with the 70s (I was actually obsessed with the 70s in my senior year of college too. I'd listen to disco music before going out to the bar because nothing says good times like the BeeGees and Donna Summer, nothing).

But I do have a gripe with the Oscars... acceptance speeches, so many of them suck.  In this week's vlog, I give my advice to all the celebrities getting ready for Oscar Sunday on what they should do to make their speech ahhhhhmazing.

(If you're an email subscriber, click here to watch.) 

I'm linking up today with Mama Kat's Vlog Prompts, head on over there and check out the other vlogs.

While you are clicking, click here for a nice Oscar 2014 category wrap up on Buzzfeed.

Will you be watching this Sunday?  Come play along with me on Twitter during the red carpet and the show--@AngelaYBlood.

Here are some of my FAVORITE Oscar speeches of all time:

Tom Hanks for Best Actor in Philadelphia. Now THIS is how you give a speech. Yes!!!!!!!

I know there are Gwyneth haters out there, but this Oscar speech makes me cry every time I watch it because dude, she really loves her family and I really love that.

Whoopi is so happy and that makes me happy.

This isn't an Oscar speech, but Emma Thompson's Golden Globe speech from 1996 is so good and witty, I had to include it here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

These Days & #iPPP

Professor Plum, in the conservatory with a revolver.  I haven't thought about Professor Plum in a million years.  The other day at my in-laws' house my mother-in-law asked if I wanted to have one of Tim's old games, Clue.  We took it home, dusted off the cover and started playing with the family.  I think it's strange to play a game where the whole theme is murder.  I mean that's kind of weird isn't it?  But I loved this game when I was younger.  As we we tried to guess if it was indeed Professor Plum or Miss Scarlet, I was kind of overwhelmed with memories of being a kid.

I loved being a kid.   I vividly remember sitting in my bed with the pink canopy asking "why do we even have to grow up anyway?"  I remember winters full of sledding and snow forts and cross-country skiing with my brother, sister, mom and dad.  I remember family picnics and softball games in the summer.  I remember road trips in the station wagon and winning the right to stretch out in the "back-back" or the floor  (Which I say a big what the hell? to now, because who wants to lay on the car floor, how weird!) Sitting in the backseat (or laying on the floor) listening to my mom and dad sing old camp songs, not just sing, harmonize.  Staying up late on Friday nights to watch Dukes of Hazard, Dallas and if I was super lucky Falcon's Crest (I know, go ahead and say a big what the hell? to why my parents were letting me watch those shows!).  

Staying outside all day playing with Beth, Amy, Jessica, Steve and maybe Jason if he was around and Richie, but he was kind of know-it-all.  There were family walks--even our mean old cat, Furry Socks, followed us.  Talent shows in the front yard, Christmas plays that always ended in family dance parties to Michael Jackson or Chaka Kahn songs.  When the tax refund check came in the mail we got to go to Mr. Steak and celebrate.  My little brother and I couldn't wait for my dad to get home every night from work and when his little tan Festiva pulled in the driveway we'd run out to greet him with hugs. Playing Green Glob, Ghosts and Graveyards, Hide and Seek, Rook, Clue and Hearts for hours and hours.  

I never wanted to grow up.  Until a few years later when all I wanted to do was grow up already, geez.

About four years, maybe five.  That is the length of my magical childhood memories.  My particular childhood/family ended because of a divorce and all kinds of weird dysfunction and sadness.  BUT it would have been changed no matter what because all kids grow up.  We all grow up.  

So, I watched my kids play a good old-fahsioned game of who murdered who with what and heard the classic Natalie Merchant song in my head.  You know, "Theeeeese arrrrre days, you'll remember..." 

Peyton is trying to make sure no one sees who he thinks the murderer is.

We made Lucy wear gloves because she was still in the post-Norovirus contagious time-period when we played.

I hope my kids look back with all kinds of warmth and joy when they think of their childhood, these days.  Even if we totally screw up their teen years, I feel pretty good that they have a solid foundation of good times and now Clue to hold onto.

We found this little note when we opened the Clue box.  Apparently, Tim was a fan of the L.A. Raiders 30 years ago.  And he thought his brother Bob was a cheater.

Awww, remember this song about remembering from good ol' Natalie Merchant (this song also brings a lot of college memories back too!):

All the pictures in this post were taken on my phone.  Come play with me on Instagram.

Now Link Up
Greta, Angela (my LTYM co-producer & iPPP co-host-er) and I want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite phone photos of the week.  Of course, it doesn't have to be from an iPhone.  All you need is a blog post containing at least one photo from any phone camera.  Link up below and don't forget to visit some of the others!

Link up with your blog posts featuring any phone photos every week! Your post can be about anything, as long as it contains at least one picture from your phone. Link will be open until 11:59pm central Friday night.

Art Therapy, Tattoos & Pinterest Poser

When your whole life feels all out of control, the only things you can really do are get drunk or paint something.  I mean there are other things you can do, like get a bad haircut or get a tattoo.  But those things can be expensive and the side effects can last a while, or forever.  When change is happening to you, whether you like it or not, it can leave you feeling helpless and vulnerable.  And quite frankly, that  can suck.  

While being drunk is always fun, it doesn't necessarily give you that whole "I've got everything under control" feeling.  So yesterday as all sorts of change was happening to me, I busted out an old can of red paint and searched for something to paint.  

This week's Pinterest Poser challenge* isn't based on any particular project on Pinterest, more like just all the creativity and boldness that can be found. 

 **In an attempt at not being a Pinterest Poser,* every week I  detail a new Pinterest challenge whether it be a new recipe or a craft.   
*My definition of a Pinterest Poser is someone who is all pins and no substance.

I found an old ledge/shelf/pretty piece of wood I got at a Southern Living House party a million years ago.  We've never quite found the perfect space for the ledge/shelf/pretty piece of wood, it's just kind of shown up from time to time in various rooms on the floor.  

For this impromptu, I-need-to-control-something-in-my-life art therapy project, there was no prep.  I got out the can of paint, put it on an old towel on the kitchen counter.  In the middle of homework piles, miscellaneous papers, lunch and dinner prep, I painted.

It was instant change.  Change that I controlled.  Change that didn't have any kind of upsetting life-altering side effects.  
Wade wanted in on some of the painting action.
When Tim got home, we finally found the perfect place to hang the ledge/shelf/pretty piece of freshly painted wood.
And I LOVE it.

Ahhhhh, I feel a little better.

But on another note, I really want a tattoo.  I've been considering it for years (I already have one, but it's old and faded and hidden) and seriously considering it for the past six months.  I've been pinning tasteful tattoos that I love.  What do you think?  I mean if you hate tattoos then I get it you are totally against it and that's cool (FYI my husband is one of these people).  But if you don't hate them, do you have any tattoo ideas/inspiration?
Source: Pinterest


Have you made anything from Pinterest lately?  Any major successes or flops?  Share below in the comments or over on my Facebook page.

Here are some of the projects I've attempted--the good and the bad:

Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies- click here
Make Your Own Magnets- click here
DIY Painted Clay Necklace- click here
Dixie Cup Lights- click here
DIY Ornaments-click here
Gluten Free Clay- click here
Make Your Own Stamps- click here
Birthday Shirt- click here
Gluten Free Pop Tarts- click here
Front Porch Kid Art Display- click here
Door turned into Table- click here
Summer Wish List Chalkboard-click here
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Sandwiches-click here
Painted Mason Jar Vases-click here
Cinco de Mayo Paper Flowersclick here
Earth Day CupcakesClick here
Nail Art-click here
Homemade Photo Booth Funclick here
Fake Bangs- click here
DIY Subway Art- click here
Furniture Painting and Bench/Chest Makeover- click here
Thanksgiving-y Project/Gratitude/Holiday Countdown- click here
The Smoothie-click here
The Free Printable Turned Artwork in a Boring Hallway- click here
The chalk board-click here
Seven Layer Dip in Individual Cups (my favorite so far!)-click here
The pumpkin address-click here
The Kitchen Dancing Sign--click here

  Head on over and follow my Pinterest boards.
Oh yeah, and come follow me on Twitter @AngelaYBlood and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Reverse Bucket List

Last week was hell.  No really, it was just pure hell.  It was a week when everything that could go wrong, did.   Stomach flu for the entire f#&*ing family, water leaking into the basement, missed deadlines, rejection letters, rejection emails, more snow days, pink eye.  Shattered dreams, lost hope and vomit around every corner.  Yeah, it was a very bad week.

Sometimes when a week kicks the shit out of you and the week ahead doesn't have too much promise, it's not such a bad idea to look back (sometimes way back) at what you've already accomplished.  It's called a Reverse Bucket List.  Some of my friends have done this on their blogs and I am starting to think they are brilliant.  I mean remember that stupid, impossible bucket list I made to finish before I turned 40? Well, I'm sucking at that list which makes this whole reverse list an even better idea right now.  So, here it goes:

My Reverse Bucket List

1. I'm not an addict.  I consider that a seriously huge accomplishment considering my whack gene pool and my impulse control problems.

2. I went to school in London, England for a semester my junior year in college.  I traveled to Amsterdam and Dublin.  I was thrown off a horse in Wales (legend has it my rather loud rendition of The Carpenters' classic On Top of The World spooked the horse, but whatever).

3. When I was 23 years old, I was acting executive director of a decent-size nonprofit in Pittsburgh, PA. I loved the power and all the money. Okay, there wasn't a lot of power and if you know anything about decent-size nonprofits in Pittsburgh you know there's no money. But I still loved it, power and money have never really been my thing anyway.

4. I won several limbo competitions in two states in my early twenties.

5. I have a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Communications from the same school where Tim Allen graduated got kicked out of attended, Western Michigan University. Go Broncos.
I'm the super serious one in the middle.  Don't I look ready for business school, er, I mean the adventure of life? 

6. I sat center court at a Bulls game and saw Michael Jordan score 50 points in a game.

7. I had a private tour of the White House.  Sounds scandalous doesn't it? I'll just let you think it was.

8.  I discovered my extreme fear of heights on top of a mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yeah, it was intense. 

9.  I was an editor of a community newspaper. And I had my own column called Adventures in Suburbia.  

10.  Shortly after vowing never to get married because "marriage is outdated and unnecessary and no one stays married, duh" I met Tim and married him two years later. 
I entered into this union like I do all things, very stoically.

We'll celebrate 14 years of marriage this summer.  Fourteen years in and I am more in love with him than ever. Which I never, ever, ever, ever would have believed was possible when I was vowing never to get married.

11. I gave birth four times which really is the only thing that needs to be on this list because that is just all kinds of what? and wow? and something that never stops being amazing to me.
Pregnant with baby number three.

12. I've seen Madonna in concert twice. And I will love her forever.

13. I have been to Southfork, which was my number one item on ANY bucket list up until my visit last year. Dream realized. And it was everything I wanted it to be.

They had a museum.  It was ahhhhhhmazing.

14. I ran a marathon once.  I won't stop bragging about this ever because a few years out, I can't believe I did it.  I mean over 26 miles, that's a lot of miles.

15. For the past 12 years, I have truly loved being a mother. No joke, I love being a mother, their mother.
These four are the loves of my life.

16.  Blogging and vlogging has given me a creative outlet and support network that saves me from very bad weeks in my life.  It also has given me professional opportunities like Listen To Your Mother and freelance writing gigs that I never would have had without my blog.

There, I feel better.  I've done a few things, been a few places.  Now, just like the lyrics from my favorite new/old song that I am obsessed with from the American Hustle soundtrack, Long Black Road, I'm feeling better about having to "get up in the morning take your heavy load...gotta keep going down the long black road."  Besides, this week has to be better than my very bad last week, doesn't it?

What about YOU? What have you done, where have you been? What's on your Reverse Bucket List?

Here's the song I'm obsessed with, Long Black Road.  I should have put it at the top because if you listen to this while reading this post, my list sounds a lot more kick ass.