Dude, I am in BIG TROUBLE!

Well, let me put this in perspective – don’t have much time so sorry about the lack of colorful details!

I have several jobs in my queue as potentials – 2nd interviews, etc. However, yesterday I got an offer from one family-owned firm called Du-par’s Restaurant & Bakery that is very interesting. During the interview, which was over dinner and dessert, the owner of the firm spent more time asking me about my family and details on my kids than anything else! While this position might not be the highest paying, it offers an amazing culture and IMMEDIATE HEALTH BENNIES, which means I save over $700 a month from my COBRA!

Anyway, I accepted the position yesterday as their accountant and actually start today (although I will work normally Mon-Fri). So why am I in trouble????? IT’S A RESTAURANT WITH YUMMY FOOD AND HAND MADE PIES! Dun dun dun……I better watch the food ’cause I can’t weigh 400 pounds!

More later, but seriously, now I can’t take the last minute “what the hell, go for it, Gina” trip to London I was working on! LOL. Life is tough.

Why Love is Sometimes Not Enough…..

I am 41 years old and still have revelations. I still have these moments where the lights turn on and I say, “Ah, I get it now!” It is refreshing and humbling at the same time, and a great example of how we never quite get to the point where we “know it all”!

So, I’d like to share with you one lesson I have recently learned – love is sometimes not enough.

Let me put this into perspective to you.

I believed to the core of my being that, if I loved someone enough, they would eventually see this love and it would change their life for the better. This love would manifest itself in kind words, kind touches, monetary assistance, physical assistance, prayer, consistency, etc. Sometimes this love would be romantically driven as well as spiritually driven, but not always. Sometimes this love would come before my own self-love, even before others I love who have less power to control their own lives. Yet, my truth remained – love harder, believe deeper, and things will change! Ignore the treatment I am receiving, which is really an indication of my own failure more than anything the other person is responsible for!

But I realized, it is NOT my responsibility to provide enough love for someone else to stop being selfish, self-centered, or downright mean! Love is NOT enough to cover the bad attitudes, harsh words, deplorable actions of others! And it’s about time that I love myself enough to say – hey, I am not taking this crap any longer!

For example, I truly believe there have been narcissists in my life; at least they manifest many of the clinical characteristics I’ve had explained to me. And related to that, I’d like to share a quote I received from a DIFFERENT friend:

“You cannot reform a narcissist. When you are the target, you must move. You would not stand in front of a rifle aimed at you, and you must not stand in front of your abuser.”

And here is a quote taken from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert:

“Moreover, I have boundary issues. Or maybe that’s not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time – everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.”

Sadly, I confess to you, my regular and devoted 2.87 readers in cyberspace, that I am guilty of both items above! I haven’t moved when the gun was aimed at me, and I have depleted myself to the point of death……just long enough to start the cycle again with someone else. So, my goals and actions, whether or not they were noble and pure, SUCK! And my love for others, in this regard, was certainly not enough.

Does this mean love ends? Or that love is bad? I tell those involved that the love has ended, but I know it remains. And even as I type this, I feel the urge to pick up the pieces and start the cycle, to try to fix the world, the others, and ignore the fact that this is a huge problem I have! Yet, I commit to fighting that urge, to admit that I DESERVE TO HAVE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS! I DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH HONOR, RESPECT, AND CARE! MY LOVE SHOULD BE ACCEPTED NOT BECAUSE IT IS NEEDED TO MAKE ANOTHER HOSPITABLE, BUT BECAUSE LOVE IS PATIENT AND KIND! AND FINALLY, I DESERVE TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THIS!

So, Love is Sometimes Not Enough. I still love you (you know who you are, and people, don’t make so many assumptions), but I will no longer allow you to treat me as you do in the name of this love! Gina is changing and I have God and my friends for their support!

Thanks…..

Sound Like Me (Take 47?)

A friend sent this to me – what do you think? I


You have developed a powerful drive to succeed through trying fresh angles, making new beginnings. Your endurance and persistence come in part from your resourceful capacity to rub out the past and begin over again. In other words, Gina, you have considerable capacity for endurance of changes in this life experience. Your personal relationships often serve as a means for getting you into situations you ultimately need for your development. (I can attest this portion is very true for me right now!)

For example, you have the uncanny yet practical know-how for developing relationships in which you can better serve the needs of a specific environment, institution, or organization. Further, you are able to change your associations and surroundings toward more efficient activity without running away from your home and family responsibilities. With your close friends, you are very direct and are known for your honesty and integrity. You have the innate ability to be of service to a great many people, by helping them make connections in a wide variety of endeavors.

Know that the most important experience you can have is to know what IS your ideal spiritually. Once the ideal is set, if you then entrust your purposes to such an ideal, Gina, you will find guidance and support when doubts and conflicts arise. With an ideal that can relate to all aspects of your life — physically and mentally, as well as spiritually — you can surely become a leader in your chosen vocation. Indeed, you have a natural inclination for success in your career, especially through travel and the people you contact through travel.

Regarding your career, you have special talent in management, sales and handling large sums of money as, say, treasurer, financial secretary, budget officer, or accountant for a large organization. In addition, you are one who enables others to see themselves in a light that they have not yet seen. But your abilities run more to that of a career as a leader or manager, or as one who will be a force behind leaders and executives. In this way may you excel or exceed the most in the present, Gina, both for your own soul development and for the service or aid which you may provide for others.

Before…..and After……

My bike before the accident:

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My bike AFTER the accident:

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The President when I crashed my bike:

bush

And the President as I feel the pain in my tailbone:

obamachampion

Well, SOME things are worth saying “woohoo” over!

Oh, and a few other details:

  • Yes, I DID sprain the shoulder I just had surgery on!  I am seeing my Orthopedic Surgeon tomorrow and also have a physical therapy appointment on Thursday.  The xrays didn’t show damage to my collar bone, but my muscles HURT!
  • My bruises are the deepest purple I ever have seen and I never realized before that bruises ITCH when they start to heal.  Hmmm, must be pretty deep!  LOL
  • Kenny is adamant that I never ride again.

Um, It was one of “Those Days”!

Yesterday, January 16th, was a day filled with ups and downs! Let me try to recapture them here!

  • Got a call from two places that want to interview me, will see about that next week.
  • Got a call from Rita, who said she thought she figured out what was wrong with my scooter, and we decided that she would pick me up, bring me back to finalize the fix, and then I could ride it home.
  • Said plan was implemented, but a few glitches came up.  First, the part Rita found online actually did NOT exist at the store that claimed so online.  So, Rita decided the part was only a small piece of the fix and could be obtained later.  Then, we charged the battery, which had died over the months I hadn’t driven my bike, and then we were good to go……except the engine wouldn’t turn over!  My bike does not have a kick start and I didn’t have any idea what to do to fix this situation!  That’s when Rita came up with the idea that she could get a starter booster or something…..we went to Pep Boys, got the can, but I was not really convinced.  She sprayed it into a part of the engine, closed it back up, and I tried the engine again…..viola!  It started!
  • So, we had dinner and then I got geared up to head home, from Woodland Hills to Anaheim Hills.  I waited until the bulk of the Friday traffic passed and then headed home, excited for what the weekend of riding would bring!
  • The drive at first was not bad…..although it was dark and it had been several months since I’d ridden, I had a good handle on things.  I was taking my time – I didn’t have a schedule – and I didn’t want to take any chances.  One unfortunate decision, however, was to take the 5 freeway from the 134 instead of my usual route of 134-210-57-91.  I knew the 5 would have more traffic, but the route would be shorter – therefore, that’s what I did.  I was tooling along slowly, around 60-65 mph, being very cognizant of everything around me.  Suddenly, a car that was in the fast last changed lanes in front of me (I was in the second lane) and immediately slammed on his brakes in front of me.  Since he was between 10-15 feet in front of me, I didn’t have much room to stop.  I admit I panicked a bit and hit my brakes too hard and then my back tire locked and slid to the left.  Before I had another thought, my back crashed into the right back of his bumper and immediately the front of my bike exploded like it was made up of legos.  The next thing that happened was a was flying and I saw the ground of the freeway coming closer…..I thought “This is gonna hurt.”  I don’t know if I rolled, slid, or what, but my next thought was “the car behind me is gonna run me over!”  So, almost miraculously, I hopped on my hands and feet, jumped up and prepared to jump out of the car’s way.  Fortunately, the cars behind me stopped and didn’t hit me.  The next thing was I heard a guy yell from his car, “Are you okay????”  I answers, “I don’t know.”  He asked again and I gave the same answer.  At this point, I must report a sad occurrence – within seconds of my crash, and once it was clear that I was not laying dead of the freeway, numerous Los Angeles drivers began to honk and cuss for me to get out of their way!!!  Had I not been in shock or whatever, I would have shared some thoughts with those drivers!  However, I WAS in shock or whatever, and tried over and over again to lift my bike, which would not budge.  Fortunately, a nice man, along with the original guy who asked if I was okay, helped me lift the bike and move it to the shoulder.  They ALSO stopped the slower lanes from speeding by as they honked…..sheesh!  I never really go to thank those two men – they were amazingly kind.  The guy I hit had pulled over to the side farther ahead and came running to see if I was okay.  I think he felt responsible, and I guess he might be based on my insurance’s feedback, but he was kind to me.

I am tired from writing right now, but I will write more later.  Overall, I am okay – have some nasty bruises, a sprained shoulder, and a bruised tailbone.

More later!

What?!!?! Kirstie moved OUT?!!?!!?…..and other Amazing Stories

Well, hello! It’s been a while since I’ve written and for that I apologize. I have plenty of excuses for this lack of action here, but I won’t put you thru the boring steps of reading them……

First, some business:

  • Today is my Aunt Kay’s Birthday! Special shout out to my favorite Aunt! I pray that today is filled with myriad blessings at that 2009 turns out to be one of the best years of your life!
  • This week I had two positive experiences on the job front (but no offers) and also prepared and presented my first business proposal through my new consulting firm, Minard Services. To learn more about this step I am taking, check out my site.
  • For a few years I had an avid reader of this blog, someone who snuck to it during class and often made the best comments. Now, she has started her own blog as well! Check it out here.

Now, for the formal update!

Kirstie Has Left the Nest!

Kirstie, who turned 18 this past September, has been attending college since August. She is a nice blend of me and Edgar, being somewhat shy but outgoing at the same time. Around Christmas she mentioned she had made some friends at school who shared an apartment very close to the campus, and was considering moving in with them. I listened, as a good mother does, but I seriously didn’t take what she was saying to heart because, well, she had it made at home. So, when she brought it up again this past week, and when doing so had more details and very detailed questions, my little mother ears popped up. Suddenly, I KNEW she was serious! My first reaction was YES, she’s moving out! But as the reality of the situation manifested itself, I began to think……OMG, my baby is leaving!

I ain’t gonna lie, this has been a tad hard for me. I worry about her – not that she will be hurt or anything……more like, “Does she have all the staple items she probably takes for granted? Is she washing her clothes? Will she have enough money for rent AND food AND fun? Will she clean her room?” The list goes on. What is hilarious about this concern is that it started about 2 hours after she moved out. LOL

So, yesterday I stopped by her place to see it and hang out. It IS a nice place and her set up is cute. We went to dinner together and then went shopping. She bought a bike so that she can ride it to school, thus saving the VERY HIGH parking fee for school. I gave her a bit of money so she doesn’t have to stress and then I left. And I felt better but maybe not completely. 🙂 This whole thing is new for me so I know it will take time to adjust…..

Restoration and Peace

In the last few months, I have eluded here that I lost a very close friend. I did, and it was based in large part on my own actions. Well, actions that I knew would upset her. I think there were more factors on both sides that lead to the ending that occurred, but it is what it is.

What was hard for me, though, is that I missed her very much. She and I melded in ways hard to express here. I didn’t know how to deal with that loss and figured she hated me. I thought about contacting one of her daughters to figure if there was even a chance we could talk, but then I decided to go straight to the source. So, I sent the following text:

“Hey hope you’re doing well. Is it unreasonable for me to request dinner or meeting for a cocktail?”

A quick moment passed and I received the following response:

“Yep”

Honestly, my heart dropped as I realized the damage I had truly caused. I felt the realization of my loss yet again, then chastized myself for focusing only on my feelings. As I drove (yes, I am now breaking California law…), I responded:

“Ok sorry”

I continued to absorb the reality of the situation, envisioning the years of friendship from the past and the potential emptiness of the future, when I received the following text:

“Oops, I said it backwards! I meant I’d be open”

Wow! So, although it is fair to say that there are always consequences to our actions and relationships can be altered by things we do, we met and it went well. I was concerned about the initial interaction, but it amazed me that sitting down with her was COMFORTABLE. It’s like when you are wearing new shoes all day and they are rubbing your toes wrong or too tight around your heel, and then you get home and put on your favorite pair of shoes and go, “aaaggghhhhh!” So, at least for me, the night was much about that “aaaggghhhh!” feeling.

Wow, That is a Cool Story!

I missed much of the hoopla during the day regarding the plane crash into the Hudson River as I had an interview and then went to see Kirstie. So when I walked home and saw interviews and heard the details, I was amazed and happy that no one was killed. So, it is with this reverence and appreciation that I share this story about the pilot of the plane, Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III. The story made me smile and I hope you enjoy it!

Okay, I have TONS of homework to get to, so GINA OUT!

Next time, I will share about my Academy Award plans!

Fake Friends

I am tired today so not sure how long I will be able to write in my normal profound way….LOL….I am so modest!

I friend was telling me about a sermon she heard about fake friends.  The bottom line of the sermon was that fake friends can and do cause more pain in your life than your enemies.  That is an interesting point and one in which I believe.  I guess I am sort of in a pity party mood, because it is easy and sad to know I have already made a long list of friends I realized during the past year fit the “fake friends” category……

So what do I mean by fake friends?  For me, I also add the title “Christian Fake Friends” to the description.  I guess the most painful aspect of this area for me is this – many of the friends who dropped me like a hot potato are very vocal about their Christian faith.  They talk about going to church, how they are involved in this or that ministry, or seem to promote their holiness.  Yet, as soon as they realized I am not perfect or don’t meet their definition of a Christian, they left without even a goodbye.  They now shun me like I am a leper or something.  And there are even some who still claim to be my friends today, yet treat me the same way.  That is worse than an enemy, who at least I KNOW hates me……

NOTE:  I have lost some other friends who at least told me WHY and I am not including them in this tyrade.  I have also maintained amazing friends who obviously have concern for aspects of my life, yet choose to show me the love of Christ despite these concerns.  I choose to model my own actions after these friends and pray that the pain and bitterness I am still experiencing from my fake friends be removed so I can truly feel like a follower of Christ.

All I am saying is this – I don’t want you in my life if you despise me!  But don’t act all righteous when you can’t even have the common courtesy to acknowledge you are fake and phony and judgmental.  When you think of me and realize how much better you are than me and thank God that you removed me from your life……I hope something makes you see yourself in the mirror and acknowledge that you are as stained as I am!  and I will work on not judging you……

Gina Goes to Court….

….and other wastes of time!

Okay, not sure if I mentioned on this site the fact that I got a speeding ticket this past summer. I speed everyday – my “zone” of speed on the freeway is right around 80 – so it was just a matter of time before I got a speeding ticket. I don’t really have a bone to pick with the CHP officer that gave me the ticket – it is what it is.

On a side note, back in the 70’s when Chips was a popular show about the CHP officers, it used to tick my Dad off when non-Californians referred to CHP officers as “chips”. No one here calls them that!

Anyway, Gina paid for this ticket and traffic school, but in the craziness of her life and all the moves, misplaced the notice for traffic school. Said form was found last Wednesday, at which time I noticed I had until 1/12 to get my traffic school done. Um, not gonna happen! So I called the court and was told I needed to see a judge. I went there the following afternoon with Kirstie (who I had to bribe with sushi to go with me) and was told I needed to come at 7:30 the next morning to get in the court queue. I did that, only to find out that it took several hours to get through the process and, unfortunately, I had an interview in Woodland Hills at 11 am, so decided to take a chance and go back to court on Monday the 12th.

So that brings me to today, the 12th. I almost didn’t go – I was SO TIRED this morning and was like, forget it. But then Edgar’s mom convinced me to go. I was in line 40 minutes later with the others who had traffic issues – some more serious than mine. We were assigned our courts and viola – there we went.

The bailiff for my court was a man in his late 50’s or early 60’s, with a shaved head, and a big gun. He reminded me of my Dad because he was kind of buff and intimidating to look at. He was also a “no nonsense” kind of guy who had no problem yelling out things like, “Hey USC (referring to the guy’s sweatshirt), take your hat off” or “white shirt, stop talking right now”. He and his gun scared me way more than the judge!

When I was called with my group to see the judge, I had already determined I probably didn’t need a lengthy story as to why I was there, why I had waited so long to deal with traffic school, or anything like that. Others before me just stood there as he assigned a new deadline. In fact, one kid was there for not wearing his helmet on his bicycle…..let me tell you, that is expensive, especially when it was the second offense! The kid’s Dad tried to get the fee reduced, but the judge was like, “he didn’t take a warning last time, and next time if he is in my court the fee will be even higher”.

ANYWAY, when my turn came, I stood silently, careful not to touch the table in front of me or put my hands in my pockets (two serious offenses that really got the bailiff’s blood boiling). The judge looked at me from his high perch and asked, “Are you here for two cases?”

“No, I am here for one case.”

“Well, why do I have two cases?”

“I am not sure, Sir. I am here to extend my traffic school deadline.”

“Oh okay. You have until February 25th. I can’t extend it again so make sure you take care of it by that date. You are free to go to the cashier.”

“Thank you judge.”

I left pretty quick, not daring to lock eyes with Mr. I-Can-Shoot-You-Just-Give-Me-A-Reason Bailiff, and headed to another queue, waiting for my name to be called. I figured it would be a while since I saw many of the faces that talked to the judge ahead of me. I sat down, began to read on of my new books, and relaxed. Suddenly, I hear, “Gina Mxxxxx, window 10”. I was so surprised, and really pleased, and walked to the window with a little skip in my step.

“Are you Gina Mxxxxx?”

“Yes.”

“The judge is calling you back to Court.” Dun dun dun!

I walked back into the court with my mind spinning. Did he see the ticket I got last month and now wants to revoke the extension? Did he have questions about why I waited until the last minute to do this? Was there another problem I have no idea about? Don’t you just hate when your mind can think of worse case scenarios so quickly?!?!!?!

When I walked in, the Bailiff looked my once over like I was a moving target, looked back at the man facing the judge, and I sat quickly in a seat. I had no idea when I would be called by the judge, if I needed to check in or something, but I was NOT going to call attention to myself or give Mr. Bailiff a reason to touch his gun. So I sat there, not knowing if this day was going to turn into a horribly long one. Fortunately, as the man with the judge finished, the judge called my name.

“Gina Mxxxxx” I stood before him without a word, facing straight ahead, and tried to not look guilty or nervous. “I found your other case, sorry for the confusion. Do you plead guilty or do you want a trial.”

So let me explain this new issue a bit for reference – back in December I left work (one of the worse days ever – in fact, the day before I quit) and was a mess. I was sobbing in the car, tears running down my face, and utterly despondent. I was living in Woodland Hills at the time and driving from Tustin. For those of you out of the So Cal area, this meant I would be driving 1 1/2 to 2 hours in traffic. I was driving my friend’s hybrid car, which allowed me to access the carpool lane even though I was alone. When I got on the freeway, traffic was HORRIBLE and I didn’t have much time to get to the carpool lane, especially since the freeway I needed totally blocked the carpool lane off with concrete barriers. I aggressively changed lanes in the 5-10 mpg traffic, tears running down my face, totally absorbed in the fact that my life pretty much sucked at that moment.

When I made it to the fast lane, I soon realized the carpool lane was just as congested and, further, the people there didn’t care that my car’s blinker was signaling that I wanted in, too. (This is a common problem with driving in rush hour traffic in California.) Anyway, those of you who know me for real, know that this sort of problem has never been a real issue to me. Not sure if my confidence level is unrealistic or if I don’t care about my car, but it’s amazing how well people move when you don’t give them a choice. LOL So, as the entry/broken line to the carpool was ending, I pushed my way in.

This is where it gets ugly. I promise you, if I DID cross the yellow line, it was my back tire and it was less than 5 feet. This was after fighting to get into the carpool lane. Believe me, as I mentioned earlier, I am not one to say “that is so unfair” when I get a ticket for something I know I have done wrong. I HAVE crossed the yellow line on many occasions, and if I had been pulled over, I would have resigned to accept the consequences. However, this was NOT the case on this night. (And, frankly, I am not interested in hearing from anyone telling me this was my karma for the times I DID break the law, so please refrain.)

I drove for several miles, minding my own business, eating my sunflower seeds (they calm me and taste good!), still kind of crying because of the drama at work. Then, suddenly, blue and red lights.

I am going to cut this description short because, well, my blood is starting to boil again! I got a ticket for crossing the yellow line and, well, the CHP officer was training a newbee! I was a little pissy with him, telling him it was a far stretch and that he saw the entire thing (he claimed he was behind me and crossed the yellow line as well to follow me) but I was like, whatever. I even accused him of trying to meet a quota.

Side note: Accussing an officer of ANYTHING is, well, not recommended.

Also, crying apparently does NOT work, even though I was crying for another reason.

So anyway, this was the ticket the judge called me back for, and which I am contemplating going to trial for since I think it is bogus and also because I am not eligible for traffic school anyway. (That, and the fact it is a $400 fine!). But, I was NOT prepared to address that today, and that is what I told the judge. Fortunately, the court clerk interjected that I had until February 24th to respond to the court for that ticket.

“Oh,” the judge said, “I see. I will go ahead and record no action for you and you can take care of this later. You are free to go.” I hit the floor pretty quick, not taking the chance of the judge or Mr. I-Carry-A-Gun changed their minds, and headed back to the hall. Once out the door, I was able to feel my relief – whew, nothing about the extension! I went back to the cashier area, waiting for a while, got my extension paperwork, and hit the road!

And that, my friends, is the recap of my day in court!

On another side note, I have decided to create a new page on this blog. I used to have a book review page, but now I have a Books I’m Reading page.  If you’re extremely bored, check it out!

And, no I haven’t scheduled my traffic school yet!  🙂