2016 to 2017

Intro

I didn’t want to be away too long, but when I haven’t been traveling lately and instead preoccupied up until November with: my regular full time job, a part time job and an online grad class, writing for fun has been pushed aside unintentionally. What ambition was left I began work on a post about women, for women on how awesome we are and all the double standards we face in our daily lives. Then… the election happened. That is all I have to say about that (ala Forrest Gump). During a time where tensions are still high and sides taken, I decided to wait but continue working on the post gradually. It should be for ALL women no matter what their stance; even when it will still be very challenging to not have it cross political lines but such is life.

When the election was all said and over with I decided that even when I may be unhappy with things going on in our country and the world, most of which is far out of my control, I wasn’t going to let things in my life that I CAN control bring me down or make me miserably unhappy. I was also at that time two weeks away from turning 30 and wanted to start this new decade of my life happy, thankful, in control and how wanted it to be.

Luckily where the election fell, I had just completed one grad class and waiting for another to begin. I looked at the things I had going on outside of my 40 hour a week job besides the course: a part time job and the upcoming Rotary Club Dancing With the Stars fundraiser I was in as one of the couples competing. Right away I decided to withdraw from the upcoming online term; instead of starting the class in November I’d wait to take it in February when it would fall within the range of spring semester of campus.

After what seemed like a long time over the previous months while debating the pros or cons over and over again: I knew it was time I quit my part time job. This has helped relieve so much by: allowing me to keep a sleep schedule, less stress by not worrying about hours or how others (mostly men) perceive me (will be touched on more in the article about women for women) or dealing with negativity from others. As I stated before there is enough negativity and toxic people in the world, no longer was my life going to be full of those things. I can’t believe how much more happier I am!

Even though I now had less money coming in, I feel I’m still doing ok in that area. There is so much to be involved in here in our small town of Forest City that keeping you busy can also help you save money. Since I no longer have had to work on Thursday nights: I could now return to being involved in a community organization I had started to the year before:

Forest City Young Professionals

I became involved with Forest City Young Professionals in early 2015 by attending monthly meetings and social functions until I took my part time job and was involved in community theater in early 2016. It has felt good to finally be involved with the group again. The organization is made up of people ranging from ages 22 to mid 30s who regular meet to network, socialize, volunteer and find ways to get involved in our community. We hold a monthly meeting, usually relaxed and informal but still making note of items discussed. These meetings have ranged from basics discussions about to group to having topics and speakers for the nights. Some of the topics have included:

Dinner for Dummies
City Hall and City Council Meetings
Departments of the City with the then Mayor of Forest City
Starting your Own Business
How to Invest
Loans
Credit, Finances and Buying a Home

These are just a few. At our most recent meeting we had a speaker from the Toastmasters of Mason City who gave a nice presentation on public speaking and other tips for organizations like ourselves. Young Professionals also do volunteer work: the Forest Theater, AFS Fun Night, Puckerbrush, etc.

Once a month we try and plan a social function that opens up to others in the community outside our organization: trivia night, pub crawls, concerts, hockey games and for this last month of December we had an Ugly Sweater Party at Ay Jalisco Mexican Restaurant: (Why I am wearing a Star Wars Christmas sweater above in my featured image)
  

  

If you notice our lovely green mugs in the photo: we had those on sale for $1.00 and with those you got $2.00 draw beers or $5.00 cocktails. Their bar menu for introduced that night for us: (I highly recommend their Blue Margarita!!!)

Brickstreet Theater

I was cast a small part in the Brickstreet Theater performance of Rumors last spring and wanted to continue on as an actor or work behind the scenes. I hadn’t planned on being involved with their December production of A Christmas Story because of everything else I had going on when the show was first organized and put together in September. I got a call the end of November from my friend, also the assistant director, asking if I wanted to help with the lights for the show. I wanted to say yes but was worried about this taking on too big of time commitment. We worked it out that I would share tech week with another light person and then we would take turns running lights for the shows running during the two weeks. After we worked the board, and I got comfortable and had so much fun! I most definitely could run the board by myself for tech week and all performances in the future! (Any Brickstreet people who may read this, please don’t not cast me because you are afraid you wont find a light person! haha I do like operating the light but I love acting and being on stage more! I’m first and foremost an actor! 🙂 I say this with love)

The show’s cast was made up of mostly kids and they did a marvelous job! The set was one of the best I’ve ever seen on that stage. I didn’t realize you could fit all those pieces on to it! I just hope more community will keep attending these shows and how enjoyable they are even if you don’t know anyone in the show! We have a lot of talent in this town and all the kids looked so stinkin cute!!!

Christmas and New Year

Besides Christmas, December was a good month and I mostly spend it in Forest City. Besides me not wanting to travel far with snow and sub zero wind chills there is so much to do and get involved with. We have some good local restaurants and drinking establishments that are unique and unlike anything we’ve had before. Despite critical remarks they are what this town has wanted and needs if we want business to remain local. I love eating the awesome food and margaritas as Ay Jalisco also having a place like Paddler’s Tap in town has been awesome. The change of pace of having a tap house with craft beer separate from your typical lounge or sports bar adds so much variety especially on main street which we have been trying to revive for years! Not saying there is nothing wrong with your neighborhood lounge or sports bars, those are great too but having variety and choices to pick from makes everyone want to stay here majority of the time and not feel like they have to leave town to have fun every weekend.

So now I am excited that 2017 has come and I can start fresh from the messy end of 2016. I’m not really much on New Year Resolutions but I feel the changes and schedule I started to make I can now try and implement on a clean slate that begins with the new year. I hope to continue on with writing and find a routine/schedule that works out the best. Also if I can attend and conferences or workshop that will help improve my writing or my format so I can just keep getting better at doing this. I have been working out regularly but hope to make more of the time I do and add more strength training. I still have stubborn weight that I haven’t been able to lose. I WILL pay off my student loans this year! I want to put more money in my savings. I want to book two more trips besides going to Cancun this month; one state side and one international. I want to hopefully obtain another position at my current place of employment. I want to be involved in more community theater productions but as an actor with a role that has more than two lines. I want to help out with causes and help spread awareness on issues that mean a lot to me: climate change, human rights, equality for women and all minorities, women’s issues, education, etc. Instead of just complaining about it I hope to actually help do something about it.

It’s a new year and a new decade for me, I’m ready for whatever this year and the rest of my 30s are going to bring.

End of Month Quickie

I like staying busy but I really need to learn when I need to say ‘no’. My intentions of taking on an extra job was good to start saving money for our future new house and a new car all while being less than of year of having my student loans paid off BUT I know I’m possibly burning the candle at both ends. Especially this week: I finally got a working sewing machine to finish my costume for the Renaissance festival but I only have two more nights to put it together. Not having a part time job would give me extra time to work on it or just relax and enjoy other things that have taken a backseat: attending FC Young Professionals meetings, reading, this blog etc but no instead I made myself live this entire week like I’m on crunch time for Project Runway.

Why not just quit or ask to scale back your hours you may ask? Well I know I’m needed in both my jobs and don’t want to cause any mess so I just suck it up and keep plugging away until both goals are met: student loans paid off and I get to my target amount I wanted in my savings. I’m 30% of the way there! I’ve even thought of asking to go every other Friday instead of Friday even though the money is good when you do every Friday night. I may have become something I try to avoid, being a sucker for money instead of my sanity.

One thing I miss sooo very much that I just don’t have time for: SHOPPING!!! I feel like I have to make a day out of it but that can be discouraging because the couple things you may look for and need aren’t available or might not fit you right. Especially right now when I’m in between sizes and trying to loose weight. Plus I live in North Iowa were your stores are either Junior of Misses: Misses sizes are very boxy and don’t fit right and Junior sizes make me look like I’m definitely too old to wear them or like a little girl playing dress up if I tried buying my work clothes from there.

Next week after pictures and post about our possible trip to the Ren Fest, I will also be starting another one of my graduate courses. I hope I can use this also as “please I need to cut back to every other week”. Thank you for letting me vent and write another one of my quickies especially those that haven’t stopped reading. This lady is almost 30, I just want to get my money saved, upgrade a house with my husband, own an adult car that’s reliable, go on a shopping spree, learn new things, socialize with people, get paid to write, and drop 25 pounds. I don’t think that is asking for much! 😉

 

Been Away Too Long..

Why does it always feel I have way too much time or no time at all? Or when you work to make money to live and enjoy yourself but you end up working so much that you don’t have time to live, have fun or enjoy yourself? That or you have the time to have fun and you are broke af.

Besides my primary 40 hours a week job I do between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM Monday-Thursday, 10 AM-3 PM on Friday, I have:

A part time bartending job Thursday and Friday nights which originally just started with Thursdays but I have acquired another night due to loss of staffing and me just want to save more money at a faster rate even though it pushes my overall work week from 40 hours up to 53 hours at times. (I have goals, seriously, I’m not crazy in trying to fill all my free time.)

I’ve started taking classes toward my Master’s degree (only one course at a time thankfully)

I’ve been involved in a theater production earlier this year but who know if that will continue with the extra job and graduate classes next season. Perhaps this will have to wait until I’m done working a second job.

This blog I have been trying to update weekly or bi weekly, what was started in February I failed epically July and now August.

There’s a Young Professionals group I used to be able to go to once a month but with extra job I’ve had to step back from that unless they switch up a meeting to a Wednesday night instead of a Thursday night.

I have a Y membership through work I try and use as much as I can during the week.

I’ve started reading a good book

I’m barely started on a costume I would like to wear to the Renaissance Festival.

Even when I’m at home where I should be relaxing I have multiple work roles: I’m a housekeeper, a cook, a groundskeeper, a plumber (Tyler and I both have long hair so yeah I deal with that that creates), I can only imagine how much more I’d have to do if we had kids or even pets. So it could be worse but I have quite a few roles already personally and professionally.

With Tyler working on second shift, 3-11 PM M-F, we don’t get much time together throughout the week. This has us cramming a week of spousing into Saturdays and Sundays. However sometimes I may want to do things with friends on a Saturday or Sunday and other times he may want to do things away from me with his friends on the weekends. I know sometimes this happens but since our weeks are apart I feel a little guilty when I do things not with him. I know it isn’t a big deal and sometimes schedules don’t always go according to plan. It’s something I’ve had to learn to deal with work with until he can move to 1st shift, whenever that may be. We might be waiting 10 years.

Those weekends we get to spend entirely together may have small setback. Two months ago I wrote about the annual summer Marble Run we do on the Harley and how I would post all these stops we would be doing at all the awesome hole in the wall places we ride to. Well this year we’ve had rotten luck; all geared up and ready to roll and this is the radar:
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Right in our path! Grr! What worse is Tyler didn’t get to go on his Sturgis vacation so this year all around has been sad for riding. Hopefully he can get a good day and take off from work to get some riding done before the weather turns cold.

Writing this has helped and you’d think while I’ve been busy and stressed I would do it more. I got into the habit of thinking of it like a job or chore instead of something I enjoy doing. With lack of time I don’t have enough of it to give it the quality I want to see. So until I get back in the groove of things I give you this hot mess of a post or my first ‘quickie’. This wasn’t so bad now, was it?

Pilot Entry

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When you have a face that makes people think you want to kill them or that you might kill yourself.

 

“Why aren’t you smiling? Is something wrong?” the many forms of that question which I hear over and over again. It has become increasingly difficult to not say something back in a bitchy undertone. People, well let’s be honest here it’s mostly MEN, can be dicks and ask annoying questions like that but when I strike back I become the dick. Not fair.
Yes the life with Resting Bitch Face is not a new thing but finally with the help of Social Media it has now reached mainstream attention. Hopefully over time this will reach the target age group I would like to see so I can drink my vodka alone in peace.
This entry is about living with Resting Bitch Face but in a way it is also about double standards. Women getting questioned about doing the same things men do that don’t get questioned or even looked at. I didn’t intend for this entry to have that mood but you can’t have one without the other.
My face really started to bother me during my time spent working on the line at Winnebago. (Well that’s wrong to say: people started to bother me. It’s not my face’s fault it looks pissed when I have no feeling or expression, I didn’t choose it and I can’t change it. I’ve been told my face is actually quite nice so dumbasses who question it can suck it.) I have to add I am NOT a morning person especially at 5:45 AM when I reported to clock in. So my tired and very groggy self would have to go searching for parts before 7 AM while walking down the gauntlet that was Line 1. I can’t tell you how many times I would hear “SMILE!” A very exhausted, grumpy me just wanted to scream, “CANT I JUST BE TIRED AND HARD WORKING IN PEACE?? OR HUNGRY?? OR IN NEED OF COFFEE??” Many times, actually 90% of the time my RBF can be summed up by hunger. People who know me know that when I’m hungry I feel that shit in my soul!!
Another incident happened with a complete stranger. One night while in Mason City, waiting for my roller derby wife to finish practice so we could car pool back home, I decided to stop for a drink somewhere. The North Iowa Fairground where she practices are just mostly surrounded by retail and chain restaurants so Applebees it was for one and done before picking her up. I sat down and just ordered something fruity and girly that would go fast. Since I was just by myself I had my phone and football on bar TVs to keep me occupied. While zoning out to Monday Night Football not having anything on my mind but that game, I hear from the man next to me: “Oh come on, smile! It can’t be that bad!” I then replied, “It’s not bad I’m just watching the game, is that ok with you?”. Luckily the young bartender interjected and shared my pain of people telling her the same thing. That night I was so happy to not be ALONE! Do men get told to smile when they are zoning out to football? NO!!!!
I know men from that middle age group and above aren’t trying to be sexist but in many ways they are. If women aren’t smiling or pleasant for them to look at then something must be wrong and this behavior isn’t normal. I’ve always been comfortable going to a bar by myself here in town locally or elsewhere. If it’s not in town it’s because I’m trying to kill time/ waiting for someone and it’s more comfortable, not to mention less awkward, to seat one up at the bar instead of at a table. If I am in my hometown I usually know the bartender or people that frequent the establishment like I do. This is something I’m sure men older than me aren’t used to seeing women do. Being by myself, even as a married women, men think that this is an open invitation and a women by herself MUST ALWAYS HAVE COMPANY! I’ve had one man sit down then straight up tell me his name and that he lived here in 1971, blah blah blah. My reaction: “And you think I care, why?”
I don’t sweat the small stuff when these incidents occur but anyone with my face knows this shit gets annoying. I just hope that many more females in my situation can come together and help make Resting Bitch Face be more of a not so un-normal thing, if that’s an expression. Sometimes I will get snippy about it, other times I have fun with it. One thing I know for sure, I am NOT a piece of furniture to older men who find my murder stare bothersome. They can go back to 1959 for all I care.
To end on a good note (which is always a goal of mine), my RBF landed me a small role in a Community Theater Play! I will be playing Officer Pudney in BrickStreet Theater’s production of Rumors by Neil Simon! So there you have it folks, I’m badass looking. This is me getting my feet wet in acting for the stage again after a 10 year sabbatical. I’m so excited but more on that for another time…