A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Selfish Self

Most of you know that I recently celebrated my birthday because I posted that news here. What I didn't post was that I sent a birthday 'wish list' to give potential gift-givers direction on what "to give the girl who has everything."

It's a little "tongue-in-cheek" list that includes everything from AAA batteries to a sapphire/diamond bracelet. From a year's subscription to the WSJ to Fixaflat. From cologne sold exclusively at Neiman's (Quelques Fleur) to a Target gift certificate.

I've probably sent this list out every year for about eight or nine years as a joke that somehow metamorphed into a ritual. Nowadays my friends start asking about the list as early as May, because they expect to receive it. And of all the items on my 'wish list' over the years, the one item that gets the most attention is my request for batteries. I keep telling people that I'm still using the original model of Gameboy which requires AAA batteries. How should I have known most of my friends are pervs?

One thing that never fails is even though someone's received the list, they take it upon themselves to buy something not on the list because they think I'll enjoy it/need it/want it. What generally happens is me returning or re-gifting unwanted stuff, which leads to my dilemma: am I wrong for returning gifts?
I return gifts, whether directly to the gift-giver with a profusion of apologies and explanations on why I don't want/need/or won't enjoy their gift. My mother and sister think I'm the most selfish, ungrateful person they've ever shared a home with but I feel I'm doing the best for all concerned parties. I'm allowing the giver to get his/her money refunded and I'm not stuck w/some ugly-a$$ed porcelain trinket. I've even been known to talk people out of buying me things only because they've told me what they're planning to give.

Over the years I've returned a lot of stuff directly to the giver. The most memorable are:
-gift certificate to an adult bookstore
-handmade afgan covered in three layers of cat hair
-sexy lingerie so small it fit like a thong...on my foot
-a two piece linen outfit complete w/a hemline border of green donkeys
-USB cup warmer

There you have it. I've bared myself to you. But before you pass judgement, what do you do with unwanted gifts?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm Never Gonna Stop the Rain By Complaining

It rained today! Not the normal rainfall that is an Arizona monsoon. No, this was a great torrential downfall complete w/howling winds, thunder and terrible lightning.

At the height of the storm I just had to leave my desk and go stand outside to enjoy it. I love the rain. I love to feel the spray against my skin, I love to smell the wet earth, I love to see the impacts as each drop hits pavement and spreads outward.

I love to see the clouds, that at a distance resemble paintings of Grecian gods, slowly approach, sending winds to warn of its coming. I love to watch animals, especially fowls of the earth (the only creatures smart enough to heed the warning enclosed in the winds) stake out a safe place to ride out the storm.

When I was a child, my mother and aunts always made us children stop all activity and behold the greatness of God. During a rainstorm we couldn't watch television, take baths or use the telephone. We were told that God was moving so all beings should stop, reverence His actions and be still. We were taught that God would speak through thunder and if He were speaking but we were watching tv or being too loud, we'd miss His message.

Today, I went outside in the midst of the storm to behold the beauty and power of God. While others were rushing in from the rain or cursing that they had to walk to their cars during the downpour, I turned my face upwards and thanked God for the storm. I tried to hear His voice in the thunder. I closed my eyes and waited, listening for Him but couldn't hear anything.

Finally, when the rain began to diminish and the clouds began to clear I thought to myself, no matter how bad the storm, it will always pass. Now where have I heard that before?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fare Thee Well

Sebastian is gone. He completed his 14 year duty of protecting and serving my family this morning at approximately 10a.m. MST.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Random Thoughts

Day 6 after the attack and Sebastian's not eating. He will drink about a pint of sweetened water (laced with medicine) and last night he actually drank about a half pint of sweetend milk, but as far as eating his regular food or his favourite snacks (hot dogs, cheese) he's not touching it.

Today, during the heat of the day I washed him down as well as I could, making sure to clean his wounds w/o him passing out. The fur on his backside that was shaved last week is growing fast. It's amazing how quickly his fur grows. Because it's still very difficult for him to walk and stand, I had to wash him while he was lying down. I was able to get him to switch sides so I could do him all over. After I was done I gave him the pain killer and watched him relax and get "high".

Still no word on whether the pit bulls have been located or found. None of my neighbours have seen them or reported any. I know this is going to sound pretty mean, but Michael Vick, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons was indicted this week for killing pit bulls that didn't live up to his training standards. I've never really thought about Vick or the Falcons. I know that he's up against some tough times now, but in the case of him destroying pit bulls...I'd give the man a Congressional Medal for ridding the world of those nasty, horrible, destructive creatures.

But then, the other side of me completely agrees that he shouldn't have killed those animals just because they weren't as vicious and bloodthirsty as he thought they should be. And some of the methods he allegedly used was heartbreaking. Still...

So anyway, life goes on and we try not to worry about things until they get here. A "crossing that bridge when we get to it" sort of thinking, I guess. I hope Sebastian will get better or at least survive until my mother returns from Boise next month. I want the decision to put Sebastian down to be hers, not mine. I haven't called her to report the incident because it would just put a lot of worry on her. There will be plenty of time for that.

Okay, happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Not a Human(e) Thing To Do

I am an animal lover.

Have been all of my life.

During my twenties and early thirties I was a professional house/pet sitter for my friends who referred me to people they worked with. The business was good because I was a good sitter.

My family has always had pets, all dogs but I equally love cats.
We have a pet named Sebastian. We've had him about 13 years. He came to us when he was pup and we found him wandering the streets, he and a sister. None of the neighbours knew (or would claim to know) who the puppies belonged to so we took them in. The female was given to one of my brother's friends, we kept the male-Sebastian.

Sebastian is a Chow mix (mutt). He never chewed the rug, scratched the wall or any of the things most puppies do. He did however, eat one of my momma's shoes and was severely reprimanded. He never did that again.

When Sebastian turned 7 or 8 he no longer wanted to stay in the house so we would let him outside until he was ready to come in. We didn't worry too much about him because he never went far, just around the neighbourhood.

One day Sebastian, after being teased by a neighbour's son, bit the child on the leg. The Animal Control was promptly called and we paid for the shots and all the other stuff.

About two weeks later Sebastian bit another neighbour, this time a grown man. He was becoming more agressive so my father decided to lock him in the yard. Much to our dismay and my father's irritation, Sebastian learned to dig under the fence to get out.

Then he attacked a postal worker.
The Animal Control gave us two choices: put the dog down or keep him on a designated CHAIN leash. If any add'l complaints were brought against the dog and us, he would be removed and killed. So, to prevent an untimely death and to protect our home insurance, Sebastian was and is chained to a thick, heavy chain whenever he's not in the house.

Last Friday, July 13th, two pit bulls severely attacked and mauled Sebastian. My sister opened the door to find the three dogs going at it and tried to break up the fight. A neighbour (Santos), risking his own health, was nice enough to run over and separate the dogs with a heavy shovel.

After calling and reporting the attack to Animal Control and finding the closest animal hospital, we rushed Sebastian who by this time was bleeding heavily from his nose, back, right fore leg and bottom to the ER.

Four hours and $387 later we brought him home disoriented from the drugs and weak from dehydration.

Tonight, two days later he's still moving slowly and hasn't been able to keep anything in his stomach. I've stopped giving him the pain medication thinking it may be too strong and is causing the upset stomach. He is drinking plenty of water though. I'm scared that he's not eating so I'm thinking of forcing him to drink Ensure. I did get him to take a few sips of Gatorade but that's all.

I'm also going to ask Animal Control to find those animals and kill them.

I know it's not humane. I know that those dogs are somone's beloved animals too. Someone loves them just like I love my dog. Well, their dogs shouldn't be allowed to patrol MY neighbourhood, attacking defenseless animals. If Sebastian has to be chained, WHY AREN'T TWO PIT BULLS CHAINED?

I'm not going to give up on this. If I have to call every morning to Animal Control I will until they can give me some answers as to the whereabouts of those death machines. If I have to lie and tell them two pit bulls almost attacked my child I'll do it because I want them out of the neighbourhood and away from my dog.

I want them dead.

I know it's not humane, but watching my dog bleeding like that, seeing him not eat, having to pay all that money for ER care and probably have to take him in for malnutrition isn't humane either.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Reflection

Ugh, she grunted. I gotta pee and I'm just getting comfortable. Why does this always happen? The moment I get my sleep going I gotta get up? she groused, angrily tossing back the thin sheet that covered her bulky, heavy frame and trudging down the dark hall to the restroom.

It was still early, at least early to her-7:30. Her sister hadn't gotten up yet as evidenced by the lack of strong toothpaste and Listerine smell that normally accosted her sleepy senses. Flipping on the light she winced at the sharp pain the glare caused.

She glanced at the image in the mirror as she'd done many years before. Nothing new. This morning however, she paused and stared at the image staring back at her.

Her cottony hair, though perilously thin was still dark black. Grey had not affected her as much as it had her sister and brother.

The dark pecan-coloured forehead was still smooth however now a deep ridge, caused by years of squinting and frowning had burrowed a path down the middle, separating the right and left eyebrows.

The almond-shaped eyes with the long, curling lashes were puffy with sleep. The deep brown-black eyes contained therein (one of her best features) continued the thoughtful examination of the reflected image.

Two full lips-check. Wish they were the size of Missy Elliott's or Naomi Campbell's but they'll do because the growing years of smiles could not diminish the two sets of dimples on either cheek.

Two chins-check. They both sloped down to a short squat neck.

Smooth chest area-check. Thank God it wasn't as wrinkly as some of the old broads at work who slathered baby lotion on and cooked themselves like turkeys, just to try and attain the dark, rich coffe-coloured chest area she had.

Two breasts-check. Still fuller than most but man, gravity had grabbed those two puppies because they were not as firm as a few years ago. But they still did the job.

That full stomach...enough she thought! Just use the restroom and go back to bed. Not two minutes later she heard her sister turn the doorknob. I'm glad I thought to lock it she smiled silently, knowing how much she hated being surprised in this position.

"Come out of there!" Her sister whispered grumpily.

"Hold on!" She snapped back.

Giving a quick wash to her hands she opened the door to see her sister grinning. Oh, oh. What's she up to ?

"Happy birthday, Debo" Niece said happily. "Thank you, Wooka." She replied, walking out of the restroom and allowing her sister to pass.

"What are you gonna do today?" Niece asked over her shoulder.

"Going shopping. I'm picking up my new phone, the new 30-gig iPod, some music and I'm going to pick up some cuff links for Jeffery. We're still on for tonight, right?"

"Wouldn't miss it" she said closing the door. "Have fun!"

I am. And I did.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Want To Be A Superhero

I want to be a Superhero. But not just any Superhero.

I don't want to have to squeeze into a tight corset or skin tight leotard. Trust me, you don't want to see all of me squeezed into a Wonder Woman outfit. I don't want to see me in one of those outfits.

I don't want the ability to fly, but I sure would love to be able to move people and objects with just the power of my mind. Imagine being on the freeway and some idiot's crawling in the fast lane. If I had this power, I could safely move him or her into another lane without having to slow down or change lanes.

I don't want x-ray vision but I'd sure like the power of reading other people's minds. I'd know what all my employees are thinking when I'm giving them coaching. I'd know what my peers are thinking when I'm bugging them or holding them accountable. I'd know what my boss is thinking when I'm asking his help in developing me. I'd know what big Andre Talley of Vogue was thinking when he advised Jennifer Hudson to wear that horrible dress to the Oscars. I'd know what President Bush is thinking when he continues to get the report of the American death toll in the Middle East.

With the power to read minds, I'd be able to quickly identify someone who, in a crowded store, mall, airport or subway, was planning a terroist act. I'd be able to stop them. By any means necessary.

I don't want to run faster than a speeding bullet but I'd sure like to conquer my own personal Kryptonite-fear. Even at my age, and although I've been obese all of my life, I still keep myself guarded and untrusting. Risk-taking is another type of Krptonite. This and fear are things I've had to fight against all of my adult life or they will overtake me and make me a weak, scared little human. There are many times I've been afraid to apply for jobs, make new relationships, open up to people. But, I've just had to grit my teeth, pray, then pray some more for God's strength to help me.

I suppose I do have one Superhero power-I'm able to mask my true identity from others. I suppose we each have masks we wear everyday. I mask my true self from those around me because if people knew my yearnings, my anger, my hurt and my hatred they would be surprised (most of them, I think), disappointed (my girlfriends) and probably feel betrayed.

So, what Superhero could I be? One who's not afraid of living; one who stares adversities and challenges head on; one that can defend the weak and help the poor.


I can just keep working on me and one day finally become (trumpet blaring) SUPER-DEBO!

What's your Superhero identity?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Summertime Memories

"Summertime and the living is easy.
Fish are jumpin and the cotton's high.
Your daddy is rich and your mommy is good-looking.
So hush little baby, don't you cry."

I've loved this song, even after my mother told me that it was a black mammy singing to her white plantation owner's son. It just evokes summertime to me.

Here in Phoenix we've been hit w/high temperatures. It's making headlines, it's all over the Internet, blah blah blah. Hello? We live in a desert. What are we expecting summer temperatures to be, the same as San Diego or Portland, Oregon?


Summertime in Phoenix always brings out my greatest memories. Playing 1, 2, 3 Redlight and Red Rover underneath the street light with Little Richard and his sisters. This was before the Leyvas moved in and I fell madly in love with the middle boy, Ruben. This was also before we had street lights every four homes.

When I was growing up each block had one corner street light. About ten years ago the city decided to plant a light in the middle of the block as well as lights at each corner. Gone were the dark places to steal kisses or furtive hand holding. Gone were the superior hiding places. The street lights brought all us kids together. Now almost each family has its own light and they seldom want to share.

Summertime was also filled with church meetings. In my church organization churches are divided into "districts" and each "district" would have annual fellowship meetings. My father, being the social preaching butterfly that he was, and because we never did too much other than go to church, attended every "district meeting" and dragged us along.

Most of the meetings occurred during the summer. The churches had no air conditioning back then but everyone was still required to dress to the nines and be joyful. While the Saints were shouting and danced in those crowded, hot churches, we kids would be outside sneaking to the corner liquor store buying pickles, pops and potato chips. My parents never minded us leaving church grounds as long as we were back in time to hear the 'message'.

Summer nights were romantic to me. I remember all the smells of summer. The unique aroma of heated concret. The smell of lawns and orchards being irrigated. Freshly cut grass or fragrant oleander bushes. and most of all, the smell of freshly wet dirt.

So, while everyone's complaining and griping about the heat, I welcome it. Heck, what else can I do? Move to Boise? Nah, have you seen the temperatures up there?

Friday, July 06, 2007

A New Meme

Found this over at Lizza's and Melon's and decided to play along. I'm not tagging anyone of course. But if you wanna play...

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
Preparing for a birthday party w/25 of my closest friends. And figuring out how to stay cool.

2. What were you doing 1 year ago?
Preparing for a birthday party w/25 of my closest friends. And thanking the Good Lord for air conditioned cars, homes, offices and stores.

3. Five snacks you enjoy?
-Lay's potato chips in Limon or Plain
-Ginger Snap cookies
-Sliced cheese on tortilla chips

4. Five songs to which you know all the lyrics?
-Amazing Grace (traditional)
-Glory to His Name (traditional)
-I Need You to Survive (Hezekiah Walker)
-Everybody Ought to Know (traditional)
-Payback (James Brown)

5. Five things you'd do if you were a millionaire?
-Quit and find a job I like or become a philanthropist
-Buy a huge lakefront home in Id or Wy or Mt
-Continue to tithe
-Rent Necker Island for two weeks and fly my family there
-Buy a Hermes Kelly bag

6. Five Bad Habits?
-Eating shaved ice
-Not easy to forgive others
-Give too much money to family members, knowing I'll never see it again
-Can't stick to a diet
-Can't say 'no' at work

7. Five things I like doing?

-Reading magazines and news sites
-Eating shaved ice
-Trying out new restaurants
-Babysitting my niece and nephew

8. Five things I'll never wear again?
-Saddle shoes
-Beautiful white blouse that became see through when I began to sweat
-Jellies shoes (y'all know what I'm talking 'bout)
-My heart on my sleeve

9. Five favourite toys?
-Gameboy handheld I bought in the 90's. It still works so stop laughing:-)
-iPod (I have two now)
-iPod boom box
-Digital camera

And there you have it. If you decide to play, please let me know so I can hop over and read you.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Belated Birthday Greetings

Okay, so I'm a day late. I had to WORK yesterday. Sheesh!