Category Archives: Uncategorized

Where the hell I have been…

I stopped blogging a while back. Don’t exactly know why. Boredom, not finding the time or maybe the negative feedback I got from some so called friends about my “Facebook Friends” post. Whatever the reason, I really haven’t had much to say. I know me not having much to say is hard to believe but I really didn’t.
So what have I been doing with myself for the past few months? Well, first, I started to get my fat butt back into shape. I had a stern lecture from a doctor about my really high blood pressure (15/100) and being obese. Yes, I said it, I am obese. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to admit. In high school and college, I was the skinny girl all girls hated. I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain an ounce. Well, I hit 30, then had a kid at 36 and really stopped thinking about my body at all. I gained over 100 pounds! 100 Pounds!!!!! I weighed that in high school and now I was two times that weight, Ugh! I was a size 18 and had to settle for the clothes at Layne Bryant or what I could find in the Women’s section. I finally had enough. I didn’t want to be fat and I sure in hell didn’t want to die because my weight.
I got off the couch and first joined the YMCA. Due to my limitations with my bad ankle, I need to be in the pool. The Y was one of the few places that had an indoor pool. So I put my fat ass in a bathing suit (boy was that fun) and started taking water aerobics. After a couple of weeks of that, I lost four pounds. Next, I realized I needed to change the way I eat. So off to Weight Watchers. I did Weight Watchers around the time I got married without much luck. Thanks to technology, it is much easier to follow this time around.
Since October I have lost about 23 pounds. To my surprise, it was easier than I thought but I am also not working so I have the time to get to the gym. I have dropped about two dress sizes and now can buy some clothes in regular department stores. Trust me, if you have never shopped in plus sizes, there is not much of a selection. Most of it looks like it belongs on your grandma. So it’s nice to be able to buy some cute things.
I haven’t gotten rid of my old clothes. Part of me is afraid, I will get right back to where I was and the other part of me doesn’t want to waste money on new clothes since I do plan to lose more weight. So I am buying a few things to get by.
I am still struggling to get to the 25 pound mark. The holidays were tough and I wondered off the program a bit and grazed on everything in sight for about a week. Now I am back to try to lose another 20 pounds. My overall goal is to hit my target weight by my daughter’s birthday in June. It’s a long road but I need to do it, not only for me but for my family.
So that is what I have been doing. Oh yeah, I have started to job hunt again. But that is for another blog at another time.

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Would you call your Facebook friends your true friends?

One of the advantages or disadvantages to having time on your hands is that you evaluate your life. I have had a lot of time on my hands. I have been recovering from ankle surgery and have very limited mobility. So I have been spending way too much time stuck on a couch with nothing but an iPad and daytime TV to entertain me. Trust me, daytime TV is so bad and there are only so many games of Scrabble I can play on the iPad.

But I digress. I started to think about my life and the 40 years I have had on this lovely planet. One of the biggest issues is my circle is friends or lack thereof. Now I know this is going to really piss some people off, but hear me out. What makes a friend? With today’s technology, people are able to have lots of “friends” with all the social networking sites. I have 258 “friends” on Facebook but, are they really my friends?
I define a friend as someone you call up to shoot the shit, talk about your day, family and life but also a person that you want to call when something good or bad happens in your life. You know that your friend will be there for you. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. I have been able to reconnect with people from my old neighborhood and high school and see what they are up to. I am also able to stay connected with former co-workers and their lives. But I am not sure I would call my “Facebook Friends” as friends but more acquaintances. I am not calling them up to chit chat or emailing them and I can’t remember the last time I went to lunch with one of them. It’s not like any of them are doing the same.

When it comes to friends, I am just very unlucky in that department. I have had friends over the years but due to circumstances that either I caused or they caused, we are no longer friends. You know the women who are attracted to men who are just not right for them, well, that is me when it comes to friends, especially women friends. I know that I can place some of the blame on myself. I am not the easiest person in the world to get along with (just ask my husband.) I am opinionated to a fault; I can be loud and sometimes lazy. Not traits that someone would not write down when they say what they are looking for in a friend. I have also made poor choices in where I lay my loyalty when it comes to friends. Over the years, I have lost childhood friends due to not being “cool” enough to be in there click. In high school, I had some really good friends but as the years went by, we just grew apart and out of touch. In college, I had some great friends but again, we grew apart. Now keep in mind you younger ones, email and the internet were not around at the time so staying in touch meant talking on the phone and write letters you actually had to mail.

After college, I drifted from groups of people but never really feeling like I was part of the group. I did eventually find one so called friend. She was older than me but we really seemed to get along. Looking back on it now, I realized how toxic the relationship was. She kept me around to do her dirty work and treat like crap. But I was so desperate for a friend that I looked past all of it. It wasn’t till another person emailed me a chatroom conversation that I realized how toxic it was. This so called friend was in a chatroom bashing me to anyone who would listen and telling them how stupid I was that I had no idea that she hated me so much. Wow! That really hurt. Sometimes women can be so mean.

Since then I have maybe had one other friend but that too ended. Not sure exactly why, she just stopped calling and emailing me and I would only hear from her when she needed something. I took this one especially hard. My poor husband had to listen to me cry and cry over it. I couldn’t understand why this person just dropped out of my life. I think losing a friend is almost as bad as a romantic relationship ending. It leaves you empty and very bitter. Since then I really can’t say I have any friends. I have a great family who I can call at any time and they will be there but can’t say the same for anyone outside the family.

Now I know my 258 “Facebook Friends” are going to take issue with this. I am not saying this to bash them. I am trying to evaluate if “friends” on Facebook really constitute being a true friend. It’s fun to see pictures of their kids and read their opinions on things. I enjoy finding out about their lives but when is the last time you really spent some quality time with your “Facebook friends?” I know I haven’t. Social media might be changing the definition of “friend.” I might just need to catch up with the times.

Stop taking advantage of job seekers

I have been on the job hunt for about two months now and it has been a frustrating process. I spend about half my day, trolling job posting websites, Craigslist and LinkedIn looking for a job. I have applied to over 25 companies. I have heard back from some, others I just get that nice automated response “thank you for applying.” I have had several interviews. Some have gone well and some not so well.

My most frustrating aspect is that people take advantage that I am looking for work to use me for some free advice. Here is the scenario. In four different job interviews now, two with companies and two with PR agencies, I have been brought in on the disguise of an interview when all they really wanted to do was run PR pitches by me. They were asking my opinions on how the pitches were crafted and if I would change anything. Of course I offer up my suggestions and how I might tweak it. One company had me meet with five different people from their Marketing office to run all different type of pitches by me. I was there for over 3 ½ hours. I played ball and offered up my advice hoping it might lead to a job offer. The very next day, the company posted a news release with almost an exact duplicate word for word of what I suggested they do. At first I was proud they used my advice but after a couple weeks of not hearing from them, I started to feel used. Three weeks later, I received a call from the HR representative of said company saying they were going “another direction” and thanked me for my time. Boy, did I get used on that one.

I would be fine if that happened just once but I have had it happen at two other interviews. PR agencies who told me they were looking for account executives and then had me rework pitches and press releases that I see a week later being sent out. If you need help, I will come in on a freelance basis and charge $45 an hour. Both of those companies didn’t even have the courtesy to call me and tell me they were hiring me. They just don’t return my calls or emails.

My latest interview was a doosey. It was for a company looking to add someone to the PR team. I was told to be at the interview at 10am. I arrived at 9:45am to no one at the company. At first I thought, did I get the day and time wrong? Am I in the right place? I called my contact that set up the interview (she was a contract HR person who worked from her home.) She told me she confirmed the interview and they location but didn’t know why no one was at the office. She called me back 10 minutes later to say they were on the way and would be there soon. At 10:15am, the PR team arrives with Starbucks in hand. They never apologized for being late. The interview was your custom interview until I got a chance to ask questions. I always ask in an interview, what do you like about working here and what do you wish you could change. I am always surprised in the responses I get but I never expected what I got from this group. It turned into a 20 minute bitch fest on how much the company sucks and how they treat the PR team like crap. Here were three bitter people who hated their jobs and they were trying to sell me on coming to work for their company. No thank you. I ended the interview as fast as I could and got out of there. There is no way I want to work there.

I need a job. I want a job. I want to feel productive again. I am like thousands of people looking for work and it’s just a sad state that some companies will take advantage of people. Even sadder is that these people including myself really need a job and will put up with the BS that these companies are dealing out.

So I continue on with my search. I have signed up with a temp company hoping they can get me some temp work. Hope they come through soon. In the meantime, you can find me trolling Indeed and LinkedIn for jobs.

Best Show on TV Right Now

I have been at a loss on what to write about lately.  Since I am not working and not really doing much, it seems I don’t have much to talk about.  People who know me are laughing right now because it is very rare that I don’t have an opinion to offer.  Much of my life right now centers on finding a job, taking care of my family and watching a lot of TV.  So not to bore you with the details of the family life, let’s talk TV.

I am by nature a big TV watching.  Working in TV news for over 20 years, it is habit that I want to keep up with what is going on in the world.  I watch a lot of news both locally and national.   I also try to keep up on pop culture but watching other shows.  I watch American Idol, plan to watch The Voice.   I do it to stay updated and sometime watch other reality TV shows just so I know the names and faces.

My favorite show on TV right now is Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.  It’s on HBO and for me well worth the subscription price for the show.  It’s a news magazine show centered on sports.  Think “60 Minutes” but all about sports and they can swear.  Bryant Gumbel and his team of some of the best journalists out there, each month turn out good, thought provoking stories about the world of sports.  These are the stories you don’t see on ESPN and Comcast Sports.   Stories on NFL brain injuries, the use and possession of guns by pro-athletes, good in depth profiles on some of the top names in sports.  All of the stories are well written, well shot and balanced so that you always feel that both sides of the stories have been told.

Most recently, Real Sports dedicated a whole hour to the state of college sports.  Should college athletes be compensated besides an education for playing at a university? It was the best hour on TV.  They had a panel of sportswriters, college coaches and college athletic directors in a very heated discussion.  I was so caught up in the debate, I found myself yelling at the TV on several occasions.  The conclusion of the show was that college athletics are in big trouble and the NCAA needs to get with the times to change things.

Real Sports reminds me of the days of real journalism.  Stories about issues that people care about.  They are told in a fair and balanced way that both sides are told and it’s up to the viewer to decide which side they take.  Today many news shows and sports shows are so tabloid.  The motto is “Get it first, instead of Get it Right.”   How many reputations have to be destroyed because news management is more concerned on being first than getting the facts straight?

If you have HBO, I recommend setting up the DVR and watching it.  If you don’t get HBO, it is well worth the extra money a month to be able to watch the show. You can check out the website: http://www.hbo.com/real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel/index.html

Seven Weeks

It’s been seven weeks since I quit my job. Seven weeks to get back on track. I think I have accomplished a lot in those seven weeks. First, I am not so stressed out anymore. I have some stress that I might not find another job anytime soon, but not as stressed as I was.
I have started to lose some weight. When you become and mom and also work full-time, taking care of yourself becomes the last priority in your life. I put weight on but never seemed to find the time to work out or even eat better. Now I am using my Zumba program for the Kinect on Xbox and loving it. I am making better food choices and just over all feel better. I finally went to the doctor about my ankle pain and do rehab twice a week to fix the tendonitis I developed. I realize to be the best mom and wife I can be, I need to make myself a priority.

My relationship with my daughter has gotten better. When I had Lauren, I was working weekends at a TV station. I was home for four months after she was born before going back to work. I never felt that we really bonded like I have seen other parents with their kids. I know that my daughter has that bond with her Daddy but not so much with me. I was always working and never home to do things with her. Now I am. The whole family is doing things together, something we were really lacking. It’s made my relationship with my daughter better and my marriage stronger.

My daughter is finally sleeping!!!! This is a huge one. As I talked about in a previous post, she never slept through the night. By me being home, I have been able to fully dedicate myself to her and helping her sleep through the night. It was a long month of hits and misses but I think we have finally turned the corner. She has slept through the night for five straight nights. This is something she has NEVER done. I haven’t had this much sleep since she was born. I am going to keep encouraging her till we have a whole month of not getting up.

I have started my job hunt. I am ready to go back to work. I want to contribute again. I have put some feelers out about going back to TV without much luck. I know I am a good assignment editor but it seems that the TV stations do not need any desk people right now. TV will always be my first love but I also know that it may be time to move on.

I have applied for some PR jobs. Probably the most frustrating aspect is applying for these jobs are never knowing if your resume was ever seen by a human. Everything is automated and if you don’t have the key words the computer is looking for, your resume ends up in the trash before a human could even see it.
The other frustration is being turned down for being too experienced or not having enough. I have over 17 years of journalism experience and 2 years of PR experience. I am over qualified for entry level PR jobs and don’t have enough experience for management positions in PR. I would prefer to take an entry level job. Even though I have PR experience, so much has changed on how PR is done since I was in the business in 1999. I want the chance to learn and contribute to a company or agency. I hate when I do talk to someone about an opening that they tell me I might be bored with the job because I am overqualified. Sometimes, I think that is the nice way for them to say, we think you are too old.

I think the biggest thing that corporate and agency PR are overlooking is video. Companies need to have a good reel of b-roll they can offer up to journalists. Even print journalists are now doing some video for their publications website. I don’t know how many times in the past 2 years, I have booked a CEO of a company and then asked to you have any b-roll you can send over. I get one of two answers, no we don’t have any or yes but it’s not updated. Unacceptable. TV stations and publications are working with a minimal staff now a days and most of the time do not have the staff to send someone over to shoot some b-roll of the company. You will end up with a better story if you provide the journalist with all the possible elements they may need. This is where my expertise could help a company.

So I drudge on. I spend my days checking LinkedIn, Indeed and Craigslist for jobs, hoping that I will find something soon. It will happen.

Lottery Fever!

Lottery fever is happening. Mega Millions is at $312 million and Super Lotto is at $17 million. I play the lottery on occasion. Most I have ever won was $1000 on Lotto when I was in college. When the numbers get as high as they are this week, it’s very tempting to play. I know my chances are winning are less than getting hit by lightning, but a girl can dream.

What if I won…? What would I do with all that money? First, I wouldn’t have to look for a job anymore or ever again. That would be nice. Pay off all the bills and finally buy a house. Dreams that only money can buy.

But money can bring problems to. As Biggie said, “Mo Money, Mo Problem.” First you have to deal with the onslaught of media. It’s a great story for the media, instant millionaire. I have been the person telling the reporter go out and find out who won all that money. Of course, once your name is out there, every person you ever knew, or wanted to know will start calling looking for a hand out. You have to isolate yourself. You can elect for your name not to be released by the lottery, but in this day of Twitter and Facebook, it is really hard to keep something like that a secret for long.

You would also have to invest that money wisely. Statistics show that over 1/3 of people who win the lottery will file for bankruptcy. It also shows, that divorce rate among those who win is higher than the national average. Those are sad odds. People also don’t understand the tax situation for winning. First, you are not winning that lump sum. First you have to choose, whether to take payments from the state which will equal out to the lump sum over 20 years or opt for the one time lump sum payment which is about half of the advertised winnings. Once you have figured that out, you have taxes to pay. The federal government and state both take their cut, so now you have less than half of the payout left. So really you maybe end up with 1/8 or 1/16th of the advertised winnings.
With all that said, it’s would nice problems to have. Some money is better than no money.

So best of luck to everyone today. I will be buying my tickets too. A girl’s gotta dream.

March Madness

It’s March Madness time. Time when normal TV goes away (except for American Idol and Survivor) and NCAA College hoops dominates the airwaves. I am not a big basketball fan but I love March Madness. There is something about it that sucks me in. I think it has to do with the possibility of some underdog small school beating out a juggernaut power house school. There is one every year. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story, except maybe the team who gets beat by the Cinderella team.

As an alum and fan of Fresno State, I know what it’s like to be one of the Cinderella teams. In 2008, Fresno State came out of nowhere and won the National Championship for baseball. No one thought the Dogs had a chance in hell but they did it. It was awesome. I watched the game and screamed like a crazy woman when they won. I even watched the victory parade in Fresno on my laptop.

I wish college football would get with the times and start a playoff system. The BCS rankings leave no room for a sleeper of a team to win a National Championship. God forbid non-BCS schools like Boise State or Fresno to ever be considered in the top 4. I know that there are Billions of dollars at stake with all the bowl games but who really cares about CareCare, Bubba’s HotWings Bowl. The names are getting worse every year. It would be nice if they took the Top 30 teams in the nation determined by the AP, USA Today College Coach poll and the BCS mockery of a computer program combined and let them play. Last two standing play for the National Championship on New Year’s Day. No more college football after New Year’s Day. I liked it when I was nursing a hangover to settle in and watch the championship on New Year’s Day. Bring it back.

The NCAA has a real opportunity this year to get unbelievable TV ratings and generate real interest in college football. It will probably be the only thing in town while the NFL lockout grinds on. If you start a true playoff system like they use in College Basketball and baseball, the ratings, sponsorships and cash will pour in. People want to watch an underdog team like Princeton, Pacifica or Fresno State beat a juggernaut like Alabama or LSU. Look at the ratings of Boise State games. People want to see the little guys win. Go Cinderella Teams!!!

On a side note, the Fresno State Women’s hoops team won the WAC Championship and take on North Carolina on Saturday in the Women’s Tourney. Here to hoping another Cinderella team winning! Go Dogs!

The No-Fun-League

The No-Fun-League has locked out the players and it’s looking more and more likely that we will not see NFL games this fall. It’s a real sad state of affairs. I love football. I love everything about football. I look forward to the draft every April and then start the countdown till training camp. I grew up in San Jose and was a 49ers fan. Notice the past tense. I still follow the 49ers but my love for them died when Eddie D was forced out and the York’s made a mockery of the team. My father was a huge 9ers fan. He actually went to games when they played at Kezar. My father and I have never been close but football was the one language that we could both speak to each other. I now know that I became a fan of the game because it was the only real way that my father and I could ever have a relationship. So for that I thank him.

Now the owners and players may deny me my fall past-time. I am trying very hard to understand the key issues for the two sides but it really comes down to billionaires vs. millionaires. I can’t relate. I will never have that kind of money. $20 million salary to play a game must be nice. One of the key issues is that the players want to see the financials of the teams for the past 10 years to really see what the owners are making. The owners of course said no. I don’t blame them. Minus the Green Bay Packers who are actually owned by the public, these are private companies. This would be like the employees of Facebook asking Mark Zuckerberg to account for every penny for the past 10 years. Facebook is a private company and they don’t have to disclose the financials of the company to the public. The owners of NFL teams have the same right. Though I do agree with the players, I would like to know how the owners are crying poor when they are making billions in revenue from tickets to merchandise to TV rights.

Speaking of ticket prices, the owners need to wise up on that. They have priced out most families from ever experiencing a game live. Cheapest seats for a game average about $60 a ticket. You then have to factor in parking ($25), food and you are looking to drop about $350 just to go to one game. I don’t know about you, but I can’t justify paying that much when I can watch the game at home for free (unless it’s a Raiders game which is always blacked out.) Plus going to a game is no longer a safe place for a family with kids. Candlestick is a pit. They place is rusting and falling apart and it’s a joke that the 49ers play there. It’s cold and difficult to get to, not something I want to drag my family too. Raiders games, forget about it. No family in their right mind should take kids to see a Raiders game. There is fighting, drunk people and beer being thrown and that’s just in the parking lot. If owners want to continue to make the billions they are making, they need to start making it affordable and more family friendly to go to a game.

So I will sit and wait and hope that there will be an NFL season. I will at least have college football. Go Dogs!!!

Sorry Charlie, you are not “Winning!”

I am so over Charlie Sheen and “winning!” It’s a catch phrase that everyone seems to be using and it’s already old and annoying. God, help me even my daughter is using it. It’s all over Twitter and Facebook. People want to be funny but it just comes off as so annoying.

The sad state is that Charlie Sheen is not winning. What career he had is now being flushed down the toilet with the rest of the vomit he spews out on his drug binges. Now I am not a mental health professional, but from the interviews I have seen, that man has some serious psychological issues. He seems to blame everyone else for his failures. His ego is out of control. Sorry, Charlie, you are just not that hot or that smart. You are now just a washed up actor that is one drug binge from being six feet under.

I feel so sorry for Sheen’s family and children. How he is still able to see his children is beyond me? No child should be subjected to the craziness that surrounds Sheen. His family really can’t do much but sit back and watch the three-ring circus that is Charlie Sheen’s life. They can try to help him but you can’t help a man who thinks he is so much better than anyone else and that there is nothing wrong with him. I hope Denise Richards is able to get the kids away from him and shelter them from the public downfall of their father.

I really hope that Charlie Sheen gets the help he needs before he hurts someone or himself. It would be a “winning” situation for all.

Houston, we have a problem…

I have come to realize just recently, that my child is hyper-sensitive. I don’t know when it happened or if I just chose to ignore it but it’s becoming a bigger problem. It’s bad enough, that I sometimes have issues relating to my daughter with her being the ultimate girly-girl but now she is an uber drama queen.

Lauren is at the age right now where she questions everything, how is a car made? Why does it rain? What makes green green? A day doesn’t go by without 20 questions on what is going on around her. I am happy she is so curious and I do my best to tell her as truthfully as I can about what she is asking. Sometimes I don’t know and tell her so and say, let’s go to the computer and find out. Thank you, Google and Wikipedia. Other times I just avoid the questions outright: Mommy, how do babies getting in mommy’s tummy? Mommy, what happens when someone dies? Two deep questions that I just don’t think she or I are ready to handle right now.

But sometimes my truthfulness bites me in the ass. Last night started out a typical night. Lauren came home from preschool and I asked her about her day. She told me how at school they did a fire and earthquake drill. So I asked her what she learned. She told me about what she needs to do if there is a fire and then how she has to get under a table and protect her head if there is an earthquake. I praised her for learning that and then the dreaded question came, “Mommy, what is an earthquake?” I explained in my basic science about how earthquakes happen and we feel the ground shaking, kinda like when a big truck drives by. I watched my curious child turn from curious to frightened. She ran from the room crying. I chased after and found her under our coffee table protecting her head. She was crying away saying over and over. “I don’t want the earthquake to get me.” It was heart breaking to watch. She was scared out of her mind. I tried to re-assure her that earthquakes are rare and only last a few seconds. Nope, that caused more crying.

I had to break out the big guns. I called my husband. I knew it was the wimpy thing to do but I also know that my daughter thinks the world of her daddy. So poor Daddy at work trying to fix a server that went down , had to calm his hysterical child down. It took over 20 minutes and even then; I don’t think it convinced her that everything was going to be ok.

I could tell it was going to be a long night. She calmed down but I knew as soon as bedtime came around, the earthquake phobia was going to rear its ugly head again. That is exactly what happened. Two hours of her screaming from her room about wanting to sleep with us so we could protect her from the earthquake. I felt bad for her but also frustrated. Why does she have to be so damn sensitive? My husband and I finally calmed her down and she did get to sleep at 11pm. Ugh!

I have always wanted to be somewhat truthful with my child when she asks about the world but now I am learning I will just have to tone it down or outright lie to my child so that she can cope with reality. I hope she grows out of this. It’s becoming increasingly hard to explain to her about stranger danger without her wanting to stay indoors and never go out. I don’t want her afraid of the world but want her to understand what is out there so she is prepared. What is a mother to do?