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Archive for the ‘advice’ Category

Karma: sometimes you win

A few years ago things were really hard for me and my mom. The economy totally changed and there was no more healthcare construction to be had. That is when I started my long, windy journey that I have documented mostly on twitter but some on this site. I went to see my mom last night for a couple of hours before my friend’s party and she told me a little story about how she is now benefitting from what was so bad before.

To give you some back story, my family was in healthcare construction my entire life. My parents made a lot of money at it and I didn’t do to bad myself. But construction is a tricky thing and sometimes you just get screwed. Over the many years our company booked a total loss of just over $400K. Sounds like a lot of money but in the grand scheme it wasn’t that much. Mom was always pissed about it and right there at the end when we were shutting things down we got screwed out of about $25k more. It was really debilitating to my self-esteem at the time, but there was nothing I could do. It would have cost me more money to sue and when I totaled up the possible lawyer’s fees it just wasn’t worth it. I, we, had to let the money go.

Anyway, mom was telling me last night how she had met with her financial planner again and how she was feeling vindicated just a little bit. Because of this past loss, her and my step-dad basically don’t have to pay taxes on all their investments for awhile. I guess there is some rule that makes this possible. (I’m a sales/marketing person. My accounting classes in grad school only counted for the tests.)

The only reason I write this slightly, boring story is because a lot of times things really suck and then someone how you still come out on top. Or rather, my mother always wins in the end. I’ve kept up with the people who screwed us years ago and they all got theirs. And not because I went out of my way to make something happen. But because eventually bad shit happens to bad people. You just have to be patient.

Valentine’s Day: Reality vs How You Wish It Was/Is/Whatever

This is what the media wants you to believe Valentine’s Day is like.

Waking up in Paris.

Eiffel Tower at Sunrise

With the best version ever of La Vie en Rose playing in the background.

(Don’t actually watch the video. It ruins the song. Just listen.)

This is reality and how you know true love runs deep.

Cheese Enchiladas 187-2

You’re just happy that he knows your regular order by heart.

dos-equis-beer

And he knows you want a lime with your beer.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Weekend – I can still be shocked

This weekend was a busy one. I had class on Saturday morning at 8 AM. Ran through my cleaning list yesterday morning so that I would be able to watch the Falcons game. Meh, to the Falcons. Yay, the smell of bleach and Pine Sol.

Two events happened between Friday and Saturday that I found incredibly shocking even though in the grand scheme of life they are small. The first I posted a picture of on Instagram and honestly, I feel like I have to tell the story so you won’t think that’s a normal Friday night for me anymore.

On Friday, I had been making calls and then came home because I had two chapters to read for Saturday’s class. B called and was going over a list of things with me and I mentioned I wanted to go out for A DRINK. TWO MAX. Famous last words, right? When he finally got home we went over to the local dive bar. The only reason we frequent this place is because its the only place to go near the neighborhood that is close. We met up with some other attorney friends of B’s who also made the unfortunate decision to live in this area of town.

I was sitting there going why is place so incredibly packed. There was one waitress for a large bar of people. Even the cook was running food and drinks. It was ridiculous. Turns out there was going to be a large, birthday party for three women taking place that night. One of the women works part time at the bar as a bartender to help pay for extras for her kids.

The place was getting more and more rowdy. This makes me nervous when places start to get a bit to crazy. The bar was running a karaoke night as well. So you can only imagine what this was like. At one point I looked up from my conversation to see this starting.

Stripper

I thought maybe it was a drunk patron trying to be funny. But no. It was the real thing. A male stripper. I just about died. I couldn’t stop covering my eyes then looking up then covering my eyes again. Everyone at our table kept asking me why I had never seen a male stripper before. Hadn’t I ever been to bachelorette party? No, my friends and I did not have male strippers at our bachelorette parties. No, I’ve never been to the Coronet Club. No, I don’t find this attractive.

THE GUY TOOK IT ALL THE WAY DOWN. It was just like that Channing Tatum movie. Except not. He had tribal tattoos. Nasty.

There I was standing in my Elie Tahari dress and sweater surrounded by women in suburban club attire, dying. Truly, dying. I took a shower as soon as I got home.

Here’s what I learned from all this. Anything can happen in your local dive and yes, even I can still be shocked every once in awhile. My mind goes down many wrong places and this event made me wonder if the bar needed to have the food inspector called anonymously.

My next small thing involves my car. I drive a Toyota Prius. It has consistently had a left tail light issue since I’ve owned it. The light always goes out. I’ve had several discussions with the Toyota dealership about this issue. Diagnostics have been run, nothing has been found to be wrong. My favorite part of this issue through the years is being told that the replacement lights are anywhere from $75-$200 depending on who I talked too. I was also told that it wasn’t a light that could be easily changed by myself or a husband/boyfriend/fiance. I was told multiple times that a service person needed to change it. I was able to talk these people into not charging me a few times but this minor issues has always turned into a “smile big/wearing something low cut” issue.

I guess, my own personal bad habit of throwing money at the problem in the past I took these people at these people at their word. I would not do something stupid like this now. My attitude now is I will find a solution and fix it myself. Cars can be tricky though. I don’t know much about them and just didn’t think. Instead, I had kept the old, useless mindset.

I had mentioned this issue to B who said he thought I was being lied too and he would do some research. Turns out changing that tail light is similar to changing a light bulb in a lamp. The tail light also cost $4.95 at an auto parts store.

It really annoyed me that I had gotten taken in the past. I had gotten taken that bad but I had spent a lot of time and effort trying not to get taken and talk my way out of a car dealerships BS. When all I needed to do is Google. Just like I do everything else. Research and find a solution to the problem.

Lessons learned.

Working out – back to the mileage goals

Everyone has their preferred exercise routine. Mine revolves around cardio and Pure Barre. About a month a go I decided I was going to change it up and do the Insanity videos because it was hard for me to get to Pure Barre classes with my schedule. I’ll be honest, that never happened. Instead I took a straight up break from working out and substituted it with mostly fun and going out. Those actions aren’t something I advise with the holidays coming up. Luckily, I don’t eat that bad and count calories so reversing the damage is reversing booze bloat for the most part. There is a meds/possible gluten issue with the bloat problem too but that’s boring and for another day.

I could definitely tell last week it was time to get it together and get back on the treadmill and back to class. One, for my brain and two, for my ass. Sunday I started running again and can already tell a difference. Let’s be real, it takes a lot stay in any kind of goal territory when it comes to weight and the way you look. The world and life are always throwing food and cocktails in your face and sometimes we all give in. I’m at an age where I have to make my weight and fitness goals a priority or things can get quickly out of control.

There is a famous quote that says “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” A lot of people get all up in arms about the quote and try to make it out as a negative/anna type thing. How about this instead?

“Nothing feels as good as looking healthy and fit in your over priced (but loved) Lululemon.”

Here are my two favorite pieces from Lululemon to run in and take Pure Barre classes in. And no the pants aren’t Wunderunders. And yes, I always buy the pieces in matching colors in real life. If you ever have questions about fit and sizing please let me know. Personally, I think the built in bra in the top is straight up God’s gift to me and my small boobs. Nothing moves. Ever. It’s awesome.

Lululemon favorites


Yoga top
lululemon.com

Activewear
lululemon.com

Early 30′s Female Quandries that you have already heard

My friend came to pick me up yesterday to go the doctor because I am still in to much pain to drive. Very grateful for that. On the ride home she looks at me and says, “I can’t take it anymore. Every time I see a baby I flip out.”

I tried to turn my head, but had stay looking forward. “Why, R? You don’t actually flip out, right?”

“No, I don’t actually flip out. But I want a family. I want kids. I am tired of being single. How many more weddings do I have to to go to where I wonder why is she with him? How many more baby showers do I have to go too?”

My friend is the typical, pretty, successful, homeowner, Mercedes-driving 32 year old that has put her entire effort into her job and her church. She has dated A LOT of people. Had the opportunity to marry one or two of them. She definitely has a bit of a Cinderella complex. This situation is nothing new. I think what makes it worse for R is that she could give 27 Dresses a run for its money.

I said, “Well, if you want to get married you can get married. But think of it this way plenty of these people are not going to last. You saved yourself a starter marriage.”

She laughed.

I mean, no one wants a starter marriage. I certainly did not.

R has met my boyfriend. I told her what our other friend said about him when she saw him on the news.

“He looks and talks just like your Dad. It’s uncanny.”

Um, ok. That creeps me out.

But I have a response. My dad was a wonderful person and if I am lucky enough to marry a man who is similar to him the next time.
If I have daddy issues now so be it.

I repeated all of the to R and she laughed. R has a bit of a Christian complex. Lots of regrets about the past that she won’t let go of so now she dates 40 year old virgins who drink Shirley Temple’s. That is not healthy either.

“R, just get a guy with decent job, loves God and his mom, will have a few cocktails and is not a 40 year old virgin. That is NOT HARD TO FIND.”

True, Leslie. Very true.

It’s hard for me as well. As I watch all my friends have babies, I have had to take the view of these are my nieces. I get to buy them Tiffany banks and Madame Alexander dolls. And one day, when they are fully potty trained, I will be more than happy to babysit them. I just think you have to find a way to make these situations your own. They are not ideal, but I have bigger things to deal with like my hated job than worry about the fact that I don’t have the kids I want. Lord, what if I did have a kid and I was single. Yuck. Not for me. Total nightmare. And that is when I am reminded that things could be so much worse.

Patience is a virtue that R and myself have to pray for on a daily basis.

And for me being grateful for what I do have. Finding a way to ALWAYS AND CONTINUALLY move forward.

It’s so hard to not compare yourself and feel jealous of what others have. To not wonder, why is that not me, what have I done woring? Frustrating is the least of it. Seeing the facts and not being negatives.

My bff told me awhile back when I was crying to her about something (who knows what) “but Leslie, no matter what has happened you have always pushed forward and made the best of it.” It was nice to hear someone give me a bit of validation. I am grateful for her support.

And things change within the blink of an eye. My bff is married with a baby in under a year. All her dreams came true.

I said that to R. She said I know.

And then I hobbled into my condo building under my ridiculous Louis Vuitton umbrella.

Cursing – Turns Out I am NOT Perfect

I like to think of myself as a nice Southern Girl. I have all the qualities. Or at least that is what they tell me. Except for one thing…, the trucker/sailor/dirty mouth that I have had for years. I like to think to myself on many occasions “What would Jackie do?” She has always been my favorite. And between you and me, I HIGHLY doubt Jackie O. ever let loose the stream of expletives that comes out of my mouth on a minute to minute to basis. This is not your basic “D**n It.” This is as crass, dirty and foul as you can imagine.

Well, something over the weekend happened where this language was really to much. Yes, I was nervous. And it gets worse when I am nervous. But was it necessary? No.

So today I made a pact with my friend to stop cursing. She is seeing someone new who does not curse. He also has a child. And they are headed down engagement road. The cursing needs to go.

My work is not an excuse anymore. I need to clean up my act and my mouth and be the Lady I know most people think I am. Until they hear my mouth.

The mission is on. No more cursing.

And just to tell you how hard it is. It is worse than quitting caffeine.

This is just one of many negative things I am trying to rid my life off.

Wish me luck. :)

Weddings – What Makes a Good Wedding

I have lots of thoughts and opinions on what makes a good wedding. Opinions of what should be done, what is good to scrimp on, what should have money spent on it. And just what is in good taste and what is not.

I was a bridesmaid in a wedding on Saturday night. It was fun for the bride and groom. The bride had planned and payed for the whole thing by herself. She did a great job considering the circumstances. I really feel it was the wedding of her dreams. That is great.

I was sitting there thinking about all of my friends weddings and what I did find enjoyable about their weddings. As I thought about it I realized how judgmental I had been. I realized how unnecessary those opinions were. It was their wedding and their taste. No matter if I agreed with it or if they had asked my opinion at the time. Generally, my opinion was asked. Not that it was heeded. But it did not matter. Exactly.

And I realized, in the end, that all of their weddings had one thing in common. I got drunk and had a good time. And I think that is what every bride sets out to do. Make sure her guests have a good time.

Mission accomplished.

More Inappropriate Conversations

I don’t know what is going on but people keep saying all kinds of weird things to me.

Yesterday, as I was running out early so I could drive over to Vinings to Sandpiper, the cleaning guy for the building stopped me.

He said he did not want me to be offended or take what he was going to say the wrong way.

I said “Well, go ahead. Tell me what it is.”

He goes “I had a dream about you.”

Whoa stop there! is what I was thinking, but I let him continue. Seeing as how my love of trainwrecks and the possibility of having a story to tell never ceases.

He continues. “You were standing in the elevator. And I was offering you a steak.”

Here is where I did the sort-of-laugh, I don’t want you to feel bad or embarrassed laugh made some excuse, opened the door to the stairwell and went to my car. Because if we pull out the trusty dream book, I can only guess what the steak symbolizes.

I have already had to be nice to him today. Which is fine.

But I don’t call up the President to tell him how I had a dream that I had fixed all the countries issues using the principles of Atlas Shrugged.

No, I prefer not to be on a Secret Service watch list.

Just saying.

Advice: Don’t Watch Them All Back to Back

My husband has been out of town since last Thursday. He returns tomorrow. But I learned a couple of things this weekend due to his absence.

Rathbun’s Steak is still one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta. My friend R- and I sat at the bar for 2-1/2 hours on Friday chatting and having cocktails. It was great.

All of my “going out” tops, with the exception of one, require a husband there to zip, button, unzip, etc. Needless to say, I had a fashion emergency.

Cable can be my downfall when alone. I don’t watch that much tv, but this past weekend I made up for it. Every girl movie ever made was on. These included: Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Steel Magnolias, Sweet Home Alabama, The Breakup and The Notebook.

How much time do you think I spent crying this weekend?

If you guessed ALOT, you would be right.

Head’s Up – Beware of Linens N’ Things Going Out of Business Sale

My mother met for lunch with one of her friends today. The lady had just gone to Linens N’ Things to hit up the going out of business sale.

The friend noticed that something was not right with the stickers on the products she bought. She began to pull back the stickers and saw that there was original pricing beneath it. So an item for $35 was now priced at $47. The sale is still going right for only 25-35% off items. Basically, the current going out of business sale is a scam. Still trying to squeeze every cent out of an already failing business.