Speak Softly and Build a Big Fence

I really meant to blog more. I have things to say and interesting things to blog about. The biggest thing being how I moved 3 miles from my old place and it is like a totally different world.

So…this happened:

gate

So, for DECADES the inhabitants of my neighborhood cut through my yard, into another yard to get to the main drag. We seriously think the yard they are cutting into is a chop shop/brothel/crackhouse. I had derelicts, school kids, hookers, and crackheads all around my house at all times of the day and night. For protection, I have storm shutters on all my back facing windows.

Every morning, I would go out to my yard and pick up all of the crack baggies, beer bottles, and random debris. It was awful. Dudes would sneak up on me when I was walking Willow out front. There was lots of screaming and crying and yelling on my part. If we couldn’t remedy this I was going to have to move.

So…we built a fence. A LARGE fence. 6 ft tall with spikey things at the top. I am now the most hated woman in this neighborhood. BUT, I’ve cut the random foot traffic (remember this is a cul-de-sac…it should have very little foot traffic…) by 98%.

I can now enjoy my backyard and not worry about crackheads walking up behind me at 8 am. Sure, I had to call the cops because some dude had his penis in the fence, but baby steps, y’all.

And the sign I’m hanging on the front:

And on the back:

Sure the hoodrats and crackheads won’t get it, but I think they got the point when I put up a 6 foot fucking fence.

Up next: My Empire of Dirt!

2014: The Year I Moved to a Food Desert and Checked My Privilege

Happy New Year, bitches. How was your New Year? Do anything exciting? I laid low since I was busy moving . . . to a food desert.

That’s right. Not a grocery store to be found around me. Nor is there Chinese, sushi, Mexican, French, etc to be found anywhere near me. I have the choice of going to the “corner store” or maybe getting some jerk chicken at the local Jamaican place.

You see…I went from one of the most prosperous area codes in the county to the most impoverished. Yes, people. It seems that I am moving backwards in my life. I moved a mere 3 miles away and now feel like I am in an entirely different country.

There are no gyms, yoga or pilates studios. No over abundance of dog grooming places. Hell, there’s not even a Petsmart here. For every little thing I need to do I have to drive into my old neighborhood to do it.

You might be thinking, “Well, that’s only 3 miles.” That’s 3 miles WITH South Florida traffic. So, actually more like 20 minutes just to get to a decent place to buy a quick dinner. Or 20 minutes just to get to a gym. Any gym. Groceries? Forget about it. Gone are the days that I could just run out and pick up garlic while I was cooking.

My trips must be planned now. I have to put thought into them.

Now, I have a car. So I will most definitely survive living here, but what about those families that do not have a car? Where are they getting their groceries? I’m guessing the Dollar General and the so called “Corner Store”. They don’t have vegetables. Or fruit. Or, well anything. I couldn’t even find fucking orange juice.

With all that said, the neighborhood itself is fine. I’ve stopped calling it ghetto because that’s not fair to those that have lived here for 20+ years and own their homes. They go to work, raise their kids, and pay their bills just like the rest of us.

This is a working class neighborhood and my neighbors work hard. They love their community just like anyone else in any other neighborhood. It’s not my place to bring my privileged ass here and talk shit about these people.

When I tell friends where I moved to inevitably they all say, “Why would you move there?” Well, let’s see. I have twice the space I used to, a big back yard, no weirdo living in my bedroom (remember illegal apartment), a washer/dryer all to myself, and Willow can bark her damn beagle head off and no one gives a shit. I would say that’s a win-win situation, no? Ohhhh…and did I mention my dad owns the place so I’m paying next to nothing to live here. Far cheaper than my fancy pants zip code.

I’m still getting settled. My place is SUPER cute and is shaping up a bit more. 2014 is going to be a year of grinding. I need to start bringing in some $$$ and figure out WTF is next.

Here’s a pic of Willow on our new couch:

What are you up to for 2014?

It’s A Festivus Miracle!

HOLY SHIT, Y’ALL!

Regular readers of this blog know that I’ve been trying to get out of my apartment for the last 5 freaking years. I tried buying a condo in ’08 right as the market crashed and couldn’t get a mortgage. Then I was too sick, too broke, and too busy to move. (Do you remember when I worked full time, weekends at the running store, went to school, AND trained for a marathon? WTF was I thinking???)

So, I’ve been trying to buy a home for the past  1.5 months. It is NOT going well despite the fact that I’m paying in cold, hard CASH. It appears I’m going to have to go the foreclosure/short sell route. That’s fine, but takes a lot of time. One of my friends waited a YEAR on a foreclosure. BUT she got a really nice house in a great neighborhood for next to nothing.

I guess that’s my long way of saying that I need more time…BUT I hate my present housing situation. If you recall, I live in what was a 2/2 I shared with my ex that is now a 1/1 (my part) with an asshole basically living in my bedroom. They have their own entry and everything, but it’s still the same fucking apartment and it is AWFUL.

Here’s a picture of the door that separates us:

doorIt’s a double door and completely secure. BUT, I can hear EVERYTHING that goes in there and vice versa. This worked with my previous neighbor because he worked nights and went to grad school. Dude was RARELY there. I did what I wanted.

My new neighbor…He is a whole other post. We’ll just go with this: He was a suicidal bi polar that almost burnt down the entire building. My life has been HELL the past few months.

So, I’ve been stuck in a bad situation. Trying to buy a house and realizing it’s going to take some time and really needing to move out of this shit situation.

I was reluctant to get a new apartment because of $$$. First+last+security+Willow deposit = $$$ I wanted to wait it out because I am a cheap bitch. And then…

My dad was finally able to get rid of the tenants in his duplex! Praise be to JEEBUS! I’ll be fully in the 1st.

Yes it’s in the “ghetto”. Yes it’s small. BUT, I’ll have a yard, and a great big, huge park across the street to run in. AND Willow can bark her damn beagle head off.

I think 2014 is going to be EPIC and after honestly  5 years of SHIT I’m so muthafucking ready!

 

 

And….I’m Back

Did you guys miss me? I missed you!

It’s funny. My blogging has fallen off so much over the years. However, the minute I first forgot to pay for hosting and then couldn’t afford to pay said hosting I wanted to blog. I had all the things to say. This is going to be a long one, so maybe grab some coffee and get comfortable. There’s shit going on!

Poverty
Since I had lost my job I was broke. How broke? So broke that I was contemplating homelessness and sleeping in my car. Ok. We all know that wasn’t going to happen, but I was still ready to take this show on the road if necessary. Nevermind that I have 3 different family members I could go live with as well as numerous friends. My ass was going to be homeless.

This kind of opened my eyes to a whole lot of things. Like, how far are most of us from being homeless? I was maybe 2 paychecks (or a month) away. According to the studies that I’ve read, that’s actually better than most.

This fear of poverty, homelessness, and the never ending grind that is life has propelled some of my future decisions.

Employment
I was constantly searching for work that first month. I still am searching, but at a much more relaxed pace. Mostly because I had a large windfall of cash and am quite comfortable for the time being. I can take a bit of time to find work that I want to do. Not that I have to do.

With that said, my father announced that he will be retiring from his business next year. He’d like to train me to take over said business. This is pretty significant pay cut during my training period, but once I’m fully in charge I stand to make anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000+ a year over what I used to make. It’s going to be hard work and there can’t be any slacking. People will depend on me blah blah blah.

Now, we’re still working out the details on all of this. I still might high tail it and run, but it would be pretty stupid if I did. We’re trying to put in place everything we need to see if this will work and make sure it goes smoothly. It *may still fall through. I hope not.

I’m also working on a few small ventures of my own. Including getting some consulting gigs and maybe trying my hand at organic puppy treats. (Don’t judge me, bitches. It beats going to an office everyday!)

TLDR; Version

I’m staying in South Florida, hopefully taking over the family business, and life seems to be pretty ok.

Now let’s talk about fun stuff. Running!
Despite little Miss Willow chewing up my Garmin:

 

small amounts of running and fitness are happening.

I’ve had to pull back a bit due to some plantar fascitis issues. I got refit for orthotics and a bit of therapy on my foot so should be back up to speed shortly. I’m gunning for a winter/spring half and MAYBE a summer full. We shall see how things go.

For now, I just wanna do a 5k in December to give myself a goal. More deets on that later.

All right. I’m out. Promise to get over here a bit more. Oh shit. I forgot something…

I’M BUYING A HOUSE!!!!

Haven’t found one yet. Just shopping. But hope to be outta this place by the end of the year. More deets on that as well!

Whoops! I’m Unemployed!

Most of you follow me on Twitter, so you probably already know the deal. For those that don’t, I am no longer employed at either the running store or my office job.

I gave my two weeks at the running store because I knew it was time. I have worked every weekend for the past 6 years. That’s right. 6 years. It was time for me to slowly start taking back my life. The number one way to go about it was to reclaim my weekends. I left the running store on good terms. No biggie. I loved working there and would do it all over again.

Now, what I did not anticipate was losing my 9-5. (More like 8:30 to 5:30.) I mean, yeah I was going to be leaving soon anyway, but I still needed that income for a bit longer. Well, per usual shit hit the fan and I was “let go”.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been long suffering at this job. I’ve hated it and it was time for me to move on. I was just hanging out for a few months to get some things in order before I make the big move. (Realizing I never detailed that. Post coming soon on that, too.)

I’ve worked my entire life. From age 16 on. The longest I’ve not been employed was maybe a month when I first moved to Florida. Despite a few financial concerns for the next month or so this might be the best thing for me. All I know how to do is wake up and go to work. I haven’t had a true vacation in 5 years. Damn it. I’m tired.

Though, this is a huge scary thing for me I think it’s for the best. When I walked out of that office I felt like a HUGE burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I feel 100 lbs lighter!

So, what’s next? I have no earthly idea. Zero. Zip. NADA. For the first time in my life I have no idea what is going on.

You know what? It feels good!

TLDR;

My boss “fired” me and I had this to say:

original

New Obsession: Orange Theory

I know everyone wants to hear about my move and future endeavors, but things are still really up in the air right now. I’m trying to pin some things down, but not getting too far. That’s a whole other post, though.

I want to talk about my new obsession. Orange Theory.

I decided that I need to get in shape quickly for a couple of reasons.

  1. I refuse to move to a new place packing 25-30 extra pounds.
  2. I kind of sort of want to start racing again. Possibly a marathon.
  3. The places that I’m planning on moving all have GREAT running. It’s one of the requirements.

I thought about doing Crossfit, but I’m really not into Olympic lifts and I’m also afraid that I will turn into a douche. A lot of the running store clients do Orange Theory.

Orange Theory is a class that combines treadmills, weights,and rowing for an intense hour of exercise. You wear a heart rate monitor and your goal is to be in the “orange” zone for a large amount of time. This is perfect for someone wanting to build cardio and hates lifting weights.

I went to my first class last week. It was hard. Really, really hard. Take a look at my heart rate info:

orangetheoryNow, my heart rate curve does not look like it should look. I should NOT be in the red for half of the workout. They’re figuring out my max heart rate using a formula. That is obviously not working for me. I walked into the workout and my heart rate was already 20 bpm higher than every body else.

The instructor was concerned that I was going to pass out or have a heart attack and kept watching me. Same thing happened in Saturday’s class. I felt fine.

We ran half mile intervals, did long intervals on the rower, and a bunch of weights that hit the entire body. I LOVED it. I had to walk during the treadmill stuff because I’m out of shape, but as I get more fit I can get up to 3 or so miles total on the runs.

And….just like that I’m back to running and working out. I got 4 workouts last week. 2 Orange Theory workouts and 2 “runs”.

This weeks plan looks like this:

M – Rest
T – 2-3 miles
W – Orange Theory
Th – 2-3 miles
F – XT or Rest
S – Orange Theory
Sun – 3 miles

That’s some lame ass running going on, but I’m not going to complain. Something is better than nothing. It feels good to be back running and working out. We’ll call this “base building”. For what? Looking hot and dominating when I move.

Hopefully I’ll remember to check in on Sunday to review the week. I’d like to at least be able to do that.

I am not being paid by Orange Theory and I am paying for my classes. Like anyone would pay me for this crap I write…

On Trayvon Martin

I know you do not want to hear it. Many of you have Trayvon Martin fatigue. I honestly did not plan on doing a post on this subject. Why? Because everything that can be said has been said.

But then, after reading a post about…well I don’t know what. Something light and fluffy on Gawker I returned to the homepage and saw a black kid laying on the ground. Before reading the headlines I realized it was supposed to be Trayvon Martin.

Once I started reading I realized that the photo WAS Trayvon. I had intentionally stayed way the hell away from those photos.

Oddly, the photo that I saw was nothing like I had in mind. Besides the fact that I thought there would be a lot of blood since it was a gunshot wound to the chest, I was taken with how young Trayvon looked. How…normal.

While I think Zimmerman is guilty of murder I had let the overall rhetoric of the trial taint my views on Trayvon. I thought maybe he would look menacing in his hoodie. Maybe have a snarl on his face. Maybe he’d look like a ‘thug’ – whatever that looks like.

What I saw was a teen. Dressed like every other teen I see on the street. Neat khakis. A hoodie since it was raining. Expensive athletic shoes. Closely cropped hair.

I would likely say hello to this kid as I walked my dog in the neighborhood. I’d wave hello and say good morning as I ran past him.

Even more interesting is that he did NOT look like he had been in a life-threatening fight. I’ve seen some awful fights in my time. Regardless of who won/lost, etc none of them looked as nice and neat as this kid. No dirt. No rumpled clothes. Nothing.

I know some will argue that’s because he was busy beating Zimmerman to death but I don’t buy it. His clothes would be a mess. He’d be dirty. This is a fight to the death after all.

The biggest thing for me is – Trayvon looks like what my son would look like. Or maybe my nephew. Or godson. Or just the “kid next door”. I know that in America the “kid next door” is never black. But that’s truly what he looks like. The “kid next door”.

Except in this case, the “kid next door” was gunned down by a racist coward that wanted to be a hero stalking him because he made the mistake of walking with Skittles while black.

A Fun Game

frySo, you wanna do something fun? When people ask you what’s next tell them you’re quitting your job and moving…somewhere. Be super vague about it, too.

Then comes the next inevitable question: Where am I going? Spit forth the absolutely random places that you’ve picked on the map. Portland, Nashville, Richmond, Memphis, Dallas (that’s actually home!), the Bay Area, Baltimore, Asheville…basically where ever the fuck I want.

By the time you rattle off those places one of two things will happen. Either they’re telling you every awful thing that they’ve ever heard about the places you listed or they stress how worried they are that I’m not going to find work there because blah blah blah economy/job market/some shit I give the zeroest of fucks about. Or I’ll hate it. Or it’s cold. Or it’s hot. Or ______.

Then they tell me that I will hate it and miss Florida. You know, they might be right. I might realize that the grass is not greener elsewhere. Maybe I just need to get out of this area I call “America’s Anus” for a bit to really appreciate it. And…I’m going to be totally honest here, if I found an AWESOME job here I’d likely stay. I fully believe that any place can be awesome if you like your job and have the money to actually do what you want, and have a nice place to call home. I have yet to find that job here.

I know if I stay here and just do nothing, my life will not improve though. I hate my job. Hate my apartment. Hate this city (I sometimes shake my fist randomly at the sky…that’s for the city of Fort Lauderdale). The list could go on.

Why the hell would I stay in a situation if I hate it? I’ve done that for EIGHT years. It hasn’t gotten better. It’s gotten worse and is now affecting my health. So, onward it is!

 

Choose Your Own Adventure

ChooseYourOwnAdventureLogo

Note: Comments are back on, but I had to kill Disquss for the time being.

So…this post has been a longtime coming.

A couple of months ago I was debating on closing down my blog. It made me quite sad to do since I have blogged consistently since 2003. The early years blogging daily. For free. Honestly, blogging was my passion. I loved doing it.

Then my life started to suck, I got sick, fell into a depression, and dealt with a drinking problem. I completely lost my voice. I felt stifled and completely in the dark. Those were some really bad times and I’m glad I was not blogging through them.

Now I find myself in an unusual situation. A blog worthy situation. An exciting situation.

For the first time in my life I get to make all the decisions. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how a woman that is 38 years old is making her own decisions for the first time. Well, sure I’ve made my own minor decisions. I pick out my car (a ’12 black Jetta, of course), where I live (kind of), the job I work (kind of), etc. Big decisions have always been dictated by others or just fallen into my lap. Change is always met with resistance by family and friends.

While I choose the tiny, illegal apartment that I’m living in I’ve never really decided what city I live in. Or what part of the United States I live in. Maybe I hate the beach. Maybe I prefer the mountains, or a bigger city, or maybe a small town in the woods. I don’t know because all I’ve done is follow my parents around. Florida was my dad’s dream. Not mine.

Work wise, I’ve always worked nice, safe (aka – boring) office jobs. Right now I’m at the point where I HATE working a 9-5 and have completely lost my passion for web design. I’m used more as a fancy assistant or office manage in my job and it’s rare that I get to code or design. I dread going to work and it reflects in every aspect of my life.

Right now I’m able to take a leap. A big leap. A leap where I can take the time to start a business, find a better job, move cross country, just do nothing, climb a mountain, buy a house…the list goes on. I can absolutely choose my own fucking adventure.

That is a big, scary thing. I stay awake nights worrying about what I’m going to do? Will it be the right choice? What will my family think? What if this doesn’t work? What if Willow and I wind up homeless hookers in some shitty backwater town where we have to work a truck stop parking lot? (Yes. These are actual thoughts I have. The beagle and I are hookers. The crazy is HUGE here.)

But here it is. I’ve got one shot. One freaking shot to break out of this rut and LIVE. Put up or shut up and tell everyone that does not like my decisions to kiss my ass.

So, once again, my blog will be living up to it’s name. The Adventures of GeekGirl are back on.

tldr; Holy shit some changes are coming, y’all!!!!!

This, That, and the Other

Holy shit! I’m actually sitting down to do some blogging! What the hell?

Everyday, I think if pulling the plug on this blog, but I just can’t do it. It’s ALWAYS been here. I’ve blogged for 10 years. I try to get my mojo going, but I just can’t find it. So, it will just have to remain that I come here when I have something to say. AND, I have something to say now

This – NROLFW

As I told you guys about a month ago I was restarting Stage 1 of NROLFW. Why was I restarting it? Because I’m not the brightest crayon in the box and TOTALLY read it wrong. I didn’t do stage 1 properly.

I’ve been shooting to lift 3 times a week, but it seems that life (or running) always gets in the way and I lift twice. So, it’s taking me a REALLY long time to get through Stage 1.

I’m starting the second half this week. I will now be doing 3 x 10 reps of all these exercises that I hate. Which ones do I hate the most?

I never do that lat pull down thing. There is always some muscle head on that machine. I despise deadlifts and I’m terrified of doing my squats in the squat rack. BUT, I’m going to have to because I’m lifting heavy enough that I can no longer use dumbbells. Go me?

Am I seeing results? Yes and no. My fat percentge went DOWN 5 percentage points from 36.?% to 31.?%. (I’m too lazy and cold to go look it up.

BUT, my weight went up and I swear my clothes are fitting tighter.

I will happily admit that this is ALL my fault. I have been eating all the food and thing it’s appropriate to refuel with a bottle of wine. Whoops. My bad!

Tighter diet is in effect.

That – I Deleted FaceBook

At the beginning of the year – after viewing a million baby photos, messages to husbands as status’, and just getting sick of the fuckery – I killed FB.

And it was the best thing I’ve done this year. (I know we’re only in February, but whatever!)

I don’t miss it. There has not been a day that’s gone by where I wondered what the fuck is going on in FB. And…my real friends still contact me. Who knew?

Other -Dumb Bitch Next Door (Cruella for short) Moved Out

The horrible bitch next door that has made my life miserable since I got Willow has moved out! She cites the reason as being Willow’s incessant barking. What she didn’t know is that my landlord lives on premises and said Willow is quiet as a mouse now.

Willow and I made sure to wave good bye to her as she was packing up her sad pods all by herself.

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

With that, I’m off to eat some breakfast and get to work. Note: I do NOT want to go to  work. That is a whole other string of posts.