Sunday, December 24, 2006

Blog the Twenty-First

On the
Day of Christmas

You could do this: Refuse to enjoy life

But do this instead: Put your computer speakers up to ten, click the link below, and get ready for three and a half minutes of awesome living!

Click here for 3 1/2 Minutes of Awesome Living!

On the
11th Day of Christmas

You could do this: See only doom and gloom and the sad grayness of life

But do this instead: Grab some crayons and color

Some things from my childhood did not stand the test of time: I'm not a voracious reader of Fangoria Magazine anymore. I don't want to tumble rocks. I don't wear five watches on one arm. But some things from my childhood have never left. One of those things is coloring.

I have all sorts of colored pens and pencils, markers, pastels, paints. And I have boxes of Crayola Crayons at home and at work with a jumbo coloring book accompanying each. My co-workers have caught me many a time at my desk or outside in the sun coloring away. At home, when I'm bummed out, a little coloring helps to turn my mood right around.

I am an "off-colorist" - rose petals turn green and the stems are purple. Puppy dogs are orange with silver polka dots. And while I do stay in the lines, there are no rules on the coloring page. Being able to do whatever you like, however you like, when everything else may be out of your hands, and even if it's just for coloring, feels really great.

On the
and Really Freakin' Last Day of Christmas

You could do this: Bottle everything up and never let the world in

But do this instead: Blog

Blog long. Blog hard. Blog wide. Blog with passion. Blog with humor. Blog with anger. Blog with pictures or just your writings.

We're out here reading. We know what it's like. We're sharing. We're connecting. And in Bloggerland, we are not alone - which is one of the best gifts a Motherless Daughter can have.

So Merry Christmas Motherless Daughters! Now, what did ya'll get me? :)


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Blog the Twentieth

Three this time :)

On the
7th Day
of Christmas

You could do this: Hit something

But do this instead: Hit something really hard! But at your local batting cage or bowling alley

When it's been a tough day at work, or in life, and I need to rage against the machine, I hit up my local batting cage, plug up the iPod and have it.

For 15 to 20 minutes, I swing for the tree tops. I swing for deep right field. I swing to smash that flippin' ball across the universe, and as it flies away it takes with it all the crap of the bad day.

I suck at bowling, so you're just going to have to figure that one out for yourself ;p

On the
Day of Christmas

You could do this: Freak out and spin your own wheels

But do this instead: Read one entire book from cover to cover

I will be the first to admit, I can't sit still to save my life. I talk fast, I move fast, I work fast. But sometimes when things get a bit too overwhelming, I find a good way to sort through it all is to focus on one thing at time.

Taking the time to read a book, cover to cover, is a bit like meditating. Singleminded, still - and probably not very easy to do at first crack.

Get comfortable then with a blanket and your favorite cup of coffee or tea (I love Chai!). You will enter another world (Motherless Daughters could so use a healthy escape once in awhile), and force yourself to pay attention to only one task at a time. If you're like me - aka Speed Racer - you can cheat a little and pick a book with only a couple hundred pages. You can graduate to a tome later.

On the
9th Day of Christmas

You could do this: Hide away the memories

But do this instead: Celebrate the memories!

While it doesn't happen as much anymore, the images of my dying Mother do still seep into my head. For nearly five years I watched her waste away, deflated to skin and bones. Those images I'm sad to say, are most likely permanently seared into my brain. In the early days, I didn't want to close my eyes at night, because I couldn't bear to see those images. They still make me cry.

But if you could have seen my Mother in 1986, or for New Years in '89 - you would smile and laugh. In order for you to see that however, I have to celebrate the good memories I do have and share them, let them out, let them breathe in the world.

I have very few of my Mother's trinkets, and very few of her photographs, so it's hard for me to celebrate with tangible things. If you have trinkets, perhaps creating a shrine is right up your alley. But if you're like blogger Michigan Holly - and you do have a plethora of fabulous photographs - then a photoblog may be just for you.

Check out Holly's blog Diary of a Motherless Daughter. It's the most amazing way I've seen a Motherless Daughter celebrate her own Mother's memories.

Or you could give this a whirl - grab a group of your friends, head out to your Mom's favorite places and celebrate her there.

A few months ago, on my Mother's 51st birthday, my friend Kzam, in the middle of breakfast out, decided we were going to celebrate by hitting up the casino. So we did, but not before cruising all over Altadena in search of a liquor store that was open before 10 a.m. To my naive surprise, we found one!

The whole adventure hysterical. And we had a blast. I lost every penny I went with, and my friend hit on the slots. We cracked up the entire drive back. My Mother, without a doubt, would have a approved.

The home stretch is coming up! Look out for the last three verses to be published on Christmas Eve (I hope!).


Friday, December 22, 2006

Blog the Nineteenth

Two more!
On the
5th Day of Christmas

You could do this: Bemoan your miserable fate! - till even you get bored of hearing yourself

But do this instead: Be an Agent of Change for one day and take matters into your own hands

No matter how many times you've heard it, I'm gonna say it again here once more: VOLUNTEERING is one of the best things a human being can do for others, for the community, for the world and for their karma.

So many things may seem, and very well may be, out of the hands of a Motherless Daughter, but choosing to VOLUNTEER is one simple act that can - help put things in persepective, help get you active, help get you reconnecting with others, and help you see what Motherless Daughthers sometimes forget to see - that there is still life out there (and sometimes that life needs you).

Here are some suggestions to get your VOLUNTEER imagination fired up:
Local - help prepare meals for families living at a Domestic Violence Shelter
National - participate in a letter writing campagin to you state's Senator based around some issue signifacnt to you
Global: start a Christmas Clean Up Day - and pick up trash at park or a beach then... RECYCLE!

On the
6th Day of Christmas

You could do this: Ask, ask, ask for peace, for the pain to go away, to hit the lotto

But do this instead: Give, give, give blood

Motherless Daughters spend a lot of time in their lives asking. They ask their Gods, spiritual adviors, therapists, families, best friends, strangers. They ask for things they can't have anymore. They ask for things they get and then realize don't actually matter. They ask questions others can't answer.

So let's spend some time not asking, let's spend some time being okay with the answers we already have, and instead let's take that time to give.
Giving blood literally means you are helping to save someone's life. It seems to me, one of the best balancing acts of the universe that you can be a part of. And if you're hardcore enough, like my friend Kelley of Don't Know How Ya Do It, you can donate platelets as well.

I've just signed up to donate blood on December 26th! When will you donate? To find out where to donate in your 'hood check here - GiveLife.Org

And if you can't donate blood yourself, then recruit one of your friends (or even a few of them) and make an afternoon out of it!

Eat a good breakfast together, take the drive to the donation center together, hold her hand (or his hand) during the process, slap the "I Donated Blood" sticker on your foreheads and then go eat a yummy lunch!

I hate needles, so I may recruit a friend to just to hold my hand anyway ;p


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Blog the Eighteenth

Two more verses for you gluttons of punishment :)

On the
3rd Day of Christmas

You could do this: Hide away from the world underneath all your blankets

But do this instead: Take those blankets out to the living room and watch a Favorite Movie Triple Feature - add some microwaveable butter (or kettle!) popcorn for that fine theater touch.

Triple feature recommendations:
Horror - The Shining, Cabin Fever, The Blob (original version please)
SciFi - Starship Troopers, Aliens, iRobot
Comedy - Shaun of the Dead, Dodgeball, Duck Soup (or any Marx Brothers film in existence)
Romance - Love Actually, French Kiss, Moulin Rouge
Action - Casino Royale, Braveheart, Gladiator
Fantasy - Harry Potter, Labyrinth, Mirrormask

Mix 'n' match for an afternoon of good cries, hearty laughs, ignited imagination and adrenaline rushes.

On the
4th Day of Christmas

You could do this: Not eat

But do this instead: Eat out for breakfast, lunch AND dinner!

Yes that means you will have to get up and get dressed. Yes you may even have to shower and put on some makeup. But you don't have to necessarily eat somewhere new. Tired and true Mickey D's works just fine. If you're going to go through all the trouble to live for a second though, you may as well try something different :)

If you live in LA, my IRL friend Fightin' Mad Mary, reviews may eateries in her blog - The Customer is Always Right

For ya'll outside of the City of Angels, try this website CitySearch. Type in your city name, click off what you're looking for (a yummy Thai perhaps?) and wahlah! A list of fabulous restaurants all in your backyard.

Stay tuned for more verses! How long is this damn song anyway ;p


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Blog the Seventeenth

Hello Motherless Daughters! And Happy Flippin' Holidays!

I wanted to start this post yesterday, for the official start of the 12 Days of Christmas, but I got busy and forgot. So here it is - a day late but just as good promise.

I could post to you guys about how difficult it could be around the holidays for us motherless ones. But all of you are already hip to that shit. All of the Motherless Daughters, in all of the world, already know this time of year sucks.

So for the 12 Days of Christmas this year, I've decided to do something a little different. Instead of expounding on the knowledge ya'll already know about Motherless Daughters and how well they do on Holidays, I'm gonna learn ya something maybe you don't know but really, really should. For those of us Motherless Daughters who also have the distinction of being fabulously solo, I think a lot of this info is mightily important.

We're gonna do two sections this time around since I missed one yesterday. Ready, set, read!

The 12 Days of Christmas - You Could do This But do This Instead Version (sung in the verse of absolutely no figgin' holiday song in existence, 'cause I can't sing and this doesn't rhyme anyway.)

On the
1st Day of

You could do this: Sulk

But do this instead: Take a few hours to do a Year End Portfolio Checkup

1. Check on your 401k - review retirement plan contributions
2. Check on your IRA accounts
3. Review your entire portfolio to see if it still meets your goals
4. Rebalance if necessary
5. Track your gains and losses since purchase date
6. Find ways to cut expenses
7. Make additional contributions
8. Review your company's benefit plans

On the
2nd Day of Christmas

You could do this: Cry your eyes out till you're sucking up your own snot

But do this instead: If you don't have a portfolio to checkup on - build one!

Retail discount invest brokers like Sharebuilder (love them!) allow you to buy individual stocks, exchange traded funds and index funds, for a very low commission (4 bucks a pop) and no minimums. If you're not stock market savvy, start with investing $10 a week (heck a month even, just start with something!) in an index fund that matches what benchmarks, like the S&P, are returning. That way you'll at least be making some money back on your hard earned dough.

Index Fund Super Crash Course from Wikipedia - Click and Learn Baby!

Check back in tomorrow...ish, for the next verse of this new holiday song!