It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for October, 2015

I’m only human after all……

While I’ve received some positive opinions about my last blog,regarding Adele’s new song, the negative and hate is starting to roll in.

Let me explain something and it’s personal of nature and it’s unfortunately why I’m the way I am.

If you’ve read my previous blogs, regarding bullying, body diversity, medical mental health and self-esteem, it’s bad enough when one’s foundation is based upon being disliked if not hated for, what I’m about both on the inside and out.

But even if I can find kindness from others, especially in a romantic realm, as I’ve said in my blog about not getting over “the one who got away” (which is still being read, fairly frequently, even though I published it, MONTHS ago) is that I made a career of dating men, who dated me, when they couldn’t over other past loves in their lives.

Most of the time, in the few romantic relationships that I’ve been in, I was the one who technically ended, something that really NEVER was. My love may have been real, but I didn’t have a prayer, having feelings for someone where I was a pleasant (and not always pleasant during or after, a breakup) diversion.

But the takeaway for me, my whole entire life, is that I’ve NEVER been, anyone’s FIRST choice. NEVER

In anything and everything that EVER matters.

So, in all different ways when it comes to love, whether it’s platonic, family, maternal and romantic, never being anyone’s first choice, can do a doozie on a self esteem that usually runs low to non existent .

I would NEVER want to influence anyone’s choice of expressing themselves, especially when they are being honest. I’m not trying to take away someone’s right and need to have music that fits their circumstances and that they find solace, in.

But I’d be lying, for how much I adore Adele, in multiple ways, of being bummed that she doesn’t have music that I can relate to.

I’d be lying, that if you listen to the lyrics of “Hello”, I’m admitting that I think it’s selfish and cruel, if someone breaks someone else’s heart, that they keep trying to remind them, they exist. Even if they are sorry and/or realize they did make the biggest mistake of their lives, by letting that person go.

I have to live with everyday, being a mother who loves her children, but doesn’t see them often, since they went to live with my parents, over 7 years ago. Part of that is because, I don’t want my children to be hurt, more than they already have been. Even though they know I love them, more than anything. It’s not saying much, though, if I say I love them more than myself, though. But it would be cruel and even more selfish, to look for them to validate me, or constantly remind them that I exist, if I can’t raise them  and have a day to day relationship with them.

So, if I can accept, understand and embrace music that still is personally hurtful, for all the reasons that I’ve said above, I’m sure there’s a few people like me, who take it personally, when songs about unrequited love or regretting letting a love go, and years later ruminating on it, is a painful reminder of lifelong love rejection, that I’ve experienced and they did, too.

I’m not looking for pity, with this blog. And maybe it’s hard for others to understand where I’m coming from.

Unless they’ve NEVER been anyone’s first choice, as well.

And that’s one club, metaphorically, that NO ONE ever wants a membership in. And while I can change how I let that effect my life, I can’t change that from always being the case. I am just beyond grateful to have the love that I do from my children and the love that I have for my parents……..

I hope this resolves and clarifies why people could have the reactions they did to Adele’s song “Hello” or any musical artist who write songs that talk about not EVER getting over the one they let go or the one that got away.

Peace………

Um… Goodbye???

Can you hear me, NOW???

I am kinda late to the party. I just for the first time  heard Adele’s new song “Hello”.

Since I first checked it out, today, although it dropped 4 days ago, it not only set a record the day it came out, it’s now been seen NINETY MILLION times on You Tube/VEVO.

I think she’s stunning both visually and her voice both in lyrics and sound is otherwordly, breathtaking and beautiful….

And I’d be lying, if I didn’t admit going through a break up without listening to Adele’s “Someone Like You” a few times (okay maybe 400 or 500 times), but that’s beside the point.

If you’ve read previous blogs, you probably already know, I take issue with not music, but people who are stuck on former loves of their lives.

I didn’t want to unfairly judge the song, so I listened/watched the video, a SECOND time, because my first thoughts were kinda harsh and unfair. I’m like “Great, stalkers have a new anthem”, and I respect Adele’s artistry, too much, to be that much of a bitch about her music.

Now, I’m fully aware of my own hangups and why I don’t particularly care for music that deals with taking years to get over a breakup.

And for someone who also respects artists like Kelly Clarkson and didn’t like the backlash she went through when her music got more “positive” (don’t even get me started, as a body diversity activist, how angry I’ve gotten over the shit that both Adele and Kelly Clarkson have gone through about their weight) the last thing I’d want to do is disrespect any musician’s music style.

And as an activist, I know how crucial music can be as a coping mechanism, in our darkest times. So, I’m not saying that music that talks about lost love, doesn’t have a place, because it most certainly does.

So watch the video. Buy her music. And if you want, let’s start a discussion, either on my blog or on Facebook. Did you like the video/song? Did you react differently than I did (in my case where I found the video/song visually and auditorally (I know I just made up a word and obviously don’t care) where it produced a strong reaction, not necessarily, a positive one, though.

As always, you’re allowed to disagree with me, just be respectful about it, OK?

Cause if it didn’t happen during the social media era, it didn’t happen, RIGHT?

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http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/video-paris-landmarks-hyperlapse?xid=soc_socialflow_facebook_tl

The above link, just showed up on my newsfeed on Facebook. And wow, Paris has sure changed in the last 19 years, since I’ve been there.

I’ve been kinda quiet on social media, since I’ve come home from Las Vegas, other than my blogs I wrote, last week.

And it was 2 weeks ago, that I left for Las Vegas. And while I put a lot of my trip in check-in, pictures and comments on Facebook, for many reasons, one primary reason, stands out, to most who know me well.

So, that I actually remember my own trip to Las Vegas.

And how my adventures there, made me feel.

Having strange long term and short term memory issues, and knowing that I have that, is a very mixed blessing.

While most people give me credit for adventures that I’m willing to go on, as well as share,  being a complex medically, mentally and cognitively disabled chick, they also know I spend an enormous amount of time, at home, alone.

Most of my time spent, is trying to keep the memories I have, of my life when I had my children, living with me. My son turns 23 on Friday, and I’ve been a mother for over 1/2 my life, now.

WOW!!!

My feeling and loving them as a mother, DID NOT change when our addresses, unfortunately, did, 7 years ago.

I was on the phone, yesterday morning and was speaking to someone about a volunteer opportunity, that I might be eligible to do.

And I was trying to explain the events in my life and sum up my life, in a 40 minute telephone conversation.

And that was hard to do. The person I was on the phone, was nice about it and I understood that the questions that were asked, were necessary.

I was trying to convey of how blindsided I was about how the events in my life, changed in the last 10 years. That while I still tried to live a life with purpose and meaning, and be grateful that I was still alive, that I’m always going to have to refer to my past, as far as the best years of my life, were concerned.

Not my present, not my future, no matter what I do in my life, to try and make it meaningful for myself and for others.

So while I can still smile, when I talk about that time that I went on a business trip to London, and Princess Diana was on my plane (something I reference both on Facebook and my blog on occasion and I also took the Eurostar to Paris) in June of 1996, the fact that Zachary, my eldest,  had a mother who could take time off from work to bring birthday treats, to school, will always be a bigger deal, to me. Volunteered for every holiday party, in his elementary school career, as well as took him on vacations.

But the day to day stuff with my children, when they lived with me, has meant the most.

The fact that I could get my 2 children who were 10 1/2 years apart, that I was raising by myself to 2 different daycares, and worked full time, drove a car, maintained a household, then was still as I was getting sicker, still planning on starting my own business, 10 years ago,  the irony that I can’t do any of that, any longer, when people used to tell me they didn’t know how I did so much, is so far, NOT  lost on me. When I saw my daughter briefly the other day, she was shocked that she didn’t know that she had been out of our state, when she was younger and I was able to tell her about when we went to Florida and Wisconsin Dells, when she was a toddler.

It makes me profoundly sad, that my children had two different mothers, in me. And that she loves me so much, even though she has no expectations of me.

It’s just what is lost on me, and in me, that HAUNTS me. I know how lucky I am to have children, I know how lucky I am that everyone I love the most, is still alive.

I can’t escape the irony, either, that as hard as it is, to try and remember anything significant, that my writing is getting slightly better, even if my memory isn’t.

I go back to my old blogs and it’s “TL:dr” situation for me. With my OWN writing. Nothing has changed though in the last almost 2 1/2 years that I launched my blog, as a disabled writer, other than I try my hardest to be a little more concise.

People ask, on occasion, what would I do, if I could go back and change the past, what I’d do differently. Sometimes they are asking about whether or not, I’d have my gastric bypass, again. Some people will insensitively ask, whether or not I regret having my children (I don’t answer the latter question, I just look at people in HORROR, and it’s enough for them to know that it’s so not appreciated).

I can’t honestly say that there is anything that I would’ve done differently, given my circumstances and skill sets, at the time that I experienced anything from wonderful to horrific.

Not that it matters, I can’t go back and change anything and that’s something I’ve learned to make my peace with.

I have to say, for someone who at the age of 45 1/2, while most of my significant life, is over and was over before a billion people have decided to hang out on Facebook, I’m still not OVER.

So if you wondered why I pick and choose certain things to highlight  in my “social media” life, I hope this makes more sense now. I hope it makes more sense of why I’m pretty much the same, in my “offline” life, as I am online. And why I choose to live such a transparent life, but that I take breaks from social media, often (another blog specific to that, will be written, soon) and need my privacy and being reclusive, too…

For someone who never took anyone or anything for granted, I still will always struggle with my current circumstances, even though I know that life could be and definitely has been, much worse.

And it will be worse again, so I know that the universe doesn’t need to take that, as a challenge.

Just hopefully I’ll retain what I have in memory and skill sets, to get through it.

So, while I can’t say I’ll always have memories of London, Paris, Las Vegas, NYC, Miami and Fort Lauderdale given my memory issues, it’s what happened in my life, in Plymouth, Minnesota, that meant the most  to me(my children and I lived in Plymouth,MN other than 3 years, when Zachary was a toddler that we lived in New Hope, MN).

And I’m grateful to know the difference that the relevance of my life, past, present and future, isn’t based upon the relevance of it to another, especially a stranger or someone who doesn’t have my best interest at heart, on social media.

Lisa Loves Las Vegas, part 2: The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino and traveling solo as a female (especially with disabilities) in Las Vegas…..

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“Oh I’m going to mess this up, oh this is just my luck, over and over and over again”
Imagine Dragons-“Shots”

It’s also how I feel, usually 99% of the time, about anything I do.  And I just found this video, after I wrote my last blog, by Imagine Dragons. And was so excited that they filmed this video at the Stratosphere, as no amount of words or pictures, when trying to explain to my non social media boyfriend, could do the resort, justice.

Even though I’ve spent hours, since coming home from Vegas, on Saturday, trying to explain.

I felt pretty confident, actually, for once, after I booked my trip. And I feel right now like an absolute genius of how my trip played out.

Especially as far as my stay at The Stratosphere…..

And as  a complex disabled chick, I did really good getting myself to Vegas and getting around walking. It helps when the hotel/resort that you’ve booked, has the highest observation deck, not only in Las Vegas, but also in the entire United States.

How I ended up at the Stratosphere:

I had been hedging back and forth about going on a trip and going to Las Vegas. I spent dozens of hours looking at travel websites and originally thought I’d end up  at Excalibur, Luxor or Hooters. Then based upon my Facebook buds’s  suggestions, they said Excalibur or higher end hotels I couldn’t afford.

I had one Facebook friend, who is local, but I’ve never met, strong recommend the Stratosphere, I called them after getting no where with Hooters and MGM, as this was a trip of a lifetime, probably the last trip I’ll ever go on and I explained that to every reservation agent I talked to who weren’t willing to accommodate me at all, within my budget.

Now I understand NO hotel/resort in Las Vegas (let alone, anywhere else)  owes an accommodation to a chick with disabilities on a tight budget. But the not only did the reservation agents at the Stratosphere (as I originally called them on Sunday, 9-27-2015, but didn’t book until 9-28-2015 and arrived  on the Las Vegas Strip on 9-29-2015, around 10 a.m as I packed light. so I didn’t have to wait around for luggage) were super kind and patient, they did an awesome job of meeting every need/want I asked for, for a reasonable price, for the room I got. As I wanted a room with a nice bathroom and great view, in case my pain levels were too high, to leave my room, let alone, the hotel, much.

The only thing right off the bat, when I got to the resort, early, that was upsetting is not only did I not get an early check in, which I asked about when I made reservation (while I was never guaranteed one, it was alluded that it was a possibility) which I was more than willing to pay for, but my room, actually wasn’t ready until a little before 5 p.m. Which I did have a few things that went slightly awry during my stay, but that the hotel manager Mario, went way out of his way, to make right for me.

And Mario treated me with the utmost kindness, patience and respect, even though he knew I wasn’t a high roller throughout my entire stay….

Service is EVERYTHING to me. And my Spa King suite was beautiful, especially for a smoking room.It wasn’t perfect but it exceeded my expectations and they were pretty high.

I live in a tiny micro apartment that I adore in Downtown Minneapolis. So staying in a hotel suite that was twice the size of my apartment, had a whirlpool bathtub (I haven’t had a bathtub in my last 2 apartments)  and an amazing view of the Strip, was beyond awesome.

I will say this and this is a big deal. I got around Las Vegas, all by myself, very well. If money was no object, or if I can talk my boyfriend into going to Las Vegas, next year, I’d stay ONLY at the Stratosphere. when going to Las Vegas. I’d be thrilled if I became a millionaire, to stay in room 22062, again.

What I loved about the Stratosphere was it was as fancy or down to earth as you choose to make it. It was classy without feeling elitist, like the other hotels I happen to check out, such as The Wynn, The Cosmopolitan, Palazzo, Venetian.  I couldn’t afford to eat at McCall’s or Top Of The World, even with the discount coupons that I got by staying there. That the stores had a variety of budgets in mind. While I was able to eat what I wanted within reason, do a little gambling (The Stratosphere made NO money on me, basically, with gambling as I lost a total of $22) and shop, something I couldn’t have done, if I stayed at a crappy hotel, as there wouldn’t have been multiple options and a much ritzier  hotel I could barely afford the view (but I did enjoy it, as I don’t covet anything I’m not meant to have!!! 🙂 )

Everyone I encountered whether it be staff or other resort guests seem to be having a great time. I didn’t feel too old, too sick, too fat or too disabled to be staying at the Stratosphere, there was great diversity in the guests and no one seemed to be judging one another, they were just there to have a good time. Whether they were there for low key reasons like I was or they wanted to party.

Staying at the Stratosphere with or without children:

Because the the resort has thrill rides, children are to be expected. For people like me, where I was traveling by myself, and wanted a child free vacation (other than my 1st day, where friends who live in AZ who had young kids and we met at Roxy’s, which has awesome food, met me at the resort before I checked in). I chose to get food from restaurants, to go. That way I could eat them in my room and smoke, in peace and quiet. And certain parts of the hotel, such as the Level 107 nightclub and bars as well as the adults only pool on the 24th floor. There is an awesome pool on the 8th floor, that is kid friendly.

Personally, if your kid has asthma, like my youngest, I don’t think Las Vegas is an ideal location unless the property you are staying at  is completely smoke free. Because I know my daughter won’t be seeing Las Vegas (she has absolutely no desire to go to Vegas, let’s hope I win the lottery so I can take her to a Diamond Resort, though) , it wasn’t a concern of mine.

Staying at the Stratosphere solo/with disabilities: In my case I was a single solo female with invisible disabilities, so I didn’t look like a walking target. The security at the hotel was excellent, you knew they were there, but it was subtle. I also live in a big city, that’s diverse. I did try on my 2nd night there, to find a Wells Fargo ATM to avoid outrageous fees and I wouldn’t advise most people to go northbound of the hotel by themselves, in Downtown Las Vegas, at night. It’s pretty hard to scare me and it did. The Wells Fargo bank that I did end up finding was closed, didn’t have an outdoor ATM, and I just ate the fees by getting more cash from the hotel and I went on a very low budget, it wasn’t even worth going back during the daylight, to me. I had no problems going out at night, going southbound of the hotel.

But it bears repeating, I know my strengths and weaknesses. I just smiled at those who asked me for money, telling them I didn’t have any,  like I do when I’m in Downtown Minneapolis. I didn’t feel comfortable on public transit and I couldn’t afford cabs and I got around just fine, all over the Strip.

I had an amazing time. I’ve never spent that much money on myself. It was the best $850 I’ve ever spent on myself. I can only hope that I can go to The Stratosphere and/or another Diamond Resort, again.

Keep your fingers crossed that I win Mega Millions, tonight, OK? Or I invent/write the next equivalent of Harry Potter 🙂

Note: Because I’m a disabled/disability blogger but blogging about travel, might get myself some  new readers, again, I’m a disabled blogger. I understand I don’t write the best. I have cognitive disabilities that make thinking in logical sequence of order and concisely, almost impossible. Thanks…..

Lisa livin’ life la vida loca in Las Vegas/Las Vegas part 1…..

lisasupermodellol

I had come into some extra money in September and hemmed and hawed,what to do about it….

Most people in my circle, especially, don’t understand that my finances are month to month (and barely that, even thought they know I don’t have a lot of money),and  I was a lot better about saving money both working and not, when I had my children.

But that was before the social media era, or at least before I knew about it. Not knowing what Facebook was, until early 2010.

Up until exactly a week ago, I had never been as far west, from Minnesota, where I live, other than to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but because of my disabilities, I hadn’t been on a plane or out of the state of Minnesota for ELEVEN years.

I had decided to go on a trip, either to Las Vegas, Los Angeles or San Francisco….

I be too poor to go to California. So a week from yesterday, I booked a trip to Las Vegas and left exactly a week ago.

Paying for myself, getting around Vegas, all by myself, as well as getting myself to and from the airport, by myself, departing on 9-29-2015 and returning early morning on 10-3-2015.

The reason why I chose Las Vegas, was fairly simple. It was a city I wanted to see and I could do so, on my limited budget. It was a place I could travel on a non stop flight and get a nice hotel room, in case my pain levels were too high, to bop around the Strip.

I’m actually allergic to the sun now, due to my long term deficiencies from my gastric bypass. I’m also terribly heat sensitive, so even with my explanation that I had wanted to still see the Vegas before I croak, most people were surprised, but supportive that I’d book an adventure in the DESERT in Nevada.

If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s AWESOME. I did fairly well, as while I’ve traveled in the past by myself to Florida and went on a business trip to London, 19 years ago (also took the Eurostar to Paris, when I was in Europe), I had even had adventures in Brooklyn (as well as flying by myself) when I was 14 and visiting family.

However… I’m 45 1/2 years old, with multiple complex medical, mental health and cognitive  disabilities, now . While some people were supportive, some people thought that Sin City, was the last place someone with unmedicated Bipolar 2 disorder, should be.

I actually booked the trip, looking for an adventure. I honestly didn’t believe with my current set of circumstances and where I was in my life, that I deserved an actual vacation.

l also booked my trip in haste, but not due to being impulsive. I left less than 24 hours after I booked my trip, but that was so I didn’t spend October’s money on my trip. As my son’s birthday is in October and my daughter has a few days off, this month, from school.  I had a little under over to spend while I was in Vegas. Not a lot of money, by any means,, to travel out of state for almost 4 days.

The gamble that I took, was relying on myself, to get myself and my stuff to and from Las Vegas, in one piece. I lost about $22 gambling. I spent about $60 in food and about$50 in cute jewelry, purses and knick knacks. And $37 to see a show at my hotel (my hotel, traveling with disabilities and traveling alone as a female, will be in my next blog).

I came back with $60 to my name. That’s actually unusual for me, at the end of any month, to have that much money…

What I learned on my trip, was PRICELESS and invaluable. I learned that I do deserve to treat myself well, not just as a distraction. I learned that some people, who claim to be a friend, aren’t so, but that didn’t shock me at my age. It  just shocks me , why they try to even bother convincing me, that they care, when they obviously don’t.

And I don’t wait around for anyone, for that reason anymore. I learned I could walk in high heat and sun all over the Las Vegas Strip, as I only took a bus from the McCarran to Fashion Show mall and walked EVERYWHERE I went, until I left from Excalibur to go back to McCarran, to go back home via an airport shuttle.

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I had though,  multiple social media buds, who were super supportive of my not only going on an adventure but a nice trip. I had though real life peeps who couldn’t find one nice thing to say about my going on a trip by myself or how I looked. But I’m not a complete idiot. I know who is in my true circle and who isn’t.

But most importantly, I learned after 40 years of being told I’m not worth anything and believing it, that I’m worth being treated well by myself and by others.

So no, other than the gamble I took, going to Vegas with disabilities, I don’t live a crazy life.

Whether I’m home or out of state……….

I also don’t care much, about those who don’t have my best interest at heart. My life has taught me, I don’t have much more time to waste. It wasn’t out of ego, that I posted a bazillion pics of Las Vegas on Facebook.

It was out of knowing, that while I know I can take care of myself, it gets harder to do so, even with as little responsibilities that I have at this stage in my life. That my memory issues are getting worse. That I’m on my 17th life and I’m living it the best that I can. And I can still bet on myself…

This time I won big 🙂

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Note: Above pic of me, taken on 10-1-2015, from my junior suite at Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. Picture above, taken from Level 108 Observation Deck at Stratosphere, on the same date.

Also Note: My math SUCKS… Could be a little off on exact dollar amounts, spent, but know I didn’t spend more than $850. As bad as my math sucks, I haven’t bounced a check, in the history of having a checking account 🙂

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