Monday, November 8, 2010

The Art of Honesty

I reply to lengthy email questionnaires, sign up for junk at super-market sample stations, mail in box tops or cool-aid packets, donate blood AND run (okay mostly walk now) 5K races all for T-shirts.  Given my weakness for them-I was thrilled to know the good people at sent me an email saying I could have a FREE T-SHIRT if I posted a link to their online store in my blog.   OF COURSE I WILL DO IT----A FREE T-SHIRT IS UP FOR GRABS! Honestly, this "Martial Art" post is long over due.  I have internally wrestled with this for going on 6 years next month.  In December of 2004 while unloading cakes and pies of all things, from my car, a stranger (Hence forth known as Crack Head) crossed the street in front of my home, ran down the drive leading to my car where myself and two friends were unloading goods for a CHRISTMAS PARTY... put a 9 millimeter in my neck. He said one thing over and over "Give me your purse! Give me your purse! Give me your purse!"  Thinks are still a little blurry but I think he wanted my purse. No one was injured. The ordeal lasted less 3 minutes I think.  I don't know. I gave him my organizer containing check book, multiple credit cards and $78.00 cash.  He took the money and ran like the ski mask wearing, jobless- coward he is.  For the next few weeks-people would ask me about it-I would tell and re-tell the story always adding a couple of key pieces of information.  1. I am just thankful my friends are okay. 2.I am thankful no one was hurt.  I would verbally reassure people that I knew this would eventually help me help someone. Some good would eventually come from this experience.   Okay so that's me, trying to say the right thing-wanting to believe the right thing. I wasn't lying to people-I was trying to help them be okay with what  happened-so that I could be okay with what happened.  Six years later and having gone through a lot of "learning experiences" that are still on the "this will eventually help someone and good will eventually come from this" shelf, and having the complete freedom to be honest here on my very own blog-I will tell you this- 1. Although I WAS thankful my friends were okay and I WAS happy no one was hurt, I DID NOT see how anything good could come from this experience.  Nor did I wish to be the one who "got the chance to use this experience to help someone".  I would never have wished this on anyone-no matter what lesson could be learned.  I certainly wouldn't have wished this on MYSELF! Are you KIDDING?   I was afraid-and mad (not angry, mad.   I mean angry is what you are at your children or your spouse.  Mad is what you are at the person or people who hurt you or your children or your spouse-it's way way less controlled-it's way way more powerful and it's way way more honest.) And for the first and only time in my life I felt week and stupid.  I worried constantly-I was actually even made fun of by an X-Friend (talk about one of those experiences that could be used to help someone wow! it's still on the shelf too) for not "getting over it".  I tried.  I did well publicly-but internally I was very afraid.  
By August (8 months later) I was convinced the Crack Head knew where I worked and would one day show up in the parking lot to kill me.  (I know it's crazy talk. I'm just being honest here) The fear was just about to take over......Enter the Ninja.... No, seriously...I'm not kidding.  6 years after the event-I make a few honest statements leading to this whole "ninja thing"  1. I still have anger (notice it is now anger, I am no longer mad) 2. I still wish it had never happened (not just to me and my friends-but I wish that for our families.) 3. Only this week am I starting to accept the possibility that this experience could actually be beneficial to someone. (it's been 6 years) 4. If my experience is going to help someone I am going to have to be honest about it.  And that is what I am doing here.  I just realized by pretending I was okay with it all (and I wasn't) I might have been putting un-fair pressure on someone else to "be okay" with what they were going through.  (not helpful) and 5. I  am honestly not afraid now.     In the fall of 2005 I took a few self-defense classes from Chuck Williams a friend and security director at church. His classes focus on helping women who have been abused or have experienced a scary situation like mine.  I have so much respect for Chuck.  You know before I said one of things I felt after the mugging was week and stupid?  I still recall what I was wearing the day Chuck said "you were smart girl" when I explained what I did when the attacker told me to get in my car to get my purse.  As trivial as that sounds-that Thursday night in the gym at HP as Chuck reassured me I had done the smart thing by not getting into my car as commanded-I gained a bit of my self back. For that I am honestly thankful.   A few weeks later I checked out a different style of self defense.  A non-competitive style called Ninjutsu.  Being the peace-loving hippie chick I am, I found the aggressive-tough guy environment a little over-whelming at first.  When I say over-whelming I mean-I was in awe of their level of cool. I came and watched a few classes and thought to myself "I don't want to get to that level-I just want to feel stronger" About a month ago-I realized I am now at the level I thought was unattainable.  I only say that to make a point.  The point I make is this:  For me, taking self defense is not about the belt color or rank I attain (it was never about that).  It was never about competition.  And for 4 years or so it wasn't even about telling anyone I train.  For me it was mostly about the outfit- I mean seriously- Ninjas wear really cool outfits..  Seriously tho, for a while it was about ME-getting my head back-believing that everything was in fact going to be okay.  Now, I am starting to think it might actually be about helping someone else...Like if I can go through this thing-and end up stronger and braver-someone else, even someone who has been through much much worse, can be okay too....And honestly, it's a little bit about the clothes.  Now....send me my t-shirt!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

I love Candy!

Friday has been declared "candy day" at our house. We had to sort of "reign it in" to one day a week-mostly because of my recent relapse into a full fledged candy addiction. And by "mostly" I mean that's the whole reason. I go through these phases where I am really disciplined and do not eat anything unnatural, no artificial anything. Seriously People it's true.  Nothing from a package is my general rule with few exceptions to the following: yogurt, frozen vegetables and  brown ten minute rice. When in that zone-I am complete "granola". All whole foods-in complete moderation. The only real draw back-well...there are at least two draw backs. 1. Eating at a restaurant is pretty difficult with exception to the salad bar at Jason's Deli. (and a side note little plug for Jason's. They try to provide great-whole foods, as many organically grown vegetables and fruit as possible and no trans fats in their foods.  Even their processed meats and cheeses are minimally so. Plus when we go there on Monday nights at almost closing time-the manager is super nice to us and lets us stay well past closing-there we sit in our booth all hot and sweaty from self-defense class, gobbling up organic goodness from the salad bar just chatting and laughing completely unaware of the time when the manager says "hey- we are going to start cleaning off the salad bar and prepping for tomorrow-can we bring you anything else?" We scramble to say  we are sorry for staying so late but are interrupted by "oh no- we have another 2 hours of work to do-stay as long as you want! We are going to lock you in-but it's nice to have happy company this late in the day"  Kind of a tangent (now there is something new) anyway when I am eating clean and need to grab something quick for dinner-Jason's is my first choice. and TWO...It's kind of expensive to eat this way.  I mean it IS expensive to eat this way.  Fresh fruit and veggies are more expensive than pre-made pasta side items and seasoned rice packets for the microwave. Also more expensive than chips and crackers and cookies and sweets.....OH yes...candy... Right-  okay back on track now.   I was saying I eat clean when I am disciplined to do so.  I am currently allowing and really enjoying my Friday evening splurge.  Here is the deal, TK and I have date night-and at some point in the evening we make a really big deal about going to get CANDY! As you might imagine I talk a lot about it before we actually go- and then there is the "do you love candy as much as me?" line of rhetorical questions. I often start a survey "what is your FAVORITE candy?"  TK: "It's hard to say..." Me: "would it help if I put candy into category?"  TK: "sure"  He humors me.   So I say "What's your favorite chocolate candy?" TK answers... Me: "what's the best chocolate candy you ever ate?"  TK answers. Me: "Would you rather have sugary candy or chocolate candy?"  etc etc.    Once there was even this crazy create your own path type game I played in the car.  "would you choose M&Ms or Reece's Pieces?"  TK: "ohhh hard one....ummm Reece's Pieces." Me:  "okay, Reece's Pieces or Peanut Butter Cup?"   etc etc.  this went on and on and on.  In honor of  Candy Day I will now post images of my favorite candy things.  I must say this CANDY to me is things that are sugary- such as Skittles, Jujubes, Jelly Belly, Hot Tamales, Candy Corn, Jolly Ranchers etc.  Chocolate is a total different category in my book.  Really good chocolate like the kind you can purchase in Amsterdam (and is so rich if you have been eating "clean" for the past year an a half will make your 9 hour flight back to the US miserable I am just sayin') that kind of really good chocolate is an art form for sure.  What Fridays are for me is a day for the sticky-shiny-gummy bear kind of candy most adults think they "out grow".   
Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
Circus Peanuts-better than regular peanuts and Candy Corn- SO MUCH BETTER THAN REGULAR CORN! 
And now- there are these amazing flavors, this season I have tried Caramel, Caramel Apple, and Butterscotch. Along with the traditional flavors.  Anytime I talk about Candy Corn I think of two things.
1. When someone says "if you eat candy corn and peanuts together it tastes just like a Pay Day bar" My close friends know how I feel abou that statement.  It's always funny to hear someone new say it-b/c often times it's like they think they are getting "away" with telling some secret the "candy/peanut police" don't want you to know. (the combo is really great to me tho)  and 2. I think about -
Buddy The Elf

If you like Atomic Fire Balls-let me just share with you a little secret treat the I found on a trip to "The Nation" Me, TK and The Fireman took over a year ago.  There are in fact "soft" Atomic Fire Ball Candies- and they are so so so so good- and so addictive. One of the most appealing things about them is they are not found everywhere-So Far Hastings in Muskogee, OK. Gordman's in Memphis, TN and a fueling station in a remote part of Arkansas are the places I have seen and purchased these incredible edible pieces of art. ohhh man! Thinking about them makes my mouth water.

so..right- this is an art blog-and  some very talented artists actually create art from candy  like  Julia Chiang.  check out her website if you get a second   SWEET!

Another of my favorite  pieces of candy. This collection makes me smile! Enjoy!

Be Sweet!