Friday, January 27, 2012

Pornge Anyone?

My 8 year old diva has always had trouble with pronunciation. When she was a toddler I had to take her to a Speech Pathologist for tips in getting her to use her throat, not just the tip of her tongue, to make sounds. Now-a-days, she simply gets tripped up over lengthy words. It's quite adorable if you ask me.

Magazine is Mazagine.

San Jacinto is San Dakindo.

Photography is Tafroggery.

And so on.

Last nights homework required her to rhyme words. She chose to try and rhyme "orange." This is how the conversation (with herself, mind you) went down:
 "What rhymes with orange? Ooohhhhh!!!! I know! PORNGE!!!!" 
I had to walk away to get my laugh out. Explaining to her why I thought "pornge" was so funny would have most likely damaged her....for life.

I love that joy and laughter are found in the silliest things...even when no one else seems to find the humor in said little things. These days, I find myself laughing at the hand fate has given me. The best way to describe it is by sharing the latest entry from  
When Fate steps in...

It is amazing, really.

You’re traveling along on your own little journey, lost in your own little world, and out of nowhere it seems, the right something (or dare I even say, someone?) crosses paths with yours. When I say right, I mean that certain something (and yes okay, possibly someone) who’s sudden, un-expected presence makes you stop dead-in-your-tracks so that you can catch your breath. 

Because it’s just what you needed. The realization takes your breath away.    

And you can’t believe your luck that it just showed up one day, out of the blue, when you weren’t even looking for anything like it. When you didn’t even know that it was just the thing you’ve been missing in your travels all along. 

So, you take it with you as you continue onward.  

You embrace it.

You’re grateful for it. 

You give it all you’ve got.  For what it’s worth, it changes you enough where you re-evaluate where you’re going and how you plan to get there.
Two breathtakingly beautiful moments happened this weekend. Being my birthday weekend, I could not have asked for a better present. As much as I'd love to shout it from the rooftops what happened, it's one of those moments that are best cherished in private. The kind of moment that made me stop dead-in-my-tracks. The kind of moment that made me ask Fate, "Really? Now? So soon? Are you suuuuuure?"

Just like hearing "pornge" for the first time, causing my heart to lift at the sweet sound of my daughter's confident voice, hearing Fate whisper to my soul, "Jump!" has brought a depth of peace to my being that words cannot even describe. I used to thumb my nose at Fate, wondering "How could you??? How could you make me share so much of my life with such an unloving person? How could you bring my idea of perfection into my life that I'm on the fast track to my 40's?? Why not 20 years ago when we first met??"

The answer was hidden beneath the pain of not being able to touch him everyday; beneath the sadness that I've lost 20 years with him; beneath the fear of not having him for the rest of my life.

I wasn't ready.

I wasn't ready to be loved.

I wasn't ready to love.

Staring comfort in the face, seeing myself lost in his soul, is like hearing pornge for the first time. Silly. Sweet. Unfamiliar.

It's Fate's way of saying, "You're ready."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

All's Fair in Farts and Kisses

After a long week and a super big lunch (which for me included a pile of grilled onions, sadly the hot boyfriend is allergic to them) we decided to take a much needed nap. This is how the pre-nap conversation went down:

Hot BF (as I'm walking to the bathroom): Where are you going?

Me:  To brush my teeth.

Hot BF: Right now?

Me: Yeah, well, I ate all those onions.

Hot BF: Eh, that's OK. I don't mind. 

Me: Really?!? And you'll still kiss me?

Hot BF: long as I can fart.

Me: DEAL!!

Hot BF (as he leans in for a yummy kiss): Mmmm, aren't we romantic.

My, oh my, how things have changed. I mean, really. Seven months ago I was doing what everyone told me was necessary after my divorce: Date. Date a lot. Get to know what's out there...what I want....what I don't want.

I had no idea how fun being in the dating scene could be. For most, it's a scary thing to face. For others, too difficult to break into. Me? I *loved* it!! I had so much fun meeting new people, learning new ways to flirt, er, I mean communicate, and most of all learning about myself. My confidence soared, my smiles widened, and most days I felt like I was floating on cloud 9.

Something happened, however, during that time that I didn't foresee. Honestly, it took me until now, six months out of the dating game, to realize it happened. For a couple of weeks, I've been feeling different. I haven't been able to put my finger on what exactly felt different; I just knew that something, fundamental, was changing at the center of my being.  The crazy thing is, it took watching a silly movie to make me see it. 

The dialogue between Dylan (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis) in the movie "Friends With Benefits" is what caused the light bulb to flicker on: 
Jamie: Look, I know that I act all tough and I talk all tough, but really...
Dylan: It's just a front to protect yourself from your own vulnerability.
Jamie: What are you, my f****** therapist now?
As I pondered the conversation for a few days, I also heard a reporter comment--in reference to Demi Moore's confession of being scared of "ultimately finding out at the end of [her] life that [she's] really not lovable, that [she's] not worthy of being loved. That there’s something fundamentally wrong with [her]"--a woman "going through a divorce often asks herself 'if this one man doesn't love me, will any man be able to?'"

While immersed in the dating scene, I was fun, carefree, aloof, and emotionally unattached/unavailable...somewhat robotic-like. As a matter of fact I used to tell my guy friends/guys I dated that I loved them in a robot-kind-of-way. It surprised even me at how unemotional I was when it came to men. Hearing Timberlakes character tell his counterpart that it was "a front to protect [herself] from her own vulnerability" was a jaw dropper for me. That was it!!! I finally knew what was changing within me!!

I met--and established a deep, strong friendship--with the Hot BF right smack dab in the middle of my emotional unavailability. We joked, made fun of each other, laughed, hugged, cried (me, not him), laughed, texted till 4:00 a.m., told funny stories...all the while my heart and spirit were (unknowingly) growing tougher and tougher. I was (again, unknowingly) determined to protect myself from becoming vulnerable to a man. So when the Hot BF and I decided to "hang out," I was confused and perplexed at the physiological response I was having to him. He gave me butterflies just with a touch of his hand...I couldn't stop thinking about him...I felt so cozy and comfortable in his presence..."WTH IS HAPPENING?!?!"  is all that ran through my mind for a good few months.

So this change, this process of coming out of my chrysalis, my protective shell, started much longer than a few weeks ago. It's only been lately that the changes have surfaced into my thoughts and behavior. I have been worried that the girl the Hot BF fell in love with--the one who "acted all tough and talked all tough"--wasn't the "real" me; it was the protected me, the sheltered me, the "I refuse to get f***** by a man again" me.

I can't tell you how many times I've asked myself: Will he still love me...the real me? The emotional, incredibly sensitive, visionary me? Because the last guy? The ex-husband? Not only did he not love the "real" me, but he belittled the real me; ridiculed my vision for all things possible in life; took liberty in crushing my spirit and dismissed the tears welling up in my eyes when I asked him to just love me for me.

As the shell around my heart and emotions have been chipped away, piece by piece by the love, kindness, and generosity of the best man I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, I've been fearful that when he sees the "real me," he won't want me as much as he wanted me when I was fun, carefree, aloof, and emotionally unattached/unavailable.  Turns out, the deeper into my heart and emotions he gets, the deeper in love we fall with each other.

I will take the romance of onion kisses and farts any day over...well...anything. All's fair, right?


Sometimes, being strong means not holding back the tears but letting them fall.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's Okay To Believe In Love Again!

Today's the day. One year ago today the Judge signed her approval and legally declared me a free woman!!!!  You know me, I'm always reflecting on the past, present, and future. It's so important to me to maintain "me" and always be reminded of the beauty in my life...even if things feel a little $%!^^y at times.

I've been asking myself over the past couple of days, "Am I where I thought I would be this time last year? Am I where I want to be in life?" No and a big, fat YES!! This time last year, I was in my rebound relationship. It was so emotionally charged at the time, I could hardly enjoy the fact that I was divorced. Looking back, I think I lost my marbles for a few months thinking I could actually make a relationship work so soon after my marriage. However, make no mistake, I have absolutely NO regrets being in that relationship. Come to think of it, I have zero regrets for the decisions I have made this past year.

I'm sure some would look down on me, disapproving of the choices I've made. Many would even judge me if they knew how far my wings spread this year. But the idea of becoming a liberated woman, confident in myself, comfortable in my skin, and content in my heart is euphoric!! 

 I read a quote yesterday that resonated so deep in my soul. 

"All your life experiences have made you into the person you are today, and if you like the person you are today, then hold no regrets for yesterday."

I often tell the hot boyfriend that we are the sum of all of our experiences. I am in love with who he is why would I judge or question or make him feel guilty for choices and experiences he made before we were together? The same goes for me. I LOVE who I am today. There was a time when I could not honestly admit to loving me. But this year? This day? This does my body good to be happy with who I have become.

AND!!! My relationship with my kids has deepened and grown stronger because I set out to find happiness, contentment and, most importantly, validation within myself. I pride myself on not needing the presence of a man to make me feel better about myself. Don't get me wrong, I have hit the love-lottery when it comes to the hot boyfriend. His touch electrifies me. His whisper melts my heart. His silent presence comforts me. But never, ever, will I find my validation in him or my relationship with him. 

He is the reason I am not where I thought I would be. When we started seeing each other, I was dead set on being single for the long haul and never, ever, ever getting married. I'm still not convinced I want to be married, but I am convinced that I want this man in my life for as long as God allows me to have him. He has made me a better version of myself, but not a complete version of myself. He has made me smile and laugh more than anyone in my life has, but he is not the source of my inner-joy...I am. He has validated my ideas, my thoughts, my fears, my joys; but the validation of my identity, my hope, and my self image comes from inside of me.

I can't help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, that's what he finds attractive in me. Who knows, ladies. Maybe the "good ones" are more concerned with inner peace, confidence, and determination than we give them credit for.  

All I know is, I'm living my own little version of a Christmas miracle. I gave up on love, but I am living proof that it's okay to believe in love again. It doesn't always hurt. Just as the cells in our bodies regenerate and have the ability to heal, the cells in my heart and my mind have found the healing and wholeness I have longed for all my life.

I am me. Finally.

I hope this Christmas, you too will find the peace and contentment your mind and heart crave. But hear me on this, you won't find it under the Christmas tree or in the arms of another. Those two gifts, although incredibly important, are an empty void if you don't start loving and appreciating yourself. Do it for your kids. Do it for your partner. They deserve the version of yourself. YOU deserve the best version of yourself. 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Could This Be? Dare I Hope For This To Last?

Posted on July 6, 2011 on my FB Notes page:


I was recently asked by a very dear friend, "How, after your husband left, have you been able to be content with where you life is and be happy again?"  I wasn't sure how to respond to her and put off giving her an answer for almost 2 weeks.  To sum up the last 10 months and give an explanation of the peace I had found seemed impossible and daunting.  After forcing myself to answer the question, I realized this was something I had not shared with anyone but probably needed to.  Below is my response (with a few additions); I hope that you, too, will seek to find happiness and contentment in the crazy world...

Ok, so I honestly don't know where to start with this. I guess it would help if I gave a little background on what happened in the months after I left Kyle.

When I left him, a HUGE burden had been lifted off my chest. I felt like I could breathe for the first time in many, many years. But the unknown scared me...a lot. I DESPERATELY wanted to be in a loving relationship but didn't know if I'd ever get the chance to experience one; being 34 with two kids didn't seem (in my head) to be very attractive to men, attractive enough for one man to want to share that intimacy that I craved.

Well, an oooooold boyfriend (Dean) came out of the wood work. We dated when we were 15 yrs old!! For the first time in my life I experienced all the kindness, love, and support, that I had always longed for. But unfortunately his mom became very ill and he had to suddenly move to Seattle. My heart shattered when he left. I had never felt such emptiness. I had found the love of my life, and in a blink of an eye, I lost him. (More on Dean later)

About 3 months after I left Kyle, I started having severe panic attacks. My family finally convinced me to get professional help. Turns out I was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from stresses in my marriage that I had not divulged to many at the time. I started taking meds and going through intense therapy sessions (twice a week) to be able to function on a daily basis. Getting out of bed was a huge challenge for me at times.

I didn't like being on the meds, I really wanted to be able to be me and function on MY terms, not with the aid of medicine. So I started setting some goals for myself: 1) Find my own place to live (I was living with my folks) 2) Get off all meds 3) Restore smiles to my family (when the kids and I started family therapy, they told our counselor that we didn't have a happy BROKE my heart).

So how did I accomplish that? I'm honestly not really sure. There were several little epiphanies that happened along the way.

Dean and I maintained a long distance relationship for several months after he moved to Seattle. During that time, specifically between January and March I accomplished two of my goals. I moved out of my folks into my own home and I got off my meds. Being the first time e-v-e-r to live without another adult in the house, it was then that I realized there was something I had not addressed deep in my heart...being alone. Dean and I had had a connection that blew me away; he made me come alive and see the value I brought to the world. He made me believe I was beautiful...and talented...and worthy. But as time went on, we both recognized the geographical distance between us was destroying our love. We weren't working anymore--we both knew it but neither of us wanted to end it.  I was hanging on to my relationship with Dean purely out of fear of being alone. When I realized that, I could NOT believe I had become "that girl." Don't get me wrong, I loved Dean with every fiber of my being...still love him dearly to this day.

When I finally gained the courage to let go of him in early April, I can't explain the dread that ran through my body the night I broke up with him. I was so worried I was going to start having panic attacks again, stop sleeping, constantly worrying. But I got through the first week unscathed. It was a couple of weeks later that I truly realized I could get through this life without the presence of a man. I was a whole person as I was. I didn't need a boyfriend to validate my confidence, my independence, or my sanity.

It was around that time I started doing stuff for myself. I started working out more, buying myself new clothes (ok, so I admit my favorite store is Savers, but hey! A new top is a new top, right? I don't care that it came from a thrift store). And I started finding someone to watch my kids once a week. Usually it's my parents, but not always. On that night off, I do the adult things I don't get to do with the kids around.

But I think the most important thing that happened was a paradigm shift in thinking...I stopped caring what everyone around thought about me. I stopped making decisions based on what my family thought, or what my friends thought, or what anyone for that matter thought. When I started making decisions based on my terms, my heart started to feel good....reeeeeally good. I finally felt like I owned my own life.  It was breathtakingly beautiful!!!!

At our last therapy session for the summer, our therapist asked us the question he first asked us: do we have a happy family? And the kids excitedly said, "YES!" The relief in that moment validated the hard decisions I had made to create my own path, despite the disapproving nods from people around me, I had forged ahead with what I thought was right....and I won!! My kids were finally healthy and happy. And thus my third goal was reached....we had smiles on our face.

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to live on YOUR terms. Do what makes YOU happy. Single moms sacrifice soooo much, it's critical that you take of yourself FIRST. If you don't, your unhappiness and discontent will filter through to your kids. Remember, you don't need a man to validate you. You are an AMAZING woman as is. Find the beauty within yourself and grab onto it. Believe it with everything that's within you. I did, and I can't tell you how wonderful life is now.

Please don't misunderstand me and think that I don't have bad days where I want to mail my kids first class to China. But I've learned not to sweat the small stuff anymore.  What matters in life are me and my kids. Period. End of discussion. I won't compromise anymore with anyone who thinks they can put me in a box.  I built my own box that I dance on everyday.  The view is beautiful from my box.  I have everything I want in life (and if you can keep a secret....I'll tell you the most beautiful change that has happened...I am finally at a place where the idea of having a man in my life? Ugh, let's not go there!! Don't need one, don't want one heh-heh).  Although, I've been told a thousand times lately that it's when a person reaches the space I've reached, where a relationship isn't desired, the "right one" comes along.  So now, every time I meet someone new I have a new chant that I say to myself, "Please don't be 'the one'....please don't be 'the one...please don't be 'the one.'"  HAHAHA!!!

Oh bothah....I digress. Love you. Love life. Love those in your world.  Life can be breathtaking if you slow down enough to love yourself.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Pain That Keeps On Giving

Tis the Season...for all things hurtful?All week I've been throwing around ideas for my next post. So many wonderful things have been happening, I couldn't decide. New plans. Then, all hell broke loose. The ex decided to do his best to ruin my Holiday.  And ruin it he almost did.

Have you ever cried till there weren't anymore tears to cry? Has your heart been hurt by another so deep you wondered if the wound would ever stop bleeding?

Since I left my ex-husband 15 months ago, I have refused to let him hurt me anymore. All of his stupid antics have mostly angered and frustrated me. But this time? This time, his actions cut to the quick. In an instant my heart was broken and the tears started flowing. How could someone be so cruel to another person??

I tried showering to shake it off. More tears. I tried laying down to sleep away the sadness. More tears. I tried playing with  my kids. More tears. Nothing I did took away the pain in my heart or the realization that I was on the verge of having my Christmas completely ruined.

There was a moment...several actually...I had so many thoughts racing through my mind as to how to handle the situation and yet I was clueless as to where to begin. Talking to my mom just made cry harder. My 7 yr old diva caught the tears in my eyes and demanded to know why I was so sad. At that point I was crying so hard I was gasping for air.

In a beautiful moment of clarity, I reached out to the one person whom I have learned loves me...for me. Not out of selfishness. Not out of personal gain. Simply out of love. I wasn't scared to tell him what was going on, but I was heartbroken to tell him our Christmas was in jeopardy of being thwarted by the ex.

In one phone call, I was reminded how strong, yet sensitive I was; how important it is to remind myself of all the reasons I left my ex and the odds of him changing are slim; how, no matter how hard I try to do right by my kids, the ex will always do what he can to maintain power and control over me.

It occurred to me in the middle of our conversation, there was a dynamic I had not considered when entering into a new relationship. When I left my ex, I was making the choice to a lifetime of strife and disagreement with him. Ok, so this wasn't any different than when we were married; except now I was dragging a third party into the situation. It was a sobering moment as I listened to him bring love and reason to a loveless and unreasonable situation. I was falling deeper in love with him yet at the same time, I was saddened to think that I was asking this amazing man to accept not just me, but my kids and yes, my ex.

I know there are so many families who have made this work (but my ex wasn't a piece of their puzzle). There's so much to learn as we build a new family. The bright side? There will be new plans. I have no idea what we're going to have to endure as this progresses, but I'm excited to see where it goes. Mostly because, for the first time ever, I'm a partner, not a possession. A friend, not an employee. An inspiration, not a burden.


Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Some Things You Just Can’t Un-see

Have you ever had one of those moments with your child that you know once they realize what’s going on, nothing you do can “un-do” what they’ve seen or heard?

Welcome. To. My. World.

DISCLAIMER: If you are not a woman, if you do not have kids, if you have a weak stomach, or if you’re just plain ol’ judgmental, stop reading now. If you continue reading, don’t say I didn’t warn you!!

Since I was an infant, I have been prone to yeast infections, mostly in my mouth (commonly known as thrush). In a combination of events that have occurred in the last six weeks (judging the Jr. Baking Contest and eating 1.5 tons of sugar and being on two rounds of anti-biotics) I now have the WORST yeast infection of my life. AND!! To make matters worse, my Dr. won’t prescribe me the needed meds to combat it. Says she “doesn’t believe in it because it causes damage to your liver.” Well, lady, not giving me the necessary meds is causing damage to my bits & pieces!!! I’m MUCH more concerned about my cookie than my liver at the moment!

Stopping by the store was on my to-do list all day, but I was swamped at work all day and didn’t have time to swing by the store. The only free time I had was right before a work-related dinner. I should mention, by this point, my kitty is NOT liking me…I waited waaaay too long to take care of b’ness. So on the way to the dinner, I swung by the store to pick up a few “items.” Oh! Did I mention I had my SON with me?? Yeah, not good planning on my behalf. As I’m strolling through the isles, I’m debating on coming back to buy everything after I’ve put him to bed. But there was no waiting. I had to get things in check ASAP!

In my vain effort to distract him while I try to decipher the difference between seven-day triple action packs, vaginal suppositories, creams vs. ovules (who knew there were so many options to take care of my hoohah), I realize that I’m on the verge of traumatizing my son….FOR LIFE.

I casually mention to him that I need some Vick’s Mentholatum.


“Menthtolatum. It should be a couple of isles down.”

One minute later he returns. “I couldn’t find it.”

<”Oh dear god!!! Are you freakin’ kidding me!! One look in this direction and he’s gonna totally see what I’m looking at!!”>

"Son, did you look by the cold medicine? Why don’t you try again. Look on the bottom shelf, it might be there.”

Another minute passes. “Not there, either.”

<”Lord have mercy…on my hoohah!!”>

“Ok, well, let’s go look together. I’m sure we can find it.”

In blind haste I grab the closest box within reach, not even knowing WTH I’m buying.

“What is that, mom?”

“Uh. This? Nothing. Just some cream.”

“For what?”

“Mind your business, boy! We’re looking for mentholatum, remember?”

Here’s the thing. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t censor as much as other parents do when it comes to my kids. I want to keep the communication lines open with my kids and be the one to teach them “the ways of the world” rather than have their friends teach them. I also don’t want my kids to too embarrassed to talk to me about whatever they have learned on the playground.


There are lines that are not meant to be crossed by an 11 yr old boy and his mom.. Seeing your mom buy monistat 7 is definitely one of those thick boundaries that should not be breached. It’s one of those things that just “can’t be unseen.”


I feel if I'm in a position to radically change other people's lives for the better, I should. - Richard Branson

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm Not Just Another Pretty Face

This is it. I'm doing it. I'm committing to move beyond musing and put all the craziness in my head out for the rest of the world to mock me, er, be inspired. As a disclaimer, I'm including my "About Me" in this post. I just want you to be doubly warned before jumping feet first into this blog. With that said, I hope you return and fill your cup of laughter and tears. Pour a cup 'o joe, get comfy, and join me in my roller coaster life. I promise to be as candid as possible without boring you with all my proud-mommy-moments.

I should also warn you, following the "About Me" excerpt, is my rant against men using the "You're too pretty a girl to be doing that." Yeah, pisses me off, too.

In those rare moments of quietness & tranquility...Pfft!! WTH am I talking about?! I'm a single mom to two kids, one of which is a tweener. There is no such thing as quiet & tranquil in our house. We're loud, obnoxious, snuggly, and pretty damn funny! I refuse to wear mom jeans (even if it does mean I'd have the advantage of embarrassing my offspring).

I’m one of those wickedly evil moms who gets a kick out of scaring the sh*t out of my kids just to see the look of fear as they scream. Yeah, yeah I know, they’ll get me back 10 fold when I need a nursing home. But OH the laughs I will have in the meantime.

WARNING: This blog might offend you at times. However, I promise to make you laugh every now and then with my own embarrassing, tragic, and triumphant experiences as a single mom.

DISCLAIMER: I have a lot to say about parenting, dating, life, and stupid people and although what I say may look like advice, sound like advice, or feel like advice…trust me it’s not. If you heed my twisted two cents worth of nothingness, do so at your own risk.

ABOUT ME: I heart bacon. I hate stupidity. I love when you talk nerdy to me. If ever I found myself in a zombie attack I would surely die.


So for the past week, I've been going back and forth what my first post should be on. It hit me like a bowling ball in my peaches (my 7 year old daughters version of girl balls) today at lunch. I swung by Taco Bell (don't judge) and tried their fire roasted salsa for the first time. <BTW...totally delish!! I ate a whole package, before it made its way to my taco. Yeah, that's right..I slurped it out like it was the last morsel of food I'd ever put in my mouth again!! And was sooooo tasty!!> I digress. As I was opening a second packet to slurp down, I noticed the caption on the package, "I'm not just another pretty face." Just like that I was reminiscing a conversation I had with a 173 year old man a couple of weeks ago. In 30 minutes he said I had "too pretty a face" at least 6 times. Really? That's all you see? I'm surprised you made it past my chest to see my pretty face you old fart!!

Before I left the meeting, he asked me why I was inquiring about our topic of conversation. When I explained, he just shook his head and said, "You don't belong there. You're too pretty a girl for that." WTF?!?! Are you freakin' kidding me? Did you not pay attention to any of our conversation? I'm sooooo much more than a pretty face!!

I don't know about you, but flattery has never really worked on me; I'm not a one-liner-kinda-girl. Guys have to work a little harder than giving me a BS line about how pretty I am. Ok, so admittedly, maybe it's because I'm so distrusting of people (I've been in therapy to work on that). But still!! Don't tell me I'm not qualified for something because I have a pretty face. I got a bit of revenge when I didn't show up for our next meeting. It's my lame way to stick it to the man. :-)

Girls, it's about time you stick up for yourself. Be more than just a pretty face. As Maya Angelou once said, "Life's a bitch. Go out, grab the world by the lapels and kick ass."