Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seriously Funny Stuff

I was reading on my Www.Facebook.com homepage and I saw a link to this really funny website called Www.DontEvenReply.Com .

If you are interested in a few good laughs, check this out. I was cracking up.

By the way, I missed writing an Independence Day article because I was soaking in the sun on a beach somewhere up north, so Happy Belated Fourth of July!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

News of the Day

I am just going to say this one time because if I don't I will feel like a jerk, Michael Jackson rest in peace.

I said it. Now I can go on with my day listening to all of the radio stations playing all of the songs we used to listen to before he became a creepy old man.

Adios Amigos!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Didn't you ever hear your mother say that?

I had a discussion with my oldest daughter recently about her going through the awkward stages growing up. You know, how your nose is too big for your head or your butt is too big for your body?

I told her, "Angel, the things you think are ugly now will be your greatest features later in life. You will learn to appreciate your body for it's uniqueness."

When I was younger, I had a large nose and huge butt. Thankfully, my nose doesn't stand out quite as much and well, the butt is an asset. Hardy har har.

Recently, I came across a group that I really love, called The Suicide Girls, who do not want to look how Hollywood has depicted as beautiful, they just want to be themselves. I love you Suicide Girls. You are what we all should strive to be- proud of our own unique beauty.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Feelings

It's a funny thing your feelings.

Some days your feelings run you and other days logic takes the lead.

I have become a person that is trying to be one hundred percent honest with the people around me. I am not a liar but I have had problems expressing how I feel to people and sometimes it is to my own detriment.

There have also been times when because I did not say how I feel other people have taken my actions to mean something entirely the opposite of what I felt.

As of this day forward, I am not going to hold back. I will say what needs to be said when it needs to be said, how it needs to be said.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

There is a VirtuaGuy!!!


Maybe some of you are wondering how I found out about this in the first place.

Let me explain. It was my little brother.

There it is. The cat is out of the bag.

Anyway, I did a genius move and typed into the toolbar Www.VirtuaGuy.com and viola!!! Magic dancing man all over my desktop!!!

So here you are ladies, it's raining men!!!

By the way, KT, doesn't this one look like that georgeous soccer hunk we have been dreaming about???

Strippers in the Dust


Many of you might be a bit intrigued by that title.

No more paying outrageous amounts of money to have a girl dance for you. In the past few years a new, more technological woman has been found: VirtuaGirlHD.

This is a software that features half naked to naked women dancing all around your desktop and other software as you are flitting around your computer screen. This morning, to test drive the product, I played my Windows Media Player along with a dancing girl. It was actually pretty funny.
She hit almost every beat. Of course, I listen to some pretty fast-paced music.

I don't have the naked ones though. It costs for that and frankly, I am not paying anyone for jollies.

For those guys (and girls) stuck at the computer at all hours of the night and day, this may be an interesting way to lighten the mood. I am in the midst of looking for the male strippers as having half-naked women prancing on my desk top is bound to raise some questions eventually.

If you are interested in this product, check out http://www75.virtuagirlhd.com/us/index2.php or Www.VirtuaGirl.com . This link leads right to it as well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

How Not to Date a Married Man

Okay, so maybe you are wondering why I am posting this. Well, it recently became a major factor for me to investigate whether or not a guy who was interested in me was really a married cheater.

He was definitely acting strange.

I only had a cell phone number. He only usually would text me in the evening, very late and then would cut me off short in the middle of conversations. Very strange, indeed.

I am not dumb. I have dated a few other married men, unbeknownst to me at the time. I know what the signs are...now. It was becoming obvious. Then, I just found an article about the signs of a married man and he fit them to a T!!! Aaaahhhh MEN!!! So for all of you single ladies out there trying to avoid the cheater, here is what I found:

1. You've never been to his house. How could you? You would run into the wife and kids.
2. You only have a cell phone number, so as not to disturb the wife and kids.
3. He does his own dishes and such. Trained.
4. He always wants to have sex. Yeah. Sounds kind of normal, except that it's CONSTANT. You go Bob.
5. Tighty whiteys. Nothing sexy because the wife will know something is up.
6. He pays for everything in cash so as to keep things on the dl. Nice. No paper trail.

Oh, yeah, I don't really know about the tighty whiteys because it never got that far. He did however start acting like a jerk when I told him I want to get to know him a while longer before I had sex with him. Yeah. NEXT!!!

There are also ways of checking public records and when I researched this particular man, he didn't have a criminal record but a woman's name kept appearing with him. Yes, I do criminal background checks and to see if a man is married because for some reason, I attract every jerk within a hundred miles. All you have to do is go to your local county website and look under clerical records, then criminal or family or probate. It varies from county to county. Check the sex offender lists as well. You just never know.

Good luck ladies!!! It's slim pickings.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Road Construction

If you live in Michigan then, you know what time it is: Road Construction.

I am going to be doing a lot of driving this weekend so I can't wait to get in line!!! :D

Anywhere you go it is the same, long lines, pot-holes and men in orange and yellow suits. Kind of sounds like a horror movie. If you have ever been caught in traffic for an hour in eighty-degree weather with three kids in your backseat tired, hot and sticky, then maybe you can relate.

That is why before I hit the road I am going to load up on food, drinks and lots of entertainment.

I was thinking, what are some good car foods and entertainment and I came up with these:

Pretzels, pecans, peanuts, Twizzlers, apples, jerky, meat and cheese sandwiches, Bug Juice, apple or white grape juice, water and for entertainment, Nintendo DS, the DVD player of course, books, Hannah Montana anything for the girls, not sure what all the boys are into, crossword puzzles, coloring books, Ipods, and lots and lots of car games and songs.

Happy Road Construction!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I love Italian Food!!!

If you know me, you know I am addicted to anything with noodles and/or cheese, so you also know that I love Italian food.

I have found such a wonderful little website that I wanted to share with all the other Italian food lovers out there. It is called Www.ItalianFoodForever.com.

It features a blog, recipes, journals, a glossary, cookbooks and even a photo gallery.

Talk about heaven!!!

Here is a recipe for Sausage Spinach Ravioli with Tomato Cream Sauce featured on their site:

Dough:

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

3 Eggs

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil


Filling:

8 Cups Fresh Spinach, Cleaned And Coarsely Chopped

4 Large Italian Sausage Links, Removed From Casings

1 Medium Onion, Chopped

2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Egg

Salt & Pepper


Sauce:

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1/2 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 (28 ounce) Can Crushed Tomatoes

Salt & Pepper

1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley (Or Basil)


Additional:

1 Egg

Grated Parmesan Cheese To Serve


Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface; shape into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork. Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

While the pasta is resting, prepare the filling. Steam the spinach and drain well, pressing the spinach to remove all excess liquid. In a heavy frying pan heat the olive oil and saute the onion with the sausage meat until the onion is tender and the sausage meat lightly browned. Add the garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Place the sausage mixture, spinach, egg and cheese in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture is combined. You want to retain a coarse mixture so be careful not to over process the filling.

Cut the ball of dough in 1/2, cover and reserve the piece you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with a little flour. Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at widest setting. Pull and stretch the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue tightening until the machine is at the second narrowest setting; the dough should be almost paper-thin.

Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Dust the counter and sheet of dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta, and brush the top surface with the egg wash, which acts as a glue. Drop 1 tablespoon of the filling on 1/2 of the pasta sheet, about 2-inches apart. Fold the other 1/2 over the filling like a blanket. With your fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling. Use a sharp knife to cut each pillow into squares and crimp the 4 edges with the tins of a fork to make a tight seal. A fluted pastry wheel also works well to make an attractive edge around the pasta. Dust the ravioli and a sheet pan with cornmeal to prevent the pasta from sticking and lay them out to dry slightly while assembling the rest. If not using within an hour or two refrigerate until needed.

To prepare the sauce, heat the two tablespoons of oil in a heavy pot and cook the garlic for just a minute. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Add the cream and fresh, chopped herbs and mix well. Cook over low heat an additional 10 minutes. Keep warm while you cook the pasta.

Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water until tender. They will float to the top when ready, so be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Drain the ravioli and return to the pot. Pour half of the sauce mixture into the pot and carefully stir until the ravioli is lightly coated. Serve the ravioli with a spoonful of additional sauce and a sprinkling of grated cheese. Serve hot.


Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2008

Monday, June 1, 2009

We Made You by Eminem

Junk Food Junky

Okay, so I have put on a few pounds since I came home.

Mostly because my family's diet is cheese, cheese, more cheese and noodles with cheese. Oh, yeah, and potatoes.

Then you add to it that I work at a fast food establishment and that doubles the impact.

I am always on the road. Triple whammy!

So I am taking a good, long look at my diet and have decided to start eating like the bird that I am. Tweet, tweet. Flit, flit.

Back to my healthy diet of meat, veggies and nuts and berries, lol. Sounds horrible but it really is good. I just need to stay away from the CHEESE!!!

Oh, yeah, and the chocolate. :(

No worries, I am only in a size five, one size up from the four. I think it's all in my hips. lol

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Top Stalker Song List

Over the years a girl acquires one or two stalkers. I think I have had one particular stalker since about 2004. It was strange back when I started dating my now ex-husband I used to get these phone calls whenever he wasn't around. Someone would call and hang up. Very irritating.

I kept telling him, "It only happens when you aren't here!" Someone must know when you aren't around to call me.

It never dawned on me that it might actually be him. Until now. Yeah, and he is still checking up on me, reading my blog and keeping tabs any way he can. I wish I had not had so much faith in him. So here's to you stalker! I especially love number one.

Thank-you to Www.Telewatcher.com for their input on this as well. They had a list of Top Ten Stalker Songs that I really couldn't beat, so I just modified it slightly.





















Friday, May 29, 2009

Living In a Bubble

As the mother of a mixed child I find myself not fitting in to certain circles.

As a family we don't necessarily fit into the white community or the black community but not because we don't have things in common with either. It is what they don't have in common with us all of the time. The ability to see past one's color or ethnicity and the ability to surpass the fear of asking questions they may not know or are scared to ask. Tolerance of other people's beliefs is a very hard concept to achieve for some people. I strive for it. Although for me it is hard to tolerate a belief that may be damaging to another human being.

So I find myself living in a bubble, trying to steer clear of certain groups of people who I know are haters and just outside the reach of everyone else who tries to understand but cannot. I don't mind though because when I meet people who are like us we are just fine. However, it is few and far between. Not many have Nigerian babies. Though the African-American community is very accepting of us.

Not many white women live the way I live. Some of the things I do are considered "black" but to me it is just foreign to some people and they are afraid of breaking their norms. I say, if it works for me, I do it. I like my hair braided, so I do it. I like listening to rap, so I do it. I like listening to rock and some country (very little), so I do it. There's nothing stopping anyone from doing things from other cultures than our own that are not damaging. I don't understand what the big deal is. It doesn't mean I am not proud to be who I am or that I am ashamed of where I am from. It just means I am open to the world. There is a vast world of ideas and things to do and I do not want to limit myself because of a fear of rejection.

I live in a bubble of understanding. Some people are afraid to go outside of their comfortable zone but I try to do it everyday to expand my horizons. Fear is only a concept. If you believe in it, it will become you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Importance of Your Surroundings

My life is great right now! I have to say that it is because of all of the really awesome people I have been surrounding myself with that I am so happy.

I am meeting people from all different walks of life. I know musicians, club owners, police officers, reporters, burger flippers, business men and women...well, the list goes on.

If you ever find yourself starting to take a downward spiral, take a look at the people you are surrounding yourself with. You really need to be in a positive atmosphere to thrive. You could be the poorest person on the block but if the people on that block are loving, you will be all right.

I look at my life a year ago and I know that is not what I want for myself. I just keep thinking that with how great things are now, I can't wait to see what life will bring me for the next year!!!

To everyone who has helped to make my and my children's life one hundred percent better, thank-you!!! I love you!!!

Sincerely,
Nika

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Restaurant Trends

"This is not a restaurant!" a seemingly angry customer yells at the poor front counter girl as he walks into Wendy's at the Flying J.

He had expected a regular sit down restaurant with pretty little waitresses floating around.

Well, it's expected that restaurants use new tactics to draw in customers and so locations, menus and restaurant themes are all changing at a rapid pace. You may have noticed the cafe-style look that McDonalds has taken on or KFC and Taco Bell hanging out in the same spot.

It's all about sales.

To thrive in an economy where you can get just about anything over the Internet and delivered to your doorstep, creating an atmosphere that people want to be in is a top priority for the food industry. That and experimenting with locations seems to be one of the latest trends in fast-food and other sit-down restaurants.

Choices are also at the top of the list. The ever-growing market for health foods has prompted several food chains to add salads, wraps and low-fat and sugar-free items to their menus. Keeping a competitive menu with competitive prices is key to maintaining your customers. If they don't like either, they are out the door, almost as quick as they came in.

You will notice different themes as you enter a restaurant, such as have it your way or hospitality. Customer service is the most important but then you have a certain way it is laid out for you. Those themes change more often as the popularity of it dwindles.

So the next time you notice something odd or innovative, realize it is the marketing department doing their best to catch your attention. You should appreciate that. In the information age, consumers have seen just about everything. If it catches your eye, it must be worth at least one spin.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Originality: Lil Wayne's Middle Name

When I listen to Lil Wayne I don't hear other people's music.

When I watch him I don't see anyone other than Lil Wayne.

I love this about him.

I haven't noticed any sampling but I could be wrong.

I recently read an article in Rolling Stone magazine that described him as being very eccentric. I will have to agree with that. I love his hair, his look and his rock hard abs. I like the new twist he puts on everything and the unique tunes such as in A Milli and Mrs. Officer.

Just so you get a taste of Lil Wayne first hand I have embedded his latest music video, "Prom Queen."

Hope it is music to your ears.

Prom Queen

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I write what I know


I write what I know. Right now what I know is the impossible world of men.

Let me clarify this.

The dating scene is a nightmare. I don't even like to think about what it's going to be like when I actually say, "Yes, we can go on a date," or, "Yes, I'd like to be your girlfriend," or whatever.

I meet all kinds of people where I work, where I travel, at the grocery store, through friends and family and we all have issues. The question is, are they issues that are worth my time?

Do I really want to deal with anyone who has substance abuse issues? No.

Do I really want to deal with anyone who is married and using me as their girlfriend/sex toy? No.

Do I really want to deal with anyone who is a pathological liar? No.

That is why I am taking the time to get to know people. You can bet your butt I am going to ask you questions and pry into your life and your mama's. I need to know you are not a creep, a scam artist, player or a regular old psychopath. Just do us both a favor and if you fall into any of those catorgies or are into games at all, walk away. I am going to break your heart if you think I will put up with any of it.

There is something to be said for older men though. Lately I have had many of them approaching me and at first I was a little hesitant. I have always attracted them but lately my curiosity has gotten the best of me. So I have been doing a little research. Here are a few things that women have said about older men:

1. They are more mature.
2. They are more stable, emotionally and financially. God knows an emotionally and financially stable man is at the top of list. I am so sick of vampires.
3. Older men are said to be more giving sexually. They are less concerned with themselves and more interested in exploring. (Raising eyebrows here.)
4. Confidence is much more abundant. An insecure man is the last thing a beautiful woman needs. We like confidence. Not arrogance, CONFIDENCE.
5. No drunk calls in the middle of the night. Substance abuse has either passed or is non-existent.

There have been a few concerns mentioned though. For instance, what if it became serious? Well, I have younger children and the fact that maybe an older man would not want to deal with babies is an issue. You always have to check to see if the man you like is interested in your children anyway. Also, there are concerns about an older man possibly still being married. Well, I worry about the younger ones there, too. It stinks being the other woman. It stinks knowing that you are the other woman especially if you were a wife and there was another woman. Eh, I don't want to be a part of that at all.

Another argument is that an age difference of fifteen or so years is too great, that we'd have nothing in common. I beg to differ. Personalities make the difference here I believe. I could have a young boring-ass man who all he likes to do is sit at home and watch t.v. and play video games. Let me tell you, that is not exciting at all. Or I could be with a man who likes to travel, tells me crazy stories and jokes, is always doing something- even if it's not with me and has a fascinating personality. Just talking to someone who is interesting makes all the difference.

Anyway, all in all it is situational, just like everything else.

As far as I am concerned, the fact that I haven't started dating is a good thing. I have learned to screen out some of the nut bars out there and even saved a few friendships. I just hope the one I am interested in doesn't turn out to be a nutty older fruit cake. :)

P.S. I realize that Hew Heffner may not be the best example of the kind of man I would like but he is an older man who dates younger women.

The Mississippi Squirrel Revival...HILARIOUS!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Going Ga Ga




http://www.youtube.com/ladygaga

Friday, May 22, 2009

Should I Date Interracially?

Coming out of a divorce with a man who was very abusive and from a different culture and race has raised a lot of questions and concerns with my family and friends.  

I am Irish, German, Dutch and Cherokee. My ex-husband is Nigerian. We have a daughter together.

His mother is Igbo and I believe his father is Yaruba. Please correct me if I am wrong in the spelling or anything I am about to type about these specific cultures.

I am under the impression that the Yaruba men are abusive toward their women.  

Now when we were dating this didn't seem to be an issue.  He had a few angry outbursts and showed a little bit too much of public affection.  I just thought he had a few quirks to work out. I was extremely disappointed.

Anyway, as I am resocializing myself into American culture, I am surrounded by many different kinds of people, including African-American men, who happen to be very much attracted to me.  It may have something to do with the fact that I am still behaving like the woman my ex-husband has programmed me to be.  In fact, many of the things they comment on are things that I have changed about myself just to suit him.  I had to restrain myself one day when a man commented about how thoroughly I cleaned the lobby and that he liked that a lot. Then I had to remind myself that he probably just thought I was a very hard worker and was totally innocent.

Living with an African family has definitely put me in tune to the roots of our society though.  Some negative and some very positive.  

I want to comment about the positive because I feel it is important to hear the whole truth.  I am extremely good at cleaning now, lol.  I have learned how to cook one hundred percent better, improving on my own recipes because I learned tricks that only a seasoned veteran would know. I listen with such diligence that it is sickening.  People around me will do just about anything I ask them to do because the emphasis that is put on the idea of respect in their culture is so ingrained in me now that I cannot not greet and give salutations without feeling like a complete jerk.

This might seem a little bit strange to anyone from the United States but to people from other countries it might seem like a relief that anyone from here could understand the importance of these things. By no means were any of my skills lacking before. However, when you are treated like a slave the importance of perfection is key. If you mess up it is worse than if you had never completed the task in the first place.

So now I am faced with the problem of whether or not to date anyone outside of my race and creed, etc.  It actually terrifies me.  I do not want to put my children through this again. I am not discriminating to hurt anyone but to avoid being hurt myself. Who can really blame me? Don't get me wrong, there are still some very handsome black men who also seem nice to me.  My ex fell into that category as well.  What holds me back is the fact that the African culture is so ingrained into our society now that most people don't even recognize it, unless they are an outsider looking in.  That is me.  

So what is a girl to do? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why Are You Really Unemployed?

This might sting a little but it has to be said.

Have you noticed that our jobs are being outsourced to places like India, Pakistan and Burma for much less pay to people who will work until their fingers bleed?

Have you noticed that many of the only jobs still available in the U.S. are those that require direct service to those who live here?

Let me explain this to you: Ask anyone around who their hardest workers are. They will tell you it is the Mexican guy or the Indian guy or the Italian guy who speaks very little English but has the work ethic of someone who must be a former slave. They will work from dusk until dawn, until you tell them to leave or until they literally pass out.

Now why do you think we are losing American jobs to other countries?

We as Americans ask for higher pay and we don't get even half of the work done. This is in general.

Now I work in fast-food and I know that there aren't that many people who bust their butts even a quarter as much as I do. They actually complain that I am working too hard and making them look bad. That is sad, especially in an economy where there are very limited jobs.

Just a little piece of advice, if you are going to complain because you have no work then maybe you should try giving people a reason to hire you in the first place.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trucks, Trucks and More Trucks!!!


Okay, so I am seriously in love with trucks these days.


Ever since I test drove the Durango at a dealership in Flint, I have been in love. Ever since I saw the 2009 Ford F-150 cruising down that beautiful highway on my way back from Pontiac, I have been in love.


All right, so a Durango isn't a truck, it's an SUV. Whatever. I like it. I want a vehicle with some kick. If you have ever tried to floor it in a Contour, you know what I am talking about. Although, that little car did have some get-up-and-go. I definitely dig the V-8 a whole lot more.


I have been scouring the web and the car lots for something my family and I can be comfortable in. I have tried Jeeps, Rendezvous's, Durangos...and one of these days I am going to get behind the wheel of that big beautiful beast the F-150, oh yes, I will. It's enough to make a girl believe she will never need another man in her life, lol.


Yes, I still do love the Avalanche but it is nothing to my beloved Ford F-150. That is the Lady Godiva Chocolate Raspberry candy bar of trucks. It is HOT!!!


Enough of my shameless gushing. Check out the photos.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Self-Esteem

It's a funny thing, your self-esteem.

Becoming a "Divorcee" has been an interesting experience. You realize that you aren't exactly alone and that maybe you aren't a pariah after all.

There seems to be three categories: people who just aren't thriving as a couple, people who are manipulative jerks and people who bent over backwards to kiss the other person's ass and received no reciprocation what-so-ever. I fall into the third category, of course. (Note to future mates: this will never happen again, so don't even think about using me.)

My self-esteem took a pitfall because I kept thinking it was all my fault and that I must be doing something wrong. Well, what I did wrong was always do whatever my husband wanted. As it turns out, greed played a pretty large factor in that. Anyway, I'm not going to go into detail, that is just my opinion.

So I have this new job and well, frankly, I am taking better care of myself and I think I look and feel pretty darn good. So why is it that whenever I get a compliment, get asked out or someone hits on me that I kind of cringe a little?

I keep thinking it's the fear of the unknown, mostly because what I thought I knew for the longest time turned out to be exactly the opposite and, quite frankly, my worst nightmare come to life. I had married someone whose beliefs countered mine on so many different levels it was treacherous. Of course, that's not how they were presented to me in the beginning. As it turns out, it was all a lie. So now I am always wondering if I am being lied to. Thanks again honey.

Anyway, I am starting to get over this fear as I realize that probably most people aren't habitual liars or consistently indecisive, whatever floats your boat. I have decided to take most things with a grain of salt and believe only half of what I see and none of what I hear. Didn't my grandpa tell me that years ago?

I have also come to the conclusion that yes, I am a pretty damn fine woman and most men would kill to have one like me. That is not to sound arrogant, please. I am just saying, hey, I'm not so bad after all and I'm finally getting the credit I deserve. Thank-you to anyone who has helped me come to that conclusion. You made me feel pretty. Wink Wink. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Signs of an Abusive Partner

The information I am about to share with you comes from a book called, "Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence: A Workbook for Women," by Edward S., Ph.D. Kubany. I have taken shorter excerpts from the list but you may find the full information by purchasing this book on http://www.amazon.com/.

1. Possessiveness. A potentially abusive or predatory man tends to be very possessive or overcontrolling sometimes causing his female partner to feel like he owns her. It is often mistaken as flattery.

2. Jealousy. Jealousy is a huge red flag. If a potential boyfriend is even slightly jealous, go the other way. Jealous men are insecure and tend to be very possessive and controlling and are at high risk for becoming abusive.

3. Dislike of your family or friends. This sign and two other warning signs we have identified thus far-possessiveness and jealousy- result in a woman becoming more and more socially isolated and vulnerable to abuse.

4. In a hurry to get romantically involved. Rushing a woman into a relationship is akin to stalking or obsessively checking up on you because if a guy is spending a great deal of time with a woman he always knows where she is and knows she cannot be spending time with other men.

5. Lying. Lying is another huge red flag. If you catch him in even the smallest lie then drop him like a hot potato. Predatory men are pathological liars and even when there is no reason to lie. Consider the following example:

Woman: Why did you say you weren't at the shopping mall yesterday?
Man: Because I wasn't there.
Woman: My sister saw you there!
Man: Your sister is nuts.

6. Secretiveness. Is he secretive about his activities or whereabouts? Are there large gaps of his time that you can't account for? Sometimes this can signify that he is involved in some illegal activity, such as using or dealing drugs. Some women do not find out until well into a relationship with an abusive man that he was using drugs or was a drug dealer.

7. Imposition of his opinions or beliefs. Does he try to impose his opinions or worldviews on you? Abusive men are opinionated often with traditional sex-role beliefs favoring the dominance and authority of men in relationships with women.

8. Belittling of your opinions or beliefs. "You really don't know what you are talking about."

9. A bad temper. Many abusive men are explosive. Does he have a bad temper- even if most of the time he seems to be so happy-go-lucky or mellow?

10. Physical agressiveness with someone else. Abusive men who are violent outside the relationship as well as with their girlfriends or wives are as a group the most maritally violent.

11. Verbal mistreatment of other people. If a potential boyfriend is being nice to you but you see or hear him being verbally abusive to someone else such as an employee or relative, this is a cause for concern.

12. Blames others for his problems or mistakes. Abusive men tend to blame others for their own mistakes or problems.

13. "Playful" use of force during sex. Some abusive men get unduly rough during sex in the name of "fun."

14. A regular or past heavy user or alcohol or drugs. Many men with histories of heavy alcohol or drug abuse are sociopathic with inclinations to become abusive with their intimate partners.

15. Reputation as a womanizer. If a potential boyfriend has a reputation as a womanizer or if you know he has cheated on someone in the past be very wary.

16. Unreliability. Many abusive men are irresponsible and extraordinarily unreliable.

17. Acts differently when you are alone then when you are with others. What if a guy is sweet and loving toward you when the two of you are alone but is somewhat aloof or stand-offish when you are with your girlfriends or other women? What might this behavior pattern signify? He may not want other women to know he is taken. If other women know he is going with or seriously involved with you they will become upset and offended if he starts hitting on them.

18. Invasion of your privacy. Many men have no problem invading their girlfriends or wives privacy and accuse them of making a big deal about it.

19. Cruelty to animals or children. Does he mistreat animals? It has been estimated that approximately half of male batterers mistreat or even torture family pets (Ascione 2000). Does he expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability to do? Does he tease a child until he or she cries?

20. Charm or charisma. Be suspicious if a man is extremely complimentary-for example, if he tells you how absolutely wonderful you are before he really knows you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Annual Snowfest in Frankenmuth, Michigan


Left: The Man in the Moon snow sculpture.

Below: Men entering the annual ice sculpting contest.







Over the weekend I had the opportunity to go to Snowfest in Frankenmuth.

My family and I had been looking forward to this for about two months and it certainly met our expectations.

We did freeze but it was worth it.

Every year in mid-Michigan Snowfest is held and they have ice sculpture and snow sculpture contests from different schools and companies in the region. There were snow sculptures of Jaws, Dragons, fairytales and modern art. The ice sculptures were mostly magestic looking creatures and business logos. All were very impressive.

People from every part of the world came to see the ice sculpting contest where a man takes a three-hundred pound block of ice and carves it into whatever he desires. It takes a lot of patience and skill.

When we finished walking through the lanes of sculptures we ventured over to the Bavarian Inn where we feasted on a German appetizer plate, their world famous Bavarian chicken, breads, relishes and potatoes. There was so much food the children were taking bites from every plate that passed them, not to mention the endless icecream.

Frankenmuth is most definitely one of the best places to go on vacation if you are looking for fun, friendliness and good food.



Friday, January 23, 2009

Kickboxing is Healthy and Fun


I know people usually are like, "Wow, you kickbox?" when I tell them that's how I work out but really it's not that big of a deal. It is however, a great workout. I always feel awesome after twenty minutes of hooks and round-houses.


So far, I haven't found a place to actually get some sparring in but I know the university where I will be attending does have a kickboxing club. I might do that on the days I am on campus. It doesn't hurt for a woman to get a little extra experience under her belt.


Here is my routine:


1. Standing and sitting toe-touches, butterfly stretch and I put one leg up onto my knee while standing then move down and touch the floor. I do that while laying on my back as well. I do a whole serious of yoga stretches, the warrior, triangle, etc.


2. I stretch my arms by interlacing them behind my back and in front of me. Then I reach up high and cross over and down to my toes. I also pull them across my chest.


3. Once I finish stretching I do 100 leg lifts, 100 crunches and 100 pushups.


4. Then I begin with forward punches, cross-over, hooks and upper cuts.


5. I begin adding my forward kicks, roundhouses and back kicks.


6. I end with a series of combos and more yoga.


I have included a photo and a link to where you may find more in depth information about kickboxing. http://www.nskenpo.com/school/programs.html

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The House Bunny


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The trick is to find someone who understands what true beauty is.
Often the most photogenic person is really a lying, scheming schmuck who only tells you what you want to hear so you will do what he or she wants. And the one who doesn't go out of their way to be the center of attention...that is the one who is truly beautiful.

Will the economy recover in 2009?

I have read that some people believe the economy will begin to recover in 2009.

I have also read that the economy will not due to the fact that people want to save their tax refunds or spend them on old debt.

What did you spend your tax refunds on last year? I can tell you: my ex's old student loans. That's right, the government high-jacked it. I was all set to pay down my credit card and WHAM! Got the door slammed right in my face. Apparently, unless you file injured spouse, they can take whatever your spouse owes and apply your money to their debt. I was not too happy about that at all.

It would have gone to my old debts instead. Doctor's bills, a credit card...maybe a car loan...these are the things people need to pay on that aren't necessarily at the top of the list like rent and your energy bill.

Considering the depth of the economic problems, I am not sure a tax rebate or suped-up refunds will do any good this year. It may ease some slack at the pump or heat your house a little while longer but I don't think it will get people into the malls, out to the festivals or going on vacations to Disney World.

I do believe that they are taking the right steps in re-evaluating bankruptcy and mortgage loans.

I do shiver at the thought that 2009 may be another rough year.

A very cold, rough, lonely year.

Buuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

~Nika

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seether

Here is a band I really like. Every once in a while a truly talented group will come along and surprise me. It is sad to see that most of today's stars are just regurgitation artists. This group is definitely not one of them. Here is the song that most recently caught my attention, "Breakdown."

The sun is gone and the flowers rot
Words are spaces between us
And I should've been drown in the rivers I've found of token lost
And I should've been down when you made me insecure

So break me down if it makes you feel right
And hate me now if it keeps you alright
You can break me down if it takes all your might
'Cause I'm so much more than meets the eye

And I'm the one you can never trust
'Cause wounds are ways to reveal us
And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us
But what a waste of my time when the world we have is yours

So break me down if it makes you feel right
And hate me now if it keeps you alright
You can break me down if it takes all your might
'Cause I'm so much more than all your lies

Hate me, break me down
So break me down
So break me down
So break me down if it makes you feel right
And hate me now if it keeps you alright
You can break me down if it takes all your might
'Cause I'm so much more than meets the eye

Here is the link since it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to get any videos from YouTube anymore.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhBQTpPfUAc

Barack Obama in Da House!!!

The Whitehouse that is.

I just thought I would take a moment to congradulate our very first African American president on his victory.

It is nice to know that our country is moving forward. Today I am very proud to be an American.

I come from a military family and there have been times when I doubted the intentions of the U.S. government, only because I do not believe in unneccessary war. Don't get me wrong, I would fight if it came down to it. I just don't believe in invading a country based on unproven facts or old family rivalries.

Today I am proud to be an American because no one can come into our country and say we are not free, we are not fair and we are shams. If they do, they are just simply a liar.

America voted Barack Obama into office. They voted the Republicans out of the House of Representatives and they are taking back their rights.

We are finally seeing the Declaration of Independence in motion, the original version.

And now there isn't any reason why the rest of us cannot strive to succeed at our dreams because what we thought was impossible has become reality.

Thank-you God for that!!!

God Bless America!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blastro: A New Place for Music Videos

If you like HipHip and R&B, then Www.Blastro.com is another site you can go to find it.

They feature all of the latest music, as well as Latin.

I recently came across it while searching for lyrics.

Another great feature of their site is the Dance video section.

Check it out.

~Nika

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why I Hate Being Single

Now I remember: the lonely nights, the weird men (and women) constantly hitting on me, no one to snuggle with and the fear that the next person I meet is going to be a psychopath, womanizer or worse yet, abusive and controlling forever after.

I hate being single. What I hate more is being a single parent.

You have to be so careful who you hang out with. Gone are the days of trying to get to know just anyone. Fear for your children takes first priority.

There is always the schmuck always hitting on you, always calling you sweetie or honey, trying to be a player because he thinks you are easy. There is always "Superman" who is so arrogant he thinks he is saving you from your "miserable life." There is the guy who plays nice to your face and then has five other women on the side. There is the guy who all he wants to do is play. Or maybe there is one who is all of the last three combined.

I just want to hurl. I hate being single.

Why can't there just be someone who likes to talk about life and drink cocoa? Why can't there just be someone who will go out on the town once in a while and introduce me to a few nice, unknown jewels?

I haven't even started dating (because the divorce isn't finalized and God knows I don't need anymore drama) and I am weary.

I hate being single.

However, it is definitely better than being someone's slave.

~Nika

P.S. Freedom is awesome but what about freedom with someone who loves you? Can you feel me???

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Chill Precautions

Michigan is one state that is being hit extremely hard this winter by low temperatures.

Recently someone's cat froze to death because it stayed outside overnight. Construction sites are being shut down due to the equipment not being able to start. Work is being lost. Children have to stay indoors during recess. Garbage day is a nightmare.

These are only a few things that I have experienced so far.

Around the house we have had to do some other things, such as turn the heat to a steady sixty-four degrees fahrenheit and wear an undershirt, long-johns and a sweater with socks and slippers. Propane is expensive when you are not able to even go to work because the weather is so horrendous. Cutting back on the one thing that you need during the winter is okay for me. It's not okay for many others, especially the elderly who have to have their temperatures set higher in order to remain healthy. We supplement with an electric fireplace. It is warm and not as likely to start a fire as other types of portable heaters.

Traveling is another doozy. The roads are frozen solid. Black ice is everywhere. Travel is slow. I always keep a couple of bottles of water, snacks and a few blankets...just in case. Thank God for cell phones. Mine works everywhere.

Illness is prevalent during the winter because of the close confinement that you must endure to remain warm. Taking a multi-vitamin, lots of fluids and hand washing are key elements here. Soup really is the best thing because it has lots of nutrients and keeps you hydrated and warm. Resting when you are home is a very good idea, too.

All of this is common sense but many people get too caught up in their daily activities to apply it all of the time. My hope is that it will serve as a good reminder.

Good luck to everyone in keeping warm and healthy!!!

~Nika

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You're Gonna Go Far, Kid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRxHHZEqwpw

For the LIFE of me, I cannot get YouTube to embed any of their music onto this site. So...here is the link to You're Gonna Go Far, Kid by The Offspring. If I actually had the time to design a big middle finger for YouTube for the trouble I have gone through to try to get a simple music video, I would. It might be beneath me to do that though. So here's me sticking my tongue out at you. :P

~Nika

2009 is a Good Year

I don't know about you but for me, 2009 is a good year.

All ready I have had several job prospects, the sea is looking good to fish in and I am seeing a light at the end of the dark, dark tunnel. Of course, I cannot divulge too much about my personal life because I don't really like the idea that my soon-to-be ex-husband is reading my blog, quite frequently.

I am optimistic about life though. It probably has a little to do with the fact that I am finally able to listen to music whenever I want. I am a music junkie and I was starting to feel deprived, lol. It also has a lot to do with my freedom. I am able to do my writing and research. I am able to go out whenever I want to. My children are safe. I have a lot to offer the world and I am starting to feel like I can do that without any trouble.

I have finally figured out what my New Year's Resolution is:

To live free without drama and to be as giving as I can, to show compassion and not judge.

I know, it's a bit of a jump, no one is perfect but I am feeling happy that my life is going in the right direction. I am not hesitant anymore. That is a good feeling.

Rock on 2009!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Napster's Downloads Easy to Use

I recently got an MP3 player for Christmas (THANK-YOU GOD!!!) and took the opportunity to use a gift card I had gotten with it from http://www.napster.com/.

It was pretty easy to use, except the computer system I was using has what is called CyberPatrol on it and that made it a little tricky to navigate. However, I did get fourteen of the fifteen tracks downloaded. There is still one track that I have to get from the computer because my little MP3 player just couldn't take the heat.

Napster has some software you can download but you can just use Windows Media Player if you don't want the hassle. Download your music to your music folder and then copy and paste it to your media device. Viola! It is music to your ears! Cheesy, I know.

Here are some of the songs I downloaded:

1. Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Soul to Squeeze by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
3. Under the Bridge by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. Give It Away by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
5. Around the World by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
6. Low by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain
7. Elevator by Flo Rida
8. Pop Champagne by Jim Jones and Ron Browz
9. A_Milli by Lil Wayne
10. Live Your Life by T.I.
11. Buy You a Drank by T-Pain
12. Turnin' Me On by Keri Hilson
13. Mrs. Officer by Lil Wayne
14. Whatever You Like by T.I.
15. Disturbia by Rihanna

P.S. If you hadn't noticed by now, the Red Hot Chili Peppers is my favorite band. He he.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Nika's Top Eleven Favorite Movies of All Time



I know, I know. You are probably wondering why I have my top eleven favorite movies of all time.
The truth is, I just couldn't delete any of my top ten and replace it with Casino Royale but I could not leave it off the list.
These are some of the greatest movies I've ever seen. They are well written, beautifully directed and the acting is untouchable. Not to mention, I didn't fall asleep during a single one of them. That says a lot.

1. Casablanca
2. Brahm Stoker's Dracula
3. Happy Gilmore
4. The Mummy
5. Blue Hawaii
6. Bloodsport
7. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
8. Friday
9. Forrest Gump
10. Rambo: First Blood
11. Casino Royale

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Slammerkins


I was able to actually get through a book recently called Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue.


To say it was interesting is an understatement.


Slammerkin is a historical novel based on the life of a real woman named Mary Saunders who basically led the life of a prostitute on the streets of London in 1748.


It tells of a young girls struggle to gain wealth and notoriety growing up the daughter of a pauper. The story line is basic but the events that lead to her death are definitely worthy of a novel.


I believe that the struggle for women to survive is a story that echoes many womens stories throughout the centuries...Coming up from poverty myself I have seen women who have led similar lifestyles- always trying to survive, get what they perceive as nice things and to do so without becoming someones, in a word, slave.


There are women right now out there selling themselves in some way. In this story there are two characters that the author compares, one who is a wet-nurse and the other lead character who is a prostitute. It seems as if the author wants to justify what the prostitute is doing by the comparison. I would also say that she wants you to think about what it means to sell yourself- that there is a higher price, irregardless.


All of the trouble Mary Saunders must have experienced didn't seem to be worth simple fabric, i.e. the slammerkins. However, the author does repeatedly stated that "clothes make the woman."


It is a shame that a woman had to go through so much just so she could receive a little respect.




Lots of Love,

Nika

Friday, January 2, 2009

Detroit Metro Airport Security Managing Well


I had to make a trip today to Detroit Metro Airport to pick up some very special people.
What I discovered is that the airport isn't quite as bad as it used to be. Security seems to have gotten things under control, even with the whole shoe-removal deal. As long as you follow the rules, you can get along all right but don't bring any camel-packs with water. They will make you dump it out.
Even at Christmas time it wasn't too crazy. Of course, this isn't Chicago either. Now I've been to that airport on a normal day and it was nuts.
Parking was easy. You just have to remember your level and row. You go into the terminal and the security gaurds are friendly enough. They will direct you if you have any questions but it's not a very big airport so you can pretty much see all of the levels and figure it out for yourself. There are several electronic directories if you miss any of the road signs from the highway.
It's encouraging to see travelers starting to pick up and go again. It's encouraging because it brings back that old feeling of security and fun that you are supposed to have when you want to travel for business or go on a vacation with your family.
One more thing to be thankful for. Things are really starting to look up now.
Have a great weekend!!!


Love,
Nika


Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Cool Place to Visit

I happen to live near one of the largest tourist destinations for Christmas lovers anywhere- Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Since I spend a majority of my time applying to jobs in the area and praying the fiscal freezes will thaw, I decided to take a walk down Christmas Lane.
Frankenmuth is known as Little Bavaria. When the Bavarians came to mid-Michigan to spread Christianity to the Chippewa tribes here, they formed a little colony called Frankenmuth. The end result is a fairy-tale German-town that is possibly one of the friendliest places on the planet.
When you visit their Country Store, you see flags from every nation, I made a point of looking because I was curious about a few of them. They also have the largest collection of trinkets and candy that I have ever seen. At the Visitor's Center you will find pamphlets in every language and again, a very friendly staff.
My little crew and I could not miss out on watching the fudge being made and, of course, sampling it. We also watched a taffy maker. Then we made our way to the Cheese Haus where they make the most delectable cheeses and mustards in the world!!! Mmm...a world where I could live forever...chocolate and cheese everyday!!! It's no wonder us German descendants are bit on the rounder side.
We found our way up and down Main Street going in and out of the little shops, talking to the different store owners and meeting people from all over the world. It is a fascinating little place. It reminds me of what I call, "Little Switzerland," a.k.a. Vail, Colorado, except much more festive and from what I hear, a little bit smaller these days. I don't care. I love it!!!