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

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.

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.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009


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.

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 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.


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.


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!!!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

You're Gonna Go Far, Kid

For the LIFE of me, I cannot get YouTube to embed any of their music onto this site. 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


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

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


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,


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!!!


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!!!