Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Friday, November 17, 2017


"Miss Moxie Don't Care About Adulting"  

I  put up a post on Facebook this evening where I stated "Not looking for sympathy ... maybe a lil. There are weeks I just don't feel like I do ADULTING well. :( " I feel like I need to elaborate FOR ALL OF US! It's is SO TOUGH! AND .. The kicker is that I DON'T EVEN HAVE KIDS!!!! lol How do YOU FOLKS do it???

With the immediate response on Facebook, I knew I needed to write a blog post about it. I've been enjoying myself so maybe the gin will help. LOL My Nana once said to me "Gin is the Devil's drink, and tonight I'm visiting the Devil!" Ha-ha, hopefully I won't be visiting the Devil tonight, just a little honesty and then bed.

It is really tough being an adult or ADULTING as we say these days. SO TOUGH this week. I find myself wanting to go back to the simplicity of my 20s.

Now overall I have it very lucky. I have a wonderful home, stable great (sometimes) job, and an  awesome relationship. But day to day life can be really tough sometimes. I try and juggle things and I find myself a mess. I often wonder how do people do it? How do they cope? I know others feel that way. I need to elaborate and let you know that I feel the same way. We feel it on different levels, but still, the same stress.

I know these are totally 1st world problems. I am FAR luckier than those in this world. But considering I am not a millionaire or billionaire like Bill Gates or Donald Trump, I feel like I have a right to bitch for a bit.

My commute this week has been horrible. An hour each way. Twice late into work this week due to accidents or traffic. I also got almost crunched by tractor trailers on the way home one night and then t-boned another evening. Just shook me to the core. I have been commuting to my government job an hour both ways for the last 13 years in two counties! It is so stressful.

Not to mention, I feel like I cannot get the yard work done. I get home at 5:30 PM or 6 PM and it's dark! I try and fit in yard work wherever I can. And I feel like my yard is crap compared to my retired neighbors who can do yard work during DAYLIGHT. I am not gonna rake leaves in the DARK! What ever will happen will happen on the weekend, so my dear neighbors, the yard work WAITS until the weekend! I know it sounds like I am knocking retired people,

I come home, try and do dishes, get the laundry done, try and clean a room or two, clean the cat box, do garbage, and THEN try and do gym. May I'll eat dinner at 8PM and then a drink or two before bed. Then REPEAT! Throw in doing bills on my breaks at work, fit in the grocery, fix up stuff CONSTANTLY at home, I am just besides myself.

I made a mistake on a bill this month, chose 11/22 for my cable bill payment, when it should've been 11/12 and Comcast was ready to shut off my ass. OH MY GOD!!!! WTF?!?!?!?!??! Are you KIDDING ME????? I get so exhausted, I forgo gym some days and try and try and focus on the house. Clean this room or clean that room. Try and keep up on the wash.

Oh and WHAT'S for DINNER? Did you pick up anything? Did I pick up anything? Whose turn was it? DOES IT MATTER? If it's my turn, I will pick cans of tuna or sauce and pasta EVERY NIGHT! What ever is EASIEST.

OK need to fill those damn bird feeders because the birds actually relax me unless those damn squirrels eat all the bird see and then I wanna go postal on the local wildlife!!! I also have a woodpecker eating the side of my house now. Sound familiar?

Oh and people say for me to further my relaxation like write more or play the piano more often (I took lessons 10 years). YEAH, clone me and then we'll talk about extracurricular activities. And remember, I am asking you to clone me. How ridiculous is that? I'm asking for a clone so I have time to do fun stuff.

And I need to replace the bulbs in the front hall way chandelier. So I drag the ladder out from the basement, set it up in the front hall way, reach up to get out the burnt out bulb. Replace the bulb from Home Depot which I spent $$$ on for three of them. The bulb F*CKING breaks OFF in the socket!!!! SO NOW.... I need to go to the basement, turn off the power so I can remove the broken bulb from the socket without electrocuting myself!!!! And then replace it AGAIN.

I'm exhausted this week AND AGAIN, I DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN! HOW DO YOU PEOPLE DO IT???? This is nuts. There has to be a better way but I am just doing the minimum!!!

I am pretty good at time management. I just get into weeks where I suck at this thing called being an ADULT. I sometimes feel like I had a better handle on my life in my 20s when I was a simple waiter/bartender living on my tips week to week. Now I am in a government position making more than I was before. It doesn't matter, income is relative to what you are dealing with at the time. I just don't have the time!

What is that line from a rap song? Mo Money MO PROBLEMS?

I hate to say it, but that night-cap definitely helps destress me. Again, I have it FAR easier than others. I feel for what they go through. But... back to me. LOL Dealing with stress sucks. But thinking about how hard others have it while writing this blog ... it tempers me a bit. I will try and remember I have it pretty well. Stress still f*cking sucks though. GOD, give me strength....

This is for all my friends who feel the same way:

Please share what you are dealing with! Misery definitely loves company!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What to Toss, What to Keep

Miss Moxie is not helping me.

After staring at the pile of paperwork on my desk at home, I grew frustrated over my pack-rat self. I was determined to change my ways!! Time to shred and purge!
I clip articles hoping to read them, collect brochures from places I wanna visit, rip recipes out I wanna make, save birthday cards from years ago, etc. My Mom saved everything so I know she is who I got this “urge to save” from. And then there are the magazines and books I think I am going to read someday...

Any magazines around the house I try and toss or forward onto someone after I’ve read them pretty thoroughly. Books or magazines I haven’t read 'Im trying to be more proactive and donate them to friends, family, or a library. If I have not read those clipped articles in a year, I toss ‘em. A couple I kept and moved them from the pile to my nightstand or magazine rack in the bathroom. Ha-ha. Perfect night time or “private” bath time reading. J
With regards to all of those countless travel brochures, I think I’m going to make a running list of the places that I want to visit and keep it on my desk top on the home computer or the fridge. This way I can always glance at it, add to it, cross off, etc. No need to keep all those brochures. (OK, already going through brochure withdraw over here...)

For example, I’ve wanted to go to the Reading Public Art Museum for years and I keep grabbing brochures. I found three brochures of the same museum! Time to figure out another strategy to reduce unnecessary paperwork. Now this though, will be VERY hard as everyone who knows me, know how much I love collecting brochures since I was a wee little lad.

I’ll keep birthday cards from just my immediate family. If one is from a close friend with a nice personal note, I’ll hold onto that one too. Any other miscellaneous birthday or holiday cards, I’ll toss. Do I really need to save a birthday card from Joe-Shmo at work from  3 years ago? Nah, sorry Joe. I barely know ya.

Where do I draw the line with old bills, bank statements, pay stubs, and tax info? That’s another pile of past paper I was staring at. Most past billing statements can be retrieved online so what I do know is pay the bill, check it’s been paid online and reflected in my balance, and then shred the statement. And listen, before you question me that I am still receiving paper bills, I can’t help myself. I’m Old School baby! I have turned about half of my bills over to electronic or online billing. I’m not ready to take the full jump yet...

With bank statements, it’s the same deal. Everything can be found online these days. I kept some general info about each bank I had an account at, notices, terms and conditions, etc. The past statements have been shredded and tossed.

I’ve kept one pay stub from each previous job. Just so I have the company info if I ever need it, or the last pay rate. I embarrassingly actually had EVERY pay stub from when I started at Lehigh County over 8 years ago!!! Why was I keeping all of these papers!? I got rid of the majority and have just kept my very first one (for posterity LOL) and pay stubs from the current year.

The most depressing thing? Comparing my wages from 2009 to 2017. How sad. Now county public service careers are a great stable jobs but the ongoing financial incentives are pretty meager. Par for the course as I always knew private sector pays more than public.

Now with tax paperwork I just file away and pretty much keep forever. I’ve heard you can toss after 7 years and I’ve read you can toss after 3 years. I’m not taking any chances with the Feds. I’ll be buried with my old tax returns.

Below is a link to a great article by Suze Orman on financial clutter and what you should keep and what you should get rid of. It’s not the Bible of it all but nonetheless, a damn good guide. Hope it helps. It gave me a great place to start. 

Hmmmm…. But I don’t see ANYTHING about tossing travel brochures so I think I’m gonna still keep hoarding them. J

What paperwork or other items do you find yourself keeping?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Incredible Quote by Maya Angelou

This has always moved me. 

You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.

by Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American poet and activist

My Love Affair with Bugles is Exposed!

The Devil's Snack

I had a tough commute tonight. I hit rush hour which extended my normal commute of 1 hour to just under 2 hours. It wasn't an accident thank God. It wasn't construction. It was just blasted traffic! Grrr. Not even anything crazy to look at. Prior to hitting the jam, I ended up stopping at the local quick gas/coffee/convenience store right before the highway. Picked up the necessities: gas, coffee, and a snack for the ride home.

In this case, it was a 14.5 oz bag of my favorite childhood munchies, BUGLES! OH GOD I loved them!!! Well I hit major traffic and everything stopped. I had already had a handful of the Bugles. They were sitting on the passenger seat JUST STARING AT ME. I mean like just mocking me, tempting me to eat them. 

Ok I just had one hand full, then another, and still ANOTHER. By the time I hit Shartlesville.... yes that's the name LOL, I ate 90% of the bag. So what did I do, I asked Google how many calories were in each bag ... 1120 calories!!! Um. I'm feeling like a pig right now and a bit sick. I'd be seeing a different Shartlesville pretty soon. Ha-ha! 

What's a gym rat to do? Well work it off. But why oh why did I do it in the first place? 

I'm HUMAN. I love salty snacks. I had a tough day and needed some comfort food! Don't give me Oreo's or chocolate (unless it's dark chocolate). Give me salty crunchy snacks! That's my thing! That's my craving! It's crazy right? I guess not really. We seemed to be programmed to go after snacks which we LOVE like sweet or salty. I like crunchy and salty. Chips, peanuts, chips, more chips. etc. 

The guilt came over me. I've been SO GOOD. And I threw it away with over 1000 calories of snacks in a single serving! First off, remember I said we are human? Gotta accept it. We break down, even the craziest of us gym rats. I need to forgive myself. I am trying. 

Now what to do about those friggin' calories? Well washing dishes helps. LOL So does laundry. Maybe a little yard work... does sweeping the deck count? 

OK, I know, I am putting it off. I hit the gym at 7pm with a belly full of Bugles. They were SO GOOD but I knew I needed to get on top of this fast. 

I spent an hour at the gym on the elliptical and worked off  500 calories. Good start. Again ... I (WE) am human. I (WE) will have minor setbacks. Wrestle with your conscious but physically MOVE on that sh*t! Get on top of it before it becomes an unwieldy weight. I know it's tough and it means more work out. You gotta just work through that guilt. I'm with YOU! It sucks! 

I hate myself for eating an entire bag of BUGLES! LOLOL I laugh just thinking of it. But I gotta work it off. I'm halfway there. I'll have a couple of tough workouts. On days I spend only doing weights, I'll throw in cardio to work off an extra 100-200 calories. It'll be worked off by the next week. 

I ended up having a very light dinner due to my snacking. I enjoyed a Progresso Tuscan-Style White Bean soup at 260 calories. That helped. A little more sodium than I'd want for my intake but more water diluted that as well. 

It's tough people! I've been eating so healthy these last couple weeks. I got a craving and I satisfied it. Remember, 4th time, we are human. I beat myself up. You need to hold yourself accountable. But don't beat yourself up too much. Just hold yourself accountable and make changes to correct the missteps. 

Establish a social network of friends who also work out to keep you in check. I have that. But I decided to call the Bugles instead. LOL  GOOD LUCK on your workouts. I am with you in your highs and lows. :) 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tiny Tales, Part Two

"Miss Moxie"

The writing contest for the "Marvellous Tiny Tales" has a second part which I will be entering as well. Remember from the first part, the story has to be 3 sentences long, the more odd and quirky the better! Even if I don't win, it has been a fun writing exercise. Here are the selections I have been tooling with. Let me know which ones you like.

"Miss Moxie's Other Plans"

While I was immersed in a favorite novel, Moxie the Cat had other plans for me that bedtime which included lounging on my chest. The book shall wait until another evening as Miss Moxie apparently is not a fan of Hemingway. She has won again.


"Country Drive"

Driving with windows down through the countryside on a sunny September day, Barkley passed old stone houses, farms and fields as far as the eye could see. Up and over meandering streams and through bends in the road,  he slammed on his brakes to avoid a rickety cart filled with pumpkins. Welcome to Fall!


"No Chocolate for You"

For the umpteenth time on another Halloween night, young Jacob made the rounds of his neighborhood dressed up as a hobo. No matter, he thought, for his trick-or-treat bag was filed with dozens and dozens of chocolate bars! After fastidiously counting the many candy bars in various shapes and sizes, he ate to his heart's content ... only to ironically discover as he broke out in hives, that he was severely allergic to chocolate.



Dozing at the beach on a warm summer day, Nigel buried his feet into the pearly white sands by the water's edge. Stubbing his toe on something sharp, he pulled free the most beautiful tiara of gemstones and gold. "Thank you for finding my crown!" yelled a young mermaid, frolicking in the waves before a disbelieving Nigel.



We sped off for the Coast on a humid summer evening, me and Zeb, in his old clunker of a Chevy with rock-n-roll on the radio. As the car zoomed forth, I felt free and alive, smoking a cig in one hand and the other waving out the window through the rushing air. After an hour on the open road, Zeb exclaimed "Oh man Bud!" for the trip was abruptly cut short by a herd of Jersey cows blocking the highway.


"First Date Chaperone"

Breathless, clammy, and excited, Peter met Claire at her house for their very first date. They sat quietly in the parlor searching for something to break the ice when suddenly Claire blurted out, "Well aren't you going to address the pink elephant in the room?" Peter spun around coming face to face with a large pink elephant squeezed into a petite settee sipping on a large martini.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Madonna and I have Changed!

"You Can Dance"

I hit the gym last night and brought up this album on my mp3 player, Madonna's You Can Dance. We are talking Old School Madonna! I love the album; had the cassette and still have the CD. (As you can gather, I'm Old School, LOL.) The album was released in November 1987, the Fall of my senior year of high school. I was seventeen at the time of its release. WOW, the album is 30 years old!

The difference between listening to the album in 1987 vs 2017 ... besides 30 years? Again, WOW. The difference is that in 1987, I would listen to it and dance around for an hour, not losing my breath. If I were at an under-age club, I'd be probably dancing for another 3-4 hours. Ahhh, the endurance of youth!

Now in the Fall of 2017, I would listen to it for an hour on the elliptical machine or treadmill. Oh how the times have changed. After an hour on the elliptical, I can tell you I am probably breathing pretty hard, sweating bullets, and checking how many calories I burned to see if I can have a beer OR several that night.

Listening to the album brought back a flood of high school memories. My good friends and family know how much I love Madonna. I've been to almost every concert and have pretty much everything musically that she's ever put out. I have always loved her as the ultimate 'entertainer'. She may not be the best singer but she can sure put on a fucking show and always has!

I remember the first time I saw her video "Open Your Heart" on MTV in 1986 (I was a geeky 16 year old). I was so excited I screamed for my Mom to come into the living room to show her who Madonna was. Mom took one look at her dancing around the TV screen with her bosoms bouncing all around and flatly exclaimed, "SHE'S A WHORE!" before marching back to the kitchen.

I crack up just thinking about that afternoon! It's actually one of my favorite memories of my Mom just 'saying it like it was.' Mom did eventually become a fan and absolutely loved Madonna's 'Dick Tracy' album "I'm Breathless" put out in 1990. She loved Madonna's throw back nod to the 1930's.

This also brings me back to memories of my high school days where I would drive into Philly with my best gal-pals Angie, Mandy, and Marguerite heading off to bars and clubs we could get into and drink. We were always trying to drive into Philly and as they say ... up to no good!

One time I was driving home, I drove over the concrete median between the slow and fast lanes on Route 295 in South Jersey. The girls screamed their collective heads off, the car bottomed out totally for about a tenth of a mile, and sparks were seen across the South Jersey skyline from Gloucester City to the Deptford Mall! That poor 1987 Nissan Sentra!

We all had a nervous good laugh about it and I dropped Marguerite and Mandy off in Wenonah, NJ and then drove Angie all the way south (about 20 minutes) to Mullica Hill and made sure she got home. I came back home to Wenonah, parked and went to bed .. lets just say LATE.

Well the next day, Dad asked me, "Can you come outside to the driveway for a minute and look at the car?" Oh FUCK.

Dad, always the peacemaker, God LOVE HIM, asked me if I knew how this may have happened, pointing to a completely shredded tire. I cannot believe I actually made it from the Deptford Mall to Angie's house in Mullica Hill and back again! I vaguely said I remember driving over something on 295 but it was SO dark, I couldn't be sure. I knew he didn't buy it. He told me I'd pay for the tire. LOL I did totally pay for that shredded tire and we BOTH knew I got off lucky!

On another evening, Mandy was driving Angie, Marguerite, and I into Philly on one of our adventures in her Dad's Audi. It was Marguerite in the front and Angie and I in the back. How do I remember this? Because Madonna's "Holiday" was on FULL BLAST on the radio (probably a cassette, remember them?) and we were singing it, all four of us at once.

Now out of the four of us, I certainly knew I did not have the voice to sing Madonna or anyone for that matter. LOL. I was usually quiet, in the background, singing "Holiday" really softly LOL. :)  The other gals each had vocal training with Angie belting it out, harmonizing. It was rather enjoyable.  Marguerite and Mandy were EACH trained in vocal song. I just enjoyed being there. LOL BUT someone was at that particular moment, off pitch. LOL Maybe it was ME? Maybe it was someone else. LOL I'll never tell NOR admit it but those rides were the BEST.

OK SO.... On THIS particular ride, we were driving across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge towards the great City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, singing OUR HEARTS OUT to Madonna's "Holiday"! One of us, not sure whom, looked up and realized MANDY was driving in the bridge lane towards Philly with red lights. She was driving into oncoming traffic!

I think the screams of all four of use broke windows up and down Mainline Philly! Mandy quickly swerved her Dad's Audi from oncoming traffic into the correct lanes with .. Ahem... them CRAZY green lights (you know, the ones you're allowed to drive in) and we continued on our way across the Ben Franklin Bridge. It was quite an experience and one the four of us laugh and exclaim about 30 years later!!!

I reached out to Mandy and Angie about this memory. And pretty much each one of them were like "Oh God MARCUS!!!!!"  LOL

Mandy, God bless my dear friend, also reminded me of our Chinese fire drills at each stop light and also the time she got pulled over by the cop for not having her headlights on. (She didn't know how to put them on.) Ooops, sorry Mandy. You know I LOVE YOU. :)  In fact, these gals provided me were a lifetime of AWESOME high school memories. I love each of them.

Sigmund Freud Quote I Can Relate To


Sigmund Freud