ENCORE (PART 3)

 

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Seth Doyle

 

This is the part of the story that is played after the record has long since finished and is still spinning on the player.

Encore

The sultry sounds of your secret melodies surprise my consciousness.

The love patterns of my thoughts pursue a passion in partnership with you.

The lack of our romantic bliss has cluttered the spaces of my thinking.

My heated desires perspire through my pores.

I drink my thoughts to quench my thirst for you.

My appetite for romance is my habitual hunger that one plus one equals two you.

My mind’s symposium pulsates to the rhythm of your heartbeat.

It feels good to stay stuck playing head-banging tunes of you nonstop and in stereo.

 

At one time or another, we will make a love song together.

Today, I play you on repeat.

Please read my other written work.

I adore you for reading my writing,

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THE PENIS PARALLEL (PART 2)

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The pen is

Found

Grabbed

Felt

Contemplated

Nibbled

Erected

Ball-Pointed

Used

Moved

Curved

Moved

Curved

Moved

Curved

Exploded

Finished

Renewed

Stowed

…waiting to be used again.

Please read my other written work.

I adore you for reading my writing,

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WHY AM I SINGLE? FIVE TIPS TO COUPLEDOM FROM A SINGLE POINT OF VIEW (PART 1)

Cat looking out of mail door slit

The tune playing in my heart is called North Star. It’s a magical melody of flowers, overjoyed loved ones and “I Dos.” While I’m at odds with the big screen’s formulaic script of marriage, I am wedded to the song of romantic love. My relationship experience is limited to my fantasies of countless men fawning over my beauty, grace, and charm. It is funny how the men of my dreams are stuck in ‘La La Land,’ while I am working to unclog the way for Mr. Ty-D-Bol man.

“And I don’t know which hurt more: losing the illusion or never having had the real thing.” — Elisa Lorello

Back in the Day

I came-of-age in the 80s when Rick James’ “Super Freak” was the underground anthem I jammed to outside of the house. Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” spoke poetic tunes of a lovelessness longing “Once upon a time there was light in my life, But now there’s only love in the dark.” U2’s “With Or Without You” sang the complicated condition of couplehood and the musical band Journey affirmed to my heart “Don’t Stop Believin.”

I was a latchkey kid, washing clothes and cooking dinner in elementary school. My Mom did not get the memo that the fuse blew out on the Home Ec (Home Economics) era. I murmured repeatedly, the ‘Leave It to Beaver’ standard of gender bias household duties applied to houses and not apartments, as I pierced a triangular part of my eyeball out through my hands, to protect my sight from a maternal volcanic eruption. To my Mom, the science of domestication was proved by the redundancy of applied methods of household duties. As far as I was concerned, a statistically insignificant sample size of one was good enough for validating household chores results in a clean house. I learned firsthand from watching TV. A TV house stayed cleaned for 12 seasons after just one cleaning. Yes, I adhered to the social order of things in my Mom’s home otherwise my gluteus maximus were set aflame by the flying movement of a belt that belonged around one’s waist and not my bottom. Since then, my generational timing has been off, and my dating theology is stuck in the dark ages.

“…dating you would be like a series of unnecessary root canals interspersed with occasional makeout sessions.” — John Green

I Don’t Have a Dating Clue

It’s 2017, how do I begin dating? There is no cookie cutter preparation for the various communication scenarios that may lead to a first date. Social media dangles the carrot of the perfect partnership with seductive images of man and woman. Images are perfected to seduce the senses in this reality of fiction. The gloss and floss of a romantic life are downloaded to the cloud of my brain and stored as the aspirational faux fairy tale romance. To compound my confusion, today’s screen culture of connection has me mystified and misty-eyed. Open mic conversations are conducted with missing characters in text and form. Relationships are consumed through the looking glass of digital monitors of (e)motionless characters. The social order is follower foreplay and heart(less) exchanges. Back in the day, the physical connection between two wires of flesh and bones created the spark of reciprocity. Today, touching a screen can lead to electric static between fleshless and emotionless characters. Characteristically speaking, the different touchpoints to connect complicates the dating formula for me. This social media dating terrain is quicksand for my traditional dating ethos. It makes me uneasy and queasy at times. Despite the click-a-heart culture, I have not abandoned my goal of dating courageously and consistently this year.

“The minute I stopped trying to find the right girl, and started trying to become the right guy…the girl came.” — Jonathan Antin

Why Am I Single?

The next person that asks why I am single, I am going to exhale a spitball in their eye. In my mind, the question is like asking: “Why is it that birds can fly, but flies can’t bird?” Answer that standardized society. Because it just is. That question represents the cultural prejudice towards single individuals formed by policies and practices favoring married or ‘coupled’ people. Rest assured, I endeavor to bond in a romantic forever relationship created from openness, insight and sustained application, but until then, I am the ONE. In related news, on my smart-alecky days, I respond “I’m engaged.” Percolate on the meaning of that, standardized society.

“To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.” — Criss Jami

The Single Life

I am unapologetically single. I enjoy my singlehood, and I relish a life of companionship. I can be both. The pervasive pop culture liter our daily conversations and psyches with garbage that the honeymoon of happiness exists on the other side of the broom. I challenge that belief. The romanticizing of married life is celebrated and admired in our culture. What I have witnessed to be true, if you are unhappy single, you are unhappy married, fo’ sure. “We” should not exist in an impoverished or disadvantaged state of love for the appearance love. That is giving love a bad name. For some, the over-attribution of their romantic relationship is their defining quality and their self-concept. This belief is, to first matter to oneself, you must matter to others. Singleness is not a sickness waiting to be cured by marriage. The dominion of love exists within. I am no self-help guru telling someone to love oneself. For my sensibilities, that is comparable to telling someone to hug yourself, you can do it, but it is hard to feel the electric current. The surest way I’ve experienced the spectrum of love is to dwell in spaces that enrich the mutuality and possibility of love in my life. For me, it is time spent with family, friends, animals and nature. These relentless relationships I create and sustain are the pathways to my personal growth in a life of love.

“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.” — Mandy Hale

Five Tips to Coupledom from A Single Point of View

I’ve mastered disaster and learned from my rich collection of experiences. Here are five tips I’ve learned on my endeavor to coupledom.

  • Abandon the absolutes. Throw out the grocery list of mate traits. Otherwise, your ship may never make it to the shore – or it will sink because of the weight of your baggage claims.
  • Create space in your inner mind and your outer world to make room for new experiences and to foster change in your environment. A hot air balloon flys because the air within is lighter than the surrounding air. Release the hot air and fly, baby, fly.
  • Upgrade your prayers. Pray for an enriching journey and not the destination. Call upon a path that grows you vs. a prayer of acquisition – for example, marriage. There is no end zone in love.
  • The Hunger Games. The social media scene has created a flimsy currency of affirmation by way of hearts, followers, and technical interactions. Don’t validate or measure your self-worth by this digital currency. Be self-aware, or you will continually crave this type of validation at the peril of your self-esteem.
  • Move out the way. Participate in outdoor activities that supplement your vitamin D levels. Engage with others in co-located oxygen-filled spaces. Enjoy your singlehood.

Please read my other written work.

I adore you for reading my writing,

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Tagged

Take My Out-Stretched Hand

My labored history,
Shamefully supplied economic expansion for white abundance
My black body is America’s citizenry encumbrance

Your eyes turn the corner at the declaration of your blood-stained wealth
Camouflaged the past to absolve it from the abnormal conditions of the Commonwealth

Constructing me out of sequences from unread history
Paralyzing the misinformed in the deformity of conformity

This lack of knowledge of my human heart
Reduces us to unequal characters and not counterparts

The packaging of your history are sold on shelves
This demand is supplied with white sales of yourselves

You cloak me in anger to defend your fragility
Mass-produced the slogan ‘Angry Black Women’ because you feared my fertility

Media covers you in black dresses of elegance
And, Black women wear black skin draped in irrelevance

You gloss over my humanity with chapped notions of superiority
The scarcity of self creates fictional characters of inferiority

Chest puffed out, wearing your moral code of non-racist
This is not enough given the historical traces

Activate your morality against the establishment
Make it clear racism is in need of banishment

Take my out-stretched hand
Let’s band, stand and demand freedom for me in this land

Dueling oppressive norms,
Recruiting disinterested and uninterested to fight fairness for us all
Your interest in my freedom is fundamental to break down the walls.

Please read my other written work.

I adore you for reading my writing,

blogrochellesignature_18october2016

 

 

MUSINGS: WHITE WOMEN OBSERVATIONS AT THE WOMEN’S MARCH, 10 COMMANDMENTS OF RESISTANCE, A LOVE POEM FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE (TAKE MY OUT-STRETCHED HAND)

womenmarchonwashington_21january2017_a

“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.”
Coretta Scott King

Women’s March

The day after America changed for the second time in 73 days with the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, I assembled in Washington D.C. to participate in the largest mass mobilization in US history — The Women’s March on Washington. The March was strategically planned to butt the start of the 45th presidency. This movement of collective action, knitted together by yarns of informal networks powered the wattage of our wired voices, to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination. This display of sisterhood spawned the globe to 60 countries and seven continents.

“There would be no future peace for me if I kept silent”
Rachel Carson

White Women Observations

The canvas of 1 million women mobilized in D.C. saw white women decorated with pink pussy hats. The hats exhibited a powerful public-facing symbol of unity. Not surprising to this uprising was the absence of color. Women of Color (WOC) did not saturate the imagery of the March. One reason for their absenteeism points to Election Day data where 94 percent of black women and 68 percent of Hispanic women voted for Clinton as compared to 53 percent of white women voted for Trump.

White Women Sold Out the Sisterhood and the World by Voting for Trump.”

WOC descended on the scene to handle the national business of the day on 8 November 2016. Poised in the resistance’s greatest hits, WOC voted for the first majority nominated woman presidential candidate only to be darkened by the red party traffic pattern of racial and gender bias voting. This voting behavior is seen not only in presidential elections but also in state and local elections across the nation.

“If you want to know if you are going the right way, follow women of color”
Linda Sarsour

womenmarchonwashington_21january2017_b

Digging Deeper – The Black Woman and White Woman Dichotomy

The messiness of US history, buried monsters and commoners alike, to subtract from the unequal past where the U.S.A. was handmade to oppress and limit inheritance to black and brown communities to enrich white families. This structure created a social order that benefits whiteness and fortifies the apparatus of racial, ethnic and religious discrimination. Data reported in 2013 reveals Black women are the most educated group in America, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. College-educated black women read the most books according to Pew Research. Paradoxically, white women earn 82%, as compared to black women earning 65% of the wage earnings of white men. Affirmative action policies are disproportionately beneficial to white women, too.

“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.”
Angela Davis

To compound this narrative, our school’s blackboards have erased our uneasy history, contributing to a user-friendly version of our country’s ancestry. This co-opted truth has been passed down from generation to generation and lives vibrantly in our communities as the historical white truth. This white-wash version of historical facts has anchored a divide that undergirds the normative oppressive systems of position and privilege over racial inclusion and economic equality. This containment and control of historical misinformation hide our collective humanity from one another. The white franchise keeps intact the false black imagery that reproduces a narrative not befitting to a Queen. The sum total of black existence is packaged and assorted to redress white guilt. Anecdotally, some white individuals deny racism exists in 2017.

Sadly, the belief in whiteness and white superiority crowds the thinking of a reimagined American story. It’s time for truth-telling and courageous acts of participation.

Ten Commandments of Resistance

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
J. K.
Rowling

Democracy is a daily demonstrative process. The Ten Commandments of Resistance is a guideline for daily living.

  1. Read history not taught in schools. Read black, brown and indigenous people history.
  2. Reconciliation is required to avoid repeating historical patterns. Understanding suspends bias and judgment against black and brown people.
  3. Reframe your thinking to include compassion and care for individuals that have a different historical experience than your ancestors. The plight of black and brown people remains in contemporary times.
  4. Reach-out to form new relationships across communities to nurture your empathy and deepen your humanity.
  5. Reprogram your allegiance to include families and folks outside your tribal group. If your concern is only for your white babies and not my black and brown babies, we are all doomed. Our collective existence is interconnected. We need each other to survive.
  6. Recheck your privilege. It is unconscious and constantly working to your advantage and my disadvantage. My blackness is equally as deserving as your whiteness.
  7. Raise your voice in your families and in your communities against bias behavior towards black and brown people. Your courageous acts of protest in your love circles are critical for a cultural change.
  8. Remain or become involved in social justice work and economic expansion work for black and brown communities. Focusing on the lowest of society will raise the tide for all.
  9. Refrain from excessive media indigestion, sideline commentary, and observational critique. The goal of resistance is to implement change and renew America’s promise through our individual and collective actions.
  10. Recognize you have the power to create change. Do not underestimate the power of small actions. Perform small actions and share your actions within your love circles – on and off-line.

Repeat the Ten Commandants of Resistance until all can rejoice.

Once or twice in every generation, a line is crossed so egregiously that where you stood on the issue will forever define you.
Kara Vallow

womenmarchonwashington_21january2017_c

Take My Out-Stretched Hand

My labored history,
Shamefully supplied economic expansion for white abundance
My black body is America’s citizenry encumbrance

Your eyes turn the corner at the declaration of your blood-stained wealth
Camouflaged the past to absolve it from the abnormal conditions of the Commonwealth

Constructing me out of sequences from unread history
Paralyzing the misinformed in the deformity of conformity

This lack of knowledge of my human heart
Reduces us to unequal characters and not counterparts

The packaging of your history are sold on shelves
This demand is supplied with white sales of yourselves

You cloak me in anger to defend your fragility
Mass-produced the slogan ‘Angry Black Women’ because you feared my fertility

Media covers you in black dresses of elegance
And, Black women wear black skin draped in irrelevance

You gloss over my humanity with chapped notions of superiority
The scarcity of self creates fictional characters of inferiority

Chest puffed out, wearing your moral code of non-racist
This is not enough given the historical traces

Activate your morality against the establishment
Make it clear racism is in need of banishment

Take my out-stretched hand
Let’s band, stand and demand freedom for me in this land

Dueling oppressive norms,
Recruiting disinterested and uninterested to fight fairness for us, all
Your interest in my freedom is fundamental to break down the walls.

***********************************************************

Join me in the resistance.

Please read my other written work.

I adore you for reading my writing,

blogrochellesignature_18october2016

Want to Step up Your 2017 Forecast? You Need To Read This First: Establish Goals. Not New Year’s Resolutions.

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Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New-Year find you a better man. — Benjamin Franklin

Cheers to another 8,760 revolution hours around the sun. It’s 2017, and I have decided to shake, not stir my intoxicating ambitions to quench my thirst for a changed life. In years past, my New Years’ resolutions were propped up, puffed up proclamations, which were pushed out of the way, as soon as I botched an attempt to exchange a bad habit for a good one.

2016

Over a period of a decade, I have had many starts and stops with creating content for my website. Along the way, like most New Year’s resolutions, the sun illuminated brightly along my path, and suddenly I was drowning in the rain puddles of shallow promises. At which point, all my creative endeavors, drown in the sea of “to-dos” not done. As I do the work, I’ve learned to stop romanticizing the creative process of writing as spontaneous spurts of genius and now I revere the consistent practice of the craft. My self-governing principle is to be consistent. Consistency is the celebrity of life. In the fourth quarter of 2016, I applied a few brush strokes to the canvas of courageous and creative living to create, consumable communal content. I held an experiment to publish weekly stories. By year’s end, I published ten stories, three short for my written, shared quarterly goal.

A Revolution. Not a Resolution.

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed. – Cavett Robert

In a 2014 study, conducted by Australia’s biggest comparison websites finder.com.au, the most common reason for individuals failing their New Years’ Resolutions was; 33% didn’t keep track of their progress, and about one in ten respondents claimed they made too many resolutions.

It is no surprise, I’ve defaulted on my promissory note to change. Now, I am making incremental deposits into a new instrument to yield greater returns in my life. The instrument is consistency. Consistency is the catalyst for my performance in the goal marketplace. Like all market indices, I fluctuate in my goal performance. Over time, however, my consistency pays dividends. To keep track of my goal investments, I plot my progress on a large wall calendar. My approach is to commit to three goals per quarter to limit my exposure to diversification risk. Learn more about my quarterly goal setting technique here.

Vision

As I sip and savor over my glittery goals that I have drenched in my heart, my experiences have revealed to me; life is variable. Therefore, my continued focus and rigor with staying the course of my goals in 2017 and beyond is the pulse to my long-term commitment and sustained action in the creation process. My method is to iterate and therefore get better with time. The genesis for my writing rigor came with the commitment to write a book. One thing I know about writing, it’s a muscle, and I must exercise it multiple times throughout the week to see the form I desire. I’ve given vision to what shape that will take by year’s end. At the velocity of publishing a weekly story, I will have written a 300-page book.

Motivation, Mission & Values

Simply, I write to serve and share with others. My aim is to relate to the world differently, through deeper wells of connection assembled in my written words and my spoken voice.

My personal mission is to curate specialty products, create handwritten and spoken words, that spread smiles, stimulate souls and connects us to our sameness.

My values are the hieroglyphics for my humanity. It is how I remain committed to the achievement of my mission. My personal values are love, wellness, kindness, and relationships. My values are at the center of my soul while achieving my mission. It is the unifying force that defines who I am, what I strive to be, and how I serve others.

Daily Work

The core themes that make up my daily work allow me to exercise my values and fulfill my mission. Essentially, my daily work are the pieces and patterns that shape me.

dailywork_20january2017

How do I do it?

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.”
― 
Criss Jami, Killosophy

My core themes are the organizing principles which instrument my life’s greatest hits. It’s how I self-standardize for skillful living.

My calendaring method keeps me focused on the micro activities that mold the macro landscape of my life. Most vectors of my life are illustrated on my calendar unless the pattern/practice is embedded deep within. If it is not calendared, it doesn’t get considered, unless you are my Grandmother, then all matters are trumped for Queen Bee. Read about my Grandmother here. I iterate often, recalibrating the ineffective activities and patterns. I recheck my calendar to remind me of my commitments. Without my calendaring technique, my neck would have an out-of-order sign hanging on it perpetually.

2017 Goals

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

It is said, you are 20% more likely to achieve your new year’s resolutions if you make them public.

Here are my overarching goals for 2017.

  1. Eradicate all consumer debt.
  2. Pay my business taxes on schedule.
  3. Publish 52 stories.
  4. Publish 26 podcasts.
  5. Read 36 books.
  6. Relaunch https://rochelleaross.com/
  7. Quit sugar three days a week.
  8. Introduce one specialty product.
  9. Go on one date.
  10. FEAR LESS. LOVE MORE.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Neil Gaiman

Ten Tips for a Better New Year

I invest consistently in being better. This is what I’ve learned about the goal setting process:

  1. Abandon new year’s resolutions, create goals instead
  2. Write your macro goals down for the year
  3. Break down your macro goals into a few micro goals, per quarter
  4. Share your goals with others
  5. Establish a method to achieving your goals
  6. Commit to consistency in your goal methodology
  7. Tweak the method, if your approach is preventing you from reaching your goals
  8. Be patience with yourself, if you missed reaching your goals
  9. Carry unfinished or missed goals to the next quarter
  10. Reach goals and Rejoice!

Join me in creating a changed life. Share your 2017 goals. Many thanks.

Please read my other written work.

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I adore you for reading my blog.

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My heart’s ode to the universe of love

frog_14january2017

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Why is my prince charming coming at the speed of a crawl?

Is it due to his high cholesterol?

As I work through my muck,

I believe my fairy godmother will send me a hunk

Thank you, in advance,

For the chance to dance with romance.

Faithfully yours, Rochelle

Please read my other written work.

Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

blogrochellesignature_18october2016

My 6 Areas of Reflection from 2016 (with My Humorous Wisecracks), My Oath for 2017, and My Goal Setting Technique

“If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.”
Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

My 2016 experience was a mixture of good and bad habits plus good and bad events. Here’s the summation in my quirky quips.

  1. Bad habit: “My money is funny.”
  2. Good habit: “As a matter of fact, my meal game is ‘tight’”
  3. Good habit & Bad experience: “A body in motion, stays in motion – unless that body has been in an accident.”
  4. Bad habit: “My messy mind.”
  5. Bad habit: “I need to move from stalemate (no one wins) to checkmate (I got the king)”
  6. Good experience: “My mission is to lay bricks and to build bridges for a changed life, for you and me.”

“Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.”
Confucius

A Look Back to The Start of 2016

I kicked-off 2016, using the technique below with my accountability allies (aka the “Goal Digging Gals”) to strive for victory in achieving my goals. The overarching aim of our technique — is to size the goals into small tangible chunks for success in a three-month period.

The “Goal Digging Gals” Technique

  1. Write down three goals to accomplish in the quarter
  2. Share goals with accountability allies
  3. Review goals, repeatedly
  4. Report out periodic updates
  5. Receive feedback
  6. Revise as necessary
  7. Repeat = Missed goals + New goals

2016 Midyear Assessment

During my 2016 midyear assessment, I was frustrated with the characteristics of my goals, yielding small personal results. My successes were resulting from my goals being anchored in the safe place of certainty. My low-grade achievement was in effect, maintaining a sustainable life. My goals were primarily a maintenance plan for my ego. Thus, I was sabotaging my soul and maintaining an ecosystem for sustainable living.

My 2016 goals started off narrow in scope (sustainable goals), and consequently, my goals did not encourage the expanded vision that my soul was conjuring up. I decided it was time to “level up” (stretch) my quarterly goals to enrich my life in meaningful ways.

The lesson. My goals should consist of:

  • Sustainable Goals support the state of “what is”
  • On the Edge Goals support a hybrid state of “what is” and “what is possible”
  • Stretch goals support the state of “what is possible”

goalmix_3january2017

Ecosystem, Sustainable, Mummies Are Uncommon Words Used for Goal Setting

Let’s talk about the words sustainable for a moment. The definition of sustainable is to support “what is.” Previously, I mentioned my goals were “maintaining an ecosystem for sustainable living,” which refers to the perseveration of my existing state. How can this be bad — you ask? I’ll answer that question with an analogy. When a dead body is mummified; the body is preserved in its current state, to keep it intact and to prevent further deterioration from occurring. However, in this state, life expansion ceases to happen. Similarly, sustainable goals will keep the “what is” intact and not facilitate life expansion. Sustainable goals, doesn’t change a life — it maintains your current life state. Now let’s add a layer to this thinking. The process of achieving goals should be sustainable. That is, the technique used to reach our goals should be viable and be easily continued. (Refer to the ‘Goal Digging Gals’ technique cited earlier in this story)

My 6 Areas of Reflection from 2016

My 2016 reflection story explores my habits and experiences in six areas: Money, Meals, Motion, Mind, Mate, and Mission.

Money

“Do not be obsessed with expensive things. Instead, be obsessed with excellence.
Things don’t make you excellent. However, excellence will make you expensive.”
Janna Cachola

At the start of 2016, I met with my financial planner to get a handle on my finances. Keep in mind; this was a carryover 2015 goal (quarter-over-quarter). After meeting with him, I reluctantly changed my approach and thinking to improve my financial health. Instead of maximizing my savings, the goal was to annihilate, yes destroy my consumer debt. I had some sustainable successes in 2015 and 2016 with paying down my consumer debt lines. However, I always fell short with the annihilation of my entire consumer debt portfolio.

“Hell is full of good meanings, but Heaven is full of good works.”

Ok, I am not blameless. I cheated on my finances. I snuck around spending on my debit cards to avoid purchasing on my credit cards. Smart, right? (rhetorical) The effect. I had little to no money left over to be aggressive with paying down my outstanding consumer credit balances. Now, I want a divorce from my consumer debt (it’s been many years in the making). And because of my bad money habits, I finished 2016, not like a budget pro, but as a defeated debtor, a busted borrower, a credit chump (let me have my moment of self-pity). What does this mean for 2017? I am carrying, an unsuitable bag of debt into 2017. I must stop playing budget bingo with my dollar bills and resist this down payment democracy fueled by credit’s capitalism. The Struggle. Some lessons take longer to learn.

Meals

Consuming green leafy matter in abundance is a priority for me. Especially, as I am approaching, a half of century walking the grounds of mother earth. I have been green juicing since 2006, and in the year of 2016, I leveled up my commitment to juicing to 5 days a week — Monday through Friday.

Let me take you through my progression. I began 2016, juicing two days a week, mid-year I increased it to 3.5 days per week and during the summer, I upped my weekly ante to 5 green juice days. I’ve also modified what I eat during that period, which pairs nicely for my clean eating lifestyle (for most of the time — continue reading).

I’ve implemented a standardized meal system which consists of, mainly: raw broccoli, cauliflower, tortilla chips, a dip of my choice and seasonal fruits. Not to be left out, eggs, when I can get to the Union Square Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. The effect. My five day a week clean eating habit has got me on a healthy high. Because ‘on a regular,’ I ingest (& eliminate) some ‘real-good’ green shrubbery. (Gulp. Gulp. Pass. Most people, respectfully pass on my green juice generosity. I don’t take it too personally.) In other related news, my Kangaroo pouch is shrinking because of my healthy meal habits. What does this mean for 2017? My formed and fortified routines are building a body of work; I continue to be proud of. The Struggle: Remember, you read, I eat clean five days a week. What about Saturdays & Sundays? The remaining two days, I reward myself, by eating, whatever the hell I like. Which means, in most cases, I squander my health currency on my sugar cravings. No Bueno.

Motion

“Commitment is a promise to a cause. Being non-committal is a promise to catastrophe.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

Since 2012, I’ve worked out on a consistent basis. In 2014, I tumbled into a new routine and integrated strength training into my movement mix. Before that, I was a Cardio Chica. Engaging in long cardio routines. After experiencing the benefits of High-intensity interval training (HIIT), my philosophy has moved to quality over quantity, and lengthy cardio routines are for Henrietta, the hamster.

In unfortunate news, my four days a week fitness routine was stopped due to a car accident I was in, July 2016. Up until the car accident — I did not fully understand how monumental exercise and movement were to my overall existence. Initially, I thought of exercise on a monochromatic spectrum; benefitting only my body. Following the crash, I now think of exercise on a mosaic spectrum; benefitting not only my body but my mind, too. The effect. I was in a funk because I couldn’t move the way I was accustomed to and I was experiencing intermittent pain. And morsels of my mind were slowly chipping away, because of my motionlessness state. What does this mean for 2017? My treatment plan concluded right before Thanksgiving 2016 and I am back to my ‘badassery’ behavior in the gym. My body and mind are better because of my pivot back to my formed and fortified fitness routine. The Struggle: I am weak. However, I continue to push through my physical and mental states of discomfort to complete my entire fitness routines.

Mind

“Don’t worry. You’ll find your message in your mess.”
Richie Norton

Mastering my thoughts has been a series of sporadic starts and stops to create stillness in my inner and outer ecosystems. In other words, it’s been a struggle. I constantly retreat in the unsafe space of mind during times of confusion, challenges, conflicts, and chaos. Warning label. My mind is unsafe because I lack control over it. The parroted fables and fairy tales I tell myself are just not true. These repetitive tales my mind peddles, I labor to resist. My mind yearns for constant stimulation — fact, or fiction. The effect. These fear-based mind patterns I harbor are buried deep within. Resulting in, a mind maze of messiness. My previous, avoidance tactics and “do-nothing attitude” are not the behaviors that support a changed life. What does this mean for 2017? I am dealing with my head issues, head on (pun intended). I need to crack the code to my cranium patterns. The thoughts that no longer serve me or others must be flushed out (like sh*t in a toilet bowl). I will no longer carry this weight. To that end, I have a yearly subscription to Headspace, to form and fortify the routine of daily meditation and train my mind for better life outcomes. Getting my mind right is the goal. I must create new circuitry currents in my cranium. The Struggle. I must stop the behavior of brushing dirt under the rug. All this does is hide the mucky brain buildup. I need to deal and feel my way to freeing my mind from fear. Yup, agency over my mind is a challenge.

Mate

Ever since I can remember, my dreams have been filled with desires of experiencing life with a mate. The Effect. My mate mishaps are surely connected to my messy mind. What does this mean for 2017? I am tidying up my mind to let go of fear-based fables to free up space for faith-based thinking and living. Hence, my prince charming is on a chariot coming my way. My heart’s ode to the universe of love.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Why is my prince charming coming at the speed of a crawl?

Is it due to his high cholesterol?

As I work through my muck,

I believe my fairy godmother will send me a hunk

Thank you, in advance,

For the chance to dance with romance.

Faithfully yours, Rochelle

The Struggle: Letting go of years of stinking thinking ain’t easy.

Mission

This is the part of the story, where I leveled up my goals. The summer of 2016, I embarked on a journey in pursuit of my mission to create content comprising of my experiences, my self-discovery, and my behavioral experiments to share with the world, in hopes that you and I may be inspired informed and entertained. The decision to be a consistent creator of content has cleared the way for my changed life.

“Your greatest self has been waiting your whole life; don’t make it wait any longer.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

What does this look like in 2017?

I am co-creating with one of my allies (Lisa Deveaux) from the famous ‘Goal Digging Gals’ group (you’ve heard of us by now). We will chronicle our stories to be shared in the following formats:

  • A podcast program
  • A book

The Lesson: Sustainable goals, doesn’t change a life – it maintains a life. The Struggle: What I know to be true, every grand idea and grand intention are not without the perils of disappoint, setbacks and failures. The key. (I am preaching to myself)

Master the art of consistency.

In other words, during confusion, challenges, conflicts and chaos, the production process of creation should continue and not cease. (Self-responds) This is easier said than done.

My Oath

My commitment is to give, my all, and my best efforts to the integrated segments of my life as I have shared in this story, my story. So, that, when the bell strikes 2018, I would not have misused the gift of 365 days of my life in 2017 by staying the same, I would have created a changed life.

Join me in creating a changed life. Share with me, how you plan to change in 2017.

Please read my other written work.

Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

blogrochellesignature_18october2016

The Ultimate Review of “The Rosie Project”, and Why Bill Gates and I are Soul Brother and Sister

therosieproject_30december2016

Bill Gates and I are Soul Brother and Sister, because…

  1. We both use Microsoft products.
  2. We both read and recommend The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Brother Bill, was introduced to the book through his wife’s suggestion. I picked up the title based on the glowing reviews on Amazon.

The Rosie Project Book Review

This book is a five-star, fast-moving humorous love story about a Professor Nerd (boy) meets (girl) Badass Ph.D. Psychology Student by way of a failed attempt to use a scientific algorithmic survey to find a wife.

The Characters

Main Character (Protagonist) Don Tillman

The Rosie Project is written in the voice of Don Tillman (I dub him “The Professor” in my book review). The Professor is a 39-year-old, single, professor of Genetics at a university in Australia. Characteristically speaking, The Professor is a socially inept, “genetics geek,” and a virgin with Asperger’s. He is an alien too. You read right, The Professor is an alien, well not really. Well, yes really — it is legit. The US government grants visas to aliens “who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences” among other disciplines. Because of his quirkiness, he is a funny, too.

Underneath his geeky armor, The Professor’s silhouette is sculpted with defined pecks and whatnot, because he practices a modern Japanese martial art form called Aikido. Villain beware, because he will dish out a “whoop-ass” if need be.

His world context of women are stuck in the dark ages; this is revealed by his dated use of language. He made the mistake of referring to Rosie as a barmaid instead of a bartender. C’mon son – get with the times. That language is dead like Latin. To compound his dated lexicon, he also has a wandering eye for women with “sizeable boobs.” His out of touch observations do not deviate from who he is: like the time he described his date as a “blonde with big tits, in fact, her breasts were probably no more than one and a half standard deviations from the mean size for her body weight and hardly a remarkable identifying feature.”

His clothing choices are similar to that of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. They all belong to the standardized, repeatable wardrobe club to conserve brain function by not making foolish fashion decisions.

The Professor relishes in “being seen as someone not tied to the norms of society.”

Main Character – Rosie Jarman

Smoker Rosie Jarman is a smart, sassy and spicy “almost thirty” Ph.D. Candidate of Psychology at the same university Professor Don Tillman teaches genetics. She has daddy issues and works part-time as a bartender at the Marquess of Queensberry. To substantiate Rosie’s smarts; she scored a near perfect mark (a seventy-four to be exact) on the GAMSAT for medical school. She is “basically vegetarian; seafood is okay if it’s sustainable.” In other words, let’s not complicate this, Rosie is a sustainable eating pescatarian.

Rosie’s mother died when she was 10 in the same car accident; her physical trainer stepfather Phil Jarmon saved her from. To add to the unfortunate drama “Rosie’s mother was a bit wild in her younger days and engaged in unprotected sex outside her primary relationship.” Rosie’s mother, a doctor, shared blue eyes with her husband Phil and Rosie’s eyes are brown “that was when my mother realized that Phil wasn’t my father and decided to tell him.” Consequently, Phil tells Rosie without the icing on the cake; he is not her real dad. Because of this admission, Rosie embarks on who’s your daddy DNA adventures with The Professor.

Secondary Character – Gene Barrow

Professor Gene Barrow is “fifty-six years old with a wife and two kids.” He is a geneticist professor, however now he is the head of the Psychology Department at the same university The Professor teaches genetics.

What’s in a name – you ask? That question remains unanswered, but I can tell you this; Gene is a “sexist pig” and wanna be Casanova married to Claudia. “Gene has a project to have sex with as many women of as many different nationalities as possible.” Because of this “project” Gene has stepped outside of his marriage. He documents each extramarital sexual entanglement with a pin on a map in his office.

therosieproject_mapwithpins_30december2016

Secondary Character – Claudia Barrow

Claudia Barrow is the patient wife of Gene and is a clinical psychologist. She is the mother of Gene’s two children. Claudia is a good friend to The Professor offering sage advice to him, often. Her relationship philosophy offers visibility into her character: “If you really love someone, you have to be prepared to accept them as they are. Maybe you hope that one day they get a wake-up call and make the changes for their own reasons”.

Secondary Character – Phil Jarman

Phil Jarmon is Rosie’s stepfather. He is the owner of Jarman’s Gym. To mirror his testosterone driven profession, he drives a red convertible Porsche. He promised Rosie as a young child he would take her to Disneyland, but he figured she forgot about their conversation.

The Wife Project

The book opens with Professor Don Tillman (“The Professor“) having found the solution to the “social problem of finding a wife.” Even “The Good Book”, draws a favorable conclusion to such endeavor. As evidenced by the Shakespearean dialect of the King James version of the Bible that puts it like this: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD”. He approaches his dating experiments like a failed Facebook algorithm. In his mind, a scientific questionnaire is an obvious solution to finding a wife.

“The Wife Project” questionnaire is a purpose-built, scientifically valid instrument incorporating current best practice to filter out the time wasters, the disorganized, the ice-cream discriminators, the visual-harassment complainers, the crystal gazers, the horoscope readers, the fashion obsessives , the religious fanatics, the vegans, the sports watchers, the creationists, the smokers, the scientifically illiterate, the homeopaths, leaving, ideally, the perfect partner or, realistically, a manageable short list of candidates”.

The Method

  • Step #1 – The Professor meets women through “traditional” dating sites
  • Step #2 – He determines his sample size, by gathering anecdotal data from that scientific survey thingamajig
  • Step #3 – He conducts dating experiments to test his hypothesis of finding a wife by any means necessary

The Professor’s questionnaire spawned a few first dates with: “Olivia’s BMI at 19: slim but not signs of anorexia. I estimated Sharon the Accountant’s at twenty-three, and Maria the Nurse at 28. The recommended healthy maximum is twenty-five.” Coupled with his keen eye for a women’s size, he also has a penchant for promptness.

The 7 Stages of Love “Rosie Style”

Stage #1 – How They Met

The love story begins something like this: Rosie enters The Professor’s office, “Professor Barrow suggested I see you. Someone told me you can tell if a person’s monogamous by the size of their testicles.” Rosie was mistaken by The Professor as one of the wife candidates that completed the scientific survey of sorts. In presumptive haste, he invites Rosie to dinner. “How about we do dinner tonight?” She responds with a jacket-required restaurant. “How about Le Gavroche and you’re paying?” Since their first date was made for the same night, The Professor had to hack the reservation system to get a seat at the table.

He arrives at the restaurant with a waterproof windbreaker jacket on, instead of the required attire of the fancy establishment. Standing his ground, The Professor gets into a physical clash with the restaurant staff because technically he has on a jacket.

“Don, you would make someone a wonderful husband.”

Stage #2 – Discovery

After The Professor’s “Revenge of the Nerds” fight scene, they meander back to The Professor’s house to eat, one of his standardized meals that are scheduled to be eaten on Tuesdays. According to The Professor’s eating rules “Wine is not scheduled for Tuesdays. “Fuck that,” said Rosie.” Nothing like a badass woman to shake sh^t up. They eat, talk and learn about each other which included a conversation about Rosie’s “father,” not being her biological father. “My real dad is a doctor. I just don’t know which one.” They end the night with the standard first date pleasantries.

Stage #3 – Denial

The Professor’s assessment of Rosie is based on his scientific survey thingamajig. As a matter fact, she doesn’t measure up to the Wife’s Project because she is “A barmaid. Late, vegetarian, disorganized, irrational, unhealthy, smoker—smoker! — psychological problems, can’t cook, mathematically incompetent, unnatural hair color. “To see her again would be in total contradiction to the rationale for the Wife Project.”

“Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.”

Stage #4 – False Pretense

Rosie never completed “The Wife Project” questionnaire, however, The Professor’s hypothesis was that she must have been interested.

He makes up some coy plan to help Rosie find her biological father. Even though she is so “patently inappropriate” as a suitable life partner. The audacity of men, trying to justify their intent with coded actions. The Professor continues with his irrational logic “Rosie was not a date. I had rejected her, comprehensively, as a potential partner, and we were together because of a joint project. It was like a meeting.” The Professor commits to the “The Father Project” to have routine face time with Rosie.

Stage #5 – State of Confusion

Despite the confusion in his head, together they begin their adventures of collecting DNA samples to perform testing to uncover Rosie’s biological father. From posing as bartenders, lighting up the dance floor as the DNA dancing duo and traveling across the Atlantic Ocean.

On their way to NYC, The Professor meets Rosie at the airport to get additional DNA samples of two doctors that moved to the states. “She remained uncomfortable about my purchasing her ticket, so I told her she could pay me back by selecting some Wife Project applicants for me to date. “Fuck you,” she said. It seemed we were friends again.” The nerve of The Professor. #SMDH

In anticlimactic fashion, The Professor got busted “using the DNA machine for private purposes” which was a “breach of the Genetics Department regulations.”

Until he met Rosie, his life was a set of repeated routines governed by his “holy schedule.”

“My feelings for her could not be explained by logic.”

Stage #6 – It Must Be Love

The Professor and Rosie feelings go heart-to-heart with each other and no longer meander around the edges of their existence. As in most scenarios of love, there are the intangibles that fall short of one’s shopping list of desirables. “Rosie identified three faults of The Professor: no idea of social behavior, your life’s ruled by a whiteboard, and you’re incapable of feeling love— you’re perfect.” The Professor’s snap-back summation of Rosie: “You failed almost every criterion of the Wife Project. Disorganized, mathematically illiterate, ridiculous food requirements. Incredible. I considered sharing my life with a smoker.” The courting, dating, mating dynamics of irrational humans.

They tip-toe around the pantyhose conversation of love. Rosie asks “Don’t you care about me?” The Professor replies “I care about you enormously.” Quietly, in his mind The Professor “wanted her to fall in love with me.”

“If you really love someone, you have to be prepared to accept them as they are. Maybe you hope that one day they get a wake-up call and make the changes for their own reasons”.

Stage #7 – Happily Ever After

The Professor proposed to Rosie by stating the obvious “you have short earlobes. Socially and genetically there’s no reason for me to be attracted to you. The only logical conclusion is that I must be in love with you.” He seals the proposal with a kiss and Rosie reacts with “You’d better not let me down, I’m expecting constant craziness.”

The story winds down with their move from Australia to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Please read my other written work.

Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

blogrochellesignature_18october2016

Find out the 5 “F”s that Make My Family’s Thanksgiving Storied Experience Very Special

Our family’s 2016 Thanksgiving celebration took place at my 88-year-old Grandmother’s tenement apartment. This is where we gathered to give thanks for our shared histories and scribe new stories on the scrolls of time. For this reason, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

Today’s Thanksgiving Paradox

I’m adultly aware, our American history is full of paradoxes. Withstanding the fact, that the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday was not a picturesque scene of provisions, but smithereens of distorted truths amplified to absurd conclusions. This Thanksgiving mythology has been narrated for generations, harvesting untruths in our historical memories. This currency of romanticized American history, where dead white men are perfect gods, subsidizes a bankrupted belief system at the expense of cultural and individual freedoms.

Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

Our historical knowledge informed our talk about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the harm it will bring to the indigenous people of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.*

The talking points discussed were:

  • The environmental warfare from water contamination, and
  • The decimation of burial sites and sacred places.

My family concluded, this reckless capitalistic behavior is to aid:

  • America’s addiction to fossil fuel, and
  • To endow riches to the corporate bobble

*Newsworthy update: On 12/4/2016 the Army Corps of Engineers denied permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a section of the Missouri River.

My Thanksgiving learned lessons are simple

  • Tradition is powerful.
  • History is repeated.
  • Freedom is at a cost.

The 5 “F”s that are at the heart of my family’s Thanksgiving storied experience

Family

My family experiment is varied and messy at times violates the Hollywood family formula. In our family, there is no room for cowards when it comes to loving each other wholeheartedly. I am thankful daily to practice courageous acts of love and forgiveness with my familial folk. And despite everything I know to be right about perfect love, familial love ain’t always easy.

Family forgiveness is a labor of love and a constant practice.

I flourish as an individual moving in this world because my family is the supporter of my intangibles, the hidden crevices that are invisible to the casual onlooker. My family provides a protected space for care, cover and cohesion for my human spirit.

“But obviously, this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects.”
As quoted from the: Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Faith

My family is a praying body of souls. However, my cousin who is not the church-going, bible-quoting, amen-saying, religious kind, is often the first to prompt our family tradition of praying before we eat. I am unsure if it is because she is hungry or her spirit hungers for a different kind of soul food.

Loving is an act of faith.

As we prepared for our public worship of the food, we gathered around my Grandmother’s bed which included my Grandmother’s Home Health Aide. With our heads bowed, eyes lowered, and hands held together — my Grandmother led us in prayer to give thanks for our shared lives of compassion and love.

Food

Food is the love language of my family and cooking is a heated expression of that love.

For this 2016 Thanksgiving harvest, we got: “…Beans, Greens, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Lamb, Ram, Hogs, Dogs, Beans, Greens, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Chicken, Turkeys, Rabbit. You name it”! Oh wait, that was Shirley Caesar.

Our family feast included the traditional African American dishes of slow-cooked collard greens, slow-cooked stuffing (dressing), potato salad, yams (sweet potatoes), pineapple ham, turkey breast, and cranberry-orange relish to name a few. The cranberry-orange relish dish made its table debut several years ago after my Grandmother insisted on the cylindrical rippled cranberry sauce from her past. I was against such table rubbish. I decided to master-mix an old classic to appease my taste buds and hers. Upon sampling the cranberry-orange relish, my Grandmother rubbed my culinary ego and gave the dish four stars (★★★★). One thing to know about my Grandmother, she is the Czar of food reviews. In other words, she is the human upgraded version of Yelp.com with the added feature of year-over-year comparison data to spew. As heard from my Grandmother this Thanksgiving, “Your potato salad is better this year. Last year, it was a bit dry and needed more mayo”. When you are almost 90, you have the license to say whatever you feel and think. This provision comes in the aging contract.

To everyone’s delight, Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t single digit body mass index (BMI) approved. Because in Grandmother’s house poultry and people ought to have meat on their bones. My Grandma would say to me growing up: “Girl, you better put some meat on those bones.” Nowadays, I’m working hard to do just the opposite.

Fun

When my family gets together, our communication rituals are multiple conversations swinging back and forth to a clock that has no arms. We are distracted and entertained by each other and not devices.

After dinner, we played the game Heads Up! This was my first time playing this game. My gaming behavior is a cross between a turtle, a shark, and a parrot. That is, I am slow, competitive, and redundant — I’m an all-around badass. Well actually, my Grandmother is the Original Badass (OB) of the family. My Grandmother participated in our tomfoolery responding with the correct answers to our animated clues and getting high-fives along the way. During the game, I doled out descriptions and stories for words shown on the screen instead of short clues. Since I was caught up in my head space, I would continue my rhetoric, long after the player guessed the word correctly. My cousin would repeatedly say, “Rochelle, move on.” My rebuttal, was “Y’all should have detailed the rules of the game in a .pdf form and provided a copy for my review. This way, I would know how to play the game correctly” Otherwise, I’m gonna make “ish” up, as I go.”

In my Smokey Robinson voice, “I’m the life of the party because I tell a joke or two.”

Freedom

My Grandmother has been talking a lot lately about a facet of freedom that occurs when flesh changes to an otherworldly form. This is the evolutionary agenda for our human condition. I fret over such monologues but understand the transitions and passages of the living.

I am thankful, my Grandmother is breathing life into our family story. Fortifying traditions at every turn. Rhetorically, wondering why freedom still isn’t free?

My Thanksgiving lessons are simple.

Tradition is powerful.
History is repeated.
Freedom is at a cost.

Read my other written work.

Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

blogrochellesignature_18october2016

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