To sharpen our writing skills my daughter challenged me to a 1 week writing challenge…here are the results day by day. (It was actually a 30-day challenge but Generation Z wimped out after just 1 week, I promised I wouldn’t mention it and I didn’t…nobody reads what’s between (parentheses) right?!)

Day 1: X

5 Ways to win my heart…

I’ll tell you a little secret…there is really just one very simple way to my heart: You’s just gotsto FEED me!

Of course, like many roads lead to Rome, so do many ways make my heart go J

I’ll give you 4 examples…

  1. Anytime someone helps me out, without being asked, prodded, bribed or threatened, just out of his or her own free will…kaplunk…you just knocked down a side window to my heart.
  2. Whenever I feel I’m being appreciated, be it with a thank you, a hug and a kiss or just a grateful wink…screeeeeeetch…you managed to squeeze in through the revolving door of my heart.
  3. Sit down with me to discuss my favorite book or movie…kaboom…you catapulted yourself into my heart through the chimney.
  4. Read something I wrote and give me positive feedback…boom-bang….there goes the front door to my heart, you trampled it and got in!

So, as you can see, there are many paths you can take to win my heart, but none as easy and delicious as a simple dark chocolate fudge cake!

Day 1: Z

5 ways to my heart

Now for those who know me, I know you are probably wondering… does this psycho b**ch even have a heart?! And the answer would be yes, yes she does have a heart… it’s probably black and made of stone but I can assure you that it is there beating and pumping blood as we speak. Sooo, how do you manage to knock down the walls to this human organ known as “The heart”? Simple… as the saying goes “The best way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach”. People always think it’s either spoiling them with gifts or showing them love & affection… nahhh man, it’s nice and everything don’t get me wrong but I tell youuu there is nothing better than hearing those 4 sexy ass words…” I brought you food “. Talk chicken wings to me baby…

Okay, got a little off topic for a moment there. The other 4 ways to my heart would have to be…

  1. Making me laugh. Considering I’m pretty funny already, you’ll have quite a challenge ahead of you.
  2. Pamper me silly! Yeah, I lied before, I love it when people dote over me, didn’t they tell you? I’m also one of the Kardashian sisters, but shhhhh…it’s a secret!
  3. Sharing the same interests, for example my love for photography.
  4. And last but not least…show me I’m important to you, let me know that I matter!

And if that last one didn’t give you mushy feelings…well…congratulations, your heart is as black as mine!

Thanks for reading 😉

On Day 2 we each picked a different subject (we were allowed to choose between 2 subjects per day).

Day 2: X

Something I feel very strongly about…

I’m going to sound a bit contradictory here because the one thing I feel very strongly about, I must confess that I am also guilty of the same transgression. I believe in equality, that people should not be judged by their color, sexual orientation, race, religion, looks or whatever else you can think of. And yet I catch myself daily doing just that; judging people. Sometimes I’ll look at them differently because of the way they dress, their tattoos or hairdo. Other times I’ll even judge someone by the way he/or she talks.

It’s not easy to be completely arbitrary. Subconsciously our brain seems to be wired to react in a certain way to particular signals. Depending on our own background, education and development, we perceive these signals as good or bad and react to them. I try daily not to form an opinion of anyone based on the first impression; the way a person looks, acts or even talks, but it’s not an easy thing to do. Whenever I feel myself judging, I try to mentally place a mirror in front of me and say to myself; who am I to judge, I’m no better than anyone. I also try to put myself in the other person’s shoe; maybe there is a reason for her/his behavior/looks.

But just to relieve the stress of not judging people, I give myself a once-a-week free pass…I call it: Judgment Friday! On this day, I can say whatever is on my mind about any random person and not feel guilty about it! Oh…and guess what….IT’S FRIDAY!

Day 2: Z

10 likes & dislikes

Let’s start with the dislikes… those are always more fun:

  1. Anyone who knows me well enough, would understand why I chose that one to be my first dislike. It’s like seeing the grim reaper, I require 3 simple things don’t talk/look or touch me, don’t even come in my direction. After 8 am the coast will be clear and then you may speak.
  2. Judgmental people. They break rainbows, and that’s a big NONO.
  3. Again, if you know me very well you would know that I am not a cleaner… but I can assure you that I keep myself fresh as a daisy!
  4. People who cheat. Nothing gets me madder than people who cheat, either your cheating on a test or a person it’s still wrong either way… SO DON’T DO IT!
  5. Bad manners.
  6. My paternal grandma. Before you say anything, I didn’t say I hated her, I just said I dislike her… I still love that wrinkly old prune.
  7. Those things scare the living shit out of me, and considering one stung me once… doesn’t make the situation any better.
  8. Noisy or loud people. I mean STOP YELLING I AM RIGHT HERE!!!
  9. Those just give me anxiety… especially after 2 car accidents.
  10. And finally, AVOCADO! Nasty thing… you know when Shrek goes to take a dump, that’s what comes out.

Now for the likes:

  1. It’s a must!
  2. FOOD!
  3. My family.
  4. My dog Oliver.
  5. The smell of gasoline. (no, it is not weird!)
  6. Being one with myself & mother-nature. (it’s just code for being naked)
  7. Watching movies with friends.
  8. And the last one would have to be… Traveling.

I know I have a lot more… but these are the only ones I could think of so far.

Day 3: X

A book I love…

Two of my most dreaded questions are: your favorite color and your favorite book/author.

I don’t have a favorite color and apparently this is something almost unheard of. To me colors are like that Pocahontas song ‘Colors of the wind’, they all sway and blend together, so I can love a dark burgundy wallpaper, turn around and swoon over a deep azure curtain only to see a green sofa that I absolutely abhor. Colors appeal to me in different shapes and forms; I like white pick-ups but hate white sedans, I love dark green bedspreads but a dark green sofa…not so much. Now with books, it’s even more complicated. I love books and I love to read, but whenever somebody asks me about my favorite book or author I freeze and usually end up mentioning the name of whatever book I just happen to be reading at the time.

It has come to my attention that the type of genre I read has changed with the years, from mystery-detective-who done it series to stories with more depth, feeling, controversy and true stories type of books. Maybe because I’m finally maturing with age or hopefully because all the reading is turning me into an intellect! Either way I’m grateful for the ability to read and enjoy reading. A lot of people don’t take the time to read and it pains my heart to think of all they are missing out on. The magic of written words, the power of a single sentence. I happily lose myself in a book, become the characters, feel their joy and their pain. Sometimes, I visualize everything so vividly in my mind while reading that years later I can’t recall whether I read the book or saw the movie.

So, to go back to the original topic, a book I love, I could maybe narrow it down by saying books by Jodi Piccoult, but that’s just because I happen to have read most of her books. I would still feel like I’m doing a great injustice to all the countless other books I’ve read and loved if I singled out one book and I couldn’t possibly list all the books I’ve read and liked as I’m horrible with remembering book titles. And even if, by some miracle, I suddenly remember the titles of all the books that I like, my list would be so endlessly long that it would probably fill a book in itself…Wait a minute…I guess that would be my ultimate favorite book… A book listing my favorite books!

Day 3: Z

A book I love.

Since I’m not much of a reader this one is pretty easy. I am in love with the Divergent book series, at least I WAS! Sadly the movies they made based on the books have ruined it for me. The first movie was good, the second one sucked baboon ass, and the third one ohhh yeah that’s right… TERE WON’T BE A THIRD ONE BECAUSE THEY MESSED IT UP SO BADLY THAT PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO PAY TO MAKE A THIRD MOVIE! Anywhooo… back to the topic at hand. I don’t think I can ever pick a favorite book but what I can say is… a book needs to be able to keep me interested, give me action/thrill/suspense, it needs to be able to keep me on my toes otherwise I will get bored and won’t finish it. It’s one of the reasons why I loved Divergent so much, I could place myself in the book fighting alongside Tris and Tobias, becoming Divergent… oehhh the chillsss.

Day 4: X

Today’s challenge was probably one of my least favorite. Bulleting my day…

I really don’t like seeing my day in bullet form, because no matter how hard I try to fill the day, looking back on it will still make me feel unaccomplished, like I didn’t seize the day fully.

So instead, knowing beforehand what today’s challenge would be, I decided that I was going to bullet my day by whatever I ate. It wouldn’t make me feel any more accomplished BUT, it would at least be a very effective way of watching what I consumed throughout the day!

So, here follows my day in bullets but arranged by the different food groups…

  • Breakfast: I woke up at 5:30 to go biking. My breakfast usually consists of two slices of delicious dried mango, but to my surprise the bag was empty…my lovely son has acquired a taste for it and neglected to inform me about his new vice. So, I hurriedly grabbed a raisin bread instead and was out the door by six. My ride was nice but uneventful, except for a traffic accident just around the corner from where I was supposed to meet up with my biking partner. I had to make a short detour and was afraid we would miss each other but thankfully that wasn’t the case. My partner wasn’t feeling up to par so we kept the ride easy, with a short stop for him to eat a banana and for me to eat my bread.  We parted ways two hours later and I headed back home for my next bullet of the day…my REAL breakfast!
  • Breakfast (2): I put my bike away, took a quick (but thorough) shower and texted my bff that I was dressed and ready to go. She picked me up a few minutes later and we went to ‘Boosty’ for a delicious and leisurely REAL breakfast (I had the hummus, veggie baguette followed of course by a latte and a flapjack, it was truly delish!). We discussed our kids, work, my renewed passion for writing, some more talk of kids and work, and pretty soon it was almost time for: LUNCH! So on to the next bullet…
  • Lunch: Well, I was honestly not very hungry yet and I was sort of counting my bullets, oops, I mean calories. Since we were still in the Caracasbaai area, we decided to skip lunch and go straight for dessert, which of course, translates to ‘Bella Italia’. We shared a very decent mid-sized cup of coconut and dark chocolate ice cream that, when you really think about it, was a very nutritious meal as coconut and dark chocolate have become the new trendy “health” foods for dieters…they just happened to be ‘packaged’ in ice cream! We meanwhile discussed the kids some more (I know, you would think we were talking about a dozen kids with all these dialogues concerning our kids and not just three of them between the two of us…just goes to show how time consuming and nerve wrecking rearing children can be, imagine if I did have a dozen…I’d still be sitting at ‘Bella Italia’ discussing my kids and eating buckets of ice cream!). After another hour of thoughts and debates, my friend dropped me back home for my final bullet of the day…
  • Dinner: Thinking consciously and cautiously about all I’d eaten so far, I was very careful about my final meal of the day. I pondered my options while folding laundry and chatting with my son about his day and his current woes (absolutely, truly, urgently needing a new gaming laptop). After finishing with the laundry and settling the laptop matter (Not today buddy!), I decided on a tomato wrap of hummus, spinach and cheese…ok, I admit it…two tomato wraps of hummus spinach and cheese! I gobbled up my dinner while chatting with my parents and after I was done, I raced straight to my room and my laptop to bullet up my day and avoid any other meals, I mean bullets, or do I mean meals?! I’m so confused now…

Day 4: Z

Bullet your whole day

Sadly this challenge didn’t fall on a Sunday, because usually Sunday is what Andrea and I call Sin-day (relax we don’t hunt people down or anything, but we do have the best/weirdest adventures). So Saturday, let’s see… Saturday was pretty much an all lazy jammy day. I got up at around 8 am, brushed my teeth (cuz we not about that nasty unhygienic life), went to give Olly some loving, then snuck into my maternal grandparent’s house (cuz we not about that downstairs life) and made myself a nice veggie omelet (oehhh yahhh was some good shazzizzle). After that I just climbed back into my holy grail (my bed), connected the laptop to my flat screen TV and started binge watching black-ish (very funny show might I add). After a couple of hours of that I decided to come out of hibernation and went outside for some fresh air, played with Olly again for a couple of minutes then it’s back to LA CAMA! At around 8 pm-ish I went to make myself this beautiful grilled cheese sandwich, and as I was walking over to my room about to enjoy this beautifulness that Jesus has provided for me… I receive a text message for Ms. X aka MOM, somebody didn’t take her own car when she went out…sooo now, that somebody asked meee to go pick her up. Which I did of course because I am just such a loving sweet caring daughter. (not true a niggah needs gas, and she provides) so after that we just came back home, said our goodnights and off to bed.

So, Nighty-night!

Day 5: X

Things you want to say to an ex

This feels like a trick! Really?! I get a chance to rip my ex a new one?! There’s got to be a catch!

But seriously? I don’t have anything to say to my ex. I’ve reached the conclusion, that the word EX was created for a reason. Once you place that EX in front of boyfriend, husband or even friend that’s it. You placed it there because that person will no longer form part of your life.

It doesn’t mean that I’ll never speak to him again, it just means that I no longer have anything to SAY to him. I’ll simply exchanging pleasantries if I happen to run into him and if I don’t even feel like doing that, I just pretend to have discovered the most interesting pebble God ever created on the sidewalk and walk on…fast!

Of course, this wasn’t always the case. When the kids were younger, I had no choice but to talk to him as there were always custody matters that needed to be discussed and dealt with. But even then, our conversations were aimed solely at solving whatever issues we were having with the kids; academic performance, tuitions, child support, the occasional cold and flu. Our talks never veered from the only topic allowed: the kids.

I believe in-depth dialogues are essential when you are still working on saving the relationship, but once you’ve both decided to throw in the towel, there really is no point in arguing further. What would be the added value to such a discussion? The outcome would still be the same: Both parties will still resent one another and each will still believe that they are in the right; that is why you called it quits in the first place remember?!

So, if I ever get a chance to say something to my ex, all I’ll probably say is: Hi and then, enthusiastically…BYE!

Day 5: Z

Things I would say to an ex.

Wow this is a tough one, it’s not every day you get a free pass to fire a few shots at your ex. I can’t complain though, I kept a good friendship with most of my ex’s. My first boyfriend was actually one of my best friends and the reason we broke up was mainly because we didn’t want to lose that friendship we had and till this day we still have that amazing bond. I definitely think my last break up was the hardest, because we didn’t want to end the relationship but it wasn’t going to work with him moving away to Holland. So, with the break up came so much drama and fighting (not going to bore you with the details), I will say though it was my longest relationship ever and I truly loved him and I wish he could know how much he hurt me in the end. It started off as love and ended in hatred… and that hurt the most. Other than that, I don’t think I have much to say to him… I truly do wish him all the best in life, because I did/do care about him, despite all that has happened.

Day 6: X

What band or musician is most important to you

It’s either funny or sad how my taste in music has changed with age. I never thought that this would happen to me. I guess none of us do. But if I really think about it, I saw this change in my mom as well back when I was a kid; how she went from singing along to my pop songs to asking me to please lower the volume on that awful racket. Being the obnoxious teenager with raging hormones that I was, I couldn’t understand it, she was fine with my choice of music before, what was her problem?

Karma much…?

Leap forward some 30 years and the same thing is happening to me. Not too long ago I would pump up the volume on the car stereo and sing along with my kids, now I can’t wait for them to get out of the car so I can switch the station to more bearable sounds. I no longer know the words and lyrics to the songs they listen to and I can’t recall any of these artist’s names if my life depended on it.

So, that makes today’s challenge kind of tough and bittersweet. Should I talk about a musician that was important to me back in my glory days before needing to dye my hair every 3 weeks, or should I mention one that I listen to now? I tried to think of a band that would fit right in the middle there; an artist I liked back in my pimply days that is still rocking it…but we are talking 30 odd years…that’s a bit much to ask for.

After long deliberations and deep soul searching, I’ve concluded that I simply must go with the flow and accept my fate and with it…my age. Which means selecting a band or musician that’s important to me now and at this exact moment in time my favorite music is…believe it or not…classical music. I don’t know anything about Mozart, or Bach or any other composer and to be honest most of the time, or actually, all of the time, I don’t really know who I’m listening to, but I do know that I now love classical music, a genre that I despised as a teenager and would beg my mom to: “Please turn it off, mooooom!” the few times she got the chance play one of her classical LP’s.

I enjoy trying to figure out the different sounds and their corresponding instruments. It washes over me, relaxes me, takes me to a place of tranquility, whereas the modern music my kids listen to only gives me a sensory overload.

So, now it’s my obnoxious teenagers asking me to pleeeeeaseeee, pretty pleeeaaaseee change the station back to ‘normal’ music and all I can do is mournfully switch it back to the bang-bang-bang, turn the volume down a notch or two when they are not paying attention and just wait it out because soon…

Karma much my children?!

Day 6: Z

What band or musician is most important to you?

Finally, my area of expertise, I don’t think I have a favorite band or musician because music always takes me by surprise it depends on my mood I guess. When you’re happy you enjoy the music, you focus on the sound, beat and rhythm, but when you’re sad you understand the lyrics. (damn that is deep shit!) One of my favorite bands would have to be Imagine Dragons, they have 3 of my favorite songs (Demons, Radioactive & Sucker for pain). The reason I chose them was because their songs might be a little dark but they focus on the realities people face and the difficulties people deal with day after day. I understand some songs can be wacky and fun and I do enjoy those as well but I prefer mine to have a meaning behind them. Just like writing I guess, someone once told me write what hurts you, write what disturbs you, write what you can’t say out loud… same goes for music, express your inner voice in your own symphony.

Day 7: X

Five pet peeves

I’ve always loved the word ‘pet peeve’. As a youngster, I didn’t even know what it meant, I just liked the sound of it and I figured it had to have something to do with pets, which automatically made it an ok word! Once I discovered the actual meaning of the word, I liked it even more…

Because if there is one thing we all have plenty of, it’s pet peeves. Sure, we all pretend to get along and be tolerating of one another, but deep down…you are just itching to tell the person sitting next to you at the doctor’s office to quit biting his nails and spitting them on the floor!

Which brings me to pet peeve number one: Public personal grooming. From a colleague who finds it the most natural thing in the world to remove facial hair while sitting at her desk, which just happens to be connected to my desk, to a stranger extricating his earwax with his pinky finger while standing in line at the supermarket. I believe there should be a law against public personal grooming, I mean seriously; nail-shavings, facial hair, earwax?! Bathrooms were invented for a reason people!

Another pet peeve, (jipeee, I get to say it again…pet peeve!) is people who cut in line. To me, people who do that have no respect whatsoever for others. Cutting in front of somebody means that you consider your time and thus yourself more important than those in front of you who have been patiently waiting their turn. It makes me very inclined to ever so delicately streeeeetch out my toes at the very moment someone tries to cut in line and make him fall flat on his ugly line-cutting face!

Speaking of cutting in line, one thing that really irks me, or should I say, is another pet peeve (jay!) are people who ignore all traffic signs, lights, rules and regulations. I lovingly call them: The ‘kaka’ drivers! They are always late, always in a hurry and always looking for the weirdest and most dangerous shortcuts. Other cars, bikes or even pedestrians are not their concern, as long as they get to their destination in time. And people wonder why there is so much road-rage; you recklessly throw your car in front of the wrong person one time to many and believe me, that person will one day flip the fudge out!

Ok, on to my next pet peeve (double jay!): The huggers and kissers. I mean really, what is it with people and this urge to hug and kiss every time they greet each other…when saying hello AND AGAIN when saying goodbye! I mean, I could run into the same person every day for a week and she would expect a kiss and a hug hello and goodbye EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! Has no one ever heard of the ‘personal space’ concept?! Really, go hug a tree or something and just wave to me from across the street while plucking leaves out of your hair!

I could really go on for days and chapters on this one single topic, but regretfully I only have one pet peeve left that I can mention on my list of five (so, sadly this will also be the last time I say jipeee as it’s my final pet peeve…hihihi, see how I cleverly sneaked it in there just one more time?). With only one pet peeve (did it again! J) to go, I have to make it a good one, but there are so many…which one to choose? The pressure! Ok, I’ve got it: Broadcasts! Why would anyone think that their entire list of phone contacts would be interested in buying a super clean smelling shampoo, or that everyone is simply dying to register for the next outdoor full moon yoga class?! Did you stop to think that maybe one of those contacts is actually bald and could feel offended by your blatant disregard for his lack of hair, or that another contact is as stiff as a board and could see the yoga invitation as a personal affront?!

My examples might be somewhat dramatic, but it’s just to prove the point that you should never, ever send broadcasts because you never know how any given person will react to being bombarded by unwanted texts. I will leave it at that as today’s challenge is exceeding the allotted words for the day and well…that could be one of the judge’s pet peeves! (You got to admire how I worked the word in just one last time though J)

Day 7: Z

Five pet peeves

How annoying is everything? The answer to that question would have to be… EXTREMELY.

From people chewing their food too loud to a nasty daily screaming neighbor (yes Dutch mercenary dude with a bald head). Pet peeves are constantly all around me, but my five killer ones would have to be…

  1. People who say “no offense” after already offending you several times… like b**ch no don’t try and fix this now, you already broke my rainbow SEVERAL times!
  2. People that are always late or make me late because of them, it just gets me boiling!
  3. Drivers who don’t use turning signals. I mean COME ONNN people it’s not that hard there is even a beautiful lever connected to the stirring wheel in hands reach especially for you, and the best part it even indicates which side is up or down… so I beg of you USE it!!!
  4. People yelling at me…b**ch you can try but I would advise you not to test me, especially when Jesus isn’t with me… just don’t try your luck!
  5. This one is the most important one for me… people who are not only judgmental towards me but also towards others. Everybody has a right to live his/her life freely as they wish (within the law of course). So, who are you to tell me otherwise?!

Leave a reply