May 19, 2015

Our Childhood...Ruined

Can we take a second to mourn the ruining of our childhood from the 1980's and 90's?

...   ...   ...   ...   ...

Thank you.  I know I talk a lot about us as nerdy parents and how we are raising our children to be just as nerdy as we are.  Unfortunately, the film makers of our generation obviously didn't have the same appreciation of our 2 favorite decades as we do.  Either that, or they're too young to have ever watched them every Saturday morning with a bowl of Cap'n Crunch in their laps and playing with our toys from said epic shows.  Having said that, it seems like more and more, movies are getting "rebooted" or "remade" like it was a game of telephone and with each reincarnation, the original message just keeps getting jacked up with each person told!

I'm going to make my point clear using only 3 images:

...Heath (may he rest in peace)...
dammit Jared.  Really?
And in honorable mention, the true original from the 1960's television series:

Because I was taught to respect the classics.

I think the set of movies that started my "WTF" response was "The Hulk".  The first of current "Avengers" to have his own individual movie, even though Hollywood would like to you to forget about that since he's been played by 3 DIFFERENT ACTORS IN THE LAST DECADE!  I haven't seen "The Hulk", but I have seen "The Incredible Hulk" and I will say that Edward Norton had no business playing Bruce Banner.  Hell, from what I gathered in synopsis of the 1st movie, there were too many incongruities for both movies to even have any relation.  It wasn't until I saw the 1st Avengers movie that I pushed my mental Bull-Sh*t button when Mark Ruffalo hit the scene.  WTF?!  THEY CAN MAINTAIN ACTORS AND STORY-LINE FOR IRONMAN, THOR, AND CAP, BUT THEY CAN'T EVEN COMMIT ONE SOLID ACTOR FOR THE HULK?!  The Incredible Hulk has a freakin' awesome independent story-line but it was so jacked-up by the 1st two movies that they can't even think of a proper 3rd movie to even ATTEMPT to bandage what of it together?!

...this is why I'm always angry...
with a little sad.

But this trend didn't stop here.  Let us not forget Batman.  Now, with this one, I'm a touch torn.  I loved the 1980's-90's Batman.  It was cheesy as hell, but it was supposed to be.  Have you SEEN the motley crew of villains of that franchise?  The Avengers only wished their bad-guy list was as colorful.  The Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler...  C'mon.  Then Christopher Nolan said, "That was awesome, but now let's make it seem realistic!"  In which we were given Christian Bale.  Now, I'm not complaining because I've loved Christian Bale since "Little Women".

I see you go by Laurie.  I also go by Lori.

Aside from all this and the feelings of betrayal by more hard-core Batman fans, this series of Batman did give pause from one great debate of a generation to a new one:  From "Kirk or Picard?" to "Jack or Heath?"  (My answer to both is "Janeway & Either")

Sadly though, the time gap between "remakes" is getting shorter.  Lest we not forget that in 2002 Tobey MaGuire swing into the scene as Spiderman, then rested his Red & Blue spandex suit in 2007.  So why only after only 5 years do we need a reboot of the Spiderman Franchise?  Did we not have any respect for the good run that Tobey gave us?  As of this moment, I haven't seen any of the new Spiderman movies just out of principal.

So what other remakes, currently in production or on the big screen has my panties in a bunch?  Jem and the MuthaFrakkin' Holograms.

Hollywood, what are you doing?   STAHP!
On a very personal note:  Aside from the bad nasty rumors that the beloved witch movie "The Craft" is getting a remake as well, THIS ONE HURTS MY HEART THE MOST!  OMG!  Do you realize how much I wanted a Jem doll growing up?  Do you?  I went to a friend's birthday party one year back in 198something and she got a Jem doll.  I was so jealous that I played with it for a little while, but begrudgingly gave it back holding back tears.  The friend was a few years my junior so I had to be a good example to her.  That, and she was my dad's boss' granddaughter.  More importantly, this cartoon was EVERYTHING to little girls back in our day!  She was hella independent.  She only had one job (unlike Barbie, but Barbie's tweedle-dee.), but she MADE that job.  Jem was a rock-star who showed that everyone, not just girls, can make the right choices in life and still be cool for doing it!  She may have been mostly clad in pink, but they didn't dress like complete girly girls all of the time.  They had rad colored hair, insane make-up on-stage and IRL, and conformed to NO ONE!  SO WHY IN THE HELL ARE THEY MAKING A LIVE ACTION MOVIE THAT IS OPENLY MOCKING THE JEM AND FELLOW HOLOGRAMS FROM WHAT THEY WERE?!  Dammit!

I'm sorry they did this to you.
You deserved better.

Finally, "The Ghostbusters".  *ssssiiiiiggggghhhhh*.  Are we so hard-up about Gender Equality that we really need to completely flip "The Ghostbusters" on it's ass and give it a full female casting?  Really?  That hurts my childhood on a whole different level.  But that's not the worst of it.  Now there's rumors of a proper fully male cast, BUT IT'S MOST LIKELY HAPPENING WITHIN A YEAR give or take FROM THIS FEMALE CASTING?  



So what has destroyed your childhood?  What movie remake has or had you seething, cringing, or weep a single tear?  Talk about it in the comments below or on Facebook!

April 27, 2015

21st Century Peer Pressure: The ________ Challenge

Remember when us Millennials and some of you other Generationally Titled folks born before 1985 knew peer pressure to be "Here, take a hit off of this." or "Seriously, if you don't have this then you're going to look like such a loser."  There is also the popular "Everyone else is doing it!"  But now that we're trapped in the world of social media, selfies, and videos of people doing stupid shit, peer pressure has taken a turn for the r-word.  If you can't see the picture above, then know that I am referring to "The Kylie Jenner Challenge".  I literally just now shuddered about that.  Really!  I have goosebumps on my arms this one is just so frakking dumb!

What is the challenge, you may ask?  You take something like a small cup, half of a plastic Easter Egg, or something round, empty, and has no holes and press it to your mouth.  Your suck as much air out of it as you can and  hold it as long as you can.  Release the "seal" you created and VOILA!  Big red porn-star lips that would make Angelina Jolie feel like a Muppet.

before the KJ Challenge...
...and after
Here's an example:  Remember how we used to drink all our juice out of our Tupperware plastic cups then just "suction cup" them onto our mouths because we thought it was funny?  Well, that's the principal but your sucking more air out from a smaller cup and exchange the consequence of going from Kool-Aid Mustache to a full on Kool-Aid beard with splitting your whole lip open!  I would post a pic of what a botched KJ Challenge looks like, but even I CAN'T handle looking at that.  *second shudder of the post.  I'm on a roll!*

But of course, this isn't the only stupid think kids and young have done for the sake of "everyone is doing it."  Lest we forget "The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" of last year.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm down for charity events.  But not one where people do really stupid crap in lieu of actually fronting money then pressuring others to do it by yelling out names.  Lord forbid that if they don't either lay down money or risk self-induced hypothermia to bring awareness to an already well known illness also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease".  Honestly, I try to front money toward ALS every year by buying coffee from Dutch Bros. during their "Drink One for Dane" event (around this time every year).  This challenge and penchant for name dropping after each video is just as horrible and bad as those "SHARE THIS IF YOU AREN'T AFRAID TO SHOW YOUR LOVE OF JESUS" or "THOUSANDS OF PUPPIES ARE KICKED EVERY DAY.  I BET NO ONE WILL LIKE/SHARE/COMMENT THIS, BUT IF YOU SUPPORT HARSHER PUNISHMENT FOR PUPPY KICKERS, THEN PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG."

Being that we are in a new generation that now revolves around social media, electronic devices, and being constantly connected via wifi signals, we really need to start reviewing and updating what peer pressure looks like in this day and age.  It's not so much any more a case of "If your friends all jump off a bridge..." but "If your friends all make a You Tube Video of..."  We also need to learn for ourselves, us "adults" as we're referred to, what online trends are too dangerous to be taking part of, weather it's sponsored by a celebrity or just some random idjits.  When in doubt, just don't do it, period.  You are not being required by work to join in other people's antics.  It's not a matter of life or death.  If you decide to peace-out of all of this, your friends should be just as cool and respectful of your wishes.  Yes, I'm still talking to you Nerd Parents.  What they don't tell us as kids is that Peer Pressure is still just as relevant to us Grown-Ups as it is to our kids.

...Maybe this is the generation that we start telling our kids that part as well.

Do you have a story where you gave into peer pressure and didn't work-out like intended?  What internet trend do or did you find just the dumbest thing ever?  Share your stories of 21st Century Peer Pressure in the comments below!  And as always, keep it respectful!

March 31, 2015

Welcome to Wilson Family Elementary

I don't know how many of you who read my blog and also are friends with me on Facebook, but here's a small recap on what's going on with our son, Luke.  Since he started Pre-School last school year, Luke has had problems adjusting to the concept of school.  Don't get us wrong, he's learning a lot and quickly at that, but he acts out, doesn't listen to his teachers, and is violent.  Those days were only 3 hours long.  Well, this year he started Kindergarten and unfortunately, as the days went from 3 to full-day, his attitude has gotten worse.  We have talked to both the Principal and Vice-Principal more times than we care to admit because of our son's behavior.  His behavior has gotten so so out of hand that as of last week, he finally managed to get Suspended from school because of a violent threat he made to his teacher and other staff members.  Don't ask what was said, just know it was bad enough to get him suspended for 2 days.

Days before his suspension, we had a 2nd meeting with his Special Education teachers (for speech, occupational, and behavior) about what is to be done.  They had suggested a program which has a smaller class size but is specialized in children with extreme behaviors.  Unfortunately, the program is not only in a school 30 minutes away from where we live, but consists of children WHO ARE AUTISTIC!  UGH!!  Once again, they are trying to label our son, but I was so desperate for a solution that I pretty much threw-up my hands and surrendered.  My husband, not even convinced.  When we got home after that meeting, I had a good cry and a nap.  After some thinking, discussing, and research, I had a moment of clarity, and humility.  My husband and I decided that maybe it was best to suck up our pride and put some serious consideration into...wait for it...HOME SCHOOLING!

When in the hell am I going to catch-up on
AHS and TWD now?!
Before you start pitying us yet, just know that before Matt and I made this really hard yet serious decision for the sake of our child's education, after doing our research and looking into the K12 Online Public School, we're actually are becoming kind of excited to do start this!  We've even talked to Luke about how he feels about doing school at home.  Oddly enough, he's so excited, he wants to start right away!  Unfortunately, we can't officially start until August so until then, he's just going to have to survive Kindergarten.

It's amazing how many people are homeschooling now.  Back when I was a kid, homeschooling was something overly religious families did.

well, them...and cultists
Still today, mostly religious families still choose to teach their children at home, but non-religious families home-schooling their children is on the rise!  As it is, two of my home-school friends are teaching their kids for non-religious reasons.  One friend, I may or may not have mentioned in a previous post teaches her daughters at home as a means to keep the family close.  The other friend is choosing to teach her children at home because she feels her local school district isn't doing enough for the good of her children, let alone the children of the school district.  And now there's us.  We're about to commit to home-schooling our son because traditional school just isn't a proper fit for him right now.

Here's a quick interesting tidbit, Matt went to Luke's Parent/Teacher conference today while I stayed home with kiddo.  I have the crud so I couldn't go lest I infect others with my mild case of the plague.  Aside from the behavior issues, our son is more or less the brightest kid in the class!  He's already reading words they haven't even taught in class, save for the "Teens", he can count to 100, and oddly enough, among all his internal chaos, he actually is listening in class!  Heck, there have been times where his teacher has spaced in the middle of talking (who hasn't when speaking to small masses) and she says "where was I?" and Luke would fill her in as to what they were talking about!  Then again, he's done that to me more than I care to admit!

Crap...what was I about to do?  Dishes?
Oh yeah...
She went on to say that it could be possible that as he progresses through school, we may not be surprised if he qualifies for advance placement programs.

So with this information, Matt and I are taking this as a sign that maybe doing school at home may actually be the best course for him.  Lord only knows how many times you hear about children who have problems in school because they've learned all the material already and are no longer feeling challenged!  At least with home-school, Luke has the opportunity to advance quicker than the average public school because the option we're choosing tests him regularly to keep him at the level that suits him best.

This is going to be quite the new chapter for our family as we try this out for a year.  I'm really am going to have to work on my patience with this kid and try extra hard to stay on the ball with his education, but right now, it's about the only choice we have left if Luke is going to succeed in his education.  Especially since the only thing holding him back right now is his behavior.


Do you home-school?  Are you against home-school?  Have a story involving your child and school?  Feel free to share in the comments below!  If you want to know if Online Public School is available in your state/area and you missed the link above in the post, go to and get them answered!  For the record, K12 is available in Washington State (where we live).

February 27, 2015

The Dress Debate and Other Stupid Things that Blew-Up The Net

If you haven't seen this notorious dress by now, then I have just corrupted you.  Hey, if I have to suffer this latest inter-web bomb, you do too.  If you haven't commented in your two-cents yet, then I commend you.  You have enough sense to know this isn't really a debate worth getting into!  I'm only writing this post for those of you who really can give less than 2-craps about what freakin' color this frock is because you really want to scream at those who do care "OMG!  SO WHAT?!  IT'S NOT LIKE THIS DRESS IS A WEBMD TEST TO SEE IF YOU'RE COLOR BLIND!"  Trust me, if you were colorblind, or suddenly color blind, you would know or would have known for a while now.

But this isn't the first internet bomb to ever go off on Facebook, Twitter, or what the hell other social medias you are "Linked-In" to  <-- see what I did there?  Let us not forget Kim Kardashian and her gigantic booty (which was obviously photoshopped and had before & after pics to prove it).  There was also Grumpy Cat (who I LOVE btw.  Tardar can blow-up my Facebook Page any day), Viral Videos, Memes, and all those stupid reposts that are designed to make you feel guilty if you don't pass it along (If you love Jebus, please subscribe/follow my blog!), among other things that just are none of your business and just don't care to see.

So why do these people keep trying?  Because of one quote from a great artist back in an era predating the internet:  Andy Warhol.  He said...
9Gag-ing before it was cool
It's this quote that we derive the quick saying "So-in-So is having their 15 minutes."  But how true is this?  Now that Social Media has become the norm and even more-so, part of the everyday, People are pushing in line for their "15 Minutes" faster or sooner than they should.  Really folks.  I wish some of these "Internet Exploders" really need to think about what they're about to post and think "Is this something I want to be remembered for?"  Lord knows Kim Kardashian (more than her other siblings, though they should learn from her idiocy as well) is being remembered as a completely narcissistic moron who's famous for being rich, dumb, and doing even dumber stuff.
like marrying this completely Narcissistic moron who's famous for being
a dick, dumb, and doing dumber stuff.
I want to finish my rant with this:  Prevent the spread of "Dumb" by NOT sharing these stupid, exploding  trends, memes, and what-have-you.  Even when you click "Like" or hash-tag for the reference, you are just aiding in making these stupid things become even more famous.  Let's not make these people's 15-minutes last longer than it needs to.

(Parenting Tip...since this is for all tense & purposes a parenting blog:  Talk to your kids about what they post on the internet.  It's just as important as internet safety.  It's not just about what will get out there for predators to see, but just as much what they put out there just may become the thing they will be remembered for.)

Like this kid...though I think he's a bad-ass *wink*

February 6, 2015

He's Not Autistic, He's Just a Spaz

It is the oldest question, the first question:  "Is your child autistic?"  Okay, 10 points if you got the Doctor Who reference.  Seriously, though.  Just because a child has a speech impediment and is a bit of a spaz, doesn't mean he ranges on the Spectrum.

Parents and teachers in the past 2 generations have been looking for a reason to label their children with something that can be medicated or put some form of blame on because their children just don't want to behave or just to have an out for not wanting to discipline children.  It used to be scary if you had to go to the principal or vice-principal's office because they would put you in your place for acting like a complete idjit!  Even teachers would yell at you for being a jerk!  Lord knows I had my share of that!  Now, most parents see spanking as "Abuse".  Teachers and Teaching Staff are legally obligated to use "Positive Reinforcement" to bring troublesome students back on track.  When those all fail, then it's suddenly, "Have you thought to have your child tested for ADD/ADHD or Autism?  (From here I will call The 3 A's).  I promise you, when my child is at home or out in public, he is a perfect angel.  No one has ever questioned if he has any of the 3 A's.  Sure, the speech impediment is still there, but the attitude is that of your average 6 year old.  When we teach him something about a subject he's interested in, he takes it all in.  When we are at a friend's house or playing at the playground with other children, he's totally great playing with them!  Once he gets on the bus and is at school, that is when he starts acting out.  It's the same in Sunday School.

Now, before you start leaving me nasty comments of "How dare you make the assumption that The 3 A's is just a social band-aid", let me clear the air with this:  I do believe in Autism.  As a matter of fact, click the link for the laundry list of symptoms and mannerisms that are associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder...Symptoms of Autism.  Now, as far as ADD/ADHD, I'm still on the fence with that.  Having said that, let me tell you why my child isn't autistic:  First of all, aside from pronunciation, this kid holds the gift of gab.  Seriously, he is totally my kid for that one.  He always is talking to people about his likes, interests, dreams, and can make up some really great stories!  He's even told me he wants to be an author some day!  This child is really after his Ol' Mum's heart with that one!  He's been having trouble associating and playing with the other kids in his class, but it's because they tease him AND because he started bullying children since the first day of school.  The kids are afraid of him and CONSTANTLY are tattling on him.  Believe me, as someone who was constantly victimized by bullies and teased by the other students for being the fat kid, I didn't want to play with them either.  Luke also plays well with older kids because when we still lived in the Tri-Cities, he ALWAYS got to play with his cousin Aidan who just happens to be 3 year older than himself.  Now my Aunt K lives here in Spokane again (with her daughter and her family) and since has met his cousin (2nd cousin actually but still cousin) Jo (changed name for their need for privacy).  She is a few months younger than him but in the same grade.  She also has a 13 year old half-brother Zane (again, name change).  Luke loved and played with both of them so easily, like they were never apart!  Hey, first impressions are everything.  Just saying.  If Luke has any kind of sensory sensitivity, it's to sound.  He HATES loud noises.  They freak him out.  I can go into why this may be, but it's a long story and it makes me feel like a bad mom.  It also could just be something he developed.  Either way, that's it.

So that's about it.  People assume my kid is autistic because of his speech, aversion to loud noises, and because he's a willful spaz.  That's it.  Damn.  This whole world is just swimming with Child Psychiatrists.  I'm not discounting all the calls home from Luke not listening to teachers, hitting and kicking other kids and teachers, or going off to do his own damn thing at times.  This kid is everything like his Gramma Barb (my mom) when she was a kid, but no one EVER questioned if she suffered any of The 3 A's.  She was just a willful spaz...just like her grandson.

Is there any social pet peeves you have regarding your children?  Have a story about your child involving any of The 3 A's?  If you choose to debate anyone's comment, please do so respectfully and with no strong language.  Swearing allowed, but not in terms of insulting.  Let's keep this joint classy, folks!

February 3, 2015

The Wilsons and the No-Good, Horrible, Very Bad Winter

It has been a while since I had a good post in me.  I wanted to post happy, nerdy things this winter and I had a good few topics, but this whole winter has been just one big cluster-frak of bad luck.  It all started out when our car, not a week after Thanksgiving, went to the manufacturer in the sky.  It got my husband to work, but then we had to get it towed back home ON A SUNDAY!  Not even 24 hours later, someone broke into our apartment WHILE LUKE AND I WERE ASLEEP ON MY BED and stole my husband's laptop computer!  So, the whole month of December, we have to hoof it to the store and by bus to everywhere we need to go.  Speaking of December, Matt's grandmother passed away.  Money we were saving for Christmas and bills?  Gone because he had to travel to the Tri-Cities via Train to go to the funeral.  The worst part?  He missed 3 whole days of work because of it.  That was a big hindrance to the paycheck we got the first of January.  Finally, our son was just recovering from "The Plague" while I had just contracted said Plague.  Matt decided that night to run over to the store to get me some Nyquil.  Well, if our winter wasn't crap enough, a car turned South-bound and hit my husband right as he was crossing on his signal!  He's still with us, praise Jebus, but his left leg was fractured just above the knee.  Lucky for him, that was all that happened.

So now, for the next few months, Matt is unable to work, if even at full-time capacity, let alone full capacity.  For those of you wondering; yes, we have a lawyer.  No, we have not talked to anyone involved in the incident.  He only had any type of paid leave because his work cashed in his paid vacation days to cover 2-weeks worth of work and now we're tapped out.  On a brighter note, Matt did get his W-2 a few days ago and we filed via Turbo Tax Online so hopefully we'll see that money sooner than later.  Matt and I are still at an impasse as to if we're going to try to get a car with that money and live on what's left or wait until the settlement happens and completes before trying for a car then.  Not going to air "Whose on what side", but we're still working on the details on how it is going to happen.

Until then, I, myself am debating about finding temporary work until this all blows over.  We need to stay on our feet somehow, but Matt is feeling kind of raw right now about not working right now.  Hey, understandable since he has been working since after High School.  I'm not one for gender stereo types, but on a biological level, Men are hard wired to toil and provide for him and his.

With that, if you love my blog and my family, here is the Go Fund Me link if you would like to donate to our cause.

The Wilson Family Recovery Fund

We have a goal of $2000 to help us stay on top of bills and other necessities until Matt can get back to working full time at the Nursing  Home/Rehabilitation Center he works at.  Also, Matt has also started making soap again, and me with my lip balm.  They are products we sell to help supplement our family income so if you're interested in what we have, feel free to send me a message ;)

So that's the low down of us right now.  Let me know in the comments below how your New Year is going!  Good or Bad, Resolutions Made, Resolutions already broken, How much you still love the Seattle Seahawks even if we didn't win the Superbowl.  :)  I love to hear from you, my readers!

January 7, 2015


  Have you ever thought "Damn.  Our civilization is so advanced we're starting to go backwards!"  No, really!  If you are a parent, you are always hearing about these "Crunchy Granola Parent" bragging about how they've given up on modern conveniences like diapers ("we only use cloth diapers), cultivating their urban properties or apartment patios into thriving food gardens ("we made a container garden so we can know for sure we aren't eating GMO produce"), and hell, even making their own cleaning products!  Okay, the last I'm guilty of but that's because we're too broke for the commercial stuff.  Then again, we're so broke we have to live this "home-stead" style life because we can't afford to properly join the Nerd-World properly.  Sadly, the afore mentioned Granola Folk do it because "it's a healthy way to live and saves the planet".  They don't have to live that way.  They work "REAL" jobs that require college degrees and can support a family without state assistance.  Not us.  We live on just my husband's job because we're so broke, I can't even afford to work because of the cost of child-care.  Also, with how frequently the school calls, I couldn't even keep the job because my kid just CAN'T behave through a whole day in class so save his little damn life.

Regardless, Since we moved into this apartment 2 years ago, I had given up my "Pay by the minutes" phone to resubscribe to Magic Jack.  The next year, Matt purchased a cell phone because he had started making and selling hand-made soaps.  He said the phone was for business purposes and emergencies only, but he threw that little rule out nearly as quick as he made it.  I admit, I was jealous as hell because now he can leave the house and be easy to contact without me having to always calling his work and leaving messages, let alone to go out and do whatever and be easy to contact.  I only took that phone when I left the house to go somewhere in case Matt needed to get a hold of me.  Sadly, we started having troubles with our phone line.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm telling you now, Magic Jack is a great way to go if you need to cut costs and save on bills.  Sadly, the service is crap for what they offer (free USA long distance, local calls, voice mail, call waiting, and caller ID.  Just standard stuff).  Not only that, but land-line telephones are becoming so obsolete that their quality is also not what it used to be.  Seriously.  If you want one that's going to last, get it at Best Buy and be prepared to shell bucks.  We had this land line phone for all of just under a year and it started crapping out hard in October.  By December, it just died.

Christmas came and went and my dad sent us a nice "Gift".  Not saying what, just know I was able to finally get myself a cell phone!  What did I get?  A Nokia Lumia 530.  Yes, I'm aware it's a Windows Phone, but kiss my ass!  I love it so far!  I feel like I have finally joined the 21st century!  Do you know how many of my friends try to send me texts forgetting that I don't have a cell?  Not only that, but when we message each other, I respond more or less right away, while they have to take the time and type out what their typing because they're responding from their cell phones.

Now that I have one, I'm nerding out like a Gramma who just got a Facebook account and doesn't know what to do with it!  As of now, I have tricked out my phone with a Sailor Moon background and rings with the song that Chiba Mamoru's watch makes when it opens.  Her transformation sound from the original anime is my text tone.  Damn right.  That's how I roll.

So, now that I have all these apps, app games, and a few pictures under my belt, I'm totally feeling comfortable with my status in life, even if I'm still just as poor and broke as I started.