Saturday, August 28, 2010

6 Signs That You've Made It To Middle Class

Not so long ago, most people viewed the hallmarks of success as something along the lines of a house, a white picket fence, two weeks vacation, two children and the ability to send those kids to college. Today, the middle class is a vanishing breed according to nearly every survey and statistic on the topic. Its disappearance is of such grave concern to the fabric of American society that the U.S. government launched a task force to explore the issue. Despite all of the attention to the subject, defining "middle class" remains a challenge, as everyone wants to be in the middle regardless of their income. Instead of focusing on the dollars, let's take a look at the lifestyle benchmarks that define middle class status.

Have You Made it to the Middle?
A wide variety of numbers have been thrown around in an effort to define the middle. People earning 20% of the average income and people earning 80% all claim to be part of the middle class. More than a few millionaires make the claim too. While there is no official financial standard, the middle class as defined by the government task force is characterized in terms of six financial aspirations, which we can view as benchmarks.

* Home Ownership (check)
Home ownership remains the American dream. The step up from renting to owning signifies prosperity and achievement. With median home prices ranges differing by so much in different cities across the United States, the ability to achieve this goal varies significantly by geographical location. Someone earning an income in the 50% range in Detroit may not be able to afford even a small house in Los Angeles.

* Automobile Ownership (check)
Owning an automobile provides freedom of movement and the luxury of avoiding the limited schedules and cramped quarters offered by mass transportation options such as buses and subways. Here again, the cost of cars varying widely, as does the kind of automobile required. For one driver, a used Hyundai will do the trick. For another, a new BMW signifies the achievement of this goal.

* A College Education for the Kids (no kids yet)
Helping children get ahead in life is a primary goal for middle class families. Paying for a college education for children can cost anywhere from the low tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands. Decisions about which university of college to attend can have a significant impact on the price tag.

* Retirement Security (kinda working on it)
Retirement is a goal nearly everyone wants to achieve. It demonstrates success and provides a reward for decades of hard work. Once again, definitions make a difference. The amount of gold required to support your golden years will vary significantly depending on whether you want a staff of 10 at your villa in the South of France or a townhouse in Peoria, Illinois.

* Health Care Coverage (check)
The ability to obtain healthcare is an important goal for middle class wager earners and their families. The high and rising cost of medical care and prescription drugs make healthcare coverage an ever-increasing need, as going without it can have serious negative financial implications in the event of a severe illness or injury.

* Family Vacation (check - usually went to Canada every year but now that my Grandparents are both gone, no point on going back, we plan on taking a trip to SD Comicon or something once the house sells or if we do go back to Canada it will be next fall for sure when a friend of ours is getting married since I am the maid of honor)
The family vacation is a middle class staple. Vacations demonstrate that a family has disposable income and has been successful enough to take time away from work to focus on leisure.

What Happened on the Way to the Dream?
Globalization and technological advances began to reverse the growth of the middle class. The manufacturing base in the United States changed, as good-paying jobs in factories and heavy industries went overseas to lower-paying markets and labor unions lost much of their ability to bargain for high wages and good benefits. Later, white-collar jobs from accounting and data entry to reading medical images and answering telephones in call centers were also sent offshore. Many jobs that remained in the U.S. were eliminated by computers and other technological advancements that increased productivity.

To achieve or maintain a middle-class lifestyle, many households became two-income families. Achieving middle class goals became more difficult as employers eliminated their pension plans and defined-benefit plans, the cost of a college education continued to rise and the cost of healthcare jumped. For most of the 20-year period following 1990, the Commerce Department reports that real median income grew at a rate of about 20%, while the cost of a college education grew between 43% and 60%, the cost of housing rose 56% and healthcare costs jumped by 155%.

How to Get There
Although there are significant challenges to obtaining middle class status, there are some proactive steps that can help make the dream a reality. Budgeting is one of the most obvious. Understanding where your money goes each month can help you determine the exact makeup of the benchmarks you are trying to match. Are you looking for a Hyundai or a BMW?

Planning is another crucial step. Are the kids going to a state university or a private college? Are scholarships an option? Some savvy families find money for college by participating in programs which can aide families with the costs related to sending a child to university.

Working is another one of the requirements. A second job or a side business might be just what you need to boost your income and achieve some of your goals. Putting your money to work is also an important consideration. Investing has helped build wealth for generations. In fact, income earners ranked in the top 1% enjoyed significant increases in wealth even as the middle class fell into decline. Most of that wealth came from investments. Even if you don't have the means to invest for current income, you can take a few dollars from each paycheck and save for your retirement.

The Bottom Line
Don't underestimate the role of hard work and luck. Sometimes being in the right place at the right time or taking one particular course of action over another can make all the difference. So keep watching for opportunities and make the most of them when you find them. As motion-picture mogul Samuel Goldwyn said, "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

I am thankful & truly blessed <3

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dear Grandma & Grandpa (aka Mom & Dad)

A friend of mine gave me a idea to write a letter to my Grandparents, Im gonna try to anyways and get what's on my mind off it.... so.... I go I guess..... I write this is also I need to get a few things off my chest, I been holding a lot in cause well some things shouldn't be said allowed but thing is the people I should be able to talk to about it, I can't, why? Cause I am just being silly about it..... so my friends my family please bare with me as I write my heart out of what's going on in my mind.

I really don't know where to start to be honest. All I know is I miss my grandparents A LOT to me they where more then Grandparents they where my parents I mean they raised me from the time I was born til I was 6 but even tho I didn't see them everyday or talk to them everyday after that I knew they where watching over me & keeping tabs on me to make sure I was happy & safe, though they knew when I wasn't happy & tried to give me advice or always had those kind words of wisdom I always needed when I needed it or when I didn't even need it they always knew when something was wrong even being 1000 miles away they knew and would call to see how I was or Id call just to say HI and it's like they always knew & I needed those kind words, today I need those words words of wisdom of what to do how to do it when to do it but they are no longer here, I try to picture what they would say or do to make me feel better and get me back on track again, but I don't have that anymore and I am heartbroken and sad beyond words.

I have my real mom but I don't know where she is, am I ready to face her after all these years? Be honest I don't think I will ever be ready, I know it's not her fault for the way she is but I still am not ready, thought I was when I was 18 but that back fired and I ran far far away. My dad I talk to him once in awhile but every time I asked something in the past "Let me ask Deb" are the last words that come outta his mouth. Deb is my step mom, Us 3 we always had our good and bad days and days that just dragged on bad for ages. She was the closest thing I had to a mom growing up after I left living with my Grandparents cause my dad wanted me back living with him but to be honest I had to teach myself a lot & learn a lot from my Grandmother, she will always be my number one mom like my Grandfather will always be my number one dad cause they have always been there no matter what. Reason I wish I stayed with my Grandparents even after 6 cause life up til I was 11 was HELL and I am over those years now but they wont be forgotten because of all the bull shit that went on.

My friends try to help me they do they give great advice, I rant on my facebook page they read, put up with me, they listen they try to help and I thank every single one of you for it, but to be honest it's just not the same and I know you all understand that, friends I was with over a month ago where there helping as well they gave me a place to stay for awhile I mean I could of went home but I was helping them a lot and I enjoyed being over there & hanging out with them & the kids, today they have there own problems to deal with & I understand that, I do miss them so much my heartbreaks cause I was adopted by my friends mom. Just thing is I hope things get better for everyone soon and know I am always here for my friends no matter what. I just hope all will be okay so we can all get together again soon & have some fun like old times, but til then I am trying to juggle a lot of things on my own and with everyone that's trying to help me now and don't think I don't appreciate it cause I do, trust me I do. Just everyone has there own way of touching a persons heart, mind, body and soul if that makes any sense.


The selling the house thing, my BIGGEST FEAR to be honest is losing friends/family I am close too, I moved a lot growing up almost every year of my life up til February 2005 that's when I made a trip down to where I am now. To meet/visit my husbands parents, we ran off & got married it was Valentine's weekend he drove 14 hours to come & get me and ask me to marry him after we talked online for 6-8 months 8+ hours a day. Crazy eh?

Well I really liked it here decided to stay, thing is every time I moved didn't matter where, when, who, what, why etc Id lose touch with a lot of friends/family next thing I knew I didn't hear from them anymore and they just poof disappear, I knew where they where, tried to contact them but never get any reply, reason my biggest fear is now same-things going on, even though people have promised it wont happen it's that FEAR that eats at me constant. It' sucks it really does. That's one of the reasons of many WHY I DON'T WANT TO MOVE! ~ The other reasons are cause I love the house I am in, I been here 5.5 years now many years longer then I been anywhere in my life, I love it! ~ Close and in the middle of ALL my friends I mean ya we will prolly need a bigger house eventually but I am not even preggers yet! ~ Let alone HAVE A KID! *sigh*

Well I just called my docs office cause I wanted to ask some questions about going off the phentermine I was on turns out you can be moody constant, gotta get your body back on track, feeling sleepy all the time, sluggish, depressed, body going under stress trying to adjust. There is many symptoms so hey me being bitchy isn't all my fault LOL only 85% of the bitchiness LOL!They said it takes 4-8 weeks JOY! lol so that on top of everything else not hearing from friends, stressed out, worrying about friends, trying to take some me time which I get bored of me time lol. I know things will get better sooner or later just gonna take time.

Well I think I am going to stop here for now, I need to make another phone call to my friend Kim & hubby should be calling sooner or later on his lunch break it's after 11am & I am getting hungry <3 1="">

Wednesday, August 25, 2010



Friday, August 13, 2010


<a href="" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Music Video - "Game On"">Video: Season 4 - Music Video - "Game On"</a>

Tuesday, August 10, 2010



When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside
the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.
My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.


So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:6

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Totally Awesome, Pause My Music First!

ArcAttack Electrifies Texas Rockfest pt. 1 from OPEN LABS on Vimeo.

Holy Shit!

Pause my playlist first, then click to the 57 min mark 4th last dot ~ Fast forward to it ~ Arcattack its insane!!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Start Of A Shitty Week

I dunno why it's just the way I feel maybe cause well mother nature is a bitch, be honest I been depressed cause I am sick of many things right now, I want to find a at home job, I miss my friends like crazy, so many things I mean it's seriously crazy....

I just wanna curl into a corner & not come out for a very long time.....

But most of all this week is also one year since my grandmother who was/is my mother passed away......

I feel like shit =(