Monday, December 31, 2007

When midnight comes....

When midnight comes, I'll tiptoe quietly across your mind, whisper in your ear that I love you.....and kiss you softly on the mouth. Happy New Year......

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Internet dating...An interesting way to make new friends, but not find a boyfriend

I haven’t posted on here recently, mainly because I haven’t really had the time to write, but tonight I feel like it. I have a few pieces rolling around in my head and really need to make myself sit down and just spend a day writing them. For tonight, it’s going to be “Internet dating…..An interesting way to make new friends, but not find a boyfriend.”

I don’t normally write much about Internet dating….in the sense that I’ve told any of my more amusing stories in this spot. I never want anyone I go out with to possibly look at this and feel I’ve used them for writing fodder. So, this piece of writing is unusual in the sense that I am going to write about this subject.

Last night I met and had dinner with this amazing man. It’s always really nice when you meet someone that you immediately feel drawn toward, like you were meant to know this person. They are supposed to become a part of your life. This particular man is unfortunately for me, not going to become a romantic part of my life. I also have a knack for finding the interesting ones that already belong to someone else. Since I’ve learned that particular lesson well, I am not even remotely interested in going down that road. However, that does not mean friendship is out of the question. He claims that his record of being friends with women is “spotty at best.” I’m not exactly sure that that means and perhaps I should ask, but I’ve decided not too.

“D” and I had dinner in the village last night. The man and the place are a perfect fit for each other. He loves cats and has five of them. He’s a voracious reader, a song writer and a retired thug….what an interesting combination and one that I find so completely fascinating….and it doesn’t hurt that he’s quite attractive too.

Tonight I had dinner with a man who drove in from Long Island, only I should probably have saved him the time and effort by backing out. I already knew that we didn’t have a lot in common, yet I continue to go on these dates *just in case my intuition is wrong.* However, so far my intuition has not been wrong once.

I just barely avoided certain disaster last week when I canceled a date with someone who I felt as if I were being smothered by, and we hadn’t even met yet! When he sent me an email telling me that I had been “mean to him,” when I told him in a conversation that I couldn’t talk to him right at that moment because I was cleaning up the kitchen, I knew it was time to cancel that pending date. (And, he was serious when he said I was mean to him…I still can’t believe it.) An hour after I got that email and responded by saying I was going to decline the date we had planned for the following night, the buzzer in my apartment went off. I had to freak out just a little bit, thinking “OMG……he’s a stalker.” I’m very relieved to live in a big apartment building and not to find myself climbing out of my car in the dark and going into an unlit house.

The date I had the day after meeting D was the one my intuition was telling me not to bother going on. It was right. He picked me up in his BMW and we went to a local Chinese restaurant. At the end of the meal he proceeded to stand up, fish a wad of bills out of his pocket, peel off a $100 and throw it on the table. I was wondering if I was supposed to be impressed by that, yet all I could think was “how pretentious.” I’ve dated a couple of really wealthy men, none of whom behaved in that manner. After the waiter returned with his change, he said “I wonder how much to leave for the tip? I never look at the bill.” I’m not sure if that too, was meant to impress me. If so, it didn’t. And last but not least, while walking back to the BMW he causally mentioned that it was one of “a few” cars he owns. I think he was expecting me to ask what the others were…..only I really didn’t care enough to ask. Don’t get me wrong, I was nice.....just really turned off by his whole demeanor. When he dropped me off in front of my building, we shook hands goodbye. And neither of us has emailed since.

Next week I have tentative plans to meet another new person. My intuition is saying, “Oh, yeah….you should go on this date.” He’s interesting, intelligent, does some writing and likes mine. So, who knows what will happen. I’ve made some of the best new friends I have in recent years doing Internet dating. Maybe there are no boyfriends in my future doing this. You never know though….one or more of them might have some cool friend to introduce me too…and you what, I don’t really need a boyfriend….I just want one.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The spirit of friendship

One of my My Space friends just sent me a comment that was such a beautiful sentiment. It said "Friendship is two souls that share One Spirit." Isn't that a lovely thought? On a more intense level, it's like that *psychic twinkle* I feel I have sometimes. You know, when you've been thinking about someone and out of the blue they call or drop an email. Or when you call them just to touch base and they say, "Wow....I was just thinking about you!" Sort of like two birthday's ago when I was home, sitting at my computer desk......working and sobbing.... and out of the blue, my friend Jane called. She said she just felt like she should call me. This happens a lot to me......and I'm very glad that it does (the phone calls, not the sobbing).

Friendship.....two souls....One Spirit. I love the idea of that.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Moving day...almost

Published in the Long Island Advance, November 1, 2007

I’m at a loss for words right now, both written and spoken, and have spent far too much time putting off this particular piece of writing. By the time this column hits the paper, I will have moved! When originally asked a month ago if I could write two columns for Brian’s current vacation I figured sure, why not? And right now I am one short and all I can think about is everything there is left to do today, the day before the movers will arrive to carry all of my boxes out the door and drive them off to Jackson Heights -- that, and the fact that I have a column to write and I’m still procrastinating. According to my friend Ron, I have subconsciously calculated how much there is left to do, and know somewhere in the back of my head that I can get it all done in the time that remains. I hope he’s right. Since that made sense to me, I figured why not go out to dinner last night and spend quality time with one of my best friends, and leave even less time to finish what I need to get done. After all, I don’t want to be sitting around with nothing to do tomorrow at 8am while waiting for the movers to arrive. What fun would that be? My mother is often running around at the last minute when big things are happening and my father is usually sitting around, waiting for her to get her act together. I believe I might fall somewhere in the middle. So, off to dinner I went.

As a rule, my friend Kerm and I usually get together for breakfast once a month and when neither of us could come up with a Saturday morning on which to do so, he suggested dinner and I suggested the Main Street Café’. The Main Street Café’ has become one of my favorite places. I stumbled upon it by accident last year while looking for a place to go for coffee after the movies one Saturday night. I love this little restaurant. It’s quaint and cozy; the food is good and the people who work there are warm and friendly. Since I began commuting I haven’t had a lot of time to socialize, so I haven’t been there in a while, and when I have been, it’s usually just to order a salad to take out. Kerm was impressed with my choice of restaurant, and I thought it was cool that I was able to suggest somewhere he hadn’t ever been before.

While we were sitting there I lamented the fact that I still had so much left to do, including writing this column, and yet could not bring myself to feel the least bit guilty about being there. We had a glass of wine with dinner and at one point the owner came over to our table, introduced himself and bought us an after-dinner-drink. While we talked I mentioned that I was moving to Jackson Heights on Friday, and then thought to myself, “Oh my, I’m moving to Jackson Heights on Friday!” However, by that time I’d had a glass of wine and an after-dinner-drink, two alcoholic beverages more than I would normally have had in any given week, let alone in one evening. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to do much of anything after going home and I didn’t. I went to sleep instead.

So, here it is, the day before the move. I have no idea if I’m going to be able to get my cat in the cat carrier to move her, let alone find the cat carrier which appears to be missing, or how I’m going to have a manicure, get my hair highlighted, have my TB test (annually mandated by the world I work in) read, pack the rest of the boxes, and clean a little, all by 8am tomorrow morning. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think it’s all possible, so maybe I’ll start by going out to have a cup of coffee. The one thing I do know is that by the time you read this, my move will have been accomplished and I’ll be sitting on the floor in my apartment in Queens, debating what to do for furniture.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The night after "moving day"

Email written to all my friends and supporters, : )

Hi everyone,
Well.........I've moved and it was quite an experience. I think I might have to live here forever, since I never want to do this again. The two gentlemen who came from the moving company were less than gregarious and somewhat annoyed that when they arrived in Jackson Heights, they had to keep moving the truck around the block to let traffic pass. At one point the police were out there, practically screaming at them to move the truck as they had traffic blocked all the way down the street. The one man looked at me as if it was my fault there's no parking in JH and the streets are narrow! They also weren't happy that there were too many doors that needed to be held open.

If I ever decided to move again, I don't want to be there when they do it. Some things are best done if you don't have to witness watching as a pile of boxes crashes down to the ground because the mover is trying to shove them all onto the elevator. Really...I didn't need to see that. It was at this point I was so very happy that I hadn't had Nick and his friends move my stuff in a U-Haul! OMG....that truly would have been a nightmare!

Today with Erin's help I made some progress getting the place livable. We shifted around boxes that I can't unpack as I have no where to put the stuff once I unpack it...however, those boxes are now in a variety of places, not in one big pile in the middle of the LR floor. We went to the grocery store...and more importantly to the liquor store as I needed to try out my wine glasses. Unfortunately, when the cable guy arrived to hook up my cable/phone and Internet, he couldn't because my building is not "cable ready" as was advertised. He needed to get into the basement, which was locked and the super was somewhere in Brooklyn.........and now I will be cable/phone and Internet-less until minimally, next Saturday.

Those of you who know me well, understand that I have a bit of an Internet addiction and this is causing me no small amount of anxiety. Hence, I really did need to try out the wine glasses. Tonight I'm at Erin's. We couldn't get my DVD player to work and my bed was piled with stuff...and at least here, I can feed my Internet addiction for a little while. I'll be able to check email at work, but not visit my favorite places, or incessantly read the news...all things I like to do. Tomorrow I'll move the cat....that should be fun....not. She's going to have far fewer places to hide then she's had in the past. I'd better leave her a spot under the bed to hide out in for when company comes to visit.

Well, that's it from me for tonight. It really is going to be a great apartment...and you are all invited to come and visit! I hope you're all well and will look forward to catching up again either from work, or when I ever get back on line.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

A day-glow green tee shirt

While thumbing through a catalog tonight I stumbled upon a tee shirt that made me laugh and that I might just have to order. It’s an interesting day-glow green color, which means that I might never actually wear it, day glow green not really being my color.

When I was a very young we used to watch the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz on TV (this was pre-video era), and I was terrified by the Wicked Witch of the West and those evil looking flying monkeys. To this day, I close my eyes when that part of the movie comes on. Years after the movie was made the actress who played the Wicked Witch did some sort of coffee commercial…..and I never liked those commercials because it was the Wicked Witch doing them.

The tee shirt says,

Don’t make me break out my
Flying Monkeys

I just thought that was so funny! (Maybe it’s just me though. Possibly some of you won’t find this funny.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My old bedroom window

One winter Sunday morning back in February 2006, I wrote and posted a piece titled “My Bedroom Window.” I wrote it while looking at the window across from my bed, describing what I saw right down to the smallest detail.

The Curtain….“There is also a lovely curtain, of the valance variety, hanging on a curtain rod from the top of it. It’s made of a sheer white material that is sort of a V shape, the lowest point of the V hanging just in the center of the window. A trim of clear beads about two inches long each, hang down from the edge and sparkle as the sun touches them. Seeing the sun glint off the edge of this curtain is my favorite part of living in this bedroom.”

A String of Shells……..“Hanging down from the left hand side of the window, in a long vertical line from the curtain rod, is a string of shells tied together on fishing line. I strung these shells together years and years ago on a day spent at a friend’s beach house. For maybe 20 years this sting of shells hung from my kitchen curtain rod in the house I use to live in. Now they hang from my bedroom curtain rod and will hopefully hang from yet another one, in another place, at some other time in my future. I love this string of sea shells. They remind me of the summer, of the beach and the ocean, and how wonderful it is to sit by it, close your eyes and listen to the surf as it rolls onto shore and to smell the scent of the ocean salt in the air.”
“A pretty wreath of pink, blue and white hydrangeas with green leaves, hangs between the top of the window frame, and the top of the wall, which is actually one of the many ceiling peaks in this attic room.”

A Dream………
“I have managed to fix one window in my life exactly the way I want it to be. It’s calming to look at and is really not overly *girly*, despite my description of white lights, beads and flowers. Sitting in my bed and looking at this lovely window, in the middle of the Robin’s Egg Blue wall, makes me feel encouraged. I do however, often wonder where the other windows in my life will be located though, but figure I’ll find them eventually.”

Tonight I took down the curtain with the crystal beads, the string of shells and the wreath of Hydrangeas and packed them in a box. I feel a little sad now that it’s almost time to leave this room, and so grateful to have had it. I will miss living here with my brother and my niece. I’m going to hang the crystal beaded curtain and string of shells on my new kitchen window and will find the perfect spot for the Hydrangea wreath, in the new apartment I’m going to in Jackson Heights. This is an exciting and yet poignant time for me. Time to finally move away from home and for the first time ever, live all on my own. It’s been a long time coming and there were times when I never thought it would come to pass. See, this is what happens when you set goals and work to achieve them…..they somehow happen……..

Friday, September 28, 2007

A pair of black, spike-heeled boots

While standing on the train station platform this morning in my jeans and sneakers because it was “causal Friday,” I spied a cute young woman further down, wearing her stylish off-white, belted trench coat, and a pair of black ankle boots complete to with pointy toes and high spiked heels. Although probably “trendy” as my daughter would say, all I could think was “Jeez, how does that chick walk in those boots?” I also noted that she was standing smack-dab in the middle of the platform, and those traversing in one direction or another had to either move to walk behind her, or walk along the outside edge of the platform in front of her in order to make their way past. That was kind of rude and very poor commuter etiquette. But then again, maybe she wanted to make sure we all saw her spike-heeled ankle boots.

I’d like to say that were I twenty-five years younger I would have been wearing those boots, however, I know myself pretty well and would in all likelihood be wearing a black tulle skirt with matching combat boots. I’m not the spike-heeled type, although I do own a pair of really cute black, summer sandals with a spike heel, which I can walk all of two feet in before they start to kill me. I wore them on a date last summer, although I did not actually put them on until I was almost where I needed to go, stashing my flip-flops in the bag I was carrying, with my date, none the wiser.

While thinking about that experience I simultaneously wondered how this girl manages to walk in NYC wearing that type of footwear. I used to think “What’s the big deal? When you use the train or subway to move from place to place, why worry about comfortable shoes….you’re sitting down a lot.” Of course that is so not the case as I’ve come to learn, more than once the hard way and I still have the blisters to prove it. I’ve walked miles recently while using public transportation and decided I need to keep a pair of sneakers at work, just in case I have to go somewhere that requires walking I didn’t plan to do while wearing a cute pair of shoes. Frequently when I “Hop Stop” my subway directions I fail to notice just how far I have to walk from then I get off of, to where I want to end up. Walking is not normally a problem for me and I enjoy doing it, but only if I’m wearing the appropriated footwear.

I did sort of wistfully gaze at those ankle boots though, and think “Well, maybe I could wear them around the house.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Death warmed over

Somebody please take me out into the back yard and put me out of my misery. I have been sick since yesterday and today has been the worst! I have a massive cold and I’m running a temperature and I have just added Robitussen to my self-medication regime. And just so you know how bad this is, I didn’t even taste the Robitussen when I took it….. for anyone who has ever taken Robitussen, you know how yucky it is and to not have been able to taste is says a lot.

It’s unfortunate that I’m still in my probationary period at my new job or I would be staying home tomorrow. That period ends on Friday…… of course, and by which time I’m hoping to feel better. I could really have used a sick day tomorrow though, but considering I just signed an apartment lease, working a day without pay is not an option.

Yes, today I signed a lease on an apartment and I’m so excited about it…even if I feel like crap. Right now my fantasy is to have a nice guy in that apartment, who I really, really like, and who will run me a bath, make me tea and rub my back. Oh, and who would also know what to do about the “check engine light” that came on in my car tonight. That’s really a moot point since I’m selling my car, however I though I’d add it to the “guy wish list” just in case. I’ve already written about “car dilemmas” so I won’t go back down that road at this time though.

So, even though I feel like “death warmed over,” (a favorite saying of my father’s), and my car has decided it needs it’s engine checked, I’m getting a place of my own to live in…….how freakin’ cool is that?!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

11 secrets most men keep

I took this directly off of AOL tonight. In my new life, I've been doing a good deal of reading about relationships and what makes them work. This way, if one should happen my way I'll be better prepared.

I wonder what men think about these 11 secrets?

My comments are in blue, and not to be taken as part of this article.

"Magazine writer and editor Ty Wenger revealed in Redbook what every woman wants to know: What secrets is her husband keeping from her?Although men who tell too many lies and keep too many secrets risk souring a relationship from lack of trust, some of the more innocuous lies are told and secrets are kept to keep the peace. That is the kind of secret Wenger is revealing. And ladies, some of these secrets will melt your heart and make you so happy you married the man you did. 11 secrets most men keep, including your husband:

1. Yes, he falls in lust 10 times a day -- but it doesn't mean he wants to leave you. Yes, men like to look. Overall, they don't need the cerebral to get them going like most women do.

2. He actually does play golf to get away from you. I think time away from each other is a wonderful thing. Everyone needs their own interests in order to be well rounded people and partners.

3. He is unnerved by the notion of commitment, even after he has made one to you. Really?

4. Earning money makes him feel important. Not so much for me.

5. Though he often protests, he actually enjoys fixing things around the house. I don't really care if he can fix stuff, as long as he knows who to call when the stuff he can't fix, breaks.

6. He likes it when you mother him, but he's terrified that you'll become your mother. Me too! And, I do love my mother.

7. Every year he loves you more. That is so sweet. I'll have a man like this please.

8. He really doesn't understand what you're talking about when you discuss "issues" in your relationship. It makes no sense at all to him -- even though he will nod in agreement and apparent understanding. I don't think this is true for all men. I think this statement sells men short. I know a number of really great men who understand relationship issues and are good at talking about them.

9. He is terrified when you drive. I'm a great driver, even if I am slightly on the aggressive side.

10. He'll always wish he was 25 again. Not me....I'm loving where I am in life.

11. Give him an inch and he'll give you a lifetime. Translation: Let him be a dumb guy and play poker with his buddies or go on vacation alone, and he'll love you forever for that. 'And that's the truth,' insists Wegner. "

(Source: Redbook)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Beach scented perfume

Published in the Long Island Advance, September 20th

Last Sunday night was the one of those perfect evenings for walking. Almost fall like, it was cool and clear and the scents that perfumed the air overwhelmed me.

When walking outdoors, I have a few routes that I take that always lead me to the bay. Even on very cold winter days, that’s the direction I head, never north, always south, because I love the smell of the sea air.

On this particular evening as I started out toward the bay the first scent I noticed was that of a backyard fire place. I love the smell of fire places and used to have one in my yard. We would sit around it at night, drink coffee, talk with whoever showed up to sit and watch the fire burn, and listen to the Screech Owl that lived in the woods nearby.

Layered over top of the burning wood smell, was the scent of autumn clematis in full bloom. Growing vigorously throughout the summer, it blooms in a mass of tiny white flowers that perfume the air with a heady, sweet scent. This particular smell I recognized immediately, having planted this variety of clematis in my garden years ago and each summer, watching as it climbed its way up the side of my dining room window, with the scent of the tiny white flowers traveling into the house on the heels of the breeze that blew in through the open windows.

As I got closer to the bay, the scent of the sea air mingling with the others made me feel wistful, missing home before I have even left it. I love this smell, the smell of the bay and nearby ocean, that mixture of seaweed and salt, shells and suntan lotion. I have a “sun and sand” candle and a perfume called “Beach,” both of which if I close my eyes and breath in deeply, remind me of what it’s like to lie on the beach and listen to the surf roll onto shore, and watch the gulls as they glide on the ocean breezes.

As I continued my walk my son pulled up to the stop sign on the corner of Brook Street and Rider Ave. Having only seen him a short while before for dinner, it was amusing to run into him again so soon. Further up the road, I saw my father as he rode his bike across Rider, heading back home from his evening bike ride and one of my old neighbors as she cut her lawn. It’s odd to feel so excited about moving away and so sad about it too, sad to think about missing out on these every day encounters that for so long I have taken for granted.

My pile of boxes in the living room of my brother’s house is getting larger. I keep trying to keep in mind what he said when I was starting to say good-bye. (I’ve been starting to say good-bye in a variety of ways for a while now.) He reminded me that I’m moving to Queens, not California. I often use that line when talking about my move to other family members, like my 12 year old niece Regina, who I have also lived with for the past three years. We are making plans now for things she would like to do when she comes to visit me. This way, she too can be excited when I move, and not sad.

There’s a very good possibility that the next time I appear here, I will have written this column from an apartment in Jackson Heights. Hopefully I will be able to regal you with amusing tales and observations about how different life will become. I’m thinking that possibly I can get over the homesick part prior to actually leaving, at least that’s what I’m going to hope will happen. I’m feeling a bit dramatic about it all; you would think that I wasn’t planning to be back at least every other weekend. And in between, I can always turn out the lights, light my “sun and sand” candle, spray on my “Beach” perfume and close my eyes and breathe deeply.

(I can't believe I still have not posted my birthday column. Actually, I'm still working on it. )

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another birthday.....

I can't believe that I didn't put a post up on what was a very big birthday for me...the half century mark....50! I did have a column in the newspaper where I wrote all about it, but....I couldn't say all I wanted to say.....hence, I'm still working on it to post here.

I'll be back soon....

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A new chapter begins

Published in the Long Island Advance
September 6, 2007

I’m back again, sitting in Brian’s chair and trying to come up with a plausible reason why I do this. Why I write these guest columns where the letter “I” shows up way too many times. It might have to do with the fact that I’m a social worker by nature, if not by degree. I process my life, and the lives of those I know in words, thoughts and feelings. I started out writing for myself as a means to see in a concrete way where I was coming from, and going too, and I have come to share this journey in a very public way with those of you who read what I write.

When setting out on this journey to create a new life, my decision was to make it as big and bold as it could be, and my hope was that others might see themselves reflected here as well. And, at this very moment I’ve come to the end of a chapter….and a new one is beginning.

While sitting in a friend’s kitchen in Greenwich Village one day last week I wondered out loud how I came to be at this point in my life and how it happened so fast. Not actually sitting in his kitchen, I know how I came to be there, but how I’ve reached the point where I’m on the cusp of accomplishing the last of three very large goals I set for myself two years ago.

Twenty-nine years ago I left my parents home to get married. Three years ago I left that home due to circumstances that so often happen in our lives, prompting us to choose different paths to follow. Three years ago I could never have envisioned this new life that’s unfolding in front of me.

When I was 5 or 6, I can distinctly remember looking out the window of our yellow, wood paneled station wagon as we drove through midtown Manhattan on our way to visit my grandparents in Pennsylvania, and telling my parents that one day I wanted to live in Manhattan. The sights, the sounds, the “bigness” of it all were so very appealing to me and for a number of years that was the vision I carried around in my head. Somewhere along the way I think I became afraid, afraid of living my life and my sister took over that dream and made it her own, at least for a little while. My fear was unconscious and my vision became buried somewhere deep inside of me, until it was surprisingly set free by life circumstances. Now that it’s taken flight, there’s no telling where it will end up…this vision of mine.

Today is September 6th and I am about to contact a realtor to begin apartment hunting in Queens. It may not be Manhattan, but it’s darn close. Not only will I be looking for a home of my own, I will be looking for it in the place I so long ago felt drawn to. It’s both exciting and frightening to teeter on the rim of this precipice.

As I stand here at the edge of a new beginning, I wonder about the journeys that others of you have taken, the steps and missteps, the laughter, and the tears that you shed along the way. As an observer and one who always has an opinion, I would love to hear your stories and continue to share mine with you, no matter how infrequently I can be found sitting in Brian’s chair. Yes, I write from a woman’s perspective, yet that is not the only point I can see from. If you would like to share any of your stories with me, please feel free. I’m going apartment hunting now, but….I’ll be back.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The subway tour

This was one long day of riding the train and subway and somehow doing a tour of all the places I silently wept in last Tuesday night. I think it’s pretty damn amazing that I managed to find my way into Grand Central Station and on to every one of those subway platforms, with the exception of the N.

Having managed to only minimally email Harry this week, my resolve broke when I was in GCS and I text messaged him telling him how hard it was for me to be there, so close and yet so far away from him…..and how I missed him. Of course he didn’t respond, nor did I expect he would. I found myself in almost the exact same spot we said good-bye in while my heart was crumbling into a million little pieces. It was hard to be back in that moment. Especially since I have always hated the “good-byes” and that was such a final one. Maybe not final forever, but final in so many other ways. Ways that I will dearly miss.

I spent the day traveling to and from the Bronx, all the way up to Pelham, for a 1 hour meeting that they kept me waiting for. Getting there was easier than returning once I got past the Grand Central Station part. However, the return trip involved Miles, so getting back was just a little more complicated and involved me having to write direction on a napkin. (Miles is always trying to find a better way for me to get from place to place, which normally just confuses me more.)

After attending my much delayed meeting, Miles, who lives on City Island, picked me up and we went to Arthur Avenue for lunch. Miles has been such a wonderful friend and has been doing his best to distract me and cheer me up. Last Saturday I went to City Island for the day and we had a barbeque with a very interesting cast of characters (and, I’ll write about that another time…it really was entertaining). And today, it was lunch on Arthur Avenue. Arthur Avenue is the Bronx version of Little Italy, minus all the tourists. It was the coolest place, where you could buy pasta bowls and dishes from sidewalk vendors, and find authentic food, including fresh baked breads and pastries. And, there were people there who actually spoke Italian!

Over lunch was when I got the napkin out and wrote down the directions. Miles knows that I need all the directions, right down to the tiniest details, just to make sure I don’t get lost. It wasn’t until he was dropping me at the subway, which he thought was the 4, but turned out to be the 5, that the directions had to be tweaked just a little. It was on this return trip that I managed to find myself on almost all the subway platforms I had previously cried upon. I didn’t cry today…..but, I did feel really sad. It was a bittersweet, underground tour of my most recent heart break. I wish I didn’t still feel so emotionally wounded, feeling the need to continue to wallow in self pity and despair. (OK, maybe despair is a bit dramatic….)

I survived the “heartbreak tour,” and while doing so, think I figured out how to comfortably ride the subway while standing. The trick is to just relax and go with the flow. It’s sort of like standing on a boat; you have to sway with the movement. Jeez…I wish I could just go with the flow of my life. I wish I were not one of those over thinkers who carries an unprotected heart with her, everywhere she goes.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Delete, delete, delete, delete.....

He said he had no idea she loved him. How is that possible she wonders to herself? Over the past two years they have exchanged hundreds of emails…hundreds. She’s a writer and in the thousands of words she’s written to him, how did he miss this? She was not vague. Today she is amazed that he says he didn’t know how she felt about him. It would have been almost impossible for him not to know. Strangers knew. People who only know her through her writing in cyberspace could tell that she loved this man. And he, who she has spent time kissing….had no idea?

This morning she awoke and used the delete key on her computer. She deleted the few pictures she had of him, deleted his website from her “favorites” list and deleted him from her AOL Buddy List. It was purely a symbolic act though. Let’s face it; it’s not like she doesn’t know where to find him, like she’s forever severed her cyber link to him. It’s not like she doesn’t have his phone number, or know where he works, or of a place she can go to hear his voice, even if it’s not her he’s talking too.

She deleted so it would be just a little less convenient to perseverate on him. To torture herself by seeing his face or hearing his voice. She wishes there were a way to delete this heart ache she feels. It’s been four days. She should be feeling better…right?

Unable to cry any longer, she feels numb and overwhelmed with sadness, and angry. Angry at his professed inability to see her standing out here, angry at his inability to see how much she cared about him and how much she wanted to care for him.

She deleted him from her buddy list...for now....for now the sound of his door opening and his name appearing on the right side of her computer screen, as if he’d walked into the room with her, is much more than she can handle. It’s hard enough having him walk across her conscious mind a hundred times a day. Seeing him in a tangible way is too difficult for her.

She could not have deleted in a permanent way though, in a way where you suddenly feel cold and clammy and think “OMG, I’ve just deleted something that I’ll never get back!” She still has his phone number and can certainly type in his web address. She’s trying so very hard not to let herself be weak. Not to let herself call, or text, or even go to a website and look. She’s trying so hard to distance herself from him and it’s one of the most difficult things she's ever had to do.

She's trying so hard to get to a point where it won't matter to her anymore. Where he will just be someone she knows..........

She gambled and she lost. Why does she insist on learning these lessons the hardest way possible?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Leave love bleeding in my hands..."

“I love you,” she finally says.

She physically hurts from the tips of her toes to the top of her head. She aches deep down inside, in a place she never knew existed.

“I love you,” she finally says. “I’m standing out here at the edge of your life, waiting for you, and I have no idea if that’s what you want.”

“Don’t wait for me,” he replies

“I want to wait for you,” she whispers.

“Don’t wait for me. I want you to have a happy life.”

“I love you. I want to wait for just a little while.”

“Don’t wait for me. I don’t love you,” he says.

And inside of her, her heart breaks…shattered into a million little pieces. Tears well up into her eyes and silently trickle down her face as her head rested upon his chest. She walked down this road of her own free will, her eyes wide open and knowing full well that she might end up in this place. This crying place.

It’s taken 49 years, 11 months for her to feel heartbreak like this. Almost like heartbreak over the death of someone she loves, only different and in some ways far more difficult, since he still exists in the real world, just not in her world in the way she wants him to be. She aches for him and for the potential that she knows he’s walking away from.

She said she is living her new life with no regrets and that she would never regret loving him.

He said that she was braver than he.

Silently she cried while lying next to her daughter, whose apartment she stayed at that night. She wanted to go home so that she could lie in her own bed and sob, hoping that if she did so, she might rid herself of some of this heart break.

He is not to blame for her tears. He was never anything but upfront about where he was in his life and his situation. She thought if she loved him enough, she could change that. She was wrong and yet she loves him nonetheless.

She loves him in spite of the fact that he does not love her.

She wonders how long it will be before she runs out of tears. She feels stupid being almost 50 and finding herself truly loving someone for the very first time in her life….. and now having to cry about him. But, living a life with no regrets means putting yourself in situations where you risk having your heart broken into a million pieces. She has no way to protect her heart….it’s always right out there for everyone to see.

She can’t imagine her life without him in it……..and she can’t imagine never being able to love him the way she wants to love him….

There’s a song on her iPod she cried while listening to on the train tonight. (Silently of course, so as not to appear to be a total nut job….in the past 24 hours she’s gotten very good a crying silently.) The song is by Fuel and the title is Hemorrhage (In My Hands), one line in particular speaks to her right now.

“Leave love bleeding in my hands….”

This is exactly how she feels as she stands here at the edge of his life, love...bleeding in her hands.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rumor mongers again...., I'm not going to post on the message board if I ever find it. The hell with the rumor mongers...why stoop to their level......I've written about here...have thought about it a bit more...and now I'm fine with letting idiots be idiots.

The rumor mongers

I have a passionate dislike for rumor mongers. You know, people who like to make crap up at the expense of others. I have a very good friend Kermit (I call him Kerm), who is going through a dramatic life change right now and who I will gladly spend all the time he needs, supporting. He allowed me to cry into my pancakes over Saturday morning breakfasts a few years ago and for that I will be forever grateful. He is one of a few men I’ve come to think of as my “platonic boyfriends,” and is by far my very favorite. In many ways he’s like the older brother (although not by much), that I never knew I wanted. He dispenses “guy advice” that sometimes I take and other times I shake my head and think “yeah, right….I don’t think so.”

I met Kermit through a local political organization where we both live, becoming involved with them because I could no longer live my life sitting on the couch watching television. We were fast friends almost immediately, with never one spark of romance or sexual tension involved in our relationship.

Kermit supported me when I need it, he didn't freak out when I cried, he always paid for breakfast, he sent me emails and he bought me a Goo Goo Dolls DVD he saw in a store knowing how much I liked them, even though I suspect he still has no idea who they are. Over the past few years he has been one of my primary advisors when it came to looking for a new job, or…..a new life.

It’s now my turn to help Kermit make a new life. It’s unfortunate that it’s going to be a drama filled process, but that’s not the story here. The story here is about the “rumor mongers.”

Politics, is politics, is politics. Because Kerm and I were at one time both involved with the same local, grassroots political organization we have now become linked on a sleazy political message board. A message board where people post anonymously about others and it makes no difference whether the information is true or not. In some ways I find the whole thing amusing. I could care less what the rumor mongers post, especially considering there are maybe only a handful of people who even look at that message board. Yet, in other ways I’m feeling really pissed off about it. Kermit's wife, who is involved in his drama is affected by this and was the person who found the post and then questioned him. Although she and I are only acquaintances, people adding to their family drama by lying only adds to the discomfort that already exists….and I’m not talking about my discomfort which is actually quite minimal. I know what the truth is.

I can’t seem to find the damn message board and believe me; I’m still looking for it. I have all intentions of posting my thoughts about what the rumor mongers are saying, even though on some levels, all it will do is reinforce their bad behavior. Nevertheless, I’m going to have my say, and it won’t be anonymously either. And you can bet your sweet ass that I’m not the least bit afraid of being seen with Kerm, be it here, or anywhere else.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A dog in the garden

Published in The Long Island Advance
August 2, 2007

I finally broke down recently and gardened just a little where I’m living. For a few weeks there were a couple of cell packs of marigolds sitting on the porch, left by my mother who was planning to plant them with my niece. They never got planted and I started to feel guilty when mom took one of the packs back to her house to plant there. After she left I looked at the remaining plants sitting on the step, happened to spot a trowel on the picnic table and though “Oh, just go ahead and plant the darn things. You know you want too.” After I got my hands dirty, I noticed the Morning Glories and Nasturtium were drooped over, dying of thirst. It was at that point that planting lead to watering, another activity that I don’t do much of these days.

While standing out front, hose in hand, a guy rode past on his bike with his Bull dog trotting happily on a leash by his side. Without even thinking I called over to him as he passed and said “Kind of like the ‘Dog Whisperer’….” and let the rest of my thoughts speak for themselves. “I love that guy,” he shouted back, laughing. I couldn’t help think about how I assumed some random guy with a dog would know who The Dog Whisperer was….and he did! We continued our loud, yet brief conversation with me telling him that Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, makes me want become a dog owner.

I don’t watch much television anymore and when I do, it’s normally the National Geographic or Discovery Channels. I stumbled upon Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer,” one night and I’ve been hooked on him ever since. A few weeks ago it was “Dog Whisperer Week” on National Geographic and I spent literally hours watching one show after another. At one point I realized that it was Saturday night and I had just spent three hours watching this TV show, and what kind of social life was that? And then I decided I didn’t care. The man is a genius with dogs. I now know how to choose the right dog from an animal shelter, how to be the “leader of the pack,” and have gleaned all sorts of other interesting dog behavior knowledge from his example.

Some of my new found knowledge I’m trying to impart upon the crazy Jack Russell Terrier, Bingo, who lives in this house and belongs to my niece. So far I’ve been unsuccessful and think that I need to take written notes as I watch the show in order to get Bingo to behave like a follower, and not the leader he thinks he is.

Bingo is a little dog with a big attitude. When he looks in the mirror, he sees a huge, ferocious German Shepherd, instead of a ten pound Jack Russell with short legs.

Bingo would never be lying contentedly in the grass while I watered the garden. He would be off and running down the street, yipping at the heels of that Bull dog, determined to show him who the lead of the pack was. Short of Cesar Millan showing up on the doorstep to whisper Bingo back into shape, I doubt very much that my fantasy of a well behaved dog in the garden will come to pass, at least not with this dog. Perhaps for now I should stick with my cat.

Friday, July 27, 2007

To U-Haul or not

Published in The Long Island Advance
July 26, 2007

As many of you know, I’m planning a move to Queens in the fall. Anticipating this I’ve begun to pack boxes. I don’t have much in the way of furniture, but boy, do I have a lot of boxes. They sit in closets or the spare rooms on the third floor of the house I’m living in, just waiting for me to carry them down three flights of stairs and out the door.

Initially when thinking about moving my thoughts were, “no big deal,” it’s just a bunch of boxes and some minor furnishings, figuring a U-Haul, my son Nick, and one or two of his friends and maybe a few pizzas’ and my move would be accomplished. My daughter, Erin, I suspect will be more like a “box unpacker” as like her mother, carrying heavy objects is not our thing.

In my mind my move was all figured out using a U-Haul and the man-woman power of my children. That was until I helped move Erin to Astoria a few weeks ago. It didn’t take long for me to decide that hiring professional movers was a much better idea. Twenty (well, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but it felt like twenty) trips later, up three flights of stairs each time, and I was convinced of it.

The day of Erin’s move she and I drove to Queens early, my car packed with bags and boxes, wine glasses, a full length mirror, her laptop and TV. First we had to stop in Forest Hills to pick up the key from her new roommate. Of course the Map Quest directions were not quite accurate and not being familiar with the area, we drove around, and around, and around, until we eventually ended up in the general vicinity of where her roommate works and the elusive apartment keys. I finally found myself parked in front of a fire hydrant outside a church with the word “martyr” in the name. “Ah, the perfect spot,” I thought to myself.
Miraculously, we made it from Forest Hills to Astoria using directions provided to us by people who do not drive. Need I say more?

After my car was finally emptied, we had time to kill while waiting for her father to arrive with the U-Haul and her cousin and uncle, all there to be the furniture movers. In between we went looking for a mattress pad on Steinway Street and found ourselves in a linen store. As I walked in, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath saying to Erin, “I can’t believe it! We’re in the old Swezey’s linen store!” I was so excited to be there that I stopped thinking about my twenty trips up and down the three flights of stairs, and those that were yet to come.

The U-Haul was a drama unto itself. Even though I wasn’t actually driving it, I felt like I was, after all, this was a collective experience. Where were we going to park it? Where did we have to go to return it? When we couldn’t find the place to return it, what way were we going to drive to get it back to were it was picked up, since you can’t drive them on parkways? One mini U-Haul nightmare after another, found me making calls the next day for estimates from professional movers.

When she heard this, my mother’s first words were “We used to move your sister all the time and we never used movers.” I think she’s forgetting that was over twenty years ago and we’re all that much older now. Personally, I’m done with physical labor. I want someone to carry out my boxes, drive them to where I’m going, carry them in and leave me sitting on the floor in my new living room, unpacking them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Third Rail

It's never a good thing when you're sitting on a stopped train, looking out the window and wondering how deep the water is that your train is sitting in. It's even worse when the engineer announces that you can't proceed because the water you're sitting in is over the "third rail!" Correct me if I'm wrong, but...isn't the "third rail" the electric one? He continued on by saying "We're not exactly sure what we're going to do next."

We obviously did not get electrocuted, which of course was my first thought. But knowing that I was sitting in a big metal box on something electric that was now covered by a river of water, was not a comforting thought at 8 AM this morning.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Well behaved women...

One morning last week I left home early enough to stop in the deli and pick up a cup of coffee before having to make the train. While caught up in conversation with three women that I know from the area and who I haven’t seen in a while, an older gentleman walked into the deli, chuckling to himself.

“Who has the blue car outside with the bumper sticker?” he said looking from one to the other of us.

“The one that says ‘Well behaved women seldom make history?’” I asked, raising my eyebrows just a little.

“I expected to see some big burly guy in here with that on his car,” he said, laughing.

“No, that would be my car and my bumper sticker,” I replied, just a little puzzled.

Taking my coffee I said good-bye and left, still just slightly confused as to why the man in the deli would have expected that bumper sticker to be on a car driven by some “big, burly guy.” It wasn’t until I was sitting on the train that I realized he didn’t get it. He didn't understand that it’s the women who make noise, who ruffle feathers, who are not “well behaved” that do make history. He didn’t get that the statement I was making was that *I am not a well behaved woman,* nor do I ever intend to be.

Jeez…I wish I could have a “do over” of that conversation. Possibly I will be able to parlay this little bit of writing into a column for my next guest appearance in my local newspaper, in the hope that the man in the deli might read it and understand what “Well behaved women seldom make history” really means.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Two years of weblogging....

Two years ago I started this weblog. Here I am, 86 posts later and starting my third year of writing in this space. Since June 29, 2005 I've finished my Bachelor's degree, my divorce became final and I've gotten a new job. Accomplishments that while I was working on them seemed as if they would never happen. (Somehow along the way I think that maybe I really have become a writer too.)

These are goals that I can now cross off my "To do list." One of the realizations that I've come to over the past two years of writing is that if you work hard enough toward accomplishing something that you really want, you can make it happen.

Hmmm.....I wonder what I'm going to be writing about over the next year of weblogging? In the mean time, maybe I should go out and have Margarita tonight in order to celebrate these 86 posts, and while I'm drinking, I'll write out a "To do list" for this coming year of weblogging. As is my nature, big and bold will prevail.


Friday, June 22, 2007

You go girl....

This was an email that my good friend Jane sent me tonight. And, this is exactly why I love Jane and her husband Lewis (even though I don't know him very well.)

Since Jane doesn't have a weblog of her own even though I think she should, I'm going to post this email from her on mine.

I think Atlanta is going like having Jane and Lewis there, and will be an even greater place because of them.


Tonight, we walked down to Piedmont Park for the annual PRIDE festival. (Gay Pride) A lot of the participants are staying at our hotel and we've been having fun with them, so even though we're not gay, we decided to check it out. Right outside the gate were 6 men with a bullhorn and a sign that read "Homos are in sin" Lewis and I walked up to them and I said "Judgment is the greatest sin." Thay all started yelling at us and telling us we would die in our sin. I said Jesus would never stand on their corner with them, and if he was here, he'd be crying for them and their cruel hearts. Lewis just kept telling them "Judging others is a sin against God." It was great. I was accused of being a sick Lesbian!! I answered, "Actually, I've bee married for 27 years to that man...and together, we love ALL of our neighbors." And they were horrified. I told them they needed to read the Bible and not just the chosen tracts from their cult. The police escorted us across the street. We were followed by a bunch of nice, cheering women who Lewis thought smelled really good even though they weren't interested in him at all. I think I like Atlanta a lot.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Maybe I'll just nap

Published in the Long Island Advance

I’m now a commuter, and whatever made me think it would be a breeze, I can’t imagine. Prior to starting my new job, I had visions of spending my three hour per day train ride in a much more productive manner than I have been. Three hours is a long time to sit and do nothing. It’s tiring sitting on a train, and lately on my way home at night I’ve been feeling the need to nap.

The one nice thing about my morning commute has been that I’m sitting next to my daughter Erin on the 7:17 AM train each day. She’s been doing this for over a year now and has mastered all the finer nuances of being a daily commuter. I understand from her example that one does not talk on one’s cell phone early in the morning, nor carry on any kind of in-depth conversation or heated discussion when those around them have still not woken up yet, and relish silence on their morning ride. I find myself becoming annoyed with the realtor sitting ahead of me who is leaving message after message for people who have not yet arrived in their offices at 7:30 in the morning, and figure that she must not be a regular commuter, as regular commuters know the rules. And the same rules apply for the return trip, although there does seem some flexibility in the “conversation” factor. However, flexibility does not mean that it’s OK to spend an hour on your Nextel phone, having a walkie-talkie type conversation, with every sentence prefaced by that annoying beeping sound that the entire car of people can hear. IPod’s come in handy at times like these.

Sitting next to Erin has other perks as well. She holds my coffee while I open a breakfast bar to eat as a morning meal, and I return the favor as she sits, scraping all the extra butter off the roll she sometimes buys from the coffee truck that’s outside the train station every morning. You can’t do that if you’re sitting next to a stranger. She’s also taught me exactly when I want to get up from my seat in order to stand by the door, waiting to exit at the Jamaica train station. From her perspective this is important, as you need to make a quick getaway from the first train in order to get a seat on the second one. This is not really an issue for me, since I get off in Jamaica and take the subway to Woodhaven. Yet, it’s important information to know for those days when I do have to travel into Manhattan in the morning.

Erin and I have not lived together in a while, so seeing her five mornings a week has been lovely and she has eased the transition into my new world. I sometimes get lost in the transitions of my life, so sitting next to her each morning has meant a great deal to me. Oddly enough, we’ve been heading in the same direction, she, a few steps ahead of me, paving the way for her very grateful mother.

Next month I’ll be commuting without my daughter, who is finally moving closer to her job. I’m excited for her, knowing that this is something she’s wanted for a while, and knowing that I’ll continue to follow in her footsteps. She’ll find the best places for an occasional Sunday breakfast; she’ll know where the parks and the laundries are, where in her new neighborhood you can shop for shoes, bags and perfume, and the quickest way to get into Manhattan. And she won’t mind if her mother apartment hunts in her new neighborhood either.

In the mean time though, I’m going to have to figure out a way to be more productive during my three hour commute. Perhaps I can relearn Spanish by downloading lessons onto my iPod, or listen to books. Writing too might be an option, but since I prefer to type as opposed to actually write in longhand, I struggle with that. When I bought my Dell laptop I thought six pounds sounded light, that was only until I tried lugging around that six pound laptop along with all the other essential stuff I carry to and from work. So, maybe I should give up the need to feel productive….and just nap.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Leaving less of a footprint

Published in The Long Island Advance
May 24, 2007

It’s difficult to live in the world today and not have heard the words “global warming.” You can’t open a newspaper or read a magazine, go online or watch television without seeing something related to this topic. I’m initially good at not paying attention to issues that seem far greater then I am. If our government refuses to see the light, what can I, one person do about it?

For me it’s become increasingly difficult to ignore this subject. Some would like us to believe that scientists are needlessly scaring us, but I’ve decided not to take that chance. That’s why I now own six reusable shopping bags that I take when I go to the grocery store.

Ever since grocery stores replaced paper bags with the plastic ones, I’ve hated them. My five or six reusable bags hold the same amount as 12 plastic bags, which would often spill their contents all over the trunk of my car. I do wish that my environmentally friendly shopping bags were just a little less flashy though. They’re a bit too bright, but no matter, I’m not trying to make a fashion statement, just an environmental one.

Often when shopping in local grocery stores I look around me to see if anyone else is using the flashy bags and I have yet to spot anyone. I’m very good about making sure those bags are always in the trunk of my car and ready to use should I need to make a run to the store. Sure, once in a while I forget them and have to use the plastic ones. (I still haven’t figured out what to put the cat litter in, so for now I continue to need a few.) Yet, I would love to see more people leaving the store with all their groceries in the flashy new bags.

Leaving less of a carbon footprint is important to me. There are huge political issues involved. More than I have the time, the space, or the understanding of to write about here. For me, this is about being responsible for what my impact here on earth is. I can’t help believe that if everyone gave just a little more thought to that, it might very well make a difference. I think being
environmentally responsible now might be an important gift I can give to my children and theirs.

You all know how I feel about my car. Although for me one of the biggest draws to moving to a more urban area is avoiding those car dilemmas that I’ve written about, another is the fact that I will further decrease my carbon footprint. I realize that it’s almost impossible to live in Suffolk County without one, so I’m not anticipating a mad rush of people to follow in my particular footsteps. All I would really like to do is to get you to think in simple terms about what you can do to help stop global warming.

The Inuit’s are falling through thin ice while hunting; Polar Bears are starving while their natural habitat melts before their eyes. The poorest countries in the world will suffer the most, and the riches, the least. Maybe those of us here today won’t feel that suffering, but it’s a sure bet that the generation that comes after us will.

Do something to decrease your carbon footprint. Even if all it is, is to replace your light bulbs or start to shop for local produce, or to make a fashion statement by using those fancy new grocery store bags.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A cyber flirt

Dane is probably the most gorgeous man I have ever seen……dark hair, dark eyes, amazing smile and just overall, a beautiful specimen of a guy. He contacted me on My Space with a message that had the word “Princess” in it. I’m not normally one to respond to the name “Princess.” Although I have to say, it was far different coming from a 32 year old, as opposed to reading posts by the 60 something men who are “looking for a Princess to spoil,” and they want her to be 21. To say that I was flattered would be an understatement.

Dane is a man who likes “mature women.” I am a woman who likes “mature men.” And although I like my men with some edges, his are just a bit more then I would be comfortable with. However, that did not stop me from cyber flirting with him for 24 hours. I did have to finally decline a picture exchange that would have included him sans towel. That was so difficult to do. I really would have liked to have seen that picture. The one with the towel was pretty incredible, believe me.

While caught up in my little bit of cyber flirting, it didn’t matter to me that we had not one thing in common, other than we both believe in the theory that “anything is possible.” It didn’t take me long to realize that I want to flirt with someone else that I have more in common with though. And once again I have come full circle, right back to Harry.

Dane was like “thinking about having a really crazy, calorie laden dessert,” and then making a different choice, one that is still decadent and delicious, but better for me. Of course that remains to be seen too……..

Stepping off a cliff

I cannot freakin’ breathe. On my way home from work tonight I called everyone I know (well, not everyone), looking for someone who could talk me down from the edge of this cliff I feel like I’m standing on.

There are two more days left at my current job. And, tomorrow really doesn’t count since it’s almost tomorrow, and since there’s a meeting in the morning and then I suspect, a much larger “good-bye” lunch than I’ll be comfortable with. So, really….it’s more like one more day left.

How did I get here?! Must have been that whole “putting one barefoot in front of the other” thing I was doing. Now I’m looking over the edge of the precipice and feeling like I’m on that “Sky Walk” that’s hanging out from the edge of the Grand Canyon. Not something I would enjoy doing. I don’t like standing too close to the edge, unless there’s a man involved.

Tuesday morning I’ll be on the 7:17 train to Jamaica. I’m leaving a job I’ve done for 14 years to take one that I have no experience with, although thankfully I was not foolish enough to leave my current nonprofit work world. I did come to realize that this particular nonprofit world is a good fit for me, and I really don’t think I have the personality to work in the “for profit” world anyway.

Moving to a more urban area is more profitable in the nonprofit world, if that makes any sense. And it looks like that’s exactly what I’m doing, starting a new job in Queens next Tuesday, with a move to follow. Stepping off a cliff, or if I want to be just a little less dramatic, walking through a new open door, into a world that’s the same, yet different.

I’ve written and now I’ll walk. It’s time’s like these that I wish I were a runner. I would be forced to breathe then……

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Strike of Lightning

Today I got my divorce papers in the mail. They were signed by the judge on 4/11/07....exactly two and a half years to the day that I left to start a new life........

A Strike of Lightening
November 7, 2006
Written for Adv. Creative Writing (Got an A in that class.)

When the lightning struck Emma the dagger like point entered through the top of her head and coursed through her body, discharging through the soles of her feet, and rooting her into the blacktop of the parking lot. Her blue Chevy Trailblazer shimmed in the summer heat as it reflected off the blacktop, making the truck look like a desert mirage sitting atop the flatbed truck.
A young male voice on the other end of the phone informed her that she would need to come out into the parking lot in order to remove her personal belongings from that very truck, as he was there to repossess it.

“What the fuck am I doing?,” Emma whispered aloud to herself as she stood there, the young man occupied with fishing her 500 bank deposit slips from above her sun visor, her CD carry case from the glove box and her umbrella from somewhere under the back seat.

Too shocked to even panic, Emma just stood there, hoping that no one from her office would choose this time to venture out to the parking lot. With that thought just barely complete a voice behind her said, “Hey, what’s the matter with your car? Why is it on a flatbed?”

“Ah…ah…I had trouble with the steering on my way in to the office this morning, so the mechanic sent a flatbed to pick it up,” replied Emma to Sara, the office receptionist, who often knew too much about other peoples business. Satisfied with that response, Sara went on her way, leaving Emma to glance uncomfortably at the repo guy, who was now standing next to her with all her car valuables in his hands.

“Here’s the number you can call if you plan to get your truck back,” he said, handing her his card along with her pile of belongings.

“Thanks. I’ve already called my husband and he’s taking care of it,” she replied, thinking back a few minutes to her hurried conversation with Anthony when she furiously whispered into the phone, asking him how this could be happening.

There was nothing left to do, but stand and watch the repo guy climb up into the cab of his truck and drive off with hers.

Emma could not allow herself to think about what had just happened. She knew that if she started to cry, she might never stop. In that short span of time, almost all her worst fears had manifested themselves in the form of a truck on a flatbed. Breathing deeply, she walked back into her office and pretended that nothing had happened. She realized that she’d become very good at putting things that bother her, away. Hiding them in dark corners of her mind, never to be exposed to sunlight or examined in any way.

“Are you picking me up from work?” she asked Anthony, calling him when she got back to her desk.

“Of course I am,” he responded. “I’m so sorry baby. I swear I thought I had it under control. I called the bank to arrange paying them. They never said anything about repossessing the car.”
Possibly in shock, his words were meaningless to her. It was almost as if he were speaking a different language, one that she no longer understood, nor realized now, that she wanted to invest any more time to learn.

Somehow, she managed to pretend that all was well and get through the rest of her day. If nothing else, work preoccupied her, allowing her not to think about what had happened. The lightning strike had numbed her. The flash, blinding her and making her feel as if she was no longer who she use to be.

At the end of her work day, she left at her usual time, walking out as if to get in her car, the one that was no longer in the parking lot. Instead, she got into Anthony’s car and could barely speak to him. He did nothing but apologize the entire way home. “I’m so sorry that happened to you,” he said, over and over again. Gazing out her window, not wanting to look at him, her only response was, “I know.”

What he didn’t know though, was that one of her greatest fears had come true, and she somehow survived it. What he didn’t know was that for years she worried about the possibility of loosing the house they lived in to foreclosure and in that one blinding flash of lightning, she realized that her house was just a house. It was a noose around their necks that just kept getting tighter with every day that passed. And what she also realized in that flash of light was that she no longer loved this man sitting next to her. That the years of constantly worrying about when the next shoe would drop had taken a huge toll on her and that she could no longer live this kind of life. A life of mortgaging, and re-mortgaging the house that she loved so much, of creditors calling so many times over the course of the day that no one in the house ever answered the phone anymore, and that his desire to never talk to her about money, or bills, allowing her to worry alone, had killed all that she ever felt for him.

Riding next to him in his car as he held her hand, all she could think about, was how she would ever end this. How would she walk away from a man she had known longer then she had not known him; leave this person who was the first love of her life, the father of her two children? How would she explain to others who never saw any indication of discord between them, that she was ending this 26 year marriage because she could not live the rest of her life, so desperately unhappy? How would she ever say the words, “I don’t love you any more,” or the words, “I don’t want to be married to you anymore?”

These were the thoughts that she had put away in that dark place inside of her. The thoughts that came spilling out, as if the door of an overloaded closet had been opened, letting everything fall out and onto the floor. Here they all were, scattered about the floor, only instead of things like old fishing poles, hats and gloves or shoe boxes, they were the random bits of her life over the past 26 years….laying there crushed and broken in front of her….shards of broken glass, reflecting her image back to her, an image that she no longer recognized.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Car dilemmas

As published in The Long Island Advance, May 17th, 2007

I dislike what I’ve come to refer to as “car dilemmas” and decided a while back that I don’t really want to be a car owner. Thankfully my car has so far been very reliable and overall has not given me much of a problem. That was until my most recent oil change though, when the mechanic had me stand underneath it and showed me that yes, I did indeed have an oil leak.

Cars are not my thing. I’m sure that if I wanted to be good with them, I would be capable of it. After all, I’ve reached a point in my life when I’ve decided that I can be good at anything I choose. Never having been one who liked getting my hands dirty other then in garden soil, cars are not something I would ever choose to be good with though. I can check my tire pressure and put air in if need be. I can check my oil and add that as well. Anything other than that, I’m not interested in knowing about. This is much to the disappointment of my father, who I’m sure would love it if I took more of an interest in my vehicle, and who will often say to me, “So, how many miles do you have your car now?” With me usually responding by saying, “Hmmm…I don’t really know.”

I want to say this is not a female thing but I suspect it might be. Most of my female friends do not have any great understanding or interest in how their vehicles work and I have yet to run into a female auto mechanic. Before you jump all over me, let me just add that I’m sure there are wonderful female auto mechanics out there in the world, they just don’t inhabit my particular corner of it.

So far I’ve had to get new brakes, tires all the way around and replace the driver’s side mirror. Not bad considering it’s a seven year old car that I’ve had for two years. Yet, add up the car payment, insurance, maintenance and gas, and in my estimation, I’m looking at half a rent payment.

My only concern regarding transportation is that I get where I need to go with the least amount of drama possible, hence my love of public transportation and my desire to relocate to New York City. All you have to know how to do is buy a Metro card, swipe it at the turnstile and be able to read a subway and bus map, or sometimes in my case, have someone reliable you can call who can give you directions.

Yes, I know that public transportation can be smelly and hot in the summer and in the winter being crammed into a subway car filled with germs may not appeal to some, and yet for me, it would a relief. No more having to pump gas using the slow speed because my particular vehicle does not like it when you pump the gas fast, causing the pump handle to click off every fifty-cents worth. No more having to look at the tires and wonder to myself “Does that one look low?” because I can’t find the tire gauge. No more having to think about replacing the timing belt when I hit 90,000 miles or having to get the book out to remember how to change the time on the clock.

Moving to the city is not something to do just because I want to avoid car dilemmas, but it is a factor. I drive, a lot, and I’m tired of doing it. I want someone else to do the driving for a while. I like the idea of sitting with a book or my iPod and arriving at my destination relaxed and well read.

Bargain books

I have got to stop buying books! Last year I donated about 40 of them to the local Good Will store, the same store that I just came home from and where I purchased a 20 lb copy of The Readers Digest Great Encyclopedia Dictionary for $1.99, in hard cover of course, and published in 1966.

All inclusive for $1.99 is Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary from A-Z, The Story of Writing, The History of English, Word Origins, Better Usage, Spelling, Punctuation, Capitalization, Grammar, Correspondence, Manuscript Preparation, and Pronunciation. Also inside are the Dictionary of Space, a Medical Dictionary, a Dictionary of Slang, Quotations from Reader’s Digest, First Names, Signs and Symbols, How to Find Information and Foreign Language Dictionaries in German, French and Spanish. How could I resist all that?

I wonder who this book belonged too prior to my coming along and finding it. Has it been sitting on a shelf in someone’s house for the past 40 years? How did it come to find its way to the Good Will store? Maybe in the same way that the Merriam Webster one that I donated to the same store last year got there, there was no more room on the bookshelf and it had to go. Or maybe something much more exotic happened…I might have to let my imagination run away with me at some future date while gazing at it on my book shelf.

In essence I have now replaced my old dictionary, with an even older one. I also have a new dictionary/thesaurus that I use too. It’s a desk version and does not weigh 20 lbs. When I’m not rushed for time I prefer to actually look up in the real book the word I need, as opposed to using the online dictionary. Tactile is so much more…. me.

Ever since my Costco membership lapsed I’ve been able to stop buying new books. Now I buy the old ones. I’ve substituted one addiction for another. I did however refrain from buying a copy of the Gulag Archipelago. I first tried reading that when I was 15. After leafing through it tonight I decided I probably wouldn’t like it any better almost 35 years later. But…….it was only $1.99. Bargain books, so very hard for me to resist.

I’m staying out of the Good Will store. After donating 40 books last year, I’m back up by more than half that. That said this really is a very cool dictionary.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Harry wants to know

This was published in The Long Island Advance - May 10, 2007

Well, Brian is once again vacationing in Arizona and I’m back for a few weeks. It’s been a while and I’m not quite sure where I left off. While thinking about what to write, I had a discussion with my friend Harry. Harry has repeatedly asked me why I don’t write about science, health, technology, politics or things of that nature, and then suggested that maybe I should write about why “I’m afraid” to write about those topics. I seem to be having a hard time convincing him that writing about getting a new life is the only kind of writing I feel motivated to do at this point, and that no, I’m not the least bit afraid to tackle other subjects. It’s just that currently I’m not doing so.

Reading about science, healthcare and technology are activities that I enjoy, and in no way do I feel qualified to write about them, other than from the view point of a casual observer. Since I am technologically challenged and would be lost without Mike, my computer guy, writing about technology is probably not going to be a topic I would attempt either, other then to possibly regale you with amusing stories about how little I know.

Right now I feel compelled to write about my observations of life from the soap box that currently belongs to me. That does not mean I don’t want write about Charlie Sheen narrating one of those conspiracy theory documentaries about how 9/11 was perpetrated by our government, or that I think about how prophetic Bruce Springsteen was when he said years ago at a concert, “Blind faith in your leaders will get you killed,” or that I love Stephon Marbury because his name is on basketball sneakers that cost $14.98 and are affordable for almost all kids. I have opinions about people like Condoleezza Rice and wonder why she has not been much of a supporter of women in general, let alone women of color, and I think about how much I like Nancy Pelosi because she is not a “well behaved woman,” and is in fact a great role model for all women. I think about a myriad of other subjects, but in this space I write about my own little world. And I write about it because other women have whispered their secrets in my ear and told me how they admire what I’m doing and how brave they think it is.

In some ways I feel as if I’ve become the poster child for middle aged women who find themselves in the position of having to create a new life from the ground up. Or even just for those who would never dream of taking a slightly different path to get where they want to go. And when other women tell me that they can relate, it makes me feel not quite so alone standing up here on my soap box and I hope, does the same for them as well.

Harry is good at throwing down the gauntlet and challenging me to reach a bit higher. Being challenged works for me. I have lofty goals and ambitions and I’m done being afraid to go after them. Actually, there isn’t much I’m afraid of anymore. I write as the spirit moves me. It’s not likely to be telling me that I should write about technology, other than possibly my new iPod, or about some science related topic. Right now these are the words I feel driven to write. Harry will just have to wait a while until I can get my act together enough to think about something other than what it’s like to stand on top of this particular soap box, and begin to write about new things. And I will, probably sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Poor Paris

Paris Hilton thinks the governor of California should pardon her. Oh, my freakin' God. I really want to curse right now.

Poor Paris. My heart bleeds for her. Heaven forbid she should be held accountable for her actions and have to live with the consequences of them.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A new job and a medical drama....

This is the first opportunity I've had to document in this particular space that I HAVE A NEW JOB!!

Yes, after months of sending my resume out into the darkness of cyberspace, it's over! I finally gave up doing that and decided what I needed to do, was network with people that I knew. And wah-la...a new position in Woodhaven, Queens. I am so excited. I do however wish that my current job were not quite so stressful. It's been so crazy that I'm having difficulty thinking.

Then there's the fact that next week I need to have my gall bladder removed. Like I need to add that little medical drama to my "to do list" prior to starting a new position. I was hoping to spend a few days in Florida visiting JoAnne....and instead I'm going to have to sit home for a few days and recover from surgery. I'm going to will myself to be one of those people who makes a fast recovery. Really....there is no other choice.

I can't wait to start apartment hunting......

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

more music

"The miles are getting longer it seems. The closer I get to you."
Home by Chris Daughtry

"Then I CRASHED into you. And I went up in flames. Could've been the death of me. But then you breathed your breath in me.

Then I CRASHED into you. Like a runaway train. You will consume me, but I can't walk away. Somehow I couldn't stop myself. I just wanted to know how it felt. Too strong, I couldn't hold on. I'm just trying to make some sense. Out of how and why this happened. Where we're headed there's just no knowing."
Crashed by Nina Ossoff, Dana Calitri, Kathy Sommer and Chris Daughtry

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Dominatrix and Jell-O

A friend of mine's girlfriend lives across the hall from a Dominatrix. According to Ron she's quite sweet except to her clients, who aren't looking for sweet. She has a cage in her living room that some of them spend time in. My, how this life of mine has changed. Could I ever have imagined knowing someone who knows someone who lives across the hall from a Dominatrix? Colorful is how I would describe it.

And although not related to the above topic in the least, I've been thinking about Jell-O. What food group do you think it falls under? Or maybe it's not a food at all. A number of years ago there was a show on TV about a group of aliens who come to earth to observe how we live. It was really funny and John Lithgow was their leader. I can still remember the episode where they discover Jell-O and it terrifies them. It stands out as one of the funnier TV moments I can ever remember.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Nancy Pelosi

Soooo....not a well behaved woman.

And I just love her.

Much better choice as a role model for women than Condoleezza Rice is.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Love comes....

Even though I "claim" to not believe in things like horoscope readings...this is part of mine for April:

"Romance, then, is rich with passion and complicated by a struggle to push past your own fears. In many ways, it's better to dive in now, going too far too fast, rather than tiptoeing into a relationship. Love comes when you're brave and bold, and your heart is strong enough to handle it." Jeff Jawer

I'm still trying to decide what I think about this.

And one more I would be married 29 years, only the clock stopped 3 years ago. My divorce is almost final.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

March Christmas Trees

Today is March 29th and there is still a 7-1/2 foot, fully decorated Christmas Tree standing in the middle of the living room in the house I'm living in. It's not my Christmas Tree though, so taking it down is really not an option, much as I would like too. It was even plugged in and sparking in all it's glory last weekend when I had a birthday dinner for my mother.

I suspect the tree might still be standing there when the air conditioners are turned on. It's a good bet that my brother plans to just leave it up indefinitely. Sort of like those people who carry their trees, decorations and all up to their attics, cover them, and then carry them back down a year later, plug them in and they're ready to celebrate. Only in his case you don't bother to carry it anywhere. It'll just stand in the living room all year long until people like me just stop looking at it and start to pretend it's not there.'s also 2 PM and the Christmas Carol Clock hanging in the kitchen just chimed "Hark the Herald Angel Sing." I've decided not to remove the clock until the tree comes down.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jed and Charlie

I’m having a difficult time believing that Charlie Sheen is Jed Bartlett’s son. And yes, I do realize that Jed Bartlett wasn’t really our President, but over the past six years or so, there were many times when I wanted him to be…. and maybe even a few when I pretended it was so.

While driving to work this morning I heard on the radio that Charlie Sheen is narrating one of those “conspiracy theory” documentaries that would like us to believe that 9/11 was perpetrated by our government. (Probably the same bunch of people who want us to believe that we didn’t land on the moon, or those that say the Holocaust did happen either.)

Imagine all the “secret preparation” that would have to go into planning that. I, for one, can’t believe that something of that magnitude could even remotely be kept a secret by our government. Nor could I ever imagine a reason why our government would want to do something so horrific….. although I’m sure the makers of the documentary will have a theory. And not having any desire to know what it is, I’ll just have to remain in the dark.

I wonder what Jed Bartlett thinks about his son being an idiot…..