Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No, I don’t mean here, on my sofa, in my living room, but here.. this point of my life. The here, now and what was I thinking? I’m forty- three, perhaps the last time I’ll admit to age. I’m a part time college student, full time wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt. Temporarily laid off from my job of thirteen years and now working part time at the university I am attending. My mother and father in law live in my home. For the most part, it’s nice. Everyone should keep a few old people around , treat them well and take full advantage of the opportunity to point to your own teen and say “See, mother is so kind, caring and patient with the seniors.” Hoping that as you age, your child will remember to be kind to you.

Damn it, did I give her that twenty dollars she asked for? I can see her now, when I’m ninety years old and in need of a diaper change, she’ll stand over me , all knowing and say “ Yep, I remember needing something once, remember, Mother? I asked for twenty dollars but you made me wait for two days. I wonder if now would be a good time to let you know what it’s like to wait.” All the while, swearing under your breathe as you wipe today’s coffee stains from the front of the new, WHITE kitchen cabinets that your father in law has, like clockwork, spilled and not noticed. I fully believe he does this on purpose then laughs , thinking “ Ha! I waited all of my life to reach this stage.” Like the family dog who can fart and not care, the father in law will spill coffee, leave a coffee and crumb trail to wherever he has gone. Sometimes I leave it so that my husband, his son, can enjoy it too. Why not, he should enjoy it too, right? Only he is not patient like me. It’s kind of funny because he is often caught talking to inanimate objects throughout the house.

This, in turn, provides my daughter and I much entertainment. Yes, we sit in the other room, listening to him rant on , talking to himself and we laugh, out loud. I guess , in reality, my father in law can be in charge of entertainment. He needs a job, a title because right now, he does nothing. He watches the neighbors, he can tell you who’s doing what, with whom and when. Oh , really, it’s quite amusing to watch him go from room to room, peering as if he can’t be seen, peaking out a window here, a door there, then reporting back. I humor him, asking sarcastically if there are any affairs going on and if he would let me know of any good prospects for me. Funny, that blank stare he gives me, you would think he would get me by now.

Mother on the other hand is hysterical. How else can one describe a woman who was raised strict, Irish Catholic , raised five daughters and is still often clueless about things in life. There are so many things we have had to undo over the years and still, she reverts back to her conditioning. It is kind of funny though when she gets her dander up (does anyone even say that anymore?) She is nonconfrontational but watch out when she is on her soap box. She will tell you what she would do if given the opportunity, making damn sure she never gets that opportunity. I have been told that I am an excellent cook. I look at it as survival. I had to learn, otherwise I would have starved. Mother was not the best of cooks. She prepared things that resembled food yet tasted so not like food. Don’t get me wrong, I love this woman and I realize she did the best she could. She had to put meals on the table for a family of seven. I just wonder why she couldn’t get a little creative. Meat and potatoes , seven nights a week, fifty two weeks a year. To this day, I can’t look at a mashed potato. Really, I had enough to last several lifetimes.Have you ever tried to choke down chicken that has been cooked an hour longer than it should have? It’s not pleasant, really. She was of the reasoning “ chicken and pork must be cooked very good or you will get food poisoning.”

For years I thought chicken was supposed to taste like sawdust. Sure, she served cranberry sauce with it. She had to, otherwise we all would have died, not from food poisoning though, we would have been unable to clear it from our throats.I got wise though. I used to hide her recipes for the dishes that I would rather die than eat. Yes, she used recipes, not that you could really mess up her meals, it’s not as if we would notice anyway. We’ll share more of her , later.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A lot can happen in a year

*Looks at the date of my last entry* Wow, almost a year has gone since my last rambling.

Let's see , my family is still crazy, my friends even moreso and life never stops being interesting. I like to look at each day as a new adventure. A day without learning something is a waste.

I've learned that life is short, in fact it is getting shorter every day. We must live as if there is no tomorrow. We must stop putting things off, procrastinating the things we find joy in, letting one day slip by, is one day too many.

During the past year, I lost my grandmother, my dad and my job but I gained a new perspective or should I say, my perspective grew stronger.

Thank you for your patience and I will try to amuse, confuse and make you smile with more posts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you to all who serve

Today is Veteran's Day

I wish to thank all men and women who have served and are currently serving.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Airport Fun

If you have traveled recently , you will notice that some airports have installed a new security contraption. I first saw one of these when I visited Toronto a few years ago and went to the CN Tower. You have to love the vague descriptions given when asking “ What is that?”

I stood , watching other visitors walk into what looked like an open space craft of some sort, while sounds of high pressured air hissed from several valves attached to this device.

“It’s a body scanning machine.”

“What does it do?”

“ It checks for explosive residue. Please proceed madam’ just step in and pass through to the other side.”
I never gave it another thought. I figured it’s safe, and if it’s just ensuring that people can’t take explosives into the tower, it’s a good thing, right?

Now, in the past year or so, I’ve seen these machines at various airports. Great idea. It’s a perfect device to assist the security process at the airports. Random travelers are asked to pass through and off they go. BUT.. they actually scan the body and show images of people underneath their clothing. Now I don’t have to focus on setting off the security alarm in the metal detectors with my underwire bra, hoping to pass through without having to rip it off, hand it to the agent and then “bounce” back through.

A TSA screener in a nearby room views the black-and-white image and looks for objects on a screen that are shaded differently from the body. Finding a suspicious object, a screener radios a colleague at the checkpoint to search the passenger.
The TSA says it protects privacy by blurring passengers' faces and deleting images right after viewing. Yet the images are detailed, clearly showing a person's gender. There’s been talk that other details are visible, such as sweat on a person’s back. Ok.. I really don’t have a problem with all the efforts put forth to ensure my security while onboard an aircraft. I’ve been listening to the radio, television and some conversations with people who find this to be an invasion of privacy. Jokingly, the radio host says

“Oh great, I’ll look for my ass to appear on Youtube.”

And the females on the radio show chime in with “ Shit, now we need to select great underwear for travel.”

Callers on the air complain that this is absurd. They don’t think it’s right to be scanned and have their body image being recorded to a disc. Mind you, I think I’d be more offended by not being selected. Think about it. You have your regular security line. The TSA agents all carry two way radios. You just know there are some agents in a back room, watching the line and sending their “Random” selections to the gate , hand picking the ones they wish to “view” .. so what I want to know is.. WHY NOT ME!!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's been a While

Second Life. Interesting to say the least. A trusted writer friend brought this world to the attention of all who read his blog and let me just say, Wow!!!

Second Life is an avatar based, three dimensional world with something for everyone.
The most interesting thing, for me anyway, is how real it feels. There are numerous workshops, learning experiences and fun, helpful people there. I've seen Broadway plays, Greek tragedies, attended poetry readings, poetry slams, visited art galleries, attended concerts and a host of arts, all for FREE!

I read that there were a number of well known, professional artists, ranging from singing to published authors. In the month since I joined, I have begun writing short stories again, contributed to live poetry readings and will have some of my erotic poems published in July's issue of a magazine there as well.

One of my dearest writing friends , whom I met on a writing forum, has joined as well. Now, we sit and chat in different locations of Second Life. It feels like she and I are actually sitting in the same location, chatting like friends do in real life. At first, we hesitated " Do we really need to burn more hours, wasting time on yet another site?" She was more skeptical than I was.

Even if you are not into the arts, I can guarantee you will find something of interest on Second Life. If you are not familiar with it, check it out http://secondlife.com/

It can be a bit intimidating for a novice at first but there are so many helpful people , it won't be long and you'll find yourself right at home.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Moms are right, sometimes

Mother’s Day

Sometimes it takes years for your child / children to realize that you actually do know things and the moment you hear those words “Mom you were right” it feels so good!

The teen queen was very blonde as a child. Over the past few years her hair has begun to darken a bit and I’ve allowed her to hightlight it. She is fairer than fair and dark hair just washes her complexion out. The past few trips to the salon, she has begged to go completely blonde. I’ve explained each time that it would be too dramatic of a change and she would not like it. The hightlights have made it appear very natural and the darker undertones have added depth. This past Friday, we both had appointments to touch up and trim our hair. Our hairdresser began the usual process of foiling the teen’s hair. Again, she insisted that she wanted to be blondedy blond blond. Now this is where I usually say sometimes you have to let them experience it, make a mistake and learn.

Leah, my hairdresser said “ok, we’ll wash it and peroxide you but you are not going to like it.”

The teen, of course knowing everything, said “ Yes I will. I know what I want.”

After four hours in the chair, she left in tears and in search of a hood to cover her head.
“I look awful Mom and I am not going to school like this on Monday.”

“Oh darling, your ass will be in school on Monday BUT I will fix your hair.”
We get home and her dad, who never learns, asks “what is her problem.”
Ah, the clueless, brave man.
She raises her voice “I look horrible, I have my period, I’m cranky , leave me alone.”
He slinks out of the room, comes to me in the kitchen and says “that’s the first time I’ve heard period out of her mouth.”

At least she warned him. PMS was invented for this child.

On Saturday I used a champagne blonde to tone her a bit and make her less of a Gwen Stefani blonde. Still not right and now she has resorted to wearing a baseball cap, arms folded across her chest “I’m not leaving the house and no one is to look at me and my eyebrows are stupid.”
She has zero tolerance for pain and refuses waxing. I have offered on so many occasions to fix them for her with a precision electric razor but “Mom, you won’t do em right.”

Guess what, Mom did her brows and she LOVES them. “Mom I love my eyebrows. It’s the first time they have been shaped right.”

Today, Mother’s Day, after cooking brunch with my sisters, I took the teen to the store to pick out yet another color to blend into her hair. I showed her the look that she should have gone for and I was willing to do it for her. “Ok but I don’t think you’ll get it right.”

We picked out a medium blonde and went home. I began to cut pieces of aluminum foil, got an old, small paint brush to apply the color to a few strands at a time to create depth and tone her color. “I thought you were going to put it on all of my hair?”
”For once, just once, will you trust me. I’ve been coloring my hair for more years than you’ve been breathing.”
Arms again, folded across her chest, big frown on her face as she plops on the chair for me to begin. Twenty five minutes later I rinse the color, apply conditioner and she towels her hair and runs upstairs. Five minutes later “Mom, it’s perfect. YOU WERE RIGHT”

With that wonderful quote, I shall smile for the rest of the day and hopefully, she will too.

To all the moms, Happy Mother’s Day and may you be right, just once.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Springtime Blues

April is the month of A Poem in your Pocket
I have written the following for myself to carry.

Look , don't blink
let what is, be
feel, don't think
for only then
will you see
the bounty laid
before thee

Today was one of those days that I could have taken a road trip to no where. Some people suffer depression at the long winter months due to the shortened periods of sunlight, cold weather and dreariness of snow. I am the opposite. I never look forward to the end of winter and have a hard time adjusting to the change.

I had several errands to run and while I was out, I decided to get a cup of coffee. Normally I hit the local chain but today, I wanted more. I was introduced to a wonderful coffee shop by a friend of my sister.
On my first visit a few weeks ago I met Peter, the owner of Batian Peak. He was warm, friendly and eager to share his story of his family’s coffee history. His family has a bean farm in Kairi Village in Kenya. Unlike the chain franchises of other coffee shops, Batian Peak offers a wide variety of blends in both coffee and tea. The time and care that goes into harvesting the beans for the best results is extremely interesting and the benefit is in the flavor of the coffee.
Check out their website here: http://www.batianpeak.net/ourstory.aspx

Today I stopped in and met Roseanne, Peter’s wife. She has an infectious smile. I found the Ethiopian blend to have a similar taste to the Blue Mountain coffee I enjoyed in Jamaica. Roseanne offered to make a fresh pot if I was willing to wait two minutes. There were several customers at the time and each received her personal, genuinely friendly attention . I do hope they continue with great success. It’s always nice to walk in to a business and feel special. If you live north of Boston or find yourself in the area, do your palette a favor and stop in. You won’t be disappointed by the warm welcome, the selection of coffees and teas they offer and the best cup of culture you can find. I left feeling good inside and ready to face another spring day. Sometimes just enjoying something as simple as a cup of coffee that has come from such history is all you need to kick you in the backside.

I’ve been busy beta reading and have the joy of working with several talented people.
One I have just finished is well over four hundred pages and is amazingly well written. I did some fantasy casting as I read through. Now I look forward to assisting with the editing and helping to submit for publishing.

I hope you have a wonderful spring ( do we even get one?)

Oh yeah, it’s BASEBALL SEASON!!!!!!!