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!!!!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

More Random Thoughts

The world around us is both fascinating and falling apart.
On any given day you can find something that will have you in awe and shaking your head in disbelief just by opening a newspaper or watching the news.

I know each generation looks back and feels it was never as bad “then” as it is in the present. People I talk to are split on what is taking place in comparison to “years ago”

Some feel with the media broadcasting everything and anything, we are just more aware today and years ago, things happened but we just didn’t hear about it.

This week alone, there were two different cases of parents killing their children, a fetus found in an airplane bathroom, a fourth grade boy paralyzed after being pushed down the stairs while at school, a young boy stabbed on a playground and another killed by a bullet while standing outside his home, a child abused by his parents. One week, so much sadness and it’s like this every week.

I was talking with my mother and sister, discussing how we were able to be carefree as children and then as teens. My daughter is fifteen and I can’t imagine her being able to walk out the door carefree. There are home invasions, muggings, attempted and successful abductions and so many horrific things going on.

My mother worried but not to the degree that parents today have to.
We could walk, in the dark, to the bus, ride to the other end of town and return hours later, walking home alone and not fear being jumped, stabbed, shot or beaten up. Today, you have to send your children out in groups with cell phones and instructions of what to do if this or that happens.

It makes me wonder, where are we headed?
What will the world be like when my grandchildren have children?

Of course, you have to live. You have to let your children live and not fear every trip out of the house.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Random Happenings

I had taken a break for a bit.
Brandon’s grandfather passed away, at home, on February 6, 2008.
My sister was able to pick him up from school and bring him to the house where he could have a few minutes to say goodbye. I am very proud of the way he is handling the loss and impressed by how grown up he has become.
I believe that allowing him to experience the process before his death, letting him know what was happening and what to expect, helped him deal with his grief in a healthy manner.

I went on vacation to the mountains for some much needed relaxation and playing in the snow. I did accomplish a bit of writing in the way of poetry and have kept busy beta reading for other writers, researching publishers and offering help with query letters.

A few random yet interesting things:
I’ve started re-reading some of Kurt Vonnegut’s work. Each time I read his works, I am still fascinated with his writing. His voice is so unique and interesting. He makes you see and feel things for what they are. He does not paint fantasy with his writing he just takes the truth and gives it to you in a simplistic fashion.

My teen has taken up Russian. She is an avid hockey fan and her favorite player is from Russia. I must say, when she takes an interest in something, she arms herself with as much knowledge on the subject as she can. Lately I find her with her nose in a book so it’s not a bad thing. Of course I am also having to try and understand what the hell she is saying to me. No longer is it “ Goodnight Mom, I love you.” It is now said in Russian. When I reply in English (often with the wrong response because I haven’t a clue as to what she is saying.) I get an “Ahem”
The house is now decorated with bright yellow stickers showing the Russian name for items such as telephone, clock, picture, wall, door. She asked me, dead ass serious, “Mom, where is the best place for me to stick the tag on the cat?”
If nothing else, she keeps my life entertained.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Life and Death

Death is a part of life, so it is said.
Adults have a difficult time dealing with the loss of a loved one. I can’t imagine how a child deals with such a loss.

My eight year old nephew, Brandon, is as close to a son as one can get. He’s a charming, compassionate, loving boy. For the past three months my sister has worried about how to tell him his grandfather is going to die.

His grandfather has been a very positive force in his life. His father is not active in his life at all.

From the day Brandon was born, his grandfather has been like a father to him. Playing catch for hours, letting him help mow the lawn, building Lego sets together, watching every episode of Sponge Bob, The Wiggles, Bob the Builder , etc.

As a mom, my sister wants to protect him from the pain and sadness of the impending death. Time is drawing close as we feel his time left is approximately one to two weeks.

Each time Brandon visits with his grandfather he asks to come by my house to talk. Friday night he came in and was sobbing. He realized just how sick his Papa is and knows he is going to die. He is very brave and tried to fight the tears. My sister and I told him it’s ok to cry and let his emotions out. We talked for a while about his Papa, all the good memories he has with him and how special he is to him.

Then he asked about the wake and funeral. He asked if he would be allowed to attend. My sister has been very hesitant on this. She does not want him traumatized, yet she knows it is not something she can ever re-do if she does not let him decide for himself.

I have talked with her numerous times, telling her it needs to be Brandon’s decision. I feel if we talk with him, let him know what to expect and all that will happen, he will not be so afraid.

We were out for the day on Saturday to shop for birthday gifts and run a few errands. On our way to the mall we talked a little bit. His biggest fear at the moment is letting others see him cry. I told him he could wear a pair of sunglasses. That way, no one would see his eyes and he would be free to cry when he wants. Then I thought for a moment. I asked him

“Brandon, when someone says something funny, are you embarrassed to laugh?”


“If someone says something mean, are you embarrassed to be angry?”


“Well being sad is another emotion, just like happy and angry. There is no need to be embarrassed to cry. It means you have a heart and you care.”

“Are you gonna cry?”

“Yes of course. Your Papa is a great man and I will miss him. I will be with you the whole time and if you need to talk, I’m here. If you need to cry, I’m here.”

We headed into the mall and walked around a few stores.
We went to Macy’s looked around the cosmetic counter while his mother went off to browse, Oh the fun we had with all those samples. We laughed, sprayed each other with all the sample bottles of perfume and got looks of dismay from the “proper” ladies working the counter there.

I know , immature and foolish but sometimes you just have to break the rules. To see this little boy smile from ear to ear and laugh from deep in his belly was worth all the glaring looks from the cosmetic ladies. We left laughing and smelling quite loud.

All the way home he kept asking me to smell him while he smiled as if we had this little secret.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Random Thoughts

A few thoughts that have been running through my mind.

It’s a great country we live in. I am dead ass serious. Imagine having your morning coffee, glancing through the newspaper. Ah, it just doesn’t get better than this.

Be careful before bringing charges against someone for assault. Even more so if he is a well known sports figure. You see court documents become a matter of public record. Yes, I know surprise, surprise.

It’s only fun til someone gets hurt, then it’s friggin hilarious.

It seems a woman (whom I won’t name, look it up, it’s a matter of public record) and a man ( again, well known sports figure) decided to add a few toys to a night of sexual fun.
The woman presented a pair of handcuffs which were a bit snug and hurt her wrists. She asked him to cover her medical expenses, he refused. She threatened to go public and sue him for assault. Now here is where it gets fun.

The woman has a friend in the media industry, the story broke and now the world knows their little kinky secrets.

Now, on to drivers!!!

I am not patient behind the wheel. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at road rage level and I know, I don’t own the road.. but come on. Is it really necessary to cut me off and then drop to 20 mph in front of me? I’m going along at a nice clip and there you are. You either are looking for me to hit you or you really are that stupid. I wonder if there is a stupidity clause on your insurance.

To those of you who are timid on the road. Please do yourself and fellow drivers a favor, Buy a bus pass!! If you are on a two lane road and there are construction vehicles PASS THEM!!! Don’t be afraid of the front loader. He is pulled into the breakdown lane for a reason. He expects you to pass him. Do we really need to crawl behind him at 5 mph, uphill???

There, now I feel amused.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Let's Vote

Hey guys..
One of my dearest friends runs a few blogs… one of which I contribute to quite often
He puts a tremendous amount of time and research into them while making it a great resource for recipes. This insane cook enjoys checking in there and sending all the fun from my kitchen.

Please, as a favor, go herehttp://2008.bloggies.com/
Vote for Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen - http://fireinmykitchen.blogspot.com/ for best food weblogANDVote for both Wish Upon Your Star - http://wishuponyourstar.blogspot.com/Letters We Never Sent - http://lettersweneversent.blogspot.com/For BOTH Best Kept Secret Weblog & Best New Weblog

For Best Blog of the year,, please vote for http://fireinmykitchen.blogspot.com

Tell your friends as well..

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

She wants to start dating !!!

I knew this day would come. I even planned to be excited for her. Now that it’s here, I just want to lock her in the closet, hit her with an ugly stick and tell her to wait until she is forty.

My daughter is fourteen. She will turn fifteen at the end of this month. When she first showed interest in boys two years ago she asked when she would be allowed to date.
I told her at sixteen I would give her my blessing and lock her father and her nineteen year old cousin, who is more like a brother, in the basement when a boy came to see her. You see, they both thought it would be cool to scare any boy who shows up to date her.

My daughter is an avid hockey fan and can hold her own with stats, players, games and such with anyone. This seems to be a common ground for her and several of her male friends from school. Two weeks ago she came to me and said

“Mom, there is this boy that likes me. I like him as a friend but he keeps telling me he likes me.”

“That is very flattering. Have you told him you wish to be only friends?”

“Yes but he keeps asking if he has a chance.”

“Just keep telling him the truth.”

Last week she informs me of another boy she talks hockey with.

“Mom, So and So wants to know if I can go ice skating with him next Friday. Can I go?”

“Yes. I don’t mind you hanging out, going skating with friends.”

“Mom, I really like him.”

“I am glad for you. How old is he?”


So now I am thinking back to when I was her age. There was a nineteen year old that asked me to go to the movies, skating and bowling. I of course had to sneak because we were not allowed to even talk to boys until we were sixteen. I think of how lucky I am that my daughter is very open with me. She comes to me with her friends problems as well as hers. We don’t lie to each other and she knows that I do not judge.

I agreed to let her go skating but with a few rules in place. I will drive her and pick her up.
“Why can’t he drive me? He has a license and Bobby (her nineteen year old cousin) knows him.”

“I don’t care who knows him. You are too young for car dating. He is a new driver and I am not letting you just get into a car with someone I don’t know.”

“If you meet him, then can he drive me?”

“No. Meeting him has nothing to do with it.”

“When I’m fifteen and a half can I?”

“No. Listen, I agreed to let you go. Don’t push it.”

Sunday she asks if he can come for New Years Eve. I told her sure. Next

“Mom, remember the other boy that likes me. I feel bad because he has nothing to do for New Years. Can he come over too?”


Now I’m thinking “how do I break this to her father???”

Two boys are going to show up at the house and I have not told him a thing.

Thankfully, we had a house full of people and he didn’t have a chance to frighten them.
The boys were very polite and both seem to like my daughter. It will be a shame to have to threaten them once the dating starts. Not to worry, I won’t actually harm them.. I won’t have to. Her father and cousin plan on shadowing her each and every time a boy wants to “hang” out with her. Of course, I won’t allow it. I’ll just have to sneak her out of the house and then shadow her myself.

All joking aside. I am pretty lucky. I have, from day one, been open and honest with her. I’ve tried to always allow her to think for herself, respect herself first and never let anyone talk her into something she does not want. As she grows I am able to see she is growing into a wonderful young woman. She is kind, caring, and considerate yet she takes no shit from anyone. I think she will do just fine. God help the first person who breaks her heart.