Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Administration Frustration

Sometimes I think I should not watch the news. It is just too infuriating. More frustrating is, as the story evolves, being proven correct in an original assessment. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's the God's truth. So way back in once upon a time time, when we were still living in the middle east and the second Gulf war (you know the first one that Shrub was directly involved with where we were fighting actual terrorists in Afghanistan?) was about to begin, the Cheney/Rumsfield entourage descended upon us like Richard the Lionheart and his band of Crusaders. Our opinions, nay our knowledge as middle east experts was never given any thought as the American guests and their minions treated the area as though it was theirs for the taking and to hell with everything else, proving once again that Americans can be arrogant and belligerent in their foolish tenants and endeavors..

The next step In this President's middle east muckup was the abandoment of the true mission. That's right, the Shrub and his aphids decided we needed to leave Afghanistan, where the true and real terrorists were located, where we sent them running into the hills like scared rabbits, where we were milliseconds from capturing and/or annihilating them completely, and head to Iraq where nothing, and I mean NOTHING, was threatening. The danger in Iraq was NOTHING. Saddam Hussein was too arrogant (sound familiar) to even allow other factions such as Iran, Al Quada, or anyone else who may threaten his power to even set foot into his inner circle. But Shrub wanted Hussein so badly he could smell the man's sweat. Shrub had to show up his Daddy!

And so he begins another (NO IT WAS NOT THE SAME ONE) war. Begins it with the threat of WMD's and having that fail he sidesteps into Democracy and the need to instill it in that area of the world. The man should be a professional dancer with the sidesteps he's taken since beginning this "crusade". And what do we have today, March 1, 2007? We have Iran with Nuclear intent. We have Korea with Nuclear intent. We have little if any respect in the foreign community. We have a dead Saddam Hussein from a country that cannot possibly fathom the idea of living together as they are tribal and have the need to wipe the other tribes out in order to survive. (Sounds a bit like genocide doesn't it? Welcome to that area of the world!) And we have Al Qaeda in Pakistan, on the Afghanistan border (where we abandoned the original idea of wiping out terrorism), rebuilding and strong, and again, a terrorist threat to our people and the greater western world. And Osama bin Laden? Who knows? But be he dead or alive, he is and will always remain a hero in the eyes of the radical Islamics.

So I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who voted for George Bush, NOT the first time for I can almost forgive you for that, but re-elected him into office that second time. I hold YOU personally responsible for the mess in which we now find ourselves. I think, in my humble opinion, you have proven in our government, as well as in governments across the world, how democracy doesn't work. You have turned our three rings of power into a joke. The Judicial is almost entirely FAR right and there will not be the opportunity to round out their ideals until one kicks the can or retires which I do NOT foresee happening for many years. The Legislative is on the cusp falling to the "Dark Side" AGAIN as it is being held for ransom by one Independent Lieberman who is making threats to become a Republican if ...(http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2830045). And the present Executive is just a permanent water stain on the fine wood of our democratic system, an ugly mark that will cost the American people so much more than money and an election to restore it to it's former glory.

Unfortunately it will take many, many years before we can regain our "good" name and are admired by others in different parts of the world. It is regretful that we pulled Great Britain right down with us and spit in the faces of those countries who were compelled to question our information, our motives and our goals. Freedom fries my ass!

2007 Oscars

Unfortunately I missed them. Yes, I can't believe it either as the Oscars are the ONLY award show that I watch, but I missed them. I completely forgot about them. Maybe it was the snow. Maybe it was exhaustion from spending two days looking at property. Maybe it was the way in which the planets and stars were aligned. I don't know...but I missed them and I'm angry with myself as I was so looking forward to Ellen DeGeneres as the hostess. So, now I get to watch it through her television show, not quite the same thing but at least I'll feel as though I did partake albeit vicariously and rather late.

I will say that Post-Oscar comments tend to push my buttons. I wonder at the verbal and somewhat abusive criticism that fashionistas dole out to those who took the time to dress and parade for their adoring masses. Sometimes I feel these opinions, especially the snipes of Kat Giantis, leave much to be desired and, for the most part, should be ignored.

Take what she said in regards to Jennifer Hudson, for example. "Did the dishy "Dreamgirls" star -- and current Vogue cover girl -- become so overwhelmed by the oodles of haute couture she was showered with that she panicked and blindly grabbed at the first objects that caught her eye, which unfortunately were her pet snake and a can of silver spray paint?" Personally, I thought she looked fabulous. The jacket was appropriate for the occasion with the metallic collar framing her beautiful face. The mocha gown was understated and tasteful, and complimented both her complexion and her full figure without making her look like a pillow tied in the middle. So what was the big deal people? Is it the pockets? Is it the shrug itself? Or is it the inability to compliment a new and rising starlet on her performance as well as her seemingly genuine innocence, taste and grace. Shame on you, Kat Giantis, for your ugly and insignificant barbs.

And what about this little snippet of rudeness? "Grin and Bear It: Anne Hathaway may be smiling big on the outside, but we're guessing there's quite a bit of turmoil roiling on the inside. Let's listen in, shall we? "It was so great of Valentino to let me wear this amazing antique lace tablecloth that hoists up my girls as it sucks in my hips. I totally look like my 'Devil Wears Prada' character. You know, after she stopped eating and figured out how to look fabulous. Now, if I can just keep flashing my preternaturally pearly whites for the camera and keep these arms akimbo. This is my moment. Smile away. Dazzle 'em. Holy frijoles! Would you look at the size of that moth over there? I have bras smaller than that thing. Wait, it's not heading this way, is it? All right, stay calm. Everything is fine. Really. Just because it's landed in my cleavage is no reason to panic. Come on, Annie, stay cool. Just keep smiling. Whatever happens, damn it, keep smiling. We'll be fine if we just keep smiling." Not only does she 'dis this exquisite Valentino creation, but she makes snide remarks about this young lady's beautiful smile as well. Did Kat just wake up in a bad humor or is she such a miserable person that she has to take stabs at people in order to feel better about herself. I tell you, it makes me wonder what she was wearing! I also find it interesting that there is not a photograph out there to be found of her but there are a lot of dirty little comments posing as critiques BY her.

Even those actors and actresses who don't fall into the "glamour" category, who appear far from "normal" wardrobe wise and who show up to these things dressed in their own colorful manner, why insult them? A perfect example of this is Sally Kirkland. What can possibly be accomplished by throwing barbs at her for her unconventional taste in clothing? Why not just enjoy her eccentricities and smile at her brashness to wear such outlandish threads. It is Hollywood after all! On a personal level, I think Ms. Kirkland must be a real hoot, and her clothes just accent her ability to throw caution to the wind and be a fly in the face of convention.

As for Jennifer Lopez, can someone please explain to me what is wrong with this outfit? Is it because of the Grecian lines? Is there something written somewhere that says this choice of formal wear is a fashion faux pas? Does she really look bad??? And is there any way my visually fashionable good day could equal this bad one, please? Jennifer, I hope you don't pay attention to any of the negative comments paid to you by these so-called fashion experts. You looked stunning!

As I continue to read the reviews, I am somewhat puzzled by the biting remarks made toward these Hollywood Highlighters and their choice of haute couture. I suppose my confusion is the insults being laid at the feet of those wearing the garments instead of placing the blame on the designers for putting their products on these individuals. The actress doesn't always decide what she is going to be wearing. Instead, much of the time, the decision is based solely on the fashion house that has chosen the canvas for the evening. So instead of castigating Ms. Hathaway for the large black moth that took a nosedive on her bodice, shouldn't the criticism be aimed at the Valentino designer who squashed the bug to begin with? I supposed the reason is that the critic is a "film critic" and not a "fashion critic".

For me, well, I am trying to enjoy all the photographs that were taken of the event. And, personally, I think they all look wonderful, from Anne Hatheway's molested moth to Meryl Streep in Prada's "hippy dippy duds". By the way, Kat, that was not a southwestern piece of art she had draped around her neck, but rather a decidedly oriental creation (which accented the design perfectly) probably originating in Pakistan or India. If you are going to insult creativity, at least get the origins right! As for all of you who put on such a visually stimulating show for us everyday, common folk, in those unforgettable words of Billy Crystal, "you look maw-velous!"

The credit for the photographs above are as follows: photographs of JLo and Anne were products of Steve Granitz and that of Jennifer was taken by John Shearer.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Snow for Easter?

So far this year, the weathermen have been so far off, that I don't believe any of us actually paid a lick of attention to the forecast of 2-6 inches on Sunday. The day before had been so beautiful. The sun was bright and delivered temperatures close to 55 degrees, darn balmy weather considering the week before was running closer to 18. Almost all the snow and ice from the previous week had disappeared and some of the tree buds were making a reappearance.

I hadn't slept well as Dick and I spent the entire weekend looking at property from here to Blacksburg trying to find an inn/B&B to purchase. We were so tired we could barely communicate in complete sentences, but I was beyond sleep, only napping for short bursts. So I stayed in front of the television allowing the grey noise to lull me into the arms of Morpheus. At 4:30 in the morning I awakened to the need to use the bathroom and glanced out the window to see bit of rain but nothing more. On the sofa I fell back to sleep only to wake up a little over an hour later to a winter wonderland. What a difference an hour makes...and it just kept falling and falling, fat puffy flakes, small tight crystals, white white and more white. The temperature fluctuated between 31 and 33 for most of the day but the snow fell for a good 12 hours until it finally tapered off around 3:30. But the accumulation was closer to 8 or 10 inches than the 2 to 6 that was predicted.

Luckily, the previous three days of very warm and sunny weather heated the ground so the mess today is virtually non-existent. Yesterday evening the roads were easy to plow and the sidewalks shoveled clean which prepared the way for risk-free transportation today. And though overcast, the temperature is in the upper 30's low 40's. This blanket of white will probably disappear in a day or two.

But it does make me wonder if this climatic show is the last hurrah or if we'll see one more huge dump before spring is well and truly upon us. I know the powers that be forced Punxatawney Phil out of his hidey hole to report that we would have an early spring, but I think I agree with Meredith Vierra in her assessment that the early spring they were speaking of occurred in January. A white Easter has been known to happen. But will it happen this year as well? Only time and Mother Nature know for sure.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cell Phone Protocol

I'm not sure about you, but as convenient as cell phones are, I really have grown to abhor the things. They seem to have become the technological umbilical chords to life, always attached to the human being in some way, shape or form. It is quite revolting, our obsession with these little bits of metal, plastic and microgagetry. And what truly amazes me is that which we catalogue as convenience I am beginning to see more a societal destruction.

Take a simple trip to the market; one cannot travel down an aisle without encountering someone with their ear pushed hard against the cell phone as the person on the other end reminds them of what they need to pick up whilst at the store. Whatever happened to a piece of paper and a pencil (otherwise known as a list)? I guess the positive is that we are saving trees, but how much of the atmosphere are we contaminating, not to mention microwaves against the braincells, and the common courtesy we should have toward other human beings....hmmmm.

And what is the need to begin making chatty calls to friends and acquaintances as soon as the ignition of the car is started? Are our lives so busy that driving the car is the only time we have to partake in telephone conversations? And how safe is it to be focusing on a chitchat whilst maneuvering a weapon of mass destruction? Yesterday I took a little poll driving from my house to work. It was 9:30 and just at the dregs of rush hour. Pulling to my first intersection I was able to count six vehicles in my vicinity, going in the same direction as I. Of the six drivers, four were speaking on cell phones. FOUR!!!! That's more than half. Were they all talking to each other? Maybe a conference call on how to stop at the red light? The woman in front of me was so engrossed with her conversation and looking onto the car seat next to her that she missed the light turning green. Two cars passed her before I honked my horn and she gave ME the finger! Get off the freaking phone and focus on the task at hand you stupid cow!

I took my father to the Native American Museum at the Smithsonian, a place I truly feel should be cellphone free. We were walking through an exhibit on the top floor, a quiet and sacred display broken into small areas of natives and their cultures, when we encountered a woman with a very loud voice yammering on and on about a staff meeting. She thought she was being polite by stepping into a dark corner, but her voice carried across the entire floor trespassing on the ears of those of us who wanted to actually hear the sounds of the exhibition. I was going to say something when someone else approached her. I'm not sure what was said but she answered in a very loud voice "Do you mind? I'm having a very important discussion here!" Well, yes we mind. Why do you think we approached you to begin with?

And one cannot walk into a restaurant these days, be it McDonalds or the Zaytinya, without spotting people at tables with cell phones pushed against their heads or those obnoxious Bluetooth doohickeys attached to their ears. Instead of talking on the cell phone why don't you speak to the person with whom you are eating? Or are you both talking to each other on your cell phones because that is the only way in which you can communicate? And there is nothing more rude than being with someone who, in the middle of a conversation where YOU are speaking, whips out his phone and begins dialing. The first (an only) time this happened to me I shut up, I couldn't speak. When I was told, "Go ahead, I'm only checking my messages." I said, "No, that's okay. Apparently what I am saying holds no significance as compared to your messages." Then I excused myself, got up and left the restaurant. He could still be sitting there for all I know!

And I cannot begin to express the frustration I feel when someone enters the store chatting on a hands free devise. As a customer service representative and someone who is graded on greet and approach, it is part of my job to speak to the consumer as he or she enters my store. When the customer is already talking, I think I am the person be spoken to and interrupt the extremely important conversation to inquire as to what was asked only to get a face load of "stink eye" and maybe a rude "I wasn't speaking to you". Well, EXCUUUUUSE me! So my advise to anyone out there entering my store, do NOT come to my counter while having a cellphone conversation as I will completely ignore you. I will go so far as to take the person behind you rather than wait on YOU. I find your kind of rudeness abhorrent!

For Lent, I have given up the use of my cell phone except during emergencies. I have instructed my children not to call me unless they are bleeding out of their eyes or dead on the side of the road. I told them they were not even to call me if they were in jail...they can call their boss to post bail. I found out yesterday that I have 7 messages, none of which I have listened to or returned as when I checked the numbers they were all from Chatty Cathies who left messages on my house phone as well. I only turned on my cell for the navigational devise as I was lost in a paper bag again. But I did pull off the road to enter the address...I find it hard to tolerate those people who try to drive and text at the same time. I don't trust the OTHER drivers enough to attempt that!

So, if any of you out there need to talk to me, call me at home as my cell is null and void. Or send me an email, I check that twice a day, usually....though I have been known to put that on hold as well. Or better still, send me a letter! How old school but how absolutely refreshing. A letter!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Relationships: Part 2

The relationships between parents and their children are beyond words, traversing the emotional roads that sometimes have guardrails, but most times just rest on the precipice of a deep dark abyss in which our hopes, dreams and good intentions cloud the views of what has happened and what will come to pass. When children are small, we are so proud. Look what we have produced. We are godlike in our skills of creating human perfection. Then we begin to mold them, forming their beings with creative hands and open minds so they will become what we visualize, nay fantasize, to be the best example of human kind that ever walked the earth, eradicating those flaws we find in ourselves and perfecting the qualities we recognize to be redeeming. And God sits back and laughs! What entertainment we narcissistic characters are!

I have two children, brought forth in the world in the usual manner. Though married, I believe I did the majority of work raising them and probably did the most damage as well. My eldest, a girl child (and believe me, growing up with girls, THAT was the last thing I wanted) was the most beautiful, most incredible little creature with all of her fingers and toes and these enormous cornflower blue eyes surrounded by camel's lashes. What a tiny bit of perfection I had.

As she grew I taught her to be tolerant, animal friendly, artistic, open-minded, loving, understanding and good. I tried to teach her forgiveness but I did not teach her guilt as I thought I had learned that to the nth degree and didn't really like the instruction myself, so I skipped it. Little did I know, at the time, that one must feel guilt in order to experience forgiveness. So, unfortunately, that was pretty much a moot lesson altogether. I taught her not to lie by washing her mouth out with soap if she didn't tell the truth. I showed her that throwing sand in the face of another child is not a nice experience by throwing the sand in her own face. I asked her not to point at people who looked or acted differently than ourselves, and I instilled in her the values that I still hold dear, I think...to accept people for who they are and not to judge them by the standards of others. So strong was my lesson that she morphed into that which I preached should be accepted. She has multicolored hair (today... she was completely bald last spring), she has just had a new tattoo done on her wrist, she wears metal in places I'm sure I don't want to know about, she befriends people who will never grace the cover of Forbes or amount to much (socially) unless they win the really BIG lottery and she loves heavy metal, metallic, head-banging, violent-languaged music...oh, and she has the mouth of a sailor (like her mother).

And as my heart hurts, I question all the mistakes I made in motherhood; and as I feel the guilt of failure as a parent, God sits up there and laughs at me. Sometimes I can hear Him snorting as He doubles over in hysterics. "Yes," he snickers. "You have produced that same person that you so pompously taught your daughter to 'tolerate'. Are you two-faced in your beliefs? Are you a bigot?" Those lessons of accepting all people for who they are and not by what they may look like or where their background may have originated are now standing firmly in my living room showing me her new "ink". And I beg God, please show me the humor; this will be much easier to take if I can laugh about it too. But He answers, NOT YET.

My son is now 17 and on the verge of leaving the nest, maybe. I didn't push him as hard as his sister under the advise of others. In hindsight I wish I hadn't listened but "boys are so different from girls, they learn on different levels and at different times". And besides, Kyle was just so darned different than anyone I'd come across, any of the other children and he, well, Kyle reminded me of me. He was my daydreamer and rather than reprimand him about it, I fostered that "creativity" in him. Dreaming was wonderful, some great creative minds are dreamers, IE Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, um, Steven Spielberg...! And Kyle loved to help me in the kitchen so I gladly allowed him that opportunity. He was not athletic and once we moved to an area of the world where the weather wasn't conducive to outside play, we stopped trying to make him participate in physical games. And now I have an overweight giant on my hands, whose heart breaks at a wrong word, who still daydreams instead of doing his homework, and who has made the success of failure an art form. My young man who is kind, good, gentle, tolerant, sweet, and different from all the other boys because he is gay. And God laughs harder and I shake my head and wait for the punchline.

Today my children who are not really children (17 and 22) are angry with me. As a single mother I lose patience sometimes as I feel overwhelmed by it all. I rue my decisions and shake my fist at God, I yell at the injustice of being the only parent carrying the sole responsibility of these "wrong choices" taken in their youth, I dream of running away as their father did and I ask myself why I couldn't have done it first...then I stop and I realize God is no longer laughing as my words have hurt him as deeply as they have hurt me. Then I remember the report card where the D was pulled up to a B, and I see the excitement in the new art of ink that shines in the brilliant eyes, and I take a deep breath, cry a few tears and remind myself that I have produced two wonderful children. No, they may not be the adults I had envisioned as I held them in my arms. Their experiences in life didn't preclude the shaping of home-coming queens, or geniuses with full-ride scholarships to Yale for there was no participation in the high school booster club and no debate team. There were no piano recitals and no football games.

What they had, though, was love, tolerance, respect, and a plethora of colorful and worldly experiences that will eventually shape them into the incredible adults that they ARE becoming...that is, if I don't kill them first. Then I hear God laughing again, and I finally get the joke!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Relationships: Part 1

It has been one hell of a week, emotionally; a real roller coaster ride. This just exacerbates the typical drama that seems to adhere to me like metal to magnets. And I am so tired of the drama. Dealing with it on a daily basis is the most exhausting job I have. I used to think of myself as a helpful friend, listening to others as they sort out their problems, giving them a sounding board, dishing out advise (whether wanted or not), and just trying to be there for others when their own lives seemed to overwhelm them. I realized that I was nothing but a beast of burden, and probably not at all helpful to anyone in the long run. On top of that, I was damaging myself, surrounding myself with the problems of others and therefore making myself incapable of solving my own. Maybe I felt that if I took on this baggage I wouldn't need to be responsible for my own, but whatever I was attempting all I had accomplished was to become a drowning victim of the drama I had created. My psychologist asked "Why is it you feel you are always surrounded by drama? Answer that question and you will be able to take the steps to eliminate the problem." That is what I have been trying to ask and answer for quite awhile, but it was truly brought home this week.

I will say that I took a much needed reprieve after quitting my job. I didn't answer the phone and I did little else except to clean the house and do laundry, shovel snow and cook, and surf the Internet for neat dumb junk, read and send email, and vegetate. Yes, this became my time to be lazy and self-absorbed, to allow others to deal with their own issues and to allow me the time to, well, heal. It was wonderfully therapeutic and I was able to shut my mind off to all the little bites that life, in general, seemed to have taken from me for the past several months, nay years.

I think the hardest part of being a single parent is the single bit, especially when you've never been a "single" unit in your whole entire life. All of the sudden you alone have the sole responsibility of everything. There is no one to share in the decision-making, the financial burdens, or emotional tribulations that come along in this day-to-day life. When one is used to having another body there, be he supportive or otherwise, the onus of taking it on alone can be devastatingly overwhelming. The lives you moulded as a couple have now come to depend upon you and only you. And maybe those decisions that were made as a couple would not have been made by you, as a single, but still, you have the sole responsibility for the outcome of these "coupled" decisions. And sometimes you can feel that no matter what you do, no matter what you try to accomplish, no matter how good the intentions, somehow it all turns to shit and you are left facing the failure of a marriage, the failure to produce productive and responsible offspring, and the failure to maintain friendships that you have held so close to your heart for so many years. And over time these "personal" failures seem to glom together to become such a form of insurmountable guilt and grief, the core of that ever dreaded psychological, dysfunctional drama that you have allowed yourself to become.

I trudged through two bi-polar emotional experiences this week. After having a full seven plus days of mental recuperation and the week of beginning the process of creating a menu for "the inn", I received an invitation from Dick (who was overseas at the time) to a Valentine Party at his house on Saturday. Now, you have to understand that around Thanksgiving, the neighbors were at Dick's house at the time one of them asked WHEN (not if) we were going to get engaged. Dick laughed then blew us all away by saying we'd announce our engagement at a Valentine's Day Party. Before we could all get excited, he stipulated that he just wasn't sure what year it would be. In the meantime, he asked about my preference of rings and also spoke with our children about future plans of spending our lives together. But that was weeks ago. In actuality, I thought we would use this night to announce, not the engagement, but the final closure of the property in Staunton, VA. Unfortunately, the purchase of the inn died it's last death on Tuesday afternoon. Now, if I have learned anything in this life, it is not to expect the expected. On Monday night while I was making dinner, Dick and Kyle ran and errand and when they came back Dick told me that Kyle said we could get married, but he didn't say when. (I get teased like this all the time, but this really felt different.) And so I was quite thrilled, very humbled, and incredibly overwhelmed when Dick asked for my hand two days later, on Valentine's day...no ring, no bent knee, but a lovely valentine card with the words "will you marry me, please" carefully inscribed inside. Which brings me back to the Valentine Party invitation.

My very best friend of so many years has slammed the door on our relationship, placing the blame of the demise solely at my front stoop. I do know that I am at some fault. I have not called as often as I should. I use the Internet as my main form of communication. And I have segregated myself from others but not intentionally. Before I quit my job, I found I had no time anymore. Every minute of every second of every day was filled with something or someone and I had no time for me. And I was so tired and exhausted and spirit-broken that the path I saw ahead of me was nothing but more of the same, a dark hole that I had managed to dig myself into with no chance of escape. So, I quit my job, spent days resting and reevaluating, and felt deep in my soul that something good was going to come to pass. And this is no excuse, but when my invitation came to the Valentine's party, I sent it out to friends and family across the board with a little aside that Dick might be asking me to marry him at the party. I should have called Elaine and told her. I shouldn't have sent her an en masse email. I should have phoned, period. She wrote me back in the afternoon and her reply was very presice. Lose her email address like I've lost her phone number. I felt as though I'd been kicked in the gut. Having her cut that last thread that I had with my past life at a time when I was just getting the chance to reweave old threads with new, well, I was not prepared for the loss. But there it was. The End written in big letters across this chapter of my life.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this mental evaluation...drama. So, maybe one can't prevent it, per Se, but one can make it less "dramatic". Maybe her ending our friendship was a way that she could purge her own drama. Maybe her blaming me was a cover for her own withdrawal and a way to alleviate her own guilty feelings about our "break up". Or maybe it was none of these things, but something else completely different that I, in my ignorance, refuse to acknowledge. But whatever it was, and as much as it hurts my heart, I will abide by her wishes. I will close that chapter of my life and weave tomorrow with all new threads. I will continue to pray for her health as well as hope for a renewal of a new and better friendship, but I will not hold my breath, I will not rant and rave, and I will not beg for forgiveness for something I did not do intentionally. I will instead sadly yet proudly and with a positive spirit walk down this new road I have chosen, taking my own baggage but leaving the drama of others on the curb where it was given to me. I will not pick it up anymore. I may have the strength, but have not the will. It is enough for me to care for the baggage of my immediate family when their own arms get to tired for the load, and they will help me carry mine.

My words to Elaine will always be that I love you. I will miss you my friend, my sister, my guardian angel. I do not think I will truly be the same ever again, but I will survive this as I have survived so much before. And in the end, the better person I will become will be due to the magic that we spun with our laughter and our tears. For that I will always be grateful.
Update 6/21/07: This is now all water over the damn. After many months of stewing in our own juices, Elaine and I are back on track as friends will be once they stop being hard-headed because we sure as hell aren't hard-hearted. Dick sent me to Utah to see her because he got sick and tired of me complaining all the time. Thank you my darling Richard! It was a mini-vacation too long in coming that was way too short. But Elaine and Frank are coming to see us in our new digs so all is good!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Starting down that New Path

Well I did it. On Thursday, after an extremely tedious week and after much evaluation of the situation in which I found myself, I turned in my two week notice about an hour before leaving for the day. I gave excuses such as the desire to get married, working on the purchase of the inn, and needing to spend more time with my children, as I did not want to burn any bridges on my way out and I truly needed to stay that last two weeks for financial reasons. On Friday, after my arrival in the morning, I was called into the office of Megan who said that the company was willing to give me two weeks free vacation and I could leave then, directly, hasta la vista baby. The decision on their part did not really surprise me but since I told them I was now engaged and going to get married I expected some "congratulations" or "good luck", or something along those lines. But no. Instead, everyone (Trish, Dan & Harley) said not a word, about anything, they never spoke to me. Dan shook my hand as I left and wished me luck, but the comment never reached his eyes, which were cold and splintery. Trish tried to act bubbly, but that fake goodness does not fit in with her usually frigid personality. Harley stepped out of the office so I didn't need to say anything to him. So, as Momma used to say, good riddance to bad rubbish.

Scared? A tad. Relieved? Starting to feel it. Excited? Maybe a bit. But I will tell you one thing I am feeling is relaxation. It's been awhile since I was a "housewife", the job I loved best in the world next to motherhood. For the first time in four years all my laundry is washed, folded, and put away, my house is tidy, my refrigerator is clean, my furniture is dusted, and the only job glaring at me at the moment is the basket of ironing that I have in the corner. I can see it from my desk but I will tackle that later today as I watch the DVD Collection of Pinky and the Brain. I feel as though I am on a road to recuperation, something I didn't know I needed.

I sigh and lean back in my chair and remember that I now have time to do research regarding menus and food costs for the Inn. I did some research at work, but when it was discovered that I was concentrating on something other than my office, I was given busy work to keep me out of trouble, per se. And I truly didn't have the time or the energy to even think about doing it once I got home at night. I was too miserable and needed a glass of wine and a warm, comfy chair so I could lick my emotional wounds and prepare for the next day's foray into hell. But now, my mind is churning with thoughts and ideas that I want to explore. And the internet is a mouse click away, beckoning me to plumb the depths of my interests. So, I am off to do just that, as I sit in my clean house, wearing sweats and no make-up, with a cup of Illy coffee in my mug and the lovely new fallen snow glistening in the sunlight of the day. I am celebrating my new found freedom. Life is grand!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Groundhog Day

Tomorrow is the day we find out if winter will continue. Continue? I didn't even think it had arrived yet. We were supposed to get some of that lovely powdery white stuff today. We were forecast to receive two inches, a virtual blizzard for this part of the world, sure to close down the government, schools, airports and everything else except malls (they don't close for anything). I am sure the teachers were wearing the sweaters backwards and children were saying prayers, but it doesn't even smell like snow. You know what that's like don't you? It's a crisp, freezer smell like fresh ice and frozen vegetables. And it's always in the air right before the lovely white stuff falls from the sky. Well people, I was just outside and it ain't there. All you can smell is diesel gas fumes and cigarette smoke.

So, I'm going down a new tract. I'm hoping the sun is shining brightly tomorrow. Having old Punxatawney Phil see his shadow and scare himself back into his little hidey hole foretelling of six more weeks of cold weather? Well, that would be just about perfect since I think we've only had 6 days of cold all year. Maybe we'd have a chance of snow if we have 6 more weeks of winter. Because if we don't have some really cold days soon, you know what that means don't you? Damn the mosquitoes and full speed ahead! Yep, it'll be a really buggy summer.