Thursday, December 22, 2005
Merry Christmas. I'll be spending tomorrow at the DMV getting a new license so I can visit family over the break.
I wish you all a wonderful Holiday! Eat, drink, laugh and just try and enjoy yourself as much as possible.
I thank my new readers and hope my two week hiatus does not cost me your interest. I really hope you check back on January 3rd. I look forward to having more time then to read what I've missed and check out the archives on your blogs.
I have a good feeling about 2006 and for the first time, I really am excited for a new year's arrival. Big things are going to happen this new year, I can feel it.
I see a move in my future and even some semblance of that memoir in my head actually on paper. I see a good year. 2005 was the best year of my life so far. I'm done waiting for the shoe to drop, or the shoe factory as my friend Fred once said. Bring it on, 2006. I'm not afraid of you. I know you'll be just fine.
This be the place for you to see how '06 goes.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
The South Color printer will be out of service until tomorrow when the cartridge arrives. We will be unable to print color documents until that time.
E-mail back to me:
Aaargghhhh! How will I finish my Santa Claus and the reindeer stained glass look alike window in my office?!
She never even turned to look at me but simply smiled to herself and shook her head as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing. I was pissed. Acknowledge that I'm talking to you.
'Ma'am? Ma'am? Do you mind?'
She finally cocked her head in my general direction ever so slightly and without actually ever looking at me replied, 'I have to go to work too.'
'Thank you.' (I paused here pretty pissed. This whole thing is just ridiculous and yes, the man was still getting his tickets.) I couldn't help adding in a very friendly tone, 'Even though it would take about half a second.'
She ignored me and I smiled ignoring her but never put down a very friendly, patient demeanor. I thought to myself, just go to the next stand less than a minute away. No, that means she wins.
I know this is petty but I also know that you know exactly what I'm talking about. Yes, the man really was taking this long.
I decided that no matter what, I would very merrily wish this woman a Very Happy Holiday when she was done and starting to walk away. That'll show her what a bitch she is.
Apparently in that last minute of silence she had already realized she was a bitch. For when the man was done, she turned to me and said, 'go ahead'. I said thank you and got my matches and wished her a Happy Holiday and meant it.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I am pleased to announce that the new tats have healed beautifully just in time for the holidays. There will be no showing off this year I'm sure. Last year was my first big one (several others have been in place for some time) and it was just so beautiful I had to show it off. This year, well, lets just say I'm over the showing off of big new beautiful tattoos. I will wear my long sleeved shirts like a respectable woman and save the showing off for punk rock bars and blogging.
I still love the new ones a lot. I miss the old ones they now cover. Please see photos in Part 1. I guess I missed them for the first time last Saturday when Mike and I went out to dinner and bumped into a group of guys we had recently played cards with. There were about 20 guys in all at the restaurant for a bachelor's party. I had recently beaten the groom in a poker tournament. He was seated at the head of the table and started telling the guys that he was still upset over his loss and that I am "a really really good card player." He then began to tell the story of how I walked into the tournament wearing a long sleeved shirt and halfway through rolled up my sleeves and "bam, a heart and a spade. We all new we were screwed. She's a fuckin' shark!"
I just smiled and looked pretty but informed the men that I have since covered the 'ol shark tattoos. At that point another guy I beat in the tourney offered to buy me a margarita. Of course I said his generosity was not necessary but graciously accepted. He bought my drink and whispered in my ear, 'at least let me pretend I'm doing ok next time,' and smiled.
The truth is, I'm no shark. I'm decent. I'm the grand daddy shark to the people I play against is all. I hold my own in Atlantic City but even then, there are no grand players playing at the 2,4 table. I firmly believe playing cards and gambling is in my blood. I've been playing some form of cards since I was a kid and my brother and I were compulsive gamblers at 13 and 16. We bet on everything from dice to fooz ball to seeing who could throw a quarter at the wall and have it land closest to the molding.
Before moving to Philly, my friends and I were in the heart of the Texas Hold 'em trend. We played almost nightly until about three in the morning. (You can do that when you all work at the same restaurant together and don't have to be at work until either 11:00 am or 4:00 pm.) I've taught over a dozen people how to play.
Back to my tattoos, I admit it, I miss the tattoos that led people to believe or assume I was a card player. I guess those tattoos meant something. I admit they brought me respect...at least at a card table. They were fun. They needed to be covered, but they were fun. Perhaps something similar is in order just in a new spot and oh yeah, lots more flash. Maybe something that looks like 1955 Vegas vomited on my arm. Flash art, horseshoe, showgirl, royal flush. Ohhhhhh baby!
I think it's easier on all my readers' eyes again now. All three of you.
Thanks for reading.
I was happy to see this on Yahoo's Best in '05 list.
WINNER: The Survival Blog of New Orleans
Operating from the offices of Web host DirectNIC in downtown New Orleans, the Interdictor blog kept posting during the worst of Hurricane Katrina, powered by a 750-kilowatt diesel generator and a fiber-optic hookup. Blogger Michael Barnett and his colleagues slept in the air-conditioned room where they kept the servers, and blogged throughout the crisis. The Interdictor's live Webcam offered some of the first images of the city following the disaster, and the blog has continued to cover the region's recovery and rebuilding.
My brother turned me onto this site within a week of the devastating hurricane. I could tell from the information on the blog that many people were reading it. I know I checked for updates every hour or so up until mid November, but considering it made it into the best in '05 list, thousands must have been checking it. Not bad considering the computers were kept up by generators. I have since stopped visiting the site but continue to log on to the original poster's, Michael's, blog The Perfunctory Hero. Very different content. To a new reader, you'd never know this is the same man who ran reconassance (sp) missions and slept in an office building for a month and who carried fifty gallon drums of diesel fuel up someteen flights of stairs. Frankly, he reminds me of a meathead.
2005 was an awesome year and I'll reflect on it a bit more after Christmas. The highlight: I have had the same boyfriend for the entire year! This is a first for me and let me just say how happy I am to be spending my second consecutive Christmas with the same man and the same family. It was getting difficult keeping up for a while there. I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch or anything, but it will be really wonderful to bring in another New Year with my Michael.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I am not very good with the internet. I am so bored of it. I am forced to sit here for eight hours with no work whatsoever going back and forth to the same sites all day checking for updates. I am a big fan of the links' pages, but I don't really know what most of them are and I go to them and feel like I don't belong. Just today Coop linked me over to the Church of Satan. I hope he had this bullshit site linked so we could all go and have a good laugh or maybe so we could see the poster he did for them. I love the poster, Coop.
So I read and I laughed and there's just so much I would love to say to the founders. Like, isn't having a professional corporate sounding website sort of against what you all supposively stand for? I was also amazed by the 'lets get along' and 'with your one time only $200 membership fee, you will receive a crimson membership card!'. It's such a novelty. Republicans actually take this shit seriously. A threat? Oh My God.
So I try to do some research to make myself smarter. Today I learned a bit about Intelligent Design. Reading about the ban in PA was sort of confusing so I went and learned about it and went back and reread the article. I'm sure everyday I wish I knew more about something at least one hundred times a day, but here, at work, I draw blanks. I can't think of anything to look up. I'm desperate for some good reading material.
Monday, December 19, 2005
I sleep beautifully. Sleep has never really been a problem, just nightmares. I was amazed at the fact that I just did not sleep last night. I tried and tried and nothing ever happened. My eyes are burning and my back is killing me and I just want to put my head down. I'm sure last night was just a fluke, but very strange for me.
I have things to do every night this week. This is probably the busiest week of the year and although I am very much on schedule, I stll have to bake and that must wait until the last possible minute and I still have packing to do for twelve days. That stuff I don't mind so much. It's just that just thinking about Christmas is making me tired.
It's all the running around. Christmas Eve is nice and all but we promised Mike's mom we'll go to midnight mass. Last year I was passed out by 11:30. Christmas morning is just go go go. I'm contemplating not going to see my mom's side of the family for the first time in my life. It's just so much. But I really want to go but I know I'll be exhausted. Then back to Mike's for brunch and then to mom's for 3:00 dinner. After that is nothing. I'll really kick back and enjoy myself then. Monday is a lengthy ride to see Dad and his family and you never know how that will turn out so I'm partly dreading it.
I sound like a complainer. I'm just super tired and pretty crabby. It's 2:00. I can make it till 4:30 and go home. Maybe a nap is in order, but by then I may feel awake too. We'll see.
In the Kitchen this week for Christmas we will be making:
Brownie bottomed cheesecake (Special request. It was such a hit on T'Day)
Spiced red sangria (Also special request)
Bananna cream cake (I never made this but I called and asked mom what I could bring and this is what she wants. I'll have to get the recipe from her.)
Coconut Macaroons (A colleague of mine brought these to Friday's potluck and are just de-lic-ious.)
Still have to figure out what to bring to Grandpa's. Perhaps macaroons.
Friday, December 16, 2005
I haven't been to Jersey in three weeks. A record. No, I don't miss it at all. I just miss my mom and Mike. I don't even miss my mom that much though because we talk just about every day and I enjoy her on the phone a lot. Sometimes I get crabby in her house. But I'm taking her to breakfast tomorrow so that should be nice. I've asked Mike if we could just go get a drink tonight, just he and I. It's been a while since we've done that and we've had some really great nights just talking at new bars that we've never been to splurging on good beer and taking turns ordering shots.
Yes, Jersey smells. I never knew it when I lived there but now I can smell it when I drive in and around and I also realize now how much more I dislike the people there. People here know I'm not from Philly but I don't get the impression they think I suck either and that I should go back to Joisy. Generally, I like the people I know and meet here. I also work with some great people and some amazing characters. I don't know if that has anything to do with Philly. But generally, and I don't know if this is because I work for a not for profit, but it seems that Philly really is about brotherhood and helping people in need. Like I said, I am in the not for profit field and I do happen to work in a United Way Building, but everywhere I go, I just see people trying to do their part. I like that. I've done my part this year and not just this holiday season. I'm proud of myself for that.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Today is our holiday party! Tonight I get to bake and cook for the potluck luncheon tomorrow. Tomorrow is Friday which means my Christmas-y weekend with Mike. Holiday Spirit here we go!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I can see the orange, hard cover bindings around each book and I see Jennifer Burke reading the next installment directly across from me with an expression of concentration and enjoyment on her young pretty face. We were young. We were also reading buddies and we stayed that way until high school but we always kept right on reading and we always shared that bond. I thank Jennifer Burke for my love of reading. She was always one book ahead of me and couldn't wait until I caught up so we could talk about them.
I saw the preview for the movie version of Chronicles and knew within five seconds what the preview was for and shouted out, "The Chronicles of Narnia!" and didn't even feel embarassed because I was just so amazed by the teaser trailer.
I went and reread the series and enjoyed them very much. I don't know if I enjoyed them more, but I do know that I understood all the religion this time and I'm sure I did not then. I planned to see the movie.
Then I read on CNN that C.S. Lewis was very much opposed to his series ever being made into film. A cartoon he was fine with but no movies. I do not know if someone went against his will and sold the rights to Disney or if time was just up and it was a matter of first come, first served. His reasoning for this, supposively, was that he thought Aslan, the Great King Lion, would end up looking like a bafoon in film. For how could an old crabby writer in the '70's really envision what our computers could accomplish in 2005.
(Doesn't Kong look great? Five stars all around.)
I decided I would not see the film out of respect for the author....until I changed my mind a minute later. I think that if C.S. Lewis knew what we could do, he would say it was fine with him. I may be very wrong. But now millions more people will know the story of little Lucy and Edmund and the evil White Witch and I would assume that at least one quarter of them will read the books as a result of having seen a great movie. Or maybe he liked that the books weren't trendy. For now, it is difficult to buy the books without them being the Motion Picture ones without the movie poster on the cover. Just look. The old ones are still there....in the back....or not featured on the display table but back on the shelf in the children's section.
About what I said about 'a great movie'. Ok, it got 3 1/2 stars. It apparently received demerits for 'trying to be Lord of the Rings' or something like that. That's fine with me. I LOVE LTR and watched it again last night as a matter of fact. All three are my favorite background movies. One of them is on almost everyday while I do chores.
So Mike and I saw HP GOF last so I called him and said we'll see King Kong next. He'd like that. It's his turn. And then we'll see Chronicles. My roommates really liked it.
I have a whole week off for the holidays so it will be nice to have a date on the weeknights. I must admit that weeknight dates are terribly lacking in this relationship.
Today is the coldest day of the year so far and technically, winter hasn't even started. It's a windy 24 degrees. My family back in the burbs doesn't understand that every street in the city is a wind tunnel and that Philadelphia is a lot colder than central Jersey.
It makes me think of how lazy people in the burbs are. There's a convenience store on almost every corner yet they warm up their cars for five minutes and drive just around a minute and a half to get cigarettes or a cup of coffee. I admit there are many days when I wish I could do that. I would very much welcome a trip to the grocery store by car. My noble steed also known as my push cart basket thingy is great. But no matter what handy dandy tool you have to help you get those groceries home, there's nothing like throwing them in the trunk and driving home.
It is just so cold out. It's painful. Anyhow, over the weekend I was just dying for McDonalds. I think it happens to us all at least once every two months. I've eaten it less than six times in Philadelphia and that was when Mike was here and one of us drove to go get it. But I wanted it. So I walked the mile to go get it Saturday night. I strategically placed my purchase in my shoulder bag and walked the mile home smelling those crisp golden fries the whole way. Once home, it was still nice and hot and delicious.
In Jersey, it's as if there is some unwritten law that states that upon you or any one of your friends obtaining a license, walking any distance further from the back of a parking lot to a mall or from your front door to your car is illegal. Not one person I know would walk to get McDonald's or walk to a grocery store and carry six bags of groceries home as I have done so many times before my noble steed came along. People walking in Jersey, unless they appear to be walking for fitness, are either completely invisible or looked upon as poor or peasantly. I was in the car with someone once who saw someone they knew walking and they said, 'oh, he must have lost his license.' I wondered if maybe he just went for a walk.
It's a shame. I've lost weight and formed some sort of shape in my legs since I've moved here. There's been countless three day weekends in Jersey where I don't think I walked more than just around a house. My legs knew it once I got back to Philly. I could feel it.
Anyway, because it is so unbearably cold, I take a bus and a subway to get to work and the walk is around 1/4 mile from the subway...give or take. Just this morning I thought of how the people I know in Jersey with their cars would pass up going somewhere if they had to walk 1/4 mile in the icy cold to get there from their car. I'm just used to it. I wish my ipod was behaving because it seems to be broken. (not holding a charge) But I love walking just not in this cold. I really hope I don't go back to being a lazy fatso when I move back to NJ.
Ok, almost lunch time. I'm gonna go walk to Amazon Cafe for some soup. Ten minutes in the icy cold and it's still too hot to eat when you get back! Yes!
I like walkers.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
So I've decided to relax and just try it. Of course, I have to make sure my roommates have eaten first and taken care of their kitchen business. They have a tendency to take over and have no regard for what anyone else is doing in there so I may be up late tonight. I have a plan though, to be organized and have everything I need at my fingertips. I love a baking challenge and if it wasn't for this request, I probably would have never tried it.
Geez, I hope I can find decent pretzels. I'd hate to blow all my hard work on cheap pretzels.
Side note: The time on my posts is not correct and I can no longer select the time like I used to and I don't know how to change it.
Posted at 2:30 pm.
Anyhow, dark chocolate chips are sold commercially and they are tempered. Tempering is a process that is done to commercial chips so it's ready to use so to speak. You melt it any way you want to and use it. Voila.
Now, pure expensive high quality chocolate is not tempered because they assume the people using it know what they're doing and will use it up to a million different ways so they keep it in this 'raw' state so we chocolatiers can do what we must to create our confections. I'm no chocalatier. www.baking911.com is an amazing site and I just took chocolate tempering 101 so to speak. I'm hoping my candy thermometer can be considered a mercury gauge chocolate thermometer or whatever they said you MUST use. You must heat and cool and heat and cool the chocolate to all different temperatures and now I'm not sure when to add the cream. Why do this you ask? Well, if you do not, the chocolate will not cool or harden properly and your gift of chocolate will suck and everyone will think you suck for making sucky chocolate and so on and so forth.
I hope my smart ass brother who requested the dark chocolate finds this highly amusing. I have milk chocolate tempered chips in my cupboard at home, but noooo, "dark chocolate tastes better and is better for you too."
hahaha. I love him. I'll be shouting DAMN YOU and banging my hands dramatically against my desk for the next hour as I learn more about tempering chocolate.
'Tis the season. Happy Holidays. :-)
(I really am laughing on the inside.)
Monday, December 12, 2005
What Williams did was wrong but they should have put him to death back in the seventies when he was convicted and everyone hated him, not now after giving the man twenty plus years to make something of himself and send out a positive message and repent. I hate the justice system.
My heart just aches too because he was quoted by his lawyer as saying that he still feels there will be some sort of intervention. They'll strap him down tonight and he'll be praying for a miracle and in those last seconds he will question his faith and he will die. I cry and shake sometimes at night just thinking about dying and I'm in a nice warm bed. I wouldn't wish the death penalty on anyone. Of course, no one has ever murdered or raped my child or someone I love. We could go back and forth on this. But damnit, the man has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize six times! I know he'll never get it, but damn, let the man be a positive role model and set an example. Our justice system is setting a horrible example by murdering a positive example and it's just a big fucked up circle.
Also, I'm no expert here, but aren't there people who have killed a hell of a lot more than four people and who get sentenced to life and even get parole sometimes in their old age. I know every state's laws are different and every situation is different but I can't help thinking there should just be guidelines.
Murder one person = sentence
Two = sentence
Rape one person = sentence
Two = sentence
And so on and so forth. I know that sounds narrow minded but I'm sick of all the extenuating circumstances. The criminals who get away with murder, the murderers out on parole, the sex offenders who offend again and who are at large, the man who murders three or four people (hasn't even been confirmed) and gets sentenced to a sentence that won't be carried out for over TWENTY years. Someone else would be up for parole by then!
I'm just sad. Years ago I read many books on gang life, gang history, memoirs from incarcerated gang members turned Muslim activists. It fascinated me. This isn't the time or the place, but even though Tookie committed awful crimes and he pulled the trigger and no one else, he was still a product of his environment. I could argue that with myself all day too because he could have risen to the occassion and fought all that was around him and went on to be a Scholar, but let's face it, he wasn't given much of a chance. Shouldn't that qualify as an extenuating circumstance?
I'm a horrible writer about this stuff because all I do is go back and forth and rarely can I take a stand on one direction. But I just consider myself open-minded enough to see both sides. However, Tookie should not be put to death tonight. It makes me sick.
I ate like crap though. I ran out of bread Friday and had no desire to leave the house at all and I'm kicking myself now because I can't get to the Market any other time than on the weekends. I need my vanilla pod for the spiced red sangria. Hmmmm. I have no clue where to get one other than the Spice store in the Market.
Anyhow, Friday afternoon I actually ordered Domino's. I haven't ordered myself a pizza in the longest time. I ate it in only three meals. Oops. It just seemed like that kind of weekend.
Last night I drank a half a bottle of wine and listened to some old Toad the Wet Sprocket cd's and really enjoyed myself. It was a very nice end to a very nice weekend. I did only what I felt like only when I wanted. (I also only showered once in the three days and only remained out of pajamas long enough to make one trip down to South Street for a special gift.) I was once afraid of being alone on the weekends and now I welcome the alone time without the stress of thinking about work the next day. I think I've finally gotten over thinking that everyone else in the world is out having a blast and I'm the only one home alone doing nothing. If I thought about going out once this weekend, it was only for a second. I didn't even get anxious hearing the groups of people walking up the street. Between ten and eleven at night they walk up my street talking and laughing rather quietly and talking about where to go. Between two and three they walk down my street talking and laughing very loudly and reminiscing about comedic events that have occurred throughout their evening.
I was very content in my bed by ten o'clock each night and up by 8 o'clock each morning. I slept wonderfully.
I'm so happy to have stayed home. I hope Mike chooses to spend a weekend here and there with his friends back home once we move in together. Alone time is necessary for survival. I just hope this long distance relationship hasn't made me too reliant on alone time. We'll find out. I doubt it.
Friday, December 09, 2005
First, the before shot. My heart and spade. These are the 'pits' or 'crooks' of my arms opposite my elbows.
Now for the cover up job.
Sorry for the shine. That's the ointment. It's a very good cover up job. Now there's something a bit prettier and feminine to go with the angel. The picture below was taken while still in the chair last December. She took seven hours and worth every second of it.
If you look closely at the picture below, you'll see part of the butterfly on my left arm. On you're right. It's a great butterfly and I will get a better picture of him. Please keep in mind I'm not happy and not feeling well and I'm not in the mood for pictures. This smile was flashed in between giving Mike death stares.
Below is the best picture Mike pulled off taking of his own forearm. Not done of course. Mike had a pin up lady on his rib finished first. She only had one high heel this whole past year and no skin tone. She came out great.
Larry, our tattoo artist, says I take the pain better than Mike. Mike was shaking so bad when Larry was finishing up his lady, he said, "Keep shaking and this girl is gonna have cellulite." I stepped out for a while and Larry was still drawing the piece below when I got back. I hated the 13. All I kept thinking was Offspring's Too Fly for a White Guy. "....he went for a 13 and he got a 31." Yeah, that song.
So those are pistons. Has something to do with a car engine. I really like this tattoo so far. The 13 ends about 2 inches above his wrist. The flames all around will be colored in. They go up to the crook of his arm. It's a full forearm piece. I love the colors. Mike needed some color. It also has such a classic look with a newschool rodder edge to it.
That's all. I hope you've enjoyed this issue of I'll show you mine if you show.....well, nevermind. Come back in the spring for a look at Mike's finished arm. Will it suck? Who knows? Come back next time for the dramatic conclusion.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
But the other dream that really wanders in pretty often is my dream to make an income, even small, off of baked goods. I believe in signs. The last time this dream really itched and I actually started planning and researching, I made excuses. Of course. They were so dumb though. For example, I didn't know where to get boxes to ship the stuff in. Not just shipping boxes but all those weird sized boxes of baked goods. That very same day, a shipping catalog happen to fall on my desk from my inbox and I opened it to the page for small and customizable boxes. There it was. A fudge box.
I'll be doing lots of baking for the Holiday season. I bought these amazing cookie cutters and started researching sugar cookie recipes and techniques and icing making. Why won't I make sugar cookies this year? Because I don't have a very large marble board or very large cutting board to flower or roll out the dough on. My kitchen sceeves me out at times and I wouldn't dream of using the countertop. So I looked into silpat non stick liners and I won't be able to afford one by baking season. But I'll be an expert by next year when I have my very own kitchen my very own way.
Last Friday I made my first ever homemade brownies. They had a caramel cashew topping and were divine. I made them as a house warming gift. I've decided that I will make more and fill the beautiful tins I've bought as gifts with them instead. A little pretty ribbon and a silver fake holley leaf and ta daa, a beautiful gift for bosses.
So I get to my point. I've decided that for that extra little special gift I will make decorated chocolate dipped pretzel rods. Fun, easy, inexpensive, and everyone likes them. They also keep for up to three weeks so they are perfect for shipping. At first I thought they weren't exactly something people would buy. But then I remembered I spent $22 on miscellaneously decorated chocolate dipped pretzels from Scoop de Ville for my boss this year. People like them and people do spend $20 on them instead of just making them themselves. Use good chocalate and a good brand pretzel and you're golden. (No, you just don't melt chocolate.)
So that wandered into other chocolate dipped items and I thought those little holiday cellophane bags would do the trick. Then the Uline catalog came in the mail today and I opened it up to see what it was before I tossed it and what did I find? Various sized clear polypropylene bags and a nifty crimping hand sealer. How cool is that. Maybe soon.
Little by little I think. I'll keep baking what I can in my not so great kitchen and enjoying what I love to do which is cooking and baking. By next year, I'll hopefully have purchased my dream Kitchenaid mixer. (Yes, I do stop at Williams Sonoma from time to time to admire their beauty and yes their website is on my favorites list. So what.) I have big plans for my new kitchen.
By the way, Williams Sonoma and I have a love/hate relationship. I pop in. I sample something. I wander. I dream. I wish I could afford something. I spend about $5.00 which is not easy. I get the latest catalog. I go home and go through it cover to cover.
If you haven't browsed, I highly recommend it.
To add to the absurdity fo it all, I can't wait to have ribbon made that says something along the lines of Baked by Jessica.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I was just alone the weekend before Thanksgiving and it was great. I had reasons to bake though. I don't really have a reason to bake this weekend. Oh well, test baking it is.
The truth is, I don't mind it. I just think I hate it. I love being alone and I love being with people I like. It's just that I am alone all week and I'm not supposed to be home alone on weekends. I've gotten better at not letting the roommates get to me and honestly, I hate missing Mike but I love not seeing him venture out into the icy cold at 6:00 am Monday morning to drive to work. I also love not enduring the weekly depression of packing up and driving home on Sunday evenings. It's hard on us. Very hard. Do it every weekend for over six months and you'll see what I mean. And of course, the winter's worse.
So now I'll start looking forward to the weekend for a whole new set of reasons. And hopefully by next weekend Mike will be rested and ready to do something Christmasy with me. That was the deal. That's some f'n teamwork right there. Hmmm, I wonder what we should do.
Or maybe we're just old enough to start admitting that yes, getting tattoos does hurt pretty bad.
They look awesome and after about a day or two of much discomfort, we're fine and our new art is fine. Mike's new tat is bad ass and I really like it. This one I'll enjoy looking at for a long time. Thankfully the two I rather not look at for the rest of my life cannot be seen when Mike wears a shirt. The latest is on his left forearm.
I rather just post some pictures. I'll take some this weekend. I had two old tattoos covered up. Not because I didn't like them. I hated the way they clashed with a very feminine beautiful piece. If I could have just moved the two tattoos they would have been fine. So I got them covered with more feminine pretty pieces. Now it fits.
I'll post soon.
Friday, December 02, 2005
I made my first ever homemade cheesecake on top of box mix brownies. I drizzled it with chocolate. It was a hit. Actually, my three new additions to the table this year received the most praise. The cheesecake, homemade spiced red sangria which was phenomenal and smelled like Holidays, and a variation on the old slab of cranberry sauce. All I did was heat a can of whole berry cranberries with homestyle (chunky and with spices already added) applesauce. It was great!
It was nice being mature enough and actually being able to afford to bring nice additions. It felt real nice and I really truly enjoyed the baking and cooking and wine selecting. It was a nice day.
So last night I was overwelmed by the desire to put on very comfortable pajamas and a Christmas movie, get a cup of cinnamon swirl coffee and wrap Christmas gifts. I love wrapping! I did not do this because something like this should be planned and not done spontaneously. It should also be done with more gifts than I have purchased so far and not on a work night. Unfortunately, I only seldomly have a night to myself when I do not have work the next day so this rule must be altered. But the excitement is mounting and I hope to have a wonderful Christmas and really enjoy all the great little stuff in between.
Eight hour tattoo appointment Sunday in the Poconos. I'll let you know how it goes.
Friday, November 18, 2005
I guess that's why I haven't written lately. There's just been so very much to write about and I've just been too tired. So I'll just have to let that deep breath fade away and take the cop out story and tell you all that I've had a great week excercise wise and my body feels wonderful. I've walked over five miles every single day this week. Wednesday we had 69 degree weather. Yesterday morning we had 33 degree weather and it never got over 45. I cursed the transit strike but what I learned is that I really enjoy my morning walk. The buses and subways have been up and running for two weeks now and I just let them buses cruise on by as I choice to walk to walk. As long as the wind is kept at bay, a hat and scarf and my warm coat is all I need.
I jogged/briskly walked 5k's at the gym every day this week and although I am too embarassed to share my times here, the fact is that I jogged way more than half and finished each time. Finishing my first 5k Monday was like winning a race. I know the runners are probably laughing at me but please remember, this is all still new to me. I continue to beat the previous day's time every day.
So I'll be all alone in Philly this weekend baking and making spiced red sangria for the Holiday. I'm really looking forward to this one and just want it to be nice. I'll miss my brothers and sister-in-law but know 2 of them will have a great time and hope the other has some sort of dinner with his friends.
There's just too much to say. Also, the gloriousness that was last weekend can't be expressed in words. Just trust me. It was one of the best weekends of my life.
P.S. Happy Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Day!
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I looked great too in my brand new Liz Claiborne suit. My first real suit too. It was an expense well worth it. I got many a compliment.
We had 250 guests. The reception was held in the egyptian rotunda of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology amongst artifacts and sarcophagus'. Dinner was delicious and held in a large egyptian gallery off the rotunda also amongst artifacts. I had dinner seated next to our emcee, the anchorman of Philly's channel 10 5:00 news.
The awards ceremony was both moving and fulfilling and why bother giving the details of something no reader would understand so just take my word for it. I never felt so proud to work for such an amazing organization. And the recognition I received for all my hard work was the icing on the cake.
Our committee formed back in May and we worked non stop since then. The event was a logistical nightmare but after only two or three tears the day of the event when the seating chart was revised for the umpteenth time and the triple purposed name tags were made and people were still calling and rsvping. Once I got there, I just took it all in stride. My motto was, "Oh of course there's room." (We were sold-out and then some.)
Of course, four glasses of wine didn't hurt. I may not have given or received an award but to keep with our logo, I was also a star that evening.
More details later and a picture.
Although it was a great time, no, I wouldn't do it again if I had a choice and yes, I am extremely happy it is over.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I find that I'm so eager to start the next chapter in my life that I'm sort of fast forwarding the remainder of this chapter. I've come to truly dislike in that I get a sick stomach whenever I see you attitude to my roommates. I'm polite and considerate still even though no one else is polite or considerate to me. I'm all about the routine as I've said before. I love the silence and alone time I get in the morning from being the only one who gets up early. SEPTA (Southeastern PA Transit Authority) is on strike as of midnight All Hallows Eve and I'm enjoying the forty minute door to door walk to and from work. I like eating my nutritious breakfast, and packing my healthy balanced lunch and planning my dinner. I love the days I go to the gym because I don't get home until about 7:00 and then it's dinner and bed.
Basically though I've come to just hanging out in my room. By no means am I hiding. I only like about three tv shows and only watch them if I happen to be eating dinner at that time. Most of the time I just watch them at the gym. I like being alone in my room. I straighten up, read, watch a movie, organize something, do my nails. I just like it. And I don't have to see or speak to anyone I don't want to.
I'll be moving in June and I can't wait. I just also don't want to look back at the time I spent in Philly and think I wasted it. Monday thru Friday after work couldn't be more monotonous or routine. The weekends I spend with Mike in New Jersey. (That's where the fun comes in.)
But maybe this chapter titled, "Philly" really was just about growing up and finding and putting everything into my good job that I really like and will stay at even once I move. Maybe it was about getting healthy and learning and practicing routine and being alone and getting to know myself. Maybe I really needed two years of that. The rewards have been magnificent. No, I don't think I'll think this experience was a waste. But I am very ready to move on now. I'll take what I learned with me.
I'm very excited about my first book club tonight though. I made candy california roll. They look so cute. It's the little things that keep me going. I'm tired just thinking about tonight. Tomorrow is the big event. 230 guests for our 20th anniversary celebration. (I'm seated for dinner next to the anchorman of Philly's channel 10 5:00 news.) Someone must trust me. I keep seeing Will Farrel in my head.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
To the left is Mike and Randy. Randy's birthday was last week and we love Randy. He's my favorite. Shhhh.
We all met at a hibachi restaurant, only seven of us in all. Those who couldn't make it to dinner were eager to meet up with us afterwards. The food was excellent.
This is Mike and I at the restaurant.
I'm pretty buzzed here and proceeded to get drunk in the
restaurant knowing that Mike would still be sober by the time we left and completely trashed by the time we'd have to go home so I took advantage of my time not having to be designated driver.
In a nutshell, Rudy invited us all back to his house where he has a full bar for a birthday toast and we never left. The boys drank beer and hard shots. I didn't drink at all. Mike got trashed and had a great time with his boys and his girl. I'm glad I didn't plan the night past dinner because I would have never guessed we'd spend 3.5 hours at one of Mike's friend's houses that I never even met.
This is Rudy playing barkeep. Mike's old friend Craig who he also hasn't hung out with in over a year is Rudy's roommate and came home shortly after we got there. Roman, Mike's best friend, even made it due to a power outtage at work. It really turned out great.
For some reason, I can't get the last picture titled, Mike happy & drunk, to load. Hmmmm. Well, take my word for it. Mike had a great birthday.
I was so embarassed because Frost saw it too. I don't really get embarassed in front of Mike anymore. So I didn't want to look up and I kept laughing and crying. "Is she crying or laughing?" asks Frost.
In between fits of suffocating laughter, Mike manages to get out, "I don't know. That was so funny."
I finally can breathe long enough to get out, "you're supposed to wait until you make sure I'm ok before you start laughing, you fucking jerk!" I keep laughing and crying both almost hysterically. Mike's laughing. Frost is concerned.
I manage to pick myself up with Frost's help. (Mike is still laughing too hard to help.)
I go back and examine the giant hole in the lawn I twisted my ankle in. Apparently, everyone we know knows to be cautious of it but me! I was happy so I frolicked down the lawn, landed my right foot in the hole, twisted, fell, and rolled down the remainder of the lawn crashing on my right side onto the sidewalk. I have a huge bruise to show for it.
I'm so happy it happened. Everytime I think of it, I smile a huge one and start laughing. This morning, I was walking to work in the rain and thought of it. I couldn't help smiling my squinty-eyes smile and chuckling to myself. Some random woman walking in my direction saw me and smiled a big one and said, 'well, good morning!'. See, my falling even made her day.
It also gave Mike a great story to tell the guys at the bar last night. I needed a good crash. It makes me feel alive again.
Oh yeah, and it turned out to be a late surprise birthday gift for Mike.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Looking back to the rain in New Jersey, there was never a need for an umbrella unless you were going to an outdoor event and there was a chance for rain. In the rain, you hustled, maybe even jogged, to your car which was never farther than across the street at most. The furthest you parked from anywhere you needed to go was maybe at the grocery store and that's if you went at a busy time. Still, no need for an umbrella. Why would you want to carry that wet thing around the whole time anyway?
In Philly, your umbrella goes up before you've even locked the front door. You walk the block to the bus stop and you wait an average of five minutes and at this time maybe only your shoes are wet.
Then you get on the bus and everything goes to hell. The plastic grip walk mats are puddled and chances are you're sardined between two people who actually don't use umbrellas. They stink like hell to boot so now you're imagining you're young again playing How Long Can You Hold Your Breath in the pool with your brothers just to deal with the wet dog stank.
There's five wet umbrellas pressed against you including your own and you look around wondering why you're the only one in a rain coat. Thank goodness for my rain coat.
So you dig out your iPod from your bag of death and begin to slip on the head phones. Just then the bus driver decides to brake hard and you fall back and grab for the metal holding bar and it's nasty germy slippery wet and your hand slips off and you go crashing into the wet dog behind you. You offer a quiet apology and the only reason it's a quiet one is because you have witnessed the utmost worst scenarios of rudeness and never heard an apology uttered. You aplogize quietly because you begin to wonder if an offered apology has slowly become an unholy trespass; at least on SEPTA buses.
So you regain your footing and stare at the nasty germy slippery bar and then slowly and loosely wrap your palm around it. At least once a day you wonder when the last time someone took some Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes or spray and wiped these bars down. You would think it would be part of the drivers' or some employees' job to do that. But somehow I doubt it. This thought leads to disease and bird flu and you imagine how lucky you'll be when you make it out of public transportation all together in hopefully a few years alive.
Then you get off the bus and you can breathe again but just barely. There are specific parts of Philadelphia that just flat out reek when it rains.
Walk one block to the subway only because it is raining that bad and don't want to walk the additional 1.1 mile in said rain. Repeat everything that just happened on the bus except it's slightly less wet, slightly less crowded and generally the population at this time is a bit less germy and smelly.
Emerge from the subway into terrential downpour and walk the quarter mile to work and be careful at the curbs for God's sake.
So Last night I was up there and there were these very tiny white almost irridescent maggot type worms worming around. I crushed one with the shaving cream can and let them be. I was grossed out but all my products are in pump form so I never actually lift any bottles up anyway and who doesn't run their soap bar under the water to give it a rinse before they use it?
Last night I had bug nightmares. The worst kind too. I recall the worst bug nightmare when I was young, under 11 years old, and so sick my mom made me sleep on the couch in the living room outside her bedroom door. I never forgot that nightmare. All it was was a GIANT spider slowly coming down onto my face on its web. It was the first of two times I can remember in my entire life ever actually startling myself awake sweating and screaming and scaring the hell out of anyone who could hear me. Only twice I distinctly remember that happening.
So last night I was in some warehouse with some guy I don't know. There were spiders everywhere and they stuck to you and expanded. I also watched The Incredibles again last night. Remember that scene where Mr. Incredible is running along that platform after he hacked into Syndrome's computer and those gross weird black rubber balls are hitting him and sticking to him and expanding. That scene still grosses me out. Well, that's what the spiders were doing.
But I was also in love with this guy I actually do know. He kind of came out of no where and he was really heavy in my dream, like he gained at least forty pounds. He had a scent to him. This is no one special. An old friend and manager who I occasionally bump into and we chat for a few minutes. I mean, he's married for crying out loud. I wonder why it was him.
Like I said, he had this scent to him. I was hugging him in my dream and it was a very distinct scent like how each one of your friends' houses growing up each had that families' scent. Those scents bring you back and make you stop and think and remember memories you've long since forgotten.
All morning, I've been catching that scent. That man's scent from my dream. It's new to me and that first time I caught it, I was immediately brought back to that warehouse and that man. Weird.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I now have 14 specific lengthy titled folders on my desktop all prepared to be burned onto disks for my digital library. Oh yeah, I also had to retitle almost every single picture. I added dates too. Everyone say it now. eeeeeeeeeew, niiiiice.
I thought I'd share a very recent picture from my Special Pumpkin Picking day.
Do keep in mind that it's quite early, we're freezing, and oh yeah, showering wasn't necessary for pumpkin picking.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
My excitement has been continuous. I waited all of October for Special Pumpkin Picking Day aka last Sunday and it was all I hoped it would be. I even have the pomegranate cider to show for it. If the Giants had won in over time, it would have been even better because I made sure I picked until my heart was content and still made sure Mike was home in time for the second half.
So this weekend will be another great one. I am more excited for Mike's birthday than he is. Last night was a blast wrapping and arranging and preparing and toying and tweaking all the not so last minute details. His gifts are carefully arranged in a beautiful display in my room and I'll enjoy the pile until I carefully put the presents in a large black bag until Sunday.
Tonight I will be grocery shopping for Mike's private dinner with me Friday. Friday will be the only time we have to ourselves here in Philly for his birthday and I asked him to pick anything, anything his heart desired for dinner. Know what he picked? Cheesesteaks! If I didn't love cooking so much I'd just walk around the corner to Geno's or Pat's. A cheesesteak? When he goes to Philly every week and can have a cheesesteak 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I thought he was kidding.
Well, at least he was specific and told me exactly how he wants it. It will be the best custom made cheesesteak he'll ever have. Besides, at what cheesesteak stand can you get a side of crispy fries tossed in garlic and chive butter with a shot of hot sauce?
Monday, October 17, 2005
Called home for periods of time to both Al Capone and famous bank robber, Willie Sutton, Eastern State closed its doors in the early 1980's after its cells began overflowing with over 200% more criminals than it was built to house and when the prison walls began deteriorating with age.
Built in the 1800's, Eastern State Penitentiary was the leading model in prison reform. The minds behind this 'new' prison believed that the only way for these prisoners to achieve rehabilitation was to spend as much time as possible alone in solitude reflecting on their transgressions and thinking about spiritual growth. When the warden himself used an outhouse, every prisoner had running water and a flushing toilet within their cell. Between cell walls was 18" of solid rock. No one was given a reason to leave their cells. Each cell was even equipped with all the tools to learn and practice a specific trade. Let out for one half hour in the morning and evening, the prisoners were fitted with a muzzle type mask so that they could not speak to other inmates.
The prison is now a museum. All proceeds go to repairing the areas of the prison that are not permanently closed. Areas that have been permanently closed have the highest spiritual energy and where the most sightings have occurred. A friend to shows such as GhostStories, and Fear, amongst other specials, it is very easy to see why.
So for the month of October, the prison opens its doors for select nights for its largest annual fundraiser, Terror Behind the Walls. Rated sixth in the country for best Haunted Houses, I just had to check it out and Mike just had to keep me safe.
It was cold, wet, rainy, muddy and awesome and petrifying. Not meant for children, this massive group of well organized, frightening, freaky, dying to make you scream 18-25 year olds had it together.
Mike and I passed through the original prison gates into a spot lit muddy excercise yard. The massive stone around us was imprisoning to say the least. The 'spooks' comprised of inmates and guards. The guards yelled at you and shined blinding spotlights in your eyes and banged billy clubs. A particulary scary guard lined Mike and I up along a wall with one other couple and flicked a very loud switch and a spotlight shone down on us. He yelled the rules at us and then told us to, Go Serve Your Time.
Mike and I emerged 45 minutes later. My back was splitting as every scream came from my back and I remembered just how vivid my imagination is. I tried to keep telling myself they are all just actors but even when I was a small child, masks and makeup were what did me in. My Brother Joey had some sort of mask, Michael Myers or Jason or something. When he put that on, I would run for my life all the while screaming, crying, and ready to fight with all my strength. The reasoning behind this intense fear has remained the same. I can't see their faces so how do I know they didn't snap under there. Friday night I watched behind me and all sides of me and my eyes crossed so much I had a migraine and poor Mike was either pushed, pulled, grabbed, squeezed or told to , "Hurry up, something's behind me!" In fact, I actually pushed him into some bad people a few times. They took it out on me of course.
I was also singled out. Very badly singled out and Mike found that amusing. Near tears at one point I'm sure all those people were having a blast. Cornered at one point by a guard, I put my hands over my face and just kept repeating, "You can't touch me. You can't touch me." He backed off of me and pulled himelf around the next corner and yelled really loud in a menacing growl, "Hey Guuuuys, I got a screamer!"
We kept on a long trail that weaved inside and out of the prison. Every new section was themed and every so often we were round up and made to wait while a particulary scary actor told us a true story of things that went on right where we stood. The guards were really great. The psychiatric prisoners were out of their minds crawling through tunnels, hanging from rafters and lights. In one room, a sickly looking young woman shook and banged on her 'cage' bars and kept screaming for us to give her the keys. She finally cackled to Mike and shifted her voice to sound like that of a demented witch, "Give me the keys and I'll let you take me home" as she reached for Mike through the bars.
Overall, it was extremely well done. The timing was perfect since there are hundreds of people all over the place but how you're alone almost throughout the whole thing. You don't see anyone get scared and scream in front of you so there's no way to prepare for what's ahead.
I'm really happy we went. Mike and I looked through some windows and doors we weren't supposed to and just seeing the skeletons of cell blocks that once were was scarier than any actor. Looking through one window, we saw clear down to the end of a cell block and although we were in color, it looked as if someone put the image before us in gray scale or that it came out of the 1800's and was just swarming with tortured souls. We were drawn to it. It was an amazing sight.
We had a great time.
Friday, October 14, 2005
What a load of crap! I was always fond of little Joey aka Ms. Katie Holmes and I feel really bad for her. Tom Cruise really is a nut job. I imagine he always was but at least his ex publicity censorship person or whatever they're called kept all his bullshit under wraps. Every photo or video I see is an over exuberant Tom Cruise standing on something tall shouting and waving and smiling and never just acting normal or trying to maintain some sort of privacy or candidness. He just demands attention. And always behind him constantly trying to not be blocked by his constantly moving short body (probably why he's always standing on stuff) is little Katie with this ENORMOUS smile. She plays chicken with Tom's back because he is constantly blocking her and when he's not, they're making out. You should have seen them at his kid's soccer game. Disgusting.
I figured I can't bash scientology until I check it out so I did so now I feel entitled to bash it. So Katie is pregnant and it just seems so cultish. Tom wants her to have a silent birth. Ok, so get this. Silent birth is when a mother gives birth without any screaming or moaning. No doctors can talk, no man or husband talks. And to top it all off, the mother can't have any drugs.
Is that even possible? How can that be? It sounds to me like a person would need over a decade of practice in intense meditation to pull that one off. Not to mention that it is a known fact that the first several weeks of a newborn's life are most critical for development. Scientologists say you should not speak to or near the baby for the first two weeks! What the fuck! That is the stupidest shit I ever heard and of course they don't say what their intentions are or why they feel this is necessary. Just because. So poor baby Cruise number three or four or whatever will be slow and scared and lonely and not understand why he/she was brought out into this cold, dark, lonely world. Feed it and put it back in a drawer. Sounds smart doesn't it?
Wow. Poor Katie. So young. So naive.
P.S. Feel free to make fun of my beliefs if you'd like. I can take it.
She says my name real slow, 'Jeessss' from around the corner and I always have time to sigh and pause before she gets to me and I say, 'Yeeesss' without looking up. Yesterday was no different. She reached my desk and leaned across it and I waited as long as I thought I could get away with before I looked up.
'I got these for you for helping me out so much lately."
She handed me a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers and I immediately felt like a bitch and smiled ear to ear which makes my eyes squinty and get watery. I thanked her numerous times and commented on how unique the deepest purple almost black flowers were. She thanked me.
So yesterday was very rainy and dark and cold and living in Philadelphia means a lot of walking and carrying a lot of crap around. I unwrapped the flowers and placed them in water untrimmed and kept the paper and plastic wrapping. I don't know what kind they are but one of the five is deep purple with white tips and two of the five are the purple color and the last two are that deep purple with just one spot of white like a paintbrush dripped on them.
I left work early for a dr. appointment and thought long and hard about wether to leave them or to take them. I really enjoyed looking at them so I took them and wrapped them up again. I headed out into the rain and let them get all wet. I was careful with them and took them all over town. Once on the bus, standing room only, some really inconsiderate lady who couldn't say excuse me just plowed past me and I heard one snap right then. I hated that lady.
I got home and without even taking my wet raincoat off, I began trimming the stems and placed them in my favorite vase. I carried the vase upstairs and rearranged my end table and placed them dead center. I stepped back near the door to examine their placement and after a few adjustments, I was pleased. Except for the dust on the table. I dusted the table. Then I had to dust the end table on the other side of the bed. Then I had to do laundry. Then I had to do about twenty other things.
Way way past my bed time at 11:00 I climbed into my freshly made bed with my clean sheets still warm out of the dryer. I looked at all I had accomplished and felt really good. I looked at my flowers.
I picked up A Million Little Pieces and felt rewarded to be able to finish it in my immaculate room in such a warm clean bed. I finished it and I loved it. One of my favorites.
I killed the lights and thought about how just a few short years ago, I kept a journal of my daily accomplishments. The first entry once I got back home from a very bad and dangerous place simply read, I brushed my teeth today. I remember waking up on the basement floor where my mom requested I sleep because I did not deserve a bedroom, bed, or privacy. I used to wake up scared and sweaty and shaking and it would take an hour to calm down and to convince myself I was safe.
I thought about these things in my warm, clean bed last night and I thanked God as I do every night for all of it. I will not take these things for granted. Everything happens for a reason and I am so happy I was given those beautiful flowers yesterday.
I fell asleep last night with a smile.
I woke up this morning with a smile.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
I got home last night and ate a whole lot. This week is kind of a wash. With Mike being here until Wednesday, I never got into my Monday groove of breakfast eating and gym going. I felt cruddy last night. I don't think I could ever binge again like I used to. I don't want to say I've tried to but now when I binge and feel gross, I compare it to what a Jessica binge used to be and it doesn't even compare. I went up to my room and decided I'll catch the encore showing of last night's America's Top Model next Tuesday.
I love the book I am reading so much. I've mentioned it before. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. A memoir on an addict's six weeks in rehab. I read as if in a trance last night. It just got better and better and I can relate to addiction. I truly believe I just have an addictive personality. I've experienced drug addictions, food addictions, people addictions. I've always been obsessed with someone or something or some act. I've accepted this so now I just indulge in healthy addictions and try not to let my world fall down when I can't have them.
The gym for example and writing down everything I eat in my red leather journal every day are my two addictions. Routine is my addiction. I've eaten things on the go and couldn't figure out their point values and found myself getting shaky and the fact that I didn't know what I had just eaten. Yeah, I know that's fucked up. It happens less times than more. To calm myself, I just needed to get to a computer and look it up.
I rather be addicted to improving my body, mental health, and physical appearance than crack. When I say mental health, I want it known I'm not neurotic about these things. Yeah, I said this week is a wash and I ate a lot yesterday but I'm not going to break down over one week with no gym and some tostitos. It's cold, rainy, the seasons just changed, my days are off, I have a dr.'s appointment near my house at 3:30 today, I have no clean clothes. I'm not going to the gym.
So I was reading in my trance last night and I found myself cold yet sweaty and my heart was racing. I put the book down for a second and tried to remember what I had just read. I felt alone, petrified, and the image of my bedroom was slowly coming into focus and the image of me in my past apartment huddled in a corner with scraps of burnt aluminum foil were all around me and fading out.
I took a deep breath and went downstairs for a cigarette. Sitting outside in the rainy cold I thought about what I had just read. A particular scene in a run down building, everyone is smoking crack, I see the yellowish smoke, I smell it as if I'm smoking it right that second. I can't get enough enough enough. I hear someone and I freeze. I don't want them to know I'm here. I don't want to share I can't share.
I shake my head and take a long pull from my cigarette and stub it out half way through and go back in to where it's warm and safe. I say nothing. I go back to my warm bed and pick up the book and stare at it.
I can read this and I can finish this tonight. I got through the scene without any increase in heart rate and I didn't see myself. I looked down and saw me cuddled up under a warm blanket in a brightly lit room. Soon into the book the story just got more amazing and made me smile and made my eyes tear up due to amazing kindnesses that took place in this man's story. I decided to leave the last few pages for a gift for tonight. Something to look forward to after a long day.
I fell asleep and prayed for no drug dreams. They come few and far between. My dreams were strange and alarming and more so of dreams one would have when on drugs opposed to dreams about doing drugs. I woke tired and not feeling well. I'll have no probelms making it through the day and I look forward to doing chores tonight to make going away for a great weekend tomorrow even better.
Guess what? I'm going pumpkin picking on Sunday!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
We went to the wedding Saturday and I looked great. I wouldn't have if it wasn't for mom. I went over in the morning to show her my dress and she was really amazed. The dress really was made for me. I originally had no intentions of doing the bra thing and originally mom didn't seem to think I needed one.
But then she made me show stepdad how pretty I looked and the first words out of his mouth, 'You gonna wear a bra with that dress?"
We reevaluated the situation and saw that yes, I did need one afterall. So then mom decided I needed quite a few things.
She sent me out bitching and moaning in the torrential downpour in my dress, hose, and heels and I returned tired, wet, stressed, with a head ache, and downright annoyed. But my breasts looked damn good!
$13.77 at Payless on cheap black heels because your mother insists you must wear black not silver.
$22.60 at way out of the way specialty lingerie shop on special low cut, your breasts will look hot as hell and never move again bra.
$6.99 at Target on really cheap black chandelier earrings because once again, your mother insists you must wear black not silver.
Your mom making you go out last second and spend all your own money on stuff just because she knows how beautiful you'll look: Priceless
Friday, October 07, 2005
I can't wait. I will be there alone for the midnight opening just like last year. Actually, I'd love to share the experience with Mike so I might wait until Friday and see it with him. (I don't think he'd be able to make it to the midnight release.) That's a very tough decision. I shall see. Only time will tell.
41 Days, 12 hours, 7 minutes and 18 seconds worth of time!
I get and keep track of all the response cards in a database I've created and it's fine.
We are a non profit and this is our first big fundraiser in 20 years. 65.8 percent of the population we serve directly every single day is African-American. We are awarding an African American student. Over 60% of our staff is African American.
Some cowardly, clueless person had the audacity to write us a message on the back of a response card and sent it without a name, return address, nothing.
I know you intentionally charged $200 per person to keep the African American population to a minimum. Well, you succeeded. That's why God has started to avenge America for its injustices.
Ok. Thank you for speaking without even having a clue who we are or what we do and why are you on our database and thank you also for being cowardly and not leaving us with any information to write you a very kind letter with some FACTS that would hopefully make you feel like the asshole that you are.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Those great scientists have developed a cervical cancer blocking vaccination! Please see article above. This is really great news to someone like me who now has cervical cancer for the second time. A large population of women go their whole lives needing colposcopy surgery every second or third year only for their cells to mutate after only a short while of eradication.
The vaccination was studied and came out strong with a one hundred percent efficacy!
"If all goes well, sometime in 2006 it should be on the market." - Scientist
Cervical Cancer is the second leading killing cancer amongst women who go without treatment.
I see my doctor October 13, and I can't wait to bring him the article although I'm sure he knows already.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I stopped in one store on my walk to the gym to look for a dress for a wedding I'm attending Saturday. It is extremely difficult to find a dress with any sort of sleeve other than a cap sleeve and I need a new nice dress for these occasions with sleeves due to my tattoos. I'm sick of the whole sweater/cardigan/stuff draped over me thing. I tried on the only two dresses with sleeves in the whole store and needless to say, I looked like a frumpy, potato sack wearing, ninety year old who looks ready to be displayed in a coffin. The other dresses I tried just flat out did not fit right. Dresses are just weird. (Besides, I was in a store I've never shopped in before and clearly all the sizes were not true to size.) I'm not making myself feel better, it's the truth.
However, this dressing room happened to have the worst mirrors and the worst lighting known to man. I think even if a dress was custom made just for me, I would have ran out crying simply because these mirrors would make anyone like look shit. I found myself staring at my white, puckered, pasty thighs. Then I got outta there.
I walked to the gym yesterday with even more purpose than usual and that's a lot of purpose. I was destined to do more for my legs. I changed, checked the class list and there it was; spinning in 20 minutes, a 45 minute class, all terrain, taught by none other than my favorite trainer and leading inspiration, Patty.
Patty was sitting outside the spinning room in her cool sneaks, the softest looking half cotton half rayon blend just below the calf with a slight bell pants, and layered black and royal blue shirts. She has the workout clothing style I've always dreamed of and I see the expense just looking at it. Those cool yet practical and functional workout clothes don't come cheap. (I've looked....many times.)
So I asked her if she thought I could do it and I made sure she knew I wasn't even sure what spinning was. She said I should definitely do it and she'd help get me started.
For those of you who don't know, spinning is cycling but not on any stationary bike that's in the actual gym. No, no, no. These bikes are different and special and make a soft humming noise. The room is a big square and these bikes are all just lined up like soldiers within mere inches of each other and each wall. There were four rows facing front with one last row against the wall facing the other four rows. Patty was stationed dead center of that last row facing us. (I had to sign up ahead of time for this class and studied the seating chart before picking my bike. I picked the row facing Patty's row but a few bikes off to the side of Patty. I wanted to see what she was doing. Patty has a crew of these women who appear to take all of her classes and always position themselves beside her. So I ended up facing a woman I was pretty familiar with.
I had no idea how trendy spinning was! Before I knew it, the place was packed! More men than women and half the people had their own cycling shoes that clicked in to the peddle. I put my four year old Nike heavy cross trainers into the little saddle thing. My sneaks barely fit. I really need new sneakers. (Anyone reading this and feeling sorry for me, please send Lady Footlocker gift cards) There were guys in spandex shorts that even read "spinning" down the side of each leg. I felt pretty silly in my baggy t-shirt and yoga pants. Next time I'll wear a tank and my better capri jogging pants.
So Patty showed me the three positions and how to increase and decrease the tension. She showed me how to stop. I was ready.
We each had a white towel draped over our handle bars and we all started pedaling and Patty started the extremely loud music and she TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS! I was immediately blinded by the blinding white neon light of every towel, white tank top and white sock. There were black lights all over the ceiling and neon bike gear paintings on the walls. It was not what I expected but was really cool and I kind of liked not really being able to see.
The music was good. We started with a very loud slightly techno version of Madonna's Like a Prayer and what woman doesn't like that sound. The music was key. Our pace and positions and my drive and intensity all come from that music. I liked it.
So things got tough and Patty told me to do my best but I really wanted to keep up and boy, did I push it! I loved it. I loved knowing I was sopping wet. I loved position three which is when the tension gets really tight and we get off our seats and peddle as if up a steep hill. The best thing to do was to use my imagination. I stared at the dark ground and it resembled concrete passing under my wheels. I closed my eyes and when I got really exhausted and felt like I needed to decrease the tension or sit down, I imagined me and my brother going riding in Washington. I saw the scenery and I saw him getting too far ahead and I would get scared and push it even harder to keep up and my breathing was heavy and I felt my face burning and I could see sweat dripping down my arms in the balck light. It was awesome!
I made it. We cooled down. We went 45 minutes. I felt amazing but a bit light headed. During cool down Patty came over, gave me a huge smile, and gave my hand a light punch. It was very encouraging. Before I left I said thank you to Patty still light of breath and red as a tomato. She told me I did amazing!
I went and did my crunches on the fitness level and packed up my stuff. Two people approached me and said I did a great job for my first time and that I better be back next week.
I'll be back next week.
Monday, October 03, 2005
I cleaned and decorated the first floor for fall and Halloween and I really enjoy it.
I read a lot because I bought a great book. James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. I highly recommend it and it also has Oprah's seal of approval and although I've never seen one episode of Oprah my entire life, I trust the people who determine who gets her seal. It's a memoir, comparable to William Burroughs and it's about six weeks in rehab.
I'll talk later about the book but there is a story about that too. This book was #3 on my list but I didn't know jack about it and the first book on my list was too far away. (I was carrying enough stuff to knock B&N shelves over.)
Of course I rather had been doing one of twenty million other things this past weekend, but for what I got and little ol' me, it was pretty good.
Friday, September 30, 2005
I don't smoke during the week anymore. I am a weekend smoker only. Well, for the past three consecutive weeks I've been. Don't question me or add your two sense (ok so is it cents or sense. We all say it and so scarcely read or write it) That's just the way it is. And yes, I suffer severe head aches every Monday and yes, it does get easier once it becomes habit.
If I don't have plans, I may as well not even exist. We've discussed this. I am all alone again this weekend. Mike's band is really starting to play a lot and Mike has to work Sunday so my going down to Jersey really just equals out to unecessary gas expenses.
I plan to finish my office tomorrow once and for all and do some fall cleaning. I need to go to the market and I intend to make my first ever apple pie. (A Weight Watchers version of course.)
I just hope and pray that by tomorrow night I'm not having an anxiety attack and feeling sorry for myself and 'Oh, I'm so lonely. I hate Philadelphia. Blah blah blah.' Drinking alone does nothing for me anymore either. I always think, "oh, this time will be different." It's never different. It's expensive, noisy alone time and listening in on (hm hm overhearing) the stupidest conversations. It's looking at all the beautiful couples and trying to get the smelly drunk to get the point that I'm not interested so please stop talking especially within one inch of my face. It was fun when I was single and that was a long time ago and call me sexist, but a girl with a boyfriend really has no business alone in a bar on a weekend anyway. During the week is a different story.
The urge to get this book done is so intense, it hurts. I start at the beginning of things though and it's kind of difficult to write a book when you can't figure out what that perfect opening sentence is. I hate it. I'm so lame.
For some reason, I think if I finish my office I'll be more keen on at least trying to write in there so I'll give it a shot. Something tells me though that even when the room is done, I'll just find another excuse.
Okay, so mid sentence I panicked and called my Philly friend who I kinda sorta lost touch with the past two weeks. Good, 15 second conversation and a back-up plan in case I do go stir crazy. (Insert Napoleon Dynamite YES here)
I think that's it.
Oh yeah, I lost just under six pounds in two weeks. I feel ....hmmm.....bouncy actually. I am officially in a new bracket of numbers.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Actually, I just tried to list all the things I'm good at and it was hard. I was no good at it. I'm a good reader. I'm a good listener. I'm a good cook and I'll be a great cook in a place all my own with all my own pots and appliances and gadgets. That I know. (I'm so excited to be a good cook.) I'm not an athlete although I really wish I was. Yesterday I went to a very large sporting goods store and was depressed that I had no reason to be there. I bought Mike his jersey that I owed him from our bet on the Super bowl last year and a lock for my locker at the gym and we walked around. I loved the expensive work out clothes and had no idea how I would actually utilize them to the extent they were created. I loved the warm jackets for hiking and camping and outdoor fall and winter sports. I looked at the giant camping packs and envisioned myself loading them up with what they were intended for.
I want to have something to practice. I'm not complaining that I'm no good at anything. It's all my fault that I never chose anything or stuck with it but mostly I just never thought I had the means for it.
I'm good at working with furniture. I was supposed to take Mike's dresser drawers home this weekend and start them. I really should. I need a hobby. I also need to start practicing writing. I have something very large to write and it's not going to write itself. I imagine life must have much more meaning when you do something that involves practice. Afterall, I truly enjoy cooking and I guess everytime I do that, it's practice.
This is such a lame entry. I just wish I had cool hobbies and I just don't know what I want to be into. There's a million things and they all require some funding. Well, not writing. Maybe that's the answer. I really need to start doing that.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
It's scary just sitting here waiting. I mean, no one down near the Gulf is just sitting around waiting. No, they're sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. I read on CNN just now some guy went 46 miles in 13 hours. He should have hopped on a bicycle. Perhaps he had seen Wizard of Oz too many times though. Ok, that was just wrong, but I'm scared. If we don't laugh about it, we'll cry about it.
I'm just glad we're prepared. I'm happy everyone is leaving. I hope Louisiana doesn't get hit again.
So, for some reason the weather people said that we only have four names left to use for the year and then we'll have to resort to the Greek alphabet. Alpha, Beta, (forgot what c is), Delta, and so on and so forth. Remaining names include Vinnie and Tammy and I forgot the other two. I really truly dislike a girl named Tammy so I hope we don't have to resort to her because I would hate hearing her name all day.
So I guess Saturday is the day. I know I'll be waking up in a panic and running for the Tv.