Friday, July 21, 2006

Three and a half hours to go.....

At 4:30 I'll walk out of this office and officially be on vacation until 7/31. I can't friggin' wait.

No, we're not going anywhere, but Mike and I planned day trips and intend to relax. We both need this. Mike more so than myself. The weather is supposed to be shitty with the exception of Monday so Monday will be beach day.

Friends are also coming to see the new house and a trip to Atlantic City is in order as well. I can't wait to cook for my guests.

The house really is home now. I like being there and cooking there and overall, it's just a pretty good place to be. My, how so much has changed. Mike and I are doing great and looking forward to a week together uninterrupted. It was so nice last night to run over to a local car show. Mike scoped out the cars as I scoped out the shops and checked out menus for some cool looking restaurants. How nice to get home and have a late dinner and just lay on the couch and bullshit until bed. That's how I thought it would be. Now it is.

So don't look for any of my lame ass comments on your blogs. I'll catch up when I get back.

P.S. Comment if you still read this shitty blog.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Worth the wait - Al Gore Book signing 7.18.06

Seeing Al Gore was well worth the wait but I can't quite put my finger on why. I guess I just really like him.

I got in line around 4:45 on Tuesday and sat and opened King's Dark Tower IV like I do so very often. I was about 25th in line and it was growing fast! The crowd was very mixed and very excited. I wasn't there to mingle and spread rumors about Gore running in 'o8 or discuss politics. The woman next to me got in an argument with two frat boys trying to get people to sign their petitions to help get the Green Party on the ballot next election. (Wasted votes)

I was waiting for Diana, a friend and colleague, and I had a Powerade (red of course) and an apple so I was slightly annoyed when they opened doors half an hour early due to the heat. Diana now wouldn't be able to find me and I was enjoying sitting outside.

So I mosied on in to Friends Select, a private Quaker school, and bought An Inconvenient Truth for $23.50. No one could bring in outside books and the rules were quite strict. Nothing but the book purchased at the signing would be signed, no personalization - just Al Gore's signature and no photos with Gore. (Proceeds went to Gore's organization of choice of course)

I walked into the gymnasium and walked back and forth back and forth along the impromptu maze set up with caution tape. Didn't we always just jump straight across at Great Adventure when there were no lines? We all felt quite silly. It took ten minutes to walk the length of the gymnasium.

I stood and waited for Diana and was grateful to have spotted her before my vision of the door became too poor. She cut across and we ignored the annoyed faces of those few she cut. Thank God she was there. We proceeded to stand in line until 7:15 pm when Gore finally stepped into the room and the conversation helped the time pass.

Press was in full effect asking people to open their books and gaze down affectionately as they made pretend they were reading. I took no part in that. The radio folk were there asking questions.

Gore was 15 minutes late and the doors were closed around 6:30 due to maximum occupancy at 1200. More waited outside the doors in case Gore had more time. I was happy to have done my waiting before instead of after. Once he started signing I'd be out within ten minutes and I also had front row view of him.

The crowd went wild when Gore entered and it really was pretty fun. I just like him so much. He's good people. It was nice to see him less than ten feet away. A small group began chanting "Gore '08! Gore '08!" and Gore smiled and rolled his eyes and shook his head as if to say "no way!". It was funny.

He began by saying that he knew we have been waiting a long time and that he wanted to get to everyone so he would be brief. He wasn't kidding! He spoke for 5 minutes and 50 seconds. I know because I recorded the whole thing. I plan to link the video to this blog for those interested. It wasn't a very memorable speech but feel good. It was over so fast. But it souped us up and made us cheer for him. He spoke of how the chinese symbol for crisis is also the symbol for change and yeah, you know where I'm going. I need to watch the video again. I was too focused on holding the camera steady that I wasn't listening too well.

So as soon as he was done talking he ducked behind his little table and the press covered him like ants on jelly and he started moving like lightning. It was way too fast and way to impersonal and I knew I wouldn't get a chance to tell him that I started a recycling program at work.

Diana got a photo of the back of my head with Gore and I was able to snap this photo of her with Gore before security told me to move on out.

That's her in the green.

So he signed my book while I was still a few feet away and then when I was standing in front of him, he looked up and smiled and shook my hand. All I could manage was , "Thank you". In that setting, nothing I could have said would have been memorable and I know it.

But it was fun and we both walked out very excited and kind of giddy. We went and had a drink and the conversation was changed within ten minutes but it really was pretty cool.

I went home and read some excerpts of the book to Mike who did not go see the movie with me and I am pleased to say that the book and movie are basically one in the same. The same graphs and charts and text even. It's set up like a very informative coffee table book. Even someone who had no idea what they were looking at would find themselves intrigued by the photos and the captions.

Wait - 2.5 hours

Speech - 5 minutes 50 seconds

Time in prescence of Gore between speech and signing - 10 minutes

Worth it? - Yes

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Everyone shut the hell up!

I know it's hot out. We're experiencing a heat wave. It's summer and yes, this is Global Warming. That being said, almost every single person I have met while in an elevator today or outside while smoking a cigarette is a friggin idiot and a jackass. Please, for the love of God, rack your brain for an original thought AND STOP COMMENTING ON THE DAMN WEATHER!

If you're hot, put out your cigarette and go inside or stay home. Let freon ring, baby!

I actually don't think I get it. It's hot out yes. Don't go for a run. You'll sweat your ass off but it's good for you so be sure to pull your air conditioned car over and step into your nearest icy refreshing Wawa and grab a couple bottles of water and/or Gatorade (or Powerade if you prefer) and cruise on home and kick on the AC. I know you will so stop friggin complaining. We here in the city walk a lot more than you do and I happen to enjoy the sweat. Standing underground at the train station feeling the sweat pour down my back isn't so great but I must admit, it's refreshing. Be gone, toxins!

But this is Global Warming at its finest thus far and you see, using all that damn electricity to cool yourself down ain't such a good idea. So try to be mindful and try to conserve. Put the AC on energy save mode and set it to medium or 70 degrees instead of 67. Kill the lights. You'll be cooler. If you're in a pool playing, don't spray your friends with the hose. (Hi, downstairs neighbors. That's for you.) Most of all, remember that everyone around you has their AC on too so just friggin kill any electricity you don't need so at least there's enough for all of us and we don't blow a major fuse or anything. Don't be selfish.

I hope Al comments about the weather tonight. He's allowed.

I don't know if a line has formed yet but I do know the signs directing the line are out. Tune in tomorrow for a full report on Al Gore's visit to Philly in a heat wave.

I really do like to sweat. Feels good.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Very positive update

I am refreshed, refueled and feeling very positive! Mike and I worked like dogs all this weekend on the house: yardwork, decorating, cleaning, unpacking and I can officially say that the house is done! We had a great time and for the first time, we felt like we were "home" and we are now offiicially happy and getting used to living together. And I can finally stop spending money to boot. There's freshly potted plants in the house and freshly potted flowers on the front steps and on the back deck. I like going home. All is good and right in my world. I haven't felt this way in a very very long time. Never felt this way in Philly at all. It's true. Your living environment really means everything to your emotional state.

And yesterday Mike's parents and my mom and stepdad came over together. We had coffee and my homemade, warm blueberry buckle and the men went outside to the garage for some work and the ladies stayed in and marvelled at how awesome the house looks. Their coming was all the motivation we needed. The place is so friggin cool and if I was at a guest at my house, I'd feel comfortable and think the place is pretty damn awesome. I was a little sad when we all set out to dinner. But again, not being the one with the hour plus commute still brings a smile to my face. Mike and I went home and relaxed.

Yesterday was a good day. At night, Mike and I relaxed as we're still adjusting but while I read and Mike played Madden, I didn't have that awful feeling of wasting time or failure. I can see how people can get used to be homing home and "keeping house" and getting too comfortable. I refuse to let my home and work become my life but at least now I won't feel depressed "doing nothing" at home. Sometimes all you need is to put your feet up in your own home and get into a great story. It really is wonderful.

It's 99 degrees today but yet I plan to go for a jog tonight. I can't get too comfortable. Better I start working on my "night life" now. There's still lots of hobbies to get back into and a world to make a dent of change in.

Speaking of a heat waves and making change, I'M MEETING AL GORE TOMORROW. I am so friggin excited. He is doing a book signing at the private school DIRECTLY next door to my office. It starts at 7:00 but myself and two fellow PEARS (People for Environmental Awareness and Repairation) are going over at 5:00 to get in line. We've all seen his film but none of us had boughten his book yet which is awesome because you have to buy it at the signing and all proceeds go to the cause of preventing Global Warming.

I'm hoping I'll have some pics to post.

The house pics will be up soon now that the house is done. I can't wait to show you all.

We meet Al Gore tomorrow and PEAR meets Thursday and come Friday at 4:30, I am officially on vacation until July 31st! Mike is too! We have day trips planned: Atlantic City, The Philadelphia Zoo, a day at the track with Mike's parents, a day in Long Beach Island at the beach, etc.

All is well. All is well.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's been a while....

My apologies for the lack of updates. I have so many photos to post but no internet access at the new place yet so they will have to wait.

Life has been hectic, exciting yet depressing at times, and I'm working on getting established into my new routine which allows for some more spontaneity. Settling in isn't always that easy I've found. A lot of events and changes all occurred at the same time and are still kind of floating in mid space. It's appropriate to say the dust hasn't settled yet.

But since my "routine" was in upheavel when all these changes and new emotions hit the fan, I've been doing a suprisingly good job at keeping it all together and not fucking up all the positive progress I've made over the past two years. I will forever need to watch my lifestyle. A couple bad nights and a little too much alcohol can throw me into a wild tailspin and I know this. I must practice restraint and moderation in all that I do forever.

I shut and locked the door on 1112 S. 7th Street, Philadelphia last Friday, 7/7/06 around 5:35 ish pm. I found myself standing in my empty bedroom longer than I had intended and it was hard to go. I stood in the center of the room and put my arms out at my sides and spun around a few times feeling the familiar hard wood floor beneath my feet. I was trying to absorb memories and emotions. I was too overwelmed to feel them. But I did feel progress was made.

Overall, the memories at 1112 aren't that memorable. The whole experience was pretty uneventful. It's what it was that is memorable. It was the fact that I packed up and moved to a city, landed a phenomenal job that I love, finally got my head on straight (well, pretty straight), found a healthier lifestyle and had time to focus on me. I changed the past two years and it was all for the better and that's what Philadelphia was to me and always will be to me. The place I grew up and became a better person in.

I love this city.

Locking the door, I peered in one more time and thanked God for all the opportunity and prayed that the next chapter of my life be even better and that I continue to grow. It was sad.

Driving down 7th Street one tear fell from my left eye and I let it dry there on my cheek. I realized that when I shut and locked that door, it felt like I was also shutting and locking the door on my freedom. The fact that I moved in with a man finally hit home. This was followed by many emotions. I think cold feet sums it all up.

I guess the bottom line is that I'll always be free. I'm not regretful of my decision, just so far it hasn't panned out to what I thought it would be. But I blame that on the house and the problems we're still trying to work out there. I just thought I'd be having more fun with Mike. But I think again I'm letting my impatience get the best of me. For now, there's work to be done and I can't rush fun in a place that's not too much fun to be in yet.

The dust is still settling I suppose.....