Monday, April 30, 2007

Letting Go and at the Same Time Not

Maybe because it's spring time or maybe because I am constantly trying to get and remain organized or maybe because Mike wasn't coming home, I took on a project that I wasn't sure how many different emotions would ensue: the project of going through, sorting, and discarding memorabilia.

In folders of various shapes and colors that have traveled with me throughout the years and in binders and albums in a locked antique trunk live photos, letters, cards, ticket stubs, etc. in no discernible order of a past life - a life seldom recognizable.

I grabbed it all - the folders, the photos and planted myself at the coffee table determined not to stop until it was all sorted and ready to lock up again.

I started with the photos and sorted them into pictures of me that I could not link to anything other than a pleasant memory. I considered them my independent photos and smiled as I looked at them. Just me. I stand alone.

There were family photos, sorted those, photos of Mike and I, old old old friends, current friends. They were sorted in neat little photo folders I purchased before beginning this project. The photos were funny because there weren't many current ones. Obviously because all my photos now live on my computer.

Greeting cards: my goodness were there greeting cards! I am pleased to note that about 65% were from my momma. I will always keep those cards as long as I live. I was also surprised and a little annoyed to see how many people don't date their cards. My oldest brother is guilty here but I can't blame him. There were only three cards from my other brother, one of which wasn't even addressed let alone signed! I kept it because I remember thinking how typical of Joey it was and it makes me laugh to this day!

Speaking of my brothers, I came across letters and cards my brother and sister-in-law sent for no reason but to say hello and to remind me that I'm in their hearts without saying so. There was one letter - just a hello how ya doing type thing with clippings from the newspaper about Lisa Anderson that Doug sent me when he was living in North Carolina during my "I want to be a pro surfer" phase. I wonder if it meant as much to me then as it does now.

All the boyfriend stuff was casually swept to the side while I got through the good stuff.

I found letters and cards from my nemesi. (My plural version for nemeses) I got angry and found it funny at the same time how they used to pledge their undying love for me. There was lots of I wish I was as smart as you and Do you have any idea how beautiful you are and I'll always be there for you and so on and on and on. I again considered writing one of them a letter. The one I visited two Christmases ago. I hear she's not doing too well. The purpose could be two fold - to show I'm a still good person and can reach out to her after all the God awful things she put me through AND to mildly brag about how great I'm doing. It would be brilliant!!

Moving on here. I have to get through this.

The boyfriends. Lots and lots of photos were ripped up. I made piles; each one having a name, and sorted memories like m&m's.

Two piles were particularly painful.

One, the largest one, was not for the reasons you may think. My time with A.B. was the happiest days of my entire life. I do mean that. But let me explain. I am so happy today with Mike but it's a mature happiness - the one that contains bills and rent and is overloaded with worry and responsibility. The happiest time in my life was comprised of friends I never thought I could call my own, a crazy whirlwind love, late drinking nights, singing songs at the top of our lungs with the jeep roof down on a summer day, living rent-free, watching John Cusack movies in our pajamas eating cereal, playing improv acting games at three in the morning, playing Asshole in rundown Philly apartments, and dangling our feet off fire escapes ten stories up.

It just doesn't compare. I miss my friends from that time immensely. They all live within ten minutes of where I live now as far as I know and they may as well be in Timbuktu. I fucked this one up. Real bad. And it still hurts. Real bad.

Going through all this stuff was so weird but there was one constant underlying thought. All these people are gone. How awful we, as people, can share such intimacy, secrets, oaths of undying love and then one day just become some letter tucked under someone's bed for a decade and then get discarded altogether. I do believe, I have to believe, that there are letters written by me and photos of me tucked away somewhere by someone I meant the world to if only for a second.

I saved the worst for last and was surprised how really bad it was not. But my dreams were. K.F. destroyed me and robbed me of the last of my innocence. I'll never love as blindly as I did then. (I feel like John Cusack in High Fidelity here.)

That stuff got tucked away and then tucked away again in something bigger. It wasn't so bad and it felt good. There was very little to tuck away in the first place. But he was in my dreams all night in short little scenes. He was the same to me as he was in reality - mean, short tempered. And I was the same in my dream as I was in my past with him - hanging on every word, constantly holding my breath and forever SCARED.

It was a bad night to say the least. The fog took a while to wear off too. But he knows how awful he was to me and I do take an ounce of comfort in that.

Before I wrap this up I just want to say that wish I could apologize, or rather, I wish I had one chance with so many people just so that we could end things of an even or good note. Even a hello, how are you? Really, that sounds great! You take care of yourself now would be better than having these awful memories of how things went down and last conversations. I hate loose strings. I hate all these final notes and wish they weren't final.

But they are in so many cases.

I am pleased to finish with the Mike and Jessica folder. That folder did not get locked away and I hope will never get sealed. We will continue to add to it and make a lifetime worth of memories.

P.S. One item I found that made me actually go "Holy shit!" summed up a good two and a half years of my life. Two and a half years of laughs, MANY MANY faces, and heavy drinking- my Jose Tejas waiters book - band stickers and everything! Damn that's one hell of a memory. I'm so glad I kept it!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Do you love Dancing Dirty?

Do you love the film Dirty Dancing? Were you too young in 1987 to go see it in theaters or were you just not interested at the time and regret your indifference? Do you think Patrick Swayze circa 1987 was smokin' hot?

Well, here's your chance to go see Dirty Dancing on the big screen.

That's right. Dirty Dancing will be in theaters May 1 and 2 with 20 minutes of additional bonus footage celebrating its 20th anniversary!

Just go on over to Dirty Dancing's website to find which theaters near you are participating!

I've already purchased my tickets through Fandango! ;-) Have you?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Spring has Officially Sprung

This past weekend was a gift - a marvelous warm sunny gift! My house looked beautiful with all the windows and blinds open, the curtains swaying in the breeze. Doing yoga in my bedroom, which is just a remarkable room when the morning sun hits it, was invigorating to say the least.

We needed this after all the cold and rain.

Saturday was a bit of a wash but I sure took advantage of Sunday starting the day off with a three mile jog and going back home for the best yoga session I've had so far. After dinner, Mike and I took a nice long walk.

Only 26 days are left until Mike and I leave for Florida. Twenty-six days of pure anticipation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A few words on yoga.....

Awesome! Beneficial! Fantastic!

I threw a CD in yesterday titled Solace comprised of ocean sounds and instrumental music made from instruments I cannot pronounce to block out the sounds of passing cars and other white noise.

Weight Loss through Yoga is broken down into numerous chapters with each chapter going into a new set of postures. I did the warm up section yesterday and I did it twice. I want to commit each section to memory before moving on to cut down on those pesky interruptions of having to reference the book.

Like I said, I only did the warm-up section comprised of five postures and I feel fantastic! I was amazed this morning and even now still that I feel sore as if I did a good cardio workout yesterday. It's amazing how little I (and I'm assuming most people) breathe. I feel two inches taller and much calmer.

I weighed myself yesterday morning and again today and was amazed that I had lost six pounds. Obviously this wasn't just a result of 40 minutes of yoga but I feel confident that it had something to with it. I just felt and feel like my body is something worthy of being taken care of. You wouldn't buy a thoroughbred horse and feed it cigarettes and alcohol and salt & vinegar chips.

I'm also realizing that I had always taken such a negative approach to losing weight: putting myself down, eating because I was so angry with myself, feeling like I'll never get to where I want to be. The yoga is teaching me to concentrate on my positive attributes and overall, have a genuinely more positive outlook.

I know this won't work overnight and I know I'm not changed in the blink of an eye. For example, we lost our hot water last night assuming our landlord failed to pay the gas bill again and I'll be damned if I didn't smoke two cigarettes over it. (Turned out to be the pilot but we had to wait for our downstairs neighbor to get home at 10:00 PM to figure that out.) That experience alone reminded me not to fall to pieces and not to assume.

I have to keep to a routine that consists of a whole package: water, vitamins, special tea, psyllium seed husks, yoga, exercising, etc.

I think I can do it this time.

Yoga really is pretty damn awesome though.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Ahhhh, what a restful three day weekend I had. It was marvelous and included many a three hour naps without rhyme or reason, lots of reading, not a lot of showering, and one very fun dinner party with friends which included getting drunk and playing Apples to Apples afterwards. Mike was home early Thursday and home from work on Friday and Sunday. The weekend really was great!

So now it's Monday - the lovely day I get to start over. I read the yoga book mentioned in the sidebar over the weekend and am eager to go home and do my first yoga session. I know it will take a while to learn the routine but something is better than nothing even if I have to stop and reference the book every few breaths. I feel good though. Just reading the book has made me feel calm and I haven't had a cigarette in 26 hours.

In addition to practicing yoga from a book (a good book) I have my wu-long slimming tea, my vitamins and my psyllium seed husks. I've ran around every warm day so far which hasn't been many and I'm waiting for Spring to come. (What is up with this weather?)

But I feel good and that's what matters. This three day weekend was super for my body. I feel recovered.

P.S. We didn't go hiking/fishing because it was bitter cold yesterday (Easter).

Monday, April 02, 2007

Getting a head start on Spring

So I did go hiking on Saturday even though it was cloudy and cold. I really enjoyed myself and felt proud to have gone all by myself.

According to my trusty map, I hiked about 4.5 miles. The park was small and I covered all the trails. Next time I will certainly forfeit my backpack (book, camera, cellphone, energy bar, water, etc.) and just go jogging. It was impossible to get lost or lose the trail and it wasn't so much hiking but walking on a trail with the occasional wood bridge, root, and man made staircase.

Some trails were very desolate but just when i would start to feel uncomfortable I would see a house through thinner sections of wood and feel at ease. Relax, Jess, you're practically in someone's backyard. LoL

There were sections with picnic tables and canoe drop off points. I want to go canoing quite badly. The designated fishing spots were cool looking and I think Mike would enjoy himself.

In fact, Mike and I did decide to sit Easter out this year much to the dislike of his mother. Mike and I so rarely get to spend a day together that the thought of traveling, traffic and another Holiday meal served Weight Watchers style was just too much to handle. We instead will feast on a breakfast of bacon, eggs and blueberry muffins and head to the park so Mike can fish and I can jog. Sounds like a great Easter to me.

I will snap some photos and post them then.

When the journey ends......

I finished the Dark Tower Series last night.

When I was done with the seventh and final book in the series, I slowly turned the book around, looked at all sides of it and sighed. I walked into my office and found the open space on the shelf beside the previous six books.

Just placing it on the bookshelf and turning out the light felt so utterly wrong and disrespectful. Before I knew it, I had lightly grazed the cover of Book 7 with a gentle kiss and slid it into it's respected place among the other books in the series.

I stood for a moment, looking at the spines, and ran my fingers along all seven.

I then turned out the light and shut the door.

But not before saying,

"Stephen King, to you I say thankya."