"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just a Number?

As I said before, I was not looking forward to this milestone, this birthday. The first day of the last day of my thirties. I am not where I want to be right now, and this past month has been rough.
My posts have been a little blue, and this one would continue that trend, so I thought I would stop here and just share some things that happened in the month and year that I was born: October, 1969. Long, long ago.
The picture of me above is at the ripe old age of one.

Wednesday 01:
The Concorde supersonic transport plane breaks the sound barrier for the first time.
Sunday 05:
The first broadcast of Monty Python's Flying Circus
Thursday 09:
Students from the University of the Philippines formed the first Upsilonian Congress and established the Upsiloan Alpha Beta Grand Fraternity in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.
Tuesday 14:
A race riot occurs in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Wednesday 15:
Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of people take part in National Moratorium antiwar demonstrations across the United States.
Thursday 16:
The "miracle" New York Mets win the World Series.
Saturday 18:
Jefferson Airplane member Paul Kantner is charged with possession of marijuana on Hawaii.
Wednesday 29:
The first computer-to-computer link is established on ARPANET.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Tough Day

Today was my first day back to work after almost a month away. I am going back part-time for a bit. It was almost surreal to go back after that long away. The weather was completely different when I was last there--it was still hot. Today I had to wear a coat and it was cold, so it felt like I had been away even longer. When I got to my office, it was just as I had left it, and there were some tough memories of what I was doing and what was going on when I was there last.
It was just a tough day. I don't even feel like a part of things there now. I know it is only the first day back, but things were definitely off.

Oh, and I turn 39 tomorrow. Believe me, I am NOT excited about this birthday. This is not where I thought I would be for this birthday, literally or figuratively.


Friday, October 24, 2008

What I Have Learned This Week: Be Nice

Because I am on a journey right now to take care of myself, heal myself, and get back on my feet, I realized today that I might want to take note of what I am learning along the way. Some if it is stuff I need to do myself, and some of it is stuff I have to understand about my past and the people in and out of my life. I am a journaler (is that a word?), but that stuff is too personal, and sometimes too sad or too out there to put here. And that's a big statement, as some of the stuff I put here is really out there. But there are some basic, overall things I am taking away from what I am learning and the things I am doing to get through what I am going through.

And here's the first one: BE NICE.

Some basics:

1. Be Nice...whenever possible.
2. Be Nice...to people that are nice to you.
3. Be Nice...even when you think you can't.
4. Be Nice...to your children, especially. They take things to heart. (so do some adults, though-I am one of them).

Other things that fall under the "Be Nice" category: (and some things NOT to do)

1. Don't lie, cheat, or steal. It is hurtful. And is NOT nice. And when you do it to someone, it makes it hard for them to be nice to you, and it starts a whole chain of 'not-niceness' that spreads and it will be all your fault.
2. Don't let 'not-niceness' change who you are. When people aren't nice to you, and hurt you to the core of your being, you can't let it take away who you are or what you stand for. You have to somehow, some way, remember your way back to you.

OK, that's all. And thus ends a tough week with a simple lesson that I wish some people in my life (and now out of it) had learned earlier in theirs.

Thank you so much to my friends who don't need any of these reminders. Not even one of them. I am so lucky to have you in my life. I love you.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In Need

In looking at Matt, Liz and Madeline's blog today, I was alerted about this story, and the need for more folks to register to be bone marrow donors. This is so important, I learned this when a friend's son battled cancer several years ago. Even if you can't help in this particular situation, registering is so easy, and can mean the world-- life-- to someone.
Please pass this on to anyone you can.
The link to the blog and this story is: http://thesiegelfiles.blogspot.com/2008/10/we-interrupt-this-blog.html

The story:
Monday, October 13, 2008
We Interrupt this Blog...
...for the following public-service announcement.I recently found out that an old friend of mine from high school is fighting an aggressive form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He has had many different treatments for this over the past 3 years, including a stem-cell transplant and chemotherapy; the next step in the fight is a bone-marrow transplant. Unfortunately, Steve is part of a "genetic minority," as he comes from a long line of eastern-european Jews. As such, there is currently no match for him in the bone marrow registry. (This is apparently an ongoing issue for the Jewish community -- I had no idea!) He is a mix of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, and Lithuanian. Out of 12 million people on the registry, he does not currently have a donor match.No matter what your background is, I hope you'll look into becoming a bone-marrow donor. It is an out-patient procedure and all expenses are paid by the patient's insurance. And if your background is Jewish, please be aware that the community is in dire need of your help.Thanks so much for reading this far... And thanks in advance for FORWARDING A LINK TO THIS BLOG POST EVERYWHERE YOU CAN THINK OF.
Here is a photo of Steve and his family, so you can see exactly who you'll be helping! Please don't let the gorgeousness of the family sway you in any way. ;-)

Here are some links to some helpful organizations and information:


Creature Comfort

I had a rough night last night, and couldn't sleep. I have taken to sleeping on the couch for awhile now, and I was laying in my den, wide-awake--nothing working or helping.
My animals amaze me. And I have had too many other friends tell me similar stories of their pets to think it is a fluke. When I am upset or sick, my cats know it. Baxter never sleeps with me at night, he always sleeps in the same place-- the rug in front of the front door. He is a cuddler for sure, but he has a set schedule for nighttime, I have always thought it was cute the way he settled in for the night.
But last night, after watching me for a bit, he came to the couch and curled up next to me, purring.
Lilly, too, has always been so aware of what is going on with me. Since I got home almost two weeks ago, she has rarely left my side. This is unusual for her. But she has quietly been keeping an eye on me.
Part of why I know this is not just a coincidence is that a normal day with my three cats is never calm or quiet. Someone is fighting, someone is chasing someone else, followed by hissing--something falling off of a table or counter, and eventually someone stuck behind the washing machine.
But when I am upset or sick--the house gets quiet, and my little animals curl up close by to comfort me.
I didn't get to sleep much last night, but I was definitely comforted.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Margaret and Helen

I have found a number of great blogs out there by seeing the blogs others follow in their link lists, and then seeing blogs those people follow, etc. This is how I came upon Margaret and Helen's blog. They also just won The Blogger's Choice Award for Best Political Blog. Go girls!

The kicker here is that Margaret and Helen are a bit older than your average blogger, and write with such a young spirit. This has led several readers to question whether they are who they say there are. Check out the FAQ. I love this blog, and their honest, no-holds-barred comments.
Here is the "About" description of the blog:

My name is Helen Philpot. I am 82 years old. My grandson taught me how to do this so that I could “blog” with my best friend Margaret Schmechtman who I met in college almost 60 years ago. I have three children with my husband Harold. Margaret has three dogs with her husband Howard. I live in Texas and Margaret lives in Maine.

Visit Margaret and Helen's blog here.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Ah, Parenthood

I don't know about all of you, and I understand that I don't have children, but I TOTALLY understand this guy's story. I mean, the car is really the best place for your baby to sleep while you get a lap dance, er, I mean go to get your cell phone. And, he was only visiting his wife's place of employment, right? I mean, when in Rome....

Lord. And you have to love the name of this place-Derriere’s Mens Club. Now, this is something for the baby book!

Baby found alone in car at SC strip club

The Associated Press
Posted: Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008
More Information

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. A 27-year-old Myrtle Beach man has been arrested after police say he left his infant daughter alone in a car in a strip club parking lot.
Police told WBTW-TV they found the girl's father, Geoffrey Hale, inside Derriere’s Mens Club smoking a cigarette and getting a lap dance after someone called to report in the baby in the car. He was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child.
Hale told investigators he came to the club to get a cell phone from his wife, who is a dancer there. He says he left the girl in the car because she was asleep.
Hale's wife says the case is a big misunderstanding and they have hired a lawyer to fight the charge.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


(click photos to enlarge)

My father was in sales--in auto parts sales to be more exact--with TRW his whole career. This company hired a cast of characters for their sales force, or at least, the ones working in my father's territory that I met were quite the group. These men trickled in and out of our house after working together --and more specifically driving together-- for long periods of time. I saw some only here and there, but their personalities stayed with me. One, though, was different.
Ben was all Italian and all hilarious. He was also all heart. Ben also spent more time with our family, sometimes joining us on family vacations or holidays. I was thrilled with this, because those times weren't always easy in my house. Best of all, Ben loved ME. I think looking back that Ben might have wanted to be a husband and father and it didn't happen for him, and he got to do some fathering with me. He was so fun with me, and always made it seem like he was coming to see me and no one else.
He drove this huge green Bronco that was always a mess inside, loaded with fishing and photography equipment-- his two passions. His favorite thing to do when he came to visit was to drive by our house four or five times, as if he was lost, as if he couldn't see me and my six year old crazy self jumping up and down wildly in the driveway, waving for all I was worth. It became this funny tradition with us even after I was old enough to know he knew where he was going. ;0)

Ben loved talking to me and listening and teaching me to fish. But most of all, he loved teaching me about photography, and I can say that he succeeded in passing his love and passion on to me in that field. This past week, I really thought about getting serious about pursuing some photography on the side, and I thought about Ben teaching me when the camera was bigger than my head. He had all this expensive equipment and he never hesitated to let me hold it, to change the lenses with eight-year-old hands, or to ask a million questions. And while I may not be an expert yet, I know that I owe my "eye" and perspective to him. I look through the lens a totally different way than I would have were it not for Ben. I can so vividly remember him whispering as I held the camera. "Now, see, stupid people, they take pictures this way. What YOU want to do is this..." I would giggle uncontrollably and then listen carefully. I still think that a lot when holding the camera up to take a shot...now, stupid people, they do this...and I still giggle.

Ben was nothing if not funny. And I don't mean sort of funny. Lord, the man was a walking comedy show. His facial expressions--I have never met anyone with more--were a riot in themselves. And eating--this man loved to eat! And he made noises the entire time. Noises of pure love and joy for food. Ben showed me there was joy in life and all the things in it.

The thing I also remember, Ben took a lot of pictures OF me--something I hated. I would avoid the lens, look down, and he would try his best to get me to look at him. I have a lot of pictures where I finally do- he was one of the few people I would do that with. I look at some of those pictures and can see a struggle-- and a smile for him.

He also would say things while he was teaching me photography, or to fish, or to do some other crazy thing...I remember once he said "You are just going to grow up and be amazing!" I had to look away. He had no idea what those words meant, and how I held onto that.

Words are so powerful--and we forget that kids do remember--the good and the bad.

I am so thankful for these memories of Ben and for this gift he has given me--that makes me love taking photos and salivate over the thought of getting my camera out for a day of shooting.

I only recently found out that Ben has relocated not too far from here--and unfortunately recently had a stroke. I am preparing to go see him and thank him in person.
And yes, I will take my camera.


Friday, October 10, 2008

From a Dark Place

I can't promise that I am going to be able to post anything of any worth anytime soon, and I honestly didn't expect to post tonight. But tonight, I heard this quote, as I came out of a deep sleep, blaring from the TV no less. And if it is from any known piece of work, I can't find it. But it spoke to me, so I am posting it, and it is now my email signature. There are sometimes when a quote like this can grab me when nothing else will. Words strung together in this way snag my heart.

I have learned lessons in the last few weeks that I wish no one had to learn, that I wish I didn't have to feel or think of. I have discovered things about myself, the people I bring into my life, and how my childhood has affected everything about me and who I am. I have learned that you can lose yourself in a moment if you aren't careful; if you aren't paying attention.

But, I digress. The quote:

"You will travel through the valley of rejection;
You will live in the land of morning mists;
And you will find your home-- though it will not be where you left it."



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