Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Tumultuous Year and Resolute Horseshit

2009 is on its deathbed. It's hooked up to life support and winding down its final days, hours and minutes until it will cast its last breath and be over with in time. Not only ending a year, bringing on the first decade completion of the New Millennium.

And what a tumultuous year it's been.

I found myself still reeling with the damages the tail-end of 2008 left for my poor son and fighting court battles and restraining orders against his father.

I lost my job for 5 months and had to figure out how to survive, cashing out my 401K, which let's face it had next to nothing in it, and try to stretch it to keep a roof over our heads.

I got to deal with Governmental state agencies; Food Stamps, Unemployment and thanks to my son's father DCF.

I went from being in a relationship, to being cheated on and single in an instant. To then a few meager months later finding out he is now engaged to the adulteress whore, making me yet again wonder about my own misgivings. And the realization that I am Chuck and every ex I have is either married to or still with whomever they dated directly after me…with the exception of maybe less than 1% who happened to be let’s just say un-dateable in general and how I ended up with them will forever remain a mystery my family will continue to throw in my face until I die.

I moved. Not only my home of the last 3 years, by my office as well (since I thankfully got my job back...even if I'm technically still a "temp").

I lost an Uncle, a dear sweet and funny man who I loved very much less than a week after my birthday very suddenly, but he died doing what he loved. One minute laughing with his wife of 50 years on a boat with friends, the next minute, on the bow, dying of a heart attack.

I lost a friend. A tragic accident that left his wife and 3 kids struggling for answers and an entire community pulling together trying to figure out why. An officer, a soldier. A true American Hero.

Friendships changed or ended. Friends I had known forever gone and ones I have known a short time stepped up and were there when I needed a shoulder, a hand. The ones I least expected were the ones who helped me most, while the ones I thought I could count on until the day I died let me down harder than I thought I could ever fall.

My health as always an issue, since for some reason I look the part of my 30 year old female self (ok so I like to think younger....) but on the inside I resemble that of a 65 year old man. I got diagnosed with asthma. Solidified my heart condition, tore and herniated discs in my spine 3 times.

And that's just 2009.

When I think that a decade has past, it's mind boggling. That in the past 10 years, I got my driver's license (late bloomer yes I know), that I remember people freaking out over Y2K and potential banking disasters. I remember where I was September 11 when the entire world changed in an instant when terrorists took of from my city and changed another's skyline forever. I remember my best friend getting diagnosed with cancer at 27. The birth of my son, the best thing that ever happened to me; that made me a weaker and stronger person both at the same time. That I lost my Noni, my Papa, and then my father...

And so they say that New Years are supposed to be about resolutions, and about change. I think it's all crap. Idealistic and romanticized horseshit.

You get all amped up for a "new" year. "This" is my year! "This" is the one, the one to change it all! And then nothing changes. If anything it either stays the same or it gets worse. Sure there may be moments, ones you remember, good moments, but everything supposedly has those. (I mean I'm still waiting, but that's what they say)

So in order to keep with placated and ridiculous traditions, I will pretend to be resolute.

I will try to be less cynical and jaded in 2010. I doubt this will happen as people have a tendency to keep proving me correct that they are all assholes, so thus my theories that "People Suck" seem to be pretty right on, but for the sake of argument and resolution sake, we'll put it out there. You know, for shits and giggles.

I will try to make my body have an invisible bubble around it and try to stay out of hospitals/doctors’ offices as much as humanly possible in 2010. Now granted, I realize that this I likely have less control over, since I am pretty convinced my body is out to get me, but I will listen to those fabulous M.D.'s and follow directions and try not to slip, fall or trip on any objects that may reinjure anything that may already be screwed up.

I will try to be less vehicularly retarded in 2010. Ok, those of you who know me, know I'm lucky I can pump my own gas. My check engine light has been on for 6 months, I have a whopping red "Rejection" sticker taunting me on the front windshield of my car and I perpetually forget to have my oil checked. Yeah I know, I am the devil (you men are glaring at me with laser beams in your eyes I can feel it). I also partially blame the Evil Vortex that kills ever car I come into contact with in my driveway, but seeing as I have moved and the Fucus has been around a miraculous 2 years (a new record!) I will try to behave.

I will try to be less digestively pyrotechnic in public places when partaking in the consumption of adult beverages in 2010. Now, I give cause here because this does not happen fact very infrequent, however since the last time was a mere 2 weeks ago and I was essentially carried out of said bar by my cousin and some friends after thinking at 30 that Scorpion Bowl races on an empty stomach were a good idea...

I will try to be more content with what I have in 2010. I say content because let's face it, none of us are ever actually happy because we can always do better, but content is an acceptable goal for me. I have come a long way and I have done it by myself. I have lost a lot and ended up learning more about myself and finding out who my true support system was and if anyone else comes into my life, they can take it or leave it because it is what it is.

I will try to do better to get myself in a better financial situation on my own in 2010. I haven't gotten child support in over a year, and it was pretty sporadic before that and I am pretty sure at this point my son's father owes me about $14,000 according to the State. I have my own messes to clean up sure, but I have current bills to pay and a 5 year old mouth to feed and I never want him to know there was ever a struggle in his life. He's been through enough. I work full time and I try to do my Mary Kay, which isn’t cutting the mustard, so looks like a part time job will be in order, but I will do what I have to do if that's what it takes.

I will try to lose 20 pounds and have abs of steel before 2010 is over. Yeah this one is never happening but I figure you have to put in that whole I will lose weight and get in shape resolution in there to complete the cliché or it just wouldn't count.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hallelujah Can Bite Me

SO it’s over. The months of planning, the decorating and spending. The tireless hours of wrapping and smiling and cooking all over in a flash and a fervor of ripping paper flying about. Shouts of "Awesome!" and "It's just what I wanted!" and "Mama look!" and then it’s over.

The living room resembling the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and my bank account similar to the FEMA funds.

The family niceties are over and through, although in my Griswoldesque life, this wasn't the case. No, nary a year goes by where an argument of monumental proportions doesn't arise between someone in my immediate family. Although, this used to be tradition of my father and I, seeing as in high school or soon after I was kicked out of the house theoretically 2 Christmas Eve's in a row...but you get the idea.

NO this year's Asshole Award clearly went to my brother for sheer instigational purposes. The pompous ass.

Now mind you, my brother is "that guy" The one who has to have the last word, has to be right in every situation, even when you clearly know he'd wrong. He is a perpetual button pusher. He will find the tiniest thing that will get you going in the slightest and just harp on it until you are ready to dive across a table and throttle him. Ahh family.

So, in the month or so leading up until Christmas, my brother in all of his pompousness needed to remind his single mother sister, his sister with her rent, her car payment, with bills and debt up the wazoo, that he had gotten her a grill for her 30th birthday. Yes. A gift I appreciated. However, he negated to remind the world he had also not gotten her a gift in say the 3 or so years prior to this birthday so he now looks like a hero. He also got the grill on a ridiculous sale, otherwise he never would have bought it.

And that obviously the moral of gift giving, the "reason for the season" is not about one-upping, no. It's about the joy you can bring your loved ones. Blah, blah, blah.

So, I go back to the month leading up. He goes on and on about his stellar gift giving skills. About how much I now "owe" him a great gift since I didn't get him a birthday gift. (clearly forgetting the almost $80 dinner I took him and my mother out to for his birthday but clearly food doesn't)

Now remember, my brother lives at home. Has never paid rent in his life. Lives off of his unemployment checks and the random side work he can get from time to time and spends most of his free time smoking pot and drinking beer.

Now, after bitching and moaning for a month about what he wanted for Christmas, this specific part thing for his truck. One in which I went to 7 different stores to find, and couldn't and finally had to special order and have overnighted so he had something to open on Christmas morning, since the mere mentioning of waiting until my next paycheck to get it for him sent him on yet another rant so I essentially put my account in near negative status to shut him up and ordered it anyway, being the loving and thoughtful, selfless sister that I am. (ok and partly to shut him up)

The asshole gets me a $25 gift card to a gas station....that I don't even go to. Along with a condescending note to not let my car go below a 1/4 of a tank.

Now granted, during a by-week of paycheck on my way to a gas station a couple weeks back I ran out of gas in the cold, but that doesn't allow for the whole asshole gag-Christmas gift in front of my family to be presented and after I drove around the state of Massachusetts to shut him the hell up and make sure he got exactly what he wanted.


So then the aftermath of the holidays, ridiculous attitudes from people you don't need them from, like people who are supposed to be your best friends.

People who then turn around and accuse you of using them as a backup plan, as a fair-weather friend when you left your own family party early to make sure you could go to their family party because you promised you would. Last time I checked, a back-up friend didn't rate a visit on a major holiday, but I perhaps misread the manual.

Then again, I maybe misread the manual on best friends in general, since after 20 years of friendship I seemed to have gotten another one all wrong too, but I digress.

So in an effort to help yet another friend forget her troubles, the day after Christmas we head to my favorite watering hole. Ahh yes. Nothing says post holiday debauchery like a dive bar.

And what a weird night it was. Not only were there several of what I believe to have been cast-offs from Jersey Shore there, one of them apparently decided to fall in love with me (he told me as much) and decided that serenading me by doing Beyonce's Single Ladies dance was clearly the way to my heart. Yeah not so much.

And all this while I was sober, since in all of my motherly responsibility I was the designated driver.

But I decided having a dance battle ala Bring It On with a deaf African American guy was clearly a better alternative for me. So Step It Up I did. Naturally, I was sweating like a fat man in a sauna and I step outside, and run into a guy who somehow knew my father. I was completely dumbfounded.

I went to the Patriots game the next day and got to see them clinch the Division, although walking 986 miles from where we parked gave me a blister on the bottom of my foot the size of Puerto Rico and am now limping like I broke my foot, aside from being in extreme pain because dance battling with a deaf African American while you have a torn disc in your back is not the brightest idea I have ever had.

Needless to say, the end of 2009 has thus far been an interesting one and I can't fricking wait for this year to be over.

I’d chant Handel’s Messiah in my head, but it’s still friggan Christmas music, and Hallelujah can bite me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ode to Humbuggery, a Poem

4 days to go and I'm still unprepared.
My son only 5, is completely unaware
The stockings not hung by the chimney at all
I haven't attempted more stops at the mall

The tree though is lit, and drying out fast
If this weather continues I'll end up in a cast
The ice is all black, the snow to my thighs
My contacts are blurry and hurting my eyes

The cards are all sent, though presents are missing
Soon there'll be cheek pinching and relative kissing
I've run out of money, and sanity's sparse
My "holiday spirit" has all been a farce

But soon it's all over, no more to pretend
The Elf on a Shelf can go back in his pen
The tree out the door on the sidewalk for trash
And pray for overtime to make up extra cash

The fervor for months for this one day of "cheer"
For one day of indulgence, overeating and beer
You travel to see all the family at once
Who overanalyze your life, make you feel like a dunce

The unwed mother who can't hold onto a mate
Who is never on time, and who's always irate
She shows too much cleavage, her life is a mess
She lacks self control....but alas, I digress

But after this Christmas, I hope to regain
The bits of my sanity that hopefully remain
To put away each decoration back in their places
In the basement away from the damp musty spaces

So next year I hope that my merriment’s real
That I don't feel alone, and I have holiday zeal
That this Christmas is one to be swept under the rug
And that never again I will be a Humbug.

Friday, December 18, 2009

We Drink 'Til You're Cute...Too

In lieu of a brilliant ranting post of my own, I am going to help educate you fella's out there with a little help from Esquire Magazine and some uber savvy famous ladies on the Do's and Don'ts on how to deal with us and the goings on in our oh-so-complex little minds.

Now granted, I may not agree or disagree with 100% of what these fabulous ladies have to say, but I found it humorous nonetheless.

You're welcome.

1. Christina Applegate
"Call us back right away. That 'three day' business does not apply. We're getting older, and we don't have time to screw around. Wait too long and we'll lose interest. Trust me on this one."
"Guys who go to Hooters to watch the game are usually the same guys who go to lunch at strip clubs for the free chicken-fried steak. Don't be one of those guys."

2. Courtney Cox
"We pay closer attention to your hands than you think. It's bad enough if you don't have manly hands, but if your nails are longer than ours, forget it."
"Breasts are not a speed bump to the promised land."

3. Padma Lakshmi
"Some of us prefer boxing to yoga. None of us actually likes Pilates."
"Women grab their crotches, too. We just have the decency to do it in private."

4. Alyssa Milano
"Women are innately self-conscious. This is not a choice; it's a genderwide condition. On a bad day, I look in the mirror and see my ten-pound-heavier alter ego. Her name is Bertha. On a really bad day, Bertha sees her two-hundred-pound-heavier alter ego. Her name is Brian Dennehy."
"Women like porn, too. We just hate it when you hide the porn."

5. Poppy Montgomery
"When considering whether or not to ask out the girl you're afraid to talk to, keep this in mind: No matter who you are or what you look like, it's always flattering when you hit on us. Always."

6. Tea Leoni
"Supersecret: Unless we're blind or have no night-light in the bathroom, the whole toilet-seat thing is exaggerated and meant to control you."

7. Mariska Hargitay
"We love the fact that it takes you only twelve minutes to get ready for anything, be it a black tie [event] or a basketball game. When it takes longer than that... what are you doing in there?"
"We are all about our necks. Feel free to spend as much time there as you wish."

8. Emily Deschanel
"Even if we've only been dating a few weeks, don't introduce us as your 'lady friend' -- or that's exactly what we'll become."
"If you think we like the word panties, you've been watching too much porn."
"Ditto titty and moist."

9. Jenna Fischer
"If we run into your ex-girlfriend in public, the first thing you should do is put your arm around us. And if we have to introduce ourselves, you are in big trouble."
"If you can locate the following items in our home — tape, casserole dish, Christmas ornaments — you will get laid."

10. Julie Delpy
"We need you to be reachable at all times, but we don't always pick up our phones when you call. We realize this seems like a double standard; if you'd like to discuss it further, just leave a message."
"A serious scientific study has proven that women think 50 percent more than men, and 90 percent of that extra 50 percent is spent thinking about sex."

11. Maria Bello
"We're afraid of commitment, too. You may think we spend our time scheming ways to trap you into marriage, but many of us are quite happy being independent and autonomous. Besides, we're not in any rush to quit lusting after young Calvin Klein models."
"You aren't the only one who thinks that two women having sex is hot. If we haven't tried it, most of us have at least imagined what it would be like to kiss a pair of shiny red lips."

12. Kyra Sedgwick
"Our friends are not your enemies, and our enemies better not be your friends."

13.Jane Krakowski
"When you break up with us, that means it's over, and we will only sleep with you two or three more times."
"You shouldn't pass up a three-way because you 'love us too much.'"
"No, we didn't see last week's Battlestar Galactica."

14. Sarah Silverman
"We go to the bathroom together because we're doing coke."
"We want to cuddle after sex because we're fucking freezing."

15. Kathryn Hahn
"The Brazilian bikini wax is torture. To show a little appreciation, you could trim your nose hair. And your nut sack."
"I know we're all busy, but let's avoid scheduling sex. When we start thinking about our night like, At 5:00 P.M., he's going to put it in me... Actually, that sounds kind of sexy."

16. Leslie Mann
"The concept of premenstrual syndrome was invented by a woman in Iowa who was trying to come up with a way to call her husband shit-for-brains without repercussions. Now we all benefit."
"We can tell how good you'll be in bed by how good you are on the dance floor. This isn't an invitation to grind your boners into our asses — we're looking more for rhythm, ingenuity, and joie de vivre."

17.Connie Britton
"We want dessert. We want you to order dessert. What we don't want is for you to ask us if we want dessert."
"If we love you, there is nothing so filthy that you can't say it in bed."

18. Kerry Washington
"How sexy you look unbathed at a campsite first thing in the morning is as important as how sexy you look in a tux."
"Then again, looking good in a tux can turn a nice girl into a porn star."

19. Melora Hardin
"We know men think breasts are like Barstow: just a short stop on the way to Vegas. But sometimes lingering a little longer at the places along the way can make for a more pleasant trip."
"We'd much rather try on bras than see them on surgically altered, airbrushed supermodels, but we know how much you enjoy the Victoria's Secret catalog. Consider it a gift."

20. Carmen Electra
"When we say, 'I don't like to play games,' it's because we are very experienced at playing games."
"When we ask which outfit we should wear, humor us with an answer — just pick one already! — but expect us to go with the one you didn't choose."

21. Maria Bartiromo
"Otis Redding said it perfectly: Try a little tenderness."
"Even when we're blindfolded, even when you're wearing sunglasses, even in the pitch black of night, we can always tell if you just ogled another woman."

22. Jennifer Love Hewitt
"PMS is not a lame excuse to be able to yell at you. It's a great excuse."
"We're not complimented when you call your ex a slut. She dated you, too. So what are we?"

23. Parker Posey
"Often men confuse pensiveness with bitchiness, and I find that insulting!"
"Compulsive hair playing equals great, unbridled passion, but not necessarily directed toward you or toward anyone in particular. In my latest book, The Secret Language of Hair, I attempt to bridge the communication gap between hair gesture and meaning."

24. Samantha Mathis
"Asking for directions is a really big turn-on."

25. Cheryl Hines
"All women love to be referred to as 'm'lady.' As in, 'Would you like another beer, m'lady?'"
"All women like getting paid for sex."
"Everything sounds better when your mouth is next to our ear and you whisper it. Everything from 'Sorry about the smell' to 'I'm going to love you forever, m'lady.'"

26. Kim Cattrall
"Women are interested in A-list things: A designers, A vacations, A orgasms."
"Wait, let me rephrase that so there's no confusion: multiple orgasms."

27. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
"Of course we know how to work the TiVo. We're not stupid."
"No, that is not our clitoris, but please — keep trying."
"If you're funny, we will sleep with you."

28. Ashley Jensen
"When we fall asleep before the end of the film, it's because we are happy and relaxed, not because we're bored of Live Free or Die Hard."
"Want to spot a genuine blond? Count her hairs. Blonds have around 140,000 hairs, brunettes 110,000, and redheads only 90,000."
"Many blond women also have blond eyelashes. That might be easier."

29. Sanaa Lathan
"Men who wear sunglasses at night don't look cool, rich, or sexy. They look as if they should be holding a cane or following a dog."

30. SuChin Pak
"Yes, we would sleep with your best friend."
"If you won't hold our hands in public, we won't blow you in private."

31. Saira Mohan
"Eye contact should last exactly 0.28 seconds. The quickest glance is the most effective. Treat us like the sun during a solar eclipse."
"Pick the weirdest part of our body and compliment it. The left elbow, the forehead, shins. Just be creative."

32. Faith Salie
"Women don't take forever to pee. It's other chicks who make us wait. We have absolutely no idea what we're doing in there, and we look at one another in the bathroom line like, What the hell? Then, to keep ourselves occupied, we play with one another's boobs."

33. Andrea Savage
"We hate baby showers as much as you assume a sane person would."
"We don't understand your fascination with boobs, but we're happy you have it."

34. Judy Greer
"We drink till you're cute, too."
"We never fake orgasms. Okay, once in a while we do. But only for the sake of expediency."

35. Mindy Kaling
"Quit Facebook. If I'm standing next to you, and you're checking to see if you have any vampire bites from girls you went to camp with, something's wrong."
"If you defend a girl as 'really smart when you get to know her,' she is dumb. What you mean is, she's 'really smart for a smokin'-hot girl who is stupid.'"
"Women love sex tapes. Not porn — sex tapes, because scandal is titillating. If you want to trick us into watching porn, tell us the girl in it is famous and we just haven't heard of her yet."

36. Wanda Sykes
"The quickest way to a woman's heart is through her clit."
"Diamonds are forever, but touching our clit can buy you two or three years."
"The fact that women make seventy-five cents to every man's dollar won't bother us as long as you touch our clit."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Someone PLEASE Spike My Eggnog

OK, so Virginia may be aware there IS a Santa Claus, but I am thinking of shunning all things holiday and touting Jehovah's Witness beliefs just to avoid having anything further to do with continuing to feign effort this Christmas.

I mean, I am not the Holiest of rollers, let's face it whenever there is some sort of Religious function between family or friend I am pretty sure they all glance back at me waiting for me to burst into a pile of blaspheming ashes. I don't discount other's beliefs, I think the story is grand, I have belief in something, I am

My house has been thrown up upon by askew and half assed holiday schmegma and I have zero energy to put into giving a rats ass enough to make it even slightly warm and inviting. I have my tree all done up pretty, and if you happened to stumble upon my Griswold-like encounter with that tree, I am sure you are not shocked to know I scowl at it daily and abhor even plugging in its lights because I swear it is taunting me.

The lights I attempted to put outside my lovely abode of COURSE have decided to cut out on one side. Why wouldn't they? A brand spanking set of lights should just quit working after a week don't you know.

I have this lovely village I had purchased with pride years ago, acquiring piece by piece each little tavern and home. Quaintly lit from within. Little people inside, smiling, laughing. Adorable little Victorianesque street lanterns to adorn the make-shift, snow-laden streets full of faux snow capped evergreens and frolicking animals.

Yeah they are sitting in a box.

Stockings are not hung by my chimney with care. Well, I don't actually, HAVE a chimney, but they are not hung anywhere. They too are still in store boxes in my kitchen, waiting for me to pull them out and be hung, wanting to be cozied up and lit up warmly by the tree that is taunting me and hoping to be filled with goodies on Christmas Eve.

At this point the ultimate stocking stuffer is going to be a severed foot.

I have done my duties. I have done my minimalist shopping with no money. I have written out Christmas cards I have yet to send. Posed cheesily with my son for our yearly holiday photo shoot.

I am just not here.

SO now looms away 10 days until the big day, 9 if you take it as Christmas Eve, the night I will stay up all night watching a Christmas Story for 24 hours, waiting until the very last minute to wrap every gift because I struggle. Cutting my pointer finger to shreds on the stupid teeth of the scotch tape dispenser.

I have even tried to get into the spirit with charities, which I am huge on anyway, but even though it felt amazing to do, it wasn't Christmassy enough. I took part in Wreaths Across America and laid a wreath on the grave of every fallen soldier from every war from the American Revolution to the War in Iraq in the cemeteries in my hometown to make sure the soldiers who lost their freedoms fighting for our country were not forgotten this holiday season. It was an amazing tribute, and an honor. I brought my son, and they even let me take an extra wreath to the grave of a fallen officer and friend in another town.

And yet, the Christmas Spirit still alludes me.

Someone needs to spike my eggnog or something because I would like to snap out of this funk and have myself a Merry Frickin Christmas.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Makings of My Griswold Christmas

So I did it. I jumped on the holiday bandwagon and got some stuff accomplished.

Ok, actually that is a bold faced lie.

I have half-assed and ghetto-ly attempted to get into the spirit for the sake of my 5 year old and am failing miserably.

I got a tree, a mammoth of a tree as a matter of fact. However naturally in the matter of all things pertaining to my life, I reinjured my spine last Thursday so attempting to decorate said tree has been a slow-motion Griswold moment waiting to happen.

I enlisted my brother to help with the tree purchase, since like all men who live at home with their mother's he owns a very large truck to over-compensate and that would clearly work better than latching a large deciduous Fir to the top of a Ford Focus.

I also only get tree's from charitable associations. However, I was scalped this year by the one I seemed to find in my new town. Apparently the profits of this non-profit go to the Music Department of the school system, and likely jumping on the coattails of Glee, they felt that gouging the public for something you could easily get free in nature had I a chainsaw was a wise idea. I digress.

So tree in truck bed and wallet thinned greatly, we make our way back to my house, which I may add in my crippled state I had also decided to decorate with lights....held up with push-pins. I told you, half assed.

Naturally in all of my OCDness, the tree I just had to have was uber symmetrical. Practically perfect in every way (thank you Mary Poppins) and it was a lovely choice if I do say so myself. We were at the tree lot being stalked by an Emo boy of the musical persuasion to Sell! Sell! Sell! for maybe 10 minutes, tops.

Now mind you, my previous address I lived in a basement, a dungeon if you will with very low ceilings, so naturally I tended to look at smaller statured trees. Of course, my brother reminds me in my bigger, better home I now have 10 foot ceilings and a 6 foot tree would be dwarf-like and not fit the space, so naturally we aim for 8 1/2 9 feet. A full bodied tree.

Good in theory.

I had a vision in mind, getting the tree home, putting it in the back corner of my living room, between my office and my living room. Being able to sit comfortably on either couch and watch holiday specials curled up in the lighted ambiance of the glow of the lights, all awash in the smell of Balsam and holiday cheer.


First the tree doesn't fit through the door without coming through it battering ram style, showering needles willy nilly all over the damn place to which I will likely be finding until next July. Next step is bringing over to my coveted imagined spot. Yes. Tree of wonder is much, much larger in real life and in my living room than it clearly was outdoors surrounded by other trees and blocks entire office to nonfunctionality.


All furniture is now moved out of my living room. Bookshelves moved from one room to another, couches shifted from their coveted spots of comfort and critical TV watching splendor to new walls to accommodate the Paul Bunyan of trees I had to get.

Amidst the fervor of all this as time ticks on, I of course realize being the stellar parent that I am, I should perhaps feed my child. So I beg my brother to allow me to run to the store at the top of the street for beverages and I would be back to heat up pizza. All would not be lost.

In theory.

In true Griswold fashion, I grab my keys and wallet and head out the door and then slip on ice that has mystically and suddenly formed on my 2 steps to my walkway and I wrench my knee, strain my back again I am sure and am in the driveway screaming in pain. My brother, gallant as he is, opens the door and asks "What the heck did you do?" To which I explain, and to which he laughs at me. Nice. I then hobble over to my landlord who lives next door and beg for some sort of salt solution for the steps so I do not die upon ascension when I return from the store.

Finally, we get the tree into a corner and my brother leaves. His attempts at heavy lifting have clearly been over and above anything he had signed up for and despite making his nephew thrilled to have him there, he is thus abandoning his poor crippled(ok severely injured and irritated) sister alone to fight with the tree.

So broken in spirit and in body, my child giddy with anticipation about the stupid tree is so eager to help and wants to immediately throw every decoration on it. RIGHT NOW!


After tantrum ends while explaining I have to put the lights on first and that being 5 he is not allowed to handle electricity and thanking ABC Family for playing back-to-back Christmas specials on TV all night, I get started on the lights in true Bob Rivers fashion.

I put the lights on and took them off 4 times before I was able to get them on the goddamn tree. First I started at the top, naturally thinking that working my way from the most difficult part and working down to easy would be the smart way. SO there I was, straddling couch and side table, holding on to the ceiling beams for dear life and having visions of myself falling into the tree and out the window as I ever so gracefully wound the lights around the tree.

Now mind you, I had 5 sets rigged together, should have been more than enough to reach the bottom. Yeah not so much. Grumbling I took them off and started from the bottom this time, thinking that maybe I would reach the top THAT way. Again, getting halfway.

At this point I was having visions not of Sugarplums, but of taking the tree outside and lighting it on fire...

Finally after 2 more attempts and nearing 10pm, lights were on sufficiently enough for me to stop giving a rats ass. (Granted we started this process at around 6pm) So then, all a flutter with lighted glory, my child who should have been in bed 2 hours prior wanted to decorate the tree RIGHT NOW!

Patience is now gone, the Elf on a Shelf is gawking at me creepily and I have had enough. Nope. Sorry buddy. Off to bed, we will do it tomorrow. If we do it at all. At this point I am ready to cancel Christmas altogether because Dylan throws himself on the floor screams kicks and cries, and of course I have to remind him of the creepy Elf watching waiting to tell Santa of his horrid behavior.

My living room looks like an ornament store threw up in it and I have still no motivation to have anything more to do with this evil tree.

Anyone have a match?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Awash in Humbuggery

I am usually in an Elfin state of Holiday Glee about now. Trimming my tree would have been a fond memory and I would be sitting back enjoying the Enchanted Village that would have become my humble abode likely the day after Thanksgiving.

I would have already begun navigating the many sales and writing lists upon lists, having my holiday cards already signed sealed and delivered well on their merry way across the globe waiting to be anxiously opened and displayed with the rest.

SO what about this year has me awash in Humbuggery?

Last year I had not much to celebrate. My son had been through the most traumatic thing a child can experience and essentially lost his father right before the holidays, I had been laid off fro my job the day before Thanksgiving and had no income to get me through the holidays, and yet I was all for it. I went for broke, no pun intended.

And now, back a member of the working force, life seemingly normal and relatively uneventful, I find myself lacking any motivation to get into the holiday spirit.

Is it due to the fact that up until yesterday it has been 60 degrees in Boston, making the season seem like mere make believe? Like a joke by Mother Nature conjured up to bring on only talk of Global Warming and nothing of those White Christmases?

Is it due to the fact that for some strange reason high school drama seems to rear its ugly head in matters that never cease to amaze me and I have seemingly lost my two best friends to it?

Is it the fact that last year was in a relationship and now I am not? (or the fact that I just found out that same person is now engaged to someone else?)

Is it again due to the realization that nothing and no holiday is ever the same without my father?

I can't exactly pinpoint the cause of this anti-holiday funk. I have started to shop willy-nilly, but not with the fervor and pinash that I usually do. I have started to subtly put out a decoration or two, even light a tree smelling candle in the hopes it will trigger something deep within my psyche, snap me out of whatever walking coma I seem to be in.

I get oogats. My father's favorite Italian word for nothing. Zilch. Nien. Niet. Not a single warm fuzzy running through my veins giving me any sense that today, Christmas is a mere 18 days away.

Maybe its time I get run over by a reindeer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You Can Keep Your Broom, Thank You

People would rather pretend things never happened than actually talk about anything real.

No one wants to resolve issues, they want to forget about them. Quietly sweep them under the rug until they are hopefully no longer on remembered. People are essentially pathetic.

They want to live in their fake existences feigning happiness while inside they are festering and seething and then wonder why everything in their lives is so shallow and faithless. Nothing is sincere, nothing is concrete.

Their friendships consist of safe topical conversations, nothing that could be considered deep or heaven forbid emotional. It's too stressful and too real for anyone to handle, so they pretend it’s all ok. And then wonder when their worlds explode why no one is there to catch them. Idiots.

These people who evade sincerity. Who react to every day stresses and outbursts as the dramatic rantings of the emotionally unstable. But who really are the unstable ones? Those who cathartically emote their problems? The ones who bring their hopes, dreams, fears and angers full front to the table or the ones who closet it inside, holding it and storing it until it can no longer be held in and it bursts upon them like a child's hidden treasures after their room cleaning tumbling in an avalanche.

Those people who would rather settle for mediocrity than strive to make things better in their lives. So that road is paved with hardship and bitterness. So its long and its hard, but that would only make that final outcome so much the sweeter. Instead they become lazy in their endeavors and succumb to passivity and give up on their dreams in both life and moreover in love.


Then, in their callous view they judge you. You who voice what you feel, who wear your heart on your sleeve and leave your life an open book. Sure you have known shame and humility, nothing has been easy and nothing for sure is going to be, but it is your journey, the people in it along the way helping and hindering each and every milestone you surpass.

This judgment comes from jealousy. Those mundane manipulators trying to bring you to their level of mediocrity. Their life may be better on paper sure, but they are lacking in spirit. Their drive is gone, their tenacity vacant. Who says you have to give up on impish dreams and quests in adulthood? Who says you have to settle for anything?

I would rather die a thousand deaths than ever fall short of the ideals I set for myself again. I will never let them beat me down again, never let their festering focus and fear of the unknown hinder my hope of finding what I know is out there waiting for me if I hold true to what I believe in. So what if it's not tomorrow, so what if it’s not easy to find. I will appreciate it ever more once I do for all I have had to overcome. And I will not be living a lie.

So you can keep your broom and keep sweeping, I'll be walking over the rug thank you very much.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Needed: New Dictionary

Respect (ri-spekt) noun: esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.

Apparently mine was called into question. I find it humorous this dual syllable word can cause such an impact. Thrust upon me like a slap in the face, like a stab in the heart. Then again, I think it bears more impact dependent upon who's mouth the utterance is thrown.

There are many reasons people are shown respect, and certainly more often people are shown lack thereof. Drug addicts, prostitutes, criminals. Easy to see the lack of regard these dregs of society harbor. But the laymen? Most everyone should be treated with at least a semblance of decency and respect until proven otherwise.

We all know I am no saint. I never promised to be. I have made bad choices, stupid decisions and there isn't a single person I know who doesn't forever see me paying the consequences of my own actions. But what makes one person different from another, what makes people worthy of respect is that ability to do two things.

First is the ever clichéd act of admitting you did anything wrong in the first place. Humility is its own rite of passage and no one else should ever be allowed to make you feel bad about your own choices, especially if you feel that way as you stand alone.

Second is not repeating that same mistake twice and learning from your prior bad choices. Not diving back down those bad paths because they may have been easier. Foraging alone ahead, even if it’s hard.

What right does anyone else have to make you feel bad about your life? Who gave anyone else that judgmental ability to look at you and decide what is worthy of respect, what isn't?

I have dug myself out of the ashes. Sure I am still covered in soot and sure my vision is still blurred from the dust of it all settling, but I am no longer buried by it all. I did that and I alone take credit for it. THAT in and of itself is worthy of respecting.

I am raising my child alone. I have no financial support from another parent, I have no second income from a spouse. Hell I don't even get money from the government with the exception of a ration of bread. I do it alone. It is hard and I complain sure, but I still do it. That is worthy of respect.

I am a rape survivor. I silently punished myself for years. I took blame for what happened to me, then I blamed everything with a penis as if it weren't just the fault of a few bad men. I wrote an article published in a major newspaper and spoke to women about it when I was in college. Even if I only helped one or two people, I helped someone. THAT is worthy of respect.

I have championed for charities in other people’s names. I have given selflessly and when I have nothing myself to give. Dropped everything to care for those I loved. I never asked for anything in return, and I never would. THAT is worthy of respect.

SO I ask those skeptics and critics, those harsh on lookers in their pious glass houses, who are you? What about you makes you better than I am? Makes you able to cast your judgments on me, hurt me with your words and spread words to others you don't respect me?

Because I think you honestly need a new dictionary.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Move Over Frankie, I'm Doin it MY Way

People are hypocrites.

This whole hub-bub about Adam Lambert and his gyrating AMA antics have made me irritated over the annoying abundance of double standards that exist in our society.

Who cares really? Madonna and Britney made out for crying out loud and that clip has been hailed and raved about for years. So what if the guy-liner wearing Idol runner-up had a chick on a leash performing faux-felatio? When was the last time you didn't get those same idea's when some tween pop-tart straddled a back up dancer and started to dry hump his leg like a puppy in heat?

This of course came on the heels of an interesting weekend that likely caused a rift in my best friends forming of a relationship because I have a vagina. Again, that pesky double standard rearing it's oh-so-ugly head.

Had I been some beer-gutted frat minded guy who wanted to crack cans on my head, I would have been the picture perfect BFF, but because I sit to pee, I pose a threat. Really ladies? In case you haven't met me I am estrogenly challenged mentally and am basically a frat boy with boobs.

There is also that clichéd stigma that goes with sex. A guy can be king of the world the more conquests he racks up. He doesn't become the butt of the joke, or become subjected to scrutiny. He doesn't get made to feel horrible for a night of drinking and poor judgment. He gets a high five and an atta boy and moves on to the next pair with a pulse.

A chick on the other hand is labeled. She's used, she's tainted. A whore, a slut, etcetera. A name she gets to spend the rest of her life trying to dig herself out from under. A reputation that will haunt her. Her name accompanied by snickers and jeers. Self esteem shattered by the same men who lay in wait to take her home.

All because these ridiculous double standards exist. SO what if people do what some don't like. It's their choices and who are you to judge them. Who are you to make anyone else feel like less of a person because you are uncomfortable? I don't like it when you wear clothes you shouldn't in public, or leave the toilet seat up. I don't like PDA or people who carry on full conversation on cell phones in public without any regard to the people around them. I don't like fat people at the beach in Speedos, but you know what, that's their choice and who the hell am I to judge.

Sleep with who you want and be who you are. You only get one life to live, and you only get one chance. DO it up.

I'm going out like Frankie, for doing it MY way.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ho Ho.....Hum

Why is it that when things start to balance out, feel normal and calm, seemingly routine, that you get instantly thrust into emotionally stressful situations that make you over think and project and fester and analyze and contemplate and overall doubt your momentary sanity?

The most minimalist of things really, but monumental to everyone. That one thing that drives us and divides us all the same. That leads us to do what we do every day, to make us get up in the morning. That's right. Money, or moreover, lack thereof.

It's amazing what a piece of fiber and paper can do to a person. How it can cause both happiness and pain. Both stress when you have none and pompousness when you have abundance. How it creates rifts in families or in societal niches.

And you think you're ok. You get along, living paycheck to paycheck. Working just enough to get by. And usually it’s enough. Sort of. You make too much to get help, and too little to survive. It's a shame how these systems work really. But who am I to tell them what to do, I mean I'm just a single mom with no child support, what do I know of struggles?

The impending holidays always make me worry more. I want for my son to have the best memories possible. I want him to think back on his childhood fondly and not know that there was ever trouble in his life. Isn't that the job of a parent? Creating illusions for their children?

I remembering being a kid and coming downstairs at Christmas to have wall to wall presents, and as many of those holier than thou people will tell me that it's not about the gifts it’s about family and yadda yadda yadda, it wasn't the exact gifts I remember. I remember sitting giddy at the top of the stairs waiting to go downstairs to see what Santa had brought with my brother, so excited in fact that I would usually throw up from the sheer anticipation and anxiety of it all.

I remember waking up my parents and having my father go downstairs to "make sure" Santa came. Of course as I grew older I realized he was making sure nothing was forgotten and that the video camera was properly placed to document the merriment, but it was still a great feeling to watch him tread those stairs that morning.

I remember getting the OK from him as he bellowed from the stairs, and somehow my brother and I making it down in one piece as we fought tooth and nail to get to the bottom of the stairs first. Overcome with excitement and wonder as we would enter the living room, wide eyed at the site of a living room transformed into a magically room full of gifts, wrapping paper and bows as far as the eye could see. My sister gingerly following us in her teenage angsty way, trying to mute her excitement, but failing.

I never knew my parents struggled. Back then they didn't, and things were ok, but as I got older and my dad's health declined, as the economy got worse and inflation started to make things harder to come by, I never knew. It wasn't that I was oblivious really. I knew in other ways we had scaled back on things, but holidays, holidays were the one time where as a kid you should never know struggle. You should never know hardship or sadness.

You should wake up, surrounded by toys, by games and my love. By family and feast. A table ornately set and decorated. Full of people arguing and laughing. Making memories.

And yet, I fear my child is losing out on what I had. Partly because I can't afford to give it to him and partly because my family has lost the spirit to want to participate in any of it. Lost on traditions. We have our traditions, we have our ways. And sure over the years they have changed and molded, but I want the heart of them the same. The feeling of them. That giddy anticipation from parent and child, I want to make new memories for my son.

I fear that funding make cause a fundamental problem in holiday cheer.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And So It Seems...

Underneath the rubble
Of the life I know so well
There is a hole
Within my soul
With so much left to tell

A silent voice that longs to speak
To shout my fears from rafters
Please hear me now
Please show me how
To hide my tears with laughter

That cynical and callous soul
Disappointed yet again
Will come a day
Be shown the way
By lover or by friend

And so it goes contentment
Forever on my mind
Too much to ask
A daunting task
Seems ever hard to find

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Taking Back Turkey

Whatever marketing pseudo genius that decided to start springing Christmas on us on Halloween should be shackled and pummeled by rotten pumpkins at dawn.

I love Christmas, don't get me wrong, but in a timely fashion. I don't need to be reminded far too early that I am struggling to catch up with bills and I have to start NOW, RIGHT NOW, shopping to get the deal of the century in order to make my child love me forever and ever and save the day by getting the ungettable get of the Holiday season.

I cherish the way things were once upon a time, when you would eat yourself into a candy coma after Halloween for a week. Where you would start to prepare yourself for Thanksgiving a few weeks later. Gently start to dream of that one day of over-eating (ok who are we kidding, one day...) and tryptophan side effects.

Traditions are being whittled away by mass marketing and sale papers, and having been in retail hell for 15 years I get it. The holiday's are no longer being ruled by the family dynamic, they are ruled by the dollar sign and you are all falling for it. All succumbed to the trickery of the Big Boxes and Retail Giants. Their subtle nuances who's snappy or annoying jingles may plague you as you sleep, and lure your children into frenzies over what they subliminally tell them is the coolest toy on the planet.

It also makes me miss my father more. Sure he picked fights with someone (mostly me) every holiday, but we were together. We were one of those families who sat together for dinner every night. Didn't matter if it started at 8pm, we all sat down together. Holidays were no exception. Everyone huddled around the table, arguing over who got the breast and who got the skin (because though clearly unhealthy, it’s oh-so-good). We may have put the fun in dysfunctional, but holidays were our thing.

They used to be lavish. Cousins, aunts and uncles. Kids running amuck. Using my grandmother's china and waiting for my mom to gingerly take that massive turkey out of the oven, my dad ready to carve it with the grace of a professional butcher. And slowly, things changed. Cousins grew up and got married, their in-laws families became their new traditions and our table thinned out.

And then we lost the house. And then my father died. My sister heads to her boyfriend's family home out of state. And now it’s us. Just my mom, my brother, myself and my son. Four lonely souls lost in memories of what used to be tradition. No longer do we have that table full of witty family banter. No longer so we have those arguments I long for. Ok, well my brother and I still rival any sibling arguments going back in time, but other than that it’s a solemn occasion.

The oven has been replaced by a turkey fryer. My grandma's china with every day plates and Tupperware. But I want it back.

I want to tell retail to go to hell and take back tradition. I want to take that fried turkey (ok it IS delicious) and bring my family to my house. I want to set a fancy table. I want egg-nog and cider. I want to Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on TV, and football and Miracle on 34th Street. I want stories for Dylan to tell when he gets older. I want memories to be made for my son. I don't just want another blip on the calendar. A kickoff to shopping or a countdown to Christmas.

That's right folks, I'm taking back Turkey. Who's coming with me?

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Golden Westfalia

My father had a soft spot for old cars.

Ok, what he really had was a lack of ability to let himself buy a new car. Moreover a functional car. One that wasn't seemingly held together with duct tape and solder and that didn't cause him to continuously curse and get louder and louder in that way that only a stoutly little Italian man could.

They weren't really old like those precious antiques people collected. They were cast offs. The unwanted really. More like those cars that were invented and then when the makers realized they were crap and they were on the brink of death, close to driving their last fuel-guzzled road, my father somehow found them.

In dark alley's in random places. In people's side yards, unwanted and lonely, he found them. Like the Pied Piper of the Vehicularly Deceased, he found them. The old and the rusted. The dented and odd colored. He would use them, abuse them and then I would inherit them.

It was a strange thing really. The evil vortex in my driveway that killed these cars. It was likely a mercy killing in a way. Those poor unfortunately souls, put out of their misery by simply coming into contact with me.

Which of course became instantly my fault. Naturally.

It wasn't the fact that these beauties were left abandoned far before my father found them. Or that they likely required hundreds if not thousands of dollars in work before that, no of course that couldn't be it. It couldn't be that my father usually cavorted around in them as work vehicles, traipsing from jobsite to jobsite, parking in the unpaved and nail-covered places a contractor generally frequented.

It couldn't have been the sawdust covered pieces of wood and tools, or the extra few 100 pounds or so they wrought. No.

It was naturally all my fault. I had the Golden Touch you see. But alas, it wasn't me, it was that Evil Vortex.

And yet, of all the 13 cars (yes I am on Lucky 13 folks) I have gone through, the one I did not inherit was his last. That convertible van. That Volkswagen machine that wasn't just a car, oh no. THIS, this was also a camper. Dirty and scarred. It came fully equipped with curtains and pull out bed. With stove and mini-fridge. A pop-up top for comfort. A contractors dream.

And for the past week, this car, this multi-faceted driving machine has haunted me. As I commuted to work I have seen not one of these Bad Larry's no, but 3. This boxy mind-boggler etched with Westfalia has been following me. This gold machine, a time machine straight out of 1985 has been bringing me memories of my father for the past week.

Memories of him attempting to put Dylan's infant car seat in the back bench, what seemed like miles from the driver's seat in the back to take him places. Images in my head of my child flying through mid-air in the back of a camper, and cajoling my father for ever buying such an impractical car.

So now, as I sit every morning in my bumper to bumper commuter traffic, as I stop and go with oncoming cars merging from on-ramps and painstakingly make my way to work in the morning, I now find myself on the lookout. I look for that one vehicle that rises up a little higher than the others, that looks a little boxier than those newer and sleeker streamlined hybrid cars. I look for that memory on wheels, and maybe, just maybe I hope to catch a glimpse of short little Italian man with glasses and a mustache, with a stain on his belly from his morning coffee (milk,no sugar) dripping down between his fashionable combination of T-shirt, belt and suspenders.

So thank you aimless strangers, thank you for giving me my dad, if only for a moment, and if only in memory, in traffic on my morning commute. You may have bad taste in cars, but you've given me something I've needed for a long, long time. A piece of my dad, and of course;

The Golden Westfalia.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lost: MoJo...Possible Reward

Has anyone seen my Mojo?

I seem to clearly have lost it somewhere and in a failed attempt to remember what it was once like when I had it, I decided that going out on a "school" night was a good idea.

Harmless in theory really, a 30-something consenting adult without child for the evening. Working the next day sure, but a couple of hours to celebrate my heydays would surely not be punishable. Two or so cocktails do not equal hangover, I should be good.

Transport yourself in time to the Beachcomber, a South Shore staple bar for the past 50 years. Dark and wood-planked inside and notably themed by the musician’s of Yore and the Irish drunkards who have kept it afloat the past 1/2 century. This seedy place, of linoleum and bad lighting, filled with the smells of smilled beverages and pizza has been my Cheers for close to a decade.

It’s truly a place where everyone knows your name, and your refill is ready for you before you take the last sip of your previous drink. Where local bands get their starts and former greats have once graced the stage. I mean Jay Leno even did his stand up act here back in the day. (He is a hometown boy afterall.) Where bar fights, marriages and divorces have all started. Ahh, it's home.

So alas, as goes by this golden anniversary for a beachfront landmark, so is marked another anniversary. Good friends remembering 18 years of karaoke debauchery hosted by our very own dear friend. Usually such an event would bring out the masses, old and young alike to revel in this charismatic man who has been perverting the stage for close to 20 years.

And comes the 9 o'clock hour, the start of it all, guns ready to go off in ample celebratory nature, and.....crickets. Silence. The few, the far between, and I. Yes folks, a dead start to the night. I had convinced myself I was going to stay an hour. Show my adoration for my beloved comrade and bid him adieu. I mean, as a responsible working adult and mother I had to get home and in bed and ready for the new day tomorrow right??

Yeah not so much.

As the drinks flowed freely, (although after a while for me I did convert to water, since obviously common sense in age has reminded me that drinking and driving is definitely not a wise option) I started to remember how I rocked this place. How I seemingly owned this bar when I walked in. At least in my egotistical mind at the time I did.

I mean sure I still know mostly everyone, but that cool confidence I once had is gone. That crazy girl who would get up and dance, even if no one else was because I liked the song...or simply wanted to be an gone. A distant memory. No more mid-drif bearing tops and skin tight jeans. The cleavage however, will be ever-present until the day gravity decides to hate me and protests. (It is a diversionary technique in keeping all eyes away from the "Mama" region I commonly refer to as the Fanny Pack)

No more making the guys drool over me and having to figure out who the lucky guy would be that would get to try to take me home. Most of them not winning, but hey they got an A for effort. Not even a "Hey can I buy you a drink..." from a creepy bar guy anymore. I've clearly lost my touch.

I mean nothing. I sang my songs, I rocked it out sure. I saw friends I hadn't seen in ages and it was great, but then, I stood idly on the sides of the stage. Reminiscing of the old days. Talking about jobs, and kids. Talking about politics and Veteran's Day. I lost my MoJo.

I watched a group of youngun's, probably barely 21. Not a care in the world. They cared not what people thought of them. Not what they looked like, or how well they sang. They got up and danced whenever they felt like it. To the beats of their own drummers. And sure, some people scoffed, and yet I envied them. I was them once, carefree and confident. I had me some MoJo. I had me a lot.

And thus, though my antics were not crazy, and my alcohol consumption was limited, as I walked in my door at almost 2am, woke at 6:30 cursing my alarm as though it were out to get me and in a zombie state readied for work and battled traffic, I feel as though I were hit by a train and I haven’t slept in a month. Yes my friends, that MoJo, it’s gone.

If you've seen it, I'd like it back please.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Your breath becomes quickened suddenly, your heartbeats faster almost instantly creating a flutter in your stomach that is a combination of elation and almost a naive nervousness. You breath deeper, you see clearer, your eyes brighter. You smile with out even knowing why you're smiling, your lips curling to the pull of a force greater than anything you have ever known. You stand taller. Dazed and lost by the wonder of it all, yet never before more keen. Brought to this by even a glimpse of a picture, a faint resemblance of a passerby, a song whose lyrics touch a certain poignancy of how these emotions could ever be penned or vocalized, even the memory of an occurrence at a particular place, or time. Its that feeling.

You long for it. You wake up and need to be surrounded by it. Emblazoned by its warmth and its vigor. To be touched by the mere thought of being touched. The hairs on the back of your neck stand at end remembering the last time your skin brushed ever so gently against theirs. Even casually. It sets every sense in a tailspin.

Another with the same cologne could cause an uproar in your mind, causing you to gently close your eyes and imagine yourself whisked away to another place where time and appropriateness may allude you. Where nothing but the thought of their lips on your lips, their hands in your hands play over and over in your mind like you are reliving a favorite part of an old familiar movie.

A song, a sound, a movie that played when you first met, talked, saw each other brings you back to that innocence. That awkwardness, so real yet so knowing. Like a secret waiting to be told. Waiting for the right moment, as if in the beginning you weren't ready for it yet. Aging in a sense. Together in an uncertain certainty.

Firsts together, not necessarily firsts in life, feel like new things all together. Like everything before them had been a complete let down. Like a complete sham to the real thing. All things before them not irrelevant, but unimportant to where you both are now, together, and moreover where you are going. Together.

Idealistic and dreamlike. Wanted and sought after. It's not impossible. I know it's out there, and in short brief moments, I have felt pieces. Close, nearing what it could have been. Then afraid, slowly or not slowly backed away. Some of it was me, some of it was them. Fault was shared. Blame and shame blanketed throughout the past. It makes you know what not to look for, what paths no longer to take, and what feelings are wrong.


I'm still waiting.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Don't Want to Be Chuck

Ever discover something, could be the most random of things really, could be anything from hearing an old song or seeing a place you once went, or hearing a name called out, smelling a certain cologne perhaps from a passerby that rang familiar and realize you may not be as over something as you had been telling yourself, and telling everyone else you know, you had been?

And now that you are aware of it again, its festering. You try to quash it. To put it out like the last smoldering ashes of a once blazing fire, all that is left seem to be charred embers, smoking and seemingly lifeless, but one quick swift change in wind direction and what little wood is left can catch fire yet again. It may only burn briefly, but it will be hot, and smoke-filled enough to cloud your thoughts, your judgments.

Your thirst for knowledge of things consumes you. You rerun past conversations, past arguments, or even the lack thereof. Where did it all go wrong, how did it get here, classic questions, cliches. You question your own sense of self, of sanity over and over again, like you have a dozen times as if it only happened days ago. Like a wound that had semi healed had been re-opened, half hardened by scar yet soft and privy to the infections of the outside elements from this now ripped open seam.

Your own self worth is called into question. You, your own judge and jury. You feel perfectly imperfect. Flawlessly flawed. The things about you that you once adored you loathe. What strength do you even have left really? Its all too much. You fear the pain again. This feeling from another. Months later, years later. This heavy heart from these memories. These moments of weakness.

All from a word. A scent. A name. A piece of possibly misled information. It sets you reeling. Spinning inside your head scenario after scenario. Could be truth, could be fiction. You don't even want to speak it to anyone for repercussions of your sanity. Its likely nothing, yet to you at this moment, this very moment it is monumental. Its all you think about.

You wait to find out the truth. Is it nothing? Am I paranoid? Delusional? Why do I care anyway? How can something bother me so when I have no idea what it is, and when I am supposedly over this situation? Maybe I am. Maybe its not the person. Maybe its me. My luck. My lot in life.

My inane ability to send people into their fates. Maybe that's why. Maybe I need to meet my own counterpart. Someone with my own luck to either cancel it out, or send me into my fate when all is said and done. Let me finally be over it all. Let me no longer be consumed by what has been, what I cannot change.

Let me go on. Go forward, and no longer be Chuck.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm On the Outside, I'm Looking In..

Have you ever felt like you were standing at the edge of your life and not actually living it? Like you are a bystander in a rush, watching in a reflection as the world goes on around you. Your own life goes on around you, and yet you feel stunted. Stopped, breathless. Unable to move forward, yet unable to go back. In limbo.

I am suddenly there and I have no idea how I got here. As if some mystical turning point occurred and a switch was flicked inside me and I ceased to be able to function as anything but a shell of myself in my own life. I look the same. I act the same. But I feel different.

I don't know if the sudden blunt change in season that Daylight Savings has brought has made this realization more clear, or if it has been there all along and I am just suddenly aware. Was this a gradual occurrence? Like a dimmer switch in a restaurant when they try to change the mood. Who's to say.

I don't necessarily hate my life right now, but I certainly don't love it. I'm indifferent to it all. I could take it or leave it as it were. I love my job, but the sudden change in office has everyone on edge and walking on eggshells on a daily basis as we break into our new routines, our new environments. So drastically different from before.

My friends are all busy with their own lives. They don't not care, their lives are just hectic with kids and work and spouses or boyfriends. Impending divorces or pregnancies. In-laws and upcoming holidays. I clearly have none of these troubles, so how could I relate?

And naturally the holidays looming makes me long for several things. Partnership being one of the obvious. But I always miss my father most this time of year. Sure he found ways to conjure up some form of argument whenever a holiday approached, but that was his way. I would take the World War 3 of arguments with him just to hear him bellow again, just to have him here to watch Dylan open gifts at Christmas and finally be old enough to be able to appreciate it.

Then of course you remember the Ghosts of Holidays pasts. The good, the bad. The memories of ex's flooding my mind, recent and not recent. The horrid and regretted and then the few, the very few who were looked upon fondly in hindsight. Making me wonder now how I am 30 and alone awaiting yet another holiday season.

But what do I know anyway, I'm on the outside...I'm looking in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Screw You Daylight Savings...

I have come to the conclusion that I despise Daylight Savings time.

Not only do I have to re-do every clock, watch and car stereo I come into contact with (and thus the added annoyance of remember HOW to do each one), but it is now dark when I am driving home from work.

It's depressing.

Makes me feel the impending doom of the looming winter season. The stresses of planning for family holidays like who's house will garner the turkey for Thanksgiving and starting to plan who you can actually afford to buy Christmas gifts for, after your child of course.

Every ad mentions Christmas and as soon as Halloween comes to its fateful end, it seems the retail industry jumps at the chance to tout red and green as far as the eyes can see. And then the added ridiculousness that is "Happy Holiday's" and no longer "Merry Christmas", because god forbid we offend anyone who wasn't born here.

Your body decides on its own, and most definitely without your permission, that it needs to "bulk" up for the impending cold weather it seems to have mystically figured out is coming and suddenly the carefreeness of slim and fitted clothing begins to elude you.

And of course we can't forget that every other ad on TV will be from some jewelry store or another, showing picture perfect couples and the fantastic gifts of love and adoration they try to shove down your throat every 15 minutes. Awesome for the self-esteem of the ever-single gal.

Its all I can do to not mail-order myself a Snuggie and hunker down for the winter in a pseudo-hibernating scenario full of sappy chick flicks and lonesome bottles of white wine. Allowing myself to live vicariously through happy ending after happy ending, and coming out more cynical than ever.

And all of this starts flooding my mind as soon as I have to turn that wretched clock back an hour.

Screw you Daylight Savings, keep your freaking hour and give me back my sanity.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Like a Snake in the Grass..

Ever have one of those self-epiphonial moments where you realize you are going about things the wrong way? You stumble through the day to day events that make life, well life. Wondering how you got where you are. Not in a "Where's Waldo" kind of way but in a more surrealist way. Your emotional state of current being, not where your rump rests as Pumba would say.

I recollect every move I have made; the good, the bad and certainly the ugly. They say bad decisions make good stories, and I could certainly put together an entire encyclopedia at the this point based solely on the bad decisions I have made over the course of my lifetime.

I never have done anything out of malice, or spite. Well ok, may a little spite now and again, I mean we were all teenagers once weren't we? I have done what I thought to be right, to be just. Maybe I never did that the conventional way, but I tried nonetheless.

I have had my share of heartaches, and I know I have unintentionally caused quite a few in my day. I was young then, and those who made it past the 1 year mark were few and far between. It was almost like an alarm would sound internally and I knew their time was up. Almost always 1 year; no more, some less. A strange timeline but it seemed how it ended up, time after time.

And now I am Chuck. Like that fictional character of the Silver Screen, whomever I touch turns to the sense that 98% of my ex-boyfriend population has either married or is still with whomever they were with immediately after me. Like I awakened some senses inside of them and they realized that they were ready to settle down...just not with me.

And mostly I am ok with this phenomenon, because well, I did most of the breaking up. I had the begging to take them back thing happening a lot of the time. And though I am in good standing with these men now, and some even their wives, now at 30 I am saddened by it. Happy for them sure, but sad for myself.

I don't miss them per say, I miss being loved in such a way that someone wanted to be with me forever, even if only a dream. Miss knowing that someone was thinking about you when you weren't around. Miss being missed. Being longed for, wanted. Knowing that somewhere someone wanted nothing more than to be sitting idly with me, doing mundane things, or experiencing new things together. And moreover miss that being reciprocated.

I don't intend to jump into things sometimes, I don't try to attach my mind to certain people, places or times, but that overwhelming sense of inevitable future impedes me. You find like you did in high school, imagining your name paired with a variety of last names from potential daters or crushes. Imagine where you would live if already not in the same general area. Who would sacrifice what? Think of how my son would be affected, or them if they had kids already too. And then imagine the end of it, as it seemed to always come. The arguments over silly things, the who is sleeping on the couch tonight. Think of the contempt you would have if they hurt your child in anyway, or treated them different from their own if that were the case. You imagine them perhaps wanting a child if you didn't. The stress.

Then you blockade your emotions, your feelings. You hide under a blanket of cynicism and a blasé and callous view of relationships. You self sabotage. Turn everything into something that is only physical, if at all. It’s easier. You don't let yourself get least in theory. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing.

I see myself doing this, before anything gets to anything, and I know its poisonous. I know it is a snake in the grass, ready to strike my psyche, and yet I do nothing to change it, to stop it from happening. Easier to imagine the hypothetical disasters that may never come than to experience something that may be wonderful and then leave me the one hurting. It's a vicious cycle.

Admittedly the first step is acknowledgment of such a twisted defense mechanism. But now what? Where to go from here? How to remind yourself that once upon a time you were a great catch? That you were longed for and adored? That people tell you you’re a great person? How do you believe them? Let yourself become the inner goddess you know that you may essentially be?

For now you let your imagination run rampant. Constantly worried about what someone else may be thinking. But why? You used to be carefree about such matters. Other people's opinions of you made you scoff, a don't give a rats ass attitude.

Perhaps therein lied my appeal. The ungettable get. Never the over thinker, never the self-conscious woman you have become. Cool, calm and confident.

Perhaps it’s time to mow that grass so when the snake tries to strike, I can move more adeptly through. Clear the path, and walk ahead. Completely aware of my surroundings, and with an air of alertness and prowess.

Perhaps I will be the one ready to strike. Armed with self-awareness and the strongest desire to not repeat my mistakes.

Maybe my time is now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Screw Charades, I'm Playing Broke Bitch Today...

Sometimes I am completely baffled by life. Let me 'splain,

I am a United Way Captain for my job. We are famously involved in raising money and doing community outreaches every Fall for the charity, and due to my involvement with charities in general, I was nominated as a Captain by my boss for our department. Not like it's rocket science, but still it was a great gesture and surely I like doing it. Not to mention I get to rub elbows with a Patriots player at some point, but I digress.

So at our meeting last week, I was made aware that the "Leadership" of our company had participated at our kick-off for the UW in a "Poverty Simulation" exercise. Um, what?!

These 6+ figure salaried people sat in a room together and pretended they were in situations that would help them understand what it was like to be poor. I was completely dumbfounded. A week later, I sat there, listening to this and I was kind of upset. I lightly said to the woman next to me "They could have just come to my house", and I think she thought I was joking.

I don't know how this made them feel individually, if it gave them insight or was more like practicing for a play or what, but I was completely baffled. Having been through financial and emotional Hell the past few years, I started to tell a synopsis of things to that woman who thought I was joking.

I am a single mother. I get no child support and have to deal with the court system and restraining orders because my son's father is an addict and not exactly an upstanding citizen. I have received fuel assistance, I get WIC, Food stamps and used to get welfare. I had even received help from the Vincent St. DePaul Society. I gladly accept hand-me-down clothes for my child and I live paycheck to paycheck.

It sounds like a Lifetime movie when you think of it. Overcoming abusive relationships, raising my child alone. Being behind in bills month after month. Even at some points collecting unemployment. Dealing with utility shut-offs and wondering how you can survive on Ramen noodles with no gas for heat.

I am lucky I am able to be slightly more adept now with a steady and decent job that I love, but nothing is ever cast in stone.

So after my brief history, the woman says to me, "well at least you are ok now." What an assumption! I may be off some of the help, but not all. These forms of assistance don't pay attention to what you pay out a month. They look at everything BEFORE taxes are taken out, which to me has never made any sort of sense at all, since that is clearly not what you take home to pay bills with.

On paper I look ok, look like I make enough to survive. For one person. According to some accounts I make 133% over the poverty level, for a family of 2. To them poverty level is making minimum wage and having 37 children, most likely not fathered by the same person and living in a shack.

Poverty has many levels and affects people day after day. Yes there are definitely people far worse off than I am, but that doesn't mean it’s been easy my any means. I think it’s time they update their system, or at least take into account factors like your rent and bills and take a look at your income after taxes.

My mother has been struggling with disability and can't get help because she "makes too much money". How is that humanly possible when the 62 woman got let go from her job because she had been out disabled too long? When her disability barely covers her rent, let alone utilities and food?

So needless to say, as far as I have come, I still have a long way to go to secured financial independence, and with the economy in the toilet I doubt I will be fully out of the woods for some time.

Moreover, I can't believe they would play "Poverty Simulator" like it was some sort of fun party game. Screw charades, I want to play "Broke Bitch" today....


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Hills Weren't Alive for Nothing

Did you ever listen to a song, I mean really listen. Not just rock out to the beat, not just sway to light melodies, but listen. Take in the words, the meaning. Put yourself in that writers life. Envision your own muse and completely understand. A musical epiphany.

There are songs for all occasions sure, you have those blood-curdling moments when you are angry or frustrated and you need to vent. You could belt out "You Oughta Know" in your car, windows down, hair flowing as wildly as your mood. The typical woman scorned brought to life through music. Or maybe you like it heavy thrashing drums, writhing and beating into your very core.

Songs of remembrance, clichéd and over used through time, but some unknown, just for you and that particular person gone. Moved away, changed or passed. Doesn't matter. They touched your life and are no longer a part of it, and you find some attribute of some song to remember them. Immortalize that memory with a few measures of music. A lifetime stored in an 8 count.

I sometimes picture my life as a musical. Not those campy cabarets involving happy endings and sporadic musical numbers full of fluff. Music portraying the real parts of life. What would that sound like? The love, the loss? The life, the death? Every person their own theme song in my life, every step rhythmically choreographed.

In some ways we are all set to music, we all have those got-to songs that comfort or soothe us like an old friend. The ones you listen to on repeat, over and over again while you ponder what it is going on in your life at that particular moment. As if that song transcends you into another place and you are able to see things in a different light, or perhaps a new shadow casts upon it.

People take great care in choosing a song for their wedding, but this isn't the first time you have chosen your music so meaningful. You have been compiling your greatest hits your entire life. A song to commemorate your biggest milestones, your hardest failures. There is poetic justice in all of it.

The cheating song, the break-up. Songs to get you amped up for a night on the town, or ones that remind you of simpler times. Songs for our soldiers and our children. For the greatest love you couldn't have to the ones that just touched a small part of your heart. Hell there's even a song for the lunch lady.

Whether we realize or not, music and those gifted enough to bring it to us touches our lives in every way. It subconsciously seeps into your psyche. You sing along to song after song, not realizing how your brain can manifest and hold so much information. Lyric after lyric, note after note. A modern day sonnet, more powerful and ever-reaching than anything Shakespeare could have imagined.

I preface all of this because of how affected I am to it all. I hear a song and I am brought to certain places. I remember different people and sometimes what feels like a different life. I hear others and I have feelings of longing. To know and feel that I was that powerful a force in someone's life to have been immortalized in song. Sometimes moved to tears.

Or to find the irony in it all like Dave Matthews, "Funny the way it is, when you think about it, somebody's broken heart becomes your favorite song" To listen, to sing along mindlessly, never once thinking about the anguish behind some of the most popular and most played songs that have ever existed.

I have music on my blog for a reason. Some may find it distracting, but its mood affected. Its set at random to emulate the varying moods I have. The loss, the love, the longing. There is irony and comedy. Tragedy and bliss. All with a few strokes of a guitar strings and a talented voice saying sometimes what I can't. More over it makes you think. Remember. Empower you to have your own musical epiphanies.

The hills weren't alive with the sound of music for nothing....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Standing Ovation...

I've come to that point where I need to feel wanted. I miss that "Is that guy checking me out?" feeling I used to get in days of yore. I mean face it, they say 30 is the new 20, but does it really feel that way? Do you wake up refreshed and excited and full of that youthful piss and vinegar you once possessed every day?


I get up and go to work every day, living the same day seemingly over and over. Feeling fatigued by 4pm and ready for bed by 9. Wow I'm really the life of the party aren't I?

I have been busy sure, weekends full of miscellaneous plans and occasions. But I don't know if I would call it having a life per say. None of it was my doing. I am just a guest, an observer attending the goings on of others moving forward.

Not even sure I would know where to begin if that wanted feeling actually got me anywhere these days. That wooing I long for has left me so out of the loop I am afraid I would stare like a deer in headlights, shocked and awed, immobile and unsure of how to proceed.

I mean sure we all have that carnal instinct of a basic and sexual nature we need to fill. We've all had that go-to person or persons over the years. Those faithful standby's who serve that sole purpose of fulfilling such needs. But then what?

You find yourself in the throes of it, feeling fearless and sensual. Nary a negative thought goes through your mind as you tangle yourself in the sheets, on the couch, in the car or where ever your tryst make take you. You revel in the feeling for days. You feel untouchable, a wanted woman yet again.

And then the reality of it hits you again. I can do this, with ease, with candor. I can be witty and charming. Sexy and coy. Behind closed doors. Late at night. Incognito. The hush-hush nature of it all. The secretive society of the friends-with-benefits world you become wrapped up in. And it’s not bad, you don't dislike it, you just wonder about what else is out there more.

Is there something wrong with a public acknowledgment of your attraction? Why is it so taboo? You get to doubting yourself again, and not at the fault of your partner in crime, no. This was of course consensual, but your over-thinking antics and low self-esteem combined with an irrational loneliness creep slowly into your psyche and start to eat away at the tiny shred at self-confidence you had once again started to build.

Are you destined to be wanted only behind closed doors? Not good-enough to be put on someone else's pedestal and adored for all the world to see? To be someone a person is proud to call their own? Not in a proprietary sense mind you, but as a partner as well as a lover? More than a late night pit stop?

I tend to have no emotional attachment to sex, it is what it is. That desire to feel and to want, to give in to the moment and all that rigmarole. There is a mental separation, an emotional one. Sure if there is someone you care deeply for things are much better generally in that department, but who's to say that's necessary? It’s just another want. A bonus.

So that feeling of wanting. That knowing I'm wanted, but waiting. That giddy anticipation when you are getting to know someone. That clever flirtation between two people over time, the build up like the previews for that big summer blockbuster that gets people lining up outside the theater eagerly awaiting opening night. That's what I am waiting for.

I want my opening night, and I want a standing ovation.

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