Friday, May 1, 2009

"i am nothing without you, but i don't know who you are...." - vienna teng

It's funny how we store things in little boxes, imagining that one day we'll go through them with time to reminisce, share, tell our story.

My great-aunt is dead. She died a month ago, alone and aged nearly 95 and her memories fading, drifting away. She was our family historian. I would look forward to birthday and christmas cards because they always held a story of her past.

April 19, 2004

Thank you so much for sending me the invitation to your graduation. It brought back memories of my high school graduation. Only 20 of us, but very formal. Wore long gowns - pink organza with ruffles topped with blue taffeta jackets with puffed sleeves from B. Altmann. Your grandfather and great grandfather ordered a basket of flowers and chose blue delphiniums and pink stock. The nuns loved it and used it on the stage - too bad we did not have color prints at that time, 71 years ago.

My beautiful, smart, adventurous Aunt Marie. How we will miss you. And your things all in storage so far away in California, with their secrets locked never to be told. What other tales you could have shared... what other life you could have breathed into photos...

Perhaps it's the plague of a lover of words, perhaps its the destiny of someone who lost so many so young. I sit and go through my own photos. Twenty-seven short years. Who will read my tale when I grow old? Who will carry the stories of my photos and poems and journals and artwork left behind?

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Tis the season to be jolly and happy and merry and gay. But I don't always feel that way when Christmas rolls around. This Christmas it will be 12 years since my father died. It seems like a lifetime as bits and pieces of memory leave me - sound of voice, feeling of touch, smell of his shirts, sight of him on the couch, taste of the coffee he would make.

But there is an expectation to be happy and bright and shiny this time of year and I'm trying. Only problem? I had no desire to put up the tree despite the fact that my fiance is finally home from Hawaii and this is the first Christmas where we'll really be together... and the beginning of a life intertwined in one small tiny apartment living together, sharing a car and a bed and a cramped bathroom and daily meals...

So I guess what I have to say is that despite all the hurt that I carry with me this holiday season which resonates in my every day, persists across the years, is that I'm blessed.

blessed to have my fiance.

blessed to have a strong beautiful mother that despite all we have gone through still finds joy in Christmas.

blessed to have friends that are going through their own struggles but still share in my happiness.

blessed to have a job, especially now, that i don't mind going to every day (even if I may whine when getting out of my nice warm bed these days).

blessed to have a place to live that I love going home to, no matter how hard it is for two people to cook in the kitchen at the same time.

blessed to have a voice, an opinion, a say... in all things around me, no matter what. i have my freedom and liberties and there are many people who will not be home for Christmas because they are working to ensure this.

So despite my neglect to this blog over the past few months, I will say publicly that I am thankful for my mom; for the love of my life; for my friends; for safety.

And while they may never see this, thank you to those men and women who are off in other countries, sleeping on the ground, in tents, in ditches, in hospital beds, because they are protecting our country and fighting to keep us safe, keep us free.

... merry christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"I like coffee, I like tea..."

Get the reference? Huh? do you get it?

(dramatic pause)

Yeah probably not unless you were an a capella choral dork like me. "Java Jive!" people!!!! Ok now that's over with, I just wanted to express how much I'm tired of this wishy washy, don't know if it's sunny or overcast or humid or foggy or cold or warm weather. Transitional wardrobes for autumn are hard enough to plan and accumulate and accesorize correctly, let alone find the appropriate SHOES, without this bipolar weather we're having.

So after a nonproductive (for me anyway) run to get references from the library, I decided to stop at the deli on the way back into the office to grab a drink. So what do I get? Not iced tea or coke or something any normal 26 year old would grab to drink at the office. No, I grab a container of Lehigh Valley Milk Chug in "Ultimate Strawberry."

Yep. Mature. Right here.

I also had to pull out a calculator earlier today to figure out that yes, I was 26.

And on Saturday? Definitely bought a Sesame Street t-shirt.

Container of Strawberry Milk: $1.25
Sesame Street t-shirt: $8.99
Knowing how to recapture your youth? Priceless.

I am glad I can still sometimes forget about the calculator and my age, and my job, and just chill out and grab some strawberry milk and be a kid.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Make New Friends but Keep the Old...

Make new friends
but keep the old;
one is silver
and the other gold.

A circle starts
but never ends;
that's how long
I want to be your friend.

I remember singing this song as a very young Girl Scout and for some odd reason it has always stuck with me. I've always had problems making and keeping friends. It is easy to pass through life with only acquaintances; real friendships take time. Those real friendships require intimacy, trust, forgiveness, and giving. A whole LOT of giving.

I'm an only child; always have been and always will be (as I don't think my mother has any plans of starting over NOW). And with a small family, I have come to rely on those few intimate friendships that I've developed over time. And sometimes - no, a lot of times - I think back to people that I knew in middle school and high school and wonder what happened to them. Those passing acquaintances that I always wanted to get to know better but was either too shy or too much of a nerd and not in the same social class with them. Middle school and high school were not easy for me; I wanted to be friends with the "cool kids" because they were this enigma to me. And sometimes they would show the tiniest bit of kindness, though never in front of their other friends, and I would get my hopes up. But it never lasted, and I would undoubtedly go back to being the kid who was shy, withdrawn, smart, and in a class apart with a set group of friends to pick from. Do I regret that? No. I made some fabulous friends, despite losing touch with many of them. But that is what happens when you start over in life and move on.

For the past 8 years I have made my life in Philadelphia, going home to visit my Mom on Long Island for weekends and holidays. Some day I probably will go back when time has past and I feel reconciled with those connections I lost along the way. Some day I will feel like I fit in with all those people I grew up around and the town I grew up in. But that isn't today.

But I am grateful for the few close, true friends I have. People come into our lives at a specific time for a specific reason. They won't all last, I know that. But for right now, after this weekend especially, I love the people in my life. Above all Paul and my Mom, and close behind with a special place in my life are Joe and Joyce and Amanda and Ash and Meredith and Julie and Taylor... and so many others. And of course there are countless people who flit in and out of my weekly existence that I love, but they are too many to list so you'll just have to assume you're on there.

And perhaps one day one of these people listed below (in no particular order) will Google their name and know that I wonder where they are, how they are, even if I haven't reached out to them recently or at all. Some have found me on Facebook but we really haven't talked. Some have found me on MySpace but it's a horrible means of communication. Teachers, friends, mentors, people who lived near by, people who I knew for a fleeting moment, people who may not remember me or ever give me a second thought, people who showed me a small kindness that I never said thank-you for, people who I put off getting back to and now have lost touch with completely, people who may have found me annoying when I was younger, people who I miss... I just wonder... and somewhere in the burbs of Philadelphia there is a thought going your way....

Chris Haunss ... Matt Fiordaliso ... Erin Mallay ... Mike Marchello ... Tara Farrell ...Matt Schuler ... Cat Goncalves ... Andrew Hetzler ... Kurt Frankhauser ...Goldie Seiderman ...Kristin Studer ... Greg LaFauci ... Holly Zino ... Jacob Rothstein ... Levi Halberstadt ... Larry LeBron ... Bobby Kelly ...Jason Cantwell ... John Kikut ... Frank Van Zant ... Laura Napolitano ... Michael Scuzzese ... Danielle Tumminio ... Matt McBride ... Kate Timothy ... Tom Devlin ... Caitlin Gutekunst ... Keith Gamache ... Kim Lowenburg ...

Time it was and what a time it was it was

a time of innocence a time of confidences.

Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
preserve your memories; they're all that's left you.
~ simon&garfunkle

Sunday, October 12, 2008

C is for Cookie....

When I was little I was in love with many things. One of these was Kermit the Frog. I actually wanted to marry him but then found out he was a puppet. It wasn't until high school that I realized that had I married Kermit our physical relationship would be lacking but that's besides the point.

I loved Muppets! If Jim Henson created it, I adored it. If it was felt and had little to no facial expressions and had a hand up its ass controlling its movements, I was entranced. And above all, I was deeply, fervently in love with Sesame Street. And I blame Cookie Monster for my love of chocolate. Yes, you heard it here first - I am not taking responsibility for my addiction to the heavenly goodness of chocolate chip cookies, M&M's, and all other things dark or light chocolate and gooey and tasty.

Today, as stupid as it may seem, I am eternally grateful for chocolate - my comfort food. On boring Sundays laden with a migraine and noisy neighbors, I am glad I can walk into the kitchen, grab a few M&M's and pop them in my mouth and for a moment be totally at peace with the world. Fuck Coke.. I'd like to buy the world a bag of M&M's.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life: Brought to you by Caffeine

We all have our morning rituals that make our day seem to start just that much better. I will preface all of this by saying I am not a morning person. At all. In fact, if you wake me before my alarm goes off I turn into a vampire and will bite anything near me. Hard. And I will hiss at you. But besides that, I have my own rituals.

I need coffee to live. It is not an option, it is a requirement. Without coffee the fluid in my veins that is supposed to be blood but is really caffeine will shrivel up and my eyes will sink back in my head and my throat will cease working and I will DIE. And if I haven't had coffee I am non-verbal (ask my mom.. not kidding). So today, I begin being grateful for the little things by being thrilled to have the following item in my life:

Fat Free Half&Half

I assume you're either laughing at me right now or your cursor is hovering over that funny little red-x ready to close my blog forever not to return. But just get this: you want to lose weight but you love chocolate and sweets and those guys named Ben and Jerry for creating all sorts of cold creamy goodness which can only be consumed by the pint (because any less is a sin for which the gods will smite you I SWEAR) and imagine you hate Splenda because it ruins your Don Francisco Vanilla Nut coffee by adding a horrible after taste (and you just cannot stand for that!!!) so you need to find other options and *cue angels from on high* you discover that Fat Free Half&Half tastes exactly the same! And saves CALORIES! Isn't that AMAZING?!

So as I sit at my desk today eating my Rasberry White Chocolate scones, just remember: I'm drinking DIET COFFEE. I'm allowed my scones. Dammit.

*Who said it couldn't be the mundane things in life that make us happy?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No Longer a Virgin

I have blogged and I have loved it. And I have shamelessly poured over, nay coveted other people's blogs and devoured page upon page of their life. But I stopped blogging because few people read it, few people cared, and I am a comment whore. Yes, I love comments. Where is the satisfaction if no one else is reading it?

But here I am creating a blog because:
  1. I have a MA in writing but hardly ever write unless it involves Diabetes or curd-like vaginal discharge or something equally disgusting or geriatric or medical-ish. (Like my vocabulary? I paid nearly $80K for this stellar writing style)
  2. I miss writing. I miss recording my life in a place where everyone can see it and know what I'm doing and - hell - even perhaps care.
  3. I need an outlet.
So the purpose of this blog you may ask? Well, dear reader, it is to take the time, to breath, and to remember that there are reasons to be happy. Millions of tiny, stupid, inconsequential things that in a given day we are grateful for, happy about, or laugh over. So here goes. One more thing to add to my list of things to do, one more thing to be happy about, one more way to remember it.

Gratefulness* recording begins tomorrow.

*note: I do not endorse the use of my made-up words in any way but I reserve the right to use them because dammit my MA in writing means SOMETHING.