Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing."

This was on Yahoo today:
Cancer Outlook for 2010

It’s not about the disease, it’s an astrological forecast. [And how happy am I that my zodiac sign is named after a dreaded disease.]

“One thing that all Crabs (astrological Cancers or the seafood type of crab) know deep in their hearts is that someone, somewhere out there knows how great it would be to bust them wide open and eat them with melted butter. [sounds kinky!! But, hey, I’m game….] The big news for you this year, Cancer, is that Pluto has moved into your Seventh House [not my 1 thru 6th house, but my 7th. Is that like Plan 9 from Outer space?], which rules marriage, partnerships and close relationships. This means that someone may very well be cracking your heart open in the next year. [if he’s rich, I’m in. Otherwise, eh.]

Cancer has a bit of a reputation for enjoying doom and gloom. You don't. You just seem to get more than your fair share of it. [can I get a “what, what” up in the house] It must be that thick shell of yours. [Oh!!! It’s NOT fat, it’s a thick shell] Everyone assumes you can just take it.

The good news is that you earned that reputation because you can take it, and more. [can’t somebody else take it for awhile?] And often, your greatest moments come when you have overcome the greatest obstacles. Thankfully, the roadblocks you face in 2010 won't be that devastating [oh, thank god.], but they'll certainly give you an opportunity to shine. [Shining is good—mostly. Hair yes, face not so much]

New support and new energy will be entering your life from unexpected and overlooked people and things, and you'll be able to soar above it all! [if I can drop about 50 pounds and get this knee thing worked out…..]

I’ll keep you all posted….


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

“The setting sun, and music at the close, As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last…….” —Richard II

I hate New Year’s Eve….

Not a fan, never really was. All the whoo-hoo hoopla. Party, party.
I know, I get the whole “start of a great new future” crap. “Clean slate” and all of that….. Yada, yada, yada. [“You ‘yada-yada’d’ over the best part.” “ I mentioned the bisque.” But I digress….]

Many times I’ve slept thru the countdown thing.
Usually this was at the end of a particularly rough year and I had no great hopes of it getting any better in the coming one. Hmmmmm, the list of particularly sucky years gets longer and longer: 2000—loss of marriage in June, 2001—loss of grandson’s innocence on Sept. 11th, 2006—loss of ex-husband in March, 2007—loss of job in February, 2009—loss of mobility [of sorts] in March. But the all-time winner is 1980—lost my eldest brother and a cousin AND had a major car accident—all between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So I guess you can see why I haven’t always had a bright sunny outlook at the stroke of midnight on December 31st.

But—this approaching new decade may be okay. I finally have a job that pays fairly well—and is secure. I am digging myself out of massive credit card debt slowly but surely. My kids seem to be in good, happy places. And my grandson is doing well in college…. So……. We’ll see.

Ever the optimist am I.

# # #

2009 has been a really strange one in the national zeitgeist.
We started off with an historic inauguration of an African-American to the presidency—after a campaign that featured a woman as a truly strong viable candidate. Two major milestones in our country’s growth. And there were several openly gay people elected to office as well. Some states/towns passed laws supporting gay marriage and others passed laws against it. For every 2 or 3 steps forward, we take a couple backwards…..

Of course the scandals continued: reality TV acrimonious divorces, governor’s confusing Argentina with the Appalachian trail [hey they both start with “a”], companies collapsing left and right [under the weight of their execs bonuses] and, of course, Tiger, John Edwards and Bernie Madoff.
And there were the usual political wrongdoings too. [Don’t you just love the way Jon Stewart said Blagojevich?!?] California went broke—and practically burned up. But the Governator STILL can’t pronounce the name of his state!

But, as usual, it was the celebrities who took the cake for crazy. [Kanye—I’m looking at you] Media whores “Speidi” go on yet another reality show—and quit because their hair products were messed with. Who would ever have put David Letterman and sex scandal in the same sentence? And Adam Lambert being way too gay to win the clusterf*#k that is American Idol. And them dumping crazy-ass Paula! [I'll admit I watched some of her reality show--it was like watching a train wreck] And Rosie splitting up with Kelly—see gay couples have the same issues straight ones do, people.

As you know, this year was particularly fraught with the deaths of famous folks: Ed Mc Mahon, pitchman Billy Mays, Farah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, Brittany Murphy, DJ Am, Natasha Richardson, Edward Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, David Carradine and, of course, Michael Jackson.
Phew—I’m too exhausted to Facebook now…..

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

“... a little more than kin and less than kind” - Hamlet **

Well, Christmas has come and gone and we’re girding our loins for New Year’s…..

I hope everyone had the kind of holiday they REALLY wanted. Ours was quiet—just my daughter, my son, my grandson and me. [Photo is of my small pile of gifts for them—lots of gift cards….]

I often wonder if my kids miss having a more extended family to celebrate with. When I was a kid, we had at least one huge holiday gathering of my dad’s family. He was one of ten children—the last remaining sibling, my aunt Ruth, passed away on Christmas Day. Seven of those 10 children made it to adulthood and had children of their own, so it was quite a large group that would gather either at our house or my one uncle’s place. I liked it because I had girl cousins my age I could hang out with—a respite from all those brothers.

My mother’s family was much smaller—she had 1 sister and 1 brother, each of whom had 2 children. Gatherings of the Higgins clan were very subdued, but it was a decent size crowd nonetheless. And I adored my grandparents, so I always enjoyed my holidays with them.

If there were tensions, I wasn’t aware of it. Everybody seemed happy to me. [I wonder what age you do start to pick up on any vibes of family disharmony?]

When my kids were little, we had their dad’s family—about 18 altogether. And this group was usually good for some sort of dramatic dysfunction…. [My husband's grandfather once told his grandmother she had 2 choices: either keep quiet or shut-up.] It was a somewhat motley crew. [And me the lone Catholic, liberal Democrat amongst all of these Protestant Republicans….. ]

Now, everyone is scattered and family ties are shattered. It’s kind of hard to stay close to cousins who accuse you of being the cause of your father’s suicide. [As my husband’s nephew did. And my husband helped raise him as his own father was absent. ] It’s pretty difficult to maintain any sort of connection when relatives move far away and don’t bother to respond to cards or e-mails. [Like many on both sides of the fam did…. Escaping?]

And so, we have dwindled down to just our little band of four. We’re a funny little group; we have our moments of dysfunction, but we try to put the “FUN” in that word. I know soon there will be spouses—and the inevitable demands for my kid’s presence with those new families. I’m preparing myself for that. It’s cool—those first years after my divorce, I gave my ex and his mother the preference on holidays so the kids wouldn’t have to be pulled between two houses on those days. I’m willing to bend a little when they have in-laws to appease. Just so long as I get some face time…. [And first dibs on any future grandkids or great grandkids] And perhaps we can somehow successfully meld the families together.

Although, based on some of the posts I’ve read this morning, maybe our little band of four isn’t so bad after all…….

** now I bet his family's holiday gatherings sucked.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, [Titania, Midsummer]

May all of your twinkle lights twinkle forever.

May your tinsel always be tinselly.

May your garlands festoon your home forever.

May your bows puff out perfectly.

May your balls always be bally.

May you all find what you've wished for under the tree.

May you have loved ones to share the joys of the season.

May you have plenty on your table to eat--and great company to eat it with.

May you have hugs and belly laughs galore.

May you not get the fruitcake that's been circulating for years now. [I'm convinced there's only one fruitcake and it just keeps getting bounced around]

May your family celebration be free of drama.

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a Good Night.

I'm off to get nogged out of my gourd....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve

And be proud of it—sort of…..

My mother was raised by a very stoic stubborn Irish man—you don’t show emotion, it isn’t proper. You have to be strong—the whole “John Wayne Syndrome” before John Wayne. It was that era I guess. She’s changed some as she’s gotten older, but she still has a hard time showing sad emotions.

[Funny story about Granddad’s STUBBORNNESS: When he was around 76 or so, he was getting dressed to go out to his garden when he got chest pains. So he’s standing there holding onto the bedpost thinking “this is it, I’m gonna die.” Well, he decides it’s dumb to die standing up, so he lay down on his bed. He waited 10 minutes and didn’t die, so he got up and went out to do his gardening. Things had to happen on his schedule, or else. Even God wasn’t exempt from that apparently.]

My father, on the other hand, was a real anomaly for a man of his generation: he cried at the drop of a hat. The man survived malaria and a brain hemorrhage during WWII, but Hallmark commercials, or the guy carrying the torch in at the Olympics, reduced his to a blubbering fool… It was a cause for much amusement to my brothers and me. We teased him constantly [—and yes we feel bad about it now.]

My older brother would clip the filler articles from back issues of the New York Times so he’d have stuff to say when he called my parents. If Dad answered it was a good 5 minutes of crying because he was so thrilled one of his kids called. OB would just read off the goofy little filler articles to fill in the void. [Did you know that on this day in 1947, John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley invented the transistor?]

On my wedding day, I whispered the punch lines to some dirty jokes I’d heard my dad tell as we went down the aisle so that he wouldn’t be a heaping, sobbing mess. But just in case that didn’t work, I made sure the dress was drip-dry….

Okay—flash forward 30 years: my brother and I have admitted that we are now Dad. He is up there in heaven having the last laugh—and he is laughing at us, trust me. My family’s warped that way.

Anyway, I now find myself tearing up at everything. I read an article this morning about a couple whose wedding had to be completely re-planned on Saturday because of the storm here. Two local hotels pulled it all together, helped get their guests to the venue and gave them a wonderful day to remember. And there I am at my desk all blurry eyed! I don’t even know these people.

The few times I’ve happened to catch parts of Extreme Home Makeover—waterworks. The end of It’s a Wonderful Life—get the Kleenex! That stupid bell gets me every time. And talking—or even blogging about my kids and grandkid—forget about it. I love them so much that I get weepy all he time. I’ve given up on wearing mascara—who wants to look like Tammy Faye Bakker.

It can get a little embarrassing—I’ve tried to pretend I’ve got something in my eye, but I don’t think anyone’s buying it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

“Blow, blow thou winter wind…”—another perspective

Okay, so I guess my “No snow” dance needs some tweaking—we got 2 feet of snow in 24 hours! We’re beating Chicago for snowfall for heaven’s sake. This is the most snow the Philadelphia area has gotten in one day since about 1996.

OY—I still had Christmas shopping to do. And this weather really makes my knee throb. [Ibuprophen here I come]

Fortunately, friends dug me out [I love my friends!!!!!] and I was able to get the last of my gifts purchased yesterday [good thing I took the day off, huh.] I just went to two stores and came home. I’m sure I was a funny sight gingerly gimping my way across the parking lot, but who cares. My shopping is done and half the stuff is wrapped. [fun with curling ribbon will happen on Christmas Eve—I’ll go all Martha up in it.] Then it’s just a matter of crossing my withered fingers that the fam likes what I got.

The pictures are pretty and all that, but not a fan of having to drive—and nowadays, walk!—in it. To get over my anxiety about navigating to and from my car with my still f’d up knee, I tried to remember snowstorms from my past.

Actually, one of my earliest memories is watching from an upstairs window as my parents trudged down our street in about 2 feet of the white stuff. They had taken my grandparents up to NYC to take a voyage on the Queen Mary. It was after Easter and my Mom had worn her finery so she and Dad could have a nice lunch in the city and then head home. Well, it started to snow as they were nearing New York, so they hurried their drop off and meal. It was a very quick falling storm and in no time we had quite an accumulation. They made it all the way to the top of our street and got stuck. So down the road they came hand in hand. Mom was in heels and her organza hat was a wilted mess around her face. But she smiled up at us as she clumped her frozen high-heeled shoe down in the snow.

Of course, I remember the snowball fights with my friends and showing my kids the snow when they were babies. We have pictures of them bundled up like the Michelin Man—and invariably they’d have to pee as soon as you got the last layer on them. And their little voices are muffled from the 5 foot scarf Nanny insisted on winding around their faces….. Actually, last night I was watching video of my grandson out in his first snow storm when he was about 6 months old. His expression was somewhat akin to mine these days as I venture out.

Now, off to re-choreograph that dance…..

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"…in form and moving how express and admirable…."

[they say you can never be too thin...]
Okay, so I’m taking a short mental health break yesterday morning at my desk—after a really rough start to the day at 8am—and I’m reading some of my favorite blogs. Lo and behold, Lora over at fever is giving me mad props as she’s thanking me for the “Honest Scrap” award. Awww, shucks girl—your welcome. I love your blog.

Lora mentioned that she started reading my blog because I’m a fellow fibromyalgic: “I love her because she lives her life despite all these things” [fibromyalgia pain, etc.] Again thanks sister…. But I started feeling guilty cause I don’t think I have much pain, like so many sufferers I know. Then the rest of yesterday happened….

Not that it was particularly bad, but it turned out to be one of those days where I “hit the wall,” as I like to put it.

I spend my day answering phones and performing other administrative tasks for a team of doctors—I don’t get to move around as much as I should. So, as I was making my way to my car at about 10 after 5, the aches started. I got home and up to my apartment and plopped in my chair. Okay—where’s the Ibuprophen? I popped 800mg [perfectly safe per my docs] and made a bowl of pasta with parmesan for dinner. It hurt to eat it.

That’s when I know it’s bad. Real bad—ya know: WallMe

All I could do was crawl into bed. I hate when I get like this—there are things I want to do, NEED to do, but I’ve run out of reserves for now and need to replenish my supply somehow.
Of course this time of year is hectic and that stresses out those of us that deal with the vagaries of fibro. Add to that the play I’m directing—it’s getting down to the wire and I just keep seeing all the things that need to get done. Thank God I have my awesome friend Alan as my A.D.
So, anyway, I understand why I hit my latest wall—and I’m trying real hard to learn how to avoid the walls, but….

I was diagnosed with this thing 15 years ago and they don’t know that much more about it now than they did then. I don’t know if I have less pain and more fatigue than others or I’ve just gotten so used to pain that it seems “normal” to me.
Oh—and: Those Lyrica commercials piss me off—they seem so condescending. And who the f wants to deal with the side-effects they spit out at 90 miles an hour at the end of the commercial.

Can’t wait to see what my “normal” will be in another 15 years…..

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion-- To pray for them that have done scathe to us.

Okay—this may piss some folk off, but….

File this under “You Can Dish It Out, But You Can’t Take It.”

Saw an article on the interwebs the other day about Bill O’Reilly going ballistic on Dick Wolf, the executive producer of the Law & Order shows. Of course, I hunted down the video clips…. Based on one line uttered by a fictional character in the context of an hour long TV drama, Mr. O’ Reilly accused Mr. Wolf of defamation of character. [But hasn’t followed up with a lawsuit yet]

The show was about a nut job that was killing immigrant children so they couldn’t take jobs, etc. away from “real” Americans. Here’s the scene in question so you can have a frame of reference:

ICE-T, "LAW & ORDER" STAR: I don't get why you are defending this wacko.
It's a symptom, not the disease.
That symptom killed three kids.
Garrison, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, all of them. They're like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate. I mean, they have convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage or a broken health care system.
Save the soap box, Randy. The cameras aren't even running.

O’Reilly went on to call Wolf a “coward” for putting that out there. And continued his rant for more than 5 minutes—contradicting himself left and right, by the way. [read the Huffington Post article breaking it down—linked via O’Reilly’s name above.] Really, Bill? After all the things you’ve said about a number of people?

That’s all I’m gonna say for now—have at me folks.

# # #

File this under “It’s a Shame They’re All Gonna Burn In Hell”

My older gay brother works as a kid wrangler for Broadway shows—currently he’s the head wrangler for Billy Elliott. He has opened 20 shows on Broadway and about half that many on the road. Oddly enough his career started as a whim. His partner [of 35 years! Straight people aren’t making it that long!!] was performing in the first national tour of Les Miz and the person who was watching the kids quit. The two of them missed each other terribly so my brother-in-law asked my brother if he’d be interested in doing the guardian job. And a new life’s calling was born….
[He still keeps in touch with a number of his past charges, many of whom have gone on to successful adult show biz careers.]

On occasion some of the young actors in his charge have come from fundamentalist Christian families. Suffice it to say the parents aren’t happy when they learn that their children are in the care of a gay man. Then their kid works with my brother and loves him—they all do, he is awesome at his job. My brother says they wind up with the attitude above and are quite surprised that they actually like a gay person.

Okay, that should keep you all busy for awhile.....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age--the sequel

--"ow, ow, ow...."

I knew tats would elicit much commentary... [and I have to admit I was briefly tempted a few years back--but then the meds kicked in and I thought better of it.] I'm so on the fence about this issue...... At least you can take piercings out as you age/mature, tattoos are pretty much FOREVER. Unless you can afford expensive laser surgery, that is....

I was actually too chicken to get my ears pierced til AFTER I'd given birth. I figured if I could survive that, I could survive piercing. I got a second earring in my right ear one day in between performances as Gertrude in Hamlet..... [I figured if I could conquer Shakespeare--well, you know where this is going.]

3 piercing stories:

When I was working at the theatre company, a production assistant from another theatre came in to pick up some scenic stuff as a rental. He steps up to the Box Office to asked for the head of Production. Well, he had at least 8 earrings in each ear, 2 in each eyebrow, a nose ring, a tongue piercing and something on his bottom lip. It was all I could do to not ask him to drop trou to see what else was pierced.

When my father passed away, my 2 brothers and I each flew down to Florida to be with our Mom. Well, just prior to leaving I'd had to basically get a buzz cut due to over-perming my hair. My older bro is there to meet me as I get off the plane [remember when you could do that--actually meet loved ones as they got off the plane?] He starts to gives me a big hug--and my hat falls off (it was January). "What the f did you do to your head?!?" [I really felt the love....] Later that day, we all go out to the pool to commiserate and he takes off his t-shirt. Lo and behold, pierced nips!!!! Take 10 guesses what I said.

And finally-
When my son was in 5th Grade, he asked to get his ear pierced. After much discussion about which was the "straight" ear, he got it done. The next day he goes to school [this was in 1986 mind you] and his teacher, who was probably the age I am now, freaked. I get a phone call:

Teach: "Mrs. D. do you realize that J has a pierced earring?!?"

Me: [rather timidly] " Um, yeah."

Teach: [incredulous] "You KNEW ABOUT THIS?!??!!"

Me: [even more sheepishly ( I was only 32 people)] Well, ....uh, .....yeah--I kinda drove him to the mall to get it done. [very quickly adding:] But I was recovering from the flu at the time, so I may not be entirely responsible."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.

Well, I guess it was bound to happen: the kid got ink.

My daughter sent me an e-mail yesterday upset because my grandson got a tattoo on his torso—a very large tattoo I might add [a photo was included]. Boy, did I have to do some tongue-biting on this. She and her brother were around the age my grandson is now when they got their first bits of ink…

It was that winter in the mid-90s when we had about 3,000 days of something frozen coming from the sky—and the kids were bored out of their minds [I have videos to prove it. They did some weird stuff]. Well, a friend had just finished tattoo school—yeah, there are schools for that! Who knew? The guy needed the practice, so he told M and J that if they paid for the needles, he would do whatever they wanted. Oh, goodie, mommy’s so pleased.

Like I said, Mamma was not happy, but they were both over 18, what could I do…. So, M got a small [about an inch and a half high] dolphin just above her left ankle. And J got a surfboard company’s logo on his right calf. His was about 2” x 2.5.” Okay—not thrilled, but at least they are small and not real noticeable I thought. [You know, I’m looking ahead to college and job interviews—and wedding photos.]

About a month goes by and I come home from work one day to be greeted by my then 2 and a half year old grandson with “Mimi, look at my tat.” Now, you have to know that my grandson worshipped all things Uncle J—so my son had used non-toxic magic markers to reproduce his tattoo on the baby’s leg. “Niiicccee, J. He’ll go to daycare tomorrow, they’ll take him to the potty and they’ll think, ‘what is wrong with these people?!’”

M went on to get 2 more small tattoos at her bikini line: a rising sun at the front left and a sunflower at the rear right. J now has a whole “sleeve” to memorialize his father. [Uh, yeah—M raises almost 2 grand for suicide prevention in her father’s memory and J gets inked.....I know, we all grieve in our own way….]

Turns out my grandson’s tattoo is to honor his best friend, who was killed in a car accident leaving school one day. What can I say to that? This kid has suffered so much loss at such a young age, how can we deny him a way of expressing that loss.

I’ll give ya this one young man. Xoxo, “Meem”

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Thought is free...."

this is so cool!!!!!
On 11/30, I got a huge compliment: the “Honest Scrap Award” from SueAnn’s Journey!!

Thanks tons, chica!!!! [I haven’t responded til now ‘cause it felt funny tooting my own horn]

There’s a caveat to it though, I have to list 10 things I haven’t written about before….
Now THAT’S gonna be hard. I think I’ve been a fairly open book in the short time I’ve been blogging… but, I’ll give it a whirl:

1) I used to march in parades and twirl a baton—I can still do a couple of twirls actually.

2) I am related to John Quincy Adams through my father’s side of the family.

3) My maternal grandfather used to outfit me every Easter from “soup to nuts,” so to speak. One year I asked for a pink dress and “a blue one to match my eyes.”

4) My “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon:” David Strathairn once did a production at the theatre where I used to work—and he was in THE RIVER WILD with [ta-da] Kevin Bacon

5) I have relatives I’ve never even met…. [but then again, who doesn't....seriously--who doesnt?]

6) When my daughter was pregnant we used to spend hours doing word games to take her mind off of being 16 and very uncomfortable.

7) My co-workers are hilariously warped—and I love them.

8) I don’t go to the dentist unless I absolutely have to. When I was about 8, the dentist drilled my tongue and I’ve been phobic ever since.

9) One talent I have been blessed with is an ability to pick up accents at the drop of a hat. It is great fun to occasionally fool people. Once a guy wanted me to work for his phone sex line cause I could be all sorts of foreign “femme fatales.” [Now, I'm rethinking my refusal....]

10) I’m an excellent seamstress and paperhanger. Haven't had much practice lately, but I'm sure I could get back up to speed relatively quickly. Anyone need any draperies made?

Okay, that took a little digging in my psyche... hope I didn't bore you all.
The best part is that I get to pass the award along to 10 bloggers I follow that I look forward to reading. So, in no particular order:

1) SueAnn’s Journey—right back attcha chica. You are a joy to read.
2) Lemonade & Kidneys—my friend Ruth who is dealing with Polycystic Kidney Disease with such grace and humor.
3) fever—Lora is AMAZING. Her humor, her truth…
4) Window to My Sol—Nancy really does share her soul.
5) Gloria’s Spanish View—G’s an ex-pat Brit living in Spain. And she’s a hoot!
6) Confession’s of Me— Brndoutw8ress is Pittsburgh’s sassiest server. Clearly, she’s got issues [LOL]
7) stuff from ellen’s head—what’s not to love about someone named Ellen
8) Casa Hice—the wonderfully warped Alix
9) Knucklehead—definitely certifiable…..
10) Stephanie Snowe—the Blog. Always intriguing, always honest—and usually hilarious.
Well that's it for now. Keep on blogging gang.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance. — Troilus and Cressida, Act II, sc. Iii

Let the annual debates begin...

“Horrors a nativity scene at Town Hall.” God forbid. [get it? “God forbid” tee-hee]

I don’t get what the big deal is. Why can’t we have nativities and menorahs and whatever other holiday symbols there are? Put ‘em all up! I mean, wasn’t America supposed to be “The Great Experiment?” “The Great Melting Pot?”

As far back as my freshman year of high school—back in the dark ages—I have felt that the best way to have true liberty and equality in this country was to teach kids about all of the religions and cultures of the world. And let’s face it people—as time progresses, the world is getting smaller and smaller. The chances of having dealings with people of other cultures, etc. have increased considerably, even in my lifetime. What we fear is the “unknown”. If we erase that lack of knowledge, we’ll erase the fear—and hopefully the hate.

I’m not religious now—I’m more spiritual, I guess. I believe in a higher power, but I got kind of turned off by the negative spin man has put on all of it. I want to check out various services as I get a chance. I spent 12 years in Catholic school, but I was always very curious about other faiths. My neighborhood was a mixed bag, so I had exposure to other possibilities at a young age. Heck—like I said, I was raised Catholic, my husband was raised Methodist and we got married in a Baptist church. I used to joke that when we had our first son, we should have a bris at the local synagogue.

Over the years I have tried to learn as much as I can about other people and their history. It fascinates me—I guess that’s why I love doing dramaturgy. The thing that has intrigued me the most is not so much the differences between religions, races, cultures, etc, BUT THE SIMILARITIES. We just all have slightly different rituals. Let’s meet on that common ground AND celebrate those differences.

Happy Chrismakwanzakah to all!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

“Blow, blow thou winter wind…” –As You Like It

We are experiencing our first bout of winter weather here in the Northeast. And it freaked me out.

The final snowstorm of last winter caused my downfall—literally. I slipped on the ice outside of my apartment building and haven’t been right since. [I know, those that know me are saying “E, you ain’t never been right.”] I tore my meniscus and my ACL, severely bruised the ligaments on both sides of my left knee and had cartilage floating around in there. Other than that, it was all good. [Wish I could have figured out how to load one of the images from my MRI on here—that would have been a hoot to share.] I would have preferred to break a bone—that heals eventually.

My knee is still a bit of a mess. Guess this is what living with a torn ACL will be like. They repaired all of the other damage, but the ACL is a way more complicated procedure with a more intense recovery period. You’re like totally incapacitated. Since I live alone, it wasn’t really feasible. And as the surgeon so nicely pointed out to me, I’m not a dancer or an athlete. Well, there goes my dream of being a Rockette….

So at about 2PM the rain turned into snow and I anxiously watched from my window….. I had to go out tonight—I made a commitment to usher at Players Club, the theatre I am involved with. The current production is a blast, so if you live anywhere near Swarthmore, Pa go check out IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE—A RADIO PLAY.

Let me tell you, I was a nervous wreck walking to my car. I could feel my heart pounding and my breathing getting faster….. I was on my way to the theatre that night too. I came home after the intermission ‘cause I was worried about things freezing. I hate not being able to give my full commitment to something; I hate still limping some days. I hate that my knee forecasts changes in the weather for days before they happen; that watching snowfall now fills me with panic. I hate living this way.

I also hate that I have to bring my mother back to winter weather after 36 years of living in temperate climes. I feel awful that she’ll probably be housebound from January to March. But, I have no choice. In this economy, I can’t give up a good job to move someplace where the job market sucks big time. All I can do is try to make whatever apartment we wind up in as cozy as possible. And act like going out in the snow doesn’t freak me out.

Wonder if snow shoes go with “office casual?”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Men are mad things.

Oh Tiger, Tiger, Tiger….. My poor mother will be devastated by her boy.

You’ve gotten yourself in a real sh#t storm haven’t you. I get the whole privacy thing--really, I do. But the more you stonewall, the more people speculate.

And the truth is NEVER as bad a what people imagine.

You caught us all by surprise too. We’ve come to expect machine-like perfection from you. Not Kobe Bryant stuff.

What is it with people these days? Guess money/power do corrupt absolutely. I’ll never know….

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

[I weep] at mine unworthiness, that dare not offer What I desire to give, and much less take What I shall die to want.

Oh God—time to start the whole Christmas shopping thing….. All I can say is OY!

Now don’t go getting all pissy with me—I do like the holiday season. Really, I do. I love the light displays and the houses look so festive [but, seriously, some people go way overboard. If you have a small yard, for heaven's sake don't fill every square inch with crap you got on sale at Walmart] It’s great to have people being nice to each other and giving.
[ Oh—by the way: if you live in the Philly area PLEASE give non-perishable food items to Preston & Steve’s Campout For Hunger this week!!!!!]
When you have fibromyalgia, you're tired enough to begin with without adding the stress of dealing with the mall--and the people who go there. And all that schlepping only adds to the pain. Not fun folks, not fun.
Then there's the pressure of finding gifts for my family that they’ll like.
(I do have the whole wrapping thing down though. My gifts are works of art when I'm done. I am a demon with the curling ribbon. I out "Martha" Martha Stewart!! )
And it’s the pressure of not having enough money to buy the things I’d just LOVE to present them with on Christmas morning. Like paid off student loans or new cars or a house. You know little things like that.

I have scored some major points in the past though:

The first year I was married, I was shopping with my mother-in-law and this high-end store was displaying the latest men’s fashion: bikini undies. She was appalled by this, so of course I bought a pair for my husband—as a joke. Well he LOVED them—thought they were really comfortable. [and annoying my mother-in-law was an added bonus] So every year he got new ones as a special gift from me. Until……. Flash forward about 20 years to our grandson being about 2 and a half and we’re all trying to potty train him. He walked into our room one morning as my husband was getting dressed.….

"Pop, what you doing?”
“Putting on my big boy pants bud. You want to wear big boy pants too don’t you?”
“Them’s not big boy pants, them’s girl pants.”

Me running out of the room with my hand over my mouth.

# # #

A couple of years back I bought ( among other things) my kids Starbucks gift cards—a HUGE hit. HUGE!!! I was so pleased with myself I nearly broke my arm patting myself on the back. Well one particularly cold somewhat snowy Sunday, my daughter and son decide to walk to the nearby book store that happens to have a Starbucks in it. They manage to trudge over there and go up to the counter to order their steamy hot confections. And the embryo behind the counter makes a huge mess fumbling to fill their order but finally does. They hand him their gift cards….

“ Oh, we’re not Starbucks.” My 6’2’’ son calmly leans over the counter…
“Dude, have you read your hat today?”
“Yeah… but, um…. Like, we’re not Starbucks.”

Apparently, even though the Starbucks logo was emblazoned EVERY-freaking-WHERE, the counters in the bookstores are not part of the regular franchise and do not honor the gift cards. Who knew?

# # #
Last year I bought webcams so we could all keep intouch when the grandson went away to college. He hasn't hooked he's up yet--guess he doesn't want mom to see what's REALLY going on in his dorm.....

Hey—wait. Maybe I didn’t do as well as I thought. AH, SCREW IT, THEY'RE GETTING CASH. Happy shopping all......