Monday, September 21, 2009

Hey Stop! What's That Sound?

Just back from a walk downtown with Gibby in the stroller. Sad to see so much trash along the way. I found a 1% milk carton cap, a crushed, empty Newport Cigarette pack, an empty Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wrapper, an empty Planters Honey Roasted Cashews wrapper, a Conair Pop Up Brush with mirror SKU tag, a torn pamphlet about class 2 and 6 toxic material(?????,) a Goodies Pizza receipt: someone ordered a small Pepperoni pizza $7.25, a combo sampler $6.50, and cheese fries $4.75 and payed for it with a Visa ending in 4217, and lastly a calling card from Mexico with amazing graphics of a Mariachi band on the front. The only reason I scooped these up is to make a "found art" collage from it.

Today was a gorgeous, sunny, squinty kind of day with lots of people out and about. I noticed a crowd of people in front of the local community college. Some were kids on bikes, others professionals out for smoke breaks. As I got closer I noticed a pair of large white scuffed sneakers and a Styrofoam tray of french fries spilled on the ground. The sneakers were attached to a woman sprawled on the sidewalk. She was half propped up against the building, her graying blond hair caught in the scratchy brick surface. Her glasses were down around her chin. Everyone seemed calm. I asked a kid on a bike if she was OK? "I think she fainted, I don't know man." Another guy pointed up the street to a parked police car. "Hey Andre, there's a cop, I'll tell him." Lots of people were now gathering around. I saw the man cross the street and walk over to the cruiser. I continued up the street and heard an ambulance on its way.

The door opened as I walked past Bart's Cafe. A man was walking side by side with me. I recognized his Ostrich cowboy boots from yesterday. Sean, the kids and I had been at a wine and beer tasting festival the day before. Sean saw someone he knew, introduced us and walked over to speak to them. One of these people was the man with the great boots. I was going to comment on his boots and tell him we'd met yesterday but the tinkling, twinkling sound of chimes stopped me. I wondered where they were coming from. They sounded as if they were following me. It couldn't be a ring tone could it?

I noticed the man had a shirt folded over his other arm. Under the shirt, the mysterious chimes. He cut down the alley between Greenfield's Market before I could say hello or inquire about the chimes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gwyneth Paltrow Feels Good

Gwyneth Paltrow Feels Good — and So Can You

Posted using ShareThis

First, I love this collage. It's probably digi, computer generated but still really interesting. Second, I really can't stomach (ha, funny, yes!) this woman. She can't (in my humble, biting opinion) act her way out of a torn, wet paper bag. She thinks vacationing and eating her way through Spain with Mario Batali, then purging her exquisite meal in a back alley behind a charming little villa, to be oh so very very Hollywood.

Yeah, I know, lay off the three cups 'O Joe.

Anywhooo....great Esquire article I thought worth sharing. Now I'm going to finish Lola's Happy Meal from three days ago and wash it down with a V8 Champagne spritzer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

But Why?

Why can't life be a warm slab of brie with balsamic splashed on top. A few wheat crackers on the side and lots, lots, of champagne?

Why can't life be fresh flowers in a crystal vase by the bedside table?

Why can't life be lots of friends, really tried and true friends who you can sit in comfortable silence with?

Why can't life be a good book, not wanting to finish the last few pages because you don't want it to end?

Why can't life be a shopping spree, where everything you find is fabulous, fits, and is on sale?

Why can't everyday be a hand written letter from a long lost love who begs for your forgiveness?

Why can't everyday be a ride in the convertible, top down, Yo La Tengo blaring through the clouds, wind in your hair?

Why can't we know then what we wish we could learn now?

Why should color matter, unless you're admiring a rainbow?

Why can't we use the word "dislike" instead of hate when referring to opinions?

Why can't air, water, grass, the pursuit of happiness be free for all?

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Remember

Today is just another day. Rainy, damp, Gibson is down for his 10am nap. Lola is having a play picnic in the living room with a few of her favorite dolls. Lots of goldfish and chocolate chips on little pink plastic plates atop a blanket on the floor.

9/11. I wasn't thinking about it today. But yes, I remember. I was driving to work. A gorgeous sunny, open sky kind of day. I was listening to the new Bjork CD. I had the sunroof open. I took exit 21. I was meditating, praying, thanking God for this gorgeous day, for the job I was going to, even though I was feeling boredom and suffocation there, just being in the moment, feeling almost chemically high with happiness.

I pulled into the parking lot, the music so loud inside my car. A group of my coworkers was clustered around an other's truck, all the doors open. I thought maybe they'd all forgotten their keys and were waiting to get inside. "No, I didn't hear?" I turned on NPR. Four or five people climbed into my car. The truck beside me was still running, all doors open and the radio still on. It felt like a carnival ride that throws you from side to side. You feel like you're going to vomit, then it comes to a crashing stillness and your insides are still urged to swing to that momentum.

We went inside. Found a radio and continued listening. No one turned on lights or reset the alarm. Two customers wandered in. They hadn't hear either. We told them what we knew. Details were sketchy and the worst was yet to come. They left the store speechless, in slow motion.

None of us knew what to do? This was all so new? Real fear. Attacked on our turf. New York City? I called Sean at work. He didn't seem rattled. I was scared, really scared. He was busy and had to go. I called my mom. I ran to the upstairs showroom with the phone. She was relieved to hear from me. She thought maybe I was in the city for some reason, a buying expedition for the showroom. "No, mom, I'm here at the store. What the hell happened? I'm scared. I'm going to cry."

My sister lives in Jersey. I had a few friends who lived in New York. The office manager had a small portable TV. We watched grainy images of the second tower going down.....Customers were coming into the store to buy furniture. Didn't they realize? It's like shopping on Good Friday at three o'clock. You just shouldn't do it, it's disrespectful.

I don't remember the rest of the day. I just remember being really really afraid. I'd never felt this unstable, this fear of "being attacked." I remember watching CNN for hours, for days. The horrible stories, people jumping out windows, rolling gray dust, debri clouds chasing people down the streets. Ticker tape falling noiselessly down, shards of glass, raining confusion. People running, hiding under parked cars.

A few days later a life support helicopter flew over our house from the hospital a few blocks away. I heard the above noise and literally threw myself down on the living room floor, crawling away from the windows. Panic. Soon, I couldn't watch the news, couldn't rewatch again and again the images.

In early October Sean's mom had come for a visit. We had planned on going to NY for the weekend. These plans and hotel reservations had been made two months before. She wanted to see the site. We did not. I remember an argument in the cab. We felt like dirty little tourists, wanting to see the train wreck. I was embarrassed to be there. The cab could only take us so far to the financial district. We walked the rest of the way. Store fronts were blown out. Pristine folded stacks of Brooks Brothers shirts were still on display tables, covered in deadly gray dust. Glittery shards of glass were still everywhere, a dew kissed reminder, still untouched by cleanup crews. Store fronts were raped, gashed open, everything still in its place. I was amazed no one had stolen these things?

Fences were covered, blotted out with images of lost people. Their photos loomed everywhere. Bios of them were fluttering, smacking against metal making tap tap noises. Why was it so quiet in the busiest of all cities that all I could hear was paper blowing against a metal barricade? I felt I was stepping on people, on bodies.

They had dressed for work that morning, or were running errands, or dropping their kids off at school, or were meeting or awaking from a tryst with their lover. Were kinds words said to each other the night before? Was a memorable meal shared, glasses of wine drunk, tips left at tables? Was someone so desperate, alone in that too large city, thinking of taking their life? Had someone just received news they were pregnant? Excited to share the news? Was someone going bankrupt, filing for Chapter 11 that next day? News of cancer, of an incurable disease? Someone had finished the last sentence to the last chapter of a book, rushing to the publisher? Was someone late for the train, flat tire, out of gas? Had someone cut somebody off in traffic, given them the finger? Stolen a magazine from the corner store, wished they didn't have to get out of bed and go to work?

Wishing somehow today could be different?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Something, Anything

I've had a bit of writer's block lately, and have been away. I've suggested to myself that I should at least write something, anything...I started another blog to release some of my mental asides.

I'm sitting in front of you having a dish of scrambled eggs with an exuberant amount of Swiss cheese melted inside. Yum! Two cups of coffee.

I don't believe in aliens, although there's lots of abduction evidence out "there." Why would God create a being far more intelligent than us? Why would they kidnap us and probe us? Ouch.

Why don't parents serve alcohol at kid's birthday parties? I'm sorry, but a piece of cake just doesn't do it for me.

Now I'm full and wondering why I ate so much for breakfast?

My kitchen has been taken over by pantry moths. Disgusting! I bought traps which seem to work fine. They still are everywhere, on the ceilings, cupboards, now creeping into the living room. I see them hovering against the lit TV at night.

My parents have taken a road trip to Alaska from Pennsylvania. In eleven days they reached Delta Junction Alaska. While on the road, my father turned 70! He called the other night and sounded younger and closer to me, as if he were speaking on the phone from the next room. My mom says the sights are incredible. She has had dreams about me for three nights in a row, she wonders if I'm OK. Yes, just a bit of a funk.

Beatles Mania all over again. Paul did have the most Bambi-esque eyes. John and George were, still are my favorites.

Time drags on and passes so quickly. My days are over before I realize what next to get into. Summer is pretty much kaput, fairs are this weekend. Farmers' Markets, or Farmer's Markets???? A market of farmers or farmers already ending in s, showing their seasonable wares....

Halloween is right around the corner...I don't think of seasons are sharp edged or square, maybe oblong, how they just ooze and meld into each other. I'm going to have a party for some of Lola's friends. Decorations, games, fun stuff for the kids. Yes, I will have adult beverages. Bloody Mary's, Sangria....with mini body part ice cubes! I think I will dress as a gypsy this year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Sean and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary on August 29th. We met back in college around 1988. We had a handful of disastrous dates. If that is what you could call them. I saw him around campus. Tall, thin, vintage paisley shirts with peg legged pants. He had a peculiar bounce to his step, always walking on his toes. He smoked a pipe and was a hipster before hipsters were cool. He was majoring in Communications, as was I. He had an off beat show on the school airwaves. Friends would read poetry while someone played background bongos. He was well versed in the music underground of CBGBs and all the too cool music that no one heard except to be lucky to catch his show.

A mutual friend, who I was casually dating, introduced us. Our first "date" was sitting in the local cemetery with an acoustic guitar at night. The second, meeting his grandmother, who worked at the library. I was to help him with an overdue paper. We spent the evening combing through Rolling Stone Magazines under dimly lit library lights. Our third date, spending the evening with a friend of his listening to albums. That friend went on to become a mortician. The final date, hanging at a friends house, having beer in the backyard. I sat next to Sean and casually placed my arm inside his. He pulled his arm away.

There is a depth of space and time for which I can't account for. I continued my Communications and Journalism studies and Sean continued to anther college. A few years rolled by and a friend suggested I send a demo tape to a station Sean was programming. By this time I had met someone and had been dating him for a year. He had enlisted in the Navy and had given me an engagement ring on New Year's Eve, before he left. I didn't want the ring, and didn't want to hear my reasons.

I sent a tape to the station, and Sean called. I was nervous. What did he remember of me, what did he think of me? I recall the phone conversation. He was friendly and relaxed. I interviewed for the morning news dj/girl sidekick and was hired. He gave me my first job in radio. It was everything I hoped it would be! WKRP with all the characters! The hours were crippling. Up by 4am to be on the air by 6!

I was in contact with my boyfriend. I told him I had gotten the job and Sean and I were hanging out, seeing each other, strictly platonic. The boyfriend went AWOL and turned up at the radio station in the wee morning hours begging for me to leave with him. It ended quite messy with Military Police and the realization that he was a control addict who, with my enabling was on a downward spiral. I did learn recently he's married with kids and is happy.


Into our first year as a couple, Sean received a job offer in Maryland. We sat in the park as he told me he was going to take it. The park bench was spinning and I felt sweaty. "Come with me, It will be an adventure!" Neither of us had yet uttered the "I love yous." We simply enjoyed being together. A few days later, I was helping mom load the dishwasher. "So, when are you planning on telling me you're leaving?" I dropped a dish, it bounced and smashed into pieces, scattering across the floor. I was raised in a strict Catholic family. Rosary after dinner, extra change in the Lenten bowl, no meat on Fridays during Lent, confession, Sunday school, all by the book.

They were heartbroken and begged me to get my own apartment if I must leave with Sean. I packed my two tone brown and gold Chevy Citation and was ready to go. That next day I was violently ill. A kidney infection. I spent eight days in the hospital while my car sat packed with what I had, waiting for the adventure to begin. Sean had begun his job and sent flowers. As soon as I was discharged and regained strength I moved my things into our first apartment together.

We moved two or three times along the East Coast during those first few years. Both building our careers and our lives together. In the mid 1990's I started asking him about the idea of marriage. I gave him several ultimatums, and then would give several more. This continued for a few more years. We married in August of 1998.

Sean had spent Saturday at the radio station with Lola, finishing some undone business. They walked in the door with big grins on their faces. Sean had freshly steamed lobsters and champagne. "It is our anniversary today!" "No honey, it's not until the end of the month!" I was going to rib him for always getting these important dates wrong! HE WAS RIGHT! HE REMEMBERED OUR ANNIVERSARY!!!! I had completely forgotten!

We have been together for 18 years. We have weathered more than our share of heartache and loss. We have grown together, tested each other, relied on each other, forgiven each other, argued with each other, slept in separate bedrooms when angry, made each other laugh, think, grow, depend on each other. We have two little celestial beings who now make us laugh, grow, and think. Through it all, we have always had an adventure. He is a man of honor and a man of his word. This indeed has been, and is everyday....... an adventure.