Thursday, January 29

You've Lost Me

So, Facebook has taken the place of another site that I couldn't get away from for a few years. I've been there recently and not here and I apologize.

Recently a Poll: went around asking people to name 25 random things about themselves. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And after reading everyone else's list, I remembered a ton of things that I forgot to add to mine. It was very stressful. I considered myself to be very boring, but I will refrain from redoing my list. I cannot be such a freakazoid anymore. I must let things remain as they are, mistakes and all. Ooh. Dang. I should have put that down.

1. I wish I still had all my Seventeen magazines from the 80s and that my parents hadn't thrown them out when they moved. I also wish I had a lot of things that are gone and that every time I ask "Whatever happened to my yearbooks?" my mother wouldn't say, "We told you if you wanted something you had to come and get it."

2. I love my daughter more than I've ever loved anything in the world, yet I can't stop thinking about what I'd do if anything ever happened to her. It's not an enjoyable thought.

3. I am addicted to stationery and office products. If there was a 12 step group I'd probably join it but then I'd just end up meeting a bunch of people with really great stationery.

4. If someone handed me $1000 and told me I couldn't keep it and I had to spend it by the end of the day, I'd blow it all on books, Moleskine journals, magazines and CDs at Joseph Beth. And a latte in Bronte.

5. I have turned into one of those mother's who hopes her daughter does everything she never got to do.

6. For one day I'd like to be able to sing like Joni Mitchell. I'd take my guitar to NYC and sing on the subway platforms.

7. I wanted nothing more than to live in NYC. When I lived there, I missed Kentucky for the first time in my life. It's so beautiful and green and lovely. i never appreciated it before then.

8. I've worn glasses since the third grade. I still remember walking into class and Becky Pike clapped because she was the only other person in our class who had glasses.

9. I cheered for an arena football team. I could have met the man of my dreams if I'd paid really close attention to the equipment manager.

10. The best job I've ever had in my life was at Wildflour Bakery when I was in massage therapy school; it ruined me for all future jobs.

11. I had a spinal fusion when i was 16 years old. I broke my rod and had the surgery again when I was 19 years old. My doctor had never had to repeat a surgery in his entire career until I came along. Go figure.

12. I am getting my second bachelor's degree because I want to teach elementary grades. I could have gone for my master's in teaching but I would've only been able to teach middle grades. I'll still have to get my master's.

13. I am addicted to coffee but cannot finish an entire cup when I'm at home. I especially love the first sip.

14. I won a bike-a-thon in the third grade. The prize was a bike. I was so excited. When we went to pick it up I was so upset. It was a boy's bike. It had lightning on the seat. I never rode it. Not once.

15. My eyes were so dark brown you could hardly see my pupils until my sophomore year in high school when they turned hazel.

16. The girls on my floor my freshman year in college forbade me from watching "Little House on the Prairie" because I would sob for an hour each morning.

17. My dream job is to be a writer of fiction.

18. I wish I could go back in time.

19. My favorite teacher growing up was Mrs. Kearns. Our class was in a trailer in the back of the school. One day, a guy came into the class. He was in college and had her as his 2nd grade teacher. He said that she had told him years before that if she had a rocking chair she would read to the class all day long. He brought her a rocking chair, put it together while we had class and then she read to us for the rest of the day.

20. When I was a kid, I would dog-ear the pages of the Service Merchandise catalog. Not to keep track of the stuff I wanted, but to mark the pages in the children's section of the boys and girls I wanted for brothers and sisters. This made my mother cry.

21. I have my degree in journalism, yet I loathe watching the news and rarely read the paper, unless it's the NY Times Arts or Style sections. Or the Enquirer's puzzle page.

22. The only way I know I'm mad is when the tears come out. I hate that.

23. When I was in elementary school, I would wake up in the mornings, plug in the coffee for my parents and then I would go to my mom's side of the bed, kneel down and put my head on the mattress. She would play with my hair until she heard the coffee pot finish and then she'd tell me to go get dressed. I did this Monday-Friday.

24. I can say the alphabet backwards faster than I can say it forwards.

25. I wish I could live forever.

Tuesday, January 20

Friday, January 16

It's a Sign That I've Watched This Movie Too Many Times

I was watching Grey's Anatomy last night, which by the way--I still don't know what in the world is going on and only have one particular friend to blame for even having it on the television in the first place--will leave me traumatized for some time to come. The last scene was one of the most disturbing things I've seen on television since...well, since I caught part of an episode of another show I don't watch called Nip/Tuck, where a woman blew Build-a-Bear stuffing into some guy's mouth and...let's just leave it at that. Both of these scenes make me want to poke out my mind's eye. I couldn't even look at the television last night during the last moments. Just hearing it forced me to look away and cover my eyes.

I did, however, catch a teaser for Good Morning America about the US Airways plane which crash landed into the Hudson. The plane took off from LGA and was in route to Charlotte. I'm sorry...WUT? That is my child's name. Charlotte Hudson. So utterly eerie, it has also been burned into my brain.

I was reminded of something else that was a little freaky deaky. About a week after my dad passed away, I met a friend at a bookstore, which also has a wonderful little restaurant in it, across the river. I was telling her about how I'd hung-out at the hospital all day long on that Thursday and that evening I had decided to go home, shower, feed my cats and I would come back to stay with my mom and dad. Almost as soon as I had decided to leave, my dad started making noises like "Mm-mm" as if he was telling someone "No." This went on for many minutes. A nurse came in and said to him, even though he was in a coma-like state, "I'm going to roll you over on your side." He said, "MM-MM." She backed away and said, "Okay. I heard that" and left the room. After about twenty minutes, I said I would be back and kissed his hand. I didn't even make it to the parking lot before he had passed away. It was if he had been telling someone, "I'm not coming with you until my daughter leaves." I was telling my friend this as we were waiting to be seated in the restaurant. We were standing next to a book shelf of greeting cards. Just as I finished that sentence, a pack of cards on a wooden book shelf approximately 12 feet high fell from the top shelf and landed face up on my foot. There was no way anyone could have bumped the shelf and caused the cards to fall. They were all set back about four inches from the edge. We looked down and saw that the cards simply read: Hello. That was it. My friend and I stood there and cried. And laughed. It was a good sign. I bought that pack of cards and still have them.

So I like to think that this recent event is also a sign. A sign that she will be okay. That everything happens for a reason. Now that certain things are underway regarding her future--that if her biological father were not out-of-town right now he would have seen the whole scene from his office window--she will be strong and fearless. I like to think this about myself as well. And just as the Hudson saved countless lives in NYC yesterday, I know that my Hudson saves my life everyday. And I believe my dad is watching.

Monday, January 12

Thursday, January 8

You Look...Different

I am starting school on Monday. The following week I will be doing a two-day practicum in a local elementary school. Thus...teachery clothes will need to be purchased.

You know...I should have really thought this whole going-back-to-school-to-work-in-a-school "thing." I have no CLUE how I am ever going to become a morning person. Baby wakes up at 7.15 a.m. or 7.30 a.m. most days and that is an ungodly hour for me. Once I get a teaching job...I should be sitting at my desk by that time. WUT? Someone hold me.

I went to the Gap Outlet with my mom the other day. I'd like to say I forgot how much she abhors that place, but I didn't. I get a really demented sense of joy listening to her freak out when we walk in the door. "What in the world?" "Are these clothes used?" "What do you mean you won't accept my check? You're treating me like some kind of criminal!" When I informed her that eChecks (the check verifying company used by Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, etc.) never accepts a check from someone who has never written a check there before, the girls who were working the register looked at me like I'd just found the Holy Grail. How'd she know that? My mom was none too happy and made sure they all knew it.

Anyway, I got some pants and a skirt, but that is not going to get me through the whole semester. I have no clue how to dress or what I'm going to wear. Or how on Earth I'm going to look presentable everyday. I am a Hat Girl and love to just throw one on and run out the door. Cute hats. Only the occasional baseball cap. I'm pretty sure hats are a big no-no for teachers. Now I'm going to have to do my hair everyday. How do teachers do this? And I just realized...I'm probably going to have to shower every night. OMG.

I remember my teachers in school always having curled hair and looking nice. Maybe they had a team of people who helped them get ready everyday. I want to look professional but also romantic like my high school English teacher. She wore great soft sweaters and flowy-legged pants. I went through a serious Meg Ryan phase after Sleepless in Seattle came out years ago. Perhaps I will channel her again. Her style in When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail are equally adorable. Yes. That may be the ticket. Because I don't think my old work tee shirt that reads "No one beats our meat" on the back is going to cut it.

Monday, January 5

In the Same Amount of Time I'll Be 72!

A week from today I will celebrate the seventh birthday since my dad died. I only had seven birthdays before he became my dad. I really wanted to do a tribute to him in October but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm still pretty raw. It took two years to hit me and it nearly knocked me unconscious. But everyday I can feel him giving me a little push. Telling me not to cry, to get my work done and to take time to enjoy a freshly mowed lawn.

In 2002, my father passed away after a brief battle with cancer. He owned his own business. A transmission shop where he had been working since he was 9 years old. It was owned by his uncle and he pumped gas. His father took it over and my dad continued to work there until he was drafted into the Vietnam War. He came home, continued working there and eventually became the owner. He worked Monday through Friday only taking ten vacations until the week before he died. All he wanted to do was complete the sale on his business and spend what little time left with my mother. He never got that opportunity. At his funeral, hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects. One man brought a black beret that my father had left him when they were in Vietnam. He had kept it all those years and gave it to my mother.

Still to this day, people ask me, "Are you related to Mike?" and when I tell them he's my dad they say, "He was the greatest man I ever met." A mechanic, who loved his life, his wife, his child and everyone he ever met. That is the impact I want to have on the people I encounter in my lifetime. In thirty years, I want my daughter to hear people say something similar about me. I just hope I'm here to hear it.