Monday, January 29, 2007

More Than a Feeling

I'm sitting here, staring at the screen, wondering what to write. SAG awards? Eh, not tonight. My mother's visit this weekend? Still recovering from that, although it is always nice to see her and I do love her very much and we all know it's never boring when she comes to visit. My problem is I can't think straight lately. I've got a lot on my mind and I'm having trouble processing it all. I'm preoccupied with concerns about the people I am closest to and I feel helpless. I know it's not my job to save everyone, but it's my tendency to try to ease the pain of the people I care about. The frustration lies in knowing I can't fix what hurts them, and that hurts me. (Yes, I am working on this with my therapist) I had trouble writing cards tonight. Anyone who knows me knows that might be a sign of trouble. But it's not just worrying about my friends. I'm worrying about me, too.

I'm going to be thirty-five soon, and as a friend said to me at lunch today, "it's like going through turning thirty all over again." I'm not so much worried about turning thirty-five as I am nervous and a little excited. Not as excited as I was about kissing my twenties good-bye and starting a whole new chapter, but excited. There are some things I want to work on and I want to decide what those things are, which ones will be a priority between thirty-five and forty (holy crap! I'm going to be forty!). When I turned twenty-nine, I made up my mind about a lot of things: I decided I was going to quit my retail job and do something else, even though I didn't know what that something else was going to be. I decided I was going to move out of my basement apartment and find something above-ground, even though I didn't know where. I decided that I was going to concentrate on my family and friends, not worry about having a boyfriend, but if it happened, yay for me. I let go of a lot of stuff during that year and allowed myself to try to be happy. I guess it worked: new job, new place and new relationship in five years, with two out of three happening before my thirtieth birthday. I've gained a lot and I'm grateful for what I've learned. (I've lost a lot too, but that's the way it goes sometimes) And it all started with an epiphany.

I was in the City on my twenty-ninth birthday when it happened. Cat and I had just made our annual pilgrimage to Tiffany&Co (I know, I can't help it, I love the sparklies) , and we were headed to Madison Square Garden for the U2 concert (so rocking!). We're standing on Fifth Avenue, getting ready to cross the street, when I heard music. Someone was playing the saxophone. I couldn't see the guy, but I could hear him. He was playing Someone to Watch Over Me.

There's a somebody I'm longing to see
I hope that she turns out to be
Someone who'll watch over me

Don't ask me why, but I started crying. I felt happy and strong and so sure of myself in that moment. It wasn't just because it was my birthday and I'd been to Tiffany and I was on my way to see my favorite band with my best friend. I'm sure all those things helped, but believe me when I say I had never ever felt this way before. Suddenly, I was certain that no matter happened from then on, I was going to be OK. It just happened. I can't tell you how it happened, since it just kind of snuck up on me, but I highly recommend it. Imagine taking the deepest breath you could ever take and, in exhaling, letting go of all the crap you've been holding on to for so long. I had a lot of crap to let go of that I had been hanging on to it for a long time, so letting go felt freaking amazing.

My dad got sick shortly after that and I don't know if I would have the strength to deal with everything that happened that summer and fall (and beyond) if not for that one moment of peace. I've had moments of joy, moments of contentment and, of course, moments where I feel like I've faltered and failed miserably since then, but I don't know if I'll ever have another moment like that one. I didn't know it then, but that the someone who'll watch over me, no matter what? Turns out she's me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How to Save a Life

Grey's Anatomy ripped me wide open last week. Again. I'm starting to believe that the reason this show and I have made nice with each other is so that I can cope with my grief. Because three years, three weeks and four days later, it still hurts like hell. It's true that I have yet to watch an episode of this show and not get choked up a little or end up in full on tears. But this episode takes the cake. If you haven't watched the episode, come back and read this entry when you have. Seriously, don't keep reading if you are a fan of the show and haven't watched the January 18th episode (Six Days, Part II). I don't want to be held responsible for spoiling it for you. OK? Good. Thanks.

The short version is that George's dad dies from a number of complications stemming from esophageal cancer. The longer story, for me, is that what the O'Malley family went through is similar to what we went through with my dad, except that it was a longer road for us. Basically, the episode ended, my phone rang and it was my sister on the other end. I answered the phone with the words "OK, that was not cool."There were so many moments in the episode that were very close to my own experience. It was almost too much to take. The week before, when George can't walk into his father's hospital room and we see the scar down Mr. O'Malley has down his belly and the tube in his throat...that was a lot to handle. Things came back to me that I hadn't thought about in a long time. I remember seeing my dad intubated for the first time and it scared the shit out of me. After my dad's surgery, I was the only family member in the room with him when one of his doctors and a surgical intern showed up to check the scar on his belly and remove the surgical staples. Not stitches. Not gauze. Staples. I had to hold my father's hand while some kid in a lab coat used a staple remover on him. I'll never forget that intern's face when he asked about my father's condition and I told him what the deal was. His whole faced changed, like he knew something I didn't. Poor kid, I don't know if it was his first time with a patient who was dealing with what my father was dealing with or what, but suddenly, he looked stricken. He just patted my father's hand and said something like, "Good luck" or "I'm sure you'll be fine." Thinking back now, it was obvious that he knew something long before I did.

But the part of the show that hit the nerve, the part I can't think about without my eyes welling up and a lump forming in my throat is this:

CRISTINA: "There's a club. The Dead Dads Club. And you can't be in it until you're in it. You can try to understand, you can sympathize. But until you feel that loss... My dad died when I was nine. George, I'm really sorry you had to join the club."
GEORGE: "I... I don't know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn't."
CRISTINA: "Yeah, that never really changes."

And there I was. Ripped wide open, sobbing and feeling it all over again. That feeling never really changes. It's so unfair, but it's so freaking true. Yes, I get out of bed every day and I go to work and I spend time with my friends and live my life and all the other things that anyone else does. But there is this underlying feeling that something is missing. There is this piece of me that will always hurt, always long for my dad. I'm still not sure if I know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn't. I try to, but I know that there is no way I will ever fully recover from this loss. My heart's broken. That's a fact of my life. And maybe for the rest of my life, every happiness and every sadness will be tinged with an unspoken "I wish Daddy were here." Maybe. But watching that episode made a difference. It reminded me of how my family came together, how we found out how many people cared about all of us. It reminded me that it is OK to feel that sadness, he would want me to miss him, but he would also want me to go on and enjoy the life I have left to live.

I think what makes it even more meaningful is that the woman who wrote this episode, Krista Vernoff, was drawing from her own experience (
click here for her story). She was brave enough to put herself through it all again and tell the story of losing her dad. And that gives me the strength to tell the story of losing mine. I am strong and I am not alone. I have my friends, I have my family and I have my dad with me every day.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Coliseum Fall Down, Go Boom

all photos courtesy of Keith Krolak

This is the view from my condo in Downtown New Haven.The hulking structure with the triangles is the New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum as it stood at 7:30 yesterday morning. The Coliseum hosted everything from hockey games and the circus (same thing in sense) to concerts and bridal fairs. It's been there for roughly thirty-five years, but officially closed in 2002. The last event held there was a Barry Manilow Concert.

7:49am: There was a series of explosions and the building started to come down like a stack of pancakes. It was the implosion people had been waiting for since Barry Manilow left town. It was louder than I thought it would be and only took 17 seconds, but damn, it was something to see and hear and feel. The clock on our kitchen wall was rattled to an interesting angle and the bathtub ML and I were standing in shook. There was a resounding chorus of "Holy S**T!" in our place. I say chorus because, like so many other people in Greater New Haven, not only were we up, we were throwing a party! Yes, indeed, we invited people over for breakfast with a bang! When you have seven windows facing what will probably be the biggest event of the year, you want to share those windows and the experience with your friends. So, up we were at 5:45am, with guests arriving for bagels, coffee, eggs and Bellinis starting at 6:30am. Twenty guests in all here at our place, which is nothing compared to the thousands of people hanging out on the roof of the Temple Street Garage to watch this thing come down. It was pretty amazing, and although there was this lingering sense of 9/11, especially when the smoke started rolling across the sky, at least this time we all knew we were safe. Here's some video that ML's brother took from our window and posted to YouTube.

And here is what the Ninth Square looked like after 8am. Some folks had windows that shattered and some light poles were taken out by the blast, but as they said on the news, the implosion was "moderately successful."

So, now THIS will be my view for the next four to six months...a crooked-assed bunch of triangles and the two parking helices they didn't implode. But, I got to see something really cool, throw a super fun party and come July 4, I'll be able to see the fireworks not one, not two, but up to three towns from the comfort of my air conditioned home. Good times.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

This One's for EJ

My summer fellow leaves for a semester in Paris tomorrow night. I'm so excited and proud! I know she's a bit nervous about the whole thing. It's this great unknown ,first time away from home, a strange city, learning the language...But it's also PARIS! I know she's going to have an amazing time or at the very least, she'll have crazy adventures that she'll always remember. Anyway, I found this poem over the weekend and it made me think of her.

Shoreline Hello

When I walk along the shore
I am sometimes overwhelmed
to think that I am standing
on the edge
of the beach
of the state
of the United States
of North America.

And I look out as far as
I can see
and I wonder
if there is someone looking
back at me
across the ocean.

A girl like me
standing on the edge of her forever
on the coast of her world.
Dreaming her dreams
and wondering if there is
anyone else out there.

So I wave to let her know
that she is not alone.

Daisy C. Abreu January 29/1992

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Global Morning

What is up with the Golden Globes? Gone are the days of people winning awards while they are in the ladies room (Christine Lahti, 1998), winners giving up their awards to the old guard (Ving Rhames giving Jack Lemmon his Globe, 1998) and people acting all, oh I don't know, happy to be there (yes Angelina, I'm talking to you). When the woman who once jumped into the pool (wearing this Randolph Duke number, no less) at the Beverly Hilton to celebrate her win (1998 again, damn that was a good year) can't crack a smile, despite the fact that she is practically married to Brad Pitt, we got troubles people.

Ok, so I don't have too much to say (yeah, right), but I do want to hit some points of interest here:

Not enough of the Cloon for my taste. In fact, it was barely a taste. He came out, gave Jennifer Hudson an award and then, poof, he was gone. Didn't even see him on the red carpet. Um, yeah, not pleased. I was able to tell, however, that his hair looked awesome. So handsome, he is. Well, that's out of the way.

You know what's nice about the Globes? No host. It just flows without someone onstage to guide things along. No 17-minute monologue that hits and misses, no weird jokes to fill the time, no awkward laughter and reaction shots. People just walk out on their cue, do their thing and move on to the next thing. Also, no musical numbers! The only constant we see on the stage is Miss Golden Globe (Jack Nicholson's daughter, Lorraine). I think that's nice. Let the celebs loose, don't have another celeb try to wrangle them, let them roam free! Free range celebs! I like it.

As far as speeches go, thank God (or is it thank Britain?) for Hugh Laurie and Sascha Baron Cohen and their strange senses of humour. I thought Forrest Whitaker was going to pass out, but he recovered nicely in the end. Alec Baldwin was random, but in a good way (thanks for sharing about the hernia!). I feared that Kyra Sedgewick was going to forget Kevin Bacon, but how could anyone forget Kevin Bacon? Meryl Streep continues to win me over with her wacky ways. I guess when you are considered the greatest actress of your generation, have 13 Oscar nominations (more than Kate Hepburn even!) and TWENTY ONE Golden Globes under your belt, you can be as goofy as you want to be when you win, but always in the best of taste. Jennifer Hudson and America Ferrara had me close to tears and Helen Mirren is, well, she's a classy dame who forgot to thank her husband, director Taylor Hackford, BOTH times. I'm sure he's fine with it.

Dear Tom Hanks: What in the hell were you talking about? I didn't know you even knew Warren Beatty, much less were so buddy-buddy that you could present him with the Cecil B DeMille Award. Yes, your speech had some high points and you took some risks. Ballsy risks. And by balls I mean "artistic vision." Obviously Rita wasn't there to keep you in line. You know who might have been a more appropriate person to do this tribute. Warren Beatty's sister. She's an actress too, you know. I think her name is, oh what is it? Oh yeah, I remember. It's SHIRLEY MACLAINE. Where the hell was she? She would have kept all those boys in line, for sure. Would have ripped those sunglasses right off of Nicholson's face and told him to "Grow up, that's your daughter up there!" Come on, people!

OK, I have to talk about the clothes. While some people have recovered nicely from previous awards fashion debacles (well played, Naomi Watts, you're almost there! don't give up, keep taking tips from Nicole), some people continue to leave me baffled as to why they are considered fashion icons (Sienna Miller, I'm sorry, I just don't get it and I don't know if I ever will. I will say this: that dress, though not my fave, is probably the best thing I have ever seen you in. Ever). And then, of course, you have the people who are consistently wonderful and make you happy to see them. May I present Exhibits Armani, Blass and Dior: Jada Pinkett Smith in a perfect coral Armani, Rachel Weisz in gorgeous red Bill Blass and Slammin Salma Hayek in a white Dior. (you can go to for photos of all of these beauties). And of course, J-Lo shows up wearing all of her own jewelry and fox fur fake eyelashes and channeling Liz Taylor, right down to the adoring husband. And Renee Zellweger is all perfect, if not a wee bit pinched. I would love to see that dress she was wearing on Julianne Moore. Her coloring is perfect for that type of thing. And Hilary Swank and Reese Witherspoon show up with their brave Oscar-winning divorcee faces on to show how strong they are in the face of adversity. They both looked great, in spite of their struggles.

I have to say that one always hopes, if not for a Bjork swan-dress moment, then at least for a little bit of Cher out there. Everyone can't look perfect, right? That would be boring as hell. Well, I thought it was bad enough that Charlie Sheen was wearing the most ill-fitting jacket I had ever seen and that Philip Seymour Hoffman was incredibly rumpled and that Clint Eastwood was wearing a funky goldish tiny bow tie (Clint and I have an unspoken pact: He shows up to win awards wearing ties I hate and I stay home and watch him win in those ties I hate. Very simple). And even Beyonce's Mackie-esque gown could be reasoned out one of two ways: either her mother made that dress for her and forced her to wear it using mother's guilt or she's taking the Miss Diana Ross thing too far. But no, someone I like had to show up looking like hell. Someone I like had to make me say, out loud to my television, "Ooooooh Noooo!" Not only is this someone I like, someone who's Golden Globe winning show I thoroughly enjoy, this is someone I've seen in person, from not too great a distance. Someone who is, for her age, hell for any age, absolutely stunning and can pull off almost any outfit. Almost. So I ask you this: Why Vanessa? Why? When Tim Allen was on stage with her (by the way, why was he there...oh right, Santa Clause 3), he gave her the up and down and said, "Man if looks were a minute, you'd be a loooong day." Yes, Tim, a very long day indeed.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Shaking out the Dust

I was just going through some old poems and thinking about who I was when I wrote them. Some of the poems are 15 years old. I find that I have to step outside of myself a little bit in order to be able to look at them objectively. You would think that 10-15 years is enough distance, but depending on the poem, it isn't. It's weird. I haven't looked at them in so long, it is like someone else wrote them. And some of them are good, I think. Interesting. I'll be posting them from time to time, along with some new ones (if I write any new ones, that is). Feel free to throw the feed back my way. I need to know if I'm on the right track here, so bring on the comments. Thanks.

Sprucing Up

Well, this was a hell of a week, as evidenced by the fact that I did not post for three days. Sometimes, sleep comes first, you know. Today is catch up day. ML and I will take down all of our Christmas decorations and clean up around our little box in the sky. It's a good day for it too, seems yucky out. Furonda and I will probably meet up for a coffee or shoe shopping or both a little later. Good times.

So, after spending an hour last night wondering where the "Add Page Element" is on Blogger, I finally found it. This was after browsing the help section three times, reading through the forum to see if I was missing something and updating my template, twice (which cleared out a number of links I had on the page...grrr). I've almost got it exactly how I want it, which is nice and orderly. I'm thinking about adding some text, like what I'm reading or mini movie reviews or something like that in the sidebar. Lord knows I love to make a list.

OOOH the Golden Globes are on tomorrow night! I love the Globes because they are a bit more unpredictable than the Oscars. Maybe it's because it's television and film,and you get to see a wider range of stars. Or maybe it's because everyone is sitting in a ballroom having dinner. Or maybe it's because it's basically open bar and most people have had a few by the time they take the stage. Yeah, that's it. Anything can happen. Can't wait.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Something New: Draft

Jotted this one down while sitting in a bar, end of December 06. It's in the same style as my book. It's not bad, but it's not great. Just a start.

Alphabet. The
Beginning of everything. But I
Can't seem to begin. It's
Definitely not as
Easy as it used to be.
Grasping at words. The
Harmony won't flow.
I'm stuck.
Killing time here. It's been a
Long time since I
Made something work that wasn't
Nonsense. The task seems
Omnious now. Far from
Perfect, I'll
Question every
Rhyme, every
Trying to be
Unique, but the
Very thought of
X-pletive here. It's been
Years and maybe the
Zing is gone.

DCA 12/27/06

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Taking Off

That's me at a gymnastics meet sometime in 1982 or 1983. I believe that is the first cartwheel of mine to be caught on film. I have since been captured mid-wheel in Washington DC, Newport RI, London UK, Block Island RI, Ithaca NY and, of course, Stonehenge UK. I'm proud to say that, as long as I stretch a bit before I take a shot at doing one, I can still wheel with the best of them. Cartwheels are always my favorite tumbling trick because you can pretty much do them anywhere. Wait, no. I take that back. ROUNDOFFS are my favorite. What's the difference? Well, you need to get a good run going in order to build the kind of momentum required to fly. Believe me, if you hit the mats fast enough, hands first, then flight is absolutely possible. I wrote a poem about it. Would you like to read it? Here it is.

Blue & Red

I remember...
My hair in pigtails and ribbons,
a runway of electric blue,
a four foot streak in a red leotard.

I remember taking flight,
hands barely brushing the mats,
exhilarated in air.

I remember touching down
knees locking, back arched,
arms high above my head.
A perfect roundoff.

I remember feeling powerful
and strong
and streamlined.
It was a wonderful flight,

the flight of my childhood
before adolescence grounded me,
when a runway of blue mats and
a red leotard were all
a girl needed to fly .

Daisy C. Abreu 1993

Monday, January 08, 2007

Baby Steps

As you can see, I am making an effort to write every night, even if it is just boring old "this is how my day went" type of stuff. I find myself looking forward to having (making) time to work every night. It's like when I would write in my journal before bed. Yup, just me and the words. It's nice. I tend to work after ML has turned in for the night. He'll wait up for me sometimes if he's working on something or reading. I can't fault him for falling asleep. A man can only stay up so late when he's dragging his ass to the gym at 6:30am. Early Bird/Night Owl. That's us.

I've managed to keep my little nook in order (if I think of it in the same terms as I do my desk at work, it makes more sense to keep it organized. DUH!). I've been using it to write thank you notes, balance my check book, work on my Leadership class project, you know, everything but actual writing. It's OK, though. If I'm in the room, I'm most likely going to end up writing something.

I did a little research on and Craigslist to see if I could find a writing workshop or a group to review work with on a regular basis. I've realized that I'm not quite ready for that yet. Maybe next month. If I put too much pressure on myself or try to do too much at once, I'll go bananas and give up. Again. I do feel hopeful, though. Is that crazy? I feel like I'm getting it back, you know? Like this is a good thing for me and I'm going to be OK, after not being OK for so long. I even bought the Writer's Digest 2007 Writers Yearbook the other day and flipped through it on Saturday night. My plan is to read some of the articles and take a couple of notes, or at least check out some of the websites they mention. Maybe, MAYBE I'll enter a writing contest. maybe.

One last thing:ML helped me hang a magnetic bulletin board over my nook. I've always loved having a bulletin board. It's a mini happy place I can look at when I get stressed or freaked out about something. Current contents include a "d" magnet from my friend H. , a bumper sticker that says "Trust Women," a couple of special cards and an Annie Leibovitz photo of Daniel Day Lewis running through the desert (if you saw the picture, you'd be inspired too!). My favorite "charm" is a quote from one of my writing teachers that I typed up and laminated years ago. It reads: "The only special effect is the heart; the muscle of the heart and how it makes you write." I'm hoping to hang my first rejection letter on that board by the end of the year. We'll see.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Stories I Tell

Well, I didn't write on Friday because I was a number of sheets to the wind. Saturday I was basically decompressing from Friday and giving myself a break from communications, no phone, no email. Sometimes I just need to not really talk to people and hide, you know how it is. I did meet ML, DL & SF for lunch (I was in desperate need of hot wings) but then it was back into seclusion.

Cat came in from the City today and we just walked around town, shopping and catching up. We ended up meeting Kai, Mr. Doug and their friend/co-worker Andrew for dinner at Bentara. Yummy food + great company = a night of laughter and good times. This one was especially good because the four of us hadn't been together in a long time, and I don't know when we'll all be together again. They are all going to L.A. to work on a show and Douglas is staying out there for the long haul. I hope someone warned Andrew about what it was going to be like to be around the four of us and I hope didn't feel too left out. We can be a tough crowd and by tough I mean out of control, wildy inappropriate and ridiculously funny, if only to ourselves. In short, there's a certain line of decorum and good behavior that Cat, Kai, Doug and I like to race each other to, in order to see who can get cross the fastest and with the sharpest tongue. There's never a sense of "Ooh, I can't say that!" (We got over that by the end of the first three months.) It's more of a "the gloves are off, so watch what you say, because I'm not afraid to run with it." And although it had been awhile, it was clear that the race was on as soon as we sat down for the meal.

Cat and I have been friends, soul sisters really, since we met in college. When she got to grad school and met the boys, we all became close. Talking about that time in our lives, we all agreed that those were some "times." Not good times, not bad times, just...times. The kinds of times you can relive with the other people involved using nothing more than a knowing glance that says "Times." I wasn't actually in school, but I was around the campus enough (Cat and I lived together)that people started to think (a) I was in the program, but they just couldn't figure out which department (2) Cat and I were a couple and/or (iii) Douglas was sleeping with both of us. Interestingly enough, none of the above were true.

By the end of the night we were all telling stories and reminiscing about "times." OK, I was telling stories. A lot of them. It's what I do, sometimes because I'm nervous, sometimes because I like to entertain. Douglas gave me the "You have to write all of these things down. The world needs to hear these things" speech again. He's a good cheerleader that one. Sometimes I think I talk too much. Other times, I think "I'm a storyteller.That's what I do, right?" I come from a family of storytellers. My Dad was great at it. He would get so wrapped up in telling a funny story that sometimes you didn't know how it ended because he had cracked himself up so bad you couldn't understand what he was saying. You would think that would make people mad, not getting to really hear the end of the story, but it was so great to see him crack up that you didn't care how the story ended. My brother is that way too. Sometimes it's hard for me to know if the the stories I tell out loud will transfer to the page. But I guess there's only one way to find out.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

On a Roll...Sort of

It's late and I'm tired, but I need to try to write every day. This is the unspoken (but now written here) promise I am making to myself. I'll make allowances for things like being away on vacation (almost never) working at the office past 10pm (iffy at best now that the holidays are over) and the occasional evening of one too many drinks (likely).I'll keep it loose, but I'll try to stick to a schedule...make sense? Good. So, while I wait for cookie batch number three(!) to cool, I figure I'll give it a go. Peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips. I don't eat them, but I love to make them because they are so freaking easy (a cup of sugar, a cup of peanut butter, an egg and a teaspoon of vanilla). ML loves them. So do the folks at the office and since we're having our holiday party tomorrow afternoon, I figured I'd make a bunch. I also made a one and half dozen cupcakes. I think I may have to buy an apron soon. Or a hand mixer. I would like to blame this baking streak on the Amy Sedaris book that I received for Christmas. It's called I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence and it is as hilarious as it is useful. How did she do that? Truth be told, I've been doing some baking since I saw Paula Deen make the cookies on her show. She calls them "Magical Peanut Butter Cookies" because her health conscious recipe calls for Splenda. This from the woman who will cook bacon in butter? Yeah, I'm not using Splenda...I'm using Domino's sugar. Does that make the cookies less magical? Possibly, but I throw in the chocolate chips to make it more interesting. And magical.

I actually spent the better part of the day writing and editing. Davis needed me to review a handbook, so I did. Thoroughly. I tend to worry when someone hands me something to review and I make a hundred changes. I don't want to hurt any one's feelings, but if I can make something flow better, then I have to go for it. I spent the afternoon on the newsletter, which was a bit of a challenge because I had limited ideas but plenty of space. I think it came out okay. The Boss took a look at it and tweaked accordingly. We make a good team on that sort of thing. I got home at 8:30p, not unusual for a newsletter night. ML was folding the laundry, bless him. I started baking, had some dinner and watched Law&Order: SVU while the sweets were doing their thing. Now I'm here, thinking about being creative, but really just documenting the day. Does it matter? As long as I'm writing, right? I've been writing or thinking about writing all day, and now here I am. Writing. Makes perfectly beautiful sense, doesn't it? I think I'll go read something now. As soon as I check on the cookies.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

No Rest for the Weary

I didn't sleep well last night. I was anxious. Probably because I had to go in for a routine test at 8 this morning, but I won't have the results for two weeks. The doc did not seem worried, so I suppose I should just put it out of my head until I hear from her. Easier said than done. Also, my body now must readjust to getting out of bed before 9am. Grrr. It didn't take long for me to be spoiled by Christmas vacation. Sleep in, read the paper, take a nap, shower and dress, hang out, read some more, watch the Law and Order marathon (Jerry Orbach, you are missed). I guess my body and mind really needed it. It was nice to spend some quality time with ML and make up for the long hours I'd been working. I know that being a lady of leisure is probably not what it's cracked up to be, but I had a good time pretending. Of course I didn't do too much writing. That's ok, right? Sure it is. I can be a writer without writing consistently.

Ok, seriously, how do people do it? How do people get up every day, pad over to their computers (or notepads) and produce? FOR A LIVING, I mean. People get paid to write (and just write) all the time, all over the world. Ok, some people write and teach while other people write and proofread or write and babysit. How? I know that the first step is to actually send something out, get eyes on it. I tell ML all the time that he's got to get his stuff out there in the world. People should be listening to his stuff. Why is it always easier for me to be the cheerleader and not the quarterback? What's my problem? I asked Furonda the other day if she thought that I was the kind of person who enjoyed my mediocrity or if I was simply the kind of person who feared excellence. In classic Furonda fashion, she suggested option C. Perhaps I am simply a person who does not know where or how to begin on the path to excellence. In some ways, I think this is true. I think that I wandered off the path when I graduated from UofH (or perhaps that particular path ended). I had no plan, no prospects, nothing. I had accomplished what I had set out to do, what had been expected of me since birth: go to school, get good grades, get a degree. OK, now what? That "now what" turned into 8 years in a job that I probably only enjoyed for five years, and not five years in a row. Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot, made great friends and all that good stuff, but I stayed in the game too long and really started to let it get to me. Anyway, back to what I was saying. There's got to be a way to make this happen. I need a plan or an outline or a mentor or something. If I'm going to get in the game, I think I need a coach who's played. I wonder where I can get one of those?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Highlight Reel

I'm sure you've had quite enough of top ten lists and best of countdowns, but how can I say hello to 2007 without a proper goodbye to 2006 and all the things that made me laugh, cry and go WTF? Here's my mix for 2006. Some of it's silly, some it's personal, some of it I suddenly remembered while I was sitting here. Indulge me, won't you? (For a complete year in review, you can click on any of the highlighted months in the Way Back When section of the page. That is, if you are so inclined.)

Guilty Pleasure I Cannot Escape (television): No, it's not Grey's Anatomy, it's America's Next Top Model. I know, it's awful, I can't help it. I know none of the girls are going to go on to be the new Kate Moss (who I guess is actually the new Twiggy) or the new Naomi Campbell (don't hit me!). I also know most of them are too old to break into the modeling business (Yes Jade, twenty-six IS too old to be starting out in modeling....just ask TYRA). But dammit, I love these girls for trying and for scratching and clawing all over each other to get that photo shoot with renowned fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon, that cover girl lobotomy, I mean contract (those of you who have seen the "my life as a cover girl" ads knows these girls get, shall we say, toned down in the personality department once they win), and that modeling contract. I also love to watch them act surprised when they receive their makeovers. Did you really think they were going to let you model with that tired weave in your hair? Tyra needs to make at least one of you look like Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby, dammit! Do as Tyra says or you will no longer be in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model.

Pinching Myself Moment of 2006: The Glamour Luncheon. Holy Crap, I still cannot believe that happened to me. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read about it here. Crazy.

Best Hug I Got all Year: Sharon Olds. Another totally holy crap moment. I still get teary when I think about it. She is a goddess, don't let anyone tell you differently.

Divine Intervention Moment: I get tickets to my very first game at Yankee Stadium for the same night that my brother and sister have tickets? What are the odds? Well, if you knew my Dad, then you know the odds were definitely in our favor.

A film so good I paid full price TWICE: Little Miss Sunshine. Brilliant cast (Alan Arkin gets you the minute he walks in the room and Abigail Breslin is adorable without being creepy or cloying), great story and a final act that is slightly reminiscent of Best in Show, only instead of dogs, it's pre-pubescent beauty queens. I haven't laughed that hard at a movie in long time. Who knew Nietzsche could be so funny?
Song that's still stuck in my head: I was going to go with Nelly Furtado's Promiscuous because it has a hypnotic beat that is reminiscent of my high school dances (you know, like Stevie B or TKA). Well, I'm sorry Nelly, but you were ousted by Justin Timberlake. Yes, he brought SexyBack, but that's not what's stuck. It's D**k in a Box , the SNL digital short and not only is it damn funny, it's a good song. It might just be the best slow jam of 2006. Somewhere, Color Me Badd is going, "Are we back?"
Website I'm Obsessed with: FourFour. It's hard to describe how I feel about this one. OK, I'll try. Let's say today was not my best day at work, I was feeling blah. I come home, sit at the computer, go to FourFour, click on the movie of Rich's cats (Winston and Rudy) wrestling and proceed to laugh my ass off. Once I have recovered from said laughing off of ass, I begin to read the comments left by Rich's equally hilarious friends. Again, I am laughing off my ass. My point is, not only is he funny, the people who comment are funny. And no one, NO ONE does a Top Model recap like this guy. It's like he's in my head when I'm watching it. He's dead on every time, from the crying count to the Tyraisms. Brilliant.
Best Way to Make the Most of Insomnia: Bill Bryson travel books. I love the way Bryson writes. I've never taken a huge cross country trip, and I've certainly never driven across Australia, but Bryson has and he writes about it beautifully and with a sense of humor that is a mixture of curmudgeonly disgruntlement and a genuine sense of "what the hell is going on here?" He won't tell you every place is nice and scenic and full of friendly people. In fact, he'll tell you which places are downright boring and should be avoided at all costs. And yet, you never get the sense that he's being mean, just honest and a wee bit cranky. If you haven't read his books, well, go get one as soon as your done with this. It will make you laugh and it will make you want to see the world.
Fairy Godmother Moment: Wicked on Broadway. Seeing my niece's face when we told her she was getting a backstage tour? Priceless.
Best Live Performance by a Live-in Boyfriend: ML at his CD release party. It was a long road, but the new CD, This Strange Place, was finally completed. Kudos to ML for seeing it through and thanks to all who helped make it possible. We celebrated with a CD release at Books & Co. A full house got to hear my man play some balls out rock and roll on the electric guitar backed by his backing band, the Evolving Souls. YEAH!
And finally....

Best Live Performance by a Newsman: This one's for Drew. How many men do you know who are so excited to be married that they rush the stage, swipe the mic from the lead singer of the wedding band and rock out to Play that Funky Music? The minute he jumped up on the stage, the flashbulbs starting popping. As you can see, he's got the moves. Clearly he should be behind the anchor desk. Good times. Love ya, Drew!
So, here's to a more kookiness, more laughter and more writing in 2007. A happy and healthy one to you all.