Tuesday, December 19, 2006

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, good bye

Over a week ago I had a knee injury where I tore some ligaments. Painful yes, then and now, but I"m holding my own. The injury requires me to hobble about in excruciating pain. So doing something simple, like going to the bathroom at work and back takes me about 20 min, so something a little more elaborate and complicated, like taking a shower, is an enormous production.

All of this has taken a toll on my son as he saw me fall off the ladder and has been forced to help quite a bit. He's had to unfortunately go with me through some of these tests because I've not been able to get a babysitter. So these past few days he's begun reacting to my injury in a less than positive way. He's actually become afraid of my knee because he hates the sound of cartilage rubbing against cartilage coming from my knee when I move about the apt. I don't enjoy it either.

So as you can see, at the end of each day there are no spare minutes left for me. And I would really like to use that time to get some badly needed sleep and to spend time with my son going on Inter-planetary voyages and reading The Chronicles of Narnia aloud, instead of sitting awkwardly in a chair surfing for blog fodder.

I'll be back after the surgery and ensuing months of grueling physical therapy are over. But hey, I had fun while it lasted.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Update: I'm saving the comments within the post as the website where they were originally posted will be going down soon.

1 Thank you for the time you have spent here. You will be missed while you are gone. But I'll be here when you get back.
Posted by: Stephen Macklin at December 18, 2006 09:46 PM (Z3kjO)

2 *sigh* I'm so sorry. What a bummer to have something like this happen now. I shall miss you so very much, although I understand why you don't have the time at the moment. I hope your recovery goes much much faster and better than you anticipate and you come back soon to drop us the occasional post. {{{HUGS}}}
Posted by: Teresa at December 18, 2006 10:35 PM (gsbs5)

3 zoinks.... um... you'll still let us try to make you laugh, right?
Posted by: RSM at December 19, 2006 06:47 AM (IyNwh)

4 I will be awaiting your return and totally understand your need for a break. Wishing you and your son a very Merry Christmas and many Blessings in the New Year!
Posted by: Lemon Stand at December 19, 2006 08:41 AM (3Eu3B)

5 I'll miss you. I hope we can find a way to keep in touch.  {hug}
Posted by: _Jon at December 19, 2006 08:48 AM (cPJtC)

6 Hope you make it back soon. I will miss your sharp wit and lovely pictures. Your health is more important, but it doesn't mean I won't miss you.
Posted by: vw bug at December 19, 2006 08:52 AM (ZbLU8)

7 I'm sorry to hear that! I hope that you will keep in touch. We will await your return. In the meantime - if you need to chat - call me!
Posted by: oddybobo at December 19, 2006 09:11 AM (mZfwW)

8 Wishing you a speedy recovery. Having been thru something similar myself, I understand how the little one is reacting. I will be awaiting your return. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Posted by: Dazd at December 19, 2006 10:12 AM (Pn992)

9 Life is never fair, but it always moves onward. So many prayers are being sent you way that you cannot imagine.
Posted by: Ogre at December 19, 2006 10:14 AM (oifEm)

10 Ya know, if you leave the comments open on this post, we could have a little comment party to keep you amused... :-)
Posted by: Harvey at December 19, 2006 11:10 AM (L7a63)

11 .... good luck with getting healty again..... and Merry Christmas, ma'am.....
Posted by: Eric at December 19, 2006 12:18 PM (NlzwQ)

12 I am so sorry sweetie ... what a horrible thing to happen at anytime of the year. Get better soon, concentrate on your therapy, do all of it. Merry Christmas and a Better New Year to you.
Posted by: Quality Weenie at December 19, 2006 12:30 PM (BksWB)

13 Oh MY get better soon, and keep us posted!!
Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at December 19, 2006 01:53 PM (oSNDT)

14 I just found your site and I miss you already. I can empathize with your situation and look forward to your speedy recovery. Keep your spirits high and have a Merry Christmas and may our Lord bless you and your son with continual contentment.
Posted by: Jane at December 19, 2006 05:31 PM (1M+ds)

15 Thank you for all you have shared with us. You and your son are in my thoughts and prayers, and I wish you a speedy recovery.
Posted by: Mrs_Who at December 19, 2006 07:46 PM (GValb)

16 Wish you a Merry X'mas and Happy New Year! As well as your knee who will have a happy recovery soon :p
Posted by: hyristi at December 20, 2006 07:22 AM (o9cVQ)

17 Here's hoping your knee heals fast, and you have a wonderful Christmas and wickedly good New Year!
Posted by: Oorgo at December 20, 2006 02:06 PM (ZUQGo)

18 Circumstances: "Regretfully they tell us, But firmly they compel us To say goodbye to you." Now that song will be stuck in my head. Take care, heal fast, do what you need to do, and I hope to see you back soon, Michele.
Posted by: that1guy at December 20, 2006 06:28 PM (3UQTn)

19 Ouch! I hope you get well pronto and come back to the 'sphere real soon. In the meantime, take care of yourself and your son and have a Merry Christmas.
Posted by: Jim - PRS at December 20, 2006 08:13 PM (a6/Kb)

20 Well, since I can't seem to put a sentence together lately, either on my own blog or in anyone else's comments. So, I'll just say what Harpo would say. **honk, honk** Get well soon, m'lady.
Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 21, 2006 01:14 AM (pzBJ4)

21 I am so sorry to hear about this, and do wish you a speedy and full recovery. I, as will others, await your return.
Posted by: Laughing Wolf at December 21, 2006 08:31 AM (rkPu/)

22 Hope your recovery is quick and easy. Merry Christmas
Posted by: Gigi at December 21, 2006 04:40 PM (MGlM/)

23 Will miss you terribly. Get better soon.
Posted by: Tink at December 21, 2006 05:41 PM (vfIfd)

24 Are you back yet? :-)
Posted by: Harvey at December 22, 2006 11:13 AM (L7a63)

25 Hoping that you have a very Merry Christmas Michele.
Posted by: Sgt Hook at December 23, 2006 12:34 AM (zWjIW)

26 Rare commenter, new reader here... wishing you a speedy and smooth recovery and the best New Year ever!
Posted by: Jean at December 23, 2006 05:28 PM (Eodj2)

27 Merry Christmas, Michelle!
Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 25, 2006 02:31 PM (0AQAr)

28 Oh my. You take care and I hope that your healing goes quickly. I'll leave a light on for you, okay?
Posted by: Richmond at December 28, 2006 05:22 PM (e8QFP)

29 PLEASE!!!!! Tell us you will return at some point! I have not been reading and commenting like before, but I have been reading, so PLEASE tell us that WHEN (not IF) you are healed and STRONGER THAN BEFORE, you will return to us!
Posted by: Smokey at December 29, 2006 04:41 AM (xBtls)

30 *sets up folding chair* *waits*
Posted by: Harvey at December 29, 2006 08:17 AM (L7a63)

31 I've got a cooler Harvey, mind if I join you?
Posted by: Ogre at December 30, 2006 04:35 PM (EsWss)

Monday, December 11, 2006

An Incredible Life

Some amazing stuff has been happening to me lately, and I never would have thought to even blog about it had it not been for Tink’s blog prompt some time ago asking people to write about “something FABULOUS in your life right now!” I wonder if you all realize how wonderful your lives also seem to me?

I guess I never think to write about those “fabulous” moments because I reserve them for my journal, where I also include my thanks for them addressed to God. If I have the time, I also reflect on the impact it has had on my life. I’'ve been so busy that I haven’t had the chance to write it in my journal so I’m going to share it with you all.

A few months back I was asked by someone in my firm to donate a picture which hung outside our conference room for a small charity auction benefiting the Tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka. He had seen the picture hanging on the wall outside our conference room and thought it would be a great piece to add to that show. After having done my due diligence to determine if the organization met my fiscal and social causes criteria I agreed to give them the photograph, and to make it truly unique I agreed to also give them the negative, making the photo a one of a kind.

When I received the invitation to attend I declined, as I normally don’t go to evening events, prefering instead to be home with my son reading him a story and tucking him in bed at night. Well, the organizers didn’'t like that and began a shmoozing campaign that drove me nuts. I finally agreed to go but told them I would only stay until 8:00pm.

I show up to the event thinking it'’s this nice small charity thing and I find myself in a professional gallery with close to 200 people. As I looked around I saw incredible artwork in all mediums and amongst them is my photograph. I was dumbfounded. Later, during the auction I was absolutely speechless when I was introduced by the host using some incredible adjectives when referring to my talent, followed by the words “professional debut”. I didn’'t hear anything beyond those words as I was trying to figure out what that really meant to me. Later a work colleague told me that someone had paid $450 for my photo. That too was amazing, because whenever I take a picture it‘s for my own personal pleasure. I post a few pictures on my Postcards website because I ultimately want to share them with you.

On the ride home that night I thought how nice it was to be amongst other artists, talking the creative talk, and receiving appreciation and validation for my artistic expression. But to me taking pictures is simply one of the many artistic things I'’ve loved to do since I was a kid. In looking back I have received awards in different amateur competitions for: photography, videography, short stories, poetry, and singing…, but this is the first time I've been called an "artist" out loud by someone else.

Suddenly, as the car wound up onto the bridge, leaving Manhattan behind us, I finally realized I was actually living the life I had always dreamed of... – an artist’s life. All my life I have struggled to get to a place where I would have a little bit of time for my creative expression, only to have my many responsibilities thwart those efforts. I'’ve been so good at carving out small chunks of time whenever I could, that I didn'’t realize I was living the life I always wanted. Funny how it took one simple photograph and blog prompt to make me realize that.

Oh, and just because you haven't seen my name in your comment box doesn't mean I haven't been reading you! I have, but since I'm sitting in meetings reading I really can't start tapping away on my phone otherwise they'll know I'm not really paying attention. But soon, prepare for the onslaught of comments that I sometimes do to help boost your rankings and to let you know my thoughts when I read your posts. Some of your stuff really makes a dull or dreary day better, like when the side effects from my chemo is kicking my butt. At those times you especially come in handy because as I'm sitting on the john sideways, leaning my back against the side wall, waiting for my nausea to subside and praying my lunch stays down, I read you guys! I read you as a distraction so I can focus on you rather than how I'm feeling; I read you for laughs; to know what's going on in your lives; and just to appreciate the special people that you are in my life!

So thank you from the bottom of my heart for being who you are - Amazing Individuals - and for sharing of yourselves! God bless you all!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My Son’s 4th Letter to Santa

Dear Santa:

How are you? I’m fine. I’m looking forward to your visit. I can’t wait because I have been very very good this year. I have been so good I even got a Citizen of the Month award and go my picture in my local paper for returning money I found in the playground!

Here is the list of what I would like to get for Christmas. I know its more than my 5 gift limit but please remember that I have been very, very good and I returned the money I found. Please put an X next to the gifts you are giving me with the gifts so I will know which gifts I have to thank you for. I made a copy of this letter for my aunts and uncles so they can get me whatever gifts you don’t give me. I know a few of them are expensive so if you want you can get me only one gift and my mommy and aunts and uncles will get me the rest. Okay here is the list: [snip]

[snip] I wrote this long list just in case there were a few toys you could not find you could then get the others.

Thanks a lot Santa! Oh and to make it easier for you I asked the super to leave the roof door unlocked Christmas eve.

P. S. BTW, I would like the rainbow colored launcher.
P. P. S. I have a surprise for you when you visit. I have some very special treats for you this year.
P. P. P. S. I’'m sorry but it’s not cookies and milk.
P. P. P. P. S. We are leaving out some fresh fruit salad to help you stay healthy and give you lots of energy.

Yes, he did speak to the Super about leaving the roof door unlocked. It was also really hard not to laugh when I read my son's handwritten letter in front of him.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Search for bodies at WTC

I continue to follow the story below in the hope that the remains of 2 of my friends might some day be found.

Search for remains at World Trade Center site to expand as more remains are found
Associated Press - December 29, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) - The search for human remains at the World Trade Center site will be expanded, a city official said Friday, hours before searchers found what may be more bone fragments at the site.
In a memo to Mayor Michael Bloomberg about the search for remains, Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler said debris believed to be from the towers had been dug up from under a service road on the site's western edge and said more of the road would be excavated.
Crews sifting through the material have reported finding computer parts, office carpet, electrical wires and steel from the building.
"Based on the appearance of what could be WTC-related debris in the trench, the majority of the haul road requires further excavation," Skyler wrote, adding that 165 other places also would be searched.
Hours later, word came from the site that workers had found what appeared to be several more pieces of bone from the road excavation.
The renewed search for remains began in October after utility crews found bones in an abandoned manhole that had been paved over and forgotten along the western edge of the site.
In the hurry to finish cleaning up the site during the spring of 2002, that manhole and a number of other subterranean pockets were never searched for victims' remains.
Until Friday, the only remains turned up since the search resumed were some 200 bones in the initial manhole, plus a handful of fragments in three other manholes.
Some victims' families have pushed for a wider excavation under the service road, saying they believed crews in 2002 used rubble from the towers instead of clean soil when they were excavating the disaster site and building the road - a charge the city denies.
"Thank God. Thank God they're finally doing this," said Tim Sumner, whose brother-in-law, firefighter Joseph Leavey, was killed in the terrorist attacks.
Some 40 percent of the 2,749 people killed in the Sept. 11 attack there still have not had any remains identified. None of the new discoveries has been matched to any of the dead.
Skyler estimated in his letter that the yearlong search effort would cost $30 million.
Associated Press Writer Amy Westfeldt contributed to this story.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Founder's Quote

"Do we owe debts to foreigners and to our own citizens contracted in a time of imminent peril for the preservation of our political existence? These are the subjects of constant and unblushing violation."
-- Alexander Hamilton (Federalist No. 15)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mixed Bag

Some days there are just such a conflagration of events that brings one's spirit just above curb level. On those days all I want to do is pack a few belongings into a truck, and move to Montana with my son.

Instead, I sucked it up, took spiritual bathroom breaks where I prayed, and tried to deal with the results of Murphy's law.

The best part of my day: was getting some really nice messages from 2 bloggers, and getting a really big hug and a big kiss from my son, who said to me, "I really, really missed you mommy and I waited to have dinner with you."

With positive incentives like those, I'll go to bed in peace hoping tomorrow's a better day. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to apply Industrial strength Motor Oil as cream to my face to soften my skin and hide the puffiness and dark circles under my eyes from sleeping only 4hrs/night for the last 2 weeks. Before I apply I will pray for no more life complications or color shifts on my lipstick, otherwise I'll be booking myself as tomorrow's entertainment as Bozo the clown.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A joke off to Hook

A Joke for Sgt. Hook

Because I can never refuse a request from a handsome military man, who works tirelessly protecting it's citizens, I'm publishing a joke that got me in trouble yesterday.

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know.

This idea came to me one day when I was sitting at my desk and remembered a phone call I had forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it.

A man answered, saying, "Hello." I politely said, "This is Chris. May I please speak with Robin Carter?" Suddenly, the phone was slammed down on me.

I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude.

I tracked down Robin's correct number and called her. I had transposed the last two digits of her phone number.

After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled, "You're an Idiot!" and hung up.

I wrote his number down with the word 'Idiot' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer.

Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, "You're an Idiot!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller ID came to our area, I thought my therapeutic 'Idiot' calling would have to stop.

So, I called his number and said, Hi, this is John Smith from the Telephone Company. I'm just calling to see if you're interested in the Caller ID program?"

He yelled, "NO!" and slammed the phone down.

I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an Idiot!"

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for.

I hit the horn and yelled that I had been waiting for the spot. The idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale" sign in his car window, so I wrote down his number.

A couple of days later, right after calling the first Idiot, ( I had his number on speed dial ), I thought I had better call the BMW Idiot, too.

I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?"

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Okay, Okay, Okay....

I'm getting a bit self-conscious and embarrassed from all the attention. Believe me it is all appreciated. I'm just not used to it. I'm more comfortable being invisible, the unnoticed one; the one that always flies under the radar undetected. So all I can humbly say is thank you. Thank you for all the support and kind words. Thank You for making a rough and challenging week easier. And thank you for not letting me sit home all alone with my thoughts and coaxing me out of my shell with your comments, emails and text messages.

The turn around began in earnest when I started to receive them; it continued with a long phone call in the middle of the night Friday morning, from a professional comedian friend of mine who read my blog. At around 2am Friday he had just finished a show and decided to call to cheer me up. At one point he had me laughing so hard that I was gasping for air and had tears in my eyes. That helped my outlook Friday and the day went a lot easier and faster. My co-workers also helped by picking up my lunch for me on both Thursday and Friday and helping with anything I needed. I’m grateful that work is slow and it will continue to be that way until election day. By then I should be feeling 100%.

Some of the kids I have mentored in the past stopped by midday yesterday to help with small chores and errands, which made me even more grateful and made me believe that I had an angel looking out for me. Last night, while laying on the couch getting bummed out as I watched my Mets loose horribly, I began getting text messages from several bloggers that I really respect and admire. To one of them I wanted to text “I’m not worthy” but he’s already told me once to cut that out and not go there, so I didn’t. This morning I got a call from the firefighters who worked the rescue with me last Sunday. They were on duty and were checking in on how I was doing. They’re a great group of guys who were also fun to talk to. One of them, who has done 2 tours in Iraq, gave me pointers on what to do about the rescue related nightmares and flashbacks For that bit alone I’m most grateful, because now I have tools to work through some of the challenging stuff that has been going on in my head recently.

In truth, I have felt the same way about all your wonderful comments and messages. They have all been good for the soul; and they have all helped me in one way or another. I still don’t feel much like a hero because I did what any decent abled body human being should do in the same situation. In fact, in NYC it’s a crime not to help someone in need. Sad isn’t it that we need such a law on the books, but there it is. So for today, all that’s left hurting are from my trapezoids to the base of my skull, which are being treated with some state of the art patches I was given by my orthopedist Friday. They feel good, but I don’t know about wearing these patches on my clothes. I don’t like drawing attention to myself, and well, wearing these over your clothes you can’t help but draw attention to yourself. The good thing is that my suit jacket will cover these things tomorrow AND there'’s no granny smell. I seem to getting tendonitis in both my elbows, but I think my texting to the different people yesterday for a couple of hours has more to do with that than anything else. My calves and hamstrings are no longer cramping and getting spasms, but for the life of me I don’t understand why my glutes are still hurting. All this pain defies comprehension. My orthopedist gave me rational explanations for what happened and found bruises on my back to explain it all. Apparently, I was slammed repeatedly against the rocks and just didn'’t realize how hard.

So for today, I’'ll just continue relaxing, watching football in the daytime, baseball at night and live in dread of losing the bet to my blog bro Jon. WHAT WAS I THINKING???!!!!!

Posted by: Michele at 03:05 PM | Comments (15)
Post contains 890 words, total size 5 kb.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Smell of Anger

Oddy & RSM have both said to me that "anger is good". Tonight I'm beginning to think they're absolutely right. Part of the reason I'm so angry is the incredible amount of pain I'm in. I normally have a high threshold for pain, but right now I feel like I've been hit by a Mac truck, it's backed up, and run over me several times over.

Although I hurt all over, I'm in excrutiating pain from the middle of my back all the way to the base of my skull. I've already called my two old physical therapists, accupunturist and my massage therapist all who did a great job restoring me back to health after my ski accident, but the earliest any of them can see me is the middle of next week. So I have no choice for now but to wait. My Kingdom for a good pair of strong hands to work on me!

In the mean time, I smell absolutely lovely! Not of lavender & such, but according to my accupuncturist my eau de Tiger-balm & Eucalyptus smell is very enticing to her Ben-gay crowd. On nights like this I am ooooh so glad I am single. Oohhhh wait, I just realized, if I wasnt' I could ask my partner oh so sweetly for a back massage. Oh well, at least I don't have to hear complaints about my overpowering aromatic scent.

But what is really sending me over the edge is learning this evening from the detectives on the case, that this woman - who threw her baby into the water, is now claiming temporary insanity.

She's so lucky to be in protective custody. Really... she is... because had she been within reach tonight I think there would have been a 2nd person claiming that defense after throwing her out her hospital window. For now, I hope she rots in a hell of a cell for the rest of her life, with the smell of the ocean always nearby to remind her every moment of her life of what she did.

Comments received posted below: .

1 Sadly for you - there was no possible way to know what she had done when you saw her in the water. If there is a heaven, then I know baby Brook is looking down on you and sending you great blessings because you are a hero. But you wouldn't be human if you weren't mad enough to throw that piece of trash murderer out the window. Don't know if it will help, but something we did in yoga once - I keep meaning to try it again... anyhow, take a tennis ball and an empty piece of wall. Back to the wall - very close, reach your hand around (if you can) and put the tennis ball against the wall and lean your spine back against it. Just use your body weight and roll yourself up and down -the tennis ball should go up and down your spine most of the way. I hope I explained that clearly enough. It does feel good, especially when you don't have anyone else who can massage the middle of your back for you. My back hurts there most of the time - it's all muscle tension - that's where I carry it. I hope you feel better soon. I suggest not asking for more information about the murderer... it can only make you more angry. Although maybe you could have the detective call you if she does end up in jail for the crime. It's up to you though. I wish peace for you - at least for a little while.
Posted by: Teresa at October 12, 2006 11:12 PM (o4pJS)

2 Tried to comment yesterday and was able. But my heart and prayers are with you honey. Wish I could send Nuke up to massage your back. He gives the best. In the meantime, you need to step back and not think about that horrible woman, it will only make your pain worse.
Posted by: Tink at October 12, 2006 11:18 PM (11q5z)

3 there were so many times when working on an ambulance or in the pediatric ED where anger would well up at what had been done or what someone failed to do. Don't surpress it but don't let it out in a unproductive way. I know there is physical pain... trust me... but two things helped me a great deal: writing it out and working out, even if the workouts included a heavy duty cleaning session at the apartment or yardwork for a friend. Physical and mental outlets. And in spite of the circumstances, there should be greatfulness in that you were granted an opportunity to see what you are made of, and it is far stronger than that of which most people are.
Posted by: RSM at October 13, 2006 06:26 AM (fUhX/)

4 I'm guessing the physical pain is from your ordeal. The tennis ball is a good idea! I'm so going to have to try that one after lugging gear around for hours. I wasn't as close to the situation and want to harm that woman myself. Such a normal response. But like RSM said, don't let your anger out in an unproductive way, but let it out. Go out into the woods and scream - that is what I do. Usually I wait for our siren to go off and I stand under it and scream. I do hope you feel better physically very soon. Mentally and spiritually will take some more time. But I wish peace for you.
Posted by: oddybobo at October 13, 2006 09:29 AM (mZfwW)

5 I do hope you find relief from your back pain although I have never had back pain I do know what pain is both mentally and physically. After learning from Oddy of your unselfish sacrifice and in reading your post, you are indeed a hero in my eyes. I to share your anger at the mother but you and I are only human. I want to personally thank you for your courage and calm clarity of action from a friend in South Carolina.
Posted by: Edd at October 13, 2006 09:46 AM (eqar/)

6 Hang in there. And I do so hope that *all* of your pain is alleviated soon... You are in my prayers.
Posted by: Richmond at October 13, 2006 03:13 PM (e8QFP)

7 Michele, Even though we have never met, it is an honor to know you through this site. I am in awe of what you have done. Take the advice above and find a safe and productive way to work through the anger. And when you've done that, I recommend a pint of your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry's.
Posted by: Stephen Macklin at October 13, 2006 05:37 PM (DdRjH)

8 Oh my... Hugs, Michele. Lots of hugs.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 13, 2006 06:02 PM (4JWw+)

9 If'n y'all were closer to NC, I'd invite you to come shooting with me. With pistols, it's not rough on your back, and you can really get out the agressions. Sorry to hear about the pain and the wait. Oh, and that woman? She will be burning in hell for a very, very long time...
Posted by: Ogre at October 13, 2006 09:11 PM (QmGzr)

10 Hate is a killer and love is a savior. Your love saved that woman whose lack of love killed her innocent baby girl. After discovering that you risked your life to save a killer, anger is certainly called for for now. The darkness of her heart let her destroy a precious and beautiful gift while, herself, being saved by a heroine whose love of life and life of love are beyond her comprehension. To be absolutely livid about these horrifying facts is good and healthy, I think. But along with your anger toward that woman, please remember to pray for her, as well. She's going to need a lot of guidence from within if she is ever to love anyone the way that you loved her on that beach. Not that it'll matter to anyone when she's in prison. I dunno. Maybe it matters. Whatever. Soak in a hot bath for a while. I love you, Michele.
Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 13, 2006 09:32 PM (LyN/K)

11 What's for me to say to you? {{{{{{Michelle}}}}}}
Posted by: Mark at October 13, 2006 10:42 PM (ep0GZ)

12 You have done what many people would never do: risk your life for someone you don't know. It's an amazing yet crazy gift you have. I have a feeling the woman won't be entirely grateful for her life being saved, being she valued it so little. And then when she gains conciousness, then thinks of the baby there's a huge chance she may try again and be successful at her suicide. We are proud of you Michelle, I'm proud of you even though I don't know you well, and I've only visited a few times. If only a small portion of the human population was so selfless and caring. Peace. Dave
Posted by: Oorgo at October 14, 2006 04:19 AM (1JIkb)

13 You're a good woman Michele and I'm sure your kingdom is worth more than a couple of strong, soothing hands.
Posted by: Sgt Hook at October 14, 2006 09:23 AM (ZkBlA)

14 My phone is on (though having some problems). I wish I could be there to smell the tiger balm... I love that stuff. My hubby hates it. But ohhh it feels so good. I hope you can work through this via words or prayers or whatever works for you. You did the right thing and that is important. **hugs**
Posted by: vw bug at October 14, 2006 08:21 PM (iaPhJ)

15 .. Sgt. Hook is right...
Posted by: Eric at October 15, 2006 04:29 PM (NlzwQ)

16 You have been asked to focus. Anger tosses away all the inconsequential crap. Righteous anger is a gift. You have observed what occurs a billion times a day, stripped down to its outrageous flaw in a purportedly perfect design. When you join hands with that little Angel, do us all a favor: grab the keys to the kingdom and fix this.
Posted by: Jj at October 17, 2006 10:18 AM (p7TP

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Precious Life

As I slowly became aware of my surroundings I realized I was traveling with the fire chief in his truck. As I focused on him I found myself staring at his face searching for some clue of what he was saying. He was speaking quite animatedly and gestured with his right hand for emphasis. At first I thought I couldn'’t hear him because of ocean water in my ears. But after awhile I realized I just couldn’'t hear anything at all, and thought that perhaps it was my brain’s way of protecting me, of shutting out the world.

I turned to look straight ahead at the road but had no idea where we were because I had never been to that part of Serenity Beach before. All I seemed to know was that we were following the ambulance, heading to the nearest hospital. I would learn everything else once we got there.
Somehow I slipped away once again because the next thing I remember was the fire chief picking me up and carrying me out of the truck and placing me gently on a stretcher in the parking lot. Feeling embarrassed I said weakly: “"I…... I think I can walk.”"
"“Not with those nasty cuts on your feet,"” he said pointing to my bare feet. As I looked down I realized that not only my feet were bare, but that my pants were soaking wet. In fact, my entire body was soaking wet.
"“I don’t feel a thing"” I said puzzled, looking at myself.
“"I’'m sure you don’t... you’re suffering from hypothermia.”" He then turned to the hospital staff that had just met us. He began telling them what had happened as I slowly tuned them out. I remembered that in all the commotion, no one had noticed the cuts on my feet. Not even me.
Once we got inside the warm hospital room I began to shiver uncontrollably. A few short minutes later I started to feel the sharp pinpricks in my hands and legs. Because of my violent shaking I wasn't able to answer any questions. Giving them information would have to wait till later. As the nurses helped me remove my wet pants and running bra, they decided to ask only those questions I could nod my head yes or no to. After awhile, they quietly began taking my vital signs and drawing blood, which allowed my mind to drift once again.
I found myself back at the beach looking at the horizon, moments before I would jump in the water for the 2nd time. I suddenly sat up in bed gasping for air startling everyone in the room. In spite of my uncontrollable shivering I forced myself to ask, "What… happened… to… the… baby?"
Everyone was quiet and after briefly glancing up and exchanging glances between them they continued working, as if they didn't know what I was talking about or didn't understand me. I turned to the fire chief who had just walked into the room and stopped at the foot of my bed.
“"They’re working on her right now. “I’ll let you know how she’s doing as soon as I check on her, but for now you need to lay down and let the nurses put the oxygen mask on you and get the iv into your arm."
I looked at the nurse, tubes in one hand, a needle in the other, waiting for me to settle back down on the bed. Stabbing pains kept shooting up my legs with a growing intensity that wouldn'’t stop.
The water had been painfully cold when I jumped in. Although I hesitated for a few seconds, I knew I had no choice as soon as I realized what I was looking at. At first glance I thought it was a loose log from the old pier, but as I stared more intently, I knew it was a woman floating in the water. As I dialed 911, I debated whether or not I should go in. As I took off my jacket, sweatshirt and sneakers I wondered if I had enough energy and strength to pull her to safety, especially having undergone chemotherapy the day before.
The last time I was on that beach I almost lost my life struggling against a strong undercurrent while trying to save a 5 yr old. I was afraid this time I wouldn't be so lucky, and would leave my son an orphan. But then I thought, if it were my son out there I'd want someone to do whatever they could to save him. I prayed out loud as I ran towards and then jumped into the icy water.
Somehow I managed to get her out and pull her onto the sand to began CPR. At the same time I started frantically screaming for help. I hoped that even if no one could hear me at least someone would see me. I prayed hard that help would come soon as my arms were starting to get tired. As luck would have it there was a group of off duty firefighters having a celebration at a nearby restaurant. Within minutes they were at my side. Just as I let go, to let them take over CPR compressions the woman began throwing up and choking.
It was only when she came to and began asking for her baby that the terrible realization gripped me: I never looked for anyone else. As the firefighters and I raced towards the water leaving her in the care of others just arriving I told them where I had found the mother floating in the water. They asked me to climb the rocky pier and do a visual search for the baby. It was only when I got to the end of the rocks that I looked down and saw the baby’s naked body being pushed against the rocks by the waves. As I screamed at the firefighters I realized they had gone too far out and couldn;’t hear me over the ocean. I decided I’d have to take a running jump off the rocks to try and avoid them as I went into the water. Then I could swim back to fish the baby out. By my calculations we had already lost 7 minutes and we couldn’t waste any more time.
As I jumped in the firefighters took notice and swam towards me. They met me at the edge of the sand and helped me get out of the water then took the baby from my arms to begin CPR. I took a few steps after them and finally collapsed on my hands and knees, too exhausted to go any further.
Suddenly, there was a hand waving in front of my face. "“Ma’am? Ma’am? Can you hear me?"”
I slowly turned to see who was talking to me and barely nodded my head. The man in the white Dr's coat then asked, “"Do you think you can tell us about your medical history?"
I tried saying the words 'Yes', but my teeth were clenched shut from the tightness in my muscles and uncontrollable shaking. I had been half naked in the frigid water too long. I managed to say the word “cell” loud enough for the fire chief to realize I wanted my cell phone. After they stopped trying to convince me that I couldn'’t make a call I said the word “ICE”, after which the fire chief produced my phone and looked in my contacts info under ICE. There, aside from my emergency contacts was a memo with the most important facts of my medical history. Once the doc confirmed there was no frostbite, he asked for more blankets and a heater to be brought into my room.
Turning once again to the Fire chief, I said the one word I cared most about at that moment, “
"Baby?"” The fire chief hesitated before answering and that pause made me fear the worst. RSM’s words quickly flashed before my eyes, ‘"we lose more than we save’". I was fervently praying for the odds and blessings to be in her favor.
“They’re still working on her, she’s in a coma.” As I heard this tears began streaming down my face, all I could do was ask God to help her. As much as I wanted her to live, I knew she had been in the water far too long. Too long to recover and lead a normal happy life. So I resumed my prayers for either a miraculous recovery or a quick and merciful death. All while remembering the words "the odds are against us".
I just couldn't let go of hope, I was all she had left at the moment rooting for her as her mom had slipped into unconsciousness. I had seen the infant as they had taken her from my arms, in spite of the many cuts and bruises on her body, she was a beautiful little girl of about 8 months old. The memory of her wet long blond hair framing her sweet angelic face as I held her, made me finally break down.
It was only when I was released from the hospital that I learned the baby’s name was Brook. The next day I also learned that she got out of her coma long enough to lose her fight and was pronounced dead Monday at 12:15pm.
The incredible pain in my body from the rescue effort, is nothing compared to the overwhelming pain in my heart when I learned from Police Monday night that Brook's mother is being charged with homicide, after admitting she botched their suicide attempt. The overpowering anger at having saved a murderer only adds to the guilt of having failed an innocent helpless child.
Words fail me, as my brain tries to manage understanding all of this. There is very little anyone can say or do to make this loss less painful. I've learned by now that only in time will I begin to accept all of this, even when I don't understand or forgive myself or her mother.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

a little persuasstion

It was my son's first time on a hiking trail and he was very excited. So excited in fact that he disregarded safety warnings and went ahead of me. He thought the rock climbing wall we practiced on last week was enough preparation.
Fortunately, a State Ranger at the top pointed out the error of my son's ways to him and informed him of the large numbers of hungry bears looking for disabedient & silly children who don't mind their parents or follow rules.
Nothing like a little serious tale to persuade a child to respect the rules of hiking & climbing.

Saturday, September 30, 2006


I awoke this morning to the wonderful scent of fall leaves. I left my bedroom window open overnight just enough to be awakend by the first rays of sunshine this morning and have my bedroom filled with the promise of a beautiful new day and the incredible scents of fall. My spirit has been heavy all week. It was a long, hard, intense work week where I visited 4 states in 3 days – leaving early each morning and returning home each night just in time to spend a bit of time with my son, reading him a bed time story and tucking him into bed.

At the same time, there was a major warfare going on inside my head between the demands of managing my role of advisor and conciliator and a past that's filled with violent painful memories that dogged my every quiet idle moment.

The internal warfare was so intense that yesterday morning while standing alone in a conference room preparing my presentation with my back to the door I hadn’t noticed that someone quietly entered the room. When they placed their hand near the back of my neck, slightly gripping my neck, I reacted swiftly, instinctually and not of the present moment. When I finally realized what had happened I had him in an arm lock with his face and chest pinned over the conference room table. It was not a pretty sight.

It seemed that in my reaction I had made enough noise to draw the attention of 2 secretaries and the security guard. I apologized to everyone explaining that I had been attacked at a work site before and since there was no one around when he put his hand on my neck I thought he was an intruder. They remained silent and kept an eye on me as they helped me pick up papers and chairs and straighten out the room. One thing’s for sure, that guy will never ever touch a woman he barely knows in such a familiar way again. At least he’ll never put his hands on me again. Apparently, I hurt his knee in the process because when the meeting was over I saw him limping out of the conference room. This situation also reminded me never to sit or stand with my back to a door, especially in the headspace I’m in.

The only thing that helps when I’m in this head space is being around nature. So I’ll be leaving shortly with my son to go 90 miles north, to a headless horseman’s house, where the leaves on the trees are beginning to change their colors. Maybe if we’re lucky we can find some crisp delicious apples to make a fresh baked apple pie tonight. Just that thought makes feel a bit human again.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

To blog or not to blog

To [blog] or not to [blog]: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them?
~ based on Shakespeare's Hamlet: Act 3:Scene 1

That's what's been on my mind. Whether or not to succumb to the forces that successfully silenced my blogging temporarily through a very skillfull cyber attack that brought down my entire network (& fried 2 of my pc's), OR to take up cyber arms against these cowardly bastards in a never ending cycle of technical one upmanship.

So as I contemplate my cyberfate, I lie here in my bed exhausted from the efforts of unsuccessfully countering the attack, fighting a flu-like cold and recovering from a chemo treatment that has kicked my a$$ this week. At the core of the matter is: can I live without blogging? Can I just walk away from it all and hang up my keyboard without looking back for the sake of my well being. Or can I simply exist in the gag zone of cyberspace without expressing factual yet consevative views & stirring up controversy. I wonder how Matt of Black5 & others deal with this crap.. The threats I ignore cause I've gone to great lengths to protect my anonymity, but cyber attacks are something else. This is my 2nd since I started blogging almost 3yrs ago. This is the first time that my pc's have been fried. Then there was the munu outage this weekend and I wonder if that was also a threat fulfilled.

So I ask myself, do I go ahead and get my pc's replaced & comeback to do battle against the slinging arrows, and by doing so, simultaneously bring down the wrath of moonbats & islamo-fascists on all of us?

Truthfully, most of me is willing to do battle, but not at the expense of others and my health.

One thing's for sure, with everything that's going on in my life I can't continue to replace hard drives & motherboards & expend the time & energy necessary to rebuild these pc's. Questions that keep returning are: Will my giving up embolden these bastards & have them move on to yet another woman? Will my defeat & subsequent retreat help or hurt me spiritually and emotionally in the long run? Or should I just do nothing, letting everything go to & move on, focusing all on my life istead?

Right now I've got lots of questions & no real answers because I'm still trying hard to curb my anger & frustration. Aside from my anger towards these bastards there's anger towards me for trying to engage in factual discussions at websites where fanatics troll & take aim w/vengeance if you're able to deconstruct their stupid arguments. There's also self-directed anger for leaving my computer on while I napped giving my son access & launching the assault.

There's more but I'm tired & in need of sleep. Suffice to say that I need to think about it over the next few days while I figure out what to do.

Posted by: Michele at 07:00 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 537 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Let me tell you first off, the reason Munu was down was because the server "Yuri" began acting up... or rather shutting down. It wasn't an attack, just an old server with problems. Pixy can take care of both attacks and servers... but right now doesn't have time to move all the blogs to the new servers awaiting us. Hopefully he'll be able to do that soon. May I suggest that you post a request for help on munuvianna - see if Paul (Light and Dark), or even Pixy if he has the time, can email you and give you some info on how to stop these people from getting to your system. I'm not able to figure out how exactly they got to you from your post or I might be able to give you an idea or two. Anyhow, Paul and Pixy are very used to dealing with cyber attacks and they will very likely be of more help than I am. I, for one, would be very sorry to see you stop blogging or to stop being yourself on your blog. I don't really get it - you haven't said anything remotely offensive as far as I can see - so I don't know why they'd be attacking you so viciously.
Posted by: Teresa at September 17, 2006 09:56 PM (o4pJS)

2 I would like you to continue blogging when you feel better. I enjoy reading your words - I see pictures when I read them.
Posted by: _Jon at September 17, 2006 10:16 PM (uCdAQ)

3 I abandoned blogging over a year ago when a crazy irate troller showed up at my home & hadbto be taken away by police.
Posted by: Lisa at September 17, 2006 10:21 PM (+N33S)

4 .. if there is anything we can do to help, please let us know...
Posted by: Eric at September 18, 2006 08:17 AM (r5XsL)

5 To answer Teresa's question at 2 European websites I essentially called islamofacists hypocrites & whining babies then proceeded to quote the head religious leaders (which are official gov't posts) for Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia & Algeria in their own hateful, anti-christian relgious speeches and juxtaposed them with verses in the Koran. The discussion degraded from there. A conservative Italian newspaper got into the act quoting my comments & well all hell broke loose after that. Since the jerks couldn't counter the facts they resorted to name calling & threats & when that didn't work (because I ingnored non-intellectual discussions) they sent lots of emails with nasty viruses & worms. Ironically, I also got a couple from munuvians as well, which I forwarded to Pixy. Nice, huh? These people can only relate to despotism, so I'm done talking/blogging there. I truly don't know how Eric of No Pasaran (see blog roll) deals with them.
Posted by: Michele from NYC at September 18, 2006 10:10 AM (0cwiO)

6 There are people I just won't argue with as it's a total waste of time - like those morons you're talking about. *sigh* When people are that whacked - it takes a lot more patience than I possess to even read what they have to say, much less argue. Eric (No Pasaran) is one of those incredible people who seem to have endless stamina to go after the world's morons and not let it get to him. I haven't had a chance to get over there lately (where does all the time go?) but I've always enjoyed reading him - he gives me faith that there are actually logical people over in Europe... we just don't see them too much.
Posted by: Teresa at September 18, 2006 11:30 AM (o4pJS)

7 I guess you didn't get to read the passage below over an LW: John Ringo also brought up a concept that deserves mention, because it is an area in which rational discourse/persuasibility has no bearing. This is the concept of a “religious” belief, i.e. one that is held on a matter of faith such that no amount of evidence, data, or other will change it.
Posted by: Heidi at September 18, 2006 12:22 PM (y9UuV)

8 Read your comment. You did not post this quote from the prophet's emmisaries and the "religion of peace": The Mujahedeen Shura Council issued a warning to Pope Benedict XVI, “You and the west are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere... We shall break the cross and spill the wine...God will help Muslims to conquer Rome... God will enable us to slit your throats, and make your money and descendants the bounty of the mujahideen.”
Posted by: Mario at September 18, 2006 01:04 PM (cV7Xy)

9 Keep blogging. Your voice should not be silenced. Others, perhaps, we could do without, but not yours. Rest up and come back stronger.
Posted by: rp at September 18, 2006 01:31 PM (LlPKh)

10 I won't tell you to quit or stay. But I will offer this - like those above, I come here to read what you write. You shouldn't be silenced.
Posted by: oddybobo at September 19, 2006 01:55 PM (mZfwW)

11 What oddybobo said. Don't blog if it affects your health, but I enjoy coming here to be challenged, humored and just plain good reading. Do what is best for you, not for the those driving you nuts. ;-)
Posted by: vw bug at September 19, 2006 08:52 PM (HVeEK)

12 Another voice of agreement: if it's affecting your physical health, take a break. You could even step back, take a break, and just comment in other places and not maintain this place for a short time. But as you can see, you would be missed.
Posted by: Ogre at September 20, 2006 07:17 AM (oifEm)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dear Sgt. Killroy:

We'’ve become so familiar with our regular exchange of letters that I’ll dispense with some basic courtesies in order to make an overpowering confession. There are times when I read your letters that a strong envy begins to rise from within and takes hold of me for hours. When it finally does subside, it leaves a strong dissatisfied taste with my life that lingers on for days.

In reading your exploits I'’ve often thought you lead the life I wish I had. It's a familiar feeling and one I've not had for a very long time. When I was young I often got in trouble for my dangerous exploits and tomboy ways. In truth, I was craving the enormous freedom and swaggering independence of all the boys I knew. This past week my envy surfaced intensely. It left me searching for an explanation as to why, of all my correspondents, I have such a reaction to you. What makes matters worse is that in spite of my reaction I'm very drawn to your letters. I return time and again to re-live those moments which may be insignificant to you, but bring me so much closer to where I wish I could be. In doing so I feel the little green monster grow within me without warning.

After much reflection, I've realized tonight that its not so much your life that I envy, but rather you. In other words, I wish more that I were a man like you living your life, than a woman like me living mine. As a woman's life goes I really do enjoy mine, but when comparing mine to yours, my life pales in comparison. When it began happening I asked myself if it might be a matter of “your grass being greener”.

Simply put, my life would be radically different if I were you, than most of the men I know. For one thing, I believe I wouldn'’t be enduring as much emotional pain as I have these past few days. My blog brother Eric, spoke of the feeling of helplessness one of my posts conveyed last week. In reading that I realized he put his finger on my wound… and it was a deep one, based on the level of pain I felt. I've been wanting to do something to strike back at those that harmed my loved ones in 2001 and caused fear to enter the hearts of my co-workers in 1993.

One thing’s for sure, if I were a man I definitely would’ve had the opportunity of making different choices. I definitely would have taken more risks and liberties than would be considered (by my standards) good for a woman. I'd probably be more like your brothers in arms stationed at the front and exacting justice for what was done to my beloved friends and city. There are times I so desperately want to be there.

But the truth is painfully obvious, I can never be there, I will never be you. So instead, I live vicariously through you... through your stories, your shared anecdotes, and your unexpressed heartfelt thoughts that linger silently between the lines and which often leap silently and eloquently off your page.

I wish I could go on those hikes with you and your men. I wish I could be a man like you, who rights the wrongs with much conviction and without hesitation. But I’m not. I am a woman. A woman constrained by the expectations and mores of society, who's restrained by height and muscle mass and trapped by my gender.

So instead of being there with you and your men, I will be here, waiting. Waiting and enduring nasty emails from women too weak of character to write openly and from men using their manhood to intimidate covertly. And while I wait, I’ll continue to wish and hope. Hope that through your strength and courage I'’ll somehow regain my own strength that was lost with the death of the incredible men in my life.

I'll simply wait... it's something that as a woman I am trained to do well. Being disempowered for now all I can do is wait. So I wait, for jealousy to rise once again, and with that I take a step toward a deeper and braver existence.

Thank you for sharing your journey with me and in so doing taking me on such wonderful adventures.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

On Men & Power

"A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired."
-- Alexander Hamilton (The Farmer Refuted, 23 February 1775) - Founder of the NY Post - the oldest continuously published newspaper in the country.

A curse passed on

I;’ve been quiet for the last few days because it was easier.

It was easier not to sit in front of a blank screen and have the truth seep into my consciousness and torture my brain. Well, it seems that the more I tried to push things out of my consciousness, the more it would come to haunt me. As a result this past week has been nothing but torture. Torture from my son; torture by my house guests (Bro & Sister in Law - BIL & SIL), and self-torture from my subconscious dogging me constantly at my heals. All the while, struggling with not wanting to look at the truth, which I’'ve been trying so hard to deny or delay facing.

It all started by me reading this post on Bou’'s blog. It finally brought everything to before me, making it impossible for me to continue to avert or deny the truth any longer. As a result, I’ve finally realized that my son has taken after me in more ways than one. This past week, while getting phone calls at work from my SIL, BIL & son, all complaining about each other with stories on how they were torturing each other over my son's book reports, I told them I'd listen in through speaker phone and intervene when necessary. While trying to get my son to write 1 single book report, it was painfully apparent to me (as I listened to them silently) that my son processes information differently than most. Well, they all gave up on each other and I was faced with doing much damage control before my son starts school next Monday.

This morning, I finally cried UNCLE, as we lagged further behind on my son’s assigned summer reading/writing/book report schedule. There was nothing else I could do but finally google what the symptoms were for someone in his age group. I’'ve posted these below so you all can get an inkling of what I’m going through with him. He’s luckier than most though, I'’ve been trained in different methodologies that have enabled me to learn on my own once I was diagnosed with a mild form of dyslexia. I'’ve been using a few of these techniques with him for the math and it's worked great. Unfortunately where I fail and have no experience is in helping him with his hand writing. It’s not only illegible, to get him to write barely neatly is worse than pulling teeth and it has finally brought me to my knees. Below is part of an email I received from an expert, whom I contacted via their website, inquiring about classifying my son’s issues, has enlightened me quite a bit. Now I begin the work phase.

The difficulties noted below are often associated with your son’s age group. A qualified diagnostician (see attached list for the centers in your area) can test your son to determine if he is truly experiencing one of the many forms of dyslexia, and to what extent.

- May be unable to follow multi-step directions or routines.
- May have poor "fine motor" coordination.
- Has difficulty spelling phonetically.
- Makes consistent reading and spelling errors in common words
- Relies on guessing and context.
- May have difficulty learning new vocabulary.
- May transpose number sequences and confuse arithmetic signs (+ - x / =).
- May have trouble remembering facts.
- May be slow to learn new skills; relies heavily on memorizing without understanding.
- May have difficulty planning, organizing and managing time, materials and tasks.
- Often uses an awkward pencil grip.

Finally, I read this today and it literally broke my heart because I remember being the one sitting at the kitchen table going through this myself:

"The frustration of children with dyslexia often centers on their inability to meet expectations. Their parents and teachers see a bright, enthusiastic child who is not learning to read and write correctly. Time and again, dyslexics and their parents hear, “He’s such a bright child; if only he would try harder.” Ironically, no one knows exactly how hard the dyslexic is trying."

I remember almost not being able to graduate 2nd in my class in high school because my Math teacher couldn't decipher how on earth I always got the right answers on my tests, yet I couldn't logically prove my work via complete algebraic and linear equations. It was only when my State Exams were challenged, and I had to go before their Exam Board and take the exam while 3 testers stood over me, that everyone realized something was wrong. One of the tester's asked me a few questions about my work after I completed doing a formula and asked me to solve the problem outloud. It was then they realized that not everything that was in my head made it on paper, and thus I was identified as possibly dyslexic. Further testing proved it, and I was able to keep my honor's/salutatorian status at graduation. The diagnosis was liberating in many ways, but this is when the experience with my curse first began to change.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Il m'aime...

This evening, I was brought back to a gentler time and a sweeter place that I often long to revisit. A time when the sound of crickets and soft lapping waves lulled me to sleep every night, and in the mornings, I'd be awakened by the calling of sweet song birds. Barely awake, I'd jump out of bed, and while still in my pajamas, and without even stopping to put on my shoes, I'd run barefoot out of the house and cross the road. Without slowing down I continued running full speed onto the beach all the way almost to the water’s edge. I was anxious to see if any of my make shift crab traps had caught anything the night before. To my amazement, and my mother’s horror, I would often arrive at breakfast with a bucketful of live crabs.

On nights like tonight, when I was restless or worried and thinking too much about all the unknown's in my life, I'd slowly walk across that same road to the beach, picking up a few wild flowers along the way, hoping that in my hand I’d have the right flower that would divine and secure my happy future.

I would usually sit in the same spot of sand, leaning my back on a low coconut tree that had grown sideways and in which someone had conveniently carved out a back rest. As I sat there, taking in the flower’s features, I'd pray to God in the sky for my heart's deepest desire to come true, and for a sign to somehow tell me to be patient for it was so. I'd sit there for what seemed like an eternity in a meditative trance, hoping that by staring at the flower I could pick the right moment for my destiny to unfold. I was afraid that one impetuous move or premature moment might wreak havoc with the rest of my life. At twelve, my future years loomed over me like a huge gray wall of water just waiting for the right moment to crash over me and begin the unbearably long sentence of living a life of discontented quietness and unfulfilled dreams that those around me seemed to live.

So I'’d sit and wait for the right time... the right moment to begin. Then, and only when I felt it was the right, divine moment, did my sweaty trembling hands begin the rituals as I whispered to God:
“Il m'aime... un peu, beaucoup, passionnément, a la folie, pas du tout” (He loves me... a little, a lot, passionately, madly,or not at all.) If I was successful during the first flower I’d stop then and there having achieved the fate I had wanted. If I didn’'t I'’d move on the next flower, holding it interminably longer than the first, all in an effort to manipulate the desired outcome.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

No Matter

No matter where I go
No matter what I do
No mater what I see
my heart's still with you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

An amazingly fun & magical day

Whenever a vacation starts off on a crappy note, there's no where to go but up!

Day 2 was a good day in my book, but day 3 was even better. An amazingly fun & magical day, that's how I'd describe today. After only a few hours sleep (my inlaws who were sleeping in a seperate bedroom across from the living room/dining area, Could be heard snoring @ alarming decibels even through 2 sets of closed doors), I rejuvinated with an incredible breakfast at our hotel. By 9:30am we were inside Magic Kingdom heading out on a lovely short ferry ride for Disney's main land. Upon arriving we decided to take train tour to see what appealed to us most. Having identified the areas where we wanted visit & decided on the order we were off for a day of pleasure. Thanks to the incredible Tips & Ride Suggestions I got from Bou of Boudicca.mu.nu & VW of onehappydogspeaks.mu.nu I was able to tackle that park with a relaxed attitude & with ease.
We only stopped briefly for lunch (as the only fair was crappy food [fried food & ice cream] and I had to be mindful of my pre-arranged dinner date w/a very special, fun & handsome mystery man. But more on him later.
In all, we did not have to wait longer that 15min for any non-fast pass rides and only short wait times (around 30 min) for Fast Pass rides. 
We had such an amazing time that I decided we'd all get together to watch the parade & fireworks. It was fun & awesome.
To quote my son: "It was an amazing day! One I'll never forget!" Yes indeed.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Has my Muse gone?

It's been away for far too long
and has that which I hold dearly
my love for creativity.
I finished reading wincing at hearing myself read how awful the material was outloud. After a very long pause, her first words were, "“That’s it? That’s all you'’ve got?"” She said this in a somewhat weary voice that belied the disappointment and frustration she felt underneath her sweet southern Tennessee accent. Artists have very fragile and insecure egos, so she was very careful in walking the line between former teacher and creative mentor. I knew her well enough not to waste either of our time with excuses.
“"What else you got? Because I know you, you've probably been sitting down writing and trying to force yourself to come up with something, instead of painting or reading or doing something else that might free you up creatively.”" 
She was right. After the cyber attack that destroyed my pc and lost all my new poems, I got frustrated and stopped writing, my heart was no longer in it. The looming deadline was the only thing that forced me back onto a page.
“"Well, you better come up with somethin’, ‘cause your name is already in the program and you’re closing the show. Otherwise that silence you hear after your name is announced will be forever owned by you. It will resonate within you for years to come, and you'’ll never be able to take it back.”" [This is writer speak for disappointing the audience with a creative void. The punishment for such a sin is a deafening silence.]
So after hanging up the phone, I called the sitter and asked her to pick up my son so I could take a very long walk by the river. By the time I stopped and inspiration had struck, I had walked 6 miles. But in the process I found the first few lines for my poem and a back up plan. The theme I was assigned was ‘My Warring Muse’
After a dozen or so false starts, these are the first few lines that I’m finally content with:
Amor… te añoro.
Mi alma busca de nuevo conocer
la sublimidad que es tu ser.
Update: My translation is below
My Love... I long for you.
My soul is searching once again
to know the sublimity that is you.

I think I”ll have enough time to compose a poem. But if I don’t. I won’t be the first one to read a work in progress from a notebook. In the meantime, in the next post you can read my back up plan. A translation I wrote of a Pablo Neruda poem that speaks of the love/hate relationship writers have with their muses.
NO TE QUIERO sino porque te quiero
y de quererte a no quererte llego
y de esperarte cuando no te espero
pasa mi corazón del frío al fuego.
Te quiero sólo porque a ti te quiero,
te odio sin fin, y odiándote te ruego,
y la medida de mi amor viajero
es no verte y amarte como un ciego.
Tal vez consumirá la luz de enero,
su rayo cruel, mi corazón entero,
robándome la llave del sosiego.
En esta historia sólo yo me muero
y moriré de amor porque te quiero,
porque te quiero, amor, a sangre y fuego.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Beyond Repair

Beyond Repair

Your watch stopped five minutes after you did.
A year later I've brought it out its drawer
where your things languish in disrepair,
(eye shadow, cell phone and receipts,
a scarf to hide a head without hair),
placing it on my healthy wrist,
I'm forced to adjust its link and think,
unlike you, I have time before I leave.
Then I wait, hoping that with each stride I've taken,
with each beating of my pulse and hand that's shaken,
it will receive energy and be brought to life again.

This morning I awoke and saw there was no change,
shaking it in anger once again, I will it on.
Nervously I sit in a repair shop,
Giving anxious glances towards the back.
The attendant, finally returns it and
with an air of disappointment and despair,
confirms your watch is beyond repair.
"Somehow its coils and springs were tossed about,
pushing them all inside-out."
The fresh news of this affects me,
Pulling at my own heartstrings greatly.

I hurry home, dead watch in hand,
saddened by its passing
and sit in wonder, how you,
struggled for 5 years
against time & frame of mind
to wrench some seconds
with great might
hoping in the end
you wouldn't lose your fight.

~ me

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