Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Later 2009. Like a Fine Wine, You've Been a Good Year.

Wow- what a year

I won't be like others and say - I'm so glad this year is over. The new year, 2010, has a hard act to follow. The year 2009 actually been a pretty good year and it's been pretty good to me.

Let's see. Highlights include

Reaching a quarter, eep- yes quarter - century at the work place. wow- did I start working when I was 12?
My eldest reached legal drinking age
My second son getting his driver's license - and havin' swimmers eat his bubbles in the water- wowswers
My elder daughter starting high school- making JV basketball team - and surpassing me in height
My younger daughter starting middle school- GREAT grades - and almost my height
Reconnected with many cousins of mine
Visited said cousins (save one - whom I am going to visit in 2010- promise, Ro)
Attending an HHS class reunion and met up with friends whom I haven't seen in years- and made some new ones
Completed my first century ride

overall- 2009 has been a great year of discovery for me. I've learned a great deal about myself and am finding myself ending this year in a very happy place. New friendships have been forged that will last a very long time. I am fortunate to have met some wonderful people. At the same time, I have been saddened by the loss of some friendships - some I know the reasons for, and some I do not- the losses still sadden me- but I'm learning from the loss.

Upcoming in 2010

my high school reunion
the start of my second son's final HS year
more century rides

just to name what I can think of at the moment.

who really knows for sure at the beginning of the year, what is truly in store? All I know is that 2009 is ending on a good note and that is carrying forward into 2010.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Just Can't Believe It's December Already!


This has really snuck up on me. I love the Christmas holiday season. Really love it. Decorating the house. Making goodies. Crafting. Decorating the office. Wearing the Christmas clothes and jewelry.

Why am I just not feeling it this year?

Perhaps because Thanksgiving was so late? Perhaps because I wasn't around for the day after Thanksgiving when I typically decorate? Perhaps because of other things concerning the house?

I just do.not.know.. and it's bugging me.

I am committed to at least decorating the house this weekend. Sunday that is. Saturday is being spent with a special someone and the evening is being spent dancin' the night away- with C - yet again! So- according to my busy calendar- Sunday looks like the first available opportunity

hey- that's it, kids.. that's why the house isn't decorated and I'm not feeling it.. I'm just too busy doing other stuff!

Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bull Roast - it's a Maryland Thang

Anyone who's ever spent any time in Maryland has heard of these things. They're fundraisers for organizations. They serve DELISH foods and are a GREAT time.

A couple of us are going to one tonight for another friend's school. The last time the three of us got together, it was a complete blast. Dancin' and having a good ole time.

We're going to do that tonight too.

Before hand, though- we're going to ESPN zone to chillax.

Watch out Baltimore- we're on the loose again. Watch out facebook- more fun pics from the three of us!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yes Virginia, There IS Such a Thing as Closure!

Relationships. One of the necessities of human social life. Without relationships of some sort, humans are really nothing at all. Relationships help define who each one of us is and how we live. At least, that's my take on the matter. One simply cannot be an adult and never had a broken or changed relationship- be it friendship or romantic. It's just part of adulthood. Sure, we deal with it as adolescents and children, but typically then there is a lack of maturity in how we actually handle the lost relationship.

That lack of maturity can linger into adulthood.. and far too long into adulthood.

Relationship closure is defined as the point where all of the final emotional "loose ends" have been tied up to one's satisfaction, and there is no remaining "unfinished emotional business" that needs to take care of before moving on with their life. It's that pesky "emotional business" that many people experiencing changes in relationships have a difficult time in dealing with.

I am a major poster child for that last statement. Over the course of my life I've had so many relationships that evolved from one aspect to another. Some at my bidding, many at the bidding of others.

I have rarely handled these well without time healing the emotional wounds. Maybe I took the change in the relationship too personally- maybe I just wasn't ready to let go- maybe I didn't' want to be shoved out of my comfort zone.

Who knows. All I know is I've pretty much had a horrible time dealing with closure in a relationship that time didn't solve for me.

That is, until now.

I realized this morning what peace and tranquility comes from finding the closure on your own. Not allowing time to heal the wounds - because I've realized that even with time, some wounds may appear healed, but one little innocuous form of communication can change all of that.

You'll notice that I keep refering to relationship change and closure about the previous relationship. I say that for a reason. Each time one forges a relationship, regardless of type, the relationship remains in some form or another within you. it just does. so the closure I'm refering to is coming to terms with the change in the type of relationship.

So, with regards to a particular recent change in relationship, I can proudly and happily say- Closure- I haz it. Thank you for listening and understanding. You know who you are.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thank You To All Veterans!

I know- I'm late to the game

but thank you to all who have served in the service and have helped make the world a bit safer.

y'all have my admiration.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Awakening and Rediscovery

One of the reasons I started blogging was as a catharsis. I felt as though I was taking too much advantage of friends by overusing them for emotional support. When something's eating at me, I need to get it out to figure out exactly what it is that's bothering me, so I can move on. In spite of words to the contrary, no one ever wants to be long time friends with a Debbie or Dougie Downer. Sure- friends are there to help you through emotional times, but dang, they're not there to be your emotional lifeline! So by blogging, peeps can read at their leisure instead of me calling, texting, emailing, etc, my drama to them. Gee what a considerate friend I am. Ain't I?

Now.. I have had some major time drama in the past 15 months. Sure, not as emotional as it was 18 years ago when I lost my daughter, but for this stage of my life, it's been a pretty rough row to hoe.

So many adages have applied in these 15 months

Life goes on

Things happen for a reason

Whatever is to be will be

Anger is like a hot coal- the longer you hold on to it, the more damage it causes (or the actual Buddha quote "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned. ")

(substitute your "look at the bright side" adage here)

Anyone who truly knows me, knows that even when faced with adversity and hurt, after the initial shock has hit, I try to look for the positive of the situation. It's just my nature I guess.

So- when faced with some revelations that came to light in the past week (coupled with events of 15 months ago), I looked for what good can come from this.

As Semisonic sang in "Closing Time" - "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

How true that really is. Stop and think about it. Who knew a song had lyrics with actual meaning?? who knew!!!

Each time something "ends" - it is an opportunity to begin anew. Forge new ground. Test the waters outside of your comfort zone. Get back up on that horse and try again.. yada yada.

That's what I'm doing right now... and for the first time in 15 months I truly feel free to do just that. Begin anew and concentrate on what truly makes me, Marie, happy.

To those who pushed me out of the nest, I do have to say thank you. I really do. In spite of the hurt, I realize that it is for the better and that if it hadn't occured, I would have passed on a great opportunity and future ones. Again- thank you. Y'all know who you are.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hey Guys- Yeah- Youse With the Y Chromosome- Listen and Learn

PSA to ALL, I mean ALL men out there:

Women are like phones. They like to be held and talked to. Push a wrong button and you'll be disconnected.

Think about it. I mean really think about it. Sure, it may be a joke one hears from a comedian, but in fact it is a very astute observation and analogy.

Women, as a whole, are very loving and caring creatures. This means that we have hearts and feelings. Yes, yes, yes, we do. We can only take so much before the damage is irreparable.

Sometimes if the man doesn't pay attention to what is right in front of him, he may lose one of the best things he ever had. No matter how the man used to make the woman feel. Pushing that wrong button may just push her out of his life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yay- It's Election Day!

Yay- the plethora of signs that riddle the sides of the roads, the polling places, the intersections, etc should be coming down tomorrow.

In case you're blissfully unaware - today is election day and across the Old Dominion, we are electing our Governor, Lt Governor and Attorney General. Unlike most states, we Virginians get to vote for a candidate in each office. It is possible to have a Governor be in a different party than the Lt. Governor because of it. I love this state.

This apparently is a Gubernatorial race with national implications. Heck, 10 days ago, the front page of a newspaper blared "Obama Supports Deeds" - who knew??? Shocking- a Democrat in office throwing his support for a Democrat running for office.. that never happens, does it? wow.. a first. Certainly had to be a first if it warranted a front page headline, no? If the polls are any indication, the state house in Richmond could change party hands after this election, regardless of Obama's support. To be honest, to me, it's the same circus different clowns. Eventually their term is up and we have new clowns clamoring to enter office. Bully for them.

Virginia is one of the most beautiful in the fall. The turning of the leaves are a spectacular sight to behold. Big elections such as the one we're in right now and last year's Presidential elections tend to mar that beauty slightly. Those unseemly signs which appear to get bigger and bigger with each election.

Here's hoping that the peeps that were gung-ho enough to put up the signs show the same enthusiasm and zeal and timeliness in taking them down. Let the rest of us enjoy the beauty of our wonderful state!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Facebook- It's a Beautiful Thing

I'm a very social person - although I do enjoy my quiet time as well. Throughout my childhood - into teen hood- into adulthood- I could always be found with people. Socializing, laughing, playing, and just having a good time.

Even though my graduating class from high school had 494 of us, I was pretty close with many people in there. Yeah- I was a band geek and to make matters worse, I was also a book geek. So those were the peeps I were closest too. Yanno- we had so much in common. Playing cards in the SAC (pack rat that I am, I still have all of my passes for SAC- yeah- I'm odd) - marching band - sax quartet- stage band, yada yada the list goes on.

I was friends with people in the class before and after me as well. Graduation is typically termed "Commencement Ceremonies". Until you've actually lived through the event and resulting decisions, it's hard to fully comprehend what that means. Commencement means to start something new. A new chapter in your life, if you will.

Unfortunately for me, starting that new chapter resulted in an erosion of friendships that I had in high school. As social as I am- I've never been one to just pick up the phone and call someone out of the blue. Especially when I was a college kid - fixed income- and a 10 minute phone call was about $5.00. Not to mention that we had to keep up with phone numbers. Then - after graduating college- what weak ties I had, were severed further in the move and commencement of my job.

So- I made new friends and still continued to be the social butterfly that I am. I always went to the reunions and reconnected- but even then- it was difficult to keep the connections. Email just didn't work. Phones just didn't work...

Then- a beautiful thing happened- the advent of the social networking medium known as facebook. I joined it in its infancy when I was in grad school. That was before just "anyone" could join. Now- I'm glad they opened it up to more than just students, because - man alive- it's really great for reconnecting.

I lost touch with cousins over the years. Through facebook, I've reconnected with my cousins from the Buffalo area. In fact, I never really knew my cousin Jennifer all that well as she's 12 years younger and lived over 3 hours away. Now, we're pretty good friends and when I went to visit her this July, I was fortunate enough to meet the gentleman that is her future husband. She's a great confidante and I'm so glad I reconnected with her. I am also glad I reconnected with my other "Buffalo" cousins. I also reconnected with other family members and family members of friends.

I've also reconnected with many high school friends. Some I found- some found me. Heck, on facebook, it's almost like we're back in high school with the banter and juvenile antics. Through facebook, I've been able to connect with wonderful people that I never really knew in high school, but since we have that common bond, we've become facebook friends and banter back and forth. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the class of '79's reunion this summer even though that wasn't my class. Made even more friends than I had before. If I attempt to name anyone, I'll inadvertently slight someone, so y'all know who you are.. and some of us are planning trips together (to Philly, to Fla, etc).

One of the best finds I had on facebook was my BFF from high school, Reenie. Now that we've reconnected, it's like we've never been apart. We talk about everything and anything and help each other out through difficult times. Even though she lives in Peru now, it's like we're back in high school and talk on almost a daily basis. I *am* going to get down to visit her sometime and do a trek on the Inca trail. Awesome trip with an awesome friend.

Yeah, facebook is good for those games - some I play, like Mafia Wars or Slots. Some I'm just too stupid to get, like Farmville, Pet Society, Mob Wars, etc. Facebook is also good for putting photos out there for your friends to see when they wish to.

I am a facebook fanatic, mostly due to the good it's brought me in reconnected friends and the forging of new friendships. It's the perfect mechanism for me to maintain friendships. Sure, there are some that will require the phone for contact, but the limited number are easier to handle now.

So- here's to you, my facebook friends - I'm glad we have this means to keep in touch with one another, and for some, to get to know each other better.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We Ordered Calamari - Not Cala"hair"i

Ah.... I love going out to dinner on Thursday evenings with my friend of 25 years, Richard. Nothing better than winding down the work week with a dear friend who's always been there for me. We typically trade off exactly who is paying for the meal. Our typical place is what we refer to as "Jennifer's" place. No one else around here really knows what that means as it's our lingo.

Last Thursday, we were attempting to meet at a local Mexican restaurant, just to shake things up a bit. As per usual, R is always running behind schedule and this particular Thursday, he was coming from a meeting in DC. so instead of hoofing it all the way back near home- I get the bright idea of meeting him half way at a local Italian restaurant.

Being Italian myself, I can be pretty picky when it comes to Italian food. Olive Garden is so so... Carrabba's has KILLER, i mean KILLER Italian food. No, peeps, it doesn't actually *kill* - but it's pretty darned good eatin'. Carrabba's comes a close second to Amalfi's in Rockville, but that's a bit of a hike. Carrabba's makes divine cannolis... complete with the pistachios and citron. Just like my grandmother and great-grandmother used to make. Reminds me of my childhood.

But- as usual - I digress....

As I said- I'm pretty picky when it comes to Italian food. Richard is Italian as well - but he's not so picky! Still, this local Italian joint has decent enough food.. or I should change the verb tense to had decent enough food up until last Thursday.

My father always said that you can tell the caliber of the Italian restaurant by the calamari. For those of you unfamiliar with what exactly calamari is. it is made from squid (all parts of it) with the most popular version being fried. it is the time of frying that distinguishes a great Italian restaurant from the wannabees. If the squid is fried too long, it becomes rubbery. There is an art to getting this right. I keep waiting for the day that Gordon Ramsay puts it on the menu in "Hell's Kitchen" so he can scream at the participants as he does with the Risotto. Man, that would be some good TV right there.

So- as usual, Richard and I ordered the fried calamari as our appetizer this fateful Thursday. We were both famished so we were really looking forward to it. After what seemed eons, it was finally served. The first piece was one of the rings and for the first time at this establishment, it was chewy- definitely overdone. Not wanting to be discouraged, I reached for a different piece. Put it on my plate.

To my utter surprise, we no longer had simply calamari as our appetizer. We had cala-hair-i. Eeeeep. There, nestled in the tentacles of the squid was more than simple additions. There was a full length hair fried in with our appetizer. Gah-Rossssss. Richard had picked up another piece- and I somehow calmly instructed him to drop it. He looked at me strangely (yeah, differently than he usually does) - I pointed to the calahairi.. and the O formed in his mouth.

I calmly (surprising, I know) took the dish back to the kitchen. Did not make a scene - why bother. Just calmly asked them to take it back. The server came out and actually asked us if we wanted another serving of it. Um- no. Nothing fried please. So we opted for the spinach and artichoke dip instead. Props to this establishment in that they did not charge us for either appetizer. Lucky me since it was my week to pay. Yesssssss.

Needless to say, I'm not quite sure if I'll ever go back there. Ick factor is off the map.

Success was had that Saturday night, however. Before I went out dancing and met a nice gentleman, Richard and I got together with some other friends for dinner. We ordered fried calamari from that restaurant and yippee skippy- no surprise ingredients! Even better- it was Richard's turn to pay for dinner- so *he* paid for this appetizer. Yesssssss!

Tonight- I'm thinking we'll go back to our old standby - "Jennifer's Place". I do still owe you a dinner at Capitol Ale House though, Chard.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Waive and Wave are Homonyms For a Reason, Me Thinks!

Anyone that truly knows me, knows I'm not a legal novice. Call into evidence two of my favorite shows on TV: "Judge Judy" and "People's Court". Well- and "Law & Order" and "Law & Order, SVU" not withstanding.

I get correspondence from an attorney on a legal matter, in my email no less. Part of the correspondence is requesting me to sign a waiver of rights. Um.. no. Not without some discussion, I'm not. As my title suggests, waive and wave are homonyms for a reason.

Without clear understanding of what rights exactly I am waiving and the ramifications of doing so, this just ain't happening. This chick is not blindly waving buh-bye to her legal rights. As much as I want this chapter closed, I'm not naive enough to do so impatiently and impetuously.

Now- why am I even blogging about this?

Well, because as much as I've been disappointed, the depths to which a lack of my intelligence has been insinuated is just flippin' obnoxious. This particular instance is but one of many initiated by a nameless party. For someone who claimed to have known me very well, it's clearly evident that was not the case.

On what planet did this person ever think I'd quietly (and calmly for that matter, LOL) sign such a ridiculous piece of paper? Gah.. just Gah. So- legal eagle that I am, I calmly (yes, I can be calm after the cuss words have spewed and my emotions have been called back into check) emailed the attorney stating my case and why I'm questioning the waiver (and other aspects of the forementioned correspondence).

I want this chapter closed. I want my dignity as well. I'm confident both can be achieved.

As for the other party... fair winds and following seas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Has It Really Been That Long????

Today marks a major milestone in my life.

More major than when I did my first Century Ride.

More major than when I bought my house.

More major than when I cut my 3 feet long hair.

Not more major than what occured on this day in 1988.

Today, marks the 21st anniversary of the day I first became a mother. Holy crap- T-W-E-N-T-Y-O-N-E. My kiddo, er young adult son, is now of legal drinking age. I could write boohooing about "When did he get so old?" - "I remember when I was ____ with him" (fill in the blank with MOTHER appropriate terms there, peeps- keep it clean) - "Seems like only yesterday", blah blah blah.

Fact is, in spite of the actual age of my eldest, I relish this day, probably more than he does. Well, I'll concede that today he's probably relishing it more than me, as he can now legally purchase alcohol- a MAJOR deal when you're a college kid, er student. Sorry, I digressed into my motherhood mode there for a second.

I relish this day as a celebration of the beginning of this wonderful journey called motherhood. In spite of all that has gone on in my life (I'm sure I'll bore y'all to tears at some point with stories of those events, so I'll hold off for now and spare ya) - there has been one constant. My children. The first child entering this world 21 years ago today, at 3:19PM.

J and I have been through a great deal together. Those of you who know me know some of what I'm talking about. I owe a great deal of who I am today, and even the fact I'm here today, to my son. That is not to say I don't owe each and every one of my children the same honor, because I do. It's just that today is *his* day and I'll point out his importance in my life on his day.

I will say, however, that if not for J, I may not have survived a traumatic event in my life. It was because he was around and needed his mother, that I did not succumb to desires to end God's greatest gift. 1991 was a very dark year for me, but J needed his mother, and she suffered through the depression of the loss of his sister *for* him. They say there is no greater bond than the one between a mother and her son. I am lucky enough to know why someone actually coined that phrase.

Oh- J could tell you story after story about how mean his mother was to him. Like the time I threatened to take a week off of work to "babysit" him in school to ensure he knew how to behave. Miraculously with that threat, he found the behavior button and used it and- poof- no more detention. Imagine that. Or the time he was barred from playing basketball because of his poor grade in English- but mean ole mom took him to the game and had him support his team even though he couldn't play. Hmmmmm.. funny.. the poor grades due to laziness never occured again- wonder why... Or the time I stopped the car after he was yelling at me over something, and I told him to get out and walk home to cool off. (yeah yeah yeah.. it was only about 1/2 mile and it was a gravel private road. so there.. mleh) Or the time he was so spun up, I told him to take a walk around the house to cool off - he said- "I don't have a coat!"- and I replied back- "you'll cool off sooner then, won't you?" - He did cool off.

J could also tell you the stories about all the good things his mother did too. Like hosting a teenaged pool party as the only adult (I removed ALL the liquor from the house- I'm not stupid). Or the time I was with him in the hospital after he broke his leg. Or the present he got for his 17th birthday. Or the present he got me right before he graduated high school.

So, today is the 21st anniversary of my rite of passage to motherhood. This isn't about me, however, this is about my son and his special day. I love you, son. I'm so darned proud to call you my son and even prouder to be your mother. Enjoy your special day and we'll kick it up when I come visit and you can buy your drinks!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dating Pool at My Age Needs Chlorine and a Lifeguard

well.. about 95% of the time. I did have some success Saturday night which I'll fillabitch in here in a minute.. but first- the sad part.

Apparently- if you're a professional (with any sort of degree or good job), older (I'd say over 40) mother on the dating scene, you are prime meat for scammers. I mean Grade-A prime meat. I seem to attract a plethora of these wingnuts.

here's one that just landed into my okstupid mailbox

"Oct 26, 2009 - 7:58am
well am chris Stephen by name am 39 year old gentle man a widowed i lost my late wife three years agos in an auto car accident and that was the same year i lost my father the same way. i do hav one with me he is 15 year old boy his name is johnson . am building and construction enginner a type of a man that is totally ready for a truelove relationship ....... this all i want offer a woman am going to love honest, caring, loyalty, kindling. christianity , saved , trustworthy, romantic, financially, understanding , loving, joyfulness, maturity in love,fun, sex,happiness, joyfullness, (LOVECONVENANT), pureheart, puresoul, and TRUELOVE......that is all what am going offer a woman cuz all woman deserved more that ..........well am seriouly looking for a serious relatioship . you try to reach me on my private emial adress ( so that we can hav heart to heart conversiation for each other. "

Here's my PSA for these. To a T - these jokers are in the construction field in some capacity. Either a builder, architect (but when pressed- they're really not), or plain construction. To a T- they have either lost their wife in child birth or in a car accident (typically around a holiday and may or may not have had the child die with them) - I guess it's a play on your heartstrings, ladies. To a T- they do not live near you and are looking to move. To a T- eventually their poor grammar or English comes through (as you can see above- with the three years agos). To a T - they want to YIM with you almost immediately. If any of you single gals come across ANYONE like this.. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN! Srsly.

I had great fun messing with a joker about 2 months ago. The guy claimed to be from Florida, Claimed to be a grad of University of Miami. Something didn't seem right. Could have been the phrase "what will you like to know about me". Could have been the phrase "we will wait for you" when I said I would BRB. Dunno what it was, but something seemed like he was flip flip flipping through a dictionary to talk.. so- when he revealed he went to U of M, as shock- an architect, I decided to mess with him and find out. Being the wise cracker I am, I wanted to see if he was flipping through a dictionary. I said "University of Miami, wow.. I love watching those Miami Tsunamis" - his reply back "oh yeah". My response- BLOCK.


So ladies- run if you come across fools like these. Oh- these are just a few. I've had double digits contact me. At least I'm not a fool cause this chick and her money won't soon be parting over these idjuts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Who Me?

Oh dear lawd - Marie's taken the plunge. Watch out.

I've been reading some friends' blogs and have realized that it would probably do me some good to blog. why? The voices in my head are lonely and need to be heard by others.

Too much is being held inside. Too much is going unsaid. Too much emotion is festering. Too much is too much.

So- watch out blogosphere. I've got a blog and I'm learning how to use it!