Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Recap

The holiday came and went. It was pretty uneventful honestly. I spent Christmas Eve with just my mom and the 2 kiddies. We had fun though. We had fondue, watched some Christmas specials, talked, and got to bed so Santa would come. What was kind of new was that I got to sleep on an actual bed instead of on the couch. This is officially the 1st Christmas where my sister didn’t believe in Santa, so we were able to sleep in the bedroom… no trying to sneak up on the big man in red.

Christmas day we drove down to my Grandma’s and my mom immediately went upstairs to take a nap. We had to pack all the kids ski stuff because we were going to Hunter on Friday. We were all pretty tired. Well my Uncle came and being that they have a strained relationship, she didn’t come back downstairs till he was gone. I must admit, this is NOT my favorite uncle. I strain just to say I like the guy and his girlfriend is no better. You will never meet a more obnoxious woman and a more controlling man. Either way, we still hung out with them for the sake of my grandma.

Soon after they got there though, I stole Amanda and ran out to the Cemetery. I had to with my Papa a Merry Christmas. It was nice to be with him. Sometimes I wish the weather was warmer, I know I could spend hours sitting on the grass just hanging out with him. Sounds weird I know.

After that we did a beginner snowboard trip with all the cousins less Lauren + Paul and 2 friends. We had a really good time. I spent the whole day in the beginner area with Kyle, but still had a blast. He did so much better. And I got to ride my board all day instead of skis, always a plus!

The weekend was nice and lazy like it should be.

Today is Monday, and I’m back at work but only for today. Now I’m off till next Monday. Only 1 more hour till I run to the Metro North and head upstate to my mom’s where I will prepare for tomorrow’s Paul and Lilia ride day. We plan on taking no kids and just having fun the 2 of us and any other intermediate-expert riders.

We think we will plan another beginner day on the 31st. We will likely take the two kids and Paul’s cousin, Alison who is a sweetheart. She is quite possibly my favorite Rios (sorry Paul). Anyway, it looks like that means a night home on NYE but we shall see.

Hopefully things work out smoothly, it’s really all I ask.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a SAFE, Happy, & Healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To be Continued...

So I’ve neglected this baby for quite some time. Since my last bloging venture, I’ve gone to Vegas and did a little snowboarding. I’ll probably talk about said events amongst others for those bored and have the time to read.

Las Vegas:

So I went to Vegas and met up with my cousin and 3 of her friends… all of which were special in their own particular ways.

Many crazy outfits were worn, for example:

The best was by far, the shoes!!!!

We had a blast. We all drank way too much, ate too much, smoked too much, gambled too much and laughed too much. Many vulgar things were said and it was great! The best part, all of us when home with more money in our pockets than how we came!


I write a lot about this particular activity. I love it SO MUCH! A few weeks back (before Vegas) we went to Windham for the Betties Get on Board event and I had a blast. Even got an awesome goody bag with some skull candies, a hat, stickers, and a shirt. Can't go wrong with that. This past weekend I went to Thunder Ridge for 2 days (from my Mom's house) with Paul, Jomel and my Bro and Sis. My mom even skied on the 1st day, though she called it quits a little early. I was proud of her, she did alright. She better give it her all after her nice new investment on a brand new set up.

My brother being 4 is still learning and still very much the novice. I love to see him get out there and try his best. When he's around, I am limited to mostly my skis. I realize now, I am already a better snowboarder than I am a skier. Even though I love to watch him and help him learn, I crave the board and riding at my own pace on my own. It snowed buckets this weekend and I had to meander down easy trails on skis with him in my sights. Don't get me wrong, I'll have plenty of opportunity to ride this year and will not regret going a few times with my little man, but sometimes I just wish I could get a couple of rides in myself. The sooner I get him on his own two skis confident and doing well, the sooner I can get those rides in. In time.

Luckily I have a great man who let me get a couple of rides in on my board before close and hung back with my buddy. I'm a lucky girl to have such great siblings, a great boyfriend, and family that has similar interests as me. It's a blessing to do these things together.

Jomel got to start breaking in his new boots and so far so good. He did get whacked in the back by an unruly chair lift... but he's doing okay. He borrowed Paul's old Nitro and some Ride bindings that were Paul's and became ours. I got a few years on them myself. Well we decided to give it to Jomel as a gift... so now he is complete with his own set up. He shows dedication I don't see yet in his sister which is why I gave him these gifts and the appreciation was overwhelming. I love him a lot... he is like a brother to me and just like I love that I have this bond with Amanda and Kyle (Lauren hates skiing), I'm glad that I can have this with Jomel as well. Raquel will get there eventually. She is still a young adolescent finding her priorities and right now it's still shopping, fashion, music and friends... we've all been there.

Anyway - It's almost Holiday time. I'm happy it's here, and I'll be happy when its over. I'm more looking forward to the time off from work then the Holiday cheer. It being the 1st time without Papa will be rough. I just hope that it is truly drama free.

Happy Holidays to everyone!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Consequences and Remorse

Certain horrible circumstances came to my attention today concerning a friend. It’s left me in a very low state. It’s brought me to think of many people in my life; their stories are all sad and all tragic.

My mind wandered to Ginamarie… or just Gina as I called her. She was a petite Italian girl with a timid yet confident attitude that made you want to hug her. She was my classmate in college and a study buddy at times. We never grew close enough to go out to the bars together or get to know each other’s outside of school friends/family.

Gina was killed in a DWI back on Oct 7, 2004. I got the phone call on the 8th and basically became useless at work and went home. I met with a mutual friend/acquaintance, Brad, who together with his girlfriend, helped me get through this. I attended her wake where I saw parents, brothers, and cousins screaming in agony. The driver was her boyfriend who called 911 and lied saying he wasn’t the driver as Gina and a friend were dying, crushed inside the car unable to get them out. How dare he think of a scapegoat while my friend sat there dying.

His lawyer later made a statement that his alcohol level must have been a mistake (2 hours after the accident) because witnesses claimed he had only had 4 beers and hours before the accident. They also contested that he is a diabetic and his blood sugar was very low, possibly causing the accident.

The State Police mishandled the blood sample taken at the scene of the crime which would have been the proof behind his blood alcohol level. He later pleaded guilty to Vehicular Manslaughter… a lesser charge than Second Degree Murder. Mind you this was his second DWI offense… at his first, he was let go with a fine of only about $300. He was driving home from a Chili’s in Long Island after drinks while watching the Yankee game. Southbound on the Wantagh Parkway at about 120 MPH in his Infinity 35 he lost control and veered into a tree crushing the car like tin foil after your lunch is done. All this while Gina and a friend sat in the car.

A judge sentenced him 2 years later to 2 1/3 – 7 year prison term. Do I think this is enough? At first I though yes, I mean the biggest punishment will be living your life knowing you killed a friend and a girlfriend; the friend just before his wedding and the girlfriend before even reaching the age of 24. But instead of mourning the deaths he caused, he sat in the sun, relaxed and tanned. Even took pictures grinning like the grim reaper holding a corona. It was this very picture that the judge waved while he gave him his sentence, saying “Only God knows why I was spared and their souls were taken” as well as “You've got Ginamarie and Matthew's lives on your shoulders, and every time you take a drink you despise their memories”

I cannot stop thinking of her and thinking of these creeps that cannot control themselves or their habits. I know everyone make mistakes and this could happen to anyone but he gives no true remorse. His actions were loud and clear when he picked up another drink… his words were deemed inconsequential to his actions.

Gina, you are in my prayers and you are missed. May God hold you in his arms and allow you to rest in peace.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Opening Day, Pacquiao & Dresses

All in all it was good weekend. I’m tired to the point that I feel sick, maybe I am? I woke up this morning with puffy eyes; you’d think I cried myself to sleep, but there were no tears flowing last night. I slept well and I slept long, so WTF!!!

Friday night I did not want leftovers and wanted a date. I hadn’t spent some QT with Pauly since before Thanksgiving. He gave me the privilege of taking me out to the Indian spot near our house. It was nice and relaxing and filling. After we got are gear ready for a day at Windham.

The alarm started buzzing at 5:50AM and I just turned and said WAKE UP! Paul did and I slowly began to emerge from my night’s slumber. After a quick rinse in the shower and teeth brushing, we were on our way to the bagel store where I was caught with awkward stares. I supposed I deserved it in my thermals, rainbow bright knee highs, boots, lime fleece and navy vest. I probably looked like a cartoon character, but I was warm! 2 ½ hours later we were there and ready to ride. There wasn’t many trails open and I predominately did the same blue over and over again, but it was a nice taste. The best part is the soreness my muscles feel today. I know that I need to train them to once again be pushed and hopefully by January they are used to the abuse use.

Driving home took a bit longer than anticipated. We arrived at key food at 7:30 where I bought chili ingredients, cold cuts, sandwich stuff, snacks and mixers. Upon parking the car right in front (a big feat in our world) we unloaded the car and I began cooking. After a quick shower people started to arrive, 1st Lori then Kareen who brought a great box of home made empanadas… yes be jealous, they were SO GOOD.

The fight was awesome… why? Because Pacquiao kicked Oscar’s ass. It almost looked wrong… like a 19 year old football player beating on the chest team. It was pathetic and all sorts of fun! After everyone began to depart full and drunk around 2AM it was time for bed… yes I needed it.

After waking on Sunday to clean the apartment from the previous nights festivities, I picked up my sister and met up with 2 cousins to go on the dress hunt! Lauren picked out bridesmaids dresses that were totally not in the theme we had originally thought but are modern and fun and she loves them. That’s all the really matters. They are far from forgiving so the diet and crunches must start immediately after my Bellagio Buffet date with Kareen in Vegas this weekend. Lauren looked amazing in everything she tried on and I think the unlikely candidate is the one… but we didn’t order it just yet… she still has a date with Kleinfields. She looked amazing though.

After being famished eating NOTHING and dealing with the dresses for hours, we finally went to the Cheesecake factory where I gorged myself on bite after bite of food. My stomach was so happy! After dropping everyone off and saying bye to Paul’s mommy in Bellerose, I was off to sleep and here I am today… still tired.

Thanks to my sis and my cousins and Pauly and my friends for making this weekend a great start to the winter!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pompous Ass!

Anyone who knows me, well or not, knows that I take many things very seriously. Sometimes those very things I take seriously are things that are considered hobbies, recreational, and fun. I consider myself a fun person, but I also think that there are certain things that are fun that you should work to do right. I love to snowboard and I like to ski. I do both because I love winter, I love sports, and I love all aspects of both sports. I love that it challenges me physically and mentally; I never quite know what I’m up against but I know the only way out is down. I love how it is still relaxing and fun; the sounds of the snow running under my board and the cold wind blowing into my lungs brings me to another place. The tricks I cannot yet do well but still attempt are a fun and silly challenge I can attempt when the snow isn’t that great or the weather is having its global warming attitude problem. But I must admit there is one thing I never do – I never half ass my ability or my attempts to improve it. Not with riding, not with anything.

I was taught at a very young age that it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you love it. Then I was taught an even greater lesson, as long as you do it to the best of your ability. Then later the lesson I’ve always tried to live by, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you respect.

I respect the weather, I don’t get angry when it doesn’t work to my advantage and I don’t try to make things that cannot be. I impatiently wait for the snow to fall and as I do, I dream. I follow the snow out west when finances and time permit. I respect the earth and what we’ve done to it by attempting to decrease my carbon footprint whenever possible. I want my snowy winters back, even if they come from March thru June.

I respect my equipment. I trust it to hold my weight and to react with my body. I trust it to take me safely down the mountain, so long as I respect it enough not to push it beyond its intended purpose.

And I respect the snow itself. I respect the powder that I dream about and love. I cherish it when I have it and I miss it when I don’t. I respect the ice to the point of fear that I’ve tried to overcome. I respect the man-made and the groomed, for without it, east coast winter sports would not exist.

I respect myself! I respect myself enough to not stop ½ way, to continue to learn this skill to the best of my ability. To condition by body in the fall so that it can withstand the 8 strait hours of continuous muscle strain. And to never be satisfied with my current achievements and to constantly work for more. I have a drive and I push myself. It’s why I learned to go from skis to board quickly and it’s why I have found respect in my friends who ride after I hung up my skis.

Maybe this bit about me is why it’s so hard to accept people who lack this ability. I love my friends who’ve gone out there and tried, decided it wasn’t for them and walked away, even the friends who bailed out early before they’ve even given it a true chance. At least those people gave it a shot. What I cannot stand are the dimwits who tried it a couple of times last season and think they are experts. The one’s who think they know better than those around them that have been riding/skiing since they were toddlers. The one’s who think its cool to say they’ve ridden a black diamond after only a couple of days of skiing. Well let me tell you something, those pompous asses don’t know what they are doing and what they are talking about. Any respectable snow enthusiast believes those same pompous asses are the one’s who ruin it for the rest of us. The one’s who invest every weekend to the sport; the one’s who are dedicated!

Today the gentleman who was already known to me as Pompous Ass asked me why there was no snow on the mountain (per my away message). And I reminded him about the global warming affects on the weather and about his lack of contribution to the efforts to change it (he doesn’t like to recycle and he believes its survival of the fittest, the humans turn to come to extinction – selfish?). I then told him the temperatures have been too high for snowfall and even for snowmaking so only 15 trails were open and that a good deal of green and blue trails (beginner and intermediate) were open, so that would be good for them (considering they only have a couple of days under their belts and are still learning). He then countered that he’d been on black diamonds before. I countered back saying that going on a black diamond and getting to the bottom doesn’t mean you should. You should do it with form and you should do it when you are ready. I admit that even after so many years, I cannot handle it sometimes. He said he made it down somehow so he can handle it.

What this Pompous Ass doesn’t understand is that he gets in the way of people who know what they are doing. He messes with their rhythm and he’s dangerous. People who get in the way because they don’t know what they are doing are DANGEROUS! People break limbs, get concussions, and even DIE! Additionally, they whisk the snow right off the mountain, spreading it to the ditches on the side. You’ll commonly see this on green trails as everyone is learning, but on a black EXPERT trail, there SHOULD be snow!!!! I said flatly, “It’s selfish riding” and to this his response was “That’s me. GTG see you Saturday”.

I don’t want to see this individual on Saturday. I don’t want him ruining my groomed terrain. I don’t want to hear his insolence and stupidity. And I don’t want to be aggravated on my 1st day out there this season. But its okay, I wont be. Unlike him, I didn’t step onto the snow yesterday. I don’t try to do things I can’t handle without the proper preparation and training. I will leave him in my wake. So why am I letting this get to me so much… because I am sick and tired of people polluting what I consider sacred to take advantage!!! I’m sick of people who have no respect! And I’m sick of people’s fucked up attitudes. So to you, this Pompous Ass, I’m forced to see due to mutual friendships, here’s a big FUCK YOU!!!! I hope you break your arrogant leg on the black diamond you claim to handle!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Excitement Ensures

So today is Tuesday, the 2nd of December and all I can say is, why hasn't there been any snow!?!?! I remember Thanksgiving a few years ago... it snowed BUCKETS! I was with the ex's family and smiling like a pig in shit! What happened to those late November/early December snow falls? I love the winter more than anything, and lately I have been missing it, because it has seemed to disappear. Global Warming... ugh!

This weekend is my "Opening Day". I will be packing my gear and driving up to Windham with my Pauly-face (I'm trying to convince him to make this his legal name, he asked if "Face" should be included as part of his first name or his last). I cannot wait for the weekend. I even love the packing! How crazy is that? Not that there is a lot to pack... I wear most of my cloths, pack the rest, throw my board (with bindings) and boots in the back and go!

I cannot wait! I have the itch! AND after is the fight... Pacquiao vs DelaHoya! GO MANNY! Hopefully I can catch the fight with some friends and family.

Sunday I want to go dress shopping with my sister! Time to pick out some bridesmaids dresses!

What an exciting weekend planned! And next weekend will be even better - VEGAS BABY!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's unhealthy to be bitter. Maybe it's PMS or maybe it's the holiday stress, but I find myself being bitter, angry, and uncaring. Don't get me wrong, I still care, and I still find myself bending over backwards for the people I love, I'm just less tolerant, and more self loathing than usual. Maybe I'm even a little angry. I miss my papa. This will be my first Thanksgiving without him in my life. I've never missed it with him before.

He never sat at the head of the table and he never carved the turkey, but he always cut up the queso de bola. He hardly even sat with us to eat. He liked to manage the kitchen, making sure the dishes were washed, the stove cleaned, and in general, I think we stressed him out. He liked to sneak in after the kids ate, grab some food, sip on some scotch and be merry. I'll miss it. As I got older, he was my Whiskey Man... my drinking buddy, my bff.

This year I'm fighting the urge to cancel Thanksgiving and order pizza. Unlike most people my age, gorging themselves on Thanksgiving fare, watching football and having some wine, I end up cooking all the food (aside from the Turkey). Lets be honest, the Turkey is the easy part, the sides are what takes up all your time.

I'm also fighting an inner battle to go to MD and see my Dad. He has been in and out of the hospital since September when he had his first stroke. He's had about 5 more since then, the latest being a bleeder. The treatment for each time is counterproductive so instead they didn't treat anything. Last night they did a test that concluded that his heart was creating blood clots that were going to his brain. These were causing the strokes that have left him partially in paralysis (which they admit may be temporary). After the 1st stroke he lost most of the function of his left side, his eye sight in the left eye, and his ability to process some information (reading, dialing the phone, every day things). He began to regain some of this and doctors thought he'd have a chance of regaining 90% of his functions within a year... and then he had another stroke, and another, and another...

Those who know me, know that I have a very poor relationship with my Dad. I haven't' seen him in 5 years (since my grandpa's funeral). I've been fighting with going to see him. I know I should, but I am having a hard time doing it. I don't know how serious his condition is... I don't know if I'll keep getting another chance. So maybe I just need to suck it up and go.

So this Thanksgiving is definitely a bitter one... surrounded by my family, good food (after all I cooked it haha) & football, inside I'll still feel whats missing: my pa, relaxation, and the sense of doing something right... I know I need to go to MD... I should, it's the right thing to do, right? Then why is it so freaking hard!?

Winter Wishes

Winter Wishes

My office has a “Winter Wishes” program. The NY Cares Winter Wishes program provides gifts to needy children during the holidays. ß I got that right from the website. Basically these needy children range from ages 4 and up. My office does not participate in the letters provided from Family Members (Adults). The gifts are generally no more than $40 excluding S&H. Many of these children suffer from some type of mental illness or financial difficulty and will not be receiving the gifts we are so used to seeing. Last year, I took two letters, one for me and one for Paul and we provided a nice arrangement of gifts (both on and off the list) for them.

This year I walked down to human resources hoping to obtain two more letters to help ensure two more kids get a nice Christmas gift from Santa. I rummaged through the letters and couldn’t take one! Almost 85% of the children wanted an Ipod, not an MP3 player, but an Ipod, and a touch no less. That is in no way under $40. Then another 10% wanted a digital camera or camcorder! And 5% wanted a PSP or other gaming device. What I don’t understand is this… why do the parents/supervisors not tell them that Santa is on a budget and to pick more age appropriate gifts. I wouldn’t take one, because I knew that I’d end up getting something NOT on that Christmas list and felt that I would just disappoint them in to thinking they weren’t good enough this year. Who am I to do that.

When letters are left over for no one to take, HBO does go on a shopping spree and provides a gift for each of the Children they obligated themselves to. No Child goes without a present. I’m still hoping we get an inflow of more letters to chose from. Children with more reasonable requests. If not I suppose I can go through my Church and buy children a gift from the “Giving Tree”. Either way, I hope to fulfill somebody’s winter wish… not just buy something under $40 which isn’t really wanted.

Am I being selfish… it’s not like I couldn’t afford a camera for this stranger… I just don’t feel right doing it – not to mention they urge you NOT to spend over $40.

Ugh, why do kids have so many expensive choices now a days. What happened to a new GI Joe or a Barbie. I’d even understand some of those electronics that are more child appropriate!

My Winter Wish is to take a 5 day nap… in a bubble where I can hear and see no one!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Right vs Left

Thursdays… I sometimes look forward to them. Thursdays mark my evening at home with nothing in the way of Greys Anatomy, CSI, and food. Sometimes I have “Greys Night” with L-Boogs and sometimes I enjoy it alone; either way, its relaxing time.

This Thursday, I find myself over tired and under worked. Is that possible?- To be tired due to the lack of brain activity? I continue to sit here and consider my options: I can do some work that isn’t pressing, I can take a nap under my desk a la Constanza, I can watch TV on my computer, or I can write something creative.

Writing a blog can be thought of as creative. It takes some skill to write a blog that really reflects your thoughts. People tend to write what it is they want people to think rather than what it true – human nature, no? Regardless, blog writing is not what I had in mind. Many moons ago, I dove into my right brain (rare for us accountants) and managed to write some simple yet meaningful poetry. I used to think that I had a knack for it. It seems that in the recent years, I’ve lost that knack.

Musicians, specifically rock and alternative, have always been my “friends” when I needed emotionally charged lyrics coursing through my brain while loud deliberate notes pulsate through my veins. Then those same musicians find girlfriends, then wives, then they have children, and before you know it, they are living in a home driving a Volvo watching DVD’s of Barney (Blueray of course). Worse yet; those same musicians, who once sang with passion and feeling, now sing melodic pop tunes sending no strong message at all. Is the same to be said for me?

I haven’t written a good piece of writing since. I get a few thoughts on paper and give up. There was a time I’d write sentences and ideas on random bits of notebook paper, only to find it later and create something meaningful. The last time I was able to write anything I could consider valuable was while I tore my heart out crying over a failing relationship. Does this mean because I’m in a reasonably better place than I was, I can no longer tune into that right side of my brain? Has it now shut me out like so many groupies and fanatics turned their backs on the sell out bands they once passionately followed? Have I become a sellout to my once passionate self?

Maybe I’ll start again, trying to find that dark side, and along with it, that passion I once had… but is that passion to be coupled with depression? If so, then maybe I’m in a better place without the creative right side.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The One Who Will Remain Nameless

It’s funny how some people touch your lives, and how lost you feel without them. My friend has been undergoing some very serious health and emotional stress in the recent months and I only found out today. Curious to his where abouts, I inquired with quite a few mutual friends over the last few months, and have not gotten a clear response. I did know he had been planning to lay low and relax a bit and I assumed that was that.

Now finding out that he is in pain and going through a bad time, I can’t help but feel I abandoned him by waiting so long to check up on him. But he had said that me reaching out to him was a good thing, and that it made him feel good… It’s amazing, here I am feeling guilty that I haven’t been there for him, and here he is, being grateful for my friendship.

I found myself unable to think of much else besides him this morning. I found myself more concerned for his wellbeing than the wellbeing of my father, currently at the hospital after suffering from 2 more strokes. I realized how much I’ve missed him.

I used to think of him as my local boyfriend… without the perks. I talked to him about everything, enjoyed his company, hooked my arm on his as we walked the streets looking for the next bar to enter, I even used to bitch and moan about my personal complaints about life. He was the perfect Paul replacement when Paul wasn’t here, though that wasn’t really fair to him. He got none of the boyfriend perks, no make out sessions, no sex, none of that. But all in all, he didn’t seem to mind and remained my friend non-the-less. I couldn’t have asked for much more. I was in love with my pretend boyfriend and couldn’t ask for anything else! Well maybe except for Paul coming back home, but even then, Paul being void of any emotion is not a complete package. Who is? My friend-“with-no-benefits” made me complete.

Now I find myself drifting off and thinking about all our times spent together anxious for our next encounter. I wish there was a way to explain to him how I feel about him… it really is like having a crush on a boy but this is platonic… it’s different yet very the same. I don’t want him to get the wrong idea of course. I guess I just miss him a lot… I crave our squishy hugs and our silly laughs… I even miss his insults that always kept me in check. Our relationship was definitely filled with insults and sarcasm… I believe that is a common denominator amongst my closest pals.

So I tribute this all to him… An entire blog dedicated to someone who will remain nameless but who is cherished as one of my greatest friends and on of the better people I’ve come to meet in my 26 years. I love you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

November Weekends

It’s been a while since I’ve put my thoughts in writing. All last week and much of the week before, I was sick due to a stupid respiratory infection. It’s pretty much all gone except for this lingering cough that makes me sound like a tuberculosis patient.

Any, despite my fever and hacking I managed to get dressed up last week to attend Paul’s family friends Sweet 16. Her name is Marianella and she looked wonderful. It was a great Sweet 16; definitely more classy than my own 10 years ago. Being ten years older than the majority of the girls there, I knew that I’d definitely look like an old lady, and maybe I did. But I hid my sick face behind some makeup and threw on my dress and was well on my way. I’m glad I went, meeting Paul’s extended “family” even if only from his past, is always a way to get to know who he was and is all the better.

Friday, the 14th, I hopped on a plane with Paul and headed down to Delray Beach/ Boca Raton, for Erica’s wedding. Erica was a friend of mine at PwC and though we were friends, I never thought that I’d be one of the 3 people she’d be inviting to her wedding from our old job. I felt honored and I was glad that I was able to make it there.

The rehearsal dinner was at the Restaurant in Neiman Marcus. I didn’t even know there was one! Anyway, we knew no one there except the bride and groom. I thought it would be uncomfortable and that we’d be hoping it would be over fast, but everyone there was totally friendly and I had a great time with everyone. I was glad we went because that only meant that we’d know more people the next day at the actual wedding.

The actual wedding was amazing. It was held at the Mizner Country Club, which is where Erica’s Parents reside. It was amazingly beautiful and intricate. It was decorated so elegantly. The actual ceremony and cocktail hour was held outdoors, poolside. It was hot and humid but it was well worth it… even the frizzy hair! Dinner and dancing was held inside, and before we knew it, it was 1 AM and the night was over. We didn’t want it to end.

During the days, we had no wedding related events so it was a chance for Paul and me to relax. Relaxing isn’t something we do often, so when we get a chance, it’s great! Friday, we went to a micro brewery and had some lunch, checked into our hotel room, and sat poolside before deciding to go to the mall and make a few purchases. Paul found a great Tommy vest for the winter and some cufflinks (since he forgot to pack a pair). I was able to find an inexpensive black clutch for the festivities along with a black strapless bra since I cannot find mine anywhere. As for my other exciting purchases, I went into Sunglass hut and bought a pair of Ray Ban aviators (my 1st pair of big girl sunglasses) and then I skipped into Swarovski and bought a pair of crystal earrings to match my bracelet that Paul got for me as a surprise on our family cruise a couple of years ago.

Saturday we spend the day at the beach and we must have been 2 out of 30 people there. It was so nice, quiet, and private. We had a blast and the weather was great!

Sunday we decided to skip brunch at Erica’s parents and instead drive up the coast and visit different beaches and restaurants. We ate at a good seafood restaurant by the water and then headed to the airport to come home. All in all a very amazing weekend celebrating Erica and Alex’s wedding and at the same time celebrating Paul and my relationship. We relaxed and made sure to acknowledge how much we appreciate each other. I couldn’t ask for a better weekend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The President-Elect: Barack Obama

History was made last night as I sat on my couch switching back and forth between CNN and CBS and I took a deep breath releived that it is over and that change can and will begin.

I'm not writing to tell you my thoughts or feelings, I just wanted to share the transcript of Obama's Acceptance Speach last night at about 12:15 eastern time (I guess that means it was this morning).


If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure. .

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Not the Election Day Blog You Would Have Thought

I'm sure everyone has been receiving hundreds of emails, viewing thousands of away messages, and opening many notes, status updates, bulletins, and the like on facebook & myspace telling them to vote.

I've noticed that for the most part, everyone I know is not just voting, but very proud of the fact that they can and are. I know a few people who aren’t voting because they failed to register at their current residence or are out of the country and couldn’t be bothered filling out an absente ballot, but they aren’t my concern. Voting is your responsibility... and who you vote for is your business. I'm not going to tell you to vote, I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, and I definitely am not going to judge you based on any assumptions.

What I will tell you is that I do not appreciate or respect the dozens of forwards I've received in the late months with links to videos or attachments of powerpoints littered with false accusations. I've received many which are so obviously laced with racism and I find it disgraceful. I've received maybe a dozen more filled with lies. You'd think that people haven’t read a news article in a news paper written any better than the NY Post. Or worse yet, they haven’t read one at all. You'd think that the people who created them live in some fantasy world that no one really knows about but themselves. People amaze me with their ignorance, but what amazes me more is their willingness to spread that ignorance to others.

For the most part, upon receiving these emails, I can tell right away based on the subject line that they are politically driven and I click delete. What amazes me are the people who’ve sent them to me. These people are my friends who I always thought were educated, smart, and more importantly respectable. How then can they honestly forward these emails along and think themselves mature. It is parallel to the spreading of rumors in high school.

What gets me the most is the huge possibility that people receiving these forwards know nothing else. These people may have never watched a presidential debate, read a NY Times, or turned on CNN. All their political information has been gained from talk on the street, the front page of the Metro/AM NY or worse, comics. Then they receive these fabricated story lines created by bored uneducated individuals and knowing nothing else, believe them to be factual and informative. Those very same people take that information to the voters’ box. Maybe the uneducated creators of these emails aren’t so uneducated after all; maybe that has been their purpose all along.

Think about it…

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

English Muffins and Solitude

I like my english muffins toasted well, but it came warm and soggy. I like my coffee scalding hot, but it came just hot. I like my work to be challenging, but lately it’s been boring and mundane.

I’ve been realizing how bored I’m becoming lately. I’m bored socially & professionally. My work is great, when it exists. For just less than two weeks, I’ve used my dual computer monitors to scour the internet for shoes, handbags, coats, and accessories. I suppose I shouldn’t complain, but how much can one possibly look at before it all looks the same, or they are just flat broke. My superior is someone you could easily refer to as an underachiever. He finds doing the minimum amount possible in his every day tasks is appropriate given that he wastes time on projects that give to real value all the while neglecting his staff. I’m convinced that I’d be a better candidate for his position, and I haven’t even been here a year. I don’t say this because of arrogance, but because the work isn’t that hard. I do my own and his often enough to know that I can handle it. I also know that I am smart enough to do so. He on the other hand, I am convinced, is a bit slow.

It’s been leaving me to think of my options. I can after all stay here and slack off as he does. But that’s just not my style. I like the challenge of learning something new. I like to figure out new things. I like to take on complicated projects. I haven’t been given the opportunity again since the report writing phase of oracle back in the summer (also his job which I did… better and faster). I could move within the company. HBO is a great employer after all, but where? My current group is most probably my most perfect fit. Then again, how will I know if I don’t try? I can spiffy up my resume and go back out on the hunt for work. I know I can find better in the sense of challenge and more money, but would I still have the flexibility I have here? It’s definitely something to think over.

Socially, I know something is wrong. I can’t say what exactly, I just know something is different than it had been. And I can probably say it’s been going on for a while. I have little to no desire to do anything lately. I have noticed that I watch more TV than I had before (which was close to none) and that I crave to just be home alone. Being home doesn’t even cut it, I must be home alone. I miss my friends and family, but recently I miss my alone time even more. I cannot tell you why that is. Worse yet, most people assume or think I need company.

I’ve been told to get out and have some fun. I’ve been told to do something for me. Then they invite me to dinner, or to get drinks, or worse yet, they invite themselves to my home. One thing no one seems to comprehend is that maybe what I need the most is time away from everything and everyone else. People might think having not seen them in a while, I’d miss their company, and maybe part of me does, but I think I miss my own company more. I just wish people would understand and not push me in so many directions.

Every day I do the same things: I go to work, I go to M. Yolly’s house, then I go home, and the next day I wake up and do it again. Once a week I try and do something else. Something more social, but I can’t say I feel fulfilled after. What I really need is time for me and me alone. Maybe I will have some of that soon… or maybe not with Halloween, Amanda’s football games, my Grandma being home alone, then weddings, sweet 16s and all of a sudden the Holidays begin.

A weekend of nothing would be nice…

"A man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready" - Henry David Thoreau

"The right to be let alone is indeed the begining of all freedom" - William Orville Douglas

"We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly... spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order" - Susan Taylor

"Often we can help each other most by leaving each other alone; at other times we need the hand-grasp and the word of cheer" - Elbert Hubbard

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

38 minutes

38 minutes left and counting. I cannot wait till 5 o’clock. I cannot wait till the commencement of Girls Night! It will involve some much needed venting, drinking, playing, eating, and just being ourselves.

My cousins and I all grew up very close. The majority of use lived within a 2 block radius. We spent holidays at my house for some time… the kids crouched behind the brown 70’s couch with the super old TV with the bad color playing Nintendo – the original. We would all fight one another almost as much as we would bloody our knuckles for one another. But over the years things change, drama develops, and relationships strain.

Luckily I can say that I have a handful of relatives who despite the time lost, can still pick up right where we left off. My closest cousin during my teen developmental years was definitely Christina. Having undergone similar pasts, we always seemed to be able to relate. Sadly we lost touch, but were reunited by fate. Upon accepting my offer at HBO, my Grandma told me she thought Christina worked here… and so I emailed what I thought might be her email – and here we are today… back where we started… beyond family, friends too! Kareen and I have been bonded by similar yet completely different circumstances. In a time of need we both came together and from that moment forth, we basically set our relationship on track. Tonight I join them and my sister, my best friend and worst enemy, for a night of reminiscing, laughing, crying, and basically just comradely. It will be drama free, sort of, I’m sure we will be venting about our own personal strife and dramas, but rather than be judged, it’s a moment for us to be supported and supportive. It’s like therapy but free!

Side note: I was just reminded that we only have 23 more minutes!

Anyway, I’m just really grateful for the family I was given. There are a million things I can complain about regarding my family, but in the end, I know that I am loved, I know that I am supported, I know that I am looked up to, and I know I have someone to look up to. In this world, many people will make us promises, and many people will tell us terms of endearment, but it is only our family that we know will come through 100% in the end. Having great friends are hard to come by, and the few I have I cherish and consider a rare treasure, but having friends who are my family is like finding a treasure, one after another, and knowing exactly who I want to share it with.

(psst, 15 minutes left… still can’t wait!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jimmy Eat World - Hear you Me

Quite possibly my favorite song. I never realized that its from the "Cinderalla Story" - a Hillary Duff film, but if I ignore that fact, I can still call it an amazing song! I found it on youtube but its set to the movie, so don't watch it, just HEAR it -

There's no one in town I know
You gave us someplace to go
I never said thank you for that
Thought I might get one more chance

What would you think of me now?
So lucky S
o strong
So proud
I Never said thank you for that
Now I'll never have a chance

May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads the sleepless go
May angels lead you in

What would you think of me now?
So lucky
So strong
So proud
I Never said thank you for that
Now I'll never have a chance

May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads the sleepless go
May angels lead you in

And if you were with me tonight
I'd sing to you just one more time
A song for a heart so big
God couldn't let it live

May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads the sleepless go
May angels lead you in

May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads the sleepless go
May angels lead you in

A Weak in Review

So this is a long time coming I guess. I haven’t written anything in a while. I don’t even think many people read my blog considering I have maybe given out the link to all of 4 people.

Regardless, last weekend I went upstate with my family. We had a great time. As always, spending time with my siblings and cousins is a fulfilling weekend. Despite having undergone the tragedy of losing our grandfather less than two months ago, we still manage to smile and have so much fun together. We prayed the rosary in remembrance of Papa but we also told jokes, laughed, and acted like the crazy family we truly are.

The colors up there were stunning. There were countless shades of red and orange, yellows and greens – breathtaking. Its funny how as the winter comes, the leaves show their absolute prettiest of foliage, only to sacrifice them all and sleep an entire winter away - self-preservation. It’s like when you close yourself off, only because you know you won’t crack. I think I’m there right now, and been there for a while. Sometimes I think I barely hold it together. Generally, I think I do okay. I think someone else might have cracked by now. Maybe one day I’ll do more than crack but for now, I’m like a pressure cooker… its all inside expanding and doubling, but there is a little knob on the top that lets out just enough so that there isn’t a dangerous explosion. Basically it allows for water to boil at a higher temperature than usual. So I haven’t boiled over just yet.

Tomorrow is girl’s night, I can’t wait! It’s the 1st time that Lauren will be able to make it out. We have expanded girls night from just me and Kareen, to + Christina, and now + Lauren. With every dinner, we add one more face. I can’t wait to spend time with my cousins and sister. Sometimes we are all each other need. We know the ins and outs of each other’s lives and can understand what it feels like better than most having undergone a similar experience. Originally planned was a mani/pedi, dinner + drinks evening, but that soon was replaced by a order in, Mah Jong, crack open a bottle type of night. I think it will be much more my pace. And with only 4 of us there, we are a perfect set for a couple of games of Mah Jong.

Today is John Paul’s birthday… I guess I’ll remember his birthday always. A Libra, just like my Grandma; always caring, and always nice. I sent him our usual Happy Birthday text message and I mean it every time. I hope that he has the most amazing birthday and I hope that he’s happy. He deserves it. For all these years having lived my life without him, I can truly appreciate who he is and who he was in my life. More than a boyfriend he was my best friend, and I miss him. Anyway, enough nostalgic-ness, I just wish him a great birthday.

I bought Lori a jade plant yesterday. It’s also known as a Friendship Tree. We had talked on Friday night and I told her that I think having plants and taking care of them is almost therapeutic. I don’t talk to them or treat them like small children, but I take care of them. I water them when they need it; I trim them down, change their pots, and reposition them in the sun. When they flower, grow or even just stand strait in the sun, I feel accomplished and proud. I told her it might have the same effect on her. So yesterday while at Home Depot I saw a pretty little Jade plant… its good luck, considered prosperous, and a sign of friendship, so I figured why not… grabbed a little green pot and brought it home. It’s sitting on my kitchen sill soaking in some sun before Lori takes it home. I hope she likes it.

Friday, October 10, 2008


It’s kind of funny how people expect things. Expectation is human nature. Each of us has an expectation of ourselves, and expectation of others. That also means that people have expectations of us as well. If none of us had expectations, then there would be no such thing as disappointment.

I must admit that in many ways I’ve fallen short of my own expectations of myself. If 5 years ago (2003, when I was graduation college) you were to ask me where I’d be in 5 years I’d have a completely different story than the one for which I live. I would have said that I’d be a CPA, possibly a manager at PwC or working as a manager somewhere else, and I’d probably say I’d be married, maybe even owning my own place (even if it’s a coop or condo). You might have even heard me say that I’d be on my way to maybe having children. Well was I WRONG! I am far from owning my own place, and with the market so bad, who knows when I will be in the market for some real estate. I’ve never sat again for my CPA and have little to no motivation to. I am not even engaged, let alone married, and I don’t talk to Paul about getting engaged either. All in all, I definitely fell short of my expectations, but I couldn’t say that’s a bad thing. I may not have exceeded everything on my list of “To Do’s” in the past five years, but I have done a number of other things, and experienced thousands of things that weren’t on that list. Maybe it was a blessing, for had I gone the route I’d planned, I’d have missed out on all of that.

Expectations have to be communicated. If they aren’t you are bound to fail. This is true in all ways of life, in parenting, in friendships, in romantic relationships, even professionally. And the communication cannot be unilateral. A parent must make their children aware of their expectations, and that same child should communicate to their parents what it is they expect in order to grow, learn, and be successful. Friends should communicate their expectations concerning their relationship, no matter how you define “friend”. In a relationship, one must communicate what they expect from one another or the relationship is on the express lane to failure. And in your career, you must ensure that your boss’ expectations are communicated to you, understand them, and are willing to perform them, and in turn, convey to them what it is you expect of them whether it be coaching, independence, extra responsibility, etc…

Expectation can loosely be defined as hope. Hope then again, may not be defined as expectation. I hope that one day I will win the Lotto, but I don’t expect to, however I expect to live a happy life, and I hope to live one as well.

I’ve read in a few places to expect little for you’ll never be disappointed. I strongly disagree. I think there are certain things we should expect and when life falls short, we should be motivated to act in order to change that. We should all expect and demand respect. I don’t think any individual should disrespect another. I think we should expect to be loved and I think we should expect to give it. I think we should expect to have to sacrifice, and we should expect to have to fight for what we believe in. I’m sure we should expect a number of other things and I’m sure each person has their own priorities when it comes to their expectations.

“Expect more than others think is possible”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

**I hope it snows!**

Reasons I cannot wait till winter!

1) I won’t be nearly as sweaty as I usually am!
2) Snow****
3) Snowboarding
4) Winter cloths are more fun
5) Manhattan doesn’t smell nearly as bad in the winter
6) Vacation!
7) And lastly more snowboarding

Don’t get me wrong, there are times where all I want is to relax on the beach with a margarita and just take in the sun and ocean breeze, but how often does that happen. I can’t even recall the last time it did. Living in New York isn’t exactly conducive to the exotic beach experience.

But I will always have snowboarding… and maybe New York doesn’t have the best mountains or the best snow, but it’s been enough for me to at least get enough to know how amazing it can be. Maybe I can even say the same for skiing, but I do find that snowboarding brings something different out of me; it definitely challenges me physically a lot more.

Anyway – the whole experience from beginning to end is something else. The days leading up to your weekend get away upstate or cross country travels require quite a bit of preparation; packing all that bulky winter stuff is a daunting task, but well worth it. Don’t forget your goggles, goodness knows, I’ve had to buy an overpriced pair at the mountain.

The drive upstate whether the day of or the evening before is always a comfort. I usually turn up the alternative/rock hits circa 1990-1999 (RHCP, STP, Metallica, etc…), pump up the heat in the car, slip my feet out of my boots and enjoy the drive. It’s a moment for Paul and I to talk about our feelings, the landscape, our dreams, and sometimes just about the runs we want to hit the next day. The flights are usually not as luxurious. Flying in the winter is a bitch, lets be honest. The weather is unpredictable and delays are almost guaranteed. Once you are up in the air, ipod charged and ready to go, the turbulence starts and forget it, you are so uncomfortable you might as well dip your body in quick drying cement because you can’t move a muscle the next day. But it’s well worth it when you step off into the gate, wait at the baggage claim and see your feathered camo Burton snowboard locker coming around the conveyor. It’s the moment you look up and wink at the sky as a little thank you to God for ensuring your equipment got there okay. No one wants to fly across the country, pay thousands of dollars and then be forced to ride on rentals… even if they are demos. You want your set up strapped to your feet.

Breakfast is always fun. It’s the moment that you are supposed to eat carbs and protein in large quantities, but don’t be fooled, too many eggs and you’ll be praying for a bathroom inside that Gondola as you clench those cheeks trying to make sure that not a single little molecule of tainted air leaves your colon. I pray your sphincter muscles are strong! Then getting your gear on, its always a love hate moment… as you sweat getting your gear on, dying to run outside and feel the cold air against your skin… then you realize you forgot something and have to run back in OR worse, are stuck waiting for the slowpokes!!!!

Side note: One great advantage over skiing, you can drive fairly easily in snowboard boots!

So now for the chairlift/gondola ride… its definitely fun… picture a Ferris wheel… not too fast, not too slow, awesome view! Only instead of a boring circle, you go all the way up the mountain! It’s quiet on most chairlifts, especially at the bigger mountains and harder trails. Its nice, and relaxing, and a great opportunity to do a couple of things…
You can have a snack, per Paul, stopping to eat is a sin… sometimes I agree and sometimes I need the 40 minute break! You can adjust your gear, take a picture, talk amongst your buddy, or talk with a stranger… either way, it’s a chance to anonymously take in the wonder that is nature…

The actual moment you start to ride down the mountain, you are in a different world, a different zone… even the sounds that your board makes gliding against the snow brings you bliss.

It’s definitely a mesmerizing experience. After only a few times, you are hooked. Your muscles are sore, your ego is hurt, but you will love it!

Last year, Dave and a couple of other CU boys tried it out and they were hooked. I was so excited to see other people embracing the sport! My cousin Jomel has found that he loves it and even saved up all his summer job money to go! It has inspired me to buy him a new pair of snowboard boots for his birthday next month – I want him to get better so I can have a buddy on the slopes.

Sadly I don’t know too many girls who ride and the few I know who do bail out early or aren’t exactly troopers about it. When I’m out there, I don’t want to take it easy and I want to push myself the absolute limit! I want to ride until I’m sore and I want to go home exhausted! I don’t want to regret sitting out of a single run!

After riding is always fun too … its always followed by FOOD!!! And lots of beer… and of course the classic games like Kings, Thumper, and lets not forget good ol beerpong!

How can you not want to make this your favorite past time?!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fatherly "Love"

I know I’m being tested. It’s the only explanation that makes sense. A person doesn’t undergo stresses of astronomical proportions due to the loss of a VERY Close LOVED ONE, the failing health of a good uncle, the duties of being a sister to a very stressed out soon to be bride, a Granddaughter of a widow, a daughter to a soon to be divorcee, a girlfriend to a jealous boyfriend, a friend to a needing friend, an employee in a very taxing position, and then the daughter of a stroke victim, your estranged father.

So that’s the new news of my life, my father, a man I have spoken to twice in 5 years had a massive stroke (rating of 22). He is beginning his recovery process and is doing exceptionally well. He did have paralysis of the left side of his body, but can now feel his leg and even has taken a few steps with aid and a walker. He can feel ½ his arm and today, managed to move his fingers a little if he really concentrates. He can still only feel ½ his mouth but can now talk in understandable sentences, though still obviously struggling with word formation and pronunciation. But he has yet to regain any sight in his left eye. From what I understand none of this has to be permanent, and there are no answers. So for the moment, it looks good. Looks like God is giving him a second chance, I wonder what he’ll do with it. I won’t be getting my hopes up.

So now that I’ve got the technical BS down, it’s obviously pretty serious. Now death serious, but you never know. My 4th grade teacher had a stroke, and passed away, after being cleared, stabilized, and released to rehab. That hits pretty close to home. I think I now have a fear of rehabilitation facilities. I will be attending her wake tomorrow. I owe all my math skills to her, and I did end up being an accountant after all. She was a good lady and a good teacher and she will be missed. Many young minds will not have the privilege of being molded by hear and that is unfortunate.

It is kind of surreal you know. I spoke to one Aunt (My Dad’s sister-in-law) getting all the details. She called to let me know what happened, making sure to say “we were letting everyone know, and then I realized that no one had told you girls”. Clearly not just has my father easily pushed us to the back of his mind, but the whole family was able to do the same. I suppose its easier and better that way. At least she called. I called my Dad’s ex-wife (the 2nd one, and mother to Luke and Lindsay), to inform her of what happened. I knew she’d want to know, and I knew that I’d end up being the one to tell her. It was strange hearing her voice again, it’s been at least 9 years, and even then it was under uncomfortable circumstances. I then spoke to my other Aunt (My Dad’s other sister-in-law), and how strange that was. We spoke to 2 hours and 15 minutes. And we talked about everything from my feelings about my Dad, and hers, to just the regular catching up. It was good in a lot of ways, but sometimes it’s not good either. Sometimes you get your hopes up, sometimes you get confused, and sometimes it just makes you plain think too much. Its hard to accept people saying they understand how you feel when they haven’t been around… I guess they might mean it, and I guess they might not. I won’t try and dissect what they say for anything more than what it is, I guess.

I felt in the dark yesterday, I didn’t know what was going on and if he was okay. I also didn’t understand the severity of the incident. I called the hospital in hopes of getting more information and getting a better understanding of his recover. I was able to speak to my step-mom who definitely filled me in on the details. I then spoke to my Dad which was a harrowing experience.

It’s strange how not hearing his voice for 3 years still doesn’t allow you to forget how it sounds. His voice, though in tone and volume sounded exactly the same, sounded strange. He struggled to get the words out and stuttered at times. He had a difficult time pronouncing words. Of course he is upset and my Father, being a naturally emotional person tends to show his emotions easily. This is never such an easy task for me. I can remain calm through certain circumstances where the average person may not. I tend to greave in private.

My sister decided to drive to MD today to see him. I think its particular brave of my sister to do this, especially without me. She didn’t even attend his wedding ~7 years ago yet she’d run to his side while he lay on a hospital bed. Maybe I am more stubborn or maybe I just react differently, but I am in no rush. Not because I think I shouldn’t but because I like to avoid the hard things we have to endure in our lives. But I know I need to go see him. I know I’d regret it if I don’t. And I know I was raised better than that. I know it’s what Papa would want me to do, and my Grandma has said enough times that it is what She wants me to do. As a matter of fact, she’d like to come with me, along with my uncle. Not that my Dad necessarily deserves it, but I suppose he gets our support. With that being said, I am off to MD this Sunday to see my Father. I’m attempting to mentally prepare for this experience. I hope that I can hold it together.

Anyway – my mind is beginning to wander… its largely because my stomach acid is slowly eating away at my stomach lining … I’m STARVING and cannot think, so I will just end it here.

Keep my Dad in your prayers… if not that he gets better physically, that maybe he can find peace with himself and that he doest waste this 2nd chance he has at life … and in my opinion… my Dad is a cat, because this is more like his 9th shot at life… and last I checked, cats only get 9. He better use it wisely.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Itch

So I’m beginning to have the snowboard itch… it always happens around this time of year. The temperature gets a little crisp, a little clean, and a little cool and you know that the summer is long gone. I usually start with another disappointing year following the Mets season (I know I know, most of you share my grief, and for all the Yankee fan’s reading this, you can’t really judge right about now can you?). Kids start to go back to school, and the fields start to fill with cleats, children playing soccer.

Years ago, I’d have the soccer bug right about now, or better yet, I’d be in full uniform running suicides, heading balls, and playing scrimmages. Those were definitely the good years. I was at the peak of my physical stamina, muscle tone, and all that other fancy gym talk. Now I’m older, my bones are sore, my muscles are slowly becoming fat, and my fat like to laugh at me by jiggling. I haven’t let that stop me from lacing up my boots, strapping on my board and enjoying my winter.

After last years Colorado experience (3 days in Steamboat, 1 day at Copper, and 2 days at Vail {due to avalanche}), I realized that the west coast is the place to be. I will cherish that trip as being my 1st time on REAL snow… almost like I lost my virginity to that mountain. Well for Winter 2009, I am finally going to get my wish, I begged, I pleaded, and I researched and I planned, and now we are all set, deposit paid for, ready to go to WhistlerBlackcomb, British Columbia. I cannot wait! I opted for the same timing as last year, being that it works out best for work and the conditions should be good.

I’ve frequented snowboard equipment websites much to often this summer, not allowing myself to think of the sun, warm breeze, beach, or any other thing you’d think comes with summer. Instead I missed the winter, and wait for its return. I’ve managed to purchase a new Lib Tech TRS MTX for Paul for his birthday, he was definitely excited! And in doing the research I’ve decided that by end of the season, I’m going to save up and grab myself the Gnu B-Pro BTX, cannot wait! I also convinced myself I needed 2 more sets of thermals and extra boots. At this point my luggage won’t even get on the plane!

My cousin, Jomel, 19 in November, has become quite the snowboarding enthusiast. He has been riding for only 1-2 years, hardly often and is basically a beginner, but he has a will, a determination, and a perseverance to strap on no matter how tired, battered and bruised he is. I respect that and cannot wait to hit the trails with him again. Though green trails, I get a thrill just watching him improve. I told him that this year, his maturity is exceptional, and with it comes the invitation to ride with me any weekend that I go. Now that he is a big boy and I don’t have to worry about him too much, I can definitely bring him along during my weekend trips without a second thought.

Anyway back to Whistler – you have to check out this trail MAP!!!

Do you know what’s even more exciting about this trip, it will be 100% drama free, slowness free, and bullshit free! No romantical escapades, no waiting in line to use the bathroom, no waiting to get to the slopes, and no picky eaters! I’m going to be the only girl on the trip, and being that I’m probably quicker than most boys to get ready, we shouldn’t have anything to worry about. My only fear is Jerry holding me down and farting in my face repeatedly, all the while choking me with a snowboard leash (true story). Even better, with Jerry there, I have a friend (outside of Paul of course) to ride with and who likes to see me excel, always giving me pointers and challenging me with harder runs! And the very best part is that he knows how and loves to cook, which means it won’t always be on me! That’s always a blessing. Not that people didn’t cook last season, but of course, being the only female it’s a small fear.

So I can’t wait… a 8 day trip consisting of 2 travel days on the sea to sky highway (supposed to be magnificent) and 6 days of snowboarding! Did I mention the condo? It’s a ski in/out in Whistler Creekside which is a lot quieter and low key… which also means, EMPTY! Just the way I like my mountain! So basically we are staying in a 2 bedroom condo, fully equipped with kitchen, washer/dryer, I believe 2 bathrooms, and balcony (requested to overlook the mountain/chairlifts). Additionally the condo houses a game room, adult game room, movie center, 2 hot tubs, and heated outdoor pool. Can’t get much better than that! I honestly cannot wait! I’ve read such GREAT reviews of this place and even spoke to some locals, ALL of which said that the place is AMAZING!

Anyway, maybe writing about it will alleviate the itch… goodness knows, I got it GOOD! I constantly check out the website as if maybe I’ll read something new and exciting to tell the guys!

Can’t get much better than a good board, good snow, good hotel, and good company!
A picture of the condo & the slopes from a guest last winter!