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.