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…