I thought I had many many years before I had to explain the birds and the bees. I was wrong. My brother, who has been a single parent until recently, called to ask me if I'd explain sex to my niece. She's a teenager. She hates her step-mother so there really isn't any other woman in her life that can explain it to her. It's not that he waited until now to shed any light on sex, he bought her the appropriate books, she sat through sex-ed at school, he tried his best to explain where babies come from, but this is different. She's a teenager...did I say that already? She has a serious boyfriend (as serious as you can be at that age). He's a jock, he plays football, basketball, and baseball. He has pressure to be cool, therefore he wants to have sex. Isn't that funny how boys have sex to be cool and girls have sex to be loved? Messed up! Anyway, my brother would like me to explain how having sex too young is wrong, horrible, can screw up your life. I guess he thinks I'm some sort of expert on the subject. I can't say having sex so young screwed up my life but it did skewer my view on relationships for the better part of my life.

So, she calls me. I can tell she really doesn't want to talk about sex. She's like most teenagers, she thinks adults are idiots. I ask her point blank, "so your boyfriend wants to get in your pants?" "What," she exclaims. Oh sorry, I mean your boyfriend wants to 'make love' with you. "Yes auntie, he said he loves me and that it will bring us closer." I'm about to puke because memories are rushing back in my head...it would appear that after all these years the pick-up line is still the same. So what do I tell her, the truth. Boys, I mean men, I mean boys, will tell you just about anything they think you want to hear in order to 'get into your pants.' They will tell you they love you, that you're special, that they will wait until you are 'ready' (all bull of course). They'll try to make you believe that this love thing you have will last forever (knowing the whole time it will last about 5 mins.). They'll give you promise rings, and hold your hand, and kiss you, and hold you, all the while shoving that hard c*ock in your back so you don't forget that they are a "boy", a "man", and they have needs. Needs that incidentally must be filled by you, a "girl", a "woman". I'll tell her about how special that 'first time' will be. How he'll take you to his sister's 'mobile home', fill you with cheap booze, and tell you again how much he loves you. You'll lay on his sister's bed while she watches tv in the 'front' room and you'll 'do it'. He'll 'shhhhh' you while you yell "it hurts" and all the happy bliss will end in about 3 minutes. It will all be worth the life time of bad judgment calls you'll make every time you pick another guy who makes you feel responsible for his happiness. You'll go back to school thinking you're special, he'll go back to school telling everyone he's cool. You'll be labeled easy, he be labeled a 'stud'. It will all be worth it. It will be worth it when you wake up one day, twenty years later, while you are still laying next to some guy in the back room of his sister's trailer and he's telling you he loves you...only this time it will be you saying "shhhhh" because you'll finally realize that love, doesn't exist to those too young to understand it. Love, is never forever. Being special, is something you are not what someone makes you. You are not responsible for anyone's happiness, except your own. You'll realize all of these things, but it will be too late. The scars exist, the mistakes made, the choices, final. You'll leave that trailer, you won't look back. You'll go home, alone. You'll wonder why you can't pick the right kind of guy. Why love hurts. Why life is so damn hard. You'll remember, one time, a very long time ago, you asked your auntie about sex and love and life, she told you the truth, and you didn't listen. Next time you'll listen.

I told all of this to my niece, she sat in silence not knowing whether to believe that she could be me, I could be her, she could make a choice. She finally spoke, "auntie, did you really do it in the back of a mobile home?" "no," I reply, "it was a double-wide."

I wonder if she'll listen.


I feel so stupid

Remember that time in your life when you thought you knew everything? For some of us, it wasn't that long ago. When I was in my twenties I thought I knew everything about everything. It's amazing what happens. The older you get, the more you realize how stupid you were back then.

Remember when....

you thought you knew what you wanted to be when you grew up
you believed someone when they said 'trust me'
you believed hearts really did mend
you thought the world was made up of good people
you thought if you treated people well, they'd give you the same in return
you believed your parents didn't know anything
you thought friends really were forever
you never thought you'd be lonely
you believed if you worked really hard, you'd go somewhere
you thought life was fair
you could sleep at night, regardless of what you'd done
you believed war would never happen in your country
you believed death was something that happened to other people
you didn't worry about failing
you didn't worry about paying your bills
you didn't worry about eating, or shelter, or making your mortgage payment
you believed, in something

Are we smarter now? God I hope so.


This guy that sits across from me just came back from lunch with an Esquire magazine. It has some chic on the front of it. He proudly holds the magazine up so I can see it. I ask, because I'm a woman and I like to inquire, "who's on the cover." He answers, "Who cares about her name."

It would appear that most men, think alike.

Abusing the System

Did you hear about it? I'm sure you did...the female officer charged with abusing Iraqi prisoners. There were photos everywhere, news snippits, it plastered the news for months. Yesterday Pfc. Lynndie England got her sentence...3 years in prison. Some are outraged, well mostly it's the men in Iraq are outraged. I've been kind of torn on this issue. I think it was wrong what she did, abuse is abuse no matter who is on the receiving end of it, but, why is it that we heard so much about what Lynndie England did, instead of what these prisoners were in prison for? It amazed me how much press coverage it got compared to how little press some other issues get. Some of the prisoners in that prison were forced to stand naked while a 'woman' pointed to their genitals and laughed while others took photos. Mostly, the prisoners were humiliated but not physically harmed. This doesn't make it right, but it does change my opinion on how serious this issue is. First, I think it's important to know why these men were in prison. They were terrorists. They killed people, innocent women and children. They drove into a town, shooting people. People that weren't terrorists or criminals. In fact, their only crime was that they were seemingly born into a country that doesn't really value human life...how could they when they think so little about strapping a bomb to their chest and blowing people up...for a cause. The article I read stated that the men in Iraq were outraged because it's a 'male dominated' society. You know what this means don't you? Women are less respected, they are considered lower in class. My GOD don't even get me started. Anyway, my point is that although all human life should be respected, regardless of whether that human life is worth much, where do we draw the line on compassion for these people? My compassion for a terrorist locked in an Iraqi prison is much less than that I have for those affected by Hurricane Katrina and Rita. If I crossed paths with Pfc. England would we become pals...probably not, but do I think she should spend the rest of her life in prison, no. I think 3 years is plenty for her to contemplate what she's done. She's 22 years old, she fell in love with some stupid guy and she followed him....right into the fire. Come on now....how many of us women have not done something stupid because of a guy. Maybe we didn't abuse anyone...maybe we did and we didn't know it. Maybe there's a little of Pfc. England in all of us...how many of us wouldn't love to point a finger at some guys genitals and laugh? Ok, I'm getting off track now....but really, can we please just spend our media dollars on a story more worthy?


the Schmoozer

You know one right? That annoying co-worker that goes that little extra distance to KISS YOUR BOSS'S ASS? Yes, they exist, everywhere. 1 out of every 10 people you know, will be a schmoozer. If you are one, I doubt you will admit it but we know who you are and WE HATE YOU. I have the pleasure of working with a schmoozer. He's annoying. He's gay, and this isn't the annoying part, he tries to act straight by talking about hot women and how he'd 'do them' if he had the chance. OH PLEASE, you're gay, you like men, so stop pretending that sweet muff turns you on. I really don't care what your sexual preference is, what I do care about is that he's a schmoozer. He kisses my boss's ass LITERALLY, ok not literally but close, nearly every day. He brings her a coffee every morning....and not the free kind from the cafeteria...he actually makes a special trip to Starbucks to get her favorite kind. We have a Caribou coffee in our building, but she doesn't like that so he walks two blocks over to Starbucks to buy her 'special' coffee. I'm not annoyed by the fact that she has to have Starbucks coffee instead of the more convenient choice. I'm annoyed that MR. SCHMOOZER has to trek his scrawny ass over to buy it for her. She accepts it of course...I mean come on what is she supposed to do. He also runs down the hall to open the door for her when he sees her coming, he claims it's because he's a gentleman but we all know it's because HE KISSES ASS (yes I know he's gay but that's not the ass I'm talking about). In meetings he always has to have the BEST ideas, he talks the most, he interrupts other people when they are trying to pitch their idea and when my boss says something....anything...he pipes in with, "you are so clever." Please....what the hell is clever about saying you have to go to the bathroom. Jerk. Some of us other 'non-ass-kissers' have taken up a collection to have him surgically removed from her ass. I didn't know it was so expensive but soon we'll have enough funds to make it happen. I'm just wondering after the procedure is done, will there be a scar....right on top of his nose? Do schmoozers actually get ahead? I've never actually had anyone try to schmooz me...well maybe I have but it was a guy trying to get me in bed so that really doesn't count. There seems to be a whole population of schmoozers out there so I'm thinking that at some point the ass kissing must work. Honestly if it were me I'd take advantage of it for awhile but then I would get frickin' annoyed that someone was attached to my ass 90% of my day. I mean can you imagine how hard it would be to sit down or get through a doorway? Are you a schmoozer.....do you know one? Does it really pay off? If it does, maybe I'll start puckering up tomorrow.



Recently I read a post over on WDKY's site about a 'stalking' incident. Apparently someone he had a brief interlude with, has been stalking him by phone. It got me wondering about stalkers and whether or not it's usually women that do the stalking instead of men. Personally I had a man stalker...and it was freaky, but generally you hear more about women stalkers. So this weekend when I was together with a group of my gal pals I posed the question to them, "have you ever stalked a man?" I didn't think I'd get much response but oh my...was I surprised. One friend said that when she was in her 20's she dated this guy who was labeled a real player. She used to sit outside his house at night and watch to see if he came home alone, if he didn't she'd run out to meet him and confront him immediately. There was another friend who said she used to drive by her boyfriend's work place, his apartment, the bar where he hung out...just to maybe catch a glimpse of him. Why, what would she have done if she saw him? Then there were the stories of ex-boyfriends, women calling at all hours of the night begging for a return phone call. One woman said she even hid in the bushes outside her ex's bedroom window and watched as he scr*wed another chick. My God! I feel so normal. I began to panic a little, thinking that maybe it was true, women are slightly off-kilter. Could it be...that we're all just quietly waiting for that moment that sends us over the edge into the 'Stalker Zone'? You know we all fear a man calling us 'psycho' or 'crazy' but honestly....are we? I even read on another woman's blog how she called her ex-boyfriend non-stop and left message after message and couldn't figure out why he hadn't called back. She even said she had his access code for his voicemail so she'd call it and check it to see who had called him. Is that stalking? I can say that I've never stalked anyone but if I'm honest, I've thought about it. I didn't really think it would be stalking, rather....just some strange 'peeping' that would allow me to know something...anything...ok that's strange too. But, the difference is that even though I thought about stalking, I never did it. That counts doesn't it? Maybe we just don't hear about the male stalking stories. Or maybe, it's just that men are more subtle in their techniques and just don't get caught. Or maybe, it's that women tend to report it less...we just deal. When I had a stalker he used to sit across from my house and j*ck off, then he'd call me to tell me what he was doing. At first I took the comical approach...."really, how nice for you, can you find that thing in the dark." But he got turned on by anything I said. It really started to freak me out when he'd said we'd met before, that we'd even dated and I had no idea who this guy was. Finally I called the cops and gave him the description of his van. I only had a few digits of his license plate but they were able to track him down. Turns out he was a cop...and he just got a verbal warning not to do it again. Nice eh? So maybe that's it, women don't report stalkers because they know nothing really will be done. I remember the reporting police offer asking me, "so what did you do to initiate this?" "Well officer friendly I stood in front of an open window, naked, with vibrator in hand and called out, Come and Get me you big strong manly man." Obviously it worked.


Highschool Memories

Last night I was searching through boxes looking for an old Pink Floyd album (they had 'albums' in my days). Anyway, I came across my highschool 'Memory' book. This is the book they give you when you are a senior and you are supposed to write all your memories, hopes, and aspirations in it. I started reading mine....what a hoot. God I was naive. I thought I'd share a few 'moments':

What was your favorite class: english - i want to be a writer someday and the books are interesting. (yes I was a geek, I liked to read)

Who was your favorite teacher: mr. dunning, even though he used to be a monk, he's really hot, I'm surprised he was a monk, do they have hot monks, i mean the no sex thing would really suck. (I went to Catholic school)

Who was the cutest (my God they used cutest) guy/girl in your class: cutest boy, steve maley. we made out once during home ec...ms. shuffelbein is so clueless. i think it was fun because people watched. cutest girl, dana garcia...bitch (dana was a bitch)

What was your most cherished high school moment: when i lost my virginity...oops, just kidding mom because i know you are so totally reading this - i'm still a virgin, my most cherished moment - when i graduate and leave this insane asylum behind (i so was not a virgin)

What was your worst highschool moment: when i lost my virginity...my God that hurt and it seemed like an awful lot of pain for 2 mins of pleasure - all his, again mom - i'm joking (it doesn't hurt anymore but the time difference is the same)

Highschool sweetheart was: let's see, there was alex, todd, jay, charlie, alex again, todd again, steve (sort of) and now it's joe - this time it's for real (no i wasn't a slut)

Where do you want to be in your life in 5 years: graduated college, married, successful in a writing career, rich and skinny - and having lots of sex (what i actually accomplished - graduated from college and i was skinny, oh and i was having lots of sex)

10 years: still married, have a kid, published author, still skinny, still rich, still having lots of sex (what i actually accomplished - published in 3 newspapers, still was skinny, was having less sex)

If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be? getting drunk (i was sort of lush in highschool)

There they are...my life long goals. Wow, it's no surprise why I turned out so well. My mom always did teach me to aim high.


Under the Knife

Remember the guy who had his PP cut off by his wife...Lorena? John Wayne Bobbit had his PP surgically re-attached after his wife cut it off with a kitchen knife while he slept. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity stating the physical abuse she endured made her do it. Well it appears Mr. Bobbit didn't learn his lesson because he's been arrested for domestic violence again. This sort of story raises all sorts of questions for me, for instance, did his PP work after they re-attached it? Did he lose any length...girth? Who was affected more by the 'slicing' incident, Mr. or Mrs. Bobbit? Can you really imagine any guy wanting to go near Lorena after what she did? Maybe she became a lesbian. Mr. Bobbit obviously found love again but how did having his PP cut off change him? Did he flinch every time he walked into the kitchen and saw the steak knives? Did he start cutting his meat (the kind you eat) with a butter knife? Did he sleep with his eyes open to ensure no psycho woman was coming after his PP again? Obviously he didn't change his ways when it came to domestic violence. Maybe next time, whoever cuts off his PP, shouldn't throw it out the window as they drive down the freeway...rather stick it up his arse. He'd probably never find it.


Hurricane Rita is making her way towards the gulf. New Orleans engineers are working feverishly to mend the rest of the levy breaches so the Big Easy doesn't flood again. I feel for that city...but mostly I'm asking, "why or why can't anybody take this as a sign...don't rebuild that city in the same place." "It's going to flood." The question isn't 'if' rather it's 'when'. It got me thinking about signs...when we see them or hear them, do we pay attention? How about this, you walk out of your house in the morning on your way to work, you look up at the sky, it's cloudy and dark, you think to yourself, it's going to rain. Do you go back inside and get your umbrella....most likely you don't. Instead you stand at the bus stop or the train station and you curse because it's now pouring and you are getting wet. Hmmm, wasn't that dark cloudy sky a sign? Ok, so that's a simple sign. How about the more difficult ones. You meet this hot guy, he asks you to dinner, you accept. You make plans, set the time and the date, and then you wait. The night comes when you are supposed to go out, he doesn't come. He doesn't call, email, stop by, flash a red flag (because you surely would have seen the red flag). Do you write him off or do you accept his call when he tries to explain a family emergency kept him from contacting you? Let's say you do accept his lame apology, you set another date. This time he shows, you go to dinner, you eat, you chat, you are having fun. The check comes....he says, "let's split it." Um wait, didn't he ask you out? Didn't he stand you up before? Doesn't he at least owe you dinner? Well maybe, but you pay 1/2 anyway. You have sex, it kind of sucks...and not in a good way. Somehow you end up starting a relationship with this guy. This is how it goes....usually you make dates, sometimes he shows sometimes he doesn't, but he always has a good excuse. The times he does show, you pay. Sometimes he promises he'll call...and you wait, he doesn't call. Your sex consists of him satisfying himself, then falling asleep, leaving you less than satisfied. He's not really the guy you dreamed of, yet you let him stick around. How many signs does it take before you give him the boot? My point, we don't pay attention to signs. I bet most of you have had relationships like the one I described. I bet most of you have left home without an umbrella even though it looks like rain. I guess this is why we'll spend billions to rebuild a city in a place that will surely be destroyed again, because we don't care about signs. We like to learn everything the hard way.


Playing Hookey

I stayed home today, playing sick. Ok, actually I don't feel well but still I'm posting on this blog board. I didn't watch football last night...which I love, instead I decided to play out all my little fantasies on my 'immoral boyfriend.' I think I took out all my frustrations over comments about our living situation on him. He was happy to oblige. It reminded me of how things used to be before we had a baby. It's true what they say, your sex life does suffer. Mainly it's because you are so damn tired that sex is the last thing on your mind. It's been a real effort to make time for sex. Isn't that pathetic? But things are looking up...last night willy nilly decided to make an encore appearance. It used to be that we'd have sex wherever we wanted, now we actually have to have it in the bedroom, with the door closed, so no little ears can hear us. My God...I've turned into my parents. YUCK. Tonight I'm determined to have some lovin' somewhere other than my bedroom, maybe the back deck. It's dark out there, my yard is fenced...oh but there are mosquitoes...ooooh West Nile. If it ain't the kid dictating where you can f*ck it's the damn mosquito's. Ok, maybe the kitchen....we have a nice big table. Hmmm, maybe on the new granite counters....wow, it's a good thing I'm off work today.


It's about SEX

I've been reading a lot of blogs today...it's Monday and I don't feel like working. I'd say 90% are about sex so you can probably guess what's on my mind. It's almost time to go home....THANK GOD....I wonder if my immoral boyfriend will be there to greet me. Ah...gotta love that sinnin'.


Definition: Contrary to established moral principals. Question: Who determines what these are?

I attended a 'mom get together' with some of the moms from my daughters play group. I was kind of excited to get to know other women with kids since the majority of my friends are still single and living the party life which I was a part of not so long ago. Anyway, I'm sitting there with all the other moms, we're all around the same age, one mom says to me, "so what does your husband do for a living." First a little history, most of the time people refer to my 'significant other' as my 'husband'. Most of the time, I let it pass without correcting them. It seems to be easier than explaining that he in fact isn't my husband, we're not married, we live in sin. But on this particular day I decide to tell the truth, I correct the mom and say, "he's not my husband, but, he's a mechanical engineer." Knock me over with a stick...you should have seen the look of shock on her face. She didn't quite know what to say...but she managed the words, "oh, you are not married, well that must have been really hard for you." What the f*ck? That must have been really hard for me? What, having a baby, yes that was hard...just the same as it's hard for anyone...come on, it's like pushing a watermelon through a straw. Sorry for the graphics, but really, why must it have been hard for me...because I'm not married? I didn't know what to say, so I just sort of ignored her comment. After that moment, I could tell that she actually started treating me differently, like I had some sort of disease. I tried to not let it bother me, I'm usually pretty good at ignoring people's stupid comments but I've actually been thinking about it the rest of the weekend. It got me thinking about who determines what 'moral standards' our society should live by. It's really a strange world because now that I'm a single mom (although I'm not really single, I am living with the 'daddy') people actually consider me more 'immoral' then before when I was living alone, playing the field, partying, and basically acting like an adolescent. I mean it's not like I was seventeen, knocked up without a job, without a place to go. I'm in my mid-thirties, I'm college educated, I have a successful career, I'm self sufficient, I have a nice place to live and I have nice things. No I didn't plan to have a child out of wedlock but it happened. Instead of throwing a fit about the things I had to give up, the partying lifestyle, the cool loft in the hip neighborhood, I decided to act like a grownup and accept what was. Would I like to be married, yes. Would I have rather had a child when I was married, probably. Do I think that not being married makes me less of a great mom, HELL NO. If anything I think my daughter will grow up knowing that a woman does not need a man to define her. She does not need a label to make her feel like she's acceptable to society. Will being married make things easier, maybe. But, being successful in everything you are is much more important than walking down the aisle.

I'm pissed when I think about how small minded people are. One would think that in a big city, people would be different, but they aren't. It's almost like half of the population still live back in the days where a woman just wasn't complete until she had a man. And here I thought we'd come so far, apparently not.


There is this paper called 'Streetwise' that the homeless people in Chicago sell, usually from street corners or in front of businesses. In the Loop you can pretty much guarantee that you'll encounter one of these vendors just about everywhere you go. I tend to give a buck or two every day or so. Usually there's a guy dressed in his best polyester suit outside the Walgreens near my office. I think it's cool that he tries to dress up, he's nice, he opens the door for you, he says 'God Bless' even if you don't buy a paper. Yesterday I came out of Walgreens and saw he wasn't there, instead he'd been replaced by a woman sitting on a milk crate right outside the door. She was holding up the papers....not yelling 'Streetwise' like they usually do....because she was too busy....TALKING ON HER CELL PHONE. I guess wonders never cease to amaze me. Even the homeless need to stay connected.


The Song

As I sit here this morning I have this weird pit in the bottom of my stomach. At first, I can't imagine why I'm feeling this way. It reminds me of how I used to get sick to my stomach the night before a big test, mainly because I didn't study as much as I should have. So anyway, I'm sitting here, my pulse is a little higher than normal, I can't seem to concentrate at all, and then it hits me. The memory. Today it's been one week since I ran into the musician. It's funny how you can go a whole week wrapping yourself in denial. Tonight I have my guitar lesson and instead of thinking about the songs I learned last week that I'll have to play solo this week, I'm thinking about the walk up to the building before and after class. I'm wondering if I'll walk quickly, looking at the ground, pretending there is no outside world. I'm wondering if I'll see him again, and if I don't, will I be disappointed or relieved? Will I park farther away from the place I know he'll be, or will I find a way to place myself in close proximity so my chances for an encounter might be greater? If I see him, will he see me? If I run away again, will I end up back in this place? I'm confused. This pit in the bottom of my stomach could be a warning, to run away from this memory. I'm in a relationship and I love 'volley'. It's kind of ironic if you think about it. Running away landed me straight on the path to one man, yet in my attempt to regain bits and pieces of my former self, I've come back to the place I started. The place he said I'd come back to. I guess that's how most songs go, they start and end with the same refrain.


Train Woes...

One of the things I love about living in a big city, is taking public transportation. I'm lucky that I get to experience the 'essence' of Chicago by riding the El day in and day out. God I'm such a liar. I hate the El. I hate public transportation. I hate that they are raise the fare every 6 months so they can dig themselves out of debt. I hate smelly people, the ones that smell like urine, the ones that smell like they haven't showered in a week, the ones that smell like anything other than soap and decent perfume. What else do I hate? I hate the people that sniff every 30 seconds, sniff, sniff, sniff. Get a f*ck*ing Kleenex already. I hate the people that take up an empty seat with their backpack or purse. I hate the people that won't move away from the doors so you can actually get on the train. I hate the people that talk on their cell phones so loud that you can hear their entire conversation. I really don't give a f*uck that your boyfriend scr*wed the sl*t down the street....I DON'T CARE! I hate the people that turn their Ipod's up so loud that everyone standing next to them can hear what crappy music they are listening to. If I wanted to listen to Kelly Clarkson I'd buy the damn CD and play it MYSELF.

It sounds like I hate a lot of people doesn't it? Really I'm quite an easy going person, well sort of. I like most people, at least the ones that don't annoy me. Maybe you think I'm getting worked up and should just relax. Let me tell you about the last 24 hours and my 'El experience'. Yesterday I waited on the tracks for a train. I waited and I waited, and I waited. When the train finally came, it was jammed full of people so none of the other 50 people standing on the platform could even attempt to board the train. 3 more trains passed by, I say passed because they all were full. Ok, so I've got extra time to kill, I'll stand here and wait for another train. After 30 minutes a train came that actually had standing room in it. The trains stops, the doors open...WAIT....there's a guy laying on the floor in front of the doors completely zonked out. Damn..."listen dude I don't mean to disturb your peaceful slumber but could you kindly MOVE the FU*CK OUT OF the WAY?" Seriously, I said that. People became scared, but I got a small space to stand in. So I work all day, I'm tired, it's time to go home...on the El. I take my Red Eye crossword puzzle (somehow being able to figure out those things makes me feel smarter) and I wait on the platform for the train. Not too long of a wait, that's cool, hey the train's half empty, cool. I find my seat and settle in to start working on my puzzle. "Sniff, sniff, sniff, SNORT." I can't believe it, who the hell is making that noise. Oh wait, it's the fat smelly girl behind me. Maybe she'll stop, no, "sniff, sniff, SNORT." My GOD. Are you a coke head or what? Do you have allergies...take a pill. She continues like this for 3 more stops until I can't take it anymore so I get up and move to the other end of the train. Oh good, there are more seats down here away from SNOT girl. Ok, I settle in again, start my crossword puzzle and then I hear, "yo b*tch, can you believe that Rico dropped his a** down on my couch thinking I was actually going to take his sorry a** back after he scr*wed that sl*t over in Uptown?" Wait, are you talking to me, I don't see a phone, you must be talking to me. I reply, "well, how many times did he f*ck her, if it wasn't many, take him back, you look a little desperate." She looks at me like I'm crazy. Oh, my bad....you are talking on a hands free. "Hands free," now there's an invention. I can't escape, they are everywhere. Now I'm the one that's desperate because I ended up moving to another seat where I practically had to sit on a guys lap next to his backpack while he listened to Kelly Clarkson's latest hits. He rubbed off on me, literally. I'm buying Kelly's CD tomorrow.

Oh happy day....oh happy day. It's only Wednesday.


I've been reading so many editorials about whether or not we should spend the money to rebuild New Orleans. The facts are that the city sits 6 feet below sea level and sinks 1/3 of an ich every year. By 2007 the city will be a full meter below sea level. The levies which hold back the water were so worn that they couldn't withstand a category 3 hurricane, the city was hit by a category 5 hurricane. Hurricanes come every year, sometimes they miss, sometimes they don't.

It's a hard question and most likely one that cannot be posed to the natives of the city, of course they will say, 'rebuild it.' I guess if I was from there, if I had just lost everything, if that city was all that I knew, I'd have to agree to rebuilding. But, I'm not from there. I'm not sure that makes me any more qualified to answer that question but, it does make me less bias. The city had one of the poorest and least mobile populations in this country. If they rebuild it, are they going to rebuild the slums too? Or will they rebuild everything nice and shiny and new and make it too expensive for the 67.3 % of the population who could barely afford to live there before? Do you really think that after they rebuild the thousands of people that have been forced to move somewhere else, get jobs, send their kids to school, make new 'temporary' lives, will actually return? Or will the people that return be only those that had insurance, those that have money, those that can afford to lose it all again? I suppose when you strip it all down (which Hurricane Katrina did pretty well), you have a piece of land that will always be a big bulls eye for disaster. Do we drop billions (not millions) of dollars into something that we know will most likely be destroyed again? The question isn't 'If'' a hurricane will hit again rather 'when' it will happen. I'm a true believer that things happen for a reason. It sucks that those people were displaced, that they suffered, that some lost their lives, but maybe someone that sits up higher than we do and has a better view of what's going on is trying to tell us, "If you build it, they will come, the hurricanes, the flood waters, the devastation." Maybe it's time we actually listen....and build it somewhere else.


First...I typed this post this morning only to find out the server was down so it lost everything I had just spent 20 mins typing. How annoying.

I have a dilemma. My best friend is involved with a real loser of a guy. She calls me constantly and tells me how awful he is but when I offer up the advice to 'kick him to the curb' she just doesn't listen. I've been able to look past this fact for quite some time but now she has a child by this man and his abuse is starting to affect her daughter. Being a mom myself probably makes me a little bit more affected by her behavior. I guess it's just hard to imagine why anyone would allow any harm, albeit verbal or physical, to come near their child. Here's a brief history:

My friend and I met some years back at a bar. We had a lot in common. She was there drowning her sorrows about her latest loser, I was there chasing mine. We not only had the same birthdays, we had the same horrible taste in men. Naturally we hit it off talking about how awful our men were. Comparing battle stories we figured out we pretty much had enough in common to bind us together for life. Our lives went on, she married a loser, I left one. I finally realized I deserved much better, she never realized anything. One night I get a frantic call at 3 a.m., she's whispering for me to come and get her, loser has a gun. He's in some drunken fit of rage and he's threatening to shoot her. Thinking I'm invincible, I get in my car and drive as fast as I can to bumf*ck Egypt. Stupid right? Luckily he was passed out by the time I got there so I was able to sneak her out of the house. It took months of convincing her to leave him until she actually listened. She divorced him 3 months later. For awhile things were good, that was until I up and moved 3 hours away. My grasp on her reality soon loosened and without me being close enough to stop her from making another mistake, she jumped right back into the loser pool. The abuse continued, not physically but verbally. He'd get in her face and call her stupid, tell her she was worthless and ugly. He'd go out and get drunk on Christmas instead of spending it with her and when she'd question him about it, he'd say he'd rather be in a bar than be with her. And still she stayed with him waiting up late at night holding some sort of vigil to the love she swore he had for her. I'd give her my usual speech when she'd call me sobbing, 'He's a loser, he doesn't deserve you, you don't need him." She never listened.

18 months ago she had his child. A child he doesn't pay for. A child he sees maybe once a week. A child that can't distinguish his identity from that of a stranger on the street. A child that she claims is the only reason that she still has anything to do with this loser. She's gotten better, she no longer sleeps with him. She doesn't see him as much but still, she sees him, she goes on trips with him, she calls me crying about how awful he is. I've learned to distance myself over the years but have been able to maintain our friendship until now. Our daughters are one week apart but my daughter has a wonderful father. I feel guilty but most of all I ache for the pain that I know her child will surely endure as she grows up and is forced to realize how much of a loser her own father is. Part of me is very sad for this child but a bigger part of me is furious with my friend for allowing such pain to come into her child's life. Isn't having no father better than having one that is abusive? It's come to the point that I can barely stand to talk to my friend or to see her because I find it so incredibly difficult to keep my mouth shut. What I really want to do is yell at her, scream at her, how selfish it is of her to force such undeniable pain onto an innocent child. But can I do that? Is it my place? Will she listen? Probably not. So what do I do? Do I stop being her friend? Or do I just pretend the bad stuff, doesn't exist? I wonder if that little girl will grow up learning to do that...pretend that her daddy isn't really as bad as he seems. Her mommy pretends, so it must be ok.


Sad Songs...

First I have to tell you to read this article about 'Miss Kitty' who was reunited with her owner after being separated during hurricane Katrina so click here and be prepared to smile. It's so great...we all get so moved over a man and his cat. It just reminds me that sometimes it doesn't take that much to make a person happy.

Ok, on to my next topic. I'm sure a lot of you can relate with me on this next thing. Before my relationship with Volley, I had quite a few boyfriends. Actually I'm not quite sure I'd call them boyfriends...but they were guys who I dated and did 'stuff' with. I was sort of on this kick before Volley where I didn't want a boyfriend. I wanted to date, I wanted to have fun, but I didn't want any sort of commitment, at least that's what I told myself. Anyway, there was this one guy, a real bad boy, he was beautiful with his dark mane and brooding looks. He played the guitar and wrote his own music (I'm such a sucker for musicians). I met him at a bar one night where I went after my voice lessons at the local music school. He was the bartender, I was the chick that sat back in awe of him. We had those 'looks' going on. You know the kind where you just sort of stare at each other in hopes one of you will make the first move. Well, I didn't make the first move...he did. I almost jumped up and down in my seat but I held back...I didn't want to look desperate or anything. Anyway we hit it off. He was the first guy in a long time that I wanted to sleep with...but actually didn't (well not until much later). We went back to his place after the bar closed and we talked and he played me his music until 6 the next morning when I had to tear myself away to go to my 'day' job. He was so mysterious, mainly because he didn't try to sleep with me and that was a new concept. I think that in itself was enough to hook me. We played this cat and mouse game for a month or so until finally I gave in...I mean he gave in. As much as I wanted to come off as aloof with no cares in the world, I started wanting this man...more than I should have. It was pretty hot for awhile, but like most musicians that actually write those 'heart wrenching' ballads, this guy had his heart broken not so long before I met him which meant he was pretty much off limits in the relationship department. Things cooled off mainly because I pulled away, I just couldn't handle falling for this guy. Long story short, I have not seen him for 2 years....until last night. I'm walking back to my car after my guitar class and I had parked right outside the bar where he used to work (actually he still works there but I didn't know it). As I walk by the window of the bar I peer in, not really expecting to see him but reminiscing about those not so faded memories. I guess a part of me was hoping to see him, but no luck, he wasn't in there. I reach my car, fumble for my keys and then someone taps me lightly on the shoulder. I kind of froze, not out of fear, but out of anticipation. It was so frickn' weird...it's like I knew it was going to be him. When I turned around he was just standing there with that same brooding look I had fallen for a couple of years before. I didn't know what to say, he didn't know what to say, so we said nothing. We just stood there looking at each other. I felt kind of stupid but I just couldn't force any words to come out of my mouth, it's like I was mute. Finally he reached out and hugged me and it was like no time had passed since I had touched him. After many moments of silence we finally were able to utter a few pleasantries. He asked me how I'd been, I said fine. He asked me what I'd been up to, I said having a baby. He looked down at his feet and said, "I guess that means you found that song you'd been longing to hear." Can you believe that? The guy is a poet. I didn't ask him about his life, I was actually afraid to know how wonderful he had been. We stood there for a few more minutes until I told him I had to go. His response, "you always did have to run away." I couldn't even respond. This guy knew me better than I thought he did. All I could do was nod my head, he was right about me. As he turned to walk away I just stood there staring at him not really wanting him to go, but wishing I'd never seen him again. I told him that I'd see him again sometime (hoping that I wouldn't, I couldn't handle it). He reached out for my hand and touched me lightly. He said some words I will never forget as long as I live, "sometimes running away will bring you right back to the place you started." That was it, he was gone.

I'm not sure if I'll see him again. I know I'm in love now and I have a great life but seeing him last night reminded me that if I ever get the urge to run away again to protect myself from some pain that may or may not reach me, I better stop and remember that one time, not so long ago, I ran away from something that could have been the best song I'd ever had the pleasure of singing.


Scoot over...you smell

Have you ever had to ride the train next to a person that smells? If not, you are lucky. On my morning commute I had the pleasure of standing next to someone that smelled of urine and cheap cologne. It's bad enough that I have to stand the whole way in on the train, but now my somewhat peaceful trip has turned into me holding my breath for most of the ride. Do you know how hard it is to hold your breath for 25 minutes? It's not easy. I'm one of those riders that knows how to obey the rules of Public Transportation....you know the ones I'm speaking of. Hold your head down, don't make eye contact, don't let any body part brush up against the body part of someone else, don't move over when someone is trying to get past you, and don't bring some rannk body smell with you on the train. Obviously this guy didn't get the memo.

I really wanted to shove him over so he wasn't standing so close to me but that would have broken one of the 'rules'. Why do people smell? Can't they smell themselves or is it that they can smell themselves but they really like the odor of Polo cologne mixed with PP.



I'm calmer now

Wow, yesterday I was so worked up over all the political discussion on Hurricane Katrina. I guess I let it sort of ruin my day...even though I came into the office in a perfectly good mood, I let the small minds of some point my attention in the wrong direction. I'm much calmer today.

We had a work meeting today to talk about our big 'move' to the new building across the street. They informed us we'd not only be working a couple of 8 hour shifts a few weekends in November but we'd also be working Thanksgiving day. Great...just what I need, more work hours, no more money (I'm salary), less time with my daughter, more time with the people I work with. I'm thrilled to say the least. I like my job...but I don't want my job to be my life. I've seen those people that live their jobs...it ain't pretty!

So what will I do....work but be very upset about it. Isn't that what normal passive aggressive people do? Wait, I'm not passive aggressive...I actually speak my mind. I guess I better go tell someone I'm not very happy.


10 things I say...

Did you vote in the last presidential election (if no, then shut-up)?
Did you donate any money to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund (if no, why not, even the $5 you spend a day on junk food can help)?
Do you read the newspaper daily (or did you just start since a natural disaster occurred)?
Do you know what the word 'refugee' means (if no, look it up)?
Do you know what 'democracy' means (if no, look it up)?
Do you know what 'communism' means (if no look it up)?
Do you think that the government should equally distribute all property and wealth regardless of who earns it?
Do you actually volunteer or donate any services to those less fortunate than yourself (if no, does that make you selfish or self-centered)?
Are you willing to open up that spare room in your home to one of the 'evacuees' (if no, why)?
Do you believe that our government treats people differently or makes decisions based on race, color or religion (if you answered yes, you better read our constitution again)?

I agree that everyone deserves to have an opinion. I do not believe that everyone's opinion is based on factual evidence. I believe people in general are uneducated about what goes on in the world around them, some of it is due to the inability to obtain the info, most is due to the unwillingness to process such information.

Regardless of whether you are a conservative, a liberal or somewhere in between...please know what the hell you are talking about before you open your mouth and so gently insert your foot.

I came into work this morning actually in a decent mood...since it's Tuesday and not Monday and that means I'm one day closer to the next weekend. But, my peace came to a screeching halt as I sat at my desk and unwillingly overheard the conversation from a few cubes away. "President Bush hates black people, that's why all them people suffered so much down there." Wait...did you just say our president hates black people. Wow, how insightful of you. Please! Why must everything in this damn world be reduced to a fight between the races? Those people suffered down there because a hurricane (act of God...and God isn't racist) hit the Gulf Coast. The people suffered longer than needed because our government (made up of all races) failed to have an action plan in place. Here's an interesting note, New Orleans mayor is black, 2/3 of the city council of New Orleans is black. If you want to place blame, how about blaming them? They failed to protect the people of their city. Isn't it the job of the mayor to make sure emergency action plans are viable for all races, for the rich, the poor, the homeless? If anyone failed those people, it was their mayor.

Honestly I just don't know why we're having this fight anyway. Do we really need to add anything else to the table to divide us as a nation? How about we focus our attention on those thousands of people that have lost everything they own...you know the ones I'm talking about, the Whites, the Blacks, the Hispanics, the Asians. When we watch the news we see people looting, people in pain, people dying. I read a comment on a blog that asked why is it that all these people we see are African Americans? It's not because it's the government has targeted this particular race of people, it's because 67.3 percent of New Orleans is African American. Who would you expect to see looting those stores...ethnic Hawaiians?

All I know is that when our nation, a nation made up of all classes, all races of people, opened their pocketbooks and their hearts, they opened them for every person regardless of the color of their skin. When I read these 'race' comments it makes me feel like we're still back in the age of segregation. I thought we'd made leaps and bounds since then. Sometimes I think there are still people in this world that want to create boundaries between people, not because there actually are any, but because without the 'illusion' of boundaries....they'd have nothing to bitch about.


In my life...

It seems that anything I may write lacks significance when compared to what's going on in the South. As much as I love to vent, that's what this blog is for, it just seems meaningless. Instead I've decided to write some words that may inspire you to reflect, to regret, to be thankful...to feel. It's all I have to offer right now.

In a lifetime, a person can learn a lot of lessons or they may learn too few.
Humans, by design, are flawed. We have the ability to be selfish, to be self-serving, to lie, to cheat, to harm. More importantly we have the ability to reflect, to have a conscience, to have compassion, to be giving, to be selfless, to defy those stereotypes that were set from the ones that came before us. We as humans have the ability to change, not only ourselves, but the world around us.

I've lived quite a few years on this earth, never have I been so ashamed to be an American. I grew up thinking that 'freedom' was what made this country great. Little did I know that rarely does freedom extend it's opportunity to those to poor to afford it. Freedom is not 'free' after all. The cost, the price tag, sometimes comes at a cost too high for some to obtain it. I've learned that we are only free, until we must rely on someone else, on a government, to protect us. We have wars to protect our freedom, yet in the end...who really ends up safe? Is it the mother that lost her son to war that sits in front of a fancy ranch waiting to be heard by the one man we nominated to make us free? Is it the child that struggles to keep his head up because he's so dehydrated that his little body can barely keep the blood flowing through his veins. Or is that woman who thought that herself and her two children were finally going to make it to safety until that moment when she put her 2 year old on a bus to 'freedom' while she was then pushed back from the doors and left behind, forced to watch her child leave without her? Was she free...free to choose...free to flee...free to run after that bus and beg them to let her join her child? As I sit and watch all the horrible stories unfold after such a devastating natural disaster, am I free to help them? Are any of us really free?

I donated money because it's all I can do...and that seems so insignificant. Will money bring back the hundreds that have passed on not from disease, but from negligence of human life? I want to shout from the mountain tops...why are these people still suffering, but I can't., I'm not free to shout from any mountain top without fear of being arrested. So I sit and I watch. It's all I can do.

I've learned a lesson this past week, it's not one I ever really wanted to learn. People are not free. No matter how much we tell ourselves that this is the land of the free, there is always someone pulling the strings. Someone higher up....and I don't mean God.


Can't look away...

I've spent my lunch hour watching video of the Katrina disaster; video showing desperate people trying to survive. My heart is literally aching right now. As I sit here and watch and listen to the coverage about how babies are dying because they are so dehydrated, tears stream down my face. As a mother, I know how far I'd go to protect my daughter. When you become a parent your main goal in life is to keep your children safe. Those people are powerless.

My head tells me to stop the video, turn off the television, stop listening to the radio; my heart won't let me. I can't look away, I can't pretend that anything in my small existence can be one tenth as important as the hell those people are living through.

Everything I thought I had to complain about...has vanished. It's like 9/11 all over again only this time the wrath was dealt by nature and not man. In the end, the result is the same.

I made a donation...not much of one since I can't afford a lot, but it was something. At least now I can live with myself a little easier. So I have to go without my gourmet cup of coffee for a week, I think I'll survive....lucky me.