Saturday, December 4, 2010

week 15; 2 attemps of a collage

Obviously I was excited and agreed immediately. Lots of coffee and an open mind. You sit at that laptop acting like you know what you are doing… Holy crap, it nearly filled a whole page! I thought to myself, man this is fun, look at all I’ve been missing over the years. My heart started pounding as the epiphany grew stronger. Suddenly I started to grin, I knew I was gonna win this one. Maybe I’ll get another second wind!

Well, I fell for it. I must have been out of my skull that night or basically didn’t give a shit. What the hell was I thinking? Stole your heart? I’m not that person any more. I was devastated because they were torn to shreds. How am I going to fix this, is it even up to me to try? I feel so tired, so worn out and I despise every minute of it. I cried from the unknown. Why is the pain so merciless? We all make out own choices and we all have to pay the consequences. I told myself it could be worse. But I said screw it, I’m not giving into this charade. I’ll never forgive him for this. I should have listened to my mother.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

week 14 the pet

She called for her cat to come in for the night; her voice raised a few octaves just has she has done a hundred times before. Here kitty kitty, time to come in; her lips were pursed as she made kissing noises, come on in, come on kitty, here kitty, kitty, kitty but he still didn’t come to the door. It was getting late and she was getting worried; he always came running anytime she called him, like a dog would. The clock struck 10pm and finally she heard a faint scratching at the back door. Relived she ran and opened it only to find her cat was bleeding profusely and in obvious shock. Distress set in as she witnessed the poor animal struggle to drag itself in over the threshold into the kitchen and once in, he stood there and looked at her with pleading eyes. His tiny body was twisted like a pretzel; one leg was going the wrong way while the other barely had any fur or skin left on it, the wound so deep you could see bone. His jaw looked like it wasn’t attached and went off to the side. He was a mess covered in his own blood and feces; she wondered how on earth he ever made it back to the house.

Holding her head in her hands and pacing around in circles around the kitchen floor she started to panic not knowing what to do first. Her heart was breaking for the pain and suffering her cat was enduring. Within a few minutes she composed herself and phoned the on call veterinarian and was instructed to wrap him in a towel, put him in a deep box and bring him in ASAP.
On the ride in, her cat was really starting to feel its pain and began howling. She thought she was going to lose her mind in the short 5 minute ride to the vet’s office. Once in the parking lot, she barely had the car in park as she opened the back door to grab the box her shattered cat was in and ran him into the awaiting veterinarian.

Tears were streaming down her face and hysteria was in her voice as she screamed to the veterinarian, put him down, put him down; just put him out of his misery! With the patience of Job, he calmed her down and while examining the cat, he admitted it looked a hell of a lot worse than it really was but he could save her beloved pet. Without hesitation she gave him the OK; she loved this cat like he was her very own child. She hated to leave him behind but at least she didn’t have to leave the vet office with a heavy heart.

Miraculously, after weeks in the hospital, a few surgeries, a couple pins and lots of stitches, her cat was finally able to come home. Never again will her voice have to raise a few octaves to call her cat inside, never again will she have to fret and worry when he doesn’t come to the door; she is the proud owner of a new and very expensive indoor cat.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 14- Top 10 customer service do’s and don’t

1. Do greet the customer with a smile and use your manners such as please and thank you. Don’t roll your eyes, sigh or swear out loud in front of the customer. 2. Keep your hair neat, clean and out of your face. You may be ugly but they still want to be able to see who is waiting on them.
3. Be sure to wash your hands frequently and keep your fingernails clean and for goodness sakes don’t pick your nose or teeth in front of the customer. 4. Even if you’re busy, acknowledge the customer with a small nod or a couple words like, I’ll be right with you. They can see it’s busy; they get that, never just ignore them and wish they’d all go away. 5. When communicating, use complete sentences, speak clearly and slowly, don’t use slang and poor body language because like no, like we don’t like understand what you’re like saying. 6. If you don’t know the answer to a customer question, don’t lie or send them on a wild goose chase! Simply tell them you’re not sure but would be happy to get that information for them. 7. Always use professionalism and empathy when dealing with your customer, don’t treat them like they’re idiots because they asked what you might think is a stupid question. 8. When bagging glass, do be sure to wrap it in tissue or another bag to protect it. Don’t put all the cans in one bag either; it’s far too heavy to carry and the bag eventually splits in half and everything spills out all over the ground. 9. Do make the customer your first priority and yes this means get off the damn phone and be available for them! 10. Be perceptive of what the customers sees such as your courteous behavior; don’t chew gum, don’t walk away from them when they are talking to you and whatever you do don’t rush them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

week 13 small to big

My car needed an inspection sticker so we made an appointment at the local garage. I was hoping the tires would pass but got to thinking they really weren’t that old and wondered why the tread was so worn. I finally found the Sears paperwork and took the car back to them to find out what the warranty was. Come to find out these supposed 70,000 mile tread tires I paid big bucks for were junk. According to the mileage, I had only 16,000 miles on them over the past 3 years; needless to say they replaced them.

Another issue I was concerned with for the inspection besides a little rust was the inside of my car smelled of gas sometimes. It was very faint but still made me think I may have had a bad line or something because I never saw a spot in the driveway where I parked. But I was using a ton of gas just to drive under 10 miles round trip per day so I knew something was up.

The day my car went into the garage after the tires were replaced my engine light suddenly came on. Oh great I thought another expense to get this car legal. They put my car on the lift and found the rocker panels under the doors of the car were pretty much rotted away and I had holes in my gas tank and the break & gas lines all needed replacing. This was going to cost me around $600.00 and they’d have the car about 4 days so I gave them the ok.

Three days into my car being in the garage, I’m called to be informed that not only were my rocker panels gone the rear quarters were rotted as well and they had no place to attach the new metal. My hear t sunk. They already had the car torn apart, what choice did I have? When I asked how much more it would cost me, he said about another $1000.00 that was a tough pill to swallow but I had to justify it was cheaper than buying a new car and having a payment.

2 weeks later and no car, still, I called to find out what the holdup was; they had ironically run into another snag. How much I asked. I was sick to my stomach….total was going to be just over $2000 because I needed ECG/EGR valves to make the engine light go away and have the car run right.

Hard to believe I addressed a simple spot of rust on my car to get a $15 inspection sticker which ended up costing over $2000. This will go down in the books as the most expensive inspection sticker I’ve ever purchased. I’ve decided I’m going to keep this hunk of metal for a couple more years, like it or not.

Friday, November 19, 2010

week 12 risky rewrite

There was a point in my life when I wanted to give up. When it first came on, it was very unsettling, but once it got to the “don’t give a shit stage” I was at my calmest. I was working sales at the time and remember waking up that day in a great mood, too happy. The kind of sickening too happy when your over smiling, whistling, skipping around; definitely out of my ordinary. As I was getting ready for my day; picking out my suit and jewelry for the outfit, I jumped in the shower. While showering I remember making up my mind that today would be the day I smashed my company vehicle into a tree at 100 miles an hour. I had contemplated pills but didn’t have the resources. I would never cut myself or blow my brains out because I didn’t want my daughter to find me in that condition. I figured an accidental car crash was the best way out. I applied my makeup, styled my hair and grabbed my brief case. My husband was home that morning and obviously could sense something was different in my demeanor which alarmed him. I thought I was behaving wonderfully and he’d appreciate the happiness I was exuding. Apparently he was too smart for that, somehow he kept stalling me from leaving the house. I don’t remember exactly what he was doing or saying, but that feeling of calmness was slowly slipping away and I was getting infuriated because he was in the way of my destiny. I never did get to leave the house that morning. Shortly after all his prying that feeling of calmness completely left me and I finally broke down. After some pretty intense therapy I've learned how to properly control my emotions during difficult situations. Never again will I allow myself to get to the point in my life where I'd give it up.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

week 12 risky

Thinking back to my teen years and some of the shit I used to pull, this one in particular came to mind. Imagine a split level ranch; upstairs is the kitchen, living room, bathroom and master bedroom, downstairs are the 3 bedrooms and a laundry room. One night my mother and step father were going out to eat. My girl friend Kim was staying over and our plan was to have our boyfriends come over while my parents were out. They were a bit older than us; had their driver’s licenses and could buy beer. I know, statutory rape, but this was over 30 years ago. I knew if I got caught with these boys in the house, I’d be grounded for life. So the guys how up minutes after my parents pulled out of the driveway with a cooler filled with beer! How long did these guys think they were going to be able to stay! Seriously, how long does it take to go out to a restaurant, eat and come home? Anyway, we were listening to albums, smoking it up, throwing a few back and having a great time. I suddenly got really paranoid about my parents coming home cause I knew they’d be back at any time. Kim and the guys kept reassuring me everything would be fine, they‘d hide out in the closet once my parents got home and would wait quietly unit they went to bed. How naive can any human being be? Well, I fell for it. Here we are 2 young teens getting wasted with 18 and 19 year old guys in my bedroom at my mother’s house while she and my step dad were right upstairs! We ended up sneaking them out my bedroom window a few hours later, and to this day, I can still remember what a fiasco it was getting them out. They were trashed, loud and obnoxious yet not once did my mother or step dad yell down to find out what all the racket was. Thankfully my mother has to sleep with a fan on which must have been my saving grace. We were home safe, or so I thought. The next day after my step dad came home from work he sat me down and asked me if I had company over last night while they were out. I lied of course and said no. Well after about the third time I caved in and asked how he knew. I’m thinking duh Darlene, how the hell else do you think he knew! They practically woke the neighborhood trying to get out the damn window last night; I was still hung over, looked like shit and probably had hickies all over my neck. His reply was he’d noticed a McDonald’s bag out in the driveway that wasn’t there when they’d left last night so he just assumed I had friends over. He continued saying, you might want to tell your friends next time they ought to be more careful. If they're trying to sneak around, they shouldn’t leave behind their trash!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

week 11 The Driveway

The driveway was very long and very secluded leading to dad’s new house; he asks us kids what we think of our new home.

The moving truck brings all the belongings to the house down the long driveway; we pick out our bedrooms today.

Dad has trees cut down about half way down the driveway to park the vehicles in the winter months because the bottom half is too steep to drive up.

The dog houses and their runs are set up at the end of the driveway in the turn around part.

All of us kids help make a rock walkway from the end of the driveway down to the house.

Whippoorwills sing every night in the trees around the end of the driveway.

The old chicken coup to the left of the driveway brings on many dares to see who will jump off the roof first.

My youngest step brother jumps first and breaks his leg; the chicken coup to the left of the driveway is torn down.

The barn at the end of the driveway on the right is spooky, old and full of giant spiders; I will not play hide and go seek in there.

Walking up and down the driveway to catch the bus for school, feels like eternity to get to the top. Sometimes my 2 step brothers and I race each other to the top.

Sledding down the driveway at what feels like 100 MPH and jumping the snow bank where all the snow was plowed at the very end, every landing knocks the wind out of us.

Riding our mini bikes up, down and all around the driveway; no helmets, no protection, lots of cuts and bruises but no broken bones!

A new pool is put in at the end of the driveway over where the old chicken coup once stood. Let the parties begin.

I get my first car and park it with all the other vehicles at the end of the driveway.

My 16th birthday and the driveway is full of cars and we celebrated.

Graduation day for me and my oldest step brother. In the driveway, dad hands us our graduation gifts; each of us receieve a bank book.

The police break up the 4th of July celebration and cop cars flood the driveway.

The ambulance heads up the driveway with my younger step-brother in it; he left a note.

Driveway is full again but this time with mourners.

A for sale sign is posted at the top of the driveway.

The moving truck slowly heads up the very long and very secluded driveway with our belongings, I never looked back.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Week 10 Work

I can’t believe he said it, what was he thinking??? It’s like Vegas here man, what happens here, stays here.

How am I going to fix this, is it even up to me to try?

Rumors are running rampant, why do these people come to me? They KNOW I can’t talk about it? Haven’t they figured this out by now? I want to scream….what part don’t you understand?

Closed doors, hush, hush, people not looking into each other’s eyes as they pass in the hall; secrets out.

Why do I get so involved, why do I care? What is wrong with people? Why can’t they leave well enough alone?

So much like high school; the whispering, the side glances and the fake smiles….who do they think they’re kidding?

What ever happened to the real friends, true friends; the kinds of people who are like your family-friends. Do they even exist?

I feel so tired, so worn out and I despise every minute of it. I’m at a loss for words and this is a first for me; I think I’ve met my challenge.

Monday, October 25, 2010

week 9 linked vignette (rewrite)

After the divorce, my daughter and I moved from Norridgewock back to the Brewer area. She was in 7th grade at the time and met a boy at the middle school. It wasn’t long before they started “going out” or dating as we adults call it. He was a good kid, I really liked him and ironically, I had gone to school with his parents as well. Small world.

8th grade, still dating, and prom right around the corner, she thinks she’s in love with him; first love, I’m sure she did fall for him. Who wouldn’t, dark haired, blue eyed boy and ever so popular.

High school begins for the freshman class. New friends, driver’s permits and footballs games; the life of a young teen… Varsity cheering, honors chorus and great grades, what more could a mother ask for.

Sophomore year, she’d cheered for him while he made touch downs and then the football parties seemed to get out of hand. That one time they showed up at my house drunk, I thought I would kill them all. Instead I put my fist through the wall. It seemed to scare some sense into them…for a little while anyway.

Junior year she was out of control. She didn’t make cheering, she didn’t make it home every night and the partying was getting out of hand. I was at my wits end and thought it would be best for her to move to her stepdads to finish out high school back in Norridgewock. Maybe he could do a better job handling her; maybe getting her away from this crowd would help. She would see her boyfriend, on weekends, supervised. She moved away, I cried for failing, I cried from the lonliness, I cried from the unknown.

He was supposed to pick her up on Friday, but ended up getting called to a job. He did construction, so you take the work when you can get it. Payday, and a few beers under his belt, he left the jobsite. He missed the curve and ran the truck into a phone pole then a tree, the final resting place. It took the ambulance crew hours to retrieve him from the wreckage with the Jaws of Life.

I was at my boyfriend’s house when the phone rang; it was one of my daughter’s girlfriends. The voice on the other line was hysterical; there had been an accident.

I desperately tried to calm her down to find out who she meant; my heart was racing and I suddenly felt like I was going to be sick.

Hours later, I finally got the call; mom, please meet me at the hospital in the ICU and can you come now. I was already there.

Countless yet familiar faces in the waiting room; some seated, others pacing in circles while many sobbed, holding one another…I felt helpless.

I went in to sit with her while she talked to him. He couldn’t hear her or feel her as she stroked his face, one side of his skull was crushed, and the doctors said he was brain dead.

After they pulled the plug, I brought her home with me. I lay with her night after night, while she sobbed and asked God why he didn’t take her instead. Her heart was shattered; she didn’t think she’d be able to go on without him; she didn’t WANT to go on without him.

Day’s turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years; it was a long, slow and agonizing healing process.

She has finally moved on….. his name engraved on her body, she says so she’ll never forget, his picture on her bedstand, just to be sure she doesn’t and her newborn sons middle name, to guarentee she won't.

We still go visit his grave on occasion and try to remember the good times and not the tragedy of a young life taken so soon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

week 9 linked vignettes

High school begins for the freshman class. New friends, driver’s permits and first loves; the life of a young teen… Varsity cheering, honors chorus and great grades, what more could a mother ask for.
She was out of control. I thought it would be best for her to move to her stepdads to finish out high school. Maybe he could do a better job handling her; maybe getting her away from this crowd would help. She moved away, I was alone.
I was at my boyfriend’s house when the phone rang; it was one of my daughter’s girlfriends. The voice on the other line was hysterical; there had been an accident. I desperately tried to calm her down to find out who she meant; my heart was racing and I suddenly felt like I was going to be sick.

Hours later, I finally get the call; mom, please meet me at the hospital in ICU.
Countless yet familiar faces in the waiting room; some seated, others pacing in circles while many sobbed, holding one another…I felt helpless.

I went in to sit with her while she talked to him. He couldn’t hear her, one side of his skull was crushed, and the doctors said he was brain dead.
We still go visit his grave on occasion and try to remember the good times and not the tragedy of a young life taken so soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

week 8 Vignette

The weather was perfect; high nineties, low humidity, the Atlantic Ocean to my east and the Gulf of Mexico to my west, what more could I ask for! Glistening, golden bodies scattered over the beaches while middle aged tourists seek out lost treasures with their metal detectors. Countless palm trees pepper the outskirts of my peripheral vision; I squint to observe a daredevil parasailing in the gulf as the reggae band at the nearby tiki bar starts a new set. Drink in hand; time seemed to stand still and during this brief moment of lucidity while aqua blue waters gently lapped the sand at my feet I wondered; how is it they call Maine “vacation land”.

Monday, October 11, 2010

week 7 character

The first time I met her was in kindergarten; they called her DeeDee and I always admired her, she seemed so happy and carefree. We ended up taking the same class’s together right through 8th grade and became good friends I think around 4th grade. As far as I was concerned she was my best friend, but she was actually more than that; she was kind of my protector, she always stood up for me all the time especially when the other kids teased me, which was often. I was from a very poor family; DeeDee’s family on the other hand was well off financially. Needless to say, kids can be cruel and they were relentless. They made fun of my clothing, my hair style, anything and everything because I didn’t wear the name brands and get my hair done at the beauty parlor. Not only did I have to wear hand-me-downs; I had a lisp, buck teeth, and a persistent snotty nose. I shed many tears during my elementary school years from the constant ridicule and because I was from a broken home, that made matters even worse. DeeDee on the other hand was pretty, blonde, athletic and popular; she had older sisters that had already gone through the grade school so all the teachers knew about her before she even started. Her road of success had already been paved for her and here I was trying to pave one for my younger siblings and it wasn’t looking good.

Before she took me under her wing and we became best friends, there were a few instances in the earlier school years where she stepped up in my defense. One day at recess on the merry-go-round, one of the kids pushed me off and my foot ended up getting twisted underneath it. I didn’t care about my foot so much but about my new ankle socks mom just bought me. I was devastated because they were torn to shreds. DeeDee immediately ran over to my rescue, knocked that boy on his ass and helped me in to see the school nurse. The next day, she bought me in a brand new pair of white ankle socks; I can still remember how confused yet exhilarated I was to receive a gift from a school kid. Another instance was one winter recess day, she was late coming out to the playground and the mean kids were beaming snowballs at my head and all I could do was stand there and cry. I remember it in slow motion, her running out the school door, screaming and heading right for them. I don’t how on earth she did it, but she gave everyone one of those boys a facial white wash. In the spring or fall, whenever we played kick ball or softball, I was never picked for a team and would end up sitting on the sidelines, well until DeeDee became my friend anyway. She was very athletic and the kids always picked her first for their team, but if I wasn’t playing, she wasn’t playing. It didn’t take too long for these kids to get the fact if they wanted her on their team; I was going to be playing, too.

I finally had my tonsils out in 5th grade so the runny nose and crunchy cough was gone and who came to visit me in the hospital, DeeDee of course. She made me a get well card and brought me in a gift. By 6th grade we wore the same size clothes and she’d ride her bike to my house practically every morning with a change of clothes for me. We had to sneak because my mom was adamant about me being proud of what I had and to not be one of those girls that had to wear what all the other kids were wearing. Her analogy to me was “if all the girls jumped off the bridge would you jump, too”? I couldn’t stand it. Anyway, I’d get changed out behind my house into the cool clothes before the bus came and to this day I can’t recall ever getting caught for that, cause I know my mother would have been pisssed if she knew. In 7th grade the school planned a bus trip to see the Haarlem Globe Trotters at Boston Gardens and there was nothing I wanted more then to be able to go on that trip. Of course there was NO way mom would ever pay for it, nor could she. My best friend DeeDee somehow collaborated with the coach and her parents and got me a ticket to go on that trip. She constantly went out of her way for me almost every one of my school days. DeeDee was the best friend anyone could ever ask for.

Although DeeDee ended up moving away during 8th grade (saddest day of my school year) she had "paid it forward" way before that phrase was ever spoken. If she hadn’t stepped into my life when she did I can only imagine how things would have turned out for me. She gave me strength and purpose; she never judged me and accepted me for who I was and not because of how much money I had. She was thoughtful, unselfish and compassionate; a true young humanitarian. We stayed in touch with one another long after each of us settled down, got married and had kids of our own. And to this day, she’ll always have a special place in my heart.

Friday, October 8, 2010

week 6 place

I’d only heard the stories eavesdropping on all the older kids out by the pool at the campground. I’d never heard of a place where you could see Santa Clause in the middle of summer with elves, reindeer and rides, especially the flume. No way! I thought they were pulling my leg. All these tales about this so called Santa’s Village came to me the summer my grandparents bought a campground in Jefferson New Hampshire. I was pretty young at the time, so needless to say, my first visit was one I’ll never forget. The short drive over from the campground heightened my anticipation of visiting the park.

When we walked into the park, Christmas music was blasting from tiny little speakers that hung in the trees, the staff was dressed in cheesy elf costumes and there were a variety of smells in the air ranging from diesel fuel, food and animal excretions. I didn’t care; I wanted to go on the rides and sweet talk my grandparents into buying me stuff!

My first ride was on the antique cars and I picked out a blue one. The track was set up with a metal rail going through the center of it so the car kind of straddled the rail during the ride. I’ll never forget that sound of metal hitting metal whenever I wasn’t paying attention because the underside of the car would scrape that protective rail and make a screeching noise that would curl your hair. Even though they didn’t go very fast, it was loads of fun driving through covered bridges, standing water and mud!

I took a train ride on the Santa Express and although it was my first visit, I got to sit in the front seat with the conductor. He tooted the horn as we chugged by the bystanders and everyone was waving. Of course I thought they were waving at me because I was riding up front but I soon found out everyone sitting on the train behind me was waving at the bystanders, they were simply waving back! What a dumbass.

After a few more rides, I finally got to visit fake Santa and pet and feed his reindeer. The aroma of feces and urine filled the air as I looked at my grandmother with my face scrunched from the smell. It was time to move on and find some food and presents.

The grand finale was riding on the Yule Log Flume (which my grandparents saved for last) because I ended up getting soaked! My adrenaline pumped through my body as I rode around the forest anticipating the ride down. I headed straight up the North Station and before I could even let out a scream, down I went. I thought that log must have climbed over 100 feet and came down at 100 miles an hour! It was just the way the kids described it and it was definitely the best ride ever! I left that park with the biggest smile on my face and I can still remember how anxious I was to get back to the campground so I could be one of those kids telling tales about my visit to Santa Village.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

week 5 theme narrative

John, I wrote this story in mind for week 5 prompt #20 (the battle begins) but after I read it a couple times, I thought it may be a worthy piece for my narrative essay of the week. Let me know if it can be used here, otherwise, I'd like permission to tag it under one of my 3 prompts due for the week and I'll do another for my blog.

I was the oldest of 3 siblings and my mom was a single parent, so we spent a lot of time home alone after school waiting for her arrival after work. Because of my seniority, mom trusted I’d always do the right thing, not by choice I’m sure, but I was the oldest and was supposed to set a good example for my brother and sister. I’ll tell you there were times my little brother would really piss me off, seriously piss me off so bad I wished him dead. Looking back it’s hard to believe that a kid so little was able to push my buttons at such an early age, or was it I already had buttons that could be pushed being so young? Not sure…but when my brother had a tantrum he would shake all over, his eyes would get as wide as saucers, and he’d ball up in fists up in rage and yell “BULL POWER”!! And I knew we were all in trouble. Although he was a little guy, he was as strong as an ox; I was actually frightened of him when he went into to this state of anger. Once, when he was a toddler, he dragged me across the kitchen floor by the head of my hair…. this is the kind of strength I’m talking about.

Anyway, one day after school I was ordering him to clean his room before mom got home from work. He argued of course, but I didn’t let up; I kept on him so he could help with out with the other chores. It ended up getting into a you’re not the boss of me, you can’t make me, I’m telling mom and then he spat at me, so I slapped him in the head. He immediately pushed me out of his room and I landed on my ass and the battle began. I went back into his room and tore all the blankets off his bed, he followed suit, ran into my room and did the same to my bed. I stormed back into his room in and knocked everything off his dresser, he did the same to mine. I went back at it by tearing off a corner off his favorite poster and he went back by tearing ALL my posters into shreds. “That’s it”!! I screeched at him “this is war”!! Suddenly I started to grin because I knew I was gonna win this one….I thought to myself, you want to play dirty you fucker I’m gonna trash what’s most important to you, your model cars. But the very moment I stomped his favorite 1964 GTO model he spent hours on into a pile of painted plastic, he lost it. His face got all red, his fist clenched at his side, the shaking started and when the BULL POWER horn sounded off, I went running!! SHIT!!! I flew up those stairs as fast as my legs would take me cause I knew if he caught me, I was gonna get the shit kicked outta me!! I ran into the coat closet (it was a walk in) and held on to the door handle for dear life. My heart was racing with anxiety and fear; “shit, shit, shit, I pushed him too far, shit, I’m going to die” I kept repeating over and over. He was screaming in fury and I was screaming in terror as my arms started to tire protecting myself from him in the coat closet. I even went as far as propping my feet on either side of the door, still hanging on with all every ounce of strength I could muster, sweat pouring off my face. Thankfully, mom came home and my life was spared. Needless to say, she was pissed when she saw our bedrooms trashed and no housework was done. I didn’t care, I got to live another day.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 4 Just the facts

At 4pm this past Friday, I was asked if I’d fly to Maryland and help open a new casino and I agreed. As of Monday afternoon, after training the new staff all morning, I still didn’t know where I was sleeping that night. Finally around 5pm, I was given directions to the motel I’d be living in for the week. I was told there was a pool and a Jacuzzi and that the rooms were nice and clean. Apparently these people were talking about the new Comfort Inn that had been recently built within the past couple years or on crack because when I opened the door to my room, I nearly screamed. Everything from the bedspread to the bathroom was disgusting; needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep.

Same story fancied up

Last Friday, my boss called me in the office to see if I’d like to go help out at one of our sister properties and train some of the new slot attendants on the ACSC system. Obviously I was excited and agreed immediately. I got my travel arrangements on Saturday and began packing for my adventure. I flew into Philadelphia and rented a car from Enterprise for the week. I drove straight to the casino in Perryville before even checking in at the hotel, so I could begin training immediately. When the work day was over, I entered directions to the Comfort Inn off exit 100 into the GPS unit and set out. Upon my arrival, I grabbed my bags and headed to the front desk. I handed over my credit card, got checked in, was given my room key and started looking for the elevator, there wasn’t one. This is strange I thought to myself, so I dragged my luggage up the stairs to my room and was I ever surprised. First impressions can be deceiving as I soon found out, because once I got looking around the room, my heart sank. Ever heard of the expression “lipstick on a pig”, well this was a prime example of that ole’ saying.

Same story off the leash

Late last week, at the drop of a hat, I was asked if I’d go save the day in Perryville, one of Penn’s new casinos and do some last minute training. Of course I said let me think about it and started pondering as to whether or not I should go. After much deliberation and umpteen phone calls, I got everything organized for me to comfortably leave town for a few days. I had an uneventful flight on the company jet; rented a new red sports car and headed toward Perryville to do some training. The weather was perfect and the staff was receptive; nothing could have ruined my day, nothing…until I drove to the hotel. Not only was the front desk person surly, I didn’t speak the language and the room I was given was atrocious! First thing I noticed was the stains on the bedspread, pubic hairs in the tub, phone and mini fridge didn’t work, and the adjoining room doors have any locks on them!!! When I asked for a new room, I was told there were none available and when I asked to have someone come and clean my tub, he said he’s send someone right up (he never did) The first night in my room, I ended up barricading the adjoining room door with the coffee table and chair. I set the coffee table on its side and slid the legs behind the entertainment center and set the chair in front of it. I tried sleeping with one eye open but my ears were so attuned to every little sound; getting any rest that night was out of the question. The next morning after no sleep and a much needed shower (I cleaned the tub with shampoo myself) no sooner did I find out the coffee maker had moldy stuff growing in the water reservoir and the freakin’ blow dryer didn’t work! I could foresee this was gonna be the week from hell.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

week 3 theme setting and dialogue

The scene takes place in the laboratory at EMMC; I’m the new girl in training with Wendy, a long time phlebotomist and employee of the hospital. I’d already done a few random blood draws in the lab, but today, I’m learning to how properly fill my tray and read the reports for draws on the inpatients located on the various floors. My trainer, Wendy seems vaguely familiar to me but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I don’t mention anything so I can give myself a little more time to figure it out.

“So Wendy, how long have you been a phlebotomist”? I questioned her as we were leaving the lab with our filled phlebotomy trays heading toward the employee elevators.
“Oh, I’d say about 10 years or so, give or take” Wendy replied “and I’ve loved every minute of it”. She continued on by saying “I have met some pretty incredible people over the years, but there’s one patient in particular I’ll never forget; she stole my heart” as she pushed the button for the 4th floor.

“Stole your heart”? I asked while stepping into the elevator with her “what do you mean”?

Wendy began her story with “A few years back, I met this elderly woman in ICU while on one of my runs”. “Even though she was in severe pain, she never complained about anything, even if I had to wake her at 4am for her blood draw”. She went on by saying, “Each morning when I went to her room to rouse her and take her blood, I would apologize to her first thing”.
She would always reply “Oh honey, it’s ok; you’re just doing your job, dear” and give me this big smile with her eyes just a twinkling. Wendy went on…“She had the face of an angel and a heart of gold”.

“I just couldn’t believe how someone in so much pain could be so kind each and every time I drew her blood”! Wendy exclaimed. “I was so relieved when she was finally placed into a private room on the 3rd floor” she concluded. “Actually, it was kind of ironic, because I had asked my supervisor if I could continue on with this patient and she had requested the same”! Wendy said with astonishment in her voice.

“Seriously Wendy”? I questioned “Do they even allow that”? As we stepped off the elevator heading to the nurses’ station to check our patients charts.

“They did in this case” Wendy bluntly said, “and I feel privileged to have known this incredible woman”. “I loved to listen to her stories about her family and her grandchildren” she continued, “there was some kind of innocence to this woman, I don’t believe she had a mean bone in her body” Wendy stated as she flipped through our first patients medical chart.

I cut in and asked “Wendy, do you still keep in touch with her”?

Wendy’s expression changed as she hung her head and quietly said “Oh, no, she passed away shortly after she was moved to her private room” as she closed the chart.

“I am so sorry to hear that” I expressed with compassion “what was wrong with her, I mean, what was her diagnoses…..was she in a car accident or something”?

Wendy looked up at me “no, it wasn’t an accident, she was full of cancer” she confirmed. “Apparently she didn’t like doctors and was sick for a very long time but wouldn’t tell anyone”. “Eventually, she broke down and told one of her daughters in which she immediately brought her in to be checked.” Wendy let out a big sigh and continued “when the doctors did the exploratory surgery, she was so full of cancer; it spread sepsis throughout her body, which is why she spent so much time in ICU”. “They had to close her up and let nature take its course, it was too late” Wendy stated in a matter of fact tone.

For some reason, the words that Wendy just spoke struck a chord and stopped me suddenly in my tracks. “How long ago did you say this was”? I knew my eyes were wide with intent while I waited for her reply.

But it was like she didn’t hear me ask her the question and she continued on “I’ll never forget her stories” as Wendy’s face softened while she spoke “her voice was so gentle and whenever she expressed her thoughts of someone who was dear to her, she would always say that she loveded them, not loved them but loveded them”. “She was just so….genuine, so innocent” Wendy said as her face brightened with a smile.

My heart started pounding as the epiphany grew stronger, my voice on the brink of quivering “Wendy, what did you say her name was”? I already knew the answer and remembered why Wendy was so familiar to me at that very moment.

She spoke her name like it was her own; “Theresa” Wendy said “Theresa Veillette” as she looked in my eyes and saw the onset of emotion.

“She was my grandmother” I whispered as the tears ran down my cheeks.

She immediately grabbed me and gave me a big hug, “Oh my God, I can’t believe it”! “Your grandmother was the sweetest person on the planet”! “I loved her so much”! Wendy cried out. “I’m so sorry”!

“It’s ok, really, I’m fine” as I struggled for words. “My grandmother led a wonderful life; she not only made my world a happier place but she touched so many others as well. With mixed emotion I explained “I think these are tears of happiness, I’m just so overjoyed to hear she affected your heart in that way, too”! I exclaimed. “Just this morning I was trying to remember where I knew you and it was here of course”! I continued. “But you look so different”.

Wendy explained “I’ve lost aver 60 lbs and I’m much healthier and happier than ever before”. “Your grandmother taught me a valuable lesson about my health and well being” she went on “She made me promise I would take care of myself and I have, I never break promises” Wendy stated with a warmness in her tone. “She was an angel sent from heaven”.

Wendy and I have remained friends over the years. We’ve laughed, cried and reminisced my grandmother’s final days and the impact she made on so many lives in her short time with us here on earth.

Theresa Mary Veillette (1926-1988)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

day 2 theme week 2

My first year of high school was a blur for me between the move, making new friends, and trying to fit in. I can tell ya an easy way to make quick enemies, though. Once during a football game, I was sitting with my “new school friends” and made a spectacle of myself when the opposing team got a goal! I thought I was going to be tossed right over the side of the bleachers!! Hey, it was for my old Brewer team!! What was a girl to do???I was jumping up and down amongst my Bucksport friends, hooting and hollering, “Hurray I’m for the other team!” making dog noises, woo-woo-woo, with my arm flailing around in a circle (like Julia Roberts did in the movie Pretty Woman when she was at the horse race) All I can say is I must have stopped in a respectable amount of time, cause I didn’t get tossed over the bleachers. I must have been out of my skull that night, or just basically didn’t give a shit.

I took drivers ed and got my permit first time around; the teacher ironically was the football coach (go figure) So here was the start of another new chapter in my life. My first car was a 1969 Buick skylark and it was the bomb! I bought it off my very first boyfriend (the older boy I got into all the trouble with) Tell you what, in high school, there’s nothing better in life than NOT ever having to ride the bus again, or so I thought. I was young and broke, and soon learned cars don’t go too far without maintenance, and this old Buick liked transmission fluid, about quart a week. Apparently brake fluid is another popular liquid with these old cars, too as I found out the hard way, literally.

There were three of us crammed into the front seat of the Buick, drinking, partying and singing to the blaring radio. Just as I crested the hill, I could see the train going across the tracks at the bottom and a little maverick car was stopped right in front of the railroad crossing. I stomped on the break petal and nothing happened!! I was not slowing down one bit and was heading directly for that maverick!! Maybe it was the whiskey, maybe it was the wet road, or maybe it was the lack of breaks, but all I remember is heading right into the back of that little maverick. SMASH, I hit that car with so much force it sent it squealing ahead, almost a full car length and mere inches from that moving train. Thankfully, no one was hurt; the vehicles on the other hand, totaled. When the wrecker put my car on the hoist, the cross member was broken and the engine practically fell out onto the ground. And as I watched the tow truck take away my Buick, all I could think of was I'm gonna have to ride that damn bus again!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

theme week 2

Hormones a raging, attitude in the toilet, cigarette smoking punk; yup, that was me. Not sure where the balls came from but it was almost like hitting a light switch, it was instantaneously, over night, I went from a goody two shoes to a confused, disrespectful and out of control teen. I remember back then, everyone blamed it on the school, on the friends or associates I ran with, but now, being a mother myself, it isn’t everyone else’s fault; we all make our own choices and we all have to pay the consequences.

It was the summer between leaving 8th grade and going into high school. I was thirteen going on 30 ( so I thought) Somehow, my best friend and I got hooked up with some much older guys from the neighborhood, guys that were not the kind you bring home to momma. One thing led to another, and before I knew it I had a police record. What the hell happened to the choir signing church girl from before, where did she go?

Drinking and driving, smoking things I shouldn’t, hanging with the big boys, sneaking out of my mom’s house, partying in the basement while they were home! I thought to myself, man this is fun, look at all I’ve been missing over the years….I was only 14! What the hell!!I figured I busted my ass during my younger teen years, I deserved to go wild. I had to do all the babysitting for my siblings, do all the housework, cooking; it was my turn for some excitement.

The cops showed up at the door of my mother’s house for the last time and my step dad was pissed. “What’d she do this time?” he asked the 2 officers interrogating me in the kitchen. This time was a B&E at a camp on Holden Pond. It wasn’t my idea!! I was going along with the older guys, trying to be cool. Well, one of the older guys left this wallet behind and ratted the rest of us out. If my memory serves me, my step dad basically threw me out of the house that night. I had to call my dad to ask if I could live with him, and he wasn’t home, of course. I had to speak with my stepmother and she was the one to come and pick me up that night. The year was 1978.

While Jimmy Carter was the president and serial killer Ted Bundy is captured in Florida, I was packing up a bag of clothes and heading to Bucksport. Northeastern United States blizzard kills over 100 with $520 million in damages, and I have to change schools and leave all my friends behind. American porn publisher Larry Flint is shot and paralyzed, while the Pope John Paul 1 dies after only 33 days in the papacy, and I hate life more than ever. Vietnam attacks Cambodia, Jonestown murder-suicide claims 918 lives, while 2 million demonstrate against Shah in Iran and I inform my dad I’m quitting high school, “Not while you’re living under my roof” he demands and we proceed to the guidance counselor’s office to get the paperwork started.

So while the Cold War is still ongoing and the band the Cars is blaring “let the good times roll” over the radio waves, I prop my feet upon the guidance counselors desk with my dad sitting in the chair next to me, and exclaim, “I’m not going to this fucking ignorant school!!!!” They just shook their heads, and said, this one is going to be a challenge.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Ahhhh, Saturday morning, all rainy and wet and no work for me! As you can see by the time stamp on my journal entry I slept in…REALLY slept in. I got that “second wind” last night after working all day and went out with the young girls to celebrate a couple birthdays. I’m glad I went, its fun to see how bad girls can be in their thirties (snicker) I remember those days too, except mine started much earlier in life. We all met at the Sea Dog and eventually did the downtown crawl as they put it. But no worries, I didn’t drive intoxicated (never will do that again) that’s another story

So yesterday was a busy day at work, wow, I mean super busy (and I’m not going to bitch about it) I was more thinking the day was kind of like energized maybe from the storm, if that makes any sense?? It was amazing to see how long my pass-on log (what got done and didn’t get done log) was for the next manager. Holy crap, it nearly filled the whole page! I love it when it’s a good busy, a productive busy. It’s easy to leave work smiling knowing you got a bunch of stuff accomplished throughout the day. Plus, my boss accepted my objectives for the engagement piece I’ve been working on this week. That was a huge relief. I was also able to revise some of the policy and procedures for the department, started a couple evaluations, made it to a couple meetings, and signed up to do the 5K Susan Komen walk on the 19th. For obvious reasons, every employee I ran into, I hit them up for pledge money for the cure. The company is matching up to $1000.00 which makes me proud to be a part of it all. I only needed a minimum of $75.00 for my portion and I’m way over that already.

I think I’m going to see if my daughter and grandson would like to take a ride to Pittsfield and visit my mom for a couple hours. There is also an antique shop I want to check out while I’m down there. I’ve been looking for an old coat tree to put by the front door, and mum tells me there’s a beautiful one down by her. Other than that, it’s going to be a day of rest and relaxation; maybe I’ll grab a couple movies, pick up a pizza and lounge around for the rest of the day. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get another second wind?? We’ll have to wait and what tomorrows entry brings. 

autobiography 3rd person

She was excited about getting her paper turned in, anxiously waiting for the reply from her teacher. She knew this was a good essay, one of her better ones, and she though the teacher would enjoy reading it, too. She thought to herself, why can’t I write like this all the time? What will it take for me to be able to write like this every time? While she waited for her grade, it was almost like the teacher was reading her mind at that very moment; he replied almost immediately and said, just open your eyes and your mind and write.

She remembers back to the years she was in high school and the writing she did then. Her writing was as dark and depressed as she was. Why was this girl so angry and bitter with life? Whatever could have happened to her that was so bad, she spend most of her teenage years getting high and trying to forget the world existed. She obviously had pain, pain you could see in her eyes and in her body language. She always walked with her head down, averting the eyes of others, but she was afraid of nothing. She thought she was strong, yet she was very weak. She thought she was homely, but she was pretty. She thought she was stupid, but she was smart. She thought so little of her own life; she tried taking it a couple times to stop the pain. She was from a good family, loved beyond love and never abused. She was brought to be a good Christian….whatever happened?

Maybe this semester, she’ll be able to dig these memories out of her archives. Just maybe for once in her life she’ll be able to better understand those years of anguish she endured and put them on paper and put them to rest.

My, have things changed in her life.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I’d like to start out saying I slept like a log, those Tylenol pm’s work like a charm. When I got home from work last night, Tim had cleaned the house (finally) so I don’t have to spend my weekend doing housework. YAY! And that report I was working on for employee engagement is done, finished it yesterday (meet with the boss man this morning to go over it) so this is looking like really good start for my weekend; weather is gorgeous, it’s pay day what more could a girl ask for!

I ordered school books from an online sight for once in my life and I hope I picked the right sight. I’ve ordered very few things over the internet; I’m just not so comfortable having my credit card information out there for hackers to have their way with. A few months back, I ordered from overstock .com and had really good results not only from the product (cabinet handle pulls) but the price was right and the customer service was bar none. For those who know me, I’m a stickler when it comes to good customer service, and when I don’t get it, people hear about it.

I’ve had hurricane Earl on my mind these past few days; it concerns me, especially when it comes to patrons and employees in the building. We’ve been over our evacuation plans numerous times, but sometimes in the excitement/terror of it all, mistakes can happen and they can be costly. I’ve been reassured it’s fizzling out and it will not bring too high of winds here in Maine, but I still feel for all the others going through its destruction. My guess is after hanging out with the guys (from New Orleans) over the past weekend (folk fest) I have a much better understanding of the devastation of Katrina. Yes, I watched the horrific news clips and read about it in the newspapers but to hear the stories straight from the mouths of those who survived that hurricane; it’s heartbreaking.

I’ve been invited out to hang “with the girls” tonight and do the bar hopping thing. I’m flattered these young ladies never give up on asking me to go out with them, but after a long work week I am SPENT by Friday. Not saying I don’t ever get a second wind, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the day brings and what gets written in my journal tomorrow!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

autobiography second person

You sit at that laptop acting like you know what you’re doing. Fingers pounding away at the keyboard making clickity- clackity noises which sounds like you are typing a hundred a hundred miles an hour. But in all actuality, most of the words are underlined in red because they’re spelled wrong! You are going as fast as you can because you know the man wants the report. Maybe you ought to take another keyboarding class; maybe that will make you go even faster.
Here comes the man wanting the report. You keep telling him he will get the report when it’s due yet the man continues to ask, “is it done, is it done yet, are you done yet”, like a child in the backset of a car asking “are we there yet, are we there yet” Patience runs thin and for a fleeting moment, very bad things cross your mind. But instead, you lift your head, smile at the man and say yes, it is nearly done; you will have it by day’s end. The man who wants the report leaves the room; you exhale a huge sigh of relief and remember the days of riding in the backseat of your parent’s car, wishing you were there.

writer autobiography first person

It has been a very long time, way before last semester anyway, that I’ve written anything. Not that I ever really wrote anything per se but I did dabble with a few spiral note books and a pencil during my high school years. I remember reading through them in my mid twenties and thought to myself, wow, was I ever messed up. I was a very frustrated teen; anger and depression haunted me for years. There was a lot of shit going on in my head back then; in it, too. And the writing I did in those notebooks expressed those emotions. To this day I couldn’t tell you why I was so angry but, that’s history. I’m not that person any more. I’ve learned not to dwell on the past; I am very happy and have way moved on from that period of my life. I think I may have actually thrown those journals out after reading them, just in case my daughter ever found them. Kind of ironic, because she did end up writing those kinds of journals but that topic is for another day.
I’m thinking out loud while I type because I want to figure out what kind of writer I am, too. I don’t think I’m a fantastic writer (yet) but I do OK. I believe I would enjoy writing more if I had more time in my day, though. Writing under pressure will/has shut my brain down periodically, especially when I’m pressed for time. It is no fun having to write like that, under those circumstances. I’ve prepared myself and have designated “my writing time” so I can sit back and enjoy what I’m doing/writing and not get stressed out because of time constraints.
I’m quite pleased to be fortunate enough to have had a story published in the Eyrie last semester and I’d like to try for another, and if anyone is going to get me there, John, it will be you…you and me.


Happy Thursday…YAY hump day is over and I’m nearing the finish line of my work week! Too bad for me though, I only got about 4 hours sleep last night. Funny how that works…I guess getting 9 hours the night before my body is saying HAHA, only 4 4 U in this deep almost sumo wrestler kind of voice. That’s kind of how I feel at the moment, too, like a sumo wrestler; maybe it was the chicken casadea I inhaled last night before I went to Ethics class? Or the few Peroni’s I drank after class? One thing’s for sure, I’m not skipping breakfast and lunch again to inhale a greasy chicken casadea in 5 minutes. What the hell was I thinking? Then, when I get to the college for Ethics class, I swear it must have been 100 degrees in that class room and it was on the bottom floor! I can’t complain though, because I was sitting right in front of the fan.  And although it was blowing hot air around, it was at least drying up the sweat that kept pouring down my face. The professor seems pretty cool,too and he has a full class to boot. It ought to make for a very interesting semster and I‘ve decided, this isn’t going to be so bad after all. Ethics was a wise choice; it will be good for me to smooth out my critical thinking skills so I can take the steak knives out of my incentive program!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

9/1/10 journal

First cup of coffee, birds are chirping, crows are conversing, and I actually feel kind of rested for the first time in a week or so. I went to bed at 9pm last night; been a long time since I crashed that early! I didn’t even have any dreams last night. Today will be a long day though, and I keep trying to tell myself to not think of it that way. I need to focus on the end result of taking classes, the day I earn my degree.

I’ve had a digital camera for a few years and the quality really isn’t there anymore, pictures just aren’t coming out like I’d expect. A couple months back I purchased a home theatre system from best buy and you can sign up for a free rewards card and earn points with your purchases. Well, as of today, I still cannot get into the web site to download my points. Apparently, I was accidentally signed up for two separate member id’s. You’d think this would be an easy fix, merge the accounts, or delete one, whatever. I guess one of the accounts had the purchases on it, the other was the one I actually went on line and set up with all my security questions, passwords, etc…. so here it is nearly 2 months later and these people at reward zone still haven’t been able to figure this mess out. I have seriously have spoken to 25 people over the phone and have countless emails from these guys. I’m beginning to think they are just messing with me because the guy I spoke to yesterday to ask why I haven’t received email verification, sent one while we were on the phone and he spelled my name/email address wrong and then we mysteriously got disconnected…how ironic.
Anyway, I’m getting off track; I was talking about buying a new camera….. I’ve known for a while (ever since the baby was born) I wanted/needed a new camera and for obvious reasons I also wanted to be able to use my rewards points toward the purchase of a new camera considering I’m well over $100 in certificates (due to my purchases and the incompetence) and from all these reps throwing down more points each time I call to find out when I can use them. Friday night at the folk fest I brought my old digital camera and what perfect timing, the camera (after giving it new batteries) decided to shit the bed. Yup, camera-less at the folk fest while I’m hanging with the bands and being introduced to tons of new people, I was so bummed, I felt like an idiot participating in something so spectacular without a camera! Thankfully I saw some friends there and they didn’t mind taking some shots for me. Sigh…...

Well, I do have a good ending to my story; when I got home from work last night, Tim (my significant other) went and bought me a new camera yesterday! YAY! Seems really nice and it look easy for me to use anyway. So now that I have my new camera, if and when I ever get my reward points, I think I’ll invest in a new wireless printer….hmmmmm one can dream can’t they?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8/31/10 journal

I know I said I wanted to write in my journal first thing in the morning but I got up too late to accomplish the task today. I also said I didn’t want to write a bitch fest about the office but today really wasn’t bad for being my Monday. So, let me see what I can pull out of the brain at 8pm on a Tuesday after a 10 hour day………..
I’ve been working on a project that was handed to me just about the time I went on vacation in mid August. My boss wants to see how much I know about the analysis reports, how the machines are doing on the floor, etc….I reminded him before I left on vacation I wouldn’t have as much time as the other managers to get this done and he basically gave me the violin scenario and said ya, whatever. Anyway, I am happy to write that I did in fact get my report finished with graphs and pie charts and really nice recommendations as to my interpretation of the assignment; and it was in on time! YAY! It was good to get the brain going before school started again so I’m very happy that is off my plate. I do, however, have another pretty cool assignment coming up as well that involves the staff and their engagement scores. I know the importance of keeping the staff happy and committed; they need to feel like part of the team. So, I have my thinking cap on trying to come up with different incentive programs I can implement to get the staff motivated to a higher level. All in a day’s work.

Back to my vacation….My sister, her husband and two kids flew in from Florida for a week in Maine. It’s hard to believe how fast a week can slip through your fingers. Every day was jammed packed of festivities (and the weather was beautiful) did a pile of day trips, ate out at all their favorite restaurants, made it to the coast and saw tons of family. I needed a vacation from my vacation to recuperate! I was thankful they rented a car this time for their flight was out of Portland. Kind of puts a damper on the last day of vacation if you’re the chosen one to have the drive 4 or 5 hour round trip to get them to their destination. I remember the last time they vacationed here they missed their flight and they were flying right out of Bangor! We’ll save those vacation memories for another story.

One of our day trips/family visits was with my dad which was cool because my new grandson joined us. It was the first time dad had seen the baby since he was born and we were able to get some awesome pictures (4th generation)Speaking of pictures, my grandfather (mothers side)is 100 years old and is coming up from Massachusetts in September for a week. The plan is to get a professional photographer to get 5th generation pictures during his visit. I’m in hopes to get it published in the Bangor Daily, too. It’s pretty rare these days to have the opportunity to get 5 generations into one photo without doing some cropping.

Tomorrow is a new day, work schedule looks fairly mild, thankfully; I’m starting my first on campus class after work on Wednesday nights so I’m pumped. Lots of coffee and an open mind. I’ve got to do some laundry, see you in the morning, hopefully.

Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30/10 journal

Monday morning, 10am…still feeling the exhaustion from a long weekend at the folk festival. I’m torn between exhilaration and irritation. Part of me is still pumped from volunteering as an “artist buddy” for the Dr. Michael White quartet and getting the opportunity to meet numerous musicians from many counties over the world yet I come home to disorder and messiness. Sink full of dishes, cat box not cleaned out, laundry strewn, dust balls, dirty floors and sigh…….just plain ole housework apparently saved up for me to do in my spare time. Spare time, HA, what a joke…. am trying very hard to not let this get me down because I don’t want to spoil the high I’ve had since Friday night but really, where is it written that it’s the woman’s job to do all the housework? I mean, seriously, my significant other is retired, knows I work an extremely busy schedule, was gone all weekend and with school starting this week, do you think he would have stepped-up to the plate to help out, obviously not. Maybe I wouldn’t mind so much if I wasn’t living in my new home I’ve waited years to move into, it just seems a shame to see the beautiful hardwood floors dusty and dirty and the deep stainless sink full of dishes and the granite countertops congested with crap. Anyway, like I said I’m not gonna let this bum me out, it will be there when I get to it, right? (I just pray I don’t have any unexpected guests!)
So, I get a call while on vacation a couple weeks back from a woman that works with me and she asks if I’d be interested in volunteering for a really cool gig for the festival. I have to admit, I hesitated only because I know how short and precious any spare time is for me. I’m a new grandmother and love to spend as much time possible with my grandson while letting my daughter get a quick break every once in a while. In the same breath, I’ve been thinking about getting more involved in the community so I took her up on the offer. We met last Wednesday for everyone to meet and greet and to get our assignments. Some of these volunteers have been doing this since year one and after my one weekend, I’ve been asking myself, where the hell have I been all these years? Not only was this an eye opener as far as the incredible amount of support this American Folk Festival gets from the volunteers but how smoothly and how much is involved in getting the show on the road. Thursday night was the sponsor party down at the waterfront. It was a great opportunity for me to meet the people/businesses that donate to keep this festival alive for Bangor. Friday, I was able to double up with another “artist buddy” to learn the ropes, so to speak. Her band was The Other Europeans Band with 14 or 15 members and they were amazing! Only a few band members are from the US, most were from many different countries across Europe. There is nothing like being behind the scenes, on the stage watching a performance so close you can almost touch them. Then when the show is over, to have the opportunity to break bread with them, converse with them, and hear their stories. All I can say is “wow” because words can’t quite describe it.
Since this past weekend, and during this past hour writing my thoughts down, I can now see this was the beginning of a new chapter in my life; I have turned the page and I’m ready to move ahead. I’m not going to let a dirty house bring me down, I’m going to embrace it and be thankful I have a house. I’m going to cherish the time I had with all the new friends I made and look forward to next year when I can do it all over again.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

graf 11

Wow, wow, wow…I have to say I’m relieved yet a bit sad that class is over. It has been quite a learning experience for me going back to school after all these years and it did take some time for my mind to get back into the swing of things. I had my boyfriend read my last essay tonight, my final and he was impressed, not because it was all that good (my words not his), but it was more the “structure” of the essay. Hearing him say that to me made it all worthwhile and John, that’s what you were teaching us; how to write particular styles of essays. He actually said he could follow the process of what I was explaining and he especially liked the final paragraph, how it tied the story together. Looks like I learned something this semester! 
I will admit taking classes while working full time is for crazy people, but I’m driven and plan to do whatever it takes to get my degree and I’m very excited I’ve chosen this college to begin my journey. The class was well worth the money, you are a true teacher and I’m very happy with my results of what I learned over these past few months. As far as changes, I could only wish at times, there was less homework, but this could be because I was so unaccustomed to doing homework, not sure?? I enjoyed some of the writing yet struggled through other times especially during re-writes. There were times I wanted to scream, but walking away and taking a breather once in a while seemed to help get me through it. I was looking at the big picture, the end result, and knew I wanted to have a great grade in the end to not only prove to myself but for those who may have thought I couldn’t do it. I don’t have any suggestions for changes at this time, your site was very self explanatory and easy to follow. I don’t recall running into anything I couldn’t understand as to what you were requesting me to do. Maybe I’ll take another class with you before my 2 years is up? We’ll see……
Part 2
Well, my mind is going back to the beginning of class and it seems like I can remember everything I’ve written considering it was all nonfiction. Some stories made me smile while others brought back painful memories as I was typing. Some came to me and I couldn’t type them fast enough while others had me on stall at the keyboard for hours on end. As sickening as it may sound, the one I did about the worst teacher literally made my hair stand up on my arms. I scared myself while writing that piece and could have sworn I heard the screams in my head like I was right there all over again……And to think I was so afraid I wouldn’t have anything to write for that particular essay because I truly couldn’t remember a teacher I didn’t like! I liked them all!!I must have had that particular school year buried way deep down and I recall freaking out because the essay was due in a day or so and I had nothing. Seriously, my heart was racing by the time I got near the end of that story. Very strange feeling…..
I loved the one about my person; my grandmother; the disaster one was another piece that flowed, I didn’t have to change anything, and it just flowed out, without hesitation. I liked them all, every story was a part of me, whether positive or negative and my writing because of this class has enabled me to capture a trip down memory lane, something I haven’t taken the time to do in a very long time. So it’s been all good as far as I’m concerned. Thank you for the class, thank you for teaching me and thank you for the memories.

Friday, April 30, 2010

comparison essay revised

After working in the casino business for a few years, I’ve come to find how much the slot machines compare to my boyfriend. They’re equally amusing and fun to play with; they’re both very complex in their makeup and each one of them can either make or break me as far as money is concerned.

While the slot machines have all their bright lights and interactive play with bonuses and free spins, my boyfriend is just as fun and entertaining. Although I don’t have to put money in him to get him to engage in recreation, he still makes me happy and leaves me with a smile. He has such a dry sense of humor so I love when he tries to get a rise out of me by walking around the kitchen with his pants cranked up under his arm pits like Steve Urkle. It’s hysterical because he’s 6’3”and it’s so out of character for him to do stuff like this, but he knows I get a kick out if it, so he does it anyway. In fact, he’ll do anything to get a smile out of me.

The slot machines and my boyfriend are equally difficult to analyze with the considerable amount of parts that make them up. Both of them are very complex in nature because you never know what kind of reaction or behavior you’ll get from either of them on any given day. My boyfriend has a big heart and is very kind but he is also super smart and kind of eccentric. He’s the guy that observes and doesn’t say too much unless it’s about politics…..don’t get me started! You’d think with his long hair, beard and motorcycle, he’d be cussing and fighting when in all actuality, he’s very laid back and reserved until someone pisses him off. He can hold a grudge for a very, very long time.

If I allowed it, the slot machine, like my boyfriend could take me to the cleaners. I need to be careful and responsible when it comes to how much I’m going to give so I can control my bank roll. My boyfriend would give me the world if he could; he is always trying to do nice things for me. I have found out over the years, he’s a bit more of a spend-thrift than I am. His philosophy is you can’t take it with you…which makes me crazy. Unintentionally, he’s kind of sapped me out of funds during the remodel but I guess I allowed it to happen. On a positive note, the house will make me so it’s ok I went for broke in this particular case.

I’ve found the similarities between my boyfriend and the slot machines uncanny but it’s my boyfriend that wins me over every time. Although he’s a complicated guy, he means well and will protect me with his life. Along with the Urkle pants and the “kitty cat talking voice” he uses while chatting with our cats, I couldn’t ask for a more fun loving guy.

comparison essay

After working in the casino business for a few years, I’ve come to find how much the slot machines compare to my boyfriend. They’re equally amusing and fun to play with; they’re both very complex in their makeup and each one of them can either make or break you money wise.

While the slot machines have all their bright lights and interactive play with bonuses and free spins, my boyfriend is just as fun and entertaining. Although I don’t have to put money in him to get him to engage in recreation, he still makes me happy and leaves me with a smile.

The slot machines and my boyfriend are equally difficult to analyze with the considerable amount of parts that make them up. Both of them are very complex in nature because you never know what kind of reaction or behavior you’ll get from either of them on any given day.

If I allowed it, the slot machine, like my boyfriend could take me to the cleaners. I need to be careful and responsible when it comes to how much I’m going to give so I can control my bank roll.

I’ve found the similarities between my boyfriend and the slot machines uncanny but it’s my boyfriend that wins me over every time.