Monday, December 14, 2009


Journal Day Five

Well, I’m down to an A+P paper and a few more journal entries and this semester is over. I survived it but more importantly I learned from it. As I sit here writing this journal entry, instead of dreaming about what else I could be doing, I’m reflecting over what I’ve done. I have done lab work that gave me a different perspective on parts of my job. I have been introduced to some fantastic literature that I would have never discovered on my own and I’ve had a chance to engage in some fantastic lit discussions with interesting people who opened my eyes to many different points of view. Oh and write, boy have I written! For Eng 162, I’ve done 75 different writings (not counting the dreaded rewrites) and for Eng 112 I’ve done 100 postings on stories on poems, plus 4 critical essays. A+P Lab was easy in the writing department, only had to do three papers for that one. Next semester only involves 2 papers, and I thought I would be happy about that, but now that it is ending I find I’m going to miss the writing. I’ve been whiny about it, I’ve struggled with it, and I don’t think the backspace or delete buttins on my computer will ever recover, but I’ve realized it gives me great satisfaction. I check both 162 and 112 daily to see if there is anything new, a post I need to answer, or an essay I need to rewrite. I’m not sure figuring algebra equations is going to give me the same satisfaction that reading what others think of my thoughts and opinions does. Oh well, the end is almost here, and instead of being euphoric about it, I’m rather sad.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


You Really Expect Me To Believe That!?
AKA: Top Ten Excuses Heard in EMS 123

“I must have gotten the wrong syllabus, mine didn’t say we were having an exam this week.” (Unfortunately, it got thrown away.)
“I’ve been in shock for a week, I can’t make it to class this week.” (Must have forgotten I’m an EMS instructor.)
“I don’t think I can take the test today, I only slept an hour last night, had a bachelor party for my roommate.” (Yeh well, suck it up, I’ve worked the last 3 days and nights, welcome to the world of EMS.)
“My workbook is in a hotel in Massachusetts, but I can drive down after class and get it and pass it in tomorrow morning.” (Why don’t you have them send it and bring me the postmarked envelope, it would be much more believable.)
“I can’t do that. I haven’t been near a strange pair since 1972 and my wife would kill me.” (Try telling that to your patient who needs to be put in a KED, and you’ll get a real life experience with Joe Bornstein.)
“I don’t think I’ll be able to get to class by 9:00, I’m not really a morning person.” (Did you notice we offered three other classes that started at 6:00 PM!)
“I can’t read the chapters on Trauma; the pictures are too gory.” (You did realize you were signing up for EMS 123, right?)
“I got in the parking lot and realized I forgot my bra, I need to go home for the day.” (Wonder what that outline was on her back as she was walking out of the room? Pretty damn original though.)
“My dog crapped on my homework.” (Guess it’s better than my dog ate my homework, and no I have no desire to see the original.)
“My clinical at Capital went way over, so I’m too tired to be in class today.” (My personal favorite; as I work from 7 pm to 7 am at Capital, and the student WAS NOT there when I got to work the night before. Maybe choosing another service to fib about would have been a little smarter.)

So future students if you plan on taking my classes, please stay away from these excuses. I didn’t buy them then, I won’t buy them now, and they won’t make me laugh the second time around.

Journal Day Four

I have been so busy, that my journal has suffered. The good news is that my list is almost finished. I’m down to one juxtaposition essay (though it’s almost finished), two lit posting comments (but no one has posted yet, so there’s nothing there for me to comment on, going to be really pissed if I have to stay up till midnight waiting), my critical essay for lit (in the work), and my A+P research paper (research done; just need to put it to paper). Still have 2 more classes to teach this week and 5 nights to work, but that’s okay. So tonight, I’m settled in listening to the rain, happy with what I have accomplished and not overly stressed about what I have left to do. Still dreaming about what I’d rather be doing though. As I sit here listening to the rain, I can picture a cabin on a lake. The rain would be okay. But the temperature needs to be at least 40 to 50 degrees warmer. A small fire in the fireplace, a collection of romantic comedies to while the night away with and cold Woodchuck Hard Cider in my hand. No clocks, no calendars, no commitments. I wouldn’t want it to last forever but at least long enough to be truly relaxed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Journal Day Three

Journal Day Three

What a miserable miserable day! Even the storm couldn’t cooperate, it couldn’t start early enough to get a snow day, but oh no we had to get out just long enough so that I could get side swiped on the way home by someone trying to pass on the right, none the less, what were they thinking? Not hurt and minimal damage is the up side. Then I get to drive all night in this miserable crap, I’m sure someone will need an ambulance somewhere. My to-do list is dwindling though; first A+P paper done, with the second one almost there. Nothing to paper for my last 162 essay, but at least there are ideas bouncing around in my head. I’m starting to feel like I can breathe again, but still dreaming of what I could be doing instead. This snow certainly makes my fantasy today much bigger than looking at Christmas lights. Instead of going to work tonight, think I’ll hop on my private jet, with Dom Perignon flowing freely. Off to St. Marteen I go. Beaches as far as I can walk, water 88 degrees and green as cat’s eyes. Lawn chair, umbrella drinks served by personal waiter, conch fritters for lunch. End the day by watching the sunset from my villa on the hillside while having exotic fruits and beverages served by a new cabana boy. Now, if I can come up with the private jet, I’m sure I can pull off the rest of the fantasy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Journal Day Two

Journal Day Two

Okay, so I knocked some stuff off the list yesterday. Finished the final exam for my A+P class, got one of the short papers written for A+P, and didn’t get a rewrite on one of my juxtaposition themes for Eng 162. Still a lot left to do, but the mountain isn’t quite as intimidating as it was yesterday. My biggest hurdle right now is coming up with one more thing to write for week 15 in 162. Now technically I can get the A still, as it would be the only one I’ve missed, but the overachiever in mw can’t reconcile not completely finishing something. So while the overachiever in me wrestles for a topic, the dreamer in me can think of much better things to do. I had my relaxing night at home last night so what to do tonight? Christmas lights, that’s it I want to look at Christmas lights. I want to get in my car, where I have already found a station that plays 24 hour Christmas music, and just ride gazing at all the Christmas decorations. I want to see the beautiful houses, the tacky houses, and even the so-so houses. I just want to absorb the beauty of lights and make my Christmas spirit soar. Of course, I’m starting to wonder if this could be the theme for my last 162 essay, what I should be doing and what I’d really like to be doing. Now that is a definite juxtaposition.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Journal Day One

Journal Day One:

So many things going on now, how am I going to fit them all in? I am truly a procrastinator, but if I don’t do a time budget, time line, whatever you want to call it I am going to be screwed. I have a take home A + P final that is the equivalent of 500 questions, has to be done by Thursday. Still need to do two posts and a critical essay for Literature by Sunday. Three papers for A + P, two short ones by Thursday and one long one by Sunday. One more juxtaposition story and journal postings for Creative Non-fiction that I really want to have done by Friday. That’s it for schoolwork, but wait I have to work to. Damn the fact bills need to be paid and cars need gas. I’m teaching Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday and working on the truck Wednesday and Thursday night. Oh yea, there’s the Christmas party I need to go to Friday night, don’t really want to but my damn sense of responsibility won’t let me say no. What I’d really rather be doing tonight then all this damn homework is making a stop at the Wine Cellar, browsing, touching bottles and reading labels. Then I’d like to go home, cook some fantastic seafood concoction for dinner, and enjoy it with a nice glass of wine from the bottle I indulged on. Follow that with a bubbly tubby, some candles and another glass of that wine. A book of my choice (something trashy with zero educational value), cuddled up in my pink footie jammies with another glass of wine to end the evening. Oh what a fabulous night that will be if only in my fantasies.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another try at Week Fifteen Theme

A slice in the life of…. December 6, 2009

***6" of snow here on the cove.. Aiden is giggling.
***Gonna shovel off the porches and get my Christmas on...It's a Hobbit marathon for me today.
***Who really wanted this white stuff anyway?
****Excited about going to get a Christmas tree with Darla and her boys.
***Plow hooked up, driveway cleaned out, tree purchased and up for the wife and kiddo to decorate.
***I'm happy. Don't wreck it by talking!
***Wish I could try out my snowmobiles today, oh well next snowstorm I am sure.
***In Harrington watching Worcester Wreath trucks leave with all the wreaths for Arlington Cemetery.
***Not liking this state of snowy affairs.
*** He is going back to bed after finishing the Christmas lights.
***My feet hurt. My knee is scraped from tripping and falling in the middle of the road. It was still a fun night though!
***I have to get the driveway shoveled in the morning because the plow has chosen now to stop functioning.
***Watchin' the Patriots and putting up the Christmas tree.
***Playin in the snow with 'Bammie'.
***Chauffeuring Miss Tiffany around in the snow today.
***Not sure what to think about all this white stuff, guess it was going to come sooner or later.
***What a send off.....shoveling to get out of the driveway
***Snow sucks!

***So that my friends is your creative nonfiction version of December 6, 2009 as directly posted by YOU!! Enjoy!


***The night goes into morning—
***What’s the point in putting it down?
***I remember all my life raining down as cold as ice—
***With you there’s heaven—
***Ain’t no time to grieve—
***I’ve been alive forever—
***I can’t laugh and I can’t sing--
***Music too magic to end—
***I feel a change coming—
***When will our eyes meet—
***Left each other on the way—
***Singin’ to the world—
***The tears are in my eyes are in my mind and nothing is rhyming—
***Who could ask for more—
***I’m finding it hard to do anything—
***Playin’ hide and seek with hearts—
***I;m young again, even though I’m very old—
***and baby they’ll be dancing in the streets—
***Yesterday’s a dream-I face the morning—

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Theme Week 14 #2

Life Recipe

3 parts responsibility
2 parts funny girl
6 parts loving partner
6 parts mother (grandmother can be used as a substitute here)
3 parts loyalty
2 parts heart break
2 parts stupidity

Mix together and let age for at least 40 years or until maturity seems imminent

When sufficiently ripened add:

A little extra responsibility
1 part nonchalance (if not available, could really care less what you think, is an acceptable substitute)
1 part mellowness
3 parts compassion
4 parts comfortable in own skin

Mix together until all parts are well blended. The final result should bear a resemblance to a woman who has lived life and enjoyed every minute of the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.

Theme Week 14 #1

The Long and Short of It

Life is short. Live it to the fullest tomorrow is only a probability not a definite.
Life is long. Forty turns into fifty, fifty to sixty, sixty to seventy, and maybe seventy to eighty, ninety or even one hundred.
Life is short. Never say no to something you really want, this may be your last chance to have it.
Life is long. Skin wrinkles, hair turns grey, joints start to ache.
Life is short. Be generous with your time and money, you can’t take either into the ground with you.
Life is long. Children grow up, they leave, and they bring home grandchildren.
Life is short. Take advantage of every opportunity presented to you, it may never pass your way again.
Life is long. Hot is a term no longer applied to your looks, but the flashes you have in the middle of the night.
Life is short. Eat well, take chances, and smile often.
Life is long. Don’t burn bridges you may need to cross later.
Life is short. Love those worth it and try to love those who might not be so worthy.
Life is long. Forgive those who deserve it and even those who may not.
Life is short. Each day is a gift
Life is long. Each day is a gift.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Theme Week Thirteen

The great American novel. Words flowing effortlessly from one to another, the pages just waiting to be turned. The story line is so engrossing you can’t be put it down. You read the story read with the ending anticipated and dreaded. The end is read and all you want is more.

Sleep is lost and nerves frazzled trying to accomplish the impossible. Words written are deleted. Themes are tried and thrown aside. The story won’t grow, it just changes and never for the better. You walk away, try to rethink it, come back and still nothing.

The blank page still stares at you with a deadline looming. No great ideas, no fantastic metaphors, hell not even an idea for a topic. Maybe the great American novel is an unrealistic goal. At this point you’ll settle for a weekly theme that fits the bill. You just keep hoping for the great Eng 162 paragraph.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Theme Week Twelve

Take a risk this week he posts. Well I wonder if the riskiest thing of all would be not to write a theme on my blog. I’ll have to outright lie to explain it, he’s not going to let me slide with I’ve just run out of things to write about. So what am I going to tell him?

“Sorry, for no theme posting this week Professor Goldfine, but the President came across my blog on the internet and asked me to come write a speech for him.” No that won’t work; he’d ask to see the damn thing. If I can’t write for myself, how the hell am I going to fake a Presidential address?

“I know I didn’t post this week, but I was away on the medical team for the New England Patriots.” My luck, he’s the ghost writer for Belicheck’s newest autobiography and was on the sidelines last Sunday. Better steer clear of that one.

“John, I didn’t get my posting done last week, because I was in the hospital with a gunshot wound.” Oh God, what if he’s really morbid and wants to look at the gaping hole? Not sure I’m ready to sacrifice a body part in the interest of an A, so I guess I’ll scrap that one.

Wait a minute, I’ve got it! This is an online class; he doesn’t know me from a hole in the ground. “John, I just didn’t have a chance to post this week, I was in Paris modeling Versace’s new line.” Shit, what if he has ever come across a picture of my student or facility id? I’d hate being responsible for him laughing himself into a big old heart attack, the college may frown upon that.

Screw it, I’ll just be a fatalist, write the damn theme, and wait for the big REWRITE to show up.

Rewrite Week Eleven Theme

No place to change diapers except at the kitchen table.
Blocks stacked and knocked over at the kitchen table.
Candy Land won and lost at the kitchen table.
Coloring inside the lines at the kitchen table.
Addition and subtraction conquered at the kitchen table.
Giggling on the phone at the kitchen table.
Crying over puppy love crushed at the kitchen table.
Freshman classes picked at the kitchen table.
First date nervously sits at the kitchen table.
Senior portrait proofs chosen at the kitchen table.
Boxes stacked and ready to be loaded at the kitchen table.
Car pulling out of the driveway as I cry at the kitchen table.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Theme week eleven

Waiting in registration line for an hour—sweltering room—monotonous speaker—chairs with bricks for seats—mind numbing topics—sun teasing through the windows—body odors starting to permeate my nostrils—aching back from sitting so long—empty water pitchers, and yes I’m pissed because, “NO I don’t drink coffee!”—freedom in the sun only a door away—lousy food—“Did I really pay $28.00 for this torture?”

Sunday, November 8, 2009


“Where were the goddamn Advil?” she muttered, tearing the bathroom apart. The pain was crippling, she couldn’t even stand up straight it hurt so bad. She found the bottle, wrangled with the cap, and dumped some in her hand. Three, four, it didn’t matter, Advil wasn’t going to stop this pain. Why hadn’t she called the doctor for pain medicine?
The substitute called the class to order. God what was he going to lecture on? She had only gotten the call two hours ago and had no idea what the topic was supposed to be for the day. If only it weren’t coming to the holiday season he could have said no, but the money was tight and with three kids Christmas was going to be tough.
“What was that noise?” she wondered through a foggy head. The meds had finally kicked in and all she wanted to do was sleep. Somewhere in the room music was playing, but she couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Not only that, she didn’t care. Thank God she had remembered there were pain meds left from the last time. Three hours had been enough suffering. Screw the music; she wasn’t waking up for anything.
“Why the hell wasn’t she answering her phone?” he wondered. He had to figure out whether to give the exam that was in her lesson plan. It was already made but the students were trying to tell him it was open book, and knowing her he really doubted that. Besides that, after the exam what was he supposed to do? She had a lesson plan, but her hen scratch was undecipherable.
She felt so much better. The pain was gone, now all she needed was a shower. She threw on a robe and headed for the bathroom, hot water was going to feel so good. As she walked by her desk she noticed the message light on her phone was blinking. She picked up her phone and noticed there were six missed calls from the substitute. “Oh God, what had happened?”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The smell of fried seafood, sizzling fajitas, and fresh brewed coffee were just about killing her. All the things she loved and couldn’t have anymore. Why was she putting herself through this torture? God, this shit sucked.
“Where were the goddamn Advil?” she muttered, tearing the bathroom apart. The pain was crippling, she couldn’t even stand up straight it hurt so bad. She found the bottle, wrangled with the cap, and dumped some in her hand. Three, four, it didn’t matter, Advil wasn’t going to stop this pain. Why hadn’t she called the doctor for pain medicine?
One bite, just one little bite, it couldn’t really hurt that much just to have a little. Deprivation was something she had never been very good at and soon the whole thing was gone. Well, that was okay, it was only one little slip after all. She had followed instructions to the letter to this point, so one cheat shouldn’t hurt.
Three hours and still no relief. She was going to have to call out sick, there was no way she could function like this. Damn it all, why had she cheated? The doctor had warned her this would happen, but she had been sure it wouldn’t affect her. Yeh, right.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Theme Week NIne

Lockers lined up like gray soldiers ran the length of the hall. Posters announcing a Friday afternoon pep rally, mixed on the wall with tattered remains of homeroom assignments. Students mingled in the hall early to arrive, school was yet to start for 45 minutes.


She stood looking in the mirror, wishing she was a little taller, a little blonder, a little more anything to fit on the popular crowd. She was smart, but smart didn’t get you dates, pretty did. She was dreading leaving this bathroom for that meant she had to then leave the house and go to legal jail for the next seven or so hours.


He nervously handed over the $2000.00; he had worked all summer for it. Lawns had been mowed on sweltering days; gardens had been weeded in humidity hot enough to kill; but he had the money to buy that truck he had been wishing for all summer. It was old and beat up, but he could picture it shiny red with chrome wheels pulling in the parking lot.


The teacher called the class to order, noting the students were already in their little cliques, even though school had only been in session for two weeks. It was going to be a long year; this class was heavily weighted with jocks and cheerleaders. There were a couple of bright spots though; the short brunette in the back had already submitted two outstanding assignments.


The football game started at 7:00 pm under the lights. The home team won handily and there was much celebrating going on. All he could think about was getting home to his garage to work on his new project. The victory parties held no interest for him, he had a long weekend of work ahead of him. As he drove home, he noted a light on in the upstairs window of a house a couple of streets over from his. “Wasn’t that where the new girl in his English class lived?” he wondered. He pondered on how to get her phone number.
The pain was unbearable; she thought she was going to pass out. “How much longer can I tolerate this?” she cried to herself as she lay on the floor. The doctors couldn’t find a damn thing wrong with her, yet here she was in agonizing pain again.

She made her way off the floor, found her cell phone, and dialed an all too familiar number. The receptionist was so frigging cheerful as she answered, “Good morning, Dr. Doe’s office (names are changed to hide the identity of inept persons)., She would have choked her if she could have reached through the phone. “Yeh, this is Ally Baylor, and I need an appointment today.” She went on to describe her problem; she wished she had taped an earlier conversation, as this was getting old. After much haggling and near begging, she finally got an appointment time and prayed she could hold on till then.

The parking lot was full when she pulled in, and it seemed like hiking Everest just to get in the building. The ever positive receptionist was there, waiting to check her in. She answered all the obligatory questions, hobbled to her seat and waited. The pain was still excruciating, she was going to puke if they didn’t do something soon. The wall void of a clock was a painful symbol of how long she was going to have to wait for this emergency appointment.

Finally, her name was called. Her mind was racing as she followed the nurse down the hall, “Please let them find something. I cannot take this anymore.” If they offered her pain pills and sent her on her way one more time, she was going to stage a sit in and it would not be pretty. The tears were rolling down her cheeks as an unfamiliar face walked through the door. “Oh God, what does this mean?” she thought as she asked where Dr Doe was today.

Sorry I'm a little behind, but I've been ill this week; in and out of the hospital and doctor's offices. I will get caught up by the end of this coming week (week 10). Thanks for your patience.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Theme week seven

Every school day for 12 years he opened the bus door for me. He was old on my first day of school and didn’t seem to age at all over those 12 years. His face was wrinkled and always looked dirty. His beard was unkempt, with streaks of tobacco juice through it. “Morning kids”, was the greeting, I got when I was five, and “Morning kids” was the greeting I got at 18. Old Zeke, he was consistent.

Old Zeke dressed the same every day, green work pants, blue flannel shirt, and red suspenders. Day after day, that same outfit met me when I got on the bus. If he didn’t have a cigarette in his mouth, it was full of chewing tobacco. It wasn’t until I was about 12, I would guess, I realized that his outfit never changed, no matter the weather, no matter the season. That same outfit is also when I started to think of Zeke as a person. In my twelve year old mind it was inconceivable that someone would wear the same clothes every day, and I was really obsessed by it.

I sat in the front of the bus (the geek seat) for the next week, trying to get the courage up to talk to him. Finally I asked him why he drove the bus, and got a clipped “it’s a job” for the answer. He had become somewhat of a fixation for me (probably they’d call me a stalker today), but there had to be an intriguing story, I was sure of it. After a few more days in the geek seat, he talked a little bit more. His voice was raspy and phlegm filled, from years of smoking, I suspect. He talked about the weather, he talked about the roads, but never the stuff I wanted to hear. What the hell would make a guy wear the same clothes every day?

Finally after a couple months of chit chat, I asked him what he did before he drove the bus. For the next five minutes, I got a lesson in WWII history, better than anything I could have read in a text book. Zeke told me about landing in Normandy, and being thankful he’d made it home. He and I talked every morning after that, first about the war, then about returning home. Zeke told me he’d had a girl before he went “over there”, but when he got back, she’s found someone new. His parents had both passed away while he was gone, and Zeke had come home to find he had no one. In his blasé way, he described having his life torn out from under him, like most talk about buying socks. By my senior year, I knew more about WWII and it’s after effects on soldiers than any textbook could have ever taught me.

I never found out why Zeke wore the same outfit every day and after a while I forgot that had been my goal. I had made friends with a truly unique man. They friendship I developed with him is one of the most memorable friendships of my school years. I have forgotten the names and faces of those my own age, but I have never forgotten Zeke.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The alarm clock incessantly buzzes and it’s 7:00 am. Feet touch a floor that feels like ice, time to start another January Day. At 11:00 last night the weather was calling for snow, so I open the bedroom blinds with trepidation. “Oh God” I think, they were right this time, as the snow swirls outside my window.

I hit the thermostat as I walk through the living room, hoping the bathroom will warm up by the time I finish breakfast. I finish my toast, and head for the shower. The heat hasn’t melted the frost off the windows yet. God, I hate winter. I shower in water hot enough to boil my skin, but when I step out, I’m shivering before I even start to dry off. I run to my bedroom get dressed in multiple layers and head out the door.

“Why didn’t I have an automatic starter put in?” I mutter as I look where I parked my car. Pieces of silver, I think it’s my car, are visible through a mound of snow. Snow is flying around, like thousands of pieces of glass hitting me anyplace not covered by material. My lungs ache from the sub-zero air rushing into them. I wipe my dripping nose and the tissue freezes to my face. My finger and toes are numb from the cold. I pick up the shovel and start to make a path to my car.

The snow is wet and heavy, moving it is like moving a mountain of rocks. It is so cold and wet as I continue to clear the path to my car; the chill has gone clear through to my bones. My clothes are almost as heavy and wet as the snow. The process of making a path to my car is painstakingly slow. The hot chocolate I brought out with me is presently more similar to a Dunkin Donuts frozen drink. I finally make it to the glacier that has moved into my yard overnight and lo and behold there is a car under it.

I go inside to try to warm up and make a new cup of hot chocolate. Dry hat and gloves and back out I go. My boots are heavier than infamous concrete shoes as I slog thru the half-ass path I’ve made to my car. I break through the crust on top and try to get enough moved to get the door open. The door handle is stuck and my wet glove freezes to the metal before I can get it open. My glove pulls off and my hand is immersed into icy white arctic tundra that has decided to make my driveway its’ new home. My fingers ache from the iciness that penetrates them. “Winter sucks” is one of the more lady like thoughts I’m having right at this moment.

The mass of snow is finally removed from the car, and I get into start it. The interior of the car is as cold as the outside temperature. The windows have an inch of frost on them and the seats radiate cold. The motor reluctantly churns on and I crank the heat to high and return to the house to warm up again. More hot chocolate, a steaming shower, and dry clothes I just stand and stare out the window.

The snow is still coming down, but I can see a hole clearing through the windshield. Another cup of hot chocolate and the windshield is clear. A dry coat, gloves and hat and I’m bundled up enough to brave the arctic chill again. “God I hate winter” I mumble as I walk out the door.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

1983, thirty weeks pregnant, and I decide I need a dog. Larry asks me in a rather pissy manner, “Sally, you don’t like animals, why the hell do you want a dog?” It was fairly obvious he was not in favor of this addition I thought so necessary to our little family. Well, hormone induced tears and two nights on the couch went a long way towards changing that attitude. Forget the fact we lived in a second story apartment and the snow was currently crotch level, I needed a damn dog. How would our family pictures look without a little lab puppy in them? Certainly not like anything from “Parenting” magazine. This baby needed a puppy to grow up with, I knew without a doubt it was not going to have brothers and sisters. Screw the fact that I’m allergic to fleas, there will be a dog in this house before I birth this baby!

Off we go on the puppy search. Larry is half hearted into this at the best, but I really don’t give a crap. This quest, this mission of a crazy pregnant lady, will not be over until I find one that makes me happy. Struggling newlyweds, baby on the way, and I don’t give a shit how much we have to spend on gas and food. We are not settling for just any dog, we are having a black lab puppy. Now I am not totally unreasonable, it just has to be a mutt that looks like a lab, I’m not asking for a full bred one. We grab an Uncle Henry’s and I start reading. The very first ad and I’m laughing so hard I piss myself. “Wanted to trade: 2 hard running beagles for a gun. Don’t care what kind, need to shoot the weasel in my cellar.” Well since we neither had a gun nor wanted “2 hard running beagles”, that one was out. There were a few with promise though; “lab mix puppies” seemed to be available in various locations throughout the state. Drive, oh my God, did we drive.

First stop; Troy, Maine. We pull into this house, I guess it was a house, it had four walls and a roof covered with blue tarps held on by tires. Just as I go to open the truck door, a frigging turkey charges me. Make no mistake, this was no ordinary turkey. This thing had survived the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. Its’ wattle was mangled and flapping up and down, half it’s beak was missing, and the guttural sounds coming out of it could be likened to dying zombie. Now I’m in the truck, screaming, Larry is standing outside trying to fend off this attack turkey, and out of the house (and I use that term loosely) comes a person. Long, black, greasy hair, jeans with mud all over them, and to this day I still don’t know if it was a woman or a man with man boobs. “What can I do you folks for?” Larry starts to explain why we’re there, and I’m in the truck hissing “not here, we’re not getting one here.” “Never mind,” he sighs and gets back in. “What the hell is wrong with you?” he bellers. “Chicken lice are what’s wrong” I sniffle, and immediately he looks at me like my next stop will be the mental hospital. So, now I have to explain to him that fowl such as turkeys have chicken lice and I will not have a dog that has been exposed to chicken lice. For chrissakes, he knows I’m allergic to fleas, can’t he figure out what havoc chicken lice could create. Back to the Uncle Henry’s for another look see at the ads. Stop Two; Arundel, Maine (did I mention I didn’t care how far we had to travel for this puppy). We pull into the driveway, nothing fowl or otherwise seems to be in attack mode, so out we get. A pleasant lady answers the door (in 1983 people opened their doors to total strangers), and we explained we were there about the puppies she had advertised. “Right this way” she says and leads us towards the back of the house. As we get closer, we can hear a dog growling. This was no I wonder who’s coming growl, this was a come around that corner and I’ll rip your leg off growl. Did I mention, not only do I not really like animals, and am allergic to fleas; I’m scared of just about 99% of the canine population? The lady can see the look of terror on my face and assures me the dog is friendly, but she will lock it up just in case. Friendly, my ass, the growl has escalated to a not only will I rip your leg off, but I will tear your heart out immediately after, tone. We make it to the puppies in the box, and there lay six little doberman, pit bull, rotweiller mix puppies. A blind person could have seen there was no lab in these dogs. “Maam”, I inquire very politely, do these puppies have any lab in them?”, ever mindful of menacing growl in the next room. She launches into a long convoluted explanation, that to make a long story short, narrows it down to some time about 1930, one of their ancestors had been had been part lab. Foiled again, there is absolutely no way one of these spawn of Mama Devil in the next room are coming home with me. Back to the truck and Uncle Henry’s we go. Considering the fact we started in Wells, drove to Troy, and are now back in Arundel with no puppy, I don’t think I need to explain what Larry’s patience level is at this point. After considerable discussion (during which time he could have been driving), we head off to investigate the next ad. This one had promise, it even mentioned that the father’s line had been AKC registered at one time whatever that meant. Stop Three: Boothbay Harbor. As we pull in two little girls are playing with a lab looking black dog in the front yard. I’m all grins, Larry’s blood pressure drops back in a range compatible with life, and out of the truck we get. I ask one of the little girls if her parents are home (they are) and if the dog she playing with is the mother or father of the puppies they have (it’s the mother). Into the house we go with no fear for life or limb. The little girl’s mother takes us to a box with two of the cutest little puppies I had ever seen. Not knowing a damn thing about dogs, I would have sworn they were full bred labs. I pick them up, coo over them, and make a decision. It is a little black ball of fur with big blue eyes, (I have no idea they will turn brown). I am clueless if it’s even a boy or a girl, but I don’t care, it will not be making any babies with me as an owner. Spay or neuter, either way this little one will never be a parent. The decision is made, and home we head. Larry can taste the Budweiser waiting in the frig for him.

The bad news for him is this puppy quest is not over. We need a collar, we need a leash, we need a kennel, and the list continues to grow. We stop at Woolworth’s for supplies, but someone has to stay in the truck with the yet to be named puppy. Larry grudgingly agrees to stay and off I go for puppy necessities. Forty five minutes later I return to find the puppy has won Larry over, I however am still on his shit list. “Just exactly how long does it take to go to one section of a damn store and buy a half a dozen things?” Obviously, he has no concept of the right collar with a leash to match and the importance of puppy toys. As we start the drive home, the discussion turns to the naming of the puppy. We can’t agree on anything, though Larry has told me it’s a girl so I haven’t suggested Duke or the such. It had taken us about twenty minutes to agree on both a boys’ and a girls’ name for our baby, but an hour later we still haven’t agreed on a name for the dog. As we are turning down the road to our apartment a song named “Ebony and Ivory” came on the radio. “Ebony”, I shouted, that is the perfect name for her. For the first time, since puppy quest 1983 started Larry agreed with me. Ebony, it was. As I got out of the truck, I had a fantastic idea (or so I thought). “How about we got a yellow lab puppy and name it Ivory?” was my simple question. The murderous look on his face told me that no amount of hormone induced tears, real or fake, was going to make that happen in this lifetime. Ebony would just have to be Ebony, with no Ivory.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall 2009 and another EMT Basic class to teach. I walk into the classroom and there sit twenty people. Oh my God, you expect me to teach these people how to be EMS providers? The first thing I need to teach them is that boobs hanging out of shirts tend to give men who already have chest pain full blown freakin’ heart attacks. Come on, seriously now, does the dude with pink hair and bones through his nose really think ma` ma` is going to let him within 100 feet of her? I look around and most of them haven’t even taken the books out of the wrapper; what part of their syllabus didn’t they understand? Read Chapters one, two, and three for class one isn’t rocket science for chrissakes. Well the challenge begins; can I make these twenty people EMS providers in 16 weeks?

I stand up front, introduce myself, and this snot nose little 18 year old whines, “how come I have to call you Ms. Taylor, my other teachers let me call them by their first name?” Well bully for them I think; to him I reply through gritted teeth, because that is what I prefer to be called. Like I owe him a damn explanation for my name. Now their introductions begin and I’m sure I’ll be ready to take a knife to my throat before the twenty of them are done. “I want to help people, I love excitement,” and my personal favorite; “I can’t be a firefighter unless I have a basic license.” Yeh, all great reasons, but let me tell you how it is, “Lives will be saved, and cute little babies will be delivered, but never ever on your shift.” As for the firefighter, fantastic freakin’ reason; they are making you learn how to take care of people, I’m sure you will be great at this!” We start lecture on Chapter one and just about two of them have read the material. Great start to an already long day. The other eighteen are just shocked the can’t participate in discussion, hence the reason you got the syllabus at least two weeks before class started. The blank stares and open mouths are more than I can handle at the moment so I send them on a break. Maybe no one will come back and I get the rest of the day off. Paddy Murphy’s here I come!

Break is over and they all come back. Great! Lecture starts for chapter two and five minutes in three students are asleep at their table snoring. My hopes are high for them (not so much). When they get TB because they slept through the lecture on how not to, they best not come running to me. My give a care factor will be ZERO. Time for a group activity and I count them off into groups of four. The pissing and moaning are almost deafening. “I want to be with Suzie, she’s my friend.” I don’t even know him; I sat next to Joe so we could work together.” I explain to them, once again through gritted teeth, that in the big people world we don’t always get to choose who we work with, so suck it up and get on with it. Thank God Chapter two is over and I can send them to lunch. I head out to my car and pull out the flask under the seat and take a swig. Jose` will certainly dull the pain of this group a little bit. I may have to consider having a second flask on hand for this semester. Two swigs, a couple smokes, a little nap and back I go. Give me strength or bail money; I still have three hours to go.

Back from lunch they come, I look around and they are still twenty of them. Fantastic! At least two of them have taken my advice about making new friends, though maybe a little too literally. When I ask him to take his tongue off her tonsils he is all pissed off. Oh well at four o’clock he can have her back. Chapter three lecture starts and I can see the afternoon will be a replay of the morning. I try to make it interesting but it is a lost cause, so I just drone on with the clock ticking in the background reminding me of just how long this afternoon is going to be. I wonder if I could get it turned ahead, dismiss them and then get it turned back before the janitor comes in. Last group activity for the day and at this point I don’t give a damn who works with who. Just group up and get it done so we can all get the hell outta here.

It is finally 4:00 pm and I can send them on their merry way. I give them the homework assignment and the uproar begins. I tell them, once again through gritted teeth, that homework is not optional, unless they want a big fat F in this class. I pick my crap up, throw it in the office, and head out to my car for another pull off the flask. Fall Semester 2009 has begun, better make a trip to New Hampshire for tax free liquor.
It is day one of Fall 2009 EMT Basic class. I walk into the classroom to 40 staring eyes fidgeting in their seats. You can feel the nervousness radiating off them, well most of them. There are the few who think this class is an inconvenience, they already know it all. You can see the lackadaisical attitude written all over them. These students are my special project; EMS is serious business, and I need to make them understand that. Textbooks are open and the smell of new paper radiates off them, the pages are still crisp and rustle loudly as they turn them. Pens are in hand, poised, and ready to write every important word down.

I go to the front of the classroom and introductions begin. I start, “Good morning, my name is Ms. Taylor, welcome to EMS 123-30.” Now it is the students’ turn. Everyone has the task of introducing themselves and giving a short explanation of what their expectations of the class are. This is one of the most interesting parts of the day. I really enjoy hearing hear why people are interested in EMS. Some of it is pretty serious, but some of it is pretty comical. The answers range from the mundane, “I really want to help people” to the atrocious, “I want a uniform, so I can find a hot girl”. I wrap it up by letting them know what my expectations of them are over the semester. They are a bit overwhelmed at this point, but you can see the excitement in most of their eyes. There are still a few who think this is just a formality, they know it all. The “why to hell do I have to be here” attitude is still emanating from them. I can’t wait until they figure out exactly why they have to be here. Time for the lecture to begin; Chapter one is a necessary evil. The material is dry and there is absolutely know way to spice it up. I launch into it hoping to keep them interested enough so they don’t just stand up and walk out. Once that is over, time for a break. Hopefully they all come back!!

Back they come, 40 pairs of eyes a little glazed over, but at least awake. Time for Chapter two. Chapter two is a little more interesting than Chapter one, but the material is still dry. We do a class activity that gets them out of their seats and moving. They have to pair up in groups of four, and you can see the disappointment on their faces when I count them off for groups and they aren’t with their friends. That was my whole intent, being able to play well others is an integral part of being a god EMS provider. We finish the activity and I notice conversations between people who were strangers three hours ago. A small triumphant for me, that was really my only goal for this activity. Lecture for Chapter two is done, and off they go to lunch. I head to my office to catch up on some work, no rest for the wicked they say. Whoever “they” is seems to know what they are talking about.

Lunch hour is over and back to the classroom I head. Twenty bodies are wandering in, some as excited as they were this morning, some with trepidation, and some still blatantly arrogant with their know-it-all attitude. By now, I have figured out who my challenges are going to be. Will I be able to bring those who are not joiners into the group, and will I be able to reign in those who are sure they are not going to gain anything from this class? Both groups will present an equal challenge over the next 16 weeks. Chapter three lecture begins and now the material is starting to capture their attention. You can see the wheels turning and thought processes kicking in. The realization that this is not like TV starts to take hold. I know this is where I am going to lose some, if their interest isn’t legitimate. The guy who wants the uniform to catch the hot girl may not be back next week. It’s late in the afternoon now, and Starting to be difficult to hold the attention of even the most interested ones. We do another group activity, though this time I let them choose their own partners. It is interesting to watch and see if they will go back to some of their new found classmates. Some do and some don’t, so my goal was partially accomplished. Better small steps forward, then standing still or backwards movement.

The day is over, and I give them their assignments for the week. They look at me like I’m an ogre, so I remind them this is a college course, with credits the equivalent of two classes. The moans and groans from some are blatantly audible. They never imagined homework would be involved with a “class like this”. I remind them the doctors probably never had homework either and this a class in medicine, so expect homework every week. I gather my computer, projector, and books then head to my office. As I am putting things away, I reflect over the day. Fall 2009 semester has begun and I love my job as much as I did when Fall 2004 semester began.
It was the first day of the new semester. I walked into a classroom of 20 students sitting in their seats. Each of them had their textbooks and notebooks in front of them ready to go.

I walked to the front of the classroom and introduced myself. In turn they all introduced themselves. I had them open their textbooks to Chapter one and started my lecture. Chapter one is really boring, I don’t enjoy doing it. The students just stare back and I wonder how many of them will stick it out.

I start the lecture for Chapter two, wondering if they will all stay awake until lunch. We do a class activity that divides them up into groups of four. When Chapter two is finished, I send them to lunch, and go to my office to catch up on some work.

Lunch hour is finished and all the students are back in their seats. I start the lecture on Chapter three, and hope they are all paying attention. That is one of the drawbacks to an all day class; it’s a long day for the students and the teacher.
It’s the end of the day, and I give them their assignments for the next week. I pick up my materials and take them to my office. I put everything away, and lock up and head home for the day

Sunday, September 20, 2009

When I entered the house, I couldn’t believe that people lived here. The stench made my stomach heave; the smell was so overwhelming I couldn’t even distinguish what it was. As I walked through the kitchen, dirty dishes overflowed the sink and side boards. Dirty matted cats were on the counter eating off them. The bathroom was even worse. On the floor was evidence that someone had not made it to the toilet on more than one occasion. As I entered the living room, a grimy thin man laid on the couch.

“Sir, what’s going on today?”
“Who are you?”
“Sir, My name is Sally and my partner Jim and I are with the ambulance, and we’re here because your daughter called us.”
“She did? What the hell did she do that for?”
“She’s worried about you, is it okay if I call you John or do you prefer Mr. Doe?”
“John’s fine, but you ain’t gonna be here long enough to use it missy.”
“Okay John, but your daughter would like to have a doctor look at you. She’s really worried about you. She says you haven’t been taking care of yourself since your wife died.”
Well if she’s so damn worried, why ain’t she here herself? Last I knew she could still drive.”
“John, I’m not sure why she couldn’t come today, but she felt it was really important that you go see a doctor. How are you feeling today?”
“I’m feeling just fine, ain’t been sick a day in my life.”
“Are you eating okay, John? My partner says your refrigerator is pretty empty.”
“I eat just fine, just haven’t had much of an appetite without Jane here to cook anymore.”
“Well John, if you would take a ride into the hospital with us, I could give you a check up on the way in, and the doctor could give you an even better one when we get there.”
“If the doc can give me a better one than you, why would I bother to go with you?”
“Good question, I’m cute, I’m fun to talk to and you might even like me by the time we get there.”
“You ain’t leaving here till you get me to go with you are ya?”
“Well sir, I can’t force you to go with me, but I have ten hours left to work, so the quickest way to get rid of me is to go to the hospital with me.”
Alright, just let me get my coat and cane, since you got ten hours you oughtta be able to wait for that, hadn’t ya?”

I hid a little grin as he headed down the hall to get his stuff. This man wasn’t sick; he was just lonely and needed some outside help. Maybe it wasn’t the call of the century, but I would certainly go home in the morning feeling as if I had made a difference.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Theme Week Two

It was 1967 and my brother and I snuck down the stairs to see what all the noise was. There in the middle of the living room was my hard working serious father with a long brown wig on playing my toy guitar. Ike and Tina Turner were singing “Proud Mary” in the background. People were laughing and singing. Ike and Tina, man could they rock. This began my love affair with music. (Good thing I didn’t know about the alcohol factor then)

The eight track player was the center piece of my 1968 life. My mother had left my brother and I with our father and it had been the three of us for over a year. My brother could do the “boy” things with Dad, but I had the music. At five I knew every word to “Suzie Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. And man could my 5 year old voice really belt it out. Dad and I were doing karaoke before it had a name. Those tapes with their wrinkled paper and words barely readable words from all the use were like candy to me. I loved the feel of them, sliding them into the player, and listening to the stories they would sing me.

The 1970’s arrived and so did my new stepmother and her 4 children. The seventies also brought the arrival of a record player and the birth of disco. My very first 45 was “It Never Rained in California”, by Albert Hammond. I played that song so many times the needle would skip over half the record by the end of the first month I owned it. The record player got delegated to a corner eventually but that was okay, I liked being alone. The music became my retreat. I loved Van McKoy’s “The Hustle”, and my 12 year old booty could hustle. Not only did I love music, it became my escape from an unhappy home life. “Saturday Night Fever” produced my first crush. John Travolta was just waiting for me to be old enough to marry him, I was sure of this.

The eighties are full of musical memories. “You’re in My Heart” and Rod Stewart are a much more vivid memory of losing my virginity than the actual act. 1981 was an eventful year for me. I graduated from high school, moved out of my childhood home, got married, and disco died. Gone were the disco balls and white polyester suits, here to replace them were the pop stars. “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross played as I danced the first time as a wife. My daughter was born in 1983, and to this day the Lionel Richie song “You Are” invokes images of her as a baby. Madonna and I sat up many nights nursing a baby. Gone though, were the records; now the music came on cassette tapes. The eighties also brought music to the TV screen. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” had quite a different effect on a TV screen, than it did on the radio. That was about the only reason to turn a TV on in my house. I never really got into MTV though; I liked having my own images of what the song meant.

Hair bands, monster love ballads, and hip hop some of the music of the nineties. I am not even sure what they all the music of the decade. Regardless of what the genre of the music it has definitely been a friend to me. As I age, I enjoy the remakes of songs I used to listen to. When I hear Martina MacBride singing “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, I can still picture Lynn Anderson’s orange eight track tape, and picture my parents as they danced to her version of it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's 7 am on Saturday morning, and I haven't posted for a few days. It's been a busy week, the semester is in full swing. The lazy days of August are over, September is in full swing. I spent last night working on my lit class, not sure if I'm going to like it, but it's a neccessity not a luxury. I'm not feeling overwhelmed yet, but I'm walking the edge of that line. Well off to A +P, I go. Gotta love being a student!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's Labor Day but off to work I have to go later. The healthcare field has no holidays, but that's okay. The last year has reminded me of the compassion needed to be a good provider. I got some really good care at times, but more often felt like it was crappy. It has been an eye opener and a disappointment being sick. Those who took me the least seriously were people I interact with on a daily basis (at least that's how I felt). It's another beautiful day out, though fall can be felt in the air, where did summer go? The one month we could call summer this year is going to make the winter long and miserable. I can't wait until the time comes when I can go where snow and cold are the rarity, not the norm (I'm talking Florida or someplace like that, not dead). Off I go to enjoy this last day of summer. Hope everyone has a chance to enjoy at least part of it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What a beautiful day! The sun is shining and I feel good. I feel so different, I have energy, and no pain. It is amazing what feeling better does not only for the physical body for the mental body as well. I feel like I can take on the world again. I haven't felt like this in such a long time, I had forgotten how amazing it is. Sometimes we take the simple things for granted, at least for a while I won't be doing that.
It’s 3 am and she sits staring at the computer screen. The topic is one she can’t seem to get excited about, but she knows it’s due and she really needs a good grade on this one. She also is a little bit of a perfectionist; the grade isn’t the only thing that matters, so do the professor’s comments on her papers. So, she continues to stare at the screen racking her brain for the words to fit. She remembers a piece of advice from one of her professor’s notes about just starting to put words on paper so she starts to type. She glances at the clock and its 4 am and she’s reading through what she’s written. In no way is this going to suffice. Thanks goodness delete is a lot less messy than an eraser is the only thought in her head at the moment. She takes a break and realizes that time is ticking away with no progress made. Okay she thinks, the pressure is on and this is when my best work is done. She types madly for the next 90 minutes, and then takes a few minutes to read it. She steps away from the computer, has a soda and a cigarette and the perfect ending pops into her head. She adds the ending, does an edit, and posts it to her blog. Just enough time left to take a quick shower and get ready for work. The only thought in her head as she drives to work is please, please, please let my professor find this acceptable.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

You sit down with the assignment in hand and your brain shuts down. You think about the different ways to approach the story and it feels like your head is going to explode. You decide to break it into smaller pieces, hoping something spectacular will flow from the ends of your fingers. You sit and stare at the blank sheet a little longer, then put some words to it. If you’re lucky those first words will flow into a story worthy of the assignment. If you are not so lucky, edits and rewrites will be the theme of the hours looming in front of you. You are a budding writer.
I am not a writer; in fact the written word is my least favorite communication medium. I love to read and do not mind speaking on front of large groups of people, but put a writing assignment in front of me and my brain turns to mush. As a writer I have experienced many more failures than triumphs. But as in real life, the failures are as valuable as the triumphs. The failures, such as the research paper tossed in the corner, taught me to start small and build up to the more ambitious projects. So now instead of starting with the big paper, I have learned to write several smaller papers on the same subject. I don’t find that nearly as overwhelming and seem to accomplish more that way. My writing triumphs, though few and far between, are very satisfying. I get excited when I submit a paper and nowhere in the comments does the word rewrite appear.
Things are looking up today. Another doctor's apponitment yesterday, but I didn't leave frustrated and in tears this time. I had 2 female doctors AND THEY LISTENED TO ME AND ACTUALLY DID A PHYSICAL EXAM. I finally have some theories as to what might be wrong and some tests ordered. It only took almost 2 years, but if I am on the road to feeling better then hoorah!! I am not going to look back and piss and moan about what the other doctors didn't do and just be thankful that I might be on the road to feeling better. It is a beautiful day out, I have optimism and I'm going to go out and enjoy the sun just because I can.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Well as usual, I’m behind the eight ball on starting this. Today is Thursday, and I’m just getting started on Monday’s work. It’s been a hell of a week up to this point and no end seems to be in sight. I have made 3 trips from Machiasport to Bangor, all medically related, and still have no idea what is wrong with me. I do know what isn’t wrong with me, but the most frustrating part is, that it seems like no one is taking me seriously or listening to what I have to say. So back to Bangor I go tomorrow for another doctor’s appointment, without much hope.

On the bright side, school has started for me as both a student and an instructor. I look forward to meeting my new students and the enthusiasm most of them bring into the class. The students I have are at the beginning of a potential EMS career, and it is satisfying to watch those who really “get it” and want to continue on. As a student, there are classes I look forward to and those I don’t. This semester is mostly a “look forward to”, as I was able to put off Algebra until the spring. So I’m off and running, doing the my first assignment of Fall 2009.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dressing up Comp 101

Getting dressed and online college comp 101 wouldn’t seem to have much in common, but for me they are very similar. Both of them involve a lot of pulling stuff out, seeing what works together, and discarding many of the choices. There is also accessorizing involved with each of them. A good outfit needs just the “right” accessories to go with them and a good essay also needs the “write” accessories.

Prompt reactions correlate to getting dressed for work. Getting dressed for work is fairly easy as the outfit is there for me. I have choices, such as do I wear the long or short sleeve blue shirt today, but it will always be with blue pants. My hair has to be pulled up, but will I wear my hair in a ponytail or will I just throw it in a clip tonight? Prompts are similar in that the material is there; I just take it and make it my own. Which one strikes my fancy on the day I write compares to how I will wear my hair on any given night. What I put in the prompt is similar to picking the short sleeve or long sleeve shirt. It’s decided by what strikes my fancy at that given moment. Choices exist with both, but they are limited to what someone else has deemed.

Freestyles are similar to getting dressed on my day off. Both are determined my choice and mood. My day off attire can be dressy requiring a lot of effort, or sloppy with just enough effort to be presentable at the corner store. Hair can be up or down, maybe not even washed if I’m feeling really lazy. Freestyles can be dressed up on the days you want to really put the effort into it. They are also acceptable if made just presentable enough that they give the instructor something to comment on. Freestyles and day off clothing are both entirely at my whim.

Five graf essays equate to getting ready for a big night on the town or an important business meeting. First, with both there is a decision on what image I want to present for the given event, whether the essay or the outfit. For the outfit, I start by pulling half dozen possible outfits out of the closet. For the essay, I pick half dozen topics to start narrowing down from. I start narrowing down the outfit to the one that might most appropriate to the occasion I am attending. Narrowing down the topic for the essay depends on the type essay assigned. A lot of throwing things aside happens with each. Once I have picked out the outfit or the essay topic, both need to start with a good base. Proper undergarments are needed for the clothes, basic paragraphs for the essay. Then the meat of the outfit comes next whether it is a dress or nice suit. It compares to the essay in that next comes the meat of the topic. This is where you are going to grab the attention of the reader or people at the event. Accessories to the outfit are the finishing touch that will make my outfit uniquely mine. Accessories to the essay are the little phrases or twists of humor that give me ownership of it.

College comp 101 and getting dressed can be easy or complicated depending on what the assignment or occasion is. Freestyles and days off give me the most freedom while prompt reactions and getting dressed work are probably the least imaginative of tasks. Five graf essays and the getting dressed for the big occasion allow for the most planning and imagination.

I love my daughter but man can she drive me crazy. She has been a “difficult child” as long as I can remember. She can be the sweetest most loving daughter that a mother could ask for or she can drive me to the point of absolute despair. We will go for long periods at a time with the perfect mother daughter relationship, and then she will do something that hurts me so deeply that I don’t think I will recover from the pain. Always, in the end though my love for her outweighs the hurt she causes me.

At sixteen Amanda, like most teenage girls, was rebellious. She had a boyfriend that at first seemed like a nice guy, but as the relationship grew, they started to do things without my knowledge or permission. When called on this, her reaction was to run away with her boyfriend. For days, I had no knowledge of where she was or even if she was okay. I was a wreck not knowing if I would ever even see her again. They finally returned home, and she truly believed there would be no consequences. When I handed out punishment, her retaliation was to move out of my house and in with her boyfriend. She and her boyfriend came with the police to get her belongings. (Believe it or not at 16, she could not be forced to live at home) I was in tears begging her to stay. She was a typical cocky 16 year old teenager with no regards for anyone else’s feeling. For months we had no contact until I reached out and we resumed a tenuous relationship. Things were starting to get repaired and I was happy to have my baby girl back.

Amanda hadn’t moved home but at least we were in the process of having a relationship. Then Amanda knocked on the door one night and blurted out that she was pregnant. My baby was a junior in high school and pregnant. Guess who no longer had any interest in being involved? The boyfriend; shocker I know. Amanda moved home and the bond of having to struggle brought us closer than ever. We worked together to get things ready for the baby. I worked 70 to 80 hours a week so we could have all the things required for a baby. She went to school and worked a part time job. Times were tough but our relationship was solid. Stephen was born and we worked hard together to give him a good beginning. Amanda was still in school, so I assumed a lot of responsibilities of a mother not a grandmother. I was a proud mother the day of her high school graduation. I knew it hadn’t been easy for her to finish high school with a baby. Life was hard for us, but that was okay because I had a solid relationship with my daughter. Unfortunately, like many things in life, this too would pass. When Stephen was 18 months old, Amanda took him and left one day while I was at work and moved back in with her boyfriend. Amanda and I both knew as long as she was with her boyfriend there would be no relationship for us. I was devastated beyond belief. I thought I would never recover.

My baby and grandson were gone. I thought the pain would never end. Slowly though, I once again recovered. Amanda and I had no contact for a long time. It was a daily ache for me, as now I missed my grandson as much as I missed her. But time and a grandchild softened me. One more time Amanda and I slowly repaired our relationship. I did not approve of her boyfriend; however she was an adult, so he was her choice, not mine. We started doing adult things together and I got to be a grandmother. We seemed to be on solid footing, but then the other shoe dropped. Amanda called me at work in tears, from jail. She had been arrested for being with her boyfriend when he had sold some stolen guns. All the other hurts seemed small as I waited in the lobby of the jail to bail her out. I was angry, but I was also devastated at the thought of my baby girl going to jail. How could this be the same sweet child, I had brought home swaddled all in pink 24 years ago? I bailed her out, helped her find a lawyer, and stood by her during the process. She got off relatively light with minimal jail time, but before being arrested had gotten pregnant again, by the same boyfriend. She served her time; I visited every Sunday leaving in tears. Seeing her pregnant in jail was an emotional nightmare. Amanda was released and the boyfriend dumped her for good this time. She was now a single mother of 2 small boys, had a criminal conviction, no job prospects, and no home. She didn’t come home to me though. This time she wasn’t my baby anymore, she was my adult daughter with real adult problems. We worked together as adults, to help her turn things around.

So, we continue our mother daughter relationship. We have weathered many hard times. My love for her still knows no ends and she still has the ability to hurt me deeply. I will always be there for her, but have learned that I can recover from the pain she causes me at times. I also know that we have the ability to rebuild our relationship when it goes through tough times.

Before last week when I thought of a disaster, I thought of hurricanes, blizzards, or anything that could potentially destroy a physical thing. On Tuesday, April 21 disaster hit me face on. My Dad suffered a stroke, one that seems to be taking the very essence of the only stable man in the 46 years of my life. How can this be a disaster one may wonder? It would seem to be more of an emotional trial than a disaster, but as the days unfold disaster seems to be the only description that aptly fits.

My Dad is a self made man (I almost used was). He started his first business at the age of 12 and progressed from there. Now he isn’t a Fortune 500 guy by any stretch of the imagination. He sweat and toiled every day for what he has. As kids, we didn’t see much of him; he was always working to keep things going. He felt that to have it done right he had to be the one who did it. It is one trait I inherited from him good or bad. Over the years he built a piece of waterfront property into a well developed piece of commercial property. He built a business that included commercial fishing and property development. A great accomplishment it would seem, except for the fact he made no provisions for what to be done with it should he not be able to work it anymore. Now three children who love him very much are faced with what to do. So why is that a disaster? Like many families of today, to say we are not close would not even be an accurate description. We are the textbook definition of dysfunctional. My brother wants to continue to work it, it is the only thing he has known his whole life. My sister and I agree on that point, but how the end result will be accomplished is where all paths split. One of us wants things to remain status quo for a while to see what happens with Dad and the other thinks we need to look at the long term in the case Dad is unable to return. My brother just wants the stability to be assured a weekly income. Many arguments have ensued at a time when we should be focusing on uniting as a family for the benefit of Dad. A disaster in the making for a family that lost their mother a year ago and now is in imminent danger of losing their father. This family is being ripped apart at a time when we really need each other and we can’t seem to pull together at a time when we really need each other.

The financial end of my Dads’ stroke is not the only disaster to come from it. We have been told Dad will not be coming home from the hospital. He will have to go to a nursing home. My Dad would be mortified if he could assimilate what is going to happen to him. Dad is the epitome of the outdoorsman. He spent most every day on the ocean and if not there he was in a truck plowing snow. His life revolved around the outdoors. He was sick 2 years ago and miserable does not describe his mood. He was mean and nasty like a hurt caged animal. No one ever imagines they will end up in a facility such as a nursing home, but for him, torture is an appropriate word. He may not make the connection, but we can never by sure of the process of the mysterious mind. Once again at a time when we should be pulling together for his sake we are tearing apart. We all have our opinions on where we would like him to go and why we would like him there. My brother and I live close enough that we are concerned about the quality of the facility he goes to and my sister is in partial agreement, but has some reservations that are leading to a whole new set of disagreements. Every decision we have to make seems to make the disaster grow.

Just when it seemed that things couldn’t get worse we find out that in addition to not making financial arrangements in case he became ill, nor has he made any end of life arrangements. He has verbalized that he doesn’t want machines to keep him alive but has put nothing in writing to that effect. He has also done nothing about what will transpire with his properties. If things continue in the same manner they are now, I am afraid our very fragile family will be finished when those decisions come to pass. At least now we have the hope that Dad is going to recover and things will return to some sense of normalcy. If Dad dies, before he puts his wishes to a legal document, the disaster that is now will be of small scale compared to that.

Disaster seems like such a selfish word to describe what is happening, because it infers that the tragedy is happening to me. It is appropriate though, because in a disaster things that were once stable become destroyed with only remnants left. What remains to be seen now is whether this is a disaster from which something will be salvaged and rebuilt or will everything lie in rubble never to be repaired? Will the 3 of us pull together and build on this or will this be the end of us as a family? As with all disasters, only time will tell, if we are repairable or not.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wrong Reason Decisions

Because I hated my home life and was too young to know any better I married the first boy I thought I was in love with. This led to altering my career goals, a beautiful daughter, and a very painful divorce.

I had a very unhappy home life as a child and dreamed of the day I could get away from it. As long as I can remember I immersed myself in school, knowing that education was the ticket out. I never played the dumb female; I was smart and proud of it. My stepmother thought brains were only for girls who had no other options, I listened continuously to remarks like, “no one wants to marry an encyclopedia”, and vowed I didn’t care. An education was still my goal. I studied hard, got good grades, I even got early acceptance into two fairly prestigious colleges. Then I met Larry. He was gorgeous, funny, and a high school jock. Best of all, he thought I was special, and I had been craving that for the last 10 years. So I fancied that this was the love I had waited all 17 years of my life for. I hadn’t forgotten college though. Then Larry asked me to marry him. At the time, it seemed perfect. No college, but the husband from heaven. I could make the trade, it didn’t seem like settling. Marriage would mean that I would have my own home and never have to spend another night in this one I hated so much. After all I had 18 years of wisdom under my belt.

When Larry and I were first married, I thought all my dreams had come true. I was married to a hot high school jock and was out of a home life I had hated for the last 10 years. Larry was offered a job in the southern end of Maine, far away from my despised home. He accepted, we moved, and all we had was each other to depend on. This led us to believe we had a bond that was unbreakable. So at the ripe old age of 20, I gave birth to our daughter. She was a beautiful baby, but a difficult one. She grew to be a rebellious, stubborn, and willful child. She has been the source of much joy and much agony for me. She was certainly not an easy child, or any easier adult, but she is mine, and my love for her is endless. While raising her, much of it alone, I tried not to resent her or what I missed because I had her so young. I would like to think I succeeded in this, but in truth, probably did not.

Inevitably, the time came when Larry and I had nothing in common other than Amanda. We both knew it, but hated to be quitters. (Wonder where Amanda gets her stubbornness from?) Time spent together was not relaxing or cause for enjoyment, anticipation of time away from each other was overwhelming, especially for me. I would sit on the couch and remember the dreams and goals of my teenage years and wonder how it had slipped away. I still loved Larry, but could no longer see myself on the front porch with him rocking our grandchildren to sleep. We dragged our feet until it became unbearable and we knew we were hurting Amanda as much as each other. Neither of us could bear putting her through our misery anymore. So, I left and took Amanda with me. All these years later, I still can feel the pain of that night. Papers were filed and the process of divorce moved forward. The day came to stand before the judge and I could barely get the words out of my mouth agreeing to end my marriage. I wanted to say no then and there, but knew in the bigger scheme of things this was the right thing to do. There was no hate between Larry and I, just a huge sadness of a life started too young and for the wrong reasons to have a fighting chance. I was an old woman of 28 by now.

The effect of having a childhood that was not idyllic made a permanent impression on my life. It led me to the joy of love, the miracle of motherhood, and the pain of love failed. I am stronger and wiser now, but carry those effects with me always.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I love to shop for clothes. When I do it has three distinct parts for me. The anticipation of the find, the browsing to narrow down, and the final decision from the articles gathered. Each of the parts holds its’ own special fun for me. I could not honestly say that one part is any more fun than the other.

Oh, the anticipation, when I know I am going to get a chance to walk through aisles and aisles of clothes searching for exactly the right thing. I needed a dress for a conference dinner. I could picture what I wanted. It had to be black, with some pink in it. I had many styles in mind, each needing accessories unique to style. This thought process consumes the whole trip to the stores. I imagine a black sheath style dress with small amount of pink abstract design throughout. Or maybe, I’ll get a black spaghetti strap dress, with a pink trimmed v-style neck. Possibly, I will go a little risqué and get a black strapless dress accented by a pink bodice. The possibilities are endless. Even better, no matter what style I buy, each will need its’ own set of accessories. A beaded black shawl will only work with one certain style; another will need silver earrings with 2 inches of dangle, and shoes, (a certain dress will only go with certain shoes). Oh, the anticipation!!

In my opinion, browsing is a unique experience that is only truly enjoyed by a serious shopper. It is truly an art form of its’ own kind. The excitement of being able to walk into a store and see all the possibilities it offers. Ahead of me there are rows and rows of clothes waiting to be explored. Is my black dress in one of the aisles? Off I go to find out, knowing there will be no disappointment if I don’t find it here. All it means is to another store I go. I walk through clothes, eyes pealed for that black dress. I find six dresses that may fit the bill, all the prerequisite black, with pink in them, and off I go to try them on. Now, part of the browsing experience, is dressing appropriately. Slip off shoes, shirts that have no buttons, and pants that I don’t have to fight with to get on and off are the attire of choice for browsing. Off come the street clothes and half a dozen dresses wait to get tried on. Out on front of the mirror I go, for a four sided view, back, front, right, and left. Most people don’t realize the body is a four sided object. Six times I do this, and not one is perfect by itself, but a two of them have possibilities. No panic though, this is serious business, I came into it knowing it would take time. I now have to start thinking of accessories for each of these dresses, just in cast one of them does end up being it. After all, accessories can make a so-so dress a great dress. I go through this process in three more stores. It is amazing how many black dresses with pink in them are available. To the serious shopper, few things can be compared to browsing.

The time has come to make the DECISION. Everything that has been looked at must be weighed for its’ appropriateness. Now, I will narrow it down to three possibilities. That is the rule that keeps me sane. I will not make a decision until there are only three choices. The decision making process has some similarities to browsing, but is really completely a different mind set. The dresses will be tried on again, but now accessories will be added to the outfit. All the while, the end picture is very vivid. The dress, the accessories, and the shoes must flow perfectly. Once all the dresses are tried on again, there is one that can definitely go. Now, I have two black and pink dresses in front of me. Will it be the black chiffon, with spaghetti straps, the pink bodice trim, and gathered v-neck, or will it be the black sleeveless dress, straight cut, and pink flowers on the body of it? After trying both of these dresses on again, with shoes, and all the other accessories, down to the jewelry, the decision is made. I now have the perfect black dress with pink in it to wear to my dinner.

Shopping is an art form to me that is not a complete experience, without all three parts. Having to run in to a store to pick up a shirt is not the same thing as shopping. Shopping involves anticipation that sweet thought process of what lies out there. Then there is the browsing, that chance to walk through all the clothes there are to offer, looking for just the right thing. Finally, the decision is made and out I walk with the perfect find. That is shopping.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Tired… time to go to sleep. It sounds like such an easy thing, but is it always? The steps taken before sleep happens are somewhat time consuming and should make one tired in themselves. It is not as easy as laying my head on the pillow and dropping off into dreamland. Three little steps are involved to get there. I have to be ready, the house needs to be ready, and so does the bed.

First, there is the bathroom ritual. Teeth need to be brushed, can’t go to bed with bad breath. What if I have a heart attack in the night and need mouth to mouth resuscitation? That is followed by a shower; I can not climb into a clean bed without being clean myself. Talk about a good way to ruin a night’s sleep. Next comes lotion, it may prevent me from waking up to dry skin itch (usually not this time of year though). Now, I can brush my hair so it does not resemble a home for unidentified wildlife in the morning. Lastly, it’s time to pee. I’m hoping if I pee now, it will buy me another hour of sleep on the other end. I’m ready for sleep, but what about my house?

But, before I can lay my clean but tired little head down, the house needs to be put in order. Dirty dishes in the sink need to be washed and left to dry, so they can be put away in the morning. Breakfast is set out for the ready, in case I miss the alarm. Laundry goes in the washer, so it can be dried in the morning. If I don’t do this now, how will I fold and put them away tomorrow afternoon when I get home? Lights are checked, and turned off or down. Heat is turned back or windows closed depending on the season. One last check of the door is made and I can’t forget to set the ever dreadful alarm. Okay, the house is tucked in for the night; it’s time for that sweet reward. SLEEP! (Wait, need to pee again, just in case.)

Ahh…the final step. Blankets are thrown back and I am in bed. Wait though, the pillows aren’t quite right. One needs to be folded, and the other punched a little to get the right shape. The pillows are fitted to my head now, but the rest of me is not comfortable. So now I change from my side to my belly. I do it every night; one would think I would learn. That feels better, but the pillows are wrong again. A little more pillow rearranging and all is good. Now, I can just lay here and wait for blissful slumber. Damn, on the move from my side to my stomach, the blankets got rearranged. Now, I have to wiggle a little to get the blankets in the right place, and you guessed it, the pillows are wrong again. Once last pillow punch, and all is well. Sleep, here I come!

Sleep should be one of the easiest things I accomplish in a day. I inevitably make it a complicated process every night. One of these years, my resolution, is going to be to get in bed, fall asleep, and to hell with the rest of it. (Except the peeing.)
My experience with research is extremely limited. I have written 2 research papers in my college career; one revolving around a patient case study and one involving a medication. I have been out of high school so long I can't even remember if I wrote one there. I am sure I did as I took the college prep course of study as it was called then.

The first paper I wrote involved following a patient through her illness. There was not a lot of technical research involved in this. Most of my information came directly from the patients' hospital records. There was not a lot of hunting for materials, as the instructor wanted it mostly patient specific. My patient had a lower GI bleed and I did research the pathophysiology of this illness in two reference books.

The second research paper was on a medication. We had to choose a medication from a predetermined list and write about it. This was also fairly uncomplicated. We had to write about things such as indications, contraindications, mechanisms of actions, etc.. This paper was a little more involved as there was a requirement to see if it was viable to be used prehospitally. I used journal articles in addition to standard text for this paper.

I have tried to self teach myself on how to write a research paper without much luck. For the last couple of years I have wanted to write an article for an EMS journal, but have been afraid to venture there. I am not afraid of doing the research or writing the paper, it is the footnoting and bibliography that terrify me. Yes, terrify is the right word as I can't imagine doing it incorrectly and being accuse of plagiarizing. Joe Biden was a reminder of how long something like that can be remembered.

I have never done a research paper with online referencing, so this will certainly be a challenge for me. I am sure I will see more than one comment on how to properly notate references and the like. I am looking forward to it though, as it will be a start to hopefully having an EMS artivcle published someday.
Here are my three bibliography sources. I will probably need a lot of guidance, as I have very limited experience with true internet research.

1.—The scrap booking megasite, MSN, March 21, 2009,
This site had numerous articles ranging for the beginning scrap booker including ideas on layouts and themes. They also offered an online scrap booking class.

2.—Scrap booking, MSN, March 23, 2009,
This site had a lot of information on heritage albums, of which making one of these is an en goal of my research.

3. Scrap booking—Sandi Genovese shares scrap booking ideas, MSN, March 24, 2009
This site offered information on getting organized and even had a video.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I-Search What

What I already know about scrap booking is pretty nominal. To get started, I will need at a minimum, to buy supplies. I suspect this can be as inexpensive or as costly as I wish to make it. I know there are classes available to take, and given my lack of artistic ability, foresee this as a must for me. There is a lot to be said for learning from someone who knows what they are doing already. Trying to teach myself could become quite frustrating, given my lack of patience. Researching other peoples’ successes and failures will hopefully help me make this decision. Space is where I may run into a true problem. My apartment does not afford me a good sized well lit place to lay everything out and leave it. My house does, but I don’t get there often enough to be able to put any meaningful time into this. Not being able to have a workspace dedicated to this, means I will have to pack and unpack every time I want to make a new page. For me, this will be a deterrent. Through my research, I am hoping to find an alternative to the space issue that exists.

Design options can be overwhelming from what I’ve already seen. The question for me will be, do I choose the topic, then the design, or do I look at designs, and hope they lead me to the flow of the topic. That ties in with the individual pages; can I plan a page at a time or should the whole book be thought out ahead? I know I can have different books working at the same time, but will working on one interfere with the topic or design of the other. I am in hopes that through my research I will find direction in the best route to choose.

Preservation of the scrapbooks is very important to me. I do not want to put all the time and effort into a product that is not going to endure. I have seen different materials advertised with varying longevity factors. This is probably going to require a lot of research, as I have no knowledge in this area at all. I have no idea about paper quality, adhesive materials, or any of the other staple items required to build a scrapbook. I anticipate that research can help m answer these questions.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


If you ever wanted to see a study in contrast, come spend a day with Lois and I.
Physically, we are very similar in stature, hair color, and even some features. Spend ten minutes with us and you will see that is where the similarities end. Some of our differences are superficial, I wouldn’t be caught dead in clothes that don’t match, and she on the other hand has no concept that black and blue only look good together in a bruise. The differences that are no superficial are just as obvious, our approach to life in general is exactly opposite. I’m the queen of organization; she is the dictionary definition of chaos.

When I get up in the morning, there is a very definite order to things. A shower, followed by blow dryer, then lotion, then makeup, then clothes that have been well thought out and ironed. The finishing touches include jewelry and a curling iron. Lois’s morning consists of a shower and clothes pulled from a pile in chair that she has mistaken for a bureau for the last ten years. Needless to say, she spends a lot of time impatiently waiting for me to be ready.

I am NOT a morning person. My idea of an early morning is being awake before 8:30 am. I love to lounge in the morning. If I’m not working, being ready for the day at 10:00 am is fine by me. Lois LOVES mornings. Trying to convince her that 10:00 am is still part of the morning has become a fruitless effort. She is up with the birds, feeding them. She has the paper from the box, breakfast cooked, the paper read, and all of her morning activities done by 7:00 am. I guess that’s okay on workdays, but that is a seven day a week routine for her.

Well, we are finally ready for the day and off we go. I enjoy taking my time to each our final destination. Little detours are the best part of the trip for me. If I see a place or a shop that looks interesting I am ready to stop. As long as we get where we are going on time I could make 20 stops per trip. She finds my little detours amazing; given my sense of organization they drive her crazy. She can’t relax until we are at our final destination. If we are headed to Boston, she would be happy with potty stops only. A six o’clock check in means we drive straight there, even if it means we arrive at one-thirty. I find that quite humorous, as she is the most chaotic and unorganized person I know.

One would think how does this work? They must drive each other crazy! For all the differences we have, and I have really only listed a few, we have one important similarity, tolerance. We are at an age, that we have come to understand, being different is okay. She lets me sleep in the morning, and I in turn will check in at one-thirty, before making any unscheduled stops. Contrast in personalities is not always a bad thing, if both sides are willing to make sacrifices. Ten years later, we are making those sacrifices willingly, because we understand the magnitude of what we have.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


If you ever wanted to see a study in contrast, come spend a day with Lois and I.
Physically, we are very similar in stature, hair color, and even some features. Spend ten minutes with us and you will see that is where the similarities end. Our differences are superficial, I wouldn’t be caught dead in clothes that don’t match, and she on the other hand has no concept that black and blue only look good together in a bruise. In addition to the superficial differences, our approach to life in general is exactly opposite. I’m the queen of organization; she is the dictionary definition of chaos.

When I get up in the morning, there is a very definite order to things. A shower, followed by blow dryer, then lotion, then makeup, then clothes that have been well thought out and ironed. The finishing touches include jewelry and a curling iron. Lois’s morning consists of a shower and clothes pulled from a pile in chair that she has mistaken for a bureau for the last ten years. Needless to say, she spends a lot of time impatiently waiting for me to be ready.

Lois loves mornings. She is up with the birds, feeding them. She has the paper from the box, breakfast cooked, the paper read, and all of her morning activities done by 7:00 am. I guess that’s okay on workdays, but that is a seven day a week routine for her. I am NOT a morning person. My idea of an early morning is being awake before 8:30 am. I love to lounge in the morning. If I’m not working, being ready for the day at 10:00 am is fine by me. Trying to convince her that 10:00 am is still part of the morning has become a fruitless effort.

Well, we are finally ready for the day and off we go. If we have specific plans, Lois has to get that all accomplished before she can enjoy her day. I, on the other hand, like to take little detours from the schedule. It drives her crazy. She can’t relax until all the scheduled items have been accomplished. I find that quite humorous, as she is the most chaotic and unorganized person I know. She finds my little detours amazing, given my sense of organization.

One would think how does this work? They must drive each other crazy! For all the differences we have, and I have really only listed a few, we have one important similarity, tolerance. We are at an age, that we have come to understand, being different is okay. She lets me sleep in the morning, and I in turn will let her accomplish what we have planned before making any side trips. Contrast in personalities is not always a bad thing, if both sides are willing to make sacrifices. Ten years later, we are making those sacrifices willingly, because we understand the magnitude of what we have.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lois, Cheri, Gabby, one a lover, one a friend, one an acquaintance, and all somehow involved with my life on a nearly daily basis. Lois is the lover, the person I want to share everything with and wish I had more time to spend with. Cheri is the friend, we share similar interests and have fun when we spend time together. Gabby is an acquaintance, someone I know, but if circumstances were different, not a person I would go out of my way to spend time with. Each has an individual impact on my life in their unique way.

When I spend time with Lois, I treasure every minute of it. Our time together is limited by geographical locations and various other committments. Conversation with her is easy, we can be funny, intimate or serious. We can also be silent and have that be as satisfying as conversation. Spending time with Cheri, can be fun but is not always easy. We have a lot of common interests,professional and personal, so find a lot to talk about. Cheri is a high maintenance friend, though. Our conversations tend to revolve a lot around the drama that is her life, which at times is not that interesting to me. I tend to engage in the conversation because I enjoy her friendship outside the drama and deem it a fair trade off. I am usually forced into spending time with Gabby, as she occasionally works with me, and is also my roomates' current girlfriend. Most conversations Gabby and I have are as stimulating as a slug race. Gabby needs to talk to fill the dead space, which I find exhausting.

On occasion, the four of us end up at the same social event. Lois is the person I went with and the person I want to share the experience with. We are usually are there for a token appearance, as neither of us are fond of big social gatherings. Inevitably, if Cheri is at the event, she will end up with Lois and I. Cheri is fun to be out with, but is looking for more from the event than I am. Lois and I are content people watching from the sidelines, Cheri wants to be in the middle of it all. Her enthusiasm is contagious and I am dragged from my people watching post, to being with the people. Then along cames Gabby, generally not knowing many people, begging without words, to be entertained. Once again, the relationship with Gabby, who I have the least invested in, becomes the harder than that of Lois who sits quietly aside letting the events play out or Cheri who has moved on to another place by now.

Finally, my all time favorite, running into one of these three unexpectedly. Running into Lois unexpectedly is a treat. An fortuitous encounter with her can change an ordinary day into a fabulous day. Running into Cheri can give us a chance to catch up or gossip if we haven't seen each other for a while. If I'm too busy to chat or visit, she's cool with that. No harm no foul. An out of the blue encounter with Gabby is fraught with challenges. If I don't stop to talk, she thinks I'm being rude, with no concept that I am just too busy for her dead space conversation.

Lois, Cheri, Gabby, three very different relationships for me with their own set of guidelines. Lois, the lover, at first thought would seem to be the hardest, but in comparison is often the easiest relationship. Cheri, the friend, can be difficult at times, but is mostly a comfortable realtionship. Gabby, the acquaintance, should be the easiest relationship, but in actuality is the hardest of the three.