Monday, December 31, 2007

Nothing takes a few minutes

I was in a hurry.

Should I take the time to run into Rite Aid? I only had a few minutes, but if I hurried, I could do it. I only needed to pick up a couple of things.

The line was short and I felt so happy and relieve
d I made the right decision to run in there. I made it through in lightening speed.

"Would you like cash back?"
"Sure," I reply. "Forty dollars, please."

A quick decision that would save me trip to the bank. Or. So I thought.

She handed me $40 with my small bag of purchases and my receipt. I rarely ever look down at my receipt. But, as I walked out the door, I happened to glance at it for a moment and noticed the sales woman overcharged me $360 dollars!

I turn around and return to her counter.

"There's been a mistake...." I begin to tell her.
"Please get at the end of the line and I will help you."

I look up and there is a long line of people circling around and down the aisle. I was in a huge hurry. I didn't have time to stand back in line and, I didn't think I should stand in line for a mistake the sales woman made.

"I'd like to see the manager", I said, feeling proud of myself for my quick thinking in the rush to get this resolved so I could leave the store.

A young manager still in braces walks up to me, looks at my receipt, puzzled. He didn't know what to make of it.

"Are you sure she didn't give you $400? Did you count your bills?"
"Yes, both of them. It is $40."

I show him the two $20 bills that were still clutched in my hand along with the receipt.

After the line cleared, the sales clerk said she was ready to help me. They decided the only thing they could do was to give me $360 in cash so I can drive to the bank to deposit it back into my account. Naturally, the bank was several miles away in the opposite direction I was going and there was a lot of traffic and the red light lasted longer than usual.

Lesson learned. Nothing takes a few minutes. Especially if you're in a hurry.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Looking forward to the New Year

I am really looking forward to the ending of this year.

Haven't liked it so much.

Sure, there were some really wonderful, beautiful moments in this year. (My niece was born!) But it has also been a year of great sadness and loss as well.

Way too much loss. Unwanted goodbyes. Deep losses. Way too much heartache. And a ridiculous amount of sobbing into my pillow. There has been too many times of feeling the rug being ripped out from under me.

I jumped the gun when I said that my mom was fine. She is not.

When I was a very young girl, like maybe only 2 or 3, we were visiting my cousins in Long Island and they took us to Coney Island. I still remember refusing to ride the ferris wheel with my mom and sister and cousins. It terrified me. I pleaded through tears for my mom not to go on that scary ride!

In her always-optimistic ways, she tackled that ride without fear.

But, on the ground down below, I held on to Nana so tightly with my tiny little fists clinched so deeply into her arms that she could not pry my little fingers off to hand me over to my aunt. I cried and cried in horror of seeing my mom circling around and each time she passed me, she waved like crazy, smiling down at me. I can still see her in my mind's memory. A tiny little speck in the sky with the constant wave and smile. I was terrified for her safety! She looked so vulnerable, so high up in the sky and there was nothing I could do to keep her safe, except to trust the amusement park safety people.

It is one of my earliest recollections.

Today, I feel as though I'm that same little 2 or 3 year-old little daughter screaming in fear. There is nothing I can do to guarantee her safety! Holding on, and holding my breath. Watching. Waiting.

I am going through the deepest fear of my life. (Read #25)

She has cancer. And it is has gone to her lymph nodes. And in a couple of days we will know if it has spread to her chest and brain.

If are reading this, then I believe you can take a moment to do what you do in prayer, or in warm thoughts, or in lighting a candle or in positive beliefs ..... in pushing my mother forward to wellness and in good health.

I know many cancer survivors.

My focus and prayers and thoughts and belief is that her cancer has not spread and they will get it all in her upcoming successful surgery. That she will have at least another 20 more healthy, fun, happy summers and winters ahead of her.

I so believe in the power of prayer. Thank you for your friendship and for the virtual hug. I am resending that hug over to my mom. And to the rest of my family. You carry us.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New York City Today

My single left black glove is now taking a free ride along busy streets of New York City on the floor inside a warm yellow cab alone. It's companion is with me. It's warm, too. Though, my hands are not.

It is cold outside. Snow and ice collecting itself around trees and curbs.

It is New York City after all.

I am back from a Company Scavenger Hunt. It was a part of our office party. We picked numbers and became a team. That was fun! Can you imagine?

Racing the streets for so many different supplies: toilet paper. pizza crust. chop sticks. matchbooks. The hardest part was actually hailing a cab to our destination: our christmas party at 10th and 18th.

Finally we found one. The time felt endless.

We were standing out in front of the Chelsea Hotel when we finally were able to chase down a cab.

Chelsea Hotel. Yeah, you've probably heard of it.

Sid Vicious (bass player of The Sex Pistols) and his girlfriend Nancy Spungeon once stayed there. She was found stabbed to death in the bathroom on October 11, 1978. Sid Vicious was under suspicion of murder when he overdosed shortly thereafter of a heroin overdose.

That's what I was told. While standing there, staring up into that historically famous hotel. My left hand shivering under my armpit.

Apparently a lot of other well-knowns have stayed or lived there: Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hindrix, Leonard Cohen, Jane Fonda, Sarah Bernhardt among others.

That's where until 1884, the Chelsea Hotel was the highest building in New York City. Now it is swallowed up by its own block of towering buildings.

You learn a lot about a hotel, when you're standing across the street from it for a long period of time, our arms extending out, wishing for a cab with it's light on.

We arrived at our Christmas Party waaay tooo loooong after anyone wanted to see if we collected everything. Even our memories.

We came in last place.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Getting close to the Big Apple

I just pulled out a frozen entree to microwave for a quick lunch.

I flip the carton over to read the instructions. It begins with:
1. Remove tray from box. Cut film cover to vent.

I pull the tray out and notice a thin sheet of ice on top. I remove the thin ice and look for the film cover to poke holes in when I realize there is no film cover. The plastic was never put on!

That just drives me crazy.

Now it's my turn to vent!

i never really know what to do in these situations. How do I not know if this box has been tampered with? Is it laced with poison!? Do I toss it out, assuming it's a frozen entree gone bad? Or, do I heat it up without concern assuming it's just a mistake.

Perhaps the production person, in his excitement of hearing his wife's water broke, was absent-minded and simply forgot to place that film on just before grabbing his coat and leaving for the hospital!

Or... maybe the production person was just about to place it on and his boss walks up behind him and says, "You're fired!" and in his shock and anger, yells, "then forget you!!!" and storms off leaving the conveyor belt and that one frozen entree snuck through without anyone noticing.

Well. The microwave just sounded it's beep and I am hungry so I am going to eat this mushy meal. I am concerned.. but figure it'll be okay. If not, at least it's documented here. Along with that rancid beef jerky I accidentally ate awhile back that I survived after losing six pounds over that sickness.

Early tomorrow morning, I board a plane to New York City. I'll be staying in a studio apartment in the Flatiron District Neighborhood on E 22nd between Park and Broadway. I will walk the couple blocks alone to work at our headquarters on W 22nd. It will be cold.

At home, I am still wearing pants to my mid-calves and going sock less. But for there, I'm packing pants down to my shoes. I'm not sure I'll be prepared for the cold. But I will try. On it says it's 33 degrees but FEELS LIKE 25.

Who's opinion is that? Would it feel 25 to me? Maybe it would feel more like 16 degrees.

I hope to ice skate in Central Park on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday evening, I will be going to see Avenue Q on Sunday night. Tuesday night is our office Christmas Party.

It will be a fun, busy time and I am ready to embrace this new adventure.

Well. After I stop by Longs and pick up a few items. And pack. And write a list to my pet sitter. And clean up my house. And empty my car. And fill it with gas. and. and. and...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A view from my window

So I'm putting up the dishes this morning when I can't shake this feeling of being stared at. But. By who? WhoOO0oo? I slowly lift my eyes upward and see two eyes staring at me on a rooftop next door.

Is that an owl?

I stop and stare through the window above the sink for a series of moments before my eyes are able to adjust to this owl-like figure. And then my heart melts.

She is my lovely cat, Mollie!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Feeling nostalgic in music

I think it was 1985 when I first really fell in love with music.

I was living in Tacoma, (Fife Heights) Washington that year and VH-1 was the huge music video channel. I was living in a home with six other girls. Two or three or four of us would come home for our lunch hour and sit on the couch in front of the tv and watch music videos while munching on sandwiches.

I loved Careless Whisper (Wham!), Say You, Say Me (Lionel Richie), Separate Lives (Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin, We Built This City (Starship), Everytime You Go Away (Paul Young), Don't You (Forget About Me) Simple Minds, Saving All My Love For You (Whitney Houston), Never Surrender (Corey Hart), Smooth Operator (Sade), Material Girl (Madonna), Summer of 69 (Bryan Adams), Born in the USA (Bruce Springsteen) and Private Dancer (Tina Turner) ... all huge hits of 1985. I still have vcr tapes of when I recorded my favorite music videos on tv....

When I notice people's bookshelves and see their books I think it tells a lot about someone. I think music does, too. Here's what's playing on my iTunes Shuffle. What's playing on yours?

1. Patty Griffin: Trapeze
2. Sarah Harmer: Open Window
3. Leona Naess: Home
4. Paolo Nutini: These Streets
5. Fugees: Killing Me Softly With His Song
6. John Legend: P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)
7. Kendall Payne: On My Bones
8. The Killers: Read My Mind
9. The Magic Numbers: Wheels on Fire
10. Brandi Carlile: Turpentine
11. Jann Arden: At Seventeen
12. Mary Gauthier: Long Way to Fall
13. The Innocense Mission: Follow Me
14. Hurts to Purr: Matinee
15. Alan Jackson: Remember When
16. KT Tunstall: Suddenly I See
17. Sarah Bareilles: Love Song
18. Emmylou Harris & Mark Knopfler: So Far Away
19. David Gray: The One I Love
20. Lucinda Williams: Righteously
21. Gillian Welch: Summer Evening