Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy

We're alive! Sandy blew in here with a vengeance leaving most of our area and surrounding cities devastated in some parts. It's odd, because the areas that were of complete destruction, a block down the road could be seen as untouched. It seemed as though Sandy cherry picked her victims and kept some without an ounce of damage or even an electrical outage. Lucky ducks. Our electric went out Monday afternoon. We expected it. I had just finished roasting a chicken and preparing for Sandy to leave us without power for days, even weeks. You know what I love though - everyone, including people I didn't even know, made fun of me for storing up on gallons and gallons of water and a shit load of canned soups of every kind. I went three days before the hurricane when people were all saying, "Oh it's not going to be anything. It's all media hype." I don't take chances with my family, especially having a dog now. I first went to the dollar store, bought tons of batteries, flashlights and get this----they had gallons of water. I took about 15 gallons. The line behind me were pissed off. Whatever. I let many customers go ahead of me as they chuckled at my amounts of water I had in my basket. Then I headed over to Shoprite to do some more shopping. I bought about 20 gallons of water and more canned goods. One girl walking down the aisle looked at my shopping cart and made a 'disgusted noise', like, "Ughhhh," and then rolled her eyes. Some said, "You're crazy, Deb!" Maybe I am, but during the electrical outage, we had water and food. We have a well, so when the electric goes out, we have ZERO water - not just cold water - none whatsoever. I filled all the tubs in the house and made sure we had a supply of baby wipes and everything you can possibly imagine to keep us sanitary.

I have to say, I have never, ever been so scared in my life during a storm. We've been through high winds and even hurricanes before, but this storm was one that I thought I may not possibly make it out alive. The upstairs of our house sounded as though the roof was tearing apart. I sat downstairs with my wife, pacing around to determine 'where the best spot for us to go' if we should hear something smash into pieces, but luckily, it was more of a scare than anything. I had no clue what was going on in the world outside of my house. My iPhone had no capability of making calls or going online, even with the 3G shitty connection we have here. I had no access to anything except for text messaging. All those emergency apps they told me to download were absolutely useless. We went back in time --- an AM/FM radio and a landline telephone to rely on. We have a couple of fireplaces - one for ambience and heat, and the other is a wood burning stove. So we made our coffee and food on top of the stove. Worked perfectly. When the storm was over, we even used our BBQ outside. I am so grateful that was the worst of it. My neighbor on the other hand has all these huge old fir trees on his yard. One uprooted and fell onto his property, luckily not hitting his home. Our road is completely blocked with downed trees and power lines, so we're stuck inside but thank the Lord we have power again! I must have taken the longest shower in history.

Now for my anger rant. I cannot believe the insensitivity of people who were on Facebook posting jokes and slapping the east coast in the face with horrible comments. One person even mocked the fact that a 30 year old man got killed by a fallen tree. Not for nothing - get your facts straight before even assuming that the man was even outside. He was in his own home when the tree had fallen on his house, and sadly, killing him. I don't care how many hurricanes you have seen or how many 'earthquakes' you've been through, the fact remains that New Yorkers are not used to this weather - never have been. EMS rescue workers are not prepared as they are say in Florida or the islands and for earthquakes, California. Another person on Facebook was like, "HA! My house never lost electricity and the entire road was untouched! Oh yeah, this was a huge hurricane!" --- Get the hell outside of your house and look around your surrounding area instead of the tiny world around you. How can people be so insensitive when lives were lost (minimal thank God) and homes and businesses were destroyed? Airports are under water and NYC didn't fair too well either, leaving subways flooded out and some of mass transit out of service, Some people amaze me. The sad part is, the people I'm referring to are the ones that I had thought had some sort of heart. Maybe I'm making a big deal out of it, but when I see children and adults being killed, some trapped in their homes because they can't get out due to their towns being under water, I just want to slap the shit out of the people who make fun of natural disasters, or "media hype". I have a couple of words for them.

Thank you for all my readers and those who have personally emailed me asking how I was. I really appreciated that. I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond until this very moment. I wasn't even capable of using my Twitter account or anything online. But I will be updating my status and whereabouts on Twitter if you wish to follow me there. There is also a Twitter feed of mine on the right margin of this blog if you wish to check my status. I appreciate your concern and well thoughts. I hope everyone on the east coast are safe, warm and with loved ones. New Yorkers are survivors. We've been through many traumatic stuff, and we'll get through this one. God bless.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Great Paleo Fail

"Even I can't stay on this Paleo diet."
The challenge is over. I failed miserably. For the first couple of days it was okay. I usually don't eat my burgers with a bun anyway and kept up with my meat and veggie intake. As I kept reading about the Paleo diet, it also had some conflicting "beliefs" from dedicated followers. For example, some people feel it's okay to eat tomatoes, while others say stay away from them. Most say do not eat beans or coffee since the cavemen didn't eat them. But, they're naturally grown, perhaps found later on during the earth's life...right?  Then you have to consider the strict rules in the quality of your meat - only grass fed burgers and steaks and organic vegetables and never buy fish that is farmed. Your life is basically dedicated to researching where your food is from when you're doing simple grocery shopping. And that's just it: it's not simple! While we try to cultivate a healthier lifestyle, are we truly happy with the effort behind the simple meals? After my 4th day, I found myself stuck home with stomach cramps and frequent trips to the loo. I'll spare you the details. It was like a cleansing like you've never seen before. I thought it would, umm, pass, but to my disappointment, it lasted for days. I was told that this was the "low carb flu" and that this was normal. But for 4 days? That's not normal. I could not leave my house. I cut out so much from my diet, which also includes beer and white wine (which white wine is my favorite). I only drank red wine as suggested in moderation.

As I declined the many offers of my mother's delicious dinner invites, I found myself exhausted and fatigued from the lack of carbs. Even my brain went a little fuzzy. I couldn't think. I always drink my coffee black with no milk or sugar, but I had a very hard time not eating a piece of toast with my egg whites. Dairy is also a "no no".  So my cereal option went out the door and I had to get creative with eggs and bacon. I literally felt my arteries clogging with days of eating real eggs with strips of bacon and no bread. I must say that it did fill me up to the point of skipping lunch sometimes. That was a good thing in my opinion. But is it a good thing overall? I also found myself bored in the kitchen. There wasn't much cooking other than grilling and boiling veggies. I couldn't make my delicious tomato sauce for my pasta. What else would I make it for? I was told to not exercise that much while on this diet. So during this week, while my pants seemed to have gotten a bit baggy, to me it was exactly like the Atkins Diet. Of course you're going to lose weight if you keep eliminating every 30 minutes from eating foods that just go right through you. There is nothing to hold it. I was told that it gets better.

But when??

I started feeling like complete crap after a while. I did everything right, even got my fish at the farm market and asked them, "Where is this from?" I always got wild Atlantic salmon and *gasp* even tried Australian filet mignons which tasted like gamey deer meat. For me, I was suffering. I couldn't hold on more than a week on this diet. I do realize that many foods turn into sugar. For years, I have gone without refined sugar and I don't have a huge sweet tooth. I appreciate all the help I did get from my doctor friend and I also give him a ton of credit for sticking to this diet, but for me it was a decision based upon how I felt and the inability to leave my home whenever I wanted to. I'm not the type that puts a TON of effort into shopping. If I can get organic, great. If I can get wild fish, perfect.  I'm also finding that meat, whether grass fed or not is absolutely tasteless lately. I'm not sure if it's me or if anyone else notices that steaks and burgers are starting to taste bland. Our food is definitely changing, but there is no way to make sure that it's "pure" --- even if you do ask for "wild salmon", I know for a fact that it can be lied about since having worked in restaurants that would tell their clientele that "this was wild" or "this fish is swordfish" when in fact, it was something entirely different. You can't rely on the truth when you're in a money-driven business. And that's the sad truth.

As for now, I'm in limbo. Oh, and by the way, my cooking blog suffered terribly during this diet crisis. I will continue to cook my favorite dishes, and try to do that "m" word --- m-m-m-m-moderation. Ugh, I can't even say it. I will also try to exercise every day when possible. I guess this is my only 'sane' way out. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions on how you live a healthy lifestyle, please feel free to comment and tell me what you do. I will try to keep up with my cooking blog as well if you want to swing over there for a few recipes. I'm Italian. I love my food. I love my wine. And for the record, Madelene was not a happy girl during this time, but God bless her soul for even trying it with me and supporting me, even though I know she had pizza at work. She's a good egg.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm Just "Me"

Technology is a double edged sword. On one hand, it's helpful and very handy in doing everyday little or big tasks. It keeps us connected instantaneously and let's us discover the world in ways we never knew. On the other hand, it can deceive one's perception of people, friends, etc. It can even cause us to be antisocial if we let it. What I found interesting as of late was an old friend, ok ok, an old flame that had contacted me saying hello and then going on to say how different I've become. She even went on to say, "Who is this Deb?"  She remembers me riddled with anxiety and plagued with depression at times. She remembers my phobias and how I struggled with coping. But she also remembers the 'social butterfly' that she once used to love, that she grew to hate. Funny how someone can hate the one thing that they initially fell in love with.  So I asked her, "Have I changed?" And with that, goes along with many things she didn't take the time out to discover about me. I haven't changed at all really, perhaps evolved or changed my opinions about certain things - but I'm still "me". I am still riddled with anxiety and depression, but I just cope with it better now. I still have phobias, but now I periodically face them head on instead of hiding from them. I'm still the same ol' Deb she used to know...just older. My old friend based her theory on how much I've changed due to reading my Twitter account and blog. We all put our best foot forward online, but I do have to say that this blog is quite consistent. If you read an article a year from now, it's quite similar. Dealing with inner turmoil, anxiety or letting people know how I dealt with it in ways that were beneficial. Some articles are religious a bit, and some not. It really hasn't changed all that much.

My point is: how can you determine how a person is by simply looking at what they choose to put out there? I appreciated the compliment, or...was it a compliment? Was I that "bad" of a person long ago? I have failed in many relationships, but even so, I honestly don't think I intentionally tried to cause hurt or cause great emotional pain on someone unless it was out of self-defense. I'm not perfect. I remember once, at the end of our relationship, she had called me a hypocrite after reading my book. She didn't think I could be Christian and still be "human" and make mistakes. Understandable. I then showed her in a chapter where it said, "I'm still a work in progress and still have a lot to learn." All my life I have been judged and sized up by so many people who seem to think I'm someone that I'm not. I have been assumed "rich & famous" to "poor & uneducated" ---- both are insulting because neither are correct.  I don't know what  makes people believe what they do. Again, I'm just "me". 

So to answer your question, old friend, "Who is this Deb?" 

I'm the same person who used to sit up late at night with you talking about everything and nothing at all. I'm the same person who made you laugh until you cried and eventually gave you an anxiety attack from a fit of laughter. I'm the same person who cried to you about some of my personal struggles. I'm the same person who would get upset when promises were broken. I'm the same girl who tried to look her best in order to catch your eye. The only change is now I try to look nice to catch my wife's eye. I'm the same person who is extremely self-conscious to the point of not going out at all. I'm the same person who loves hard enough for that person to really feel it inside and out. And I'm also the person that'll give you a fight worth your money. But these days, I'm the person who will walk away from a fight and leave you in silence just to create peace. I may be still 'crazy' but I'm not insane. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I have taken that quote to heart and used it the best of my ability. It's worked wonders in my life. Is my life perfect? Hell no. But I'm glad it's not, because then I would have nothing to write or....complain about.

And with that, I can't complain. I'm just "me". 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Energy

"Ahhh! I just wanna go home!"
Have you ever walked into a room and felt tense, nervous and perhaps a tad self-conscious due to the energy you felt walking inside? They say (God knows who 'they' are), that bees and dogs can smell fear - they sense your energy right away. But I don't think it's just limited to bees and dogs. I truly believe that people can sense or pick up negative or positive energy regardless. Take for example, last night... Madelene and I ate dinner at our favorite restaurant. We usually sit at the bar and order some appetizers. We're friends with the owners and have known them for years. There was something not right in the air - something a bit 'off'. Their demeanors were down - almost as though they've been defeated in some way or another. It also trickled over into the employees. Our peppy little waitress (when we actually get a table) looked down in the dumps, even though she had her sparkly smile on for us. Her energy said, "I wanna go home! I hate this place!" Even the owners looked like they wanted to get the hell out of there. So as customers wanting to have a pleasant dining experience, it was quite hard to have a good time when your hosts are absolutely miserable. But that's just one example.

Not too long ago, my puppy was a little beast. Not for nothing, as cute as she is, Lola was bad bad bad!!! As all puppies can be. She bit, scratched, broke stuff, chewed everything and growled and barked at us. One day I said to Madelene, "She just hates me. I can feel it."  Mad insisted that she was just uptight due to her shots, but there was something unexplainable - her behavior was just so bizarre. My mother would get a kick out of Lola snarling and growling at me - even showing her teeth. Mom would laugh because Lola would come over to her with her ears down and tail wagging wanting some love from her Nanna. Her energy towards my mother was very different. I became more uptight and nervous around Lola. I didn't know if my big toe was going to be bitten off or if I was going to find broken glass all over the floor. I'd come in with this uptight energy that she sensed, and it was back to square one: barking and growling with the 'challenge stance' that dogs give when they feel intimidated. Madelene started getting the same response from Lola after a while since she was getting a bit frustrated with the behavior. Then one morning, I consciously decided that I was going to be calm and tranquil around her. No more loud, "NOOOO's" and "GET OFF THERE" --- I was going to simply place her little paws back on the floor whenever she jumped on the table and then reward her with a soothing voice and possibly a treat.

It worked.

My soft energy created the same response she gives to my mother. Lola never barks or growls, unless there is someone or some animal outside. When she comes to me, her ears go down and her tail wags back and forth. She is silent and very submissive now. She became the most docile dog I have ever come across. Even when we brought her on vacation, we rewarded her for doing the right thing - not reprimanding her for doing the wrong thing - meaning - if she jumped on the table, we'd place her back down and then say, "Good girl!!!" And she immediately responds to the positive energy she gets for doing the right thing. (Or what we want her to do.) She gets startled if she's yelled at and then becomes defensive. I know some people think differently and that you're supposed to scream "NOOOOO" into their faces, but I guess my dog is different. She reacts and responds calmly with a calmer tone. And we're happy with that, and so is she. Energy is huge, especially for animals. They can pick up your tense emotions and they can also pick up whether or not you're sad. They sense it somehow.  I also think the high intensity of our emotions while my dad was gravely ill was another factor of why Lola was very tense as well. We were all worn out, stressed out, sad and even hopeless. All negative energy. She felt that, and I really believe she reacted to it.

I've been learning quite a lot about the power of our emotions and how it can affect both you and those around you. I do believe that the energy you put forth will be the energy you will get back in return for the most part, (with humans and animals). Even if your problem has nothing to do with the person who you are spending time with, that person will pick up on your energy. My own mother knows whenever Madelene and I have an argument. I can try to act all "happy and normal", but she senses something's wrong.  And it doesn't have to be people who are close to you either. I tend to steer clear from negative or toxic people who are always answering you back abruptly, just because they're having a 'bad day'. Take your crap somewhere else. I'm not in the mood to get sucked into your web. Don't forget, people's negative energies can definitely rub off on you if they're constantly miserable. It's okay to be negative from time to time -- we're all human -- but when does it come to the point of avoiding certain people at all costs due to their high levels of negativity? You can't help someone if they don't want to help themselves. Even when you try to be positive or try to do the 'right thing' - they'll always see it as an agenda or some sort of motive to do something bad to them - a self-defense mechanism perhaps, but one that I want to just stay far away from.  Life is too short to allow negative and toxic people into your life. And sadly, that may even go for some family members as well. You can only do the best you can.

What kind of energy are you putting forth today?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'm Voting

Our good friend Jill had posted something very heartfelt concerning her political views on Facebook. There was a big difference compared to everybody else's though: I have never seen such a personal and touching stance on politics---ever. I have never been convinced that either presidential candidate would ever change the way society truly feels about marriage equality, which is why I was so undecided about who to choose. I also don't rely on my lifestyle and personal life to dictate who I will vote for. I usually vote for who is best for the economy (in my opinion and from learning through others) which ultimately affects all of us,  and who will protect our country. I've been so undecided for so long, until now. I haven't had anyone truly make a dent with their side of the coin on swaying me to either side. They've all made great points and while I nodded my heads a few times, there wasn't anything so inspiring, so loving and so so personal as this one. Jill made a difference, and this isn't the first time she has done this for me. After reading her post and looking at the website she provided, I felt calmer about who I'm going to vote for. So, I'm going to vote with who I feel "calmer" about.

Here's her amazing post:

"I have loved Kate for 16 years. She is my family. She is my LIFE. So when someone tells me my relationship is not worthy of marriage because we don’t have the right plumbing, I get angry. When someone tells me my 16-year relationship – based on love, respect, honesty, and mutual responsibility – threatens the sanctity of the institution of marriage, I get even angrier. However, when someone like Mitt Romney tells me I shouldn’t have the right to visit my partner in the hospital (and vice versa), calling it a “benefit” of the state, I become enraged. Such a position is completely devoid of all compassion and logic. I’d like to ask those conservatives who support Romney’s position, what good is bestowed upon society when a gay person can’t visit the person they love in the hospital? What great and unwavering social institution is upheld by enforcing such an act of cruelty? Imagine you are in the hospital – sick, scared, lonely, disoriented – and you are not allowed to see the one person you want to see the most. Imagine the person you love was in a terrible accident. You rush to the hospital to be with that person. Yet, when you arrive, no one will let you see your partner or give you any information on his/her condition. These are not hypotheticals; these situations have happened in the past. And if Romney is elected, and makes good on his promise, it will happen again. And again. And again. I’m not asking you to change your opinion. But if you love your spouse as much as I love Kate, think about how you would feel if Romney’s proposed policies applied to you. I imagine you’d be pretty pissed too." ---Click here for the website she added.

I could relate to every detail about how she feels about Kate. I've loved Mad for the same amount of years, and we both say, "We're family" too --  a "family unit" -- even if it's just Mad & I + one dog, we ARE family. I was so on the fence about everything -- about which candidate to vote for, or even to vote at all. Sometimes all it takes is one person to truly show you 'why' you should vote. I also have to say there were a few people, including Mark and Cher that took the time to express their views to me which I appreciate very much. Thank you for swaying me over to one candidate. I'm no longer confused. I'm voting.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Introspective Getaway

And so I'm back. I've been back for quite some time but just haven't been able to write much. Vacation was very relaxing and peaceful. Although some days were cold and windy, we managed to seek out some great restaurants on the sea and enjoy the views, as well as the fresh seafood. Every time I visit Provincetown, I think of my dad. He was a fisherman and spent years at his fish market over at the South Street Seaport. He taught me everything about seafood - how to filet it, shuck it, clean it, cook it - you name it. Each year I would come home with a sea-related trinket or souvenir of sorts. He loved it. This year was bittersweet, because we went to Provincetown to rest our minds and get ourselves in a different atmosphere. We wanted it to be a time to heal in a different location, and being by the ocean always sets my mood in a calm state of mind, but somehow it rattled my heartstrings a bit with all the strange reminders. While I was in a touristy t-shirt/novelty shop, I went to grab a lobster claw lighter...for dad. For a split second, I truly thought he was still here. It was so fast, so quick, and the repercussion of the disappointment lasted way too long. I begged my mom to come along with us. We had two bedrooms and it would have been great for her to get away - to get a change of scenery, but she said she just wasn't ready. I begged her until the last hour of packing our car. I really wanted her with me. She and my dad always said they would come with me one day to Provincetown, but never made it happen. The ride was a bit too much for them. Even our trips to the Hamptons were too long. They eventually stopped coming along with us. She would have loved all the seafood and comedy shows. I wonder if it would have made her forget a little, or if it would have reminded her too much...?

While sitting in our living room having coffee getting ready for the day, Madelene picks up a flyer in a magazine and says, "Hey look! Wasn't your dad good friends with this girl's father? Didn't your dad say that he was related to you through your mom's side somehow?" I had no clue what she was talking about, until I walked over and saw that Rita Gigante was in town doing a book signing for her new release, The Godfather's Daughter. How can this be? Why is she 'here'? I read a bit more about her online and found out she was with her lesbian partner. I immediately emailed her and got a quick response asking to meet her over at the bookstore so we could talk more. The stories we shared, some of the names in the family were actually the same and most of all, we shared a huge link: we went through similar things at the age of sixteen. (My story is here.) Vincent Gigante passed away in 2005. My mother recalls Vincent "The Chin" visiting the family in upstate New York years ago. Did he and my father set this up? Why are all of us in the same town at the same time? We both live near one another, yet we're almost 7 hours away finally meeting?!?! We both agreed that the parallels of our lives were just too obvious. I told her how fondly my dad spoke of her father and how my dad recently passed away as well. I'm still reading her book, and at times, I find myself in the same situations and relating to much of it while taking breaks in between to rest my emotions. The book is well written and so fascinating, but because of my own experiences, it is very hard for 'me' to read. It brings up many reminders. In my mind, she was another "me", who went through similar things. She was gay, she was the youngest daughter and felt like the only child -- same here. She lived in dark rooms so the FBI wouldn't "peek in". We were told to stay off the phones because they were tapped. So many parallels. I've witnessed horrible fights and brawls in my own house over "business deals gone bad". Although my dad was on the lighter scale of racketeering, it was still traumatic for me to witness all that I did. Check out her book. I even told her I was half way through writing my own story to which my dad provided all the information behind my personal experiences that I had gone through, but it was too heart wrenching to actually finish it. Maybe one day I'll get the courage. So I give Rita credit for finishing this book and doing so well with it. It was also nice to meet new friends with so much in common.

I had so many questions about my trip there. "Can dad see me?" "Is here here?" "Is he okay?" -- While walking down Commercial Street, I stumbled upon one of those eccentric homemade jewelry, incense and oil shops that had a huge purple sign that read, "PSYCHIC READINGS". Against all my beliefs, I went in. A nice man named Moses greeted me. His hair was bigger than Bob Ross' and he wore this crisp white shirt that buttoned down to the middle of his chest. He looked straight out from the 60's hippy days. He was soft spoken and spoke eloquently. He brought me back to his reading room and sorted through a huge deck of Tarot cards along with a mix of regular playing cards. I didn't say one word to him about myself or why I was there. He clutched a bunch of cards, then looked at me. "I'm so sorry. You lost your father, didn't you?" I stared at him for a moment and took a deep breath. He went on to say, "He's here with you now, as you wanted him to be. He traveled here with you." Trying to hold back my tears, I let him continue with my reading. He even pointed out how many hospital visits I had this year. "Why are there so many trips to the hospital and yet you're so healthy?" I chuckled because it's becoming quite the joke around here. It was as if one of my family members called him before I walked into his store. It was the most amazing reading I ever had. But, it confirmed every question I possibly had. And most of all, it confirmed that dad was okay and visited PTown with me....finally.

Such a beautiful getaway; peaceful & much needed.
I know that most 'back from vacation' posts are supposed to be filled with, 'we did this' & ' we did that' type of blabber, and of course there are many wonderful photos to back it up, but what those photos don't tell you are all the emotional rides I went on during that trip. Yes, I needed to get away, but I felt such extreme guilt for leaving my mother, for leaving my family and for even having a good time, or "supposed" to be having a good time. All I can say is, my vacation was quiet. It was peaceful. Madelene and I connected so much during this time. There wasn't much "partying" and celebrating. There was reflection while staring out into the harbor. There were walks down the piers trying to find the boat my father loved so much that had his name on it incidentally. There was a time I was eating clam bellies at my favorite restaurant when I had to run into the bathroom to just let out a few tears because the bartender said to us, "Clam bellies are hard to find in New York because they have to be fresh and served within two days and never frozen."  Dad used to tell me that all the time. So while it was healthy for us to get away, I also purged a lot in the process, which is also good for the soul. I'm glad I went though. We definitely needed a 'time out', see our old friends and sit by the water drinking our favorite wine and reminiscing about many things, including our beautiful wedding we had there back in 2008. It was a good trip overall. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Gone Fishing

It's that time of year again when we pack our shit-n-git. We're heading off to good ol' Provincetown, MA for the week. Although I will always be ~connected~, I will not be blogging my lengthy long-winded spiels...(do I hear a sigh of relief?) I will however, be posting entertaining stupid crap from my iPhone cam or posting photos of what's brewing and who's stewin' on Commercial Street. I will always be updating my Twitter and Facebook account if you want to join the fun. The reason why we go every October is because October 11th will be our 4th anniversary of being married. We got married at Bayside Betty's right on the beach. The weather couldn't have been anymore beautiful than it was and the reception dinner at the Bayside Betsy's couldn't have been anymore perfect. Our guests were amazing, so supporting and helpful during our chaotic runarounds and especially during the wedding. I can't be more thankful to have my close friends traveling over six hours to witness our union. So a big thank you to those who came.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.


Friday, October 05, 2012

Flipping a Coin

As I watched the debates the other night, I was live tweeting, and most of all, reading the tweets of others. Twitter is great for "light" discussion, perhaps more of a comical view towards anything supposedly of a serious nature. Everyone wants to tweet the first joke or make funny comments regarding whatever. And most of it is actually pretty funny. On Facebook it's serious. You say anything derogatory about a certain candidate, and one of your family or friends or "acquaintances" will have you in a choke hold, finally deleting you from their friends list. Facebook is more dramatic that way. I don't care who you vote for, but after November 6th, all status messages and tweets are going to resume their chatter of booze, sports, pet photos, spiritual quotes and what you just had for dinner. Everything else will be soon forgotten about. If you're that passionate about politics, stop posting it onto your personal Facebook account (if you still want your friends) and get a fan page or a blog instead, where people have the choice of tapping into your thoughts. All the defeated voters will be silent while the ones who got the president they wanted are like, "I told you so." And it does nothing really, except enable the loss of many friendships.  Does it really matter though? Another question: does it really matter who wins? Both lie and have been caught doing so. So here's where I need your help. I'm confused about who to vote for. So here are my thoughts...

I want to point out a few things that I found a bit disturbing about both parties. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion -- take it or leave it. Everything is done for political gain and politicians will say anything to get your vote (to the best that they can get away with). Remember when Romney basically trashed half the nation insinuating that they were all "freeloaders"? He justified his statement by convincing the nation that he wanted to help those who really did need the assistance and crack down on those who take advantage. He wanted to create more jobs and blah blah blah. That's all I heard after that. Take a look at some of the flip-floppy quotes Obama made:

“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” - April 17, 2008, while running for president, defining marriage at the Saddleback Presidential Forum.

And then he went on to say this right before election time: “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” - May 9, 2012, as president, in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News.

Pure political gain. A "win" for many.

Of course I'm going to head into this issue because I feel it's important for the LGBT community to understand that it doesn't matter who is in office - the states decide if and when it's legal for same sex couples to marry. Madelene and I got legally married in MA under the Bush administration back in October of 2008, right before Obama was elected. I just feel that many gays and lesbians will not vote for a Republican only due to the restrictions or the lack of marriage equality. And while I think it is very important to address this issue and to have equality for all - it really doesn't matter who goes into office regarding this. What about pro-choice/pro-life issues? When has that ever changed with any politician? Never. It's been the same for years and I have a feeling it'll never change.

What an amazing presence Mitt Romney had at the debates. He looked straight at the cameras, addressed his concerns and promises with confidence and charisma, while Obama fumbled, stuttered and slouched over his podium. His body language screamed "defeat" - but who knows what'll happen come November 6th? After that amazing debate (most amazing because of Romney's ability to run the show), many folks who were undecided have made a choice, and that choice being towards the right. For me to vote for a particular candidate, I have to be able to hear and understand them clearly. Convince me. Look me in the eyes. Especially when a candidate is super knowledgeable about the mistakes of the president, throwing out specific numbers and percentages right off the top of his head without even stuttering once, while Obama just stood there and took it like a girl ---- wow. Obama bowed his head into his papers, his posture curled over with one leg bending, without even a rebuttal against his "sins" of the nation -- that tells me that there's something really wrong, at least for me.

There are so many issues, offshore drilling, energy, right to bear arms, Obamacare, abortion, the economy, marriage equality, foreign policy, etc., etc., etc... But when you really think about it, whoever wins won't be quick to change these issues dramatically. It takes time and well, a bit of honesty behind those promises. How many times have promises been broken by a president, or perhaps, just this president? Another question that is very important to bring up: if a person (like myself) is so undecided about who to vote for and feels that it doesn't make a difference who wins --even thinking about flipping a coin for the choice --- should they (or me) even vote at all? Wouldn't that be unfair to those who are super passionate about one particular candidate who may be more knowledgeable or at least, more into politics than I am? I know that voting is very important, but when it comes down to flipping a coin for the best president, shouldn't that voter step out of the ring and let America decide?  If you can help me decide with your own passionate views on why your candidate is the best one for me to pick, I'd appreciate the help. I'm very confused.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Pulling Through Autumn


"Sit!" "Stay!" "Stop!" "Get off of there!" "Stop biting!" "No!" "Down!!!" This is all you would hear as I was walking Lola this morning. It's like all the trees magically turned into different colors. Bright red, orange and yellow leaves were all scattered on the lawn. If the wind picked up a leaf into flight, Lola would run after it as if it were a squirrel. The air was crisp, the sky had a dark gray tone to it with sunbeams darting through different directions. October 1rst... October is our favorite time of the year. My dad's favorite time of the year as well. As I walked further down the lawn with Lola, yelling out, "Don't eat that" and "Stop barking at the cat", I felt like I was being watched - even worse off, being laughed at. I had an overwhelming sense that Dad was nearby, chuckling over my frustrations with "that damn dog" as he would jokingly call her. A couple of months ago when Dad was still here, he would laugh at Lola running around the yard, barking viciously at a moth or just going insane over a slight change of the wind, and of course, my frustrations with her. He'd yell out loud, "Wouldja' look at dat' dog? It's not even a dog - it's a rat!" She was only 7 lbs then - tiny Chihuahua size, and today she is almost 15 lbs and filled out. The Rat Terrier in her is definitely standing out now. I stood there in the middle of the lawn while Lola was running 90 mph around me and "hearing" Dad make fun of me as he always did. My eyes welled up with tears as I remembered him telling me in a dream, "Don't cry, don't cry baby." I truly believe my dog feels my sadness at times.

Where are you? I miss you...
The absence of Dad is really starting to sink in for all of us. Strange how our bodies have a self-defense mechanism that prevents us from fainting or just losing it altogether once someone you love passes away. But it's true. We were all numb when it first happened - hate to say even relieved because of the pain we all witnessed him go through was absolutely heart wrenching. And now that a little time has passed, life seems so strange without him. It feels incomplete. I'm mostly worried about my mother. She's been crying an awful lot. I know it's normal, but my sisters and I have been trying to do everything in our power to get her mind off things, take her out, or just even sit and watch a movie with her. We don't want to prevent her from grieving, but she feels like she has no worth anymore or anyone to take care of. Jokingly I asked her, "When you gonna make your famous chicken soup, ma?" Her face lit up and she asked, "You'll eat it? It'll go to waste because Daddy and Wayne (his best bud) used to finish it."  I reminded her that her soups never go to waste. In fact, her soups are so good, we all think she should open up a soup restaurant - like the soup nazi on Seinfeld. We all take turns trying to take her out, spending quality time with her and trying to make her laugh. No matter what, at the end of the day, like I always say -- it's only her and her thoughts. It's only her and all the memories that she has to sort through. That's tough. And it's going to be tougher on the holidays. 

Today's first day of October and my heart is breaking a little more. October reminds me of Dad. How he loved this crisp weather. Although, he didn't love it so much while he was sick. Even on a summer evening he'd say, "Ohhh it's so cold!" His illness made him hate the weather he once loved. He'd shiver in the midst of summer and beg to go back inside. If you walked into the room he always stayed in, it was hot and stifling, and there is was still claiming he was cold. I have to keep reminding myself how much pain and misery he was in for the past couple of years, but my mind goes back to the "healthy" days. It's strange how the mind can play tricks on you. I have to remember why I felt relieved of his passing -- the end of his torturous days. His quality of life was shit. His quality of care by hospice was shit. I'm still dealing with anger issues regarding their lack of care and compassion. They left our family struggling to help Dad of doing the things hospice should have been doing. They didn't treat him with dignity or at all really if you want my opinion. I guess it doesn't matter now. All that matters is his peace, my mother's peace of mind and my entire family healing right now. We can only do the best we can for Mom, to the best of our abilities right now without neglecting our own lives, our own needs as individuals grieving ourselves. I think we're all doing a helluva' job keeping it together. And that's how we roll: pulling through no matter what the circumstances are. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her over on Facebook and Twitter for updates.