Friday, February 22, 2008

Gas Leak?

The other night, right before I went to bed, I walked in the hallway and noticed a gas-like smell. It had that sulfuric odor to it and I knew that it had to be a leak somewhere. It was midnight and I was tired, but hell if I was going to fly under those covers to never wake up again. Madelene called the gas company and they came over right away. This older man who’s been doing this for over 30 yrs tells us he definitely smells something too. So, I’m thinking, good thing we called! He’s shuffling around the apartment and then goes to the dryer. (Which is the general area where I smelled it.) Anyway, he checks the dryer to see if it’s gas or electric and finds that it runs on electric thank God. He gets his little meter stick out to check if there are any leaks, and no beeps were heard.

He walks over to the gas stove, and I heard loud beeping. “Don’t worry, just checking if this thing works.” he shouts over, reassuring that we wouldn’t be dying anytime soon from carbon monoxide. He kept sniffing. He insisted that he smelled the same thing we did as well. There was definitely a smell of gas in the air. Then, he went out onto the deck and into the boiler room. He then walks out after 5 minutes and says, “Nope. Nothing.” He begins to walk towards the door and says, “Well, you’re ok, your alarms are working fine and there’s no detection of gas, but I do smell it.”

I glance over at Madelene, and then asked the gasman, “You mean to tell me I have to sleep knowing that the professional smells gas?”
“Well, it could be your neighbors.”

Well isn’t that comforting. I guess he didn’t want to disturb their sleep, since we were all going to blow up into smithereens anyway. Who cares, right? It’s just a condo full of what – 30 people in the same building? No biggie. Light up that fireplace!

Later I find out that it was a candle that we had just blown out making simulating a sulfur-like smell. Nice, huh?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No One

I couldn't have said it better, Madelene... I love you... Thanks for introducing me to this song! It's perfect!

I just want you close
Where you can stay forever
You can be sure
That it will only get better

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cause
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all I know is everything's going to be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

None of them can love me
like you do
your feelings for me
is not you
better love me
they cant come
between me and you
yes you always around
you're the one
to wear my crown
I know you love me
I know you'll never let me down
woman you are so blessed
you never worry or stress

You're my empress
me and you together

When the rain is pouring down
And my heart is hurting
You will always be around
This I know for certain

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cause
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all i know is everything's going to be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel

I know some people search the world
To find something like what we have
I know people will try try to divide something so real
So till the end of time I'm telling you there is no one

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

Friday, February 15, 2008

What's That Smell?

I stink. See, I bought this new cologne/perfume, sort of a unisex type of toilet that I “thought” smelled really good when I first was introduced to it. Somebody at a friend’s party was wearing it, so I asked what it was. Now, stupidly enough, they told me. I don’t ever tell anyone what I wear or the combos I mix, because then they’ll run out and get it themselves or protest against it…not sure which one. Anyway, like a copycat unoriginal moron, I went out and bought the love potion myself. I was excited to go home, spray myself a few times with this magic concoction and head out to dinner with my sweetie. Here’s one of my secrets: I always apply lotion on top of the perfume to lessen the blow, if it’s a pungent and strong solution..

Result: I smelled like one of those perfume samples in a magazine. I smelled like an old Vogue insert from 1982. This perfume isn’t one of those cheap drug store kinds either – it’s a well-known and expensive brand that I already smelled on somebody else...key words being: somebody else. I’m reminded of "body chemistry" and how different one perfume smells on another person. My body chemistry is fighting this battle and losing. At night, I have this long drawn-out process of washing my face, exfoliating, primping up, flossing and brushing my teeth and then throwing myself under a pile of covers. Well, last night when I tried to fall asleep, the smell was there to haunt me. The smell was in my hair, my chest, and my arms – it was everywhere. I got up and tried washing every area I could have possibly sprayed.

Still there.

My nose finally became numb to it all and I fell asleep, only to wake up and rise and shine to the smell of bad perfume. This perfume – or cologne should I say, actually reminds me of an old boyfriend who used to shower in the stuff. (Different stuff mind you.) But, I was picturing him with his little fancy silk shirt buttoned down low with his curly chest hairs sticking out amongst his gold Italian figaro chains that held gigantic crucifixes, along with Italian horns to ward off any evil spirits. (Which is a sin in itself – Italian horns and crosses are like sacrilegious and all.) That’s neither here nor there.

Back in my disco single days, I bought this stuff that had natural human pheromones in it. (Sounds gross right? How the hell did they extract that stuff? Probably from dead people.) Anyway, I tried it to only come to the conclusion that it only attracts dogs. Small dogs mind you. I started dating this girl (you know who you are), and I went to go pick her up for a date. I figured that I’d wear the stuff to see if she gives me that twinkle in her eye… (Hopefully not twitching from my perfume.) So, I walk inside her apartment and her little dog comes charging at me and jumps on top of my shoulder, licking my neck and practically fornicating with me. (I wanted the owner of the dog to do this!) We couldn’t figure out why her dog was getting so “cozy” with me. The dog was usually skittish and high-strung, much like a Chihuahua, so this was quite a mystery…or was it? I wasn’t about to tell my girlfriend that I used some “love potion” that was possibly taken out of the coroner’s office, so I remained quiet and acted just as baffled as she did.

That was the end of buying human pheromones online.

Back to current times: I stink. I stink like a French male whore, never mind female. If you walk inside my apartment, you’ll think there’s a man hiding in the closet somewhere. All femininity has been lost all because I wanted to try a new scent. Unfortunately, science tells us that women are generally attracted to scents of a masculine nature – regardless if their preference leans towards women. So, I want to stick to the science theory and lure my girl in with some alluring aroma…

Bottom line: I stink.

Please watch this 10 second video that a famous band sung just for me...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Korean, a Behemoth and an Italian Girl at the Checkout Counter...

People are such inconsiderate, irritable, self-absorbed moronic idiots lately, I swear. It’s like, you try to give most people the benefit of the doubt and they seem to just vomit ugliness everywhere. And no, I’m no angel to begin with…and therein lies my dilemma...

Picture it. New York, 2008. Tuesday, late afternoon standing in line at a local Korean market buying fresh salmon for dinner…say 4ish or so… I had just gotten back from the big supermarket buying staple groceries, fighting the mass crowds of people who were pushing, shoving and wrestling one another for the very last can of habichuelas, because there was a snowstorm brewing outside. God forbid we go without a smoked ham and apple crumb cake for a day or so. A little woman standing outside of the supermarket while it was snowing asked if I could give her a ride down the road, however, her cart was full of groceries and my bus of an SUV had tons of wood piled up in it, plus the bulk of groceries I had going on myself…and of course, the thought, “She’s can be a serial killer! Hell no!” (Which is the reason why most New Yorkers don’t stop when they see someone sick on the street or someone hurt – they think it’s some kind of scam. We’ve been traumatized to all you Midwesterners who are reading this.) Highly unlikely, however there are cabs everywhere. I’m sure she was okay. I’m sure. I hope.

Anyway, back to standing in line at the Korean market… There were two women standing in front of me. One was checking out her produce. She was a large, say 6 foot tall and big all around, and the other woman behind her was about 4’11, skinny and fragile looking. I see this behemoth-looking woman fumbling in her purse for her wallet. She pulls out an American Express card.

“Ah, no, we don’t accept that here.”
“Well you used to!”
the behemoth blurts out. Now mind you I’ve been coming to this market since it opened and they never once took American Express. They’ve had the same machine there for years.
“So you don’t take American Express anymore?”
The cute little Korean guy looks down, frustrated that his words weren’t understood, possibly taking too long, when the woman starts growing angrier.
“Huuuuuuuuullllllllllooooooooooooooo?” she says, as though he was some idiot.

Deb’s temper rises. I was fuming over the way she made this cute little man feel like a pile of shit.

“I’m not sure if you heard him or not, but he doesn’t take American Express, never has, and not once since this place opened have they taken a card that is hardly accepted anywhere.” I said…hoping I wouldn’t be eaten.
“Well they should have a damn sign that says that!”



“Maybe if you opened your eyes ma'am, you’ll see the bright yellow sign that tells you what they do accept. They also don’t accept Monopoly money, however, they didn’t list that as things they ‘don’t’ accept.” I replied.

I’m still waiting for this woman to take a bite of my left shoulder at this point. She throws some fresh cash on the counter that looks like it’s just been spit out of an ATM machine and grumbles a few obscenities at the Korean guy and me and then waddles out of the store furiously.

When my turn came, I plopped my 2lbs of salmon on the counter and said, “Tough crowd tonight, huh?”

He just looked at me in fear.

Now, I never, ever get myself involved with outside arguments or things that have nothing to do with me, but this woman was so mean to this guy and so stupid that it made my blood boil. It was then, when I walked out of the store to see her piling into a minivan full of bratty screaming kids and saw the parking sticker for a hospital that she works for. Can you imagine the day she had?

Now I feel bad.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Having a Bad Day

For one, it’s cold out there. It’s below zero and my nose is red and runny. I can’t turn on the fireplace, because the night before the high winds made the smoke back up into my apartment making me cough like a mule all night. Our gas and electric bill was close to $400.00, leaving me to watch the gage a bit more carefully so we don’t pay up the wazoo next month. I’m starting to think the Amish really know what’s best. When I woke up early this morning, I went to go make coffee – first thing. I had to take the grains out from the previous morning, which the little paper thing happened to rip, leaving me with a pile of coffee grinds all over my tiled floors. Not in the mood to clean, but I sucked it up and did it grudgingly. My eggs had shells in it. Nuff’ said.
I found cold air floating inside because the flu of my fireplace was still opened. I couldn’t close it because there were a few embers brewing bright red from the night before.

I work as a freelance writer for a magazine. I had to log in by 6am and make sure my work is submitted, edited and published by 8am. Have you ever had a day where all you seem to do is tpye evyrtihng worng? My grammar was shot to hell, and needless to say, I got the damn thing chucked back to me, not once, not twice, not three times, but four times.

Not a good day.

My shower is acting up. The hot water is more prominent than the cold. I can’t get it “warm” – it goes piping hot as a mutha on my back making me scream bloody murder and later on making me the prime suspect of a homicide later that day: my landlord. Thankfully, I watch Forensic Files so I can stay clear of any leftover “clues”. They’ll never catch me unless they read my blog.

I was highly disturbed by some news that was brought to my attention this morning by Madelene. She had explained to me that when we used to live in the upstairs apartment from my parents’ house, that a friend who slept there on occasion left a little surprise for us: a flattened dead cockroach on the couch where she had slept. She investigated further and found that there was one more bugger near her bag. She secretly fumigated the place while I was out and never told me so I wouldn’t freak. I’m a huge ‘OCD make sure everything is clean and disease-free type of gal’. This didn’t sit well with me and I am grateful that I found out much later, now that this friend and me do not speak any longer. It made me get the heebie-jeebies…

My downstairs neighbor has decided to do some renovations to his apartment. Isn’t that great? But, he starts at 6am. No lie – 6am the hammers are going, the drills are crankin’ and the yells from the men working together bossing one another around is enough to make me wanna give them Chinese torture. This usually occurs on a Saturday too, while I’m sleeping in a little. So would that still qualify as ‘not a good day’? I would say, not a good month.

Thankfully at night, Madelene along with my other close friends keep me preoccupied, free and clear of thinking about anything negative. But then, in the morning, the cycle begins again. So if any psychiatrists out there would kindly prescribe me some anti-homicidal drugs, I would appreciate it.

I’m not depressed… I’m not suicidal… I’m homicidal. Take note. You might just need this for the forensic investigation(s).

Thanks for letting me vent!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Can Our Deceased Loved Ones Visit Our Dreams?

Leesa’s done it. She took the “crud” out of my system. The “crud” being referred to as writer’s block or just 'I don’t wanna write' type of phase where all I post are someone else’s words or just plop a video onto a post. Voila – a post! So now I am going to ride the coattails of my friend Leesa, who is an amazing writer, thinker, soul-searching, thought provoking and beautiful person. (Can I get any more adjectives in there?) Okay, she’s sexy too!

On her post entitled, “’Til Death Do Us Part (Maybe)”, she explained her thoughts regarding her deceased grandmother visiting her dreams. She tossed around the idea that maybe it was her neurotransmitters in her brain that conflicted with the actual – wait – “possible” notion that it could very well be her grandma’s spirit coming for a visit. Toggling the theory of science vs. religion and spiritual encounters, Leesa triggered some memories I’ve had of my grandmother “visiting” me in my dreams right before her death. I told my mom that I was going to Brooklyn to see grandma before she died. I had it all planned out for the following Saturday. My mom warned me not to go, because she thought I would get disturbed over the sight of how my grandmother looked like now, as opposed to when I remembered her before having the stroke and literally becoming a vegetable in bed for months. The beautiful, robust redhead was now down to bones and white hair. Was I prepared to see her like that?

I didn’t care. I still planned on visiting grandma. I wanted to say my last goodbyes. It was important to me. A few nights before, I went to sleep and dreamt that my grandmother was talking to me, telling me not to go, because she didn’t want me to see her like that. Mind you, during this dream she was still alive, yet not conscious. My hard-hardheadedness told her no and that I was still planning on seeing her. Two days later, my mother came into my bedroom and told me grandma had passed away. Her “hard-hardheadedness” beat my own stubborn ways. We were very much a like in many areas. In fact, at her funeral, I found out that her birthday was the same as mine – February 4th. She always celebrated it on February 5th. No one ever explained why she said her birthday was on the 5th instead of the 4th. (If any family member is reading this, please explain to me…) Was it because she wanted me to have “my day”, or was it because she just messed up? I always said to her, “Grandma, I wish our birthdays were the same!” On the day of her funeral, they made her up to be what I remembered her to be: the beautiful robust redhead…the woman she wanted me to see.

I can’t say for sure if it was actually my grandmother visiting me in my dreams, however, it’s a comforting thought and belief that makes me believe that grandma was protecting me from a traumatic encounter.

Thanks, Grandma! And thanks Leesa for making me 'think' again!
So what do you think? Do you feel that it is in fact, the neurotransmitters in our brain that make us conjure up these dreams of our deceased loved ones? Or do you think it's really true that they are trying to communicate with us through our dreams?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Words of Encouragement From My Mom

How to Make a Beautiful Life

Love yourself.

MAKE PEACE with who you are
and where you are
at this moment in time.

Listen to your heart.
If you can't hear what it's saying
in this noisy world,
MAKE TIME for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let your mind wander among the stars.

Take chances.
Life can be messy and confusing at times,
but it's also full of surprises.
The next rock in your path
might be a stepping-stone.

Be happy.
When you don't have what you want,
want what you have.
That's a well-kept secret of contentment.
There aren't any shortcuts to tomorrow.
You have to MAKE YOUR OWN WAY.
To know where you're going
is only part of it.
You need to know where you've been, too.
And if you ever get lost, don't worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.

Life isn't days and years.
It's what you do with time
and with all the goodness and grace
that's inside you.
The kind of life you deserve.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Forgiveness by Rich R.

Learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others. Forgiveness can soften the heart, drain the bitterness, and dissolve your guilt. If you can just learn to forgive, you yourself will in turn be forgiven.If you are at war with someone else you surely will never find peace within. If you want to get along, go along. You need to leave your old baggage behind; the less you carry, the farther you will go. I personally find peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge. I have always believed in forgiving your enemies; nothing annoys them more. Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Forgiveness is actually a funny thing. It warms your heart and cools the sting as well. It takes the internal pain your in right away. Anger is a controllable emotion. It does no good and harms everything in it's path. It destroys, relationships, friends, jobs, and yourself.

Learn to deal with it by not dealing with it. Let it go. Just simply let it go. I promise you will feel a whole lot better. The way this can be done is think of that happy place in your mind to go to. Everyone has one. Use it to change your thoughts of anger. It works. Take a break. Go be alone for a few. Get a grip on what's happening and deal with it. Now that your alone, close your eyes and go to your happy place. You will see, the anger you just had will leave just as fast as it came.

Forgiveness means so many things to me. Here are a few:
The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.
Someone who is very weak has a difficult time forgiving.
Forgiving is an attribute of only the strong.
Forgiveness means letting go of the past.

When you forgive, you in no way change the past...but you sure do change the future. The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present. For every minute of anger you lose sixty seconds of happiness. Ask yourself this question: will this matter a year from now? Very simple that is so deep if you truly take the time to think about that sentence alone. The answer is NO! So think about what is going on with you right now or when your angry about something. Just knowing a year from now you probably won't even remember this incident ever happened so let it go. Don't allow it to spend one second of thought. If you allow it to sit inside it will grow like a bad virus and spread. Just let it go and your life as well as everyone's around you will seem so much better. Someone who is very weak has a difficult time forgiving. Forgiving is an attribute of only the strong.
Copyright: Rich R 2/6/08

Thanks, Rich!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Perfect In God's Eyes

I’ve been mistaken for Jesus apparently. Since I claim to be Christian and talk the talk, sometimes I stumble with walking the walk. In almost each post and in my book, I point out that I am still a work in progress. I’m not perfect…I’m human. I can only try to be “Christ-like”, but if you really think about it, can we really be perfect like Christ? Can we follow His example to perfection? Or can we just learn as we go? I share my thoughts and what I think are the best ideas, but yet, again, I’m human. I’m not Jesus. ...WWJD? Well, I can try, but it’s going to be very hard.

Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak. ~Matthew 26:41

Temptation can encompass many aspects of life’s desires and actions. When we’re tempted to do something less than “Christ-like”, it’s our body that’s at fault - our physical being here on earth and not our spirit. Our physical being vs. our spiritual side are at constant war with one another. We all have this conflict and can look back on something we did in the past and say, “Why’d I do that?” It’s normal.

God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength. ~1 Corinthians 1:25

We’re all “weak”. It’s not such a bad word as it seems. To me, the word “weak” means to be human. Even if we’re as strong as a rock, we’re weak in our physical shell. We all make mistakes and we all do things that we normally say we wouldn’t. It’s called being human. If we constantly seek guidance from God and read His word daily, we can try to be a better person…but not equal to Jesus Himself. People normally judge us by our actions and words. But what if our words don’t quite correlate with our actions? We’re seen as a "hypocrite". The excuse of being “human” is plain b.s. to them. I can talk about God and yet be crude as the next guy. I can say I’m a Christian, yet turn around and curse someone out of anger. I can try to follow the example of Jesus, yet I just. fall. short.

For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. ~Romans 3:23

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. ~2 Corinthians 16-18

Even though I fall short of being a Christian, I never give up. Each day our spirit is renewed. We can start over. As the scripture says, our troubles today are temporary and won’t last very long. Sometimes I get into this state of mind where I doubt everything. I ask “why why why” and hope that God will answer me right away. While praying about something that was troubling me, and after numerous days of waiting for God’s answer, He pointed out a story written in “The Word for You Today” – a magazine the church hands out. Now, I must tell you that I absolutely detest parables of any sort, even though that’s one of the biggest ways Jesus spoke to us, this one really spoke to me. I wanted to share it with you and see if it speaks to you as well. Read between the lines…see if it applies to your life.

The Lord…redeems your life from destruction. Psalm 103:2-4 NKJV

On a winter afternoon Harry de Leyer returned from an auction with a big gray horse that his children promptly named Snowman. He was a good riding horse, but when a neighbor offered Harry twice what he’d paid for him, he agreed. Right away he regretted his decision; so apparently did Snowman. And that’s when his hidden talent showed up – along with the horse himself! The neighbor’s fences were high, but Snowman repeatedly scaled them to be with the master and family he loved. One day Harry made the reunion permanent by buying the horse back – and the rest is history. Snowman kept winning championships and shows until the ultimate dream, The National at Madison Square Garden, where he was named, “Horse of the Year” two years running. But not because he ran; Snowman was a jumper. And nobody would ever have known had it not been for the fences that separated the grateful animal from his loving master. And the horse had every reason to be grateful, because Harry had arrived late at the auction that day after the best horses were sold. The big gray gelding that became the indomitable Snowman was rescued from the only other bidder…a man who intended him for the glue factory! The Psalmist said, “The Lord…redeems your life from destruction.” When others write you off, He sees what you can become. Andrew Bonar said: “Kept by the mighty power of God…every day we escape dangers we’re not aware of…If we…saw the snares Satan lays for us…how we’d adore the Lord who enables us to escape them all!” Take a moment today and thank the One who has redeemed your life from destruction.

So in my mind, if we’re wishing for a certain thing to happen in our lives or something to return or change, you might get what you wish for – which is ultimately destruction. Thank God that your prayers weren’t answered – for you’d probably be in a worse off place today. Sometimes, our unanswered prayers are blessings in disguise.

Thank God!

And if you’re trying to be perfect – don’t give up! You may fall short one too many times and have people judge you on it, yet remember, God’s weakness is far stronger than our human strength. He sees past the “hypocrite” and sees the “human”. It’s hard for people to view past the human shell; the human flaws and imperfections. Just know that you’re perfect in God’s eyes.


Growth Spurts

Yesterday, someone shared a quote with me that resonated with me so much. She said, "Just remember, trying to hurt me by bringing up my...