Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Crazy insane madness between the Christmas shopping and STILL a bit sick, I've been neglecting my blog. I just wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays! I'll be back on track after January. For now, a little clip I had taken from the deck of my apartment. Santa Claus came to town! (Of course, without gifts and in a plow truck...)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This, I Have Learned...

There’s always a pivotal moment in someone’s life when they finally realize the learning experience from all the bullshit they’ve been through. It’s like an epiphany of insane and enlightening thoughts being tossed into a blender that was once referred to as, “their mind”. Shortly after any negative experience you may encounter, such as a breakup, a heated argument or why someone did the most asinine thing - you go into “stupidity mode”, ie: “Why did this happen?” “What did I do?” “Why, why why?” Then there are the closure whores who need every fricken thing under the sun closed like a used car sale. I used to be that way, but thankfully, with many mistakes I have made in the past, and through other people’s mistakes as well, I have finally learned the reason to people’s madnesses, (or maybe just a select few), and of course my own.

Think about it - the seven deadly sins (not getting all high & mighty & holy rollin’ on you), but these things are valid in our lives. Pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth are all semi-related to people’s behaviors.

First, take pride. Nobody wants to apologize or admit to their wrongs. Their “pride” will be at stake and they’ll feel vulnerable. Pride makes a person believe they are superior: why should they beg for forgiveness or even state that they may have done something wrong when they “think” that they haven’t? “Off with their heads”, the Queen said. And that’s exactly how they think of themselves---as “The Queen”. Someone please kick the goddam pedestal out from under their feet?

Envy: These are the desires for others’ traits, statuses, abilities or situations. If someone envies the way you live or covets anything you have in your possession, chances are, the friendship/relationship you have with them may be a false one. It may have been a motive just to get to where you are, to be who you are, or to have what you posess. Think about your past relationships that didn’t work out. What was the one thing they seemed to have had their eye on?

Gluttony: Hrmm, not sure if this can apply to relationships, however if someone eats you out of house and home and drinks all your vodka, kick them out ASAP!

Lust: Oh this is my favorite one! We get so caught up in it sometimes that we occasionally confuse this one with “love”. People often do it and then realize the initial reason of going into the relationship was because the sex was mind-blowing. Oh yeah, he/she had an “okay” personality. Pfffbt.

Greed: “I want, I want I want”, is all you hear from this person. They get what they want and they don’t stop at just that. If you’re someone who has a bit more coins than they do, and find yourself signing the tab after a good meal at a restaurant each and every time, make a mental note of it. You don’t even have to be rich in order to be used. I have had this happen to me twice in my life and never forgot it, however I never regretted it either. A gift is a gift and that’s that... Learn from it and then move on.

Sloth: This possibly can pertain to relationships, the typical meaning is: “habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness”, however in the religious terms, it points out the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. I had dated someone who wasn’t spiritual at all and it brought me down to the point of depression. We all need people who can edify us in some way or another - and that is a huge thing for me, which is why my wife and I have been together for so long in my opinion. I had someone pretend to be spiritual in order to get “closer” to me, but I would have preferred them to be “real” and honest about who they really were, not someone they tried to be or, pretended to be.

This morning, I heard someone say, “There are three sides of a story--the two people involved and the truth.” I couldn’t agree with that more. I remember my wife coming home and talking about her good friend and how she is going through a bit of turbulence in her relationship. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like this friend, however I never fully go by the story I hear, because I know that there is a silent rebuttal from the other person’s perspective. Listen to two people arguing: “What? I never said that! How can you say that?” It’s constant disagreements. You can’t take sides no matter how badly you want to be friends with them. Just stay out of it. The truth is revealed through the eyes of God, through the eyes of the past, present and future. The truth comes out eventually, when all efforts to distort the person’s character have been exhausted.

I have recently encountered this - where the truth came out and people’s eyes opened up to a new look at a situation that had been going on for over two years. It’s funny when someone lies often enough, chances are, they believe their own lies and it does become “truth” for them. It’s even that much harder when the person who is lying is very believable, even producing enough crocodile tears to overflow a dam.

Sometimes you just have to let nature take its course and let the truth come out on its own. Remain silent and wait. Patience is definitely a virtue.  

This, I have learned...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let Go & Let God . . .

(Yes, that is my dad playing Santa Claus and me in yellow feet pajamas.)

During the holidays people can become sad, overwhelmed and cranky. I don’t exclude myself from that sentence either. There are more suicides, family arguments and extreme depression and anxiety. Especially this time of year, people usually think about lost loved ones and people who they have lost touch with throughout their lives. A whole medley of chaotic thoughts get rustled into a mess of psychological bullshit. It happens to the best of us, sane or insane.  It was so much different when we were kids.  

Being that this is the most “expensive” time of the year, we tend to look through our archives of achievements or, sometimes, the thought of the lack thereof. It makes you wish that the holidays weren’t so gift-based, as it should be united-based. As we grow older, we morph into different characters, sometimes involving impassiveness towards our own family members and close friends at times. It happens. Personalities, lifestyles and the people who surround us sometimes clash, leaving a gap in between what was once left as a “whole”.

It’s those types of things that get to me more than physical trauma. As you all can probably see, I can laugh through weird physical traumas, health issues and mishaps, but when it comes to the breaking of a relationship, whether it be friendship or familial, emotional pain is much worse than physical pain, in my opinion. A physical wound can heal in a few days, sometimes leaving a scar. An emotional wound heals slower, and when it does scar, we sometimes tend to pick at it, reopening that wound up again. That’s why the holidays can be so devastating for so many.

I know, a total 'Debbie Downer' post, but I guess I felt the need to write this out since I have lost a family member of my own who was close to me due to unfortunate circumstances. I have lost her as a friend and now, as my own sister. All I can do is pray that she is well, that she is happy and content in everything she does. She was my best friend my entire life, besides being a sibling. With that, I have said my peace and I am ready to let go and let God take over the rest. (From top left to right: Barbara our neighbor and my sister Carla. From the bottom left to right: My sister Cathy, me and my sister Dawn.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Missing Finger Update

Just a little vlog to update you on my "issues", as well as torment Madelene in the process. She asked not to be on film, but I had to get a few sneak shots in regardless. I've become a mean old woman.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

First Snowfall of the Year

Since I cannot type well due to my injured finger and this huge bandage, I figured I'd show you a video of the first snowfall here in New York. The photo above is what we woke up to. (Wow that took forever to type with two fingers!)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Slap Choppin' & Hoppin' to the ER...

I am typing with two fingers right now because I had an accident. Last night when I came home, I started to prepare dinner. I started chopping onions when I realized the power of my knife, which ultimately left me with 4 1/2 fingers. They reattached my finger and it will heal thank God. For now, blogging will be limited for me. If anyone wants to watch the video of what I would like for Christmas, I'll give you my address if you want to send it to me.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bayerische Lockdown

Usually on a Saturday morning, I like to make a quick run down to the Jewish deli and pick up a couple of bagels and lox for Madelene and myself. I’ve been feeling better and eager to get out of the house, so I thought this would be a great start. When I looked out the window while getting ready, I noticed the winds were very high, bending the trees in all sorts of obscene directions and when I walked out onto the deck, I felt the bitter cold go right through me. I got very discouraged and had to rethink my plan: either make breakfast here, ---or wait--- does my new car have an automatic remote start up so I can warm up the car before heading out?
I quickly ran over to the office window that overlooks the parking area with my set of funky BMW keys. This thing has unknown gadgets on it, so I figured at least one of these buttons would start this puppy right up. No. such. luck. I went into the bathroom where Madelene was getting ready and asked, “Does the car have a remote start?” She literally dropped her eye shadow applicator and stared at me as if I had asked her if it was able to fly. If this car has a steering wheel warmer, a seat warmer, a foot warmer, I mean come on, that’s not such a far off question to ask. Madelene broke her stare and simply said in a nonchalant and stern tone, “If you install an automatic remote starter for a BMW, it’ll go into lockdown mode.” Term sounds oddly familiar when a psyche ward patient gets loose. I can hear a voice from the car saying, “Alert! Alert! Deb’s trying to install an automatic starter because she’s too damn lazy to walk downstairs to warm me up! Please lockdown immediately! Alert! Alert!”  There was once a time when I was driving a loaner BMW before I got into this car and the entire thing went nuts on me. It wouldn’t start up, however it decided to tighten the seatbelt, to where I could not loosen it up and locked all the doors so that I couldn’t get out. I couldn’t even open the windows to scream for help. I was officially “locked down”.

Needless to say, I made breakfast inside. I still have to brave the winds in a little while so that I can make the “big trade off”----a half eaten turkey with stuffing for my mom and dad so that we can take home four huge stuffed artichoke hearts. She refuses to release them unless I give her the goods. It’s like a huge drug trafficking scheme. “The Artichoke & Turkey Trafficking Organized Crime Family.” Ridiculous right? But it’s a fair trade. I don’t want that turkey morphing into some kind of funky chicken a week later. That stuff reeks to high heaven. The entire fridge starts to smell like ass if left in there long enough.

I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving with family & loved ones, and I hope you all have a great weekend! Now onto more stressful events, like decorating and shopping for Christmas. Let the chaos begin!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dysfunctional Holidays

Holiday fiasco and chaos has officially started this year. Dysfunctional family drama has risen to its peak and everyone and their mother is getting sick so let the games begin. As I sit and type this, I’m wondering if my flu-like symptoms are the result of the swine, the seasonal, a cold or just plain allergies. I called up my doctor’s office and asked them if there was any protocol regarding me walking in not knowing if I had the swine or not. “Should I wear a mask just in case?” They just laughed and said, “Naw, you’ll be fine.” I know I can be a bit narcissistic, but I was really asking for the safety of the patients I’ll be sneezing on. “Nawww, you’ll be fine.” Great - let’s see how many people we can infect so we can wash this thing clear off the board and call it a day. Idiots.

While I sit here mutating, waiting for my noon appointment, my neighbor Parveen has been ridden of the swine flu for the past week or so. I keep texting her, asking her all sorts of questions about every little detail she has gone through. She’s ready to throw her phone into my bedroom window right now. “Did you get pneumonia?” “Can you breathe?” “What kind of medicine did they give you?” Once I found out that you have to breathe in some sort of white powder, I thought to myself, ---ANTHRAX! Now you can see the process of my mental illness. Maybe it’s a psychological thing because once I found out my neighbor got the swine flu, I immediately developed a high fever. These walls must be really thin.

My Thanksgiving guests who are on Facebook have all become fearful of coming here this Thursday because of my status messages. Now it’s just Madelene, me and a 20 lb turkey for two. I kept insisting that I didn’t know if I had the swine flu just yet, and to wait until later this afternoon so I can give them the verdict. “No thanks” was the response. Hell, I’d be the same way too though. I can’t blame them. We hardly have space for this 20 lb beast and I had suggested that we just cook our frozen turkey breast instead, but it wouldn’t be “tradition” if it was without legs, Madelene stated. So swine or no swine, that bird will be cooked regardless. We’ll be eating turkey for months to come.

Since I am stuck home, I will be entertaining myself with catching up on all my favorite blogs, reading, playing stupid Facebook trivia games, poking people and of course Twittering until my tweeter is worn out. Feel free to entertain me.

And now, to entertain you. This video is hysterical. It’s about how Facebook can ruin a relationship.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Subconsciously, I am a self-sabotaging anxiety ridden idiot. Other lovely qualities include OCD, hypochondria, periodic episodes of depression and mild dementia. I do it to myself. I get a chest pain that probably stems from the garlic-filled dinner I had the previous night before and officially declare it a heart attack. In the mornings, I buzz around like a lunatic out of breath while noticing I had just drank about two cups of the strongest coffee ever, which brings me straight into a panic attack. After counteracting the effects of the java with a couple of magical ativans, I simply ask myself: is it safe to venture out into the world? I feel too tired. I feel listless and exhausted. And then I have the nerve to say, “I have no idea why I’m exhausted,” followed by a, “It’s another sign of a heart attack.” It’s a vicious cycle I through more than I would like to admit.

After one of these lovely episodes, my fridge is filled with nothing but organic greens, veggies, soy products, salmon and other things that would prepare my heart for any chemical warfare. Then there’s Twitter. Stupid as this sounds, I am following, “Swineflulatest”---self-explanatory really. I’m finding out that even cats are dying from the swine flu and just how many people have just kicked the bucket over this latest pandemic. But luckily, last night as I was reviewing their tweets, I had found an article they had posted up that said that if you had already received the seasonal flu shot last year, then this will prevent you from getting the swine flu in the future. I know, it sounds absurd since there was no swine flu mixed into the ingredients of the flu shot last year, so I’m still a bit leery. Aside from my laziness, I refuse to go to the gym I just signed up for months ago because of this swine flu breakout. It all started when I noticed people not washing off their machines after use. I know I could wash it off myself, but I don’t want go near it with a ten foot pole, no less wash it off without a surgical mask and gloves. Let the staff do it.

I have way too many fears which is preventing me from living a healthy and normal life somewhat, but I do get my share of going out and braving it. While taking the subway with my friends not too long ago late at night, I had to hold onto a disgusting and slimy pole in order to keep my balance. The train was full of people with booze seeping out from their pores and other mysterious odors. I tried to keep it together, and I must say I did well, despite the ugly experience. I tried telling my psychiatrist about my problem(sssssss), however he’s more amused over my stories rather than be ready and willing to make some suggestions. Or maybe I’m missing the whole, “psychiatric discover the solutions on your own” type of treatment he may be giving me. I walk out of his office as if I had just finished an entire ‘lie down’ comedy routine. I’m not sure why I pay him. Maybe it should be the other way around.

Another thing I’m noticing that's raising my anxiety plus eyebrows, is that ever since I’ve been heading into the city more, I’m discovering that there are more unisex bathrooms emerging. I’m not even talking about just “one” bathroom for anyone who needs to use it - like if you were at someone’s house. I’m talking about a huge bathroom full of 20 stalls and 5 urinals. No offense guys, your piss stinks. I love men, but they really know how to mark their territory. Anyway, as I wait for a stall, I see all of these creepy men walking out. Do I take the stall they just came out of? What do I do? Is it rude if I don’t head in after him? So out of fear, I walked into the stall right after the creepy man used it. Oh and of course, the toilet seat is up. This is where I wish I had brought a surgical mask and gloves with me. Not only does it stink like cat piss, but I had to grab toilet paper and drop that seat down like it’s hot. Then, I noticed the floor. It was completely wet. Not only was it wet, it was a goddam puddle. Is it too hard to lift your little Peter to point and shoot? Since I’m a levitation kinda’ girl in public restrooms, how does one try to not get the bottom of her pants wet? Do I lift my pants while holding them down at the same time, levitate and try to balance - it’s like doing fricken yoga on a tightrope in a stall. I walked out of there with the bottom of my pants soaked with piss. Those puppies came off right when I got home and straight into the washer. My boots sat in a puddle of rubbing alcohol overnight. Too much ya think?

It’s a dirty world out there and hell if I’m not going to vent about it. Even going into the grocery store has my anxiety at an all time high. I use my sleeves to push the carts. Those handles are germified to the max. You don’t believe me----watch an episode of 20/20 about it. They put the blue light on the handles of grocery carts to find that there was even fecal and urine matter on those handles, let alone spit from kids.

I just wrote myself a post that will have me hiding in a bubble for the rest of the year. Why do I do this to myself? I just sabotaged any plans I had made for the day.

Now you know the process of my self-sabotage techniques. Use them wisely. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Overpopulation Is So Overrated

There are days where I just want to shut the world out, live inside my head, turn all TVs, phones, radios and other electronic devices off and listen to nothing other than the fire crackling and maybe a few dogs barking along the way. I was supposed to head into the city today, however after my second dizzy spell, I decided to take it easy and do my work from home. Human interaction is such a wonderful thing, isn’t it? But sometimes, you need that “me time”---that time to just shut the world out and focus on whatever it is you want, if even nothing at all. I had a friend ask if I wanted to join her for a quick glass of wine and talk. Normally, I would, but I just wouldn’t be good company today. I need the complete silence surrounding me and the calmness of just being content as one. I’m so grateful I have that option, because if I chose another path, it would be quite different.

The other night while Madelene and I were grocery shopping, we had seen a woman and her three boys, probably ages that ranked from 3-8. They were running around knocking products onto the floor and throwing things at one another screaming bloody murder. I smiled at the young mother and told her how cute they were, and she just laughed and said, “They sure aren’t right now!” Madelene and I had always spoke about having children, maybe just one, but our life would be so different. I know I’d be a great mother, because I’d probably be very overprotective, but in the same aspect, I’d probably would have the worst anxiety attacks ever because of the lack of control mothers sometimes have. I wouldn’t be able to do my work in peace. I wouldn’t be able to get a full night’s sleep or even have a quiet dinner with my wife. I just don’t want to give up what I have now, which is peace. I don’t want to sacrifice it. Call it selfish or call it what you’d like, but it would be more selfish if I had a baby and didn’t provide enough attention to him or her as they would definitely need. We love to travel and do things spontaneously. The mere thought of all the crazy things that happen in high schools alone is enough to make me want to never have kids. Recently, a kid in a nearby high school was planning on simulating a Columbine-type of attack on the same date as the previous one. He had it all planned out too. This never happened 20 years ago. The worst thing we had, (which was a blessing for those of us who hated school) was a bomb scare that some idiot called in just because he wanted a half a day of school.

From what I have witnessed, I see parents struggling so hard to keep their kids in line. I see the stress on their faces and also, their sadness. I’ve seen parents get divorces because it’s just too hard sometimes. Some face other problems like the lack of time they have as well as the lack of intimacy. I don’t want to be a soccer mom, driving my kid to every single game or rehearsal and then have to haul them over to their friends’ houses only to have to pick them up hours later. I give credit to every mother and father out there. It sure doesn’t seem easy. I love kids, but honestly, I don’t think I will ever have them. I really thought long and hard about it and it’s just not in the cards for me.

I’m sure there are many blessings in having children and so much love that’s given and received in return. My mom raised four girls and said it wasn’t ever an issue or problem raising them. Now she sees what others mothers go through, especially having people who work two full time jobs. I think the world is a balanced mix though: there are people who are breeders and others who are simply meant not to have children. You can thank me later when you see the overpopulation decreasing greatly.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Let It Go . . .

There comes a time in our lives when we truly have to take a little bitterness overload inventory check and realize that all of these emotions are just plain useless. Just to be more clear and not so full of ‘deep hidden messages’, a close friend of mine is going ---wait---- has been through a breakup. Haven’t we all? The thing is, this breakup occurred two whole years ago. She is still going through it ---by herself. And what I mean by that is, she continually speaks badly about this person as though he was still in her life. He’s gone. He has not been in her life for two. whole. years. I listen and I try to help the best I can, but why waste all of your energy referring to him anytime a negative topic comes up? Immediately she throws his name right into the mix. Why?

Let it go.

Those words, “let it go” is so easy for so many people to say to someone, isn’t it? We mourn for too long. We let our emotions linger endlessly for the average heart, which leaves us bitter and developing unhealthy relationships thereafter. The faults of the ex become the pseudo faults of the new person in your life. The more you talk about the “evil ex”, the more you’re going to have those feelings, whether they are loving ones incognito with bitter words, or feelings of complete hatred, which to me, is a sign of jadedness. When someone who has loved you with all of their heart says that they now hate you, it’s usually quite the opposite.  It's repressed due to anger.  There’s a fine line between love and hate. I do believe this is true.

Whenever my friend hears of any talk, even negative talk from her ex about her through the grapevine - in her mind, any talk is good talk. Meaning: she doesn’t care if he’s talking good or bad about her - she is still on his mind. And she’s absolutely right. The more he goes on and on about her, it shows that she had and still has an affect on him. If he didn’t say one word, she would be lost and miserable. She needs feedback- good or bad. It’s her only way of still remaining in part of his life. It’s all she has to hold onto.

I truly hope that she is reading this right now, as I’ve emailed her about a “special post” I had written. This post isn’t meant to be mean-spirited in any way, because God knows I’ve been through the same thing. It took me well over a year to finally say, “Ok, this is what is, let it go and move on.” I finally did, but it takes a lot of time, and for her, it’s taking a little more time than expected. It depends on the person and two people involved. This doesn’t mean that I never think about my ex from time to time - it’s just a file in the back of my mind that I sometimes entertain, but in very different ways. I don’t sit there and talk negatively about my ex. I sometimes tell my close friends what I had been through and that’s that. It’s over with. There’s no, “Oh she’s just an evil bitch”----it’s a simple, “Yes, I have dated her for a little while and things didn’t work out”, with a few added details of course. But, most of the time I hardly think about it anymore or even talk about it. There’s a sense of peace that goes into it and I’m sure my friend will finally get that once she stops all the yip-yappin’. The less talk, the less thought, and of course, out of sight usually goes hand-in-hand with out of mind.

Many people say that if you were with someone for two years, it’ll take you one year to get over it...four years together, two years to get over it - and so on, and so on. So basically, half your time with the person is the time you will mourn for them. I don’t know if that’s the total be all and end all truth, but through my own experience, I believe it. I’ve always compared breakups with deaths. The bitter part about a breakup is, the other person is out there choosing not to be in your life. In some cases, a breakup is much more hurtful. But remember, it takes two people to ruin a relationship. Every time I hear that there is only one person to blame (unless it was an abusive situation), I tend to say, “Well there’s always two sides to the story.” Nobody’s perfect and especially in relationships, you’re clashing two personalities together. There’s bound to be some conflict somewhere, even if it’s gone unnoticed. I believe if a person truly loves you, they accept all of you, not just what they conjured up in their minds. They love your mind, soul and body, but they also have to love your idiosyncrasies, your stubborn sides and yes, sometimes your mean streaks when we all get cranky from time to time. It’s called being human. If we’re seeking the perfect relationship, we. will. never. find. it. It’s about finding someone we’re compatible with, whom we can accept on every level, except for abuse. We need to love ourselves more, learn from our past mistakes and hopefully move on from hurtful wounds that will eventually be a scar or, ...just a memory of ‘a time when’...

If you find yourself still blaming your ex for ‘this, that and the other thing’, take a little bitterness overload inventory check, and realize one thing: they are no longer in your life.

Let it go . . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do Re 'Mi Mi Mi' Fests

It’s been quite a week. Madelene got two days in a row off, which was definitely needed. Between working on projects together and spending time talking like two best friends for hours over coffee, I got to know my partner of 14 years a little bit more. I’ve always kept in mind that no matter how long you have been with someone, you cannot know them 100%, as one would like to think they do. It’s impossible. People are so complex, full of deep desires, aspirations and secretive treasures that perhaps they want to keep to themselves. It’s our right as humans. Yesterday, I learned a lot about my best friend. We stopped by at a nearby diner and spend some time talking over coffee. We had a conversation about people who simply don’t listen, yet talk your ear off about themselves only. I then told her stories of past dates before Madelene, and how some dates would ramble on and on about themselves - it was an all out “me me me” fest. These types of people will cut you off in order to get another “me me me” comment in. Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe people who ramble on endlessly have no clue. Maybe...I do this?

The waitress walked over to the other end of the counter with her pot of coffee and gave me a refill, and then asked, “Do you want something to eat?” I thought to myself, waitresses ask questions to other people all the time. It’s never what they would like to eat or drink, it’s always about the other person, but then again it’s their job. In some way, that has to trickle over into their personal lives. Even being a salesperson, sometimes you automatically put on that “bright & shiny smile” in your personal life when it really isn’t necessary - it’s just become a habit now. Questioning my own “me me me” fests, and realizing how much Madelene has been helping me with my own projects and passions, I had asked her something important. I had asked her what her passions were, and if there weren’t any obstacles in the way to obtain this passion(s) or dream job(s) - what would they be?

She looked at me, immediately blurting out, “I’d love to be a rescue diver. I want to help people. I’d also would love to be someone who trains dolphins.” I jerked my head back a little, thinking she wanted to do something more in the arts, but then again, that’s probably a “me me me” thought. Madelene is at her happiest when she is near water- preferably the ocean or bay, but I never once thought she’d want to be in an aqua crime scene. I reminded her that bodies under water are much different than the ones that are on land. I didn’t elaborate further than that. Not to diminish her dreams, but I know she gets a little squeamish when I watch autopsies and crime scene shows on the Discovery Channel. So, I learned a little more about Madelene yesterday, and I plan on discovering much more little treasures down the road as well.

Even while interviewing people for the documentary, it’s especially important to ask the questions clearly, and then just “listen”----in complete silence. Not a word, not a peep - just hearing the person answer your question to the maximum length that they can possibly muster up. It’s also important that when they’re “seemingly” done telling their elaborated answers, to wait a little longer, because a thought will then trigger, making them talk even more. But if you think about it, the same applies to the people in our lives. Try it out. Ask them a question, say nothing, and then after they have answered you, wait a little while longer before speaking. It’ll be a bit challenging trying this at a family function while people are continually talking over one another, but try it with a friend or spouse while you two are out for lunch or just hanging out. It’s interesting. People love talking about themselves, which is why people who are there to “listen” become treasured friends. People need to be heard, but then again, people aren’t made to be full fledged psychiatrists either. Everything in moderation of course.

My question to you is: Are you a good listener or talker? Maybe both?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Is God That Simple?

There have been so many times where I needed my mother’s advice on dating or just finding the right one. The problem was, she never wanted me to date or even leave the house for that matter. She just wanted her youngest daughter to stay put, say, well into her late 100’s. I would not be able to leave the nest, unless of course, some rich Jewish doctor swept me off my feet, as well as both my parents for that matter. That dream didn’t live up to its potential, however they did adore Madelene when they met her 14 years ago. Even though they had just found out that Madelene was my partner, when they got to know her as a person, it wasn’t so much about their daughter being a lesbian, it was about their daughter being happy. Madelene was smart though: she knew how to work my dad over in her favor. She always came over bearing gifts - not for me mind you - but for the king of the castle. It was her way of trading a camel in for his daughter. She brought him anything from specialty chocolates, wines and goodies to elaborate fisherman collectables in order to get ’in good’ with the big guy who owned Deb. For the first time in history, I then invited my first girlfriend for Thanksgiving. For anyone who knows me, that’s when you know “it’s serious”.

My poor Madelene went through hell and back with me. I wasn’t a bed of roses to live with, yet I tried my hardest to make her happy. I remember about 12 years ago, when we were living in our first apartment, we started going to this Christian-based church in the next town over. I found out that they had a gay ministry. Of course, I was like, “Wow, they accept gays and lesbians here!” But I was wrong. It was an “ex-gay ministry” they had, to which they tried to lay hands upon me and cure me of this disgusting and detestable disease. While Madelene was working late, I would trek over to the church and talk hours with the pastor regarding my lifestyle as a lesbian. I had spoken to a couple of the members of the ministry who really gave me a run for my money about how bad it was to be gay and to still be Christian. Oddly enough, these two women still live together as a “couple”, yet they made a vow of celibacy. Of course this was well after menopause (I’m guessing), which sometimes means . . . Oh well, you know.

Well, maybe it is a sin! Maybe if I go celibate for just a week, I can try to be “cured”. That week was more like two days and the struggle began, because I was absolutely in love with Madelene. How could I not share intimate moments with someone who I am totally in love with, especially while living with them? While Madelene gnawed on huge ice cubes and watched me sift through every passage in the bible that talked about homosexuality, our relationship came to a halt somewhat. It was then we had gone to a church service that following Sunday. They were dedicating this particular service for people who were homosexual, who wanted to get out of that sinful life. The two older women who were “celibate” yet still living together got up and shared their testimonies with us. It was then, when I had witnessed such sadness, such guilt and shame for who they “once were” - but they treated it much like alcoholics do: they still called themselves, lesbians. The tears that flowed out from this woman while giving her testimony showed me she was possibly living a lie. She was obeying a church who wanted to condemn her for loving her partner for over 20 years. I almost got sickened by the church’s behavior over this and realized a few people sitting around me were divorced and remarried, while their ex-spouses were still alive. Why aren’t they being cured? By biblical standards, isn’t that still considered adultery? Why aren’t they curing people who eat shellfish? Why aren’t they curing people with tattoos? Why are they only focusing on homosexuality?

It absolutely baffles me of how simple-minded some people really are. To think that God is that shallow and that “simple” to say: “OK, all the gays are going to hell”, as he wipes the dust clean off his hands. What scares me is, these people are also teaching their children intolerance. They're teaching their children to possibly hate those who are gay and lesbian. They embed it into their minds that God is a hateful God. That God doesn’t exist for me. The God I worship seeks out the genuineness in people; He seeks out the heart and not who we choose to love. We are all flawed in such different ways, we all have crosses to bear, but choosing a mate who is of the same gender is not a flaw. It is a preference. I think it’s sort of sad for people to be set up on a blind marriage, but many cultures do that sort of thing. Why marry someone you have not yet met and risk the potential of living with someone you do not love? That to me is heartbreaking, but I am not the judge. I will not say, “It’s a sin! God will condemn you!” But that seems to be more accepted rather than true love, all because it’s a “man and a woman”. Is God that simple?

This past month, I’ve been trying to get in touch with the two ladies of that ministry. They are still running it till this day and I have called them to ask if they would like to be heard in my documentary on a non-bias level. I would not make them out to be “bad guys”-----I would make them out to be another point of view. Of course with most people knowing where I stand, it’ll seem difficult to put them in a better light so to speak, but I really would like people of opposing sides to be on my documentary. I’m contacting clergymen of the Catholic church as well regarding their views and pointing out their take on the scriptures that condemn homosexuality. There will not be any debates on this film -- only different set of beliefs and core values. Although my views on this are quite strong, I just hope that everyone could be heard and that everyone can truly give their input on what they think is “right”.

With that, if you are a member of a church or a pastor who is of the opposing side, and who feels that homosexuality is an absolute sin, then please feel free to contact me at deb@debrapasquella.com if you would like to be in my documentary. I think it’s important for both sides to be heard, because the Bible is so complex on many levels, which is the reason for misinterpretations, misunderstandings and well as miscommunication among those who believe in the same faith...

Which brings me to the same question: Is God that simple?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour - Amy Beckerman

Sorry I have been out of the loop with keeping up with my blog, but we went to go visit Amy Beckerman and her partner Ann Walling to do an interview for my documentary and then decided to grab a bit of her comedy piece at The Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour so all of you to get a few laughs at and see how incredible this comedian really is. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! We had such a blast hanging out with them last night, going out to dinner and then going to see Amy's show which was phenomenal!

If you are ever in the NYC area and want to see a great show, please visit Amy Beckerman's site for more detailed scheduling. You'll be hungover from laughter!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Bad for the Heart...

Yesterday I was having a lot chest pains and shortness of breath. Usually, when I go into the ER, they make me take EKG tests, blood work and other cardio tests to ensure that it’s nothing more than anxiety or a bubble of gas. I’ve gone so many times to the emergency room that doctors already know the answer to my ailments. I feel as though they’re all saying, “Oh it’s her again,” as I walk through the ER doors. Last night, I refused to get medical help with my chest pains. Madelene wanted to drive me to the emergency room, but the thought of waiting for hours upon hours to hear it was nothing more than mere indigestion just didn’t sit well with me. I said, “I’m leaving it in God’s hands,” and then went to sleep. This morning though, I felt a tad better, but with a lot of anxiety about what had happened. I’m going to the doctor this afternoon to get a brief checkup and an EKG reading, which sometimes doesn’t even tell you what’s really going on.  Pointless.

My stress levels have been rising lately and partially due to my new project. It should be good excitement, but I’m feeling the side effects of all that positive excitement into a bundle of anxiety. The “what ifs” come to mind and now that I have a couple of well known people that will be in this film, the pressure is slightly on to be a complete perfectionist. I had a few audio problems with my last interview, which my friend is going to digitally enhance for me in his studio to make it sound better and I just found out that my new camera which I spent a good amount of money on does not have a sound port. So with all the mic equipment that I have purchased, this all went to waste somewhat. My sister who works for Sony is lending me a different camera for this weekend while I will be in the city interviewing Amy Beckerman as well as shooting parts of her show. It’s basically the fact that it’s a ‘one man production crew’ (me) which freaks me out somewhat. I’m doing all the camera work, editing and everything else that needs to be taken care of for insurance purposes. Madelene is a big help when she can assist, but sometimes I feel like I’m out on a limb here by myself trying to pull this all together. It may take weeks, months, even a year to get this done, but I’m sure it’ll all come together.

The reason this project is so close to my heart is that people need to be heard. There are so many judgmental people when it comes to religion and lifestyles. They want to slam you over the head with a crucifix and tell homosexuals that they need to be cured. Other religions have the same mindset sometimes. This sets people back somewhat into a corner of resentment, making them completely walk away from everything they have once believed and cherished. Although I have somewhat stepped out of the scene of writing about why I feel homosexuality isn’t a sin, I’m finding myself sliding back, wanting to defend those who need to be heard.

As I went to check the status of my post on a message board over at Blogcatalog, someone posted this comment:

“@Pasquella: There is absolutely not a doubt in my mind that you are one of the most sincere people I have ever had the privilege to meet. I also do not have a doubt in my mind that you have a wonderful relationship with your partner, and this is what makes it so hard. For it is just as wrong for you to be in love with her in that way as it would be if she was a married man with three small children at home. As in regards to Scripture, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:8-11 are very clear that homosexuality (even that which is practiced as purely as you do) is a sin that needs to be repented of, and arguing that those passages were written by the Apostle Paul is a moot point. For ALL Scripture came from our Heavenly Father to serve as written confirmation of what He wants to personally reveal to us. Please, I beg of you, keep listening for His voice. For our Heavenly Father is the only One who can convince you of what the truth is.”

I understand that there are people who highly disagree with my lifestyle and I appreciate them trying to “save me”, but what I don’t understand is how they can equate adultery with a loving lesbian marriage -- or any marriage at all. I DO see their point and how they came to those conclusions, but here’s what another person had said:

“Also, you want to be sure not to accuse others of judging in the sense where Jesus does not judge. I have not seen in this discussion anyone judging you, condemning you, calling down the wrath against you, or seeking your punishment but rather warning you against doing those things that lead to those things, just as Jesus did.”

But in the same breath, these people are telling me to repent and give up my sin - aka - get divorced from my wife and leave my best friend behind. It’s contradictory in my opinion. I can totally see why so many gays and lesbians turn to atheism, because they are simply sick and tired of judgmental Christians bashing the bible up against their heads. But it’s not about the people - it’s about the personal relationship that others have with God - whoever they worship. No one should be judged and ridiculed just because of their lifestyle, unless they are seriously hurting someone in the process. I’ve gone over this in the past in my blog time and time again, but somehow, it seems to bubble up to the surface as I make my way into filming people who need to be heard.

I hope the people who I am fortunate enough to interview will have the opportunity to voice their beliefs and reassure others that God still loves them, regardless of their lifestyles.  And the entire thread, if you go over to the hyperlink I provided for Blogcatalog was all about people of different faiths---not just Christianity.  It was also to see if anyone was interested in possibly being interviewed about their own personal beliefs, yet there seemed to have been a misunderstanding where all these Christians came out of the woodwork to display a whole lotta' judgments about it. 

And now, I must prepare to go see the doctor about my chest pains. Religion is really bad for the heart.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Evil Religion

The other day when I had posted my little video to preview a tiny clip from my documentary, I had a few emails along with some commentary on my Youtube account. Some were asking to create the music for my project, while others were simply going on about how wrong homosexuality is. Luckily I received more positive and supportive feedback than anything, but that isn’t the point. I had posted an a little ad over at Blogcatalog, a site for bloggers to share their thoughts, their websites and to find more exposure. There is a section on their message boards where you can talk about general things. I thought it may have been a good idea to see if anyone was interested in doing a 15 minute interview for my film. Some of the responses were supportive and others, well, let’s just say they wanted more of a debate, rather than seeing this as an all inclusive event.

I had one commenter say, “Haha, biblical scriptures to back you up? Uh, no. Even though Scripture CLEARLY admonishes against homosexuality, it's no different than christians who smoke, or christians that get divorced for anything other than sexual infidelity. Everyone sins and so everyone is a 'lawbreaker' according to Scriptures. That doesn't make them evil just as in sin does not equate evil. Sin is just 'missing the mark' or 'falling short' or a 'mistake'. What gets to me is when people try and find loopholes (that are never there) around their sin so they can justify their actions. It sounds to me like an interesting documentary, but I'm not sure why our culture blows up something so small and minute like a sexual preference into a lifestyle, wardrobe, and possibly dialog. It's like Twilight lovers starting to wear all black and fake fangs.”

Another commenter had this to say: "Jesus went to the cross to bring you the real law. The grace of God is not an excuse. Don't say, 'LORD, LORD' or 'Lord, Lord' and think it's enough. Your faith is to be strong enough to quit obvious carnal confusion. Jesus did not pay the price to ransom those who willfully keep following the blind into the ditch or who preach to lead others with them, since wickedness loves company. God's love includes allowing Satan to have souls. The God of Jesus does not block Satan from taking souls and tormenting them.

What you need to do is to ask yourself who is Satan in relation to what you are doing and preaching. You are here proselytizing you know. It sounds very clear to me that you are acknowledging that your relationship is sinful but that it is forgiven even though you do not break it off. Jesus didn't say go and continue sinning. You know that.

'Sin is on earth whether we like it or not.' Well, I don't like it, and it's not going to stay. Sin and the willfully iniquitous, according to Jesus, get separated out. Would it have already happened except that there are lost sheep yet to be found.

As for Leviticus, if you leave it completely out, you are still left with Jesus's clear admonitions against all the various forms of selfishness and harm that he was not obligated to list in some exhaustive, anticipatory, list for the literalists of which you make yourself here in convenience.

He did not say don't have sex with your dog, did he? No, he didn't. Are you going to say that just because he didn't say verbatim not to be homosexual that he licensed it. Well, if we go by that, then anything he didn't name is licensed in Heaven. I know that, that is not correct. In addition, there are many verses that show that Jesus was adamantly opposed to the same sexual deviation Moses also found to be error. Jesus definitely did not throw out all of Moses's teachings. He removed the hypocrisy. He did not remove the prohibition against homosexuality, for it is hypocrisy. If you re-read in complete honesty your own writing here, you will see it.

So, I don't support your project. How I can not do that while asking for God's blessing on you, I reconcile.


Over on my Youtube account, someone said these threatening words, “Doesn't change the fact that the bible tells believers to kill homosexual, and it even tells us how.”

My response: "I have accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior and I do have a relationship with Him. I am also married to my wife ------of the same gender through a minister who is also Christian. If you take a look at the video, you'll see where there is no reference that is made to Jesus saying that homosexuality is a sin. This was taken out from the Old Testament.

What about someone eating shrimp or lobster? Do they go to hell too?
What about a man shaving his beard?
What about sitting next to a woman who is menstruating, and how do we even know these days?

What about those laws? They no longer apply since Jesus abolished those laws when He died on the cross. Throughout the New Testament, they speak about the actions of sexuality, whether it was between a man and a woman or two of the same genders.

What about a divorced woman who remarries while her ex-husband is still alive?
What about premarital heterosexual sex?
Are we all going to hell?

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah was based up on rape----not homosexuality. Many people misinterpret these scriptures.

However, again, I will say whether you believe in Christianity or whatever God you worship, I was only pointing out that there are many gays and lesbians who are spiritual ---so I was asking if anyone was interested or knew someone that wanted to be in the film... Nothing in this film is going to be debated upon. It's all about personal experiences. But if you wanted to debate on here and tell me that I'm going to hell, then back it up with valid scriptures and I will back mine up too.

But it'll never end.

Because everyone has a different interpretation of the scriptures. Everyone has a different relationship with God. We're not to judge one another ---and the biggest commandment of all is to love God with all your heart and to love each other as we do ourselves...

P.S. 'Not having sex with your dog' would be under bestiality..."

The thing is, this film is about all faiths, whether you are Christian, Jewish or Hindu - this film is about your religious standpoints and reconciling your lifestyle. Does your religion say it’s a sin? Do “people” of your religion say that being a homosexual is a sin? It’s about people discussing discrimination and adversity of what they had been through due to religion being the common denominator of these debates. It’s not all about gay Christians - this is about gays and lesbians of “faith”---whichever faith they belong to.

The discouraging wave of hateful people out there in the name of religion gives me such a bad taste in my mouth. No wonder there are so many gay atheists out there who simply are scared to death to come to God or even be spiritual, because they feel that they are doing something wrong, because someone said it was wrong. We’re supposed to uplift and edify people - not tear them down and reduce them to a pile of worthless ashes. Any “religion” will tell you that. It’s fascinating to also see many so called Christians who worship Jesus to tell us that we’re going to hell and that we’re disgusting for being homosexual. They reference to only sexual aspects of the union - not the loving relationship between two people of the same gender. It’s always referenced to sex. But when they think about a man and a woman getting married, it’s all about the union and relationship - sex is never an issue. So with this documentary being talked about, I feel like I have stepped back a few years when I was debating over scriptural references and what they meant (or were interpreted as) with other Christians in a combative way.

It makes me wonder: how can there be so much evil in religion?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Gays & Lesbians of Faith

Here's just a short preview/trailer of my documentary about gays and lesbians of faith. Some clips you've already seen, but I have featured Rev. David L. Clarke from Provincetown, MA in this clip to speak about his views on homosexuality and how he reconciles his faith in God living as a gay minister.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Moved On...

Lately I’m finding that I’ve become much more cynical and pessimistic toward people. I’m much more leery of people. I understand that everybody has a motive for something or other in this life, but there are some people whose motives are purely taken out and taken out upon other people. Maybe it’s the sake for mere entertainment or it’s some sort of pent up aggression of some sort that mentally and physically vomits self-absorbed absurdness. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a bitch and a half, but some people’s behavior really baffles me sometimes.

As I was reaching up trying to grab one of the last Saucy Susans in the grocery store (because I dowse everything in that stuff), I overheard someone asking one of the employees what aisle their Duraflame logs were. The clerk gladly gave them the information and explained that although it’s usually in that aisle, they had ran out because they sold out quicker than expected. The woman asked if he could check the back to see if he had another box lying around somewhere, but the clerk explained that he knew there wasn’t. This didn’t sit well with the lady and she said, “Well it’s not like you’re an over achiever in the line of work you do, so I wouldn’t expect you to go above and beyond your duty.” I. wanted. to. strangle. her. How dare she insult this hard working kid - and yes - he was a kid, probably right out of high school trying to make a buck or two. There are some kids who don’t work and rely on mommy and daddy to supply them with everything. This woman really pissed me off. She looked like one of those wealthy housewives who hadn’t had to lift a hand other than to get a manicure done. But my question is: why? Why are people so mean to other people? Why are they so cruel and so quick to bite back so hard? This kid did nothing other than to explain that the store had ran out. She should have thanked him for the information and of course...moved on.

We have this Italian restaurant nearby where Madelene and I grab food from to bring home. It’s nice to sit at the bar and eat there too, but most of the time, we’re more cozier at home. Anyway, while picking up our food, another man was waiting for his takeout as well. We were both sitting at the bar patiently. All of the cooks and the help in that restaurant are Mexican. Now let me tell you - I have seen the former Italian cooks and these Mexican guys can cook helluva’ lot better than them. Anyway, the chef came out with his little white get up and asked the bartender a question about the guy’s order. The man perked up and asked, “Are you cooking my food?” And the chef looked puzzled and scared and said, “Yes sir,” in a very heavy Spanish accent. Well, this man went off about how awful it was to be spending money on Italian food when it was clearly made by Mexicans. Then he went into a whole other issue about how wrong it is to stay in a country and not learn the English language fluently. I. wanted. to. strangle. him. Not because I have known the chef since forever (and ever since he was a busboy), but because it was so disgusting on his part. This guy worked his way up from busyboy, to waiter and then learned how to make the food even better than the former chefs who went to school for it. The man paid his tab and of course...moved on.

I seem to always encounter these little interactions with people and wonder how they hell they were brought up. How can you just treat someone like absolute pure shit and then live with yourself afterward? Some people hold very strong opinions about some things, but keep them to yourself in public and stop showing your fecking ugliness to the world. It’s disgusting to see people treating others like this. There was one time I went off on a woman because she was in a Korean farm market yelling at the cashier who was ringing her up. 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 getting 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, in a very calm and creepy tone.  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?”

There are times where you have to stand up for people and times where you just have to keep your mouth shut. But that one incident, I couldn’t help but tell this woman off....and then of course, I moved on.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trying to "Get It"

Poetry is personal. I even want to compare it to the bible because it has so many interpretations and possible meanings to it. Each person who reads one poem will have a different take on it after they have read it. I’ve always found myself drawn to the type of poetry that has a bit of play on words and a grip on the heartstrings. One of those types where you can say, “everyone can relate” type of poetry. I’ve been to poetry readings, finding myself tilting my head sideways like a Golden Retriever wondering if this person is trying a bit too hard to construe their words into a bundle of challenging metaphors and words hardly ever used in the English language. During a trip in Provincetown, MA, I found myself grimacing while it got more politically offensive as I was the only one sitting amongst extreme liberal lesbians standing on the right side of the room. I had to decline an invitation from my friend Lisa during that trip to go to another poetry reading. I had told her to meet us at the restaurant afterwards. While waiting and waiting and waiting, I decided to call her to see where she was.

“Deb---I’m so sorry. I’m still at this weird poetry reading. This lady is pouring fake blood onto the stage, demonstrating her hatred for President Bush.”

Poetry as well as writing is an expression. It’s our personal way to purge of our emotions and our extreme opinions in an artistic way. Whether you’re offended by it or not --it’s pure entertainment. If you love literature, as well as acting, it’s a beautiful thing to see, even if you find yourself cringing over some of it. But see, that’s not my problem---my real problem about poetry is, “What the hell are they trying to say?” Maybe, in not so many words, it can be directed about a lost love or someone desired; a hidden meaning of sorts. I’m sort of a black and white person - give it to me the way I like my steaks---raw. (Ok, just a bit rare...) Once you burn poetry with meanings that most would not understand, but pretend to, then you have lost your audience, at least most of them. Just like my trip to The Museum of Modern Art, I walked past a couple who were mysteriously staring into the depths of a painting with their arms crossed and one hand rubbing their chin, nodding, as if they totally “got it”. It was a painting of a black dot. Give me a fecking break.

Sometimes someone will show me their work of art and if I don’t particularly care for it or just don’t “get it”---I’ll blurt out, “Oh I like the shading and colors.” It’s my way of saying, “My 4 yr old niece can paint better than that!” Again, art is an expression. Not everybody is going to like your poems, your writings, your paintings, your photography or your ability to play an instrument that have dogs howling at night, but you can rest assure that some people are always going to be coming back to your work because they totally “get it”.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Empty Nest

A long period of my adult years were spent living in a little apartment above from my parents, if you want to call it that. Granted, it had two bedrooms, two living rooms an office, plus a full bathroom, but when you walked downstairs, it was lacking a door to separate the two sections in order to make it officially private. There was a huge deck that overlooked three neighboring towns and a lake which was breathtaking. The fact that I’m pretty close with my parents, and best friends with my mom made it that much nicer. The only problem or, (problems) were that #1. My parents both smoke like chimneys, which made it difficult in the winter when my asthma flared up and #2. My mother never really took my writing seriously. She thought freelance work was something retired people did - not for someone in their late twenties begging publishing houses to at least read their manuscripts. But it was okay for a while. It helped a great deal to stay home for a while and save some money as well as get closer with my parents. I saw more of my family too, since their house was the main house for family gatherings.

I’ve never looked at my situation back then as a negative thing, I just thought of it as a stepping stone that was very much appreciated. I’ve noticed that there are many people who look down on others if they live with their parents or live with other family members in order to get by to help one another out. Plus, most families who do this are usually close-knit or it would be complete chaos altogether. Many Italian families have the umbilical cord still attached, which is one of the many excuses I use as well. The parents never want their “babies” to leave the nest. Call it the empty nest syndrome or call it whatever you’d like, but sometimes it works out better for some. In my case, it did for a while, until I knew that I must leave the nest once and for all. It was more about having my complete dose of privacy. Sometimes it’s nice to close the door to your home as well as shut the entire world off, if that’s what you feel like at the time.

I use to get flack from other people, which I had then noticed, were not very close to their own families. They’d lecture me about being in my late twenties into my early thirties about still living at home. There was no problem on my side or my parents’, but there seemed to have been a problem on those people who looked down on it. And now, looking back, those people who criticized me were the very ones who were envious over the close-knit bond my family had. They’d always want to come over, and some felt as if they were part of the family. These very people either had no family in the immediate area or they had volatile relationships with their parents and siblings. The ones who were close with their families always thought it was great that I lived in an upstairs apartment in my parents’ house. There’s something to be said about that.

More and more people are settling into relatives’ houses to save money due to the economy. I see nothing wrong with it if the parties involved are happy and content with their environment. Even before I dated Madelene, I dated people who were always ten years older than me, who still lived with their parents, and not even in their own little apartment from them. They lived in the same quarters. I never minded it. I actually thought it was quite charming to see them getting along so well and living along with one another so nicely. For the people who mocked them for not having their own place at the age of 25 was sort of lame. There are people who choose to and there are people who have to sometimes. There are people who absolutely have no choice but to live on their own without the help of family members, or more so, the company of family members. Maybe it’s the mix of resentment and past history that makes them think differently which makes them appear bitter toward people who still choose to live with their family members? Or maybe it’s just my own opinion that I see nothing wrong with this?

With that being said, I’m just glad I had the opportunity to live with my family while I was growing up, as well as into my adult years. I don’t regret one day of it, yet I am happy to say that it made my life much sweeter when I left the nest. And sometimes, I even get homesick a little.

Gotta go, mom’s on the phone...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blaming My Reflux

Maybe it’s the reflux problem I’m having, but people are annoying me more than ever lately. I do realize that I get very irritable when I feel sick or extremely tired, but sometimes, there is just no excuse for certain individuals. I’m going to start with dipshit #1. There is this guy that works for our management office who is absolutely bizarre and traveling along his own world. He’s about 60 years old or so, kind of muscular but a bit ratty looking. He arrives at the office about 7am with heavy gangster music blasting from his Dodge Durango. The man has white hair for the love of God and appears to be either Irish or ---just really white. Anyway, aside from my judgmental views of him, I’m watching him take a broom and push the water off the walkway that leads into management office. As he’s pushing the water aside, the heavy rain is falling back down to replace it all. I feel like opening my window right now and yelling down some a few choice words. Go inside and listen to your gangster music. All I hear is, --swooooooosh---swooooosh---swooooosh.

Dipshit #2 was in my doctor’s office. She was clearly sicker than a dog and had her little girl sitting next to her. Of course, I was on the other side of the room, trying not to breathe in her swine or whatever it was she was plagued with. It started when her phone rang very loudly. She fumbled around inside her purse to find it, as it continued to play the most annoying canny music that would have dogs miles away lined up at the door. If that wasn’t bad enough, she talked as if no one else was in the room. A few people started scratching their heads or rubbing their eyebrows in disbelief of her very loud conversation that spoke about coffee pots and linoleum floors. I felt like saying, “Must you?”  Some people really don’t give a rat’s ass about anybody’s comfort levels in public.

Which brings me to Dipshit # 3 & 4. This was a seemingly new couple displaying their passion in public. I had to walk inside a CVS pharmacy to pick up a few things. When I had gotten in line, the couple in front of me were groping one another to the point of it being illegal. Of course the cashier had problems up front, which made us stand in that dreaded obscene line even longer. I looked over at the other girl waiting behind me and she popped her eyes out at me as if she was saying, “Do you see that?” I’ve never quite understood public displays of affection to that extreme. I can see two people holding hands or maybe a peck here and there, but when it gets downright obnoxious, it’s just rude.

Other than that, I haven’t really gone out all that much because of my stomach problems lately. I seriously think when I’m not feeling well, I notice all sorts of annoying stuff around me, but when I am feeling good, I don’t notice all the b/s that goes on. There might be something to that. Just like when people are having a shitty day, they’ll take it out on people. I guess I’m doing that on a blogosphere basis.

I’ll blame it on my reflux.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

It’s almost 9am and I’m sitting here with a cup of hot tea with honey and some toast. I can barely swallow because it hurts. I’ve always had a problem with heartburn in my life. I had an ulcer years ago which healed under a doctor’s care, but last night those pangs of agony struck again, as I found myself clutching my neck and chest screaming in pain. It was then I noticed that my scream was more like a loud whisper. I had lost my voice a bit and the burning sensation was awful. I took a Zantac to reduce the acid and it seemed to calm down a tad. Now I’m sitting here with the damaged goods, trying to swallow toast and having a difficult time.

Acid Reflux Disease, also know as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is so common among many people, but if left untreated can be actually really dangerous, in fact, even deadly. It can range from having surgery to even esophageal cancer. Most people pop an antacid and forget about it. But, it’s been way too long and I’ve had my share of every single OTC meds to meds prescribed by a doctor to tell me something is seriously wrong now.

Because I have had this problem for a long time, I have always advised other people suffering through it what to do. I basically masked the pain with all of these antacids and reduced a lot of my calcium intake. Whenever I stop taking the meds and begin eating the spicy foods I love, drinking my strong coffee in the morning and enjoying a cocktail every once in a while, it will hit me like a ton of bricks. So until I heal, everything I love is off limits. It’s going to be a very bland few weeks for me. It’s also going to be a quiet home for Madelene since I can barely speak. I think that’s the upside for her at least.

I can use a few prayers right now...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mombasha Nostalgia

The good thing about blogging is, when I’m transferring clips into other programs or onto an external hard drive to save, it can be quite time consuming. I sit and wait...and wait...and wait. Luckily, I have this blog to kill time with, and of course, waste approximately 5 minutes of your life as well. Being that freelance work pretty much means that you have to be disciplined if you want to make any sort of money out of it, I have to push all temptations aside, like going out to breakfast with a friend or if I’m rambunctious, heading off to the gym. This morning I was invited to go canoeing with my friend Barbara who runs a nearby restaurant called, Al Laghetto right on Mombasha Lake, which enables her some flex time in the mornings which is great. I read her message and stopped everything. I wanted to go, but I had so much work in front of me that I was all geared up to do. If I would have left it, it would have sat for another 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 days. The foliage is at its peak, especially in the area where we would be canoeing, which is right near my parents’ house. Unfortunately, I had to take a rain check for later this week. I hope my friend’s offer still stands!

Her invite alone reminded me of my childhood. The lake itself, where I grew up is just amazing this time of year. It’s beautiful anytime of the year really. There are so many memories on that lake for me that just tapping into just a small part of them makes me long to be a kid again. I remember my friend Paul and I would take his canoe to the other side of the lake, where there were ‘little mountains’, more like huge rocks where you can sunbathe on. We’d sit there until sunset, talking for hours. Over at my mom and dad’s house, they have a beautiful view of the lake because they live on top of a mountain, which gives you a smaller view of it, along with gorgeous and vast mountains surrounding it all. I woke up to it everyday as a kid. I remember someone saying, “This view is so beautiful! You probably don’t think so because you’re so used to it living here all of your life...” I looked at her and just explained how everyday, the view changes and is never the same. I never got sick of looking at it. Each season gave the view a different feel. Each time of the day there was a special look to it. After the rain, you’d sometimes see a rainbow encompassing the view and the back of our house as if it were all connected.During the winter as a child, my friend Pam and I would walk down to the lake and her father would meaure the thickness of the ice with some tool. When he gave us the “ok”, we would walk out far along the lake, over to a camp area that had a homemade stone barbecue pit. I remember us sliding along with our sneakers trying not to slip and fall as we made our way over to the other side. There were times I would take my quad and ride out on the ice, doing donuts, being crazy because of all the free space - more so, margin for error. I would pull my friends on weird homemade sleds or tubes and have them cruising at speeds that were just plain wrong. Luckily, it never cracked the ice, but even if it did, the tires were like huge balloons that sort of gave you some allowance time to get the hell out of there. But, back then, I was braver than a daredevil. I didn’t care. Nothing was going to happen to us. I wish I had this mindset today.

Another memory I have is of my sister Dawn and her old boyfriend taking me out on the lake ice-skating. We brought a thermos full of hot cocoa and headed out in winter hats, gloves and scarves. Her boyfriend was like a big brother to me - always including me, even though I was this bratty 12 year old. We’d ice-skate until our noses turned bright purple. We also used to go motorcycle riding around the trails that surrounded the lake. Unfortunately, a small tree had fallen right in the middle of the path and he smacked right into it, making him eject from his bike and having it flip about three times until it finally came to a stop. He was okay, but pretty bruised up from head to toe. But those memories I will always have because it was the most fun I had as a kid growing up in that area.

Even though I didn’t move too far away, I still miss having that beautiful view of the lake and mountains to wake up to every morning. I still have a view of the mountains from where my apartment is, but it also has views of the city lights and big plaza malls, which gives a different feel to it all. It was especially breathtaking at night when the full moon would rise and reflect off of the lake. I would sit out on my deck either alone or with my partner and just take in this magical sight that God created. So, no matter what time of day, what time of year, what type of weather we were having, this view will always be special to me.  No matter what, I will always return to Mombasha.

(All photos were taken by me over at my parents' house.) 

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...