Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The spirit is willing...

I want to blog every night. I really do. And most days I have many, many thoughts (and, oh, in my head, I am so clever. Such thoughts!) I seem to have so many ideas when I am just walking home and thinking. But some nights I pull up that blogger dashboard and just stare at that empty space. Tonight is one of those nights. 

How can I not have something to write about? So many things are happening, not just with me but with the world. If I was at dinner with you, believe me, I would not shut up. Have I got a story for you! I would be saying. You would be hiding the wine thinking, that's enough of that

Of course, lately, there have been days when I've had the thoughts, the ideas, but this is not the place. Not yet. I am such a tease, but soon. (maybe.) Maybe you need to take me to dinner.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I listen two, three, four times a day

I miss Philadelphia radio. Look, I'm not going to say it's the best radio in the world. I was one of those people who listened to Howard Stern when he first came to Philadelphia because, oh God, not DeBella. (Those of you from Philadelphia know what I'm talking about; sorry to the rest of you.) But Philadelphia radio has two things I'll really miss: Oldies 98 and KYW.

Oldies 98 is a damn good station. First off, they use the term "oldies" rather loosely, so they pretty much play anything pre-mid-1980s. And because they have a pretty loose format, they play a nice variety. But the bonus is that they play the Philadelphia area hits. Oh, I love the Philadelphia hits! "The Bristol Stomp"! "South Street"! (Where do all the hippies meet?) "On the Way to Cape May" (oh just sing it, "I fell in love with you...") I miss those songs. I just want to sing those songs. Loudly. With no shame. (And let's not forget the secret Philadelphia hits like "Sweet Caroline" -- shout out to the Triangle Tavern!) (Now I miss the Triangle Tavern, which, of course, is not the same without Dusty.)

But Oldies 98, you can be replaced. (I'll have to see if iTunes carries "Wildwood Days.") However, I'll never replace KYW. KYW is an old-school news radio station. It may just be the perfect station. I love its theme (and can you resist singing along?), although they did "update" it a few years ago. I love that you get traffic every 10 minutes on the 2's. I freakin' love Fred Sherman! I love the teletype in the background. (How many times did I fall asleep to that in graduate school? So soothing...) I love the predictable order of the presentation (you'll get your sports at 15 minutes after the hour, financials at 25 or 55 after.) You'll get your beeps telling you the time at the top and bottom of the hour. Seriously, why don't other cities have these stations.

Now I'm off to do the Bristol Stomp.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Something tells you that you have to move away from it

The house has been on the market for a while and we just got our first offer. It's very low, but we're still negotiating. It's weird how you think about money in these situations. If I bought a television, and I noticed that it was on sale $100 cheaper a week later, I would be completely pissed off. "I lost $100!" But when you negotiate those house prices, thousands of dollars get thrown around. No big deal, let's shave $10,000 off the price. Hey, that's a car! A trip to Europe! A damn fine trip to Europe! I guess I can't really think about it -- it'll make me nuts.

It's a nice house. A really nice house. But it's too big for us. I could never make it feel cozy. Comfortable, yes, but not "home-y." We had empty rooms, rooms that were never used. We never had a meal in the dining room. I never took a bath in the big tub. The house is "staged" now, to look like we used all the spaces, but I know we never did. 

I'm beginning to look at this house as a symbol of my life. Big with lots of potential, but a lot of it hasn't been used. Why are you waiting to do with these spaces? I need to decorate these spaces and start moving in.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy new year!

It's been a crazy year. I was just thinking about this, because about a year ago, I was in Barcelona. I was working at Novo, and, if you asked me, I was planning to retire with the company. I was living in Pennsylvania. No plans to move. I was with Mr. Higgy-Piggie. All was well. So I thought.

Nothing is the same now, is it? A lot can happen in a year. Did I have any idea that it was all going to change? If someone had told me, if someone had pulled me aside and said, "Heads up. It's gonna get crazy" would I have believed them? I would have been wondering, why would I want that? And, yet, now that I am here, I am happy to be here.

I have a memory of that trip to Barcelona, standing in the sun and feeling absolutely content. Now, looking back, I know where the cracks were. I can see where things changed, where they fell apart. It's been hard, but it's been good for me. I know that this will be a year that I never forget. It's completely changed me. In a good way. (I think, I hope, I'm pretty sure.)

I'm glad for change. I'm glad for most of this change. But another year like this, I might die of exhaustion. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I can name that tune in 3 notes...

For some reason, my dad feels it's important to be able to recognize songs on the radio. Name and artist. And so, when we were kids, he had this game where he would let us listen to the introduction of a song, and, before the singing started, he would turn it off. "Name and artist?" And we would have to guess and, once we got it right, we could hear the rest of the song. After a while, we would just shout out the names and artists so that he wouldn't shut off the radio.

All three of us have the freakish ability to name songs and artists on demand within seconds. (Well, older songs. We're all old now, so we have a limit of 1950s through the mid-90s.) Andrea and Scott are hipper and may have an expanded range. When I was at Rohn & Haas, the guys would love to try to stump me. Once. They got me exactly once. Freakin' "Radar Love." (I guessed Deep Purple, which was wrong but got the comment "impressive guess!") Slick used to say that's why he dated me: because I knew all the songs on the radio. 

Dad also encouraged the variety in music as well. So, yeah, that was a "Guys and Dolls" reference. Followed by a Salt and Pepa joke. Yes, that mix tape has a Patsy Cline song followed by one by X (and, dammit, it works.)

Last summer, we were out to dinner. "More than Yesterday" starts playing. Dad points at the speakers. Artist? I rolled my eyes, guessed correctly, and went back to my salad. Dad just smiled.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An inappropriate crush

I have a crush on a house. I keep thinking about it; it's so cute and nice to look at. I walk by whenever I get the chance. The thing is, it's just not good for me. It's too small, the kitchen is minimal, there's no room for expansion. I think one of the reasons I like it so much is that it's in a lovely location and is surrounded by bigger, beautiful houses. And I keep looking for excuses to get in it or just be in the neighborhood. I look at its pictures on-line and imagine us together.

There are other houses around that have more room, that have better space. I should like them more, and, sure, there's one or two who kind of get my attention. Maybe one will win my attention. And yet, I am still drawn to this tiny, inappropriate house. That's overpriced. 

Sigh. I have a crush on the Jordan Catalano of houses. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Promises, promises

Tomorrow, I will be back to the regular schedule. No, really, I mean it. In the meantime, a picture. I am still trying to grasp that this is from just a year ago. So much has happened...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ashes, ashes

I am no longer wearing any rings. The reason (the reasons), well, that's for another day. But, as of this past Sunday, my hands are naked. 

I used to wear 5 rings. One on each middle finger, one on the ring finger of my right hand, two on the ring finger of my left hand. I got these rings at various times; I've been wearing the two on my ring finger of the left hand the longest. My naked hands remind me of being younger. Of high school and days working in labs. 

I have no tan lines to remind me of the rings. However, the two that were on my left ring finger have left two ring-shaped dents in my finger. Here it is, days later, and the two ghost rings are still there. I wonder how long they will remain.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thanks for coming, there's the door

My parents are visiting this weekend. I love them, I really do, but... My brother has already warned me: "Be nice." When I am not nice?! Oh, yeah, I could be nicer when they come to visit. Sure, I can point fingers and say that they could be easier when they visit. But I do have a tendency to freak out and overreact. I try to tell myself: relax. But I am not a relax kind of gal.

I think that sometimes it comes down to showing off your life. "Look at what I've done! See? I'm an adult and I've made good choices!" And, they know the weaknesses, not that they're looking for them: it's just easy for them. Not that they're even looking for them -- I'm looking for them to point them out. Of course, their opinion means a lot, so a throw-away comment from them, well, I can't help but take it to heart. 

I will relax. (deep breath.) I will enjoy myself. (close eyes. another deep breath.) It will be a good visit. I will not overreact. Okay, I will try not to overreact. 

I'll let my gal Sarah to take it out: "I've always had these fantasies about being in a normal family in which the parents come to town and their adult daughter spends their entire visit daydreaming of suicide."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Before and after

Today is a day with a before and after moment. You know those moments. They start with things like "I'm sorry, there's been a terrible accident." Or someone already crying when you pick up the phone. That moment when something is forever changed. When there is no going back. I'm not ready to talk about today's moment. But it was there today and I knew it right away.

But I know there was a before and after moment before, the moment which lead to this one. There was a moment when things were the same, and then they changed. And that moment, I can't find. When did it happen? Because everything used to be one way and now it is different. There was a time when it tipped into the new. I was happy with the way things were and now I am not. When did that shift occur? When was that before and after moment?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Will you still need me?

These days I am noticing the lines around my eyes. They're not just there when I laugh or when I make a certain face. The grey hairs, there are a lot and they are also here to stay. My skin, it's different now. My eyes look tired. I realize that I am older than my mom was when I graduated from college. How did this happen? I'm not ready for this. In my mind, I am still in my 20s, well, maybe early 30s. Sometimes I can fool myself when I look in the mirror. Other days, when I really look, I see how old I am.

I think the most upsetting thing to me is that I know it's not going to get better. Today, I am as young as I will be. The birthdays, they will keep coming. The lines will get deeper and multiply. I'm not going to stop laughing, so I guess I'm stuck with them.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I opened one eye...

My first moment of clarity came at my grandfather's funeral. My mom tells the story of how she wasn't sure if we should go to the actual funeral (I was just-9, my sister was almost 7, and my brother was 5), if we were old enough for this sort of thing. But Papa was a big part of our lives and she thought it was important for us to be there. I remember that it was very warm, and my mom was very upset. And then it hit me: I was never going to see him again. Ever. No more visits, no more pipe smell, he was gone. This is what death was. And I couldn't stop crying. 

My mom told me years later that she saw how upset I was and really regretted bringing me to the funeral, but I reassured her that it was a good thing. That it was important I understood what was happening. That something important happens when someone dies. I remember looking at my sister and brother while I was crying and feeling much older than them.