Cats, Death, I love cats!, Life, Love, Memory Lane, small joy, Uncategorized

Where There is Life

There is a window in my living room that is full of plants. There are at least 15 plants crammed in or near the only window in the main room of the loft space. It may seem like a lot, but in reality, it’s not nearly enough.

199094_10150113728402401_6345691_n

My cat of 16 years recently died. Well, she didn’t die per se, but I was forced with having to make the choice of giving her back to the universe. That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The night before I took her to the vet, I sat with her on the couch and we shared the better part of a rotisserie chicken. She ate until she couldn’t move.

37290150_10155504444572401_7532857554641092608_n

I sat there with her for some time, thinking about the first night she spent in my care. My boyfriend at the time (BAT) and I wanted cats and had certain criteria: I wanted an all-black cat so I could name it “Mr. T” and he wanted 2 cats so one would never be lonely. It was a Sunday and we had been to countless shelters. No one wanted to adopt to us because we were in college. Around closing time, we found this dumpy little pet store in Shirley, NY and they had some cages with kittens, ready to be adopted free with $20 purchase.

And there they were, these two little scared babies – one all black, the other a mottled grey and cream. They were terrified and scratched me until I bled, but I loved them the minute I saw them.

After spending the obligatory $20, the kitties were packed up and took their very first and only trip ever to Walmart. The little babes were a little scared in their carrier, bumping around in the cart, and stayed huddled and quiet, snuggled together in complete fear. About $200 later, as we finished checking out, the store manager came over and kicked us out for having live animals in the store. Dick.

After loading the stuff in the car and checking on the babes, I see that they have peed all over the carrier. We took them out and put them in the backseat so the carrier could be cleaned. Once all tidy, the kittens were gathered to be put back in, but we could only find one. The fucking horror that ensued after realizing the little grey one was missing was incredible, not even 1 hour after getting these creature, we already lost one.

The Walmart security guard came around with flashlights and helped us look for the kitten. After about an hour, it started to rain and we lost all hope. BAT and I went home a little sad with one scared kitten in tow.

The next morning, BAT came in excited and asked me to go out to the car. There, sitting on the dashboard, was the missing grey kitten. I ran inside to grab the black kitten, affectionately named Mr. T, and put her in the car as if to indicate, “Hey, they’re cool, don’t worry.” Well grey kitty was not having it and started to climb into the steering column, which is apparently where she was hiding when we were in the Walmart parking lot and driving home the night before. I felt so bad – we had to pull her out by her tail.

Eventually, she grew to love us, but always stayed a little skittish, earning her the name Merdok, from the hit 80’s show “The A Team.” Merdok was the crazy one. While I was earning my business degree, I’d sit on the bed cross legged on my bed to study and she’d curl up in the space between my knees. She’d do typical cat things, like try to catch my feet under the blankets when I was asleep or come snuggle in the middle of the night. Merdok was notorious for her head butts and could catch you off guard at any moment with a painful punch to the face with her head.

She was very affectionate and always purring. I woke up one night to her little motor running and her face about 3 inches from mine, asking to get under the covers because the roommate had forgotten to pay the oil bill and we had no heat. She was a very good girl for all 16 years of her life.

23517839_10154932286392401_2897082358417075574_n

Towards the end, you could tell she was tired. She slept a lot and starting going to the bathroom on laundry, the rug, the couch…. Her eyes were taking on that glazed, cloudy look and despite having a ferocious appetite, she had dwindled to just 4 pounds. After our last night of chicken gluttony, I slept with her on the sofa and turned most of the lights out. She laid right next to my head, as she has always done, and purred. She put her paw on my third eye as I was drifting off to sleep and my brain started to go crazy. It was a very emotional and spiritual moment to share with a cat, and I am still not sure what to make of it.

Moments before we left for the vet the next day, it started to pour. My sweet friend Ebonie agreed to take me, and she stayed with me for most of the vet visit and took pictures that captured my last moments with my old friend. My last minutes were spent telling her how much I loved her and how sorry I was that I had to let her go. I have never had to put a pet down and I wept as they put her into twilight. At that point I saw that she was already gone and I immediately regretted my decision – not because it was the wrong thing to do, but the guilt was overwhelming. My last words to this tiny little creature were “be good,” which are my parting words to the critters when I leave the house every morning for work. I felt it in my soul when the vet techs administered the dose of euthanasia, pronounced her “passed” and quietly hurried from the room.

37426892_10155510657067401_7939991235639377920_n

Grief does weird things to you – It’s exhausting, and the guilt lingered for days and weeks. Leaving the vet’s office with an empty carrier was a true trial in sadness. I cried spontaneously for a few days, overwhelmed with endless stages of grief. I know Merdok was just a cat, but she was so much more than that to me. She was my companion and confidant. She kept every secret I ever whispered in her little ears. She was unconditional and more genuine that a lot of folks I have met. What I have learned from loss is that life goes on. No matter what, the world keeps on turning and you can’t stay down for too long or life will slip on by.

17903441_10154373771302401_1619226197074395051_n

As hard as losing a pet is, I am already looking forward to my next critter. Carlos, my little monster, is in dire need of a new friend, and I like having at least two little souls in my home. Today marks the 2 year anniversary of the death of Mr. T, which was a very hard loss for me. I have also designated today as Carlos’ birthday, so I am reminded that the time for muourning has passed, and I must celebrate instead.

430126_10150540436382401_864421650_n

Gandhi once wrote, “Where there is love, there is life.” This is why I keep plants all huddled in the window. I keep them pruned and watered and fed with sunlight, dead leaves, and eggshells. I let the cat chew on them and throw them up. I let life be life. I let life fill my homeand my heart because there is life, there is also love.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Standard
Change, Journal, Life, Uncategorized

The Bitch is Back

Hi Everyone. I’m back.

I am sorry it has taken me years to get back to you. I recenlty logged back into my wordpress and discovered 29 drafts from the past 5 years. Titles include:

The Noise Hole
Monsters
I am a City
The Banana Incident
My First Period
We are all Slaves
20 Women
Meet My Mom

There must be over 20,000 words already written. I am making it my goal to finish a few of these gems (once I figure out where the hell I was going with some of them) and give you some new things as well.

As a general update, here is what I have been doing for the past few years:

I turned 34, 35, then (shocker) 36 years old. I have eaten close to 1,000 bagels and probably double that in pizza slices and tortilla chips. Two of my cherished kitties have passed away and another one is very close to the end. There are two new men in my life, one is my little tuxedo kitty named Carlos and the other is a man I’d LOVE to see in a tuxedo, Gonzalo. My new apartment is a part of my old loft from years ago and is filling itself with new memories and new artwork. I have lost some friends, which was a short series of bad, sad breakups, and have made new relationships with better people. I am fat and happy.

Oh – and I got bangs!

30743808_10155316315052401_2768869942903177216_n

I have been working for an Interior Designer for the past 2.5 years and absolutely love it. As per my typical places of employment, it’s high end and pretentious and I class it down just a little bit with bubbly jokes and crude sweetness. I finally make what I deserve and I work with an incredible group of talented and wonderful people.

In 2017, I made a resolution to donate once a month to a different charity. In 2018, I began doing these donation on Facebook as a monthly fundraiser. I cannot begin to tell you how rewarding this resolution has been for me. In my spare time, I run the South Bronx Yard Exchange Flea Market with Gonzalo and my neighbor and friend, Ebonie Simone, who creates incredible pieces of jewelry and art. This Saturday, July 14th,  the Flea Market will be holding a clothing drive for The Bottomless Closet NYC, which coincides with July’s Fundraiser for the same group.

As you can tell, I am still a little shameless.

I am glad to be back. I know that picking up the pen or clacking free-thoughtfully into the keyboard is going to be good for me and, hopefully, you, too.

Until next time, here’s a picture of Carlos the Cat. You can follow him on instagram @monsterkittycarlos.

36388670_10155467445837401_6617431304663203840_n

 

Standard
By Definition, Curse Words, Fuck You, FUN!, Language, Life, Opinion, Rules To Live By, Truck Drivers, Vocabulary

Like a Truck Driver

**WARNING: This post is filled with all sorts of foul language. I am advising discretion to those of you who are sensitive to the vulgarities of those who swear like truck drivers. This might not be the post for you. Truck drivers, of course, are welcome.

1621885_10152326194707783_483578563_n

I have always had a potty mouth. I have no idea how I got it, since my parents are quite religious, but I got it, and it’s here to stay. A potty mouth paired with a censor-less brain-to-mouth internal wiring system and intense sarcasm can sometimes lead to catastrophe, or some really meaningful and hilarious sidebars.

Once I fell and skinned my knee on the concrete. I yelled “SHIT!” My sister heard me and blackmailed me for YEARS over that. One day, when I was a teenager, she said, “Do this, or I am going to tell mom what you said.” I replied, “Oh fucking hell, Mom, I said “shit” ten years ago when I fell and skinned my knee. Would you like to see the scar?” Then we all just laughed and laughed.

I grew up climbing trees and playing any sport that had the word “ball” in it (I love balls). I even ran track for a season so I wouldn’t be bored. Sports as a female teen were always interesting. You learn about sex on every bus ride to away games, and by the ripe age of 15 have a general knowledge of all of the bad words, their definitions, and proper usage.

By the time I went to college, I was a professional “verbal truck driver.” My very first class in college was an English course with a very attractive gay man. I can’t remember his name, but I am certain that I was in love with him, regardless of his non-desire for me (that is generally the way it goes). I like to think that it was because his first lecture was all about the bad words, and why they aren’t bad at all, they only sound bad.

c2bc3db20e5eff673bc1b79b4c4220db

He started his lecture by saying the “N” word. I cringe every time I hear that word. It is ugly and harsh and gross… no one should EVER use it. Then he said a whole bunch of other bad words, which made us all giggle and blush a little. He asked us what all these words had in common (minus their vulgar meanings, of course). He went on to explain to us 18 year old champions of foul language that curse words don’t necessarily mean bad things, but they are concocted with sounds that are harsh and brash to the ears. They also take on the flavor of what you are saying and how you are saying it.

The SH and T in SHIT keep the word short and hard, as do the F and CK in FUCK, as well as the B and TCH in BITCH. You can see where he was going with all of this very interesting information. Then he came back to the “N” word. He explained the difference between using the word with and ER and an A at the end. By ending the word with an A, you have a “friendly greeting.” By using it with an ER at the end, you are a fucking racist. Again, I find this word to make my ears burn and wish it never existed. I am particularly turned off when adolescents are using it, listening to music with it in the lyrics, and singing along to them without a second thought.

The use of harsh, short letters really make all the difference. For instance, compare the following by saying them aloud:

SHIT! vs RATS!

FUCK YOU vs SCREW YOU (please use a Schwarzenegger accent)!

DAMN IT! vs DARN IT!

ASSHOLE! vs MORON!

Yes, they are all excellent words that can successfully be used appropriately, but some are stronger than others.

An interesting side-note… Learning about the effects of the sounds changed my writing in many ways, allowing for subtle hints of joy or anger, even sarcasm. Alliteration is a powerful friend, you Seven Sided Son-of-a-Bitch.

Anyway, I had never experienced a classroom setting where there were so many (or any) curse words used, but also dissected and recombined to affect meaning and level of offense or emotion. Needless to say, I loved college from that first class. My mind was blown wide open. I realized that cursing was okay, and was used as a poignant display of emotions, whether it be a raging anger or dubious excitement. Sometimes cursing can also be used as pain reliever, like when I scraped my knee as a child. I try not to curse around kids or old people, out of common sense and respect, respectively, but being able to hold these words in when they come out so naturally is like zipping your lips and then trying to swallow the key… it’s just not possible.

There are ways to curse excellently and ways to curse like a douche. For instance, in Star Trek: Generations (1994) when Data utters his first expletive, “Oh Shit!” … That is genius! Not only is Data an android and has no feelings or use for such vocabulary, he has also never used a curse word ever! It’s so unexpected that it’s funny.

200_s

For a bad example of poor curse word usage, please watch the character Deb in any Dexter episode. She is terrible at cursing. It’s so forced and awkward. It’s like the actor was originally a ballerina and has never used profanity before in her life, and was cast to play the part of a tom-boy potty mouth super cop. Um, no. It’s just plain bad.

debra+morgan

I have usually worked places where cursing was a norm. Working in factories and workrooms, the girls curse just as much (if not more) than the guys do. Even the sweet blonde from Georgia will slide and angry “Fuck!” in there every once in a while. I even once went to an interview, where the owner was cursing up a storm. I remember thinking, “hmmm, I might actually like it here.” Of course the cursing isn’t directed at anyone, but tossed into the universe. Like, “Shit, I just cut the shit out of my fucking finger!” or “Fuck this shit!” As long as those kinds of negative statements are offset by “Shit! That looks great!” and “Fucking hell, this is the shit!” then the energy in the universe can keep a (somewhat) dynamic equilibrium.

I find cursing to be self healing. When I jab my toe or crack my elbow on something sharp, cursing helps me emotionally and physically present that pain to the world. It helps me cope with a pain that feels like it may never go away. I also find that cursing at objects makes them do what I want. For instance, when I am at work trying to pry loose a fabric that needs to be put to work, I pull and tug and say, “Come on, you fucking fuck!” and just like magic, the roll pulls out. Name calling is also effective in these situations. When called a slut, the fabric responds in a similar manner.

Whoever said “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” probably never got pelted with a sharp, hurtful “FUCK YOU.” I have a  stockpile of those in my “emotional cursing arsenal” saved for just the right moment when I need to let someone know exactly how I feel about them. While I do not always intentionally throw it out there to act as a dagger, it is  certainly expelled from my lips with a force reserved specifically for causing pain. Sorry (but also probably not sorry because the person, most likely, fucking deserves it).

My favorite curse word is FUCK, as you can probably tell from the amount of F-bombs dropped already. To me, it is the most versatile of curse words. It is an extremely passionate word. You can bring someone down (Fuck You!) or rile someone up (That’s fucking awesome!). You can express anger ( I’m not a fucking moron!). You can also use it to let things go (Fuck it! (which was my personal motto from 2002-2011)).

My least favorite word of all time, besides the “N” word, is C*NT. I can’t even write it. The “C” word should be reserved for situation where it’s use is absolutely necessary. A nice alternative to the “C” word (but just as vulgar and ear exploding) is C*NT’s dainty cousin, TWAT. A gal pal of mine uses this word, and she’s so sweet that she makes it sound like a term of endearment. How charming! C U Next Tuesday is also a sneaky way of throwing some shade at an asshole.

When my niece was about 1 year old, we were in church and she dropped the toy she was playing with. She yelled, “SHIT!” and bent down top pick it up. I said, “Excuse me, Gabby?” She looked me dead in the eyes and said “Shit.” in the most serious and sternest way possible. Being the cool aunt, I brushed it off with a smile and a high five (that’s my girl!). The church ladies did not approve. I didn’t give a fuck.

I have tried to rationalize having a  swear jar, but I’d be really broke all of the time with a huge vacation fund. Perhaps that is the only way I will ever save money to travel the world. Then I can learn how to swear in other languages, which may come in handy if I , say, stub a toe in Spain, or smash my kneecap in China.

My dear readers, I leave you with THIS.

And please remember, there is always room for a fucking swear word, just please curse responsibly.

Standard
Adventure, Dogs, Family, FUN!, Life, Memory Lane, New York City, Opinion, Overload, Photo Blog, Resolution, Road Trip, small joy, Social Media, South Bronx

The Hiatus

Thank the fucking stars that winter is, at last, over. For the most part, so is Spring. Although Springtime in New York City is generally a week of really great weather followed by either cold and rainy weather or hot and humid days that will never end because your office has yet to turn on the Air Conditioning. I read my last post, dated October 13, 2014, and wonder why the hell I was ever so excited for the end of summer 2014. I must also apologize, once again, for my absence. I had a few complaints from friends and their mom’s wondering if I might be dead. I am not dead, although after the past few cold, cold months, I feel a little corpse-like. With June upon us now I am basking in the hot, humid sun, getting ready to complain about different awful weather.

10291164_10152864378757401_2834280479672915419_n

I am cold just looking at this.

So, what have I been up to? October was an amazing month of visitors and travel. I stuck my feet in the Pacific Ocean as well as the Gulf of Mexico (both destination wedding related). Captain Clam and I visited 5 airports in the span of 10 days that month. We were exhausted and happy from adventure and catching up with old friends and family. Plus, I got to see Northern California, and I cannot wait to get back!

11330000_10152864373477401_6337375095748698607_n

Pacific Coast Highway

November was another month of bustle, traveling to Virginia for Thanksgiving, and celebrating my 33rd year. I am getting old. Fuck! Captain Clam and I adopted a foster dog, Nena, who slowly made us realize that we don’t want a dog, or probably children… eek!

11017858_10152668076857401_4554269707678548170_n

Hey! Watch your hands buddy!

December was a little more peaceful. We celebrated at home and cooked for about 13 friends on Christmas Day. We invented Bronx Fries, which is just essentially asparagus wrapped in bacon and scorched with garlic. We spent the New Year in my old Loft building with my good Friend Paul and his girlfriend, Ebonie.

10868142_10152523590157401_458583646074670677_n

An extremely accurate representation of Ebonie & Paul from the Guest Book.

January is a month that I have forgotten most of. All I can remember was my New Year Resolution of replacing my mascara tube, which I have managed to procrastinate for 5 1/2 months. February is the worst month of them all, and this winter really gave it to us. If the temperature was above 20 degrees, I experience some sort of relief, like maybe I didn’t need to bundle up so much. But then the wind would blow and I’d immediately regret not wearing a butt scarf (essentially just a scarf that is tied around the butt).

19405_10152864392127401_7116872994010442269_n

The First Day of Spring 2015, New York City.

At some point, we were able to find a home for a little kitten that our neighbor found. She had been smashed up a bit and needed some serious snuggling. Our friend Josh, who is the biggest softy ever, came by in the middle of the night, serenaded her with music on a broken guitar, and fell in love. He took her home that night and named her Prudence.

1013381_10152362360747401_5710341119669330474_n

Contrary to popular belief, Captain Clam and I are NOT an animal rescue!

During the winter, I became bored and switched my instagram name a zillion times. I settled on CommutersOnTheGreenLine, and have dedicated the majority of my posts to stalking strangers on the 4, 5, and 6 trains. Follow Me!

11391135_10152864416537401_8538600583460784866_n

February 19, 2015

In early March, I found myself shopping for a dress for an old friend’s funeral. That sucked more than I ever thought anything ever could possibly suck. The joy of March was driving down to MD to drop off the foster dog to her new owner, Rich. We (and by “we” I mean “the kitties”) finally regained control over the apartment. Hooray! We were also blessed with a trip to Wisconsin to visit the Captain’s Family Farm and B&B for his dad’s 70th Birthday. If you are ever in Wisconsin, in the little town of La Farge, please stop in and visit Trillium Cottage B&B. It is one of the most magical places I have ever been to and I can’t wait to get back there (they have miniature donkeys!).

11216815_10152864379312401_5879265184538495921_n

See? Magic!

May proved to be the busiest month yet, with almost every weekend spent out of town. Captain Clam and I went to Long Island for Mother’s Day and a spectacular family reunion where both of my sisters and their kids (and husbands) were gathered in one place, talking loudly with intense accents. At one point my dad pulled us aside and told us that my mom hasn’t looked this happy in a long time. I looked over to see her playing monkey in the middle with two of my nephews. She was giggling in her usual tickled fashion and was completely kicking their little butts at the game. She was genuinely, unabashedly happy.

11047911_10152809329492401_178748358665750762_n

That is one Happy Momma!

The following weekend, one of my Best Pals since forever got married in Baltimore, so we road tripped out there and Airbnb’d it 2 blocks from where the Baltimore riots had taken place a few weeks earlier (Captain Clam and I are gluttons for adventure). Of course I cried at the wedding because I am a wimp, but Elyse BFF was certainly the prettiest bride since Cleopatra married Mark Anthony (or since J-Lo Married Marc Anthony…).

11241222_894188783974179_8492360155794815050_n

Meet the Meyers!

I would also like to take this time to brag about what a hunk my Clam is in a suit!

10730938_10152408496542401_173349855889397818_n

The cutest clam in town!

Memorial Day Weekend was spent in the woods camping at Clarence Fahnestock State Park, as an early Birthday Gift to the Clam. He’ll be 32 in a few weeks! The last weekend was spent prepping for a Jumble Sale that we have been organizing with some friends in our Community, presented by the South Bronx Yard Exchange and hosted by the Mott Haven Bar. The Sale coincides with the Mott Haven’s killer Brunch, so feel free to come by for the sale (June 6 & 7) and stay for some Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary Specials!

11113785_10152850742667401_7115830331275750293_n

Subliminal Message.

So, what’s coming up for these summer months? Well, June is filling up with the Jumble Sale, Shakespeare in the Park, Groupons for a Yankees Game, Clam’s Birthday, an illegal rooftop garden, and a bunch of other blog posts that I have had in the works for a very long time. As promised, Like a Truck Driver is set to be published within the next week or so, and I am working on another gem The Noise Hole to keep you entertained while you are supposed to be doing paper work or checking emails at your boring job. Early July boasts an epic camping trip in New Hampshire and Acadia Nation Park in Maine, so that should keep my brain from exploding for a little bit longer. Stay tuned!

Standard
Autumn, Life, New York City, summer

Life After Summer

I have been asleep since early July. Of course I don’t actually mean that I have literally been sleeping for four months, but my writing has been dormant for that amount of time. I had no intention of taking the summer off from blogging. In fact, I have a few posts in the queue, but, as with most of my work, they are all unfinished. I suppose I needed a little break from my digital life, but now I find myself gobbled up by October and I can’t help but wonder where the summer went.

Captain Clam and I had a productive summer. I have a one million word blog post about our road trip summer vacation, but alas, the screen on my computer has failed and I can neither finish the story nor can I access my pictures, feeding into the duration of my online absence. I assume that everyone wants to know all of the details from our adventures spanning from Niagara Falls to Atlantic City (or Atlantic Shitty, as it should be called), and see the photos and videos, but you must wait! Hopefully, only a little bit longer.

100_0234

A sneak peek of our July Road Trip. Seneca Lake at Sampson State Park.

I found that after we returned from our frolics, it took a few weeks to readjust to life back in the city and at work. I would plan fake vacations every chance I had, and wanted to talk to everyone (well, most folks) that I came across. I would have small daydreams about the Living Social deal to Road Trip Ireland (starting $899 with airfare!!) or a daycation in the city tasting cheeses, painting at a bar, and hovering above the city in a helicopter. The summer and all things vacation has been very hard to shake. I now have the travel bug and my credit card is paying dearly for it.

This fall is already proving to be a busy time for us. Every weekend in October is already infused with excitement. The first Sunday was spent out at my parent’s home in Long Island. Last weekend we hosted ManMadeOceans. I have known him for well over 10 years, and catching up was the easiest thing I’ve done in a long time. The weekend was dedicated to music and friendship. We went to a metal concert, a jazz show, and even sang karaoke. Once again, I must confess that my wallet is holding protest, as it should.

rock concert

Amaranthe at Terminal 5 on 10/10/14

Next weekend, the Captain and I are off to Napa for a wedding. I have never been to the west coast and am ridiculously excited to be there. We are first visiting San Francisco for a few days and have reserved a room at Kev’s House via airbnb. My Clam lived there for 5 years while he was in art school and has volunteered to be my tour guide (and chauffeur!) while we are there. I have also never rented a car before, so even before we leave the airport, adventure awaits us!

unnamed

Kev’s place

The last weekend of the month we are heading to Florida (another place I have never been) for another wedding. The eldest Clam Brother (and his three gorgeous kids) is getting remarried to a lovely woman (they’re Captain Morgan and coke people). They live in Wisconsin, so I don’t blame them for having a destination wedding in Florida. I suppose it is their way of  preparing for the long, cold Wisconsin winter. But let’s not think about winter just yet!

I am finally (at last!) starting to feel autumn creep in like a sneaky breeze that hurls your hair into your lipstick. I have banished my feet to be confined in closed shoes, wearing flip flops only for housework. Neglected and squooshed, my toes are struggling to adjust. My legs are also hairy. So hairy that any razor to come near these beasts is doomed. I have started the shaving boycott a little earlier than expected this year. Fall is not a dress season for me, thankfully.

I have switched out my facial SPF 15 moisturizer and my body lotion to Cocoa Butter so I can smell like hot chocolate when I leave the house in the morning. My blow dryer is being exercised regularly (although it is somehow missing after a fun weekend of entertaining my old friend). I am just about ready to have Le Clam store the air conditioner for the winter, hoping that the next time we need to take it out, it’s well into July.

My tan has faded and I have the full pale and pasty winter complexion happening at full force. With the sun setting so early and rising so late, I fear that I will never see it again. Ok, that’s a little too melodramatic, even for me. I suppose this year I am not clinging all that much to summer. Not like last year when I wrote I Love You, Summer. I was not ready to let go last summer. This year is different.

summer

Later, bitch.

As much as I am not looking forward to the frozen hell I know the Northeast is in for this winter, I revel in the crisp air and colors of the season. October and November are a calm place to be before the storm of ice and wind and relentlessly low temperatures. The weather is perfect for weekend drives with the windows down and the heat blasting. The smell of burning leaves overflows my nostalgia, and I remember the days of my former life that I am convinced I didn’t actually have. I happen to love and look good in sweaters, so that, too, is a plus.

I am letting go of summer as I know she will return. I will think of her fondly and greet her with the same joy and anticipation that I have when I see my family or an old friend. I have not given up on her. I have simply stopped holding on.

Oh, and I also can’t wait for the upcoming travel binge. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and tell you all about it.

 

 

Standard
Adventure, FUN!, Journal, joy, Lent, Life, New York City, Project, small joy, Spring, summer, Thank You

small joy: another 40 days

When I started this next 40 days, I was considering not doing this project anymore. I was bummed out about all sorts of different things, like my job, my family, my life… and was just feeling especially down on myself (I am my worst critic). Then Captain Clam told me that he was inspired by my Small Joy posts to make a conscious effort to do one good thing a day. So, I once again felt obligated to trudge on with the project. I hate to write it that way, but that’s how I am feeling some days. It is nice to know, however, that these small little specs of my life can affect my readers, even my special little Clam.

So here we go again on this journey. I hope these next 40 days bring you joy.

Wayne-Dyer-quote-about-joy

Day 81: House guests from Wisconsin.

Day 82: Getting caught in the rain.

Day 83: Double Date Picnic in Central Park.

Day 84: Going out to  “move the truck” to the other side of the street and ending up in Connecticut.

Day 85: THIS example of joyful living.

Day 86: Took 2 hours to almost get home and Captain Clam picked my up from 125th street, then our super neighbors came over with surprise pork chops!

Day 87: Received a photo update on Max. He is thriving in his new home! yay!

10405899_584075038378527_572086137_n

Day 88: Talking to my sister.

Day 89: Finally starting that art project I have been meaning to get to.

Day 90: Discovering a half bag of uneaten all natural licorice in my purse!

Day 91: Getting hit on by the cute guy behind the cold cut counter. Ooh la la!

Day 92: Watching the sunset after a rainstorm.

Day 93: Woke up after dreaming about being in a pet store…for the entire night! Captain Clam and I adopted bunnies and kittens and a dog name Hubert. Best dream ever!

Day 94: A new dress.

Day 95: Farmer’s market flower shopping for Saturday gardening.

Day 96: Sleeping in past 8am.

Day 97: Feeling ridiculously sexy for no reason.

Day 98:  Receiving mail.

Day 99: Dinner Date with wine and oysters.

Day 100: Helping a neighbor with groceries and getting an ice pop in return!

Day 101: World War Z.

Day 102: Almost burning the apartment down warming up taco shells = NEW TOASTER OVEN!

Day 103: Ran into Ice T at the Bronx Ignites Street Fair.

1546150_10152507781684776_1397796323318471943_n

Day 104: Netflix Binge OITNB!

Day 105: A Strangers “Good Morning.”

Day 106: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and a House Guest.

10475259_10203326087506887_6301407335091531853_n

Shenanigans.

Day 107: The hottest day of the Spring.

Day 108: Inadvertent half day at work.

Day 109: Getting my floor repaired, and that moldy leak in the bathroom (at last!).

Day 110: Helping a stranded driver push his car out of traffic.

Day 111: Greasy Diner Food.

Day 113: Talking to my dad about his flower pots.

Day 114: Petting a puppy first thing in the morning!

Day 115: Six “Good Morning’s” before I got to the train this morning.

Day116: Captain Clam’s Birthday!

Day 117: Butt Dialing My Sister.

Day 118: Waking up to a clean apartment and coming home to the best house guests ever!

Day 119: Leaving a bagel with cream cheese for a homeless person sleeping on the street.

Day 120: Watching a lady talk to and feed the squirrels in Union Square.

Have 40 more days passed already? For a while there I was too bummed out to do this everyday and kept having to go back and try to remember something amazing. Then I decidedly got my shit together, and life somehow became a little easier. I also started to follow Captain Clam’s lead (which you can see some of in these past 40 days), and started bringing small joys to the lives of other people.

How do you bring joy to your world?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard
Adventure, Dogs, Family, FUN!, joy, Life, Love, Nephews, New York City, Nieces, Road Trip, Spring, Virginia

Road Trip: King George, VA

My biggest sister has a little slice of Horsie Heaven down in Va, where the Potomac River separates Maryland from Virginia. A few times a year, captain Clam and I hop on a Megabus and clunk our way  down to DC where Annie and Jeff pick us up in the middle of the night. Since being blessed with Dino Gadget (pictured way down below), we have abandoned the luxuries of the Megabus and decided to clunk down there at our own leisure.

The trip was planned for a few weeks, since we had been talking about heading down for a little R&R and Junk Shopping. We had visited my family the previous week and were bringing a little surprise down to VA. His name is Max.

140513_007

Maximus Spero Beuche

Friday was such a gross day, but we knew we wanted to spend an entire day in VA, and not have to worry about getting up early to make the trek. As I came home from work, I could tell how bad the weather would be based on how low the planes were coming into LaGuardia. It felt like you could just pull the aircraft out of the sky, which was kinda awesome.

We headed out around 7pm on Friday. And, as dictated by luck, the skies opened up as soon as we hit the NJ Turnpike. Between apocalyptic downpour and traffic from a “lane merge” it took much longer than expected to get anywhere. By the time we finally stopped to rest, we were about and hour and a half behind schedule. The line for starbucks was it’s own traffic jam, so I opted for Burger King coffee. I also purchased the BEST postcard for my parents. It had a giant red pepper on it. Who knew that New Jersey was known for it’s red peppers!

After the horror show that is the NJ TPKE finally ended, we zoomed over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and skirted towards Baltimore and through that cool little tunnel on 895A. The sky had started to clear and a big, delicious Waning Gibbous framed in storm clouds shone through, lighting the way for us. The moon looked like a giant flower petal in the sky, waiting to be plucked. The stars started coming out, too. It’s been too long since I have seen a star that isn’t an airplane.

There’s a funny thing about driving for so long at night. The dark tends to play tricks on tired eyes. We were cruising down 301 and I swore that a yield sign was a 7′ tall deer. It was moving and prancing and I panicked at the thought of it darting in from of the truck. But it was, seriously, just a sign rattling in the breeze. When I did see a deer, I pointed to it and asked the Captain if it was real. He said that he didn’t see anything. I am questioning my sanity.

We rolled down Annie’s 1/2 mile long dirt driveway in the middle of the woods just a little before 2am. Max was amazing in the car and snuggled with the Clam most of the way. Of course, I got to drive the full 7 hours, which was a first for me. I was exhausted and somehow ridiculously proud for making the entire ride behind the wheel. We went  to bed immediately and slept like rocks sleeping in a rock pile.

SONY DSC

The Beuche Farm, King George, VA

We “slept in” until about 8:15, and woke up to a screaming nephew and a dog that really had to go pee.  Ann was out on a trail ride, so my niece offered to drive us around to some of the local antique malls so we could find some junk to bring back to New York City. If you read my post entitled Sixteen Years Ago Today, you will understand how close my niece and I are. She is just so cool. Jeff took the top and windows of her Bright yellow Jeep (name: Jessica), and we flew all over King George with a 16 year old at the wheel. She is actually a very good driver, just needs to be a little more patient when shifting into 4th gear.

SONY DSC

Teenager at the wheel!

Our first stop was Wal-Mart. I don’t usually patronize WM because I don’t believe in how they treat their employees, there are no WM’s in the City, and Captain Clam is banned for life. I reluctantly went anyway… and spent $80… on clothing. Who am I?

Our next stop was the Discount Tobacco Center in the Wal-Mart parking Lot. Captain Clam can smoke under water. Crazy, right?

large

Next, Gabby took us up and down 301 to all the antique shops. We weren’t looking for anything in particular, but had our hopes set on coming home with some sort of sofa or settee for our living room. Our Fancy Futon needed to be moved to the second bedroom to accommodate some house guests the following weekend (although Captain Clam and I ended up sleeping on it), and we wanted to set up a nice sitting area, since we don’t have a TV and futons are for college kids.

We ended up at A Unique House Antique Mall, where we perused the endless booths of bric-a-brac, junk, antiques, collectibles, etc. We were also fortunate enough to go there on the 3rd Saturday of the month, which meant they had an outdoor flea market and some bad ass barbecue. We spied a few items that we wanted to purchase, and some we might be interested in next time, if they are still available.

After three hours of browsing, we thanked Jessie the Jeep for our amazing new windblown hair-do’s, hopped back in Dino-Gadget, and set out to find some Road-side BBQ and discuss the goodies that we wanted to drag home with us. Of course, we headed back to the antique mall, but all of the food was gone (gasp!). So we popped in to this Crazy Cajun place to get some grub. Captain Clam ordered something or other, which was made from a frozen pork Chop, and I ordered a BBQ Rib Sammy bathed in the House Sauce. The Captain’s  meal tasted like a flash fried frozen patty, and mine tasted like pure piggy heaven. We topped it off with Lemonade flavored purely by chemicals and some Cajun fries (which were delicious). And while the Clam pulled the Gadget around, I laid on the grass and took pictures of the paper-machete pig out front.

SONY DSC

The food did us good, even if half of it was kinda yuck. We U-turned a few times and found ourselves back at the Antique Mall purchasing an old Church Pew and a Mid-Century Night Table. Jackpot! These items now grace our Living room where the Futon used to sit.

100_0004

Some awesome finds, Koali, and Mr. T.

Thank goodness for Pick-up Trucks! After a long day of junk shopping, we returned to the farm, ready for a nap. Instead, we got a Horse Party. I had prepared well for the Preakness event (or so I thought) by purchasing a horse print dress. What I forgot was a giant, gawdy hat. At some point, I realized that I had forgotten my ENTIRE make-up bag (and also neglected to pack socks or t-shirts for Le Captain), so I had to use Gabby’s goods. And suddenly I was 16 years old again getting ready for an awesome party. I had washed my hair again (since it was so windblown I couldn’t get a brush through it), and just moseyed on up to the mirror with the other gals and started playing dress up.

mbIo6OjBjfYrTbsKBTdP3Pg

Horse Party Dress.

The guests began arriving and I helped my sister set up food… and then I helped myself to the bar… and then I helped myself to the yummy offerings of their guests (pumpkin cookies? yes,please!). The race lasted less than 2 minutes, and I couldn’t help but laugh at all of the carrying on that the guests were doing. Yelling. Hooting. Hollering. I couldn’t believe just how much they were all into it. I mean Horse enthusiasts… it’s a thing!

So after the fanatics calmed down, Captain Clam and I roused everyone into collecting firewood for an impromptu Bon-Fire. Whenever I visit my VA family, I insist on a fire. We then just sit around, play with fire, listen to  my brother in-law’s political tirades (this particular tirade was about how Global Warming is fake), drink beer, and just shoot the shit. Captain Clam, for being a sea creature, is particularly good at lighting fires. He was quite diligent in stoking the flames and inspiring the teenagers to go get wood and kindling.

We stayed out watching the flame lick the night until half past 2. I’m pretty sure us grown ups had a little too much to drink, but not enough to pay dearly in the morning. I woke up to a pancake breakfast, just like my mom’s: thin and buttery instant pancakes fresh off the griddle. Any hangover was sure to be diverted by all that magic.

After breakfast, we piled into my sister’s new monster truck and headed off for more antiquing. We visited some new places that I had never been to and scouted all sorts of junk that I wanted but couldn’t fit in the truck.

SONY DSC

Makes for some interesting jewelry making, eh?

Then we headed off to Colonial Beach for some ice cream, driftwood, baby duck sightings, and window shopping. As tradition would have it, we popped into Nancy’s Ice Cream Shop for some sweets. Lo and Behold, standing in front of us was the following:

SONY DSC

Annie gets photo bombed pretty hard.

This woman stood there for about 5 minutes with her hands down the back of her pants. I know it’s mean to post this (as I have been told by some of my Facebook friends), but seriously. What the hell?

Now, here is another wonder… it’s my brother-in-law smiling. This never happens:

SONY DSC

See, he CAN smile!

Well, after all that commotion, I needed the feeling of sand beneath my toes. The lot of us headed to the River. I wasted no time in removing my shoes and digging my dogs into the sand. Captain Clam and I read each others minds brilliantly and started collecting uniquely shaped pieces of driftwood.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

We headed down to the pier and found a “raft” of baby ducks. They were so little and cute and completely cautious of us.

SONY DSC

After all that fun, we headed into the local Pottery Shop to steal a plastic bag for our driftwood bounty and check out the wares. It was nice to see the pottery items, as well as the photography and art pieces. There were also some cool driftwood sculptures, and loose pieces of driftwood for sale. We ended up spending $2 on a note card to send along to my parents (which I still have  yet to mail since I am staggering this card with the postcard from New Jersey). Then I got to take a picture of these faces::

SONY DSC

Tyler! ❤

SONY DSC

Gabby! ❤

After our beach adventure, we ventured back to the homestead for what would be our last meal of dried out leftovers from the night before. We kissed Max goodbye, who looked like he was so sad, yet so happy, and headed down the long driveway for the journey back to the greatest city in the world.

We hit a Dunkin’ Donuts to fuel our exhausted bodies and saw this in the garbage can:

SONY DSC

huh?

All was well until we hit the Turnpike. As usual, New Jersey has the magic of a toilet bowl on taco night. Captain Clam almost made the entire drive back, but gave up once dusk hit, so I finished the final leg of the journey.

SONY DSC

Captain Clam gettin’ his road trip on.

We did run into this:

SONY DSC

Hanging Tough in NJ.

which made part of the traffic through hell only slightly amusing. We finally re-entered our home-state, reluctantly paying a ghastly toll on the GWB. All we wanted to do was get to sleep, but we had nearly forgotten about all of the stuff needing to be carried up five flights of stairs.

SONY DSC

Dino Gadget and our Treasures.

We were so exhausted that we couldn’t get the damn church pew up the stairs. I went up to the building Super’s apartment to beg for help, but no one was able to  help except his wife, a 60-something grandma ANIMAL! She pretty much single handedly dragged that beast up the stairs. I mean Captain Clam was there to help carry the heaviest part and all, and I was supervising, doing my best to hold up the middle of the bench and boost morale, of course.

We finally made it. It was a little after mid-night when we pulled our shoes off and collapsed into our bed. Exhausted but happy, we bid the day goodbye. Of course we were a little sad about leaving Max with his new family, but we were happy that he was finally happy. Now, if we could only learn to take a proper selfie, all the world would be right.

SONY DSC

Another Captain Clam and StephaJane selfie fail.

 

Standard