Friday, October 31, 2008

The Week Has Ended, Almost


I'm not looking forward to the commute home today. The bus ride, barely tolerable on the best of days, degrades 400% on Halloween. I was hoping to bribe convince my daughter with a dinner in one of the many eateries in the work neighborhood if she'd drive down after her own work and then we'd ride home together. She wasn't exactly snapping up my suggestion. She served up a counter that included going to see Saw V , me still taking public transpo home, footing the bill for dinner and a movie.
I don't think so. Last I heard, the weather is supposed to be pleasant, maybe I'll take the train home. That will mean walking several extra blocks on both ends, but that's ok as I've been kinda lazy tired this week, the walking will do me good.
Saturday = Martinis. Yum.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tone

Please advise asap! Thank you!

The email from a representative of the collection agency we use to help with some delinquent balances arrived yesterday with the ending you see above. It rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like I was being yelled at or at the very least that the agent was being snappish with me I didn't like that, not one bit.

We don't know one another and I felt that she was presuming I wouldn't take her request seriously or worse, would ignore the message altogether. My perceptions could have been off, I acknowledge as much in the email I sent back. I allowed as to how punching up her sentences and requests with exclamation points could just be her writing style with no (negative) connotation or intent on her part whatsoever.

The agent writes back (sans exclamations) thanking me for the information and for expressing my thoughts. She further writes, "I am a happy person and like to use the ! to express that although not always used properly. Thank you for advising me of that no telling how many other people feel that way."

It's pretty easy to mis-read or mis-interpret tone in emails. You don't have body language or vocal inflection to guide you. All you have are the words of the text and the images and punctuation the author chooses to add at their discretion. If the author is known to you pin-pointing their tone might be easier, but it is in no way a snap. I've stepped in some mis-read, mis-interpreted doo doo and will probably have to wipe my shoes a time or two or more in the future.

With business emails I usually just let these things go to my "oh well" bin and leave it at that. Yesterday was not an "oh well" day. I had to say something to the agent and in so doing I learned that she's a happy person. Good to know.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So It Begins...Again

When can I see you again
When can my heart beat again, baby
When can I see you again
And when can I breathe once again
And when can I see, babe, again
Wanna see you again
Again...*

The wait until the next time. At present that is tentatively February. Could be a small, short trip before then, but then again . . .

The trips are hard. The travel part is becoming easier and in some ways, sad yet routine. This trip down there was the usual: constantly chattering toddlers (& mother, aunt and grandma heading to Tennessee for a family wedding), someone who couldn't quite grasp the concept of the overhead bin door, a chronic (fill: cough, sneeze, wheeze, whine) and a cowboy hat wearer. The return travel featured the oh so routine sit-on-the-runway-30 minute-weather-related delay, the must make 400 phone calls before cellphones must be turned off person, sarcastic flight attendant, the "oh, is this row 7 I thought this was 6" person and the frantic fleeing of patrons trying to make connecting flights. Routine.

Though ecstatic at the thought and overjoyed at the actual experience of seeing, touching and being the the company of Neta I am always sad when our time comes to an end. We are always sad. This time and each time, even more so. This time after I returned we had...words. Many, many words later we are coupled in a different way and though not much closer to shrinking the physical distance, emotionally we couldn't be closer.

Long distance relationships are hard, everybody has told me so. 'Tis true. In general, though relationship are tough, especially in the beginnings and even more especially when you have the extra added pressures of all the coming and going.

Relationships go through phases. The transitions through said phases can be bumpy. Neta and I are able to talk and more importantly, listen to one another. It remains to be seen if, or rather when when we will be able to break through the barriers rooting us to our respective turfs. But at the end of the day we have a deep and abiding love and respect for one another. She is quite simply, my heart and I will move heaven and earth to be with her, always.

*When Will I See You Again Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Buggin' Out


You know what bugs me? Well today most every little thing but on the top of that list is the head guy’s penchant for walking the distance (his office is two doors down) to my doorway to tell me he’s forwarded me an email. In addition to telling me that, he goes on to tell me what to do about the email (note: these emails are almost always from a vendor reporting that our order can’t be shipped because the account is delinquent and wanting to know when payment will be sent).

“….check it out, email {them} and copy me.” 9 of 10 times the payment had already been processed.

1. S O P
2. I’ve been doing this type of work for nearly 15 years*
3. S O P



2nd day back, I really should have taken the rest of the week off. I wish I could have. In honor of the head guy, ::heavy sigh::

*he’s been my boss for 9 of those years. He knows (or should) how I operate. Sheesh.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Up, Up Away


And soon I'll be there with her! YUM! and YaY! and Happy, happy, joy, JOY!
Though I'd rather circumstances were different, traveling to TN gets easier and easier. I always used the same airline, the gates are usually the same (or very close), I generally even have the same kind of plane and my seat assignments (though totally random) have been eerily similar.
I wore this shirt last summer when I visited. On the Tennessee end some guy yelled out, "so, who is he?" I wish I'd said, "I'm sure you wouldn't know her." But I didn't, I just smiled and kept walking toward her because I knew she was there, waiting.
When I visited in the spring I missed my flight. Ayup, missed it. As excited, ready and anxious as I was to go, I was late. I was crushed. Oh sure I got on another flight 3-4 hours later, but still...
I will not miss my flight tomorrow. And to be clear, Neta is in TN and she loves me and I love her right back.
Soon, ah...very soon, I'll be there and we can love face-to-face, eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart.
YaY! and Yum!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Be Still My Heart

. . . well, not still. If it were still then I'd be, well, you know.

What I mean is slow down to, you know, normal. It's been racing you see. As has my mind. Racing with thoughts of being down there. By there, I mean in TN. Not just anywhere in Tennessee, but her part of Tennessee.

She'll be there at Nashville's airport, waiting in baggage claim, standing as usual, at the bottom of the escalator looking up to me with those eyes. The heart and mind will begin to slow and settle immediately upon sight of her. Of that, I am sure.

However, I could use some interim salve, for getting through this day and the next will be hard enough without the vroooooms booming the heart.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Who Needs It?


We have to what amounts to 3 or 4 dates (albeit somewhat extended) a year. These buggers better be gone by Friday, or I'll... I'll... Well, I don't know what, but they just better vanish!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Look of Love



The look of love is in your eyes
a look your smile can't disguise
the look of love
is saying so much more than these words could ever say
and what my heart has heard, well it takes my breath away

I can hardly wait to hold you, feel my arms around you
how long I have waited
waited just to love you, now that I have found you
don't ever go

You've got the
Look of love, it's on your face
a look that time can't erase
be mine tonight
let this be just the start of so many nights like this
let's take a lover's vow and then seal it with a kiss
I can hardly wait to hold you, feel my arms around you
how long I have waited
waited just to love you, now that I have found you
don't ever go
don't ever go
I love you so…


Upon seeing my frame (with photo installed) mom's only comments were, "Who is Herman Hesse? and That's a nice frame." I related what I knew of Herman Hesse which, to be frank, was a lot less than I now know. I thanked her for her compliment and thus ended that conversation.

Months later she spied some of the shots from Neta's visit this summer, framed and prominently very lived in living room. Mom didn't have much beyond, "those are nice pictures" to say.
. . . and I've totally lost where this post was meant to go, but I do know how it was meant to end:
Neta is prominent on my walls, my mind and my heart. I love the look of her eyes. I love even more what I see beyond them. When I see her I see the miracle that is life, I see hope, I see togetherness and I see joy.
Joy to my girl lady.
The Look of Love penned by B. Bacharach / H. David and performed by nearly everybody.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Miss October

That smile, it flashes and the room, seriously, lights up. Electric, that smile is purely electric. My former slugger is also fiercely loyal, sensitive, compassionate, funny and strong. Stronger than she realizes sometimes. She is incredibly sentimental and saves e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Seriously.
Miss October, lover of big ball sports, animals, high heels, make-up, skulls and crossbones, Nikes, shoes, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, reality tv, entertainment gossip, cars, trucks, sweet and colorful cocktails, shoes, cooking, creating in th kitchen, horror films, video games, purses, rock and roll, hip-hop, old school, shoes, clothes, clothes and more clothes, family, friends, Diamond, Buttah and even Pete celebrates her 23rd birthday today.
Cheers to the girl woman who calls me mom and thereby making my smile as bright as her own.
Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Her Name

A friend asked Ellen DeG to give me a wake-up call. She did and I was tickled pink. Thanks friend.

I, in turn, asked Ellen DeG to call Neta (and a couple of others). Ellen DeG had a problem with my request for a call to Neta. "I'm sorry, I cannot say that name." I was given the option to have the call made without a name (boooo) or choose another name. Well, Neta has a middle name so I tried that. Nope. "I'm sorry, I cannot say that name." Well, fudge.

I went back to Neta, spelling it the way it sounds: n-e-e-t-a-h. No go.

I tried n-e-a-t-a. "Sorry, I..."

I thought about trying any one (or all--until accepted) of our endearments for one another. Then I thought, screw it and just went with the message without a name.

Well, double fudge.

I'm inclined to think it was just a glitch. Neta isn't a rare name nor particularly hard to pronounce. Oh sure, some folks might say Net-ta instead of Nee-ta, that would have been acceptable. But unable to say any variation at all? Odd.

Then again, my mom has a difficult time with Neta's name too.

Mom: How is...uhm, your friend, in Tennessee, what's her name?

Me: Nee-ta.

Mom: Oh, I thought it was Net-ta.

Me: No, it's Nee-ta and she's fine. (aside: yum).

Mom: Oh, I thought...well, you know your father's wife is.. Me: Yes, I know, but her name has two Ts, it's Net-tie.

Then, of course, we get on to a conversation about 'dear old dad' which is where I sign off.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Do It

We are approaching the 2nd annual Feel Your Boobies (TM) week. I understand that October has been designated Feel Your Boobies (TM) month. So go ahead, feel free to feel your boobies. And if you haven't already, make time for a visit to the mammomat.
I visited a mammomat week ago Thursday. While I found the mammomat cold and impersonal, the technician was warm and personable. The very vocal technician wanted me to know those were her hands touching me there. She was very good as we only needed one go-round. The entire visit (including registration) was accomplished in under 30 minutes.
Most excellent. Ta ta to mammomat. See you next October. In the meantime, feeling those boobies.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mermaid, Roosters and Jesus

Minus the dad, one liners and sassy, sexy neighbor, we could have been Good Times. In fact, part of the exterior shots for the opening credits were of our housing project. My painted on smile aside, the times there were as bleak as the concrete floors and as stifling as the cinder block walls.


Though hope was hard to come by, hard to hold, it did exist.


It, the dissolution and destruction of little family unit went into hyper-drive during our 'projects' stint. Not very close when we moved into the projects, (mostly the usual sibling stuff) our time there drove a wedge into us that continues to mar our interactions (what few we share) to some degree. We were, remain, as disparate as the plaster mermaid, wooden roosters plaque and Jesus portrait you see there behind our respective heads.

My brothers both joined gangs, albeit different ones and very little was good from that day until I moved out of the the family shelter some six years later, having endured all the verbal, physical and emotional trauma perpetrated by my brothers and their various crews I could take. I was the "good one" trying with all my might to be all that they weren't and to make that be enough, more than enough. Accepting that my mother couldn't protect me and I couldn't save her, eventually had no choice but to leave them all to their own devices during Spring 1978.

I look back on those times and I recall going with mom to police stations to claim one or the other brother, the many fights, running from the bangers, crying myself to sleep or losing myself in tv programs, books and music. I recall any number of horrors that I experienced first hand, more that I witnessed and even more than I heard about.

Thankfully, remembering what good there was embedded with the bad comes easier as time goes on. My academic achievements, the piano my mother scrimped and saved to rent for me, my joy in playing it despite the teasing I took, the few celebratory moments we shared as a unit, the easy like Sunday morning times we had, like caring for the puppy little brother rescued from a gang banger who thought she too puny to live are but of a few pockets of memories it is a pleasure to recall.

My older brother turned fifty a few weeks ago, the card I sent him went un-answered. But that's ok as that is what I expected. I hope it made him smile. I hope it drove him to recall a pinch of whatever goodness we shared. I hope that one day we three can put that past and that which has transpired since behind us. Hope, it still exists.

Thursday, October 02, 2008