Monday, December 29, 2003

2003 in Review

Before I begin a list of things I would like to accomplish in 2004, I like to look back on the ending year .....

January I decided to take skiing lessons.  Big mistake.  Once you are middle aged, you are afraid of getting hurt.  Zooming down an ice covered hill out of control in sub freezing weather, covered in layers of clothing while sweating, swinging the poles wildly is not fun!  Plus, I fell and hyper-extended my thumb.  Took months to heal.

February,  the devastating ice storm to central Kentucky which brought us to our knees.

March was my first cruise to the Bahamas.

April saw the  the Triple Crown of Running in Louisville where I competed and completed the 10K, 10 miler, and then the mini marathon.

May brought the annual Slither in German town...which is the night before the Kentucky Derby, hosted by my brother in law, Daniel.  About 60 to 80 of his friends and family walk to as many bars as humanly possible in the Germantown area of Louisville....I'm certain I will compose an entry about this "happening".

June...the Lake.  Every year my family has a long week end at my other brother in law's (Karl) family  lakehouse on TVA Lake Norris in Tenn....the greatest time.

July...Bluegrass 10,000 another 10K. Bluegrass Fair, work is crazy. Had the worst case of Posion Ivy ever in the history of mankind.

August still crazy at work, Bridget's Birthday. The dreaded and expected August 3rd alert.

September, going to elope in Tenn but my Dad is admitted to hospital with congestive heart failure.  He recovers, elopement put on back burner.

October...fall in love with AOL-journals.

November - December means family and remembering. Had the worst case of swollen lips in the history of mankind.

One last thing...matched one number on the Powerball game!  The Powerball!  Win $3.00.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

12 Days of Christmas

I have been sitting in front of the computer for about two hours reading all the journals I love and needed catching up on.  I have so much running around in my head, how I have come to care about so many of you guys. It is almost an emotional gauntlet.

Today is the last of the Christmas get togethers, ending at my Mothers in about three hours.  I still need to get my butt to Krogers and purchase the ingredients for candied yams and cook them.  I will make it, I have it down to a science.  Plus, Mom lives five minute from here.

And then, the big UK verses UofL game at five pm!  I have a tough time knowing who to cheer for, since I've had a crush on Rick Pitino since I first laid eyes on him in the late 80's when he saved the UK team from ruin.  Now, in this area, he is considered a traitor for returning to college B-Ball and of all the dag gone teams, to pick Louisville!  What an insult to UK (this is about 85% of UK fans talking, not me, I LOVE it).  Secretly, I will cheer for Louisville, outwardly I will need to watch when I say, "Damn!" and "Hooray!".


Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Merry Christmas Everyone

She has to be about three years old, twenty years ago.  Still believed in Santa Clause, still believed that her Mama was the smartest, strongest woman in the world!

She and her boyfriend learned yesterday that he has been offered a job in Louisville at a research center with the University Hospital.  Even though they knew he had a good shot at it, it stunned both of them.

I'm certain he will take it. 

Today I am feeling a little stunned.  Even though Louisville is only 50+ miles to the means for the first time ever, my baby will be outside my reach.  I was an unmarried mother.  She and I braved much together.  In most ways, she is the best part of me.  I'm not sure how it will be with her that far away.

But, in many ways it is a good thing.  I have a brother and a sister who both live in Louisville.  Her father lives in Louisville.  Her boyfriends father is from Louisville and he has plenty of relatives there.  As a matter of fact, Bridget and I lived in Louisville for close to ten years.  She started school in the catholic school system (is there any other in Louisville?) there.  She could very well reestablish old relationships from her childhood, because people leave Louisville, but they always return. 

Wow.  I am so happy for him.  I realize the job opportunities for Bridget are better in Louisville also.  Maybe she will follow in her Mama's footsteps and go to the University of Louisville! Ha.  That would be the greatest of all.

Merry Christmas everyone.


Sunday, December 21, 2003

True Meaning of Christmas

Everything is in full swing for the holidays.  Last night was the Company Christmas party, tonight was the gift exchange and dinner at Joe's side of the family. The four gatherings have been reduced to three! Thank goodness.  All the shopping is almost done...only several items that can be easily picked up.  The bourbon balls were more like Bourbon flats...but they were still very good.

There is a  little voice in the back of my head that is becoming louder and not so easily ignored.  I have made one donation to a childrens charity this past week, and God knows my daughter is a charity also, but I still feel I am missing something. Or missing out on something.

I know what it is I want to do.  I am really good at thinking about doing things but have no action plan.  Maybe that would be the greatest Christmas gift I could ever give, to give back somehow, someway.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Bahama Mama

Look what came fed ex today!  You know what this means don't you?  I have less than one month to fit into my bathing suit!  Yikes.  I'll have to join the ranks with SloMo and commit to losing 10 pounds.

Last winter I found this cruise.  It is a four night five day (yea right) cruise, but the beauty of this one is that every day you are somewhere, no "day at sea'.  So we decided to go with the same cruise.  Second time around will be great.  Little does he know that I have my sights set on a seven day cruise the next time!

Making bourbon balls tonight, or beginning to make bourbon balls, as there is a lot of refrigerate time.  So, I am making Egg Nog to pass the time.


Come shop with me

Yesterday I went to the Sharker Village in Mercer Co. to check out their Gift Shop.  I have so many people to buy for, four Christmas celebrations!  Its crazy, this "blended" family existence I live.

Anyway, the Shakers, hard working people.  The way they did things is still demonstrated at this quaint village set close to the Kentucky River.  Everything except that.....ever wonder why there are no longer any Shakers.....?

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Trip to the Flea Market

I love junk.  I love to go look for junk.  I have several places that I go when I feel the need. I'll find an auction or estate sale. I'll go to the Goodwill Store or the Salvation Army thrift store. And Yard Sales. Its a shame that I have to work on Fridays, which any authentic collector will tell you, get there early in the morning to find the good stuff.

Another of my favorite places is the Flea Market. Its incredible what you can find there if you have patience and don't give in to the sensory overload. 

preview I really found some good stuff there today! A box of victorian angel ornaments for $7.50.  A Guy Coheleach framed print, Baby Snow Leopard, for $20 (the print alone is worth over $60), the Hop On Pop book I have been looking for, $1.00.  Two baskets, $2.50, and a troll doll (which in the 60's we called Wishnic's) for 50 cents.

I am trying to teach myself cut and paste etc. The pictures should be reversed. I have not mastered it yet. HA! I think it is the computer. HA!

Happy shopping everyone.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

The weather outside......

We had snow!  It is fairly pretty, wet and icy.  Not like the folks up North. Causing havoc on the roadways just the same.  Us Southerners do not know how to drive in winter!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Kids were tougher back then

I found the above B-day card at the Liquor Barn today and a rush of memories flooded over me.  The sliding board bears an uncanny resemblance to the old school playground equipment I grew up with in the 1960's.

Only, ours had sides along the legnth.  The old yard where we played sat behind the three room school house.  The Catholic grammer school was housed in an old Victorian structure with the upstairs serving  as a  home to the nuns.  The playground equipment was made of metal, more metal, and then heavy duty metal.  You did not want to get a lip or a tongue stuck on any part of it during the winter months. We had the sliding board, two swing sets, and the creme de la creme of the yard, the envy of all the public school kids.....the merry-go-round!  Not just any merry go round, but the Monster of all Merry go Rounds. It was a bell type structure of engineering genius which not only went around in a circle, but also tilted wildly on the axis so the effect was a death defying up and down at 90 degree angles while going around and around at 100 miles per hour.

When the bell rang and everyone rushed out to the play ground, usually the older boys leaped on the Beast ahead of everyone else.  It was divided off into eight sections and eight boys would stand and begin the ride.  We were allowed on after. That is if one of us wasn't selected, put in the middle and made to dodge the mad thrust of the Beast.  Needless to say, lots of injuries.  This was a different time.  If you weren't bleeding, and nothing was broken, you were tossed aside and another victim took your place.

Another game was to pack as many "little" kids as possible on it, about three to a section,  thats a lot of little bodies. The Beast was run around and around until it picked up enough speed that the small bodies began flying through the air! .

I left home when I finished high school.  When I returned and would find myself close to the school yard, I would coax someone to climb on the Merry go Round with me and close my eyes, and begin to make that thing sing.

It was "retired" in the eighties.  Some kid broke his arm and it was deemed too dangerous for children.  70 years and many  generations just must have been tougher back then.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Nonsense in my head

I returned to work this morning because I waited too long to purchase a lottery ticket and they wouldn't let me have one!  Damn it.

I have one nonsense story Actually I have a ton of nonsense stories, but I only choose to tell this one tonight. When the state of Kentucky initiated the lottery way back in 1990 it seemed that the winning numbers were always in the 20's...So I go visit a friend in Florida.  The lottery there was HUGE compared to the money pot in KY.  I was compelled  to play in Florida and I  played a group of numbers in the 20's.

Guess what?  I hit 3 out of 6 numbers and won about $100.  I was at the airport leaving and I was feeling lucky! So I left my friend  two sets of numbers to play for me. He calls me later that week and say's, "I have good new and bad news, which do you want first?"

The good news....I had the pick five. ($100,000)

The bad news, he added a number and played the pick six. It seems in my haste to catch the plane, I scribbled down only five numbers for the second play.  Oh well, money eludes my family, so I'm told.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Christmas card morning

I have taken three days off from the grind to play around the house etc. etc. and the project today was the Christmas card list.  This is the year to send them out.  I tend to alternate with a send year, a no-send year.  I purchased these cards at the KY Horse Park Gift Shop last year after the season, so this year is a go.

I do not want to return to work.  I am going to play the lottery tonight and see if maybe I can get lucky.  I love my job, most the time.  But....a big but...I have become discontent.  I need challenge, and this job does not offer that.  I realize I suffer a little from SADD, lack of being able to run in the evenings because of the short days.  It happens every year.  I should expect it.  I gain weight, I am weary.

Then its spring and all is well again.

We booked a cruise for mid January.  Something to look forward to.  Also, I want to look into taking some type of Master Gardener class...not that I am all that, but I think it would be fun.  I need to exercise my mind as it has a tendency to become lazy along with the body during the winter months.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Ghost of christmas past

My Mother had three children within two and a half years.  Ned and Tom are what is known as Irish Twins, born within 11 months of each other.  They may as well have been twins, as they were inseperable. 

The above picture was taken in 1962.  Tom was as blonde as Ned is dark.  Who decided who got to represent the South and the North was proably left up to Mom.  This Christmas burns bright in my memory. 

One of my Mom's favorite Christmas stories.... The brood of children were pre-school age. She took us kids shopping in downtown Lexington during the Christmas season.  Downtowns were  the center of culture and shopping during that time.  We looked forward all year to visiting Santa and  whispering our wish lists in his ear.

Ned was older than Tom and the leader.  We  finished our audience with Santa and were on our way out of the store.  Ned and Tom had their heads together and Tom stopped in the center of the store and yells at the top of his lungs,


And then ran as fast as his chubby legs would take him, but not so fast as Mom couldn't grab him and exit the store red faced with Ned and I trailing, laughing all the way.


Monday, December 8, 2003

Christmas Tree Shopping

I went to the local Kroger store in search of a Christmas tree.  What was left were terrible!  I did not want to climb into the car and travel all over trying to locate that one perfect tree, so I pulled out our weekly local paper and checked the classified ads.

Sure enough, there was one phone number for a "cut your own tree" listed.  We called for directions and went on our way.  We made it a family outing. And  I thought Joe could use the extra help...just in case.

Once we got there, I'm not sure what I expected, but certainly not what we found.  An exotic animal farm!  This gentleman had so many breeds of birds I could not possibly remember every one.  Ducks, peacocks, chickens (who lay blue eggs),  stange looking ostrich's , was remarkable.  All watched over by a beagle named Maude, who was the most gentle animal I have ever met.

We had an extraordinary encounter.  Who knew that in search of a tree, we would have found such a surprise!

Thursday, December 4, 2003

Good for Babies, Brats, and Bikers

For the life of me, I can't get fired up about any subject this evening.  So I just thought I'd reflect on the events of the past few days.

Thank God, my lips went down by Monday morning.

I made a Birthday basket with all kinds of Kentucky food items for Debbie.  I could not resist the B-B-Q sauce featured above...Sissie Sauce. Also included bourbon balls (chocolate delicacy), Jim Beam steak sauce, Weisnenberger Fish Fry Batter Mix, special Bluegrass season salt, Derby black bean soup mix, and Blue Monday candy bars.

Saw a shooting star Monday night while running!

Sat with my Dad while my Mom went to Mass and prayer group.

Bridget came over and "borrowed" Christmas tree lights, and then "borrowed" all my ornaments!

This week end will include Christmas tree hunting and two parades! 

Life is so good.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Last Golden Days of Childhood

This Friday is Debbies birthday.  I met Debbie in the early 70's when we both attended Murray State University in extreme Western KY.  She came from New Jersey, via Germany.  She was an army brat.  She was to be the maid of honor in a wedding.  The bride was from a small town in west KY, so it made sense not to fly back and forth from Germany, but to enroll in school near by.

I love Debbie and cherish her as the closest friend I will ever have.  We had the greatest time that year at Murray.  We were at the tail end of childhood and we behaved accordingly.  We went to the 99th running of the Derby (1973) together, along with 100 of our closest friends, then I put her on a plane and never saw her again for over 20 years.

We kept in touch.  She had my parents permanent address along with the address of my brother in Louisville.  We were good at being able to find each other when we had allowed a lot of time to elaspe.

I sent her a letter in 2000 and included my email address.  On April fools day I received an email from her!  The internet is the best for keeping in touch.

Shortly after the first emails, her husband, I'll call him Zorro, emailed me.  "Hello, you don't know me, but I am Zorro, Debbies husband.  Debbie has been working day and night to get ready for her CPA exam.  As a present and surprise to her, I'd like to fly you down here after the test! What do you say?"  A no brainer.

My daughter and I fly down the weekend after Derby.  Zorro meets us at the airport holding a sign "Kentucky chicks" and off we go to surprise Debbie.

It was so great that it brings the sting of tears to my eyes right now.  I had never met Zorro and she had never met Bridget.  When she opened the door, Bridget was standing there.  She took one look and her eyes rolled into the back of her head! She did not need an introduction realizing immediately  who she was.

Zorro made three women very happy that week.  Zorro is so wonderful  I now understand why Deb fell in love, married him and never returned to Kentucky.

Childhoods have to end sometime.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Why can't I be normal?

I think I might have to break down and go visit the Doctor tomorrow.  I think I am having an allergic reaction to the pound bag of peanuts covered with cinnamon and sugar I devoured LAST WEEK! 

Whenever I go to the office, I know they take out my file and begin laughing.  I can't go when I have something normal, like the flu...oh no, I'm there because I can't stand it any longer and sneak out of the house in my agony.

This past summer it was posion ivy.  I was covered with it.  Looked like I  put it in the bathtub, filled with water, then took a masochistic soak.  I even  had it in my ears!  "This is the worst case I have ever seen, and I have seen some doozies." He told me.

Last spring, I swear I was bit at the bottom of my spine by a spider!  I could not sit, I could not drive, I could only cry.  When I was able to contort myself into a position like a yoga instructor, I was able to stand with my back to the mirror and twist enough to see the area...I almost fainted!  I won't describe the horror I saw.  The doctor took one look and said, "Shingles"....sometimes I wonder about his was a spider bite!

Now, my lips are the size of Massachuset.  Joe thought I was taking collagen treatments behind his back.  He's taken to calling me, "Melanie" in reference to big lipped Melanie Griffith.  I have iced these babies, taken antihistamine capsules but for the third day in a row I have woken up to a swollen abomination.

Why can't I just have the flu?

Friday, November 28, 2003

Something wicked this way come

Went to the Thoroughbred Classic 5K held at Keeneland Race Course yesterday morning. It was raining, as you can see outside the window, and look at the number they assigned to Joe.  No way.  It was a cold needle like rain and the asphalt was slick! It was a certainty that something evil that way would come!  So we went shopping.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Angst for the Memories

My parents.  I love them.  When I was younger I was always angry at them.  Angry that they were from New York City and we were living in a small town in Kentucky where everyone was at least three generation deep. Angry that we did not have a tv until I was about seven.  Then we were only allowed to watch one show per night and we had to agree democratic style.  Angry I had three brothers to vote against!  I never won.  Angry with them that they made me go to Catholic schools thru secondary school, denying me the opportunity to attend high school with my friends, but sending me to school in another city where I knew no one! I was angry that I would ask Mom how to spell a word, and she would say, "Look it up in the dictionary." I was angry that they dragged us to Mass every Sunday morning as a family.  I was mortified that my Dad was the swimming team coach.  Mortified that my Mom would substitute teach at the grammer school when one of the classes put a Nun in the nuthouse....

This is the childhood they forced on me.  They sacrificed for us kids. They guided us kids.  They enforced their values on us. 

When I finally stopped thinking like a child I understood the gift they had given me,  my brothers and sisters.  It is a debt that can never be repaid, only passed on.

That is what I give thanks for everyday.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Day in Infamy

Last evening Joe and I were at his brothers and watching the movie Pearl Harbor on a big big screen tv with surround sound.  The scenes of the actual attack were too much for me.  I am too sensitive, or too empathic, or soft watch let alone be entertained by blood and guts.  So I gave him the head signal and thank God he was able to tear himself away to leave.

"A day that will live in infamy", he said as we got into the car.

It made me think of my day of infamy, or should I rephrase to my Date of Infamy/Date of good&evil. It is August 3rd.

Every word of this is true.  My first kiss was delivered to me on Aug 3rd by one DA in a "borrowed" red bug volkwagon.  Along for the ride is my great gal-pal Gayle. who made out in the back seat with Louie.  Both had braces.  No lock-up to report. We referred to this as "The Red Bug Day" ever since.  Time was negotiated from before the Red Bug Day, to after the Red Bug Day.

I got my drivers license on Aug 3rd.

I had a near fatal accident on Aug. 3rd.  I totaled my Pinto and almost totaled myself.  Five broken bones, one of which was my jaw.  Not the greatest way to lose weight.

I had my daughter Bridget on Aug. 3rd. Mom to this day thinks B's birthday is Aug. 2nd, but its the 3rd.

I completed my last class at Uof Louisville on August 3rd.

I met Joe on Aug 3rd.

We had a seperation after one major falling out five years later on Aug. 3rd.

So, when Aug 3rd rolls around I pay attention!


Saturday, November 22, 2003

Success in the Archives

In tribute to the release of "Cat in the Hat" I have searched through all my "stuff" for my Dr. Seuss letter.

I wish I could clear it up better...maybe I need to play around with it more...This letter and picture from Dr. Seuss was sent to my brother Ned and myself in 1963!  We were so thrilled.  Thank God my Mom saved it (the pack rat gene was transferred to me from her).

I read "Hop on Pop" to Bridget no less than one million times.  When I would say, "Let's read a book", she would scurry to her book case and invariably bring that book to me. Her favorite part was "No, No, Must not Hop On Pop"..she laughed every time!  I miss Bridget being three years old. 

The Archives

Crazy things I have been running across.......a picture from Derby 1973, the streaker about to drop his pants while on the flag pole.

Picture taken with a 110 camera or my trusty brownie.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Univ. of KY Basketball Fever

Tonight begins the offical basketball season. Once again we begin on a journey that hopfully takes us home to the Final Four, and then we bring home the NCAA bragging rights...again.

Which brings to mind one of the best UK games I ever watched (or not watched). I have this good buddy named Greg.  If I want to forget my troubles and go have some fun, I go look up Greg and say, "Lets go get into trouble". And he is there for me.

After the longest dry spell in UK history, we finally got into the final game for the Championship. Greg and I decided to go downtown Lexington, to the Radisson to watch the game on the big screen and be part of the "happening".

Was it ever happening!  The hotel had a convention area dedicated to the huge crowd that arrived with big screen tv's. We elected, and arrived early enough, to secure a spot at the downstairs bar.  The game beings after 9pm to accomdate the west coast, so you can imagine how early we arrived.

The bar was packed. Everyone was drinking heavily because UK was blowing it.  People were so crushed together that we all became intimate at sometime during the evening.  People I had not seen for years somehow found me, and my glorious, coveted spot at the bar.  I was handing drinks to people, taking orders...hell, I should have been paid for all my efforts.

At some point I crossed the line and consumed too much.  Things get hazy.  We were behind, we caught up....hell, we won! The crowd went crazy.  And I mean CRAZY.  We rushed out on the street and everyone was dancing, cheering, crying, singing and just going NUTS.  The curse was broken.

The next morning Greg calls me. "Hey, Mary..did your mother by chance tape the ball game?' He, like me, knew we had won it, but it sure was going to be nice to be able to actually see the ball game.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Derby Program

The reason I wrote about Secretariat and included his statue that "stands" at the Kentucky Horse park is that I happened upon this old Derby program that I had saved.  I'm the worlds best pack rat.  I got on ebay and found out that this program is worth a cool $200! 


I was one of the over 100,000 people who attended the 99th running of the Kentucky Derby in 1973.  Secretariat beat his noble adversary Sham that day to be the only horse to run the Derby in under two minutes.   Thirty years later, the record still stands.  Every so often the track is rated fast, the field is worthy and we all hold our breath to see if Big Red's record will fall.  So far, it has held.

That day so many years ago, is the only time I have actually been a part of history. I actually was there and witnessed an event that they still talk about.  This summer the movie Seabiscuit was released and there was much ballyhoo concerning who was the greatest horse..Seabiscuit or War Admiral?  Actually, it was Seabiscuit...but the real question is who is the greatest Big Red, Secretariat or Man-O-War? (Seabiscuits' Grandpa).

You live in central Kentucky and you will actually discuss this.

100,000 people at Churchill Downs.  Mostly drunken college students, babyboomers, hippies,  freaks, straights, and frat boys...and streakers.  Yes, I remember the streaker that went up the flag pole and dropped his pants!  Then he would not come down. The police were waiting for him at the bottom. I saw the streakers run, but not the horses.  One of the greatest moments in Thoroughbred Racing History. And I was there.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Boy Toy

I don't really know when it started.  Maybe when I was first attending college at Murray State University in the most Western part of the state.  I became enamored with motorcycles and the men who drove them.  The first was a guy named Terry Lax.  He was a Murray local.  He was older...probably around 26. He had a beautiful chopper.

Then came John K. He attended school at Murray where I met him.  Had a very long relationship that ended very badly.  He had a BMW.

Then Chris C. from Louisville while I was living there.  He had a very expensive, powerful, fast Honda.

Then Danny Joe from Somerset.  He had a Harley. Need I say more?.

Joe has had a new motorcycle about every two years.  The one before this last one was a NightHawk. It had a custom paint job. A firey red phoenix.

Last year he sold it and scaled down to the above Suzaki..

My co-worker and friend Art  is also a bike rider and collector.  His arsenal includes a Ducati, Honda's, and a Buell for his wife.  So, Art askes me, "What kind of bike did Joe buy?"

"Oh, I don't know. Some sort of Cock Rocker."  Of course I meant Crotch Rocket. Art, who was driving, almost ran off the road he was laughing so hard. 

Ever since then Art will ask me, "How is Joe's Cock Rocker?".  Its a damn good thing I'm a good sport and would never consider harassment charges!

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Bipolar relationship

The above picture is by Kenneth Josephson, called Matthew and is part of an exhibit titled, "Visions from America : Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art". Now showing at the University of Kentucky Art Museum.

Why Kentucky gets all this cool stuff is baffling, perhaps it is thought we desperately need the culture!

I loved the above shot and was thrilled it was available as a post card. So it should be okay to post here with credit.

The exhibit  was spectacular.I even wrote down some of my impressions.  One of the attendants accosted me and releived me of my pen and replaced it with a pencil.  Sad world we live in.

I went alone because I knew Joe would not enjoy looking at a bunch of old photographs for an hour.  Its amazing that we really have so little in common. Our tastes in music differ.  Our ideas of recreation differ.  I love to hike and camp.  His idea of camping out is a motel room with no cable.  Yet, it works for us.  I finally learned the key to any realationship is acceptance and tolerance.

And this advice from my younger sister....She gave up on romantic love several years into her marriage to Karl.  She has no illusions that if she and Karl were shipwrecked and survived on a lifeboat with his three brothers and one person had to would be her!

So much for romantic illusions.


Saturday, November 15, 2003

Favorite place #2

I have several places that I hang out in if I want to kill some time.  Another one is the Book Cellar located at the main public library  in downtown. The purpose of this place is to sell donated books for charity.  This place is a book lovers heaven. 

I was browsing in the childrens section looking for a copy of  "Hop on Pop" when I ran across the above little tome.  I thought, "Wait a minute! This isn't a childrens book!" and pulled it out.  Just as I suspected (and remembered), this is a tongue in cheek book from the late 60's/early70's about....marijuana!

It is an absolute classic, the fifth edition from the fourth publisher and in absolute perfect condition. 

Friday, November 14, 2003

We don't need no stinking drummer!

I needed a job.  Other than being a perennial college student, I lacked job skills.  I answered an ad in the paper for a cocktail waitress at the Holiday Inn North in Lexington. The name of the bar was The Post Lounge and it was the Port of Call for Bluegrass Music.  The year is 1978.  New life had been breathed into Bluegrass Music.  Bands like New Grass Revival and Goose Creek Symphony  were attracting  a non-traditional  audience. The stereotype of  bluegrass as hillbilly music was beginning to fade.

J.D. Crowe had been  the house band for many years. He then moved on to bigger and better things. Not forgetting his beginnings, he returned each Christmas and played on the weekends.  Several stars had begun their careers with J.D.  It was expected that they would drop by and sit in on a few sets. This packed the house every Friday and Saturday night.  Who would be show up? Ricky Skaggs?  Tony Rice? Added bonus, Keith Whitley was the lead that winter.

People came from every where to hear J.D. College kids home for the semester break, blue grass loyalists from everywhere.  And then there were the BlueGrass Purists. J.D., always on the cutting edge of Bluegrass had added drums. Drums? In a bluegrass band? A kid named Steve DeMartino? That sounds like a foreigner! What?! From New Jersey! I'm not sure how long or how many nights they tolerated the desecration.  But it happened.  Too many drinks, and  the rumblings of "blasphemy' sound louder and louder.

I was in the waitress station when the ruckus erupted! Beer bottles began flying, people were screaming, bodies were crushing towards the stage, tables were thrown over, chairs were broken. The mob that had been surging towards the stage and Steve DeMartino, had changed course and was moving as if one single body towards the waitress station!  We became crushed against the wall.  As quickly as it began, it ended. J.D. found the microphone and said, "Stop". Everyone returned to their seats. Steve left the building with a gash in his head.  We began to pour the drinks.  The band resumed playing sans drums......"Damn drums, they don't have no place here."  

Order was restored. All was once again right with the world and Bluegrass.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Circa 1981

I read an entry in "Coming to terms with Middle Age" by miraminiak about a Simon & Garfunkel concert she had just seen. It triggered memories of all the concerts I have attended over the past  several decades.

A sound track has accompanied my life ever since I have been about 12 years old.  The Rolling Stones were a major force in the movie of my life from about 1978 till mid 80's. The above photo is from the Start Me Up tour. The photo's are bootleg...(oops, you don't think I will be in trouble do you?)...and I have several of them.

I was living in Louisville.  My best friend had a friend who was the door man at Phoenix Hill Tavern.  He secured a lot of tickets for this concert.  He begrudgingly sold us four tickets.  He was unsure which were the best seats.  I could not find anyone I wanted to go with and so we ended up in front of Broadbent arena with an extra ticket.  It was sold pretty quickly to someone in the crowd outside hoping to score a seat.

OH MY GOD!  The seats were left hand stage!  On the upper deck, first row, overlooking the stage!  When the Stones came out, I could see everything on the stage.  Everything and everyone.  I could practically reach out and touch Keith.

Then, this attitude heavy dude comes up and sits next to me.  The fortunate one who got the extra ticket.  All I remember about him was that he had a hash pipe and he was sharing.

The next day I go to work and everyone knew how excited I was to see the Stones and were asking questions about the concert.  For some reason....I remembered the beginning and .....

The phone rings, its Lloyd (who got the tickets from Phoenix Hill).  "So, how did you like those seats?"  (Unfortunately, he had chosen the lesser of the two). "They were great!  Too bad they didn't play very long".  Lloyd was silent for several seconds, then just said, "Good-bye".

When I finally got to talk to my friend she told me the rest of the story.  The guy with the hash pipe was shot-gunning me and I passed out.  Mick Jagger got in the cherry picker and came right up to us.  She tried to wake me up (smacking me!)  but I was out cold.   She swears, Mick looked at me, shook his head and rolled his eyes.

These may have been my best seats ever and I blew it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

A veteran's day tribute

My Dad served in WWII.  He  celebrated his 84th birthday earlier this month.  The veterans of this war are dying, some 400 per day.  I heard this statistic when Tom Hanks  presented his tribute to the veterans of WWII with the "Band of Brothers"  mini series broadcast on HMO.

My Dad  weighed four pounds when  he was born. The odds for his survival in 1919 were slim. The odds were against him when he enlisted.  He had to trick the doctor during his physical to pass and be inducted into the Army.

I wish I had paid closer attention to my Dad's war stories. The stories are now trapped in his brain, held captive by dementia associated with the aging process. So my memories of the incidents may be sketchy.

While in basic training, the Air Force claimed my father to spearhead a special secret project. He had scored extremely high on the admitting IQ test, and subsequently was needed to put together and coordinate the truck operation for the Normandy Invasion.

Upon completion of the project he stayed with the 101st Airborne Division.  He flew into battle with them. When it was time to line up to parachute out, he took his place in line.  He heard his name called, and ordered to fall out.  Because he was Army, and not Air Force, the Army  had ordered for him to stay behind.

Everyone of the men who made the jump that day did not return.

This is one of the many stories my father had to tell of his experiences in the War.  The horror, artocities, bravery and heroism were just as prevalent to the men who served in WWII as those wars and/or "police actions"   that followed.

 This generation of men defined bravery.  

Saturday, November 8, 2003

Dirty Little Secrets

I was thinking this morning that I was  relieved to find people with similiar interests among the journal pages.  It makes me feel better regarding what I consider to be my dirty little secrets.

For example, I love Survivor!  Must see tv.  I never have the winner.  First season, I loved Coleen. Second season, it was Kentucky Joe (duh).  Then it was Lex, then Cathy.  I never win.  This season I am totally crazy about Rupert. that means he will not win.  I wonder why I love this show and WILL NOT MISS IT.  Joe has his opipion about this...that I'm crazy.  I'm not addicted to any other reality show, just give me Survivor.

I love cemeteries, see the above.  Lexington Cemetery, final resting place of many dignitaries including Henry Clay and King Solomon.  King Solomon was a slave who, in the early 1800's, was not stricken by cholera when the disease ravaged the Lexington community.  He almost single handedly nursed and buried the town during the plague.  He subsequently was freed and given an elegant monument when he died. Perhaps the first black man buried in this cemetary.

I love old music.  This is a total reversal of a founding member of the MTV  generation.  I'm listening to the music my parents like.  Such as Duke Ellington, swing music, and my total knock me out fav, John Coletrane.

I love Eminem.  My daughter is a big fan and dragged me to "8 Mile".  Loved it. Very Rockyesque.

I love Martha Stewart. 

Back in the '70's I would have been content to marry and raise a family.  Instead I become a single unmarried parent with a  business major. Typical working woman of the late 20th century.

I'm sure I have lots more, but I'm thinking of a small farm with a small green house with flowers and plants everywhere.  The life that I might have had. Married to someone like .......Alice Cooper.

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Defy Description

If one lives in Anderson Co. and receives a DUI, their mug shot is published in the local paper upon conviction.  It is the most humiliating experience imaginable.  Each week in small town America the local court reports are published in the weekly paper.  Naturally it is the most widely read page in the paper.  Joe has been dreading this day since the DUI was issued in September.  Thank God we do not live in Anderson Co.  I'm certain we would already have relocated in another state if that horror had occurred.  And thank God that they had Joes name in there without our address published.  This leaves some hope that some people won't realize it is him.

Unless you are born and raised in a small town, where everyone knows everyone, you can not understand the amount of dread Joe has held on to these weeks.  This has been a tough day.  It has come, and in 15 minutes it will be gone.


Monday, November 3, 2003

The High Bridge

I wish I could give you all some scale as to how high up this monster actually is!

High Bridge, Kentucky

I'm in my picture crazy mood again!  I looked at the entries for the best photo journal log yesterday and ran across the information about a little game called "26 photo's".  The object is your interpretation of the word...the first word was "High point" and I immediately thought of High Bridge.

When I got there, the pictures I took with the digital camra left much to be desired,  I needed a filter given how high up we are!  This is a picture of where the Dix River pours into the Kentucky River.  What you can't see is over to your right is the highest rail road bridge in the country (I think). They began building it before the Civil War.  It has been reconstructed to accomadate two trains in the early 1900's.

What is it about heights that makes your stomach lurch?

Sea Change

Last Wednesday Art took me to a luncheon for the High Hope Steeplechase Charity.  It was held at the Throughbred Club, a very swanky, exclusive, uppercrust, blueblood Club for the horse racing industry.  The T-club is located adjacent to the Keeneland Race Course, atop a hill on some of the most coveted land in Central KY.  Beautiful old home, built in 1876 and donated to the club in 1932...anyway.....

Our company is a major sponsor of the event.  Every year they have this luncheon and present mint julep cups to the participants. As our  company name was called, Art signaled to me to go up accept and I gleefully did so, said a few words and returned to my seat.

15 years ago, I would have not been able to do such a thing!  I would have been mortified to stand up in front of 50 people.  How things change!  I once procratinated so long, that I was unable to present a paper regarding the use of methane gas as a replacement for fossil fuel (way ahead of the times!) and almost did not graduate from college! Actually, I was terrified of standing in front of the class.

That changed in the early 90's when the company I was working for at that time sent me to a Dale Carnagie Course.  Public Speaking.  I was petrified to speak in public, and now I was faced with 12 weeks of it.  Every meeting you were required to do two things.  The first was a impromptu speech for 60 seconds.  The second was a  two minute prepared talk about an assigned subject,  such as "Your most rewarding experience".  I thought I would never make it.  Sweaty palms, light headedness, brain freeze, feeling faint was very common at the beginning.  Amazingly enough, I became less rigid and began to relax...a tad.

One of the exercises was to break off into groups and then everyone got 30 seconds to go around the group and tell each other what we liked most about that person.

I'll never forget it as long as I live.  As they began to focus on ME, one of the guys stood up and said, "Ah, Mary.  You are a delightful, intelligent, engaging, wonderful caring person and everyone in this room knows it except you."

My public life was changed from that moment forward.

Standing in front of people now is! 

Friday, October 31, 2003

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Yesterday I went and bought a quick lunch at McDonalds.  I wolfed down the fries and then peeled off the Monolopy game pieces and GREAT GOD ABOVE...I have the Million dollar piece!!

I called Joe and for  three pretty intense minutes, I actually thought I had hit the big time!  He talked me down, explaining the game to me.  Then I had a headache.  Note to self:  If ever, ever have money, invest in ibuprofen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Looking forward

 We had the first frost this past week. It made me realize that the autumn is in full swing and Thanksgiving is only weeks away.  Hey, doesn't that mean Christmas is coming soon!

I look forward to Thanksgiving because its four days of great food.  I attend, at the least, three dinners! ANd also, there is the Thanksgiving Turkey Run at Keeneland which is attended by 2,000 runners.

I look forward to the first snow.  There is something so beautiful and peaceful to a large snowfall in Kentucky.  Everything comes to a halt.  Everyone is still....and it is so quiet and the beauty is just breathtaking.

I look forward to March because it is my birthday and that means a cruise!  I love cruises!  And the warmth on my skin after months of weak sun and cold mornings is much needed.

I look forward to my daughter getting married...hopfully next year.  I tell her we need a year to plan it and invite people and let them adjust their schedules.  I look forward to that.

I look forward to becoming a grandmother.  I need the sweet smell of baby skin.

I look forward to a trip to Alaska...don't know when, but I want to go.

I want to go to Ireland kiss the Blarney stone.

I look forward to replacing and finding a Nikon series F....

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Keeneland Race Course - Mi Brujo

"You want a picture?" he asked me and clicked some command to this beautiful animal in horse language and the #10 horse raised his head and looked right at me!!! And this is the result.  The woman next to me said, "You better bet that horse."  I laid 2 across and guess what?  The #10 placed at 11-1 odds! 

I decided on the spur of the moment to run into Keeneland and take some pictures early.  As I was walking into the track, I thought what a loner I actually am.  I wonder why I'm so content to run along and do the things I want to do alone.  Could it have something to do with growing up with five other siblings and never having a quiet moment to myself?  I don't know.  Today would have been so great if Joe had been with me but it could not be.


Friday, October 24, 2003

favorite places

I seem to like pictures of gargantuan proportions! They look so much better than the other choice of a small picture.  But, I guess I need to learn a little something about adjusting.

This is the Reed Valley Orchard located smack dab on the Bourbon Co., Harrison Co. borders in some of the most eastern reaches of Central KY.  I love this place.  I have the greatest job in the world that affords me the opportunity to visit these locations while I travel about.

I purchased a mixed peck of apples for apple pies!  This past summer I bought a basket of peaches that I ate and ate and ate.  Peaches and peanut butter on toast for breakfast became one of my staples.

My digital camera is becoming my most favorite toy!  And this medium to store the pictures with my journal is just too wonderful.  I have been on line reading journals all week when ever I had the chance.  There is some really terrific stuff going on out there. 

More later. 


Sunday, October 19, 2003

how the hell did i do that?

You have no idea how long it has taken me to figure out how to do this.

And I did not have the opportunity to edit this pix...and copywrite it!

But I wanted it in the journal so ya'll could see the awesome Rolling Thunder.

this may not work

test drive for adding a picture...from the healing wall...let's see what happens

Healing Wall

I visited Camp Nelson Heritage park In Jessamine County yesterday.  I try to avoid Nicholasville Rd. as much as possible, but I braved the Saturday traffic to go see the Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial.

This is a half-scale replica of the memorial in the nations capitol.  All 58,000+ names of the veterans killed or MIA are half-scale, but the emotion and honor surrounding the county side yesterday was nothing half-scale.

I wish I could figure out how to use my digital camera so I could share the images with you all.

At approximately 130pm, the Rolling Thunder arrived. For as far as the eye could see, they came. 200 bikes at least.  Following a lead motorcyle displaying the black POW/MIA flag along side the American flag.

Black leather, gray hair, salt and pepper beards, canes, balding heads, and limps they came to pay their respects. 

At the bottom of a sloping hill  stood a man in the full Scottish kilt uniform, playing  the soft mournful sounds of a lone bag pipe  as the bikers dismounted and slowly made their way to the Wall.

I knew plenty of men who went to Nam.  I am unusually blessed that everyone I knew came home.  Yet looking at all those names on the Wall I felt like I knew them.  Knew of them, we all do.

One name jumped out at me.  Jimmie Joe Jett.  What a great name.  What a great life, a special life he could have had.  He was one of 58,229 who gave their lives that this world be a better place not only for Americans, but for everyone.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

blog humbug

After wondering yesterday why I'm doing this, I realized morning that it is really about taking one step backwards and veiwing things as a bystander.  That instead of this being a diary, it is more or a chronicle of what I want/would like the world to know about me.  And maybe thats putting parameters around my musings. I read some of the young kids journals and they are so unresticted and alive with emotion and electricity.  Its so refreshing to remember that feeling of great expectation of this life, of what was possible.

I was a happy child! Ha.  Actually, despite the fact I had my front tooth knocked out at 12, and that I went through grammer school in a class of 12 in a typical two room school house (Catholic school in small town south early 60's) with one of the most manipulative creatures ever to walk the face of the earth (wow, that deserves some serious though), I turned out unscathed to a certain degree. (more serious thought).

So, I'm not going to worry, as all us southerners obsess about, what others think.  I'm not going to worry about anyone seeing this that I know. (note to self: change names of guilty).

Its Saturday.  I have lots to do.  bye.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Just wondering

I guess I have caught journal fever.  I love to finally have a few moments to log on and check out all the journals that I have found to be interesting.  There are so many of them to choose from.  And  its so much fun to run across a true gem.

I'm not entirely sure why any of us are taking the chance of putting our lives out there for others, virtual strangers, to share.  I have been a "journalist" practically since the beginning of time.  I remember my first diary.  It was a small book, with a red velvet heart on the front cover, and a key to lock its secrets away.  When I was a little older, I read a book, "The World of Henry Orient" and from that point on, my diaries turned into "bibles".  Sometime in 1979, I burned everyone of them in the fireplace at my parents.  What I would give to have them now.

They are so personal.  And I doubt that this on line experience will ever take the place of my bibles, for my eyes only.  So, why am I attempting this?  To try and see if I have the slightest ability to write?  To give my life some sort of pathetic meaning looking for the approval of strangers? 

I've been reading a lot of the journals and finding a sort of circle exists.  The same journals are on the "journal lists" of so many.  To break away and seek out some fresh stuff....let's hope this is what the Vivian People's Choice Awards will deliver to us.  We can't look towards the daily top five anylonger.  I just hope that the "circle" will open up enough to look outside and see the rest of us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

House on Mouse

This is the way my Tuesday has been so far....

3am I  am awakened by the sound of the mouse trap snapping shut, and the following clatter of what can only be the trap being dragged.  Also think I hear mouse sounds, but too freaked out to let that thought register too deep.

5am awake to call Joe and tell him the Mighty mouse has escaped the trap, dragging it across the floor and depositing it infront of the bedroom door as to mock us.

7am at work.

9am listening to Art (one of my co-workers at the "BottleCap") tell me this story. "My wife sent me to Sam's club last night.  Now, I don't have a card, so she called ahead and told them I needed one. I arrived and gave the note from my wife to the customer service people.  They made up a card for me, told me to step back, and took my picture.  I didn't think nothing of it, was handed my new card and stuck it in my pocket.  I got the stuff my wife wanted, and headed tothe check out line.  The cashier took my card and said, "Sir, I can't use this card." "Why not?" I asked. "Sir, it does not look like you." "Well, now everybody knows the pictures here are bad.  Mine is no different." "No, sir, I really can't use this. It does not look a thing like you." I finally took my glasses off and took the card from her. Damn if she wasn't right, the card had my name but a picture of a 60 year old woman on it!" 

12pm have lunch with my favorite customer, E. at Horse Park.  Had good german food. Asked what I planned to give him for Christmas, since he was such a good customer!

1pm rained on.

3pm help get my Dad home from the Rehab Hospital he has been in for over three weeks after suffering his stroke on Sept 12th.

5pm home to a $500 bill from the plumber who fixed the water heater last week when it decided to die.

530pm realize that I have received my first AARP magazine with Lauren Hutton on cover!She is turning 60! Hells bells.

730 see Boston beat by the evil NY Yankees.

730 again, Joe leaves for drug alcohol class

8pm mess around on computer keeping eye peeled for mouse.


Monday, October 13, 2003

why I run? I'm a masochist!

Saturday I ran in the first annual "Run for Education" held in beautiful downtown Midway!It was the most beautiful and perfect day to have a 5K.  The temp was in the low 70's, the sun shining and the sky was azure blue, the trees were radiant in their autumn fire and flash, and the course took us down a lane lined by plank fences and throughbred horses. 

I ran terrible!  I wanted so badly to break 30 minutes, but I think one needs to practice  to accomplish that.  I guess the race would have to be all downhill. 

I think I run because I like the pain and overcoming it, and passing into the "zone".  People talk about endorphin release appealing to the addictive nature in us runners.  That might be so, but there is nothing sweeter than the natural high of finishing a race with a personal best time.  There is nothing to compare with setting a goal, such as to finish a half marathon, and then do it.  I can not describe the feeling.  Somewhere beyond tears and fainting.

Running is a metaphor for life.  To tough it out, pick yourself up when you fall down, don't give in to your weakness, don't quit,  Keep going when everything and everyone tells you it can't be done. Determination, trust in yourself, and a penchant for masochism.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

The Jesuit

I attend what is known as a "Mega" church.  There are many cool things about this church, called Southland Christian, and then the flip side is  that there are also some unsatisfactory things.  But, right now, I feel like concentrating on the good things.  In particular, the "practicality" of the Christian preaching.

Being Catholic, (once a Catholic, always a Catholic no matter what, unless you are ex-communicated)  I was astonished the first time I attended services at Southland.  I could not comprehend all the singing! It went on and on and on.  My Catholic experience with singing consisted of opening and closing my mouth in the pretense of singing.  After all, my father was one of the song leaders.

Attending services for six years with Joe, I have come to understand that to sing is another way to worship and praise God. And this Southland Christain Church can really raise the roof!

The new Senior Minister has an Evangelical background.  He is not your typical bible thumper.  He is 29 years old and totally gifted and able to lead a church of over 8,000. His approach is aimed  more at the heart and soul than fear of hell and damnation.

By going to this church, I have experienced a type of spiritual awakening.  And it has been brought on by something so simple as learning how to pray from my heart and then to be still and listen for God.

It is amazing when and where He responds.

Several years ago I was going through a rough period where I had felt betrayed and was terribly hurt.  I was unable to give it up and move on.  Consequently, it was effecting different areas of my life.

One late morning, I dedcided to go to  the noon Mass at Christ the King. No reason, just wanted  to go when the idea popped into my head.

The old Jesuit came out and began the Mass with a prayer. It went something like this:

"I don't know why I feel compelled to say this, but we must all learn to forgive our enemies.  As Jesus did, we must invite them to our table.  Remember and realize that God loves us all, each and every one.  Forgivness is his most important message."

God has spoken to me many times through this Jesuit.  But, most the time, He is less obvious.


Thursday, October 9, 2003

A rose by any other name

My name is Mary Theresa.  My Mom named me in advance because it was her dream for me to become a Nun. Mary was never really truly mine.  At the Catholic High School I attended there was Mary Anne, Mary Ellen, Mary Alice, Mary Beth, Mary Jane, Mary, Mary, Mary and Mary.  You could yell "MARY" in the hallway and half the girls would turn to answer.

Why couldn't I have had my own personalized name?  Exclusive to me, giving me a different sense and significance of self.  And to others!

In my day dreams, I named myself dramatic, romantic monikers. 

I named my daughter, Bridget...Theresa. Bridget congures up images of sexy French girls even though its actually the female patron saint of Ireland.  Not to mention the name of my Great Grandmother.

I was stumped when Bridget was born, so certain she was going to be a male.  23 years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, you were not given the opportunity of knowing in advance the sex of your child. It was "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH.....its a GIRL!"  I was so surprised.  The entire last six months of carrying her, she had squirmed, kicked, and wiggled around so much I knew she was a boy. 

My Mom named Bridget. I was clueless and half heartedly came up with Nicole.  My mother blanched and said "That's not an Irish name." And so, she became Bridget after a woman born in the 1800's.

No mistake was made, for she is most certainly a Bridget.  Even the name rolls off the tongue and tickles the lips.  It can be drawn out as in, "Brrrrrriiiidggggettttt..." or short and harsh "Bidgt". I like the way there are numerous ways to spell Bridget, therefore giving her the latitude to change her mood and/or her sense of self with the spelling.

I was one of six children. My moniker has always been "The oldest", and when my sisters were born, "The oldest girl". Now as my parents age, I still am the oldest and introduced as, "My oldest daughter".  I never had a nick name like some other Mary's I knew.  No Mollie or Missy or Sissy for me...just plain, Nun-like Mary.

I love the Internet for the wonderful pleasure of naming myself and giving myself great nicknames like HighwayStar, Drama Queen and AlphaWoman.

Yet, a rose by any other name.......

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

you say it's your birthday!

Yesterday was Joe's birthday.  He turned 50.  He spent his birthday evening going to the drug-alcohol classes that once he has his day in court, will be mandatory.

It is  smart for him to think ahead and get the classes behind him before they take his drivers liscense for 45 days.  He is thinking of the burden that will fall on those of us around him.  He works nights, so I will be taking him to his work place and picking him up.  I have to work days, and most the time expected to be out by 7am.  Earlier on some days.  It will be interesting.

His first class was an eye opener for him.  I'm not sure how many in the class, but he told me stories about several of them.  One goofy young girl, who was caught driving on a suspended liscense and also was caught DUI the very first time she made the mistake of climbing behind the wheel after a few.

One other gentleman made the statement, "You find out fast who your friends are when it comes to bumming rides.  I take the bus a lot."

And so, happy birthday, Joe.

Some very good things are coming out of this. We went to his brothers house on the river for a family gathering to celebrate his special day, and he did not drink at all.  And had a good time.

I think that if he really feels he was heading down the wrong road, that he had concerns about being an alcoholic in the making, then this is a blessing rather than a curse.

He asked me if I had been surpressing my feeling regarding his drinking.  Hell, we broke up last year over it!  A diasterious (sp?) trip to Boston last summer!  That is a story worth telling later on. Sometimes you just get accustomed to the behavior that develops in someone, especially if it is gradual.  .

I'm Catholic and Irish...oh boy, quite the combination for alcohol abuse.  Yet, I have always been able to just walk away from it.  Never had a craving, per se.  Sometimes I needed one, but never planned my week-ends, evening etc. around consumption. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

freak flag fly

This past week end I was at my parents house cleaning the downstairs family room and living area for my Dad's return home next week.  My sister in law is quite the task master and had assigned me the walls.  I cleaned off years of fire place yuk from the panel wood and then polished them with lemon oil.  The whole effect was really nice.

Laura ( sister in law) is German, and really knows how to clean.  My Mom is the youngest of four children, the baby, and all the cleaning etc. was handeled by the eldest girl, Maura.  Needless to say, Maura left home to marry at 18.  But the damage was done.  Mom was the scholar, Maura the cleaner.

And I have inherited my mothers inability to clean...properly.  Anyway, it is sort of theraputic doing that kind of deep through removal of dirt.  I actually enjoyed it, and Laura told me how to clean the wood floors that Joe and I have in our house, circa 1940. 

We had the tv on listening to the Biography channel's hour on Sonny and Cher.  It was interesting on several levels, but the remarks about their image really made me think about that time and era.  Sonny and Cher were known as hippies.  yet, they did not drink nor take drugs.  That was okay in the mid-sixties, but as the end of that decade approached, with Woodstock etc...the army of "freaks" were born, and Sonny and Cher were passe.

Was I a hippie or a freak?  Or was I a hippie-freak? Actually, when we refered to ourselves back them, we were freaks.

I think back upon those years, the early '70's, and all the characters I met, knew, loved, was influenced by, and ultimately changed my life... I miss it and them. I miss the hair!


Wednesday, October 1, 2003

October 1

Finished the move.  Like a huge weight taken off of me.  Got the washer and dryer over to the house last night and that was it.  Now have a moment to relax, and then worry about the DUI.

I think that it is a good thing in many ways.  It is sort of like the "invisible hand" reaching down and making an adjustment. I have been trying to keep Joe's spirit up with making jokes.  I truly believe that thinking the worst will make you crazy.  How often does the worst really happen? No need to obsess and make yourself sick.

Need to find a good lawyer.  And I have been through this before...with Bridget, my daughter. Two years ago last Derby Day.  No one in their right mind drives down Interstate 64 on Derby night after drinking at 2am!  The cops are gleefully waiting for you! 

She was pulled over in our states capital.  She was zooming down 64 at a high rate of speed, as reported by the Sherrif's brother (of all the rotten luck), who she passed.  I got the best lawyer in Frankfort for these type of offences, Marvin Cole.  He represents at least half of all the offenders in the court room.  He had Bridget's postponed about four times, but the arresting State trooper never missed a court date. Rats. 

I have had numerous encounters with out justice system with Bridget.  She was a hand full for quite some time.  And I have seen the inside of three different court rooms in as many counties.  It is very entertaining in some ways.

My favorite story is in Fayette Co.  They have all the "inmates" that could not make bail appear in the court room via a tv circuit.  They are the first to go infront of the judge.

Mostly public intoxications, DUI's etc.

This one guy gets in front of the camera. "Mr.So & So, you are accused of public intoxication and resisting arrest, how do you plea?"

"I'm innocent your Honor.  Those police officers threw me up against the car in front of my woman!  Made me look like a fool in front or her.  What was I suppose to do, let them get away with it? No sir, I'm innocent."

"Well, in that case we will have to hold you over for trial", the judge responded, "Other wise, if you were guilty, I could have released you for time served."

"I'M GUILTY YOUR HONOR"  The whole court room erupted into laughing, including the judge.

Monday, September 29, 2003


Of all the terrible things to happen this weekend, Joe ends up getting a DUI!  I am so torn up for him.  I guess that it is a wake up call for the both of us, that just perhaps there is a problem lurking when its 1am and you decide that you're going to drive to the house and pick up some stuff because you feel guilty for not being able to help that morning.

After drinking vodka. What is done is done.   It's not what you have done, its what you do after that matters.

Not a great way to begin again.  Now a DUI that needs to be dealt with.

Day by day, you never know what may happen.  Rule number one: do not drink and drive..never...never..never.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Moving day

I am up at the usual ungodly hour of 5am.  My daughters boyfriend will help me with the move this morning.  I tried to hire someone who advertised in the "professional services" in the newspaper, but $300 was a little extreme. So, I have a U-haul rented and I'm poised and ready.

I have procrastinated about this for weeks and whatever happens today, I deserve.

Been an uneventful week, in terms of drama.  I have not run much, and it is a bad thing.  All those little aches and pains somehow manifest themselves into nagging injuries!  What muscle is on the top of your foot?  Whatever it is, it is killing me on the right foot, also the achilles tendon on the left hurts.  Note to self:  never stop running so the pain catches up.

Made a killer vegetable soup the other night.  Made the mistake of putting in a red chili pepper from last years garden!  Yikes.  No sinus problems this week.  Joe said he had to open a window to cool him down.

Its 6am already and the rain has not stopped falling.  Could be one or those days that you never ever want to remember.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Thursday morning blah's

I just realized I am in a rant and rave mood.  I am looking forward to a weekend that will include my moving for the third time in less than two years!  Do not look forward to it.  But...I am moving back with Joe.  We were suppose to be married last Monday, eloping in Tenn., but the situation with my Dad postponed that adventure to a later date.

But, I still had given my land lord notice, so I must be gone.  And I hate, dread, grit my teeth about the move!  Yikes.

I also am dragging my heels about being "in the market" for my job.  I envy those people who sleep past 5:15 am.  I envy those who can rise on thier own pleasure early to take an early morning run before work.  I need to be out by 7am.  Usually in the office at 7am.  Last week, I ran almost every day.  I logged in over 30 miles last week.  My mile is getting down to the under 10 minute mark.  I love that.  In my age group, I might start picking up 3rd place!  The next run is Oct. 11 in a little town called Midway.  Should be a flat course.

It is the first run for this event, and I hope it attracts a lot of people.  The Chicago Marathon is that week-end, so we will see.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Sunday morning thoughts

This is the last day of my so called vacation.  I was suppose to get married last Monday, but certain circumstances prevented the event.  My Dad developed congestive heart failure and was taken into the hospital Friday a week ago.  He will be 84 on his next birthday.

It was a very tense three days, and then, by a miracle, he was able to sit up and eat a full breakfast of mush foods on Monday!  His first steps on the road to recovery.

I have five brothers and sisters.  I am the oldest.  Peggy is the youngest. On Sunday night, the evening before he ate for the first time in three days, she held his had and repeatedly asked him if he knew who she was.  He didn't.  Finally she gave up and as she left, she told him she loved him.  "Do you love me Dad?".  He shook his head and looked stern. This really upset her and she tried again, "I love you Dad, please tell me you love me!".  He motioned her closer to him, and she leaned towards him.  "I have a wonderful wife", he explained to her, "We both come from Irish backgrounds".

I spent the night with Dad that night and when Peggy came back that morning I told her that Dad had no desire to see the husband-stealing blond wench who was in the room the night before!