Saturday, February 28, 2004

Wednesdays Child is Full of Woe

I have spent the past several days realizing that I have a birthday that will arrive shortly and there is nothing I can do about it.

This birthday is distressing me. This one is painful.  I want all the things that come with the aging process.  I need to become wiser and to shed the last remnants of insecurities.  I want all this to happen while I remain youthful and healthy!

I do not want to be surprised by the reflection of a middle aged woman who slightly resembles me as I pass by windows in the Mall......realizing its ME.

Thus far I have survived drugs, alcohol, a horrific car accident, single parenthood,  early menopause, completing a mini-marathon, loosing friends, tumultuous relationships, and having my only child leave the nest and the tree!

And I have so much to look forward to.  Ireland and Italy.  Grand children.  As they say, having a birthday is better than the alternative.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Ash Wednesday

This has been the greatest week.  I received Trish's CD and have been listening to it all the time.  She is so very talented.

I found the first flowers of spring, some blue crocus.

Work is picking up dramatically and I seem to be poised to make my bonus for the quarter and have some sensational events lined up with Rupp Arena this summer. That was unexpected.

Saw Lost in Translation and it was great.

Joe and I went to the Mardi Gras parade last night and it was so colorful and so much fun.  Tried to take pictures with the digital camera, but it was too dark.

Joe surprised me with a gift!  Totally unexpected.  Blew me away.

My immediate boss was promoted to Department Head.  Harmony has been restored in my department.

Visited a museum that highlights the Lexington area.  Brought back many memories of the way things use to be. 

Been running outdoors getting ready for the first race of the Derby Triple Crown, the 5K.

Today I go to an Ash Wednesday service...and while I was thinking about which church to go to.....I realized it had to be Christ the King!  Because about 20 years ago while I attended the service, we were all in line to receive the ashes and as I turned and headed back to my seat I go past none other than Bruce Springsteen!   He was in town for a concert and like all good Catholic's, he was getting his ashes.

Who could I run into today....?


Friday, February 20, 2004

Dark Angel

Sometime in the mid-nineties I stumbled across the new county park located about 1 mile outside of town.  I was going to start running again after several years of retirement.  I could not believe my luck.  It was at one time a large farm, and now it was about 50 acres fenced off for our use.  There are rolling hills, a stream that passes through, a barn, beautiful fields that are filled with queen annes lace and honeysuckle, goldenrod and purple flowers in springtime.

I love it and have been running cross country there for years.  It was my secluded private joy.  Then the people began coming.  I had to learn to share. 

About four years ago I began to notice a black jeep that would pull up along side the service road, under the trees and just sit.  It was creepy.  I memorized the license plate just in case something happened.  The whole thing made me nervous.

After a while, he began to emerge from the jeep and do a series of jumping jacks,push-ups, and some fancy kung-fu moves. Finally he would run.

I began to expect him, and look for him.  I felt him a benevolent presence at the park, as if he were watching over things, keeping us safe.  I began to think of him as "The Dark Angel" because of his black sweat pants, black t-shirt, black jeep.

He stopped coming last year.  The park is totally over run now with dog walkers, nature strollers, and the whole highschool and middle school male and female cross country teams.  It has become crowded. 

He was there last night.  I smiled at him, I know his name is Glenn.  I felt safe again now that Dark Angel had returned.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

How I became AlphaWoman

This is a great idea! 

A long long time ago, when I first met Joe we were watching Discovery channel together and it was an episode about queen bees or spiders or some such creepy animal.

The female kills the male after mating.  They were referring to the female as the alpha-female. Joe began calling me AlphaFemale.

Several months later, I quit my too pressure filled job and find another with the company I am with now.  For some reason I have a knack coming up with nicknames for people.  The person I replaced I began to call St. Serino (because all the customers were telling me what a wonderful guy he was, how he could move mountains etc.)  I was nick naming everyone (most the time behind their back, I was new you know). They decided I needed a nickname.

My immediate boss knows Joe, and we were together and Joe referred to me as boss got it wrong, and began referring to me as Alphawoman, and my other coworker woman, Alphawoman #2.  He calls us 1 and 2, "Where is Number 1?" or "Where are my Alpha's?"

Anyway, its funny and I like it.  So I choose it for one of my various screen names.


Where the Buffalo Roam

Had a quiet weekend.  Nice Valentines not doing much.  Watched UK get beat.  Took my Mom Valentine candy and flowers, my Aunt in Lexington the same thing.  Joe gave me the sweetest card and a set of weights......?  And I gave him the nicest card with the Winnie the Pooh quote (which I read in AOL-J land, but could not remember who later!) that goes, "If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus one day...." 

Then we went to Louisville to see Bridget, who had food poisoning late Saturday night!  Scott ended up having to call an ambulance to take her to the ER.  Poor baby.  She was recovered by Sunday, when we saw her. 

On the way to Louisville we went to Buffalo Crossing.  This is a relatively new place that is located in Shelby County way out in the country.  It is a cross between Cracker Barrel and Huber Farm. (those of you who live in Southern Indiana will know about Huber Farm).  It was so bitterly cold that we could not explore the outside exhibits.  On a warmer occasion we will take a trolley around the area and pet a buffalo! There is a huge outdoor fort for children to play in addition to a playground that is colossal!  A string of small log cabins surround the main building which appear to house arts and crafts plus souvenirs for sale.  We bypassed it all and headed into the main building for a late lunch.

The inside was set up like a Cracker Barrell....desgined and decorated by a taxidermist.  It was as repulsive as it was fascinating.  A bear and a cougar perched on a platform watching us eat.  On the opposite wall was a majestic twelve point buck.  The head and neck the size of half a large man!  Every part of the buffalo was sold, a skin for $1500, horns for $25, take home buffalo steak....$10.50.   

 The poor buffalo were even stuffed.  Good Lord.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

The First Date

When I met Joe I was making a sales call on an account.  I was looking for someone else, but there he was.  Being the good sales person I am, I sat down to figure out if he was a "decision" maker.  Ended up finding out that we both had grown up in the same small town and the biggest shocker ever....we lived on the same street growing up!  Only he lived at the top of the hill, and I at the bottom!  He moved when he was 11.

 He called me the next day and asked me out.  I said "yes." We were to meet for lunch at a place called Shooters. At 1pm. I got there a little before 1pm.  I looked the place over, and no Joe.  I sat at the bar and waited...and waited...and waited.....?  How long do you give someone?  I really liked him, I liked the fact we had a very similar history, that we knew all the same people, that we were the same age....I like his voice, I thought he was I waited about 45 minutes.  I was crushed, so I left. I went back to work. 

When I got home there was a message on the machine. It was Joe.  It went something like this...."I am at the restaurant and you are not here.  I couldn't take it if you stood me up....."  When I called him back and explained how I waited for 45 minutes at 1pm...(maybe I had the wrong restaurant....I even went out in desperation and looked at the sign!)....Oh my gosh, the date was for 2pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I have never lived it down, and ever since I have to listen very very carefully. I'm certain it was 1pm.  Why?  Because if it was for 2pm I would have thought I would die waiting till 2 to eat.

 After that it was love...... 

Friday, February 13, 2004

Brazen Hussies.... Best Girl-pal Date

Every girl has been there.  You want to go out on the town but no man is readily available. So you get your friend to go with you.  Nine times out of ten, a girl friend. 

I have know Gayle since childhood.  She is my long time best buddy. We have a long history of going out and having fun together. She is my best Girl Pal Date.

One evening we went to the Terrace Lounge which was attached to the Eastland Bowling Alley.  Anyone living in the South will tell you, some of the best local music can be heard at the Bowling Alley.  And Lexington is no exception.  The band was "Breeding's Bunch".  They were a cross between Charlie Daniels and Lynard Skynard.  That band rocked the roof every night, except Monday and Sunday.  You had to get there early well before the set starts or you could not get a seat. If you waited much longer, and you could not get in.  It was not unusual to see a long line formed outside the entrance waiting.Our Studio 54. That was the scenario that fateful night when Gayle and I arrived.  " It will take us forever to get in!"  But we are quick thinkers and made our way to the front of the line."We have people in there holding a table! They are waiting for us."  Now the door man has heard this at least a million times, and then some.  Skeptical was his first name.  Yet, we were two pretty young things, so he warned us, "I'm letting you in, but I'm watching you!". 

So we rushed in and quickly scouted out a table with two guys sitting at it, apparently alone, or so we hoped. I made a beeline for them.  "May we share this table with you?".  They were totally taken by surprise, the last thing they expected to happen but what they hoped for!  They let us join them. 

Their names were Rudy (another Rudy) and Steve.  Why do I remember these names 25 years later...because Gayle and Steve were married six months later and will be celebrating their silver anniversary this August.

 That story is still alive and well.  I hear it every time we get together.  I think Steve is very grateful that he ran into two very brazen hussies that night so many years ago.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

The Beast....Best Group Date

There is a picture in existence of this event, I just cannot find it! I was working as a bartender at Some Place Else lounge, a funky place that featured 50 music.  It was fairly large and employed a lot of really terrific people.  We use to party together all the time.  On weekends after work, we would head to the after hour joints that were BYOB.  We had cook outs together, and once we even went to the local drag strip to watch Dudley compete on his motorcycle.

This one particular time, we all decided that on Sunday we would go to Kings Island, an amusement park north of Cincinnati.  12 of us got together, cars, a van, and Dudley on his motorcycle set off on a beautiful August day...probably August 3rd.

I was dating a guy named Donnie. That is if you call it actually dating. He worked the upstairs bar, and would come down and say, "You want to go to Circus tonight?" (the after hour place).  So it was like that.  He went on the Kings Island trip, We were together, at least we rode in my car up there.

This was one wild trip! The drive is approximately two hours from Lex. and upon entering the park we stampeded towards the first beer cart we saw, literally ran it down!  That was how it was all day.

All the men, (there were four of them) with the exception of Al, were afraid to ride the Beast.  At that time, the Beast was the fastest and highest wooden roller coaster in the United States.You would get in line and wait was an hour and then more.  We all got in line and made our way to the entry shoot.  Once we arrived, the guys backed out.  Except Donnie.  Us girls would not let him! So he was a sport about it, and got on. After the ride, Dudley and Fud (UK Football player) pushed their way up the exit ramp through all the people disembarking to congratulate us.  What they ended up doing, was to carry Donnie down the ramp.He was white as a sheet, and a little green too.  Added to that, he was so shook up he could not walk.

We all got our picture taken together (even those who did not ride).  "I RODE THE BEAST," all twelve of us.  A priceless picture with Donnie in the front roww, slumped over, eyes hollow and face still stark white.

When asked the question, "What is the most fun you ever had?" that day always springs into my mind.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I have Proof...Great Date #2

(Back then) When people went to college you either joined a sorority or a fraternity. Or were considered a GDI.  I joined a fraternity!  I became a Little Sister of the Golden Heart for the Sig Ep's.  Back then, what that meant (because I think times have changed drastically in this regard) was you poured tea at the annual House Party  that the House Mother formally attended

Otherwise it was Animal House. 

I loved it.  I hung out with the guys.  I learned how to drink and how to skip class and how to get by.  I was also on "call" so to speak.  Whenever a dance or event rolled around, and one of the guys did not have a date, you went if he asked.  It was okay, I knew this going in. 

Little did I know that one day I would be called upon to go to the Valentine Dance with Rudy!  Murray was a fairly large campus at that time in the early 70's. Every girl on that campus knew Rudy.  First of all, he was a transfer.  Second of all, he was gorgeous.  Third, he was a very nice guy.  

As you can see, we were drinking Boones Farm Wine.  My fav........As you can see, he was wearing a power blue tux!  And my naturally straight hair was in some funky hairstyle..but it was a Cinderella type dance for me. I felt like the princess of the ball.

 We never went out again.  But I have these lovely pictures as proof that once we did.

Monday, February 9, 2004

A night with Metallica

With Valentine's Day being five days away, I thought I could use that as my theme for the week.  I shall begin with the best and most memorable dates I have been on.

I met this guy Steve in the early '90's.  It was nothing serious,  just some fun. 

I made mention that I liked Metallica.  Their album with Enter Sandman had crossed over.  Now Steve is not Metallica material.  I think I told him that just to scare him off.  But to win me over, he called 1800BESTTIX and got us fifth row seats.  I could not believe he had done this.  He is very mild mannered and his idea of a rocking time would be to go to the Gospel-Country Jubilee in Mt. Vernon, KY.

So we went.  I wore this loosely knit pink sweater thing over a black turtleneck.  The reason I remember what I wore so vividly is because I was the only one in the audience not in black. And I was in the 5th row, directly in front of the stage, glowing pinkly right under the watchful eye of "F***YOU" James Hetfield, the  singer for Metallica. The reason I call him this is because when he was not singing, he was yelling that at us!  And we would yell it back. He would flip us the bird, and we would flip it right back.  He did all this with a grin from ear to ear. He had the most beautiful smile, such white teeth! He was so endearing, really.  Who would have thought. He would take a cup of beer and gulp some of it then toss/throw the cup into the audience...right at me.  Every single time!  Pink advantage.

He'd say, "We're going to sing "Fill-in-the-blank," do you all know it?" We'd all yell back, "Yeeeeeaaaaaaa".  "Okay, sing along", he'd demand.  It seemed he'd keep his eye on me to make sure I was singing along and had not lied about knowing the lyrics.  I did a lot of mouthing....having no idea what I was singing but I was intent not to disappoint James. Steve was standing on chairs with me, head banging with me, yelling "F***YOU" with everyone, and yes even faking he knew the words to Whiplash right along with me.

It was the greatest time.

Friday, February 6, 2004

Day Tripper

While I was  in a store recently, the cover of the Rolling Stone caught my eye.  Was it really 40 years ago that the Fab Four changed the face of music and the Baby Boom generation forever? 

I was so young when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show that I know I watched it, but I don't remember it.  What's to remember beside the hair flopping/tossing from side to side and the screams of the audience.  Hey, maybe I do remember it! 

I had Beatle Mania, that is certain. Ask my mother.  She certainly dreaded taking me shopping because I distinctly remember begging her to buy a 16 magazine for me.  Alas, she would not do it.  I must have been 10 or 11, too old to throw a tantrum, but old enough to never forget it.

Something else I will never ever forget nor forgive her for happened in 1976.  I was away from home by that time, doing something frivolously called attending college at Murray State University.  Mom and Dad sold the two homes we owned on Kilmer Dr., one being my Nana's house (she passed away in 1972) which we rented out.  With the proceeds they bought a much larger home in another part of town.

 I was told to come home and go through all my stuff, because if I didn't it was going to go on the curb.  I grew up in that house.  I had a lot of accumulated junk there (as you all can well imagine knowing that I can barely throw anything away).  I didn't believe my Mother had it in her to do such a vile thing to me... 

Well she did, and the one precious item that I will miss forever and ever is my collection of Beatle cards.  I had all of them, the early black and white to the more modern color treasures.  I had them all stacked in a metal purse with mother-of-pearl inlaid top from my 1964 Easter outfit.  Gone.

 Later on in life, sometime in the 1980's, Mom purchased a biography of Paul McCartney for me, autographed by the author.  She gave it to me for Christmas that year.  But it was what was inside that astonished me.  Somehow, somewhere she had found the above Beatle Card of George Harrison, my favorite Beatle,  and slipped it into the book. 

My most beloved Christmas gift.

Monday, February 2, 2004

Favorite Place #3

It seems that one of my new favorite places is the Liquor Barn. Not only do they carry the locally grown wines, and the wonderful selection of liqueurs, they carry the finest collection of greeting cards I have found.  Very offbeat, quite esoteric, wickedly funny.

I also found Hatuey beer!  Unbelievable.  I love wandering up and down the aisles fingering the Mardi Gras decorations, looking at all the imported chocolates, breathing the intoxicating coffee aromas.  There are so many things to catch your fancy. 

I do like the cards.  You receive a complimentary stamp. 

I made the mistake several years ago of just getting Joe a card.  Now I am on the hunt for the perfect Valentine gift.  Maybe the complete set of "The Family Guy"....?  Whatever I find, it will be accompanied by not one, but several perfect cards.

You can never tell someone too many times how much you love them. 

Sunday, February 1, 2004

The 13th Floor

It was the coldest day of the year, perhaps of the past several  years, a minus 4 degrees.  So naturally this was moving day for Bridget and S.

S.'s parents rented a large van for the trek to Louisville.  It was filled and we were ready to go when we realized one of the cats were missing. S. has two cats, the second being Phoebe.  Phoebe was no help with the search. We looked high and low, outside and in and Black Kat was nowhere to be found.  Finally, Phoebe tired of not being the center of attention, led us to the dryer, where she crouched and if she were an Irish Setter, would have pointed.  There hidden behind the dyer, was Black Kat, who if were human, would have been laughing.

The apartment in Louisville is located in an old high rise building.  Circa 1970. During her time, was the swankiest place to live in Louisville. 28 stories overlooking downtown.  Bridget and S. apartment is in the corner of the 13th floor, with a north and west exposure.  We marveled at the beautiful view, then went down stairs and began loading the service elevator.   

When we returned, the apartment was flooding!  Seems the heating unit was turned off and when we turned it on, the heating (here I don't quite understand how this works) unit uses hot water circulating through a base board unit.  And that burst.  It was awful. Several inches had saturated the carpets and floors by the time they managed to get it turned off. 

All's well that end's well.  I kept telling them that it could have been worse if all their furniture and belongs had been in the apartment.  In the meantime, they were given an apartment to store their belongings and put up in the pent house apartment while theirs is being repaired. 

 The Penthouse!  On floor 27!  What a breathtaking view of the sunset!  We watched in awe and then pointed out various landmarks in the landscape as the day darkened and finally gave way to night.

We went to a local pub called Shenanigans and ate...Bridget's Dad Mike, who lives in Louisville, Picked up the tab!

 I miss Bridget already.