Monday, January 30, 2006

DRIED UP (in more ways than one)

(My Favorite Picture from Jamaica)

For the first time since beginning to journal on line, I feel like I have dried up. I have spent over two years babbling about everything from High School to Ireland and then back again.

I think my inspiration sprang from my surroundings in Kentucky. There was always something available to spark a memory or throw my mind into thinking mode. Every road, every corner, every season, a song, people, weather, cemeteries, could open the creative doors. There seems to be nothing around to prod me into writing an ingenious entry!!

I have only written five pieces this month!!! Five!!! (this makes six). And I just got back from a vacation! And I almost have nothing to say about it. Incredible. I can't figure out what is wrong with me.

The upside has been that I am reading books again.

My long lost buddy emailed me this week end. I am so looking forward to seeing her in person soon. Though neither one of us has broached the subject as of yet, I know it is just around the corner.

It has sent me into a tailspin! I wonder if she could even recognize me now that I am well into middle age. The last time she saw me I was a smug skinny 30 year old. I am no longer smug nor skinny. I made an emergency visit to the drug store to stock up on miracle moisturizer and hair color.

I began a diet this morning! So far, so good.

I am about to commit to running the Triple Crown in Louisville beginning in Mid-March. I just need to check the dates to ensure there is not a conflict with The Saw Doctor concert in Cleveland on the 17th. My knee seems to have healed up nicely, time to tear it up again.

I figure that in six weeks, I should be ready to see her again. I will plan it so that I can saw breathlessly, "I just finished the 5K and was XXXXX in my age group."

Then she can say, "What a coincidence, I just turned down my XXXXX proposal of marriage."

It will be just like old times.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Welcome to Jamaica, Mon!!

First Day

We arrived mid-morning. An uneventful plane ride other than it took so long to get there! I had a window seat and surprisingly it was a clear, unobscured by clouds, passage to the West Indies island of Jamaica. Flying high you have no idea where you are. I assumed Florida was below, but it could have been somewhere else. The coves and channels were busy with activity. Boats moving at the slowest pace imaginable 37,000 feet below me.

The pilot came on to announce we were about 15 minutes out (at least it sounded like he said that) and below us is the island of Cuba.


I strained to take it in. A dark brown coast line with no sign of movement...not one single boat, not one single building, no sign of any beaches. I was lost in thought as we left Cuba behind, the ocean below a fury of white caps and secluded specs of land barely visible above the dark and aqua waters.

Then we landed. Sunshine and sand and the smell of salt water. White clouds drifting lazy in a brilliant blue sky. As we disembarked, so did our clothes!  We were whisked through customs and our luggage was quickly attached to a porter who would keep an eye on it while we were led into what I call, the recovery room! Sandles Inn has a beautiful reception area where you can refresh yourself by drinking the famous Red Stripe beer and slip into something much more island-like than winter-ish.

Off to the hotel, which is on the other side of the airport. A five minute drive. Joe and I came prepared with plenty of one dollar bills and the more serious fives.

Within an hour we were on the public beach right across the street from the hotel. I have been up since before the crack of dawn, and had little to eat and upon landing, several island drinks, so I was feeling ......crafty.

I figured this, if we buy something from all the street vendors at the beginning, they would leave us alone the duration of our stay! So we spread the wealth that first afternoon! I had Muril make a beautiful beach dress for me. Custom fitted. I asked her not to tell me the measurements as she quickly wrote them down. She was to return on Wednesday with the finished product.

Then Jacob, who ran the little shack on the corner of the beach. There was no way to avoid him, as the steep steps to the sand passed his tiny business. He had everything you wanted, if you wanted trinkets and trash! Island jewelry is his specialty andI am now the proud owner of several of his pieces.

Then there was the Rastafarian. I never caught his name, but he was always there. Early in the morning till late at night. We bought a beautiful walking stick from him. He makes them. Or so he says. I can't imagine when he'd find the time.

And so, my plan played out to perfection. We were now allowed to lounge around the beach without being hassled! Except from the Rastafarian, who never seemed to recognize us! Joe had to tell him every time that we already were the proud owners of his one-of-a-kind walking stick! He'd look from Joe to me and then smile and say, "I remember her!" Geez.

The sun burnt down on us as we laid on the beach and romped in the soothing waters. Then it was time to go back inside the walls of the Sandles Inn and locate the restaurants!

Welcome to Jamaica, Mon!


Saturday, January 21, 2006


View from the Richmond Hill Inn

I awoke early for a Saturday, around 5am and realized I had been dreaming of Jamaica. I'm not certain if it was the breeze from the ocean, or the sound of the surf against the beach, or the sound of the locals laughing and calling to each other as they eased themselves into the Caribbean's dark waters at 6am, every morning around 6am, and waited for the sun to rise and transform the bay into that astonishing aqua blue.

Just the faint remnant of a dream, the memory of warmth on my skin, a trace of fragrant salt water lingering......I knew it was Jamaica.

Joe and I have just returned from a four day, three night dream vacation from the island in the West Indies. The temperature was always perfect. The skies stunning, the Caribbean breathtaking.

I did not want to leave.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

History Repeats Itself

Road to corruption

I am going to take some time off next week. In response to my impending absence, someone is going to cover my territory.

Cool. It's still way too early in my career in this facility to have pissed off any of my customers, or for any of them to hate me or bad mouth me. So all is great.

Towards the end of last week they let me know that they wanted the "new guy" to cover my territory rather than the regular swing person. This is the new guys first week in the position. And that they wanted him to travel with me?!! ALL WEEK.

Oh hell.

I fretted about it all week end and finally as I was heading out the door Monday, still gloomy that I was going to have a shadow with me all week, I thought maybe, just maybe, this could be fun.

I arrive at work and there he is. "Hello!" he says greeting me at the door, "T. said he saw you park in the lot!"

Oh my God. It's a BABY!!!

We shake hands. "What's your name?" He has only been referred to as "the new guy".


Well, well, well. I have an assistant all week and it has been extremely good. My assistant makes my phone calls for me. Makes copies for me. Does my e-mailing for me. Makes up forms for me. Does my daily sheets for me. Has been my muscle all week. All under the guise of "training him".

He is like a puppy. So eager to please. He is like a sponge. I tell him, or show him once and he gets it. He has been with the company for a year and this is his first promotion. Since I worked the "other side" of our business (the dark side) I can relate to him.

I have spoiled him rotten. It's amazing what buying lunch for a 26 year old kid all week will get for you. I have shared my wisdom with him all week. This is hilarious because as I "trained him" I realize how seasoned I actually am. It's been fun. I am so accustomed to being alone all day it has been so pleasant to have him around.

I have corrupted him for "the dark side". He will never again be satisfied working for them. He wants with "us", the fun side.

I am going to miss him. Not only for the wonderfulness of having a side kick, but because he is an interesting, quirky, intelligent and a Boston Irish transplant.

He showed me a used bookstore that is fabulous in downtown that never in a million years I would have found if he had not shown me.

I really, really lucked out this week.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Baseball Metaphors

When I was young, I mean younger.....oh heck, when I was a teenager I thought I would not live to be 30 let alone 50.

The year 2000 loomed out there in the future, in space. It seemed mind boggling and insane that I would be older than my parents if I lived to the year 2000. They were old and decrepit. Antiquated. Teetering on feeble. They were 39 and 47.

I contemplated life a lot back them. After all, I was a moody teenager with plenty of time on my hands because I avoided homework like the plague. So, I day dreamed and contemplated life a lot.

Now it is well into the year 2006 and I am totally amazed that I have survived to this ripe old age. God knows I tried to sabotage it by living life dangerously and precariously at times. With careless abandon most the time. Who was it that said if they knew they were going to live this long they would have taken better care of themselves? Micky Mantle?

I contemplate life still as I pump it out on the machines at the Fitness Center Joe and I joined several months ago. I have not taken it seriously until the new year. After all, what use is it to try and deny yourself when the holidays are advancing. If I had started then, I would have messed it up immediately. So I waited. I made the occasional trip to the center to acquaint myself with the clientele and where everything is located. I am happy to report, the clientele is cool, mostly out of shape middle age chumps like myself.

I think I may be committed to loosing the excess weight and toning up. The great upside...besides all that stuff about health and the fabulous wardrobe I have that I no longer fit in. It's waiting for me!

The other night I looked at myself in one of the many mirrors in the downstairs aerobic room. "Those arms are not mine!!!!!!" I was mortified. I am also mortified at the size of my boobs! They now have a zip code of their own. They pop out of my bra's when I lean over. It is so embarrassing. I play with my bra and my underwires as much as any major league pitcher plays with his cup. It is becoming a habit. A very unbecoming habit! They pop out a lot.

I am concentrating on using the machines that work my upper body with the hopes that my arms stop flapping in the breeze and my boobs come under control.

Yesterday morning I awoke and immediately knew something was wrong. My right arm would not move. It was frozen into a broken bird wing sort of position. It hurt all day long. Joe made fun of me last night because try as I may, I could not stretch my arm out straight without writhing in pain. ( a little over the top acting is fun sometimes).

Getting back into shape is hard. I should have listened to Micky.

(What am I saying? Micky Mantle?!! What is up with all this baseball imagery?)

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Tag you're it

I've been tagged by Lori for the meme of Five Weird Things About You.

Sorry it has taken me so long, but there is nothing weird about me, I mean there is so much weird about me it is hard to choose!


1) I love Disco music. I did when it was not cool!

2) I love the old standards, like Blue Moon and Show Me the Way to go home. I found this station on the cable tv that broadcasts them. When no one is home, I tune it in. I love Doris Day and Perry Como and all that jazz. Never did when I was young, this is a new development brought on by middle age.

3) I am a math wiz. I did not discover this until I had an excellent Algebra teacher in college and I just blossomed. I could have been a rocket scientist. (very scary thought).

4) I can not spell (we all know this by now!)

5) I have this very strange habit (not all the time, but most) of eating one thing at a time. Like I'll eat all the mashed potatoes before moving on to the green beans and then on to the chicken.

I had one more, but luckily I will not have to spill the beans and destroy the myth!

I have seen this challenge in the journal community (AOL and non-AOL) so I doubt there is anyone left who has not exposed their weirdness. If this is not the case...please do it and tell me and I will link to it!