Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fear of Flying

Not the novel. The real thing.

I used to fly back in the late 80s/early 90s.  I flew to England and home from France. I used to fly regularly between NYC and DC back when People Express (may they rest in peace) had cheap flights and the Man was in DC and I was still in NYC.

The last time I flew was in 1990, from DC to Boston so I could spend a week on Cape Cod with my parents.  After that I had kids, and no money and no need to travel.

And then came September 2001.

I've written many times here about 9-11, about how we live just a mile or two from the Pentagon. About how I used to cringe for months afterwards at the sound of a plane overhead, at the sight of a plane flying above me in a clear blue sky.

Now, in college, SC has been involved in forensics--the debating kind, not the crime kind. Her team went to Chicago a few weeks ago. And they flew. Her first time in an airplane. She was thrilled.

I was terrified. And next week she's flying to Cleveland and I'm scared again. And that was before the German airline crashed in the Alps.

It was full of students. I think of those terrified people on that plane. I think of SC, and I want to scream and beg her not to go, because I won't feel safe until her plane touches down at Dulles the following week.
It's nutty of course. But I've spent the last few years going from family disaster to family disaster and it haunts me.

JR is scared of flying too. I am not sure why--she says it's NOT because of crashes, but because of airsickness. I wonder though.

It is ironically far cheaper to fly between DC and Toronto, or Buffalo, than it is to take Amtrak to NYC.
I want to go to Buffalo and see the Man's oldest brother, and our cousin. I want to go to upstate New York and see my unrelated sister, and her husband and her girls.  It's a long trip up there, and flying to Buffalo would save us two days to spend instead with our loved ones. We could just fly one way and rent a car and drive home.

It makes sense, but it scares me.

But we may very well do it. And I will hold tightly on to JR's hand and together we will face our fears.....

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Queen of Vulgaria

I've had many derisive nicknames for our next door neighbor, but this is the one that I've come to use regularly.

The Queen moved in about a year ago. The renters she replaced were awful and nasty, and she's not that way at all. That's her only good point. 

The Queen set up a little overdone Martha Stewart wannabe paradise next door. Inside it's all perfect decor. That's bad enough, but I'm used to being a 53 year old living in what looks like a bookstore/junk store. I'm not happy about it, but that's how it is.

It's the patio that pisses me off. It's all goshdarn perfect, and it makes my patio look shabby.

My beloved patio that the Man and I worked so hard to renovate after the tree was removed, the one where we literally removed 2 TONS of brick, and spent a lot of money to get them relaid! The patio where we set up our lovely porch swing, that  looks weather beaten next to her pretty-pretty couches. The patio where the dull brown umbrella the Man selected looks boring, while she has a pretty floral design.

The Queen sits out there on a regular basis, often with loud friends, having a merry old time.
She cooks on a propane grill, which she set up in the bend closest to the house, so the smells travel into the mutual breezeway and into our bedrooms. Why the feck does anyone bother to cook outdoors on a gas grill anyway, when there's a stove inside?
I will give a pass to a certain Knight in Tarnished Armor because he CAN cook. But Vulgaria also now subscribes to a stupid thing called "Blue Apron", which sends her two boxes a week of meals where everything is prepped and chopped and measured. In other words, she can't cook. Snort..
If we had a fence, it might not be so bad. But our well meaning former neighbor put in some ugly arborvitae shrubs to appease the renters from Hell, and they have not spread as she thought they would. There are big gaps in the divide between our units, and we are not allowed to use fencing.

I have no privacy out there.

This is why I hate the Queen of Vulgaria with all my heart and soul. 
Because it was a place I was able to furnish the way I wanted it to be furnished. No bookcases, no belongings of the Man get out there. He's not into outdoor life anyway.

It was MY place, my only truly "happy place," and now I can't enjoy it most of the time.

I hate her. I truly hate her.

And the Man should appreciate that. Because instead of being angry at him all the time for the condition of our home, I can be angry at her instead.

Friday, February 27, 2015


Dear Mom and Dad,

I was on the sofa with the family last night, and the Jeopardy question listed the 5 stages of grief, the last two being "depression" and "acceptance."

With you gone a year and a week, Mom, and you almost 3 (!) years , Daddy, I supposed I should be at "acceptance."

But I'm not.

I'm still at "depression" I think, and there's still "anger" left.  Hell, I'm still angry that Nanay left us and that's going on 7 years ago. Seven years!

I packed up your apartment. I scattered your ashes at sea.
But there is a piece of me that will never, ever accept that you are gone, I think.

Love you. Miss you.

Friday, January 09, 2015

I TOLD You That You Couldn't Do My Job

The Facebook acquaintance who thought she could out librarian the librarians (and the rest of the staff too, I'd guess) while being paid to be a page, shelving books, has lost that job. I think she was asked to resign rather than being outright fired, but apparently it was her poor attitude towards the staff that triggered this. Surprise, surprise.

I'm on their side. I like this person, but she's got an arrogant streak a mile wide, and I am sure that she was creating a toxic situation. Seen it many times before.

They saw her off kindly today. But I am sure that they are all breathing sighs of relief.
I know that I certainly would feel that way.

And I am thankful beyond measure that MY assistant is about 180 degrees different. I'm working on making her LESS self effacing if anything!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Adult Patrons Used To Be Kids Too

Had a librarian on a children's librarian Facebook page kvetching today about how she has to be on the adult reference desk having to "answer over and over how to print/download a doc from an email," and wishing she could stay in the Land of Children all day.

Well, cookie, I'd bet that those same patrons would like to be in the Land of Children too, where grownups take care of you and the word "responsible" refers to bringing your library books back on time and not letting your little sister crayon in them, and stuff like that.

Instead they're in the adult world with bills to pay. Looking for jobs. Dealing with all sorts of issues that don't show up in "Pete the Cat" books.

If I had a dollar for every time a grownup has apologetically said to me, "I hate to bother you," I'd have a very nice vacation fund.

They don't want to "bother" me. They want to know how to find that book themselves, or know how to download that document, or how to spell the words on their resume correctly.

But sometimes they don't. They haven't been lucky enough to have had a full college education, graduate school and regular access to computers and the Internet.

Sometimes their English isn't the best. Sometimes their personal hygiene leaves a lot to be desired.

But they are not, not, NOT bothering me. They are asking me to do my job--and I am so glad that I can do something to help them. Something that will make their life a little bit better that day. Maybe even something that will help them in the long run.

The man thrilled today because I helped him send his resume, the older gentleman patiently working his way through the basics of Microsoft Word, the nanny so grateful that I helped her figure out how to print her work schedule--their smiles and thanks mean as much to me as a hug from one of my toddlers. Perhaps even more. 

This foolish librarian needs to remember that those adults she hates dealing with once were bright eyed kids much like the ones in her children's room.Perhaps they too went to a library and found a helpful children's librarian, and think of us a good, kind people.

Her attitude sucks.  And I'm glad that she doesn't work in my library.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Happy New Year, Troll

Thank you for two hate spewing comments. If you want to add more, you will have to sign in with some kind of user name--and have me approve your comments. Which I won't, but then I'm sure that you won't have the courage to do what you did under a real, traceable name.

I don't know who you are and why you decided to start my New Year's Day with your bile, but I feel sorry for you if that's all you had to do that morning.  If there's so little love in your life that you had to take it out on me, on a post where I was sad about all the loss I've had in the last few years.

As for me, I got up and deleted your comments, and went and made Belgian waffles with ice cream and fruit for the Man I love (no matter how crazy he makes me), and for the daughters that mean the world to me. I fed the cats who are helping to fill the holes in my heart left by the loss of their predecessors. I read a really good book, I took a nap on the sofa, and I ended the day by cooking Filipino food with my husband. My lumpia will never be as good as my mother-in-law's were, but I cooked them with love for her in my heart, grateful that I had her in my life, wishing she was still here to see how beautiful and strong and kind her granddaughters are. And grateful that SC's surgery went perfectly, with nothing bad happening, and that she can now eat like a normal person again.

I was sad--and I am still sad--and I am still frightened by a lot. But some of the fear comes from having so much that is good in my life, and fearing that I will lose more of it.
Troll, whoever you are, I wish you well. Your hurt only hurts you. It upset me, but in the end it can't hurt me.

Because I am loved. And I know it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wanting to Believe

We made it through Thanksgiving, hard as it was to be here, without my parents--and having to serve a carefully low fat meal as well.

SC's surgery went as easily as was possible and she is making an excellent recovery.

Christmas is almost here, and I've done most of the shopping. There will be presents and food and we will manage the Christmas tree, even with Bruce, a.k.a. Errol Flynn in a fur coat, doubtlessly making it a challenge.

This awful year is almost over. And I want to believe that the next one will be happy and healthy and good.  That the various weird aches and pains I have had over the months are menopause and no more. That nothing bad will happen for a long, long time.

I want to believe that. I wish I could.
But here I am, still waiting for that other shoe to drop. For the bad things to happen. Because so much has happened and so much is gone.

I want my mother and my father. I want Nanay and Tatay. I want them all back and I want to be in NYC right now instead of here, trying to figure out how to do Christmas.

I want to drive the Man to his parents on Christmas Eve to go to Mass with them. I want Christmas Eve with my girls and my parents, watching the Yule Log on WPIX and watching the tree lights shine and wrapping presents and filling stockings.

I want Christmas Day in the overly warm apartment with Nay and Tay and our cousin and my brother in laws and sister in law all crowded in, and my great-nephew and nieces running about. All jammed in together, dressed up in our picture, and then all at the extended table overlooking the Hudson, feasting and being together.

My parents apartment is cold and empty. Someone else lives in my in-laws apartment, watching the boats on the Hudson and the lights of the George Washington Bridge. "A string of pearls"is how Daddy always described it.

I want to go back to when my girls were young enough for Barbie dolls instead of boyfriends, when the Man wasn't so angry so much of the time.

I want to believe there are good times to come and that nothing bad will happen and that things won't hurt so much.

But they do. And I can't. Not all of the time.