Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I spoke with Maureen today and, although groggy, she sounded as well as can be expected. If she's able to pass the tests posed to her by her doctors and nursing staff, we expect she'll come home Thursday. I wish I had more definitive answers. I can only ask that God's divine intervention and Almighty powerful healing hands will blast out this carcinoid so she's able to live a long, productive life. May the surgeons and doctors find the perfect treatment for her. I pray, you pray, we all pray. Thanks to all of you who have joined in as a prayer warrior for Maureen and our family. I sincerely feel the power of your words. I personally have emotional peace and a calm that I don't normally have in stressful times. That's not to say I'm not scared or concerned. I am. I'm terrified. I'd be lying to say otherwise. But I'm managing to find the words to give some comfort to my nephew and myself.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
This is not a frivolous post. I implore anyone who reads this, regardless of your religious beliefs, to pray. If you're not one for praying, then send positive energy into the universe. My sister Maureen is undergoing a serious surgery tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Loyola University Hospital. The surgery is expected to last 3-5 hours. She'll have a tumor removed that is the size of a large grapefruit. It has compromised one of her kidneys. Therefore, they will remove the damaged one. In addition they will attempt to give her a hysterectomy. Due to excessive scar tissue this may not be possible. Depending on the damage within, she may require a colostomy. Her liver, heart, lungs are all healthy. They don't anticipate any serious problems, but during the initial discussion of the surgery they had to give the run down of the possible things that could go wrong. Even when it's a million to one chance, they have to disclose the risk ... even death. When I first heard that word I went into a panic. I knew I couldn't hide the fear on my face when I looked to my sister in that examining room. That single word has hung around in the back of my mind ever since. I continue to pray that all negative thought will diminish.
It's a lot to take in right now. I've kept myself busy and tried not to think about anything other than her healing. Currently, I can't even discuss it without bursting into tears. It's difficult to always look to the bright side when a loved one faces such a traumatic, lengthy, multi-tiered operation. Putting my faith solely in others truly tests my faith; yet, my faith that God will bring her through this is unshaken. I know Maureen's faith is strong. She simply wants to get this done so she can get on with recovery.She and her two sons have been through so much already. In early June their father tragically took his own life. It's too much to fathom. Prayers are required even if you've never considered yourself a praying person. My sister is many things to many people. She's always ready with a kind word and compassion for those she meets. Even if she wasn't my sister I would hope she'd be my best friend (and she is.) So, you might be asking, "what should I pray for in this case?" Please pray that Maureen's system will take the anesthesiology for the duration of the surgery. Please pray that the doctors will be at the top of their game. Pray that the entire team will have restful sleep so they can give Maureen the best of care. Ask that those of us waiting on pins and needles will manage to remain calm and give each other comfort. Pray that everything will go smoothly and recovery will be swift and without incident ... just pray. Thank you. I believe in the power of prayer.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Let's play the Name Game, y'all!
1. Rock Star Name
(first pet; current car)
2. Gangster Name
(favorite ice cream flavor; favorite style of shoe)
Chunky Monkey Mule
3. Native American Name
(favorite color; favorite animal)
4. Soap Opera Name
(middle name; place of birth)
5. Star Wars Name
(first 3 letters of second name; first two of first name)
6. Superhero Name
(2nd favorite color; favorite drink)
7. NASCAR Name
(first names of grandfathers)
8. Exotic Dancer Name
(favorite perfume/scent; favorite "candy")
Snuggle Cherry Ball
9. Newscaster name
(Fifth grade teacher’s last name; major city beginning with same letter)
10. Spy name
(favorite flower; favorite season/holiday)
11. Cartoon name
(favorite fruit; article of clothing you are wearing now)
Mango Jammy Bottoms
12. Hippie Name
(what you ate for breakfast; favorite tree)
13. Movie Star Name
(first pet’s name; first street where you lived)
Monday, August 18, 2008
The date guy, who shall be referred to as Sum Yung Guy -- SYG for short -- transferred to another location shortly after working with me. I had nothing to do with that, by the way. Another store closer to his home needed a lab technician with experience and we really didn't have the hours to give. My former boss had transferred there, I believe, shortly before that. Former boss, KC, and I got along swimmingly. He called me his right hand. He nicknamed me jukebox and often dropped a quarter in my pocket to encourage me to sing a song. We've remained in contact.
First let me say that he was surprised; yet, happy to hear that SYG asked me out. He's a decent dude and everybody knows this girl needs more fun in her life. In our text exchanges, KC asked how things were at work. I let him in on how I really felt and with that he inquired if I'd consider coming to his store. His store would tack on 20 minutes of driving time. Right now I can get to work in 15 minutes. Gas prices are dropping, but as we all know that's prone to inconsistency. I'm having a hard time making ends meet now. The additional fuel expense could be troubling.
I asked if he was serious about the offer. He replied, "yes." I asked if my being in a musical would be a problem. He said he would work around my rehearsal schedule. It seems the planets were aligned.
We spoke later that day and he told me he talked to his general manager and our regional quality coordinator (he over sees the labs.) Both were in agreement to allow my transfer. The ball was in my court to truly consider the pros and cons. I've been unbearably unhappy with my work location for quite some time. Blame personality conflicts or whatever. I won't go into great detail, but there is need for a major change. And since the primary change that needs to happen seems to be ignored like the 800 pound gorilla, I decided this 5'10" homosapien female would do the moving.
I slept on my decision to see if I woke without angst feelings. I discussed with SYG the conditions of the potential transfer location. There's new management now. Even if there are problems, they are new problems to me. Quite possibly I'd be oblivious to their existence. My biggest issue where I am currently is the lack of encouragement, positivity, accountability and strength in leadership. Maybe it's just me. Perhaps I am the one with the problem. If that's the case I will quickly arrive at that conclusion when I get to where I'm going.
When I discussed my decision with my current lab manager (who has nothing to do with my desire to get out of there), he was very encouraging and thanked me for my hard work. He stated he would do nothing to stand in my way, but asked that I give him time to hire a new associate. I said I would as long as they didn't drag their feet, but a time limit needed to be set. I felt the week of Labor Day was fair.
He immediately set out to get my transfer paperwork in order. He called the general manager of my current store to the office to tell her. She quickly handed him applications on file. The ball was rolling. In my private conference with my lab manager, I asked that a big deal not be made over this in regards to telling people. I have my reasons for leaving and I didn't want drama to ensue.
I have to say I'm overwhelmed with the sadness about my departure. I've been told in the not so distant past that when I'm not around there is a lack of levity and joy. In many respects I wish I didn't have such an impact, but on the other hand, this might be the loss that makes the powers that be stand up and take notice with greater seriousness. I doubt it, but one can hope.
My personal happiness can no longer be ignored for the sake of others. I considered no one in this other than Man-cub and myself. It's hard for me to do that. I know I might fall flat on my arse with this move, but at least I'm falling knowing I tried rather than hiding in the shadows of fear ... and never knowing what might have been.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Because of those basic aspects of my personality, I love to be on stage. For me, life has footlights, receptive audiences, an interesting supporting cast and eventually a curtain call ... let's hope the latter doesn't come for a long time.
While having lunch with my family on my birthday, I was encouraged to audition for our local theater company's fall musical: STATE FAIR (Kankakee Valley Theatre Association - KVTA.) The problem was that I was already scheduled to work during the first night of auditions and I had a date for the second night. I didn't want to lose out on a chance to return to the most cathartic thing I can do for myself. My niece, Amanda, is the choreographer for the show clued me in that she thought the director would welcome my presence and grant me an one on one audition. She gave me the director's email and arrangements were made for a Saturday morning audition. The director informed me that I wouldn't be considered for a primary role, but welcomed "your bubbly personality." Being known for bubbly and outgoing gives me a great sense of inner joy. However, not being in consideration for an actual role ate away at me. I had two choices: Cancel my date for Friday and hope he understood. Or, ask to leave work early using the threat that my healthy state of mind would benefit everybody. I chose the latter and risked losing a part to spend time with the gentleman who wanted to dine with me.
It really seemed that things were going in my favor the week of August 10-16. After having such a dismal and disappointing summer of '08, I deserved positivity. I try to put good vibes into the universe. Friends and family remind me that I'll get what's due to me in the long run. Me thinks the week setting off my 43rd year is a brilliant reminder that good things come to those who pray.
... more to come on both the audition and the date.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I told my gentleman caller that although I was really happy, bordering on ecstatic, to hear from him, I had no time for casual chatter. He accepted my apology and understood completely. He also asked if he might call me later. "Sure. Would you like my home phone number?"
Right. Another DUH! moment for Marissa. To be fully truthful, I have always flirted with this guy. So that portion of the call wasn't really unusual. Even when it was a professional call we flirted innocently. He had a girlfriend; I have the freedom and natural ability to flirt. Go me! **such a natural ability gets me no where fast, by the way.
The phone rang. His promise of call later meant what it usually does. Take notes AsshatRunningMan. I digress.
Throughout the call he asked about me. Listened when I spoke. I even let him talk! I was most impressed by the fact he had recollection about things we discussed in our short (2 week) period of working together. Anyone who can remember items from my blathering pool is always aces in my book.
In the time between the work call and the call at home I had convinced myself that he and his boss (another person I know through work) were wanting to recruit me for the company where they are employed. With all sincerity I didn't believe that this man would call me for personal reasons. Well, not for anything more than just playing catch up.
Little by little the questions were directed toward more personal endeavors. I shared with him the laughable, short lived relationship with ARM. I instructed him to watch Zoolander for reference points requiring ARM's intense look.
Let me veer off the road for a second. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but ARM would get this Derek Zoolander BLUE STEEL or MAGNUM look when he was deep in thought or trying to convince me that he was serious. As a result of this facial expression, I would burst into laughter. In turn, he would become frustrated. HA! Asshat!
It became increasingly apparent that this call had nothing to do with employment. My nervous laugh was on the rise. My calmer inner voice told me to relax, but the spaz ran amok. Totally ridiculous; yet, completely understandable if you know me well.
I have found that flirtation is often a narcissistic means of having one's ego stroked. I say to a man he's so adorable and touch his shoulder for 2 seconds longer than 'the norm' as I giggle and flip my hair. In return, he says something flattering like, "coming from you I'm ______" insert appropriate (or inappropriate) volley.
So, enough side stepping. This man asked if I was free to go to dinner with him. I gladly accepted and confessed that I was relieved the call wasn't about work. Tentative arrangements were made and he said he would call later in the week to confirm. Go me!
Oh! As I turned 43 this week, this particular gentleman's invitation for dinner came with a kick to my often frail ego: He's 33.
Go me! Hell to the yeah! Who's got it goin' on ? Me! That's right. I said me! Me! ME!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
continue listening if you enjoy the sounds of Shirley Bassey. This video had the best quality of the song, WIND BENEATH MY WINGS
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I haven't talked to him since July 27. He called and quickly ended the conversation with an abrupt "gotta go! can't talk. I'll talk to you later." And before I could get out the word 'bye' he was gone. At that time I shut my pink Razr phone with disbelief and irritation. A few other expletives followed; muttered under my breath. We'd hardly talked that entire week prior and no word would follow until ...
... August 1 at 11:39 p.m. a familiar chime came over the phone. I jumped with hopes it was a friend texting me from the Regeneration Tour Concert in Las Vegas. My heart fell seeing it was from Asshat Running Man (ARM from now on.) I read it. Ignored it. Forgot it.
Today the strains of Lily Allen's "Everything is Wonderful" played on my phone. I knew who it was. I gave a momentary thought to letting it Lily finish singing. Instead, I answered with a dull, monotone, short, as emotionless as possible hello.
He asked if I knew who was calling. I replied, "yep." He stammered and mumbled. No apologies for his lack of contact. I didn't want explanation. I wanted the final word.
"Did you get my text that I sent the other night?"
"I did. I chose to ignore it."
"Oh. Am I disturbing you? *incoherent mumbling again*"
"You're not disturbing me. I'm home. What I find disturbing is that you're calling me and expecting a warm greeting. WE have nothing invested in this. Your lack of contact pretty well spelled out that it/we/this thing is done."
"Uhm, mumble mumble mumble... I have to go. Can I call you later?"
"No. I don't think that's advisable. I mean you can talk to me now. But I have had my fill of you always having to rush off without explanation. You're the one who called me after two weeks of virtually no contact. I don't need cloak and dagger mysterio drama. You cut me off."
"Uhm, OK. I ..."
"yep. This is good bye." click.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Shortly after the delivery of my incredibly sweet boy, I declared I could do it all gain. I would if God saw fit for me to have more children. He ended up being my one and only. With all sincerity I don't know that I could possibly love another human quite the way I do him. He's miraculous.
When I gave birth that night, I didn't think I'd be raising my child alone. The idea that my marriage would crumble seemed inevitable. Yet, the idea that Man-cub's father would be so hands off was unfathomable. Man-cub makes being a parent easy. His good behavior and easy going personality makes it seem that I wrote the book on single parenting. We are a dynamic duo. It's undeniable.
Today he went to work with me. Thunderstorms loomed in the area made him quite nervous. His fear of storms is quite rational. He's seen the effects tornadoes and high winds have on the towns they rip through. When the once bright sky turned pitch black, I told him to gather up his Nintendo DS and games. He quickly and graciously complied. He may stand two inches taller than me, but the man sized boy is still a child when it comes to bad weather. Who can blame him?
He and I had lunch together in the food court of the mall where I work. His choice: Pizza. Blech, but I went along with it. I'm still suffering, but I digress. The day seemed long as he sat in the store breakroom with nothing but his Nintendo to occupy him. We strode past the movie theater in the mall to find that Wall-E was still showing. A matinee welcomed the Man-cub's inaugural 'go it alone' movie viewing. He had no qualms about going without me. I had to get to work and I didn't want him to be bored for the duration of the afternoon. A ticket was purchased, but there was a 45 minute wait for the beginning of the show. He spent 30 minutes back at the store and then anxiously came to me at 2:00 p.m., "Mom, is it time for me to go?" Armed with my cell phone he made tracks into the world sans mom. It was almost like sending him off to Kindergarten all over. I held back the tears. He walked in that store this morning my baby boy. But this afternoon he lumbered out on his own a young man. Proudly. So, if you happen to be in my neighborhood feel free to stop by for fudge brownie chocolate cheesecake. Like his choice for birthday cakes, he's not traditional. I wouldn't have it any other way! "I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be." -- Robert Munsch
Saturday, August 2, 2008
When I first started discussing attending my reunion, people made such comments about their high school friends. They reminisced about the cliques: mean girls; snotty guys; jocks; stoners; geeks; freaks; nerds; sluts. In their memories there always seemed to be a level of animosity between the groups. I can't honestly recall that. Sure, there were girls I never hung out with outside of school. There were boys who'd never give me the time of day to date. Yet, I didn't feel left out. At least my current recollection isn't as such. OK, I hated not having boys pine over me or openly want to date me.
I was not one of the popular girls, but due to my height, I was recognized. I was in the show choir and musicals. That often put me briefly in the limelight. I was a nice girl. Never an honor student, but a good student. I tried diligently to keep my grades up. I worked part-time. In my opinion I was an average kid with a less than average home life. I kept my situation private. .
When my mother died of cancer in June of 1981 everything around me collapsed. Nothing was as it seemed. At age 16, only my brother and I still lived at home with our father. Both men, like me, were lost in their grief. In turn, I was scrambling for some semblance of order and sense. I needed guidance. I moved out of my family home to live with my sister Mary and her family. Around Christmastime that same year it became apparent that I would benefit more from living with my sister Maureen. In one fell swoop my sisters became my mother figures. Only those who knew me were privy to the private goings on of my life. As I remember, my friends were protective, loving and nurturing. Their parents welcomed me with open arms. I found family outside of my own blood relations. Those friends could have been far less compassionate and steered me down a path of recklessness. Instead, they looked out for me. I am unsure if they were aware of their actions, but it certainly appeared to be that way to me then. And continues to feel that way today.
Escaping insanity by means of Celebration Singers (show choir) and musicals was my salvation. The friends I made then are still my friends today. For that reason, the 25 year class reunion has greater meaning than just catching up on the who's who, what's what of the graduating senior class of Eastridge High School 1983. Being with my classmates confirmed what we always suspected about ourselves. We represented the hope of tomorrow. We're the real deal.
Race, color, creed, economic status didn't limit us. Our friendships are what great movies are made of and books are written about. I had and have friends from all walks of life and I love it! I wouldn't have it any other way. Our reunion didn't remind us that we're all so different. It represented what makes us all so similar. We're all just human beings trying to make the most of the time we have on this planet.