Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here and gone

when bokeh and alcohol mixSo maybe I didn't handle things the best way.

There were angry text messages, yelling, and finally, I gave up. I didn't want to argue anymore. I slammed the door and walked away.

In every relationship that ends there is something to be learned. It's not a failure, but a learning experience. Then why do I feel like it was something I did? It takes two to tango (lordy loo I hate that expression) but I can't seem to shake these bad feelings.

I'm putting him back on a plane today. He was here less than 24 hours. I will try to pay for his 'wasted flight' but he won't take it. Oh that is going to be one awkward drive to the airport.

G-d, I ask for both of us to make it through this day with the least amount of pain. I still care for him and don't wish him harm. Keep an eye on him for me, will you?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm back in the saddle again

And by saddle, I mean my faux leather swivle chair.

Like my ride? I heart my green buggy. Hung out with some fellow dune-buggiers (what? it's a word.) on Cozemel and went around the entire island. Yes, I'm that bright white. Feel free to shield your eyes.

Well, I have returned victorious from my cruise and am back in reality, which I must admit is just a little disappointing. The unreality of the service on my ship was so lovely. Ask and ye shall receive. No really. I got ice cream at three in the morning. And everyone was smiling!

Now I'm sure many of them wanted to cut off my head and chuck me and every other cruiser off the damn boat but they never showed it. WAY better than I would have done. If I were on staff, I'd be running out of places to hide the bodies by the third night.

This is what's left of some random building after the last big hurricane. It's beautiful.

The people just cut their losses and rebuilt next door. The food wasn't great but you couldn't beat the view. I just sat and lounged under what was left of a porch and listened to the waves.

There were many adventure but those will come out in due time. For now, I'm going to take off early and unpack and shake the sand out of... well, everything.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So does this make me Dorothy?

Description unavailable
Met a lady from Kansas.

Her name is Emily. She is officially my Auntie Em. I'm drawing up documents now.

She might be the sweetest old lady I've ever met.

I will be accompanying her to the pool shortly where we will pretend to sunbathe (palest people on the ship, the two of us) and talk about dogs and boys and food and books.

Bless you, Auntie Em.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Yarrr" from the high seas

Yo hoe Yo hoe, a pirate's life for me.

So this is my first cruise. I'm still not sure about it. I'm not really the kind of girl who likes to hang with other tourists. I try really hard to hide the fact that I am one. Everyone has been really nice, but I feel like the whole thing is kind of a sham...

First thing, cruises are a cash cow. They have a captive audience who can only buy from them. If you need a razor, pack of smokes, nail polish, you have to buy from them. Then they tack on extra charges for just about everything. You want ANY kind of alcohol? 8 bucks for a vodka tonic. 10 for a decent martini. You want to eat somewhere besides the cafeteria, some place with cloth napkins and silverware? Extra 20 bucks a head. Want to use the internet to write your blog? 2 bucks a MINUTE! The nickel and dime-ing is really getting on my nerves. I already paid a ton to get a nice room and what I thought was all inclusive... but no.

Second, shore excursions are a no-no. Everyone has the same damn vacation! Get off the boat, hail a cab and get as far away as possible until you HAVE to get back. Now that said, I gotta say that there are some things that just must be done to say you have done them. They probably won't be those magically life changing moments that sometimes happens when you travel but you have to go. Go see the pyramids with the other thousand tourists. Go walk up and down the Great Wall. Take a picture or two, then move on.

There are rules everywhere here. Don't bring booze on the boat or you get a finger wagged in your face. This restaurant is closed until evening unless you are a premier uber silver class. No shorts in the dining room.(I don't even own a pair of shorts, but I like to know that I could wear them if I wanted...) Is this a vacation or my great grandma Mildred's house?

Don't get me wrong though; it has many great points. It really does. But that will have to wait until my next post... I have already racked up a $20 internet usage bill with a surcharge for being snarky. Gotta save my money so I can afford a frakin drink. Cheers maytee.
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Friday, December 12, 2008

Toasty, with friends all around

Sint Nicolaaskerk (Sint Nicolaas church) in Am...
Just got back from Amsterdam.

For some reason, I always forget how beautiful it is!
I was so happy just to take my walks in the morning (if it wasn't too rainy) and look at all the little twinkly lights and get a nice hot coffee at the first place that struck my fancy.

Not many tourists and you know what that means! I was one happy American. Empty museums and lots of locals to chat with. Amazing.

You'll be surprised how the locals respond to you when there aren't swarms of ugly Americans mucking about.

Thanks to Adrian for the cuppa and mini tour. See you next time round!
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Friend

I love Nara.

She is beautiful and funny and always fights for me.

During one of my past break ups, when I was feeling lost and abandoned, I wrote a little rant about my disillusionment with men in a general term. He took it VERY personally and demanded I delete my post immediately. Now why he was quasi-cyberstalking me and reading my blog I don't know. But when I told Nara that my ex was threatening legal action if I didn't take down my blog, "Men are just boys with chest hair", she had this to say.

"I would leave the blog there, and post another that is an actual scathing tirade on taking care of a man-child who is physically incapable of caring about anyone but himself, and dating is a hopeless venture for all but those who have hardened their hearts and expect only the very least in the people the temporarily tie themselves to."

That was so fantastic I had to post it here. Finally.

P.S. I didn't take down the blog. It was vague, never mentioned his name or even a specific person at all. He had not a leg to stand on. I win. I lose. We all have a drink and move on.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

These holidays...

My brother loved Christmas.

He died.

The holidays are really hard now.

Everyone out there that's having a hard time this holiday season, I'm sending you loving thoughts. A virtual hug and kiss. Love and love from across oceans and valleys.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dear Zachary...

I'm a total slobbering, sobbing wreck.

I have been wanting to see a new documentary called "Dear Zachary" for a while now. I had no idea...

Spoiler ALERT. Go see this movie now. It's on MSNBC today and all during the week. TIVO is. Tape record it. Then brace yourself. Bring tissues.

Then come back and read this.

I love a good mystery so I wanted to see this movie and see justice done. Dr. Andrew Bagby, by all accounts, was one hell of a guy. Sweet, funny, short, loving were some of the words used by his friends and family. So many people loved him. So when he didn't come to work one day, everyone knew something was wrong. He had recently broken up with a woman(I had originally typed 'stupid bitch' but I will try to refrain...) by the name of Shirley Turner. He broke up with her then put her on a plane back home... then she promptly drove 1300 miles and knocked on his door. Creeeepy. He didn't realize that she was a total nut job. She shot him. She left him in the dirt near a park. She then drove back 1300 miles. When she realized that the police had fingered her as the murderer, she fled to Canada.

Here comes twist #1... She was pregnant with Andrew's baby. Twist #2... The Canadians let her go on bail (which she never paid; her therapist put on almost all of it.) So this pregnant murderer, carrying her victims baby, was released. She had the child, who was named Zachary. This is one cute freaking kid! Chubby cheeks and smiles all the way.

So Andrew's parents, these amazing people, quit their jobs and moved to Canada to share custody with Zachary's mom. Yes, you heard me right... they had to play nice with their son's murderer or she would cut them off from their only grandchild.
For a second time Shirley was arrested and for a second time, she was released on bail, again, not having to pay one dime to get out.
So many people failed. If just one of the dozen people opened their eyes and saw what this woman was... When Andrew's father talks about his plans, I have to admit, some what ashamed and then again not at all, that if I were in the same position, I would have thought the same thing. He had thought about killing Shirley so even if he went to jail, his wife, Andrew's mother and Zachery's grandmother could raise him. In retrospect, it is actually a great idea. But too little too late.

I won't tell you what happened next. It's too horrible. You hear the director, Andrew's friend, and his voice cracks and he pushes forward to tell the awful tale. You see the rage and sadness in his friend's faces. The anguish in Kate's face... the rage in David's eyes... it's palpable.

Now, all that's left to do is write. Write about this story. Write to friends and strangers, writing about Andrew and Zachary. But if you happen to write to anyone, and I do encourage you to, write to his guy.

The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8

Tell him how you feel. I did. Here is my letter.

Dear Sir,

Last night while sitting in my home, curled up in my pajamas on the couch, I watched an excellent documentary called "Dear Zachary". I am sure that you know of this film. I followed the film as most people would... I cried as the grief of Andrew's family was poured out on camera. I beamed as Zachary's beautiful face danced across the screen. I grew angry when Shirley was given break after break. And then.... I was yelling. I found myself sobbing NO NO NO, crying until my pajamas were soaking wet. I am still in shock. This is why I am forced to write you this letter. My adult brother died 2 years ago in a car accident so I know what it is like to lose someone. But the death of Zachary could have been stopped while my brother's could not. That precious, beautiful baby is gone now and I mourn for him like I mourned my own brother. The director and Andrew's friend said it perfectly...

"While people charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty, presumption of innocence should not be stretched so far as to allow an actual murderer to repeat his/her crime while awaiting trial. We propose that this pre-trial detention period for accused murderers be conducted with minimal hardship and liberal visitation rights, and with the courts speeding this process along as quickly as is practical."

I know that you will do your best to help change the laws to insure that something like this can never happen again.

I hope you will have a good holiday season and remember Zachray and Andrew and Kate and David Bagby, all their friends and family, and the complete strangers like me who care about them when you spend time with your own family.

Thank you for your time,

(Celluloid Pixie)

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Bashing me over the head

I'm sure it's because I'm upset.

Perhaps if it was a normal day I wouldn't have noticed or clicked on the link to or read the listings or felt that disappointment in my heart again.

The website is for the broken hearted. "Cash for my heartbreak", writes one person. Pawn shops and consignments are shady so you take your jewelry given to you by your ex and sell it on the website. And there are tons of wedding ring, with sad and bitter stories attached.

heart with coronary arteriesMy Sad Heart. I'm being constantly punched in the face by stories of bad marriage, even worse relationships, as well as one site that proclaimed this - "American woman have several fundamental problems that will never go away, like anti-male bias and pre-occupation with fairness, self-centeredness, ridiculously high expectations, general mental instability and using sex as a weapon and a reward to get things." I'm not making this up. Men are out there and they hate women. And women are out there, hating men. And I am here, sad and confused.

What's the point of love anyway? If there's only sadness, lack of passion and boredom, wouldn't it be better to be alone?

I don't understand.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


BOLTON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 02:  (EDITOR...Snowing here in West Virginia.
Freezing my extremities off!
Gonna go curl up with a hot water bottle, 7 blankets and some hot chocolate until I warm up.

Room service!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Saint Rogers

I was sitting on the plane, holding back tears.

I'm not one for crying in public but this time I was afraid I was gonna completely lose it. Mr. Rogers was going to make me cry.

framelessI had never really watched his show. I have vague recollections as a very little kid but mostly I just knew him as an old guy with a show on PBS. (and the premier badass in The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny)

I picked up a copy of "I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers" by Tim Madigan before I got on the plane. I had completely forgotten to bring any reading material with me for the plane ride and I wasn't going to suffer one more Cosmo quiz or mail order catolog. It was pretty much on a whim and I thought I would probably read another one of my selections before I would crack that book. I ended up finishing it on the plane. The author is a newspaper writer who, at the time of meeting Fred, was in the middle of a life crisis. Meeting Fred Rogers for a news story would change his life in the most amazing ways. He was lost and with Fred's guidance and understanding, he found his way again.

Mister Rogers talks child psych w an interviewerI was a little put off at first that Fred was a Presbyterian minister. I didn't need to be preached to and I know G-d so thanks but no thanks... but I was wrong. I have been jaded by people cramming their religions down my throat that I just assume that a minister is going to do it to...Fred wasn't like that. When he said, "God loves you just the way you are.", he meant it. He always spoke of tolerance. When others would try to provoke him into bashing the non-christians or homosexuals or anyone who the fundamentalists didn't like, he would still come back with tolerance and even acceptance and at all times, love.

Fred RogersIt wasn't an act. He really was that kind. He really cared about people. He really was interested in the people he spoke with. He was patient, thoughtful and pardon the corniness, but he was true blue. Children can spot a fake. Perhaps this is why he was so beloved. From the tiniest kid to the surliest adult, Mr. Rogers held a soft spot in most of us.

In one of my favorite stories, Fred drove to work in his older model Impala, parked in front of the studio and went in to work. When he came out, it was gone. Supposedly, tons of radio stations and TV and newspapers picked up the story. The thieves brought back the car with a note that said, "If we knew it was yours, we never would have taken it. Sorry." Now, I have not found ANY reliable source about this and being that I was still in elementary school at the time it was supposed to have occurred, I can't really tell you myself. Never the less, it's a sweet story and totally within the realms of reality.

I wish I could be like him. I wish I could be so open to mere strangers. I wish I could reach out to people and tell them, "I don't know who you are but I love you because we are all in this together. Don't be sad; you are not alone" just like he did.

Fred Rogers DinosaurYears ago, some idiot suggested that this generation of lazy, self entitled, self esteem whores who are unprepared for the real world were created by Mr. Roger's show. I want to punch that idiot in the groin. Who loved factories and visits from the workers around him more than Mr. Rogers? Who profiled the people who worked at the bottling plant or how a mail room works? What other children's show, beside Seasame Street, helped kids cope with death, divorce and illness? Mr. Roger's Neighborhood is more in the real world than almost ANY children's shows on today.

I cried because he was so understanding and selfless. I cried because when Mr. Rogers spoke to Tim, it was if he was speaking to me. And I cried because even though he never knew me, even though I barely watched his show, even though I have done so many not nice things, I knew he was proud of me too. That's just the kind of guy he was. Don't you wish he was your neighbor? I sure as hell do.

So if you happen to have a 2 hour plane ride and need something to make you cry and freak out the Portuguese woman next to you, please read this book. Or just read it, even if you don't have those circumstances. It's a good book.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Theater

I was a lowly little peon.

I mopped, served customers and cleaned vomit. I flushed people's toilets when they left their nastiness behind, soaked up soda with paper towels, inhaled caustic chemicals. I did a million degrading jobs in a day. And the pay was crap. It was the best job I've ever had.

No, not because of all those things, in spite of them.

Cinema 4 at HOYTS, Forest Hill Shopping Centre... Home sweet home.As a young woman, my job at the movie theater was the greatest job for so many reasons. The staff and my bosses were great. They were human beings. Even after I rose to upper management, everyone treated me with respect and care, and vise versa. (Some of the kids even came to my brother's funeral, which was so sweet and precious to me.) We worked as a team and we all loved working together. I was good at my job. Even though I despise public relations, I can do it and I'm good at it. I had the operation of all aspects of the building down pact. I knew that when I came to work, no one was better at their job than me. Even though it was just a silly part time second job, it really filled me with pride. (Much more than my previous full time office job, which I found to be so humiliating and degrading.)

But I think a huge part of my love for that simple job was the theater itself. Ever since I was a child, the movies have been a place of happiness and escape. You walk into the cool building and smell the popcorn and find your ideal seat in the high ceilinged room. Put your feet up. Drink your soda. Everything is right in the world.

Even though you were surrounded by strangers, you were safe and alone. In the dark, you could cry as you watch Satine succumb to her illness in her lovers arms, Rhett mourning after the accident or Rick drinking with tears in his eyes while listening to "As Time Goes By". You can scream inside your head, "RUN BITCH!" while Clarice is being watched through the night vision goggles or when Raymond Burr starts off for Jimmy's apartment. You can laugh your ass off as the group of black workers sing "But I get a belt out of yoooou!" to their racist, idiot bosses. You can Singin' in the Rain (1952 )I'm siiiiingin' and dancin'...sit in awe watching Gene Kelly singing and dancing in the rain. You can scream in shock and horror as the Joker makes the pencil disappear. And if the theater's not too full, you can quietly sing along with Bob and Bing in all the road movies. It sounds super cheesy but it is truly magic! There is no other word for it.

And when everyone had gone home, the lights were up but only a little. The quiet wasn't scary or overwhelming like it usually was for me. It was calming. And it was all there just for me. Not but us few were permitted in those I used to wish I could sleep there... And there were many times I did.

So with all that in one building, for me, it was such a privilege to work in such a place. A magic house where anything could happen up on that giant screen. I would often sneak behind that screen before the show and watch the giant figures move back and forth, the light pooling onto my face. These were stolen moments of perfection, of perfect happiness. Joy. Love.

I still go to 'my' theater. I still get that same old feeling. And I still feel so lucky to have been a part of it all. Sometimes I think that when I've had enough of this rat race, when I'm ready to slow things down to a snails pace in life, I'll go back there. What a way to live.
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Monday, December 1, 2008

One down, one to go...

I was thinking about christmas the day after t...The holidays are hard.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the hardest. It's like the year, with it's last gasping breath, tries to squeeze the life out of me. No, not my life. My strength. My will to keep a smile on my face. My positive outlook.

The pagans believes that it was a time of death and rebirth. The days are shorter, darker. They would celebrate the last shortest day of the year with yule. Dancing, feasting, and all around merriment. Not so much of that here in the Quadling.

If I can just make it to the 18th... then it's off off and away in my hot air balloon until the new year.

Then it's all cocktails and rainbows. Bring it on 2009!

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