Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Two Posts Were Surprisingly Emotional For Me

Funny, I cried after I finished posting that. Got a very nice comment that made me weepy. I don't know there is a lot there that is the reason that I still hold myself back. Mostly by not being able to put myself out there. Well, except for online clearly .

This is a New Year's resolution that I didn't put on the list, because I am very insecure about making it happen. First of all for being self employed, I need to put myself out there sales and marketing wise. So I have made a promise to myself to put myself out there a lot more personally.

There were two college friends whose e-mails don't work anymore. So rather than waiting until another tracks them down, I picked up the phone and started dialing the choices. I found both of them. One, their wife answered who was very nice. I managed to put my foot in my mouth, thinking she might have been his old girlfriend that he conceived a daughter with. She wasn't and of course she knows who that person is. Foot in mouth, just like college . So now that I know where he lives, he will be getting a card, as I am way to mortified to risk getting her again. Course maybe that would be a good exercise.

The next college friend, I recognized his voice immediately even though it's been over twenty years since we have actually talked. We did exchange some e-mails last year. We had a great talk about where we are now, and possibly getting together later on in a mini reunion with some others. It was incredibly nice to talk to him again, he was such a very great friend to me in college.

Any way, if you don't put yourself out there, you don't reap the benefits. It might not turn out well, but it's well worth any previous rejection for something wonderful to happen.

Also, my upbringing as a child, I think stunted my communication and caring skills during college. I guess those lessons needed to be driven home somehow, and I had a gentle group of friends at the time to help drive them home. My parents only communicated by what they needed material or otherwise. There was never any nuturing or caring kind of communication. Like "gee you look pretty today", I normally got "your face is broken out" (like you don't know that) or "you are walking pigeon toed" (like they had such super model posture). It wasn't like a solution was ever given for this, it was just a listing of your deficiencies. So when my life was suddenly not like that, I didn't know how to deal or handle it. Thank God there were these people in my life to tolerate me during this period of time:)

Happy New Year.

Odessey of Friendship and Trust Continued

I guess I am having a brain dump before the new year LOL. At the end of last year, I did track these college friends down. Well, the boys could be found, but the girls are a lot more challenging. You see, most of us probably don't remember the last names of our friends. If we do, and they were girls, um, those last names have probably changed. I did manage to issue apologies for any past actions twenty years later. What was interesting was the gay guy friends were like "oh, we were all immature then I didn't think anything of it". I think the straight guy friends thought I was interested in them a whole nother way LOL. Guys are so dumb. My husband is the same way, if a cute girl is nice to him, he thinks she is flirting. I should probably just let him think that instead of breaking out in laughter. Any way, we were in my college years, and while I wasn't breaking any hearts (except maybe for Dave) I was not being any kind of good friend to my guy friends, especially by making them into boyfriends and discarding them.

So there was the introduction of coke. This substance can make you feel invisible and very sure of yourself when you are doing very stupid things. Dave was such a good friend, that even when he knew I was not being committed to him, he would always be there if I needed a ride or something home. He might be completely pissed and not talking to me, but he did not want me to be a danger to myself. I don't know how he stood behind me all through college. He was really my best friend besides Toby. He had an incredibly kind heart. About three weeks after the "Matt incident" Matt's apartment was broken into and his stero and records were all stolen. They had left glass all over the place. Dave came over and said "hey we gotta go help him out clean his place". Now Matt was way pissed at me, and so I was real hesitant to go. David basically told me to suck it up and take the lumps with him. We did, and that's how me and Matt's relationship as friends took root again. It was the beginning of me not being such a selfish immature ass in college, but I still did many stupid things during this time as partying always came first.

Matt lived in the same complex as me and Linda. Robin and Lorrette (I think I called her Lorraine before) also had moved into the place. It was huge, not a straight up and down place with all sorts of court yards or anything. Oh, it was a slum so don't get the wrong impression there, but a way cool slum. So with the windows open we could all correspond with each other when home. This was comforting to have male pressences so near, especially when I got a stalker later on. He would leave us notes calling me the "bad one" and Linda the "good one". They were very creepy (phone messages too). Also Linda got these horrible migraines that sometimes caused her to bang her head against the floor to knock herself out, and I sometimes needed Matt to help me get her to a soft place or do this thing Linda showed us how to do with her neck. We were all very close and having a good time.

I remember later on Matt was like "the only time I hear from you is when you want something". That stung, but I realized he was right. One thing was though, I didn't know how to relate to people, so I always had to find an excuse to stop by. I am not saying a wasn't a selfish little shit then, but there was that other reason. I agreed with Matt, and later on really tried to be there with him as a friend, and to drop by just to say hi, and not try to force conversation or topics. That worked much better, and Matt remained someone very much in my life through college. I disappointed him a lot too. I see that I started to write about this on the previous posting, but got side tracked by explaining the substance thing. Here is why though.

Matt was a manager at the all night gas station near us. He was soon dating Joan who was also a manager of that gas station. Matt got me a job there, and I worked the night shift at first. I found coke and cigarrettes to be really good tools during this time to stay up and make the night go a bit faster. It was probably very lucky for me that I was a thoughtless jerk at that time, it probably saved me from being raped and killed that night. See the night before this "customer" (who looked like Charles Manson) wanted me to let him into my booth. He threatened to smash it when I told him to get lost with his car. It was pretty frightening. I probably called Matt at like 1am and he came over. The next night at about 10 or 11 pm some frat boys I new had stopped to get some gas. They were having a party that night and begging me to go. So, course, I thoughtlessly went, locked the door, but did not set the alarm as I didn't want to tip anyone off that I left. When I returned at 4 am the next morning, I discovered the booth had been completely smashed, and everything was gone including the register!!! Uh, oh. So I called Matt and told him what happened. He was more concerned about me, and came up with a "story" for me regarding vomiting, going home, and coming back. Here I had put his head on the line, and he is concerned about me keeping my job. He was also the first one that said it was probably that guy staking out the place. The policeman thought so too, and said it was good thing I wasn't there. Regardless, I still feel shitty for letting Matt down.

My friends were way better to me than I was to them. My college friends were the closest friends that I have ever had even to this day. It was still many years before I realized how bad I had dropped the friendship ball in college. Like I said, I provided many other opportunities for disappointment. College is not where I learned distrust of people as friends. I realized later on that those friends are not so easily found in the real world.

The corporate world is really what drove this home. After coming home, meeting Robert, getting a job that I loved at Paul Revere, I put myself through business school. I left Paul Revere, even though I loved it, because they wouldn't transfer me from customer service to accounting which is what I was going to school for. When I got a job in public accounting, I started working full time during the day, and going to school full time at night. You study a lot about ethics in college, and I agree with being ethical. However, what they manage not to tell you, is that if you are in a position of any kind of executive management, you are going to become privvy to an awful truth and need to make a choice. Most corporations are in the business of being unethical, dishonest, and lying to improve the bottom line and improve (especially executive) commissions and bonuses. If you are working there doing your "job", and you for instance find out someone is embezzling. That someone is a Vice President and his close friend the President finds this info embarrassing. What then happens is that your life is made hell, and the embezzeller does leave the company. Yeah, he leaves with a letter of recomendation and two years severance pay. So you gotta decide, do you look out for the best interests or your own interests. I could never manage to look out for my own interests, which made me popular with my employees and others who were honest workers. I never came close to fired as I was incredibly good at what I did, and no one else knew how or wanted to know how I did what I did. I was loyal to my corporation, and put in incredibly long hours to make the impossible happen. I got very jaded from the multitude of experiences I discovered however. I did not need to have the experiences that my husband had to know that just about no one was really your friend at work. I should point out that I have a few people that I still keep in touch with.

The end. That's my husband and I when we were youngsters, and most likely while we were "dating". The things I did wrong before, really taught me to be more careful with people I cared about. That was the most important lesson, and our marriage has been enjoying it for 20 years now.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Trust Issues and Making Friends

I am ahead in my other blogs, so I have time to post here. Funny how I was so frustrated at not being able to post here yesterday, as certain projects were not done LOL.

While it would seem that my parents would be responsible for trust issues from childhood, I don't think my trust issues of inability to make close friends comes from there. I am not sure it's even my inability to make friends rather than it's hard to make friends when you are forty, and I did not maintain those old friendships from grammar, junior high, and high school.

The younger school thing seems more routed in how children can do thoughtless things. When I was in grammar school, I was fairly popular. I remember that I was always the champion for the underdog then. There was this girl, Ellen. She brought a pocket book to school every day. She also had a funny short haircut that was not exactly flattering on her. Kids used to tease her mercilessly in the playground, and steal her pocket book. She would end up in tears at the end of recess.

I am not sure why, but I started to come to her defense and chase the other children away. She wasn't really my friend, and I didn't hang out with her beyond that. I was actually pretty shy, so other children had to come up to me to be friends. I don't think Ellen ever talked to me or anything, so it probably just didn't occur to me to extend myself at all (a situation that still occurs in my non business life).

It may have been that before I was going to school, I was teased by a group of boys waiting outside of my baby sitter's house for my mother. They took my barbie doll and ran away with it. Maybe that struck a chord with me for this poor girl. My parents would never help me out with stuff like that, they always told me to take care of it myself. Something that really didn't start to kick in until Junior High.

I was also very good friends with my neighbor Kathy (one year younger) and her sister Mary who lived next door to me. We could talk through the windows to each other, we played in the woods building forts in the stone wall. We actually got in big trouble taking a stone wall apart that was on the side of my house, and had to put it back together. I don't remember what happened, but as soon as I was in Junior High we were mortal enemies. It's a real shame because we did all sorts of cool things together. There was an abandoned tornado cellar in the field behind our house that was our secret fort, walks along the forbidden railroad tracks, and monster sledding on the way steep hill at the end of the field. We would go back there with our notebooks, and make stories, lists or whatever. We used to make up dances to the BGs, Diana Ross and Andy Gibb in their "den room". They were the first to have one of those basic video games as well. I used to go over there and play them all the time. Then there was the pop up camper and play house. At our other neighbor's house on the other side, all sorts of games were played, and we used to jump off the roof of their play house and swing on the tire swing. Alas something happened (probably me by the way) and we were never friendly again.

Junior High a couple of things happened. First, I made best friends with a really unpopular girl called Barbara. She was chubby and smelled like tuna fish sandwiches, but I had a lot of fun with her. She also hit puberty way early by developing and menstruating first (I think). I've never really been about appearances. My popular grade school friends told me her or them. It became her. I was best friends with Sarah too, and that hurt much, but I wouldn't shelve Barbara over an ultimatum. So a large group of friends went bye bye. I sat at their table once with Barbara, and everyone was just silent, so the next day we just started sitting by ourselves.

I went through a really gawky streak in junior high, though if I look at my junior high graduation photo, I was a really cute kid. Also all the clothes my parents got me were not conventionally cool. It's funny to look at pictures with them in now. I had tuff skin jeans from Sears in every color. I never liked them, but my parents would not buy me the more expensive Levis. I never did begrudge them for this, though my mother complains bitterly because later on in life during what I thought was a nice conversation, I told her how I was teased for the flood different colored tuff skins only in explaining what a really difficult time junior high was. She went off on a tangent about this later on when explaining our estrangement. Good lord. A classic case of a parent of this narcissistic nature using something against you totally out of context.

I was little too in addition to being gawky, oddly dressed, and a band geek with undesirable friends. (or friend as it turned out) Oh, did I mention I was completely flat chested too!!! So I became a target of all the girl and boy bullies in school. Sandra, Nancy and Cheryl took quite a bit of pleasure finding me in the girls locker room and beating me up. Or at least pushing me around et. Finally, I got sick of it and Cheryl came after me, only to find I had locked onto her head and fought back. She laughed then, but never bothered or came near me after that. I spotted Sandra in the hallway, she didn't do anything but I walked up to her and punched her in the face. She never bothered me again, and was too "tough" to report me to the principal. She actually grew to respect me and we had a cautious friendship later on, though I would never hang out with her outside school (didn't trust her that much). Nancy was dealt with later on in High School.

A really bad incident happened where I was attacked on the bus by three boys. They wanted to see if I had anything developing. The bus driver did nothing about it as I yelled and cried for help and tried to keep them off me. When I got home, it was obvious I was crying, but I didn't bother to tell anyone, as I had been expected "to take care of things in the past" with bullies myself. To my mother's credit, she did drag it out of me, and promptly reported it to the principal. The boys were all banned from the bus for the rest of the school year. They were not allowed in school for two weeks (suspended). When they came back, they all apologized to me (two sincerely I think). I overheard two of them talking about how angry and disappointed their parents were, although their parents never reached out or apologized. They never bothered me again, and in fact the two again apologized in high school. Later on when I was successful and went out to dinner with my parents, one of these two was our waiter LOL. Talk about karma coming back to bite you in the butt(not that I have anything against waiters, they are hard working, and I held down a waitress dog for approximately two days before realizing I would hurt someone). However, I would never want to wait on someone that I had done that to or that I had a grudge against in some way. It was pretty funny though.

In Junior High I did get in huge trouble. My best friend and I used to get those Mad magazines. All sorts of cool things used to come with the magazine, and there was this record that had different messages or something, and said something like "I am coming to take you away haha hoho". Any way, we made a bunch of prank calls from Barbara's house to my neighbour Kathy. Apparently she knew who it was (and this was before *69), and she became scared and told her parents. Her parents called my parents, and I denied it (and my parents believed me and reamed her parents). Then they called Barbara's parents, and she confessed. Then Barbara's parents called my parents, and I got in huge trouble. Grounded big time, and the worst was I needed to go apologize to not only Kathy but her parents the next day. Then we walked to the bus together. I did feel very bad, and having to face her parents was the worst as they had always been so nice to me.

When you have that stigma about you in Junior High, it pretty much goes with you to High School no matter what. What really sucked about Junior High was that we had two Junior High Schools. So another whole group of grammar school friends I didn't see again until High School. Many of them wouldn't have been friends with the more shallow group that had followed me, and would have been great support during those years. I had started to get those curves. Course, I was not interested in boys that came to High School with me no matter what, and some did approach where I promptly told them to take a long walk off a tall cliff. Self esteem with the boys, and getting involved with the knuckle draggers has never been my problem. In fact, I do credit this early experience with boys with my ability to weed out the riff raff, and have boyfriends that I still think of as good people later on. I had very odd groups of isolated friends in High School. I don't remember why, but I basically broke up with Barbara. Could be the incident that I described above with Kathy. Any way, always been ashamed of myself that I didn't keep both relationships alive (Kathy and Barbara).

One thing junior high did for me was because I didn't worry about what people thought about me, I was unafraid to do whatever I wanted. I joined the field hockey team and had a great time. I became very involved in band, and would do crazy things like initiate whipped cream fights or just be very silly publicly (some called me immature, but I had a good time without drinking, having sex, or doing drugs) which reminds me.... I spotted the other Junior High bully, Nancy in the band room one day. I was determined not to be picked on physically any more, and before she even saw me I was on top of her. The band director, Mr Grimo, had to pull me off of her, and that was the first time that we met. I don't remember getting in trouble for that at all though.

(Good lord this is getting long and time consuming, but I won't feel like continuing it tomorrow so I will just keep going here)

So in High School, I had a very eclectic group of friends. Basically anyone who would talk to me and who was nice was my friend. There was Janet who came from a much worse family situation than me, and had the worse misfortune to be just as unpopular in High School and very developed. I was also friends with her older sister, and they were both involved with drugs. There was Darlene, very pretty girl but disturbed and involved in drugs. Tony, who was a girl, had gender issues before I really understood what those were. She was very funny, but her stories of going to the mall to confuse and kiss girls never made sense to me....until I understood more later. I understand that she did have a gender change later on. There was a large group of born again Christian friends (and remember I have always been agnostic). Julie and Stephanie are the two I remember the most. I always went to their "events" as social functions, and no one ever tried to pressure me to do anything other than hang out. Later on, I totally blew off a wedding invitation that Julie sent me. She got married in CA to a minister, and she was still very involved with all of that. She was a very nice girl, and I totally regret not keeping in touch with her. Stephanie (or now I think it was Lisa and her best friend was Stephanie) has seen me out several times after High School, and always recognizes me and seems to remember me fondly. There was a boy, David, that we hung out with who battled cancer during high school until he lost the fight in my junior year.

I did manage to have Levis during High School by paying for them myself. Or maybe my parents might have made a Christmas present of one pair. My dad had found my first job for me working in a deserted cemetery late at night. (across from the High School by the way where jocks might wander through) I've always wondered if my dad wanted me to be raped and killed or something. Plus I was so scrawny,I was hardly capable of digging a grave. I was game and tried on more than one occasion, but I am sure my employer thought the grave might be done by natural causes first. My next job,my mother used her "antiquing" connections, and I had a very cool job as a runner for an auction house in Shrewsbury. I was strong enough to help hold up most pieces of furniture. I even got to log in the bidding sometimes. I certainly felt a lot more safe. (although at the grave yard I did enjoy scaring my friends my jumping out of graves when they walked through) The job I found myself, close to home, was in the kitchen of a rest home. Have a mentioned I always sucked in the kitchen. Probably not as much as the cook who used to smoke while cooking, and flick her ashes into whatever she was cooking. Socializing and making the patients happy was more my skill, but my lack of skill in the kitchen (being the main job) is what eventually got me fired. Final job in High School and when I came home from college was at Webster Square Cinema. I could ride my bike to and from there. I started working early mornings as the janitor which was surprisingly cool. Then they also wanted to use me at the candy counter and ticket booth. It was easily the most fun job I had before going into the adult grown up jobs category. First of all my new best friend, Carol, worked there with me. We were surrounded by young people, and when everyone was in the cinema and it was quiet we had the best time.

Carol was one grade below me. I honestly don't remember how we made the connection and were friends. I imagine that it must have been that we were both in band. This was before funding was cut for arts or sports in schools, and so the program was well funded and involved. That and we both used to do those jobs during play productions that people that can't make the audition to be in the play do. Everything seemed to be a musical, and while I could play a decent flute, I could not manage to sing to save my life. My husband asked me to belt out a song once just to see how bad it was. He then requested that I never do it again (kidding of course, but seriously I don't come close to singing on key).

Any way, it was basically Carol and I joined at the hip from sophomore to senior year for me. We were involved in all sorts of escapades together. Her house was equipped with cable, so we often had sleep overs where we would watch MTV until late in the night on the weekends. We snuck out to Anna Maria college a lot, and tried to pretend we were college girls and climb into boys windows. I forgot why they were there, but we met two high school boys, that we would later on see again in music camp there. At a school dance, a few Worcester Academy boys had crashed our dance and became our boyfriends. Brendan (the tongue) is still remembered for being an incredible kisser. Carol was way more sexually daring, and liked to call me as she was measuring Matt's, well you know, which I found very disturbing. At a band trip to Toronto, I cut off my long hair with her (shocking everyone) into way cool eighties styles. My hair was down past my bum before we did this on a whim together. We were also on trips to Philadelphia together. At music camp, we used to spy on the soccer team boys. God they were adorable. we had a swimming pool on site, and there was a viewing floor that had all glass towards it. When the boys would see us up there, their trunks always seemed to fall off or something, which was well appreciated by us. Carol, although younger, was more wild than me. She was also way smarter than me, as was her sister (Princeton, Yale, Oxford, need I say more----oh full scholarships by the way) Their father was brilliant and a known professor and author. He was also very weird, and I am not really sure about what him and his wife were all about. They had separate rooms, and didn't seem to hang out together all that much. So we had many adventures together. What eventually broke us up were two things. When we both got into college, our interests were very different, and I had made new friends. Also, she was very into showing pictures of her boyfriends private parts, and I was way into the fact that I wanted nothing to do with that. I would say I am far from a prude, but there is a line where you cross over into too much information. You know what I mean? I do have pictures from my graduation where we are hugging each other with our other friend, Wesley. Looking at that picture, I am sure we all thought we would be friend forever. I did see her later after a bunch of failed trips that we didn't enjoy. I was with my then boyfriend, Robert (ie now husband) and our friend Rich. We saw her at a popular hang out called the firehouse. Ironically, she had become best friends with my Junior High best friend, Barbara. I wonder if it was some kind of support group. I was admittedly a bit full of myself in college having finally fallen into a cool in group, and not a great friend to anyone. So Carol goes, "hey we should all go out together". So I said (in a hugely buzzed state) what I meant to keep in my head out loud!!! I said "yeah maybe.....Not!!!" That was the last time we saw each other, and I was mortified that I said that out loud.

So college....I wish there was a way I could let everyone know, who has been unpopular during previous years, that it normally does get better from this point on. Fresh slate, way more diversity, everyone is starting off anew. My very first day at college, I met two friends Grace and Toby. Grace and my friendship was short lived, but me and Toby remained good friends during my whole three semesters until the end. I had started in college going for music. Performance music to be specific, but I was determined to be able to play with the Boston Symphony or nothing at all. To be honest, a couple years off of finding myself were called for. However, I got pressured. See my parents got divorced in my senior year of high school. I was basically notified of this the day before my mother moved into her new apartment, and I was thrilled. It was a long time coming. I thought even if I have to stay with one, they gotta do better apart than they do together. Any way, the divorce said that my father was only responsible for my college for two years, so his first priority was to minimize it (the college that is). So when I said I needed a break, he was like "up to bad, the divorce says I only need to support your college for two years now or never".

Being so young, needing to get out of that house, but not knowing how to do that on my own, I acquiesced to what I thought my dad's wishes were. In hindsight, I really feel he was just trying to get out of it. In truth, I paid for my college. I didn't even know what he was doing, and he put the loans in my name. He had me deposit the excess in my bank account (for those of you with college kids, not a real good idea). I didn't even know it, and I already had my first loan. I'm not sure I was even told what I was signing. Later on, my mother somehow found out, and tried to influence me to sue my father (mostly over her bitterness that he didn't want to be friends with her after the divorce, because she was having an affair two years prior). I decided not to do it, as not only was it not worth it, but I didn't even try in college. My freedom was well worth the price of that loan, even if it was paid off finally when I was 35. My father is a great one for reneging on his word especially for material things. For instance, both my dad and mom agreed on the divorce settlement that I was to get my bed (an antique). My dad decided he wanted it for himself, so he kept it then sold it for himself. He never intended to keep that word. It would have in fact never occurred to the man I know to do so. He's done this so many times, and I forgave him so many times for things (other than the college) thatI never should have done so. That is why the final insult hurt so much. Any way, this novel is not to discuss that now, just let you know where my head was in college.

All during my pre-college school life, my parents were incredibly controlling. I was often in their site at any out of school time. I think that is why I didn't get involved in alchohol and drugs, and really was ignorant about boys (except the Hite reports my mom would force on me). There I was with my own dorm room all of a sudden. While I wasn't all that far away from home, I was not in easy reach to both of my parents. My mom had moved to PA by this point. Plus it was a clean slate as far as previous knowledge of me. No stigma followed me from Junior High to High School. In fact some other students went to U Lowell, and I was now the cool one. I had zero problem attracting boys. My college advisor (hot college boy named Bob) invited me to my first alcholic party the first day of classes. Where I met more hot boys, and some girlfriends (ie Stephanie) that I later became very close with. The girls left walking for the dorm I(or did the bus pick us up from the North to the south side?), the boys were ALL passed out with loftier goals forgotten.

So this was a whole different game for me, and I am not going to pretend it did great things for my personality. I did get very full of myself. However, it did provide me with humility and confidence later on. U Lowell did one thing right, which was to bring a group of students in their first year through all the same classes. This did a lot to expand my friend base, but as well distracted me completely from the task at hand. Although, for a performance student, performing in front of people has always been a problem for me. Now that I am older and wiser, I can handle it. Corporate world helped that in a big way. The school didn't actually nuture problem areas as much as bring students down who were not excelling. So my new interest combined with a disgust of the professors did not help. I recognized at this early age, that since I was not paying the tuition (and sadly not talking to my dad about this) that they were not interested in me or my development. A problem I found when I was aware that I was putting myself through college later on in business school, because they still thought only parents were paying tuition. Regardless, tuition paying parents were still the biggest demographic to be catered to, certaintly not the students.

Later on, one of my friends, Linda, and I decided to get our own apartment. My father flipped out, and sent me this letter apologizing but saying "you should know how your dad is". He was probably right, but the way he went about trying to "convince" me left me cold, and I was doing it if I had to pay for it myself (was anyway but didn't know it) or not. The dorms that is, were covered by the loan. Dad did in fact pay for the apartment, but I didn't understand that the difference was I had already paid for the dorm. I also got a job at a gas station doing the all night shift.

Hmm, my job and my first college boyfriend, Matt. I have no pictures of college, but I remember that Matt was very cute, but perhaps not in your conventional male model cute way. He was not chubby, as became my preferance later on. He was fit,with curly hair, and he played an awesome classical guitar, although I don't know that he knewI had overheard him practicing. Like all the music majors that I tracked down, Matt has not used his music in his adult life. I thought he was really good, and there was nothing that got me hotter than excellent guitar playing. We flirted at first, and then I think he thought he scored when I agreed to date him. You know the thing was that Matt was a couple years older than me, and ready for a relationship. I had never really had the freedom to explore the relationship thing at all. So I was immature and incredibly cocky. So I appreciated Matt at first solely for the fact that he found me attractive, and we had some really great sleepovers that moved me into some new territory. Ironically, that didn't really hold when I basically forced him to initiate me in my first time. Due probably to the "sexual freedom" and girls should do everything that boys do and the free love mentality that my mom had preached to me, I was way up for the task. My virginity, to me was a hinderance. You can imagine that it might have been a bit uncomfortable for Matt. First of all, by the time it happened, we were kind of broken up. Second of all, that's kind of a lot of pressure to put on someone you don't have a more intimate relationship than a crush fullfilled. Needless to say, it wasn't good but it didn't ruin it for me. I had expected that, and treated it with that much respect. Interestingly enough, me and Matt did try to rekindle our romance during the year and a half, but it became kind of like kissing my brother despite the earlier chemistry. It is one of three friendships that I regret taking into that territory. I regret the hurt that I caused him before that incident that I will explain shortly.

In hindsight, I would have still liked to experiment, but would have put both my and my partners feelings first rather than treat it so cavelerly. I really didn't realize the difference though until I fell in love with my husband. I also had many more lessons to learn in college, and regrets to look back on later. One thing that I have never regretted about my earlier attitude though, is that I have never been curious about what it would be like to be completely wild. Been there, done that. No big deal. The really big deal is being completely in love and intimate with someone. If I had waited for that, it would have been Robert, and then would I have been curious? I don't know. I am for sexual freedom by the way. If one guy and two girls want to live together and call themselves a family, great. I am all for it. Same sex relationships, I have never seen the problem. As long as someone is not being molested or raped or hurt against their will (and I am including statutory rape here), that's really their business. It's not the way I choose to manage my relationship, but that's completely my choice. It's the way I naturally feel. If something else works better for another, why not? Assuming the no hurting thing of course, which means responsible sex as well. Plus all those gymnastics you go through when you are young (on the sink, in the car, on the balcony) are great for novelty. Let's face it though,not all that comfortable.

Probably falling into the category of too much info now LOL. Want to explain a bit where my head (or lack of understanding) was at the time. I was popular with both girls and boys (though not in the same way). I had freedom that I never imagined before. Sororities wanted me. People wanted to be my friend. I could pick and choose, but I was still friends with all alike. It wasn't like in High School, where the quality of your friends was judged by the "cool crowd". College was a diverse and interesting melting pot. Unlike my high school where there was one Jewish family, one Latin family, and one African American family. I hung out with some Iranian friends on the weekends, and talked indepth about the poster of (I can't remember who) on thier wall. I marvelled at the fact that their college car was a lambourgini (spelling I know). No one cared that I wore mostly Goodwill clothes (another place I worked and took some perks). In fact it made me cool and artistic. Plus in my shape then, I could have shown up in a large pillow case. This was something I never experienced before, and it was so exciting.

The first apartment was the party center. It was right accross from the college. I remember the first day of our second semester cracking a beer in the am (hate hate beer now) and then walked accross to my first class in my fuzzy blue pajamas. I was a goddess. During this period of time, I never gained any serious weight. Course the fact that I couldn't drive and had to bike and walk most everywhere (including the grocery store five miles away) certaintly helped. Well that and the coke we all started taking.

Did I mention my first boyfriend, Matt, was a coke dealer. He was a coke dealer on a very small scale. Still that will explain my access to this despite lack of funding. Despite the hurtful things I did to Matt, we were still very close all through college, except for maybe a few weeks (after the hurtful thing). I might as well get into that now. It's not something that I am even close to proud of. Matt's best friend was Dave. I remember that me and Matt were getting sort of bored of each other, and there were games being played (mostly by me). I refused to wear glasses, and a misunderstanding happened one day when Matt waved to me and I didn't acknowledge him. I remember the day, and I couldn't see who it was so I didn't wave. Matt was pissed and the beginning of the end was starting. Matt never cheated on me, and I am quite sure he would have broken up appropriately unlike myself.

Any way, I made a date to go to a party that he knew about with Chris, another flute player. I wasn't actually interested in Chris, and later on managed to hurt his feelings quite a bit. That's because I spotted Dave, who was Matt's best friend and a good friend of mine, and ended up spending most of my time at the party with him. Something sparked between us, and I ended up spending the night at his apartment although we did not do the deed. We thought it was our little secret, not realizing all of our many friends had witnessed this. So that morning Matt heard about it. It was probably Chris that was the first to tell him. Talk about Karma, huh?

David showed up to breakfast at Matt's the next morning. I wasn't there but Dave told me all about it. I amso glad they remained friends from the beginning. So Matt casually says something like "heard there was a good party the other night". David is clueless but wanting to deflect the topic. Matt's like "I heard Robin went with a date the other night. Did you see her there?" Dave is like, yeah I think she went with Chris. Then Matt goes, I heard she left with someone else though. The cat was out of the bag, and we became a couple (me and Dave) shortly thereafter. While this is one of the best pre-marriage relationships I have had, I still wish we had just remained friends. We would probably still be in contact today. When you have a close passionate relationship with someone, it normally ends up that you can't be friends. Especially when you have a young and immature girlfriend who is going to be so thoughtless about your feelings over and over again. We were on and off all through college. David was also a sweety pie. He got the first CD player that I ever saw, and on New Year's eve we had a picnic on his apartment floor and enjoyed a little Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Like Matt, he would save up and bring me out to dinner and cook me an awesome steak (no boyfriend I have ever had has expected that I might cook or clean LOL).

I don't really think about it now or try to count how many times I hurt David. We had a very passionate and close relationship. Another thing we shared though, was a temper. Although David was nothing like my dad, I think it brought up an unfortunate comparison and control issues that were not really there. I, however, had not learned to control my temper, and to have someone equally as volatile as me was not good. I recognized that. David had a lot of cause to be frustrated with me. The thing was, I was not mature enough to handle it. I also had the misconception that he would want lots of kids. So in the end, I never wanted to make any commitment to David no matter how hot and heavy we were running. I am sure this was very confusing for him. I want to get into the intro to coke first though. Be assured, I have never done it since my time at Lowell. I mean I would have had to 1) pay for it and 2) trust the source. I trusted Matt, I would never trust a stranger with that.

The reason for getting into this, is I don't want anyone to ever underestimate how this can effect relationships. The liquor is bad enough. I was horribly shy, and let me tell you that was the first step to any shyness being a problem. We used to get together at my friends Adam, Libby and Peter's apartment. Robin and Lorraine, (Libby's girlfriend) their next door neighbors would be over. Also Linda's old high school friends (and our neighbors) Chris (Scott's brother & not flute Chris), Scott (Chris's brother), and their roommate, Keith, would come over. We played poker or quarters many times at these gatherings. David would either by our drinks for that night, or we would go half and half for the white russian mixings or the Captain and Coca Cola would be provided (usually by Matt and his roommate John). This night, we were playing poker and the boys were enjoying some coke. Linda, surprising enough (normally very straight), was the first to ask for a try. The boys were like "no way, you don't need this". I think Matt later gave in, probably because he was pissed and me and thought "you aren't my problem to watch out for anymore". David was against it, but I wore him down somehow. I think he thought we would try it,hate it,and that would be it. Unlike pot though, I loved coke. Talk about getting rid of your shyness, and made you feel a lot more energetic as well. Linda stuck with it while I was there at college too. Turns out, it was a pretty good weight loss mechanism (like I needed that). It's pretty dangerous as well both physically and as far as good judgement happens. I probably won't go into all of that. This posting is way long enough as it is. Rest assured, there were more bad decisions than I am about to post about.

Now it's six pm, and I think I will have to continue the final chapters tomorrow.

Typepad vs Blogger

1) Like that on typepad I can post future posts, and they don't post until the date thats assigned to them. No matter what date you assign on blogger, it's posted and seen right away.

2) I don't like typepads management view for seeing "viewers" because if you cross reference that with a properly configured sitemeter widget, you will see that the info is not acurrate. Which reminds me, I figured out why I thought no one was referencing my other typepad blog, the sitemeter widget was not configed properly . I loaded it too many times, then deleted the ones that were configured correctly, leaving on the uncorrectly configured sitemeter.

3) I like bloggers spell checker better.

4) I like typepad's image loader better.

5) Widgets are easier to find on typepad and easier to load.

6) Blogger is free.

7) You can get a boatload of space on typead for 150.00 a year, plus easy to do as many blogs as you like, and friendly and geared towards business.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Years Resolutions/Other Blogs Listed Below

And, just so you know, no that is not me but a yahoo image that I found. I am sure this has been photo shopped . Talking about loosing weight, so there is my chubby girl photo. Baby's got back, and while I don't have that back, I do have more "back" than I would like.

Due to my priorities this year, and my new year's resolutions, I may not be posting to this blog on a daily basis any way. I will therefore post links to my other blogs, in case anyone is interested, and as I have been in contact with some really cool people on this blog. Interesting thing is though, my other blogs (and I am not saying I've been good at keeping them updated) have received almost no attention. Now this could be for several reasons 1) lack of updating 2) blogger might have exceeded tools that I have on type pad 3) I may not understand blogger promotion and tools yet 4) nobody may be interested in happy news and 5) I haven't dug deep enough into my "happy" self to make it interesting. Any way, I would like my other blogs (especially my business blog) to receive at least as much attention. So in order to do that, I need to start making that my priority, and update this blog only after certain other tasks have been done.

So here are my New Year's resolutions by prioirity:

1) Business promotion (including website and blog, as well as outside marketing).
2) Business contracts and pricing updated. Includes liability and insurance updating.
3) Loose weight and get healthy (put this third as my business needs to continue being a support of the family). But perhaps should be one or parrell to 1-3 above.
4) Training Jackie for obedience trials next year. Stop procrastinating on this and develop actual plan.
5) Schedule days so that things to get behind, and make me stressed out when a flood of work comes in or the unexpected and can not be planned for happen.
6) No matter how tempting, do not visit, my estranged mother's blog!!!

LOL, darn this blog service let's you see that I have cheated by posting tomorrow's blog today. On typepad, it hides this fact for you.

My other blogs: Although I have not posted here since October 8th, this is the priority along with my dogs web logs. This is my business blog, and unfortunately takes some plan (or should now) take some planning to post to categorize. Tips and articles for dog owners and novice trainers. On this weblog, starting tomorrow, you will be able to follow my actual progress bringing a dog to competition level. Not that I have done this yet LOL. And Jack is "special" in that he has a fair collection of "issues" to be dealt with. In fact, he wasn't going to be my dog at all, he was a foster that I wanted to train during a "slow" period when I first moved here. An adopter was not found in six months, and I had gotten attached to the funny bunny. We call him Wacky Jacky or Jacky Jingle Joy. He's extremely hyper, has a real fear of humans, and deals with that by trying to bolt. Not exactly what you would pick to do obedience competition. But my pick for this "Leon" is injured, and I don't want four dogs, so Jack it is. Plus, he should be a real good challenge. If I could bring Jack through competition, I should be able to bring just about any stable dog through competition. Plus he loves the attention. This will be posted every day. Although, this is called a "training" blog, my dog Leon has suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury (ACL) and right now his progress is being tracked to be sure we are following the treatment that makes sense. We are hoping to avoid a TPLO surgery, but I won't allow Leon to be lame for the rest of his life. It seems we are making progress without the surgery, but this blog right now is tracking whether that really is correct or not. My next priority is my Jazzabelle's blog. She is 14 years old, and while I hope it's not so, we probably only have so much time left with her. She's left senior and gone onto geriatric. She is in better shape than most dogs her age, and can still make the boys run for the hills. I want to be sure to capture all I can of her activities for my future enjoyment and reminiscing. She is our only girl and our very first dog. Anyone who has a senior dog, or wants to prepare will want to follow along. I try to write this blog as if (or maybe she is) Boo (aka Jazz) is actually writing it herself. I don't know that this will be updated every day either, but it is an important blog to me because it compiles many cherished days and memories.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Okay, I want to post fun stuff today, but this is not my fun blog . Actually this subject matter isn't too depressing, I just need to give thought to some family members who I do not want to take any more space in my brain than they already have. In fact zero, time, effort, and space for three people would be just fine with me. Alas, that doesn't really work:( It just gets improved, you past and the people in it tend to stay with you forever and ever in some way. Whether you want them to or not.

1. Grandma Italian Side. She gave me her stubbornness. This actually worked out very well for me in education, the business world, and changing my career now. If I wasn't the type to dig my heels in and go forward period, I wouldn't have been able to make the accomplishments that I did.

She also gave me her OCD. LOL just kidding, but I do have this obsessive need to have everything in it's place. The husband, he is opposite of me. For instances dishes and dish sets, I like to be able to find like with like. Robert likes to just put whatever dishes came out of the dishwasher in one cabinet (same with laundry, food, tools), you get the picture. Now I view this as a necessary skill, as I can find most of my stuff. Robert is forever loosing stuff, so you would think that a system of putting it in a certain place each and every time would make sense to him. Sigh.

I did not acquire the cooking gene from my grandmother. And while I am pretty good at cleaning these days, my grandmother was amazing, and I never did quite acquire her knack for it. Course she did have a mother they called "The General" who would inspect her adult daughters homes LOL. My Great Grandmother was nothing but doting to me. She passed when I was 9.

A real sense of what it was when someone loved you, even if they did make you crazy LOL. My grandmother was one of the few people in my family to love unconditionally.

2. Grandfather Italian side. It's different than mine, but he gave me a love for animals. We used to watch National Geographic and Omaha's Wild Kingdom together. Grandfather would also hunt and kill for food, so that's not like me. Not that I mind that, I just can't do it myself. I prefer to think my meat grows on a tree in cellophane packages which are harvested and brought to the supermarket. My Grandfather did have a definite love of animals non the less. He was always making ingenious things to feed the squirrels and birds in the back yard. He was an engineer, so they were often quite involved. I did not get the engineering from him, or the handy/carpenter skill from him. He was excellent at both.

3. My father, that same stubbornness. My "temper" when I was younger. Unfortunately I took some of his reactions to anger with me, but I have learned to manage them well with maturity. An understanding of what I did not want in a life partner, and a real life demo of what that was. My rebelling was definitely a reaction to my father's controlling ways, and I think drove me forward in life after moving out. Never wanting to move back in is quite a little motivator.
4. My step monster. Nothing, other than a real knowledge of how to definately not treat people. Pretty sure I had that before knowing her though. An unfortunate knowledge that there are people out there that feel it's their right to be mean and vindictive. That do not seek to hide that fact in private, while they put on a different face in public. She did make me see what a shell of a being my father is. That there is no feeling or integrity in him. To allow her to abuse me, was to in fact abuse me himself. To make excuses for it, was unforgivable, and I forgave him when I was younger. I forgive or excuse him no more. I guess my step mother speeded that whole process up for me.
Love, love of horror movies. The one thing we ever bonded over was watching Godzilla movies together, and an occaisional Friday the 13th (not my favorite horror series). Later on, I used this and tv in general to escape a lot from my family situation. Even now, in times of stress, I revert back to that. Trying to at least change that by exercising when the need arises for me to immerse myself in movies or my programs (going back and watching Nip/Tuck season that I never saw before now).

5. My mother. I like to write. I will not say I am especially good at writing, nor do I think my mother is. But I like to do it, and it's a great means for me to get "stuff" out. My ability not to want to let go, and fix things immediately when I am pissed. I am better at letting go now, but clearly need some work to still do on that.
Ironically, there was a piece of advice she gave me when I was very young that has stuck with me. To not let life sweep you away, but to make decisions and events happen on your own. I think she said something like "everyone needs to make a decision is some higher power controlling your life, or are you controlling your life". Yes, there are things beyond our control but our reactions and dealings with those things are ours alone. Ironically, it appears my mother does not think that way anymore. Life just swept her away, and her reactions are under the control of a higher power alone.

6. My Swedish Grandparents. Nothing directly from them, other than an understanding of what not to be. They were both alcoholics, abusive, and I don't know if it was a sickness or just a horribly developed personality, but neither were nice people. However, I did correspond with some relatives across the pond, that I don't know, but who do keep up our family tree. They let me know that my Great Grandfather founded a library and was a musician. I might have gotten my limited musical talent from there!!! My uncle R also has some musical talent that he has used all his life. The fondness for reading might also have been passed down through there.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Years

Okay, my New Years resolutions have not gone so well in the past. In fact, it has seemed that if I want to completely not only not do something, but fail at it, I should be sure to make a New Year's resolution about it. My resolution this year is to make and keep my New Year's resolutions . Probably managing my medication well will help in that vein. Another person's resolutions for 2007. Another person's resolutions as their goals for 2007.!CD6D31BE7405C6EF!2103.entry Analysis of a person's progress and journey in 2006.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas/Patience as Another Tool for Success

One area that I have had an extra amount of patience is dog training. Thing is, you just aren't going to be successful without it. It takes time and work, and there is no short cut around that. Also, illness and injury will hamper you, and there is no getting around that either. Time and understanding (ie patience) are things that are crucial to the career that I have chosen.

Not so in my previous career in accounting management, as you can put in all sorts of crazy hours and speed things up. A dog is only going to be able to take so much a day, whether they are a high drive working dog or not. At some point, you need to recognize when the progress has stopped, or you are impeding progress by burning out your dog. Also if you are burned out as the trainer, you are not helping anyone. Same thing with the owner, a burned out and frustrated owner is going to fail in bringing their dog along. Other factors go into it too like age, drive, behavioral problems, individualism, motivation, effective reinforcements, and health.

So with my dog Leon, his whole training program has just needed to be put on hold to see what he realistically needs physically. He has a fairly nasty knee injury. So my point is, in this one aspect of my life, I have understood the need for patience. I am not always perfect at it for sure, but it's just something that naturally comes to me in this one instance.

In every other part of my life, I want results right now. I want to be able to work 24 hours, and magically everything is done for the next two months. Whether it's weight, my health, cleaning, bill paying (I am actually on top of that more than most, especially with my previous career and technology), finances, and investing. I have no patience for these things. Combine that with the fact that I have a hard time sticking to a schedule.

It's important to stick to a schedule by the way, so when something happens, you have some leeway if you ended it. Like I didn't do a couple things yesterday, and today (of course) Leon has a stomach bug or something. He's actually throwing up right now. So I need to be in the moment today, ready to put everything down to take care of him. Which I am happy to do, but because I don't use patience and I indulge procrastination of myself, it puts me more behind on a day I have been (previously) holding for my procrastinated projects. First priority is always to take care of living beings in my care (husband and animals LOL). Poor Leon really is feeling not well today, undoubtedly will have to break out the pink stuff. That's always a battle.

So like today I was going to wake up at 6am and get a whole bunch of stuff done. But as life would have it, I was up all night with Leon bringing him back and forth to outside and cleaning up some throw up inside all night long. Thanks to hubby, I did manage to get some sleep between 9 and 12 this morning.

I also need to be patient with myself, because if I swing wildly one way, I will completely undermine myself. Going to try to do some trial runs before the next year starting......let's see when I can procrastinate this too LOL!!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve Day

Haven't decided completely just what to write today. I have some ideas, but I don't know that I want to waste them on this day. I am just trying to be disciplined at this point and write every day. Not even necessarily for this blog, but so I will carry tat discipline into other parts of my life that are becoming are should have always been very important.

I am an all or nothing person. I swing wildly one way or the other, and in the process either get a lot done and burn out or procrastinate ridiculously. It's one of those New Year's resolutions. I don't think I have ever effectively kept a News Year's resolution.

It's like this morning. I have spend much time lying in bed, debating with myself, be a lazy bones here next to my dogs and not write because it's "Christmas Eve" (I mean every day could be a lazy get nothing done day to me) or continue on with the discipline I have given myself. You know my first argument was that the world is not going to end if I don't write. And that's true, but I am just still here in my comfortable bed near my warm dogs writing instead of not writing. How hard is that for God's sake? In the event I actually get so busy and there are money making or save the world kind of things to do, I can let my guard down.

That's just it though, if I don't watch out at some point it will become ridiculous. I am way addictive or OCD about things LOL. But is that going to be so bad if I can get to an exercise regime, business regime, and house cleaning regime that runs.

I mean, I spent like ten hours yesterday organizing and cleaning. I am much better to sticking to a week or two week schedule for tackling the house, but I know darn well if I just had a schedule with an hour each day doing it (or two) it would be way easier on me. I mean yesterday's cleaning just would not end. That's because I wait and wait, and then I have to tackle every aspect of it at once. For instance, I got the master bedroom done yesterday for that ten hours. But that started with grooming the dogs, because let's face it, all that loose hair is just going to build up in a couple of hours if you don't. You might as well do their nails too because if you wait until it's clean, no matter how careful you are, those flying nail chips just get everywhere. So that takes an hour to an hour and a half to do all three. I should just pick a beginning point each week.

So then I usually dust (a step my husband would just ignore) but the whole closet situation has been getting to me. I decide to move and reorganize my husband's closet, so he can take care of his, and I can just close the door and ignore it if I want. Mind set is that this will in fact save me time in the future if I don't want to deal. That of course ends up taking about five hours, and also ends up involving other closets, purging, and size organization. A project of just doing this one day would have made yesterday much more endless.

So I guess what I am saying, is that I need to get more disciplined in every aspect of my life. Instead of letting "have tos" dictate and get me stressed, I need to help myself out. Especially in my getting fit and business life. So this blog, while also being therapeutic for me, also ends up helping in those aspects of my life.

I had a legacy thing that I was going to write today, but I found it a little sad to deal with on Christmas Eve. Hopefully I remember this topic for when these happy holiday days pass. So that's the break I am giving myself this Christmas Eve. Not a bad compromise. Now for the other disaster area of the house today. The family room. Yuck!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dream Last Night

I wrote about this dream I had last night in my happy blog. Until I got to the last sentence and a detail I almost omitted, I didn't see any significance to this dream. That is other than my young tenant just went into service for the next few months.

In the dream, I am getting ready to go on a military plane by packing at home, as if it's no big deal. I remember saying by to my dogs and husband and being picked up. (most of the dream is forgotten this morning). So I get to the plane, and find I have packed two knap sacks instead of one. (here's the detail I almost omitted) They are locked together with your typical locker lock, so I can't simply toss this excess baggage aside.

Hmmmm, excess baggage that I can't seem to get rid of. What could that be. I don't put a lot of stock in dreams, but I do find them interesting. Especially to log if you can remember them. I have had plenty fo bizarre dreams that were never logged. However, I did have two dreams earlier about my father that is very telling.

13 Thirteen Good News Stories and Blog Search Not only an excellent self healing story, but a blog to revisit with good news of or own:) Firefighters given animal rescue gear. As a dog trainer, I imagine certain gear is key in rescuing a pained or frightened animal from such a situation!! Dog alerts family and is recognized. Two girls found safe after snatched with grocery cart. Two kids leave home before mom gets up and go out on an adventure. Found safe thank goodness. The benefit of dogs is most can not operate door knobs, or we'd all be in big trouble. Leon's close though. Car and Christmas gifts stolen and then all recovered:) Family who received help after they immigrated here, now help others in better times. Santas helpers provide bikes for deserving children. Older brother saves younger brother from drowning. 80 year old man's job has been lost and found for families in large festivals. Soldier reunited with family to spend holiday with. Homeless tean meets with prince, and looks forward to media career. These homeless people are getting food, shelter, shower, and the pampering that they deserve.

Friday, December 22, 2006

What is Wrong With People Blog Search (Thirteen) 11 adopted children kept in chicken wire cages. Now, I kid people that the difference between having dogs and children is that it is legal to crate dogs. Who would have thought there were actually people out there doing this? I dunno, I am a product of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Perhaps I am too liberal or too well versed in the "free love" generation. Am I the only one who thinks same sex couples are no big deal? This is a children's book. You don't HAVE to buy it. It's just banned from "school" shelves so I guess it's nothing to have a cow over or anything. The reality is that this is some children's living situation, so it might be nice if there were children's books about it. Also kids friends might have that living situation. It's just people loving people. I do think there are worse things to be worrying about. Course I don't have kids, and am not finding myself in an awkard question moment. Evidence against alleged criminal lodged in head. Alleged criminal fights removal of bullet. Interesting predicament involving ones right to refuse medical treatment. Wow, imagine this was your kid that did this and came forward. What were these college kids possibly thinking? And from the article, I am not sure they as much "came forward" as were identified. Father not allowed to sign for his daughters. Oh yes, I was wondering what had happened to this case. He took off once, and I for one and glad he has been denied bail. Basically a Scott Peterson like case. These (alleged wife/child murderer) guys are the scariest as they get along in regular society for so long. Santa tried to kidnap someone's 8 year old daughter. The dad chased down "Santa's" motorcycle. This has to be every parent's worst nightmare come true. I am glad for the happy ending in this case. Remember Elizabeth Smart. She was kidnapped in 2002, but someone spotted the "homeless" man who had taken her. She was returned, and now the kidnapper has just been declared unfit to stand trial. Violent crime higher in 2005 and 2006. Yeah funding cuts have NOTHING to do with this. Course not. Getting old just sucks. This poor guy just wants to take care of his wife, but (probably due to his age) is unable to care for her properly himself. He abducted her from a nursing home. In danger of being sentenced for life. I have heard that things like cough syrup and nyquil can cause toddlers and infants deaths. Course, the public has often been wrong when faced with a teary eyed mother. And just when I thought I couldn't find 13 today. Here we go, downloading child pornography.
***How disturbed am I that it's just this easy to find really horrible crime stories out there on what people do to people. That's why it's always a relief to find there are good people in the world. Those good deeds always go unreported. Perhaps a harder search to do for the Christmas Season is in store for me.

Thirteen Tips for Your New Dog

A fair amount of dog lovers find this blog:) You know, they do say children from abusive situations tend to love animals more. I have to say, since my first word was "kitty", I just think no matter what happened in my child hood, I was destined to be an animal person in one form of another. I always thought that meant being a vet, and I was just a distaster in biology. Anyway, I love this blog with lists. She has also gotten her first dog.
By the way, that's one of my loves at Doberman Rescue. He actually went on to a new home years ago. His name is Jordan, and he's a bit nutty (My Jack reminds me of him a bit). I know they were having a hard time with him (in his new home), but I hope everything turned out okay for the lug.

1. No matter how small your dog, always train them to go outside (ie skip the pee pad thing).

2. Find a vet you trust as soon as possible. You want them to be able to handle beyond the vaccinations. You want a vet that can spot a problem before it endangers your dogs life. If you don't feel comfortable with your vet, switch.

3. Do some research on the common illnesses or structural problems of your breed and what to watch out for.

4. Don't go crazy about it, but do some research on nutrition in dogs or consult your vet. You want something convenient, nutritious, and that the dog likes.

5. Never ever feed table scraps, especially from the table. If you want to give an occaisional treat, take the food away from your place of eating. Have your dog do something for the treat (it does not need to be elaborate).

6. Do not enable your dog to continue nervous or obnoxious habits. Time and again, I find these morph into life threatening behaviors (for the dogs because the owners don't know what to do later on). Take care of them at the get go by doing things like not getting them when they are insisting on that walk or food until they quiet down.

7. Make sure your dog is quiet and behaviored before, after, and during his feeding time. Normally you make them sit or down (quietly) first until YOU release them to approach their food.

8. If this is a first dog and you have never trained, find a good dog trainer near you. It will help you immensely in the long run. Make sure you see this trainer at work before selecting them, and that they can do something with their dog and clients dogs. Make sure also that answers to questions seem knowledgable and have a logical reasoning to them.

9. Everything in the house is YOURS, the human owners. Most people don't realize the kind of issues this mind set can avoid. Any sign of aggressive behavior, and priviledges (your things that you share) should be taken away, also finding a good trainer if you haven't dealt with this is important.

10. Socialize, socialize, socialize. This is a little more than bringing your dog to a dog park. In fact, sometimes dog parks can be dangerous to go to, because that's where people with the untrained unmannered dogs mostly go. Also disease abounds in some unregulated dog parks. Better to find a play group of your own. Also bringing your dog (controlled) into pet stores like Petco or PetSmart. And if you are lucky like me, down to the beach. Socialization means getting your dog used to being around strange people and dogs like it's no big deal.

11. Your responsibility to your dog is to keep them safe, especially if you want a trained well mannered dog. If they can't trust the situation you are putting them in, it's unfair to think they are going to obey a command unquestioningly.

12. Related to 11, have a game or safety plan for certain situations. This can actually get you through a confront with a strange aggressive dog. Think of things you could use to put between you/your dog and the aggressive dog, or even things you could hop on top of. Carrying an airhorn or spray isn't a bad idea either. And many dogs are just fakers (it takes a little exposure to know) and you can walk confidently towards them and yell, and they may back off.

13. Exercise and fun. All those were serious, but it's important for a dog to exercise their muscles and brains every day. Most dogs are easily amused (Leon likes to chase my toes under the blanket as a game), so it's normally pretty easy even if you aren't feeling your best.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Importance of Being Remembered

As you get older, you get more acquainted with the death of loved ones or even just acquaintances. One of course hurts more, but I find I get sad for people I hardly even know. Steve Irwin's death, who I don't know, I found very tragic. John Candy, I looooovvvved his movies, and it was pretty depressing when he died. I don't even know these people, and I feel sad for their family, their friends, for their lives that seem unfinished.

Then of course there are the people I know who have died. It's funny though, before they died they weren't so concerned with how they were remembered, as the living people I know are. Living people seem to be concerned with what they have before they die, what their reputation is, how many people they've let know of their good deeds, et et. I remember being at the funeral of a wealthy and successful business man. His immediate family listed all his good deeds. They and I were the only ones there. Basically, if you weren't in his will, you weren't there (well except for me, I was there to support my step, as any evil step daughter plotting the demise of ones marriage would be LOL).

Not that that would bother me before I went (if I didn't have high attendance). No doubt he was old enough that his friends may have passed on or been unable to attend. There were certain other family members not in attendance. It made me think, in the end what is being remembered? Why should that be one's life goal? I mean your gone later.

Einstein is remembered. But is HE really remembered? (I mean who he really was, he wasn't just an inventor. Our occupation isn't always the sum total of our identity.) Perhaps certain personal stories have been passed down through his family. People go so far as to have children for the primary reason of being remembered and for passing on their "legacy". I have been told that I am selfish for not having children for that reason. I mean not lately. I could have children, but that ship has largely sailed for me. Plus, I never wanted to inadvertently hurt a child the way I had been hurt. Realistically, I would have probably done alright. Also, these people who think it would be great for you to have children, I don't know that they realize kids can die before you, they could not talk to you, or they could be very sick and die young. Morbid I know, but not having a real hunger to have children, those all seemed such risks to take. I never felt I was being selfish by not subjecting children to those risks for my "remembrance" in later years. Or at my funeral, when I am old and grey (I do have excellent genes for longevity).

As far as being known for things, it strikes me again and again that is not something worth clinging to later on. I mean, yeah I don't want to be in some lonely room somewhere. My grandmother, however, was not put in the most modern nursing home. I have to say, she seemed pretty happy. It was clean, there were people with her most of the time, and activities were provided that she enjoyed participating in. She actually had a "gang" of women that she hung out with around the elevator (that is if you could find her, and she wasn't on a trip). I don't know that the richer gentleman that I am talking about was any happier than her. All sorts of relatives and friends (even ones her age) found a way to be there with her. She could have had more, but having grown up in the depression she was rather frugal. Unfortunately, she did used to tell my dad all the time that he was had to take care of her in old age. I am sure she never knew how much that hurt him. If she had, she would have apologized. She said a whole lot of ill advised things to her kids and grand kids. As far as I know, I was the only one who ever confronted her (right before my wedding). She apologized right away, and said she loved me. Just like that, no further discussion necessary.

My grandmother really loved us all, and no she wasn't perfect. She didn't talk to her youngest (of nine) sister for many years until she found out she was dying. All over their mother's (my great grandmother's) estate. Not only are things not anything to fight over, but we are talking about people who could not afford much that was nice. Maybe that was the problem, or there was some kind of sentiment involved. Any way, I am pretty sure my great grandmother would have been horrified to know what happened. I never talked to her about it, I just "heard" about it.

I remember there was one story my grandmother used to say about her mother-in-law. She wasn't proud of her in this instance, quite the opposite. I never knew this great grandmother, but this story makes me proud of her. During the depression my family bought land or tenements. Well maybe they bought them before the depression hit. Anyway, these were either lived in by family members or rented out during the depression. Rather than evict anyone who couldn't pay, my Great Grandmother just let them live there. Eventually they lost certain properties because my Great Grandmother wouldn't kick them out. My Grandmother thought this was awful because they would have eventually been rich with the money later on when they sold the places. I thought it was a great story, because my Great Grandmother put people before material items, even though they were not her family.

Any way, it's still the small things that my grandmother did as well as her flaws that I remember her for. Her flaws make me giggle and appreciate her more, and how much she truly did love us. For instance, she used criticism constantly to say "I love you". I think it was because she wanted to get discussion rolling, and didn't know what to say. She also didn't know how to say "I am concerned for your health" instead on greeting certain members of the family the first thing out of her mouth would be "you aren't loosing weight" followed quickly by "you never call or visit me". How this used to annoy me (I was always the skinny one so I didn't get the first message) until I figured out the code. "I love you and I miss you." There was always the guilt trip starting as far back as I knew her "Well....I don't know if I will be around next year". She lived until 91, and had been saying that phrase from her sixties on. It's funny now, and especially because I know she didn't say it with any malice.

These attributes really twisted themselves more to the negative in her three children though. They are all weird, controlling, possessive, about money. I will never forget Christmas morning (with Grandma there mind you) them tagging and arguing (they pretended playfully) over the spoils when she died. One of them would rather give grandpa's tools to Goodwill rather than have his grandsons have them. I never did figure that out. They went so far as to chase people away from dining room chairs that people helping them would sit at for a rest after the estate was closing because that is where "they always sat".

Grandma may have been frugal, and she might have been a bit funny about money. However, if you said, you have the choice to make your loved one happy for the rest of their life or money, she would have picked the first. I know she would have. Her kids though, I think they would take money, success, fame first no matter who got hurt.

Then in me, it seems to have morphed into the opposite. There were plenty of times I could have taken easy street and profited well. I let my ethics and morals stand in the way most times. I'm not necessarily proud of that. Sometimes I think I could have made it easier on my family, and my family certainly would have thought it was something to be proud of (the result that is). Course, besides my husband, I think you might get the picture (and my departed grandmother and grandfather and my husband's side), I don't really hold much value in what certain blood relatives value and especially what they might value in me.

I don't care that I am not remembered frankly. In fact, I don't want to be rotting in some graveyard with some silly stone above my grave when I go. I just want to know what I have done, even if they are small accomplishments. Like the fact that a girl Springer Spaniel is now living happily with her family, when there was every concern that her misbehavior was going to end in euthanasia. That dog will be dead long before me. Her owners probably will to. While that won't be remembered by anyone but us, I think it's worthwhile. It's not saving the world, splitting the atom, becoming a millionaire or billionaire (not that I wouldn't adore a winning power ball ticket), but it makes me happy. If people don't remember that, so what? If I don't have kids to give some speech at my funeral, so what? Why do people concern themselves with these things?

What brought this up? Well, I think the other day we were saying "Mrs. Grace" isn't with us. But yes she is, and not just because we remember. There are people dead or close to death that she helped. She was a patient advocate for people who were sick. She made dealing with their doctor much easier on them by taking some of that initiative when they weren't feeling well. She used to read what I consider "boring medical" books, but I didn't realize until the other day that she probably used some of this information in her work. She had done this long before she herself got sick. Some day all those people, and the people's families that she helped are going to be dead. Does that make it less valuable? I don't think so, in fact it makes it more valuable. She never crowed about her accomplishments. She just quietly did it.

Also, even though they are going to be long gone someday, she truly loved having children. She just loved them. There was no ulterior motive to her having children, which is quite surprising considering her arranged marriage to a man that was not a nice man at all. In small ways, Mrs Grace goes on, although it may never be "her" per say that is remembered. Her good deeds have improved some one's life even if it was the short term. I would rather "not" be remembered for something like that, than be remembered for all the stuff or accolades that I did have.

Then their are the parents who want their kids to be their beacon not by being good people, but by their accomplishments. Marrying "well" (ie wealthy), picking the right carreer (ie something they can brag about materially or will allow them to travel on kids coattails), having grandkids for them. You should have seen the look my step monster gave me when I broke the news that I just was not having kids to my father. I felt like I had just said "I am having the devil's spawn".

And I thought I couldn't think of anything depressing to write today. Hah!! I have woken up in a good mood this morning, and don't know where I pulled this out of.