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Category: simplicity

12/12/05 07:03 - 15ºF - ID#35836

Life should not be so complicated

The sunset was absolutely fucking amazing. Gorgeous swirls of orange, pink, purple and turquoise.

The days last light enhanced the reflection of Toronto. A pale pink glimmered off the buildings.

As the sky turned dark, the lights along the skyline twinkled.

No camera to capture this perfection.

I have been XC skiing approximately an hour a day. The trails I take overlook lake Ontario. The time I go allows me to catch the sunset. I quickly build warmth which sustains through my chilly adventure. I am lost in my thoughts while appreciating the sight, smell and sounds of nature in Youngstown. No one else is around, just the waves crashing to the shore.

When my mind is squirreling with thoughts, I write.
When I go through my "insomnia manic" phase, I write.

When both occur at once, I write. A LOT.

Because I don't talk to anyone. But I am learning..
(fondly thinking of a short conversation from earlier today...)

(I just finished a 2,000 word entry.-debating on posting it, not sure yet, which is about a dream- The relationship entry was 3,000)

Thanks for reading, listening (?) e-strip...

So, (e:paul), how can I help ya out with that thesis? :)

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Permalink: Life_should_not_be_so_complicated.html
Words: 200
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: reflection

12/11/05 04:14 - 30ºF - ID#35835

relationships, gender,my love of e-strip

I love [search]typeHere[/search] Let me count the ways..

I am impressed with the degree of passion for a variety of topics that are written about on this site. Particularly so in the very personal topics of politics, gender and relationships where intensity, assertiveness, determination and on some level, desperation that surrounds it is evident and refreshing. I love that people have thoughts and express them, no matter how the thoughts may be perceived. Hell, this is a journal, a dedicated spot to share ones thoughts. The reader doesn't have to like it. It would be shameful for people to edit their content, length or authenticity to suit the reader. So while things certainly get heated around here, it is that sparring and the passion that backs it that I can appreciate.

I thought I had missed some postings by my fellow e-strippers. I checked out the links from (e:Jason) [inlink]jason,292[/inlink]and (e:ladycroft) [inlink]ladycroft,138[/inlink]and the subsequent comments pertaining to the ubiquitous topic of gender and relationships. So while I cleaned my apartment, I thought about some of what I read. This post touched upon only some of it, although it is lengthy:

People are generally looking for the same thing. To be noticed, to be respected and to get laid. Not an exhaustive list and not necessarily in that order, eh?

Read on, kind e-strippers. I write as I think. Thoughts and questions that cross my mind and are not directed at anyone:

How do you want to be treated?

And then how do you go about getting that?

I don't think people willingly ask to be treated like some sub standard amusement, so why allow it?

You aren't getting a particular individuals attention, so you are ok with alternating your behavior to get noticed? You really want someone to notice the un-you? Then when the real you surfaces (and it will because you can't change your core-being) you can't figure out why you or they are miserable..

If you are a nice person continue to be nice. if you are a bitch/dick head, continue on.. its who you are.

You are skeptical, hesitant and distant to the possibilities because you are basing it all on statistics, what your friends have told you, your past experiences and what you see in the media (and on Chippewa, hehe).

You don't know what to say, what to do or how to act to 'attract' the attention of an individual, and you wonder why no one is noticing? What is there to notice? A confused, passive, closed off, watered down version of the individual that you really are (when no one is looking..) Not so attractive!!!

hmmm, lets see: Girls making themselves "attractive" to guys. Nothing new there. Look at the magazines, shows and all the products. Guys making themselves "attractive" to girls. Yep it happens and is becoming more apparent. If there is a buyer, you know there is a seller. And just as there are guys who dig the made up chicks, there are girls that are all for the equal effort. Ok, not a big deal. Let them hook up with each other. k, easy enough.

If you don't dig it so much, please don't change yourself just so you get the attention of those people. It perpetuates your state of misery and discontent, not to mention disregard for your self esteem.

From the aesthetic point of view, I like a guy to look good. I like when they are groomed, smell good and have some style. I also like them the same when they are unshaven, are wearing week old jeans, wild hair and have some b.o. (not the dirty kind, but the natural guy scent). Ok, there was a time that I used to really dislike body hair, but that has totally changed; which is great. I love how soap scent lingers..Mmmmmmmmm

All that shows that they are human and while they take pride in themselves, they are comfortable in who they are. And that is hot.

When you are not comfortable in your own skin, it shows; and that isn't nearly as attractive as someone who is comfortable and confident with themself.

As for myself, I primp. I buy the products, I take care of things- girlyish but not consumed in the process or end product. I do this because I want to, not for the attraction of another. I wear make up and lip gloss. I style my hair. I wear skirts, stockings, shoes, sexy lingerie and perfume. I also wear jeans, old beat-up hoodies, days that I don't brush my hair or style it and I get dirty (but I still wear lip gloss and shave!).

As for actions, well, its great to do things for others. I am all for doing something to make someone happy, but not in that losing myself, losing my identity sort of way. It is about offering what I can to enhance the other persons life. I wont be a 'slave' as that suggests doing something out of having to. What I decide to do is all because it is something that I want to do, because it is someone I care about, a lot. And because this post is about relationships, it is reciprocated. (But not keeping score). If ity seems too complicated, then it isn't right. If you are looking out for one another, than all that should come pretty naturally. Ha, I once bought dinner (just some pizza and wings) for a guy, who responded in "what are you the guy in the relationship?" so, I answer, "as long as you put out, its all good". Yep, the 'experation date' on that guy came up real quick after that.

(e:jason), I keep coming back around to your post. This is because you made some great points, there are good examples and this topic comes up in your journals. And I like your thinking.

So, holy hell, lets examine the lemon girl.. that is definitely a matter of respect, on both parts. Hers for not having any for him and he for not having any for himself. And I am sure everyone has seen, heard of or directly experienced disrespect. It cannot be excused as one gender, race, culture or another. It is a specific person being an asshole (from here on I use the term asshole to represent the worst of the male and female stereotype).

It is that same asshole who sees the opposite sex for entertainment purposes only. Sure it drives me nuts, it frustrates me that this asshole ruins it for both men and women. Girls think that they are only entertainment for guys and guys end up thinking that they are just entertainment and otherwise useless for the ladies. And so both of us end up with that mindset and in some ways begin acting the mindset. Then we fuck things up because we are not being ourselves, we are operating on past bad experience, we don't talk about it and we attribute everything to all the fuck ups of all the assholes that we have seen, heard, dated, read about or are friends with.

And maybe at some point in our lives we were those assholes.

and so; LET IT GO. Grow up, make your own decisions, live the life that YOU want to lead, expect respect and don't allow anyone to get in the way of being who you want to be. HOWEVER- don't assume that everyone you meet is just like the assholes you have dealt with in the past. You treat them like they are that past asshole, and you know what?? they become it. YOu begin to look for those things in them and after time, they appear. It isn't their fault, it is YOURS.

All men are irresponsible mindless dumb jerks? guess what? every guy you meet will be an irresponsible mindless dumb jerk.

All women are use men for entertainment and only seek guys to see that they can get from them? well then, guess who you will meet?

I speak only for myself, although I wouldn't doubt that some readers may be able to relate. Whether male or female, we go through similar experiences. It is our individual differences that make things so complex. If we really could be easily clumped into respective stereo types, all would be easier. But when we do, thats where the trouble begins.

I can't possibly stereo type men without doing them a world of injustice; as should be expected of such. I love men. I love people's differences in behavior, interests, education, habits, appearance and values. My attraction to a guy is not limited to what he can do for me or how similar he is to me. I am speaking of the more personal relationship aspect here. Getting laid, casual amusements and other "uncategorized" relations are not the focus (as fun as all that can be it also influences the "assholism" tendencies; which is not always a bad thing, but when seeking something more 'fulfilling' there are more choices to be made, things to consider, some things to stay away from.)

I have been in situations that have tested my ideals and values. Maybe I am different (but I doubt it), maybe it is maturity (to some degree), or maybe it is my upbringing (more likely) that I think, feel and behave the way that I do.

Do I want a guy that will financially take care of me? I haven't thought about it. It has never been a "dream" or an ideal for me. I think there are people that want and expect to be taken care of. I can't fathom it, personally. I am not even looking for someone who makes more money than I do, not that that would be difficult, lol. I have experienced financial ruin and never once did I think to "land a man" to take care of the problem. And it certainly isn't from a lack of offers. During that period of time I would not date because I had less than zero money to my name. It was very uncomfortable. I never expect to have all of the activities paid for. I have no problem taking care of the bill. Is that unusual? Its fun to pool our money together for an outing, or surprise someone with taking care of something or knowing that is not an issue or a matter of keeping score. I get paid this week and you don't? well, its my treat. I don't operate on rules. Sure, take me out for dinner, buy me flowers, do something thoughtful. But you know what? I am very likely to do those things as well. It is great to see and hear someone happy by your actions and thoughtfulness. There are things much deeper than a few bucks that will make me notice and be attracted to an individual. And it neither starts nor ends with the checkbook.

I have had men flaunt their financial assets thinking that I would find that attractive. In one case the guy made sure to let me know he had over two million in the bank. Maybe I was dumb not to accept dinner in Paris, lol. Or an impromptu jaunt to NYC. I have friends that would have atleast used him for some of the things he offered justifying that it would have been his stupidity for offering to take care of things financially like that. However, I have never been comfortable in that. Sometimes I wondered if I was missing out by decling those things through my life. My point? I couldn't bring myself to date someone I wasn't "attracted" to. And I can't use someone, not like that (again, sex relations are separate discussion- I didn't have sex with this person, however, I recently found out that this guy has told people that he has. Why??). I do have friends that would have jumped all over those guys.

Now, what if I were attracted? Well, it is their money, not mine. Same thing when they show off their expensive cars, trucks, homes, and other material goods. So what? IF all a guy has to offer me is a wad of cash (or other things related toi money) then they really have nothing to offer me. If a guy only has cash to offer a woman, than that is the only kind of woman they are going to attract. ahhhhhhh? see they pattern, now???? yet, funny that these same guys end up bitching about the fact that they only attract women that want their money. I just generalized all that, but try to see the message more than just what the words are.

You could be poor (but not living in a card board box or your moms basement), drive an old car, have minimal amount of "stuff" and guess what? I don't care! Certain things will tell me that you are reliable and responsible for your life; that you aren't a lazy bum looking for a free ride (still not talking about sex, kiddos). You pay your rent, bills and attend to other life responsibilities. YOu have life goals and aspiratons, that you work toward them and keep going. You enjoy life and look for the positive, not focus on negative. If you do happen to live in your moms basement, well.. there has to be a good reason, haha.

Am I so independent that I would never allow it? That is a bit extreme; I don't think any one of us can be that independent. I aim to be able to take care of myself. I have been doing fine (even with the financial ruin/ back injury/ life turned upside down and inside out days) for a long time. I recall some of my friends thinking that I was rich or had access to a trust because I never complained about money and always managed to have some. I don't complain out loud. Thats just me. I don't spend that much money and when I do, it means that I am super careful for a period afterwards. I grew up poor. You don't miss what you don't have. And really, what I do does not cost that much; occasional beer and pizza? That's a sure sign of financial security ;) Some of the stuff I have now have been gifts from family, hand me downs, or road side finds that I have a knack for making beautiful. Or simply a reward to myself for pulling a 4.0 average. Hell yeah! I am defending myself because I get a sense that some of my friends continue to be under the impression that I live richly in the materialistic sense. It doesn't cost much to keep things clean and looking nice.

Have I been in a position where I have led the relationship financially? Yep, sure have. But not in the way that I ever care to again. He shirked responsibility in that sense. Rent money used for drugs. Well, everything was second to drugs. That greatly affected the relationship and was a large part of why we split. Anyhow, I would do it with out question for any other circumstance. It is about mutually taking care of each other. The balance of our strengths and weaknesses. If in a hypothetical situation, a significant other was down, I am there to help him back up, and in a relationship with me, I would be confident that he would offer the same. Who ever he may be..

See it is about taking on the world. All the fucked up things that go on, I want to be able to turn to my significant other and be able to know that we are never against each other. I expect disagreement, sparring, and some potentially uncomfortable situations to arise, but it would not be grounds for sleeping on the couch, silent treatments or dismissal. I would think a lot of us would want that. So then, why is it so complicated?

If I had the answers, I would write a book. But not of the "are men necessary?" variety, 'cause, I doubt my glow in the dark friend has a life time warranty. Har har.
I have heard that the more education and work experience a female has, the lesser their desire to marry or something. It was probably an excerpt from that book for all I know. It certainly can't be generalized across the board, but I can see that there are women out there that do not want a guy who has less education than them. A lot of people seem to think equality has something to do with similar levels of formal education and income. Hmm, no, not so much. I bet you know people who have a ridiculous amount of formal education that do not know anything at all, or all that they know is very specific to the degree earned. Or how about those that have a wealth of life education. They love to learn about all sorts of things and they apply their knowledge yet they do not have a degree.

I know I prefer someone who has been to college. But if I had my doctorate would I limit myself to only those with similar education? My first thought is that education level shouldn't matter. I definitely do not think that the guy is sub standard, that's fucked up. More likely the concern would fall into whether they were comfortable with my having an advanced degree. I never really thought about it.. I am working on my masters, but I don't look for someone with the same amount of formal education. It is silly to me.

I seek something deeper than the typical superficial crap, and yes, a piece of paper is still superficial to me, even though I prefer a college educated individual. It is just a preference and not an absolute. My rationale behind it has more to do with that I always equated it to demonstrated ability for follow through, responsibility, commitment to oneself and an interest in learning. This is not axiomatic, it is a deep rooted perception that I have held coming from an otherwise uneducated family (they did not go or did not finish college, then struggled with or shirked responsibility). I am always learning and trying to evaluate my thought process.

I don't have a wish list of attributes. There are a few fundamentals..

  • You must respect yourself.
  • Be yourself.
  • Expect that you are accepted "as is"; I will not change you. I will not save you.
(some people really dig this, but I have come across those that are really weirded out by goes against everything they have ever experienced, but that goes back to respecting yourself, I guess)
  • Be compassionate and respectful towards other people and animals.
  • Communicate. Despite popular belief I am not a mind reader.
  • Have a sincere desire for stability, loyalty and experience of life.

"Thee" wish list? That would be "thee" asshole in me.. You can find out all that fun stuff later :)

BTW, I received the heat bill in the mail today. Holy cripes I can't afford to heat my apartment this winter! Laugh or cry? Hmm.. Laugh.
No big deal, I'll just set the thermostat way back and live in my bedroom under a pile of blankets. I had the heat cranked comfortably to where I could lounge in a tank top and sleep pants. No socks. And I had recently taken to sleeping nude. I don't want that to change so I made sure to put on the flannel sheets and a few extra blankets. I should be set.
I know it is cold in the apartment when the kitty has taken to sleeping curled up in a tight little ball. Icicles forming on his tail.

I started this post earlier in the night, left for a bit, came back to it. Now I wrap it up as I polish off a glass of Emu Shiraz
Got out the web cam for the fun of it.. some G rated photos..

Half asleep..



Joey woke to the snapping of the camera.. My baby boy JOOOOEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY He is always whereever I am at.



Thats it for now.

Take care,

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Permalink: relationships_gender_my_love_of_e_strip.html
Words: 3407
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: potpourri

12/10/05 02:30 - 30ºF - ID#35834

XC Skiing

Dinner at Carrabba's :
eggplant parm, water, salad, vodka

Average Joes:
Lots of shots of SoCo, balanced with multiple pints of Guinness

I didn't plan on staying out as late as I did, but the conversation was flowing and a good time was happening. Lots of friends and befriended strangers. Music wasn't too bad either. This time, my breasts didn't make an appearance, lol. and I wasn't even the one to choose to bare them! However the story from last time was retold, which I had pretty much forgotten about, lol.

A couple of weeks ago, I went out with no particular destination (Turkey Eve). While not a fan of going out alone, sometimes I don't want to stay in and be alone. When I do go out, a plus is that I always see people I know or can quickly make "new friends". Sometimes its a good night, sometimes it is a bummer. This had been a borderline bummer of an outing, but one spot I stopped into I found a bunch of my friends, whom I knew from work. I was in a little huddle with a few of them, when one girl *That Girl* came prancing up to me. (there is one *That Guy* and *That Girl* in every crowd- those that you put up with their "bad-obnoxious"- 'cause I otherwise like obnoxious- ways and try not to kill them for some of the fucked up things they do, say, etc.. and you otherwise like them, but from a "distance".) Ok, so this was many ours into the evening, everyone had plenty of drinks in them and I arrive, pretty much sober and unexpectedly. People are happy to see me and *That Girl* is for some reason, really excited.

I was wearing something distinctly feminine and sexy. A tailored outfit, sleek, straightened hair, makeup, and a hint of 'the girls'. My work buds never see me like this, as it is always bed head, jeans, oversized sweatshirt, no makeup (like in all of my pictures). Which I look just fine and its often a preference, but to be pulled together and 'polished', well, I am sure it was a nice sight to see.

And it was my look that made her exuberant.. she came up to me and grabbed my shirt and pulled it out and down, exposing my chest (a Fredrick's of Hollywood number) and loudly exclaimed, while grabbing, "Look its Careys Boobs! I have never seen her boobs! WOW! " And neither had the rest of my friends until that night. I wasn't embarassed. maybe I should look into this exhibitionist side of me..

Although this was a mild mannered situation (as we get way crazy), among my group of friends this would be considered, "In The Vault". We'll see..

The Vault is considered sacred information between a select group of guys and gals. To be admitted acceptance into the sacred rites and knowledge that comprises The Vault, one must be initiated through an informal sponsorship.
Mostly, ya gotta be cool, trust worthy, respected (very important) and fun. Not sure how I made it in, lol.
Initiation always included lots of beer and a toast. :)
and grilled barbecue chicken wings..

Really though, sometimes it feels like some sophisticated "In crowd" .
Stepping back, I run in a lot of circles.
Its all good.

I hope to get some XC skiing in this weekend, along with some school work, cleaning and more fun. Anyone up for it??? Skiing that is.. but feel free to help me clean :)

Maybe I will get in some Christmas shopping, although I doubt it. I haven't even started; I usually go out a couple of days before Christmas and get it all done at once. I am greatly skilled in the art of procrastination. I have Christmas gifts that I bought for last year that never made it out in the mail. I am a bad Aunt. Ooh, but I can send them this year, if I ever get a box and make it to the post office. I am awful with buying stamps and putting things in the mail.

Oh and if I am going to put up a tree, I should do that as well. Hmm, I have time to decide on that.. two weeks, is it?


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Permalink: XC_Skiing.html
Words: 717
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: watersports

12/06/05 06:43 - 22ºF - ID#35832

Hey fellas.. for your viewing pleasure

I can't compete.. lol
Incase you did not mark it on your calender, set the DVR, etch it into your forhead here is a reminder..


The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum and Adriana Lima are among women modeling lingerie at the annual event in New York; Ricky Martin, Seal and Chris Botti are scheduled to perform.

Runtime: 60 min

10:00 PM Tue., Dec 6 Ch 4, WIVB

Sweet Dreams!!

The pictorals I can offer this evening:

I caught the sunset, but not so much on the camera. My fingers were barely able to move it was so damn cold and windy out. It was getting dark very quickly. I spent all of 20 minutes on the beach. I didn't jump in this time!

Lake Ontario: Again, T.O. was quite visable, along with two enormous barges that were passing each other, with T.O. in the background. Until I can take a pic with a more sophisticated camera, the image is only in my head.






Niagara River, down at one of the boat launches:



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Permalink: Hey_fellas_for_your_viewing_pleasure.html
Words: 190
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: perspective

12/05/05 10:28 - 25ºF - ID#35831

Relaxing the mind, heart, body

I have a ton of laundry to do; I have heaps of clean and dirty laundry growing on my bedroom floor. Add rabid dust bunnies, dishes, bras and socks strewn all over my apartment to the mix, and what I have is a total mess. I even have beer bottles lining my bath tub. I should take pictures, nah, maybe I won't. Sometimes I like making a mess. I am sure to keep adding to the mess before I get a chance to clean up after myself. The question is whether I will be as thrilled to clean it up.

I am not a fan of Mondays, so this morning it was difficult to drag myself out of bed. Once I was out the door I felt pretty good. I put on energetic music and finished 'waking up' on the drive to work. After a weekend marathon of the three Die Hard movies topped with a viewing of Kill Bill vol 2; combined with the icey cold air that not only pierced my lungs but may have affected my brain,[inlink]theecarey,52[/inlink] made for a very sassy, goofy, and obnoxious Monday morning. My beloved coworkers were beside themselves, the kiddo that I work with, whom my coworkers refer to him as my "son", also seemed to enjoy my mood. The remainder of the day went by pretty well. This evening was quiet: just relaxing, writing, watching tv and eating some dinner.

As for new stuff, I began a new class. I have my absolute favorite professor of all time. I am so excited. The entire class is thrilled with having this teacher again. We spent the first part of class just catching up on our lives and all of us gushing over him. He claims that it is a good personality match; but he was being quite modest. It is primarily a matter of his being a good facilitator, public speaker, motivator and all around brilliant. We had him for our very first class, about a year ago. We still refer to the things he had talked about, that got us thinking and always managed to wrap all the information back around. His teaching us again is perfect timing, as the courses and material had been dragging us down. It has been a long, challenging year, and while we have just 10 months left, we are in need of a fresh approach. He is demanding of us, challenges us, and makes our brains hurt with information; nothing different than any of the other teachers and courses, but the vital difference is that he appeals to our inspirational side. We want to learn, we want the challenge, we want to unlearn and think about things from a different perspective and he facilitates that with finesse.

This past Thursday night was just a great evening of conversation. I am friendly with everyone; both in school and at my job. People know who I am and I make a small effort to be kind. My shy, quiet and slightly reserved nature makes it easy for me to appear aloof and standoffish, so whenever I think about it, I reach out to people. Consider it practice, I suppose. Being shy sucks. Yet throw me in front of a crowd and I am fine. Must be the one on one stuff. Hell, I'm learning. Anyhow, people still like me and my quirks.

So class this past week was exciting for the depth of interactions I had with a few of my classmates, all of whom I have regular contact with on the phone, email, in and outside of class. I also enjoy a good rapport with some of the college administration. Prior to class a few of us engaged in a lively conversation that started off light hearted then turned into a passionate debate then panned out into a great connection. Our dialogue did not center on a particular subject, although politics, religion, peoples mind sets, relationships and lifestyles laid the foundation. It was interesting to experience the difference in perceptions of people that you thought you knew. Having information added to your schema of an individual(s) is amazing. I tend to view the knowledge of learning more about someone as a positive. As I learn more about someone else, I learn more about myself.

That evening was a catalyst for putting some things in my life into perspective. I shared some information about myself beyond the realm that I normally would, and in a group at that. In hindsight, I am surprised at myself yet also proud. Over time, especially in the past year or so, I have been able to share more freely. I attribute these changes to the tail end experience of my back injury, the experience of working where I am at and all that I have learned in my graduate program. Also to a few select people who have had the patience and caring, trusting, confident demeanor that I need for this to happen. Thank you.

I have always used the written means to sort out my thoughts and feelings. It is quite another to articulate them verbally. I still struggle with that, but as with anything else, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. But just talking with these people, these friends of mine, men, women, various ages, backgrounds, was just a good thing. Who knew that such a random conversation could uplift your spirits? I went in with a heavy weight and came out with the burden completely lifted; and I am not even quite sure what that weight was. I have been struggling with various areas of my life. Sometimes it just gets me frantic, on the inside. Hidden. Although I can't determine which area has been bothering me the most. I think a lot about my current place of employment and my pending graduation. I think about how I am not in a position to fully take care of myself, which drives me crazy. It is partly to do with money, it is more to do with feeling lost at times. As is, where the hell am I going? (this is a future journal prompt)

So I work on making things better (through education, networking with organizations, etc) yet all that seems so far away, although it is not far away at all. I am accustomed to doing everything, taking control of my life and systematically doing things to make the changes that I seek. I've lived on my own since I was 19. I initially started off living with a boyfriend. I learned a lot during that time. No regrets. I had some roommates on and off, but found it easier to just pay the bills on my own rather than wonder if they would be able to take care of their share of the responsibilities. Overall, I have been taking care of myself since I was 9. Father out of the picture, sister who, 8 years older, ran away by the age of 16, Mother who worked all the time; three jobs to support us. I saw her on Mondays. I got myself off to school and came home to an empty house. Made my dinner, hated it when my friends could not come out to play. I thought it was entirely normal to do the things I did at such a young age. I stayed out of trouble although I knew just where to find it. However, I did not want to put my mother through the turmoil that my sister did, so I chose to be the "good daughter". Funny, how that bites me in the ass now, in regards to the relationship between my sister and I.

Anyhow, I have done alright for myself. As I have mentioned in other posts, I do not write the things that I do to complain. They are reminders of what I have done, what I have accomplished, what I need to do to be a better person and to help give me direction. And I know that people are in all states of turmoil and that I have fared pretty damn well. No, not complaining. It is when I am feeling lost that I realize I must look to see where I have been in order to figure out where I am going. I plug away, trying to make good choices. I simply do the things that I like to do and I work towards being able to continue to have that freedom to choose what I want out of life. However, I am not as strong as I appear to be. I know this and this is no revelation. Are any of us?

Yet I am capable, intelligent, loyal and am tenacious and driven towards the things, people and situations I care about. Indeed.

What has tweaked my perception is how to handle this seemingly perpetual struggle. I make mistakes, I do and say stupid stuff and sometimes I do not say anything because I am stuck in my head. I am dealing with some of my struggles by letting some of it go, or rather, let it work itself out as it may. Other areas, I can make a decision as to how I want to actively tackle the issue. I haven't an answer, but something has made me feel much better. Things aren't necessarily better, but how I handle them, how I feel them and how I look at them, are somehow better.

The gnawing feeling is not there.

And so, this conversation with my friends prompted me to take a closer look at all those things, of which I am sure to continue to write about.

Good night and take care,

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Permalink: Relaxing_the_mind_heart_body.html
Words: 1618
Location: Youngstown, NY

12/04/05 05:30 - 29ºF - ID#35830

Feet First

I have so much to say! There is no beginning or end, just a whirl of thoughts, revelations and anticipation. Allow me to ruminate quietly before I write; I sense that it will amass another chapter. I'll work in Word and eventually post it here. In the meantime, I share my day.

"I am ready."

That is the statement that came to mind as I finished my journey through Fort Niagara.

On choosing my walking path, I forwent the clear roads in favor of the snow dusted earth. I walked briskly for warmth for the suns rays did little to warm the freezing air.

I brought my camera. Well over a hundred pictures, here are a few..














I had taken quite a few pictures at this point. I had been walking around snapping pictures, keeping the camera on and ready. It had been awhile since I had charged my batteries and I assumed that it wouldn't be long before I notice the low battery indicator. Sure enough, shortly thereafter the camera flashed its warning. I kept going, trying to squeek out a few more shots. Eventually the camera turned off on itself.
Right then, I noticed in the distance, something sparkling. A tree branch was encased in ice. The branch extended over the water, approximately 10 feet. The ferocious waves, the sun interspersed with the darkening sky was magnificent. Right then I wanted to get closer. I wanted a picture. I cared not for anything but getting over to this gorgeous branch.
And so I ran down the beach, through the sand, ice and snow to get closer to this branch. I ran and ran. It was further than I initially thought, as the beach (or the Fort) plays tricks on your perception of distance. I kept running, the icey air penetrating my lungs. I laughed at myself, but dammit, I needed to get there. And quickly; maybe I could get just one more picture..
I got to my destination, got closer to the branch and before I thought about it, I jumped right into the icey cold water of Lake Ontario.
I jumped right in, feet first. Almost to my knees. And the waves crashing all around me; reaching my arms, thighs and back.
I almost fell on my ass.
It was amazing.
My camera turned on one last time.
And a few more pictures I gratefully took.
I didn't feel the wet or the cold. I didn't care if anyone saw the crazy girl jump into the sub zero Lake. I just knew what I wanted and I went for it.
Again, amazing.
After, I looked around. My only audience were about 100 Canadian geese.
And I just laughed.

and I thought, "I am ready."














The view of Toronto can be magnificent. Some days you can see a stretch of T.O. than goes on and on. Some of those times, you can see the light reflecting off of windows. Today you could see the building forms, but not too clearly. In one picture you can make out the city, but it comes up much further than when looking at it with the naked eye. I would love a picture, but my camera does not pick up those details. Maybe it does.. I never did read the user manual it came with when I bought it 3-4 years ago.

Ahh, so now I am home and finally warmed up.
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Permalink: Feet_First.html
Words: 621
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: snowfall

11/26/05 01:00 - 22ºF - ID#35829

Um, can you please pass the white stuff?

First thing: Mission accomplished.

Once my mind is set to something, I am relentless. I took to the thought of renting all of the Die Hard movies. Therefore I set out to scour all of the Blockbusters in WNY for Die Hard, Die Harder and Die Hard with a Vengeance. I never thought it would be that difficult to find some old Bruce Willis movies. It gave *me* a headache! Lol. I just really want to see those movies and I eventually found them, in three different locations. I will have to make sure I get them back to the right store. So one of these days soon, I will be sitting down to a Die Hard marathon. Lol.

Although chilly, the cloudless sunny day encouraged continued playtime outside. Layering in long sleeve shirts, sweatshirt and gloves, I took out a months worth of trash, bounced the basketball against the side of the apartment and walked around the neighborhood. The last of the flowers have died, but the grass is still quite visible. I begin to yearn for some snow. I envision cross country skiing and contemplate heading to Lockport Ski Shop to do some pricing (which I did not do today).

Forward to Dana, (e:pyrcedgrrl) giving me a call, wondering where the hell I have been all day. Apparently I was to give her a call so we could go do something; but the slacker I am got sidetracked. Shortly thereafter we headed out; Buffalo being our default destination (food, Spot, Books, etc)

My favorite place to be (and often still is) is my mind and the creative and intelligent imagination that fuels it.

As a child I imagined having the ability to choose any play environment that I desired. In a matter of moments I could go from running like a cheetah through a jungle to playing in a zoo to scaling mountain sides. Or I'd bounce from Youngstown, NY to Greensboro NC to St. Catherines Ont, where various friends and family lived. Often I would take a trip to some other universe or just travel across the seas; finding adventure and solace in being anywhere but where I was at in that moment.

Another neat trick that I imagined and sometimes desperately wished I could do was visit any season at any moment. If it was too hot and muggy, I could walk across the street to build a snowman. And on cold days, after the 5 millionth snowflake fell, I could go for a swim down the street where it was summer.

Tonight felt something like that.

In 24 miles it went from sunshine and greenery to clouds and a lot of white stuff.

It was amazing!!

I felt the excitement grow as sparse snowflakes quickly turned into a cool sparkling release. Sudden lake effect snow is intense and gorgeous, and as I had yet to see any snow, this was extra special and fun. Especially since just a few miles back, everything was relatively green. Eventually, I might just have to make a move to Buffalo!

We tromped through the snow, giggling and looking around in amazement. I am sure we both looked quite flushed as the gentlemen who seated us at India Gate inquired about our evening adventures. They were in awe that we had not seen any snow as of yet.

So now that I have seen the snow, it can go away.

Nah, I like the snow, the cold (but not icy) weather and all that it encourages; things such as renting movies, drinking hot cocoa, snuggling, napping and slowing down a little bit. I even like driving in it, although not long distances on the highway during rush hour. That can be daunting and anxiety provoking, as there are too many opportunities for bad things to happen. Yuck. Other than that, bring on doing donuts in empty parking lots, throwing snowballs, hopping into snow piles, making my own driving lane and other winter activities. Besides skiing, I really want to go on a sleigh ride. I am not sure if anyone offers such a thing, but I think I would really like it. I think about it every year although I never inquire about it. Maybe this year.

And so, as an adult, I still use my imagination quite a bit. That has gotten me into some trouble, gotten me out of it, and more often than not had led to some memorable fun. I allow myself to get excited over relatively simple things and I am thankful for that. Maybe it is the laid back side of me. I can appreciate the ability to make the most out of a situation/ circumstance..both good and not so good. I can't twitch my nose and make things right, but I can do all that is in my power to make things better; and if I can laugh somewhere along the way, even better. 'Cause you can choose to laugh or cry, right? Then there are times when I can't get beyond the immediate situation and I just close up. It is a coping strategy and a means to deflect what I might really want to do such as scream. My train of thought just jumped to yesterday; as my Thanksgiving day was all jacked up. *shrug*. I care yet I don't; no, it is that I do not have the energy to spare on something that is too messy to sort out. I will have to work on figuring out how to deal with the underlying issue(s). I realize family can grow apart, and when you aren't that close to begin with, it can be hard to connect on any level. phfftt! Do I have the strength and know how to get things to a better place? oy, everyone considers me the strong one in the family. But, I think that will have to be the subject of another post.. trying to formulate my thoughts on this leaves me suddenly delirious. Blah.

Off to dreamland I go :)
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Permalink: Um_can_you_please_pass_the_white_stuff_.html
Words: 1006
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: silliness

11/23/05 08:20 - 25ºF - ID#35828

Brains!! chapter 1

I might need to find a hobby or something else I can do to occupy my down time. Not that I really ever have an excess of it. School keeps me busy and I have a talent for balancing my life pretty well. There are times when circumstances throw me off, but all I can do is be grateful for what is going well. I encourage people to see those things and to cherish those that you care about. Our world is too fragile.. too fucked up.. too little time to let dumb stuff get in the way..
Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.

This time of year throws me off balance a little bit. I slow down, I am not as motivated to do things and I often just want to crawl into bed after a day at work. I am still happy and pleasant; this is not a depressed state of mind. I think it is attributed to the darkness, as I would otherwise be spending my time outside, playing with the basketball, nerfball, gardening, messing with the car, going for walks, reading, doing school work and hanging with friends on any given day. Now it is almost dark as I am coming home.

So this week, I walk in the door, make something quick for dinner and then look around and ask myself, "now what?" This week I have no class and therefore nothing that is due until next week. I always have school work to do (but only for another nine months) but I don't always want to be absorbed into that. I am excited over this free time and I have been utilizing it fairly well, but I have little ambition to seek an engaging task. Well, I managed to wash my dishes tonight :)

I thought about looking into dance class. Not that long ago I had been regularly taking Middle Eastern dance class. I immensely enjoyed it and felt quite feminine in the process. I stopped once I couldn't juggle it in my schedule any longer. I had been working full time, and 1-2 extra jobs, then began full time grad school.. at some point I needed to pare down my life. No one saw me the first few months into my program. I completely dropped from sight; my friends and family seeing me for a few rare minutes at a time. Although I resigned myself to this lifestyle, eventually I became more efficient as my brain adapted to formal learning again. I also learned some nifty shortcuts..

I know some classes will be more intense and time consuming than others, so I am reticent about committing myself to a set schedule/time slot say, with taking a dance or art class. This brings me to finding something in the apartment that I can do to keep myself occupied and stimulated when I have no other responsibilities to take care of.

When the snow dumps, I will ski. But when it is dark.. hmm, I have yet to figure it out.

In the mean time, I shall write, post random pictures and watch a lot of tv.For example:

I found a new flower that poked up through the dirts and fallen leaves. It has a bunch more buds on it, but sadly I don't expect to see any of them flower.

I admitted already that I need a hobby for my down time.. I got into the last of the Halloween candy. I found a box of brains, that I enjoyed chewing on this evening. Fruity!


my beloved stuffed turtle in response to (e:metalpeters) [inlink]metalpeter,491[/inlink]post about where we sleep. Some of us mentioned our stuffed animals..

Update on my Turkey Day plans:
Ooh, I am now having Thanksgiving dinner at my apartment. Yay!! I spoke with my mother who had intuited that I was not fond of the idea of going out for dinner. She called me and stated that we (mom, myself and step dad) would be staying in for dinner. I will try to cook something so she doesn't have to do it all; I would put the whole thing together if necessary, if anyone is adventurous enough to try what I come up with. Actually I do pretty amazingly well when I am "creating" something.. it is when I am forced to follow a recipe that it all goes to hell. I am too rebellious to follow the rules of a recipe.

The cool thing about having it at my apartment is that the apartment next door is currently empty. The only thing these two apartments share is a staircase down to our respective sides to the basement. We get to the staircase through our kitchen doors, which are adjacent. I can open my door and step over into the apartment if I wanted to. Since my mother owns the building, I think I can go and use that stove as well. Hmm, I will have to ask about that. Ooh, maybe have a party and use that side as well. Woohoo! A whole empty apartment to party in.. I wonder if the heat is still on?
I will have to try to deter her from going in and doing land lord duties. She is unable to sit still, her pleasures in life revolve around any project that requires Home Depot products; she has thorough knowledge of all tools ever made.

I wonder if the movie theater is open on Thanksgiving. Maybe after the two hours we spend together, I will venture out to the theater. OoOoooh, Harry Potter..

This is on my wish list.. hehe


Who is doing what tomorrow? (wednesday) I have seen some ideas from..
(e:paul), (e:mike), (e:pyrcedgrrl) ??????
My work buddies are assuming I am going out with all of them.. which I may start off wherever we come up with, but I want to know what else is going on and where.
Although I am concerned that we are supposed to get a snow storm and while I don't mind hiking through the snow, I don't want to get crocked in Buffalo and have a long ass drive home. Maybe I will party close to home... ahh, I will figure it out when that time comes. I am open to anything! An adventure will surely arise. I'll pack a toboggan and one of those outer space foil body heat blankets and pack some protein for sustanance :D

who posted about the HuFu cannibal alternative? lmao.. I would try it.

Hey (e:ladycroft) if you are in town, shall we go over to the Stone Jug??

Well, that about wraps up my evening. I am going to grab a book and get cozy under a mound of blankets. And this is not going to be a school book. I have on my dresser a few of my favorite authors: Richard Laymon (might give me nightmares), two Chuck Palaniuk novels and one Kurt Vonnegut. I think I might go for the Laymon freak fest.

Stay warm friends
and stay safe

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Permalink: Brains_chapter_1.html
Words: 1192
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: silliness

11/20/05 11:28 - ID#35827

Sunday Morning

It's axiomatic...

An open newspaper is an open invitation for a cat to get comfy.

All that attention directed to one spot is not tolerated if that spot is not Joseph (joe, jojo, jo jo no beans)

Hence my morning began with the Wall Street Journal and a cup of coffee all while navigating through a blob of fur.



Last night I passed out on my couch, in front of the still burning fire, shortly after the scotch adventure [inlink]theecarey,48[/inlink] My artistic rendering of my thoughts did not pan out very well. I kinda scribbled and jotted down a few words. Maybe next time..
So, I had some wacked dreams.. a few disturbing ones and a couple of odd but pretty nice ones as well. I think there were ones about my apartment being haunted by squirrels.

After my lazy start to the day, I proceeded on to non school/work related activities. I am soooo excited not to have class this week. Wednesday night I am getting crocked somewhere. Although, I have no idea what I am doing for Thanksgiving. My mom calls to say that we are going out for dinner. WHAT?? You can't just change things like that. OK, so it will most likely be just be my mom and myself, and maybe my step dad.. but to go out for dinner is going to be weird. I will deal with it.. maybe I can change her mind. I could make dinner.. LOL.. last year I cooked the turkey upside down.

I was really looking forward to a giant vat of mashed potatoes. Dinner out, hmph! Then again... there would be no dishes. hmmm.. Then, I am not above using paper plates, lol.

Lunch rolls around and I take a peak into my fridge to see what may have materialized that was within the expiration date. I found leftovers! (from this week). Actually they weren't mine, but (e:pyrcedgrrls). After work on Friday, after a stint at Caputies (What do you Guiness fans think of the bottled Guiness??-- its good but not the same as a pint of the free flowing happiness that is guiness draft)and before Barnes and Noble, we had Thai/Vietnamese food at Saigon Bangkok.. which is right next door to the Dip and Dive.. anyone else find humor? Anyhow, she ordered something that resembled the Chefs Special off of the movie eXisTenZ. There were multiple funky, multi legged creatures in a flavorful rice noodle concoction. Not bad, but I couldn't get past the creatures. I tried one out of morbid curiousity, but I could barely gag down the legs. I had a delightful Yellow Curry (yum).

So I contemplated her left overs.. deemed myself hungry enough.. and heated up the noodles. There weren't any more of the purple monsters left, so I thought it would be safe, until I noted that there were little legs mixed up within the noodles.

I just couldn't do it. I tossed that and reached for the Wasa crackers and apple butter (not much better, but at least none of that had legs).

There were plaety of really good sounding stuff on the menu.. all of which I would like to go back and try., I am a big fan of curry (mild) and pretty much anything Thai.

The rest of the day had been spent running a few errands,watching tv, walking, playing outside and then more relaxing.. getting prepared for the work week. The very short work week. YAY!

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Permalink: Sunday_Morning.html
Words: 589
Location: Youngstown, NY

Category: scotch

11/19/05 10:57 - 40ºF - ID#35826

silky smooth

Despite the fact that all of the radio stations are polluting our ears with Christmas music...

Despite the fact that the stores are replete with crazed holiday shoppers (ran out of pretty/girly glade plug in )

Despite the fact that some of you were buried under the white stuff..

And despite the fact that I spent a portion of my day "winterizing" my car..

It is a FACT that it is still fall!!!!!!

Some pictorial evidence of said fact:

A few miles north of everyone, not a flake has fallen. The sun has been shining, my flowers still blooming and the grass still visible and soft..




A venture through Fort Niagara.. sitting on the beach of Lake Ontario






I would love to go boating; even if it is a bit chilly. Anyone have a boat??

cemetary- dating back to late 18th cetury


Niagara River

So after playing outside, cleaning the apartment and making it smell extra yummy, (sometimes cleaning really relaxes me) my very stong desire to imbibe left me making a trip to the liquer store. Yo, get me some Fo'ties, woo!

It had been awhile, too long in fact, and so tonight, I was on a mission to kick back in front of the fire with a bottle of scotch, a cigar , Miles Davis in the background and perhaps get to finally reading Thursdays newspaper. I get into a funk this time of year. Relaxing just seems right, whether on my own or with a gathering. No one could make it out.. sick.. at the a cave.. etc.. so its all mine mine mine!!!

Have Scotch Envy.

I passed over the Jameson this time around..



"Amber with glints of gold; smooth, rich, fruity, and delicate floral flavors with a honeyed sweetness and long finish.." There is nothing delicate about Scotch. If I wanted delicate, I would drink a fuzzy something. Although, I can't and wouldnt do this straight up..

pretty smooth stuff. Add a splash of water and tiny sips are divine.

I pulled out my sketch book "sketch journal" and art supplies as well. Sometimes I draw what I am thinking/feeling/ruminating on, as opposed to writing it out, as sometimes words allude me. It is a nice change. Occassionally I add a few words, phrases, "poetry".. Its good to get my head clear. I am about to dive into that now..

Just wanted to share my day so far..

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Permalink: silky_smooth.html
Words: 434
Location: Youngstown, NY



New Site Wide Comments

paul said to ladycroft
Nice to "see" you. I let the CPR ads stay because at least it was something lol...

ladycroft said to joe finger went spastic. ...

ladycroft said to joe
Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...

ladycroft said to joe
Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...