Thursday, May 31, 2007

The unsuspecting starlets

I have been following the progress of these two whales, like so many others. I never got in the car to see them in person... it's more fun to read the accounts, watch the people on tv looking for the whales, and to imagine what might be going on in their brains.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

like snowflakes

each blog entry is unique...
some are rants
some are only masquerading as rants
some look deep inside
some just observe what goes on around me

the best thing about blogging is I don't have to worry about or don't read. I get to express my opinion, muse out loud, bitch about the thorn in my side or wonder at the world.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Curious Turtle

Nearly six years ago, I was kayaking on the Rancocas River; it was a "family" outing -- "" because it was when I was still married and "family" kayaking meant me, him and my mother-in-law. In this case, it also meant the sister-in-law and her girls.

It's probably an exaggeration, but I never felt more alone in New Jersey than when I was with his family. Not that I didn't like, enjoy or get along with them. The connections between them let alone between them and me were as delicate as spider's webs. Obviously intricate and sturdy when used in a conventional way, say trapping flies. Unavoidably fragile when intruded upon by the unexpected other, say a culturally different (maybe opposite) not conventionally pretty or demurely behaved daughter-in-law clumsily tramping through a web.

So in our flotilla we started down the river. Late spring or early summer, maybe Memorial Day weekend, I can't remember. The trees were thick around us, but there was plenty of sun. As I glanced around me, I saw little tiny turtles sunning themselves. So tiny their sunning spots were lily pads.
Can I keep one if I catch one?

I had wanted a turtle for a very long time, maybe as far back as Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, but not the kind you buy in a pet store. That clearly would be cheating. My mom and dad found one on the bank of the canal during a walk on one of their visits to New Jersey. They brought it home to me, but it wasn't the kind of thing you would keep as a pet. Prehistoric-looking and not at all interested in beings other than itself.

Why I felt the need to ask permission is another story altogether. Though his disbelieving answer that I could certainly keep it, if I could catch it is important as just the tone of voice provided motivation.

My first attempts appeared fruitless but, in fact, they provided important data that could help in my capture of a small, unsuspecting baby turtle.

Keep in mind two things:
1) these turtles were the size of quarters;
2) I had to use the oar to catch one or risk tipping right out of the kayak.

I tried to be faster than the turtles, dipping my oar into the lily pads to score the prize. Before I could get to them, they dove. And then they were gone. I had to continue on to the next patch of sunning baby turtles.

Eventually, I realized they were alerted by the shadow of the oar. Pondering how to make a shadow disappear, I noticed one of the baby turtles had returned. She was peeking at me from beneath the lily pad. Surely she believed herself hidden. Not sure why her curiosity was piqued, but you know what they say about the cat and his curiosity, it occurred to me that I could use it to my advantage.

I positioned my oar beneath her and as she tried to figure me out, I carefully lifted her into my kayak.

She proceeded to walk the length of the kayak, investigating, as she is wont to do even now. In the time it took to get back to where we had put in, I constructed a story (plausible enough, I think) about her likelihood to survive in the wild given her intense and seemingly insatiable curiosity.

She was hawk snack for sure.

I saved her life.
Or so I like to think. Not sure what she would say if she could tell the story from her perspective. It's probably a good thing she can't talk.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Life sentence?

I am just what point in my life will I stop being punished for having married the wrong person?I am just saying...

So, I am just wondering if I will reach a point where I will not be punished for having married the wrong man?

I don't mean to sound melodramatic. Honestly, despite what it may seem.

I did not expect that it to all go away with the magic wand of divorce.

I thought that getting a divorce would rectify the situation.

I didn't expect that it would all go away. I mean that I didn't get an annullment, I got a divorce.

So, I understood that there would be resentment, emotional issues to unravel and a life to set right. I imagined (and have lived through) the residual shame, anger, pain, resentment. I knew that it would take some time. Emotionally, it is not truly over.

What I did not expect is that every few years I would have a legal document land on my doorstep DEMANDING that I pay for my EX-husband's lack of financial stability or his lack of ability to manage his finances.


At what point, exactly, in my life will I STOP paying for the mistake I made in marrying him? When, if ever, will I be absolved of making the mistake of marrying him?

Is this a lifetime sentence?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Reggie or Why I LOVE Southern California

You can say what you like about Los Angeles and Southern California; I know you will anyway...but I love it.

The way folks feel about Reggie and what he INSPIRES is just one of the many reasons that I still LOVE L. A.

Check this out:

When the animal was first spotted in the murky lake in August 2005, it became a sensation as crowds gathered to catch a glimpse. Locals named it Reggie, though it's not clear whether the reptile is male or female.

Gloria and Danny Gutierrez said they would go to the lake several times a week and watch for Reggie. Gloria Gutierrez wore a white T-shirt decorated with the words "Welcome back, Reggie."

"We'd bring our chairs out here and a bag of fruit, and we'd talk with people we didn't even know," Danny Gutierrez said.

The gator inspired a zydeco song, two children's books and innumerable T-shirts. Students at Los Angeles Harbor College next to the lake adopted Reggie as a second mascot.

[I added the emphasis because I enjoy being emphatic and/or irate under the right circumstances.]

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

just wondering...

Open letter to my former colleagues:

I was just wondering now that you are sitting with so many desks at the office empty, again, do you worry, now, about that terse exchange?

Do you think, maybe I shouldn't have been so unhelpful? Maybe I shouldn't have made them all jumps through so many hoops just to get what they needed to do their work?

Do you wonder if all of those smoking breaks that were really insider-only meetings were a detriment to fostering a welcoming environment?

I really hope you do. Not only because I am vindictive and revel in watching the turn over as a result of your poor management. Also because if there were a chance that you, any of you, could be introspective on this issue, there is hope.

I am hopeful for the sake of your organization which COULD have done so much MORE than yell and scream about injustice.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


We have a word for the sullen, visibly angry or brusque woman. [From the Real Academia, in case you don't believe me... and for those who land on this page looking for a definition.]

We call her sangrona (him, sangron).

It's more than aloof or unfriendly because it is that noticeably hostile undertone that you see and feel in the look, the attitude, the way she breathes in, disgruntled, no matter what you do or say.

She lets you know without ever addressing a word to you.

Don't try to break through.

There is no room for discussion, explanation, reconsideration or reprieve.

Don't bother to try to be her friend.

You will strive to be brought down every time.

She wants you to know that there is something truly distasteful in your simply being. And you should know how unacceptable you are.

I keep thinking some day she will see.

But she won't, and it really isn't about me or you or anyone else but her.

I am still wondering why, knowing as I do that there is not discernible rhyme or reason, I still care.

So why can't you just let it go?

Where is my compassion for her?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Best meal for $3.75

Spinach, pasta and feta sandwich
boneless chicken (as Nick call is) = hard boiled egg

Especially satisfying if you have just walked the lake and skipped breakfast.

It's important to celebrate the little things that make you smile, even if it only lasts for a minute.

It's much better than spending your lunch hour walking around the lake complaining about your co-worker.

In case you were wondering.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

what if and if only

There are no more poisonous words.

If only...
Is full of regret. It is the small child within the grown person wondering if he could have made his father love him by being somehow different. It is the wife turning herself inside out, trying to be who her husband says he wants.

IF ONLY exploits your deepest insecurity in the guise of goading you into striving to be better, more, deserving, you name it. Any of those characteristics that the demons whisper you lack and could never achieve.

What if...
While not outwardly as dangerous or painful as IF ONLY, just as destructive. What if leads you down the painful path of regret just as surely as IF ONLY ever will. What if I hadn't said that, done that, felt that? What if things had been different? What if I had planned better, executed more skillfully, understood more plainly? What if aliens abducted me and implanted something in me that has caused me to make all these missteps, mistakes, etc.?

Oh yes, WHAT IF, inevitably it leads you to the ALIENS and the sorrowful realization that the WHAT IF road cannot offer any solace, answers or peace.

Keeping these lessons present are difficult but worthwhile.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


"People don't come here for benefits," Russo said. "If they wanted benefits, they would go to Canada where they have a real health care system. They come here to work."