Saturday, October 31, 2009

Going home....

"Parents can only give good advice and put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." - Anne Frank

It's been a little over a year since I moved from Tampa to Philly. It meant living on my own... to moving in with my parents. I knew I needed a change in my life. It was time for a new career, heading to grad school.... but living with mom and dad for the first time in ten years. The idea was questionable at best.

I have never cared much about what other people thought about me, but I did wonder now that, now that I am in my 30s and back in the same bed that I slept in High School.

Dad flew down to Tampa. My friends and I packed up the moving truck we rented and we drove up to PA in the Fall of 08. I cried the entire drive out of Florida. I knew I was making the right decision for my life, but the pain was palpable. I was leaving such a nice life behind. My close circle of friends remain there. The area is beautiful. So many memories.

While I have had to make a lot of adjustments, emotionally and physical, after coming back, my parents have been wonderful.

I havent lived here in ten years. I got lost in my own town. I struggled to find work in the worst economy in decades. I was constantly cold 6 months out of the year - a spoiled sun brat as a result of 4 years in Florida. I had to get an acct with a tanning salon to keep my sanity. I had no sweaters. I had no closed-toed shoes aside from my sneakers.

Most of my belongings remain in storage. I am a full-grad school students with two part-time jobs, commuting an hour back and forth to school three days a week. I long for a full-time job in the industry I am studying. I want so badly to move closer to the city, on my own, making new friends. Developing a circle of friends is difficult when you are in the burbs and all your "old friends" are married with children now. I am not out painting the town red, so to speak, but maintaining those friendships - different now - we're both in different paths in our lives. I am getting so homesick for Florida lately. I have never felt this way before.

My parents have been encouraging, supportive, generous. They welcomed me back home. We have a kind, close relationship and being here has only made our bonds stronger. For that I am eternally thankful. I don't know how I will ever re-pay them. They insist I have nothing to feel guilty about - that this is what parents do. Besides - mom does my laundry and makes me dinner. Dad, a retired owner of auto-mechanic and transmission rebuilding business, looks after my car. I live here for free. In a world of uncertainty, two-part time jobs and school, this part ain't so bad.

The desire to move out is about independence, not a horrible experience living here. My dad and I had one fight over our cats. Yes, it was that trivial. My mom yelled at me once when I was eating cereal. I was half asleep and apparently answered her in a tone that was received as disrespectful. She went off the wall. My dad and I sat there puzzled. We both know she was in a bad mood, although we didnt know why, and it really wasn't that I did something wrong LOL.
Considering I have been here for 15 months and only encountered two arguements. I think thats a good track record.

I am very busy and they give me privacy. The only thing they ask is, that they know if I am coming home at night, to give them some peace of mind. I haven't really dated, so having a guy come over hasn't been an issue ha ha...

I feel like my life is in limbo. "Everyone" tells me to have "patience" - what I want will come in time. But let's be real - thats an easy thing to say to someone when you are living on your own, have a full-time job in your industry, have a tight circle of friends, and possibly a solid relationship with a significant other.

So I keep pushing forward, I keep waiting, I keep working and going to school. I will be honest, I want to go back to Florida. Maybe my path will lead me back after grad school next year.

In the mean time, being "home" again is like living in a comfort bubble. It will always be there. I know I am always welcome at home.

Friday, October 30, 2009

She puts coffee in her coffee

If anyone took away my coffee I would be homicidal. Guartunteed. Don't test me. This is serious business, folks. I need my fix. It ain't just a morning thing, either. It's all day every day.

It starts before the sun comes up. The aroma of the fresh coffee beans out of the mini-grinder, it wafts across the house, as the coffee pot fills up with the deliciousness. It sounds like a commericial but its music to my ears, nose and taste buds. I am snagged, hook, line and sinker.

I must go through at least two travel mugs during my early morning shifts. Then other cups through the day. When I head to job #2, I cruise through Starbucks for the grande size. Their brew is S-T-R-O-N-G. Good stuff! Talk about a pick-me-up!

There are days at Starbucks when I want a latte (fat free, sugar free vanilla), or an iced coffee (cream and two splenda). There are even times when I lust for a lite frap. When all is said and done I just love coffee. It's plain and simple. The taste, the smell, the flavors, the options, the convenience, the energy.

I can't be the only person who feels this way. Coffee places are popping up everywhere. It's like cancer. We're turning into zombies, zooming around with a glazed look on our faces clutching the brown steaming crack in our palms.

My former co-workers in Tampa would laugh at me. We'd be driving from one random story to another, when I would announce something like "hey, make a left at this light, go one block and there's a Panera on the right". That was my indication it was time to get Hackett another cup of coffee. I had "coffee radar". I knew every place that sold coffee-to-go within a 4 county radius,
My coffee dealers are EVERYWHERE.

We lead such busy lives and we need a big kick in the ass to get through the day. Well, at least I do :)

I stop at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts when I am at school - yes, they are both on campus. It's turned into an addiction and an obession. Do they have C.A. meetings?

I don't want to say, "I can quit any time I want", because I don't think I could. I LOVE coffee.

"You put coffee in your coffee",
-David, "Dream for an Insomniac"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Phillies Fan Speaks Out

"They can because they think they can"

I admit it. I don't really follow professional sports. I don't really pay attention to teams unless 1) I am at a game (which are fun) 2) at someone's house for a get-together. And 3) they make the play-offs. I am not ashamed to say it. You call me what you want lol. I wasn't raised in a house of die-hard fans. My mom and dad watch football at home on a Sunday. That's about it.
I have been to games, but I never caught fan-fever. That's until the Phillies went to the World Series last year.

For the first time in my life I started to understand what the fuss is all about. I watched each game in the playoffs. I watched every game in the World Series. Yeah I am 32, but I got a crush on Chase Utley and maybe even Cole Hamels, but I know, take a number ha ha.... what can I say, i got thing for men in uniform... and well I'll save that subject for another day :)

I watched the Eagles towards the end of last year's season and I started watching the Phillies again this year when they took on the Dodgers. I don't own any sports shirts or hats. I don't rush out into the streets and cheer when they win. I didn't even get to the parade last year (although that had more to do with the Septa crisis).

My point - you don't have to be "die-hard" to be a fan. I am from Philadelphia. These teams represent our city. Philly is a love or hate place. You either love it or you hate, no in-between emotions. Philly has been starving for a win for decades. Fans were disappointed every single year with every single sports team. For once, they got their wish. The Phillies are the world champs.

Now its time to do it again. It's sure to be a big battle - maybe even more so than last year. They are defending their title AND they're taking on the Yankee (and its dynasty).

I am a fan no matter what you "die hards" say about people "like me".

I want our guys to kick New York's a$$. I want us to show New York, and the rest of the world, we may be the smaller city, but we have guts, glory, talent and heart.

No matter what happens at the World Series, though, WE already know the guts, glory, talent and heart are the epitome of Philadelphia.

Monday, October 26, 2009

where to begin.....

"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
- Steve Jobs [Commencement Address to Stanford students]

After a decade as a TV News Reporter, I decided it is time to change careers. I am back to school, a grad student at Temple University in Philadelphia. My life has been quite a journey. This blog explores my journey up to this point and perhaps where it will lead from here.