Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It finally dawned on me why I love going to the airport

admit, I am painfully nervous on planes. So much so, I need medicine to calm down. Anyone who sits next to me on the plane - including strangers - have seen my face go white, a blank panicked look in my eyes. My palms sweat. My heart feels like it is going to jump out of my sternum. That being said - I love airports. I love traveling and exploring new places, so the idea of sucking up two or so hours of torture to spend a few days on vacation, is worth it to me. But I was recently watching one of my favorite movies: Love Actually. For those of you who haven't seen it, it will make you laugh, it may make you tear up. It's an ensemble cast of Brits and Americans. The opening scene is at the airport, people hugging and kissing goodbye and hello - with a monologue voice over by Hugh Grant. I will always be a die hard romantic.

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.

When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around."

~ Hugh Grant as Prime Minister in Love Actually (2003)

Friday, September 10, 2010

I got an internet tattoo

It’s supposed to be bad luck to get a tattoo with the name of the person you’re dating – a common superstition. It’s almost like you’re asking the powers-that-be (the invisible ones in the love department) to cast a shadow on your currently wonderful relationship. It’s a shadow that could in evidently lead to the demise of the partnership. Then you’re stuck with this person’s name permanently scrawled on your skin for the rest of your life. It’s one thing to have memories of this person; it’s another thing to have a daily reminder of the break-up every time you look in the mirror.

I start this post with that in mind. The love of my life knows how much I love to write, pour out my crazy thoughts and perspectives on life, yet he pointed out this week that I have never mentioned him in any of my posts since we got together
A new world has emerged in the form of the World Wide Web. It is virtually a living entity, one which is permanent and very public. I do have a private side, but for the most part, I am an open-book, unashamed to share my emotions, thoughts and life adventures - hence, this very blog.

When it comes to me writing about him in my blog, though, I feel like I am getting a tattoo with his name on it. Once you put it on the internet, you can’t take it back LOL.

I can’t imagine my life without him right now, but I don’t want to “jinx” what we have. I love him dearly, as he is one of the best things that have ever happened to me. It may be superstitious, but I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the purest love I may have ever felt, aside from my family. We all know that family love, even in its purest form, is different from that of a significant other.
Considering he is such a huge part of my life, he is right. I should honor our relationship and introduce you to Jeff.

We met on Match. We joke that we should be one of those couples on those commercials. I am 7 years his senior. It’s not as “old” as it sounds though LOL. At this moment I am 33 and he is 26. You wouldn’t know it if you saw us together, maybe it’s because I look a lot younger than 33? We’re just two people very much in love. We have become the best of friends; ones who can have fun doing anything or doing nothing at all, as long as we are together. Sure he is attractive – that’s a given… and I am not saying to this to blow up his ego (as he is very modest)… he is one of the kindest souls I have ever met. Very loving devoted friend. He loves life and I know he loves me.

Prior to meeting him earlier this year, I can’t say I had given up on love. I know it exists. I felt it before and I know soooo many people who are immersed in it. It is indescribable. A number of men have floated in and out of my life since my divorce at 28 – but I never found that “click.” That certain spark, one which makes you stops in your tracks.

When Jeff contacted me online I blew him off. Who is this (then) 25 year old trying to “land” an older woman? (I can’t believe I just referred to myself as an older woman!) But eventually I gave him my regular email address and then my phone number. It’s like we were just two friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while.
He made me dinner for our first date. He went all out. Flowers, candles, etc. Sure, you can say he was trying to get up a seduction scene, but his sweetness prevailed and sucked me in completely.

6 months later, we are enjoying every minute together – through thick and thin, he has been my shoulder to cry on, and at times I have been his rock.

I hope he is “the one.” I have always been a free-thinker and independent. I am the kind of person who doesn’t rely on another person to make me happy. I know that comes from within. But he has truly brought an unprecedented level of happiness in my life, amidst some of the roughest points in my life. I am blessed to have him in my and I only pray he is here to stay.

I am crossing my fingers – this internet-tattoo – doesn’t jinx us now!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Torn between two seasons…

Today is one of those days when you can feel the seasons are changing. Yesterday – September 8 – was HOT, HUMID, SUNNY – 90. It definitely didn’t feel like typical Philly weather, but then again, this summer has felt anything but typical. It is one of the warmest on record.

For a former Florida-girl, self declared sun-worshipper, beach lover… days like yesterday are reminiscent of my sweet life in Tampa. It’s a place where it feels like summer all year round. I know I have talked about this before, but, WOW, I miss Tampa. I can still feel the sand from St. Pete Beach under my toes. Everyday has that “vacation day” feeling, even on work-days. I would drive past dolphins swimming in Tampa Bay while on my way into work. For a Northern, it was wild.

But after a while, I almost came to take it for granted. Now I am up here, in Philadelphia, and I can feel fall creeping in. “Winds of change.” While it is a cliché there is a reason cliché’s exist, because there is some truth in them. Today is one of those days. The wind shifted, the air is cooler and drier, only reaching into the upper 70s. While it was beautiful outside today, the temperature is almost a shock to the summer skin.

That’s the way I felt every time I flew up “north” to visit, while I lived in The Sunshine State. I felt like I needed a week just to thaw out every time I came back. Now that I am a “Northern” again, I guess, the summer weather is starting to feel just like I remember when I was younger. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Days like today, though, make you kind of look forward to fall. There is that little bite in the air. You can pull out the jeans and light sweaters. I almost feel like I should be hanging my head in shame, though, when I say that. I feel like I am cheating on a significant other - that being Florida, summer.

This summer flew by for me. I was swamped between work and an internship. Saturdays were my only day off. I was at the beach ONE day. It was pitiful. Summer is no fun when it is blistering and you can’t be hanging by the water. Instead, I was sweating in dress clothes, riding on the train, on my way in and out of Center City. Or I was rolling out of bed before dawn and driving 40 minutes to put in a shift at the traffic job.

Now that the seasons are starting to shift, so is a phase in my life. I started my 3rd semester of grad school. With the way I scheduled work and school, I will actually have three days a week off for a few months. I may finally be able to finally catch my breath a little and wipe off the sticky summer sweat. Autumn 2010 is an allure for sure.

Do I whisper that or say it with pride? With all the craziness in my life and that which bounces inside my head – I think I might yell out the window. Bring it on Mother Nature; I am as ready as I am ever going to be.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

In a good place

thanks everyone who responded on FB! the previous post wasn't meant to be "depressing" LOL I am just a rather dramatic person ;) I am very fortunate for everything and everyone in my life... just going thru a confusing patch right now.. I love to write, so I put it in my blog. No worries, though, I am forging full-steam ahead!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Balancing a smile and sore soul

My quest to change careers is worse than any marathon I ever ran and I have done three marathons.

“They” said TV news was one of the most difficult industries to get into. Yeah, okay. (Insert sarcasm). I managed to land a job as a TV news producer 2 months after I graduated college. Well, it actuality it was at a very small station and I was paid just barely above minimum wage (Thank God I was able to still live at home), I was still able to “land” that first job. Even more difficult, “they” said, would be to land that first “on-air” TV news job.

Fast-forward a year later. I was on the road to Fairbanks, AK. Okay, so it was in the Last Frontier, at one of the smallest TV markets in the US. Still, I got a job and I was on my way to a successful decade working in the TV News business. It was a career that took me across the continent, exploring some of the most interesting places in the US, meeting fascinating people, and attending some of the most exciting events I ever dreamed about. The Iditarod. A Space shuttle launch on Independence Day. Reporting live from a helicopter. Presidential visits. The list goes on and on.

However, when I rounded the age of 30, my spirit began to fade. Some days the work was honestly boring. For crying out loud, I DO NOT want to go to any more city council meetings!

Other days the stress started to weigh heavily on my heart. After ten years, how many different ways can you report on a house fire? I am terribly sorry for the victims and the circumstances are so unfortunate, but how can you do the story justice if the factors are pretty much all the same? Fire + house = injured or deceased victim & displaced residents.

I was so sick of knocking on the doors of families and friends who just lost a loved one to an accident, shooting, mishap. (On a side note: The media does take a lot of heat for that type of story, but I do have to say, in my opinion, people at home do watch those stories with a voyeuristic curiosity, even though they would never admit it.)

I was tired of standing on the side of the road in a snow storm telling people to stay home. I was sick of getting soaking wet during tropical storms and hurricanes.

The TV News business is changing fast. Triple the work and one-third of the pay. Lay-offs and cut-backs are the way of the future.

Why couldn’t I have a normal job, a normal life, where you get weekends and holidays off? 9-5 work day? They are all but a dream in “TV News Land.”

At 31 I got an epiphany. Make the transition to Public Relations! It is not an uncommon leap for news-professionals. In fact, many people I had worked with in the past are now working in PR in cities across the US.

I reluctantly decided to go “home” to Philadelphia, pursue a Masters Degree and pursue a career in PR. Two years later, I am still in school, still working in broadcasting and still looking for a job in public relations. It is incredibly humbling to be an intern at 33. Yes, intern = work for free. An entire summer spent at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Saturdays were my only day off. Now I am entering my third semester of grad school and I am starting another internship – this one at a small PR agency.

It is a sacrifice I continue to make in order to build my resume and experience. I have re-formatted and changed my resume more times than I can remember. I am networking. I am pretty much doing “all I can do” to get the “first job.”
Everyone tries to sooth my fears. “Be patient,” they say. “Something is bound to happen.” I am starting to question my quest for a career in PR and my pursuit for a higher education. Yet, when I take a hard look at my career options, I can’t fathom going back into TV. Even though I know I was very good at my job, I know I would be miserable. I hate sales. Business bores me.

I apply and apply and it feels like the resumes get sucked into some black hole. I am getting the impression employers see my extensive work history and experience and put my resume in the trash. Either I am over-qualified for an entry-level position, which they think they can’t meet salary expectations or they think they won’t be able to keep me very long… or I am under-qualified for a senior-level position. I need a job, people. I don’t care about a high salary at this point.

I am sending out an S-O-S. I am waving the white flag. Someone please assure me my efforts are not in vain.

I ran my first marathon in 2007. It was the most challenging and rewarding feat I ever encountered. At this point, my quest to enter the PR world, in its own way, has matched, perhaps even surpassed, the mental and physical energy to finish a marathon. I am tired and sore. I have blisters.

If I ever thought I would be in the same place two years later, I don’t think I would have taken this route. But I did. I am here. I must keep on, keeping on.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I noticed a charge on my PNC bank account on 5-14-2010 from "caremark mail" for $160.

I have not been a caremark customer for a year! when i called caremark - i spoke to several reps this week - and ALL of them found no record of any charges on my acct - let alone one for $160!

The situation has been forwarded to "billing". I WAS supposed to hear back via phone to me, withine 24 hours. THAT WAS MONDAY. TODAY IS FRIDAY.

Conveniently there is no number that I can directly contact billing - they have to contact me. It's Bull $-it as far as I am concerned.

Meantime, I am -$109 balance in my account, PLUS overdraft fees!

THIS MUST BE RESOLVED ASAP! it is insane! I have bills to pay! There is absolutely no reason for this charge! I have not even received any products in the mail relating to such a charge, yet your company now has my money, WITH NO EXPLANATION!

I smell IDENTITY THEFT! SCAM! Poor Customer Service at the VERY LEAST!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Losing my Zane

"I never gave much thought to how I would die. But dying in the place of someone I love seems like a good way to go. Death is peaceful. Life is harder."
-Bella Swan, Twilight

I lost my Zane. I can't even believe this.

He was the love of my life. This may seem extreme to those who never met my cat, but he was quite the character.

He was quirky, loving, protective, active, playful. He followed me everywhere around the house. It didnt matter where I went, he followed. If I was doing laundry, he would walk down the steps and watch me put clothes in the washer. Zane slept with me every night, often on me. I would sometimes feel this heavy weight on my chest, and there he was sleeping away. If I was curled in a ball on my side, he would form himself to the shape of my leg and lay on top of it. He loved it when I scooped him up in my arms, cradled him like a baby and scratched his tummy. He purred so loud it sounded like a motor.

Zane and his twin sister, Isabelle, came into my life in September 2002. I was living in Northeast Pennsylvania and they were given to me - part of a litter of feral kittens born in the wild. I didn't ask for them. My ex in-laws rather dumped them on me, in my opinion, and said something like: "Here these are your's now."

They were so young and so small, they fit into the palm of my hand. Zane was defensive and even scratched my hand when I tried to pick him up out the box they were in. I thought to myself, "I am going to give you extra attention to make sure you trust and love me." And that's how it came to be. I know he was just a cat, but there was such a bond.

My family's 13 year old german shepard passed away in January. We had to have him put down because he was very sick from cancer.

I had noticed Zane sort of hiding out for the last two days. I was in and out of the house all week, so I didn't give it much thought. It wasn't like him to be hiding.

he would pop out as soon as he heard me, but I was so busy, I didn't connect the dots. When I got home from school at 9 pm Thursday, my dad told me to look for Zane because he wasn't acting right. I found him hiding behind the couch. I picked him up and his body was limp. He was barely breathing and barely blinking. My heart sunk.

It scared me to even hold him. I put him in my dad's lap and we called the vet immediately. I started crying and mom tried to calm me down, by telling me our other family cat got urinary tract infections a few times, that its not uncommon in cats and it makes them lethargic. Something told me it was a lot more than that. I knew in my heart how this was going to end.

I held him gently, pet him and talked to him as we quickly got to the vet. The poor baby was jaundice. The doctor said his liver was extremely enlarged and when it gets to this point there is no turning back. Conditions like these are usually the result of some sort of cancer. Since his liver was in failure, the vet said he was purely intoxicated. If we would have taken him home, the doctor said he would surely die a painful death in a few days. I knew what had to be done. The decision was excruciating. I said my goodbyes as he laid so quietly on the table. My dad held me up. I asked him to be there when it was time, because I didn't want Zane to be alone, but I coulnd't watch him go.

He is being cremated and we will bury him in the backyard.

The four levels of coping with loss: Guilt (I wish I had noticed sooner, but the doctor said there was nothing I couldn't have done). Denial (It feels like he is still around and I am trying not to think about it when I lay in my bed. He laid with me all the time) Anger (I am so angry. Why did this happen just two months after God took my loving and wonderful dog Buddy?) Depression (I am in shock, numb right now)

I know I have to focus on the good memories. That's part of why I couldn't bring myself to be there when he was put to sleep. I didn't want to remember him that way. Right now, though, its so painful to believe he is gone. He was not even 8 years old.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

everyone deserves to feel that way

"Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist"
-George Carlin

Valentine's Day... ahhhh.. the day single people swear was created by Hallmark. It's the day couples make the extra effort to show each other how much they care. Whether you recognize it as a "holiday", it still makes the single people feel REALLY single.

I am a die hard romantic, yet when you've been through failed relationships, it is difficult not to become cynical and jaded these days.

I do remember what it's like to feel something special. That does not mean I want to re-visit the past at all. You can only look at those times as a learning experience. I have learned a lot about myself. I learned what I want and I don't want. I like myself more than ever now. That, in itself, is worth the journey.

I wish all the couples out there nothing but the happiness loves provides. Everyone deserves to feel that way.