it’s perfectly acceptable to…

-bump into a pole, sign, or any other inanimate object and say, “oops, sorry!”

-show emotion at work when there seems to be absolutely nowhere else to place your feelings. Being told otherwise is like asking someone to take a break from being human.

-leave for a 3 PM sanity walk and breath of fresh air without letting everyone know of your whereabouts.

-wear Tweety pajamas from morning to night on weekends.

-change your story slightly with an innocent white lie.

-cut ties with someone if they’re not worth your time investment.

-want to go a day or two, or even three, without having to think about anything beyond the scope of a day.

-abandon technology to gain peace of mind.

-not want to work for awhile, even in a bad economy.

-want time to yourself without having to justify it to others. They’ll understand, and if they don’t, confront them gently later when you’re ready.

-NOT drink the Kool-Aid

-wear flip-flops in 40-degree weather.

-eat more than a guy.

-listen to someone’s story and have absolutely nothing to offer them but your ears and companionship.

-have 5 zillion dreams at once.

-read two books at once, with a different chair/location reserved for each.

-abstain from political conversation.

-feign sickness once in awhile when you don’t feel like facing the day.

-go commando.

-let others know when their negativity begins to effect you.

-not always know the difference between “affect” and “effect”

-hypenate an adverbial phrase, a continually-committed mistake.

-be an english major and admit to the two above.

-escribir puestos en otro idioma aunque la mayoria no entienda.

-scrivere nelle altre lingue perche non capiscono nessuno.

-go to bed at 10:09 PM.

Published in: on March 29, 2010 at 2:10 am  Leave a Comment  

in.som.nia.

The cat cries for something intangible. It’s not food, water, her favorite Pounce Tartar Control treats, or even a free cuddle.  So, what ails her? Hell if I know. She’s trying my last nerve. Patience, I must have patience. Oree is merely a child despite her elderly age in feline years. In reality, I think her litter box needs a good dumping, but that’s not a chore I want to face until tomorrow. So I lay awake, allowing her enough time to dispose of her waste or meow her frustrations outdoors, until I break down and let her in. Guaranteed, she’ll cry throughout the night. Lack of sleep leads to delusional things. This could be dangerous, since I plan on doing a great deal of rollerblading tomorrow.

With my insomnia, my wanderlust bites and nags. I want to go places. See things. Meet people and engage in big talk (small talk doesn’t interest me). I’m a pretty well-traveled adult, but it’s never enough. There’s too much out there. I must explore.

And with that, my brain goes into dormant mode.

Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 4:51 am  Leave a Comment  

what’s real these days?

Another post inspired by Tiny Buddha….Perhaps I’ll submit this one a little down the road.

It’s easy to drown in the sea of day-to-day things. How can we not when we’re bombarded by technology, social networks, phone calls, and talk of economic and political reform from just about every angle? It’s almost as if catching a breath of air, and not a forced one that requires hyperventilating or justification, has been put on the back burner. Planet Earth turns and embraces us in its rotation. Even though Earth claims to offer us all the freedom, oxygen, and human interaction we could ever want, it never seems enough. The world, as we know it, is constantly evolving before our eyes. How are we to keep up? MUST we keep up if it means losing sight of the simplicities we cherish? Sadly, some of us become so immersed in everyone and everything with a sense of urgency and expediency, we become human automatons, robotic “beings” executing tasks on our “to-do” lists.

Stop and breathe; every breath of air is a well-earned one no matter who you are. As a human being, it is your right to unwind and take a break from the numbers, bills, texts, tweets, status updates, phone calls, and the mesmerizing touch-screen wonderland. It is your right, and never too late, to allow yourself to experience and enjoy simple pleasures that are nothing but real.

So, what’s real these days? Consider the following simplicities

1-Create something. Everyone is an artist, whether visually, with words, or even numbers. Take what you know and put your mind to it. Better yet, share your creation with someone. A personal touch can brighten someone’s day.

2-Ask genuinely. Ask a friend, partner, or colleague, “How are you today?” and mean it wholeheartedly. How? Look them in the eye, even if it seems uncomfortable, and let them know you’re taking the time to care.

3-Be a giver. Perhaps you’re excited about the way an experimental recipe of yours turned out. Bring a dish to work to share with a co-worker without expecting any compensation. Or, drop a surprise cookie on someone’s desk when they’re on a break. People enjoy unexpected indulgences.

4-Hand-write someone a haiku. It’s not rocket science or elitist literature. Just follow the 5/7/5 rule and write something that’s meaningful to you and/or the person for whom it’s intended.

5-Open up. Let someone listen to your story. In person. You never know what insights can be gained.

6-Resurrect a hobby. Break out that old, dusty pair of rollerblades from 1995 and hit the pavement at full speed (just be careful and make sure you pad up those knees, elbows, and that head of yours). Or, build houses out of popsicle sticks and Elmer’s Glue. Pay no mind to those who tell you you’re too old. Live young.

7-Snail mail. It’s not convenient; it’s not supposed to be. That’s the point. Put some thought into a card or hand-written letter and mail it off with a good, old-fashioned Forever stamp. It’ll get there when it gets there and the recipient will love opening it.

8-Switch off. Shut down your laptop and cell phone one warm-weathered Saturday afternoon and enjoy the day unfold. Try not to be afraid of what you’re missing. The world will go on, and you will, too.

9-Read a book. A real, paper book with pages that can be turned by your very own finger tips! Take a pencil, mark it up, circle your favorite excerpts or draw hearts around your favorite characters’ names. Just take a break from the Kindle or any other touch-enabled tablet.

10-Jot it down. What have you learned today? “Nothing” is not an answer. Every day, you have the chance to learn and explore new things. Did you learn that a moth lands differently than a butterfly? Write it down! Did you discover a new hiking trail in your hometown? Make note of that, too! Discoveries help to shape the human experience.

Remember, in a world evolving exponentially, you are what’s real.

Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 2:23 am  Leave a Comment  

rollerblade resurrection

Sometimes, acting on a whim works in your favor. Take today, for instance. Out of nowhere, except maybe a bit of childhood  nostalgia, I decided to bring back an extreme sport now dead to suburban man: rollerblading. I ventured to my local Sports Authority and bought a pair of K2’s; surprisingly, they were reasonably priced. I fell victim to the ‘blading craze of the 90’s, rolling (no, not on Ecstacy) wherever my teenage legs would take me, and I loved every minute of it. Funny enough, I can’t recall exactly how, when, or why I stopped. I suppose the blades and I just grew apart?

In any event, I’ve got to say that these are some hot wheels. Black with white vector-like art on the velcro straps, and a little pink breast cancer ribbon. Good quality to boot. I’m totally satisfied with this purchase. I’ve put a few miles on my wheels so far and plan on practicing during the warmer months. Hell, I’m even thinking about entering as “fresh meat” (newcomer) in a roller derby just for the hell of it. Why not, right? First, I need a name. Rule: it has to be slightly permiscuous or suggestive, i.e. Betty Bladelicker but not that.

Before I get too ahead of myself, let me just say that resurrecting an old hobby is a gratifying experience. Sure, it’s a little step in the overall scheme of things, but that’s sort of the point. As the cliche preaches, it’s the little things. While skating away under the sunshine in an elementary school parking lot, I came across a little girl on a bike. She smiled, in awe of what adorned my feet, possibly in hopes that she, too, would someday own a pair. I told her she was doing an awesome job on the bike. She waved and smiled every time I bladed past her. Even though I miss being a chid, innocent and optimistic of all my surroundings, I also love living vicariously through children in my adulthood. It seems small, but I hadn’t experienced a simple joy like this in years. It took a whimsical decision to achieve that.

When it seems right, listen to your whim, people. Don’t dismiss it or you may miss out.

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 1:49 am  Leave a Comment  

a word on inspiration

I think I’ve got it- another idea for a short story. Hopefully this one will be promising and not dwindling like the others as of late. (Seems as if I’m not one to write about relationships gone sour.) Remembering childhood’s bittersweet past, one prominent figure I cannot forget is Ms. McIntyre, my quirky, fundamentalist Catechism teacher. Ironically, she was the one who steered me away from Catholicism, the religion I was convinced I was born into until death do me part.  Beliefs should not be based on fear. She epitomized fear. Because of her, I did something I will never forget. The memory of it is branded.

Stay tuned for further creative developments. I feel some non-fiction brewing. I’d love to spend the bulk of one day at Borders cranking away. In order to be a good writer, one must write, and this is what I need to do.

Published in: on March 10, 2010 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

wintry wisdom…

My fingers are frozen in the sub-arctic climate of this office. I’m dreading tonight’s post-workout sweat mingling with the cold air. I was born with Mediterranean blood; I’m in dire need of warmth all the time. Showers must be scalding hot, soup must be way above boiling point, tea must be very hot throughout the entire drinking process, and I must cover my neck when I sleep at night. If cold touches my neck, the world freezes over. I hate the cold. While I wait for the first signs of summer (forget spring), let’s reflect on the positives of winter for a bit:

-The moths are hibernating. My fear is allayed.

-Tea becomes a true blessing.

-Boots. High black leather ones. Enough said.

-Unconditional love from my cat who chooses to remain indoors.

-Days spent at bookstores reading or writing, scorching hot tea in hand.

-Giant cauldrons of soup are more delectable.

-The virginal white color of snow makes me feel less bad for being a pale  nun.

-Leggings. The only prize from the “what-the-fuck-happened-here?” decade.

-Fire. Sitting by it and whatnot.

-Winter hiking. It’s actually worth freezing for, provided the temperature does not drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

-The gym. Discovering your inner jock-ette.

These are rather pathetic.

Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm  Comments (1)  

today, i got lost

My aunt and I decided to go hiking today at Devil’s Den in Weston. To say it’s in the middle of nowhere is an understatement. My Tom-Tom spat out about twenty different backroad names (thank God), my poor tires rolled up countless hills, and then we arrived. I had been there twice before, each time progressively more confusing. To give the town some credit, they do provide trail maps. But, they’re worthless and almost completely outdated. We decided to venture on and defy the odds anyhow, with three hours of daylight remaning.

This time, we took the path less traveled by, and we didn’t even know it. Toward the tail end of our journey, we started to look for signs back to the lot. We hit a fork in the path where a haphazard arrow pointed to “Devil’s Den Entrance.” So, we followed it. About three miles later, the parking lot was still nowhere to be seen. My aunt, sprinting about a hundred yards ahead of me, began to panick and told me to pick up the pace. Meanwhile, my bladder was full, my stomach was rumbling, and I had just tripped over a log and landed on my knee.

We decided to turn back around and find marker 35, the only glimpse of hope, or so it seemed. So, we walked back to the fork. Clara gets a call and it’s the cops. The POLICE. What the hell?! Turns out, my other aunt, upon learning we were “lost,” called the Weston 911. A sure matter of life and death, indeed.

The cop traced the cell phone call on their GPS. Miraculously, he was able to direct us back the way we had originally come. My mother called frantically and offered to haul her giant SUV into the wooded boondocks and pick us up. She eventually hushed and realized she was being nuts.

The best part: we’re going to be in the Weston, CT police report.

I’m kind of humiliated, but also glad to have added some humor to my weekend.

Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment  

take a long drown with me, of california wine

And the wine it tastes so sweet
as we lay our eyes to wander
and the sky, it stretches deep
Will we rest our heads to slumber
beneath the vines of California wine?
Beneath the sun of California one

-The Decemberists: “California One Youth and Beauty Brigade”

Yesterday evening, I saw my father in his element as he showed me the first steps of transforming grapes into wine. I popped Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc grapes, whole, like candy. I taste-tested the sugar levels and distinct flavors of each grape. As he told me to taste carefully, I realized for the first time there really is a difference. Of the three grapes, the Merlot has the most distinct flavor, which accounts for its dryness. It’s my personal favorite.

I was almost sad to see the beautiful, dark-as-midnight grapes go into the crusher. Over three-hundred pounds of California-delivered wine grapes, left up to our own artistic vini-talents. I’ve never seen my father this happy in my life. I think it’s time to take the old man out west.

Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 1:40 am  Leave a Comment  

a phobia…

“…is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject.” -Wikipedia

I have a phobia. Mottephobia is (un)commonly known as: THE FEAR OF MOTHS.

I know, I know. Why in the world???

“…When the fear grows intense there must be some incident in the past linking to moths that triggered the cause of fear in your mind.

A real life scare usually give rise to the phobia that resides in the mind for so long that at a point it becomes impossible to get it out of the mind. ”

I don’t at all recall this incident that occurred in 1986. But, according to my parents, it happened. It was a late summer night like any other. The wind must have been howling, the lighting and thunder so fierce that a power line probably blew. And it did. Naturally, I probably wailed for the comfort of my mother’s arms. The lights were all gone. Will they ever come back? Why can’t I see? What in the…?

And then it touched me. Something. All over my face, unevenly, awkwardly. My neck, my hands, persistently. My theories of bedroom monsters were confirming themselves right before my blind eyes. Soon enough, Mom came dashing in haphazardly with the flashlight. Through the weak trail of light it emanated, something flew in crooked, hazy circles. My bedroom monster–a dark brown moth.

Though I have no recollection of this incident, I’ve never been able to allay my paranoia that somewhere, in some corner, a winged creature that rules the night is out to make my life a living hell. All my life, I’ve dreaded dark summer nights when moths would have the opportunity to escape inside and make their way to the nearest source of light. INSIDE MY HOUSE. Make no mistake: that was then, and this is now. And my fear still persists.  

Over the years, my father took on the unofficial role of moth terminator, always with the neon yellow fly swatter in hand, the “chitta mosca”, as he’d say in Italian. Until the winged creatures were killed or completely vanished from the house, I wouldn’t even begin to consider relaxation. It just wasn’t an option. I’d spend an hour, at least, inspecting windows, corners, door hinges, and the ruffles and folds of curtains for flat, triangular, brown, white and black bodies. It never ended.  They all had to die.

To my luck, our upstairs “play room” had a moth infestation shortly after we bought our hamster Pumpkin. They left their larvae in his bag of food and reproduced more evil for me to encounter. They were everywhere. Walls, lights, ceilings, filing cabinets, toys, curtains, my clothing, and made their way into my bedroom. The infestation lasted around a year. I don’t want to talk about it.

Moths with holes, moths with stripes, black moths, white moths, brown moths, grayish moths, little ones, big, fat, hairy ones…would collect in dead heaps by the hallway light. Victory at last. Stupid creatures. Something they’re so attracted to can fry them in an instant, and they don’t even realize it. No matter, they all needed to die. 

To this day, I cannot be in the house when a moth lurks about, or my night will be very sleepless. When an image of a moth flashes in my brain, I immediately turn around and expect something awkward and winged to fly in my direction and invade the personal territory of my face.  I hear a simple flutter somewhere around the room, immediately shield my face with my hands and inspect every corner meticulously. I feel a tickling on my arm and I’m inclined to slap it. Most of the time, it’s just nerves doing their usual work.

Just the other day (Friday morning), I was brushing my teeth before work. I heard the infamous fluttering right behind me. A black moth was slamming itself repeatedly on the newly installed shower tiles. I screamed, hurting my throat in the process. I immediately grabbed the nearest flip flop I could find. Too afraid to come too close, I threw it at the creature…a failed attempt. It flew toward my face. I slammed the door shut, locking it in there for its demise later. In the process, I landed on my shoulder, bruised it, and twisted my neck. My hands and arms tingled, my eyes twitched, and yes, I felt stupid. Humiliated. Childish. Pathetic. Pretty much all of the above. And, I have a nice, aching black-and-blue.

Guys, I’m not acting. I’m not faking this for attention. I’m often alone when this happens. I acknowledge that this is a ridiculous fear. It’s completely irrational and pales in comparison to real-life fears like terrorism, war, death, murder, destruction, mayhem, or what have you. But, this is a real phobia that my mind has created out of its own free will. It often affects my day-to-day routine. 

I’m not afraid of butterflies. Just moths. However, a butterfly has yet to escape into my house.

Many of you have asked for an explanation, and, well, there you have it.  Laugh all you want to, but I’m pretty sure I’m not joking. At all. I need to do something about this.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 2:53 am  Comments (1)  

a warm welcome, extended to myself…

For reasons unknown to me, I started to feel like the glitz and glam of LiveJournal was inhibiting my ability to write. So, I’ve decided to switch blogs. For purely selfish reasons, I want this blog completely closed to the public, community-free, Google-free, and accessible to only my close friends. I plan on reflecting on some pretty deep shit in here, something I felt I haven’t been able to do in a long time.

So, without further ado, I’d like to welcome myself to the crisp, clean, user-friendly world of blogging. Officially. For real, this time.

I suppose this is my cue to say, “stay tuned for more.” Probably, I won’t have an audience for awhile. I’ll close with an excerpt from some lyrics I wrote recently:

Take me on a trip

A trip inside your mind

If you can find the time

Because I can’t understand

How your world’s so defined

And it’s not like mine

Not like mine at all

 

Throw me on the battlefield

Strip me of my branded clothes

Tattoo me in camouflage

Hang me like a wounded rose

Carry me around the globe

Leave me to your regiment

Maybe I’ll see you

when the storm clouds go.

 

I had a lot to learn

I could have kept it all

But the world inside your mind

Would ruin us over time

And it’s not like mine

It’s not like mine at all

Published in: on September 7, 2008 at 3:03 am  Comments (3)