Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sono Terrana

"To be Sicilian is, in a sense, to consider it part of life’s purpose to avoid, subvert, or ignore the rules — any rules. “It’s not that we want to break the law, ” one young man explained. “It’s just that there are too many of them.”"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hunger Strike

Today is our 8 year anniversary....I had a long talk with him last night as I have been almost every night lately and he finally did something that made me turn my decision around to move out.
He drank wine. He has always criticized and poo-pooed my consumption of wine at home, and certainly never elected to share in my love of it. I had my obligatory 3 oz cup last night out of my Japanese tea cup, and he broke out a Seattle shot glass and asked me to pour him a little. He drank it and asked me if it's supposed to make your chest warm, and I laughed and said yes.
He's not doing well. He's lost about 20 lbs and he's not even going to the gym. He was in impeccable shape beforehand and now his eyes are consuming his whole face. He hasn't been eating and I know he is in a deep depression.
He told me that he had a plan to re-propose to me in front of the church where we got married 8 years ago today. He even wanted to ask a priest to preside over it so we could have a blessing or something...all of a sudden he wants God back in his life and I don't know why it took this but it did. I can't walk away from a starving man...I'm Greek for crying out loud. I have to cook for him and nurse him back to health. I want to accept his love and believe in the miracle that has occurred in his heart. I am going to give him a chance, but I told him I would never put up with what he put me through...not from him or anyone else in my life.
I prayed the other day for God to help me let go of some of the things I've been holding on to like my bitterness and dreams of a better life without him. I know I could not only survive but I could thrive without my choice to stay is not out of necessity, but of desire.
My friends will be disappointed in this decision, but they don't have to live with it, I do. I am going to work on my schoolwork today, but when I get home I'm going to tell him. I hope I'm making the right decision- something in my heart tells me I am.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feverish Rant

Yeah, I admit it...I was on a feverish rant last night, but it was a worthy one. It's not until I start visualizing the life I want that I can actually go out and pursue it. I'm up at 1 am on Tuesday morning trying to study for my stats mid term tomorrow and my mind is racing. I talked to my sister today...she just moved to Minneapolis and loves it. I am in the process of looking into a major Minneapolis-based company that I had the pleasure of connecting with in Houston at the MBA conference. I think it makes sense, and I think I might just do it. I need to step my school game up, for real though. I've been so consumed with my personal life that I've totally neglected my classes this term. If I can just forget about the rest of the world for a minute and get my education in order, I think I would be a lot more at ease. I can picture myself living the good life in Minneapolis for a couple years, then transferring to Miami or somewhere on the east coast. Damnit...I need to get a decent grade on this stats exam if I want to pass this class. I gotta get a grip.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Turning Things Around...

So I saw my new shrink on Friday...I like her. She's Venezuelan and she knew my GEMS. I had a long talk about my GEMS and we worked out some of the issues and sadness I had about losing her. It was a loss to the entire mental health community, as well as the Latino community. She meant so much and was so respected by everyone, it was hard to accept that she could get to a point where she didn't know what a loss it would be if she was no longer here. She asked me how I felt she was now, and I said that I would like to say she's at peace now, but I don't believe that. I don't believe that she could have peace if she could see the life she left behind from where she is now. I don't think she will have peace until she is reunited with her family in heaven and can ask their was good to talk about it with someone who could offer some sort of insight...I think it's one of those things that the average person, including myself cannot fathom or understand.

On to other news...the 30-day period of marital repair ended yesterday. It looks like we're on the up and up, but something inside me is still unsettled. My new shrink asked me to start doing things based on the life I want for myself. Not what's best for the marriage or MMM, but what will be working toward the life I want for myself. It seems so simple, but I had never really thought of things that way. I suppose here is as good a place as any to paint that picture, so here goes:

I want to get my energy back, so I forced myself to get up at 9 am this morning and went for a 30 minute walk outside.

I want to succeed in school. I got my mid-term grades back for 2 of my classes and let's just say they were less than stellar. I came back from my walk and prepared a document for my group meeting at 1 pm so that they could see my head was in the game. I know I haven't been carrying my weight with them, and we just had our mid-term peer reviews which I'm sure I got slammed on. In our first meeting, I had just gotten done telling MMM I didn't want to be married anymore. Needless to say I wasn't quite focused during that meeting. We had a good talk today about our group dynamics and roles, so I think things will get better moving forward.

I have a test on Tuesday for statistics which I am going to do my best on, but it's always been an area of struggle for me. I am going to push myself to succeed at all costs.

I want to be fit. The aforementioned walk was just for my mental health more than anything else. I am going to start a fitness regimen slowly; I am wasting the best years of my life with a lower than average level of physical activity. I am too young to be so sedentary. I want to have a positive self-image, and more energy than I do right now. I don't need to be a supermodel, just active.

OK. That was the list of immediate things I can change. Here's the list of things I want for the future...the harder stuff that will require some tough decisions.

I want to be in a marriage. I want my marriage to be one in which I consider my husband to be my best friend. I want to laugh, cry, and love with him.

I want to have children. I want to share my children with a man who will be a wonderful father figure spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

I want to have an active spiritual life. I want my family to come together around church activities, I want my kids to be in Sunday School and I want my husband and I to study the Bible and pray together as a couple, then do the same with our kids.

I want to have an active social life. I want my husband and I to interact with mutual friends, couples, and our families. I want to host dinners and go to social functions together. I want to get excited to get dressed up, and I want to go to benefit dinners, plays, operas, concerts, dance performances, and ballet recitals for our baby girl.

I want to be active in the community. I want my husband to coach our son's little league team. I want to do volunteer work at a homeless shelter or children's cancer hospital. I want to do community clean up projects, I want to volunteer at my children's schools.

I want to travel. I want to be spontaneous and adventurous in our travel plans. I want to spin the globe like they did in Coming to America and pick a place to visit. "Heads New York, tails Los Angeles." I want to bring the kids eventually, but I want to have one trip a year alone with my husband where we go on a romantic getaway...maybe we go to the same place every year, maybe we go somewhere different. Either way, we'll have a great time.

I want to dance. I want to dance with my husband and my kids...maybe we could even have a Saturday night soul train in our living room where our kids teach us the newest dance moves when they're older, and we can have our songs that we teach them from back in the day. I want my children to know music, to understand the roots of rhythm and how it is an integral part of an enriched life.

I want culture. I want to teach my children Spanish and English at the very least, and I want them to learn Greek at Sunday school or even the Greek Orthodox school across the street from Company X. I want my children to be involved in their cultures- to know the food, languages, customs, and music. I want them to understand cultural patterns and the beauty of being a multicultural family. I want my children to embrace their differences and uncover similarities. I want them to cherish having grandparents from all over the world and laugh at the stark contrasts, but equally strong love.

I want art. I want to invest in paintings from my sister and other artists, but I want art to permeate my home. I want each room to have a signature work of art, whether it's a painting, sculpture, or photography. I want my home to reflect cutting edge elegance, and the taste I have developed over the years as my parent's daughter and the sister of an artist.

I want food. I want to cook incredible meals for my family every night, but I also want to create unforgettable holidays for my family and friends. I want to have dinner parties with all adults every other month...where we listen to jazz, salsa, or even dance hall reggae. After everyone goes home, I want to spend the evening with my husband doing whatever we feel like doing...

I want to write. I want to write a book someday. I want my husband and I to have enough financial stability to where I don't have to work, but I will work on projects as a consultant. As a mother, I want to raise my children but also dedicate time to part time work and writing. I want an office with a huge window that faces the water...whether it's the ocean, a bay or a river, it needs to be living water...not a lake or a pond.

I want wine. Sounds funny, but I want to invest in a wine collection from wineries all over the world where I travel. I want local wines (I live in pinot country) and I want a vast array of Chilean, Argentinean, Spanish, and Italian wines. I want to hold wine tastings at my house, and have a special wine opening on the holidays. I want to travel to wineries around the world and see how it's made in different countries.

It's a laundry list, I know- but I need clarity on where I'm going if I'm going to make it happen. I hope my new shrink doesn't think I'm a high-maintenance dreamer.

Focus coming back...


Sleeping, Slipping, Sickly.

I've been sleeping a lot lately. I've been sick, so I'm trying to attribute it to that, but I was sleeping a lot before I was sick. I find that I need at least 11-12 hours of sleep a night, and my days are spent unmotivated and unfocused. I have had an incredible amount of loss this year, and while MMM and I are on the rise, I still don't feel like myself. I know I'm depressed, and as much as I want to snap out of it, I don't. I've been taking some medication that my GEMS prescribed to me before she took her own I'm wondering if I should even be on them.
This year, in an effort to recoup my old self, I have reached out to friends and family to cheer me up. It always helps temporarily, but then I find myself in the same position again. It's almost as if it's physical and not mental. I don't feel strong enough to change my fate so I just slip away into unconsciousness. I often lie in bed with my eyes closed fantasizing about another life which just ends up depressing me more because I'm not in a position to make it happen. I want to feel alive again, I want to be awake and energetic. I get all kinds of advice from people, but it almost feels impossible to apply. I don't feel particularly sad about life in general, just disappointed in myself and my lack of ambition. I used to be impressed with myself I don't feel like much at all. I miss the times when I could laugh for hours at a time and paint pictures of beautiful dreams. Maybe one day it'll happen again, but in the meantime I'm here reaching out for something that I'm not allowed to have...scattered. self-absorbed. searching...I'm alone.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh, It's Gonna Be Super!

Trying to get over a throaty chest bug probably doesn't help that I was out until almost 4 am drinking and smoking with a bunch of 25 year old girls at a bachelorette party last night. I had no idea how the other half lives...but now I do. I must say, every bachelorette party I've ever planned or attended has been REALLY tame. In fact, all we do is either:

a.) eat dinner
b.) sing karaoke
c.) go dancing
d.) all of the above

Well...apparently 25 year old white girls do it a little differently. They all had personalized t-shirts with the most ostentatious sexpletives I have ever seen in mass quantities....and I thought I was being racy wearing a black silk camisole! We then proceeded to go to a couple bars where the bride, (who was wearing a veil with Magnum condoms as a tiara no less) did body shots on the bar and was passed out and puking before 11 pm. In true TT form, I refrained from hard alcohol (my poor almost 31-year old entrails just can't do it like she used to...except in MD and MIA) and stuck to wine and champagne.
The DD took her back to the hotel and the rest of us continued to bar hop, where the bridal party danced on the bar and had the attention of all the men in the place. I realized at that point that I was the lamest of the lame and that I traded in my party hat long ago. I thought that shakin' it on South Beach until 4 am last April renewed my membership to the VIP, but apparently if you're not bare assin' it and making out with bartenders you're really nobody.
We finally ended up at the 24-Hour Hotcake House where I devoured a blueberry Belgian waffle and a cup of decaf, and then got back in the party van with such classy slogans such as "Shameless Sluts" and "Cumm over here" painted on the windows. day I'll look back on this and be ashamed, but for now I'll just pray that no one I know saw me.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Latin Simplicity.

As a socialite chef, one can get into the rut of only cooking for special events, family get-togethers, church meetings, work potlucks and the like. At times it seems as if home cooking is mundane and useless when it hasn't been indubitably appreciated by the audience of 1 with whom you live.
Today, instead of fretting over the likes, dislikes, and carbohydrate limitations of the man of the house, I made what I like to call the Essential Latin Dish.
I start with a good sofrito. My recipe was passed down to me by my suegra who can cook for an army and used to cook for the Navy.
If you're not familiar with what sofrito is, I would liken it to the soul of Caribbean Latin cooking. It's in everything from soups, to beans, to chicken fricaseé.

1 cup fresh cilantro, (Use fresh recao leaf if you know what it is and where to get it)
1 cup raw onion
1 cup bell pepper (Any color will do, use ajiz if you know what it is and where to get it)
About 6-7 garlic cloves
1 packet of Sazon Goya con Culantro y Achiote
A couple tablespoons of olive oil and a little water
Dash o' pepper
Dash o' Adobo Goya con Pimienta
7-8 Spanish pitted olives w/ pimentos (add a little juice if you like)

Blend ingredients in the blender, but leave a little cilantro, onion, bell pepper and garlic aside...about 2 tablespoons to be minced finely.

Pollo Guisado
Once you have your sofrito ready, heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep frying pan on medium. Place several chicken pieces in a gallon size ziploc bag (I prefer boneless) and season with a little Adobo Goya (your choice of flavor) garlic powder, and about 2 tablespoons of white vinegar (nothing fancy, the 99 cents/gallon kind will do just fine) and about 1/2 cup of chopped onions and seal. If you have boneless pieces, you may pound the chicken with a smooth mallet (not a meat tenderizer, it will puncture the bag) or a pilón (if you don't know, don't worry about it) until the chicken pieces are thoroughly flattened to about 1 inch in thickness. This is done to disperse the flavors into the meat and tenderize.

Place the chicken pieces in the pan and brown each side, uncovered.
Once the chicken is browned, add 1 can of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Add approx. 3/4 - 1 cup of sofrito, stir.
Add approx. 1 cup of chopped potatoes, about 1/4 inch thick (no need to peel, I like baby reds)
Add a little more vinegar...about 2-3 tablespoons
Then...the REAL way to do it- add some beer. Don't get fancy, Coors Lite will do the trick...Feel free to drink what you don't use ;-)
Cover and lower the heat to a simmer, cook for approx. 35 minutes and break out a large sauce pan for your beans.

Habichuelas (Beans)
Heat about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium
Take the cilantro, onion, bell pepper, and garlic you set aside and mince as finely as possible.
Sauteé this mixture in the olive oil until just before garlic browns.
Add a tablespoon of white vinegar
Dash o' pepper
Dash o' Adobo Goya
Add 1 can of black or pink beans
Add 1 can of tomato sauce, and 2 cans of water
Add 1/2 cup of sofrito
Add 1/2 cup chopped potatoes (same as you used above, sliced approx. 1/4 inch thick- you can also use yams or sweet potatoes)
Add 1 tablespoon finely minced Spanish olives w/ pimentos

Lower to a simmer and cook for approx. 35-45 minutes or until potatoes are thoroughly softened.

This will be easier if you have a rice cooker, but if not- cook it on the stove top.
For whatever rice method you use, for every 1 cup of uncooked rice you make, add 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Ensalada de Pepino y Aguacate
Take one whole English cucumber, cut in half width wise, and then each half length wise. dice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick semi-circle slices and place in a large salad bowl.
Add approx 1/4 handful of thinly sliced red onion
Add approx 1/4 handful roughly chopped cilantro
Cut ripe avocado in half. Use side w/o pit, and using a pair knife or other small knife, cut avocado into a grid. Peel back skin and use pair knife to release avocado pieces into bowl.
White vinegar
Olive oil
Garlic powder

OK. Once you have all this going, serve the beans on top of the rice, the chicken on the side, and the salad in separate bowl. ¡Buen provecho!

Cultural Note: If you want to be Dominican for a day, eat a bite of banana between every 3rd bite. Sounds crazy, but do it once and you'll do it again and again.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Too Much Time...

I never thought I would be the one to say this but...I have too much time on my hands and it's starting to get debilitating! I can't wake up until 11 am or so, and then I spend time doing things that don't matter because I feel like I have all the time in the world...then the day's over.
I know I've been depressed lately from all the deaths going on...but I feel like I should be more focused. I almost feel like I never want to work again full time, so why am I pushing myself so hard to finish school and go to an MBA conference for which I'm not even serious about any employers? I actually had a long talk with my best friend last night who is having a MAJOR baby-fiending episode these days...and while I'm not exactly dreaming of uteruses like she is, I am seriously considering motherhood for the first time.
I told myself I wouldn't consider it until I finished my MBA, which now has a definite completion date of August '08...I also needed to know what my marital/relationship situation would be which wasn't definitive until recently either. While I'm not 100% sure if MMM's good behavior will last forever, I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will. If it doesn't, I hope I find out soon so I can make other arrangements. I'm going to be 31 in October and I'd like to at least start trying by my 32nd birthday. Do I sound like a crazy baby-obsessed 30 year old? I've been married for almost 8 years so I would like to think I'm not being hasty...
The more I'm at home, the closer I feel to my dwelling and the more I can picture myself nurturing and raising a child. I am going to start preparing my body internally by completely cutting out smoking...not even socially. I am going to limit my alcohol intake, watch what I eat, and get on a regular exercise regimen. I want to make sure that I am at the very least physically prepared...I know the emotional part comes during pregnancy. I will read all the books, get the room ready, and start nesting like a mofo.
It's really important to me that the father of my child be extremely understanding, nurturing, and financially stable. I need to know that I have the option to stay at home while my children are in their crucial developmental years. I want to know that he will treat me with respect and not go astray while my body is going through so many changes. I need to know that he will think I'm beautiful even with a big belly and indigestion. I want to make sure he can go with me to birthing classes, crib shopping, and will read the baby books with me.
Man...this is a freaky feeling. I hope I'm in the right place to be dreaming about this stuff. I have a year to figure it out, so you can best believe I'm going to be watching my situation like a hawk.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ode to a Friend.

Every once in while someone comes into your life by chance who changes you forever. It may be while you're going through something difficult, and it may not...but they. change. your. life.

Their humor and sensibility match yours, their dreams become yours, and you love to laugh with them on a daily basis. You know they will be there for you no matter what you're going through, regardless of the choices you make. You want to see them soar to new heights, and they inspire you to live out your dreams.
This person may be male or female, they may even live on another coast, but your souls match and that's all that matters. There is something pure about true friendship that supercedes romantic love or infatuation. True friendship respects, upholds, and lets go when it needs to. True friendship can watch from afar knowing that even if your paths never cross again, the change within you both can never be taken away.
This kind of friend wants to see good prevail, and ultimately your happiness will be their happiness. True friendship is a matter of love, but a love that is unselfish and gentle. It is a love that will make you smile just from hearing a song or seeing something small that you talked about once.
I think this is the most beautiful kind of friendship. I think that this is the kind of friendship that merits permanence over your heart. I think that everytime you look in the mirror, there lies a reflection of that person melded with your own. I think this is true love, and I may be wrong...but I don't think so.

2007, Everyone's Going to Heaven.

I said that at the beginning of the New Year after my sister-in-law lost her unborn child of 20 weeks. Around that same time my yia yia got sick, and she just died in August. Now, yet another core member of my inner circle has passed shrink of 6 years.
When most people hear the word shrink, they get a nasty smirk on their face, an unintentional judgment of insanity or better yet, weakness. They look at you with pity, disgust, and superiority. My shrink was the antithesis to all that is stereotypical about the Dr./patient relationship. She was never condescending, overanalytical, stuffy, or...shrinky. She was honest, vulnerable, humorous, affectionate, sassy, and real. She was all I could hope to be one day. My Green-Eyed Mexican Shrink was not only mine, but also belonged to 3 other women within my immediate friend circle. We would often get together and ask "What would our GEMS say?" We would laugh and repeat things she had told us, ways she encouraged us, and ultimately how she was the primary catalyst in us realizing our potential as our true selves. I started seeing her in 2001 or 2002 when I was at an extremely low point in my life. I must have been 24 or 25, and I had been married for about 2 years. She and I hit it off immediately. She got my sense of humor, didn't balk at my sarcasm, and taught me to embrace my faults as well as my strengths. She taught me to forgive myself in the face of adversity, and to believe in my dreams...follow my heart.
Ultimately she never judged me for my weakness, yet she taught me how to be stronger.
This year has been one of the worst in my life, but I am coming through it one step at a time. my GEMS moved to California in July for "health reasons" according to her office, but would be back in early August. I called in mid-August when I returned from the east coast after 2 weeks of watching my grandmothers slip away, having my marriage practically dissolve, and dealing with generalized borderline family disorder. I called her office and was told that my GEMS had closed her practice in Washington State and moved to California permanently for health reasons. I was beside myself...could it be cancer? A heart attack? Lupus? I wanted so badly to contact her, to let her know I was thinking about her and I hoped she was ok.

Yesterday I got the call that she. had. committed. suicide. . . . . . .

What? How can a shrink commit suicide? Aren't they supposed to be the ones helping people? Aren't they supposed to be introspective and omnipotent? This sole tragedy tells me otherwise. She left behind a son, about 11 or 12 years old and an ex-husband. I could not for the life of me figure out how she could do that to her family, but my good friend's father who used to share an office with her told me about his friend who eventually ended up taking his life who said that "when you're in that state it's as if you're a fox with your leg caught in a trap and all you can think about it escaping to relieve the pain." When put in those words...I can understand.

I loved her. I will miss her. I will have to dig back into 6 years of therapy and recall all the lessons she taught me...I'm on my own now.

Thank you, Silvia. May your memory be eternal.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall Fantasies

The wedding was absolutely amazing. Beautiful bride, smitten groom, gushing family and friends, fantastic food, and a soul train.
It couldn't have been a more perfect day for my friend- her groom, whom she has been dating for almost 8 years looked at her as if she were the only woman on earth. It was obvious that he had truly found the woman of his dreams and he was crazy about her. I held it together throughout the ceremony, but bawled my eyes out during the 1st dance. For some reason the idea of slow dancing has become so foreign to me...the ceremony was formal, public, and official...what MMM and I are really good at. What we haven't been good at are the close intimate moments in front of people- the kisses, the slow dances, the hand holding and it absolutely killed me. There is something undeniably beautiful about 2 people who have been married for a long time who can still find the passion to slow dance with each other. I was taken back to the times when I could hold my man close to me and let the music take us to a place where we felt like the only two people in the world. That dance would build up the anticipation of a hot and heavy make out session followed by a long goodbye... I want that again. Not necessarily as it was in high school, but the confirmation that my man is proud to hold me close in public and show the world he's still romancing me.
I thought that being in a wedding and going to brunch with MMM and my dad at the same restaurant where he proposed to me would bring back some kind of nostalgic spark to the day when we got engaged...but the time I actually remembered more fondly was the first time he brought me there in high school...we were so proud of ourselves to be eating in this fancy restaurant laughing that the waiter probably thought we couldn't pay for it. I wasn't actually that happy when we got engaged. I remember I cried from sheer anxiety and found it really hard to enjoy the moment...maybe that should have told me something.
Instead, I found myself daydreaming about marrying someone else today. I imagined a January wedding with turquoise, purple, fuschia, and chartreuse decor...I imagined my future husband thanking everyone during the toast, but getting down on one knee and professing his love for me in front of our friends and family...telling me that I was his queen, and how he couldn't wait to have babies with which everyone cheered uncontrollably.
I know I need to get out of my own head, but right now it's a lot more comfortable than my home.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Holy Matrimony!

Today the last of my childhood friends is getting married. I'm sitting in the hair salon waiting to get my up do, and I'm thinking back 8 years to when it was my turn. The 1st of the four of us to get married, I was 22 and couldn't think of another thing but marrying the man of my dreams. A strong, stealthy Marine corporal who I'd known since my senior year in high school, we couldn't wait to show all our friends and family that we were finally ready to tie the knot and start our lives together as husband and wife. Our parents thought we were too young, and our (see:MY) friends were freaking out about losing the carefree days of hanging out and being each other's soul mates. I didn't care. I loved my man and knew he would always be there to protect me from whatever came our way. He was smart, articulate, responsible, and honorable...he was my Marine and childhood friend and I loved him. I was a little bit of a Bridezilla as I hadn't quite realized that I didn't need to prove myself to everyone yet. I was trying to show the world I had great taste and was a classy bride who was ready for this big of a commitment. Now that I think back I ask myself- was I? Is there anything or anybody who could have convinced me to wait? Considering he was going to be stationed in North Carolina immediately after we got married, I wasn't willing to be apart from him anymore or risk losing him...I got married partly due to my impatience. My 1st year of marriage was tough. The 1st 4 months I had to wait to move to NC from Washington State because of the waiting list for military housing. I arrived on base and remember him showing me our house and my heart sank. A 5-plex in the enlisted projects, the screen on the porch was falling out, and we shared a backyard with about 20 other families. I thought that after getting a BA it guaranteed a decent living situation and wall-to-wall carpeting...I was wrong.
Years later I am wondering what would have become of me if I didn't get married. After the emotional neglect I've endured I'm having a hard time untwisting my angst and moving forward even though he's dead set on winning me back. I suppose it's due to several factors, but mostly just feelings have died and aren't resuscitating the way I think they should. I guess we'll see what happens in 3 weeks when we have a deadline to meet...I'm at a loss.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tipping Point

Why does the 7th year hit you so hard? Why does death upon death upon divorce upon 4 weddings make you want to suffocate yourself inside a rubber glove? I have had the test of the soul put upon me over and over again and I'm still standing...shakily. I have said and done things I never thought possible and felt lower than I've ever felt. Critical elements of my support system vanished into thin air and I am stuck whimpering in the background, wondering where my strength will come from. After almost 8 years of marriage, MMM decides he is totally committed to me and in love with me as a person. He's "never felt this way" he says and I am left wondering why...what is it about this moment that sent such an electric current his way? How did his heart get jumped into overdrive all of a sudden? When I was begging, pleading, crying, scratching my eyes out for him to love me...he sat there mercilessly and scoffed. Now that I am pulling the last bit of self respect out of my being and tell him I don't want to be married anymore, he has an epiphany. I can't tell you how much I cried this morning. I have barely been able to sleep, and last night was the 2nd night that we slept in the same bed...well- I slept while he was at work on the graveyard shift and woke either before or shortly after he got home. The marriage counselor told us we had 30 days to give it a try and needed to sleep in the same bed. I was fairly resistant, seeing that I had just purchased some fanstastic Memory Foam from Macy's for my futon in the guest room. Begrudgingly, I obliged and haven't had a decent night's sleep since.
This morning I got up and went downstairs to watch the finale of my novela Tropico, and after it was done sobbed and sobbed the potential loss of my marriage. I had a choice- I could either follow the inclination that maybe he did mean everything he said, or I could be cold and not care about what he feels. I decided to take my pillow in hand and take the walk up the stairs to the room and lie next to him. He held me and we cried. I told him that I was angry and upset about the 30 days and sleeping in the same room- I felt like it was the counselor's idea and when I already had my mind made up she shanghaied me from behind and I was left defenseless. I told him I couldn't guarantee him that I could change my heart in 30 days, that I didn't know if it would be worth it, but if knowing that he still wanted to try, then ok.
Frankly, I'm still ambivalent. I love him as a person, friend, and family member, but my heart desires so much more than I feel he is capable of giving. I also don't want this 30 days to be some whirlwind act where he is Mr. Wonderful and then as soon as he knows he won me over, he'll get comfortable and critical all over again.
I have dreams, desires, aspirations, that I think he admires but doesn't know how to handle. At my best, I'm on fire and larger than life. At my worst, I'm self-critical and apathetic. Do I think it will be easy to move out of my beautiful home? No. Do I think I would be happier without him? Something inside says yes, but I can never be sure. No one knows the future, but I know how I've felt for the past 8 years and I don't like it. There's one thing that's holding me back from walking out the door and that's a voice I heard while praying (assuming it was God) said- "if you wait for MMM, the reward will be greater than anything you could have imagined..." I want to think I'm a fairly astute individual who can decipher fantasy from reality, but in this case I have no clue. Do I love him? Yes. Am I in love with him? Not now. Could I be? Not sure. Do we have 10 years of history that I think is at least worth fighting for one last time? Yes.

Pobre de mi si mis instintos no me sirven bien...

~Tremenda Trigueña~

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Perdidas Tremendas

There comes a time in your life when you have absolutely no clue how you're going to make it through when everyday presents a new loss to you.
2 Sundays ago my yia yia (grandmother) died. The next day I called my shrink and she had closed her practice and moved to California for health reasons. The next day after that I found out I didn't get the internship I was basically promised at Company X. My family is in hysterics, they have no money to pay for my yia yia's funeral expenses and I'm unemployed. I am literally hanging on by a string. I have my house, my friends, and my family...thank God. I know this will pass, I just don't know when.
I believe that our crises come along to make us stronger, but sometimes we have to be melted down in order to become the alloy we were meant to be.
My yia yia meant the world to me. She was my twin soul, my unconditional love that I could always count on. She was a beautiful, vivrant young woman and a witty, strong, sharp older woman. She loved us so much and even when she was mad at us it was always out of love. She wasn't perfect, but one thing I learned from her is to live your life the way you want to live it and everyone else will deal with it. Some people fear they'll be left alone in the end with that kind of attitude, but my yia yia was surrounded by people who loved her day and night in her last months. She had 24 hour care from her family, and not once did we resent her for it. She hated being vulnerable and weak, but she always thanked us for taking care of her. The last time I saw her I told her how sorry I was that we had to do that to her and she said "no honey, you were like my little angels coming to help me in the middle of the night." I made sure to kiss her and touch her forehead everytime I applied her medicine or fed her. Holding her and having her close to me was so fulfilling, like I finally had a place to put all my pent up love and affection. I couldn't believe that even through everything she was suffering, she was still worried about us. I was pulling the night shift taking care of her and she kept telling me to go to sleep that I had been up all night...she was worried if we had eaten or taken care of ourselves and I kept telling her not to worry. I know she heard our conversations about my aunt and uncle possibly getting a divorce, or MMM and I separating...she asked me how he was and I said "fine"...she said "he's a good guy." She's right- he is...and who knows what will happen.
Something inside me just doesn't know how she found the strength to worry about us when I can barely keep it together if I have a chest cold. Is it age? Experience? Hypochondria? I'm at a loss...I want to be stronger, less transparent, less vulnerable. I want to be the person that you can go to no matter what. I want to be known for my endless fountain of love when I die. I want people to remember me as someone who inspired and strengthened them.
I feel like my world is crashing around me and I barely can pick my head up before something else falls out of the sky. I want peace...I want serenity. Logically I know that I have to look around me and be thankful for all the things I do have, and not all the things I don't. I think on the list of the top most stressful things that can happen to you it goes: loss of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job....all of which have either happened to me or are in the process of happening to me this week.
Nothing can change who my yia yia was and is to me. Her love and spirit will always live inside me no matter where she is. Her youthful candor, her dry humor, and her strong will are still here reestablishing themselves in my life and the lives of her children and grandchildren. I will find my voice once again, and that alloy I was looking to become will be reinforced with her soul.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Life Goes On

Tomorrow is my last day of full time work for an entire year. I am nervous, excited, and relieved. I will be finishing my MBA full time starting August 27th and the fact that I have a definite graduation date is probably the most exciting thing going on in my life right now.

I am looking forward to waking up in the morning and NOT having to drive an hour to work.
I am looking forward to preparing most of my meals at home.
I am looking forward to getting ALL my reading done and not having to worry about cutting into work time to do it.
I am looking forward to controlling my own schedule for the most part and enjoying life outside of a cubicle.
I am looking forward to exploring options that I never did because I was working for Company X.
I am excited about having a daily schedule that isn't going to be tainted by last minute requests from my boss.
I am excited about enjoying the fall foliage and studying outside or in a café or in my home office. I am thrilled to be able to smile and know that I am making the most out of my life.
I am excited to be able to get back to writing, blogging, thinking, analyzing, wondering, and breathing.
I am excited to have a solid fitness schedule that can't be ruined by work.
I am blessed to even have the opportunity to be accepted into an MBA program and be able to have the resources to work part time and go to school full time.
I am blessed to have a beautiful home and a support network that encourages me throughout my endeavors.
I am looking forward to having a simpler, less expensive, less stressful life.

I am looking forward to me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Why I Fell in Love in the First Place...

I remember meeting him. September 1994- 3rd year Spanish class. The seat next to me was empty and when he walked in late I told him to sit there...I was really worried that I was the only brown kid in class and he was the other didn't matter that we'd never spoken to each other.

Over the course of the year we became great friends and he watched me as I went through the drama-laden high school relationship with the Krazy Kid. When I graduated, he took me out to dinner at a fancy restaurant on the waterfront. On the drive home, we started talking about the future and what were were going to do with our lives. I remember joking with him not to worry "because he was going to marry me anyway". His response was perfect: "you know, TT- I would marry you. Not many girls have the kind of morals that you have."
I would go to college and we would admit we had feelings for each other, and I would be an asshole and not be over the Krazy Kid. We wouldn't talk for another year and a half until I was living in Puerto Rico going to school. We would talk, decide to date long distance until I came back to the States, and we would be reunited in San Diego where he was stationed as a Marine. I remember seeing him for the first time in years and he. was. beautiful.

We would date for 2 years and get married. I remember how impressed I was with his ability to fix everything. He not only could cook, but he could garnish, he had presentation- and he was 21 years old. He was so meticulous about his cologne, his haircuts, his wardrobe...and I loved it all. He had an order about him that seemed almost supernatural. I had never known a man like this- one who kept himself so pristine and could protect me from terrorists, cancer, and natural disaster. I was enveloped by his presence, his love of simplicity, and his seeming knowledge about everything in the world. In my eyes he could do anything, and he inspired me to be a better person, to push myself beyond limits I never knew I had. I watched him systematically knock down every stereotype they laid before him and prove he was not only as good as them, but better.

13 years later, I am still in awe. We may be on the rocks, but he is still my hero.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ethnic Inspiration

I have 2 weeks until I leave The Brand. 2 weeks to finish up my analyses, 2 weeks to tidy up my projects and make some stuff happen. 2 weeks until I'm off for 2 weeks, and then I'll be in school FULL TIME. I haven't quite grasped all the possibilities I'll have while in school, but I am so damned excited. I met with the Assistant Dean last week to discuss my internship and he was 100% on board. In that same conversation he mentioned that I could co-author a case or academic journal article with one of the professors based on research I'll be doing with Company X's non-profit. I have always wanted to write and as we all know, I have slipped off the writer train in a mammoth way over the last 2 years. I know it had to happen in order for me to gain the knowledge and experience I needed to truly figure out who and where I want to be.

I remember many years ago when I was contemplating the whole move from social work to the corporate world and I, like many mid-20sters wanted to "change it from the inside out" and make Company X into a great place, a responsible corporate citizen, and a beacon of hope for everyone around the world. I joined the marketing team in 2005 and since then have seen and done amazing things. However, I got to a point where I needed more. I needed to be able to touch people and their lives and make more than pretty shiny stuff fly off the shelves. I started to become angry and offended when we spoke about our consumer as if we were happy that they spent a disproportionate amount of their income on our product. I think it was at that point where my disillusionment came into full technicolor view.

Since then, I have had a few conversations with other people working in the organization that feel the same way. So I, like any good marketeer with community organizing experience decided it was time to create a unified front. I decided to keep it ethnic and female in nature, because I feel like we as women of color in a male-dominated field have a voice which we all have tried to use, but it has often been futile. Now we are going to set up monthly meetings in which 5 of us beautiful ladies are going to get together to start a frickin' revolution. We have a love and passion for our consumer and the men at the top don't care about how they approach them, they just want to get in and get out. Unfortunately, if we continue to operate in that manner we will continue to lose market share as we have seen. It'll be good for me to step outside the world of Brand Marketing for a minute to get a clear perspective and take a break from the hustle.

I'm looking forward to a new chapter in my life, and some leveraging power. I'm actually starting to feel a little bit of respect and clout in my field after two years and I gotta tell feels damned good.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Ok, I admit it. I took the summer off of school so I'm only working and I have turned into one of those women. The women who can't stand their own reality so they resort to escapism through other people's love stories. My vice? The first Dominican telenovela on Univisión- Trópico. I have never liked any of the other novelas on TV- the Mexican novelas are way too cheesy and uptight for me. I finally feel like I can relate to a story and the music they play doesn't remind me of a bad Latin pop band like RBD. No- when they kiss, suddenly bachata plays and in between scenes they pan throughout the city of Santo Domingo and the beautiful beaches of Dominican Republic.

Sure, most of the characters are (unrepresentative) light-skinned Dominicans, but the makings of every solid novela are there:

1. Unwanted pregnancy
2. A poor girl from the campo
3. A rich, handsome novio
4. A tyrranical business tycoon
5. The bad rubia with a bangin' ass body
6. The jackass brother of the rich, handsome novio
7. A HUGE secret that could ruin the poor girl from the campo's relationship with the rich, handsome novio
8. The green-eyed trigueña that steals the tyrranical busines tycoon from his wife of 35 years
9. A fat tia with BAD makeup and yellow teeth

What this novela has that others don't:

1. A Dominican tiguere that uses all the good slang and wears a royal blue satin robe
2. Bachata playing during the love scenes
3. An all-black police force

It's on Univision @ 1pm everyday. Check it out!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Year 30

Life continues to amaze me. I will be leaving my full time position at Company X in 2 1/2 weeks to pursue my MBA full time. I will be interning with the fantastic corporate philanthropy department while I'm in school, and hopefully landing a full time job after I graduate. Things on the homefront are at a standstill and I am suspended in ambiguity. We went to the counselor twice, and haven't been back in 6 weeks because of work, missed phone calls, blah blah blah. I personally hate the counselor and think she's a moron, but he likes her. If she insults me the next time we see her I will walk out of the room. I've given her the middle initials "FC"- (draw your own conclusions as to what it might stand for) and I'm pretty sure she got whatever license she holds out of a cereal box.
I am just hoping that the old TT will make a come back...she has been missing for about 2 years. Between marriage problems, stress, disappointment, family tradgedy and lack of physical fitness, I am a shadow of my former self. True, I have had some pretty significant successes lately, but that fire I once had is gone. I'm hoping it comes back with the new life I'll be leading in a few weeks. I'll have a 2 week gap between full time employment and full time school, in which time I'm going back east to see family, then will have a week off to buy books, coordinate my school clothes, :-) buy school supplies, organize my office, map out my weekly calendar, and install some curtains in the office. I may buy a new chair for my office as well- the one I have is terribly awkward.
I want to leave work early today, but I know that's out of the question. I want to take some time off...but I have so much to finish before I leave. My boss is on vacation this week and last, so I should probably have something to show him when he gets back. I'm just burnt out, but I need to press forward. My mind has been so cluttered lately, but that's true all the time. It's almost over, but I have to get it together before I leave. I have to get my time together and stop acting like a child. I need to be responsible for my own development and my own work. I need to be the one that forges ahead without being asked. I need to be that person regardless of my education, my life circumstances, or my energy level. I have been so tired lately and it's wearing on me. My time is precious because I spend so much of it sleeping. Instead of wishing this time would pass, I need to take the lessons out of it for next time. If anything I can think of off the top of my head, it would be that I am much more empathetic to people in crisis. I used to get angry with them when they made detrimental mistakes, but now I am acutely aware of how a pending divorce or separation can turn you into a completely different person. You are jealous, insecure, moody, exhausted, sad, angry, and paranoid. You feel like everyone else is trying to ruin your relationship, and maybe some are. Things that never used to bother you like your spouse having female friends, suddenly jars you to your core. Suddenly you cry everytime he hugs you because you don't know if it's the last time you'll feel his arms around you. Suddenly you're a pathetic ball of emotions and you find yourself compromising all the things you said you wanted out of life because you're scared to death of losing the meager existence you've created in your marriage. Suddenly you think you'd rather have his barely there than nothing at all. Suddenly you think about having to start over with someone else and how you would feel about the children you had with that person. You would always be upset that you never had them with the man you made your life with. The man who stuck by you when you both had nothing, the man who you supported while he was in school, the man who you grew up with. Anyone else would have it easy- they would be meeting you as an established adult, and he was there through the hard times. I don't know...damn this is the hardest thing I've been through in years.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Room

So below you see the components of my shopping frenzy over the past several months. it IS NOT, by any means, done. I am having curtains made out of a cream tone-on-tone geometric pattern fabric along with a black'll see. My Sister the Artist is supposed to creating me original works of art to go above the cream sofa, but I STILL don't think it's enough contrast. I definitely want to put a plant to the right of the sofa, but the way it's positioned right now, it's dwarfed by the huge wall...which begs the question: Should I paint the wall black? Should I separate the tables which are acting as a coffee table right now and place them on either side of the sofa? Is it too symmetrical as it stands right now? I know I need a slick bookshelf or something to go to the right, but I don't want to overpower the sofa. Needing some spatial orientating...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Weekend Report

So my separation from MMM lasted 2 weeks. That's it- I couldn't take him sleeping on the futon in the office another night. I admit it- the guy tugs on my heartstrings even if he is obsessive retentive. We are, however, still going to go to counseling. It absolutely has to happen, no question. It was nice to finally be close to him again, but we have a lot of work to do.
In other news, I went to confession on Friday night and let it all out of the bag. I feel relieved but at the same time I understand that I have a lot of spiritual work to do, as with every Lent. A few of the things I have decided to take on to implement change:

1. Go to church at least once a week. It might not be Sunday always, but I need to get back to my church family. After talking to Father JM, I saw the sanctuary as my home again, like I used to feel. No longer did I feel alienated and judged- but part of a very siginificant army of faithful who love and care about me, even if they don't all know me.

2. Get my IUD taken out. I know it's a little personal to divulge over the internet, but it has to be done. I started doing some reading online about the Orthodox church's take on "abortificient birth control" and it's a definite no-no. I had no idea, but it makes sense. I haven't felt like myself since I had it put in over a year ago, so I am going to get it taken out and we can figure out our birth control plan like we used to.

3. Make more efficient use of my time. I waste so much time doing meaningless crap, I really need to get myself on a schedule and stick to it. My weekends just fade away and I lose precious time which I then have to scurry around during the week to get stuff done. I honestly think my energy level and focus will come back after my chemical balance is restored. I mean, 3 years ago I was training for a marathon and now I'm barely working out once a's time to get back on track.

4. Take care of my physical health with diet, exercise, etc. I am a vegan w/ shellfish during Lent, and I can truly feel the difference in my internal health. Sure, I'm less energetic for the first couple weeks, but it's always well worth it on the spiritual growth side. I'm considering severely cutting back on my meat and dairy intake even after Lent- I think it would help me to lose weight and not feel so sluggish during the day.

5. Make my marriage a priority. I keep hearing over and over again from MMM that he doesn't feel like I make him a priority whether because of school, work, my friends, etc. I'm not sure how to change the school thing, I would rather have a life between now and the time I graduate, but he seems to think that another year and 9 months is a lot to ask so he'll just "suck it up" as he "doesn't have a choice". I DO NOT want to give up my education but my marriage has suffered because of it. But, the fact is my marriage has never been spot on, there is always one issue or another...hence the counseling.

Other than that, I thought spring was here to stay but it's freezing and crappy today. I want partial sun breaks with spring showers! I want fun spring fashion with a sassy lightweight trench!

Ho hum...


Friday, February 23, 2007

Eclectic o no Eclectic?

Ok- enough sadness for the week. I am now into full vegan con camarones swing and loving life. Back to what really matters- how my prized black and white room is coming along. are the pics of the things I added since last time:

2 Boca End Tables from Dania through Elite Mfg.
Click here

Capiz Bowl from Z Gallerie

Tangent Sofa Table from Dania through Elite Mfg.

Mallory Pedestals
Click here

Capiz Floor Lamp in white from West Elm (rear right)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Como Me Mata el Dolor....

So I just realized I haven't blogged since New Year's Day. ¡Qué abuso! I tried to blog from the road but the old Blackberry wouldn't allow here's a collection of short stories from the past 7 weeks:

La Muerte Precede la Vida
I was scheduled to go to Miami for a business trip on January 5. On January 4 I get a call from my suegra telling me that my cuñada's (MMM's sister 20 weeks pregnant) baby has died. Since it wasn't a miscarriage, she had to be induced. She lives in Virginia and her husband works in Louisiana on an oil barge and he wasn't sure he could get off work to see her, so I cancelled my business trip and flew out to VA instead so I could be with her in the hospital- no one else from her family could go. Thankfully, her husband WAS able to get off work and we were all there to support her through it. I have to say, I have never been through anything like that in my life. Waiting on a hospital bench for a dead baby to be delivered at any time was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. You're pissed off because it's taking too long, but once it happens it's really over and it's time for reality to settle in. It finally happened at 4:30am on Sunday- we chose not to see the baby, but we did get the footprints on the birth certificate...they were about an inch and a half long....

La Ansiedad por los Ansianos
Because I was going to be on the east coast for my Miami trip, I had already planned on going up to New England to see my grandmothers. My yia yia (grandmother in Greek) has had failing health for sometime. My uncle and cousins informed me that I should go to see her as soon as possible because they don't know how long she has to live. I flew straight from Virginia to Boston to be with her- she needed 24-hour care which my aunt had been giving her, but she is raising 2 young children at home and needed a break. BTW- a nursing home isn't an option. The 1st night I'm there she is up every 15 minutes hallucinating because she isn't getting enough oxygen to her brain. She thinks she's in the grocery store, her hands are dirty, she makes me get her pocketbook so she can pay for her sandwich. Unfortunately she remembers everything in the morning and is totally mortified. "I feel like I'm cracking up!" she says. I reassure her that she's not, it's only at night. We make the decision to put O2 on her at night and she starts to sleep until morning with no hallucinations.
Jan 16- Mom and sister arrive in town. Since neither of them has a full time job at this point, they have agreed to stay with Yia Yia until she doesn't need them anymore. It took a lot of tooth and nail action to even get my mother out there, but my sister who is 24 y.o. didn't even question it. She moved all her stuff into my house so she wouldn't have to worry about paying rent to anyone while she's out there. At first, Mom was fine. After I left, however, she decides to go frickin' CRAZY. All she does is complain about how she has "no social life" there, and she misses her boyfriend. He came out to see her recently- which we thought might settle her down for a while, but it only made things worse. She constantly talks about how much of a burden my yia yia is on her, and how she "just wants to go home". Needless to say, my family is ready to kill her. She is totally self-centered and immature. She is acting like one of those Goth kids who complain that no one understands them but she does her best to piss everyone off so she can stand self-righteous in her claim. So here's her brilliant plan:
She wants to go for FOUR or FIVE weeks so she can "do her thing" and then go back to New England for four or five weeks. In the meantime, the only person who can take care of my yia yia is my little sister who is working part time at the Y Daycare Center (note: she has a BA in Design and used to be the Marketing Director for a real estate company). She would have to quit her job to stay with Yia Yia full guess who asked me if I could cover part of her living expenses? You got it! Mama. I told her I would ask MMM, but upon thinking about it decided that I would not support her selfishness. I called her to tell her about it and she hung up on me. My sister calls me on a daily basis for mental support. I am ready to disown the person who gave birth to me y mandarla al trabajo.

Matrimonio Mudo
You guessed it! In the midst of dead babies, dying grandmothers and sociopathic mothers, I separated from MMM. I didn't move out, but we are living in separate rooms. The funny thing about it is, we are nicer to each other now than we were before. Basically, his lack of emotional support for me (he really tore me down when I was at my lowest point back east) and our mutual ignorance of each other turned into a downward spiral that finally hit rock bottom. Ultimately the last straw was when I decided to go temporary internet file snooping and found lots and lots of unsavory images that made me more than disgusted. (No children, animals or bondage- thank GOD.) Yes, I understand that all men look at it (I don't know any that don't). But I have to draw the line somewhere. If that's the case I can stand on my own two feet and move on. He has incredibly high standards he expects me to live up to, and when I don't- his obsessive compulsion comes down on me full force and I'm left without a defense. Instead of being a victim or continuing to wallow in bitterness, I finally stood up for myself and my marriage. My original plan was to move out and get a 6 month lease, but he made a deal that if he went to counseling with me I would stay in the house. We are giving each other our space, but we are talking and more respectful to each other than ever before. My basic premise is that I want a FRIEND. If we can't talk to each other about our lives, our dreams, our feelings- how is that a relationship? I refuse to "exist" and feel broken and defeated. He knows if I don't get it from him I would be just fine on my own. I finally admitted to him that I had swept things under the rug because I didn't want to leave my beautiful home that we had both put so much work into. The main reason I wanted to move out was to prove to myself that I would be OK in a 500 sq. ft. apartment with a futon and a couple folding chairs and if I moved back it would ONLY be because we were on the right track in counseling.

The good news is Orthodox Lent started yesterday. I'm going to confession on Friday which should be a huge weight off my chest. I need some spiritual guidance...seriously.


Monday, January 1, 2007

Deficit Model

Time to go back to work tomorrow. I am so glad things are going to be picking up after the holiday lull. I have never considered myself to be that into work, but I realized a few things this holiday season, and one of them is I get really down when there's no business to speak of. When my inertia isn't in sync with the pace I have become accustomed to, I am a wreck!

That said, New Year was bittersweet. Good things first: I had a very intimate gathering of about 10 friends at my house. MMM was present for a little bit of it then went to hang out with his friends out in the country somewhere. I told him I didn't mind if he went since I know how much he stresses when he feels outnumbered. He was originally supposed to be working that night so of course when I planned the party I only invited my people.

Anyway, the menu was decent- a veggie baked ziti, baked chicken seasoned with Adobo Goya, pepper, garlic, white wine, and fresh basil, Fattoush salad consisting of the following fresh herbs and veggies: cilantro, mint, Italian parsley, chives, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and grape tomatoes all coated in a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic cloves, S&P. The cocktail of the evening was my very own invention- The Bloody Berry; which was also a simple mixture of blood orange soda (Trader Joe's), raspberry vodka, raspberry liquer, garnished with a blood orange slice and a sprig of fresh red currants thrown in the mix for aesthetics. Around 11:30 I started feeling my utility waning so I decided to make a plum crisp from scratch to have for dessert....not my best I must admit, but I was pretty tipsy when I made it so the fact that I didn't break anything or burn the crisp was amazing. The house was decorated with fresh Thai orchids in new vases that match my décor to a was a nice, simple touch.

Now on to the depressing part of my New Year's weekend. So I get a call from my cousin on Saturday night informing me that my grandmother only has a few months to live and is not able to take care of herself due to the ripe old age of 84 and a worsening heart condition. She says it's probably best that my sister and I go out there (Massachusetts) to see her as soon as we can so we can see her before she passes. I, of course totally agree and kick myself for not making it more of a priority to go see her sooner/more often. My sister and I talked about it and I agreed I would take care of her ticket and make sure she was OK on her bills while she's out there.
My sister then commences to inform me that she spoke to our mother who has decided she doesn't need to go out there for her mother's funeral when it happens because she'll already be gone so she and her daughters will just have our own service here (Washington State) because her boyfriend is here, etc. etc..
At this point I threw up about 800 obscenities and swore to never speak to my mother again if she did that. Furthermore, she moved away from home 40 years ago. My uncle and his wife have been the ones taking care of my grandmother since they're only 20 minutes away, and my mother has the audacity to say that she's "busy"? The woman hasn't worked in over 20 years, is living off alimony and her house is paid for. Do I recognize this as denial and a defense mechanism? Yep. Do I give a shit? Nope. I love my mother. My mother loves me. I will not, however, tolerate this kind of childish behavior from an almost 60 year old woman. My uncle is furious with her and my sister is working as my attorney pro bono (she is also my decorator and assistant when she lives her, and creates original paintings for me based on my décor needs) mediating between my mother and me. I finally called my mother this evening to hear it from her first hand and she said "oh I'm going out there, I said all that the OTHER DAY, I'm not like that anymore."

So one thing you must know about my mother is when she knows she's wrong she will do a few things: justify her position before she states it, and top it off with "that's what God told me to do." Her latest craze is to put it on her boyfriend and "her life here with him". What absofrickin'lutely amazes me is that she would put the feelings of some guy she's known for a year (not kidding) over those of her entire family. I'm at a loss. I really hope work can take my mind off of things until I can make it out there. If you have faith, please pray for me. I really need some strength right now.