Hello Everyone,

October 2015

I love October, not just because it is my birthday month but because the air changes, the season changes, the time changes.

It is when we must embrace the fact that the time change will have us seeing the dark sooner. A time when the trees begin to let loose the leaves, orange, brown and yellow leaves flying about.

It is the time when the ghouls and horrors are seen in decorations, shows, movies and parties.

It is the time when we say farewell to the summer heat, smile toward the cooler weather and wonder of the winter to come.

Happy October! May there be light within you to shine upon the earlier darker hours. May the ghouls and gremlins that ring the door bell make you smile and partake in trick or treat.

May you embrace the change in season knowing... it will bring us back to Spring soon enough.

I have added a tab - Whisper my words, which is a link to my site where I post stories, poems, AndMore events and the Watcher's Journal. Take a peek and enjoy.

Enjoy!

~g

April 25, 2013

NYC Latin Style


The history:  Working in NYC even with the hype of 'The City that Never Sleeps' has taken the ability to have a life away from me.  The commute is something one would not understand unless they went through it, every day.  After almost 5 years it wears me down consistently.


Friends:  When you have absolutely no time you lose friends.  NJ happy hour is early, I never make it, actually I used to try and just about catch people as they were leaving, the commute is that long.  After a couple of years you have little in common or worse, lose touch.  Can you smell the life disappearing?

Making friends in NY is like dodging a bullet, you get tired enough to want to get hit by one, but you're still healing from the previous wounds.


Hope:  I write often of that frenemy called Hope.  But we have finally broken up, it was a mutual break up.  I lost faith in Hope and Hope lost faith in me.


Mixed blood:  I was married to a Cuban.  When I gave birth to my son I knew I would raise him alone, it did not start until he was a toddler, but, I knew from the time he was born.  I am Puerto Rican, I wanted him to learn of both cultures.  How lucky is he?  He gets the blood of two great islands.  Little did I know that I would lose touch with my own culture.


The rain is gone:  I love that song, I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.  A co-worker who turns out to be a good friend invited me to stay over.  'We'll have wine, talk and relax'.  My initial instinct is to say no.  If I give up one day of a weekend that means I have only one day for errands, then it feels as though I had no time off.  Weekdays are shot as by the time I get home, places have closed, I am too tired and it's late.  Weekends are to cram all the things others do after work, so they have the weekend free.

This time I said Yes.  I meant no, but said Yes.  You see, she will be leaving to the South.  One way trip.  I may not have hung out with her before, clearly my loss, but we understand one another quite well.  I also wanted to be able to say, I spent some time with her before she left and keep in touch.  Perhaps Hope, that frenemy is whispering in my ear.


The evening:  I show up with a small luggage, jeans, jeans and pjs.  Light makeup, some socks and hair clips.


SWEET CHEESE!  The woman had plans, not just a plan....PLANS.  Before I knew it we were in her closet.  My usual conservative self was in a shirt that had little material, a choker, heels so high I felt the temperature change and the ear rings..... silver poles with a stripper on each.  Hair out of my face and enough mascara to give Elvira a run for her Revlon.  I thought to myself....... self, just drink the rum and coke and go with it.  Ah, yes....  guzzling rum and coke is a definite relaxer, highly recommended.

We chatted for a bit and before long she was on the phone with someone.  As my foggy mind cleared and I listened to her words, I realized she was selling someone......ME!  Not for money per say...but apparently a single hotty on the other line was being propelled (good, I'm not alone on this woman's master mind plan).


Cuban missile:  Marguerite!  This woman is just a missile.   Don't hide, don't run, when she aims, she will hit the target.  If you ever have a friend like this one don't consider yourself lucky, consider yourself blessed.  She doesn't swim in your misery, rather she shows you another place to swim.  She will make sure the landscape is beautiful and that Island music is in the air.  Oh, how I miss culture, I had not realized how much until that night.

Juan arrived (that would be the other missile target on the phone), she sent me to collect him.  A stranger... I never met... don't know what he looks like... you get the picture.  I walk down a hill in heels I never wore thinking....Lord, I know you think I should have a deep relationship with gravity, but if you could keep my face off the floor this one night, I won't complain another day when I land on my face or ass.  I look ahead and see someone talking to the security guard.  He looks and smiles, yells out 'Gracey?'  (Now, a person in general smiling at a stranger in NY?  UnFUCKINGheardof.  I felt myself relax, that is until I had to get us back to Marguerite's apartment and I realized I had no idea.  I managed it....woohoo.  Another rum and coke (hey, don't judge, you find your inspiration, I find mine) and we are off.


House party:  The first destination is a house party.  Before arriving Juan announces that he will be getting bread.  That's right, his party gift is several loaves of fresh out of the oven bread.  I find myself holding them and thinking...'Shit, I haven't eaten, this smells good.'  Before long Marguerite breaks into one of the loaves and we are on our way munching on bread. (I can't make this shit up).  We get to the building and find that the loaves are the 'bouquet of flowers'.  The gift for the hostess.


Issues:  We all have issues and although many would like to state mine, I know me better than anyone.  1.  I am claustrophobic.  Not many know or remember.  When I worked in Jersey it was not an issue, I drove to work and there were rare times when in a confined space.  However, my case is bad enough to require being put down during an MRI like a horse with four bad legs.  Being crammed into a crowded train daily would just increase that phobia.  2.  I am an observer by nature.  It takes me awhile to warm up to strangers as I find I like to watch and see how they are first. (I mean why risk attachment if they are bat shit crazy right?) 3.  I don't like being barefoot.  Seriously, I hate it, unless I am on a beach.  It goes hand in hand with claustrophobia,  you see, if you need to run because you are feeling too confined, you run. Might as well keep your feet protected....just in case....right?


House party:  We get into an elevator the size of a ring box.  I don't want Marguerite and Juan to think I am a freak (or know) so I keep the torture to myself.  I don't know what floor the party was on, but it was the longest fucking elevator ride of my life (it would suck if it ended up being on the second floor).  I was hoping that I would not start to hyperventilate (would hate for Juan to think I have orgasms in elevators, Marguerite would just chalk it up to a Rican thing) or worse yet, sweat like a hog during a heatwave.

We finally get there.  The door opens and women from Brazil and Venezuela grab the loaves of bread as if it WERE flowers.  Yep, that's Latin for you, keep the flowers that will die in a couple of days and just bring fresh bread (again, don't judge...breaking bread is as old as making wine....right?).  I look ahead at a very tight hallway and think 'OH MY GOD, another tight place.  ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?  But I immediately remembered that I needed to get a hold of this worsening fear.  Now is the time.  I held my head up in defiance......... when a hand touched my elbow and one of a set of identical twin sisters, (who lived in that apartment) said something I could not understand.  Multilingual Marguerite translated, due to the hardwood floors everyone had to remove their shoes.  I think to myself, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?  I thought of running right there and then, but I began to remove one of the murderous heels, but then it started... the hot flash... the heightened breathing and I stopped.  (There is no fucking way I am taking off my shoes. There is no way I will survive this ring box apartment filled with foreigners, there is no way I will!!!...NO FUCKING WAY).  I am not sure if the woman understood the fear or thought I was just going to faint, so she said to tippy toe into the living room.

I wish I could say how many people were there, but it felt like hundreds and it was probably less than 10.  I found my way to the living room with little anxiety.  I sat by the table even though most were by the couch.  You see it was a couch that would fit most but not all, and they would be cramped together.....  You get the picture.  I found it more breathable to sit by the table.  I even found it pleasurable, the watcher in me seeing fun and laughter unfold.  It was someones birthday and she was young and anxious to get the party going - so she could begin the rest of the night.  I was served some food, but the anxiety kept me from eating it.  I did however enjoy to the fullest the happiness and varied cultures before me.  Even the black dog that looked like a burnt hot dog seeking it's own bread.  The person that stood out the most was a Venezuelan woman 36 sheets to the wind, professing her love to someone, who wasn't even there.  She had no humility about it.  She loves him, will bear his children and he'll like it.  You gotta love the enthusiasm.  Unfortunately I don't believe the feeling is mutual, unrequited love sucks, of this I know.


Destination - reroute:  It was time to leave for our next destination, as we got outside I inhaled and the word FREEDOM screamed in my head.  Juan and Marguerite were up ahead reaching the car and I was taking my time enjoying the cold air and expanded space that is NYC.  I do believe it's the first time I appreciated it.


The more the merrier:  Havana Central, if you have not been there, make it a point to go.  The music (live) is Island worthy, I was surprised to hear my favorite song playing when we walked in... Pedro Navaja.  Due to the fact that I was drinking some unknown concoction at the house party, I was now feeling no pain with the heels.  WOOHOO!  We were met with another co-worker and his wife, Jose and Rosa.  A couple that just blows to the wind the concept that marriages don't work.  Twenty six years and they look like they are dating.  Compromise and respect....works wonders for them.

Some Margaritas later and I was feeling no anxiety, no pain and lots of glory.  I found my groove and Juan, ever the willing victim danced along with both Marguerite and I.  Did I mention it was her 7th wedding anniversary?  Unfortunately her husband was out of state, but I am happy to have been one of the chosen to spend that evening with her.  She must have missed him terribly but she trooped on to make it a night to remember.


Havana closed early (early by NYC standards) so we made our way to a bar, I believe it was called something like Amigo bar.  WHAT A PLACE! I would love to go back.  The people were somewhat friendly, well as long as you don't call the bartender Flaco.  That would just throw a wrench, trust me on that one.  Music, laughter and drinks..... Magnificent fun!


A note to the ladies:  A gentleman with the ease of great driving skills (I mean in NYC that is just unheard of), patience and fun made sure Marguerite and I had a safe night.  Ladies....chivalry does still exist!!!!


NOT ONE MINUTE OF bitching, complaining, work talk or disaster.  A wonderful and fun night!!


I learned a few things:
A friend doesn't pity you your miseries, they distract you from them.
Single men with class, personality, style and vibrancy do exist.
Marriage is not only possible but successfully so, if only we saw more of it.
There are those that do not judge your issues or worse remind you of them.
You can conquer your fears with a smile and twinkle in your eye (massive amounts of booze might help).


My small dream of a slow dance under a full moon may not have been met, but my heart swelled no less from the thrill of the night.


Hope!, that wretched frenemy.....welcome home.

To the Cuban Missile, thank you for showing me the other side of the city!

April 23, 2013

AndMore...Settling for less...habit or necessity?


As a single parent I learned early on that the word security is many fold.  You hold this tiny baby in your arms that is completely reliant on......YOU!


You don't see it or feel it quickly...that moment when your carefree days diminish.  The manner in which you begin to take crap because the greater picture serves your child better.  The sacrifices you easily make because it is in the greater good of your child.


It becomes second nature....
The worrying
The sacrificing
The nourishing
The abundance of love that seeps out of you
The strength in handling that a person or persons depends on you...completely

Think about that last one for a moment.  How terrifying is that?

But you do it.  You become the person that worries but shows strength, the one that sacrifices but shows generosity, the provider that shares all, the one that teaches unconditional love.


The years go by and you worry more, sacrifice more but you nourish less as they learn to get their own food at friends or store, you love even more and still wonder how it is possible, but their love and need is far, far less.  I mean, they don't love you less, they just don't love you the same.  Conditions start popping up, if you don't know what I mean, hang around a teenager for a bit.  Manipulation is taught in a circle of friends that never share the address of the meetings.  They depend on you less.


This is the time that you should be spending on learning to find who you will become.  I mean you can't be the same person, you soon won't have a person to worry about round the clock, you'll sacrifice less and they learn to make their own sacrifices.  You love them more because they are now a whole new person and still becoming more.  They definitely depend on  you less.

When you don't take the time to learn who you will become, this is what happens.


You find that your child is now living with a partner.  They barely see you as they have many things to do.  You find that you don't know who you are and where you will end up.

You are a parent and always will be but the dynamics have changed.  You are not an active parent.  You have to think about yourself and in most cases/times only of yourself.  How difficult that is when you haven't done so in so many years.  You find people are just not sympathetic to that.  They expect you to just turn it all off and know how to have fun, where and with whom.


You find that being lost has a new meaning.  Caring for yourself is actually not selfish and loneliness and fear have new meanings.  What's worse is that it's natural, expected and knowing that doesn't help one bit.

It is time for me to grow into yet another person, long overdue actually.  To find out who I will become now and where that quest takes me.  To step forth and worry for myself, sacrifice for myself, nourish and love myself.  Depend on myself.  I think about that last one for a moment.  How terrifying is that?  Very!


I don't know where this life continues to take me but so far I learned a few things:
If I could change anything I would change nothing, for all of it led me to who I am today.
Being a parent is truly the greatest gift and life lesson.
In settling for less in many ways I received more in other ways
It is necessary to become one person at one point of your life and become another at other points of life
I no longer fear growing, learning and changing...I am the seasons of my life.

April 18, 2013

Weather LIES

I just can't take it anymore.  You can't get the right weather report unless they are talking about it real time and even then it's a crap shoot.

64 degrees MY ASS!



They said 64 degrees so I wore a half length sleeved sweater and opened back sneakers.  I just went outside and my digits were talking 'GET THE FUCK BACK INSIDE'.  It's cold enough out there to keep your coolatta cold.

THAT'S IT


Those crackpot weather reporters need some schooling.

SCHOOLING



No more maps or craps.  Just plain ole ENGLISH.

If it's 67 but will feel like 17 then simply say:  PEOPLE HOLD ON TO YOUR TITS AND BALLS, THEY ARE GOING TO FREEZE RIGHT OFF!

I bet you every single person will dress appropriately.

80 but feels like 110?  PEOPLE DIVE INTO SOME BUTTER CAUSE YOUR ROASTING YOUR ASS OUT THERE.  MANY WILL DIE!!!!

I bet you only those that really need to go out will, the rest will stay in.

Blizzard?  Guessing when and how much?  Why?  PEOPLE SNOW IS COMING. DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH OR WHEN, AT YOUR OWN RISK!  IF YOU DIE, IT'S YOUR OWN FUCKING FAULT FOR NOT STAYING IN FOR ONE DAY!

I bet you many would stay in play Parcheesi or some other shitty game with a smile.

Rain storm?  IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO SWIM......LEARN!  IT'S GONNA COME DOWN THAT BAD.

I bet not a single soul would leave their rubber boots behind......or canoe.

It's not difficult!  If you don't know - just put it out there and let the Sheeples decide!  But don't give wrong info!!!  Now I will freeze my ass going home and wonder when the pneumonia will settle in!

Weather Lies!  I am sick and tired of weather lies!!!!


April 15, 2013

Threading Nazi


For several months now I have my eyebrows threaded.  I really never bothered to take stock in the minute detail of the task.

This past weekend I went for a touch up.  That is just to clean up some new stray hairs.  Very quick and smooth process.

My standard place to go is the eyebrow bar at the mall.  It is a place literally for eyebrow threading.  They have chairs similar to ones in the beauty salon only they lay back.  Once you go in unless you have a regular person that does it, you get whoever is there.  I always have the same person, on this day she was out.  Knowing the restricted schedule I have I opted to have someone else do it.

This petite, Indian young lady with hair so long it just reached her knees came over with a tight smile, she advised me it was my turn.  You wouldn't believe how busy that place is on the weekends.

I sit on the chair, then lay back.  The custom is for the customer to take both hands and with one finger of each hand stretch the skin above and below the eyebrow.  They will then take a thread and with both hands weave it through your brow, eliminating unwanted hairs.  A part of the thread is maneuvered via their mouth.

It started with her jamming my finger into my own eye, quite aggressively.  I told her I had an eye injury and needed to take care, I think at this point I realized her limited English was 'You next'.

The assault was swift, it was like having that creature from The Ring movie climb up on me and attack my brows.  Her teeth gleamed in anger while pulling the thread through it.  She pulled the rest of the thread with two angry hands, my eyebrows were on fire.  I dared a peek and could see many tiny hairs flying about, as if a tiny lawn mower were doing the trick.

The pain was excruciating and I finally had the strength to say STOP!  It took two shouts.  The maniacal threading Nazi would have none of that.  She pointed to the center of my eyebrow and before I knew it she was on me like a bad date in a trance over cheap perfume.  I literally had to push her off.

I grabbed a mirror and there was hair all over my face and inside my eyes.  Luckily I did not have my contacts on, I wore my glasses.  I stormed out wishing I knew how to say FUCK YOU, YOU LITTLE THREADING NAZI in any of the Indian dialects.

I went home with a pounding pain above both eyes, the skin so red I looked like one of the Aliens of Star Trek.  When I got home my left eye, you know the one, it's only been through laser, antibiotics and multi levels of prescription wear, was swollen.  The next day the swelling was down but the pain persisted.

Today, I have a stye in my left eye (crazy bitch probably had gingivitis in that foaming anger), and LITERALLY thread burns on both eyes just below the brow.

I am so traumatic about it, I doubt I will ever even sew a pair of fucking pants if it entails touching thread.

I shall go back to the waxing, suddenly scalding hot wax doesn't seem so bad after all.


April 08, 2013

Preacher - Teacher

This weekend I had a great need for recovery, that blog will be written later.  Saturday was pretty much a bust, but on Sunday I was slowly feeling human again.  I woke and as usual I turned on the TV.  I don't really watch anything and leave it at whatever channel is on.  I make my morning cup of coffee and just sit, listening to the TV somewhat, while slowly waking.

On this particular Sunday Joel Osteen, the Christian Preacher from Texas was on.  I am not an avid viewer but there have been times when I watched his service.  He has charisma and he tells his stories, many of which he has 'heard'.  I watched and somewhere in the middle of the show I really listened, he was telling the story of the Paid in full with milk.  I have heard this story through the years always varying as stories tend to do.  But the length of the story and the falseness just left me awed.  The main reason was because here is this preacher who is teaching his flock.  Who is using stories to show them the way to Christianity, to becoming, remaining as a good human being.  Yet, his stories ring few bells of truth.  Now some actually do, but others are just out right lies.  That he doesn't check the validity of the stories is just incredible.  That we have come to a point where we must embellish an already good story speaks volume of our lack of faith in one another. We must make a story extraordinarily unreal and sad in order to believe it.

The parts in red are the embellishment, the parts in black the truth, the parts in blue never mentioned.


One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.

A young medical student who enjoyed hiking went on such a hike, not wanting to turn back he stopped at a farmhouse for some water.  There a young girl was outside the farm.

He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.
Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water! . She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?"
You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

They chatted for a while and he went on his way to continue his hike.

He said ... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many year's later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.  went to the clinic where Dr. Kelly worked as a Dr.  (No mention anywhere of disease, near death or anything like it)

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.

Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.
After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. was well known for his charity and every few patients he would forgo billing them.  He looked at it, (on her bill) then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words ...

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"

He was never poor.  He did 'save' her.  She did not go to any special place and he did not give special attention.  He merely did what he normally did, only this time, he knew the girl and wrote the line.

If you look at only the black in this story, the actual event, it is worthy enough.  Dr. Kelly was a devout Christian, a charitable man, he was one of the founding fathers of the John Hopkins clinic.  That he remembered a patient and wrote that line was sweet, but he did this often.  And, more importantly she was not so sick, dying or any of the above red.  He was not hungry, broke or despaired.  

An autobiographer who was his friend for many years wrote of the above (the actual story) from a paragraph in his diary, a small one that mentioned that girl, the hike, the water, milk, operation and bill.  

It is fascinating and frightening to see what that story has become and that a preacher would tell it.

It would have been so much better to tell the actual story and remind his flock that kindness can be repaid years later and many times in between, without turning it into an embellished sob story.

How I hope Preachers remember that they are teachers and so their material should be researched, confirmed and applicable.