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Showing posts from December, 2009

The Last Day of the Year

Goodbye 2009. Hello 2010. A new decade and a new beginning of adventures to share with you. We will be celebrating with a small circle of friends tonight.

Highlights of 2009

I'd like to share the highlights of 2009 (in no particular order): 1.) Visited California twice and learned how to surf. 2.) Opened a renovated branch library and assisted with other libraries. 3.) Spent quality time with family and friends. Love my husband. 4.) Joined a band and am playing music again. Love my bandmates. 5.) Started various writing projects, including a poetry and painting collaboration in April 2010. 6.) Attended my first Gen Con in Indianapolis. 7.) Adopted Moshi the kitten and loving Java and Latte. 8.) Learned to paint on canvas with my hands. 9.) Captured a lot of sunsets. 10.) Attended both of our 20-year high school class reunions. I look forward to a peaceful 2010...

Reflections on Grief and the End of 2009

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It's almost the last night of the year. I am sitting here on the couch next to Steve, watching Jay Leno and trying to keep the cats corraled. Let's just say it's been a hell of a year. That's an understatement. I am a different person today than I was on December 29, 2008. I'd like to think I am a better person. I'm definitely an older person... not just chronologically, but spiritually. There is a certain knowing, a sadness, a wisdom that stares back at my reflection. I've experienced the entire spectrum and stages of emotions and grief. And I didn't know until experiencing it that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief are messy. You don't evolve naturally from denial and isolation (stage one), anger (stage two), bargaining (stage three), depression (stage four), to acceptance (stage five). It skips back and forth. I'd like to think I'm over the big grief hurdles, especially with the hellidays. One more observance (January 13) a…

Weatherwise

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Mugging with Moshi- SJS 2009 It's a perfect day to write. So here I am. I'm going through my blogs and journals to come up with 50-100 poems for Field of Blue. At first I was going to stick to poems I wrote this year. Then I decided to include poems from the past. Why not? I have been writing since 1991 and there are some works that are begging to be seen. There are others, however, that will never see the light of day! For a cold winter's night, I am enclosing the poem "Weatherwise". I wrote this in 1994. It is unpublished. Enjoy. :) Weatherwise Friends fair-weathered are flowers. Springtime socialites wilting in the huff of autumn in flight of winter's storms. Friends foul-weathered are frostbite thriving on negative energy burning,needling,prickly then struck numb. Friends all-weathered are firs. planted firmly in summer's sun leaving for autumn's callings only to stand barren-- weathering winter's wrath. Weatherwise. LCS/19…

Blog Changes

Hi, I changed the colors on the blog so you can read the text more easily. I hope you enjoy this better. Thank you, Steve for your editorial input! :)

Saturday Morning

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Last night Latte crawled on my pillow and curled around my head and purred. Java was on the couch in the bedroom. Steve and Moshi were snuggling downstairs. We're a lively (but cuddly) bunch. I'm also on a reading kick lately (which is good for reader's advisory and for my own enjoyment). I love this book called Do One Nice Thing. I perused the website DoOneNiceThing.com and there is a place to start a club (with certificates). I would like to start a club at my library. I think paying it forward would be good. Today we are going to spend Christmas with Steve's folks. We'll treat them to dinner for taking care of the fur children. I also need to keep writing, especially for the poetry book Field of Blue.

Chicagoland Christmas

Steve and I returned home from Chicago around 5:00 p.m. this evening. We had a nice time despite the heaviness in our hearts. Here are the highlights of the trip... Wednesday We packed and left for Chi-town around 3:00 p.m. Luckily, the weather cleared so we travelled on decent roads. We were grateful and surprised with the light traffic. Steve and I arrived at the entrace to the Sheridan Towers around 5:30 p.m., Steve parked the car, I called Dad (who was already at the hotel) and we all met in the lobby to carry our luggage upstairs. Our room was on the 18th floor with a spectacular view of the cityscape, the Chicago River, and the Lake. After we left our stuff in the hotel room, Dad, Steve, and I ventured downstairs for a light appetizer in a venue called the Java Cafe. The bar/cafe was decorated in a modern style with large, comfortable chairs. After appetizers, Steve and I had to rush upstairs to get dressed for Dad's birthday dinner at Shula's, which is also located i…

The Year of the Grinch

One more day in libraryland and then Steve and I will be heading to Chicagoland for the hellidays. Today was fine until I left for home. It's cold. The parking lot was slick. It was a slippery ride to the pharmacy. I accidentally threw away my script (I thought it expired) and so the pharmacist could not fill the current one. Damn it. I called my doctor and left a message for him. Now I have to go and pick another one up. I drove home and noticed all the Griswald-style lights across the boulevard. I am so sick of Christmas. Sick sick sick of it all. It's a cruel season for people who are grieving. So I yelled in the direction of the lights across the boulevard. "I HATE CHRISTMAS!" So there, Griswald-style helliday lights taunting me day in and day out. I didn't even hang up a Christmas wreath this year. Bite me, helliday season. You totally suck. Grief sucks. It really really does. I never understood the depth of how people hurt around this time of year. Now I…

Mad Dogs and Irishmen

Tonight I spent the evening setting up a new email, blog and facebook page for our band. Bryan just booked a gig for the Box Factory this spring. I'm going to bring the digital camera tomorrow to take a mug shot of the crew and post it. (At least I gave everyone the heads-up to wear their best outfit and dress how they want to look in the photograph). Not that maintaining my own blog plus setting up the band blog plus posting to the library blog isn't enough. Perhaps I am becoming a blogaholic? Am I delving into the depths of geekdom? And do I really care? Not so much. :) If you are curious, take a peek at the Mad Dogs and Irishmen blog. It's in its infancy! So would that mean we are Mad Puppies and Irishtots? Better turn off the laptop and sleep soon so I don't trip over the bags under my eyes tomorrow.

Java, Latte, Moshi: If Cats Could Speak

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(*Sighs*) Wake me up when she's gone! Take Her Back! Now! No more catz! I'm cute and I'm here to stay! Moshi the cat has captured our hearts. She is the most delightful little kitten. Sweet, independent, cuddly, unafraid, well-mannered. She used the scratching post twice instead of the couch. Latte is handling the transition better than Java. There's been some sniffing, a little hissing, and even a little yelling from Java. No bloodshed or flying fur. So far, so good.

Moshi's Story

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Last week, I received an email from one of my closest friends. The subject line of the email was in small caps and lower case: "stray kitty needs a home". My first thought is, oh no. Not again. Not after the Mojo the Beast fighting, biting, and peeing-on-Steve's-rare-books fiasco and the one afternoon with Katie the pup mis-adventure this year. I don't know if Java, Latte, Steve, and I can handle another disruption. Having said that, I am honored that we were one of the first families she recommended for a good home. (Yes, we are hopeless saps). So, I hesitantly wrote back. What is this all going to entail? What is the story behind this one? So here is the story... Last week, a tiny gray kitten, about 12 weeks old, with orange markings wandered into the yard and brightened the doorstep of a kind family who lives in a house on a country road. The family took her in temporarily. They have too many animals, so they could not possibly keep this one. Kitten is frien…

Moshi's Kitten Condominium

One of the band members was sick this morning, so we opted to cancel rehearsal. I was all for that--my energy level was low at best and could not muster the energy to crawl out of bed, let alone hauling percussion equipment to Cassopolis and trekking there and back and playing music. I love playing music. I love my band. I love my bandmates. I don't even mind the travelling. It just requires concentration and energy. And my energy reserves are zapped. Java and Latte acted strangely last night. I think it has to do with the fact that we are fostering a kitten named Moshi. Yes, fostering right now with the hopes for adoption. We are taking it slow after the Mojo the Beast and Katie the dog fiascos. We have a friend who will also adopt her if it doesn't work out. But I am hopeful it will. Moshi is settled comfortably in our downstairs garden bathroom AKA Moshi's Kitten Condominium. She has a new bed, food and water dish, toys, and a kitten litter box. Heat comes up throug…

Mad Dogs and Irishmen: Part Three

Finally, the part of my journey you really wanted to know. :) Steve and I met up with Bryan (again) at a private party. He was back in South Bend and was networking to form a band. He asked me to join him in a rehearsal and meet the other bandmates. And one Saturday in Cassopolis, MI, I did. And they asked me to join. And I said yes. And our name is kind of crazy: Mad Dogs and Irishmen. It's catchy. I could be an Irishman or a Mad Dog. I really don't mind. I don't care about the wording. I'm a drummer and percussionist. That says something right there. There are two women (redheads!) and three men. It's awesome to be with this band. Here are the performances so far: Friday, January 22, the Beanery 8:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday, February 6 (evening) Club LaSalle.

Mad Dogs and Irishmen: Part Two

After graduation, I started taking lessons from Mary Lynn Norman again. And we had some paying gigs again, church gigs, a gig playing with a concert band at the former Scottsdale Mall, and the Press Club Players, which was the coolest gig of all-- we roasted local celebrities, had all the free beer and Polish food I wanted, and I was paid nicely!!! I loved that gig and playing with the piano player and would still be doing it today, but the group disbanded in the mid-1990's. I also played briefly with a local group called The Company in the mid-1990's. I filled in at the last minute for my teacher (who was then diagnosed with lung cancer) and was treated (and compensated) fairly. And people commended on my skills as a performer. Then after I inherited the gig, suddenly I was not performing up to their standards. The manager and certain members of the group did not treat me kindly. In fact, I was replaced with a 17-year-old boy. And this kid had the audacity to move my drums…

Mad Dogs and Irishmen: Part One

I am stoked (appropriate word to warm up a frosty day) to be performing with my band in January 2010. Now we have a name for our band--Mad Dogs and Irishmen. My friends and family are asking me how I became a member of this unique ensemble. Instead of repeating the same (or similar) response, I thought this would be an easier forum to share this exciting(!) journey with you. So, here goes... Until recently, many people do not know that I am a musician. It's just something I don't talk about a lot until now with new gigs lined up in 2010. I started playing drums and percussion at the age of 10. I took my first lesson at 11, and took private lessons until the age of 17. I was in the youth symphony, competed in band, ensemble, and individual competitions, survived marching band, and played trapset for the Chamber Choir (The wardrobe was tricky, since I couldn't wear a dress). I took a couple of years off to attend Holy Cross College, and after a disastrous audition for…

After Blog, Bed.

It's been a productive day. I had an appointment. After my appointment, I returned home, petted both kittehs, and then ascended upstairs to take an afternoon nap. Latte raced upstairs to join me. After my mid-afternoon snooze with Latte, I woke up and attended a meeting at a branch library. After the meeting, I returned home. Steve and I had the same idea and enjoyed dinner at Hacienda. After Hacienda, Steve worked on his grading and I trolled the blogs, facebook, and checked emails. After my shows, I played DDR for a half hour (it was too cold to walk tonight). Then I'm posting to this blog. After blog, bed.

I can has Cheezburger!

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Here is a photo of Java that I LOLzed for the library blog. Ask my staff at work: I am obsessed with LOLcats right now. The authors published a new book called How Teh Take Over the Wurld: A LOLcat Guide 2 Winning. It's based on the popular I Can Has Cheezburger website. You can even make your own caption and LOLCat (or LOLdog) or anything from the website.