Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Remember Me

Went to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Highly recommend. Well directed, written, acted.

In looking over the soundtrack, I re-discovered The Innocence Mission.

This song is not included on the soundtrack of the movie, but certainly the soundtrack of my life somewhere in the 1990-1993 era.

There's clouds in the upstairs, clouds in my memory....

For the Birds

The nice thing about being unemployed is the available time to do all the things you want to do, but can't while working. The bad thing about being unemployed is the available time that gets sucked up doing things that you don't plan on doing but have to because that's the direction life takes. Or because it's just addictive.

One thing I've really enjoyed is watching the daily routines of the cats. Of course, me being here changes the entire dynamic--I know that. However, I think we can all agree I don't have any sway over the habits of the neighborhood pigeons. If I didn't know better, I'd swear that they've discovered that 5 cats live within the panes of 4 windows of the 150 Bay Street building. 5 cats who will sit vigil at the windows to observe every movement a bird makes. I say this because there are groups of them that fly in a beautiful formation, and then land on the ledges outside of my apartment. They sit and stare at the cats, who in turn sit and thump their tails while pressing their noses against the window and chatter "mah-ah-ah".  Eventually, the pigeons will get comfortable, pouf out feathers and take a nap. This does not curtail the tail thumping.

Last Friday, all 5 cats bought tickets and showed up for the experience. I counted 6 pigeons spread out across the ledges. The window sill sitting went on for 2 hours and eventually, the pigeons departed. In the mornings since that day,  I see them caucus on the warehouse across from my building--and 4 of my 5 felines sit in the window, waiting to see who will migrate and provide free entertainment.

Manhattan and Valentina sitting in the window, watching the Pigeon Show...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I went to Maryland the day after Labor Day, to see mom and dad. In my new unemployed state, I opted to go post holiday, avoid traffic, and spend time there during the week while everyone else was at work.

Joey's birthday (September 5) coincided with that visit to Maryland, and I was glad. Happy to be in the area we called home for what would have been his 48th birthday. In my head, I tried to imagine what we'd be doing to celebrate. Tried to imagine what he'd look like now. Too much time has passed to venture a guess at what I'd need to do to distract him from aging...but I do wonder: would Laura and Joey exist as a couple anymore? Would he have any grey hair?

It's not helpful to speculate on anything that brings him into the present. Well, not in those ways. The best way to bring him into the present is to keep him with me as a guide and as love. Who he was in his purest form. All the comedic memories, the soulful moments. Thinking about what if...it's too sad, and it doesn't serve any purpose other than feeling stuck in the moment of his death. And he really wouldn't want that.

I was able to spend a little time with Chaucer, my kitty that Joey's mom gave to me in 1995. Which was good because I departed Thursday. Two days later, Saturday, September 8, mom and dad called to tell me they just returned from the vet. Chaucer had to be put to sleep. A term that I hate--"put to sleep". Anyway, Chaucer's suffering from kidney failure was over. I was so grateful that I was there to see him, say I love you, Chaucer, and comb him one last time.

Baby Chaucer, June 1995. The pink heart was his first toy.

Are You There God? It's Me, Laura...

I think that I avoided posting in August and September because they are months that have the letter S in them. Or really, I just didn't make the time to write. Various themes floated through my brain, sort of like a tide.  I need to do some work on what it is that keeps me from committing to publishing on a regular basis to this blog.

For some reason, I feel compelled to provide updates because I've been MIA for several months, but  that's not what I want to write about. So I'm just going to start where my thoughts are now, and let things flow.

I've been out of work since the end of August. I've totally enjoyed this time away from the daily grind, the expectations that go along with work and projects and showing up in meetings. Today is a day where I've found my mental processing and my emotions connected to things of the past. People who have died, my parents and aunts and uncles in their younger years, pets who are long gone, experiences that are deep in my history but formative to my current state. I'm not sure what that's about.

Okay. That may be untrue. Two weeks ago, I spent 4 days with my mom while my dad took a quick vacation to Atlantic City. She is diabetic and she is also clearly suffering some form of dementia. If it's diagnosed I don't know about it. What I do know is that I can no longer have a conversation with my mom about my life. We can talk about my kitties, or the kitties I feed on the street, or maybe a quick story about one of my friends. Her ability to follow along in conversations is questionable, and too many details visibly confuse her. I've asked her if she remembers specific things--like the theme song to Winnie the Pooh. My mother loved Winnie the Pooh so much that she nick-named my sister Pooh Bear. I have fond memories of my LP records of various Pooh stories, narration and music and all.

Today while walking to the PATH train, I recalled a time when I had outgrown WTP, and wanted to get rid of my albums. She was so sad. I thought it was so ridiculous. I wanted to be grown up, you know. None of that kid stuff. I wanted to forget Pooh, and his fluffy self. The paradox struck me today that I would love to talk with my mom about Pooh, and listen to the song or watch a Pooh video. Our roles are now reversed. She has, in essence, forgotten Pooh and I am so sad. Perhaps we could watch Pooh, but she would not recall the stories, or the fond memories, like she would have even ten years ago. And she definitely wouldn't sing along with the song.

I've so many more things to share.

For those who remember the book, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret? I am feeling a little like that right now. Meaning, I am having many conversations with God about this phase of life. It's not different from what others have or are experiencing. I feel awkward and ill equipped, kinda like the title character, Margaret.  And that's my current truth.

Mom with my Uncle Harry in November of 1998, Pittsburgh, PA.