Monday, January 30, 2006


For the first time since beginning to journal on line, I feel like I have dried up. I have spent over two years babbling about everything from High School to Ireland and then back again.

I think my inspiration sprang from my surroundings in Kentucky. There was always something available to spark a memory or throw my mind into thinking mode. Every road, every corner, every season, a song, people, weather, cemeteries, could open the creative doors. There seems to be nothing around to prod me into writing an ingenious entry!!

I have only written five pieces on Alphawoman this month!!! Five!!! And I just got back from a vacation! And I almost have nothing to say about it. Incredible. I can't figure out what is wrong with me.

The upside has been that I am reading books again.

My long lost buddy emailed me this week end. I am so looking forward to seeing her in person soon. Though neither one of us has broached the subject as of yet, I know it is just around the corner.

It has sent me into a tailspin! I wonder if she could even recognize me now that I ma well into middle age. The last time she saw me I was a smug skinny 30 year old. I am no longer smug nor skinny. I made an emergency visit to the drug store to stock up on miracle moisturizer and hair color.

I began a diet this morning! So far, so good.

I am about to commit to running the Triple Crown in Louisville beginning in Mid-March. I just need to check the dates to ensure there is not a conflict with The Saw Doctor concert in Cleveland on the 17th. My knee seems to have healed up nicely, time to tear it up again.

I figure that in six weeks, I should be ready to see her again. I will plan it so that I can saw breathlessly, "I just finished the 5K and was XXXXX in my age group."

Then she can say, "What a coincidence, I just turned down my XXXXX proposal of marriage."

It will be just like old times.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


What can one say about Jamaica that has not been said before. The weather was perfect. The skies were picture postcard fabulous. The Caribbean waters were warm and inviting. The beaches were white and full of tiny little shells. The fact that they were broken or partial shells made it seem all that more magical. A perfect island to seek rest and relaxation.

Is there anything I did not like about this West Indies paradise?

I am not all that crazy to return anytime soon. It was nice, it was great to get away and land in 80 degree weather and leave the cold dark mornings of the mid-west behind. I have been to two islands in the Caribbean, Nassau and now Jamaica. In both places I felt very uncomfortable at times.

At the airport I wanted to bitch slap the porter. I had to go looking for my luggage. I am always terrified of loosing it.(remember Cancun when I was without my suitcase for five long smelly days!!?) He was taking his damn sweet time. The other porters were busting their butts and loading 15 or more bags and hustling out to the bus area. Not my porter. He had my two bags and three others that belonged to some very nice, very patient people. (obviously, they had never been to Cancun during a hurricane).

And then he told me I owed him MORE a tip. Joe arrived and slipped him more money and I went to grab it back. It was a triple tug of war between all of us. They won.

Maybe it is the obvious poverty that surrounds the resorts. It makes me feel too...uncomfortable.

I'd rather go to Ireland or Spain, maybe Italy. Paradise is wonderful but I guess I am more of an adventurer than a tourist.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


But the Music do....

The fabulous and unprecedented Jennifer offered to help me add music to my blog! I am so excited. I have so many musical selections that I would love include to represent ME that I hardly know where to begin!

Let's see....My Mariachi music. Don't think Mexican restaurant, think Antonio Bandares in Desperado.

And then there is my kick butt Celtic Music. My fabulous Ashley MsIssac and his screaming fiddle with the unbelievable bass and drums...

I can not forget to include my beloved Buena Vista Social Club with its smooth tones and silky voices....

What about my absolute favorite Irish band The Saw Doctors. But which song? The lovely and haunting Clare island? The rollicking HAY WRAP? Or the quintessential N-17?

I can't decide. I can't just limit it to one. One song does not, could not define me, my blog or which way the wind is blowing on any particular day!

I no longer have a teenage living under my roof to keep me informed on what's hot and what's not. She is no longer around to roll her eyes at me, teach me the latest dance moves, or tell me, "For God's sake do not leave the house wearing that!!!". We all need a Cool Monitor to keep us abreast of the latest.

This is why I am about 100 years behind everything that is going on in the "Cool Side" of the life. I have to face it, I have climbed the mountain and reached the crest of Coolness. I am presently tumbling down the other side, falling faster and faster with each passing day. Thankfully, Joe has made/is making the climb a lot slower and able to keep some semblance of coolness about him. He tells things now, even though I am suspicious, he is usually right.

I bring this all up because I was searching around on the vehicle radio the other day and heard the most fabulous heavy metal rock and roll head banging song ever! I rushed into the house shouting out the song's name . Joe knew immediately what I was talking about (a lot to be said for being with someone for years and years, you can get away with being crazy around them, because they understand totally). He gave me the name of the band and offered...(clued me in)....that it had a pretty good musical video too.

I found it on line.

It was depraved. It was revolting and disgusting. Totally sick.

I loved it.

I now have the CD. Whenever I dare, I push it in and turn it up. I can not help myself from grooving to the music . My heads moves from side to side, back and forth, front to back, gyrating. I let my hair fly. I close my eyes. My shoulders move. My butt dances on the seat. I look like I am being hit with an electric jolt. I can't help it, the music gets to me in some deep deep place.

As I was rocking away this morning at the worlds longest stop light, I suddenly wondered if one of my co-workers, bosses, or customers could be watching me from one of the surrounding cars?!!! I stopped for a beat. "Oh hell with it", I began to jerk and gyrate around again.

If Bridget had been with me she would have been totally mortified.

I wonder if I asked Jennifer to load that baby up.......?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Montego Bay

First Day

We arrived mid-morning. An uneventful plane ride other than it took so long to get there! I had a window seat and surprisingly it was a clear, unobscured by clouds, passage to the West Indies island of Jamaica. Flying high you have no idea where you are. I assumed Florida was below, but it could have been somewhere else. The coves and channels were busy with activity. Boats moving at the slowest pace imaginable 37,000 feet below me.

The pilot came on to announce we were about 15 minutes out (at least it sounded like he said that) and below us is the island of Cuba.


I strained to take it in. A dark brown coast line with no sign of movement...not one single boat, not one single building, no sign of any beaches. I was lost in thought as we left Cuba behind, the ocean below a fury of white caps and secluded specs of land barely visible above the dark and aqua waters.

Then we landed. Sunshine and sand and the smell of salt water. White clouds drifting lazy in a brilliant blue sky. As we disembarked, so did our clothes! We were whisked through customs and our luggage was quickly attached to a porter who would keep an eye on it while we were led into what I call, the recovery room! Sandles Inn has a beautiful reception area where you can refresh yourself by drinking the famous Red Stripe beer and slip into something much more island-like than winter-ish.

Off to the hotel, which is on the other side of the airport. A five minute drive. Joe and I came prepared with plenty of one dollar bills and the more serious fives.

Within an hour we were on the public beach right across the street from the hotel. I have been up since before the crack of dawn, and had little to eat and upon landing, several island drinks, so I was feeling ......crafty.

I figured this, if we buy something from all the street vendors at the beginning, they would leave us alone the duration of our stay! So we spread the wealth that first afternoon! I had Muril make a beautiful beach dress for me. Custom fitted. I asked her not to tell me the measurements as she quickly wrote them down. She was to return on Wednesday with the finished product.

Then Jacob, who ran the little shack on the corner of the beach. There was no way to avoid him, as the steep steps to the sand passed his tiny business. He had everything you wanted, if you wanted trinkets and trash! Island jewelry is his specialty and I am now the proud owner of several of his pieces.

Then there was the Rastafarian. I never caught his name, but he was always there. Early in the morning till late at night. We bought a beautiful walking stick from him. He makes them. Or so he says. I can't imagine when he'd find the time.

And so, my plan played out to perfection. We were now allowed to lounge around the beach without being hassled! Except from the Rastafarian, who never seemed to recognize us! Joe had to tell him every time that we already were the proud owners of his one-of-a-kind walking stick! He'd look from Joe to me and then smile and say, "I remember her!" Geez.

The sun burnt down on us as we laid on the beach and romped in the soothing waters. Then it was time to go back inside the walls of the Sandles Inn and locate the restaurants!

Welcome to Jamaica, Mon.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


I awoke early for a Saturday, around 5am and realized I had been dreaming of Jamaica. I'm not certain if it was the breeze from the ocean, or the sound of the surf against the beach, or the sound of the locals laughing and calling to each other as they eased themselves into the Caribbean's dark waters at 6am, every morning around 6am, and waited for the sun to rise and transform the bay into that astonishing aqua blue.

Just the faint remnant of a dream, the memory of warmth on my skin, a trace of fragrant salt water lingering......I knew it was Jamaica.

Joe and I have just returned from a four day, three night dream vacation from the island in the West Indies. The temperature was always perfect. The skies stunning, the Caribbean breathtaking.

I did not want to leave.

Friday, January 20, 2006


I'm finding that every book I open in the Booksellers has something terribly fasinating tucked and hidden in the pages.

It is like finding hidden treasure. I feel guilty taking them out of their long time home and inserting them into the book(s) I am purchasing. I feel like I am doing something very wrong!

I can't help myself. The article from 1981 tucked into Catcher in the Rye was gone. I suppose I am not the only one without scruples.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

There's No Place Like Home

I don't bitch about Ft. Wayne as much as I'd like to. I try to respect the people who live here and naturally all the people who live in this area. I have even found that Ft. Wayne has some really cool things going for it, like the Hyde Brothers Bookstore. W., who pointed it out to me, is from Boston and moved to FW two years ago. He says the Bookstore weighed heavily in his decision.

And I'm certain that girlfriend had a lot to do with it too. But, the girl is gone and the bookstore and W. remain. As we drove around he helped me try and find my way more efficiently than that which I have developed. There is something weird about trying to get around this town. The streets change names like there is no tomorrow. If you are told to go out State, it suddenly becomes Maysville. Hobson becomes St. Joe. N. Coliseum is at the East end and the East side is really the South side. Speaking of which, I never can tell where N., S., E., And W. actually are!! It's incredible. W. tells me that it is because there are no landmarks. No landmarks? He's right, my only source of direction when I am lost is the downtown buildings, that is if I can see them. Coliseum stretches around the city like a watermelon is no help. The expressways totally ignore and bypass the downtown area.

Dave asked me one day, while we were smashed together in our cell of an office room, (four of us in such a small area that the temperature rises to 89 degrees within moments of all of us in there) what I missed most about Kentucky.

Without hesitation I said, "It is much more aesthetically pleasing."

"I don't know what that word means" he replies as he leans towards Matt, "Do you?"

"Sure", Matt says not lifting his head from his computer.

"It means it the aesthetics." I told him, being a smart ass.

It means, I can drive from my little town towards Lexington (10 miles to the East!! because you drive directly into the sun in the morning) and see a huge castle perched on a large rise, surrounded by a monstrous wall and cows grazing in the fields surrounding it. Several minutes later I am passing the renown ivy covered stone walls of Keeneland Race Track. Across from it is the Bluegrass Airport, with its extended runway and newly painted breathtaking mural, a mirror of the horse farms surrounding it. Complete with bronze statues of horses. A few yards more there is the famous Calumet Horse farm with its legendary white fences...hundreds of miles of white fences....and white barns with the red trim. And real Thoroughbreds grazing in the fields. Across from it is the exotic animal farm, where there is no telling what sort of large animal you can see grazing in their fields.

I have driven that road so often in my lifetime that I could almost do it blindfolded. I have an indelible memory if it etched on my brain,that I can immediately transport myself into a spring drive down US 60, with the dogwood trees in pink and white blossoms and daffodil's springing to life heralding in the new season.

I lived in Louisville for almost 10 years and loved that city too. It was 50 miles from home, so it was not like I was on the other side of the country.

I have lived in Houston and longed for home. While I was there the people told me that there are only two states, no matter where those people reside, they consider Kentucky and Texas "home".

I tried Tampa for awhile. I was not ready for that. Paradise can wait till I am retired.

Every time I moved back was a sort of defeat. But goodness gracious, was there ever an upside.

There is no place like home.

("That's just my opinion , I could be wrong. Let's have pie.".....Dennis Miller)

Saturday, January 14, 2006



Earlier this week W. (the sales trainee) took me to a bookstore located near the downtown area of Ft. Wayne. I have been looking forward and counting the moments till I could return and totally immerse myself in the store.

I love bookstores. I especially love old bookstores. The kind that have been there for many years and many generations. The moment I walked into the building through the back store, I knew I had found something very special. First of all, it smells like books. Old musty books give off an unmistakable odor. I associate it with the joy of reading books. Oh, the places they'll take you!!!

I returned this afternoon and spent an hour in the bookstore. The bottom floor is row after row of stacks straight up to the ceiling. There are ladders on either side of the room,the kind that are on tracks so you can reach every book, even those at the very top! Also, foot ladders are scattered through out the rows for those less intimidating reaches into the bounty.

I was only able to examine a miniscule portion of the fabulous store. I got totally drawn into the "S's". I opened up a book written by George Sand. To my astonishment, it was dated 1848! A first edition translation. I found a paper back of "Catcher in the Rye" complete with a newspaper clipping from 1981 reporting the sentencing of Mark Chapman. I had forgotten that Chapman was "insane" and carrying around that particular book.

I opened another book and was thumbing through the pages when the above business card fell out. I thought it ironic that the writers name was misspelled on his card and poignant how he fixed the problem. He probably has a terrific sense of humor.

In the basement secion once again the books are from ceiling to floor but less overwhelming than the upstairs. That's where I found the travelogue books. This is the section where I ended up spending my money! I purchased a paperback of "The Islands of Ireland" by Thom. H. Mason. First published 1936...this edition, 1967. This is going to be a great read for me. I am especially interested in reading all about Clare Island.

Another gem I located is a 1929 book titled "A Green Horn In Europe". On the back of this book is an advertisement for another....Animal Antidotes and other Animal Stories"....$1.75. I love this stuff.

I could have spent all afternoon there picking up book after book and opening it up, feeling the pages, looking for lost treasures hidden within their bindings. I have on occasion found some very fascinating surprises!

I should go back and get that George Sand book!

With A Heavy Heart

Cleaning House

I have begun to thin down my Blogline roster. I have begun to eliminate the AOL journals that are no longer. Most of them are now on Blogger, so it was a duplicate listing more or less.

I have also been deleting the journals that are no longer used. My finger hung over SloMo's. I miss her so much. I left it, hoping that one day I will log on and find she has returned.

This is a subject that has been beat to death. We all realize that the advertisements will remain over the AOL journals and there is not a thing we can do about it. The whole infrastructure of Journal Land has been breached. It will never regain the glory it once had. I do not even check out the Guest Editor of the week any longer.

I do not recognize the journals highlighted. Sigh. I guess I could acquaint myself with some new ones. That is the point, isn't it? Being exposed to new journals? I guess I am just having a case of sour grapes. I miss everything about the "Old School" AOL Journals.

I remember finding the journals the first time. I had just read a book by the author of Pamie.Com. I had no idea there was such a thing as Blogs. I found several communities out there and was all torn up thinking I had to learn Html!! I signed on one day and there it was...that cute little house logo thing AOL Journals had (do they still have it?) and I found my home.

I journaled under another screen name for sometime before finding Alphawoman a home. It was so great in the beginning. There seemed to only be a handful of us and every single day five journals were highlighted!!!

Isn't that all of us met each other?

It seems so spoiled now.

It is with a great sadness I delete journals I loved to read because they no longer exist. I have always been one to reflect and hold on to the past. But my bloglines is out of control.

So, farewell my old friends. I hope you are happy and content where ever you are.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

History Repeats Itself

Road to corruption

I am going to take some time off next week. In response to my impending absence, someone is going to cover my territory.

Cool. It's still way too early in my career in this facility to have pissed off any of my customers or for any of them to hate me or bad mouth me. So all is great.

Towards the end of last week they let me know that they wanted the "new guy" to cover my territory rather than the regular swing person. This is the new guys first week in the position. And that they wanted him to travel with me?!! ALL WEEK.

Oh hell.

I fretted about it all week end and finally as I was heading out the door Monday morning, still gloomy that I was going to have a shadow with me all week, I thought maybe, just maybe, this could be fun.

I arrive at work and there he is. "Hello!" he says greeting me at the door, "T. said he saw you park in the lot!"

Oh my God. It's a BABY!!!

We shake hands. "What's your name?" He has only been referred to as "the new guy".


Well, well, well. I have an assistant all week and it has been extremely good. My assistant makes my phone calls for me. Makes copies for me. Does my e-mailing for me. Makes up forms for me. Does my daily sheets for me. Has been my muscle all week. All under the guise of "training him".

He is like a puppy. So eager to please. He is like a sponge. I tell him, or show him once and he gets it. He has been with the company for a year and this is his first promotion. Since I worked the "other side" of our business (the dark side) I can relate to him.

I have spoiled him rotten. It's amazing what buying lunch for a 26 year old kid all week will get for you. I have shared my wisdom with him all week. This is hilarious because as I "trained him" I realize how seasoned I actually am. (jaded?) It's been fun. I am so accustomed to being alone all day, it was pleasant have him around.

I have corrupted him for "the dark side". He will never again be satisfied working for them. He wants with "us", the fun side.

I am going to miss him. Not only for the wonderfulness of having a side kick, but because he is an interesting, quirky, intelligent and a Boston Irish transplant.

He showed me a used bookstore that is fabulous in downtown that never in a million years I would have found if he had not shown me.

I really really lucked out this week.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


When I was young, I mean younger.....oh heck, when I was a teenager I thought I would not live to be 30 let alone 50.

The year 2000 loomed out there in the future, in space. It seemed mind boggling and insane that I would be older than my parents if I lived to 2000. They were old and decrepit. Antiquated. Teetering on feeble. They were 39 and 47.

I contemplated life a lot back them. After all, I was a moody teenager with plenty of time on my hands because I avoided homework like the plague. So, I day dreamed and contemplated life a lot.

Now it is well into the year 2006 and I am totally amazed that I have survived to this ripe old age. God knows I tried to sabotage it by living life dangerously and precariously at times. With careless abandon most the time. Who was it that said if they knew they were going to live this long they would have taken better care of themselves? Micky Mantle?

I contemplate life still as I pump it out on the machines at the Fitness Center Joe and I joined several months ago. I have not taken it seriously until the new year. After all, what use is it to try and deny yourself when the holidays are advancing. If I had started then, I would have messed it up immediately. So I waited. I made the occasional trip to the center to acquaint myself with the clientele and where everything is located. I am happy to report, the clientele is cool, mostly out of shape middle age chumps like myself.

I think I may be committed to loosing the excess weight and toning up. The great upside...besides all that stuff about health and the fabulous wardrobe I have that I no longer fit in. It's waiting for me!

The other night I looked at myself in one of the many mirrors in the downstairs aerobic room. "Those arms are not mine!!!!!!" I was mortified. I am also mortified at the size of my boobs! They have a zip code of their own. They pop out of my bra's when I lean over. It is so embarrassing. I play with my bra and my underwires as much as any major league pitcher plays with his cup. It is becoming a habit. A very unbecoming habit! They pop out a lot.

So, I am concentrating on using the machines that work my upper body with the hopes that my arms stop flapping in the breeze and my boobs come under control.

Yesterday morning I awoke and immediately knew something was wrong. My right arm would not move. It was frozen into a broken bird wing sort of position. It hurt all day long. Joe made fun of me last night because try as I may, I could not stretch my arm out straight without writhering in pain. ( a little over the top acting is fun sometimes).

Getting back into shape is hard. I should have listened to Micky.

(What am I saying? Micky Mantle?!! What is up with all this baseball imagery?)