Friday, January 30, 2009

Assassin Cat

My newest cat (I have 3, God help me), Java is trying to kill me. You'd think he would be grateful that I rescued him at 2 weeks old when his Mama died and my nail tech guilted me into taking him. You'd think he would appreciate the fact that I got up and bottle fed him every few hours. I even had to teach him how to poop since his Mama didn't get the chance to teach him! Did he thank me? I kept him safe in my bedroom/bathroom so the bigger cats wouldn't hurt him until he was old enough to defend himself. But is he grateful???? NOOOO!!!!!!

Whenever I try to walk up the stairs, he grabs at my feet, wraps himself around my ankle and bites my pants, socks, shoes, feet, whatever his sharp little teeth can sink into. When I try to go down the steps, he'll shoot past me then stop dead on the middle of the staircase. He especially likes it if I have a basket of laundry in my arms that prevents me from seeing the steps below me. He's trying to kill me.

He's all of 5 months old and will pick fights with Cameron and Mason, forcing them to hiss and swipe at him. He and Cam roll all over the floor, biting, clawing. It's like watching 2 teenage girls go at it!

I know he just wants to play when Cam and Mason come in from outside. He chases after them, grabbing at their tails. And they act just like older brothers who don't want to be bothered by the kid brother tagging after them. I think Cameron and Mason taught him to be a bratcat. He just wanted to play, but they hissed at him and swiped at him. Now he's doing it too.

I can tell when Java is going into brat mode. When he's calm and happy, his eyes are a nice green. When he's going to fight and bite, they turn brown! I'm not really sure what to do about him. Dani calls him Satan (now there's the pot calling the kettle black!)

I think Cameron and Mason are just jealous. Java still has his balls and they don't.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

You Know You're From Philadelphia When...

Kate did a post like this about Tennessee and invited anyone and everyone to do a similar post for their hometown or home state. Here's mine about Philadelphia (the closest big city to Pottstown, where I live now and/or Clifton Heights, where I grew up)

You've never referred to Philadelphia as anything but "Philly." And New Jersey has always been "Jersey."

You refer to Pennsylvania as "PA" (pronounced Peeay).How many other states do that?

You know what "Punxsutawney Phil" ( A Ground Hog ) is, and what it means if he sees his shadow.

The first day of buck and the first day of doe season are school holidays.

You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception" and not even bat an eye.

You can't go to a wedding without hearing the "Chicken Dance," at least 1 Polka and either an Italian song (sung in Italian,) or "Hava Nagila."

At least 5 people on your block have electric "candles" in all or most of their windows all year long.

You know what a "Hex sign" is.

You know what a "State Store" is, and your out of state friends find it incredulous that you can't purchase liquor at the mini-mart.

You own only three condiments "salt, pepper and Heinz ketchup".

Words like "hoagie", "crick", "chipped ham", "sticky buns", "shoo-fly pie", "pierogies" and "pocketbook" actually mean something to you.

You can eat cold pizza (even for breakfast) and know others who do the same. (Those from NY find this "barbaric".)

You not only have heard of Birch Beer, but you know it comes in several colors: Red, White, Brown, Gold.

You know several places to purchase or that serve Scrapple, Summer Sausage (Lebanon Bologna), and Hot Bacon Dressing.

You can eat a cold soft pretzel from a street vendor without fear and enjoy it.

You know the difference between a cheese steak & a pizza steak sandwich and a Primanti's, and know that you can't get a really good one outside PA.

You live for summer, when street and county fairs signal the beginning of funnel cake season.

Customers ask the waitress for "dippy eggs" for breakfast.

You know that Blue Ball, Intercourse, Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Beaver, Moon, Virginville, Paradise, Mars, and Slippery Rock are PA towns.

You know what a township, borough, and commonwealth is.

You can identify drivers from New York, New Jersey, Ohio,or other neighboring states by their unique and irritating driving habits.

A traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a horse-drawn carriage on the highway in Lancaster County.

You know several people who have hit deer more than once.

You carry jumper cables in your car and your female passengers know how to use them.

You still keep kitty litter, starting fluid, de-icer, or a snow brush in your trunk, even if you live in the south.

Driving is always better in winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

As a kid you built snow forts and leaf piles that were taller than you were.

Your graduating class consisted of mostly Polish, German, & Italian names.

"You guys" and "ynz" is a perfectly acceptable reference to a group of men & women.

You know how to respond to the question "Djeetyet?" (Didyoueatyet?)

You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre, Schuylkill, Bala Cynwyd, Conshohocken, and Monongahela.

You know what a "Mummer" is, and are disappointed if you can't catch at least highlights of the parade.

You live within two miles of a plant that makes potato chips, corn chips, pretzels, candy, or ice cream, or that packages turkey, beans or bologna.

Your turkey has "filling," not "stuffing," and most certainly, NOT "dressing."

You have an uncontrollable urge to buy bread and milk when you hear the word "snow."

You think sexy lingerie is tube socks and a flannel nightie.

You think a typical vacation is two weeks on the front stoop.

School closings due to snow take the radio stations a half an hour to finish, because just about every town has its own school district.

When someone says 1972, you think "Agnes," and when someone says 1979, you think "TMI." (Three Mile Island)

You prefer Hershey's Chocolate to Godiva.

You call Sloppy Joes "Barbecue."

You can stop along the road to buy fruits, vegetables, or crafts on the "honor system."

You consider Pittsburgh to be "out west," and you know the fastest way to Philly is the Turnpike.

The local paper covers National and International headlines on 1/4 page but requires six pages for sports.

The trunk of your car doubles as a deep freezer.

You know that Yuengling is pronounced "Ying-ling," and believe that it really is a premium beer (which comes from growing up on Schlitz and Iron City).

You say "wooder" for "water"..

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Butterflies Are Free!

Amy very kindly gave me this Butterfly Award because she likes me! She really likes me! I'm thrilled to get this award! Thank you, Amy!
Now I'm supposed to pass this on to others whose blogs I think are the coolest ever! So I'll pass this on to:
Pay it forward, ladies! Pass this on to some really cool blogs you follow!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Hate Weather

Why, why, why does it have to threaten to snow on Tuesdays? I really hate driving in snow, whether it's a little bit or a lot, I just hate it. I'd rather be home, nice and warm. OK, everyone in the Midwest and Northeast, I know I'm a wuss. I'm not the "panic and stock up on milk, eggs and bread" kind of wuss. I'm more of the "buy junk food" kind of wuss.

The reason for this latest panic is because I have not had my hair done since November (or maybe even October). WHY? Because my hairdresser, Pam, works when I work and is off when I'm off except for Tuesday nights! And every time I make an appointment to get my hair done, we get freezing rain and/or snow! Or I'm scheduled to train a new server and, of course, it's always on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. The salon is 30 minutes from my house and Pam has been doing my hair for about 10 years now (maybe more!) Whenever I let anyone else do my hair, I'm just not happy. so I follow her whenever she goes to a new salon.

Underneath this lovely Redken color is white hair. I have more than an inch of the white stuff showing and I can't hide it an longer. My hair is also much longer than I normally wear it (although John likes it and keeps hoping I'll let it grow.. uh, no. I made a deal with him... if he grows his hair long, I'll grow my hair long... that ended that discussion!).

I feel old and frumpy now and I just can't stand it! I just might have to bite the bullet and have someone else do my hair this time. Another reason why I'm somewhat fussy about it is, I used to be a hairdresser, once upon a time. Whenever I tried to cut my own hair, I made it WAY too short and too choppy. I might, I said MIGHT color it myself if Denny can't do it. I work with Denny at Fridays and he used to be a hairdresser too and still does hair out of his home. The problem there is, he works nights, I work days.

I can live with the length for a bit but this halo has to go!

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Interview with Pseudo

Pseudo sent me questions that she'd like me to answer. OK, here goes!

1. If you could time travel back in time or forward in time for an afternoon of hanging out and chatting, what time period would you visit and who would you visit with?

Actually, when I was married, I always wanted to meet my mother-in-law who died at the age of 39 from a cerebral hemorrhage. My husband was 14 at the time. So that would be around 1971 or so. I wanted to find out what made him tick and maybe she could give me some insight about him.

These days, I think I'd like to meet Pope John Paul II. My sister, the nun met him when she was 47 years old. He shook her hand and she never got her period again. I want some of that miracle!

2. You are going to be given one superpower. What do you want and why?

This one is easy! I'd want to be able to fly! There are so many places in the world I'd love to see and no funds to travel. If I could fly, I could go to all these places and really enjoy myself. Of course it would help if I had a travel partner who could fly also, or I could bring along. That would be so cool!

3. You are house sitting for a friend and you are far from the store. As you open the pantry or fridge, what five items do you hope is stocked there for you?

  • A nice dry red wine would be lovely.... Merlot or Cabernet or even Shiraz.
  • Cheddar cheese with horseradish and crackers.
  • Diet Coke with Lime
  • Cheetohs White Cheddar Cheese Puffs!
  • Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby Ice Cream!
4. What is your favorite story from your Caribbean Cruise?

Well, nothing really crazy happened on the cruise... it was actually very relaxing and kind of slow-paced. I think my favorite times on the cruise were the early mornings when Raquel would bring us coffee and we'd sit on the balcony with our coffee (and Tina's cigarettes) and we'd just laugh and laugh! I swear I hadn't laughed like that in at least 10 years, maybe even more. Tina had me laughing so hard one morning, I wet myself because I couldn't step up into the bathroom! Of course, Tina got a picture of it! What are best friends for!!!

5. After your youngest goes off to college, what are you planning with your new freedom that might be different than the last 25 years?

Well, I'd sell the house and, if possible, buy a smaller one. If buying isn't an option, I'd hope to get a good rental. The kind of house where the landlord never shows up, unless you need something repaired. Originally, John and I were going to move in together, but since he and Dani can't get along, that won't happen. It will be great to spend more time with John, either at his place or mine. To be able to come and go as I please and not have to worry about being at home because my kid wants to have friends overnight, etc.

This Ungodly Hour

So, it's 3:36 AM, and I'm awake, and I'm dressed and I'm sort of caffeinated. Why? Because Lauryn and Lillian are going home to Oregon today, in about 30 minutes actually. Last night her mother called me and asked me if I could drive Lauryn to the airport because they couldn't find anyone to take her. Her brother, Nick was supposed to take her to the airport but apparently he can't because his car isn't big enough to get all her junk in it. I offered to lend him my car. He's 21, he has better things to do, like sleep I guess, than take his sister to the airport to get her away from the crazy mother of the loser boyfriend. So here I sit, drinking my coffee, waiting for the girls to get dressed so we can leave. My daughter insists on going with us, even though she has exams this morning.

Lauryn just wants me to drop her and the baby off at the airport, not go in with her. I think I can't get through security because I'm not her mother (I was allowed to go to the gate with Dani when she went to visit Lauryn in Oregon right after Christmas) . I'm worried that Jarrid's mother will find out she's leaving today and do something to try to stop her. I told Lauryn not to let Jarrid know that she was leaving today but stupid ass told him anyway. I guess I shouldn't be too worried... if I can't get through security, then Crazy Cindy can't either.

Jarrid, the loser, did something really stupid that I think is really funny. For some reason, he gave Lauryn his driver's license. I think he told her he wanted her to have it so she could hold it for him until he gets back to Oregon and that was proof that he was coming back to her and Lillian. He has a court date here in PA on Feb 24, so he has to stay here until then. He's probably going to lose his license. I think he got a DUI when he ran from the cops, but Lauryn says no but his 17 year old friend was drunk. Why else would he lose his driving privilege if he wasn't drunk? I sure hope he gets stopped and is driving without his license on him! Plus, he can't get on a plane back to Oregon without phtoto ID! LOL! Lauryn says he has school ID but I don't think that will work. And frankly, I don't think he's going to bother to go back to Oregon when this is all done. It would be better for everyone concerned if he stayed here and let them get on with their lives.

I hope I can get back here to my house before rush hour traffic starts up. I might even be able to get a little more shut eye before I have to be at work at 11 AM. Because right now, I'm running on less than 3 hours of sleep.

It's now 6:50 AM, I'm home but too awake to go back to sleep, even though I don't have to be at work until 11. Lauryn just texted Dani that she's on the plane. I'm relieved. I half expected to see Cindy there, with police, trying to stop her from leaving PA. Although, now that I think about it, Cindy isn't very smart. When asked about drug and alcohol use (which I was also questioned about), Cindy told the Child Services lady that she had to stop smoking pot because she works for the IRS now and has to take a piss test (her words, not mine) every week. Stupid ass.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


OK, I really want to hurt this fucking bitch woman who gave birth to the prick asshole who got Dani's friend, Lauryn pregnant! Can you tell I'm pissed?????

Jarrid came over this morning to pick up Lauryn so they could go to lunch with Jarrid's mother, Cindy. First thing he asks her is did she give the baby a bath today. Lauryn said no, she'd give her one later. Then he asked something about was she cleaning the baby bottles. Well, yeah, they're right there on the counter. So I leave for work and they leave for Cindy's house. It was all a set-up! When Lauryn got there, the police were there and so was Child Services! This bitch woman called the police and told them that Lauryn was staying in a run-down apartment in town (I live in a 4 bedroom colonial outside of town, in a development), that she wasn't bathing the baby and wasn't taking care of her! WHAT????????? Lauryn has been staying with me and Dani since last Thursday, is here every night. She's feeding Lillian, changing her, bathing and all around taking care of this baby by herself. Last night, she asked me if I wanted to hold Lillian for a bit because I hadn't seen her too much. And I fed her. That was the first time since the night they arrived that I had Lillian for any length of time. And as soon as that baby pooped, I handed her back to Mama!

So Child Services were at my house while I was at work (I didn't even know they were there until after they left) to check out the room where Lauryn and Lillian were staying. Obviously not a rundown apartment in town. Then I had to call Child Services and talk to them, which I did a little while ago. Did I know Lauryn was coming before they arrived (I did). Did Lauryn have my permission to stay at my house with the baby (she does). Is Lauryn taking care of the baby (she sure is!) I told CS that I am her east coast mom... she even calls me Mom! So now Lauryn and Lillian are allowed to come back to my house and she's planning on going back to Oregon on Friday. Prickhead, I mean Jarrid has to stay here in PA because he has a court date because he ran from the police some months back. And if and/or when he goes back to Oregon, he won't be allowed in the house because Lauryn's parents won't allow him near Lauryn or the baby any more but neither he nor Lauryn know this yet. Lauryn will find this out when she goes back to Oregon. (I've been on the phone several times with Ruth Ann aka Mom in Oregon)

You know, it's all I can do not to call this woman up and ask who the fuck does she think she is, telling lies because Lauryn doesn't want her near the baby (and with good reason apparently) She better not show up at Fridays or she WILL be wearing soup in her lap. I am so angry, I'm surprised there isn't smoke coming out my ears!

A Night In The Morgue

I received this email from my cousin, Michelle, who lives in northern VA and works as a medical examiner in Washington DC. Michelle is the person, along with her team, who goes to scenes of accidents and shootings and other fun stuff her job requires her to do. She's the gal who, like in the CSI shows, shows up, pokes around and determines where the bullet entered and exited or how hard the head hit the windshield, etc. It's a long way from her nursing job she used to have. There is no way she could get to work today since most of the roads she needs to take are closed off to the public.
She told me this morning she has Secret Service clearance to be in the area of DC that is closed off to everyone for today's Inauguration. Hopefully, she won't be called into service today, but I can't help thinking some nutjob is going to try something today. If Obama is smart, he won't be like Dubya and decide to walk the route of the parade and shake hands today. Then again, maybe he will. Obama seems like that kind of guy, who wants to get out among the people and show he's a regular guy.

These are Michelle's words from last night:
ok, so most of you would be really creeped out. Because of all the road closures, if one lives in Northern VA (which I do), and you have to get to work in DC on Tues, , Inauguration Day, you might as well forget it. Except for me and my crew. God forbid there is a mass fatality incident on the Mall or anywhere in DC, we have to respond. So...that being said, I am sleeping in the morgue tonight, the only way I could be guaranteed I would make it to work in the AM. So, I will be able to tell you what happens in the dead (ha ha) of night when everyone thinks the dead are just laying around.....spooky huh...thank you Mr. Obama!!!

I am sure there are several (Ranger Roach, Cuz's Mike and Marty and my own Rio and Rob) who have had stranger hat is off to you guys, thanks for doing that!

Spooky, huh!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm Baaaaacccckkk!!!!

OK, it took me 2 hours to read everyone's blogs and do my comments. Whew! I knew I had a lot of reading to do! A lot has been happening lately.

First of all, some of you have been asking how John is doing. He's ok, having some pain and still taking his pain killers. His apartment is all on one floor so no worries about him walking up and down stairs. He got the results back from the pathology lab of his spleen and it was, indeed, cancer... the Lymphoma starting back up again. The 2 spots were so small, it was actually hard to find. The next phase is to get another CT scan and PET scan to see if they got all of it or if it managed to spread to other parts. I'm not sure what the next course of action is if there is no more cancer to be found. Hopefully just scans every 6 months to check. He's worried about the bulge on his side where the spleen was removed. He seems to think it should have gone down by now (HELLO!!! they removed an organ from your body a week ago! It's gonna be swollen for a while!) Some good news is so far, his diabetes seems to be under control. His blood sugar levels were 101 and 113 this weekend (they were 500+ when he went to the hospital). Now if I can just keep him from having a carb frenzy with every meal, they'll stay like that. John has an appointment on Thursday with his surgeon. So we'll see just how he's healing for real.
The biggest problem I faced with him was showering. He was so afraid of hurting his side, he was just sponge bathing all week. And he was supposed to removed his bandage on Friday. So I finally convinced him to get a shower on Sunday morning (of course, I had to get in there with him for him to do it heheheh) and I got his bandage off! Now it can breathe and perhaps heal a little faster!

Remember when my daughter, Dani went to Oregon for the week between Christmas and New year's to visit her friend who moved there last summer? Well, on Thursday, Dani called me and asked me if it was OK if Lauryn and her 6 week old baby could stay with us for a while because her mom threw them out!!! Apparently, Lauryn and her mom had words (Lauryn was giving mom big time attitude and just being a bitch), so Ruth Ann said fine. I want the 3 of you out of here (oh! the boyfriend who got her pregnant followed her to Oregon and was living with them!)
So they called Ruth Ann's bluff and bought 2 plane tickets and came back to PA! Jarrid is NOT staying here.. just Lauryn and the baby. He is at home with his parents in the next town. I've spoken with Ruth Ann (I asked her for child support... she thought I was kidding) and Ruth Ann seems to think that Lauryn just used the fight with mom for an excuse to come back and show off her baby. Lauryn is already talking about going back to Oregon in the next week or so. So far, it hasn't been a bother. I get to feed Lillian and hold her and when she cries or poops, I hand her teeny butt right back to Mama!

I nearly forgot the drama with my good friend and partner-in-crime, Tina! She met a guy, a fix-up with the brother of a gal she works with. Apparently he has a lot of money... so much so that he doesn't have to work. But he drinks ... a LOT! He kept saying he was going to stop, yada, yada, yada... but he never does. He is slowly but surely, alientating her from her family and her friends. He is monopolizing all her time, keeping her away from her sisters and extended family by "needing her there". Her sisters and I were getting ready to do an intervention, I swear! On Jan 15, Tina turned 50. And the guy bought her a $5000 diamond ring. Then he completely freaked out because she likes Sawyer on the show Lost. He was screaming that HE was her guy, NOT Sawyer!!! Tina says, do you even hear yourself? He's just an actor that I like to watch on TV! It's not real! Things got bad and he opened his front door and shoved her out. She says she's done with him. I hope to God she is. I told her the next time he's going to hit you. She really doesn't need this controlling needy psycho drunk on her hands.

Oh, and she's having an affair with a married man on top of all this... and the boyfriend has no clue. And I'm the only one she can talk to about it! (the irony of it all is she's the one who helped me when I caught MY husband having an affair and he left me for her) I miss spending time with my friend. I told her she should sell the ring and take us on a cruise!

So, not much more happening except for stupid snow... I hate snow. I'm such a wuss when it comes to driving in it. I'm tired of cold (3 degrees on Friday morning!). The idea of moving to NC, or SC or GA is becoming more and more appealing to me.

Out of Touch

I haven't been online all weekend because I was at John's and he doesn't have Internet or Cable. I was going through MAJOR withdrawl (withdrawal?). I nearly went to Burger King just so I could get online and what I've been missing.
So I'll be back online tonight (I have to go to work now). I have a feeling I have a lot of reading to do to catch up!
And I'm sad about the Eagles losing yesterday. Donovan McNabb needs to retire or move to a new city.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Uncle Jay's year in review 2008

Got this from my sister and it was too funny not to share! I've had it since before Christmas (which explains the news to the tune of a Christmas song) but I had forgotten how to put it on my blog posts.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The J's have it!

OK, Liz has assigned me the letter

and I have to find 10 things I like that begin with the letter J. So here goes, in no particular order!
1. John, of course! Best thing that's happened to me in a long time! I love him lots!

2.Jack-o-lanterns! I love to look at all the really cool jack-o-lanterns every Halloween and I wish I had the talent that some of the people have who carve these pumpkins into real works of art!

3. Jelly donuts! MMMMM!!!! 'nuff said!

4. Jeopardy! I real like watching this game show and I'm amazed at how much useless trivia is stuck in my head that I can answer a lot of the questions posed on this show.

5. Jigsaw puzzles! One of my favorite all-time puzzles was one called Buried Blueprints and I've been searching for them so I can work on one but alas, the company has gone out of business. John and I completed a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle not too long ago.

6. Jordan Almonds! One of these days, I'm gonna crack a tooth on these yummy treats!

7. Junk Food! My biggest downfall! My name is Joan and I'm a junk food junkie. Salty, crunchy gets me every time.

8. Juice! Orange to be exact, although I like apple and pineapple too. But I've recently learned orange juice does not like me any more. So if I want OJ, I need a Pepcid Complete chaser to go with it.

9. Job! My job at TGI Fridays actually! I'm a server and a coach and an in-store trainer. I love working with people, so service jobs like waitress or hairdresser is a really good fit for me. I am so not the white collar kind of gal!

10. Jersey tomatoes! Ah, there's nothing like a red, ripe, warm right off the vine Jersey tomato! Slice that baby up, and put it in between 2 slices of white toast with lots of mayo and salt! OH! My mouth is watering just thinking of it!

The Mom Song

Maureen over at Penny the Baby Girl sent me this and I'd thought I'd share. This is one of the funniest comedy spots I've seen! Thanks Mo!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

True Beginnings

Have I mentioned that John and I met on the internet? Well, we sure did!

When my marriage broke up, I was a little bit insane. I was married for so long (23 years and we were together a total of 27 years) that I didn't know how to NOT be married. Some months after the break-up, when I was finally convinced that he wasn't going to "come to his senses and come home", I started joining online dating services (or the place where married men try to get laid by desperate women) hoping to meet someone I could spend the rest of my life with. I joined Yahoo Personals, (eharmony wouldn't take me... I wasn't legally divorced yet... or maybe I was overweight, who knows?) I met a few guys and I'm surprised I didn't join a convent! There was Dennis from Harrisburg who was all slobber and groping hands, Simon from Collegeville who I later discovered was married, Chris, who was separated from his wife but still sharing a house but not a bedroom ... he's now divorced. There is actually one guy who was very upfront.. he was married and looking for a girlfriend. Then there are the guys who have the webcams... enough said there! If you have a webcam, first thing they want is to show me more! uh, no. I actually threw mine out after a few months.

I was resigning myself to spending the rest of my life alone. Then one day, and I'm not even sure how I ended up on this site, I found this one called True Beginnings. Three days free, then they start charging you. So I figure what the hell and I joined. Now these sites have you fill in what you're looking for in a mate and you can be very specific. So I fill it out and a couple of times a week I'd get an email with my "matches", a dozen photos and profiles of men who fit my criteria. (on , my kids' English teacher was one of my matches! How awkward is that!). Now I'm not real big with my self-esteem and there's no way in hell I'm making any first moves. So, one day I get an email via true beginnings from this guy (I had gotten some emails before this one), saying "thanks for the wink!" and he told me some stuff about himself. So I look up his profile and it says something like "having just been burned in my last marriage, I'm not looking for any long-term relationship. I just want to have fun." Normally I'd delete an email like this but something stopped me. I look at his picture and he looks harmless in a grandfatherly kind of way. So I reply with "Well, I didn't send you a wink but... hi!" (we found out later that True sent winks to everyone in that email! I think they do it for people who are dragging their feet!)

John and I exchange info about ourselves over the course of the next couple of weeks and we learn that we have so much in common it's scary! He's 4th of 7 kids, raised Catholic in Philly, graduated from Cardinal Dougherty High School in 1971. I'm 4th of 8 kids, raised Catholic in the suburbs of Philly and graduated from Cardinal O'Hara High School in 1973. He's retired military, 3 of my 4 brothers, my sister's husband and my nephew are all military, 3 of whom made careers in the Army and Marines. I have 2 girls, 1 boy; he has 2 boys, 1 girl, neither of us has grandchildren yet. The similarities just kept coming and coming.

A few times we tried to get into a private online chat room on True but we just couldn't figure it out. So John says, "here's my number. Call me." And it's his HOUSE NUMBER! Not his office number or his cell phone number, but his house number! I got cold feet for a few days but I finally called him. We talked for 3+ hours that first night! The next 2 times we talked on the phone, it was for at least 1 hour, 30 minutes each time! Then he tells me he's been married FOUR TIMES!!! This is where someone would just say thanks but no thanks and hang up.. but something stopped me. Did I mention that I was crazy then? (John later told me he wanted to get all the bad stuff out of the way right away and save himself some grief if I balked)

We finally decided it was time to meet in person. So I tell him, this is where I work as a waitress. If you want, you can come there. If you don't like what you see, you can leave and I'll never know. So this one Saturday, the hostess comes up and says you have a request and there he is!! John sat in my section and ordered food and asked me to go dinner and a movie with him.

Did I mention that I broke all the rules with him? First, I tell him where I work. Then, I allowed him to follow me home so I can get changed. I gave him a Diet Coke and I went upstairs to take a shower!!! Did I mention that I was a little insane back then? Gentleman that he is, he never left the couch, never followed me upstairs. So we go to Red Lobster and then a movie afterwards (we saw The Night Talker with Robin Williams). Afterwards, we go back to my place (I drove to the restaurant and movies since I knew the area) and he comes in and we watch a movie (V For Vendetta). This is where I made my BIG mistake.... I should have known better than to introduce a teenager to a new "friend" when she doesn't know this is going to happen. And it didn't help that she caught us smooching.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd have kept John out of the house for a while before putting them together. Although I have a feeling it wouldn't have made a difference. Her father has been with his future ex-wife (the whore he cheated on me with) for 5 years and she and Dani just met in November. I think she'd hate whoever was in my life. My other 2 kids like John and the rest of my family like him too.

As much as we have in common, we also have many differences. He is a diehard Libertarian and I could care less about Politics. He thinks the Catholic Church should still be saying Mass in Latin, I don't agree. I was in a bowling league for years, I like to play cards, he plays Dungeons and Dragons and Chess and Go ( A Chinese game). He was also a re-enactor for a while. He has tried numerous times to convince me to go to his D & D games and learn it. I went a couple of times, said it looks like a big boring meeting and now he goes on Friday nights and I do dinner and movies with my girlfriends.

So there you have it! John and I have been together since August of 2006. We had some challenges, like when he was diagnosed with cancer less than a year after we met and I told him I wasn't going to bail on him. And dealing with my youngest kid hating him. I had a cervical cancer scare (I didn't have it, thank God!) before he had his cancer and he stood by me. And a few other minor stuff too.

I'm not sure if we'll ever get married, and it's me dragging my feet. I don't want to lose my spousal support (that's what they call alimony in PA) and I get it until Dec 2014 and I earned every single penny of that money! And I also discovered I'll be eligible for my ex's social security if I don't remarry before I turn 60 (which will be 9 months after my support ends), and my ex makes a LOT more money than either of us do! My not wanting to get married really surprised me! I was DESPERATE to be married, yet when the possibility arose, I said no way!
Go figure.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One long-ass day

Today (well Monday... it's past midnight now) was one very long tiring day. Last night, I stayed at John's apartment because he's only about 20 minutes from the hospital and my house is an hour away. I didn't sleep well at all. When I'm home, I sleep with the TV on (a habit I developed when my ex left). John doesn't have a TV in his bedroom, but I sleep okay when he's there. Last night, of course, I was alone. I read way later than I wanted to because I was trying to get tired enough to fall asleep. I was wide awake at 5am, but managed to doze off again until about 6:20 when my younger kid texted me because she was staying home from school because she's sick (she really is... she sounds like crap) and I had to call school. So by 7 I was on the road to the hospital. John's surgery was scheduled for 8 am.

I arrived around 7:30 and I go to where the families wait while their loved ones are in surgery. The lady at the desk told me his procedure would be 3 hours, so the doctor would be out after 11 to talk to me. I discovered that the hospital has free internet access (YAY), so I went to my car and got John's laptop out. I mess around on the computer for a couple of hours and read for some hours. At 11:30 the doc comes out and tells me he's doing great, the surgery went well, no bleeding, blah, blah, blah. Whew!! Thank goodness everything went smoothly! I guess we'll know soon if the spots were malignant or not. It would be so cool if they are benign!!!

The doc told me that John would be in recovery for about 3 hours then he'd get a room. So the computer goes back into my car because I'm not lugging this thing all over the hospital (this place is HUGE!) And the doc also tells me if all goes well, John might be going home tomorrow (Tuesday) YAY!!!! So I grab a bit of lunch and settle down with my book because he's getting a room soon!

At 3:30 the nurse calls the waiting room to tell me John's doing great. He's sitting up , he's talking, some pain, no big deal. As soon as they get a room for him they'll call me. FINALLY, at 5:30 I get the call that's he's in a room. And luckily it's right upstairs and not all the way across the hospital. I was sitting in that waiting room for 10 hours! (not counting the runs to my car, quick trip to the caf, potty breaks from all the coffee I drank) I was afraid I'd have bed sores on my ass!

So I go up to see John. LOL!!! He's on a morphine drip and he's LOADED!!! He looked just like a junkie! He's sitting there, with the little button in his hand and every time the green light went on, he'd push it and get his little fix. And his eyes would roll up in his head and he'd start to slur his words. Believe me, it was a sight to behold. This is a man who has never been drunk in his life!!! Then he'd talk the poor nurse's ear off for a good 30 minutes. It's gonna be a long night for Steve the nurse.

I finished my book and had to run to the car to get another one to read (I got smart and threw 2 other books in there for this week. Otherwise, John would try to get me to read his political books (YAWN!!!).

So I hung around until a little past 9 pm, because I discovered if you stay until past 9, the parking attendant goes off duty and it costs $1 to get the car out of the lot instead of $7! And tonight it was free because the gate was up! So that was my exciting day! zzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

I'm in the middle of a fascinating book, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

It's the story of a young girl named Anna, 13 years old, who wants to be medically emancipated from her parents so she can make her decisions on her own body. Turns out she was born, created actually, to be the donor for her sister, Kate who has Leukemia and no one in the family was a match to help her. Her parents used in vitro fertilization to find an embryo that was genetically as close a match to Kate as they could get. Since Anna's birth, she has donated bone marrow, given blood transfusions, gotten shots. Now Kate is in renal failure and they want one of Anna's kidneys to save her. Anna says enough is enough! She finds an attorney to help her and sues her parents. This is where I am in the book.

The story is told, in chapters, by Anna, Kate, her mother, father, brother, doctor, attorney and guardian ad lidem. It's very interesting to see how each person deals with this issue and the issues surrounding them. I think one of the most interesting characters is Jesse, the older brother. He's 18 and has been acting out his whole life because it seems he always gets left by the wayside whenever the drama that is Kate starts up. He's very self-destructive and will do almost anything to get attention. I think, if Kate dies in this book, Jesse will be relieved because then it won't always be all about Kate (and Anna because she's the only one who can help Kate) and the drama will finally stop.

There's a lot more I want to say but if anyone wants to read the book, I don't want to give anything away. What I've said so far is said in the first 50 pages of the book.

It's a very controversial topic. If Kate had been born healthy, Anna would, most likely, never have been born. The parents truly love Anna, but do they love her for what she can give to Kate to keep her alive? Will that love change if Anna goes ahead with the lawsuit and wins? Kate could die. Or Anna could agree to give Kate a kidney, but it will be HER decision to donate and not her parents'. At this point, I don't know that answer because I'm not there in the book.

I'm curious what people think of this book and what they think of the characters. I know I DON'T like the mother, Sara. I really want to bitch slap her silly. I DO like the father... poor man is stuck between a rock and a hard place in all this mess. The funny thing, is, Kate almost seems to not be a character in the book at all! She's more of an issue than a person.

I remember when this happened in real life some years ago (10? 15 years?) I wish I could remember the name of the family. I'm not even sure how to go about researching it in google.

I do remember it stirred up quite a controversy. Is it selfish for parents to genetically engineer the birth of a child to save the life of another child? Is it going too far? Is it fair to the child who was born to save another person? Are they trying to play God? I know their motives were good, but to what cost to the poor kid who has to go through all these medical procedures when she's not even sick? It really is a lot to think about.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Home Alone

It's a little past 5:30 pm on Saturday. I just got home from work and it's so nice and quiet in my house! Danielle is at a friend's house, but I worry because it's snowing and the snow is sticking. Dani doesn't have much experience driving in the snow. I'm hoping she ends up staying at her friend's house overnight.

I did want to vist John tonight but there's no way I'm driving an hour in this weather. I was planning to go all day tomorrow, stay overnight at his place so I can be back bright and early for his surgery on Monday. Dani reminded me I have a Drama Club parents' meeting tomorrow at 4 pm. grrrr.... I don't know WHY I have to be there! I kid you not, this is the 33rd drama club parent meeting I've attended in the past 11 years! And my very last one EVER!!!! So I won't be able to go to the hospital until after. The nurses let me stay late, which is good because we keep it quiet, just watching a movie on his laptop.

That reminds me of a very funny story! When John was first in the hospital in June 2007, when he was diagnosed with Lymphoma, I brought a bunch of stuff in for him, like his laptop, books, movies, word puzzle books, to keep him occupied when I was working. (his family is not real big on visiting when you're sick..... or even calling to see how you're doing sigh) ANYWAY, one evening we were watching an old Jackie Chan movie that was dubbed in English (John calls these chop-saki movies). In these old Chinese movies, men and women alike get assaulted and of course, everyone knows the martial arts. So this lady is being beaten up in this movie and she's groaning and stuff, and the next thing we know, the nurse comes running into the room to see what's going on! So we show her the movie and she laughs and leaves. It wasn't until a little while later that we realized the sounds the actress was making while she was being assaulted sounded just like 2 people having sex if you didn't see the screen and only heard the sounds! LMAO!!! The nurse thought we were having sex in his hospital bed!!!! OMG!! We laughed so hard!

Friday, January 9, 2009

More hospitals sigh

John called me today to tell me the doctor wants him in the ER this afternoon after work because his blood sugar is out of control again. They need to get it back to good numbers before they'll do the surgery on Monday to remove his spleen.

On Tuesday he had his pre-op blood work done. His blood glucose level was 500+ (normal people have under 100) He just can't seem to get his diabetes under control! He takes 50 units of long-lasting insulin (Lantus), Metformin and Glimipiride every day, and still his numbers are in the 300s and sometimes even 400s. His doctor thinks he's converted from a type 2 diabetic to a type 1 (which means his pancreas is no longer making insulin... that's why all these meds aren't working) He needs more insulin or insulin more often in a day. As of tonight it was in the high 200s. I sure hope the endocrinologist talks to him tomorrow! I have been learning a LOT about diabetes in the past couple of years.

So his doc said he wanted him in the ER and probably would be admitted, which is exactly what happened. John sat in the ER (in a bed but still) from around 2 pm until just after 10 pm this evening when they finally got a bed for him. This is a really big hospital and it's amazing that they were that filled up that it took 8 hours to get him into a room! At 8 or so he asked if he could get something to eat... they never fed him!!!! The nurse got him a turkey sandwich then. It's a good thing he had lunch before he went to the hospital!

So now he's all settled in and his room mate is a big snorer!!! LOL GOOD! John kept me up half the night last night with his snoring! I forgot that I had ear plugs in the drawer.

The real pain for me is the hospital is 1 hour from my house! I just know I'm gonna be exhausted going from work to the hospital to home every night. I can stay at his apartment some of the nights, if I'm really tired. I just might do that. OH! And everyone calls me Mrs Russo. :) Everyone thinks we're married and we don't correct them.... it's easier that way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Poison ivy and boys

OK, Vodka Mom's latest entry brought a funny memory the surface and I thought I'd share.

Back in 1997 or 1998, when my then-husband and I had had a restaurant, he was never home for dinner. So one night, the kids (Gina 13, Tim 9 and Dani 6) and I are eating dinner. Tim proceeds to tell us that one of his school buddies got poison ivy all over his body, a really bad case. And Tim says, "Yeah, Mom! He even had it you-know-where." And he is pointing to his crotch. Just then, Dani pipes up with, "Yeah Mom! He even had it on his DICK!" Tim and Gina are sitting there in shocked silence because they aren't sure what I'm going to do about this. I'm not sure how I did it, but I kept my composure, got up, walked out of the house to the front steps and completely lost it! I probably laughed for 5 minutes straight, tears pouring down my face! It had to be one of the funniest things I've ever heard come out of a 6 year old's mouth!
It should have been a sign for things to come, because that kid now curses like a truck driver (with apologies to truck drivers!)

Monday, January 5, 2009

colds and other stuff

I can't think of one damned thing to say today, funny or otherwise. I worked, I coughed, I sneezed, I blew my nose. I am so not fun today. I took Dayquil and was loopy all day.

Ah, one thing I can talk about..... my daughter, Gina and her boyfriend, Gene (I love him.. he's going to be my favorite son-in-law) want to get married in Hawaii. There's lots of stupid family politics (on all sides of the families) going on that make them want to elope and get married quietly. If any of us want to go to Hawaii and see them get married, we are more than welcome to attend. On the other hand, Gina is already missing the idea of getting married and having the big wedding with all the trimmings. She's very torn about it. And people in the family are giving them a hard time about this. I am not one of those people. I just want them to do what makes them happy. Her father is saying not too many people would be able to go (duh! that's the idea!) ... this from the man who went to Las Vegas to get married last year because I don't think his family is very accepting of the new wife (well, I AM a tough act to follow and he did leave me for her!) I don't know when the wedding is going to take place. I wish I could be there for the wedding, but if I can't afford to go, then I hope they take video so I can see the wedding when they come home. All I want is for them to have the wedding they want and for them to be happy. End of Story. Gina reads my blog (hi Gina!) so I hope she's ok with this entry. :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Shit. I hab a code. My doze is all stuffed up. I feel like crap. I'm living on Dayquil/Nyquil now. I thought I felt it coming on the other day, so I took the one Nyquil I had in the house. Yesterday I bought a big box of it. I think if I had taken the doses on a regular schedule, I might have kicked this before it really hit me. But I didn't do that. I took one Dayquil yesterday, not one every 4 hours like they suggest but just one. Then I took a Nyquil before going to bed and slept wonderfully.
I'm hoping this is gone before Wednesday which when I'll be going to John's to see him. I usually go Saturday and Sunday and Wednesday into Thursday morning. I don't want to be around him if I still have this cold because he goes in for surgery on Monday the 12th. And if he has any kind of cold, they aren't going to do the surgery. And if I'm sick and I don't go to see him, he won't like that either (he's kind of stubborn that way ... he'll say "I don't care. I want you with me.")

I'm not there now because I had to pick up Dani from the airport yesterday and I'd feel guilty just dropping her off and going to John's (although she'd have done that to me in a heartbeat). And John is working extra hours to try to build up some overtime pay to make up for some that he''ll be losing when he's out of work after his surgery. He doesn't get sick pay and he used up his vacation time and his year starts in June. So his boss suggested he pick up a few weekend shifts. He worked 11am to 11 pm last Saturday and Sunday and this Saturday and Sunday and possibly even next Saturday and Sunday. He's a secuirity guard at a big chemical company. Fortunately his job isn't strenuous at all. It's time and a half, so he'll be able to rack up an extra grand or so for a cushion.

On a completely different note... when I picked up Dani from the airport yesterday, she was standing right beside me and I did not recognize her! I knew she was going to do something while visiting the other side of the country and I wasn't wrong. She cut her bangs, dyed it reddish brown and got her lip pierced! Frankly, I was surprised she didn't get a tattoo. She turned 18 last week and there's really nothing I can legally do to stop her (other than throw her ass out of the house lol) But if she gets caught with the piercing in her Catholic school and gets detention, it will serve her right! LOL Dani LOVES piercings... sigh.... ears 3X on each side, 2 cartileges, belly button, nose (but that one closed up) and now her lip. She wears clear studs on the illegal ones and the teachers think it's a pimple. I have these awful visions of her looking like this someday:

Lord, I hope I'm wrong!

This is why I didn't recognize my own kid at the airport. The first picture is Dani the night she arrived in Portland. Dani is on the right on both pictures. The second picture is what she looked like when she got home a week later.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 ... a roller coaster year

This past year has been a bit of a roller coaster for me and those around me.

In January, my daughter Dani and my significant other, John had a huge verbal brawl that ended with Dani storming out of the house, into her car and not coming home for 5 days. Not to get into boring details, now neither of them can be in the same house together, both are being terribly immature about it and I'm stuck firmly in the middle. Her father ended up "mediating", which translates to Dani got her way on everything and I got shit.

This past winter also saw John going through Chemo for his Lymphoma. He had his last treatment on Valentine's Day.

Work is going so-so, with the economy beginning the nose-dive. Gas and oil prices were going up and up. As much as my ex is an ass, he did help me and paid $1000 for oil when I couldn't come up with the money.

My oldest child and her boyfriend bought a house in the spring! So good they were able to get out of the apartment and begin to build some equity. Gene has a steady job as a grade school teacher and Gina gets a promotion and her own radio show!

My job is still going ok, but the business is down a bit. Tips are good but the number of tables I wait on a day are less. Still, when I break it down, I'm still making more per hour than if I had that bank job I had applied for several years before.

In April, John went for his 6 month check-up, with CT scan and PET scan and is declared IN REMISSION! The cancer in the lymph nodes, spine and liver are gone!

Tim's doing well in school and Dani is also. She got a good part in her high school's spring musical.

In the summer, Gina had the chance to perform in the NYC Fringe Festival and was in a play written by a friend and is performed in Greenwich Village. Dani and I took the bus to NYC and see this very funny play. So I got to cross something off my "Bucket List"... seeing Gina perform, on stage, in New York! Ah, her theatre degree at work!

I managed to scrape together enough money to go to Ocean City, MD for a week in July with Dani and her friend. I rented a house from my friend and she only charged me $500 for the week.

In October, John and I went back for 5 nights to Ocean City to celebrate our birthdays (mine in Sept, his in Oct) and we had a marvelous time! We spent a fun day at a Celtic Festival near Ocean City.
We also slept late, had picnics on the beach, enjoyed the wild ponies on Assateague Island, and just enjoyed each other's company.

History had been made with the election of Barack Obama as the first black president. Time will tell if this was a good move for our country or not. And I don't mean the black thing... more the lack of experience thing. Who cares what color he is... just do a good job.

John saw his oncologist in November for a check-up only to find 2 small spots on his spleen and they think it might be cancer again. The decision was made to remove the spleen and test it. The surgery is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2009.

The big Christmas rush didn't happen until a week before Christmas. Everyone was being very conservative in their spending and even our gift card sales were down. I kept track of my wages and tips and realized that I'm down $2000 from last year. This sucks, but I still have a job so that's good. And I have enough seniority that others will go before me. All the servers make a whopping $2.83 an hour plus tips, so unless, we close down, I think I'm good.

The last week of the year ended quietly. Dani has been in Oregon from the 27th until today (actually, as I type, she's on a plane, heading for Chicago before connecting to a flight to Philly). I got to spend just about every day with John, either here at my house or at his place.

The year ends with gas and oil prices plummeting and no one's complaining about that! We went from paying $4.25 a gallon for gas in the fall to $1.57 this past week! I never thought I'd see gas go below $3, never mind $2 a gallon!! My oil bills have gone from $3.79 a gallon in September to $2.24 a gallon a few weeks ago.

And I just realized that today is my brother, Marty Farty's 50th birthday! I think I need to call him and harass him a bit!

So, that's Joanie's year in review. I hope I didn't bore you too much. And I SURE hope it doesn't sound like one of those holiday letters you get about how fabulous everyone is! LOL

Friday, January 2, 2009

Me, Then and Now

Liz at was talking about her hair and how she had it long and short, etc. So I said I'd post pictures of me with my "natural hair color (no, My natural isn't dark brown with blond highlights!) Once upon a time, it was black! Now it's white! So tell me what you think..... keep coloring it? let it go natural and white (and I can probably get into the movies as a senior citizen!)

OK, this is me, taken when I was on my Just divorced Cruise 2 years ago. Dark brown hair, a few blonde highlights.

This is my high school graduation picture, in 1973. Ah, to have that hair again (not to mention the figure!!!)

OK, this is me with my 2 daughter, June 2002 (6 years ago!) at Gina's high school graduation. The girls qwere 17 and 12. My hair is in it's natural state. It's probably even more white now! I'm sure the divorce made it even whiter! Gina is now 24 and Dani just turned 18. Below is what they look like now (these were taken a year or so ago.)

So, whatya think? Go natural and old lady or keep the brown?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to one and all! I don't make resolutions any more. The only time I ever succeeded in a resolution was when I quit smoking Jan 1, 1992. All the lose weight, pay bills on time, yada, yada, yada went by the wayside in short order. So I'm just going to try to be the best me I know how to be.

My New Year's Eve, New Year's Day was fairly uneventful. I had to work daytime on both days. My youngest kid is in Oregon visiting a friend, so John spent the weekend at my house (long boring story, but they will not be in the same house together ... both being VERY immature) NYE, we stopped at Applebees on the way home from work and had dinner. We were early so missed having to to wait for a table.

I talked to my oldest, Gina for a while on the phone on New year's Eve. I texted my other 2 kids but they didn't bother to respond. My son misplaced his phone on NYE, so he might not have had it in his possession, but my younger daughter just flat out didn't bother. She's the mean one.

Once we got home, we snuggled in to watch a couple of movies, weird ones too. First we saw L.A. Confidential that I may or may not have seen before (possible I fell asleep the first time). Just when I was ready to change the channel, it got good. Next up was No Country For Old Men. What a weird-ass movie! Hard for me to believe it won 4 Oscars! The movie never had any kind of closure! It didn't end, it just stopped! I'm glad we didn't spend $20 to see this in the theaters!

New Year's Day, I had to work. It was soooo slow. I was shift leader yesterday. I sent 3 servers home and we finally had a decent amount of business because there were only 4 of us left to wait on tables (plus the bar).

One girl got pissy because she wanted to leave, but I made her stay until shift change. Guess she shouldn't have insulted me earlier in the day. Simona is now on my list and will be the first server cut each time I'm shift leader and she'll make very little money. I wish I had sent her home, but she wanted to go so badly, I just couldn't accommodate her.

The evening of New Year's Day was very uneventful. Stopped at the grocery store, came home, munched on stuff all night (some healthy, a lot not healthy) and watched Mythbusters all night. My favorites were the episode when they all got drunk to test their skills while snockered and test ways to sober up afterwards. The guy with the bald head and beret (Jim?) didn't seem even tipsy to me even though he blew .11 at one point. The other guy (Adam?) was all giggly and funny and Karie was a scream, trying to focus her eyes on pictures! The other episode I liked was the MacGuyver episode where they tried to debunk the cool stuff Mac did on his show. The James Bond episode was good too, but I liked the toher 2 better. I just wish Richard Dean Anderson had shown up near the end. that would have been fun! (I wonder if he still looks hot?)

So, all in all, a fairly boring couple of days but I enjoyed the quiet!