Sunday, June 30, 2002

I told the owners yes today.

D-day is July 4:00 PM...

Friday, June 28, 2002

My neice is in a residential care center under suicide watch.

I would covet your prayers.

It is so hard to watch someone in that much pain at 17...with her whole life in front of her...and be helpless to do anything but love her and pray for her.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

So....I now have a ratified contract. Wow!

Still, if the house doesn't pass the inspection, I will have to turn it down, because it is an "as is" property. My hope is that the inspector will just find a list of "small things" that are common to houses that are 55 years old.

It is difficult to sleep these days...

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

So.....the owners returned the contract with a couple of changes. I agreed to one and reworded another. If they accept my changes, the inspection is on Saturday.

Do you think that the sixth time was the charm? Or perhaps the name of the street was a portent of success: Victory Dr.?

I am still nervous...

Monday, June 24, 2002

I threw my hat into the ring on another duplex today. If I get it, two others will own a smidgen of my new home. It has beautiful wood floors... :)

I was up all last night thinking about the contract I was going to submit. I don't know why, since it wasn't a matter of not feeling peaceful about the decision. When I finally did sleep, I dreamt that I was at a camp where the campers went loco and set fire to all the cabins...perhaps Arizona and Colorado were on my mind beneath those wood floors.

Could you imagine watching your home go up in flames? What would you throw in your car if you had but a few minutes to pack and leave?

Friday, June 21, 2002

Excerpt from Shattered Memories, another story of mine...

Eileen peered into the mirror to inspect her face. Her warm breath fogged the mirror as she moved closer for a better look. The sore spot on her forehead had raised and turned red. Damn, not again! How long must I deal with this? Gingerly she touched the blemish and winced. For the hundredth time she wished she had bangs to hide her forehead, but Paul’s desire for her to keep her hair long had stayed the impulses she felt whenever near a salon. Even now. Even when she hadn’t felt his soft touch in over a year.

Staring in dismay at her collection of make-up, Eileen knew that nothing could truly hide the spot on her forehead. That her skin was porcelain white was an added difficulty. Touching the bump once more, she decided to leave it alone. Concentrating on the rest of her face, Eileen carefully finished applying her make-up and studied the results with grim satisfaction. At least the rest looks good.

Working at a design firm where all the staff were close friends had its perks, but it also meant that nearly anything was fodder for ribbing. Dates, vacations, dilemmas were all discussed, debated, and dissected over lunch, in the coffee room, or during breaks. Secrets never lasted long at Bateman, Bateman, & Watters. The office could probably pass for a soap opera or sitcom depending on which day it was.

Eileen had only been employed there for four months, but the transition had been amazingly smooth. Now it was her colleagues whose company she sought while working out or going out. They were the ones who had invited her to dinner and had opened their lives to her. No one had seemed to notice that she in turn had yet to open hers. None of them knew about Paul. None of them knew about Maia. None of them knew.

Peering once more at her face, Eileen debated trying to squeeze the bump, but decided that she should just allow nature to take its course. The thought still made her shudder. She could still hear the doctor’s words. The human body has an amazing resilience if properly supported. The scars will fade, and the glass will works its way out of your body.

The first time Eileen had seen a piece of glass erupt from a reddened bump that had risen on her forehead, she had thrown up and sank in a shivering, sweaty heap on the bathroom floor.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

You are reading a book about the Civil War and begin to hear muskets firing around you. As you read, you find your fear rising as you creep across the battlefield hoping that you will not be killed or be forced to kill. You are only sixteen and already realize the glory you thought you would find by running away, lying about your age, and joining the army was but a child's dream of excitement. You did not want the excitement of seeing your fellow soldiers killed right and left, hearing their dying screams of agony. Your body is covered with the sweat of fervently hoping you will not find yourself next to them before the battle is over. It is a few moments after you set the book down, that you discover, thankfully, you are back in the twentieth century.

Is it possible to experience the Civil War first hand over a century later?

Poulet would think so…for he wrote in his 1972 essay, Criticism and the Experience of Interiority (as found in Tompkins, J. (Ed.). (1980). Reader-Response Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.), the following:

A book is not shut in by its contours, is not walled-up as in a fortress. It asks nothing better than to exist outside itself, or to let you exist in it. In short, the extraordinary fact in the case of a book is the falling away of the barriers between you and it. You are inside it; it is inside you; there is no longer either outside or inside. Such is the initial phenomenon produced whenever I take up a book, and begin to read it. At the precise moment that I see, surging out of the object I hold open before me, a quantity of significations which my mind grasp, I realize that what I hold in my hands is no longer just an object, or even simply a living thing. I am aware of a rational being, of a consciousness; the consciousness of another, no different from the one I automatically assume in every human being I encounter, except that in this case the consciousness is open to me, welcomes me, lets me look deep inside itself, and even allows me, with unheard-of license, to think what it thinks and feel what it feels. (43)

As soon as I replace my direct perception of reality by the words of a book, I deliver myself, bound hand and foot, to the omnipotence of fiction. I say farewell to what is, in order to feign belief in what is not. I surround myself with fictitious beings; I become the prey of language. There is no escaping this takeover. (44)

Have you ever become lost in a book? Bound hand and foot?

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Well, Friday, I learned, rather unexpectedly that someone had gotten my credit card and used it at on-line gambling places. This is quite an obstacle to getting a mortgage if something comes up right away because the investigation process with the credit card company is quite lengthy and the whole fiasco has dramatically increased my debt-to-income ratio.

AND......I forgot to take my arthritis medicine both Thursday and Friday and was quite miserable by Saturday.

So, I've been spending the past few days "recovering."

Then, this morning, I walked out to my car to leave for work only to discover my car had been broken into, vandalized, and things had been stolen...INCLUDING MY GYM BAG!

I stood in shock and disbelief looking at the mess until I could remember to call the police...only I was transferred to a voice mail message which instructed me to leave my problem, name, and number whereupon an officer would return my call and take a report. I still have not received that call. I called the apartment manager to report the break-in and damage and asked that she call me back and let me know if any other cars were hit last night. She still hasn't called me back.

On a postive note, a couple of people at work helped me to learn where I could get the lock in my car door replaced and one of the mothers from the mother/daughter book club followed me to the dealership and dropped me off at work. Another mother took me back to pick up my car.

I think the worst part was driving to the dealership and seeing some of the items from my gym bag strewn alongside the road. I kept stopping to pick them up. I know I should be quite thankful that I got both of my tennis shoes back since I got them only last fall after starting at the gym.

But...still...I am quite disconcerted.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

One of the women in the mother/daughter book club told me that she gave my website to one of the men in her bible study so that he could get "to know me a little bit."

AWK...I thought. Lately my entries have been... well... somewhat... blue.

House-hunting blues. Fancy's injured. My niece running away. A night terror poem. I'm tired. Light reading, eh?

I told her she should advise him to read through the archives!

On a frivolous note, I got a new cell phone a few days ago. Tonight, while working with my writing student, I kept hearing music. It would come and go. I'd listen and think, It's not the TV or the radio. It's not coming from outside or from the stairwell. It can't be coming from the one filling in my tooth because it's porcelain, not metal.

All that foolish thinking...and then it hit was my cell phone! The ringer plays music!! I guess I need to read the manual,eh?

You see, on Thursday nights, we log on to download her work from e-mail. We usually just leave the connection going so that we are not disturbed from phone calls. I do not get a lot of calls per week, but they all seem to come on Thursday nights. My friends and family who call are now greeted with "Writing Lesson" instead of "Hello." Needless to say, my terse greeting makes for an extremely brief call.

Anyway, I had suggested that the caller try my cell number since I did need some information from her tonight. Hence the puzzling music.

I know...I know... You're probably saying, "Welcome to the 21st Century," with regard to music instead of a ringer. That's okay...I'll take the ribbing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

I am tired. Perhaps from the MS. Perhaps from needing a break from work. Perhaps because I am so very heart sore. Still, what I am feeling is no match to what my sister must surely being going through.

My niece ran away on the 31st. She ran away from home and has left my sister dangling in the wind ever since.

Granted, my niece has called to say she is “okay” and stopped by for clothing after nine days. But still she is living from place to place and making increasingly self-destructive decisions for both her present and her future.

Suicide is arguably the most selfish decision a person can make with regard to his/her family and friends. I cannot help but wonder if running away comes in a close second.

My sister and her husband are worried and angry, fearful of her absence and relieved at the same time because her absence also means an absence of her hostility and anger. They are battling their feelings and struggling not to take her absence out on each other. They wait each day with the hope that she might return home, return to counseling, and face her own doubts and fears that have driven her away. They wait each day with the fear that the person knocking on the door will be a police officer instead of their daughter.

From the time she was about twelve, she has seen herself as plain, even ugly, with no real talent or worth. She is, however, quite arguably beautiful. Eyes that seem to shift from hazel to gray to blue, honey golden skin, a slender, curvy figure, and hair other girls would pay great sums for…blonde, thick, and curly…though she tends to wear it straight quite often. She is musical, athletic, smart, and impressive raw talent at writing. But she has rarely seen any of these things.

My sister has never pressured her to be anything other than a good student, honest, healthy and kind. It would not matter if she were a doctor or a musician or a teacher. Her step-father has treated her as if she were his own daughter, going to her soccer games, school events, shopping, and Taco Bell. All things her birth father has rarely, if ever, done.

Yet she has chosen to turn her back on the love, support, and help my sister and her husband have offered her. She has chosen to run away.

Why is she doing this? Why is she hurting those who love her most?

How can you love someone so much and be so incredibly angry with him/her at the same time?

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- United States Roman Catholic bishops' proposed rules for disciplining clergymen accused of sexually abusing children include recommended dismissal in certain cases.

"According to a draft report to be issued Tuesday, the recommendations include defrocking priests who abuse minors in the future as well as those who have molested more than one child previously.", 6-4-02

I read this article in absolute disbelief. No matter where you stand on the Catholic Church and what has happened, I would hope that you share my outrage that it appears that if a priest molested just one child, he would not be defrocked. How can anyone think that even one molestation is acceptable?

I also read today that the Catholic Church is searching for a PR firm to help them through this “difficult” time. Are you kidding me?

It seems that more contrition and accountability are in order rather than defense, deflection, and measured tolerance.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Made appointments to see three houses. All three sold the next day so I didn't even have an opportunity to see them. One went for cash and another sold sight unseen.


I want a home of my own!

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

another night
i lie down wondering
what the night will bring
i dream of captivity
and looking for escape
i know not why
i wake with a throat raw
from screaming
i remember not why
another morning

Monday, June 03, 2002

Happy Birthday to Me.
Happy Birthday to Me.
Happy Birthday dear Patricia.
Happy Birthday to Me!

Sunday, June 02, 2002

Fancy has gained two grams. Not much, but a start. She has more control of her foot, but still has a long way to go. At least her feathers have grown back, because her naked leg was quite a disturbing sight with it's bruises of green and yellow.

My new favorite sandwich: Bacon Turkey Bravo at Panera Bread. Delicious.

I found a cartoon of a guy sitting at a desk behind a computer. He is talking on the phone. The caption reads: But that's not what your computer told my computer!