Monday, June 26, 2006


My sister, brother in law and nephews were in town today and we had dinner together along with a friend of theirs. Near the end of the dinner I related to my sister that our cousin who is lending me money for the business had annoyed me by implying that I didn't know what I was doing. It was unsolicited advice. Her opinion was that I was ungrateful and that it was all in my head. This is not the case. I am grateful but I should not have to prove myself to someone I know. I also don't think she understands what it took for me to ask for that money. She does not have my fierce pride. I haven't asked anyone for money since I was 19 years old and I don't like it. I can ask for advice and for someone's expertise but I do not take kindly to unsolicited advice or to having to ask for help. I have worked hard to be good at what I do. I have to know, must know, that I have done it on my own. My independence is as important as the air that I breathe.

I realized something else as we talked. Her sons seemed to think that we were squabbling. I would not have said so. We disagreed but that was it. However, in the house where we grew up such things were not so visible. At least not when I was there. It was a WASPY place. In my friend Rebecca's family our discussion would have been merely business as usual but for my nephews it was a squabble. I know my sister cannot stand when my father argues and I try not to do it around her but I would not have backed down about this. I don't' think you should agree just to keep the peace. There must be a middle ground. I know I do not reveal my feelings easily and I see where it comes from. I have struggled to become more open and I found it funny that I was the loud one at the dinner. I realized that I have in fact i have always been the loud one, the one with the opinions. They see me as argumentative and as someone who needs to be right. I do like being right but it is more important to be true to what I believe. I love my family and I enjoy them but I have always felt slightly apart, as if I couldn't quite make them see me. Perhaps it is my own doing, my reticence and independence. But only in part. Somehow I grew up different, more proud, more opinionated, more the Alpha type than any of them. More my father's daughter perhaps. He did not get along with his own siblings, has not spoken to them in a long time.

What can we do? Families are a difficult thing at best. I am more fortunate than most that I can enjoy a short time together and not dread the holidays. Look for your blessings. They are there. Even in the family.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Passion and Purpose

One of the blogs I read regularly belongs to Eunny Jang. (See sidebar). She has a knitting blog and her knitting is awesome. I mean that in the literal sense of the word. It is even more awesome if you know that she is only 23.
Every now and then I run into someone like that, someone who had tremendous drive and energy and purpose early on in his/her life. When my father was in high school he heard an architect speak on Career Day. And that was it. My father knew he would be an architect and he never looked back. My friend Lisa's brother was drawing plans when he was a little boy and is now a landscape architect who loves his job.
I've always envied those people. I like a lot of things. Knitting, cooking, history, archeology, art. But I don't have a real passion for any one thing. And without the passion it is hard to get in gear. If I had my way I would have a bunch of different jobs all at once. Then maybe I wouldn't get bored and go after the next shiny object. My other problem is that I don't like risk. At least not security in life risk. I want to know that I can pay my bills and eat every day. I like the comforts of home and am loathe to do anything that might jeopardize having them.
I know. I should just get over it. No risk, no gain. One step at a time. And several other cliches to get you through. I am interested to see how it will all turn out.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

One Hundred More

I quite liked Lady Epiphany's list of 100 random things about her so I am doing one too. In any case it is better than doing the tedious reports.

1. I was born at St. Vincent's Hopital in Greenwich Village.
2. My middle name is Nina.
3. I have two cat's named Nick and Nora.
4. A while ago I learned to spin yarn but I haven't done any spinning in months.
5. I'm a closet romantic.
6. I had a compression fracture of my second lumbar vertebra.
7. I too believe in love at first site.
8. I read Robert Brezny's weekly horoscope in the Village Voice.
9. My sister is 8 years older and 4 inches shorter than I am.
10. My mother was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
11. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 12.
12. I like lasagna best when it's cold.
13. I've never been falling down drunk.
14. I have been hung over.
15. My birthday is April 7th.
16. I know my rising sign: Cancer.
17. I was not breast fed.
18. I went to The Bronx High School of Science.
19. I have a degree in Theatrical Design but I am no longer in Theatre.
20. If I could do it all again there are two things I would change.
21. I like those old Dracula movies starring Peter Cushing.
22. I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people.
23. I wish I wrote letters more often.
24. When I was little I had an imaginary friend.
25. I've been a techie, a stage manager, a designer, an office manager, a receptionist, a retail sales person, and am about to be a business owner.
26. When I was 5 I fell down some stairs hit my head and was out for a minute.
27. I want to go to Egypt and Morocco.
28. I enjoy seeing my family at holidays, but only for limited time periods.
29. When I was 13 I was caught shoplifting candy at the 7/11. That was my last attempt though I have walked off with office supplies since then.
30. When I was 3 my beach ball floated away and I was afraid to go in the water in case I floated away. I got over it.
31. I want to learn to sail.
32. My paternal grandfather was a veterinarian.
33. I'm sad that I never got to know him.
34. I want to live in a house with a garden.
35. I occasionally miss having long hair.
36. I read Tarot cards.
37. I wear size 7 1/2 shoes.
38. I stopped growing when I was 13.
39. No one ever asked me what I wanted to be when I was a child.
40. When I was 12 I wrote a mystery story. The butler did it.
41. I wish I didn't have to work at all.
42. I have no need to be famous, just comfortable.
43. I wish I could have a dog (or two).
44. My hair is brown with a smattering of gray (now covered by henna).
45. I had a co-worker once who called me Scully. I found that strangely gratifying.
46. I love summer.
47. My first crush was a boy named John Tepedino.
48. Looking back I know that he was very kind and generous and I hope he is well.
49. I often start things and then don't finish them.
50. My mother died when I was 7.
51. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if she hadn't.
52. I often expect the worst.
53. And yet I expect that everything will be all right.
54. I don't like taking cabs.
55. I want to learn to scuba dive.
56. I prefer to be alone when I am sick.
57. When I was 21 I stepped on a nail.
58. I am not bothered by the sight of blood.
59. I am underpayed.
60. I prefer Carolans to Bailey's.
61. I make sour cherry brandy.
62. I almost went to school for architecture.
63. My freshman year my roommate and I painted a to scale Boston T map on our wall.
64. I love yarn and fiber.
65. I have very little patience for people who do not know how to think.
66. My eyes are brown.
67. I was born in the Year of the Dog.
68. I like to do yoga.
69. I own 80 cookbooks.
70. I am trying to get to 200 cookbooks.
71. I don't have a favorite color.
72. I hate working at a desk all day.
73. My favorite author is Terry Pratchett.
74. When I was four I started learning the violin.
75. I gave it up in junior high school.
76. Sometimes I think it would be nice to start it up again.
77. One of my favorite books is The House of Seven Gables.
78. Sometimes I think I was born into the wrong time.
79. I believe in the concept of Karma.
80. When I was 8 I moved in with my father's first cousin and her husband.
81. I lived in Queens for 10 years.
82. When I was 5 I thought only Manhattan was New York City.
83. I like "dirty water" franks with saurkraut and mustard.
84. I am 5'5" tall.
85. I am an anglophile.
86. My father's side of my family came to the US in 1832.
87. I used to be a night person but now I am becoming more of a morning person.
88. I love cherries, could eat them until I blow up.
89. I have 2 tattoos and am considering getting a third.
90. In acting class we had to sing a song. I sang the theme to the Brady Bunch.
91. By the end of the song everyone had joined in.
92. Occasionally I miss the theatre.
93. I have never smoked. Ever.
94. If I could be anything in the world and be successful at it I would be a writer.
95. I prefer to fix things myself than hire someone to do it.
96. My favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate.
97. I have a weakness for stationery stuff-paper, pens, markers, etc..
98. I love shoes, I understand Imelda Marcos completely.
99. I share my birthday with Billie Holliday, Francis Ford Coppola, and Jackie Chan.
100.Making this list turned out to be harder than I thought.

Monday, June 12, 2006


We made it. It almost did us in but we made it. The store is a complete mess and no one is looking forward to putting it back together. Instead of being carried to Oz by the tornado we were left here in Kansas to clean up the mess it left behind.
I am back in the Hole and I must do reports for April and then May so that we are caught up. This project that I accepted has turned into much more than originally planned. Not that I'm surprised by that. It was inevitable. But I still don't like it. And as construction has not begun on the new place it is seeming less and less likely that we will be moving in August. It's only a month and a half away! (Sigh)
On the plus side the Master of the Pit has given up on the idea of the party in the tent. Our manager convinced him that it would really be a slap in the face. Or possibly a custard pie in the face.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Once more, with feelings of disgust

We have almost reached the weekend and the denizens of the Pit of Despair are once again getting ready for an outdoor sale. We walk about in a fog of disbelief that it is actually happening again. We wonder, will we make to Sunday night? Or will the crowds overwhelm us and leave us lying bloody and broken? The other pressing question is will we have anything to sell? They cleaned us out two weeks ago and much of the replacement merchandise has not arrived. The twisted side of me hopes that the stuff does not get here. It would be darkly humorous. But it would also be kind of horrible if we did all the work for nothing. Not that we are likely to see any of the profit. Our manager and head buyer have been lobbying for cash bonuses for us but the master of the Pit has a tight grip on his wallet. He just can't bear to give it away. What happens if he gives some away and then the business fails (after 30 years) and he is left destitute? Needless to say, the denizens are less than pleased with this. It's hard to give your all with no hope of reward. The master has come up with a further winning idea. As a thank you to the staff he will give a catered party with a band... in July, in the very tent where we have been toiling these past weeks. As if we ever want to see the damned tent again. Or stand in its sweaty confines while eating off of tiny plates.

So while you are enjoying this weekend, spare a thought for the denizens of the Pit and say a little prayer that we get a proper thank you.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Too Much

I hope Lady Epiphany feels better today. I am sorry that I did not get to visit with her and the new ankle biter yesterday. She and her husband may be more sorry since I baked a cake. It was their anniversary the day before and I wanted to get them something. But what? Of course, cake. It stared at me all the afternoon until I succumbed and ate some of it, more than I probably should have. However, I cannot eat all of it. That would be one and a half sticks of butter, three quarters of a pound of chocolate, one and a half cups of sour cream, half a pound of sugar, and half a pound of flour. A bit much for one person even several days. So I am freezing some of it for later cake need and taking the rest of it to work. I'm sure the denizens of The Pit will welcome it.