Re-post: Renaissance Woman

27 06 2011

My dad, The Papa, isn’t doing well right now… We don’t know what’s wrong yet, but should in a few days. It’s killing me to not update my blog with updates, so instead, I’m giving you a post I originally put up here on November 8, 2008. (Wow, that is so long ago!!!!)

But before we go, I forgot to tell my family, especially my dad, these two stories, which happened in the past few months:

1) I’m done at work. A co-worker has brought his dad in. I walk up to them, say hi, and shake the father’s hand. I later find out that the father was so impressed by me, my handshake, and my looking him in the eye… He asked a million questions about me, that dad did.

2) Random ruggers come to the bar (the day after #1) I shake one foreigner man’s hand… He said it’s the best handshake he’s had since being in the states…

My father taught me to give a good handshake. I’m so grateful for that. I’ve heard the same as 1 & 2 over and over again, thankfully, I’m able to record these last two here.

I give you, Renaissance Woman. Again.

In my Junior year of High School (yes, I can still remember that long ago), I ventured into an Honors English class. Above the general English, but well below the AP level, thank God. The man who taught the class remains one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Part of the reason is that he terrified me. The other part is the amount that I learned. Overall, a few things stick with me from that class: 1) the words plethora, penultimate and ergo; and 2) the idea of the Renaissance Man (or in this case, Woman – me).

When we were asked in that class to raise our hand if we knew a modern Renaissance Man, I did. Because I not only know what I feel is a Renaissance Man, I also know a Renaissance Woman. This post will address my very own Renaissance Man.

That man is my father. My dad preferred to read the paper or McLean’s rather than watch TV, and to listen to classical music or the news. He made my sister and I help him around the house fixing things, painting, cutting the grass, raking leaves… You did NOT sit in front of the TV on the weekends in my house. Now granted the TV was most likely ON and tuned to the current golf tournament. Just in case Dad needed an iced tea or something… But you did NOT change the channel. And, God help you if you moved any of his tools and did not put them back exactly where they started. I can’t even tell you the number of times he came home from work, went to his work bench and yelled out my name… Most often, I had borrowed a small screwdriver to repair my clarinet or another tool for my euphonium, and put it back in the wrong spot, if at all.

My parents took us alone and together to a number of Ice Capade shows at the Civic Arena. I remember once my dad told me we were going somewhere, he wouldn’t tell me where. I think there’s a picture of me, taken by my mom before we left, standing outside of the big brown car we owned. I remember getting to the show and being incredibly excited that my dad did this for me. For me.

My sister and I were total tom-boys. Not what my mom would have dreamed of, but I think we were less of an issue than two boys. The two of us as boys would have been a nightmare. Especially me. And according to my mom, when my sister and I were young, my dad decided that his girls would be able to do everything we wanted to do. This can be summed up by the fact that both of us are more than willing to take on our fare share of the labor in a situation, and well, we are stubborn. My mom thinks it’s one of the places they went wrong as parents. My sister and I are most thankful for this.

My dad also taught us to ice skate. He played minor league hockey before there were helmets. I remember vaguely spending a lot of time as a toddler through age 4 in arenas or hockey players rooms. My dad couldn’t wear a helmet. He felt top heavy. One of my favorite things in life, above rugby, is to ice skate. I spent countless hours literally trying to catch up to my dad on North Park Skating rink. I don’t think I ever did. I still love to skate. Alone. Just like my dad.

As a result of my dad, my sister and I learned about tools and things you can and can’t do with them. My dad built a gorgeous mantle piece for my mom. I remember seeing the wood in the garage and how my dad cared for it. How he sanded and stained and polyurethaned it to perfection. It’s still at my parents house in Forida, and despite an Echo incident and a moving incident, it’s perfect. Personally, I can’t wait until I move out of my dinky apartment into a place with room to work. I’m dying for a saw and a rotary sander. My Dremel and all the attachments I get every Christmas are collecting dust. I want to build and create things. I have a million ideas. And my sister was able to do the work on the townhouse she owned in Virginia and she’s able to do the work on the townhome she now owns with her husband.

My sister and I also learned how to polish and shine shoes. Imagine! I know three men at the current point that either have no clue what I’m talking about or have no idea how to do so. The only reason half of my shoes last so long is because I polish and care for them.

The best thing to me that I learned from my dad, not that the rest isn’t fantabulous, is my love of music. Mostly of the Classical variety. That’s what my dad did, and still does listen to. Always. In high school, my dad and I went to the sympohony on Sunday afternoons. It was there that I heard a song that will forever be my favorite. Ravel’s Bolero. Just they way it starts out so quiet, so individual. And builds to this gigantic force of sound and every instrument. It’s a force. It’s my ringtone on my phone, because when it comes on, I always smile.

And to close this out, I learned something absolutely wonderful tonite… the Pittsburgh Symphony is performing my song, Bolero, next year. In February. I’ve invited someone and mentioned it to others. But I’ll go alone, if that’s what it takes. It means that much to me.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you my Renaissance Woman. The person who has inspired me to take on the current projects I have. 🙂

They don’t read this, don’t know it exists, but thanks, mom & dad.


— Mom and dad, sometimes, do read this, and again, Thank You.

Fainting season.

21 06 2011

It’s not a real season, but it’s real to me.

We’re officially in, holy humidity and hot, I may faint at any moment season.

And my apartment is, um, a little warm. I’d give you a temp update, but my thermometer that The Nana and The GrandPa bought me years ago, exploded. Yes, it ‘sploded…. Must have been a hot day last summer that I didn’t check it.

To remind you of my hot issues, I give you these posts… Health Issues.* and Annoyed Angel + Heat = disaster.

My life is totally awesome, really. You’re jealous right now, aren’t you???

Thankfully, after working a bunch lately, especially in the HOT AS HECK kitchen, and spending today in the HOT basement putting away our food/dry good/frozen stuff order, I have been okay.

But I know the first episode of hearing/sight going is coming soon… I don’t know HOW I know, besides that it’s hot, but it’s going to happen. Really soon. I can just feel it…

I feel like I should buy a small cooler to carry around at all times, loaded with ice so I can put it on my wrists/neck…

Here’s hoping I don’t fall over one night at work… and if I do? Co-workers? Just throw a ton of ice on me. That’s all…. NO EMS. No Ambulance. I’ll be fine. Really.

* side note… the other health issue? Heartburn/lemonade? NOT AN ISSUE anymore it seems. As long as I don’t chug a gallon of lemonade, just gotta  knock it down a notch with ice and/or the frozen ice lemonade at the Dirty Bird store…  And I’m pretty sure that the heartburn has been gone for nearly 2 years because I don’t have the day job I had back then. Helps that you love your job. True story.

It also helps to have phone calls from your favorite baby lady… AKA Little C…  Just saying.

Lucky Aunt.

19 06 2011

I woke up early Saturday morning, around 8am. I got a text from Lili that said I had a Sprint voice message. Huh?

So I texted Lili and asked what was going on… She wasn’t sure I’d be awake yet. (She’s smart, Lili)

So I listened to the message.

Lili: “Tell her what you’re doing.”

Little C: “I’m cawling you.”

Lili: “I love you.”

Little C: “I luv you.”

Lili: “Talk to you soon!”

Little C: “Talk to you shoon!”

Lili: “Bye!”

Little C: “Bye”

And then…

Little C: “Whewe did Aunt Clawe go?”

After I first heard the message, I didn’t hear that last part. I immediately hung up and called Lili and NE, so I could talk to my little morning bird, Little C.  It was awesome.

For the record, I’m sorry, NE, if I made Little C a little crazy about the cookie at Publix for your shopping. I said it out loud, and instantly knew that could become a problem.  Yikes!

And after listening to the message approximately 18 times now, I just realized she asks where I went at the end.

Oh, my heart. And the tears.

I’m the luckiest Aunt ever because Little C asks to call me.  Thanks, Lili and NE, for not letting her forget me even though I’m so far away.

Pretty soon, there’s going to be a new niece or nephew, and I hope Little C will tell the baby about me and that the new baby will want to talk to me as well.

I’m also hoping my heart can handle phone calls from two of them by then. Yikes.

I probably have a year or so until I have to worry about that, but still, I better invest in some Kleenex or something soon.

And dear Sprint Voice Messaging thingy, no I will not delete that message! Are you kidding me? I want it on repeat, 24×7.


14 06 2011

I’m in love.

With work. No, really.

I totally love working at My Living Room again. Honestly, more than I ever did before. I’m so happy when I work. I have no idea why…. (Well, I have some idea, it has nothing to do with My Living Room, but I won’t share it here.)

(And, to be honest, how happy and pleasant I am with people, sometimes confuses even me…)

I love every shift I have. I love my co-workers. Each and EVERY one of them.

Last week? I worked almost 40 hours… Almost.

I haven’t worked a 40-hour week since October 2009! And you know what? I had NO IDEA I worked nearly 40 hours. It felt like a 15-20 hour work week to me. When I worked the desk job 40 hours a week, I knew it. And it sucked. Big time.  (Now, I know I’m not meant for desk jobs. heh.)

Nothing stressful, nothing bad, no one to yell at, nothing at all negative. I LOVE IT.

I love that I work days sometimes. I love that I work nights, and especially Sunday nights. (I can’t point out why I love Sundays, exactly, but I do love my Sunday nights) I also love that I work mid-day shifts.

I love that I’m now trusted to watch over shifts. It’s taken forever, and I kind of know why, and it’s not why I’d like it to be, but I’m happy I’m finally trusted at that level.

I also love that I’m doing kitchen prep. Seriously, I could do that for 12 hours a day. I don’t know why. I enjoy slicing veggies, apparently.

I really, just love my job right now. I really, really love it. Love it.

I’m so lucky to have a job where I love it. So. Dang. Lucky.

Thanks, Living Room.

What I also love? Friends from other bars who frequent My Living Room. AKA some of the regs.. They are amazing and awesome, and nice. I wish I could get out more and see those people in their bars… Eventually.

This is going to be a great summer, just based on WORK! No, really. WORK. (Not even pool time.)

Kiwanis Pool

7 06 2011

It’s that time again. Summer. Pool time. And we’re starting Pool Tour 2011 already. I don’t know that I’ll make a lot of new places this year due to working day shifts and still trying to save money for school and bills. But we’ll see what happens.

I wanted to get out of the house last weekend, so on Saturday, I met Burghseyewife and Shellrenee at Avonworth Pool. We’ve been there before, and we like it. They haven’t changed anything, but the water was freezing! I think I’d up the grade I gave them last year to a B.

On Sunday, I wasn’t sure where to go since most of my pool friends were busy. I checked Facebook and saw that Denise was looking for something to do. We agreed to meet at a pool I haven’t been to before. Here’s my review.

Crawford Pool – Kiwanis Park – Shaler

Cost: $8 for adults; $6 for ages 0-17 and over 62. Prices are reduced by $1 after 6:30pm.

Hours: Monday – Saturday noon – 8:30pm; Sunday noon – 7:30pm

This pool is pretty big. There is a separate section for diving and laps, and they have a pretty decent slide. The slide closed around 5pm on Sunday for some reason.

The prices I listed above are for non-residents. I think charging $6 for a 2 year old is a bit much, but if you’re a resident, it’s free for kids under 5. And a few bucks cheaper for the other age ranges. But I doubt many of my pool friends will want to meet up there, considering most of them have at least one kid, if not two or four. It’s way to pricey.

Speaking of kids, they do have a separate kids pool area. I totally forgot to go take a look.

At the top of every hour, a whistle blows and the kids have to leave the pool for adult swim. That was nice because there were a lot of kids there on Sunday.

They have a separated concession area also. You aren’t supposed to remove any food from that area, but we did see people doing it. The menu is quite extensive as compared to other pools I’ve been to, and the prices are relatively low. You can also bring in coolers, but you’re supposed to take whatever food you have into the concession area to eat.

The strangest thing I saw about this pool is that as you enter, and on their website it states, “Swimmers must wear commercially manufactured swimming suits.” Which makes me wonder what the heck someone tried to swim in in the past to warrant such a statement.

I’d probably go back if I had something to do in the North Hills, that was nearby, but not on a random day as the admission and distance are a little much to get over.

Overall Grade: C (mostly due to the admission price being the highest I’ve encountered thus far.)