17 12 2008

Anyone who knows me knows that I while I do have a big group of friends, I don’t have any one or two or three that I confide in or hang out with on a regular basis. Rather, I have many groups of friends. So many so that I can’t count how many. Not that I see or talk to any or all of them very much…I kind of operate in a solitary manner. I prefer it that way most times.

But I do have some good friends who have given me some solid info over the years, and who have always listened to me when needed. In fact, one of them gave me the song that helped me get this post together… KB. She rocks. She knows this.

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In the back of my mind, I have this list. A list of what I hope people think of me. It’s part of that “doesn’t everyone have a conscience thing?” I won’t go into what is on that list. If you truly know me, I probably answer your phone calls (bonus!!!), and that means that have known me for a while or you know me well. As such, you probably know my full range of offerings and craziness. And you still like me. So I thank you.

What I’m starting to realize is that the more I am myself – which is happening more and more lately – the more people take me up on my offerings of help as a listener, confidant, goofball,  carrier-of-heavy-things… All things I love to do and can do well…

I have some friends, a few actually, who are either going through some tough times right now or how have been… And I’m really glad to be here and help them as much as I can… Some of them take advantage of what I offer, there are others who don’t, but honestly I’m here for all of them. And I probably always will be. It’s in my nature. And I’m quite happy to do so.

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So while I am mad, angry and hurt that my friends, new or old, are facing tough times. I hope that I can always be here to help them. And I’m glad that those new friends would be there for me too. It’s quite exhilarating. Honestly. So to those friends thank you – first and foremost – and secondary, I am glad to be here to help. 🙂

Den Mother? You betcha! Push Over? Not on your life.

15 12 2008

I’m back in business. Well, at least my online services are… And AT&T will be eating whatever overage charges there were for last month. Someone at AT&T told me that when my aircard hit 5GB/month, it was shut off… apparently that is not the case, but that same someone put a note in my account that they told me that. Therefore, AT&T is going to pay. Whew… $500 bill avoided.

Anyway, I think we’ve touched on this before. I am the Den Mother. I’ve become okay with it. I like the fact that I care about all the ruggers. I really do like it. And I really do care about all of them. Most of them wouldn’t believe it, but I do. They are my family. And I love them all. All their faults, dumb drunken errors and all. You play on the field with me, or for the men, if you respect me as an official when I run touch, then you are my family. The same runs true for the regulars at The Living Room. If you respect my house, then I respect you.

There are some new friends that fall into that last category. They respect my bar. And thus, they are family. I will do just about anything for them.

However, I’m not a push over. Especially when it comes to my so-called family… I do what I feel is necessary, at that moment to help, protect and guide my so-called family.

I love it when the protection of my so-called family and Living Room results in me working the door at said Living Room. It’s really kind of fun. I sit there, iPod on shuffle, card random freaks that walk through the door… and although I am a mere small woman at the door, no one fucks with me or my bar. It’s really quite fun. I try not to work the door often. But I am this Saturday. It will be fun. Good times all around…

Oh, and did I mention that I got to use my Dremel last Saturday to break through a padlock that the co-workers had broken? That was so much fun.

Renaissance Woman

4 11 2008

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.