Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
When the night was over, I collected my things, said goodbye to my bartender friend and to the host. As I got in the elevator, I noticed that she had tipped me so generously, I had to go back upstairs to make sure it was intended. I felt stupid when she said of course she intended to and I thanked her again and went on my way.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I put off running necessary errands, hoping the rain would eventually let up but it never did and now I had to drive all over town completing my procrastinated tasks in the rain. First was VA stuff (some left over eye problems from the Army), always a lengthy headache and usually accomplishing very little. And then another government agency interaction; trying to get my 5 month old paycheck for government contracted music I did last year and after five months, still not receiving it. Grocery shopping, the laundry mat (what kind of apartment doesn’t have a washer/dryer hookup?!), first of course I need to go to the ATM for cash and then change it into quarters, and more dog food. I drove my puppy to the vet and her wet muddy feet dirtied my car as she got in and out. My engine light came on for the 4th time in 2 weeks. And $200 for 3 puppy shots? Really?!
Good grief, I thought, Why can’t things be simpler? Why can’t one of the mechanics who’ve looked at my car just fix it? Why does the stupid cat have to meow in my face at 6 o’ clock every morning? Why can’t my hair just naturally grow in Loreal Shade 68? Why can’t it stop raining or snowing for one day so I can get a decent run in? And wonderful, now the school bus in front of me stopped and I’m already late for work tonight. There was no point in trying to speed the rest of the way or pass slow moving cars. I was late.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
I favor a night in with a rented movie, delivered pizza, and loved ones
I wish I had the money to see my sisters for a week
I would choose my ipod full of treasured music
I want to meet my great-grandparents
I hope I keep the things of true value a priority in my heart
rather than making it a priority to get valued things.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
At that moment, my heart soared as high as Ethan jumped. I didn’t care about the excruciatingly long trip, or being pulled over, or the smashed cheerios now permanently embedded into my car seats and floor. All I cared about was hugging Ethan as hard as I could. I would have given him a pony, an airplane, or let him jump on my bed until every spring was destroyed if it would make him that happy again. I nearly burst open with love as I said, “I’m happy too, Ethan.” I hope he feels that kind of joy again and again in his life because every moment of his joy will surely bring countless more moments of mine.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
It’s still difficult to describe the level of shock I experienced my first days in the city. For a Nebraska girl whose idea of a traffic jam is ten cars stuck behind a tractor on the road, culture shock might be an understatement. The sheer volume of different routes, highways, interstates, tunnels, and bridges intertwined with each other like spaghetti noodles is a far cry from the one interstate in Nebraska that stretches east to west, as flat and straight as a ruler. My idea of a sky scraper is a really tall church steeple. From growing up in a state where we brag about the fact that Kool-Aid was invented there and it’s where “Terms of Endearment” was filmed, to a place where practically everything was invented here and everything is always filmed here. Think about it – Law and Order, Friends, Miracle on 34th Street, New Years Eve, The Today Show – these places were in my living room on TV all the time and now I live WHERE THAT HAPPENS! Conan O’Brian, Tina Fey, and Sarah Jessica Parker live here, shop here, and walk around freely here. When a Nebraska football player is recognized at the mall back home, that is call for chaos and autographs. It’s a bit of a mind trip.
In true tourist fashion, one of the first things we did was visit the Statue of Liberty. Talk about your magic moments; take a ferry out to Liberty and Ellis Islands. Experience the surrealness as the famous image goes from a dot in the water, to a towering statue in a matter of minutes and the enlarged black and white passport photos displayed on the walls is of the museum is enough to give any person the chills.
As cliché as it may seem, I imagined all those people making the long journey to New York City and how different it would be from the life they were used to. They arrived with their belongings and children, hoping and dreaming that they could make it here. And this is still the place where if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. A place where a restaurant that serves nothing but macaroni and cheese can be enormously successful, yet people with all the talent and intelligence in the world can fall flat. But this is the place where you take that chance.
And in spite of their seasickness and pure exhaustion, they may have shot straight up with adrenaline at their first sight of the New York City skyline. They may have dreamed about all the days that would come – the struggles, the work, the frustration, and the success.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
One evening, I arrived home from a gig in the city to see Duchess in our living room slowly rise from her napping position on the floor to greet me at the top of the stairs. Each move as she unfolded her legs, propped herself up, and walked towards me was more deliberate and painful looking than usual. I ached for her and gave her a reassuring pet, then walked to the bedroom to put down my things.
When I came back into the living room, I was struck with terror at the site. Duchess was panting uncontrollably and I will never forget the glazed over look in her black eyes as I desperately tried to comfort her. Immediately, Eddie and I carried her to the car and drove to the nearest animal emergency room. I sat in the back seat with her head in my lap, stroking her narrow face as she struggled for each breath. It was rush hour in New Jersey on Route 17, Translation - backed up traffic for miles. My sense of panic and urgency was uncontrollable as Eddie weaved in and out of lanes making every effort to reach the hospital in time.
We were about 2 minutes from our destination – salvation in my mind – when my hand that was stroking Duchess’s chest and stomach no longer felt a heart beat. Her eyes were closed. She had stopped breathing. She was gone. Our frantic efforts had been in vain and we sat in the animal hospital parking lot grieving for our lost friend.
The next few weeks were difficult and strange. A member of my family no longer lived in my house. I no longer heard her footsteps behind me as I moved from room to room. I no longer walked in the morning to get my coffee because she wasn’t there, needing her morning exercise. I thought I would never get used to her not being with me.
After some more time had passed, my husband surprised me with a new, beautiful, baby Sheltie puppy. I found her hidden in the bathtub, curled up, waiting for me with a big red bow around her neck. I scooped her up with tears in my eyes knowing that I needed her, and she needed me. I named her Joy.
I’ve had Joy for a month and a half now. We have walked every day, traveled, and I even took her on her first jog with me (she doesn’t quite understand the concept yet). Between the potty training, the feedings, and the vet appointments, she has become my constant companion and comfort.
On days like today when I feel a little down and I miss my family, my husband, and my friends, she always makes me smile. When I am alone in my apartment, searching for gigs online, sending out headshots and resumes, and thinking success may never find me, she is there at the end of the day to lay her head in the crook of my arm, trustingly close her eyes, and release a tired sigh of contentment. Sometimes in order to heal, you just need a little Joy.