Wednesday, June 28

Cool Hunter

This post is dedicated to my Mom

I'm always on the look out for new products, anything from something to clean a bath tub to a great new piece of jewelry. I very much enjoying sharing the new things, ideas, places I find and figured blogging about it would be the ultimate way to share- so here goes.

These are the things I'm most excited about right now:

1. Tide to Go Sticks:
These really do work! When I was in Rome I pretty much wore the same pair of gauchos everyday, they were comfy, breathable and I could eat a lot while wearing them. The eating caused a couple of stains. Normally I would have washed them, I was in Rome though so I used the Tide to go- and it worked like a charm. This morning, I split a little coffee on my cute pink cardigan- no worries, I've got Tide to go. Last week my co-worker got oil on her shirt- I removed it swiftly with the Tide to go stick... I'm telling you they work and fit easily in a purse. Go get one!

2. Clorox Wipes

I love these. I have them on the counter at home for cleaning up after cooking, in the bathroom for wiping up weekly to keep the bathroom cleanish and on my desk at work for cleaning up after lunch and just in general. I love the lavender scent- but you can't always find it- the fresh scent is also nice and usually available. Method also makes these, and while I love to support them and their products the scents aren't good- too cleanerish. I recently purchased the Target brand for my pack on my desk, just to see since they are cheaper- and I'm warning you- there's a reason to spend extra to get clorox. I can't get the Target ones to come out of the container without them ripping into small pieces. Never again.

3. Fred Flare Aviators

Avs are so in, and have been for some time. At first it was super hard to find good ones that weren't super expensive- and you can go so wrong with aviators. These are the best- I'm telling you. And, they are super cheap- only $8! I love them. Go get them. Look great on Men and Women. The site itself has some fun, funky stuff- but I can't vouch for anything but the avs- I love them.

4. Silver Goose Jewelry

I think this jewelry is great. I love that you can get anything monogrammed, and the jewelry is super cute. I got a necklace there about a year ago and still get compliments on it when I wear it. I actually just ordered a monogrammed ring as I wrote this post. Its great- and so affordable. The necklace has gotten a bit worn looking because I wore it so much, however I'm sure I could easily clean it- and I don't take the best care of my jewelry. Its a great place to get gifts for friends, family, bridesmaids, groomsmen etc. And... they have more than jewelry! Definitely check them out!

5. American Apparel V-Neck Tee

I love this t-shirt. I would wear it everyday in various colors if I could. It is comfortable, breathable, can be dressed up or down and just all around plain great. The fit is definitely geared towards women, which is great and they aren't one of those t-shirts that as the sizes go up they get wider instead of overall larger. I usually order online because its so easy, but I know they have stores on Newbury St and bunch in NYC. I will warn you- I ordered some undies from here and the size scale was not what I was expecting- I ordered my usual size and they were tiny. Overall a definite must if you're looking for great t-shirts

Those are my 5 for now... look for more soon!

Tuesday, June 20

The Three Legged Stool

When I was young we frequently ate Friday night dinners at our close family friend's house. I would most often walk in and head straight to one of the three bar stools seated at their kitchen counter/peninsula. I loved sitting up there, while the adults mingled in the kitchen. Sometimes I would color, while drinking my Epsom Sunrise (They live in Epsom, NH and I was much too young to know it was a virgin Tequila Sunrise), sometimes I would just chat, other times I'd dance on the counter, or put my hair up in the crown that covers bottles of Chambord. If I was lucky, I'd get to eat at the counter perched on my stool.

Sometimes we moved to the living room or TV room, but most nights were spent in some form of eating in their large, open kitchen. I loved sitting up on the counter stools. I felt important, adult, and the center of attention. As the years passed and I grew up and moved out I would often return for visits home and end up eating there at least one night out of the visit. I still headed right for the bar stools and if I didn't sit up on one, I would at least stand nearby that counter talking and eating appetizers.

The stools did such a good job of holding me up, keeping me high allowing me a feeling of freedom and importance. I had a place to sit, a place to go and it gave me access to what everyone else was doing.

Now, I'm a part of a newly formed three legged stool. We're going to hold eachother high when we need to be, offer a place to climb onto if one feels like they're falling, a place of importance and belonging, but freedom and indpendence too. I don't know for certain if the family friends' stools were four or three legs, but I do know that even if one of the legs had to be removed, I'd still go sit on them and they'd still hold me up.

Stuck in Puddles

During the recent rain, not only towns throughout New England flooded, but my car did too. Literally, I was scooping puddles of water out of the floor with a plastic cup.

On a recent drive from Worcester to Boston I had the time to listen to some new CDs, one of them from one of the two weddings I missed during the Spring due to my Father's illness and death. I popped the CD in, not really looking forward to the love songs- but curious to hear them, see what they'd put on it. It immediately popped back out, rejected. I should have taken that as a sign, but instead I shoved it back in and this time it took, but wouldn't play, so I hit eject. It didn't eject. It was stuck. I shook my head looking at the CD player and the puddle on the floor of my passenger seat. And I realized, in all honestly, I didn't care that much. One of the major shifts in my life- the little things really don't phase me as much any more. I instead just switched over to the radio. Then I decided to play with it for a little bit, just to see. Just because the little things don't matter as much doesn't mean I'm not still fidgety and curious. I popped the face of the CD player off and fiddled with the CD inside. I put the face back on and tried again, it played! Ultimately I skipped over most songs, not able or wanting to focus on much of them. When I got home and tried to eject it, so I could take it inside and never play it again in my car, it wouldn't come out. I turned the car off, again not really caring, fidgeted some more with it, tried again with no luck and easily gave up. I threw some more paper towels on the floor of the car and went inside.

The next day as I got in my car, my head shaking at the new puddle that had formed, I turned the key and heard the CD pop out. It made the puddle not so bad.

Friday, June 9

F-ing Father's Day

I have to admit, I'm starting to hate Father's Day. Its everywhere, and my pain is still so fresh and real that its almost like pouring salt in my wound. Every commercial, every catalogue (and the internet shopping me gets a lot of them), every advertising email(again the internet shopping me gets a lot of them). They all happily talk about the lovely upcoming Father's day and all the lovely ideas for your lovely father.

I delete them with anger and frustration, thinking, "Leave me alone I don't have a father I can buy anything for, and besides I already had gotten him something (tickets to a red sox game along with 3 others, so the whole family could go) and now I have to attend that something without him.

I'm thinking about him and what living without him is going to be like constantly, and now I have to be reminded how loads of other people still have their fathers and they get to celebrate him while I make plans to visit the family he's left in his wake and perhaps put flowers on his grave. Father's day sucks. I don't need a day to celebrate him, I never did, anyway- I celebrated him constantly. We were close, I was a reflection of him in so many ways and just by becoming a successful adult I was celebrating him. I still celebrate him and his memory, every day as I figure out what living without him is going to be like, and how I can continue becoming a reflection of him and what he would have, was, could have been.

Then, I feel guilty, because I'm so happy/thankful for my family and friends who do have Father's to celebrate and should be. Family is so important. I want my friends to be making plans to spend the day with their Fathers and thinking of wonderful gifts to give him to honor him and thank him for being a wonderful Dad.

But, then, deep down I still resent and am annoyed with Father's day. Maybe because its coming so soon after losing mine, maybe if it had been a year after I wouldn't be hating it so much as it approaches. Who knows. I guess we'll see how I feel next year, I have a hunch it will be very similar.

Saturday, June 3

The San Giacomo Psych Ward Tour

There was the "Scar Doctor" because we never got his name- he had serious reconstructive scars around his chin and cheeks and was very present in our first 2.5 days at San Giacomo Psych Ward. At the end of the 2nd day he came across us on the phone near the elevator. As he waited to go down, he asked my mom how she was. She explained that as the anxiety from Sammy's ordeal lessened the grief came back very strongly. He revealed he had lost his 3 year child 6 months earlier. As we gasped and offered our sympathies he simply said, "It is hard, yes... and it is possible".

There was Bernardo- the multi-lingual "International Thief", he was released on Monday to his family who wouldn't accept his kisses. He made sure Sammy got up for meals and often translated when the orderlies were attempting to communicate with us. He says he has 10 months off and enough money to come to the states and stop by Northwood, the Dr. says he doesn't see him leaving Italy anytime soon.

There was Jessica- the street worn, sockless smoker, who always said hello and was ever appreciative of cigarettes we bought for Sammy to give out. She taught us how to count in Italian and we taught her 1-10 in English. We speculated she had come from a history of abuse and perhaps lived on the streets.

There was Valentina- the young outgoing makeover queen of the ward, who had a penchant for cigarettes and Sammy. Alison says she was there from the beginning and only started to come out of her shell when Sammy was more awake. I remember her family on the 2nd day handing out pastries and cookies and her happily walking the ward. She drew many pictures for Sammy and every day we returned a new female patient would have her face done up.

There was Stephano- the pony tailed non-English speaker who was friendly and sweet. He had outdoor smoking privileges and told Alison he was one of 7 and had to stay till Sunday and had already been in the ward for 9 weeks. I remember his family coming once, but mostly he was left alone to chat with other patients and give Sammy high fives.

There was Mary the one with roots strongly coming through died blonde hair who told us she was there from a depression crisis. Her sister visited frequently and walked the hall with her. Her mother came on Tuesday with a new pink outfit for Mary. Valentina's makeover of her included putting her hair up in a way that made her roots less noticeable.

There was Josie who arrived on Sunday bugged eye and pajamaed. She spoke small bits of English with us and enjoy the M&M's we brought.

There were others we never met, or who mostly slept. I'm sure there will be many more. They will remain a part of this experience that made it in many ways more real and in others more surreal. They made us a show, something that entertained them- The sleepy American boy and his family that comes everyday at 10, 4 and 8- and also reminded us of the realness of life, the reality of living each day, how hard the world can come crashing down on you at times, and yet, how, it is possible.

Friday, June 2

Real Rome

I was drawn to the people- the realness of Rome, perhaps because it was the realness of life that brought to Rome.