weathering the storm

I feel like it’s been a lifetime since I’ve posted. I really haven’t had much to say. June was one of the longest months of my life. I’m really trying to not be overly dramatic, but it really was.

I’ve been back and forth with giving an update because 90% of people who read this don’t know me in real life and I don’t want it to look like I’m fishing for attention. But, for the sake of posterity and because I’ve missed my home on the internet, I figured I might as well put something up.

My father is being released from the hospital today. We still don’t have a diagnosis. He’s gotten better, gotten worse, and stayed the same all at once. He’s frustrated and his attitude has not been the best. In all honesty, it down right sucks. It’s understandable but not something I’m willing to live with forever. My mom isn’t willing to either, in case you were wondering.

We have a few options from here and all I could do is hope one of them pans out. And we all know what a bitch hope could be.

So today, I was scrolling through the quotes section on Pinterest, looking for something to cheer me up and I found this. And I started to cry. Then I pulled myself together because I’m at work and emotions are frowned upon (no pun intended).

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Here’s to hoping the storm passes quickly.

I’m going to try to post something fun soon. Sorry for this Debbie Downer one. Also, thank you all for your well wishes on my last post. Every good thought or prayer is appreciated more than you’ll know, so keep them coming!

I don’t know how to end this. Got any good jokes?

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photo dump: FAO Schwarz

Just when you thought I’d cooled it with the photo dumps, here’s another one. It’s not of Central Park this time, though. Close, but not exactly.

As of July 15, 2015, beloved New York toy store, FAO Schwarz is closing the doors of its flagship store. Being the true New Yorker I am, I went to say my last goodbyes. That was dramatic, seeing as this was the second time I’ve ever been there. Ever, in my life. But it’s famous and who doesn’t love famous things?

Why is it so famous?

  • The BIG keyboard
  • it was the inspiration for Mr. Duncan’s toystore in Home Alone 2 (maybe. i might have made that up. sounds good, no?)
  • They have a make your own muppet section. need i say more?
  • it has every toy imaginable. no joke. the last time i went in there, a movie about a farm was coming out (Babe? Charlotte’s Web? whatever.) and they had every single farm animal you could think of made into huge cuddly stuffed animals. they even had a turkey. and we all know how cuddly those beasts guys are.

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If you couldn’t tell, I’m trying to procrastinate because 1) I don’t have a ton of photos to share and 2) they aren’t anything to write home about so I’m trying to lure you in with my witty words and excellent gif selection. Is it working?

Thought so.

Except I have nothing else to say. So, here they are.

Here’s the entrance. Notice the guard, ready for a photo op. Also notice that the building is not tall. I don’t know how they fit all of the magic in just three floors. Granted the building is long. Real long.

Upstairs is the famous BIG keyboard. Tom Hanks not included. Also, please excuse my Flinstone feet. I don’t usually take my shoes off in public, but when I do, it’s to play piano. There’s also a video of me and Lisa on the keyboard but, that will probably never see the light of the internet.

On the way out you can get ripped off your fortune told by Zoltar. I put my dollar in, he said a few words, I waited for my fortune to print and I got nothing. Typical. Should I be worried? You can also stand in a life sized kaleidoscope, hence the picture on the right. I would have lived in there if I knew no one would notice me.

In between the keyboard and Zoltar, there’s a HUUGE candy section, a baby doll nursery (totes adorbz), LEGOS, crayons, just anything and everything you can imagine. And imagine it you must because I got pictures of none of it. why do i even try?

The view from the outside is the Apple store and The Plaza Hotel. Isn’t she a beaut?

Lisa and I then ventured to Rockefeller Center, which is pretty even when it isn’t Christmas time. who knew?

And that’s all I got. If you have a trip to NYC planned for any time before July 15th or if you live close enough to take a quick ride in, stop by FAO Schwarz. Even just for a quick hello to Zoltar. Ask him for my fortune and leave it in the comments, will ya? Thanks!

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happy father’s day!

I’ve been on the fence about posting anything today. My family is not the sappiest of families. But, with everything that’s been going on, I feel the need to be. Except I don’t want  to be. Am I making any sense? Anyway…

Yesterday I was up visiting my father and when I was watching him I started having one of those 80’s movie montages in my head of my childhood. There were a few things that stuck out. However, there’s one in particular that I can’t get out of my head. So, because it’s Father’s Day and I’m feeling schmaltzy, I figured I’d share it.

When I was about six, my mom fell and broke her ankle. For that summer she and I stayed with my grandmother because she lived in an apartment that was in the lobby of the building so it was much easier to maneuver. I stayed because I had really bad separation anxiety. Every weekend my father would pick me up and we would go to our summer house in New Jersey. Because I missed my mom and because there were no televisions in the bedrooms, I couldn’t sleep. So my father let me lay in my mom’s bed*.

*for some reason, there were two beds in the master bedroom. eventually my parents pushed them together to make one bed but, for a while, their bedroom looked like something out of a 50’s sitcom.

I was still nervous and couldn’t fall asleep. Since I was in my own bed and my father was already asleep in his own bed, I didn’t know what to do. Even now, if I can’t fall asleep, I get anxious. Like I’m going to get in trouble for being awake. Anyway, I couldn’t take it anymore so I woke him up and asked him to hold my hand until I fell asleep. Our hands fell into the open space between the beds and even though it was uncomfortable for both of us, we did it every weekend until my mom was better and able to come to the house with us.

I guess what I’m trying to say is thanks, Dad. For always holding my hand when I needed it most. Happy Father’s Day. Love you.

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back when i was blonde and he wasn’t gray.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

What are your plans for the day?

Let’s discuss!

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this was supposed to be a friday favorites… i don’t know what happened.

I wanted to do a Friday five post today but, to be quite honest, if I’m not at work, I’m at the hospital. Or just trying to find some normalcy in my current life situation. (did i just lapse in to a vague facebook status? sorry.) Anyway, I have a few favorites and a few not so favorites. Let’s get started.

I’ll get the shitty stuff out of the way so that the good seems so much better.

My father is still in the hospital (if you hadn’t guessed from the above paragraph.) Yesterday started week three. The doctors have been a little bit less elusive and a little bit more talk-y. They’re running more tests that will take at least another week or so for the results to come back. Again, since I feel like I’m (and everyone) is grasping at straws here, I find myself hoping they find something wrong. The other problem is that since there isn’t anything technically wrong, the doctor told my mom that it is going to be very hard to justify keeping him in the hospital. Which is another huuuggee reason why I’m hoping they find something, anything that they can start to treat.

On a slightly related note, for the past three weeks, the birds in my neighborhood have been starting their chirping between midnight and 3am and haven’t stopped until noon-ish. My mom said there’s an old Italian myth that says if you hear birds after dark for three straight nights, death is coming. This, of course, has given me anxiety. Especially since she followed that up with “that’s what happened to your grandfather. we heard birds for three nights and then he was gone.” um. have you met me? don’t tell me these things.

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Let’s move on to happier things, shall we? Good.

LISTENING TO: Along with always having a plan, Lisa is usually my main source of new music. I was in the car with her the other day and she tells me, “listen to this song; you’ll love it”. Normally it takes me a while to warm up to new songs because, let’s face it, the Backstreet Boys, One Direction, or Taylor Swift haven’t released anything in a while. Anyway, she put this song on and I was hooked.

I know, right??!! Sometimes I like to pretend that it’s somewhere between 1950 and 1965 and I’m Reese Witherspoon in Pleasantville. Or Diana Agron in that Sam Smith video. Maybe even a female Calogero from A Bronx Tale – minus the Mob. You feel me?

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This song takes me right there. It gives me hope that music is going back to basics. Like, when lyrics actually made sense and conveyed emotion. amirite? I also recommend River, which I’ve had stuck in my head for two days already.

READING: I’m currently reading the new Princess Diaries book, Royal Wedding. I had forgotten how much I loved these books. Mia is so smart and strong; it’s so refreshing. A quick example, she wants to be engaged to/marry Michael, but it doesn’t consume her. She knows she’s got other shit to do, like RULE A COUNTRY. #yougogirl. Also, there’s a third PD movie in the works? The excitement is real. Except what the heck, Anne Hathaway? You know you want to be a part of this, stop playing. Strap on that crown and let’s go.

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WATCHING: I’m a sucker for a good commercial and this one from Cheerios doesn’t disappoint.

I literally cannot with those two.

I guess that’s it for now. Sorry this is so all over the place. ugh i feel like such a slacker.

How was your week? Has anyone else heard of the bird thing? Is there a way to make them stop?

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thanks for your help, princess mia

Let’s discuss!

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you probably don’t know…

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Today I’m linking up with Helene!

It took me a while to think of something to write about for this post. What haven’t I shared? I’m pretty much an open book that keeps repeating itself. Finally, I thought of something that’s a little funny, maybe a little sad, and a lot embarrassing.

You probably don’t know….

that I (basically) hate going down steps.

And here’s why.

Right before my second birthday – like less than a week before- I was trying to go up the stairs just as my mom was coming down. I tried to turn and go back down but wound up falling and landing with my leg underneath me. I still can’t figure out how my tiny thisclose to two year old body managed to break a leg bone but it did. Sounds like a calcium deficiency, if you ask me.

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clearly, the late 80’s was a carefree time.

Since then, the bane of my existence has been walking down steps. In first grade we had a fire drill. At that point in my life, my preferred mode of tackling my beasts of burden was to hold on to the banister with both hands and just take my time- possible fire be damned! We had a student teacher who noticed this and told my teacher because this had the potential to get really ugly. So everyday for the next few weeks during recess, my teacher took the time to teach me how to go down the steps with one hand on the banister, facing forwards. You may be wondering why my parents didn’t do that in the first place. I’m sure they did, but really, they didn’t have the safety of 25+ other children to worry about.

I’m still very hesitant when going down steps. It takes a shit-ton of time longer than a normal person because I still take them one step at a time. Recently I was at work and one of the students was walking down the steps next to me. I was being particularly slow because 1) the flight of steps I was on is extremely steep, and 2) I was just feeling extra lazy that day, ok? Anyway, we were walking down together and I was busy watching where I was going, taking my time and she kept asking me if I was OK. i’m fine, just totally mortified.

It’s funny because I have an ever changing (fairly long) list of things that I would love to change about myself. This tidbit is one thing that never leaves the top three spot.It’s another one of my quirks that I hope someone finds endearing one day and will fall in love with it; just like in the movies.

What is something that I probably don’t know about you? Go over to Helene’s link up and share your story; I’ll see you there!

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gimme a break!

I had this post written in my head at least twenty times. Now that I finally have the time to sit and get it all down, I have no idea what to say or how to start. I guess I should jump right in.

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been kind of absent this month. I know I’m not a daily poster nor do I strive to be. Although, having my shit together enough to be able to write fun and engaging posts everyday is a goal of mine. Anyway, I haven’t been around lately. I mentioned in my last post that life had been kicking me in the crotch. It’s gotten a little bit better, then a little bit worse. It’s like a roller coaster and I hate rides. Without getting in to too much detail, my father has been in the hospital for the past two weeks. He went in on a Thursday and for two days he was, for all intents and purposes, fine. On Saturday, he woke up in a totally different mental state. By Monday he was confined to a bed, unable to speak clearly, not really knowing what was going on or where he was. He’s gotten a little better since then but still no where near the dad that I know.

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Scary words like stroke, brain bleed, and aneurysm have floated around. They’ve run tests for all of them and more but each one comes out cleaner than the next.  It gets to a point where, and if you’ve ever been in a situation like this you’ll understand exactly what I mean, you hope that something comes back negative. Like when I found myself wishing they’d tell us it was meningitis. I know how horrible that sounds. But when no one can give you an answer and all you want is your loved one back to normal, your mind goes a million different ways.

The nurses and aides have been great. The doctors on the other hand leave much to be desired. Basically, for the first six days not one doctor spoke to me or my mom except to ask a question or two. My mom was finally able to speak to one of the doctors but as of now, we’re on day four of no new information. Almost like when my spirit animal, Dorothy Zbornak, was sick and couldn’t get an answer out of anyone.

Being at the hospital is exhausting. Worrying is exhausting. Twice last week I fell asleep with the light next to my bed on and didn’t know until I woke up the next morning. Real life has been pushed off to the side and nothing feels normal anymore. All of my nightly rituals, like blogging and painting my nails, have become a memory. For right now, staying up past 10pm is an accomplishment. Luckily, my mom and I have an excellent support system. Words cannot express how much we appreciate them and their phone calls, texts and promises of prayer.

So that explains where I’ve been but that’s not the point of this post. The point is that in the midst of all this, I found out about Chobani’s #breakyoumake campaign. They want to know who in your life needs a break. Do my twenty minute bathroom breaks at work count? There’s a lot to be said for sitting on a toilet, scrolling through Facebook.

Obviously, I didn’t have to think long or hard about who in my life needs a breather. Ryan Seacrest. That guy is everywherei kid, i kid. but seriously, he’s everywhere.

Throughout this whole ordeal, my mom has been not just a rock, but a diamond. She has been at the hospital every single day, waited for doctors who never came, makes sure my father eats. She is his advocate and mouthpiece. She makes sure she’s on top of everything since the doctors are not giving her any kind of peace of mind. She helps the nurses feed my father because he’s stubborn and won’t eat. She comes home and makes sure the bills are paid and the house is neat. She also makes sure there’s something for me to take to work for lunch, is there for me when I feel overwhelmed by all of this. I don’t know how she does it. She needs a break. And a cocktail.

Even when life is normal, my mother keeps the machine that is our lives well oiled. She does it all, as if it’s second nature. I guess it sort of is. She’s always there when I have a bad day at work, when I forget to wash something I need for the next day, to give advice about any and everything. She’s my biggest supporter and number one fan. Before all of this happened, I was sitting with my father in our living room and my mom was making dinner. My father looked at me and said “She does a lot for us. She does everything for us. Appreciate her.” I looked at him like he was nuts because why is he telling me something I already know?

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I’ve tried many times to express my appreciation to her for everything that she does. I have yet to figure out how. Sending her on a nice vacation sounds good. Especially since she’d probably want someone to go with her and I could easily make myself very available. So whoever wants to send us her somewhere to relax, I’m open for discussions. My mom is a simple person, though so maybe a nice, relaxing day spent on the couch with some snacks and our favorite television shows. What, you thought I wasn’t going to get in on the relaxing in front of the television action also? Pshh. Not when there’s snacks involved.

Who needs a break in your life?

Let’s discuss!

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the shack

Yesterday I was scrolling through my reader and came across this post from Kristen over at Peaches and Poppycock. It was just the inspiration I needed. And by inspiration, I mean I’m just going to participate in The Daily Posts photo challenge like she did. Whatever works, right? Life has been kicking me in the crotch lately (there may be a post about it in the distant future, but maybe not) so I need all of the inspo I could get. So, thanks Kristen!

The Daily Post asked us to show a picture of the in-between. The getting there. I wish I could throw a few pictures up of me before and during my quest to lose the 5484897184 pounds I need to before wedding season starts, but that would require more Photoshopping than I have any kind of patience for. Because wedding season or not, I like to eat.

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My family had a house on the Jersey Shore (just south of the fist pumpers) for over 50 years. I’d be lying if I said I loved every minute down there. Making friends was hard because most people rent there so they were gone before the waves took your first sandcastle. But there were good times to be had at that house and had them we did. We had to sell it late last year (which again, I may write about down the road). We have since bought another house. It’s close enough to our first one that if we wanted to visit we could. Our new house is great and ready for many memories to be made in it.

For people who are familiar with the area, you’ll know exactly what that is in the picture up there. For those who aren’t familiar, let me introduce you to The Shack. It was house that fishermen used to hang out in when they went out fishing for the day. I don’t think you can tell but it’s standing in the middle of a creek inlet small body of water. It was located right next to the bridge that you crossed to get on to the island. Everybody knew The Shack. When you saw it, you knew you had arrived. It had been abandoned years ago, but it stuck around for a while. It started to get really decrepit and there were rescue efforts up and down the island. Until Hurricane Sandy, that bitch. Now it lives on in the memories of those who waited all winter long to see that little beacon of summer. And at every arts and crafts show- photos of it are best sellers.

the end of an era.

the end of an era.

What reminds you of summer? Or summers of your childhood?

Let’s discuss!

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