Thursday, November 24, 2011

Good Feeling

So it's Thanksgiving...

I just re-read my blog from a year much has changed...but not the things I am thankful for and that is a very good feeling.

I may be getting divorced but I am grateful for my soon-to-be-ex husband because he gave me the 2 greatest kids ever. But I am also grateful that I had the courage to move on with my life without him...and as weird as it sounds, that is a good feeling too...

I am so thankful for my kids...they amaze me each and every day...they bring my life purpose and give me great joy as I watch them grow and become such fantastic humans...and that is a very good feeling indeed.

I am thankful that Ke$ha Barbie has found a direction for her schooling. I think we found a good school (I have a good feeling about Boston) but we are also going to NYC to look at another school...I have a good feeling about that school but not so much about her living there...but that is just the nervous and overprotective mama in me.

I am thankful that my beautiful daughter has the amazing artistic talents she has. They will be the ticket to her future and I can't help but feel good about that and so very proud.

I am so grateful for my son's amazing abilities...he is a great little athlete and an excellent student. And he has the cutest personality ever. We are in wrestling season (ugh...not a good feeling to watch) but my "happy place" is that lacrosse season is coming up in the spring...which also means we will know where he is going to high school.

The Cutest Boy in the World going to high school...scary feeling there...

I am so grateful and thankful for all of my friends. I couldn't have made it through this year without them. Some of my friends have had to really help me through some stuff...some of it fun, some of it painful...but they are always there when I need them and that is a good feeling indeed.

I am grateful for Oprah...but I am not so happy her show is over. But it was a good feeling to go to her show...

I am thankful for AngelAmy making me apply for the show...but more than that she has continued to prove why she has such an important place in my life. AngelAmy has been getting me out of trouble for many many years...and she will for the years to come. And Twirler Girl is right there with her...and when I am with them it is always a good time and that is a good feeling!

GOTT and GOTTESS (and GOTTSON) are my family by choice. GOTTESS gave me the BEST BIRTHDAY CARD ever this perfectly sums up our relationship. She is more than my sister-wife (as we jokingly call each other)...she is truly my friend. And GOTT is my brother by choice...and if not for him I would often fall apart. I love him as much as any woman can love a man who is not her significant other or brother. And GOTTSON brings me joy each and every time I am with him. It is a good feeling to have a family that you love by choice...

D'nice and KuteKaren not only gave me a birthday party the other night...they continued to show why I am so very lucky to call them "friend"...they are so good to me. KuteKaren baked me a cake and D'nice opened her home...and they both open their heart to me all the time. That is a very good feeling...

What would I do without my Dimples? I am grateful for him every day. He has shredded over 50 pounds off me since this time last year and he has carved my arms and back and legs into looking pretty darn good for a woman who just celebrated the anniversary of her 25th birthday. But more than that he is like a little brother to me...and he makes me laugh...and he doesn't judge me for my foolish mistakes...and he keeps me going. Being with him is always a balancing act of a good feeling (the fun I have when we train) and a bad feeling (lifting the damn weights)...but is is always fun and good...

And I have my JayVee....she has become such a dear and darling friend to much more than just my spin instructor. She has held my hand, given me advice, dried my tears and cared for me greatly. And her hunky husband is the sweetest man...and he cooks for me and gives me the best hugs when I need them. Being with her is always a good feeling.

And my J'taime Jamie...again, more than a spin instructor...she is my sunshine...good feeling indeed. Her encouragement is amazing...

I have a friend I will call Kryptonite...he's been a good friend and has taught me a lot...nuff said...and when I am with him it is always a good feeling because he is a good friend...

My lawyer...he's gonna keep the good feelings coming...that's all I'm saying about that...and I am grateful for him...

My sweet friend Gorgeous Girl (Robin R that is you!) has become such a dear to me this past year...she is gorgeous and amazing...and has offered a hand to hold when I need it...good feeling...

I am grateful to Blue Eyed Babe for telling Ke$ha Barbie all about Boston. She had us both feeling good the day we met up with her. Ke$ha Barbie won't listen to me but she will listen to her...and for that I am very grateful.

Trainer Girl has become my little sister...she helped me cook and clean today...and I am thankful for her being in my life...from the little things she does (like cutting my son's hair on the lacrosse field sidelines) to the big (holding me when I have cried my eyes out)...she's good stuff...

All the kids at school give me good feelings all the time...I watch them grow and do their stuff with pride...and I love them. Same with the amazing teachers. I wouldn't trade my "job" for anything in the world. Last week I got an email from a former student that made all the hours I put in working last year totally worth it. email did that...and it was a great feeling to read it...

And then there is my wonderful Aunt Jane and all my aunts and uncles and my brother and my sisters and my sister in them all so much...

I'm sure I am forgetting people I am grateful please forgive me...

There are "things" I am grateful for but they aren't as important as people. The people in my life keep me going...things don't.

I have learned a lot this year about how much I need my friends...and who is really my friend. And what a good friend is...and I am blessed to have a lot of good friends. And that is the best feeling...

So count your blessings...and the people who ARE those blessings...I have...and it was a very good feeling to do so.

Inspiration Song: Good Feeling by Flo Rida...doesn't have anything to do with what I have said here but it is a great song to work out to!

Bye Darlings...I am grateful that you read this...that is a good feeling! xoxoxo

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I had never been to Boston before last weekend.

If not for the harsh winters I might just want to move there.

Lucky for me I might get to visit it more often because it looks like Ke$ha Barbie might go to school up there.

Ke$ha Barbie is an artist.

Now I know all of you out there in blogland are thinking "everyone's kid is an artist"...and that is true...

But she is the real deal.

She is truly an artist.

Since she was very little she has been able to draw.

My mother taught her how to draw a mouse when she was 2 years old. They sat down at her desk (which is now in my bedroom and someday I will teach my grandchild how to draw while we sit there) and my mother showed her how to do a simple little drawing.

She copied it perfectly.

In fact, her (Ke$ha Barbie's) mouse was better than "Nona's" (my kids called my mother "Nona" even though we are not Italian because my mother could not stand the thought of being called "Grandma").

Once she learned to do that, there was no stopping her. She draws beautifully. Her shading and execution are unbelievable. Her sense of perspective is perfect and God-given. She can draw anything.

Her sophomore year of high school she decided to try out the photography course that was offered at the school. The school she attends has an amazing photography department. Their photo labs rival that of many colleges...and the teachers are excellent.

She always liked taking pictures. When on vacation she would often grab my camera and do the most interesting things with it.

I take "pretty" pictures and fairly decent sports shots. I'm ok...not great..but ok...and if I had a better and faster lens my sports stuff would be very good. That's on the "I want to buy" list but that is down the road.

The way I always compare our work is that I say that if she and I stood before a beautiful vista my pictures would look like a travel guide or postcard shot.

Hers would be...ART

And they are...she shoots from more interesting angles, she crops things better and she has a much better eye for light and perspective.

So she took up photography and the instructors started to take notice of her and her work.

2 years later she is the star of the department and they have encouraged her that she should persue it because she has real talent.

She still draws but it is the camera that opens up her soul sometimes.

So up to Boston we went to look at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Tufts University. Tufts offers a dual degree with the Museum School so she can not only get her Fine Arts degree but can also get something that might actually help her make a living.

I don't so much see Ke$ha Barbie living in a garret and working as a barrista at Starbucks so she can buy film.

As artistic as she is, she is equally mathmatical and scientific. She is equally left and right brained.

Makes her a difficult child to deal with to say the least...and before we left she was really having a difficult time feeling like she knew what direction to head in with her schooling. She felt lost...

So off we went.

It was not a trip without hiccups and some strife.

It started with her informing me as we were walking out the door that she had lost her driver's license. Not good since she is now 18. So we had to go to her father's house to fetch her passport.


Not on my planned activities for the day. That made us a little late. I just wanted to get there, get our bags dropped off, go through security and have a bloody mary in the Continental lounge because I am a nervous flier...

We argued the entire way to the airport.

Not kidding

We argued about my being anxious to get there and then we had a battle over the radio and music.

She thinks she has superior taste in music.

Not kidding she doesn't. I don't think "Bjork" qualifies as good music. Remember her? The chick that wore the swan dress to the Oscars? Yes, that one...

Not kidding

We got to the airport and got settled in at the club and she complained that we were there. She wanted to be out in the terminal and get pizza.

At 10 in the morning

Not kidding

She can do that...she is a size 0

not kidding

I have never been a zero...unless it had a "1" or "2" in front of it.

We get on the plane and I was overjoyed to find that they had Direct TV on the I watched Food Network on the almost 4 hour flight. Paula Deen cooks sone amazingly bad-for-you stuff. But it looks oh-so-good to eat.

We get to's drizzling...but not bad. Get to our hotel and check a great room with a view of Boston Common thanks to the guy at check-in liking women from Texas.

Not kidding

Then we went to the lounge on our floor and I had a couple of glasses of wine to recover and we had some snacks...then we hit the street and did a bit of shopping and then had dinner.

It was delicious.

If you are ever in Boston, go to "Mare". Italian seafood...amazing.

We started with raw oysters with lemoncello ice...yum....

and then pan seared scallops with a lemon cream pasta...double yum

and then I had salmon...some of the best ever...

The next morning I took a spin class at the gym that was in the same building as the hotel. It was a darn good class.

I met an amazing woman there from Britain. She told me it was her first spin class and that she was a bit afraid of bikes because years ago she had been injured in an accident while riding her bike. It as a hit and run and the driver of the car left her for dead.

Not kidding

She survived but was in a coma....

for 12 YEARS....

not kidding

She was a delight and I very much enjoyed her company.

You see, just when you think YOU are amazing, God gives you a gift and shows you that you are not all that and a bag of chips. So I had been chatting with a woman about my weight loss after the class and she was impressed but then when we met Jan (the Brit), we were blown away...

My weight loss is nothing compared to surviving an accident like that and then waking up after 12 years.

So after spin class we decided to go out to Tufts and visit the university. Except that it was closed.

not kidding


So we did what we usually do when we have free time...

We went shopping.

We had a great time. Ke$ha Barbie is always agreeable when I am buying her things. We went into one store and everyone stared at her when she came out to show me the dresses she was trying on...she looked beautiful.

I bought some shoes...and a pair of flat boots since my other ones were killing me.

After a full day of tearing up Newberry Street (the H&M store there is the bomb...bought a cute dress for $20!), we headed back to the hotel for evening refreshments (wine for me...Pellegrino for her...but I did let her have a little glass of wine...bad mommy...but I'd rather her try it with me than try it with friends and end up drinking "Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill" like I did).

We were tired so we opted for a bowl of real New England Clam Chowder from room service and rented "Jane Eyre" on the video movies. Good flick...

The next morning was the open house at the museum school.

I walked in and knew she had found her mothership.

I won't bore you with all of the details but it is an incredible school for the truly gifted artists that go there. If she gets accepted she will be challenged and very happy. You can tell it is an art school.

It's a little like the movie "Fame"

not kidding

except for no singing and dancing...and no one is jumping on cars on the street while singing "I want to live forever"...or maybe they do and I just didn't see it.

The kids up there liked my accent.

Not kidding

and they wondered why Ke$ha Barbie does not have an accent...

I'm a hick, that's why...

But they were amused by the silly lady from Texas in the blue fur and suede coat with the huge bag...I left my bag with some students in the bag check and we had fun conversing every time I went back to get something from my purse. They were adorable.

So we did some workshops and toured the place.

Ke$ha Barbie was particularly excited by 3 things:

1) the photo labs are as good or better than her high school ones and they lend cameras

2) they have a kiln big enough for her to climb into and stand up in...and yes, we all recommended that she NOT EVER do that!

3) they have welding....

not kidding

She says to me "I get to cut steel with fire!!!!!"

I shuddered

not kidding

The dean who was walking around with us informed me that yes, they do provide the steel for the students to use.

I can only imagine the phone call if they didn't:

"Hi mom! I need to buy some steel. Can I put it on your credit card? And then I have to figure out how to get it home on the "T" (train)"....

not kidding...that is how it would go

Like I said...this is her mothership.

When the other students looked at her portfolio they were impressed...impressed by how good it was and how good her work is for someone who just turned 18.

that is a good sign

and they liked her...and she liked them...

We also toured the residence hall for the freshman. It is a shared building with another art school. I'm trying to adjust to the fact it is a co-ed dorm but they don't live together in the same rooms (thank goodness). All the rooms have 4 separate bedrooms, a full kitchen, a tiny living room/lounge, and a shared bathroom.

At the end of the hall they have fabulous studio space for them to work in.

There is also a common lounge on each floor.

Only at an art school would you find a sign that says:

"Do NOT bring your art in here or do your art in here. This room is for lounging and conversation...not for working!"

not kidding

I thought it was hilarious!

So after our fantastic time at the school we headed back to the hotel and then had a fun very typical New England dinner (lobster, steamers, chowder) at the Union Oyster House.


I really needed the spin class I took the next morning.

On Sunday we met up with a sweet young friend who goes to Tufts. Her father is a friend of mine and she attended the same schools as Ke$ha Barbie. She was the perfect person for us to meet up with. I'm gonna call her "Blue Eyed Babe" because she is. She was as sweet and wonderful as she is beautiful. I told her dad he had much to be proud of. I also told him the following:

"Ke$ha Barbie found her mother ship...and your daughter is the captain!!!!"

He liked that...

So we got some great scoop on Boston, and how to dress, and what kinds of coats she will need, and where to live....and Blue Eyed Babe encouraged her to do 2 things I really was happy about:'

1) to pursue the dual degree offered by Tufts...the BFA from the museum school is a good degree...and it is a Tufts degree...but the dual program will allow her to get that "real job" kind of degreee


2) to go through sorority she can make friends up there...

I told Blue Eyed Babe she was forever in my debt for that...even if I am a Pi Phi and there is no Pi Phi chapter there...

Ke$ha Barbie is unsure about the sorority thing....but she has found a degree plan she likes:

Engineering Psychology

It fits her to a "t"...

not kidding

So we enjoyed our afternoon with Blue Eyed Babe and had a fun lunch with her and then it was time to head to the airport.

And that is when we met the (literally) insane cab driver.

Just our luck

not kidding

First he tells us he is a musician...and when we stopped at a light he pulled out his trumpet and played us the worst rendition of "Over the Rainbow" I have ever heard.

not kidding

Then he tells us he is a tv producer.

Not kidding

And then he tells us he is a non-denominational minister.

Not kidding

And then he starts saying some really crazy stuff (as if it could get crazier)...stuff about American Indians...

not kidding

I was just praying we would get to Logan airport before he informed us he was also a serial killer...

When we got out of the car he handed us his "card" and sure enough it lists all of the above as his profession(s)...

I was never so happy to see an airport in my life.

Not kidding

So we had an great trip...a long 4 hour flight home...and yes we ended up arguing about music all the way home because she would not stop playing her strange stuff on the ipod in the car. I begged her to find middle ground.

Out of 30 songs she tried we only agreed on one:

"Cocaine" by Eric Clapton

not kidding

Inspiration Song: "Boston" by Augustana...lyrics: "I think I'll go to Boston...I think I'll start a new life"...because my darlings, that is what Ke$ha Barbie can do there...and she will be amazing at it...and one day, when you see her work in a museum you will remember I told you about her...

not kidding

Bye Darlings...go to's the bomb!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Believe

I believe I can be a good blogger again...I'm so gonna try...

So what is up with me?

Hmmmmm...a lot...been busy...costumed a show (actually 2)...made myself into a showgirl for Halloween (just a I did not greet Trick or Treaters dressed like an escapee from Vegas)...helped a friend move...and I'm doing college visits.

I believe I can survive the college visits with Ke$ha Barbie...I do...I believe I can...

Can you tell I am trying to convince myself?

So I am heading to Boston this week to visit some schools with Ke$ha Barbie and I am very excited to visit a city I have never been to.

I believe we will have a great time!

I believe I might be one of the only crazy people in the world who books a hotel based on the fact that not only am I getting my 3rd night free but it (the hotel) is attached to a great health club so I can still do spin class.

I believe I might be one of the only crazy people in the world who will pack spin shoes so I can do said spin classes.

I believe that just might make me get classified as "crazy" but what the hell...

Our next visit is to NYC.

The Big Apple...

I love NYC...great city...

I believe I am going to get to see an old dear friend...let's call him "Mr. Gorgeous" because he is. I hate it that he is still as beautiful today as he was when we were in middle school. I should hate him for it...but I don't...I believe I will still love him as I did all those years ago...he's incredibly fun...and he's gay so don't go thinking I am meeting "a man" because that isn't going to happen...I think his partner might have something to say about that...

I believe I can get tickets to see "Book of Mormon" while we are in NYC.

Yes, I do...I believe it can happen.

To help make it happen I called the American Express concierge service.

When the sweet concierge took my call I said:

"I want tickets to see "Book of Mormon". I know it will take an act of God. I hope your name is "God""...

She laughed.

She is doing her best to get me tickets.

I really want to see that show. So does Ke$ha Barbie.

I believe we will...

And I believe that the concierge's name is God...not really but I hope she can produce a miracle.

No, I believe she can...

I also believe I might be one of the only people I know that can end up talking about diet and exercise with a random stranger (the concierge) for 20 minutes.

Yes, I did...

Somehow we got on the subject of weight loss and I shared my story with her when she said she wants to lose 20 pounds.

I told her I believe she can do it.

And then I gave her all my secrets.

Well, they aren't really MY secrets...they are what Dimples taught me...but nonetheless I had a long conversation with her and told her that I believe she can do it.

We are friends now....I might have to see if she is on Facebook and friend her.

So yeah...I believe you can have life changing conversations with a random person on the phone.

And yes, I believe that AMEX travel services and the concierge service are totally worth what I pay for that darn card now...

Especially after she gets me tickets to "Book of Mormon".

Which, I believe, she can...

I'll let you know if her name is "God" and if she does it...

I believe in a lot of things...too many to name here...but I believe!

Inspiration Song: "I Believe" from "Book of Mormon"...the Tony Winning musical that I BELIEVE I can get tickets to. I keep saying "I believe" because I believe in the power of positive thinking. If not, I would still weigh 300 pounds...

Bye Darlings...I believe that you are all amazing...and I can't believe you read this blog!