...but a stage

and we are but players in it

The first trip home
I remember wondering how my first trip to CT would be without Bop. I had the opportunity to make it to a memorial service/benefit concert this past thursday. Since his wake and funeral coincided with a horrible Noreaster, not many people were able to make his funeral, not for us, but to say their own farewells to a man who, as it never ceases to amaze me, impacted and mentored so many people.

State Senators and Representatives spoke about how he helped them in their early political careers, and how they would often call him even now to seek advice when it came to touchy legislation, which these days, was quite often. My dad played two songs he loved, and fourth grade chorus comprised of 10 students from each school in this town. It was wonderful to hear even more about the man I am beyond honored and blessed to call my Grandfather.

Having Jordan come with me helped ease the pain a great deal. We explored his house together, since I had the approval of my mom to bring some items back with me. I now have two of his awesome lamps (one a replica of the old stand up phone like the Addams family used, and one a frog that was from a hotel lobby in France "borrowed" by my Great Grandpa Jack after his stint in WWI was over. I also have some paintings, plant stands, and am hoping to heal his own plants that were sadly neglected during his sickness last year.

It was also quite helpful that Friday was Jordan's birthday. I got him an hour and a half massage at a local salon in town, and visited the cemetery while that was happening. One of Bop's most favorite things in life was sharing the holiday with youngsters, and someone wanted to share back with a jack o'lantern snow globe.

The rest of the trip was fun...the aquarium and various food places with my parents, and visiting friends from college in the evening and for brunch.

I found most emotions pouring out of me after Jordan and I arrived in Ithaca after a scenic and peaceful drive. As I was unloading my car of various objects from Bops house and setting them up in my apartment (the various plants, lamps, and nick nacks that have been favorites of mine since childhood) it really hit. They always say the first year is the hardest, but for me, it's primarily in the little reminders that he is gone, and I'm continuing life without him.

But, as they say, such is life.

and on the up side
So, it seems that all the drama of last week is reaping the rewards this week.

Jordan and I have patched things up and will address all major issues with a counsellor when it's appropriate to address them.

My checks will arrive this week (my bank messed up and sent them to my old address, 3 apartments ago EVEN THOUGH I called to make sure their records were updated)

My car will be fixed today, and probably run better since the engine had bad wiring to begin with (which Pritchards- the place I bought the car- never seemed to find, but found much more expensive problems- I've put well over $2000 into it since I bought it in June of 2009)

And i have 2 shows to look forward to: playing Lizzy Borden in a play with the same people I acted with last year in Aurora, NY- where I won my award, and a radio play of War of The Worlds which will be aired on Halloween!

I'm totally laying on the charm with Jordan. Hoping to make my case for a few years down the road when the marriage thing comes up. I love how sneaky I am.

(no subject)
I remember having to ask my parents that question for history class: "what were you doing the day JFK was shot?"

I always had a big pang of doubt that any event could be so awful, not involving a family member or close friend, that people could remember specific details decades after it happened.

Yesterday, I found myself reliving 9/11, 10 years ago.

It was my freshman year at UConn. My friend Richie IM'd me, telling me to turn on the news. I did, and my roommate and I watched everything happen. We saw the second plane it, and then the towers fall. The feeling of freedom I had felt, that comes with being a college freshman, vanished, and I instantly craved the security I felt with those who had guarded me my first 18 years. I called my Bop, and talked with him. I went to class, where these strangers I had just met became my lifeline.

Still at a loss to know what to do, I went to St. Thomas with my roommate and new friend, who were all Catholic.

Although I didn't know anyone personally in the planes, or in the towers, I just was overwhelmed by a strong feeling of grief. All I could do was cry. Some girl I didn't know was sitting next to me, and held my hand. It was a gesture I'll never forget. She had no idea why I was crying- she didn't know me. I could have lost someone for all she knew, or had someone I was worried about.

But that moment sort of sums up what that day meant, and my philosophy on life. Sometimes, bad and awful things happen. Too much time questioning why (although in this case- looking at the USA's actions is important) can only leave one angry and confused. But to accept the feelings, and care for eachother, is the only way you can get through this crazy thing called life.

I hope I never forget that.

Helen's first flood day
I'm used to having snow days to look forward to, but I've never had a flood day before! My car is suffering for it, but what can you do.

I had a lot of time to think about things in regards to my previous post.

For one, a relationship just shy of 10 months is WAAAAAAY too soon to even be TALKING about marriage. The problem is that, with Jordan being a single dad, there are a lot of things that arrise now that most people would be dealing with years down the road. Moving in together brings many extra challenges for us to an already dicey subject.

So where things are: we are in love. And we feel we could have possibly found our soulmates in eachother. So that's good.

Just for peace of mind, I did have to run through the different cat rehousing options. I figured it would be akin to going off to college, when I just simply couldn't have my cat even though it broke my heart. But she was there for me when I went home. So, for a one year trial basis, I could see me bringing my cats to live with my parents. It would be too much for me psychologically to have to schedule visits to see them if I gave them to a friend up here.

Since Sebastian is continuously getting healthier as he gets older, had NO reaction to his grandma's dog when they went camping, and now wants a cat of his own (he and Jordan help me foster kittens,) it will most likely not even be a permanent home change.

In terms of the marriage thing, if we do get to the point where we see ourselves spending the rest of our lives with eachother, mutual friends say that he will probably want to. One friend said that it's not that he doesn't believe marriage is possible, and the whole "it's just a party and a slip of paper" attitude was developed and enforced with his parents with their hippie approach to life versus me and my parents with their more realistic approach to life, and it was also developed out of fear. He had one relationship which resulted in a child, which ended up being a miserable mess. His most recent relationship of 3 years ended with his heart being shattered, trampled on, eaten up and spit out again. So his data, although skewed drastically from the norm, proves not to trust anything.

So right now, we're back to being in a super happy almost 10 month relationship. The rest will be dealt with when the occasion needs it to be, and for that, we agreed having a counselor help us is the best idea.

What to do, what to do....
So, my Jordan, the love of my life, have reached an impasse.

Things got real when there was a chance that I would move in with him soon. His friend who was going to move in to fill in the space Jordan's sister is leaving by moving to California got laid off from his job in Ithaca and hired by a company in California. I have a friend who is looking for a one bedroom apt in the neighborhood I live in. So the idea of me subletting to her and moving in with Jordan seemed like an option.

Right now, the problem is that I have 2 cats, who I love, who I bottled fed since they were 5 days old, who I would have to give up. Jordan's son is allergic to them (not throat closes up allergic, but more severe than mild sniffles allergic) and due to Sebastian's other health issues as a child, Jordan doesn't want to put him on more meds now and put him through "one more thing." This brought up something that has been nagging at me for a while: that Jordan said on our first date that he never wants to get married, and he knows that I do. His dad has been married 3 times, and his mom once, and he uses this as proof that marriage is unnecessary. I told him that right now then, a life with him means that I'll have to see other people having happy marriages without one of my own, that I'll have to see other people having pets without having any of my own, and I'll have to play with other people's kids, without having any of my own. (He had such a miserable time with Sebastian and Sebastian's mom he used that as reason to get a vasectomy before he was even 30 years old.)

So basically, I will have 3 major voids in my life that no one person can fill.

He accuses me of having "negative tunnel vision..." that I use my negative experiences as proof that all of life will be that way. But he is NOT ONE TO TALK ABOUT THIS. He uses the one band-mate who is not happy in his marriage, while completely ignoring the 3 who are. He uses his parents mistakes, while not looking at the other members of his family who ARE happily married.

No little girl dreams of the day she'll grow up, fall in love, give up major goals for the man she loves, raise another woman's child with the man she loves, to have her father walk her down the driveway to the apartment door.

The dynamics of our relationship are this. Jordan makes his mind up and even if it conflicts with my side of the street, I have to go along with it. "Yes you want to get married some day, but I don't, so that's how it is. Yes you must love my child, but you may not have any of your own because that is what I decided. Yes I can see how having no boundaries with Sebastians mom is frustrating, but it's how it's been for 7 years so you have to get used to it."

My one glimmer of hope is when we had a couple's collateral session just on the topic of the boundary-less relationship with Julia, the counsellor was able to point out to him his inconsistencies and his unfairness, and he actually responded to it, and worked to change.

How we left it last night, is I don't have to give up my cats....yet. I'm not moving in....yet. I don't even know if I want kids....yet. But I can't go on in this relationship if the only way he loves me is how I fit into his life, with no attempt to fit into mine as well. I told him is I need a willingness to change his ideas if they don't suit mine, as I'm changing mine to fit in with him. I even decided, if it came down to it, that I would move my 2 cats to CT, as HARD AND PAINFUL as that would be, but would start saving up for a $7,000 hypoallergenic cat which HE WOULD HELP ME PAY FOR. (In a perfect world, Julia would help pay for it too, since she can afford 3 boats, a mini cooper, $10,000 montessori school tuition for Sebastian, etc, and it's her and him that are putting me in this situation in the first place. But life aint perfect nor is it fair.)

But....for me to do all this? I think I need a ring on my finger. NOT because it's shiny and pretty, but because it is a symbol of his commitment to me. So I'm not going to spend my life wondering if I'm going to end up 50, my cats will be dead, I'll have no chance to have any children, only to hear the classic Ithaca/neo-hippee proclamation of "since life is me getting what I want when I want it, I found someone else."

He says he wants a family, he doesn't want a long string of girlfriends, he wants to fall in love and settle down, yet not be willing to make that total commitment to someone only leads me to believe he'll be with someone with the same attitude, and end up not getting that at all. He'll just end up with a string of people till he's old and alone like his mother.

I'm still fighting, but it's wearing me out.

(no subject)
Things are starting to move with the money Bop left me.

Half of it is still frozen in Probate, and I won't get until this upcoming January, but the other half he wanted me to have from his life insurance has freed up and given to me. This works out well, as I won't be taxed on either installment.

My main plan with this half is to put some in my ROTH plan and savings account, and mainly have a cushion in my checking account so I won't be so broke, or near broke all the time.

But I did treat myself to something: New clothes. Yes, I did some major retail therapy. For the first time in quite a long time, I went to a store, found what I liked, and bought it. And the bill was quite a bit more than my usual bills of $50 at Salvo, or other used clothing shops.(It was still under $300 though)

I casually knew the sales associate. Casually meaning she works part time at the animal shelter I do data entry in. She made a semi snyde comment about my total. "It must be nice to be able to afford a $XXX.XX shopping spree.

I was a bit offended. This was so rare for me. I NEVER spend that much money on ANYTHING other than bills. That is the point of me getting this money! I can (VERY rarely) get things I usually look at longingly, wishing the arts was a better field to have a career in.

I know I take things too personally, but I was a bit miffed. I can only afford this because one of the biggest loves in my life has passed away. I'd much rather return the clothing if I could spend more time with him.

Oh well. I am a sensitive sort, and need to work on it.

it's oh so quiet...
The crazy visitation of Ithaca and Helen period is over.

Don't get me wrong, these visits were all from some of my favorite people in the world. Earlier in August is was my parental unit, and this past weekend was my father, his older brother Doug (probably my favorite Uncle if I were to choose) and simultaneously, my great friend Jen and her friend Harry.

I think my own personal stress with all these visits is that I, unfortunately, am not in a financial position to take oodles of time off. So these lovely folks are in vacation mode, while I'm in the work, relax, but still have to do pesky things like grocery shop mode.

My father is the type of person who plans ahead and has a strict time table. None of this is inherently bad, but I feel as if the overlap of other visitors, trying to appease everyone, finally got to me. I cried on my uncle's shoulder at the farmers market, when all the balls I was juggling in terms of trying to appease everyone dropped and I messed up. It was nothing huge, but my boyfriend (who is SO sick with Lyme right now) was at his house, when I thought he was meeting us there.

I guess, I adore having people visit me, and get a glimpse into my life. However, when there is a list of things "to do," even fun things, I feel the pressure of rising to entertain, when really I would just love to all sit in a room with the people I love and have a great time.

We DID have fun, though. Thursday we all went to the Casey Shea/April Smith and the Great Picture Show/ Tally Hall gig, we got to walk all of Treman gorge, dad and Doug got introduced to Sim Redmond Band and THAT whole side of my life, and laughs were had.

Plus, I keep getting great news. I'll be teaching another Suzuki seminar at Wells College in September, RETURNING in October to use the Suzuki Method to help with Greek Drama, working on two radio plays with the New Mercury Theatre with a potential third in the mix, auditioning again at the Morgan Opera House where I won my award last fall, etc etc.

So all is good, I guess I just got overwhelmed. But I have taken my shower, made some coffee, and stocked up on lots of yummy cocunut milk ice cream. Then I go back to my week of teaching two acting classes at CSMA in the morning before data entry, with a quick lunch visit from two friends.

twas a happy fourth indeed
One benefit to being confined to a cubicle so I can eat is that I actually get holidays off! Not holidays with pay, but a little R and R is great for the soul, whether it's lucrative or not.

It was a rare weekend in that Jordan didn't have his son until Tuesday, so we got to spend 3 amazing days together (a first in our 8 month relationship)

Saturday was spent going to the Great Blue Heron festival where they played. It was fun for me, since I usually don't even get to see the band at all due to where the merch table is, and the crowd of people blocking the way. And that's a plus of dating a guy in a successful band, right? Getting to watch him?

We agreed it's silly for me to get miffed when girls want to take their picture with him, or ask him out, since I get my share of fellows doing the same at his gigs.

Sunday was farmers market, swimming in the lake, X-Men at the movie theater, and then sitting on top of the largest parking garage in town by ourselves to watch 3 separate sets of fireworks around the lake.

Monday was pretty much a replica of Sunday, sans farmers market and X-men, but we hung out at buttermilk falls with some friends to watch the Gimme Coffee softball team, Los Americanos, play. Then we watched a HORRIBLE B movie monster flick about the Loch Ness monster on netflix.

Tuesday I woke up with him not there since he had to get his son. I did have 2 bratty thoughts, one about remembering that I have to share him, and also just not wanting to go back to work, but live like this weekend forever. But that's not life.

All in all, quite the lovely weekend.

so many great things!
Lets see, last week I turned 28. My dad came up to visit, Jordan took the day off from work (it was their first meeting) and the 3 of us hung out. It was the ideal day for me...casual strolls around Cascadilla creek and Ithaca Falls, lots of good food, flowers, and love.

The next day was work, then the Relay for Life. I managed to stay up the whole time, and spent most of it on the track. Saturday- SLEEP. Sunday- my most favorite new B-day tradition: just spend a casual day with some bests at stewart park.

Today I had a day off from nannying, so I re-registered my car (relatively painless) and had a meeting with my boss at the Hangar. There will be lots of work for me this fall (teaching, with possible performance) so I'm feeling a bit better about my finances, since I will be living on my own.

basically, just feeling pretty peachy and felt like sharing.

OH, and the new Tally Hall album is out. Even better.

Baby Mamma's and.....Zombies?
So, I had a complete doozey of a dream last night, and I could sure use some help analyzing it.

The background, I've been having a power struggle with the mother of my boyfriend's kid, who he accidentally got pregnant 7 years ago. (Finding how I might be of equal importance, her changing the schedule which takes major alone time with him away from me, etc)

So, my dream was a bunch of us, (him, me, my family and friends) were at a vacation spot, which ended up being my recently deceased grandfather's property.

A wonderful weekend ended up being pure horror when there was a Zombie invasion. My boyfriend and I seemed to be the only people who knew how to battle zombies, and I begged him for for help. He then told me that he and the BM celebrate the miraculous night their child was conceived by having sex, and she was pregnant again, with his child, and he had to take time away from me to go nurture her during the pregnancy.

So no one listened to what to do during the invasion, and a lot of the people I care about were lost. My father wanted us all to hide in a car together, but since he and my mom didn't know what to do, I wanted to stay away so I wouldn't have to see them get torn apart and eaten.

After the first invasion, I got word that there would be a second invasion. My boyfriend returned to help, but I was so hurt by his actions I refused his help.

As I was making my bed, I noticed that there was a secret spring which opened up to a variety of Zombie killing weapons (wooden planks, pokers, etc) and I started hunting around my room looking for more. I then called a meeting to show them to people, and told the other few survivors to look around the house for more weapons, but no one believed me. They said we needed guns, not wooden planks. Then I woke up.



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