Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ghost stories

I feel like I'm a month too late with this post, like it would have been a better Halloween post, but ce la vie. Kim asked to hear my ghost stories, particularly those from college, so here they are. But first, our lyrics for today. They come from Home by the Sea by Genesis.

Coming out of the woodwork through the open door
Pushing from above and below
Shadows but no substance in the shape of men
Round and down and sideways they go
Adrift without direction, eyes that hold despair
Then as one they sigh and they moan

Ghost Story # 1 - Sophomore year in college, October 1994

I was a very lucky college sophomore and drew the first pick in the housing lottery and selected the only single available for sophomores. Being an only child having a roommate was a huge change for me and I was looking forward to having a room all to myself again. The room was, ironically enough, directly next door to the room that I lived in my freshman (fresh woman?) year. It was directly outside the lounge on Main's second floor (the side closer to the dining hall), but on the side that had a window overlooking the courtyard.

On the night before Halloween I went into my room to go to bed, locking my door behind me. I don't recall what I did before bed, but I remember getting into bed and clicking off the light. I lay facing the window and listening to the wind blow leaves around the courtyard and rattle the fire escapes. I was still very much awake when I felt it. And by it I do mean the ghost. It sat down on the bed behind me. There was no mistaking the movement of the mattress for anything other than someone, or something, sitting down on the bed. All I could think to do was scream for help, but really what good would that have done with my door being locked? Besides all that would come out of my mouth was something quieter than a whisper.

Needless to say I was rather frightened. I have no idea how long it took me to eventually roll over and turn on my light, but it felt like years. Once I got the light on and asked the ghost to kindly go away and leave me alone I got up and went out in to the lounge for a while. I don't remember if I spent the whole night out there or not, but I do remember having to get out of my room for a while so I could stop shaking.

Ghost story # 2 - Junior or Senior year of college (can't remember which)

If you went to Wells you probably remember the tradition that involved making a class flag your freshman (fresh woman?) year in your class colors as part of the Odd/Even tradition. The flag was then hidden somewhere on campus. If you were an Odd you tried to find the Even's flag and vice versa.

The Odd/Even tradition was a big part of the Wells experience for me. I spent many hours searching for the Even's flags. I think I went into just about every nook and cranny of every building on campus searching for flags. There was a room in Macmillan that was, as I remember it, behind the projection room above Phipps Auditorium. One night I went up there flag hunting with a few other Oddliners.

There was a mirror on the floor that was leaning up against something and I happened to glance in it as we were rooting around and looking for a blue and green felt flag. In that mirror I saw legs and feet reflected which in and of itself it not unusual. The unusual part is that the legs and feet didn't belong to me or anyone else in the room with me. I remember looking at everyone's shoes to make sure I wasn't imagining things. The funny thing was that the legs I saw reflected were very much ghostly looking. The reflection wasn't in color, but rather in shades of gray. The shoes I saw reminded me of the first pair of Nike's I had as a very young girl. They were navy with a mustard yellow swoosh up the side. Besides the fact that no one was wearing the shoes I saw in the mirror, there was also the issue of the fact that no one was standing in the right spot for their legs to even be reflected in the mirror. I got chills up my spine when I realized that and I think I hustled everyone out of there pretty quick.

Ghost Story # 3 Saturday afternoon, April 26th, 2008 West Hartland, CT

It had been at least eleven years since my last encounter with a ghost. I hadn't really thought all that much of it really. It's not like you wake up one day and say "Hey, I think I'd like to have an encounter with a ghost today" and poof! it happens. Anyway, I had been seeing Five Months of Happiness Woman for about six or seven weeks. She had her house free that Saturday and we planned for Maggie and I to go over so we could spend some quality time together. See, FMHW has two young children (as in a six year old and an eight year old, both girls) and also has a friend who lives with her. So, an empty house is a luxury for her. I should probably also mention that her house is a 200 year old farm house.

That Saturday Maggie and I went over and FMHW was napping upstairs in her bedroom when we arrived. So, upstairs we went to wake her up. At some point Maggie went back downstairs to hang out with FMHW's dog or more likely to sniff around the kitchen to see what her kids may have dropped on the floor that her dog missed. FMHW and I were still up in her bedroom, door closed and, um, you know, we started off talking but it was a budding romance and one thing was starting to lead to another.

And that's when we heard it. The front door slammed open and we heard children running through it, laughing and talking and carrying on like they'd just gotten home from school. At this point, I didn't know her children well enough to know if the voices I was hearing were her kids. She jumped out of bed and ran to her bedroom door and started calling out "hello?" At this point I was thinking that her parents had brought her children home for some reason and was reconciling what that meant. I'd never met them and really how would we explain our being up in her bedroom?

So, FMHW goes down stairs and finds the front door tightly closed and both of our dogs staring at it as though they too had heard something. FMHW says she heard a baby crying but I didn't hear that. But we both heard the rucus and the laughing and the children's voices.

Those are my ghost stories. I have felt, seen and heard ghosts. I know there are lots of people out there who don't believe in ghosts, but if you'd experienced what I have I imagine you'd think differently. Feel free to share ghost stories of your own in the comments if you have them. I do love a good ghost story.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yeah, soooo

I had one of those drives home from work today. No, I wasn't stuck in traffic. And it wasn't even precipitating which can cause havoc as people forget how to drive from one season to the next. No, I had the drive where a song popped up on my iPod which started me thinking and when I'm over tired, like I am today, the thinking is not a good thing. There are so many songs which would be fitting for today's blog, but I decided I might as well go with the one that got the whole ball rolling by popping up in my shuffle. Ladies and gentleman I give you another Sarah McLachlan song, this one is called I Love You.

Just you and me
on this island of hope
A breath between us could be miles

Let me surround you
My sea to your shore
Let me be the calm you seek

These lyrics started me thinking about the last woman I dated, she of the five months of happiness. One of the things she said to me at some point was just how calm she always felt around me and in my house. She said there's just something about me that has a calming, soothing, peaceful effect. So the "let me be the calm you seek" line really struck me tonight and I started to really miss her. And I had a break down. In my car. As I was driving home from work. Because clearly, if you're going to have a breakdown doing it while driving home is the absolute best time to do it. Who needs to see pesky things like the cars in front of them or traffic lights or lines on the road??? Apparently I have not moved on as much as I thought I had. Good to know.

And of course listening over and over and over again to a song that's making you cry while you try to drive isn't enough, no there has to be more to the story right? Well, every day on my way too and from work I drive by the place where FMHW now works (where she now works with a good friend of mine I might add). And since she started working there I've wondered sort of off handedly (is that a word?) whether I'd ever see her driving into or home from work. Part of me hoping I'd see her and part of me not. Our commuting paths cross for all of like maybe two tenths of a mile at the most, the distance between two stop lights.

You know what's coming next right? Who's car should I see in the left hand lane ahead of me? None other than FMHW herself as I am wiping away tears with a napkin I found in my glove compartment. What perfect timing! And of course I HAVE to look in her car and try not to look in her car and try not to hit the big SUV in front of me as I drive by her. And just that split second glance of her profile outlined in the dark with the ambient light from the headlights and tail lights around us was enough to get the water works going again.

The only plus I guess is that my life is not a true romantic comedy. Because you know, if this was a movie, my cell phone would have started to ring just as I turned the corner at the light and it would have been her. "Hey, I just saw you drive by and thought I'd call and say hi!" Thankfully that did not happen.

What did happen next is that my iPod thought it would be funny to play Falling for the First Time by the Barenaked Ladies. Have you heard it? It starts like this:

I'm so cool, too bad I'm a loser
I'm so smart, too bad I can't get anything figured out
I'm so brave, too bad I'm a baby
I'm so fly, that's probably why it
Feels just like I'm falling for the first time

Because when you're having a break down and feeling really shitt about yourself those first couple lines will totally help turn your frown upside down. And of course the song ends with the lines:

Anything loved can be lost
Maybe I lost my direction
What if our love was the cost?

Yeah, that didn't help all that much. Thanks iPod. You can go back to playing Rent every other song now, that would be great. Or even Christmas music. Or the Ani that you seemed to think I needed to hear all day at work today. Any of those would be great. Thanks.

Really what I need to do is just go upstairs right now and go to bed (at 7:30 pm on a Monday nigth) and hope I don't dream about alligators and foster children who mug social workers again tonight. Perhaps I also shouldn't eat oreos right before going to bed....

What I will do instead is play around online, probably e-mail FMHW and say "Hey, guess who I saw on my way home from work tonight?" because I am a glutton for punishment and try to figure out what to do about the situation I now find myself in with a woman I've been chatting with on the dreaded online dating site. Who I'm not interested in in that way who has now sent me her phone numbers. Ugh! I am so not cut out for this stuff.

Oh and Kim? The ghost stories will be forthcoming, just have to find the right song.....

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have had my fair share of ghostly experiences. There were a couple times in college (and no, I was neither drunk nor high for either of those experiences) and then once more recently (this time I wasn't alone and again neither drunk nor high) when I know for sure without a doubt that I was in the presence of ghosts. So today's chosen song is the theme from the movie Ghostbusters.

If there's something strange
in your neighborhood
who you gonna call?

And those Ghostbusters need to come to the bathroom at work. You think I jest, but seriously something is up in there. Why else would the automatic paper towel dispenser dispense paper towels when there is no one standing any where near it? I can't count the number of times when I have been alone in the bathroom (it has four stalls) and that darned dispenser makes its little whirring noise and dispenses its contents to no one. No one at all. Just the air. And last time I checked the air does not need to dry its hands.

I have joked for years (nearly eight years actually) about the paintings of the old dead guys in the room which houses most of the "offices" (read cubicles) in my department (which we are thankfully moving out of soon). They constantly stare down at us and when strange things happen I blame them for causing it. Jokingly of course. Now I have to wonder if these old dead guys are playing games in the bathroom or if they're just enjoying the automatic paper towel dispenser because they never had such a thing while they were alive. I have no idea what's going on but it certainly is strange.

Of course the logical explanation is that this dispenser is just super sensitive and shadows or something cause the sensor to think someone needs a paper towel. I prefer to think we're being haunted. It's more fun that way.

Also, this bathroom? It was remodeled a few years back (it is now very very very blue). Remember how I mentioned it has four stalls? Well, there's a different toilet in each stall. As in two manual flush toilets at either end of the row of stalls which are different from each other and two autoflush toilets in the middle which are also different from each other. Why? I have wondered about this for years now. Why are they all different? Were they on sale? Did different people buy them? Were they just what the contractor had left over from other jobs? And why do I wonder about this so much?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Break ups

This song popped up on my iPod on my drive home tonight. I'm not sure how it snuck into my shuffle between all the Rent and Christmas songs my iPod thinks I should be listening to the last couple days, but it did and it got me thinking about break ups and how the dumpee feels after being dumped by the dumper.

Today's song is Seeds of A Lifetime by Kristen Hall. I first heard Kristen's music at the student union during my freshman year of college (back when you had to walk all the way up the hill to get there!). I didn't buy her CD then, but I did copy someone's tape. When that tape wore out back in 1999 or 2000 Ms. Ex used this new fangled invention called the internet and helped me find the CD I should have bought all those years before in college. I sort of rediscovered Kristen a couple years ago and picked up another CD which I listened to once and promptly forgot about after loading it into iTunes. So, today's song was a bit of a surprise since I haven't heard it in a while and also because the music is a bit "twangier" than I usually care for even though the vocals are not. Anyway, here are the lyrics:

How can I sit and watch
Let a good thing ride away
Suddenly all is lost
As I search for words to say
But all that comes are a million tears
One for every time I should have told you
Fear burns hard and slow
We've got a long hard row to sow
Seeds of a lifetime, truth and forgiveness
Growing like a grapevine, like nobody's business
Bitter tears we have cried,
But they never change a thing
Suddenly time gets lost
How we spent it now means everything

Tell me, who hasn't searched for words to say when someone is breaking up with them? Who hasn't thought after the fact I should have to her X, or if I'd just said tears stream down their face? I really think Kristen captured the feeling of a broken heart in the moments after it's been broken. Hopefully I won't ever need "I've just been dumped" music again, but if I do I'm going to remember this song and put it on my playlist.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I had trouble finding a song for this post and think I probably could have come up with something better, but this will have to do. And also, I Google some odd things. Without further ado I bring you Pimple Life by Infected (and no, I have not actually ever listened to this song...I told you I had trouble finding lyrics....)

Rash on face it's so cool
Just because you has been a fool
Pimply life your fate
And you looking at pimple with hate

Have you guessed the subject of today's blog yet? I want to talk about the adult acne that has plagued me for the past two months or so. Well, I'd rather not have to talk about it, in fact I don't even like calling this much attention to it, but I thought perhaps if I put this out there in the Universe my problem might clear up. I have NO idea what happened, but sometime before it officially became fall I started getting a lot of pimples. I was a lucky teenager in that I didn't get pimples. I was a lucky college student in that I really didn't get pimples then either. In fact it's typically a rare thing for me to get a pimple.

Lately however, I seem to have a new one every damn day. And not just little hardly noticeable blemishes. No, these are large, red, painful protrusions that hurt if you accidentally brush gently against them. This is a very uncomfortable (and not very pretty) situation. I've tried changing facial cleansers and that hasn't helped. I haven't changed my diet at all from what I was eating before this epidemic began. I thought perhaps they were stress induced, but now that Maggie is on the mend there's really nothing stressful in my life. Perhaps it's hormone related or maybe my town changed something in the water?

I really have no idea what the heck has caused it, but I'm more than ready for it to be done now. I would like to have my clear, soft skin back now please. I would like to look in the mirror and not wonder when Mount Zit between my eyebrows is going to erupt or when Mount Pimple in my hair line will start gushing when I brush my hair behind my ears. I would like to look in the mirror and think "wow, I'm having a good hair day" instead of "my god! there's another one!" Now I know what those poor 15 years olds with acne felt like back in high school. It really sucks.

Random thought of the day....I wonder why the 50's music station on Sirius satellite radio was playing a song from 1962. Isn't that the wrong decade?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Okay, so I'm kind of stretching for the lyrics today. But I had trouble coming up with something more fitting. So, today you get Chicago's You're the Inspiration.

You're the meaning in my life
You're the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You're the inspiration

And that's what Maggie is to me, an inspiration. She has not let her recovery from back surgery slow her down. Instead of pouting on her bed because she can't walk like normal she just goes with the flow. The flow may require her to scoot around in a sitting position or maybe she's pushed herself up into a standing position and she staggers around like she's had a fifth of tequila for lunch or she has to wait for me to help her go outside. She's not embarrassed that she can't walk like normal. She doesn't care what anyone thinks of how she's walking or not walking (or how she looks with a shaved back with a four inch scar in the middle of it). She isn't discouraged because she's not getting better fast enough. In other words, she's not like a lot of people who would be whining and complaining about their situation.

Her tail wags and wags and wags. She's just plain happy. She's happy to go outside. She's happy to get a treat. She's happy to do her physical therapy. She's happy to eat her breakfast and her dinner. She's happy to walk around the house. She's happy to get attention from me. She's happy to sniff the cats. She's even happy in the tub when we do her evening "tub time."

I hope never to have to experience first hand what she's gone through this last month, but if I do I hope I have the same happy and determined outlook on life that Maggie has. She is one independent, stubborn, determined and happy little girl. Like the bumper sticker says "More wags, less bark."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Tonight's post is quick and simple. I am finally proud to be an American again. I feel like perhaps the country will get back on track with President elect Barack Obama at the helm. So, I'm going to leave it short and sweet this time with a little Cool and the Gang and Celebration.

Celebrate good times,come on! (Let's celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on! (Let's celebrate)

There's a party goin' on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times, and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you

Monday, November 3, 2008

Snow White

I have these fantasies sometimes, these dreams or wishes that I know deep down will never come true. We all have these dreams I imagine. One of my dreams probably has it's root in a Disney movie, the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Today's song is Someday My Prince Will Come. The lyrics are:

Some day my prince will come
Some day we'll meet again
And away to his castle we'll go
To be happy forever I know

Some day when spring is here
We'll find our love anew
And the birds will sing
And wedding bells will ring
Some day when my dreams come true

Yeah, I know it's about a guy and a girl (who lives with seven diamond mining dwarfs) and me being gay (and not living with dwarfs) and all it's not really all that true to life for me. Work with me on this one people okay?

Anyway, one of my dreams involves the silly notion that some evening I'll be sitting here on my couch as I do most nights and my doorbell will ring. I'll get up to answer it and there she'll be, my princess. She'll have flowers for me and a big smile. I'll ask her why she's here and she'll say she doesn't have a reason, that she just wanted to surprise me. I get all teary just thinking about it now as I type. I think about this dream every time I go to the door to take my dog out to pee, especially in the evening.

I know it's kind of a silly dream. And besides that my cat eats any plants or flowers that I bring into the house so they never last long. But we all have to have dreams right? We all have to have something to hang on to, something to give us hope that some day it will be our turn for our dreams to come true. And really, am I asking for all that much? In the scheme of things I don't think so.

The line that really sticks out in today's song is "to be happy forever I know." I really like to think that I can find someone to be happy forever with. Someone that I fit together with perfectly. I know relationships take work, but I do believe that the work is worth it if it means having a happy and fulfilling life with someone you love. Perhaps finding someone to be happy with forever is an antiquated notion based on the institution of marriage which was "created" by people who's life expectancies were less than half of what ours are today. Perhaps it's just the hopeless romantic in me who believes that "the one" is out there somewhere waiting for me to find her. Who knows. What I do know is that I'm about to take my dog out to pee and as I open my front door to go outside I'll be picturing my true love standing on my steps with flowers in her hands, a smile on her face and eyes only for me. Not such a bad thing to be picturing really is it?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Its my life

I signed on tonight to write a different blog than this turned out to be. But as any writer knows you can't always control what comes out when you start typing. It just sort of happens. Today's song is It's My Life by Bon Jovi. I've picked the chorus of this song for today's post:

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said I did it my way
I just want to live while I'm alive
It's my life

I have these flashes sometimes that come out of the blue where I realize that this is my life. The emphasis is on different words at different times, but the phrase is always the same.
This is my life.
This is my life.
This is my life.
This is my life.
And sometimes the punctuation is different:
This is my life?
This is my life!
This is my life!
This is my life?
You get the picture.

One thing always strikes me when I have this flash of revelation. Yes, this is my life and it is happening now. Life does not wait for someday. Life does not wait for the time to be right. You cannot pause life or ask for a time out. Life is now. Life happens with every breath we take.

I think a lot of people, myself included, are waiting for the time to be right to do something. We wait and we wait and we wait and we never end up doing things because we've spent so much time waiting. The things we're waiting for (until I have more money, until I have someone to share that with, until I can fit into those jeans, until I have a better job title, until, until, until...), these things don't just happen. We have to work to achieve them. And we have to decide somewhere along the way which are the things that WE want to achieve and which are the things that other people think we should want to achieve.

I spent a lot of years working toward things that someone else wanted for me. Working to get those promotions so that I could have a better job title, make more money, achieve more status. Those weren't the things I wanted out of life however. What I want are meaningful relationships with people who I love. I want a happy home filled with love and laughter. I don't care if I never make a million dollars. I don't care that my dish towels aren't designer. In the end will those things really matter? After all she who dies with the most toys still dies. After I'm gone I don't want people to remember me for the kind of car I drive. I want to be remembered for the kind of person I was. I want people to remember my laugh or my smile or my kindness. Those are the things that matters.

It's the little things that make me happy. Like my dog snoring away on her bed. That makes me happy because as quiet as she is the house felt completely empty for the nine days she was in the hospital. Little things like watching the squirrels eat all my bird seed or long hot showers on cold winter mornings or a short note from a friend who just wanted to say hello, those are the things that make my days worth while. All I need now is to find someone who also enjoys the little things and isn't afraid of a serious committed relationship with me. Someone who understands it's not the price tag on the gift that's important. In fact gifts aren't important at all, it's the time spent with the one you love that's important. She's out there somewhere and I will find her. I would say I'd find her someday, but that would imply that I'm waiting for the time to be right to start looking.

It's my life.