Ponderings and Musings

Voice Of America.

Every Independence Day I think back to when I was the “Voice of America” for my high school. At least that’s what the Assistant Principal called me every morning. You see, I was the office geek that did announced the Pledge of Allegiance every morning and then read the morning announcements over the p.a. system. I did this at exactly 8:00:05 every school morning, exactly two seconds after homeroom officially began with the sound of the 8:00 bell. (Actually, our school bells rang three seconds after their appointed time throughout the day, but only a school clock geek like me would ever notice).

I took great pride in leading the entire school through the Pledge of Allegiance.

“Good morning, would everyone please stand for the pledge of allegiance.” (wait five seconds).

“I Pledge Allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America
And to the Republic, for which it stands,
One nation, under God, indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all.”

“Have a fabulous Friday.”

Yes, I always added the my little zinger at the end of the pledge and the announcements. A little gay touch, I suppose.

A copy of the Pledge of Allegiance was taped to the p.a. system control board, but I never needed it. Nerves never gripped me enough to make me forget the pledge. I fully believed in the Pledge of Allegiance as a kid and I still do today. If everyone would just remember that “with liberty and justice for all” part this country would be an even happier place.

Kitty Kink.

Our cat Tom has decided to become a little kinky in his old age. The other night I was sleeping peacefully, minding my own business and undoubtedly enjoying a wonderful dream. All of a sudden I felt an odd sensation under my left arm. More specifically, my left armpit.

It seems that Tom wanted a midnight snack and found that my armpit tasted of kitty caviar.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a thing. Startled, I stopped him mid-lick. He was persistent, jumping over me and starting in on my right armpit. I stopped him again. He got mad and jumped off the bed. I shrugged it off, rolled over and went back to sleep.

He did the same thing this morning. Once again I scolded him and reminded him the chemicals in deoderant are not to be ingested. He gave me a stare of disinterest. I wonder what he finds so tasty about my deoderant. Or perhaps its all worn off by morning and he enjoys man sweat. I’ve met many men back in the day that enjoyed the same thing.

I couldn’t have cared too terribly much because I resisted the urge to lick my Speed Stick this morning to see what the fuss is all about.


I haven’t been really inspired to write in my blog the past couple of days. It’s not that I’m seeing the task as a chore, because I do really enjoy writing in my blog and sharing my experiences and thoughts on this and that. No, it’s just that I haven’t found many experiences to be “blog inspiring” lately.

It’s not that we don’t have a lot going on. We do. There’s the ups and downs, but that’s what it’s all about, right? For example, my grandfather is very sick with cancer. The doctors say that he’s in his final days. Earl and I drove up to my hometown to visit with him last Friday. He was in fairly good spirits. He looked very frail, but he was aware and knew what was going on and could carry on limited conversation. He looked resigned, like he’s accepted the hand that has been dealt him and is ready. We’re going up again tomorrow night to see him. My sister is going to meet us there.

My little ephinany type dream last week that basically opened up my eyes on life has had long lasting effects, because life isn’t irking me these days. Last night I was awoken at 3:05 a.m. for on-call duties. I’d usually rant and rave and scream about how unfair life and the world is. But I did none of that. I did what needed to be done without complaint and settled in to sleep on the futon so I wouldn’t disturb Earl. There are too many problems in the world to complain about what amounts to an inconvenience.

My latest health kick is showing favorable results already. I feel much better about myself. I’m making strides towards the goals I’ve set for myself. It’s all good there. My body is headed to a good place and my head is at a good place for a change.

Earl and I had a wonderful visit with his family over the weekend. It was a good time on all accounts.

I’m eagerly looking forward to getting in our new camper and going camping a week from Saturday. It’s close enough for me to close my eyes and taste the s’mores.

Perhaps I find complaining about life inspiration enough to write in my blog. It’s just that I don’t have a lot to complain about these days.

Maybe the good of it all is my true inspiration.


This past weekend, as busy as it was, has completely reset my whatever makes me tick. I feel well rested, I feel energetic, I feel focused, I feel positive.

Bring it on baby. Bring it on.

Lunch Exercise.

Lunch Exercise.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

My ass has been dragging this morning. Last night’s sleep was disrupted by my school clock collection spazzing out and ringing the bells non-stop until I figured out what they were and what was happening. This all happened at 12:38 a.m. Not a good way to get a good night’s sleep.

I thought about going home and chilling out during lunch, but then I figured that I’ve done too much of that. I’ve been silently wondering if I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or something for the past couple of months because it just feels like I can’t get enough sleep.

But I was wrong. It’s because I’m a slug.

So instead of curling up next to Tom for a noon-time nap, I decided to take a walk in our fine city and see some areas I haven’t been to in a long time.

I think I walked just shy of three miles in 50 minutes. The warm sun felt wonderful, I was armed with some fabulous tunes on my iPod and the energy on the streets was high.

I feel like a million bucks right now. Much better than feeling groggy from an afternoon nap.

My Friend Patrice.

Part of my job duties is delivering pagers to local medical professionals. Apparently they are so busy they don’t have time to send one of their office assistants to our office to exchange their pager after they’ve flushed it down the toilet, so they call it in, I provision a new pager for them and bring it to their office with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. And a contract in my hand.

Today I had to deliver a pager to a doctor (the third pager in 60 days, by the way, he needs to stop reading his beeper in the crapper) in a home health care facility. Being a beautiful sunny day, the staff had wheeled a couple dozen of the residents outside to enjoy the fresh air. It appeared to be a wonderful attempt to lift their spirits, but some of them looked scared out of their wits. Others looked bored. Many seemed to be enjoying themselves.

It must be hard to live in that type of situation. I worked for ARC (while not the same, it is a similar situation) for a number of years back in my 20s and it’s not an easy job. Whenever I think of these facilities, I think of my friend Pat.

I met Pat back in 1987. She was a close friend of my first boyfriend and lived next door to us in Jamestown. She was always included in our little adventures, including driving to Florida in a ’82 Dodge Omni. Patrice, as we liked to call her, has an interesting past. She is an extremely intelligent woman and a gifted piano player. She is also manic-depressive. While in college in the early ’60s, Pat was misdiagnosed as schizophrenic. Her parents, with nowhere to turn, installed her into various state institutions, where she was given all sorts of drugs and lived in hideous living conditions. Years went by, I’m not sure of the history of this part, but she ended up living on her own, in her little apartment, working for the local hospital in the billing department.

I haven’t spoken with Pat in about a year. I really should give her a call. Anyways, the reason that I think of her when I’m in these health care facilities, is not because she once lived in a state institution. But rather because she spends her free time going to these types of facilities to entertain the residents by playing the piano and bringing friends along to sing and to entertain the folks. I find this a little amazing because at one time, the world turned on Pat. It dehumanized her to a point. It took away her confidence. It shut her away. Now that she’s part of the world once again, she is taking the time to give back to the community.

The world needs more people like my friend Patrice.

Pat has written a book of essays about her experiences through her life dealing with her mental illness. It’s called Blooming Is Tricky Business and is required reading for a graduate course in on the psychology of disability at the University of Texas. One of these essays can be found here. Her book was featured on Amazon and is published through Waldenbooks.

Back On Schedule.

I’m back on schedule today, stopping home for lunch and writing in my blog using my PowerBook. Everything seems to be back on focus; it’s funny to think that using the Mac Mini instead of the PowerBook or dining out instead of eating at home would throw me so far off kilter.

I guess I’m a fragile being of sorts. Either that or it’s that I’m just plain weird.

I feel like it’s Christmas Eve of sorts, with the Bewitched movie coming out tomorrow night. Earl and I are naturally going to see it on opening night. I’m still trying to figure out which would be the ideal theatre. We don’t want too many people with cell phones. The seats have to be comfortable. The sound ideal.

So many variables to consider.

Pop. Jiffy Pop.

I always find it amazing how much crap goes through my brain. Especially when I’m cycling. I get into this whole “athletic zone” and think about a myriad of subjects, all of them unimportant.

On my ten mile jaunt this evening, I decided that I need to change my nickname. This line of thought came about because I was asked what “J.P.” stood for*. Most people know me as “J.P.” Its the name I tend to use except with doctors and dentists and such and that’s only because they don’t know better. I do a lot of talking on the phone at work, especially with a really big telecommunications company that rhymes with “Horizon” and when I say my name they always mangle it. “J.B.”? “J.Z.”? “Chippy?” “J.T.”?

So I’ve decided that from now on they can call me Jiffy. Like Jiffy Pop. I’ve always been a big fan of popcorn. I like Jiffy Pop, especially over a campfire (which you’re not suppose to do). And as I think about it, Jiffy Pop is probably better than “Jiffy Lube”. Jiffy Lube sounds kind of kinky. If I were to do porn movies, then I could be Jiffy Lube, but at the family reunion this weekend it would be kind of odd to have Earl introduce me to long lost relatives as Jiffy Lube. People would blush. Including me.

I once toyed with the name “J. Bear”. But I don’t really feel the name adequately describes me. I’m not a big fan of labels, anyway. Besides, I think it would subconsciously give me permission to gain weight. And we all know how I feel about that.

So the next time I’m asked what “J.P.” stands for, I’m going to tell them Jiffy Pop. “Oh.”, they’ll say with an odd look on their face. Then they’ll try to normalize the conversation… “How’s your day going?”

“Just Peachy.”

# # #

I met an online buddy face to face (for an appreciable amount of time) for the first time today. I mentioned Mike a couple of months ago. We’ve been chatting back and forth on e-mail, and since he had the day off we decided to get together for lunch. It was good fun. We talked old department stores, roads, cycling and rollerblading, beards, the fact that we’re exactly a month apart in age and that he grew up just around the corner from my aunt and uncle’s house and we’d probably seen each other as kids. It was cool and it’s nice to have a new friend. Earl and I will probably get together again with him soon, if I didn’t spook him today or anything.

Toughen Up Cupcake.

I’m in sort of a “Woe Is Me” type of mood today and quite frankly I’m finding myself tiring of it easily. I can just imagine how my co-workers feel.

Last night was a hot, steamy, sultry night. The air was very heavy and very warm. You could cut the humidity with a steak knife. While this weather would be welcomed on the weekend, it doesn’t work out well during the week because it makes it very difficult to sleep in our house, considering we don’t have air conditioning. So I slept on the bed, and the futon, and the floor, and the front porch, and the living room couch and so on… and never got more than an hour or so of continuous sleep, interrupted by bouts just plain uncomfortableness.

So I’m a little cranky today.

Now let’s not confuse “cranky” with “surly” as I like to think that I’m being civil to people for a change. But I’m finding my patience wearing thin with customers. (Them: “I’m calling Hong Kong, and it’s taking over five seconds for the call to connect!” Me: ” Did it ever occur to you that Hong Kong is 3/4 of the way around the world and perhaps it takes a few extra seconds to let your fingers do the walking?”)

Just before lunch I had a meeting with the director of our department, who informed me that I will be attending a short training session on some new equipment tomorrow in Syracuse. That news actually put me in a better mood. It’s a little change of pace. A little bit of fresh air. And it shows that the company values my contribution by investing a little time in me.

So instead of taking a nap during my lunch hour like I vowed I would do when I woke up this morning, I celebrated by emptying the dishwasher, cleaning up the kitchen a little and writing in my blog. (Yes, the domestic God in me lives on, at least to a point.)

Sometimes its good to just suck it up and roll with the punches. You’d think at 36 11/12 years of age I’d know that by now.

Rumbles Of Relief.

As I type this blog entry, a little thunderstorm is passing through the area. It doesn’t have enough punch to lower the temperature or lessen the humidity. Its all flash and no substance. The wind barely rattles the blinds.

But down the rain comes.

It’s been in the high 80s to mid 90s for almost a week. Relief may be coming our way by the end of the week. Maybe.

I can’t remember it being so hot in June. And I’m a weather nut. It’s going to be a very interesting summer.