Tuesday, September 30, 2008


noun: A nosy or gossipy person.

Here's a word I've never heard of, but whose meaning is a part of everyone's life in some way or another. Have any Mrs. Kravitzs in your neighborhood?

Monday, September 29, 2008


True Love. We hear this term all the time, but what actually is it? As my pre-teen daughter relays all of the school crush news and who is "dating" whom (can it really be dating if they don't even talk to each other on the playground, but instead lurk through very vague text messages????), it makes me recall all of my past relationships. I think we can all remember that special high school significant other whom we thought at some point we would marry, perhaps penciling his name entwined with ours in a series of hearts all over our Algebra II book cover. There have been many loves in my life in high school and college and of course some major infatuations (which must have been so high on the infatuation scale, that I knew even back then that it was not love). Don't worry you will remain nameless to the world!

But have you ever experienced a time when you let your true love go, knowing that it was the right thing for them while maybe not for yourself? Cameron and I went to see Will Smith's Hancock movie today- yes I know it came out last summer, but we found it at the $1 movies- hmmmn, well now its the $3 movie, but anyway , I digress. In the movie, we see an immortal love, in which in order to live, the two lovers must sacrifice self in order for the other to exist.

How excruciating it is to let the love of your life (up to that point any way) go because that is what is best for him or for the situation. What courage it takes to do what John Hancock did at the end of the movie: to leap off the top of a building hoping that he would be destroyed or at the very least be carried away so that Angel (Mary) could live. She lay dying on the hospital gurney, her heart flat-lining, the electric paddles slapping her lifeless body off the table until.......... Until his ultimate sacrifice.

The novel that I have been working on deals with a number of issues, but the underlying theme that unites them all, is the notion of true love and sacrifice. Here's something that I included as a journal entry for one of my main characters:

An Invitation to Join the Dance

Take my hand and place it in yours

Intertwine our fingers so that I can hold onto you


Close your eyes and listen to me very carefully

You are very, very precious to me

You are my heart and my soul and my everything

I want to spend the rest of my life with you

I want to wake up every day and go to sleep every night

Having witnessed your smiling face, your laughing eyes

I want to make you my wife

The queen of my life; the holder of all that is good in the world

I want to be with you forever

I want yes to be the sweetest word that I will ever hear

I love you.

Here's to all those courageous people in the world who have walked away from the love of their lives. I hope you found another love, another situation, a new heart.


Friday, September 26, 2008


NEWSFLASH: The kid made the cuts for the St. Xavier Mock Trial Team. He prepared a three minute speech on whether the US was justified in starting the war in Iraq. He spent one of his two power outage off days researching in the downtown public library. Kids from the closed Cincinnati Public school system were hanging out in the teen section playing the Wie on a large screen while others occupied all of the available computers sitting 2 and 3 deep- pages of MySpace, YouTube and computer games evident everywhere. Cameron stood, books spilling out of his arms, as he talked to the male librarian about his upcoming try out for the Trial Team.

When I picked him from the bus stop on the day that the team list was posted, he got in the car with a poker face. I assumed he hadn't made it, because he wasn't smiling and he hadn't texted me while on his bus ride home. I had been praying that he would, because it is so up his alley. He has attorney written all over his personality! He claims that he will have a prosecuteor role on the team and that it was totally based on his answer to who he was supporting in the presidential election. I think he is pulling my leg- another good trait for an attorney.

He is going to have a great year!

Here is a little explanation on Mock Trial:

Mock Trial is a statewide program where students learn about the law through courtroom simulations. Participants play the roles of attorneys and witnesses after doing the appropriate research for the development of their case. Throughout the process, they work closely with real attorneys who act as legal advisors and mentors. Ultimately, teams will compete with those of other schools before real judges who preside over the trials. Moderator: Mr. Tony Nardini

Thursday, September 25, 2008


My writing friends, Shelly, Sandi and Laurie (ya know, I just noticed that they all have the 'ee' sound at the end of their names-- wow I feel so......different- lol!). Anyway, my three friends noticed yesterday in our writing circle, that I have some type of change THEME going on in my life. Nearly every page that I had created and shared included something about change and transformation. Perhaps you have seen it here within the pages of my BLOG. I just feel some type of huge change is being called forth from within my soul.

I have had some recent significant changes with people and situations in my life, which I am totally fine with. What I am sensing however, is something bigger; something that is life-altering. I think I was trying to capture that whispering voice in my ears in the piece I submitted yesterday: Reclaiming Me While Taking A Stand. Somehow, the words to the song Raise It Up by the IMPACT Repertory Theater from the movie August Rush keep following me wherever I go.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Life falls down on me, cuts into my soul
but I know I got the strength to make it through it all
cause I'm still standin' tall
breaking through this wall I'm gonna give my all

Feelin' like a motherless child, hate cuts into my soul
its bringing me down
can't find my smile on a face of a motherless child
I'm gonna break down these walls gonna give it my all
Sometimes it takes a different kind of love to raise a child
(so don't give up) so don't give up

Lyrics | Jamia Simone Nash and Impact Repertory Theater - Raise It Up lyrics

I think the whole political landscape is also affecting me. Obama and Palin are close enough to my age to be called part of my generation and I feel like this is my time to spark some type of major action in my life. Hold on, because I feel the winds of change blowing down my spine. The next chapter is to be re-written!..................................

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A voice is calling me from afar

A muted voice, muffled by the fog of distance

Calling me home

Calling me back

Calling me to reclaim my soul

Its time to move forward

To take a stand

To take those gifts of nurture, guidance and firm hand

To cast a wider net

Letting those qualities of leadership and organization

Be used for a greater good

In order to touch many more people

People in need of inspiration

The whispers begin in a soft hush

And with each question, the tone and volume increase

Exponentially until by the last, there is a cacophony in my head

Begging for action to stop the pain

These are the questions

That now creep through the shroud of fog,

Entering my brain like tiny carpenter ants

Drilling into my subconscious mind:

What do you stand for?

What do you believe in?

What is of importance outside your immediate family?

What will you fight for?

What will you die for?

What is the ultimate sacrifice?

Until one can answer these questions

They will remain stuck in a sludge of indecision

Letting their minds follow the shallow breath of the wind

Like swiveling heads at a tennis tournament

Monday, September 22, 2008


Life is finally returning to normal
Old activities have resumed,
Body rhythms are back on track
Memories are beginning to fade

Time truly heals all wounds

(Good-bye forever to the unnamed.)

Friday, September 19, 2008


Ok, this is Day 6 of the after-effects of Hurricane Ike and as of this morning there were still 100,000+ area residents without power. People's nerves are no longer even hanging on by a thread- they are purely non-existent. Good Samaritans have popped up everywhere though: cooking meals, providing bags of ice and bottled water- even lending their available washers and dryers. Yesterday, I passed a large piece of wood painted white with big red letters reading: “Without power? Come on in for free hot dogs, chips and drinks." Someone had fired up a couple of grills and was making some very frazzled families very happy.

Everyone is thankful that Cincinnati was spared the devastation that Galveston and the Gulf area experienced, but the seemingly cavalier return of power in a very disparate way (blame those nasty grids) and Duke's Tuesday night PR snafu in which they claimed power would be restored to 85% of the city by the end of Wednesday (which, oh by the way obviously didn't happen) certainly didn't help those poor souls who are staring the beginnings of the weekend right in the face.

I have been trying to mail a package all week at my local govt. post office. The employees are inside the building working in dim light with all the windows and doors open because the electric is still out there. I can make any transaction that involves cash or weighs less than one pound, which doesn't help the baby gift that they are unable to service that is now very, very late. The kid will be walking by the time it arrives!!!!

On a slightly humorous, "what were they thinking??!!" note, one of the local stations sent out an email alert today (to those of us who could actually receive it) entitled: Blackout 2008: A Survival Guide on how to manage through this time of crisis. Why it came on Day 6 and not Day 1 or 2 is anybody's guess. Here is the blitz:


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricane Ike Sweeps Through Cincinnati

Last Sunday, the remnants of Hurricane Ike combined with a cold front in the Ohio valley to result in hurricane force winds that caused a city-wide black out of historic proportions. It has been three days since the winds hit at such a speed, that our entire house shook and over 300,000 Cincinnati area residents are still without power. School was cancelled for most today, making it three days in a row. We only lost some large branches from one of our many trees, about seven shingles from the roof and we were also fortunate in that our power was restored after one day. Many of our neighbors are still without power today.

Sunday evening was surreal as kids played board games by lantern and flashlight. Adults gathered in back- yards with remnants of their tailgate treats from the Bengals football game. We returned to the past when electronic devices didnt separate and control us. Kids were actually playing outside. No Wie, no X-box 360, no television, no internet. At first, I felt a little lost without my connection to the world. In this life of 24/7 news updates, I felt a little vulnerable. We were able to power our weather radio and found an old battery powered black and white tv that tuned into a local television statio. A lot of the tv news was being phoned in by residents. We spent that night by candle-light and flashlight dining on a meal of peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and chips & salsa.

Here are some storm pictures sent in by local residents and some news headlines:

9/17/08- Cincinnati Enquirer: "The number of Duke Energy customers without power dropped to 327,092 this morning, three days after hurricane-force winds created the biggest power outage ever in the region."

"The disaster relief organization, in conjunction with fellow contributors WLW radio and Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, gave away 28,000 pounds of ice and 3,200 half-liters of bottled water to people still without power following Sunday's deadly high winds."


The word kaleidoscope brings back old memories of a long cylindrical tube with colored pieces of glass or pebbles at the bottom and a series of mirrors which give an infinite number of designs each time the tube is rotated. Known in ancient Greece, the kaleidoscope was reinvented by Sir David Brewster in 1817.

The kaleidoscope can actually be used as a metaphor for life: with each twist in the cosmic universe we will experience a change in the settings of our lives. We adapt and live with the change as we adjust our vision to the new pattern of life set before us.

Those fortunate few out there who know me well, know that a dichotomy exists within me. On the one hand, I am this very analytical, highly organized, very planned individual who runs a very tight ship, whose course is always set to accomplishment and success. On the other hand, I tend to dislike change. A lot. But when unexpected change happens, I deal with it in a smooth, no-bumps-showing way. I think my problem with change stems from the planned, sustained change that allows us to over-analyze and stew with what is coming up as we wait for its implementation. The reality is that the time spent fretting about change is far longer and more painful than actually going through the change itself. So my advice to self is to just hold your breath and jump in. The ride will be short and the waters smooth on the other side of change. Just do it!!

Here is a beautiful quote that speaks to kaleidoscope as change:

"Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place in the contents. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. Nothing ever happens twice alike. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects. The most tranquil house, with the most serene inhabitants, living upon the utmost regularity of system, is yet exemplifying infinite diversities."
-Henry Ward Beecher
US abolitionist & clergyman (1813 - 1887)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th, 2001: A Day We Will Never Forget

This is something that I wrote shortly after the horrible attack on the United States on 9/11/01. It is kind of rough, but I believe that it's raggedness conveys the feelings of shock and terror that I (along with the entire country) was feeling that day. Here it is completely unedited:


Urgent male voice penetrating the retreating words of sarcastic Dr. Laura

I turn up my radio volume

Has she been dethroned? Will I have to discover lively talk-show banter from another source to fill my ears as I go about the business of life?

No, the voices are talking in rapid shot-gun burst words

I reach for my television remote. The local news jockeys and the emergency broadcast system won't fail me. If anything is going on, it will be there, floating like an errant banner on the bottom of my t.v. screen.

Didn't Pete Delkus (local t.v. metorologist) warn me street by street in living technicolor just where and when the Tornado of '99 was going to hit?


Doomsayers predicted the shutdown of all computer-operated systems due to the Y2K switchover.

Gallons of water were stored in my basement just in case the toilet failed to flush or

the refrigerator refused to unleash the cold water and ice we were accustomed to at the touch of a button.


9:20 a.m. September 11th, 2001: a day in which


Tragic words and images pour forth into my home

My ears ring with the cries and screams of New Yorkers

Channel-hopping to discover more:

CNN, MSNBC, MATT DRUDGE, Internet News Sites

Information filled my brain, piercing it like tiny drops of water in a Japanese torture chamber.

No more. I can't stand to absorb any more ALONE.

I reach out to family members via my cell- the regular phone lines are jammed across the nation.

I reach out to neighbors.

I meet them walking zombie-like in the street, scanning the skies.

We hold each other; eyes filled with tears of disbelief.

I worry about my children: are they safe, should I go get them from school?

What do I tell them?

The Pentagon- my father's work place: Unreachable. No cell number in my Palm V.

Pittsburgh: my husband's meeting site. Reachable, Safe. Thank God for his cell phone.

WHAT HAPPENED?!!?? Questions fill my brain like a cacophony of birds in an Alfred Hitchcock black & white.

Who are these people so filled with hate?

How could we (I) be so blind to their darkness?

Had I become too complacent in my Christian, Tide-laundered, mini-van driving, soccer-mom world?

Abject fear of the unknown filled my life.

Absence of planes in the air above and then their re-emergence brought quick fearful looks to the heavens.

What would/could drop from the skies next?

Feelings of being swept up in a child's game of "Doggie, Doggie Where Is Your Nuclear Weapon" consume me.

Dirty Bombs, Car Bombs, Tennis Shoe Bombs.

Bomb, bombs all around.

The media sucks me in like a huge vacuum cleaner. I become a 24/7 news junkie. In the days following, I relay the latest reports to my fellow bus-stop parents each morning at 7:25 a.m.

Obsession clouds my mind, my being.

I SURVIVE on five hours of sleep a night.

I change my habits, cancel play dates; cut back on volunteer activities; hold my children closer to home

And Matt Drudge (Drudge Report) becomes my constant 1:00 a.m.companion always with the latest breaking news.......

Finally I am saved by the words of my Defence Contractor (retired military) father:

"You have to go on living, because giving up due to fear is letting the enemy inside, creating a victory for terrorism."

Slowly I return to a life of near-normalcy.

But will life ever be truly normal again????????

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Happiness is:

That giant smile you get when you
are around the people that you love.
Go make someone happy by passing on your smile!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Kingdom is Alive & Well in Saudi Arabia

I am getting quite a lesson on Saudi Arabia from my new friend living there. It's actually quite amazing how little I (and probably many Americans) really know about the Middle East. Here is an interesting fact: the Saudi Weekend is Thursday and Friday and not Saturday/Sunday as it is here and in other parts of the world. Women can't work or be in mixed company with men outside of their homes and must keep their faces covered. Given this, I can see why news of a university being built for women is a huge deal. My friend sent me some info from the Arab News about this. Here is a bit of it:

"Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will
lay the foundation stone of the new campus of Kingdom’s first women university shortly, Princess Al-Jowhara bint Fahd, president of the university, announced yesterday. Located north of Riyadh, the university will have 13 new colleges.

She praised King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan for their tremendous support to Riyadh Women's University, which, she said, will usher in a new era in higher education for women in Saudi Arabia. “We want to make it a leading international university,” Princess Al-Jowhara told Al-Riyadh Arabic daily."

"Veiled to all men beyond her family, a young Bedouin woman wears the classic face covering of her people. Given only passing mention by the Koran, Islam’s holy book, the veil is an ancient custom traced to India and Persia; it was adopted by Arabia’s nomadic tribes, which enforced a strict code of female modesty. "
—From “Women of Saudi Arabia,” October 1987, National Geographic magazine

Learning about other cultures is fascinating, but discussing issues that affect humankind no matter which side of the world we are standing on is even more empowering. I will leave you with a quote my Saudi friend stands by:

"War does not determine who is right, it determines who is left............"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin: Awash in Controversy

This Editorial just in from my hometown newspaper, the venerable Washington Post (Thursday, September 4th, 2008, p. A14) :


A Strong Convention Speech alone can't answer the questions about her readiness

"Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's acceptance speech at the convention last night was an impressive debut on the national stage -- well-delivered, with an appealing combination of charm and bite befitting her description of a hockey mom as a pit bull in lipstick."

The editorial goes on to say that despite receiving high marks for her speech, one must still question her ability to become a heart-beat away from Commander in Chief, especially given her " astonishingly thin resume: --mayor of a small town; governor of a sparsley populated state for less than two years -- hoping to ascend to national leadership. The country will need to hear more from Ms. Palin before being convinced of the soundness of Mr. McCain's judgement."

Check out the link above for the full text of the editorial and the reader comments that followed. As I mentioned last night, I was blown away by her speech. Whether she has experiential substance to back up her vim and vigor remains to be seen. And as for the controversies regarding her private life, let the games begin. What did you think of her speech????

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I am watching the Republican National Convention, which is currently on mute btw (Guilliani is speaking) and got to thinking that I should probably revisit some earlier posts to see where I stand today. Starting with the beginning of August, here goes:

What Used to Be....(Artichokes)- Actually no update on this very personal piece of writing other than the fact that everytime I re-read it I think: 'man did I really write that and post it on the internet??!!??'. Kinda sorta shatters my usual privacy stance.

Soundtrack of my summer- I have quickly realized that I can't have multiple playlists in my Project Playlist Account, so therefore my original summer hotties have been eliminated. They were Thunder by Boys Like Girls, All Summer Long by Kid Rock, and Fall For You by Secondhand Serenade. I've moved on to loving the August Rush Soundtrack, especially the song Raise It Up.

************************tv news interruption**************************
wow----I expected to dislike Sarah Palin, but she is an incredible speaker full of humor, poise, connection with every man/woman and intelligence. Uh oh................ So you can see that the mute button came off.

Do You Skype? Well that could be a book in and of itself. Luckily I got into Skype before they killed the public Skype Casts on 9/1/08 which were a wonderful way to discuss topics of interest via voice with a group of people looking for debate and conversation. I have made new friends from all over the world and have collected quite a few fascinating life stories that I'm sure will make their way into future writing pieces.

Inspiration in the Shack?
I actually had to stop reading this for several weeks as the portrayal of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit just rocked my paradigms too much. I consider myself a person open to new ideas and interpretations, but God portrayed as a large African-American Woman named 'Poppa' just really bugged me for some reason. I am forcing myself to continue to see just where this all leads.

Tween Girls & Cell Phones: I caved and got the 7th grader 500 msg texting/month (+free texts from Verizon to Verizon). It was strongly suggested by other parents in the know that I just fork over the unlimited texting- they cited their own daughter's all time high texting rate of 14,000 in one month. That's right folks

Loved the quotes from August on Compulsive Liars (which I detest more than anything on this earth) and Richard Bach's statement about people that we love always being close by in our hearts despite any type of distance.

The other posts are too recent to have a current update now.

American Samoa- the only US soil in the southern hemisphere- just cast their 9 votes for John McCain. Hmmn I didn't know we had an American Samoan state.

Ok time to end the hoopla. It should be an interesting presidential election!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day: The Official Doorway to Another Dimension

No fun in the sun while lying poolside and sipping Pina Coladas was on our agenda for this holiday weekend, traditional precursor to Fall that it is. Nope, our Labor Day was spent in a 3 day CYO Girls' Basketball tournament. While the games were exciting and in some cases very close to the bitter end, I was shocked to find out from my daughter after the championship game that parents on one of the opposing teams were harassing our players as they stepped up to the free-throw line. Calling out our player's name and telling her that she couldn't make the shot as well as other nasty things too distasteful to mention. All done just to throw a 12 year old off her game. Wow, that is really sad when competition has to sink to the level of adults sitting in the stands trying to relive their own glory days and acting like complete idiots. What a wonderful lesson they are teaching their kids- and this is a Catholic School. In fact, it is a very large Catholic school located in Milford.....

Hopefully the rest of the U.S. took some time to honor those who labor. This weekend, we honored a great group of 7th grade girls as they labored on the basketball courts for a 2nd place finish.