Friday, February 25, 2011

Let Me Lay it on the Line

There is so much going on around me.

So much that I finally broke down. Literally, I broke down. Yes, there were tears. At work...which I never, ever allow myself to do. At my desk as well as the break room (thank God I was there alone) and apparently I could no longer hide it because everyone tiptoed around me all day. I was not angry, I was defeated. Broken...

It happens to everyone at some point and for me it was a few days ago. So much drama swirling around me that on top of the tears my body shut down. I passed out in increments of an hour at a time for the past few days. I am sure the jet lag had something to do with it as well.

The last time this happened to me I was going through a divorce. Quietly, I was going through hell trying to keep a straight face and recover from the pitfalls of bad finances, a bad marriage and saving face. This time it was because of opposition from the events company, much needed repairs to the house, something trying to resemble a relationship, a very disappointing trip, dead-end job and the rising cost of living with a decreasing pay check. If you follow this blog you also know my struggles of coming to grips with my slim chances of having children. Which means I am not doing well with my sister who is pregnant with her second child and hating every minute of it. Guess who gets the "When are you next" questions, yet again?

So, as I start to reclaim myself, catch up on rest, give the opposition truly something to envy, tell the guy to consider his path, contemplate a new job in this economy, re-adjust my budget, put on a happy face for my sister as she complains about hating pregnancy and wanting a boy instead of another girl and figure out how to put a band aid on the house repairs until I get them taken care of I try to remind myself that I can only control how I deal with things.

The smile is not back on my face but I am no longer breaking down. As I began to pick up the pieces around me I try to remind myself that God must have a plan for me and there must be some happiness somewhere in this. A lesson to be learned.

Because as the battle lines are drawn, I am not sure how much fight I have left in me.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Once is Enough...I Think

My 50 Things to Do list consists of a lot of different things. One of those things is to have my photo taken in front of the San Francisco bridge. I have no idea why this was important enough to make it to my list but my Salsa performance group was invited to perform on the west coast and you guessed it, the city was San Francisco.

Sounds simple, right? Go to the west coast, have a day to see the sights, take a few classes, enjoy the parties and after parties at night before returning to the east coast. Ha!

Let me just say I will seriously think twice before I ever venture to the west coast again. Let's start with the plane ride there, shall we?

My plane had a departure time of 7:15 with an arrival time of 9:55. After I checked in and made it through airport security I noticed my flight was delayed. I thought ok, I can grab a bite to eat to burn the extra hour. One hour later and the departure time was still not updated and no gate agent or person at customer service to speak with. As people continued to arrive at the gate, we heard three different departure times and still no gate agent. Around 8 the screen updated our departure time as 8:25, which would have been great if there was a plane at the gate for us to board.

As everyone sat there wondering if this plane would ever arrive and if we would indeed make it to the west coast the time changed on the departure to 9:21. At this point even the pilots and flight attendants seemed irritated. Finally around 8:15 a gate attendant arrived and had no clue the flight was delayed. She made no announcements on why we had an extra 2 hour wait nor did she offer an apology for our wait time. What she did do around 8:45 was announce the flight was extremely overbooked and they were offering round-trip tickets to anyone willing to fly the next night.'re kidding me, right?

The question then became if the plane was overbooked (it finally arrived at the gate around 9ish) why were they assigning stand-by tickets? To add insult to injury, they practically forced people to check their bags because they ran out of overhead space. As we finally made it to the tarmac we knew it was bad sign when planes were taking off around us, our pilot announced we needed to return to have maintenance check out the flotation device but we had no gate to return to. At this point it was almost comical and everyone was expecting Ashton to poke his head out to say we were being punked. I think we finally left the airport around 10:30 - from a 7:15 departure time. Which put us behind in the arrival time, which meant the rail station system was closed, which translated into a very expensive cab ride to the hotel at 1 in the morning west coast time. Did it get better? I'll let you be the judge...

The next morning it was rainy, cold and nasty outside. Considering our schedule, this was the only day we had to see the sights so my group decided to walk the hills to Fisherman's Wharf. We figured the rain would let up. We were wrong.

This was the bottom of the 'hill' and this photo is very deceiving. We thought it would be okay until we got to the middle:

This is how far we walked up in the rain, cold and nastiness. There was no way I was going into the middle of the street to get a great photo since the cars were trying to tag us like a game of Frogger:

This was the view after we got to the top:

The view was worth it but we decided to get a cab. The rain slacked up a little and I ended up having the best cup of clam chowder in my life at a street vendor. That was after we were given the cold shoulder at a restaurant. I guess she figured we weren't dressed well enough to get a good table. There is a such thing as Southern Hospitality.

We ended up at another restaurant with a view of Alcatraz for a clam chowder bowl, expensive appetizers and dessert. Let me say that everything in San Fran is expensive, even the cab rates triple at night. We took a van cab back to the hotel down the hill (which felt like an amusement park ride) for about $12. We took a cab to the store that night which was a lot closer and it was $20 round trip!

It rained every day we were there and got colder by the day. I caught the west coast crud and tried my best not to get anyone else sick. I was over the rain by day 2 and refused to go out in it again. The sun decided to come out on the last day and we did venture out into the city. Did I get my photo taken in front of the bridge? No. I did not get to go to Chinatown either. It was Chinese New Year and according to the taxi driver it would take hours to get in and impossible to catch a taxi back to the hotel and we were performing that night. The one thing I wanted to do was no bueno. I feel a theme...

By day three I was over the entire experience. The classes were over-crowded and you could not see the instructor. Either the classes were freezing or someone had the bright idea to prop open the door to the freezing rain for a breeze. Needless to say by the end of the festival almost everyone had the sniffles and was coughing. Even the parties at night were packed beyond comfort level.

The savior to this trip was the actual performance. The performance was the best one yet and since we knew the DJ MCing the event he played "Walk it Out" as we exited the floor and yes, we walked it out southern style and left it all on the dance floor.

Of course the flight back was over-booked and once again they forced you to check your carry-on. At least the delay was only one hour back to the east coast. I have never been so happy to be at home. My first stop was the pharmacy for a decongestant and then to pick up the furry one.

Would I ever go back to the west coast? That is a BIG fat no. It will take a LOT for me to go back. I sincerely think once is enough...but judging by the standing ovation we received as we walked it out I think we might get invited to perform next year.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Random Thunderstorms...Shaking My Head

My metropolitan area is way too small. If you take the square root of the educated African-American population, add in the Latino and bi-racial group that identifies, subtract the amount that are married (who are not cheating on their spouses) and add in the few who are divorced - what do you get? A few hundred people who all know each other and who have slept with more than a 'couple' of other people in the group. I say this because one of the women who played the mistress in my prior situation is now playing the role of the other woman in my friend's situation. Shaking my head and thinking it is time to relocate...

I recently had the best weekend and received some wonderful news concerning my '50 Things to Do' list. I may get the opportunity to cross off a few things I never thought would happen. I am simply beside myself...I'm keeping it close to the chest for a little while longer. Shaking my head in amazement...

My event planning company threw our second event in January and the crowd was a little thicker than the first event. We tried a marketing strategy that proved people can not follow directions! Needless to say we will not run another special until our anniversary celebration. Shaking my head at people's sense of entitlement...

My former Addiction sent me an email out of the blue. I think it's an article on education (I work for a school system) but I have not opened it. I have not heard from him or had any contact with him for months. He called to wish me a Happy Birthday in November and I sent him to voice mail. Funny, he crossed my mind the other day when I saw someone who resembled him. Think he felt the vibes? Shaking my head and telling myself to leave sleeping monsters asleep! Shaking my head at him...

I am learning to follow my gut feeling. That feeling in the pit of my stomach my Grandmother called a "sixth sense" of sorts. My events company venture is kind of requiring me to become a DJ. The father I contemplated letting into my life last year was/is a DJ full-time and I contacted him about lessons. Well...that spawned a series of 'hey beautiful' and 'muah' instant messages. Although I think he's a great DJ and the lessons would be beneficial, I decided to cancel them. Obviously, we each had different views on our approach and my gut feeling was telling me it would not go well. Shaking my head at that...and moving right along.

I am taking my first trip of the year very soon. It is a trip to the west coast. A first for me but I am going with my Salsa group to perform at one of the largest Cuban Salsa festivals in the US. I am looking forward to knocking another thing off my 50 Things to Do list and glad I will do it with my Salsa girls! Shaking my head at some of the foolishness I KNOW will go down during that trip.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Storm Breaker...Being a Court Reporter

One of my Saleros sent me this on a day when I just needed a laugh. Extremely worthy of passing along. Enjoy!

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said , 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No , I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: We do..
WITNESS: Yes , voodoo.

ATTORNEY: Now doctor , isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep , he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son , the 20-year-old , how old is he?
WITNESS: He's 20 , much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid

ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them.. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral , OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral...

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not , he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

And last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Aww man, I was cracking up. Love my Salsa family :)

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...