Get your own diary at! contact me older entries newest entry

2014-07-31 - 9:06 a.m.


Only I would travel carrying a bag of produce so I could proudly eat all the veggies I enjoyed tending to;

(even pretending to actually like Swiss Chard, simply because after all that work I had BETTER find a way to enjoy the plant's reward! Although I have to say as with most things in life if you DO WHAT IS GOOD For you with a positive attitude that after a short while YOU WILL LIKE IT! There is this strange phenomena about habit which holds true for things that are BAD for you as well- whether food or PEOPLE; Let something become familiar somehow and the fondness grows! I think I now actually REALLY liked Swiss Chard as it tasted pretty good when wrapped accompanied by SORREL which I never ate before but the cute farmer at our local farmer's market was excited about. Don't know his name, but Yeah he is this really good looking, friendly, sweet man I have a fondness for- especially after he was so kind when about two years ago I mortifyingly found I bounced a check to discover it was the one handed to the local FARMER at the Farmer's Market! I MEAN COME ON... It had to be THAT Check that was hit by the then Wells Fargo scam of not entering deposits and checks in order ACTUALLY received but routinely entering debits FIRST FOLLOWED by my direct deposit from work that was actually sent FIRST? The Farmer's Market was a Sat morning event even then.... I was paid on Friday and was SO GLAD SOMEONE had the wherewithal and energy to finally sue the banks that did that with intention!);

Only I would then arrive at my hotel room after the Amtrak ride where I munched on cukes, carrots and Swiss Chard Sorrel and promptly set up the sink as the "ice box" for the week ready to just wash hands, brush teeth etc in the tub which works just fine;

diligently then take the treck down the hall OR UP A FEW FLOORS (when the close ice dispenser did not work) to fill my ice bucket and keep the produce cold ALL WEEK;

TO THEN, at the end of THREE FULL DAYS In the hotel room,

that the nice wood cabinet holding the TV has a panel , which upon opening,


I once again gave myself a laugh at least!
YES I know MOST People would have been more observant of their surroundings, and many people would have just ASKED the hotel if there was a fridge available (as if there is NOT one in a room many hotels CAN bring you one if you ask).

But I am on the Priceline deal. I get the best rates surely because I have a good ranking as a low maintenance guest. I am not sure what my company thought when I didn't follow their travel booking protocol but damn after they were paying $1300 a week for hotels and I WAS PAYING $230 to stay in the same hotel booked on line I would think THAT ALONE should have been an indicator they would have benefitted from NOT firing me an finding out who needed some help with their budget instead.
I landed that hotel for $30 a night as if you are staying for a week or more you can go even LOWER than the typical $50 to $70 range which is my typical budget.

So yeah, if spending between $30 or $50 a night on a hotel , as a guest I am NOT GOING TO BE DEMANDING.
I have certain protocol I ALWAYS follow such as:

* Tell the cleaning folks not to disturb as I don't need the room cleaned until I am GONE

Its just not hard to use the same towel for a few days! I mean people do that AT HOME so why feel the need to toss one on a bathroom floor lazily and waste water and resources etc JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE IN A HOTEL AND CAN?
* AND when I leave , I always leave a NICE TIP and Thank you Note for the cleaning crew AS IF They cleaned the place for the whole duration. Hey these folks are in a service job where they get paid something like $3.50 an hour in some places with the expectation their income is to come from tips. Cleaning folks actually might be different than restaurant personnel, as they MIGHT Actually get minimum wage, or even $10 an hour as I heard from a friend that was unfortunate to have cleaning a hotel the only job she could find at one point- but STILL

I have observed that MOST PEOPLE seem to actually be just crappy tippers! I think many young people might not even realize it is protocol when you leave a hotel to tip the cleaning crew. I think the sense of entitlement has definitely grown among Americans who are disconnected from the real world of what it is like to work in a service industry.

It amazes me when I see people WHO DID have the experience of doing that kind of job when young who really also don't get it- that the majority of those low paying jobs ARE NOT high school and college kids making an extra buck- but people SUPPORTING FAMILIES.

I have learned not to judge a date for being an AVERAGE tipper (if he is a CHEAP tipper that has been reason for me to only go on one date! Seriously This is important to me and I take that as a indicator the person just may be selfish in OTHER areas of life and NOT someone I would want to spend time with!)

That is good advice for those in that dating world out there..

I have been home studying and enjoying my time in the company of the attorney and PLANNING on enjoying the company of the ladies running group so am not out there dating of late.

My personal goal now that the BAR EXAM is over is to kick up my running and TRAIN to run the MCM 10K with my marine!

I know that is just kinda a terrible nickname for him. I could come up with one so much better... I mean I don't care for the possessiveness sounding of the "MY" , simply as the idea of ownership of a person comes to mind and makes me BRISTLE but yet- it is the way I think to write of him still, as he is the one Marine in my world, and I am so grateful that he is here with us after the scare of losing him, AND the reality of the changed relationship we have shared that also had to be grieved! I am happy to have the foundation of our friendship and that he is as solid and steady of a friend as always. As he said his love comes for free- and that is so the truth- one of the people in life with a rare gift of truly loving those in his world just unconditionally for long term which being able to accept and go with the changes of the relationships. I find him just remarkable in how he , throughout his WHOLE LIFE has put effort and energy into nurturing relationships. He travels to visit his friends, and communicates and maintains so many friendships which is something I really admire. He was one of the most social people I EVER Met. He is one of the people so many love, EVEN THOUGH he has his clear flaws -impatience and stubbornness being two of the most obvious- which is somehow tempered with his humor and self knowledge so very well, and his frank HONESTY and integrity. Friends tease him about being hard headed, and in fact he now has a titanium plate that replaced part of the skull in the incredible miraculous work of the surgeons that saved his life.


I mean think of this-

Even if a pacifist, even if no understanding the inclination to believe that WAR ever REALLY SOLVES problems- there REALLY Are men and women of great personal integrity who actually truly love our country with a passion so strong that they are willing to devote their lives to it.

I mean, I might not GET it in the sense that I don't have that passion. I might not get it in the sense that My PASSION would make me more inclined to be at a PEACE RALLY

I might have a differing viewpoint when it comes to Social Policy,

yet I SO UNDERSTAND AND RESPECT AND APPRECHIATE The service of all our veterans which they have provided us.

I don't think that it is diametrically opposed, or that the two notions of supporting PEACE and appreciating those who are willing to serve for our benefit in hopes we HAVE PEACE ( who truly believe that a strong military provides that), are really fundamentally opposed.

They both spring forth from THE SAME CORE VALUES, yet there are some differences of opinion over what will be justifiable means to an end.

I furthermore think that our veterans so need to be cared for and not ignored after they do dedicate their lives to service of our country.

I am a little disappointed I didn't raise money for the wounded warriors foundation with my upcoming run YET.

I so hope to do so.

I am running the MCM with My MARINE to celebrate HIS LIFE, and OUR FRIENDSHIP, and IN GRATITUDE that he was personally a huge emotional support for me in a time when I needed a friend to be there most,


as well as simply the absolute pleasure of enjoying time with him and sharing this experience,


As I truly do hope to raise money to help care for all those out there who have served our country in the way they felt was best, and then come back here with the deepest wounds that so few seem to truly understand.

The incidents of PTSD are those that are carried internally by SO MANY.

Our serving men and women can not get treatment at times without real risk of losing their jobs.
I empathize with that.
I do not believe my loss of MY JOB was unrelated to the fact I was suffering some severe PTSD moments (and damn they did happen AT WORK).

I still remember the moment I walked through a park in Syracuse , NY after riding a greyhound, during college when I took a trip to visit friends living there on my way back down to L.I., and encountered the homeless man in the park who I spoke with. More accurately, I just took the time to listen as he told my good friend and I his story. I was with SOREN'S Godmother, who I love dearly but have not done that well in keeping in close touch with! She and I listened and the reality of a large percentage of the homeless in America being our VETRANS really struck me. That was twenty years ago at least, and then there were still Vietnam Vets, and Korean War Vets populating our cities parks. It was just an eye opening moment I will never forget.

I find it interesting that as a child growing up in the 70s, the decade of the aftermath of the Vietnam war, just how much that actually must have left an impression on not only me but my siblings.

I wondered at this as my two brothers are now in Vietnam. One lives there , and has for the past couple of years as an English teacher. He opened his own school and just LOVES IT THERE.

My oldest brother, who is a computer program who's latest gig has been at NASA , and who is the coder responsible for the software behind those machines that can scan and read a check to process it real time at the ATMs, has done really well in life professionally and we have nicknamed him George Clooney for his bachelor lifestyle, has been traveling back and forth to visit our brother in Vietnam a few times.

I just got an e-mail a couple of days ago that HE IS ENGAGED!


This is the man who owns a Tiki Bar in his house!

The ultimate batchelor!
The one who hosts the Merchant Marines at his infamous Tiki Bar on the Florida Coast which has been there for at least 40 years and conveyed with the house he bought. The walls are covered with the emblems of the Naval Ships that came into port and then frequented the spot as guest of the couple who opened their home to them (the husband of which was a submarine repair technician that worked on the subs).

YES, George Clooney is getting married to a lovely looking, Young, Vietnamese girl!

It is so cliché in a way-
Middle Aged American finds a young Asian bride.

Yet, my brother George Clooney is not really fitting the clichéd stereotype I have had in mind when I think of that trend that I do see here in the Washington D.C. area. Those are often guys even older than my bro, who were married and divorced, or older bachelors who never married until in their 60s or even older who I see around here with just GEORGOUS Wires and YOUNG CHILDREN keeping them young and very happy! I used to bristle at those couples and judge the guy automatically as "MUST BE A NARCISSISTIC JERK" but in time I overcame that prejudice and now I love seeing those old guys frankly! It is always so delightful to see such joy that they seem to genuinely have. I think there is merit in waiting until later in life to marry for many. And boy , if you never had kids then AFTER YOUR CAREER is over and you ARE financially secure and able to do so, that seems just WONDERFUL for these old dudes.

I joked and kind of thought that was what MY MARINE would do in his retirement! He never wanted to get married while being deployed into war zones over and over again, and I always envisioned HIM returning some year to retire with a young girl by his side.

But my brother???

That totally surprised me!

And NO he is not one of those controlling guys who can't get along with an independent woman. And No he is not one of those guys who is guilty of wanting to find a woman he can "SAVE"

I know men like that. I have a GOOD friend who has that tendency....
The more exotic, and the more needy the woman , the more likely he will be to fall. He too is a good man- but with that rescuer syndrome, and an attraction to lithe , think dark haired a few ex girlfriends from Thailand as he also happens to have to travel there for work.
Thankfully I think he is in a relationship now because of a mutual healthy love and not out of need to be the hero and rescue her (even if perhaps even this one may have started out that way)!

So I am thinking about why Vietnam for both my brothers?
And it occurred to me that I have had this life long goal of wanting to be an immigration attorney and work with refugees that I always thought of the genesis of as being from that experience at age 12 of visiting the refugee center.

But I just recently remembered something else, or rather SOMEONE ELSE.

Her name was MARIA.

Maria was a beautiful, young (perhaps 18, 19 , 20) Vietnamese woman who my mother hired to come clean our house when we were very young.

As my mom told the story, our church was involved in a resettlement initiative in helping some of the Vietnamese "Boat People" during the refugee influx of Vietnamese that landed here on US shores. As my mom tells it she really hired her just to help out in a way she could. It is true we never before nor after ever had anyone come to help with the housework. (It is also true that we could have used it! HA HA My mom, like me was not the most organized at running of her household and only later in life did I realize she became absolutely self absorbed in the flow of her creative sewing projects, or her thing at the time- which really informed the laize fair style of parenting passed down in her Irish family of many kids, such that we also had tremendous freedom to focus on our own interests because my Mom clearly values being happy and creative over doing housework, or enforcing structure of any kind frankly other than dinner at the table at 6pm daily and church on Sunday mornings!)

I think that connection of the influence of this beautiful Vietnamese woman who came to help us take care of our house and the attraction of my brothers to Vietnam itself because somewhat clear to me as I recently had an interesting conversation with my daughter in which she told me SHE wants to live in a LATINA neighborhood!

She told me that she and her boyfriend visited a neighborhood in Chicago as it boasts cheap rent and good food, and it was a largely Mexican community and SHE JUST LOVED IT!
She said "Family is just so important there!"

It is true that in much of America family is not the central unifying thing for people anymore. So many move away for jobs, and other opportunity and then need OTHER sources of community and connection as that is no longer provided in the traditional way it used to be in close knit family who remain living together.

Latino communities in fact do seem to have that expectation that family will continue to live together. They do seem to have multigeneartions providing support of each other, perhaps in a way that is more apparent than some other communities. This attraction to that community made IMMEDIATE sense to me and I responded,

"Well of course! Your violin teacher and that community here was the one you were happy and comfortable in during early childhood years"

I also told Katerina something I realized she did not know: That for me, the insistence on her and Soren being involved in those music lessons at the school was not ONLY about learning music- yes that was great, but it could be ANY activity a kid commits to and sticks with that can teach them that they CAN LEARN Anything with the hard work, BUT that is was VERY IMPORTANT for my two bi-racial kids to actually be in an environment where there WAS diversity and they were not feeling different.

So I drove to the music school that I found that offered a multi-cultural environment with great intention. I told her when I moved her I did so with the deal that I would IF IT WAS FINE for me to take the kids off to D.C. at least once a month. Had I NOT found the music school much closer that offered exposure to some diversity of culture among KIDS doing something together, I think we would have been heading to D.C. with my African Drum to go to drum circles there.

Both music and NOT BEING insular and in a white community without ever seeing someone that looks like you WERE VERY IMPORTANT things I wanted to offer my children.

Now the music school I found happened to offer diversity with a large percentage of latino kids. Katerina's teacher's VERY FIRST Student was a Mexican American girl. Katerina was one of her early students as well, and as the years progressed and we hosted visiting musicians for the International Youth Orchestra they all happened to be from Central or South American countries (I admit to being pitiful at not remembering the distinction- but we had guests from Mexico, Venezuela, and Bolivia, and a nanny from Brazil stay with us over the years.)

So yes, it makes TOTAL sense that Katerina would feel welcomed and comfortable when she visited the Mexican neighborhood!

I think it comes down to this- What happens at AGE 6 informs your life!

I have read that at AGE 6, one has what is akin to the first falling in love experience. Not romantically, but emotionally being enamored with the first person that is in your life who is NOT your family. For me, this was my first childhood friend - an Italian girl from school. I went to her house and was enamored with the warmth and passion of her family. I was enthralled by her playing of the piano and practicing every day.

I see how that friendship so informed me, as it was Italian men I later fell in love with! Yes my first love in college (but I steered clear of Italian's for YEARS after hearing his Dad talk to "The BOSS about the Laundromat..." 80s in NYC apparently WAS the heyday for NY Mafioso it turns out... SO I MOVED From NY To run from my love! GOOD MOVE, landed in Buffalo and was saved from the pull of love of Italians for a while!! I evaded the attraction to the one in undergrad, and shortly after graduation who interestingly happens to be the Marine's best friend! I turned down dates with the really big Italian guy who scared me that has remained a life long FB Friend and later met his wife thorough a close college friend when ladies had a book club and we laugh as how he scared me with his booming voice and large presence as he is truly a sweet teddy bear! I avoided following the instinct of that attraction to those Italian men (who are likely fine men!) Thankfully I fell in love and married my first husband who really was so good to me in so many ways! AND SO NOT ITALIAN.... HA HA, interestingly at the same time I met him I had run into the really hot Italian man (the Marine's best friend it turns out, a fact I didn't fully get until twenty years later! I knew they were friends but they are still close. ) and there was this mutual interest.... but I just could not go there at the time...for what I think is the rather funny reason now in retrospect as I had just moved in with my college friends to the realization there was a greenhouse in the attic of the illegal kind, and this hot guy that had asked me to meet him was working for the DEA at the time! I admit HE WAS SO HOT and when I met him found him RIDICULOUSLY Attractive but I was terrified to be at all involved due to my roommates. It was only within days that I met the man who did become my future hubby, and fascinatingly I learned later that that Hot Italian met his future wife within weeks at a Buffalo Bar! They are still married with some beautiful kids!)

So it is very clear to me that I can thank that first friendship of the little Italian girl for my propensity to fall for Italian men!

Similarly, I suspect that my brothers being enamored with Vietnam may have something to do with the beautiful Maria from when we were so very young!

And I realized that the interest in helping immigrants, just like the interest in working with disabled was first sparked by my Mother!

My Mother who at times seems to be in her ADHD flow of self absorption while home, ALSO volunteered to teach religious education classes at a school called "Abilities" . I went along with her and assisted in those classes.

She did dedicate her time to things she thought were important. She was a volunteer in service of others as we were growing up and I never realized how much the things she values informed who I have become. That is of course natural that parents shape their children whether they intend to or not in both good and bad ways!

I think it kind of cool to be consciously be aware of some of those powerful ways my Mother has influenced me.

She was also a very active activist at lobbyist for causes she found important.

Now I might have grown to differ on my view of some of the issues she fought zealously for. I admire nonetheless, her dedication , commitment and zeal with which she threw herself into involvement in our political process for things SHE FOUND IMPORTANT.

I marched beside her at Right to Life Marches on more than one Jan. 22., with full faith and belief that we were marching for an important cause. We lobbied for tuition tax credits so parents can send their kids to schools of their choice.

I later went to the Martin Luther King March as well, broadening my interest in rights of those needing protection.

I am now the proud mother of a son who won an award for Public Heath Education upon graduation for his work as a Peer Educator at Planned Parenthood. (ME, the same person who at a Model UN at the state finals in high school one year successfully
argued for not allowing contraception to be freely handed out in high schools! That makes me laugh now, but I was ZEOLOUS THEN! After watching Catholic girls go off to our Catholic College and as the RA be aware of some then getting abortions and the ramifications of that choice-- I now think how foolish to NOT educate about contraception EVEN IF ONE BELIEVEs IN ABSTINENCE)

You know that question circulation What would you tell your 18 year old self? Some have posted that as going off to college.


When I thought about both those questions, I had the same ONE ANSWER

To the 18 year old self:

Make love to that boy you fell in love with. You will never again have this moment in time together, so cherish it.

YEs, I really have only ONE REGRET When I look back at my youth- I wish I had made love to those TWO early loves of mine!

SEX IS NOT ONLY ABOUT PROCREATION It CAN be both love giving AND life giving, but in reality it is absolutely fine and MORAL for it to be JUST ONE and not the other AND FURTHERMORE it is ALSO not an immoral choice if SEX IS ABOUT PLEASURE!! u

YES!! Sex is pleasurable and that is natural AND cannot be immoral in and of itself. There is nothing IMMORAL about any of our natural appetites!

Within the realms of other values of personal responsibility , respect for SELF and respect of others, if one has a solid foundation of their character and ethics, acknowledging that sex is pleasurable and often actually is chosen to be entered into solely for shared pleasure WILL IN NO WAY Result in one then suddenly making IMMORAL CHOICES.

People only make immoral choices in regard to sex when they have a foundation that LACKS A MORAL COMPASS.

Darn, thinking of appetites-- I just got hungry.

I did it again- lost track of time and the free breakfast which really does rock, is no longer being served.

Good thing I have some Spelt bread from the farmer's market, cantelope, cucumber, zucchini and carrots left in the fridge!

Enjoyed the indulgence of just sitting in PJS and rambling this day after the exam!
I am going to eat, go for a run and explore the rest of this small and to me oddity of a city of Charleston, WV.

This place does at least have a nice bookstore called Taylor's books, so as always after a Bar Exam I was able to hide there for comfort and refuge after feeling a bit beaten by the exam the past couple of days.

I picked up Adrienne Rich's book with the apt title

A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far

which is the leading line of her wonderful poem entitled "Integrity".



about me - read my profile! read other DiaryLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get your own fun + free diary at!