Got Speed? : Letters From the Pedestrian

10 04 2014

Dear Reckless SUV Driver who thinks my neighborhood is really a drag strip shortcut to avoid a little bit of traffic and one stoplight,

website-speed

I wanted to let you know that everything is going to be okay. After seeing your ancient P.O.S. Ford Explorer/Nissan Pathfinder-type vehicle with a faded paint job and giant rust spots blur by me as I walked my dog down my sidewalk-free residential neighborhood street, I understand why you felt the need to drive at speeds over 50mph. I would be embarrassed too if I had to drive around an eye-sore like that, always worrying whether or not it was going to break down before reaching my destination. Or maybe some psychopathic disgruntled retired bomb squad technician rigged a bomb to your car which will detonate if you drive under 50mph. Where is Keanu when you need him, right?

I’m sure you have a really good reason for drag racing down a neighborhood street at 7:30 am, the time when some of our children are heading to the bus stop and other people are out walking their dogs. I mean, I couldn’t expect you to slow down at all once you saw me and my 85lb Pit Bull attempting to cross the street. Everything around you must have been blurry and hard to decipher. It may have been a little easier for you if your crappy tint job wasn’t bubbled up and peeling off but that’s just a suggestion.

I know it’s not your fault you were running late to your Douche Bag Anonymous meeting and I’d like to commend your quick-thinking skills with taking that shortcut. You actually made it to your destination 45 seconds earlier than if you would have gone the normal, legal way. I’m pretty sure you got in front of that other car who had been leading the way previously. Way to go! Your 45-second speed savings scared a bunch of kids and squirrels, alarmed some neighbors and almost killed me and my dog, but you beat your record time and that’s all that matters. After all, there’s nobody else as important on this earth as you.

I appreciate you honking at me after almost killing me to let me know you do care about what I have to say. It was coming from the bottom of my pounding heart when I hollered, “Slow the f— down.” It makes me happy to know you heard me since you certainly didn’t see me when you blasted by. And you have no idea how much it meant to me when you honked again after I gave you an honorary middle finger salute to congratulate you on putting an entire neighborhood at risk because of your selfish needs and behavior. And all along I didn’t think you noticed me.

Finally, I really hope your lazy ass oversleeps or something causes you to run late so you can swing by the neighborhood again and maybe this time get a 46-second lead on everybody else. You see, Ace Hardware makes these really sharp pointy metal things that I’m going to place in certain areas of that street you enjoy racing down. Sure a few neighbors may have to replace a tire or two and be out a couple of bucks, but I’m sure they would rather fork over the money for new tires than a new coffin. Those things are expensive!

Hope to see you soon!

Sincerely,

A concerned citizen with a lot of time on her hands to plot





Squirrels and the Dangers of Tightrope Walking Power Lines

11 01 2013

Have you ever been outside and witnessed a squirrel tightrope walking on a powerline? Almost every day I see squirrels doing these amazing stunts and often wonder how they do it. Their tiny little feet and claws gracefully scurrying across a thin, high voltage line, crossing over streets in what appears to be a very risky endeavor. I’ve seen a few slip but would quickly catch themselves and continue on. Most of the time they make it across to whatever destination they were pursuing.

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Picture © Paul Young 2008

The other day when I was walking my dogs in the morning before work like I always do, I experienced something pretty horrific and a little traumatizing. I can’t get it out of my head.

I have a routine with my dogs and that is they get a walk every morning before I go to work. It’s great exercise for me too and really wakes me up and I feel better knowing the kids got to enjoy some semi-fresh air and a little exercise before I leave them for a day of work.

Ever since the holidays it’s been harder for me to get up as early as I would like. Each morning they get walked at different times. Sometimes early, sometimes later. This particular morning I was struggling with getting up. So their walk was just slightly later than the average.

We made it around our 1.5 mile loop and were coming down that last long stretch that dumped us out on our street. Throughout the walk we encounter other dogs walking with their owners, lots of cats that either scurry away when we approach or tense up in a ball and stare us down with evil glares, several squirrels that like to race us along the top of the wooden fences, lizards, birds, etc.

As we were walking down the sidewalk, I was keeping my Boxer mix puppy under control as she was getting excited about a cat sitting in this neighbor’s driveway. All of the sudden I heard this noise. It sounded like a splatter, one I’m oh too familiar with. This sound reminded me of my childhood days when I used to skateboard and rollerblade. There was always that one stick or rock that would get under my wheel and cause my wheel to lock while my body continued with its forward momentum. Then I would slap my body onto the concrete sidewalk, face first, sometimes catching myself with my hands or knees. It wasn’t the greatest feeling in the world. Who am I kidding, that hurt like a bitch. I recall several accidents resulting in me falling and smacking myself hard onto the concrete.

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When I heard the sound I thought to myself, “Was that? No, it couldn’t be. But that sound.” I felt it was something more than an acorn or bird poop. It was more of a splat than a splatter. When I turned to check it out I was horrified. Only a few steps behind me on the sidewalk lay a squirrel, flat on its stomach and face. I watched for a second to see if it was alive and I saw some movement. My heart went out to this thing. It must have fallen from a powerline or tree or something. The crazy thing is if I was 10-15 seconds slower it would have landed right on top of me or one of the dogs. I kind of wish it did because it didn’t look like it was doing well on the sidewalk.

I thought maybe it broke its neck or seriously injured itself. It was barely moving until I started walking back towards it. I wanted to help it if I could, and yes, I was planning on scooping it up and taking it to a vet if it was still alive. When I took a step towards it, it started to crawl a little. Its hands looked a little funny, like they were broken and weren’t working properly. This squirrel still tried to crawl, dragging its body to the edge of a yard.

I didn’t want to scare it but I had my two big dogs with me, both very interested in the squirrel now. I couldn’t just leave it because I thought time was of the essence. As the three of us approached, that squirrel quickly recovered and skipped on through the chain-linked fence to the base of a nearby tree where it sat for a few moments. I imagine it was trying to recover and stay safe. I was still a little worried since that cat next door looked like he was ready to prowl. I walked up to the fence with the dogs and the squirrel scurried up the tree, holding on without any difficulties. It seemed as if the fall didn’t hurt it that much. It was lucky this time.

That sound still haunts me because it originally appeared that the squirrel was dead and that made me sad for a moment. Oh, well. Happy endings rock!





To blink, or not to blink: Turn signal etiquette 101

18 09 2012

I’ve come up with this awesome idea that will save us money individually and as an economy. I can’t believe nobody else has come up with this idea. It all started when I began to notice something repeatedly happening whenever I was out driving. You see, my dad is a play-by-the-rules type of guy. I love and respect him for that. It’s a very admirable quality. When he was teaching me how to drive, he taught me the ins and outs, the dos and dont’s.  Hands at 10 and 2, eyes on the road and constantly check the mirrors, always be aware of who and what is around you. If you miss your turn, don’t slam on your brakes and make everybody pay for your mistake, even if you have to go a little out of your way, it’s the right thing to do. The respectful polite thing to do maybe. He taught me to use my blinker when turning or wanting to switch lanes. This is to let people know you want to switch lanes or that you’re turning a certain direction, out of respect and safety and because it’s the law.

What i’ve noticed is that very few people use their blinkers anymore. It’s a rarity when I see that flashing signal indicating someone actually flipped that mechanism on their steering wheel to let other people driving their 3,000+ pounds of heavy steel know that you plan on switching over into the lane they are approaching you in or that you may be turning soon and slowing down would be the safest thing for everyone.

Nope, blinkers aren’t something people take seriously. Now, it’s either we’re plain lazy and don’t want to exert the energy to turn the blinker on or we’re just inconsiderate, self centered and don’t have a care as to what is going on outside our own little world or maybe it’s because we hate people and enjoy pissing them off. I’m sure there’s more reasons other than what I listed but those are my primary ones.

Sometimes I am lazy and don’t want to signal. Usually, though, when I don’t use my signal it’s because nobody is around me or I’m paranoid that if I signal, everybody will then speed up and try to get past me pacing the distance between the car in front of them perfectly so I can never switch lanes and must wait and get at the end of the line. I guess it’s fairly normal to expect to have to go to the back of the line when you step out of the line you were  in.

Anyway, I’ve witnessed this many times. I notice somebody wants to get over because they actually used their blinkers. People come up from behind and speed up, closing in on the gap between the car in front of them. Other cars approach and the cars seems to be driving at the exact same speed, not creating any room for the person to get over. Now if this person were not to use their blinker and just wait for the gap and squeeze in, they would get in a lot quicker. I know there are some people that pay attention and courteously allow enough room for the person blinking ever so nicely to come into their lane. Kudos to you. I do this most of the times. I feel that if your nice enough to give me the heads up as to what you’d  like to do, and it won’t disturb my flow too much, then by all means, come into my lane. But don’t just push your way in without a signal or signal and expect me to let you in right away. If I can I will. But just because you turned your signal on, doesn’t mean you have the right of way.

Same goes for turning. It’s a freaking courtesy. Let the person behind you know that you are turning so they can either slow down or switch lanes and go around you. Not signaling for a turn is like falling and pulling somebody down with you. It’s so selfish and blatantly disregards other driver’s interest and well being. I personally would love for the person behind me to know to slow down and not hit me because I’m about to do an abrupt turn and I shouldn’t expect you to be able to read my mind and know what I’m about to do next.

And if you really want to get me going, while you’re driving down the center lane of a 3-lane highway, use your signal and let me see this blinking light proudly announce that you will be getting into the right lane. I will smile and sing your praises, overwhelmed with the respect and acknowledgment of somebody other than yourself. And then, as you approach that right turn area that you said you were heading, you instead turn left with the right blinker still flashing. I would rather you not blink at all. That is lazy and absent-minded and who wants to be on the road with an absent-minded person who at any given moment may be thinking about something other than driving down the road. Ever heard of road hypnosis. I’ve had it happen to me before. That can be for another blog topic.

If we aren’t going to blink properly or at all then why have blinkers. Why pay the extra money, when purchasing a car, for something you’ll never use? Wouldn’t rather have that money in your pocket or towards something else? The material that makes blinkers, the bulbs, the fuses, everything can just disappear. If we really need to signal there is always your arm and hand. Cars will be cheaper, road rage will decrease because now there no expecting courtesy from other drivers, just look out for yourself. It’s a win-win situation.

If you think I have some serious issues then you’re probably right. You see, I’m traumatized from cops giving me tickets for things everybody and their mom do on a daily basis. Like not using your turn signal. Yes I was pulled over for not using my turn signal when merging from the center median lane into the regular lanes. I signaled to get out to the middle of the road from the stop sign I sat at but my blinker turned off and I didn’t turn it back on to continue in the direction I wanted to go. It was after work and I was ready to go home and relax. I thought that was a petty ticket but it taught me to use my signal. It also created an issue for me I’m just beginning to realize.

Sigh.





Back to my blog – What I was saying was…

15 09 2012

Hello there. I know I’ve been going on my rants and raves of passion lately on my blog. About this and about that. The more I learn about the world, the more I feel I need to fight. For equal treatment. For things I never really thought about before because it wasn’t the right time. For doing what’s right in my own eyes and not following some of the ways of the world. For the killing and the hate to stop. It’s easy for me to get pulled into the world of darkness when I watch or read the news, local or nationally. I thrive on learning about things. I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures, religions and ways of life. About people and their stories. So many stories.

My special box.

I can feel something inside me change. I feel that I’m starting to “get” things more. I’m beginning to understand how life works and it’s pretty crazy. I feel like I’ve been able to step outside myself and my feelings to really see what triggers one over the other. I’m beginning to  trust again. I like who I’m becoming and although I’m still going to make mistakes, I’ve realized that it’s part of learning. And having the control to consciously not make them again.

I thank my parents for teaching me the ways of good. A lot of what they taught was absorbed. I like the kind of person those lessons helped to mold.

Now it’s time for some more dysfunction.





After all these years, is it really important to know your dad?

3 08 2012

There’s been a lot of baby fever going around in my family these past several years. Some of my cousins made a head start and are raising toddlers right now while others set another pace. We celebrated my brother’s first born last October, welcoming a stud of a little boy into our family.

I love seeing the changes in people when they bring a child into the world. I’m going to tell you right now, I never pictured my brother as a daddy. Yes he’s responsible, a hard-worker, a devoted husband but a dad? He still acted like a kid inside a 40-something body. But he’s shown me another side that I absolutely adore.

My brother and his son hanging out with an Oriole.

I’ve met so many people in my lifetime that come from diverse walks of life. I do feel lucky to have been raised by two loving people who showed me right from wrong, passed down admirable qualities and worked together to make sure I had a great childhood full of experiences I’ll cherish forever. Some of my friends were raised by both of their parents together while others had separate lives with mom and dad. Some of them never knew their dad and some of them never knew their mom. Some of them knew both of their parents but one of them chose to never be around. Some of them lost a parent or two and had to take care of there own well-being or had another family member step in.

Family is and should be the most important feature of life. For the most part, they will always be around through thick or thin, you can depend on them, you can make mistakes and know that although they may not agree with your actions, they’ll be there by your side. Blood is supposed to be thicker than water, right?

Well does that same rule apply if you were adopted into a family?

I cannot complain one bit about my life. I may not have had designer name clothes and accessories or lived in the biggest mansion in Florida but I had two parents that loved me to death and made sure I never went without necessities. They treated me just like my brother, who was their blood-son and I never saw any difference between us.

My parents explained where I came from the best they could and were always willing to answer any questions I may have. It wasn’t like they knew a lot since it was a private adoption between two families, their lawyers and their doctors. Whatever information they knew of my bio-mom, even though they weren’t technically supposed to know (the names of the families were to be anonymous but the laywers forgot to cover them on some paperwork that my mom had to sign to take me home) they openly shared with me and were available in case I needed to talk.

I grew up not knowing my bio-mom but I had a wonderful mom and dad taking good care of me. They attended every soccer game of mine throughout high school, cheered me on at my cross-country races, applauded me when I won awards for my academics or other activities. They were there for me the first time I was dumped by a stupid boy and when I broke my wrist behaving recklessly on the school bus. They forked over money sending me to camps and putting me through whatever new endeavor I challenged myself with. They helped me with my homework, listened to endless hours of teenage drama and never refused to read any of the stories I wrote. They taught me morals and values and how to treat people, animals and the earth. I never felt I was missing out on anything.

I was in my mid-20s when someone I was closely related to searched for me and eventually found me in a town nearby. This woman contacted my parents and asked their permission to meet me, claiming that she was my biological mother. The message was passed to me and it was completely my decision on whether to pursue this or not. I didn’t HAVE to if I didn’t want to, but this woman would really love to meet me. And I can’t say I was never curious. I’m guilty of performing small internet searches using the name I was given as a child. My friends would always push me to seek my bio-parents out after hearing my story. I never wanted it to be a big deal. I had a family I loved and loved me back just the same.

Thoughts such as, “Do I really need to add more family to my life? Would it be awkward or strange? Would my parents get upset and jealous? Would I be ungrateful by getting to know another woman that knows me as her child?”

It was crazy for a little while. My emotions were a little stone cold, almost in shock or something, keeping at a distance while still all over the place. I was going through a lot of changes in my life that year. Relationships, friendships, sexuality, drinking habits, career moves, etc. I wasn’t sure I was ready to deal with my feelings on that particular subject matter. But I did take her feelings into consideration too. And I arranged to meet her.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you what was going through my head. And yes, it was awkward at that Panera Bread downtown with the amazing parents that raised me sitting next to me and the woman that gave birth to me, and let me go to have a better life than she felt like she could provide, sitting across from me. The spotlight was on me and it was blinding.

We exchanged stories and pictures and that day marked the beginning of my relationship with my first blood-relative and bio-mom. It’s a day I’ll never forget. It was a day I was told the story of how I came to be here on this earth. And it was the first time I noticed resemblances between myself and somebody related to me. While my other friends told stories of how they have their father’s eyes and nose and their mother’s hair and hands I had to sit quiet without contributing. A lot of people would say I looked like my parents and we would always smile and say thank you for the compliment.

I’ve learned a lot about myself through the friendship with my bio-mom. She’s an amazing women herself with the biggest heart. It was like she, too, was part of the family I was raised with. I still can’t get over how lucky and blessed I was, and still am.

Since meeting my bio-mom, I’ve also met her mom and her brother and have enjoyed my time getting to know them. Are we this one big happy family? Not really. Do I benefit from having met them and keeping them in my life? Absolutely. We’ve taken the time to get to know each other and although the pace may be slow for some, it seems to be working out for all of us.

I had no idea what to expect when my bio-mom and her family entered my life. It was nice receiving some answers and making what had only been a fantasy illusion of how I came to be, an actual reality. I do feel like this discovery was meant to be. I’m not sure if I’ve changed in any way because of it but it’s definitely a bonus in my eyes.

Now due to the fact that my bio-mom had a bit of an unusual time growing up; she and her brother were raised by a single mom; her brother was hit by a car when he was around 8 and she was 12 which put him in a coma for nearly a year while clinging to life; her mother tended to her brother’s side while waiting for his recovery leaving her to take care of herself while still a kid; she was 13 when she got pregnant and forced to keep it a secret and never talk about me once I was gone; drugs, alcohol, and older boys played a part in the life of this teenager who was starving for some attention and love.

I wasn’t surprised when she told me she wasn’t sure who my father was because her memory had blocked that crazy time in her life. At the time, it didn’t seem to matter that much to me. She was more embarrassed with not knowing or having the recollection to give me an answer to that question. It didn’t matter to me because I already had so many amazing people in my life and felt supremely blessed. Since she never talked about the event to anybody, my bio-dad most likely doesn’t know I exist.

Lately though, things have been coming back to my bio-mom’s memory. Images, people, conversations and certain moments have been sneaking back in. She’s embarrassed to have to figure out “the one” between several different guys, recalling a time in her life filled with darkness and uncertainty. I’m definitely not one to judge nor should be since I haven’t walked a day in her shoes. So she was a little promiscuous as a child, her circumstances were not like other children her age. Her mom did the best she could but was dealt a few tough hands. She was a dreamer and just wanted to feel special. Attention is something children need. She was just trying to get by the best she could. Even though her actions were nothing like what I grew up with, I love her and would never pass any judgment on her.

So, now that I’ve caught you up on things, here’s where I’m at currently. Bio-mom says she would dig deep within herself and do whatever it takes to locate my bio-dad if that’s something I wanted to do. Digging up the past isn’t always the best to do if it’s a time of heartache and pain. I don’t want my bio-mom to go through any more unnecessary strife, especially on behalf of my curiosity. But is knowing who my bio-dad is only for satisfying my curiosity?

I’m struggling with this right now because I don’t know what would be the right thing to do. I don’t want to cause my bio-mom any grief. I don’t know if it really matters whether my bio-dad knows I exist or not. My life is fine and will continue to be fine. I don’t think meeting bio-dad would change anything. I’m in my thirties now, I know that he’s all grown up too. Some of the bio-dad candidates are married and have children or were married and have children. The only way to truly know would be to take a DNA test along with the candidates. Is it worth it? He may want to know me but there’s a chance he may not give a shit. I’m not looking for any handouts, never have, never will. It would be strictly for the purpose of knowing. How important is it to know the people who made you after being raised by people who loved you just as much? Will me interrupting his life hurt him and his family? I’m not expecting some big epiphany if me and bio-dad ever met or for either of our lives to change direction or even be greatly impacted by this. So is there any reason to reveal this information?

As of right now, bio-mom has decided that it may not be the best time for her to pursue this and is concerned that popping in this man’s life may cause more harm than anything. But if I really wanted to know, she would help me. Since I have no idea what the right thing to do is, I’m in search for some answers that will direct me down the right path. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.





The Psycho-Cycle of Obsession

2 02 2012

What am I supposed to do

When I don’t know where to go

As life continues to throw

Blow after blow,

Not letting it show,

Or keeping with the flow.

I’ve seen too much,

Doors and windows have opened up.

Every action feels stuck

On which one to save.

All eyes and ears will not believe

The sadness and grief

Of people just like me.

How can it be

That we take for granted

So much but we can’t

Save just one small account.





Love is Blinded by the Light of Evil

2 02 2012

Now that I’ve seen

And learned about suffering and grief

On a level no one would believe,

I wonder why I  hold on to so tightly.

I would like to just squeeze the sadness right

Through til it seeps out

And trickles down,

Only to drop on the floor for me to mop up later.

And no one can stop

What goes through my thoughts

And into my heart

Because that’s where it starts

And ends, but being apart from your feelings

Will not allow you to embark

On your journey through the dark.