Sunday, November 15, 2015

rest.less.

I mean like wow. That was close.

In the past couple of weeks I've been restless. Uneasy. Ready for change. I'm not sure if going home for my 20 year had anything to do with it. Feeling that feeling of... connection and roots that only a place that you grew up in can offer. Since my sis and sweet niece moved from here to Northern Cali a few months ago, I've been feeling less grounded in Indy. I miss my mom and would do anything to live near her again.  Last week I was this (.) close to saying yes - or at least moving forward with a potential job offer with one of my most favorite heart humans - In Dallas.

It wasn't that long ago that I couldn't board a plane home without a yoga mat, running shoes, and a fresh prescription of Xanax. And now? I didn't even flinch and apparently I must have been really excited about the prospect because after a convo with SpecialK pretty much ruled out our chance of moving back to D-town like EVER, I was crushed. Crushed. I was as surprised as SpeacialK. But I get it, something we've talked about through and through and I get it. I get his hang ups, they are the same ones that I have had for most of my adult life. The ones that produce anxiety and fear and frustration at that beast that is Dallas. A beast I never thought about taming. Instead I packed my bags and literally headed to the other side of the world to get away from it. But that beast holds things in it that are still dear to me, my family, my friends (from life), my mom. Oof, my mom. But he has those things here or at least near by. And even with those things he is still willing to move elsewhere in the name of new opportunity and challenges. But just not there.

So yeah, restless. And sleepless too thanks to the wee little person who has recently started waking up at 5:45 a.m. every morning, ready to party and start her day - and ours. The first 18 months of 9 a.m. wake up calls are sadly over. I'm left with even more hours in my day to think and feel restless. Trying to figure out next step. The next new challenge. A week ago I was mentally preparing for a possible relocation back to Dallas and the week before that I was considering writing a book. The week before that was something else, fleeting I'm sure. But I am open, and so is SpecialK - to an extent.

This week SpecialK travels and I'm left to single parenting which means 5:45 a.m. solo duty. Which means lots of time to consider next steps and continue feeling restless. To reflect and marvel at my unflinching willingness to head back to Dallas and to consider even more about where we could end up in the next year or 2. West coast? East coast? Back oversees? Or just right where we are.
It's exciting and daunting, just enough to make a person rest.less.

S

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Here, someone hold my earrings.

It's 2015 and Donald Trump is not only running for the Republican nomination, but he is CRUSHING the competition. It's not a joke and it's not an SNL skit because SNL only just spoofed it last night because let's face it, they had no choice. Even they thought that Trump would have self destructed before they had to finally pull up their fair and equal britches and bring him on set. It's surreal you guys, surreal and fucking scary. Even if he wasn't running for President of the freaking United States, I would be appalled by his actions as a human being who pays enough money for the spotlight and microphone. He a misogynist pig with a blatant disregard and respect for women and other humans. BLATANT. And people are paying millions to ensure that he's our next President? 


During the past few debates and the days that follow (and let's face, his last 20 years), he is openly shitty towards women and about women and his thoughts on immigration and Latinos is stomach turning and appalling. I would never want my own child to read or hear anyone say any of that about any other human and the fact that he is out there shouting it from the rooftops and as a result is GAINING POPULARITY is un fucking believable. What a shit show. His GOP support is surging because in all honesty, the American people are sick of politics and failed promises. Enter Donald Trump, demonizing brown people who are taking up the low wage jobs and telling the anxious white middle class and lower middle class that he can make this country great again because look how awesome he made himself and we can shove all things PC up our own asses.

His path to the white house has thus far been paved with the carnage of women and minorities, of fellow Republican candidates and Jesus forbid any journalist who challenges his pomp and circumstance. This is a man who wants to cut (way) back on education, Environmental policies, and slash Defense while building up our military. With horror, I listed to him attempt to articulate (in a way that makes the listener doubt their own sanity as they grasp to make sense of the nonsense being spewed on national television) that he is 'gonna build a military that's gonna be much stronger than it is right now. 'It's gonna be so strong, nobody's gonna mess with us.'

I'm constantly baffled by the number of close friends in family who are emerging as 'Texans for Trump'. Texans for Trump. Dammit Texas. Ben Carson I could almost understand. Rubio I could stomach... anyone else. But Him? How do you explain to your children to not listen to what he says on the most basic level about other people. Other races other religions and the opposite sex.

Don't listen to what he says kids. He's a billionaire and he'll make us so rich and so scary that no one in the world will never mess with us again. Nothing bad will ever happen to us again. I know he says women are stupide and ugly and you have to be pretty to be taken seriously. But he's rich. Really really rich.
 
 
Anyone who knows me knows that it doesn't matter who makes the final ticket, I'm not casting my vote for the GOfuckingP. But his influence scares the shit out of me. How tired our nation seems to be that it has lowered it's bar so completely, scares the shit out of me. I need to hear some rational sense behind why he is still here and relevant. Why are people still supporting him? Why do people that I love and respect support him? Just like his inability to truly articulate any kind of solid plan for... anything....I have yet to hear a solid argument to support him. Again, not that that would sway me to the 'Dark Side', but I at least want to stand up to a worthy opponent. An opponent who, if he or she wins, I can assure that while I may or may not agree with their politics, at least they are a decent human.
 
Or at least a fucking human.
It's one year away.
 
S

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Please tell me I will always get to choose her costumes.

 

We weren't sure that we could top our - I mean her - 2014 costume to beat all costumes but low and behold, SpecialK had a vision for 2015, once we came to terms with the wee little person's recent aversion to hats and wigs. So help us, we are already thinking about next year, because you know, 2 1/2 year olds don't have costume opinions yet, right?  #WillieNelson #EllenDegeneres

S

Monday, November 2, 2015

When NPR yanks the skeleton out of your closet, just in time for All Souls Day. Well played NPR, well played.

On Saturday afternoon, SpecialK came through the backdoor, hair in all directions, with a wild almost maniacal look in his eyes (he'd just finished working out but that could still be him on almost any given day), and announced that he'd just finished listening to a half hour segment on NPR's This American Life about my biological grandfather. It hit me smack in the gut. I was grateful in that moment that the wee little person was upstairs taking a nap, ears safe from the mere mention of him. The podcast - Christ on crutches he's been turned into a fucking podcast - would be released on Sunday.

Him. The him that haunted my adolescence and stayed tucked away in a past that wasn't really a past I wanted to claim, especially since the universe made sure that he did not have a hand in our upbringing, nor his own children's (or most of them anyway). But still, the knowledge of him was always there. A book - The Book - written by one of his own sons surfaced (and literally landed on my doorstep anonymously) a few years ago and the almost reverence with which it was written was nauseating. Shocking. So fucked up. I couldn't even finish it and buried it away. In the freezer next to my oldest copy of The Shining. Not really but maybe.

In hind sight I should have burned it in ritualistic fashion when he passed away last year, thank you Universe, prior to the birth of my wee little person. But now, He lives on in audio form. Complete with interviews, conversations... some of his victims, his own sons and co-conspirators... All there for the world to listen to and ponder. Have I listened to it? Jesus no. I'm not sure that I will or that I could even stomach it. Kevin described his voice, the voice of a cancer ridden 80 year old unapologetic evil genius, stress on the evil but dammitall on the genius too. Genius in the inability to function in mainstream rational and law abiding society kind of way.

Like a ghost from the past, the skeleton tumbles out and presses play and on this day of All Souls, I remember and pray not for the man, the relative, but for his victims. Those hapless lonely heart who so easily believed and those who still long for their perceived love lost. I pray and I grieve for them.
 
S

Monday, October 26, 2015

That time I went to my 20 year class reunion and survived.

Apparently peer pressure and Fear of Missing Out (and the possibility of a Texas Rangers playoff game but so much for that) still play on my inner 16 year old self as the little person and I made our way back home to Dallas for my 20 year class reunion last weekend. TWENTY YEARS. When my mom went to her twenty year reunion I remember thinking that she was so damn old. What did I know?

I missed my 10 year because SpecialK and I were living our cool bohemian life back then in our beautiful Praha. Best excuse ever for missing out and really I didn't feel like I was missing out. But this time, it was full proof peer pressure from 2 of my oldies but goodies - you know the ones you got grounded with, who held your hair when you puked and laughed at you at the same time, and on the best nights they parked down the street in a dark idol car waiting for you to emerge from your bedroom window - who had me RSVPing before I could come up with any half ass excuses not to. I love them and after 25 years of friendship I still can't say no to them so I came back.

SpecialK declined my offer to attend and rightly so. Spending an evening - let alone an entire weekend - with people whom I've known for 20-30 years and he knows none is his worst nightmare. A socialite and small talker he is not and after 16 years of being together we know our limits and I love it.

Things I learned this weekend:
  1. It is possible for Benadryl to have the complete opposite effect for some folks, say for example a little 18 month old person who's energy level 30 minutes into a 7 a.m. flight was comparable to an NYC rave. Fantastic.
  2. My high school has one less floor than I remember. I'm going to be pondering that one for a while, trying to figure out where my phantom 4th floor classes actually took place or if they even took place at all.
  3. I may have actually been in a coma for half of high school because there were too many old stories that had me co-starring or playing a supporting role that I just don't remember. That could explain the phantom 4th floor.
  4. My diploma may have been a mistake. Many of the stories involved skipping class which has me wondering how I was allowed to graduate at all, let alone graduate with 14 college credit hours.
  5. I dated a college guy when I was a senior?? One of my favorite humans reminded me of this - Back to the coma, I'd totally forgotten or blocked it out. What the heck was I thinking and what the heck was he thinking? Just, ew.
  6. The best people don't change because they never had to. They were always the best people, and not necessarily the most obvious.
  7. It's really easy to slip back into old roles, even if those roles are from 20 years ago. It's trippy to witness it's trippier to experience it.
  8. You don't have to get drunk to have a good time but sometimes maybe you just really should get drunk
  9. You're never to old to ask permission from your parents to spend the night at your best friend's house (especially when they are taking care of your wee little human person).
  10. In an instant you can be 18 again. Lingering, wallowing, and questioning your 18 year old self can be brutal - for everyone. At some point you have to pull up your boots and move the fuck on folks.
  11. There's a lot to be said for wanting to go to a place where everyone knows your name and they really are glad you came. Reminiscing with people you've knows since you were 9 or 5 even... It can be cool. Really freaking cool.
  12. People on planes fear human babies out of the womb more than they fear pregnant women. I didn't think that was possible. Even before the Benadryl kicked up the party in the back, people were just plain assholes at first sight.
  13. And speaking of assholes, I am not above dolling out bribes like Frozen marathons and pacifiers in order to keep fellow fliers from judging my in-flight offspring.
  14. This one was a tough reality check: Coffee and booze are but a fond memory when flying solo with a toddler. Hot drink, let alone anything not in a bottle with a lid that closes is not even an option when your significant other is not around to lending a helping hand. That makes delayed flights all the more painful and Frozen filled.
And that's that. In a flash but not a flash, the weekend is over. I'm left with a sore throat from all of the talking and yet there are a million questions and conversations that never happened. Maybe save those for the 30th. The 30th. That's three presidential elections away, y'all.
That sounds so old.

S

Sunday, February 15, 2015

April, 1945, She Said Yes.

Engaged this day! Rec'd a diamond today.

I was transferred to US Naval Hospital Oak Knoll - Oakland, California. It was a Redwood Forest of Barracks - up the hills, down the hills - quite a switch from D.C. Rode the train with Jacobs and Ron Christopher, layed over in Chicago, IL for another train, Stayed at The Palmer House on Michigan Ave. - Beat sleeping in the barracks! Gorgeous place!
Neal's ship the USS Wayne APA 54 came into Oakland for repairs - we had some liberty!! The war in Europe was over so San Francisco was pretty much shut down. We met at Clara's house for our first reunion and he proposed to me on bended knee -
  "Yes, yes I'll marry you" -

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

September 28, 1943. The Beginning.


September 28, 1943

Introduced to Neal Herron at the US Naval Hospital bus stop by Fred Bradley (Neal's friend from Norfolk Naval Station Virginia). I was with my friend Rosie Zorfas Phm 2/c.
We four piled in a hailed cab and were dropped off in Washington D.C. There we went to The Lotus Club - I was overcome by Neal Herron. He smiled at me and I melted. We were early at the club. It had no music yet. We held hands under the table and talked. Then they struck up the band! - Boy could Neal Herron (sailor) dance. No sea legs on this guy -
We jitterbugged the afternoon away . Even ate a sandwich. Then he and Bradley hailed a cab and let us in closed the door and were gone back to the base - Rosie and me.
Rosie said to me "Gee Fran, he is really cute" and I agreed but thought I would never see him again. I spent my nights in the barracks in my bunk, praying that Neal would come back. He DID.
We went into Wash D.C. to dinner. He ordered LAMB. I am from sheep country, I don't eat lamb but I did just for him. Maybe he didn't have enough money.

Went to a movie - "Buckle Down Winsockee" with Lucille Ball and smooched! He put me in a cab and we kissed goodbye and he was on his way to Norfolk again. Next heard by phone at my barracks. He will be going via Panama Canal to San Diego and shipping out to who knows where!
LETTERS PLEASE WRITE!
He mailed me a photo, I love it! He sent me a picture of he and more sailors in a bar. They had girl friends, he was alone. - Oh! I'm so glad!
He wrote. I wrote.
He received the Bronze star medal for heroic saving of a marine (wounded) on a beach somewhere in the Pacific Theatre - he mailed it to me!
I had met his parents in N.J. one day. My friend Marie Sabel lived (or was from) Cartaret N.J. so I went with her and we went to Neal's parents' home. They were shocked by the visit! They had no idea that I existed! "Here I am Mr. and Mrs. H!" They called in Chinese food and we all ate then we headed back to Bethesda Hospital.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Like, Magic.

This. She looks at me like this a lot. Like 'You've got this', 'Just breathe' or Keep up the good work'. And I believe it has been good work. Not easy that's for damn sure but it has been good. Really really good. And honestly? She's better than I deserve. Good natured, funny, laid back... so so chill. How did I get so lucky? It's like the Universe finally decided that after 4 miscarriages and years of trying that I really was serious about the whole baby thing and maybe the powers that be would give me - us - a shot. Finally.
All of my preconceived notions about parenting and giving birth were abruptly thrown out the door as soon as she arrived 6 weeks early and in the wrong state. Like literally, the wrong state of the United States. #SpeacialK and I crash-coursed caring for a newborn/premie and breast feeding took months to master. Months. But yes, master that I did, much to my amazement. We're pretty unabashed about it and not in an in-your-face kind of way, but more like, the kid's gotta eat and I am her source kind of way instead. It's kind of magical. 
And the post-partum pounds and blues? Yep, totally real and not as easy to kick as my former pre-birth giving self could have imagined. 10 months later and I'm not going to lie, maternity pants are still a regular part of my daily rotation and they are in fact so freaking comfortable... I could eat Thanksgiving dinner almost every day in those bad boys. But I don't. Instead I find myself counting calories almost daily, painfully, as I struggle to find the shape that I was once in. Once upon a time. #totallyworthit.
Right now she's in this (magical) phase where when it's time for bed, we do the night time routine and as soon as you turn out the light and turn on her fan, she snuggles tightly, right into your chest. Kind of like Yes, finally, let's do this whole sleep thing. So then we rock for a few minutes and she's out. Sometimes I rock for longer, because I can and I try to inhale her through my nose until there is nothing left... And sometimes she still squirms after a time but when we put her into her crib, no matter what, she turns her head one way, then the other. Then she just kind of exhales. And that's it. And then we watch her in the monitor like it's live television and after an hour or so of not moving, I go and check to make sure she's breathing. And then we relax. And an hour later I check again, because I have to. Relax. Check. Repeat. I can't not. She's too good. Too perfect. How did we get so lucky?
I have to write this all down now because let's face it, I'll need to go back to it when she's a teenager if her dad and I are any indication...
S