Six Months

July 31, 2007 at 1:37 am (Cats, Crazy Shit, Memories, The House)

It has been six months since the fire. I feel as though a magical clock ticks down every month. An internal clock which draws me deeper into darkness as the 28th approaches. My mom says I haven’t talked about it enough. She means, to her. Maybe I haven’t, maybe I have. Maybe, I don’t want to.

There’s only so much I can bite off and chew on at a time. I’m not sure that reliving the moment when I discovered my house on fire or that moment that I found Ozzy by the door or the moment I saw Lola on the couch or the first time I saw Smokey on my bed or digging Napoleon’s burnt body out of the computer room floor is really all that cathartic.

I’ll always have more questions than answers and I’ll always carry a certain guilt that they were innocent and defenseless and I should have been here to protect them. I hate it that I don’t know what really happened, how it really happened. I’ve gone over it and over it in my mind. The cardboard boxes that were in the computer room, the flat ones. I was packing clothes to give away and I shoved them way back into the computer room because the cats had knocked one over onto the furnace before. There were some other papers there but I moved them too.

When I did that, I noticed the floor beside of the floor furnace was hot. It had never been hot before but I didn’t see anything. I didn’t smell anything. I just moved everything and then, before I left, I turned the furnace down so it wouldn’t kick on as much. Ozzy and Cali were in one of the boxes on top on my other desk by the computer room door, Ireland was asleep on top of my computer monitor, Smokey was on my bed, Lola was on the top of the couch, Marco was asleep on the end table beside the front door, Midnight was hiding in the bathroom, as always, and Napoleon was… I don’t remember. He wasn’t asleep though.

Napoleon, Ireland, Ozzy, and Cali were the only ones who moved from where I had last seen them. Ozzy and Cali were in the living room, Ireland was in the door to my bedroom, and Napoleon was almost right in the center of the computer room. Something happened with that floor furnace. Something caused Ireland, Ozzy, and Cali to leave the room right beside of it. Napoleon, well, he just came looking for me.

I never really got a straight answer from anyone about why the house caught on fire. I’m not sure what evidence they found or what that evidence meant, although they generally seemed to feel that something fell onto the furnace, however, I know that where the floor felt hot, was where the big, burned out place was beside of the furnace. Everything else I saw during the fire was distorted by panic and shock. Eyewitness testimony is the most unreliable.

Part of me never wants to know. I never want to know if one of the cats somehow pushed one of those boxes onto the furnace or some errant sheet of paper caused this fiasco. I never want to know if there was something more I could have done. Some days I can barely live with it as it is.

At least I don’t dream about it and if I do, I don’t remember it. I do, however, remember part of a dream I had late Saturday afternoon. I came home from work, turned on Court TV, and took a nap. Not surprising, I dreamed of violence. I saw a police officer shot and he did, what at first I thought, was the strangest thing. He flicked at the bullet wound as though it were a bug or bee. He tried to act as though he wasn’t shot but then he collapsed and he died. Then it dawned on me that a gunshot, at first, probably would feel like a wasp or a hornet sting. A painful burning sensation that shoots fire through your body and without thought, just as a learned reaction, maybe you would try and flick off the wasp.

I woke up and Cold Case Files was on Court TV. Again, not surprising, it was a case in which two police officers were gunned down on a routine traffic stop in the 1950’s. So, don’t fall asleep while watching Court TV folks. It makes you have weird dreams.

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Unmitigated Hell

July 26, 2007 at 8:01 am (Crazy Shit, Work)

Please, have mercy on the poor servers of the world as I am one of them.

We got righteously slammed today. Had it not been for our incredible management staff who poured in to assist us, we’d still be stuck on lunch.

The day started out with some smoke from the kitchen setting off the fire alarm. At my law firm job this happened quite a bit, for some reason, and I knew all you had to do was go to the box and reset the alarm. Not quite so easy at the eatery. That magical button was way up behind the ceiling tiles. Big Chef, as in, Owner Chef, had to make a strafing run to reset it… about 30 seconds before customers started arriving.

Then, it was on! I had my first large table today of six peeps, I got my table numbers mixed up, I had to create a table number, I’m pretty sure I forgot to charge someone for a salad, I learned what “on the fly” means, and I had to talk myself out of breaking down at the POS system. One of my managers totally saved my rear by getting two salads “on the fly” and she actually made another one “on the fly.” One minute she is serving food and the next she’s behind the counter making the food. She rules.

When it was over, it looked like a bomb had gone off in the restaurant. Every table, except the high tops, were dirty. We were lucky to be able to seat the two tables that came in after the rush and even now, I’m not quite sure how we accomplished that. Well, I do. Its called teamwork. I wish more managers knew the meaning of that word because they sincerely foster a close relationship between management, servers, and cooks where I work.

On the bright side, other than simply surviving today, I got my first compliment from a customer yesterday. Not only did she compliment me, but she bragged on our restaurant from stem to stern to me, before ever saying anything to management before she left. And, when Big Chef was there today, he mentioned it to me and that made me feel good. Plus, she tipped me almost 100% of the tab. And that was before I did a little tap dance at the table. It was her friend’s birthday!

Today, I doubt anyone was bragging much. Frankly, the other server and I were quite surprised that we got tipped at all by some folks. Hell, I was surprised some folks didn’t ask for a refund. Again, our superb management team got our asses out of a huge sling today and I learned more lessons. I guess it couldn’t have been as bad as I thought, probably just because I felt like I was drowning, doesn’t mean folks saw water filling up my eyeballs. Just keep smiling, smiling, smiling.

The other lady that started the same day as me, well, she didn’t make the cut. I guess the other staff gave her a bad review and said she didn’t quite “fit.” That made me feel bad for her and I told Hal, the server that I survived today with, that had they done that to me, I would have bawled my eyes out. Well, then again, if I didn’t feel the fit, then I probably wouldn’t have, and I would have been glad to go and find my niche somewhere else.

And I forgot to actually post this, so all of it happened yesterday. Have a great day!

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Aren’t You Glad I Read Fast?

July 21, 2007 at 10:13 pm (General, Relationships)

I finished the final installment earlier today. I loved it but it was also sad and I’m not totally depressed but also still absorbing the nuances of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” I was right about many things and of course, if you would care for a discussion of the book, please e-mail me as not to publish any spoilers.

Work is going well. My first week review was very positive and I really, really like everyone I work with, so far. I was supposed to meet one of the bartenders this evening for a drink, a young single mom, much like myself at her age, however, Jeff does not have Nate this weekend because he re-injured his back and has been under a fog of pain medications.

I saw one of the sous chefs at the Harry Potter party last night. I felt bad that he came out to get a copy of the book and then had to return to work to finish prep for a wedding today. I believe he also had to go to the wedding itself so he may not be able to start reading until late, late tonight. If he’s like me, he probably spent an inordinate amount of time last night, until 6 a.m. for me, reading. The only reason I sat the book down was because Nate would have thrown a fit had he realized I was much further ahead than he was.

I should have continued reading as I would have had it finished by the time he woke at 10 a.m. and then he wouldn’t have actually thrown that fit to find that Mom was well ahead of his first efforts and I could have simply started the book over again. *Sigh* It was not a pretty sight.

Numerous plans have been thwarted this weekend. I like to think that things happen for a reason and I’m right where I should be. Regardless, I’m not above feeling a bit of disappointment, resentment even, that things have not gone my way. I fight the self-deprecation and nagging doubts about my future, having almost fully emerged from one of the darkest periods of my life, still wondering where the fuck my golden prize is. Ha, ha, ha, as though I’m owed anything by this world, however, getting something I want on occasion would be rather nice.

Anyway. . . in other news, I fail to see what enticed Michael Vick to begin fighting pit bulls in violation of several State and Federal laws. As though the purses in those fights rival his NFL contract in any way. Dog and cock fighting for sport are two of the most heinous inventions of mankind involving animals. I know, innocent until proven guilty and the Grand Jury only hears one side of the story, blah, blah, blah. If he is found guilty I hope they put him in a pen with some pit bulls that know how to “sic balls.”

Ah, well, my rancor is showing, as is my sarcasm. Some old hurts have resurfaced and I quest for answers to soothe my heart and struggle to let other things, and people, go. And, okay, I am a bit sad over the final installment of HP; sad for the loss of characters I had come to love and sad that the saga is over. I would have read HP for years. Oh wait, I already have. Well… I’m off to make a watchband. Ta.

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*Beep* *Beep* *White Noise*

July 20, 2007 at 8:01 pm (General)

ANNOUNCEMENT:

This blog will be hiatus until:

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Has been read, cried over, and my depression sufficiently lifted.  *sniff*

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The Man In Uniform

July 18, 2007 at 10:03 pm (Family, Memories, Relationships)

My friend Juan has a knack for asking tough, philosophical questions so after reading my blog post about Officer D. and various comments he asked me what was it really about a man in uniform that did it for me.

I answered quite readily as though I had thought about this question over and over again, coming to some conclusion which had taken years to determine. It wasn’t until we were sitting on my porch and he asked that the answer quite simply came to me. A visual really, of black military boots and olive green BDUs, that’s Battle Dress Uniforms or fatigues, for you non-military folks.

My father was a military man. He served in the Army for several years then joined the Naval Reserve where he served with the Seabees (CB = Construction Battalion) for over 20 years.

As some of you may recall from my earliest days of blogging, life in the Peach house was not so good sometimes. My mother suffered from depression and she had a quite a few anger issues. When I look back, or rather feel back, I would pinpoint her emotion as resentment, especially as my father worked, went to college, and one weekend a month, played warrior.

I remember dreading those weekends. Although my father may have been absent a lot, he was still a buffer, meaning, when he did come home from work and school, whatever angers or resentments my mother was boiling over with was directed at him, instead of me. The weekends that he went away, that buffer was lost. I can’t remember any particular scene or incident that took place while he was away but I do remember the feelings. Anger, resentment, and pain, and it would build while he was away.

By Sunday afternoon, it had reached critical mass. My mom always made a nice dinner on Sundays, and invariably she would be standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes when my dad came home, his dinner still warming in the oven. My dad is a handsome man and he strikes quite a figure in uniform, even more so to a little girl who couldn’t wait for her Daddy to come home, even though it didn’t really make Mommy happy all of a sudden, like it made her.

Before the extra rooms were built onto our old house, the front door opened directly into the kitchen and I can remember waiting on that linoleum, my Dad coming in, his uniform starched and crisp, the little braided ties that held his pants legs the appropriate length, and drab green wool socks once he took off his boots. Dad eating dinner, pork chops or roast, and my Mom washing dishes at the sink, sullen.

My Dad was my savior. The cavalry has arrived! I didn’t understand the feelings I felt coming from my Mom but I did understand that once my Daddy came through that door, the heat was off of me. We passed the torch and trust me, my brother had no part of that torch. Not that my brother and I didn’t, at one time, commiserate in our misery, but he didn’t hold the torch. It was me, the one “just like” her “father.”

*Shrug* So, once again, rooted deep in my childhood, where all answers are deeply rooted, is the answer to Vince and Juan’s question.

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First Day

July 17, 2007 at 5:49 pm (AZ, Shop, T-Bird, Work)

Well, I survived my first day on the job. I haven’t dropped anything, yet. I love my co-workers. Everyone was very helpful and I trained with a great guy. The food looks delish. Still learning so I’m worn out. My muscles started quivering there for a minute but my nerves were also almost completely shot. And yes, my shoulders are aching. But, I really enjoyed it.

We have family meal every morning at 10 and every afternoon at 4:30 or so. If you work morning shift, the kitchen crew fixes everyone breakfast. If you work evening shift, the kitchen crew fixes everyone supper. On Fridays, the wait staff fix breakfast and supper for the kitchen crew. If you work a double, you get fed twice. This morning we had Southwest scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes, and bacon. IT FUCKING ROCKED because ya’ll know, I LOVE FOOD!

I’m watching a thunderstorm roll in on radar and I can hear it also, plus, it’s getting pretty dark. I’m about ready for a nap. I didn’t fall asleep until after 11:30 and I was awake well before the alarm went off. Nerves, I tell ya. We did have a bit of excitement today as an attorney, who is a regular, got upset with some guys that he said parked in a parking spot designated as handicapped. The men disputed this and the attorney called the police. The men left the table to wait on the police and we ended up comping their lunches except for the beer, even though they were eventually able to eat.

Practically everyone I know around here is having some kind of employment crisis. Steve and Lex were both canned from their jobs as DJs because of a format change. T-Bird’s old man lost his job. Of course, the shop is slow so the guys are struggling to get 40 hours. I’m extremely fortunate to have this job and I hope that I catch on quickly.

I got Steve’s wedding invitation in the mail today. I absolutely refuse to go to this shindig by myself. Refuse. Refuse. Refuse.

This brings me to Officer D. He didn’t return my call, however, I’m not even sure he got the message. Looks like I’ll be hanging out at The Point this weekend.

That’s all from this end. Hope you all had a Happy Tuesday.

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More Crafties

July 16, 2007 at 11:16 am (Beading, General)

In November of last year, if you will recall, I went to Pittsburgh for ESC’s wedding reception. I spent the majority of my time with Aimee and Evil Julie, who are both knitters. Now, I’ve tried knitting and for some reason, I just don’t get it. I can make a scarf but the other intricacies of knitting I shall leave to Aimee, Julez, and ESC.

However, being a beader did feel a bit out of place so when we visited a yarn shop I was inspired to obtain some yarn and hooks and return to the previously aborted craft of crocheting. Plus, you can crochet beads into projects and thought this would be a way to expand my horizons. I eventually had to make a trip to The Wal*Mart to obtain a  “How-To” book and embarked on the odyssey of relearning this craft.

I did well enough to finish the body of the purse I was working on, then further started on the strap. However, the fire intervened and luckily the materials were still there but smelled horrible. After many months, I returned to the crochet I had left behind.

The purse is supposed to be asymmetrical, however, I think it’s a bit too asymmetrical. Regardless, I finished it yesterday.

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It’s not that big, well, big enough for my cellphone, cigarettes, keys, and lipstick for whatever. I put a button on it but also a snap further up so it stays shut.

 See, just a bit tooooo asymmetrical, however, the straps do fit inside so it can also be carried as a clutch.

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After the relative success of this cute little evening bag, which sadly I lost the directions to, I decided I should make another crocheted item. I had started a scarf while living at the apartment but I just wasn’t feeling it.

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So, I found a really cute purse/pouch pattern online and set out to increase my skillz in crochet.  I’m actually quite proud of my little pouch.

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I have some pink and purple yarn which I think would make my niece a perfect birthday gift. I’ll get right on that today since she’ll be 3, THREE folks, already THREE, at the end of this month.

Perhaps tomorrow I will feature my new bracelet.  Keep those good vibes coming for the waitressing job I really, really want.

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This and That

July 15, 2007 at 10:37 am (Beading, Friends, The House, Work)

I had the first visitors to the newly refurbished Casa Peach yesterday. LisaB. and Se7en made a stop on their way back to the Big Apple and treated Nate and I to dinner. We also got to meet the famous Ally da Pup, and she is perfectly precious. It was wonderful seeing Se7en again and meeting Lisa, who is just as warm and interesting in person as she is on her blog. I believe I kept them too long though, just so happy to have them here, yet they were very tired, having driven up from Memphis. If you ever get the chance, please come back and visit me again.

Over at HiddenMahala’s, I found that I can get paid for blogging about certain things. I’m not sure I’ll be accepted because I can have an atrocious potty mouth at times, but, you may be seeing more interesting posts from me in the days to come. I’ll even blog more often. I gotta make money somehow, somewhere, folks.

I took Se7en and Lisa to a local family restaurant. I had written an article about their restaurant for my writing job and I liked the food so much I went back again and again. I mentioned to one of the owners that I was looking for more regular work and she said to come and see her on Tuesday and she would put me to work. AWESOME! Frankly, I really want to work in the bistro, but work is work. I told her I had had an interview but if it didn’t pan out I would see her first thing on Tuesday. *WHEW!*

I’m also getting ready to join a craft guild of sorts. Its actually a gallery where I could work and/or display my jewelry. They also sponsor shows and such and there are different types of artisans involved in the group – painters, a Bargello quilter, a sculptor, and others. It will cost $50 a month but with the number of shows I could do, plus they have the gallery at a local “WV made” outlet in the months of November and December, it could be very, very lucrative. Lucrative IF I can get more supplies in here!

I’m working on a new bracelet for me. It is something I have designed myself based on Turkish kilims. I should have it finished today. I’ll post a pic when it’s done.

Have a beautiful Sunday, I know it is here.

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Today Is My Lucky Day

July 13, 2007 at 7:13 pm (Work)

Friday the 13th, a supposed unlucky day, although I’m not sure for whom. Although there are many reasons that one could be afraid of Fridays or the number 13 or Friday the 13ths, I think I will have to agree that this superstition is a purely modern invention (1900s) and has no root as other superstitions do to the days of yore.

I told myself this morning that today was my lucky day. I’ve been telling myself all week that I believe in miracles. Driving down the road, “I believe in miracles.” Staring at the computer screen, “I believe in miracles.”

I surely do need one.

The shop has been extremely slow for the past few weeks and I believe I have worked maybe 15 hours in two weeks, or three, if that. Were it not for my writing job, child support, and dipping into my insurance fund, we’d be eating pinto beans and cornbread every night. Oh, wait, we are.

I applied for a job at a local arts and crafts center. One would think I would be more than qualified. Obviously not, as I did speak to the manager who said he would contact me but never did. I spotted an ad for a local bistro who are hiring wait staff. This is a smaller, local, up-scale eatery with an expensive menu and wine list. I was immediately all over that.

I, being among the insane of the world, have always wanted to be a waitress. Stop throwing shit at your computer screen! However, I didn’t want to work at one of the big chains where it’s loud and they drop food on the floor and serve it anyway. So, this paralegal/screen printer/writer decided she would apply for a position at an upscale eatery with NO ACTUAL WAITRESSING EXPERIENCE!

Hey, I got a 2nd interview. I met the chef today who is a younger man with a vision. I like his vision and he said that he thought I would fit in with his vision. However, I still haven’t heard from the actual manager that I interviewed with on Wednesday. I also pointed out to him that two things on the menu are spelled incorrectly. Sad day when Nanner, who speaks French exceptionally poor, says, “Yo, you spelled beurre wrong.” And for you non French speaking peeps it is pronounced “bur” as in “burr, it’s cold out here,” and it means BUTTER. I love butter.

I told Chef that, “I LOVE FOOD!” And I do. Have ya’ll seen me eat? And I love good food that I can’t afford, even that there es-car-got. (Pronounced phonetically as it is spelled – you’re in WV now.) We discussed that mignonette is not just a French sauce but also a fragrant herb. I asked if he would like to include some German dishes on his menu and I asked if he had ever cooked with morels or, as commonly known in WV, molly moojers. He told me dried black truffles are $90 a pound, his wife is from the same city in Louisiana that my cousin Kama lives, and we both have sons.

However, I have not heard anything yet. And its been 10 hours.

But, today is my lucky day and I believe in miracles.

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Goin’ Dark

July 10, 2007 at 10:13 pm (Family)

After years of being a blonde, whether genetically or artificially, Nanner will be going back to her roots.

It goes as thus, before birthing Nate, I was as blonde as I am now, just naturally. After having Nate, within hours, my hair darkened four or five shades. It lightened again but never again achieved the blonde I had been before. For several years I let it be and then around 2001, I started coloring it. Being dark after being blonde just felt and looked unnatural.

Even though I had been blonde into my mid-twenties, my eyebrows had darkened considerably earlier, enough that an old beau commented that it was that contrast which had drawn him to me.

Two things have happened recently that have encouraged me to “return to my roots.” One is the fact that my hair continues to darken as I age. Keeping the darkness under wraps is beginning to look heinous. The contrast is becoming too distinct to ignore any longer.

The second reason is a book called, “The Melungeons – The Resurrection of a Proud People: An Untold Story of Ethnic Cleansing of America” by N. Brent Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy and I are cousins more than a few times over and he specifically mentions my branch of the Mullins family in his book.

After a recent genealogical find, Melungeon history has become even more prevalent in my ethnic melting pot. Based on this new and exciting genealogical find, I can now lay claim to 17 different Melungeon surnames in my family tree, right along with the claims of “Indian princesses,” Cherokee blood, and ancestors with dark hair, dark eyes or striking blue/green eyes, and olive skin who moved more than U-Haul.

The stories that Mr. Kennedy related in his book resonated with me. Genetic testing showed “an undeniable link between the Melungeon people and the Mediterranean.” And “among those populations showing no significant differences from the Melungeons were population groups in the Galician area of Spain and Portugal, the Canary Islands, Italy, North Africa, Malta, Turkey, and Cyprus.” Mr. Kennedy related in his book about his trip to Turkey and how similar he found their culture, from textiles to the foods they eat, even grits ya’ll.

It is a fascinating study of American history between the 1400’s, the settlement at Jamestown, and beyond, of the influx of a different type of immigrant, and how many could have came to our shores with English and French surnames but were not “white.” Even if you don’t have Melungeon blood, it tells another story of America that has been conveniently left out of textbooks and may even assist you in your own genealogical research.

I honestly have no idea what my natural hair color is, but I’ll start with a light brown and see what happens. After all my ancestors endured, the least I can do is go back to my roots, and go dark.

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