Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sudden Change.....

My life this year has been punctuated with sudden change.
A phone call, an email, a brief announcement at a morning meeting.......
and suddenly something has been dramatically added or subtracted from my life.
Friday morning....I strolled into work.
A minute later...... I was sitting in the cafe.
A minute later....... I learned the manager I worked for was no longer with the company.
I went limp inside.

I really liked the manager and promised, for better or worse, I would stay in this job for a minimum of two years if I was hired.

Corporate never gives us a public reason for sudden departures so you're always left with this hole......that you don't know how to fill.

Was is this? Was it that? Did he or she......??

People don't like they whisper and give each other significant looks and have small parking lot guess and gossip but mostly to try and make sense of it all.

And everyone worries about their jobs or the special arrangements they have carved into their work schedules.....the odd.... I'll work Monday but never Tuesday and will always work Saturday if you need me.

A new manager could come in and say....everyone must work these type of hours...or I won't honor what has been previously agreed upon.....or find their management style incompatible with your personality.

I wondered for a second if I still had a job.....but realized I did.

Except now I was a green manager......with 12 events in the next 4 months.....working with up to a 1000 customers in special events....needing to haul in mega sales.....without the rock of experience....that was my former manager.

I went to my small windowless office....and tried to work....tried to listen to phone messages....tried to talk to customers....but I felt hollow.....wondering ....what happened....wanting to something ....but unable to extend my hand or heart.

I had one moment of elation when I realized I was free....I wasn't bound to my two year term......I smiled....I could slip off somewhere....but the moment of freedom passed...quickily....... I have to work even the next few pull off what my job description asked me to do.....because I like the people I work with....admire them....consider many of them friends....and so you gotta pull your weight .....especially when things are rocky.

So tomorrow I will grit my teeth....once again this year.......and dig in. Do what I have to do.

The shit hits the fan from now till January 1st...then there's a small window to coast for a couple of weeks....that's when I'll catch my breath and reassess.

Unless of course.....there's another phone call or another email or another thing that drops from the sky this year......

the Buddha was so right.....nothing is permanent except change.....

I know that.....believe it

but it still doesn't make things easier.

Friday, August 29, 2008

my two precious sons
are old enough to be drafted
I do not want
their lives
in the hands of
"an average hockey mom"
during an international crisis.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A song for Michael....LOL>>>>

Ladies I propose we download this songs onto our IPODS/IPHONES....and collectively wish....

Jump Michael Jump!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pool Boy Update.....Phelps on TV

Just read almost naked pool boy....Phelps....will be the opening host for Saturday Night Live on September 13th.

I can't believe they WON' some skit on his half nakedness......and what the hell is holding his swimsuit up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What keeps Phelps trunks on?

I did not take physics in college or high school.

But I know a little about gravity.....

And as the Olympics ended and the online newspapers where filled with Michael images....

all I could think was....

Why don't his trunks slip off?

I mean .....they get so dangerously close....

the tease of his tattoo and sometime a bit of his manly hair is right there....

but why not....the full Monty?

Is there such a thing as swimmer's glue?

Is there something that anatomical large keeping them up?
( A happy early morning erotic thought)

Is it sheer Phelps' willpower which commands his muscles and his swim trunks to behave?


I'm a fan a wabi-sabi.....a little imperfection is beautiful.

So relax Michael.....just let it go....

and make us women-folks smile.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sexy Bad English

Only if you insist......

probably not on Netflex

truth in advertising

who could argue with this wisdom?

that depends........


Friday, August 22, 2008

A texting conversation with my son at college this week.

How r u doing?


How's the weather?


Did your roommate move in?


Is he nice?


were you able to use your meal card early?


what did you do today?

talked to ppl

how is orientation going?


meet any body interesting?




any hot chicks there?

ha ha

are you unpacked?


everything fit?


are you okay?


like it up there?


what's your schedule for the next few days?

don't know

tv work?


I tried to call you

reception bad

r u having trouble with your phone

not really

anything else happening?

not much just orientation stuff

need anything?


did you check to see if they deducted the tuition out of your checking account


how come?


check it


it's important


check it now for my santity's sake





yeah its paid

well your set for at least a month


let me know if you need anything





Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hitting the Wall.....

7:59 am

My stomach tightened.

I had less than 60 seconds.

Sometimes you have a small choice.

Really not a big choice....but a choice big enough to make it worth your while.

I had been wide awake since 4 am thanks to my cat.

She was mad that I had disappeared for a few days. She didn't care whether my absence was due to driving my son to college or if I had camped out in the back yard.
So as soon as I feel asleep, she made her way to my side of the bed every hour and meowed.


Not Twice.


Every if someone stole the cuckoo out of the clock and put her in as a substitute.

At pillow flew towards her.......

then I had to get up and retrieve it.......

and when I did....and laid back down...all of a sudden I felt like I was......


my little Gina world... spinning.....
too much loss in too short of a time...
right from the beginning of the year.....

a friend moved....another moved parents health status changed....the family pet died.....and now the baby of the to find his own life...

there didn't seem to be anything to grab onto.....

I tried to think of positive how tentative Tom had first looked when he sat down at the desk in his dorm room...and how excited he looked 24 hours later....after he shook a few his lap top revved up and..his TV and game equipment hooked up

I even thought how lucky I was to be working full I didn't have time to think...but the hours ticked by.......

and so did the sinking........

I told myself to get up at 6am....and head off to work.....

but I didn't......

then I told myself to get up at 7am and head off to

but I didn't do that either.....

and now at..... 7:59 am

I told's the window Gina.... the two paths in the can lay here in bed....for hours....postpone going to work and start down the dysfunctional path......

or you can get your ass out of bed......

even though it doesn't look like the yellow brick road is painted on the carpet.....

just do what needs to be done today.... and that will be enough........

the clock rolled to 8:00 am.....

and before it could flip to 8:01 am...

I literally pulled myself out of bed and stumbled to the shower.....

as the warm water pelted me .....
I knew I escaped.....perhaps not in the best of shape.....for I was clueless and without a plan....

but I was not in bed.......

because if the dial read 8:01am..... and I was in bed.......

it would have been over......


Thursday, August 14, 2008


I look up at the clock and think it's a mistake.

Suddenly it was morning.....suddenly it was late afternoon....suddenly it's early evening.

In less than 48 hours....I will ride out to the airport, pick up a minivan, drive it home...stock it up and head up north to take my son up to Iowa to start college.

When no one is looking ....I swipe tears away

this time is coming too quickly.

When my daughter left for college, the oldest child, it was an exciting milestone....there were bedspreads to buy, cool little accessories to search for....and new clothes to purchase including exotic things like warm sweaters and jackets.

I only realized we were separating....truly separating.....when I got out of the car at the airport and turned to hug her......and suddenly my arms did not want to let go...and when I did....and turned....I was the moment....the moment she took her life into her own hands.

And now....two children-wiser from that day....I know he too will start his life after a hug....and I know there will be a good chance he will not return home again except for temporary lodging.

As the baby and comedian and all around con artist in the family....he was fun to have around.

He helped me a lot.

We laughed.

I watched girls look at his tall lanky body and smile.

I rubbed his chin, now sporting a whispy reddish Abe-Lincoln type beard, for luck.

It has arrived too soon....this moment....this seperation in the cornfields of Iowa.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Daydreams in the heat.....

I walked out of the museum and into the searing dry intense heat of late afternoon.....

a girl looked like she was lost in daydreams.....

She might have heard the click of my phone....for she suddenly looked up then dashed away.

When she left.....I took her seat.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Road Plebe......

Well....I'm no outlaw business woman.....or even a road experience with corporate training made me feel more like a Road Plebe versus a Road Warrior.

I actually used to know people who were Road Warriors....folks that traveled each week for business......hopped on planes.....jumped into rental cars.....did the business dinner....flew home the next day and started all over again... in a different city.

Staying put for a week in exotic Fort Worth....was pretty lame as business experiences goes.

Although I was technically in Fort Worth.....I think it was a suburb that had been annexed.

It was brutally and painfully strip-mallish. Every chain store had a presence and every chain restaurant had an eatery.

In just two days....I was chewing stomach chained-out..... all that fried stuff with sauces....even the salads were gross... swimming in "special" dressings which I should have asked to be served on the side.

I did, however, have one moment of exhilaration. It was the first morning.... and I was heading out to my first meeting. I had a pretty soft black skirt and a black and white blouse....and little heels. My laptop and portfolio were cradled in my arm. I had energy and purpose..... I even knew where I parked the rental car.

When I hit the lobby, my heels made quick little clicks across the granite floor. Several people looked up at me. I felt so I'm-obviously-the-CEO-of-a-very-important-company-headed-out-to-my-first-morning-meeting.... I felt giddy as I hit the front door.

Move over Steve comes light up the business world.

Three hours later...I was absolutely and totally convinced my picture was going to be hanging in every office on the infamous 10th floor of our corporate headquarters in NYC.

Oh......not because they thought I was the new Steve.....but probably because they felt I was their worse nightmare......a rogue that had to be watched and monitored.

I discovered..... I am way tooooo clever. The goal of corporate training is to teach you how to get from point A to point B....using approved pathways.

But creative person that I am.....I could always see alternatives.....I found myself saying to the group....."but ....but....couldn't you....sign the contract....with one party and have them send the check to the other party....thereby not violating the spirit of the mission statement?"

The manager was one of those laid back guys ....but I could see "horror" register in his eyes....each time I found interesting routes to accomplish things I thought would be good for my employer.

By lunch seemed obvious I better keep my clever ideas to myself.

In fact.....I became a bit depressed.....realizing I was going to have to reign in my free-spirited ways......and try to think along "approved" pathways.

After all.....I was not working in corporate headquarters being paid to think....I was working in the boonies of the corporation being paid to implement.

So I kept quiet...and just tried to listen.

At one point....when my inventiveness made me chime in again....I put one of those little post-it arrows on my I would look down and remind myself to shut up.

Back home.. I could think...think how to accomplish goals in positive ways .....but here it was best to not get branded by the district trainer my first 6 weeks. a rogue....not a team-player.

I returned to the hotel .....and felt deflated......I left this morning feeling like a budding CEO and returned feeling more like the janitor....working for the man.

I decided to sit outside by the pool...and just breathe....

My passion and enthusiasm for people and projects has often been my Achille's heel in life.....and here I was again.....

Miss Passion...headed for The Wall.

A cocoa-colored dove flew over from a distant fence and sat on the bare branch of one of these perfectly pruned landscape trees near me.

I'm not sure why he wasn't afraid of me.....but he sat there....eyeing me for a while.... then starting singing....... dove songs...full of coos and rootles .....peaceful..... pretty.... calm.

Perhaps he was a messenger sent by the gods.....

I thought about options.....

Passion is a gift....but so is patience.......

I decided to learn the approved hard and see what happens.....perhaps there would be a time and place to be creative and clever.

I also decided I better start....finding a life again.....even though I may have long hours ahead till I master the job.....all of my passion doesn't have to be channeled into work....and probably shouldn't be......

I left my cooing friend.... crossed the lobby....and picked up all the brochures on art museums nearby with evening hours......

balance Gina....balance.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My brief foray into Hell or Hello Fort Worth, Texas


I'm sure I was there yesterday

for 36 minutes

3:05 P.M.

105 degrees

asphalt parking lot

Fort Worth, Texas

Looking for my car, not MY car,but for my rental car........which was white like 90% of all the cars in Fort Worth.

I'm here in Texas for corporate training till Friday. After that big vampire party, I was exhausted and wasn't thinking too clearly so I forgot some deodorant. Something you should always have if you're going to meet and work with some higher ups in the company. So I found a Walmart, parked my car, all the while deep in thought.

When I came out.....I stood there and got that sick feeling in my stomach which I get when I do something stupid.....I had absolutely no clue where I parked the rental car. I hadn't bonded with it all I remembered about it was was white. My keys said it was a Pontiac with Texas plates which was not much help. So I picked a row and started looking for the license plate.

I felt like the sun was bearing down on me it had found a moving live object that wasn't disappearing into a building or a car and was tracking me. If you have ever been in Dallas or Fort Worth in the summer you know exactly what I mean....the sun is brutal. Whatever special angle it shines at down here plus temps over the century mark....truly makes it a "taste of hell" experience.

I pressed the damn car button a hundred times....hoping the car would talk to me. Finally....I heard a little beep. And there it was....I beeped again....I opened the door and found my stuff. Must be my car....I had passed it at least three times.

In all honesty even if by some remote chance it wasn't my car....I probably would have gotten in turned the a/c in....and brought my core temperature down a few degrees before abandoning it....and of course I would have left a note to the owner telling them it was a true Texas emergency that made me steal some of his cold air and gas.

I drove back to hotel.....and carefully parked my white car with Texas plates right next to the blooming flower pot with yellow daisies.....and remembered there was some old song about the yellow rose of Texas ...because it's gonna be hot again here today.....and am I hallucinating or did someone say a hurricane is coming to Texas?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Vampire Party that Didn't Suck

I pulled the streamers down.....all of them....with a couple of hard yanks.

It was 7:30 am and I was high on a ladder in our store's foyer.

I had hung up wedding bells from the center of the ceiling which I had spray painted black and now I was trying to hang red and black streamers from the bell to the end of the walls.

But who knew there was a science to hanging streamers? Who knew you had to measure carefully or your dips would be uneven.....and your streamers crooked.

Crepe paper never seemed like an obnoxious substance....yet it was totally evil.....especially the cheap type I had bought at the dollar store which tore when I looked at it funny.

And I was looking at it funny....a lot.

Better to just leave the strange bells hanging solo....than to subject customers to the sight of crooked party decorations.

I noticed my hands were shaking a bit....I was working up high in a hot pocket of air....and I was afraid this was an omen of how the party was going to go this evening.....was I going to be caught by things I didn't expect.....just like I didn't expect hanging streamers to be a big deal....was my ticket system going to have angry patrons outside wanting to have words with the store manager?

I tried decorating something else......putting some material on a trellis....were kids could take fake wedding pictures of themselves.....and the material simply refused to cooperate....I had the material draped beautifully around the trellis....but my son and his friend brought the trellis over in a pick-up truck and the wind destroyed the arrangement.

I did the best I could.....felt my heart beat faster.....and a little panic set in..this would be a good time to go home. It was still hours before the party.....and maybe all this bad karma would dissipate.

I came back to the store around 5pm....the staff and the first rush of the crowd all hit the store at the same time....around 7pm.

My store manager.....hit me with a few rapid fire questions.....which is much her style...being raised in a military family....and I found myself answering them in complete confidence....yes I knew this....yes I had arranged for that....yes....I had thought of that.....somehow....being able to answer her without hesitation put me in my "general gina" mode.......a combo of personas....that blended my head nurse background and my event experience working and moving around a ton of wayward authors around our local literary fest.

In other words...I got my event mojo back.

One of the staff members asked me if I had had a couple of drinks. "You seem so calm".....but there's a part of me that can slip into this a crush....and I was glad to see that side of me emerge for this event.

And of course....there was other factors involved can plan all you want.....but if you don't have a great staff to implement the plan.....and believe in the are up a shit creek.

And I had the staff. I had great staff assigned for this party.....all knowledgeable people....and as I talked them through what I hoped they would do for the party.....I knew they would be a great team.

I also worked with this super person who co-chaired the event planning......a fan of the book....and in her twenties......I realized as the customers streamed in.... how right she had been about the ideas.....I wasn't sure about trivia questions and word games and word scrambles....but later that night.......I found teens scattered over the floor working the paper games and we actually ran out of trivia questions they were so popular.

She had her finger on what customers wanted.....and she was absolutely correct.

Close to midnight we had about 600 people in the store.....

Our party stops were a hit....Pin the tail on the Werewolf....Cellphones Memories are Forever......( take your picture next to Bella's wedding cake) word games, a dynamite costume contest.....and our bite painting station....(were volunteers drew vampire marks on willing necks....and dripped some fake blood from the marks). We had a gorgeous staff member wearing amber contacts and dressed in black telling fortunes.....and had a fun raffle for t-shirts.....the wedding cake....and an autographed book.

At midnight.....the ticket system ....worked. All I can say is Hallelujah! and this incredible thank you to another staff member who sat outside the door in the hot humid air and controlled the whole process with the help of a volunteer and another person.

We sold over 500 books and got at least 600 people out of the book store in 37 minutes. One of the guys on the staff.....was instrumental ...actually controlling the lines and the refining the ticket idea system....and he made it work. Wow...he made it work.


We closed the doors.....and I the sight of teen girls skipping out of a store and hugging their books to their chests.

And if you love books had to feel happy..........because books....all kinds of books....bring ideas and adventures and delight to people.

And when kids scream when they see the books headed down the aisles towards the cash say to yourself......this is good....this is real good....and it doesn't matter that it's a vampire story or a wizard story or an erotic story .......what matters sharing the story.....because in life....sharing the some how's the life line that keeps us connected.....relieves our isolation as singular entities.....and makes our soul hum......

Me in my goth t-shirt, black pants....stuff hanging from my neck and black and red hair........(It did wash out but took two days.)

Lace gloves up to the elbows and cut to expose my fingers....were actually a hit among some guy I knew who saw me dressed up at the party....told me a couple days later that the gloves were "sensual....and all I needed were a pair of black high heels"....whoa...are their men with black glove fetishes out there?

First time for nails.... I admit....I thought they were kind of cool.

The books actually looked beautiful....rows upon rows upon rows...of jet black books with white lettering......all stacked in our special carts....waiting for their owners to claim them...