{January 19, 2015}   High School Redux

You. Yeah, you over there. Let go of my Eggo and your Ego.(with a side of fever)

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Yeah, I know, I guess pretty much everyone goes through this phase with the ever-expanding, always-changing, out-of-our-own-control, time-eating cyber-version of high school.
Like most of our high school experiences, it’s a mixture of good and bad but I have to admit, sometimes FB flat out makes me cranky.
I’m happy to be able to talk to Family I haven’t seen since I was in the single digits, good friends I’ve lost contact with as everyone scattered to live their own lives, start their own Families, you know, the good.
Meeting new people I never would have met in real life without Facebook, wonderful people from around the world and sometimes folks who lived in my own town whose paths never crossed mine. Or maybe we never had things in common until we became whoever it is we became.
That’s part of the good.
And then there’s the bad, aka High School Redux, where the same cliques in high school pick up from where they left off and carry on, still forever 17 in their minds.
You know who I’m talking about; those girls who turned their backs on you because you weren’t cool enough to be a cheerleader (somehow it never occurred to them perhaps I didn’t want to be a cheerleader), those same girls stuck in a time-loop as they post pictures of themselves in their cute little Halloween kitty-costumes that are no longer flattering but dammit, they’re divorced and the zillionth class reunion is around the corner and “sigh, maybe he’ll be there and this time I’ll get the football hero…sigh…”.
Selfie-Queens who post pictures of themselves like it’s a popularity contest and they aren’t satisfied until they get 1000 ‘likes’ from 1000 strangers feeding their ego.
As you may have picked up, I’m not big on the whole selfie thing.
Maybe I’m camera shy. Maybe I don’t want to splatter my ‘wall’ with pictures of me. Maybe I don’t have an out of control ego that needs to be fed on a constant basis. (No, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about you.)
Whatever the reason, I don’t really care to be the center of attention which is a weird thing for a lead singer to say. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, in fact I love seeing photographs of my friends and Family, I love seeing pictures of new people I’ve ‘met’ and learning more about them and their lives.
But it’s just part of my personality to observe, stay in the background and figure things out, fill my mind with stuff so I can spew my own words onto the paper/screen.
My lack of selfies has been commented on (behind my back of course, just like high school) by a girl who was once my BFF until we lost touch. She has decided I put up pictures of myself like “those girls who hide behind their hair so you can’t see their face”. Apparently, this once-former model, who used to worship my every move, has no use for me anymore because she looked at my political leanings and decided I’m scum.
I’ve been stalked, hacked, backstabbed, ignored, you know, just like high school.
That’s the bad part.
I guess in the long run, the good outweighs the bad because I’ve ‘met’ some of the most awesome people anyone could hope to ‘meet’.
Maybe I’m just playing favorites because I rather spend more time here at WordPress than Facebook, or maybe I’m just cranky because my cold turned into bronchitis which translates into a good couple weeks of me being sick.
And I’m cranky because even though I’ve been writing every day I’ve been saving everything to draft instead of posting like I should.
I wonder if the 17 phone calls a day from my Dad has anything to do with my bad moody?
Or I’m picking on Facebook because I sometimes let it eat too much of my time, and I also know that FB can cause a lot of destruction to real-life life when it turns into the high school cafeteria and I’m standing alone with a full tray and nowhere to sit.
Maybe it bugs me to realize someone I once traded secrets with is now as one dimensional as a photograph.
Yeah, I’m a weirdo, an outcast, a rebel without a cause and plain old stubborn. And yeah, I really don’t like to have my picture taken, I prefer to be the one taking the pictures and capturing the moment, not because I’m trying to hide behind my hair, not because I don’t look good in pictures and don’t spend money on cosmetic surgery in a desperate attempt to look forever 17. But because I’m beautiful just as I am, as we (almost) all are, inside and out.
And the fact that I know this to be true will not be rattled by the words of someone who is still living mentally in high school.
I know who I am.
And thankfully, dearest readers, so do you.
And since we’re on the subject of high school and pictures, here’s me when I was a senior in high school, not hiding behind hair. I’d put a ‘selfie’ taken right this very second, but I think that means the terrorist win.
Or something like that.
I was 18, cut me some slack!

{December 27, 2014}   Writing Again


Well that didn’t take very long.
Yesterday I swore up and down and all around that I would write.
I even tried to force myself to write by announcing it on facebook (which, by the way, I kinda hate but that’s a post for another day-oh!!!! I just admitted there will be another day of writing! Perhaps I am not doomed after all!), ummm, as I was saying, I figured if I made a grand announcement to my friends and family I’d be forced to write, else I may be banished to the Forest Of Lying Liars Who Lie, Unintentionally Or Not.

I unintentionally lied.
Because I didn’t write. {imagines finger-pointing and ridicule as I’m led in shackles toward the center of a crowd full of mask-clad…uh, wait, that’s another ‘nother story, with a different rating}

See, I lived inside my own head for so long, writing and writing yet never putting my fingers to the keyboard so now I have to retrain my brain and flex my fingers and just do it.
I picked a hell of a time to try and start writing again.
Everyone is home, our new Siamese kitten has decided that he wants to be a writer only he want to use my computer. Did I mention he only wants to write when I’m using my computer?
Plus there’s all this Merry Christmas/Happy New Year stuff and somewhere along the line, in my senseless self-imposed exile from writing, I forgot how to multitask.

I’m not worried {nope, not me, no worry here, not a bit}.
I just need some practice.
Please be gentle, I’ll be back to me in the flick of a Djinn’s finger.

I have a confession to make.
My name is Joanne and I have CommentPhobia. It is too an actual thing, I looked it up!
Ok, I didn’t really look it up, I made it up but I think it’s a real thing, don’t you? Please?
See it’s like this: I went to Catholic School. Also, I’m a middle child. And a girl born under the overly sensitive sign of Cancer plus, I’m Irish.
Mathematics have never been my strong suit but I kinda think that all adds up to one guilty apologetic people-pleasing self-ignoring, well, hell of a woman now that I think about it!
Psst, I’m trying this thing where I make believe I’m confidant and stuff, did it work yet? Hmph. Things take time ok?
This is what happens, I zig-zag.
It isn’t intentional, in fact I wake up every morning ready to take on the world, also known as my To Do list but I have too many balls to juggle so I fumble. And something has to hit the floor when you’ve got too many balls in the air and what winds up suffering in my little world is replying to your comments in anything resembling a timely manner.
Truth: I have nightmares about it. For real.
Because it means so much to me, at a time I need it most, the fact that you take the time out of your own busy day to talk to me is such a gift I treasure, and I truly feel love and gratitude for each and every one of you. Honored is too small a word.
I keep telling myself “tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and reply as I wake up slow with my three cups of tea” but… all the buts show up at the same time, more balls flying my way, so many┬áI lost count.
Then I think “tonight, when I’m cozied under comforting fleece, I’ll do nothing other than reply” and emergencies bust through the walls crashing all over my intentions.
Betcha’d never guess I love talking to you as much as I love writing and reading by my recent behavior, rather, my lack thereof.
I hate excuses.
Especially when they’re coming out of my mouth.
That’s why I’m not gonna give you a list of reasons I haven’t been keeping up. As you may or may not know, I’m coming up on my one year mark writing here on Word Press, at the same time I’m coming up on the one year mark without my Mom.
That’s not an excuse, a reason, it’s just truth.
So why am I babbling about something I haven’t been able to do instead of, oh I don’t know, doing it?
Because my name is Joanne and I am a CommentPhobaholic.
Because I feel dumb replying to comments left previously when it takes me this extra-long amount of time to reply, and I will reply to each and every unanswered comment no matter how long it takes. Nor how dumb I feel.
You know, guilty middle-child Catholic School Irish Cancer. With a temper. Which I’m aiming at myself if I don’t keep my word.
If I say it I mean it.
Except when I don’t but I tag that ‘fiction’.
I guess I just want to say I’m sorry and I am very grateful to you, over there, with the eyes reading this right this very second. Yeah, I’m talking to you, every single one of you. If your eyes are seeing these words, know that I am blessed, because of you.
You have helped me through the most traumatic year of my life, I can’t imagine what the past year would have looked like without you.
I won’t allow myself to imagine that.
I will though, imagine getting up to date with my comments.
If you can imagine it, you can make it so.

{February 26, 2014}   Dear Diary 2/26/14

Dear Diary,
I’ve been a bad, bad, very bad girl.
In more ways than one but for now lets just concentrate on one thing at a time, ok?
Me plus endless snow and constant company (aka zero privacy) equals me losing my mind.
(1 + ::: + OOOOO [0] = o_O)
Now it may not seem like a big deal to the normal person but, well, I am far from the normal person as anyone who knows me can attest. Actually, now that I think about it, even if you don’t really know me, it’s not too hard to pick up on the crazy that lives inside me nearly every moment of every day.
Hey, it’s not easy being me you know.
Ok, maybe it could be easier being me if it wasn’t smack dab in the middle of the worst winter we’ve had here in New Jersey in I don’t know how long. They say that every 20 years or so we have some kind of really horrible very bad blizzard/snowstorm/opening up of the Heavens/Mother Nature’s Fury, whatever you want to call it.
Frankly, I call it bullshit.
Because enough is enough.
The other day I realized my life has been basically one fuck-off after another for the last two years. And yeah I said fuck-off.
Actually, it’s probably longer than two years but we’ll stick with that number because it’s slightly less pathetic.
Wait. I said that wrong, it’s really been one long-non-stop-run-on-sentence-fuck-off.
And it all boils down to one thing: a stupid fucking hurricane.
Seriously, that’s the root of it all. Hurricane Irene.
Remember her?
Don’t worry, nobody else does either because Hurricane Sandy came along the following year and made Irene look like one lit match compared to a Towering Inferno.
Irene didn’t cause anywhere close to the damage Sandy did on the surface, but we were one of the unlucky ones when our house collapsed and it was all my fault.
The day Irene hit I had to open my big mouth and say something about how we always hear about people losing everything in natural disasters but thank God we never knew anyone personally who had to live through something like that.
We all know how that turned out, one collapsed house and a lifetime of memories gone in a snap.
Sorry dear diary of mine, I seem to have veered off topic, but lets face it, veering off topic is pretty much a given where I’m concerned. So in keeping with tradition, I’m about to veer.
Guess what diary? I’m going to Cape May!
I was afraid I’d never be able to go there again since it’s been my Mother/Daughter tradition forever.
How can I do it without her?
I’ll tell you how; me and my bestest friend Shawn are leaving it all behind and taking a mini-break, Thelma and Louise style, only without flying cars.
I just booked the room, coincidently the room my Mom and I usually stayed in, and even though it’s only for two nights, I figure it’s like getting my toes wet.
Another coincidence? We are going exactly one year to the day my Mom and I spent our last Cape May trip together.
I’m thinking dear diary, that perhaps this will give me some sort of closure. I’ll be bringing a bit of my Mom with me, to fulfill a promise I made to her once upon a time.
Legal or not, I will be spreading some of her ashes where she asked me to, in the Atlantic Ocean near Sunset Beach.
She said she’d haunt me forever if I don’t follow her wishes.
And since every time I’ve been to Cape May I’ve had some sort of ghostly experience, I’m not taking any chances.
It wouldn’t surprise me if I do see my Mom, or at the very least, feel her presence. In fact I hope for it.
After all, somebody pulled some strings up there to enable me to be in Cape May a year to the day since Mom and I spent our last week together. (Shut up, if I wanna believe it then I will, so there non-believers! And cut me some slack, I’m still all kinds of delicate and emotional and stuff.)
Knowing my feisty red-headed Irish Mom, she’s the string-puller; so thank you my dear Mother, you will be with me always in my heart, but it’s nice to know you’ll be coming with me one more time to our favorite place in the world.
Leaving a piece of you there in our own personal Heaven on Earth will be a comfort to me, knowing that you will be there always, just like you wanted. Oh and no worries, I’ll be joining you some day but in the meantime, don’t be a stranger.
Ok diary, signing off for now, I really should be writing other stuff. And Muse o’mine? Don’t be so hard on me, I promise I’ll make it up to you.
There’s a burst of inspiration on my horizon. Cape May always has that affect on me, and today I booked my favorite room at my favorite place in the world, The Victorian, just a stone’s throw from the beach. Truth is, it feels like home there, the owners make you feel like Family, it has the best view you could wish for, and, well, it’s magical.
I may have been MIA for awhile my dearest diary, but baby, I am (almost) back.
For the first time in a long time, I feel something I thought was gone forever; hope.
cape may sunrise


et cetera