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...And Your Bird Can Sing
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Laurabel's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
11:37 am
Well Hello There, Stranger
Four years seems a little long to go without any posts or updates, but with so many other social media outlets it's easy to forget about my first ever blog. Time to show it some love I think.

Scott and I got married on November 9th, 2013. We honeymooned in Disney World for a week, then lived with his parents until we bought our first home together. We closed on, and moved into our condo September 25th, 2015. We're loving and living in Galloway - Atlantic County, NJ. I am still working at the Allstate agency 5+ years and still going strong. Scott got his big break of a lifetime when he started his new job and career with HORC - Historic Organ Restoration Committee, on July 1st, 2015. Currently he serves in the Membership and Events Coordinator capacity. He gets to work on the worlds largest pipe organ, the Midmer-Losh Pipe Organ as well as the Kimball Theater Organ, both located within Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

We adopted our "babies", our three beloved guinea pigs around the end of October and beginning of November 2015. Miss Piggie is our white/black/tan Abyssinian: a bit of a diva and drama queen. The breed is known to be mischievous and she most certainly is but she's very cute and wins everyone over. Bear is our all-black American Short Hair. She is my cuddle buddy and likes to do what we call "loafing". She's a tad overweight and hates being picked up, but once she's resting on you she doesn't want to move. Bear has the loudest purr and has no issues wheeking loudly at you when she wants food. Squiggles is our dark brown/black and tan American Short Hair. She's the skinny one of the bunch and truly lives up to her name, because that's the sound she makes when you pick her up. She's also the most timid and has the cutest little paw stretch when she wakes up from a nap.

With all the joy unfortunately comes some sorrow. I guess I'll start with the most serious: My Daddy.
Daddy had a dry cough for over a year. All xrays came back completely clear. I noticed he had a kind of smell coming off him, almost like sour milk. We assumed it was just because he was eating a lot of crap. We were VERY wrong. Mom was pushing for a CT scan and none of his doctors felt it was necessary. Finally, the time came for his prostate cancer follow up CT scan, as he had been in remission for years but his number kept climbing. This scan, in September of 2016, is what revealed what would eventually be called Stage 4 Non-Small Cell LUNG CANCER. Oh and his prostate cancer was back too...without a prostate...so he went through several horrible chemo sessions. First Alimta and Cisplatin, but after two sessions it was changed to Alimta and Carboplatin. In the midst of this, Scott and I surprised my parents with a 35th anniversary trip to Disney World. We made the best of the situation and I know Daddy pushed himself, because he was so tired from the chemo. Disney really went above and beyond with little surprises and gifts through the whole trip. After all was said and done with chemo, it was like magic - the large tumor was gone, the other smaller tumor was gone, he was basically clear! He started maintenance chemo, but unfortunately only after the first one he had to stop because the chemo became toxic that fast. Things were going well and he felt great. Then he started dry coughing again. Initially the pulmonologist figured it was allergy related and after treating with allergy meds he seemed to be doing better. Then once again the cough started. He had his follow up PET scan in August but it was completely botched by the hospital. See, he wasn't able to have his PET scan at Hackensack where he's being treated because the machine was down. He had to go to St. Joe's, and that radiologist really screwed things up. Read the wrong report, made statements about things we know are not true etc. Eventually the report was magically revised and there was another mass found. His doctor said we could schedule the redo in November - prior to this scan, because Daddy was feeling good, we decided to plan a last minute 4 day getaway to Disney World again. This time, Mom's treat. We planned it out and got very excited. Daddy would be feeling really good and would have his redo PET scan after we got back. Except now that the scan was revised, his redo PET scan had to be rescheduled to two days after his birthday, a full month before our trip. There is a very likely possibility that we're not going, and that's crushing in my opinion, because it's a fact that having something to look forward to helps the outlook in a cancer patient's health. We shall see after his scans what the next steps are.

Now for Mommy. In the midst of being a full-time caretaker for Daddy, and working full-time, her blood sugars had been high. Really high. We're talking in the 400's high. Scott and I begged her to get checked out but she was too busy. She said she was eating like crap and that's why her sugar was so bad. No...that's not normal even if she was eating straight up sugar for a week. Dad's Type 2 Diabetic. His father was Type 2 Diabetic. My mom was diagnosed Hypoglycemic years ago, and recently became Borderline Type 2 Diabetic. I was diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic. But Mom's numbers were just not acceptable. She finally went to an endo who ran several antibody tests and guess what? Mommy was diagnosed TYPE 1 DIABETIC. She went on insulin and is currently on the Medtronic 670G pump. While this was going on, her vision was getting bad. For a short period of time, she actually saw better without her glasses. Then it got worse. Now, she has double vision and is waiting to have an MRI to figure out if her double vision and droopy eye are due to a palsy or something else. Mix that with the arthritis in her back, her ear problems and her depression and it's just a mess. It's awful.

Lastly, me. I've had a host of my own medical maladies over the years, from stints in the hospital for migraines, to a botched appendectomy, to a mesh implant. That all apparently wasn't enough. In February of this year, I had a bad cold. Ever time I get a simple cold it always turns into bronchitis or pneumonia. I never mess around with that and always go for medical treatment. Due to the fact that we just got a new insurance plan that past November, I had not found a primary doctor so I went to Urgent Care. I told that doctor I needed a ZPak, because that's what I always take and it always works. She determined that since I had asthma, I needed to take Prednisone instead. I reminded her of my Type 2 Diabetes situation, and she said "just monitor your blood sugar". I didn't feel right about this, but she's the doctor, right? After a few days I felt worse. Worse fever, worse cough, worse chills. I checked my sugar and it was holding stead in the low to mid 400's. I just got done telling my mother that wasn't right and here I was. At the urging of my Mom and Scott, I found an endo in my plan. She of course took one look at me and automatically assumed I was just an out of control Type 2, but as soon as I mentioned what happened to my mother, her tone changed and she sent me for massive blood work. On Cinco de Mayo of 2017 I was officially diagnosed TYPE 1 DIABETIC. I have been on insulin since, and just started on my Medtronic 670G pump 15 days ago. I tested positive for the GAD65 antibody, and 4 times the limit of the ZnT8 antibody. Great.

Life is just one day at a time. We take what we're given and we either deal with it or fail. None of us have failed yet and we don't plan to going forward. Keeping positive and looking forward to what the future has to hold!

Current Mood: calm
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
2:04 pm
Ten Years Later.
Well. I've had this livejournal for just over 10 years and what have I accomplished? I'm not even sure where I left off as I haven't read my last few entries, but I can assure you that my life is vastly different from what I pictured it to be 10 years ago.

I'm living in south jersey with my fiance Scott, I'm working 10 minutes outside of Atlantic City at a great job in an Allstate agency with an awesome boss and equally aweseome coworkers and I hooked up with a couple like-minded musicians playing gigs in the house band on saxophone, as well as flute in a classical trio. Tomorrow will be 6 months until the wedding and at the end of June of this year I will officially own free and clear the first car that I've ever purchased. Today is actually the 2nd anniversary of our engagement.

There's really only one thing I have left to do on my immediate bucket list: get our own place. I have been living with my future in-laws since November of 2011 and since we're getting married in 6 months I would love for us to start off our lives together with our own space and our own rules. However, financial burdens have made this near impossible. We will continue to work towards it but my patience is understandably wearing thin.

Since July of 2011 I have had 3 surgeries and 4 hospitalizations. July 2011 I had my appendix out, Sept 2011 I had the appendix wound reopened and reclosed, Feb 2012 I had a mesh put in place to correct the mess that the first surgeon and surgeries created, and late March of 2013 I was hospitalized for asthma complications. Medical debt is horrible, but there is no interest charged to that, and so I can pay it off bit by bit. I was going to have all of my medical debt paid off by the end of October of this year, however the latest hospitalization just added around $5,000 to the end of the list. Oh well...I'll just keep paying it off.

What is a livejournal post without drama? Let's see...the only drama I really have aside from the living situation would be the wedding planning. I picked 4 girls, Scott picked 4 guys. I have since had to replace my matron of honor, Scott has had to replace a groomsmen, replace the best man and now replace another groomsman. What is it with this wedding party stuff? I don't get it...I was asked to be a bridesmaid once and I was very excited and honored to be involved. Everyone has their reasons, one of them was a very good reason, one of them was a work-related reason and the other, well, makes no sense to me. I'm getting to the point where as excited as I want to be, I can't be, because one of the members is causing drama for the others, and of course the others are going to tell me. I wish it would just stop. This day is happening because Scott and I fell in love and want to share our lives, not because someone has no money or no time or can't be bothered with this now. We're 6 months out - quit now or jump on the bandwagon. The time for pussyfooting around is over. Theres also that bit about my Mother paying basically all of the wedding costs...but we'll save that for a later date.

The weight has been a yo yo problem, but in the worst way. I'd lose 10 lbs, but then gain 15. Things got so out of hand that now I'm a full blown type 2 diabetic, taking two different anti-diabetic drugs. The only upshot is that I'm not so out of control that I need insulin. I've been doing well with the medications and made some tweaks to my diet, but I'm not losing much. I always said I wasn't going to be a beached whale at my wedding, and now 6 months out I guess I have nothing to say other than it's my own fault. I'm at least 30 lbs less than I was at the time of my third surgery. However, that was over a year ago. I was born heavy, I grew up heavy, I got healthy in highschool, ballooned up in college and stayed heavy through my 20's. Although I have extremely supportive friends and coworkers, the change needs to come from within. I have a wedding dress hanging up in my mother's room that doesn't quite fit. Not sure how that happened, considering the size down fit in the store. We ordered the next size up to be safe, and it doesn't fit. I lost a few lbs since we bought it...the only thing I can think of is that I just bloated.

I'm excited for what's to come in the next few months. Wedding planning - all the big stuff is done, now it's onto the little things, like playlists, picture lists and making favors and flower baskets etc.

That's it for now, really. 'Till my next update, whenever that may be.

Current Mood: busy
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
5:03 pm
Is blogging back? Or has it actually left?
Greetings. So many new things...I have no idea. I have noticed lately a copius amount of new blogs and bloggers, on venues such as blogspot, tumblr to name two. Some blogging about food, others about overcoming life obstacles. I'm going to keep mine as a real-life representation of me: a hot mess hodgepodge. Take out a bit of the drama queen, throw in a dash of responsiblity and add 2 cups of packed and leveled "next-stage-anxiety". That's me.

Where we last left off, I believe I was going on about having a job and being engaged. Then I attempted to wrap up this LJ, however it's clear the appeal is so strong I just cannot end it.

Between May and July of 2011 I worked at the Allstate in Hillside and all I could do was complain, but be happy that it was a full time job. I was also amassing job applications in and around the mid to southern ocean county area. I had two actual interviews, alas nothing came of them. Then one Saturday evening while out with friends, I had a funny feeling in my stomach. I felt nausious, but I wrote it off as something that I ate. That evening Scott had come up, and we were all going to check out a new restaraunt the next day. As we were getting ready for bed, the feeling in my stomach had shifted, as if it was a gas pocket, down and to the right. I thought for sure, if I would just fart, it would go away and I'd be fine. Try as I might, there was no fart. All night I had a stabby kind of pain on my lower right side, and depending on how I laid, the pain varried.

The next morning around 10am after a fairly sleepless night, I opened up my laptop to look up what this could possibly be. Well after that intensely frightening plethora of information, I self-diagnosed it as appendicitis. I informed my parents and they freaked out as per the usual, then said we were going to the hospital. I fought them, still hoping in the back of my delusional mind that it was just bad gas. They won, and off to the ER we went. Waited about a half hour, got triaged, then waited a few more hours as I drank that NASTY barium contrast. They left out the fact that you're not supposed to chug it, and I thought it was just water. WHOABOY. Managed to keep it down, then went for some tests and scans. Couple more hours pass, then they let me know that I actually do have appendicitis, and they are calling the on-call surgeon that accepts my medical insurance. As I'm being hooked up to extra IV's and wheeled around, it's 7:30pm. Good thing I never got hungry!

I'm told to relax as I feel a cool sensation at my new IV site. Next thing I know it's like 11pm, and some lady is dripping ice cubes into my mouth, remarking that I'm very sweaty. Ew. Once I'm awake enough to answer some questions, they take me to my room. That's the thing about full on open surgery. The surgeon that was on-call refused to do laporoscopic...I can't feel anything just yet but I see a huge bandage pile on my lower right belly.

I was informed that my family had left. Initially I wanted to cry - how could they leave?! However the one nurse let me know that the surgery took about and hour longer than was first anticipated, and the surgeon told my family to go home. So through my druged state I rattled off two phone numbers, and within 15 minutes everyone came back. I was freaking miserable. I wanted nothing more than to sleep, but I didn't want my family to leave. General anesthesia is freaking crazy! I thought I lost my hand for a second, but I definitely came crashing back down to reality when i coughed. WOW PAIN. And I'm sure everyone knows, but you get no rest in a hospital. Every hour a nurse came in to make me pee. But there was no pee...and finally around 3am they made me get out of bed. Excruciating.

Basically I was in that hospital from 10am, Sunday the 24th till 5:30pm, Friday the 29th. Being home was awesome...but I was completely helpless. Then, in my usual style, another SNAFU. (Ps this stands for situation nominal all fucked up, fyi). I had to go in for another emergency surgery, because the drain that the surgeon made was not closing, and inside had healed OPEN!!! Infection insued, and I had to be opened up again to clean out the mess. So, I was wide awake and just had local anesthesia. I felt nasty things spilling out and running down the side of my belly. I even felt the knife...like hello? Some more anesthesia and then I was OK. That was a very scarring experience...I don't ever want to be awake for surgery again.

In total I was out of work for 10 weeks. Not only did my boss welcome me back with open arms, but she accomodated my working schedule so that I wouldn't be there for more than 7 or 8 hours a day. (no more 8:45 - 7 days woot). Things started to get better, but they didn't know that my previous search for employment in south jersey had actually resulted in an interview. Bing bang boom, I got hired on the spot at the 1st interview with an Allstate agent in Toms River! It was hard to break the news to my boss, but the situation at home was kind of forcing my hand as well.

My last day of work for her was November 12th, I moved in with Scott and his parents on November 13th and my first day at the new job was the 14th. Things were beyond great for November and December, but their way of doing things was very foreign to me. I had some difficulty catching onto a filing system that utilized the top of a credenza. Yes...the top of living room furniture was used as a filing system. Well whatever, it paid better than previous jobs. Around the end of January I started feeling pain and hardness around the surgery site, and every time I coughed or pushed, it bubbled out. I was very concerned, and met with a surgeon in Toms River. Had the scans with that NASTY barium contrast done again...and they found a hole.

Yes, a hole. 2 out of 3 of the layers of abdominal muscles had not healed, and in its place was just a hole that my intestines were starting to fall into. That was bad. So bad that they called it life-threatening and said I needed to have surgery to fix it. OMG really? Again? In the meantime, I had decided to join the Order of the Eastern Star. My grandfather was a Master Mason, and so is Scott. I wanted to get involved in the community, and this was a good way. I had a beautiful initiation, done by the Grand Lodge of NJ. I wasn't too excited shortly after, however. I met with another surgeon in north jersey that Friday afternoon for a second opinion, and they guy took one look at me and said "either you're going there now, or you're scheduling it for this week". Awesome.

I wasn't able to return to work on Monday, because driving had become too painful. I called the office, and I left a message. I also emailed and texted the manager, and called my boss on his cellphone. No one responded. Several attempts to reach someone later, I emailed my boss again just before surgery. Went in, again, at a better hospital on Thursday, February 23rd. They did it laporoscopically this time, thankfully, and did several things. They removed all of the scar tissue that was causing the pain and hardness, pushed all my organs back to where they belonged and implanted a bio-identical mesh, so that nothing would fall through the hole. Waking up from this one was VERY hard, and I felt very strange. They were injecting me with something, I couldn't tell what it was but it smelled familiar. I was wheeled to my room, with the idea that I'd be going home the next day. When I was fully aware, my Mom let me know that the reason I felt sick was because my blood glucose was sky high. Aparently through all these surgeries and illnesses, it was the perfect storm in my body to drop the diabetes bomb. That familiar smelling injection? Insulin. No one to blame but myself on this one.

I had an incredibly difficult time rebounding from this surgery. I had to stay an extra day in the hospital because I couldn't go to the bathroom. I was so frustrated, but the nurse reminded me that my body had been through a LOT in only 7 months.

Upon returning home, I noticed my boss finally responded to me. He wished me a fast recovery, said my health was paramount, and inquired as to when I would be returning to work. I advised him that my surgeon said anywhere between 4 - 6 weeks. No reply.

Finally, about a week before I was due to return to work, I emailed my boss AGAIN, and he finally replied: Glad to hear you're doing better, unfortunately things got busy blah blah blah the manager was sick blah blah blah, my wife wound up in the hospital and we just couldn't last. I had to replace you."

Uh...ok...so I'm broke, have medical debt and now jobless. AWESOME EVEN MORE.

I emailed my old boss, I emailed Allstate HR and I emailed every single job posting I could find. I had two interviews, and then Allstate HR got me one. Nothing. Scrambling sucks hardcore, it's so very not ideal.

Then I got a random call on a Tuesday afternoon from an agent that I'd heard of before. Just so happened to be the owner of three agencies, and one of the largest agents in NJ. They wanted to interview. I looked at a map and it made me very sad - no matter how it was sliced, the commute would be 40 minutes one way. However, the bills and debt were hovering over my head, so I made the clear choice - GO. I didn't leave with a very positive feeling, but I was hopeful. Two weeks later, I got another call...to come in and show them how well I know the systems. They seemed impressed, but informed me that there were three people going for one position. Well, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

Second week of May, Scott and I went down to AC for a few days for the OES Grand Lodge convention. We had fun, we sat through some pretty, uh, uneventful meetings and gambled a bit. We did so much walking...so so much walking. The convention was being held at Trump, but we used my comps at Ballys. That was amazing, we got upgraded to a suite!

I was sitting at one of the slot machines in Trump, and I decided to look at my phone. AAAAAA he called, and I missed it! Crap! So I checked my voicemail, and much to my suprise and delight, he was offering me the job!

Needless to say, I accepted. I started on May 21st. I can honestly say, this has been one of the best experiences of my life thusfar. I meshed with my coworkers almost immediately, the pay is great, I'm paying down my debts and saving up for the WEDDING.

I'll save the wedding talk for another entry. That's pretty much that. Consider yourself caught up. /End.

Current Mood: working
Friday, May 27th, 2011
12:40 am
Well, hello there
I should be sleeping now, but...

I figured I ought to get my current feelings at least into this lj. A lot has changed. A lot has happened for the better and although I tend to take the worst case scenario route, I'm happy. I mean I could sit here and bitch about how much I dislike my working environment but hey, I'm still employed.

I can honestly say there is something, one thing I wanted Scott to do for quite a few years now. I had false leads and was faked out a few times, but that one thing finally happened. Scott proposed.

Read: We're Engaged!

We've been doing shows together in south jerz for a few years now, and the most recent show I was asked to be involved in was "Bye Bye Birdie". Now, I can't say its my all-time favorite show, but after this run I have to admit it's become a part of me. That's how he did it - at the end of the run, he kept the entire cast onstage, and asked me to come up from out of the pit. You know, where I hang out in the darkness wearing all black and whatever shoes I want to wear. I turned to put my instruments away and out of the corner of my eye there he was, front and center. I stared at him for a minute, because I didn't know what the hell he was up to, then I slowly walked across the stage to meet him. At this point my heart was beating in my ears, and while I was walking I heard him say "8 years ago, 8 LONG years ago I met this lovely girl here..." and I went blank! He got down on his knee right then and there. Well of course I said yes, I'd wanted this for years! Little did I know how much planning went into this. To the tune of at least a year and a half. Wow. I'm so proud of him and I'm so happy! He even had the pit in on it, and had the conductor play "Being Mrs. Banks" from Broadway's "Mary Poppins". I still get giddy when I think about it or watch the video.

So, here we are, about 3 weeks later. Much planning has been underway, care of Scott and my Mom. Oh, she's positively glowing over this. She is completely in her element doing all things wedding. We're getting along really well also haha. The family started a diet together. I'm pretty ashamed of how badly I let myself go, but I'm wrapping up week 2 and it's not so bad. I've got lots of time to get it right.

2.5 years to be precise. Well, 2 years, 5 months and 5 days...ish.

We are aiming for 11/02/2013. Here's to hoping, wishing, waiting, planning, thinking, crying, whining, laughing and enjoying the time leading up to the big day.

Well, englandmissesme...it's been 8 long years...I somehow feel as if your chapter has closed. I've had a lot of good times as well as a lot of tears and an overload of drama. Although I can never really be too sure, you're dramatic flair always seems to draw me back, to make just one more update...

Current Mood: enthralled
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
2:36 pm
The endless cycle.
Well here I am however many months since my last post. Things have improved a bit. I managed to get my insurance license, attended a weeklong Allstate school and now I'm working full time. I'm not being paid a livable wage, but it's certainly enough to pay my bills and afford my mother's rate of rent. That being said, she now wants me to pay for more. This simply means I'll NEVER save enough to move out. Everything is based on percentages. She also wants me to take my phone and get my own Verizon plan. Well fine, I'll do that. And because I work at Allstate I get a 22% discount, plus 50% off some of the phones. Probably a better deal for me anyway. As much as she wants to threaten to take back my car, I doubt she'll do it because I'm the one making the monthly payments.

Here's where the endless cycle comes in. Scott and I had some nice little dreamworld plans. I would get my license and work where I am for a year. At the same time he would push for the promotion he totally deserves. Somewhere between now and the end of 2010 we would get engaged. When the year of working here is up, I ask my boss to help me relocate. We plan the wedding, get married and move in together in South Jersey. He works where he is with the promotion and I work at another Allstate. Seems pretty simple and not too convoluted. Yea, right.

Scott is still waiting. I can't do shit until he moves up. Meanwhile I NEED to get out of my house, if for nothing else my mental health. I know, I know I've been saying this for years. But the conditions are becoming unbearable. If I even try to smile at my mother it's taken as sarcastic or mean. Every day that I'm home when she's there I have to hear about how much of a burden I am to her. I'm grateful that she helps me with my bills, but considering I was partially unemployed for TWO YEARS and I depleted my savings, I guess she figured helping me would be a parental-type gesture.

Scott is talking about moving out with me as soon as he gets promoted. Yea that's all fine and well, but what about health insurance? There's no way in hell I can afford everything at this point. So, no moving out till we're married so I can be on his insurance, and no marriage till he's promoted. Weee...

He suggested, even though we'll call this the final resort, that we just get married on paper. That way I'll be on his insurance, and if I move, I'm responsible for one less huge monthly payment. ::sigh::

Back at the ranch, I have a job. End of story. I just felt the need to get these really big and bulky roadblocks out of my system and into my blog. Back to work I go!
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
8:18 pm
I'm pretty much recouped from the job failure. Besides, the hours were midnight to 8:30am. I think I'd go crazy after a while.

Scott's mother got me riled up again. This time, the family wanted me to come down this past Sunday because the dog isn't doing well. Ok, I bought into it, I was under the impression the poor thing was going to be put down on Monday. It's 15 years old, a purebred, blind, deaf, losing teeth, can't pee or poop correctly, cannot sit down unless he's placed down on the floor because of his hips...ok I understand they love their dog. But it's not about love. This is straight up animal cruelty. The woman actually mentioned looking into hip surgery. That poor dog is MISERABLE. So I went down there under the rues that I was gonna see the dog for the last time. Neg. The dog is still there today. She started trying to engage me in conversation, but I had no desire. Then she talked about me getting my insurance license. I said I was going to do it out of necessity. She goes "oh that's the smartest thing you can do. You get that and you can move anywhere in the state". I made some comment referring to moving out of the state and her feathers got all ruffled. "what do you mean move...you're a jersey girl" referring to the vinyl sticker on my rear window. I said I'm tired of the people and the traffic. This concerned her mainly because if I move, chances are Scott will soon follow. Or something like that. Whatever, it's my life. You weren't keen on helping me before, don't get involved now.

Oh and as for the shows, it's like I'm the one on Mars now, because they said they were expecting me to stay there. WTF...

Work is killing me. Everyone quit. It was just the boss and myself and that was more than enough to make me contemplate sporking out my eye. Somehow, the boss got one of the other girls to come back on a temporary basis, till some new people are hired. Ugh.

Mom and I joined a gym. There's a new LA Fitness in Clifton, and with some stellar pre-grand-opening rates, we signed up. The main selling point was definitely the pool and jacuzzi. Word. We're going for the first time tonight, but the pool and jacuzzi aren't open yet. They'll be open Monday. Yay for being proactive in my quest for overall health!

Well that's about it. Oh and just like last year, It's Clarinet VS Laura. Only difference is this time, Clarinet - 0, Laura - 1. HA.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
3:40 am
Carve another notch in the pole of failure
I did not get the job. Of course I didn't get the job...it would have been perfect. Too good to be true.

What I really don't need to hear is "god has a plan". Because really, I don't agree with that statement. I think the universe has ideas, but ultimately god gives us tools to complete what we NEED to complete, not what we want. And there is no plan, it's all about action and what you do.

Praying for a job isn't going to get you a job, either. Your skills, who you know and some of what you know are going to get you a job. The part where the blessing comes into play, is that if you are blessed enough to have friends that have connections in this turbulent time. That's the blessing. It is because of a friend that I have my current job, and it's because of a friend that I got an interview in the first place.

That being said, I'm really pissed and hurt. This would have been my big break. Scott and I finally would have gotten out, together. I strongly feel that me getting a job down in south jersey is what I NEED, no longer just what I WANT. The ocean air is easier for me to breathe, traffic congestion is really not an issue and for the most part its just a more pleasant environment. Everyone keeps saying "it just wasn't meant to be, keep looking". So I applied to a couple jobs down there tonight. An accounting job in Little Egg Harbor, and a Home Care position in Manahawkin (non medical, just companionship). But, I can't take just any job. Now that I know Scotts parents won't let me stay at their house, I need to get a job that will pay all my bills and rent. I can't believe they actually said I should get a good job up here...I mean really, was I picking my nose the whole time? Anyway...

Mom said she had a good mother's day, so I'm happy for that. It also happened to be me and Scott's 7th anniversary of our first date. Without thinking of that, I had suggested to Scott that we meet halfway between our houses, just because I wanted to see him so bad. Apparently he felt the same way, and we met just off of exit 105 in Eatontown. I love and miss him so much. We talked about how happy we would be if we could just be together...

Just thinking about that made me cry again. I didn't cry right away when I was told I didn't get the job. To tell you the truth I stopped thinking I had a chance a couple days ago. I'm being serious, it was just too perfect. I started crying when it dawned on me, that we're just not as close as we thought we were to being together again. I said to him, a long distance relationship is fine. A long distance engagement is...ok. But a long distance marriage? There's just no such thing if we ever planned on being happy. It just hurts so bad...

Worse comes to worse, I talked with my parents and they agreed, if I can't find work down in south jersey by the time Scott and I are engaged, we'll invite him to transfer to a Michaels up here and live in our house. Scott told me once upon a time he would transfer up here if I couldn't find work...but I don't want to stay up here forever so we would continue to work at getting me a job down there. I promised Scott he would only have to transfer twice: once up here for wedding planning etc, and then once more back down there as soon as I find a job.

But right now...I'm hurting and I need a hug from Scott. I can't have one. So I'll just cry myself to sleep. And no, I'm not trying to be emo. I'm in pain...
Monday, May 3rd, 2010
2:49 am
What goes around comes around? Not so much...
I type this entry with mixed emotions. So many, many things happened in the past three days I'm barely able to keep my balance...so dizzying.

With the help of my dear friend and sister Stef, I landed an incredible job interview this past Friday. I submitted my resume about a year or so ago, but nothing ever came of it. Suddenly two weeks ago I get a frantic message from Stef stating to watch my phone...I was going to get a call! Lo and behold, I got the call and I scheduled the interview for April 30th.

Excited can't even capture the feeling. Last interview I had was with my current boss. Nothing wrong with her or this job...it's just that...it only pays like $2 an hour and I have 19 hours a week.

All this being said, Scott and I had a talk and decided that we would ask his parents, together, if I could stay at his house just for a short while till I found an apartment. They said they would think about it.

I went down there Thursday evening, but was awoken by slamming of cabinet doors and clinking of dishes and utensils at 6:30am. Oook...but whatever I was excited for the interview. I even had a spiffy new shirt to wear with "the suit". I did my hair and makeup all nice, and as I was getting ready to leave, his parents said nothing at all to me. That's ok...I was really excited for the interview. Scott told me I looked beautiful and saw me to the door.

I got to the place (FAA) and got checked at security, then escorted via van to the building I needed to be at. I met with two supervisors who were really nice. We talked about a few things, then I did a phone test, and I was told I did really well. I was also told to expect to hear either way within the next week. I was dropped off back at my car in a REALLY good mood! I called my mom then I called Stef. Then I stopped off by Scott's job and he too was excited and hopeful. Then I drove back to his house.

I walked in the door and got looked at, then his mom said "hello." I waited a few seconds, no one said anything. But that's ok, I was excited about the interview. I started to talk about it, and his mother made a face. My mouth started to get very try because I had a sinking feeling that she was not going to let me stay there. She didn't say anything at all. I volunteered a little bit more information, about how the hours are a little rough but I have to do what I have to do to be employed and she made an even worse face. I stood there for a few more seconds, and all she could come up with was "Well, this is just one more thing you can tell unemployment you tried."


My excitement died. All my happiness and hope went away. I quickly turned around and said "Ok I'm going to take a nap" and disappeared into the other room. I threw my face into the pillow and just cried. My god...this woman is dead set on me not getting this job! I looked past the fact that no one wished me good luck (aside from Scott) but getting back in and not being asked anything at all...that made me feel just so low. I stayed in that room till I heard them leave, then I holed myself up in their basement for hours till Scott got home. When he came down the stairs I told him what happened. He became so angry, I had to beg and plead with him not to make a scene with his parents. He respected my wishes, and we took off for the island in my car. I drove home that night and got in my house at 1:30am. Both of my parents were up waiting for me. I told them what happened...and my mother basically said all of this means she already made up her mind about me staying there.

Saturday went without incident. I started to chin up again about the possibility of finally living in south jersey with Scott, and started the daunting apartment/room/shared house hunt. I told Scott about what I had found and we both started to cheer up. Sunday rolled around and I slept in. We BBQ'ed steaks and they were soooo good! After lunch I decided to call Scott at work to say hello. He placed me on hold for a second, then came back and all he said was:

"They said NO."

I really cannot say that I was surprised. Deep down I wasn't expecting a yes. I can't get mad at them, it's their house afterall. What got me mad tho, was the fact that I went down to their house and asked them for help in person, and they didn't even have the common decency to call me to tell me? I had to find out by calling Scott at work? That, my friends, is not cool. Scott didn't give me many details, but said they basically thing we're foolish for wanting to do this. He told them they gave him no choice, he has to move out. They told him if he did that he'd be squandering everything they gave him. That time he was sick? They called that the time they bailed him out.

Speaking of that time he was sick...my parents allowed him to move into our house for over three months. We fed him, we took care of him and we even did his laundry - free of charge. All we asked for in return was for him to wash the dishes he made late at night. This went on and on till one day Scott got so sick, it scared my mom. She decided to call his parents to inform them of just how sick Scott was, and how she felt that maybe being home under his parents care would make him a little better. I'm sure everyone remembers that debacle, how they told me they would stay with him for a few days. Yea ok that turned into them forcing him to leave north jersey permanently.

Scott called me later in the evening and he filled me in. Not only did they say we're foolish, but they think we're stupid. It's apparently a bad idea to do whatever it takes to find work. These people really are out in their own galaxy...had they actually taken the time to READ a newspaper or WATCH the news, they would know how tough it is out there, and how people are leaving northern nj because there are NO JOBS. But what do I know, I'm stupid and foolish. Then he goes on to tell me she called me a liar. Oh, I'm a liar now. That whole part where I said she never asked me how the interview went...right well me going up to her and telling her tidbits equates in her world to her asking how it went. So I'm stupid, I'm foolish and now I'm a liar. But wait, there's more! Scott brought to their attention how he lived here, and how if the tables were turned, my parents said he could move in again if he needed to. Well that doesn't matter to them. They don't care. Scott brought all of this up, and do you know what that woman said? She said that my mom called her and told her that Scott needed to get out of her house. ::blink:: When he told me that I nearly blacked out I was so enraged. I was in the GD room when my mom made that call, and at no time did she ever say "Scott needs to get out of my house". Excuse me lady, my mom did you a fucking favor. She said take care of your son! All she said was, he was very sick and she was scared for him, and she felt that he needed to be taken care of by his parents. Unlike them, my parents still had to go to work. So because my mom cared for and loved Scott like family, his mother twisted that all into "he needs to get out". ::sniff sniff:: I smell some major BULLSHIT.

One other point she said I'm making up: if I'm offered the job, I can't turn it down. If I turn it down, I will lose my unemployment. I have a case worker. I report things to her. Unemployment is going to want to know why I didn't get the job. They call people to verify things. If they call this place and they are told "she declined the position" for whatever reason, that's it I'm denied funds. Yep I'm totally making that up. Note: sarcasm.

If Scott up and moves out with me, theres a chance he will be disowned. I would never be able to live with myself if that happens, but he insists it's not my fault. He said he's tired of all this and he reached a breaking point. His parents do not want us together, and they will do what it takes to split us up. What they need to understand is, their feelings don't matter in this case. Scott and I are adults and if we want to be together, thats that. (This is what my mom said to me). You don't choose who you fall in love with. Scott and I have been together for a long time, we're more in love than ever and we want to get married. End of story.

As if all that wasn't enough...if I don't get the job all the drama was stirred up already. I guess it was better to learn the truth now than later. I stopped looking for apartments, and I'm now looking for rooms for rent or shared houses. I found a few, I placed some calls and sent some emails. There were a few places that really caught my eye. Alone affording it could kill me, but split with Scott would allow us to put away money like crazy. That or I'm living in my car.

I suppose the next update will be the verdict on the job. I thank everyone for their well wishing, prayers and positive thoughts. Please keep them coming! <3
Sunday, April 18th, 2010
6:31 pm
Asthma and allergies...oh boy!
Another weekend of bedrest for me. I had to leave work an hour early, missed out on time with Kathleen, Molly in Rent and missed out on Danielle's daughter's Christening.

Another disease with no cure, only preventative medicine that sometimes doesn't even work. I took my inhaler at work, but because my bronchial tubes were so constricted the medicine didn't even get into my lungs. I had to sit for the nebulizer. Yea sure, it makes my asthma calm down, but makes me shake for hours. I wish there was a better way to live...

I have been nonchalantly following a food plan made by my mother for a week. I'm starting to feel better physically. Although I cannot use the scales in this house, literally because I'm too fat, I know I've lost some weight because my "friend" showed up.

I get to see my Scottypants on Friday. I'm going down there for the first time since Valentines day. Taking this approach has showed him how we need to be fair, and how he needs to come up here as much as I go down there. Ah, every day is a new learning experience.

He was just told by the upper management at his job...that have been promising him a promotion...that they only way he can expect to be promoted this year is if someone leaves the company. That's great, because not so long ago he was told he could expect to be promoted as soon as August. ::sigh::

PS I'm obsessed with Wedding Sunday on WEtv. LOVE IT.
Monday, April 12th, 2010
12:43 am
Time goes so fast...
Scott came up for the weekend on Friday night. He left around 10 tonight. We're miserable, plain and simple. We can't stand to be without eachother, but there is nothing we can do right now. I hate to be "that person" who says "I can't do this anymore..." but well, I really can't do this anymore.

We do, however, have a plan. Sort of. Scott works at Michaels as the frame shop manager in Manahawkin. The pay isn't that great...but at least it's steady full-time work with benefits. He was advised that his store manager and the district guy (I can't remember his exact title) recommended him for a promotion to assistant manager. If he were to get this position, he would become salaried, his benefits would be better and he would get a piece of the "end of the year bonus." All of that junk aside, this would make our lives easier. While he waits for his promotion, I am trying very hard to get the state to pay a whopping $600 to send me to business school so that I may obtain a NJ insurance license in property and casualty.

Assuming things actually work out in our favor for a change, this is the plan: Scott gets promoted, I get my license, work for my boss for at least 6 months, ask (beg, plead...kiss her feet) my boss for some help with connections to get placed in an agency down by Scott, and move in together. Whether it be at his parents house (temporarily!!!) or into the apartment we love, this is what will be required for our plan to work. There are 4 agencies within 15 minutes of the apartment. I can dream, can't I?

I really miss Scott...
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
1:52 am
Laughs and lashings of the old...
Somewhat more upbeat day today. I had to claim for unemployment today (I usually only have to do this once every other week) but I understand why today, because I've reached the end of this claim. Hopefully there's another extension. That or I reapply for it and get it...I hope.

I worked from 2 - 7 (as I do on every Wednesday). One thing that kind of puts me at ease is some sense of "job security". See, for a year I was the baby. Now that Mirelys is leaving, I'm the old woman. She and Shelby keep talking about how I'm going to be crafty like them, and how I can easily fill the shoes as the office "insurance minion" haha. Teh boss spoke to me about going for the classes to get my license. She said she would just pay me for the two weeks it's going to take. I REALLY appreciate that, considering my life as of late.

I love my car. Like, really love my car. There's just something about your "first" car, and then something about the "first car you bought". Come December I will be halfway done paying it off yay! I'm going to own a car before I'm 30, as discovered this evening over tea and a brownie at the 24 hr bagel place with Anne. No, there's no DVD GPS...or heated seats or whatever. But my car has enough bells and whistles to make ME happy, and that's all that matters. I didn't buy that car for status, or to impress anyone. Although, I feel good about myself when I drive by old enemies with crappy cars ;). I am a little annoyed with myself though, because I kinda crapped it up. One afternoon should alleviate that! I was also thinking if I can squeeze into my budget taking my car to get a full detail. Or I can just do it myself...I dunno.

I came crashing down from my happy state when I got home. A song came on the radio and I was just washed over with this terrible feeling of gloom. It probably didn't help that my room was legit 89 degrees. I decided to go for a drive wherever (not very wise for someone on a tight budget...but sometimes it's necessary) and I called Anne. She wasn't available, so I went for some tacos. (BAD GIRL) She called back, and we decided to meet up at said bagel place. We're both a little "not ok" at this point, but company usually helps that. I started to come back down to earth and feel better when we discussed jobs, working and money. I'm not too far off from being able to move. I've got about $1500 in the bank, $600 in an IRA and $1000 chilling in a vacation club account. For someone who's broke and poor all the time, I'd say that's something to be proud of. Some may scoff because that seems like pennies, but to me it's a fortune. I'm really glad I was forced to rethink money and forced to be poor. It really taught me about fiscal responsibility. I can survive afterall.

If I do move though, I'm going to lose my students. The lesson market down by Scott isn't really that great, and I'm afraid of giving that up. Yea, yea there's Craigslist and connections...but there really aren't too many private studios down there. But if I had to choose between teaching a few lessons and finally moving onto the next part of my life, I think I'd feel safe choosing the latter, knowing that I can always find a student somewhere.

I've fallen in love with an apartment complex lol. Two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, balcony/patio, all brand new energy star appliances, full washer/dryer in the unit, dishwasher and access to a fitness facility etc. Rent = $960 a month!!! It's a brandy-new development in Manahawkin called "Stafford Park Apartments". It's billed as "low income housing". Well, that's me. Po'! lol There are solar panels on all the buildings and it's certified LEED. (has something to do with being green) If Scott ever gets his promotion and I find a job in insurance down by him after I get my license, we may qualify. That would be a great day in my life. Only question I have is, are utilities included in that price? I don't really know the NJ laws on low income housing...so I figure if none of my friends know I can always call them.

Well I'm going to bed. Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day. I'm going to give my boss the letter I drafted up, letting her know I was asked to play for not one but two shows this summer. I'm excited for this, but also anxious to see if she'll be ok with it. I hope she will, because I was hired knowing that I would have gigs. Woot. G'nite.
Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
1:13 am
Another April
I deposited my last unemployment check for this extension. I have to reapply. I'm extremely nervous about this because I, like many Americans unable to find suitable full-time work have become dependent on those checks.

The upshot of this is, I have held a part time job for over a year and have been paying into unemployment steadily. Being declined is less likely because of this. Also, I have a letter from my employer promising a job upon the completion of a Property and Casualty license. I've been going through all the motions, taking all the tests and attending all the workshops. I've already missed work several times for all those reasons, as well as because of appointments with my case manager. She says because of the letter promising a job, I should get the training paid for. That was 6 months ago.

Some good news: my car insurance actually went down for this renewal. I'm excited about this because really, to live in northern NJ and have a rate go down is phenomenal.

I currently have 6 students at the music school I'm working at. I can't really remember if I mentioned that in the last entry, but it makes me happy so there. I would love to get more, but with summer fast approaching, it seems like a bleak prospect. ::sigh::

I miss Scott so badly. He may as well be across the country. He rarely comes to visit because of his job, and I don't go down there anymore because frankly, I can't afford it. We talk on the phone every day, and even video call over Skype but it's just not the same, nor is it enough. He doesn't want to elope, but really that wouldn't be responsible at all. We've pretty much agreed that when the time is right (after he gets his promotion and I have my license with some help finding a job down there) I'm going to move down there. There's a really nice apartment complex that we could afford if we stick to a really strict budget, but he's trying to say we can save money by living with his parents. I'm not too keen on that. I'm not exactly his mother's favorite person, plus we'll be forced to sleep in different rooms - even if by that point we're engaged. I want my own place and I want to nest. I watch baby and parenting shows and start to cry...because I've got these ridiculous mommy pangs. It's time to take the next step, but I can't!

One of my best friends moved and has a real adult life with her husband. I'm happy for her, but I'm sad because shes now an hour and a half away, and she gave her notice at work. Yea, she's the one that got me the job at Allstate, and now she's leaving to pursue her dream of being a nurse. I really couldn't be happier for her! I'm just sad that she's leaving. We talked about her being my Maid (or in her case, Matron) of Honor. She's been through a wedding already so she knows how things go. I really, really don't want to lose touch...

As for Scott, he was supposed to come up last weekend, but he didn't because he got sick (diabetes) and his mom called to tell him there was something wrong with the dog. o.O...I get the sick part, but the dog? Well it's because I never had a pet that long. Oh wait, yes I did, my catfish Mr. Whiskers. He lived for 14 years. He died when I wasn't home and my mom flushed him without letting me say goodbye. So excuse me for being so harsh about this. He's supposed to come up on Friday this week, because through the Masons we have tickets to go see a Devils game on Saturday.

Well off to bed.
Thursday, April 1st, 2010
4:25 am
I still have this thing, and for myself as long as I update at least twice a year I'm good.

My how far I am from where I was when I started this lj. I was so naive. I wish I was back there really. All I had to worry about then was going to class and chasing after this boy I had a crush on haha.

Well said boy and I are going to hit year 5 together in a few short months. Actually, on Mothers day this year it will be the 7 year mark of our first date. My how time flies.

We talk constantly about getting engaged and married, and moving into a place together. Hell, we even found a really nice place that (assuming I get placed somewhere, again assuming I'll get my license, more on that later) we could afford. He hinted to me in February that we would be engaged this year. Yea, yea...December 31st is still "this year" I get it.

I've been working at the Allstate in Hillside for over a year now. I'm trying very hard to get my license so that I may get better pay, and then possibly get a placement down by Scott. It's all up to the feds whether or not they are going to send me. The key here is that I have a letter promising employment. I'm still collecting unemployment checks because although I have the part time job, it doesn't pay the bills.

I was called by an old friend and subsequently hired to teach at a private studio again. This one is in Wayne. It's a bit of a schlep, but at least I'm still doing what I truly love. It pays better than my last studio gig, too.

I was asked to play again in the south jersey theater group for two shows: Crazy for You! and Thoroughly Modern Millie. You know how they say that when one door closes another one opens? Well, it was quite painful to lose my job back in 2008, but now I get it. Now I understand why that had to happen. Money will forever be a struggle for me, but because I lost that job I now have the ability to do what I love. If you give me a choice between financial freedom or doing what I love...it's safe to say I'm going to do what I love.

It's 4:30am and I have to be up at 11:30. There are more things to blog about but I should probably get to bed. So, g'nite.
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
2:29 am
Some time later...
Well here I am updating at 2:30 in the morning again. Not all that much has changed. I'm now on my second unemployment extension. Still working at the Allstate office in Hillside 19 hours a week. Still driving my car, which I love and I'm so lucky to be doing. Still looking for a full time job...

The chances of moving to South Jersey at this point are slim to nil. I don't understand how some just pick up and move. I thought about it, but unless I start pulling tricks on the street immediately, there's no way that I'd cover my bills.

I did enter myself into a contest held by Sallie Mae, offering to pay up to $25k worth of student loans with the company. Well I have just over $16K left, so that would be a nice thought.

I really want to learn French. This spurred after listening to a song called "L'amour est bleu" sung by Vicky Leandros. It's probably more famously know as "Love is Blue" performed by Paul Meriot's Orchestra. I believe that's how you spell his name, anyway. I have one friend that speaks French, but I'd really like to see if I can do it myself. I've failed, miserably, at trying to learn Spanish and Russian. I can read Russian, but don't ask me to write or actually translate what I read. I now know how to count from zero to ten, and I know choice phrases like "my name is laura" and "i dont eat fish" but "i like to eat" lol. However, I can only go so far with youtube videos. My dad suggested Rosetta Stone...but I kinda don't have the cash for that. We'll see.

Things at home are pretty much the same. Mom and I fight daily, but it's not because we're mad, it's because we're broke. It's stressing her out severely. We're trying to convince Dad to get a part time job. Our health insurance deductible went up, our regular visit copay went up, and get this: our monthly payments went UP. I hate health insurance. My car insurance also went up $113/6 mos because of my "new car discount" wearing off. Dammit. Mom said the next thing to go is the cellphone. I mean, on one hand if I don't have a cell and I'm having a bad day, I can take off and no one can find me. On the other hand, if I take off and no one can find me that will suck if I'm in trouble. I told her I'll "find" money somehow.

We're fortunate to be in the minority of homeowners, where we're paid into the mortgage more than was originally owed. So the possibility of losing the house is pretty low. Yay for positives!

I guess that's it. To everyone thrown into the shitter by this economy: keep the hope alive. Things are going to get better.
Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
5:22 pm
Viva la revolution!
Oui, aujourd'hui dans les annales d'histoire, la Révolution française a été allumée!

I like crepes...and coissants...

Anywho, randomly today as I was trying to log into Facebook at work, the page came up on the blocked website list. WTF? It was fine just yesterday...

Things have been interesting at the very least. Evita is creeping up on us, and I still don't have my music ironed out. Less than a month away...

Justin came out of nowhere yesterday, and asked me to sub for him in a show up here. I can only do one of the two days, but even so I doubt my musical ability on the clarinet - especially at such short notice. I borrowed the books from him so that I can look them over, but if I don't feel comfortable I'm not going to say I can do it.

Scott, Troy and myself are in talks about moving in together down in South Jerz. I'd like to do it asap, but we can't do a thing until Scott gets his promotion. We hope. Oh yea...and I was booted out of my room. My parents tore down the walls and covered most of my belongings with plastic. They're getting a new roof done...so now I'm back where I started downstairs. It's not all bad though, I'm making it work. I demanded a locking doorknob with a key, and they installed it. I want something to go under the door to keep their smells out of my room and my smells in, and they bought it. My room smells like Bath n Body works Bartlett Pear. Yay!

Natira is preggers...and her due date came and passed. They want to induce her tomorrow...that sucks. Petosin is evil.

I still don't have a full time job and that sucks, because money is really sparse. I still have my car and thats awesome...but it's going to get really special once the unemployment runs out. ::sigh::

That's about all for now.
Friday, May 8th, 2009
3:30 pm
Ok so it's been like, 2 months since my last update. Things haven't changed too drastically - money is still tight. I still don't have a full time job. The usual BS.

I've been working at an Allstate office for 3 months now. 19 hours a week. It's not really making enough to pay for anything, but at least I'm trying. I do office stuff like answer phones, filings, mailings etc. At least I get to work with Mirelys.

I spend much of my intarwebz time on Facebook and AIM. Yea...thrilling.

I still have my car, which I love. There's just some kind of thrill when you drive a car that YOU bought. Every cent paid towards that car and maintenance has come from my pocket, and that's something I'm really proud of. OH and I got some good juju passed to me somehow, because now my car insurance has gone from $195 a month to $62.

With the extra money I'm saving on the insurance, there are two ventures my mother is going to assist me with. I'm going to the fat doctor tuesday next week for a consult - I just want to lose like 40 lbs on the medical plan so that I can move again and exercise without pain. There is one huge reason (no pun intended lol) for the sudden REAL urge to lose weight. But I'll get to that later. The second venture is a new computer. I love my desktop and laptop, but the desktop is 7 years old, and the laptop is more like 11. They do the best they can, but technology has eaten them alive. They freeze all the time and it's getting a little annoying. So mom and I are going to shop around for a new desktop. I don't need a monitor, keyboard or mouse either.

Hokay so the reason for the REAL urge to lose weight: Myself, my new friend Troy and Scott are planning a big trip to Disney/Orlando for October/Halloween 2010. It's going to be a road trip and it's going to be outstanding. I've already drafted a loose schedule and budget. It's not gonna be cheap, but I'm confident that I'll have the money in time. I already have 1/4 of the budget saved up! I've also got a friend who's trying to start a Disney vacation planning company, and she's willing to plan with me for free! However as ideal as it would be to have a party of 4, 3 is just fine. Oh, right, the diet. Disney = walking. Disney = rides. Disney rides = not so fun times for fat people. I want to walk around without pain, and I want to ride all the rides without wondering if I'll fit into the seats. Also, driving in my cute little car will be easier if I weigh less.

Now, those of you that have read and semi-followed my journal know that I'm broke, and must be very perplexed as to how I have any money put away for this trip. I'll share that: it's called doing shows in south jersey and collecting a bi-weekly stimulus from the government. Yes, I'm still sort of on unemployment. And our prez decided that all peoples on unemployment should get a weekly stimulus of $25, aka $50 every two weeks. So that's my explanation.

Speaking of shows...I did The Wizard of Oz in April. It was fun, but I had to play clarinet and sax. I didn't get paid as much as I thought I would, and that was depressing. But some is better than none, and I just cashed that check today. Lesson learned: negotiate payment prior to starting a show. And thats exactly what I did with the next show: Evita.

Scott is the musical director for this show, and I've been elected to play...the computer. I'm going to be operating a system provided by a company that supplies theaters with "supplemental music". It's made by Sinfonia (not PMA lol) and it's referred to as "OrchExtra" or something like that. I'll mostly be responsible for keeping the tempo and subdividing rhythms etc. Basically I have to learn a new instrument, and I'll be rehearsing a whole lot more than I've ever had to on a traditional instrument. Yes...this is killing my soul just a little bit, because it's more or less stealing work from other professional instrumentalists. But the company says they only market as "supplemental music", and it is advised to still have live instruments. I don't know...it goes against almost everything I believe in, but it's a paycheck, and right now in this economy where I can't land a job...money has to come before my soul. I'm going to avoid getting any further into detail about this, as it upsets me.

In a nutshell, this is my life right now. I'll probably post more about the Disney budget later, cause we all know how much I like to dream and talk about budgeting.
Thursday, March 5th, 2009
2:25 am
I'm my own worst enemy.
So, my friend Amanda invited me to become involved in the formation of a group that just gets together for fun and plays music. Did I do anything with it? No, of course not. Back in August I contacted the NJ Choral Society, because I'd like to get involved. They got back to me after reviewing my CV (curriculum vitae) and asked me to come audition. Did I call them back to schedule? No, of course not. I have a friend who offered to discuss getting me into the local musicians union. Did I ever follow up? No, of course not.

Then I sit and watch old home movies and listen to recordings that I've done...then look other similar recordings up on youtube...

And then I don't understand why it all makes me cry. Music is my passion, it's not supposed to depress me. Yet that's all music seems to do for me anymore. It's as if music has become my kryptonite. While I'm teaching the one student I have left, I'm more concentrated on her technique etc, so it doesn't bother me. But when I come home...I can't sit at the piano for more than 10 minutes...and I can't pick up my flute for more than a few minutes.

Some people want me to come to the local community band. I have almost no desire, because although I rose above the crap, high school was mandatory. I have no idea why subjecting myself to the same people voluntarily would make any sense. Alas, I have been told that most of the drama went away. But that room...the very aura of that room hurts me. That's where I grew the most as a musician, that's where I was when I had actual promise.

Going to MSU for a degree in music has honestly been one of the worst decisions I have ever made. (aside from the friends i have made, of course.) I wanted to go to Jersey City - they offered me a scholarship. William Patterson offered me a scholarship. But really I fell in love with Jersey City. MSU? Give out money? Are you kidding??? But my mother pushed me to go there anyway, because JC was just too far away, and it wasn't in the best neighborhood. WP was nice, but their strength seemed to be in Jazz, and I'm terrible at Jazz. The biggest influence to attend MSU was Peggy Scheckter. I took a lesson with her when I was in high school at her house and blew her away. I knew she was the person to study with. My first year at MSU was fine. I did well academically and I made great strides in my flute technique studying under Peggy. My sophomore year was not as great as it could have been. The whole reason for me going to MSU moved to Hawaii. I had been landed with another teacher. We'll refer to them as "SS". SS made drastic changes to the way I played. It's one thing to share a professional opinion, and it's an entirely different thing to force said opinion on a student. I had studied under three great teachers - real creme de la creme - before SS. Not one person saw anything wrong with any of my hand positioning or related technique. Yes, I needed some TLC in the high register department. However, there was nothing else wrong. SS decided to change my right hand completely.......

Long story short I can no longer play my flute for more than 15 minutes at a time without indescribable pain. My flute was a living extension of myself, and it was taken away. After giving up the flute at MSU for an entire year, I took it up again under Susan Palma. Susan saved my life. She worked with me through all the physical therapy and all the pain, and managed to get me back on my feet just well enough to pull off a recital. It pains me to listen to some of my recital, simply because that was not my best, and I will never have my best back. Life isn't fun being a shell of a former self.

So due to that hiatus, plus having to drop a semester due to my near-death experience resulted in me having to discontinue my education at MSU. Fafsa didn't cover enough and my parents ran out of money. I tried to get loans to finish the remaining 2 (approx) years I had left, but without a co-signer I couldn't get the money. My parents will not co-sign anything for me.

If I ever hit the lottery, the 2nd thing on my list would be to finish my degree...at Jersey City. Even if hell freezes over I refuse to EVER give MSU one more penny. 1st of course is to pay off my debts, including those damn student loans that really amounted to nothing...

Anyway, I really want to get involved in a group, but every time I think about it, I get hit with crippling depression. Ugh. I really need to talk to someone about this. I'm starting to resent my friends that still play actively, and still have a full or semi-full roster of students. ::sigh::

Some positive news: I started a part time job on Feb 9th. The pay sucks and its 19 hrs a week...but if nothing else its another notch on the resume. My once lost now found again friend Mirelys works in an Allstate office as a producer, and got me the clerical position. I'm still collecting unemployment, because the job doesn't even pay a fraction of what I was getting initially from the state. The boss lady wants me to get my insurance license. Scott swears that once I get my license there will be a job for me in south jersey. I dunno...remember what happened last time I had a job lined up in south jersey...it went to a manager's mother.

Well I guess that's all. I have been tapped to play clarinet and alto sax in the upcoming Our Gang production of "The Wizard of Oz". I haven't seen the book and I don't know when rehearsals are, but according to Scott the show goes up in 5 weeks. Interesting. I have to ask for a week off for said rehearsals...so if I don't find out soon, I won't be able to do it. Yes, I play shows, because there's no other way for me to land chunks of change. Playing musicals isn't my favorite thing to do...but since there's a paycheck at the end, it's something. No, this is not conflicting the entire entry. Musicals are not my passion. Classical flute is my passion.

I just wish I had the guts to get back involved with other groups.
Saturday, January 10th, 2009
4:19 am
What a world, what a world...
Still no job. I have two possible leads however, and one is is south jersey. If I get that job, well, something is going to have to be worked out between Scott and my parents. I'll be down there during the week, and up here on weekends.

The other one...well I was solicited by AFLAC via myspace at 3:30 this morning. I'm not sure...but I said I was interested anyway. Who knows.

I still have the car, thanks to the unemployment checks. I'm also still paying my bills with those checks. I have my one student, and now I babysit. I actually enjoy babysitting, babies are great. I'm still on the fence if I want kids of my own. This fact has kind of upset Scott, and suprisingly my dad too. I dunno...let me get a ring first.

My asthma has gone way out of control. I went to my dr twice in the last two weeks, and now I have to go to a pulmonary specialist. I wheeze and cough all the time. And when I breathe in cold air my bronchial tubes seize. It's really crappy, and all the coughing has already caused one migraine. Oh well it really could be worse.

That's about it for me. I apply for jobs daily with zero response. The job in south jersey, if i get it, is more of a favor than something I traditionally applied for. It's through someone Scott knows at the lodge. Dad still has no work, going on 3 years. The family is in fairly poor shape, but we keep truckin along...keeping our fingers crossed. We only buy food on sale and I haven't bought any new clothes in over a year. But we make it work, and dad did an amazing thing. He was diagnosed with type II diabetes earlier in 2008. Right before Christmas, the dr finally told him that he defeated the disease and no longer needs medication or testing supplies. In the process he lost 55+ lbs and has added years to his life. We're all so proud of him.

I decided against making any resolutions for the "new year". Instead I thought of a few activities that I would like to pursue in the near future. Ice skating, tap dancing, pottery, oil painting and flavorful cooking. And with the latter, I would love to learn how to cook hibachi steak. It tastes SO good with garlic and soy sauce. I would love to learn how to cook tasty meals, other than perogies, eggs or grilled cheese lol. If anyone knows how to do any of the mentioned activities and would like to be my personal volunteer tutor, please let me know!

Oh and the title of this entry? Yea. Scott got the part of the cowardly lion in OGP's April 09 production of The Wizard of Oz. I'll apparently be covering the flute, clarinet and sax parts in the pit. I think I would have had a better time on stage as the wicked witch...hehehe.

That is all for now. Happy new year!
Monday, December 8th, 2008
5:56 am
For a good week there I was into a regular sleep schedule. I'd go to bed between 10:30 and 11, and wake up around 8:30 or 9. It was working really well for me. However, today killed that nice schedule.

I was on the phone with Scott for almost an hour and a half talking about the "future". He basically wants his life to revolve around the Masons, which I can appreciate, but I'm not certain that's the direction I would like to go. I have so many interests that have nothing to do with the Lodge. I kept trying to tell him several different ways that relationships have give and take; compromise is absolutely necessary for a healthy, successful relationship. I told him that as much time as he is "required" to spend at the lodge, I expect equal time spent at home. He doesn't get it. He keeps saying that I need to move down there so we can do everything together again. That's fine and well, but why do I have to make drastic life changes, only to go back into something that wasn't so comfortable to begin with?

Don't get me wrong I have no problem with anyone from his Lodge, they're all nice people. I just feel that my life doesn't have to revolve around a social setting such as that to be complete. He almost desperately wants me to join OES, because he truly sees a 100% Masonic involved family. He did admit that if there are children involved, it would be their choice. I'm really happy that he realizes it's all about choice. But at the same time, he really needs to stop, well, shoving his lifestyle down my throat, for lack of better terms. I will check out the situation in my own time. If I feel that I am a good fit for OES and vice versa, I will look into it. I made it perfectly clear that I will not have my life dictated by meetings and functions of the Lodge, and he made it perfectly clear that he will.

I see nothing but a burning pile of rubble at the end of this story. He doesn't see it that way, and it worries me. I wonder if he wouldn't be happier or better off with a woman that's already involved in both theater and the Masons. He doesn't seem to agree, but I can't figure what it is about me that makes him fight so hard to get me involved. Why am I so special and important to him, that he's trying to plan a life with me? Why am I so crucial to the rest of his life, that he's willing to let go of his dreams of a Catholic wedding, and get married in the Orthodox church? What is it about me that makes him feel that I'm, dare I say, "the one"?

Granted, I can't see life without him right now. He's all I've known for 6 years. But then again who's to say he can't just pick up and move on with another woman...he's done it already. Apparently he had plans of marriage with his last girlfriend. I guess the key differences are the fact that they were together in high school, and were together for a little under 3 years, whereas we've been together since college and life after school, and in 2009 it will be 4 years in a continual relationship. (I say that, because really we dated for a while in 2003)

I'm just very concerned about my future. With Scott, believe it or not, there will be some sort of financial security. But unlike him, that's not all that's important to me. What about love, romance...quality time? The three fundamental building blocks in any relationship: mental, physical and emotional? The Lodge doesn't offer everything necessary, regardless of what he tries to tell me.

Right now with him, if it isn't his non-concrete schedule at work, it's the Lodge. If it's not the Lodge, its his theater group. If it's not his theater group, he doesn't feel well. Taking that tidbit into consideration, where is it that I am supposed to fit in? Right...

He agrees with me that our relationship has reached a point where it's "serious". He says he agrees that the relationship is just as important as the Lodge...but saying and doing are two different things. I told him in our conversation this evening that just because he tells me something, that doesn't make it believable. He has to show me.

I'm just worried that I'm going to get myself into a situation where I'm not going to be happy. I know marriage vows state certain things, but I worry that things are going to shift into the direction that Scott wants, not what we want. I could be wrong, and things may work out best for us both. But after this evening's conversation, I'm left with more questions.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
4:58 am
In the immortal words of Billy Joel: "I'm movin out"
The home situation has reached critical mass. Not a day goes by that my mother and I don't argue. Hurtful things are said, accusations are thrown around and NO ONE is happy anymore. Granted, the current financial situation isn't helping at all.

Which brings me to my point. Living here is dragging morale down for everyone. I've been saying that I want to leave for years, but now it's not so much of a want anymore. I can't find work here. What happens when a person can't find work, and inevitably cannot pay bills? They go where the jobs are. North Jersey is packed full of people. South Jersey is a bit spread out, and they are still expanding.

The bottom line is, my parents cannot afford to float me anymore. I've only been out of work for a month, and already we're all feeling the pinch. I'm disgusted at the current state of things. The company I worked at for 9 months, who decided to let me go out of nowhere, is apparently not granting my unemployment. I'm going to be losing my car come January 7th, unless I can come up with $521 for the car payment and insurance. I have to call Sallie Mae to see if there is some way to get an extension on my student loan, since I have no income and no way of paying.

I have one option. Let's consider what's going on as, me being essentially kicked out. I have no money (all my savings have been wiped out to pay my bills to the end of the year). I have no job. My one and only alternate option would be to move south, with Scotts family until I get back on my feet. His parents are well aware of my current situation, and they know how hard I've worked and tried. All I have to do is say the word, and Scott will ask his parents; he's very sure they will allow this. In the meantime, my parents are deliberating. They don't actually want to kick me out, but there's no more money. Also, we can't afford for our mental health to deteriorate any further.

I've applied to several positions in the Manahawkin area, and Scott will be asking the Mayor of Barnegat, as well as his Mason brothers if they know of any decent jobs. Don't get me wrong, I've been applying to all the crappy jobs that only used to be for high school students. Hopefully there is some opportunity down there...like I said the community is starting to flourish, and that's something I need to get my toes into.

Packing and moving won't be all that difficult. I don't own any furniture, aside from my computer desk. I have my instruments, some clothes, my movies and cd's, books, my cameras, my stuffed animals, Sammy and his stuff, photo albums...and any other random shit that I've accrued over the years. Yea, there's a LOT of stuff in my room, but a lot of it won't be coming with me.

Keeping in touch with friends will SUCK. Granted my parents don't want to do this on bad terms, I'll more than likely be visiting on weekends and holidays. So I'll still get to see my friends, but the random late night bagel trips will be hard. There are two of my friends (and a baby) that will be the hardest to move from. Anne, Emmy & Dino.

Anne is my best friend, through and through. I can throw a fit, and no one will understand it quite like her. I can go to her with anything, and even if she doesn't know how to react or what to say, she still manages to make me feel better. She's always there for me. We go and do the most random shit, at the most random times. For example: "Anne: bagels? Me: see you after midnight".

Emmy is my best friend, no matter how gross, vile or disgusting my conversation becomes. Although we don't see each other as often as we used to, I know she's only a phonecall away. Or sometimes an arduous trek through Newark away. Dino is my favorite little man, and I couldn't even think about not seeing him enough. I'm his Nouna! I've been in his life since day one, and I will not miss any important moment on his journey.

Natira, who has been my "BFF" since we were 6 or 7, won't be so hard to deal with, because her Grandmother recently moved to Manchester, about 10 miles away from Manahawkin. I know I'll be able to see her now and then.

Most of all, however, is the most confusing I'm sure, to whomever will read this. I will miss my parents the most out of anyone. I cried after a week and a half at summer camp, because I missed my parents. I cried in England, because I missed my parents. Even at the end of the week-long trip to Canada I became cranky and irate because I missed my parents. As recently as this past August, when I went down by Scott and his family for my vacation/Beauty and the Beast, I missed my parents. I called my mom every day. Yes...my mom. Which illustrates exactly what I'm trying to say. Separation causes us to throw out hard feelings and grudges. We can talk freely and be happy.

There are positives, also. Instead of Stef being 3 hours away, she'll be more like 30-40 minutes away. Wildwood will be an hour drive instead of 3.5, and if I don't feel like driving to Wildwood, Manahawkin is directly outside of LBI. I'll be just miles away from a lighthouse. I'll be able to do all the shows that the theater group does, and maybe even be on stage. I'll be able to start a new student base for private lessons...although leaving my current student will break my heart. Oh yea and if I want to see my boyfriend, he'll be in the next room. It's basically been Scotts life aspiration in life to live with me. Even when he was in the apartment he constantly talked about me moving in with him. When I mentioned this issue to him the first thing he said was "you'll live with me". Didn't miss a beat. I just worry about his over-willingness to play house all the time. It's more than just living in the same house. There are chores, bills and responsibilities. Oh and that little thing called "we're not married, so I still need privacy, and some kind of life of my own".

There is still a lot to think about, but this was one of the first times the whole family came to sit and discuss this situation, without just blowing it off. What would make me completely happy? That would be my family packing up and moving to south jersey, so I'll still have my parents right there, and find new opportunity. But it can't be that way. So for now, we deliberate.
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