Archives for posts with tag: Life

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During my last doctor’s visit, while my numbers still needed improving, he was impressed with the amount of walking I did. Most months I walk around 65 miles, and while I was hoping to keep that up, August happened.

I’m not a fan of August now that I’m older. When I was young it was prime summer vacation time…hot, trips to the pool, weeks spent on Martha’s Vineyard. But now? It’s just hot…too hot to walk other than in the early morning. And add to that equation the fact that my daughter starts school the 2nd week of August, and my morning walks go out the window.

But I really didn’t even walk on the weekends. I’m not sure why. I was being lazy, I guess.

But today dawned cool and rainy…what is left of Harvey is paying us a visit. And while I can forgive myself for letting August slip away, I won’t let that same mistake happen in September. So I grabbed my umbrella and did my morning walk – just a little over a mile and a half.

It felt good.

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The world went berserk the other day when Melania trump showed up with don the con to survey the damage of hurricane Harvey in a pair of 5 inch stiletto heels.

I was one of them. I want to try to explain why this made me angry.

It was pouring rain here in Virginia on Monday. When I was dressing for work, I thought about what I should wear, because, like I said, it was raining. I’d have to walk from my parking lot to my office, and knowing I would encounter several puddles, I chose to wear my sneakers.

So when Melania knew she was going to a flood zone, an area ravaged by 2 days of rainfall, she chooses to wear fuck me pumps. Why? Because she is totally out of touch with reality.

She’s been lavished with money and privilege for so long that she need not worry about stupid little details like stepping in puddles or remembering your umbrella. She is used to stepping directly from limo to Neiman Marcus without a drop of rain hitting her perfectly coiffed head.

She made no effort to appear humble, or ordinary, or commonplace. She feels the need to be stunning at all times. She has no clue that appearing in Houston in an outfit that probably cost more than most people make in a week is offensive.

Just like her stupid, dimwitted, lying husband, she is clueless as to what being a real American is about. Just stick to your ivory tower, FLOTUS…you don’t fit in out here with the rest of us.

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Did any of you view the solar eclipse yesterday?  I for one wasn’t sure I was going to be able to

First there was the business of finding glasses. Like usual, I procrastinated until about 9 days before the eclipse. I found glasses reasonably priced on Amazon, but with all the phonies out there, and the fact that I sort of hate Amazon (trump/Breitbart) I never ordered them. Plus, I had looked at the forecast for the 21st and saw that there was a real possibility of cloud cover and *gasp!* rain. My thought was, why spend $40 on glasses if I can’t use them?

Then I found out that our local library was giving them away. I called to find out if they still had any left, and they had given out their last pair just an hour before. Typical.

But the librarian told me that you could get a pair if you attended their viewing party at 1:00 pm the day of the eclipse! Yay! Glasses. Boo! I have to work.

My solution was to send my daughters to the viewing party and for hubby and I to wing it in town. Older daughter did not have to work, and younger daughter’s school was doing ugats in the form of eclipse viewing, so I wrote a note excusing her from school at 12:45…after all, how often do you get to skip school to view an eclipse???

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A few days before the big event, I found out that the local library in Charlottesville was also handing out glasses. This turned out to be very clusterfuckish. I showed up at the library a good hour before the line for their viewing party was to begin. In the lobby I was “greeted” by a very snarky woman who spent the next 10 minutes rolling her eyes and huffing and puffing because she had to repeat “the rules” several times. There were only 300 pair of glasses for all of Cville….rats. I was going to have to make my own luck.

Deciding to ignore “the rules” I high-tailed it up to the 3rd floor where the event was to take place and found 4 others quietly sitting in a small foyer. We began to quietly chat confirming that we were all here to try to get dibs on the glasses. After several elevator dings later throngs of noisy people were crowding the small foyer, thus drawing the attention of other library personnel who made us all skedaddle unless we had a physical impairment that made climbing steps impossible.

Busted. We all  had to go down to the children’s library and get in line. The crowd for the elevator down to the main floor was large, so rather than wait like a good sheep, I took another hallway and found the steps down to the children’s library. I was about 70th in line, and beat all my foyer buddies who took the elevator. Long story short, I got my glasses!

The line for glasses went out the door, down the street and around the corner. Poor dudes. It was hot out, and probably zero chance for any of them to get glasses. But the minute I had the sun in plain view, I put those puppies on and took my first look at the 2017 eclipse.

I was so excited! It was all working out! My girls had their glasses back home, and hubby and I could view it in town! Hooray! I was sharing the glasses with co-workers and hubby…and then…

21015836_10155144154914332_5680576542622452146_oClouds. And rain.

I was bummed to the core, but didn’t lose hope. At the time when the eclipse was to peak, I ran up to hubby’s work, in the rain, on the off chance that the skies would clear for us.

And you know what? They did. Right at peak coverage, a tiny hole in the clouds appeared just enough for us to view the eclipse. While it was only 87% coverage, it was still very, very cool.

Shortly thereafter the clouds blew elsewhere and we were able to see the back side of the eclipse. My girls weren’t so lucky…the clouds did not cooperate for them to see anything more than the beginning and end.

Despite all the trouble and worries I had leading up to the eclipse, it all kind of worked out. That was cool.

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Recently I was on Martha’s Vineyard, and my sister, with a penchant for apple fritters, insisted we wait in line at Back Door Donuts. It’s a bakery in Oak Bluffs that will sell hot, fried, sugary delights from the back door from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am.

We had taken part in this new island tradition the last time we were up there, but we did it earlier in the evening and sampled the greasy goods while sitting in ocean park during sunset. I was never really impressed – perhaps I’m just not an apple fritter kind of gal.

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This time we went much later in the evening. I think it was closer to 10 pm and the line was enormous. It snaked back and forth along a roped off path; I’d gamble to say that there were at least 100 people in line ahead of us. I think the line for Space Mountain was shorter.

I was already weary after a long night of walking around town, but my husband and kids wanted some hot donuts, so we decided to wait in line with the family. While waiting we perused the menu they had written out by hand on a couple of sheets of poster board. My brother aptly stated “these better be the best donuts on the planet for this long of a wait.”

After waiting in line for at least 45 minutes, we finally went to place our order, only to find out that 75% of the donut varieties on the menu board were sold out. At no time did any bakery employee come out and announce that they were no longer available, or better yet, place a sticky note or a placard saying “SOLD OUT” over that variety on the menu.

Nope, these greedy mothers wanted to you keep waiting in line, KNOWING that you would settle for any donut because like an ass, you had waited in line for an hour.

Typical of Tracy, I was not amused…especially since I didn’t even want a fucking donut. I got the fried dough instead, which wound up being a total disappointment. I got crispy, over-fried strips of dough that more closely resembled bread sticks. My idea of fried dough is like what you would get at an Italian fair…a zeppole. I gave the bag to my sister who had smartly decided to have a few beers while we sheep waited in line.

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I won’t ever waste my time there again. If hubby and my girls want to that’s fine.  I’ll sit in the park watching the gazebo and hearing the waves crash along the Oak Bluffs beach – let someone else wait in line.

20170606_163147I am not ashamed to admit it…I love my job.

Sure it can get frustrating constantly dealing with deadlines, and clients who get their ad materials in an hour before press time. Sure it sucks when your sales rep gives you the bare minimum of information when designing an ad that you spend an hour on, only to have the client say “it’s not what they were looking for.

But when it comes down to the proverbial brass tacks, I love my job.

Take today…I am working from home. I already work from home every Wednesday, which is our slowest production day, but this Friday our sales team met their goal, and they have the day off. My publisher, the fair and reasonable gal that she is, told us we could work from home as well. So I sit here in my jammies, mug of tea by my side, writing this rather than driving into town to the office.

This happens frequently. On days where she can our newspaper and magazines are in good shape, she’ll send us home early. This is because she knows that when we are swamped with ad builds, we work weekends and after hours to get proofs out. She acknowledges that, and gives us time off when we are slow.

This is something my other bosses never quite got. Hell, at my last job if I needed to leave early because family was coming in or I had a doctor’s appointment you had to SHOW you made up the time. The fact that I came in 1/2 hour early every day, or sometimes never took a lunch break escaped their notice. They were slave masters when it came to hours.

I also love my job because I respect the product we put out. My newspaper is the heart of Charlottesville…the alternative to your basic newspaper, we cover topics that others won’t touch. This was the cover of our last issue of 2016…12_28_2016 CVILLEWEEKpg01It took BALLS to put this out there for all of Charlottesville to see….to boldly show that we do not agree with what is going on in Washington and around the country. We got a lot of flack for this cover. There are still a few advertisers that refuse to do business with us. But that is why I LOVE our product. They are not afraid to tell it like it is.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 7.42.22 AMThis is another one of my favorite covers from a previous year. Colorful and fun, promoting equality and diversity…and with a drag queen front and center.

My paper sponsors a lot of awesome events in town as well. Not only the Pride Festival, which this cover was promoting, but the Tom Tom Founders Festival, our local baseball team, the Tom Sox, along with a plethora of other community events. They are very invested in our town, and I really dig that.

My company also shows a ton of appreciation for it’s employees. We are fed often…There are always snacks on the table – actually, I’m not sure if this is really a good thing…

My boss is taking my coworkers and I to lunch next week – this after she bought a whole bunch of us lunch just a few weeks back. We frequently have work time-outs where we play games, drink wine and snack for an hour or so at the end of the day. They plan outings for us as well. In a few weeks we will all meet at a TomSox baseball game for a barbecue and drinks.

Yes, there are perks a plenty! Gift cards, free concert tickets and tickets to lots of community events are handed out frequently. During the spring my family got to attend an outdoor barbecue that costs $75 per ticket. I got my daughters free tickets to a Parachute concert a few months back.

Ooops! It’s 9 am! time to log in from home and begin my day. You know what they say…when you love your job you don’t work a day in your life.

 

20170703_105904I just got back from a week on Martha’s Vineyard. The main reason for going was to spread my father’s ashes around the island. You see, my father is the founder of Martha’s Vineyard for our family. He went up one weekend a million years ago with a college friend, and never wanted to vacation anywhere else.

While he was never able to afford to buy a house on the island, he turned my cousins Bob & Carol on to this summer wonderland, and they own two homes – one rental and a large home that they live in during the summer. For 52 years it has been my summer place, and it felt really good to release dad to the beauty of this island.

We began by releasing some ashes into the water during the ferry ride from Woods Hole to the Vineyard. My husband, in a flash of brilliance, let one of the crew members know we were doing it, and after dad’s ashes swirled into the air, he gave the ferry horn a long, loud blast. It was very cool, and very moving.

20170702_195615We spread more ashes on the beach in Menemsha at sunset. It was a beautiful evening spent on the beach with the family, listening to music, sipping wine and noshing from a picnic spread. I think dad would have loved it.

20170703_114816And of course, we had to leave some of dad on Gay Head. My mom’s ashes are here. It was funny…when we spread the ashes by my mom, my sister had trouble with the container, and it was a very clumsy release. It makes me laugh to think of that now, because I think it’s something my mom would have found amusing.

We also walked further down the beach and around the horn of the cliffs to spread dad among the stones, rocks and ocean. It felt right.

The trip itself was pretty hectic. I’ve never seen the island so crowded….things are definitely changing there. I’m just so pleased that there are pieces of both of my parents on the beaches where we spent so much time growing up. I know how much dad loved this place. I am certain he’s resting peacefully now.

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This past Saturday the KKK came to my town of Charlottesville. They were protesting the removal of two confederate statues, one of Robert E. Lee, and one of Stonewall Jackson.

There were several counter protests organized, as well as events celebrating love, equality and acceptance throughout the city. My youngest daughter and I attended the counter protest by the Stonewall Jackson statue.

When we arrived there was a man with a large sign on a microphone screaming that gays were going to hell. There was a man in a green diaper dancing in front of him. People were dancing and playing drums. It was kind of amusing at first…a sort of circus atmosphere.

And then the troublemakers showed up.

20170708_140158I pointed them out to my daughter…two men who have been at every rally of every kind in town carrying signs, and I told her that things were going to get all sorts of nasty now. Within minutes people were screaming at him, and I came very close to having my phone broken.

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Things escalated after that. Before long I noticed a crowd that had surrounded a woman and her husband, both wearing bars & stars hats. They were being screamed at by no less than 20 people, because they were not in favor of removing the statues.

My daughter and I stood amongst the crowd, watching the woman attempt to defend herself, while a fat woman in a tutu and a push up bra screamed in her ear non-stop. The couple were being protected by police officers, and this enraged another young woman, who began calling them “killer cops” and yelling the names of African Americans who had, in essence, been murdered by police officers.

But this wasn’t why we were here. We were here to denounce the KKK, right? Her rants, while valid, seemed out of place. The police were simply trying to protect a couple from Maryland who did not share the opinion of the majority of protesters.

As the protest continued, I saw some of Charlottesville’s best…folks who were handing out free water, fruit and sandwiches to fellow protesters. It was hot and sunny that day, and if you ran out of water, you were craving some quickly. One man walked around saying “The KKK is hydrated today…are you?”

Other people were gathered in song, or parading through the small park and surrounding sidewalks carrying signs and chanting peacefully.

But I have to tell you, I saw more of Charlottesville’s worst that day. At one point my daughter and I witnessed the same man and woman, now joined by a younger couple, who were obviously statue supporters. They were surrounded by police, but there was a crowd of at least 50 people screaming at them.

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I said to my daughter, “I feel really sorry for those poor people.” It was then that a woman began to argue with me, and my use of the word “poor.” According to her, they were getting what was coming to them, and were not “poor.” I didn’t understand her at first, maybe because her argument sucked.

I turned to her and explained that just because they had a different opinion, it did not give that angry mob the right to treat them that way. We were here to protest the KLAN…were they klan or just some passionate southerners who don’t think it’s right to take down statues of Confederate Generals? In the end, they are human beings and deserved to be treated with more respect than they were being shown.

I also told her that Charlottesville was showing its ugly side and that I was ashamed. She didn’t like that one bit and skulked away.

Perhaps I’m a bit naive, but I think people should be treated fairly…I hate to see anyone surrounded by a mob – I’d have handed them a water, but my daughter, fearful that the crowd would turn on us, begged my not to.

The Klan showed up and we booed and chanted, but in the end, they kind of won. They had complete protection, cordoned off by barricades and a wall of police, and seeing the angry crowd in a complete frenzy probably gave them huge erections…even the women.

The whole day left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m glad I went because it was a very interesting experience, but I’ll tell you…there are some nasty, angry people in this town.

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Charlottesville, VA, the town that I live right outside of and work in, has become somewhat of a racial hot bed in the past few months. You see, we have a few confederate statues in town, and like they did in New Orleans, Charlottesville is having them removed.

Not only are they removing the statues, but they have renamed both parks, which were named after confederate generals. However, the new names they picked really suck. I doubt they’ll stick.

In any case, we had one white supremacist rally last month led by white nationalist Richard Spencer. They showed up burning tiki torches – it was a pretty fucked up thing to happen in our little artsy fartsy fairly liberal college town. The photo below was taken one block from my office…from where I sit now writing this…and it’s a pretty daunting sight. However, because they were burning tiki torches, one spectator said, “the air was heavy with both hatred and citronella.”

http---o.aolcdn.com-hss-storage-midas-81e85007b128e965a97fb7cb321d4def-205265721-Screen+Shot+2017-05-14+at+10.21.14+AM.pngThe following night,  hundreds of Charlottesvillians took back the park in a peaceful candlelit protest. It made me super proud of our community. We don’t take kindly to this hate stuff.  Had I known the counter rally was going on, my girls and I would have been there with candles ablaze.

C_1HJnOXoAE3uMv.jpg-largeSo it turns out the KKK wants to jump on the bandwagon. They have a protest scheduled in the same park on July 8th. My paper, C-VILLE Weekly is running an article on it this week. You know, I sit a few desks in front of the reporter who did the research for the article. It was very interesting to listen to her interview actual KKK members via telephone. It sure beat what was on the radio.

To quote the article (which doesn’t come out until tomorrow or I’d post a link), the reason the KKK is coming to Charlottesville? “We think it’s a shame they’re erasing our Confederate history, our white history,” says Jones. “It’s a spit in our face to take down our monument.”

There are several counter protests scheduled at the same time, and I was bummed I couldn’t be a part of it. See, that very day we were to spend the day in New York City on our way back from Martha’s Vineyard. But it turns out one of the counter protests is happening at the outdoor pavilion my husband works at, so we decided NYC can wait…we want to be a part of what could be historic happenings in our hometown. We want to be among those who stand up and say, “This is not what Charlottesville stands for.”

It’s sure to get National coverage….how often does the KKK raise its ugly head and come out from under the rock to stand up for its twisted beliefs? But I will be careful – my whole family will. To further quote the article…

 “Some members will be wearing robes,” he says, noting that it’s illegal in most states to wear the face-covering hoods. Others will wear black military garb. And many will be packing heat, he says.

And sadly, this protest on July 8th won’t be the end of white supremacist assholes flooding our fair city. There is another rally scheduled for August. Richard Spencer and his Alt-Right cronies are slithering into town with what will likely be hundreds of people to further rally against the removal of these statues.

Uff da…the bars and stars will be all over the place. That alone will make me crazy. But seeing actual robes? Not sure how that is going to make me feel at all.

Stay tuned.

 

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The other day my girls and I stopped at a local kebab shop for dinner. The place was empty, and we got our food rather quickly. While we ate, people began to pour in, and throughout the rest of our meal, there was a long line to both order and receive food.

It was a case of good timing.

I began to ponder the idea of timing the other day when I came very close to missing my annual mammogram appointment. A co-worker had asked me a question which prompted me to look at my iCalendar, and that was when I realized that the next morning at 7:30 am I had my mammogram scheduled.

Had she not asked me that question, I most likely would have been out on my morning walk the next day at 7:30 rather than getting my boob flattened between two glass plates.  And had I missed it, God knows when I would’ve realized I missed it, and even further, how long it would’ve taken me to make a new appointment.

I’m no stranger to this oddity of timing…stuff like that has happened to me before.

I wouldn’t have the job I have now were it not for freaky timing. At the time I was transitioning from one job to another, working both simultaneously. I had no reason whatsoever to look on Craigslist – I already had more jobs than the average Joe. But something, I don’t know what, told me to look.

And there was my job. I had worked for the company before, and emailed the publisher asking if I could talk to her about the job. A week later I was hired, and my life improved 1,000%.

And I still think back to a month or so ago when my girls and I were almost crushed by a falling tree while driving home. Had a truck not stopped traffic for a moment in order to make a U-turn, we might have been under that tree.

What causes those quirky little instances? Is there meaning behind them? Some sort of Divine intervention or a nudge from a guardian angel? Or is it just the oddity of timing?

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It is no secret that I deeply despise the person most of you call President. That being said, when I heard about the March for Truth in Washington DC on Twitter a few months back, I decided I wanted to go.

My girls were all for it, more for the trip to DC than to stand up against our crooked disaster in chief. Hubby? He wasn’t thrilled. For the weeks leading up to the date of the protest, he tried to get me to attend ones closer to home…in Richmond or in Charlottesville, where we both work.

But there was something in me that felt the need to stand in the shadow of the White House and send a giant “Fuck You” to trump. It’s not as if we are that far from the Nation’s Capitol…just a few hours through the Virginia Countryside and then *gulp* up I-95. We can make the trip there and back in one day.

We decided to avoid the hassle of parking in the city, and opted to take the Metro train in from one of the commuter stations. This proved to be a big mistake. You see, both my husband and suffer from motion sickness, and this Metro train to DC was in by no means a smooth ride.

The train lurched and leaned and bobbed and weaved, it stopped and started and sped and slowed. It was a 45 minute ride from hell, where I had to sit with a cold water bottle pressed up against my neck or cheek or forehead, depending on how hard I was trying to keep my breakfast down.

When we finally arrived at the Smithsonian station I was so thankful, but fully aware of the fact that I still had to make that same trip back later in the day. But like Scarlett O’Hara says, “I won’t think about that today…I’ll think about that tomorrow” and we headed for the Washington Monument.

It was a beautiful day…blue skies, sunny, warm, but with enough of a breeze to make it bearable. The rally wasn’t to start for an hour or so, and we took that time to get closer to the white house, where I flipped trump the bird, followed by a trip to a food truck where my girls each ate a hot dog.

As the time for the rally to begin drew closer, more and people started to show up and gather in front of the stage, most with signs, flags and t-shirts. We had nothing. I didn’t want to have to carry a sign on the Metro train, possibly inviting trouble from a trumpling. All I had was “covfefe” printed on the back of my sing bag in black Sharpie. In the end I was sorry I didn’t have a sign.

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It was quite an experience…chanting, cheering, and booing with other Americans who are also disgraced by what is going on in our country…the lies, the evasion, the idiotic tweeting by the man child in charge, and all with the White House in clear view.

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After several speeches, the crowd moved to a spot on the grass right next to the Washington Monument, and formed our bodies to spell “Investigate trump.” My family and I make up the bottom part of the “R” in trump. Groups of photographers were raised up in a scissor lift to try and capture the image.

Unfortunately it wasn’t high enough…the letters are hard to make out. Oh well…the sentiment is there.

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After the rally we scarfed down a food truck lunch and poked around the Air & Space museum. But before long, hubby and my dogs were beginning to bark and we still had the long ride on the Metro to endure before we got to our car.

This Metro ride was far worse. There was a pack of very loud kids on the same car as us for most of the ride….the noise coupled with the sickening movements of the train were enough to swear me off the Metro forever.

I may head back up to DC for more rallies and marches in the future. Even though the event was on the small side, it felt good to feel like I was part of an attempt to speak out against all the crap being fed to us by this crooked administration. I was part of a group of like-minded folks who aren’t going to take trump’s bullshit lying down.

I just know that if I do head back…I’m driving all the way in. The Metro can go blow long and hard.