Friday, April 28, 2006

Doing a Happy Dance

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this is an audio post - click to play

I am finally back at work after an eventful morning. The swearing-in ceremony went well (even if it did run a tad long) I'm excited to see what new things this chief will implement and how he plans to clean up the former chief's mess.

Why do we despise the former chief (aka Satan) so much? Well, there are a variety of reasons; one of the most prominent being that he attempted to impune my Dad and JD's integrity. You can say many things about both of those men, but their integrity is not something wither of them have ever taken lightly.

I've written before about all the drama JD has had with the chief in regards to promotions/union activities and the like. As a side-note, JD's case goes to trial next month. Should be a good ruling, but we'll have to wait and see for sure.

I haven't talked much about my Dad's involvement. My dad is a quiet and determined man. He has a gentle spirit, but don't even make the mistake of viewing his quietness as weakness. My dad is about as tough as they come. He has great leadershp ability (though he would disagree) and people not only trust him, but they follow him. I could make a good size list of firefighters he has mentored in his 30 years with this department. JD is just one of them.

My dad has been active on the union and negotiations boards for as long as I can remember. He was and is a good dad; but his work has always not only followed him home but ingrained itself into everyday life. Until very recently, he has lived and breathed two things: the fire department and his family. He has sacrificed of himself for years to take care of the firefighters as a group and in turn the safetyof this community.

So, all that said, someone coming through and claiming my father to be underhanded and a liar didn't sit well with me, nor other members of the department. Add to that the shady hiring and promoting practices of Satan and the fact that he deliberately deceived the residents of this town in order to get an initiative passed that diverts money to the fire department the way he wanted not the ways they needed it.

Ok, end rant. It is more than sufficient to say that I am both thrilled and relieved that we officially have the new Chief as of 11:35am. (Not that I was keeping track or anything.) Gonna go do a happy dance after work to celebrate. It's my night...starting tomorrow I am the designated driver for several firefighters whose celebrations will most likely last through the weekend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Vin Vin Vin

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Ok, so here is the short version. I am on day four of a killer migraine. There isn't enough Vinvin in the known universe and yet, I am still at work. We are swamped here and it doesn't look like things will be changing much in the next week or so.

My birthday was awesome!! I had so much fun. Thanks everyone who came out or wished me well. It was a memorable time. Yes, Cookie was drunk at Vogue and it was wonderful. I sang karaoke (I broke my rule and sang was Sir Mix-a-lot, what was I to do?) and I only drunk dialed one person.

No not who ya'll are thinking. I didn't talk to either JD or Clark and in retrospect that's probably all for the better. I was surrounded by people who love me and I couldn't ask for more.

This year is going to be a good one; I feel it already.

I will write more once I get to feeling better. I need all the brain power I can get just to get through work right now.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gettin' Older All the Time

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Today, as of 4:47am, I am officially 25. It's been a good day so far.

I have no deep reflections to record right now. Those will come later, I'm sure. For now, I'm glad to be done with 24 and I am ready to move forward.

Time to start a new year. Have a great weekend, ya'll!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Precious Illusions

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I have decided that this year is the year to shed all of the remaining "illusions" in favor of allowing the world to see more of the real me. I'm tired of the games, the politics, and the smokescreens.

You'll rescue me, right? in the exact same way they never did.
I'll be happy, right? When your healing powers kick in

You'll complete me, right? Then my life can finally begin.
I'll be worthy, right? Only when you realize the gem I am?

But this won't work now the way it once did
and I won't keep it up even though I would love to
once I know who I'm not then I'll know who I am
but I know I won't keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
when I was defenseless
and parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends

This ring will help me yet,
as will you knight in shining armor
This pill will help me yet
as will these boys gone through like water

But this won't work as well as the way it once did
cuz I want to decide between survival and bliss
and though I know who I'm not I still don't know who I am
but I know I won't keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head
did not let me down when I was a kid
and parting with them is like parting with a childhood best friend

I've spent so long firmly looking outside me
I've spent so much time living in survival mode

But this won't work now the way it once did
cuz I want to decide between survival and bliss
Though I know who I'm not I still don't know who I am
but I know I won't keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
when I was defenseless
and parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
when I was a kid
and parting with them is like parting with a childhood best friend

I know who I'm not. I know who I am. And I know that I will find my way. I come closer all the time. It would be nice to have a knight by my side, but I've learned that I can slay dragons on my own...and if I can't, I know that I have MOH and my girls with me every step of the way.

It reminds me of the episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte tells the others: "Don't laugh at me, but maybe we can be each other's soulmates. And then we could let men just be these great nice guys to have fun with."

This year is a big one for me, I am learning more about myself, who I am, and who I want to become. No more illusions. And maybe, along the way, there will be one of those great nice guys to have fun with.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Some Sadness

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I got the call this morning that I was hoping not to get. My dad called to tell me that grandpa has taken a turn for the worse. It appears that he is not responding to the cancer medication. He is in an incredible amount of pain and hasn't been sleeping much as of late. They go back to the doctor's next week and he will probably start aggressive chemo...that is, if he decides to do anything at all.

G-ma is having a very difficult time. Her spirits are pretty low and she's aging rapidly...caring for my grandpa has just worn her out. She'd be okay if she wasn't carrying the weight of half of the family in addition to her own worries. But, bitching about the extended family is not my point right now.

My dad said that after talking to g-ma, he thinks we'll be lucky to have grandpa much longer than July. I plan to go back for a week next month, and it appears that the timing is just about perfect for when g-ma will need me. I will arrive on the heels of my aunt's departure and will myself be departing just days before my g-ma's best friend arrives for a visit. I'm also putting together a trip for my dad to go see them in June. He plans to fly back home about the same time they leave, possibly even traveling with them.

It's been a very, very long day, and it's not even close to over yet. The one bright spot is that I am going to my very first professional basketball game tonight. I am going to the King's last home game of the season. I'm stoked. Maybe it will help me pull out of this funk. It can't hurt...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Little Words

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Apparently, I'm not as good of an actress as I thought. I've been on the down-ward spiral of a manic swing for the last couple weeks. Most people (even those close to me...cept you, MOH, of course) haven't noticed. It's more difficult to tell with me than with others. See, my lows look like a balanced person's normal.

My normal is like a balanced person's happy and my manic...well it's a bit overwhleming to some the first time they experience it.

Anyway, I've been down for a while and I can't seem to pull out of it. I do a pretty good job of not letting people see that side of me. It's not that I want to be two people; rather, I got tired of being labeled melodramatic because my down doesn't appear to be all that down. I don't actually get despondant when I'm really low.

Mostly, I just get really quiet. I get a little withdrawn and mainly I just appear subdued. That's why many people don't take notice. It's very easy for me to convince others that I am just tired...or I just don't have much to say...or any number of answers.

People believe me for a couple reasons.
  1. pushing me to "be happy" won't get you anywhere
  2. I don't seem to be that upset. Maybe I am just tired
  3. Finally, people don't seem to know how to react to me when I'm subdued. I'm not scary, it's just not what people are used to seeing from me.
Anyway, the point is, I was called out three times in as many days about my emotional/chemical state. Just yesterday, a family friend, whom I dearly love, asked me how I was. I answered that I was good. She looked at me and said, "No you're not. You're quiet, really quiet and that means you're having a tough time."

I managed a small smile and replied that yes, indeed I was having a down couple of days but I was alright. The friend smiled back and said, "Well Audrey, know that we love you. Period. Regardless, we love you. Just know that."

It was so simple, so sincere and almost made me cry right then and there. I'm not out of it yet, and this isn't a plea for public outpourings of "You'll be ok". Plattitudes are not what I seek. However, her words meant a lot to me at the moment they were received. I am a bit lighter today.

The sun is out for the second day in a row and I am hopeful that I will feel like myself before this week is up.

"Lose This Life" By Tait

Friday, April 14, 2006


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I have an overwhelming desire to get in my car and drive to the City. I have absolutely no plans once I get there...I just want to go. This time of the year always makes me want to drive to the City. The sun is out but it's not hot yet. It's perfect...and I'm stuck inside...

Sigh...maybe I can escape for a little the very least, I can continue to day dream when I look out the window...and visualize the ocean and the sand...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sun is Shining

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"Sun Is Shining (The Island Mix)" By Bob Marley
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet, yeah

Make you wanna move your dancing feet now
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know, y'all, can you understand?

When the mornin´ gather the rainbow, yeah, yeah
Want you to know, I'm a rainbow too now
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know, y'all, can you, can you, can you understand?

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet now
Make you wanna move your dancing feet, yeah
But to the rescue, here I am
Want you to know just if you can,
here I stand, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

Can you understand me now, baby?
Do you believe me?

The sun is out today and for the first time in weeks the temperature is in the 70's. It almost feels like Cali again. If only it was Friday already...c'est la vie. Back to work I go. Perhaps, if I'm lucky, I will be able to get out of here while the sun is still out.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

You're Invited

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Ok well technically, I'm invited. But ya'll get to share vicariously. The other day, I opened the mail to find one of the best invitations I have ever received. It read:

The City of ********** Invites you to join us for the Fire Chief Change of Command. Current Fire Chief Lucifer "The Prince of Darkness" Beelzebub will be retiring effective April 30, 2006. On May 1, 2006, Deputy Fire Chief Michael the archangel of light will assume command as the Fire Chief for the City of ********.

Of course the use of italics is at my discretion. I must say, the mood around that department is getting more light by the day...dare I say some are almost giddy. I have already made plans for the 30th to chauffer several inebriated firefighters home after the celebration.

There is actually a countdown posted at one of the stations that reads: "xx days until Satan's demise." hehehe This department has been through hell the last few's such a relief that it's finally coming to an end.

JD will finally be able to relax a little (well after the hearings are over with in a couple more months. On that note, I've done the research and JD shouldn't have any problems coming out on top); my dad can stop working on that ulcer; and the rest of the good guys can stop worrying about losing promotions because of their completely legal union activities.

I have already started practicing my happy dance. This day is several years in the making...only 18 more days. WooHoo!! That count actually brightened an otherwise gray and gruesome day around here.

More updates to follow as the time draws nearer. :-D

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Local Boy Doing Good

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When I was reading in the local paper this morning I came across this letter to the Editor. It touched me, so I decided to share it with ya'll. This guy is from my hometown.

A View From Iraq

I have been reading articles in The Daily Democrat online that suggest the support for our troops and our war in Iraq is fading or is lost. I am here to say that ... well, it's OK. It's OK because you can bet your life that we still support you.

All 138,000 of us support the citizens of [this] County and every other county in our 50 states. We do it without the support of many of you and that's OK. We do it because somebody had to.

We do it because we want to. We do it for our mothers and fathers, our wives and our brothers and sisters. We do it for reasons that most of you will never know or understand. They are not reasons that most of you make "sacrifices" for.

They are not for an extra day off or more money. We don't have 401k plans or overtime. We don't have sick days. We have leadership, discipline and honor. We have heart and valor. In the end it is obvious that we have each other. By each other I mean every man or women who has defended this great country.

The country where you can sit in the comfort of your home, knowing that enemies from other countries are not going to attack your city with soldiers and take away your rights. Do any of you know why they won't? Well it isn't because they are afraid of what you may say in some overrated poll. No it's us, the military. They know that if they dared attack our cities we would not only fight, but we would fight with such vengeance that no man has ever seen.

I am a former citizen of [this town]. I say former as I joined the Army in 1990 after graduating from [the local] High School.

Since then I have traveled this world. I have been to Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungarian, Poland, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and more places that I can't spell or pronounce. I have been to all these places and every time I assemble in them all I can think about is how great it would be to be home in the states.

I have made real sacrifices in my life. Giving up better money to stay in a fight another day. Giving up stability in my life to lead one more soldier, knowing that one soldier could be something great. I've given up more than most of you will ever have. I'm not your stereotypical soldier. I have a degree, top secret clearance and have more experience in real life police situations than some entire police departments combined. This is my second time in Iraq. I served in Desert Storm as an MP. I was 19 then and had the same views of the military as now. I have never been a person who feels unappreciated. I don't need your support to complete my mission. All I need is the support of my family, which I have.

Go ahead and continue to put our war down and trash it as you will. But just remember that we will still support you no matter what you say. We will continue to fight and die if necessary.

We wouldn't have it any other way. You can believe that we don't sit around polling ourselves as to how we feel or how high on the complainometer we rate. We are warriors and you are not. End of story. We are willing to die for what we believe in. That is real! As real as it gets. So when you see us on the street be aware that we know who you are. Don't be afraid, we hold no grudges. We are just happy to be back in the country we fought for. See that's sacrifice.

So feel free to poll all you want. Go out and join Cindy Sheehan's crusade. It won't change the fact that we are here until the job is done and that's still a ways away.

But if you really want to help, lend your support to someone in the military other than me. Like I said before I'm supported by my family. Maybe Sheehan's son could use some support, his support has forgotten who her son was and that he volunteered for this mission, but what can you expect from a newly non-elected politician.

Wherever he is now he could use some support from people who care. So let your support for him and the others like him be heard. It's a tough time right now, but again we wouldn't have it any other way.

- Jerry Frasier is an Army "special agent," stationed at Camp Slayer, Iraq. He reports that his father, is a two-time Vietnam veteran and now retired California police officer; and his mother, works at the County Courthouse.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Day for Reflection

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Yesterday was my other half's birthday. I had every intention of posting this on time...early even; but life being the ever unpredictable creature that it is, took precedence. I didn't, however, want her day to go unnoticed. So, I'ma take just a minute now to tell ya'll about a fantastic woman who is my other half.

We haven't known each other for our whole lives, and we aren't what you would traditionally call best friends; but we are the other half of one another. To explain who we are, think about a coin...she is one side and I am the other. We are different in alomost every way imaginable. You could never mistake one of us for the other (well unless you got caught in the cross-fire of our minds) but neither could you mistake us as completely separate entities. From either side, you see a complete person but to see that person's entirety of being, you have to see both sides.

She is so many things that I am not. When I'm scared, she's brave. When I'm confused, she is absolutely certain. If I'm lost, she has several paths for me to choose from. We are truly complimentary. She resides in darkness, I reside in light. When she loses hope, I have steadfast faith. Whatever pain, sickness or exhaustion exists is shared. So too are the happy times.

We are also brutally honest with one another in a way that few know or understand. I know that whatever happens, MOH is on my team...more than that, she doesn't stand behind me, she stands next to me. I don't need words for her to understand me and vice versa. There is no one I would rather walk with through life's twists and turns.

MOH, may this year be just the beginning of a fabulous decade. It's finally you time to shine...I have every confidence that this is the start of great things. I love you.

Friday, April 07, 2006

no words

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this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Fire and Fight

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I was reading some Rollins tonight and I came across this poem from the fantastic book One From None and it immediately made me think of Clark. When he came over the other night, he sat on my couch and we talked about his's only a matter of time...we both know that. Honestly, I want him to go back. I know that at first glance that statement seems like a horrible thing to say; especially about someone you love. But I want him to go back because I love him. I know that it's what he needs.

All my war stories are old
They hang like old clothes in the closet
No one wants to hear old war stories
It's all I have right now
My mouth flops dry in the air
I am in this room pacing the floors
Sun up sun down grinding my teeth
Jumping at shadows waiting
I don't want to think about that old war anymore
It's driving me up the wall with bad insanity
I need a new war
High on war

I knew the first day Clark was with me in Washington that he would go back. He swore up and down that day that no matter what, he would never let them deploy him again because it would mean leaving me. But I knew, deep down, as I sat in his lap on the floor of our hotel room that he would go back. Not only would he go back, it would be his choice. He wouldn't turn down any mission they gave him; in fact he would volunteer. I saw it in his eyes...felt it in his soul.

I didn't know when it would happen, but I knew that it would. Sometimes I think I know him entirely too well. We're a lot alike, he and I. When we feel that we have a purpose, we stop at nothing to accomplish it. Come hell or high water or both, that mission will be completed. His isn't finished yet, not by a long shot. We both have quite a ways to go but I have faith that we'll reach the end intact.

I feel the need in him to go back getting stronger all the time. It's painful, but I wouldn't trade it because it's who he is. When the time comes, he'll go. All the promises, hopes and dreams will be tossed aside in favor of duty. I've always known that about him.

For him, coming home was like a boxer who is forced out of the ring before the match is over. For the boxer, one of two things will happen. He will either lose the fire in his eyes and soul and become a shell of a man. Or, he will find a way (the means will be immaterial) to get back into the ring. If he makes it into the ring,he will fight and fight until it's completed. Only then will he emerge a whole man capable of maintaining the fire and light in his soul.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Far Away -- Nickleback

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This time, This place

Misused, Mistakes
Too long, Too late
Who was I to make you wait
Just one chance
Just one breath
Just in case there’s just one left
‘Cause you know,
you know, you know

That I love you
I have loved you all along
And I miss you
Been far away for far too long
I keep dreaming you’ll be with me
and you’ll never go
Stop breathing if
I don’t see you anymore

On my knees, I’ll ask
Last chance for one last dance
‘Cause with you, I’d withstand
All of hell to hold your hand
I’d give it all
I’d give for us
Give anything but I won’t give up
‘Cause you know,
you know, you know

That I love you
I have loved you all along
And I miss you
Been far away for far too long
I keep dreaming you’ll be with me
and you’ll never go
Stop breathing if
I don’t see you anymore

So far away
Been far away for far too long
So far away
Been far away for far too long
But you know, you know, you know

I wanted
I wanted you to stay
‘Cause I needed
I need to hear you say
That I love you
I have loved you all along
And I forgive you
For being away for far too long
So keep breathing
‘Cause I’m not leaving
Hold on to me and
never let me go

Clark showed up on my doorstep last night. He wasn't the last person I expected to see...but he was definitely up there on the list. It was major drama...nothing earth-shattering. It was actually kind of nice. Still not sure what prompted his visit...or whether it will happen again, but it was good to see him...especially to see him in my house...not in a bar or any other neutral location.

As an amusing sidenote: he has very recently come to a gay husband is gay. Just incase anyone was confused on that count. I laughed for so long last night. Clark was trying to be sly and might have worked if I wasn't me and I didn't know him. He was all kinds of spinning out that I knew more about the whole situation than he did. Boys.