Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'll Be Back

Dear Blogger Buddies,

In the last few days I've come to realize that I need to take a break from blogging. I have been spending entirely too much time in front of the computer, and I have come to rely on my fellow bloggers for friendship more than I should. I started out blogging to write and express myself, having no idea about "comments" or "communities" here in blogland. I have been fortunate to find myself surrounded by a fantastic mixed bag of people. Some are truly talented writers, some are incredible humorists, some are heart felt journal writers, and some are just whimsical fun. I appreciate every one of you.

Today it became clear to me how much I am neglecting other aspects of my life. I have not been working out or taking care of myself. I have been staying up too late and waking up too early in order to spend more time on my computer. I have ignored phone calls from friends to write comments or posts, or even just to IM. But most of all, I have personal aspects of my life that need to be dealt with, and unfortunately I can't deal with them here.

This is not the end of my blog. I have worked too hard to create this damn thing and to make these fantastic friendships to give it up for good. I need to find some balance in my life, and until I am able to do this, I am going to limit my daily computer time. I'm sure many of you will still find me lurking about now and then and maybe even making the occasional comment. But for now, I won't be posting anything new or sharing anything personal about my life.

I love you all. Please don't delete me from your blogrolls. Like The Terminator, "I'll be back."

Much love,


The Ring

An elderly, white haired man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a beautiful young gal at his side. He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend.The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring and showed it to him.

The old man said, "I don't think you understand, I want something very special."

At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over.

"Here's a stunning ring at only $40,000," the jeweler said.

The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement.

The old man seeing this said, "We'll take it."

The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the old man stated, "By check and I know you need to make sure my check is good, so I'll write it now and you can call the bank Monday to verify the funds. I'll pick the ring up Monday afternoon," he said.

Monday morning, a very teed-off jeweler phoned the old man. "There's no money in that account!"

"I know." said the old man, "But can you imagine the weekend I had?"

And just in case my future husband is out there....this is the ring that will get me tremblin'

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Memories of Thanksgiving

Age 13: Mom and I were on our own and living in a tiny rowhouse in Philly. Brothers were scattered around the country. Parents had just split up but were still - sort of - friends. Dad, who had been away and was not expected back in time, suddenly came home the day before Thanksgiving. Everyone made frantic arrangements to get together and somehow we pulled it off. We spent Thanksgiving night at a restaurant eating lobster tail and toasting our last Thanksgiving as a family.

Age 21: Playing house with the boyfriend, who stole all of the food from the casino kitchen he was working in, including the turkey. I cooked and watched football while he primped in the bathroom. (he was a metrosexual before anyone knew what a metrosexual was) We had all of our friends over for dinner and then he and I went upstairs to have sex while they cleaned up.

Age 22: Being that the night before Thanksgiving is traditionally the best night to go out all winter and I am freshly single from boyfriend, friends and I dress up and hit the pub. In retrospect, knowing that I had to drive four hours the next day for dinner, going out was probably not the best idea. Things got slightly out of control, so I'm told. I have little memory of that night. However, when we walked into the pub that Friday evening, we got a standing ovation.

Age 24: Italy. I called home to find out that it was snowing. Snowing on Thanksgiving! We were devastated to be missing that. Our friends invited us to a charity tennis match in Florence where we got to flirt with tennis stars and drink red wine at an after party. Ok, not missing Jersey so much after all.

Age 26: Australia. Try finding a turkey in Australia.

Age 28-35: As a working chef, Thanksgiving was spent cooking for half the town, and then for all of the family. In other words, Thanksgiving sucked.

Age 40: cooking for two friends and one brother. Everyone is bringing something. I will spend the day toasting family not being there, watching football, drinking red wine, and not working. Almost perfect. If only the man of my dreams could be there to have sex with while everyone else cleans up, then it would be perfect.

Maybe next year.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Attention Parents!

Your kids tell their teachers everything. Everything. Do not attempt to hide things from them or expect them to lie for you. It will not work. Kids are inherently honest - at least until middle school. Each day I learn a little bit more about each of you from my 23 little darlings.

Here are some examples. I will be wearing red. Children will be wearing blue.

Why were you late this morning?
My mama tell me to tell you we got car trouble.
Ok, but I thought you walked to school.
I do, but dat's what she tell me to tell you.

Ms. Wose! My daddy tinks you nice!
He does? I've never even met your daddy.
He say so. He saw you dis mornin and he say "She fine!"

Ms. Wose! Look! Dat's my daddy!
Daddy waves and smiles at me in his car as he drops my student off.
I saw him naked in the shower this morning!
Daddy buries his head in his hands and let outs a soft sob.

I'm tired Ms. Wose.
Did you go to bed late last night?
Yeah, police keep comin to get my uncle but he won't go. So we's up all night.

My mama says I give her white hairs.
I'm not surprised sweepea, not surprised at all.
How'd I do dat?
It's a gift honey.
Ms. Wose, you got a white hair on you head too.
Yes I do. Thank you for pointing it out.
Did I do dat too?
Yes, you did.

My mama tell me to tell you she got to work today. Dat's why she didn't come to see you this morning.
I am now aggravated because I came in early for this conference that his mama requested.
Where does your mama work? I'll give her a call to "reschedule."
Ok call her at home cause she sleeping now. So she might not answer.

And my all-time favorite - even if it has nothing to do with parents.
Ms. Wose, how old are you?
Oh I'm old sweepea. Real old. How old do you think I am?
You got it sweepea! I'm 25.
Another teacher, younger than I am, then asks student how old he thinks she is.

hehehe ..what did you say you wanted for Christmas

More to doubt...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Heard The News Today...

*Warning: this is not a happy feel-good post. If you came for a laugh, scroll down my blogroll and click a link. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Today I got the call that I have been dreading for five years. A friend of mine passed away. She was 36 years old. And right now I am so angry at the universe that I don't know what to do with myself.

Her name is Tracy. And though I never actually met her, I considered her my friend. She was actually the best friend of one my best friends here in Florida. Ever since I have known him, C has talked about Tracy. He has told me how wonderful and warm and funny she is - was, I can't even get used to saying was about her - and how she was the first person to reach out to him here in South Florida. They would walk their dogs together and help each other through the poor Ramen Noodle times.

And then she started coughing. And wheezing. And constantly feeling sick. She went from doctor to doctor, until finally she was diagnosed with Alpha-1, a rare genetic lung disease. She was told she would need a lung transplant, an oxygen machine, that she may never be able to work again. She was 30 years old.

Over the next six years this girl was rejected by her own mother and siblings as being "too much work", was released from her job, had to give up her dog, and was forced to go on Social Security. Her step-father, a prince among men, stepped in and began taking care of her. She spent her time in and out of hospitals, dragging her oxygen around, and going to group counseling. The others in the group were elderly, crying about not being able to see their grandchildren grow up. Tracy would scream, What about me!!! I won't even have children! I won't ever even have another date again! What about ME!!!! But it was a silent scream. Tracy would never say these things for fear of hurting their feelings. She was dying, and worrying about people's feelings.

Last year she finally got her lung transplant. Even with it the doctors only gave her six-eight years to live. The day she got her transplant, 15 other people got lung transplants as well. All went well. Except for Tracy's.

The lung tore in her chest. The pain from the surgery as well as the tear, from what the doctors said, was beyond anything we could imagine. Tracy was in the hospital for six months after the surgery. She was going to need a new transplant.

In a decision I can't even fathom at any age, Tracy decided she could not go through it again. Her pain was so great that she chose to die at 36 rather than live this way.

For the last few weeks Tracy has been comforting her stepfather and preparing her funeral. She told the doctors to stop giving her the medications necessary to keep her alive. C has been frantic, unable to spend as much time with her as he has wanted. He went to see her this past weekend. Tuesday night she died.

I have been crying for the last hour. Non-stop. And I think I'm about to throw up.

Why? Why does a beautiful young woman who never hurt a soul die in such agony? Why was so much of her life taken from her? Why are there so many bastards in the world living to a ripe old age?

What the fuck is wrong with the universe?

Edit* 8:00 pm - I just found out that Tracy died very peacefully in her sleep. At least there was one tiny mercy in the end.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bumping Uglies: Part Deux

This is for Kris, who has just celebrated her birthday and is hiding from the world to recover. Not long ago she posted a meme about shamefully shaggable men. In other words, celebrities you would shag even though you are too embarassed to admit it in public. I have admitted to being shamelessly shallow when it comes to fantasizing about celebrities. Name a celebrity, if he's hot, I probably want to do him. So I did the meme, but I did not follow the rules, which is very typical of me. Instead, I did the I don't care how rich, famous, or powerful you are, I wouldn't do you unless there was a gun pointed at my dog meme.

But today I was watching football, as I always do on Sundays, and I found my shamefully shaggable man. I don't know what it is about him. He has freckles. He has a perpetually bad haircut. He wears a thick gold chain and a visor. He makes facial expressions that only a mother could love. But still, he makes me hot. So Kris, this one's for you. I present you with:

Jon Gruden
Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
and dead ringer for:

Psychopathic Synthetic Serial Killer

I'm so ashamed. Happy belated birthday, Kris.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Three Blind Dates

Years ago I ran into a girl I hadn't seen in a very long time. She was a typical blonde surf bunny who I used to hang out with at the local surfer keg parties, and so I was quite surprised to see her at the ritzy party that I was catering. I was even more surprised when she told me she was there with her husband. I was then floored when she introduced me to her husband - the doctor. Sorry - the brain surgeon. No wait, the gorgeous brain surgeon*. She met him on a blind date.

I have been on three blind dates. Did I meet the man of my dreams? Were they gorgeous? Were they brain surgeons? Were they even worth shaving my legs for? The last one was 15 years ago. Since I am still single, that should tell you something. It should also be noted that although all three were dinner dates, I did not manage to have dinner on any of them.

Blind Date #1 - The Hobbit
I am set up by my aunt, who is well on her way to becoming the gambling addict that she is now. She is a high roller in Atlantic City and he is one of her gambling buddies. She begs me to go out with him as he is a very successful something or other. I actually have a boyfriend, but it is one of those undercover relationships, so I agree to go out with him for the sake of my aunt and keeping up appearances. Besides, it's a free meal and a show.

The first thing I notice about him was that he is shorter than I am. Now, I'm 5'3, so to be shorter than I am means he is about the size of a hobbit. He is shaped like a pear. He is also bald, sporting enormous glasses, and has enormous spaces between his teeth. I am 21 and very much entrenched in my beautiful boy stage. I pray he has the proverbial "good personality."

He (and my aunt, who is there to introduce us and gamble away my college tuition - but that's another story) refuse to leave the blackjack table for the meal portion of our evening. Apparently I am good luck and they are on a winning streak. Exactly two minutes before the show is to begin he begrudgingly brings me to the theatre - where he promptly falls asleep. I wake him up at the end of the show, and he drags me back to the tables. He gives me $500 to gamble with. I wander around the floor for 20 minutes and then tell him I lost it at the roulette wheel. I feign exhaustion and make my escape.

Amazingly, the hobbit calls me several times for more dates that I actually go on - and yes, I realize this means I am his paid escort. My boyfriend finally puts his foot down when the hobbit tries to arrange to take me to New York for a picnic and hot air balloon ride in Central Park.

Blind Date #2 - The Jewish Boy
Same year. Boyfriend is starting to become annoyed by all the blind dates. I reassure him that I am only going to keep my mother off my back. She has found me a nice Jewish boy and there is no getting out of this one. I've never gone out with a Jewish boy so this was going to be a new experience for me.

We meet at a local restaurant and have a drink at the bar. He is dressed in a suit and is quite good looking. Hmmmm....there must be something wrong with him besides having the unfortunate name of Ira. He is funny, smart, and successful. Something is bothering me about him. I can't quite put my finger on it. Something familiar about him. I know him from somewhere. He tells me a joke and laughs before he gets to the punchline. I laugh, thinking he is just like my brother.

Just. Like. My. Brother.

I leave before dinner.

Blind Date #3 - The Troll
I'm just home from Australia and pining to go back so I can win back the one who got away. Mom decides to take me to see a local psychic woman whom she has befriended. I think she is hoping that the pychic will tell me not to go back to Australia.

The psychic tells me not to go back to Australia. My life is here, she says. She also tells me I was a Vaudevillian actor in a previous life and that all my old Vaudeville friends are surrounding me, watching over me. I feel creepy and am now afraid to be naked in the shower.

The next day said psychic calls me and tells me she wants to set me up on a date with her son. Now, think about this - a psychic wants to set me up on a date. Does she know our future? Is this the one? She tells me he is a very handsome surgical intern! How can I refuse?

We decide to meet at the Outback. If the date sucks at least I can enjoy a good beer and pretend I'm back in Australia. I flirt with the bartender while I wait. My date shows up and introduces himself. The bartender can barely contain his laughter. My date looks like a troll.

We sit down for dinner and I order the swordfish. He tells me about his day. He observed open heart surgery. He describes it to me in vivid detail as I stare at my dinner, fighting back the urge to puke all over his Bloomin' Onion. I tell him I am not feeling well and leave him to finish the date with my plate of swordfish.

As I make my escape, the bartender calls me over and slips me his number. When I call him, he asks me to dinner.

I tell him that I would prefer to just meet for coffee.

*Surf bunny and gorgeous surgeon are now divorced. HA!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A Meme For The Ages

Anthony, of Tranglin' to the Oldies, is now not just famous for grabbing his bits and pieces. He has written this incredibly creative new meme. A meme for the ages. I suspect Anthony may have been dropped on his head when he was a toddler.

What is the best part about not being French? (If you are French, what is the best part about not being German?)

Not having to remember which words are masculine and which are feminine.

If Lou Reed called you an "uglybutt" how would you respond?

I would kick him in the balls.

Which Canadian Conservative is funnier looking, the squirrel-headed Stephen Harper, or the muppet-faced Peter McKay?

I admit I had to google these two Canadians. Americans do not generally pay attention to anyone else on the planet unless they are attacking us. I'm going to have to go with McKay. He looks like he got his head caught in a vise.

Have you ever been called a communist or a nazi?

No, but if somebody did, I would kick him in the balls.

Have you ever watched The Antiques Roadshow?

Of course! I'm a geek and proud of it. The best was the one where the guy had a little box from Russia that his grandmother had left him. They told him it was priceless. Everyone was gasping, oohing and aaaahing. The guy said, "What's that mean? I can't sell it then?"

Create an original three step plan to solve the impending oil crisis.

1. Put me in charge of the world.

2. I will then turn garbage into fuel.

3. Problem solved.

Feel free to tag yourselves. Or not.

**Please go visit Monkey's blog. He made a special video just for me and it is fabulous. Fabulous I tell you! Don't miss it. And please send bananas. To Monkey, not me. Thank you.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Hot Blooded and Boiling Mad

So I'm driving home after a very long day at school. I'm tired from a bad night's sleep and not quite back to my normal routine yet after the Wilma madness. The day was rough, the kids catatonic one minute and hyperactive the next. One student withdrew and came to say goodbye - setting off tears and sadness (from my students as well as me). The air conditioning wasn't working quite right, so I found myself becoming more and more "fragrant" as the day wore on. I'm hot, I'm sticky, I'm cranky. And I feel the migraine cometh.

After fighting through traffic and numerous traffic lights being out, (took me 40 minutes to go five miles), I am finally on my street and I can practically see my building up ahead. My street is very thin, and people tend to drive down it like it's the Grand Prix. Add to that it ends on the intracoastal, so half of the race car drivers are towing their giant gas guzzling speedboats behind them in their mad dash to get on the water. I'm comfortably driving along when I notice that the UPS truck on the opposite side of the road has stopped to make a delivery. I'm about 50 feet from it when the driver of the pick-up truck behind it decides to pull into my lane of traffic - completely cutting me off - and leaving me with three choices: speed up and slam into him and sue him for millions, veer into the side of the road and hope that nobody from that parking lot pulls out and slams into me, or slam on my brakes and let him pass. I opted for number three. As he drove by me - in my lane - he gave me a look like I was the one that was crazy - never once putting his cell phone down. I responded the way anybody else on the planet would have done. I flipped him the bird and called him an asshole (windows closed).

I proceeded down my street, and as I'm turning into my parking lot, I see that my cell phone buddy has turned around and is now following me back to my building. I am now out of my car and walking around to get my things out of the passenger side. I don't know why I wasn't afraid - must be the Jersey in me. He gets out of his truck and walks towards me, asking me if I live in this building. I told him yes as I reached for my pepper spray. And then I notice his dorky outfit. Blue shorts, white shirt, sunglasses....super short hair...writing on the shirt....hmmm...what's that say..

...Fort Lauderdale Marine Police.

I flipped off a cop.


He proceeds to ask me for my license and registration, and we get into a vehement argument about this. Before I go on, let me make something clear. I have nothing but respect for cops. I am always outrageously polite to them, and I have never in my life talked back to one before. But I did nothing wrong! Yes, I flipped him off, but that is not illegal and he was driving his own car - not a police car. He is the one that pulled into oncoming traffic instead of yielding - while talking on his cell phone - oh that pisses me off more than just about anything else. He tells me that it is not illegal to drive with a cell phone (well it should be!) and he can ask anyone for their license that he wants. He then says that if I don't show it to him we are going to have a problem. I honestly thought the top of my head was going to explode off. I showed him my license, all the while seething and glaring and snarling like a wild boar. And then of course, one of his buddies pulls up. I looked at him with a sugary smile and said "Need help?" He quickly waved him off.

We then argued for the next ten minutes. Him telling me that I have to be more careful, that there are crazies out there and that people have been killed for random stupid things like this. (ok ok, he has a point there) He said that is the only reason he turned around, so he could warn me to be more careful. Oh yeah? Then why do you need my license? I continued my argument that no matter what I had done, he was still the one in the wrong. He was on the wrong side of the road, and if we had been in an accident, there wasn't a cop or insurance company who would side with him.

We bickered back and forth for a bit longer, until we were both tired and actually starting to laugh. I apologized for the manual fuck you, and he of course would not admit to doing anything wrong. His repeated excuse, "I saw a pretty girl driving, I assumed she would move over, there was plenty of room." I told him to never assume anything about a girl he doesn't know.

And then we had one of those awkward moments. Do we just say good bye and let that be that? Or do we admit that we are now actually checking each other out? Cause when my breathing went back to normal and my blood stopped boiling, I suddenly realized that this guy was hot. And the fact that he pissed me off so much was ...well...kind of hot too.

But - nothing happened. We said goodbye. I walked away thinking that this would have been a great story to tell our grandkids. He said something about this being an interesting way to meet. As I entered the building, I turned and saw that he was just standing by his truck, watching the door shut behind me.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Today's Horoscope

As I was reading my daily Yahoo! horoscope today, I noticed that it seemed to be very centered on the subject of love - a subject that is severely lacking in my life. Usually my horoscope says that I should focus on my career, or to try to stop procrastinating, or that I should try to stay out of other people's problems, so I was more than a little surprised when every astrology site I checked out assured me that I was about to fall wildly in love. Apparently, love is in the air!

Your Daily Virgo Forecast
Quickie: Your latest crush likes you too -- strike while the iron is hot and go for romance.
I would be really excited about this if I weren't thousands of miles away from my latest crush.

Overview: An ordinary attraction will probably turn into a passionate affair within a matter of seconds. If you're available, there's no time like the present to put an end to your single status.
Wow. I better go shave my legs.

Daily extended (by
Whoever you see on a daily basis will suddenly seem much closer to you than just a casual acquaintance now. In fact, you'll be amazed at the amount of flirting you can fit into a casual conversation -- and at how quickly it can happen. So when someone who's really not much more than a stranger starts getting close to you, enjoy it -- but if you're attached, don't let it get too far.
Define the phrase "see on a daily basis" please. I don't get out much.

Singles Love Astrology: You know what they say: You can't win if you don't play. Now's the time to get wholeheartedly in on the game of love. If this were Bingo, you'd want to get as many cards going as humanly possible.
Shuffle up boys! Brookester's in the game!

So I guess this means I actually have to leave the house. Crap.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Howdja get here?

I am continually fascinated with how people come upon my blog through web searches. Back in July I posted Finding Brooke, and now I am at it again, using my Site Meter to entertain others - and myself. But it's not just fun to see how they found my blog, it's also quite a hoot to see where these people come from. Since my NeoCounter refuses to show me the various countries of origin of my readers anymore (unless I pay them - damn extortionists!) I now completely rely on my Site Meter for this information.

Here are some of the interesting places that have shown up on my meter:

  • Mississippi State University
  • Clover Park Technical College
  • Penn State University

Clearly I am a big hit with the college crowd!

  • Sunnyvale California - isn't that where Buffy is from?
  • Unknown Country - what the hell is that? Or rather, where the hell is that?
  • Canberra Australia - John Howard, is that you again!
  • Brunei - oh where oh where has my sultan gone?
  • Saudi Arabia - they were searching for big tits, how disappointing for them
  • Mexico - hmmmm *

And here are some of the interesting searches that have brought people here:

  • Large FFF tits - clearly not mine.
  • Toni needs - from comments.
  • Todd needs - again from comments.
  • Accidental flash - yeah, I remember that one.
  • Wonker - wonder if they expected to read about an Amsterdamn hooker?
  • Are Brooke Burke's tits - are they what? Alive? Kosher? Available for parties?

The top three searches that seem to bring my blog up the most often are:

  • Brooke
  • Maloney's of Margate
  • Loser

Those three bullets pretty much say it all. How sad for me.

And last, my absolute favorite search that has led to my blog so far is:

  • Who is Viggo's girlfriend? - woohoo!!!!!

* Hey, searcher from Mexico who used my whole name to find his way here! Yes, you! If you are who I think you are, please leave a comment with an email address.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Portrait of a Hurricane

Pictures of the Fort Lauderdale area after Wilma. Mouseover for description. Click for larger picture.

Line for gas

Overturned cars - probably from tornados

Oops, another tree gone down

Yes, that's an upside down limo

So much for the Financial Center

This is one of the major intersections I cross to go to work

Yet another tree goes down

Tree completely torn UP - literally

And yes, another tree gone down

Look! Cars do grow on trees!

The Crystal Palace aka the Board of Education Building

Transformer blowing

Top of a condo building - mercifully not the one I live in

Wilma is not very good at parking cars