Monthly Archives: June 2008

My mom died tonight

I loved her.  She sacrificed so much for me.  From the moment she found out she was pregnant with me… to my dad passing away when I was 9 and Mom had to build a life for us.  All the years.  So much is flooding back.  Years when I was little and then a few Christmases ago when she wanted a nostalgia family dinner, and I ran around getting so much to make her happy.  And I found a photo of the two of us from my first holy communion; I don’t remember ever seeing it before, but I got a 5×7 and gave it to her.  She cried happy tears and I joked that the tears said it was a good present.

Today, Sunday…. she took me out for my birthday.  Cathi took a picture of us with my arm around her….  a few hours ago, I joked with her in the mall.  And I said a fast goodbye, because she was in the front seat and I was in the back, and people were behind the car rushing to get my parking spot…. I didn’t kiss her goodbye.  I said love you!  fast and dashed out.

I’ll never see her again.  And my last chance to kiss her goodbye, to really thank her for a nice day, and I didn’t do it.  I didn’t do it!

I’ll never call her and say “Hi, Lady!” the way I always did; it was a little special thing between us.  She once told me it meant so much to her; it brought her peace and joy to hear it.

why didn’t I kiss her goodbye…  even as I dashed out, i thought I should take the time, but ….

I thought I’d have another chance.

It’s not right.

Cathi called me around 8 to say she was in the hospital.  She couldn’t catch her breath suddenly and got sick.  John and I went to the hospital, but I thought it was something easy… she’d be up and out in a couple days tops.  Then the doctor is saying she needs to talk to someone, who would be the spokesman for all of us…. and my stepfather is barely holding together, and my sisters who were there…. and I’m standing there in front of the doctor saying it’d be me.  And she’s telling me it’s bad, it’s critical, and we have to go hour by hour…

Even then…. Mom had beat the hour by hour so many times.  Massive heart attack, a stroke, 3 types of cancer….  She was a fighter.  She always came back.


Then they’re telling us her heart stopped again.  Then it was…. she would keep coding, did we want them to keep rescusitating.  I knew she had talked about that with Ralph, and he’s answering but my sister Cheryl is saying don’t make fast judgements…. they came out again.  Mom coded again, her heart just wouldn’t keep going, her brain may be damaged from lack of oxygen…. and Ralph saying stop, but so many people talking, and the nurse looking at me and I… I told them what Ralph said and what I knew Mom had said.  She had a living will.  Don’t put her through agony when it was over.

But how can it be over….

I was going to take her to the town where she grew up.  She, me, and my aunt.  See the house where they were kids, their schools, the spot where she met my dad….  then, as a surprise, she didn’t know it, I was going to take pictures of it all, make notes, and put it in a book for her.  I had it all planned.  Then there’d be a chapter for each of us kids, with our favorite pictures over the years, and something we’d each write to her.  I was going to put a picture of her as a kid on the front and call the book simply “Doris”.  I was having it bound like a real book through the Blurb software and Flickr.  It was going to be her surprise present for her 80th birthday.

We were supposed to go on the trip in June, but she and I forgot and made other plans.  I told her, no big deal.  We’ll pick another day.

Why did I let that slip away….  That trip would have meant everything to her.

We booked a place on Long Beach Island for her birthday week, and had plans to celebrate.  She deserved so much….

But when I talked to her this past Tues, I had a pounding headache and she kept going around and around and badgering to make decisions on things, and then still going on and on about them….  I was aggravated.  She got aggravated with me.

She deserved better from me.  From so much, from life itself.  She never got one of her dreams.  Not one.  And now….

I once had a nightmare that she died.  I woke up devastated and had to call her, had to hear her voice.

I wish I would wake up from this nightmare.

Wow. You guys are so lucky to know me!

I got an email to do a free “relationship compatibility” report and decided, what the heck!  Here’s what it says about me:

Erin, your Heart’s Desire is 11

You have a wisdom beyond your years. Even as a child, your understanding of life was considerable, though it likely went unrecognized by others.

Uh huh, uh huh.  True.

You are a born peacemaker. You are driven by a desire to settle conflicts and create harmony. You are a healer and a visionary.

Yes, that’s correct.

You long to make the world a better place, and cannot rest until you have dedicated your life to some worthwhile cause.

Your realm is ideas and philosophy. You are attracted to the world of energy more than to the mechanical or material planes. Philosophy, religion, and less traditional forms of healing are among your specialties.

You are obsessed with the quest for enlightenment.

Live long and prosper!

You are extremely sensitive and possess a high degree of intuition. Subtle messages and feelings of others do not escape your attention. You are powerfully aware of the thoughts and feelings of others. Unless you are well grounded, this can throw you about emotionally. Your awareness can be both a gift as well as a problem, because you so deeply desire to please others and keep harmony in your environment.

A gift and a curse.  I’m like this guy – Spider-Man

Many 11s were born into extremely hostile or turbulent families. This often resulted in psychological pain, lack of confidence, and shyness during childhood. Somehow, the child with an 11 heart’s desire recognized the sources of his family’s problem. This created an internal conflict for the child, who naturally loved the troubled parent, but could not cope with that parent’s behavior.

Uh…. this is getting eerie.

Therefore, many 11s are scarred early in life.

Maybe because my sisters and brother said I was raised in a “sewey hole” (storm drain) and our parents felt pity and took me in……  that and the latrine monster was going to get me when we were camping. Oh, and how they watched Alfred Hitchcock when they were babysitting and then be too afraid to check on me.

You gotta love older siblings.

They understand the sufferings of others and seek to be of service in some way.

This is, in fact, the easiest way for you to heal yourself and find your greatest satisfaction.

You understand the importance of close, loving relationships. Therefore, you are selective in choosing your friends and spouse. You are a romantic, idealistic, but somewhat impractical person.

The devil you say!!

Unless you have other balancing characteristics (as indicated by 1s, 4s, and 8s in your chart), it is wise to team up with a more practical and realistic partner.

You have a magnetic and charismatic personality.

This thing is so accurate!!

You like pondering abstract matters. Your intelligence is electric. Ideas, solutions to problems, and inventions seem to come to you as if out of the blue.

You are highly charged and intense. This can cause nervous tension.

LIES!!!!  We’ll just take that part out.

This can cause nervous tension. You need to care for your nervous system with ample amounts of rest, a peaceful environment, and proper diet — avoiding extreme foods and drugs chocolate, preferably hot fudge sundaes or homemade brownies w/ nuts or chocolate chip cookies with nuts.  And puppy kisses.

You are often more concerned with universal justice than with the individual.

Is that a compliment?

The 11 is a master number, possessing great potential. It has been entrusted to you as a gift that you are worthy of.


The key is to maintain a hold on your ideals and seek ways to practically implement them.

You have a specific role and gift to give to the world. This requires time and maturity to fully comprehend.

Snort!  I’m still waiting on that one.  It’d better not take too much longer.  I’ll be gumming my food.

But with patience and perseverance, you will discover why you felt different and even unique as a child.

I still think it was the whole “sewey hole”  thing.  That’ll make you feel different.

At that time, you will discover that what made you feel weak as a child will make you strong and confident as a mature adult.

It’s the maturity thing that keeps tripping me up.  I guess as long as I keep watching SpongeBob, my destiny will continue to allude me.

Now let’s see how John and I do together, shall we?  (You can hear the danger background music building, can’t you?)

Your Heart’s Desire’s compatibility is 11(Erin) and 9 (John).

Whereas Erin is open and easy going in matters of the heart, John is more careful and perhaps distant. In fact, John knows that it is in part this care, this need to maintain a safe distance, that has caused passed relationships to crash.

Actually, this only happens when his reality shows are on.  Then I’m only allowed to talk to him during commercials.

It is not easy for John to be deeply involved in a relationship and trust that it is safe to act un-inhibited, unselfconsciously. On the other hand, it is natural for Erin to respond to the moment without first having to weigh possible consequences. Erin can be immediate, responsive and fearless like a child and, just like a child, feel totally safe.


Always seeking the shelter of the inner world, John needs to learn to let go, to surrender to the heart, if this relationship is to endure and grow.

Surrender, hon!  Surrender to those moments that cause you to say, “Why are you so friggin’ weird, Erin?!”

You can give love and friendship left and right, John, there is no shortage of love in you. On the contrary. The number nine is self-sacrificing

Bahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!  They haven’t seen your face when you find out I took your socks.

and generous to a fault.

True, true.

Maybe that is the way you release all the love in you. A problem exists only when this love comes too close to the inner John.

Is that what it is?  I thought it was me leaving the backdoor open for the dogs and then bugs get in.

As long as there is some distance, you feel safe. The moment someone attempts to step into your inner world, you have a tendency to close the doors.

See?  There’s the back door thing.

Erin, you are very different. You will certainly invite John to share even the deepest moments, without inhibition. But when John backs away from that, Erin, you may well respond with confusion, jealousy and resentment.

Moi?  Do something so negative?  I don’t think so.  This part has to go too.

Erin, you may well respond with confusion, jealousy and resentment total understanding and an expression of wisdom and gentility.

As you may have realized by now, the eleven and the nine don’t get along too well.

Oh great!  Give back the wedding presents!  Although who will want them — 15 year old faded towels that we now use to clean up after the dogs’ baths.  And we spent the cash!

I want to know how many of our friends are reading this and thinking, “It ain’t news to me”

Although both are caring, loving numbers, the idealistic nine gives to the world and to strangers, while a much more emotionally involved eleven focuses on one person as the object of its love.

I sound a bit like a stalker there, don’t I?  And why is John giving his love to strangers?  He told me that place he goes after work is a karaoke bar!

Interestingly, the eleven and the nine can form powerful alliances in other circumstances, particularly in business. Between the two of them, they can negotiate and influence just about anyone or anything.

Snort!  Then how come we can’t get the dogs to come in when we call them?

It is in matters of the heart that their needs and desires are not very compatible.

And road maps.  Oh man, you can’t imagine the huffiness in the car when it comes to reading road maps. Oh, and backing up the camper!  Woo whee!! That’s not for the faint of heart!

All this can be countered, albeit with some effort. John, you would help yourself and Erin if you could “loosen up” a bit. Relax the constant vigilance and allow yourself to be more responsive to the moment.

*cough* anal *cough* control issues *cough* Innocent

Erin, you should try to understand that John’s need for some distance

I said I wouldn’t interrupt Survivor unless it’s a commercial!

doesn’t mean the love is not real, or not as strong as yours. If you are able to keep that in mind, you’ll be able to build a peaceful, enjoyable relationship.

Happy sigh You are so wise, online report generator!

A relationship, by the way, that can also be very prosperous if you are smart enough to take advantage of the powerful alliances the eleven and the nine allow for, especially in the business world.

Clearly, we’re supposed to know a better class of people.  Because we’re supposed to be rolling in money and we’re not, so you people are holding us back.

I think we all learned something.  Such as, posts like this can land you in deep trouble.  Not me, of course!  I’m married to someone with a wonderful sense of humor!

Right, hon?  ……Hon?

How the Burgermeister stole My Birthday! A tale of woe and ice cream.

If you know me or have read any of my posts about my birthday, you know how I am about them.  Love the celebration, but that’s it.  We already covered how no one should say “It’s better than the alternative”, so we’ll move on.

All during this past week, I felt like life is like this:

White trash and hopeless

…. instead of having done something meaningful and reaching a good place by this age.  When John and I discussed our plans for our lives, this wasn’t it for either of us.  So what will really help cement the whole feeling?  This guy:

The Burgermeister

The Bergermeister, shown here on the right, with some friend of his who is heralding his return.  Just when I’m feeling really low, he (metaphorically) did this to me:


Leaving me like this:

Knocked out

I’m making light of it now, but it was very bad and it went on for a few days.  Almost as bad is the fact that I let him get to me to the point where I canceled my birthday party for today.  I eventually reached the point where I figured screw him –

VooDoo Doll

– he’s not going to ruin the good part of all this.

And thankfully for me, people have been so great!  I got wonderful cards, even Ninja cards!, and gifts: from candles and lockets, to gift cards for new clothes and candy, to Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes on CD and books, Walt Disney biographies (and the coolest Speed Racer gift bag). PLUS!  A friend made this wonderful cartoon of me on my birthday:


And of course, John!  Not only did he give me the trip to NY for my birthday, he had a polo made with our Fort Wilderness Tour logo on it, two fantastic cards, a fantastic message on the forum we’re on the most, and is taking me out to dinner tomorrow night.  Love you, hon! Love

The pups gave me kisses (and ordered croc charms from disney world) Puppy kiss

Besides, I’ll also be at a Petco tomorrow with the animal shelter, trying to get 4 of our kittens together.  I might even see my favorite again:

Dolly the kitten

That’s her in my purse the night of our big fundraising dinner.  I fell in love with her.  Such a tiny, little sweetie!  I thought of telling John that I won this little stuffed animal as a doorprize, and that she even had batteries so she moved around etc. like a real kitten!  But I made a deal with John not to bring any kitties home, and I’m respecting how he feels.  Although now that he’s actually seen how sweet she is, he’ll probably say, “Aw!  She’s adorable!  She needs people like us with a loving home!”

Big Grin!

So, here’s to enjoying the celebration, dealing with the rest of it, and crossing my fingers that the Burgermeister, like the one in the show, will dwindle out of my life!

VooDoo Doll

And to my family and all my great friends:

Thank you!

NY was so much fun!

I had a blast this weekend! The time just flew by.

Taking the trains, first Riverline and then NJ Transit, really worked out well. I only spend, roundtrip, $24 which is so much cheaper than the gas, tolls, and parking would have been. Plus, I got to relax, read, and take a nap. 😉

We went shopping at Macy’s after I arrived and ate in a little cafe inside the store. The store fills an entire city block, and I got a special grin when I saw we were at 34th Street. Afterwards, we dropped off my stuff at The Manhattan Club where my sister is a member, then it was off to 5th Avenue to walk around the stores and where, when it rained, we got (try not to be jealous) Build a Bear rain ponchos.

We ate dinner at Ruby Foos; the food was great, like always, but the lazy susans are gone and our service was mediocre at best. Then it was off to Little Mermaid and the only other problem the whole weekend. When we tried to get in, we found out that Ticketmaster had sent 1 ticket for June 10th instead of the right date; everyone at the theater said it would be no problem to exchange it except for the woman at the ticket window. She kept insisting we purchased the 10th, so she wouldn’t exchange it for one for Sat, especially as they were sold out. My niece gave me her ticket, insisting she didn’t mind, and she’d go to Young Frankenstein. It put a dark cloud over it especially we had 6 empty seats in our row; the ticket window could have given me a standing room ticket and then I could have moved up instead of her copping an attitude.

The show was good, although not great, and I adored the new song She’s in Love! The boy playing Flounder is phenomenal, so is the man playing Sebastian, as well as other cast members. Staging is very good with some absolutely gorgeous moments and the additional scenes let the relationship between Eric and Ariel build nicely. But the costumes could have been better (although I liked the bouncy maids’ skirts plus Eric’s and his second in commands) as well as some more wire work for the underwater moments. And too much translucent material instead of rock formations, Eric’s castle, and Titan’s trident.

We did get a surprise that 3 of the leads were pulled to rehearse or rest for the Tony’s. Two of the guys with us were really disappointed in that.

Afterwards, we met up with Jenna again at Jumba Juice, relaxed at the hotel and called it a night. The next day, I decided to go more with the flow than leave as early as I first planned which worked out wonderfully because they had a street market fair on 6th. It was at this point that my resolution not to spend money on myself died. 😉 I got a great purse at the street fair, then went shopping at NYC World of Disney. The store is huge and they actually greeted their customers with applause and thanks when they opened the store at 11am. I got John a great shirt (Jennifer and Terry found it) and I got my sister and niece thank you gifts for a wonderful weekend. For myself, I got crocs on sale! Plus a pin (but of course), and a Stitch in NY.

Terry and Jenna surprised me by getting me my own Coconut the dog from American Girl! Plus her little vet kit! I kept sending them photos from my camera of Coconut on the trip home.

We had lunch at Chevy’s with some of the best Mexican food I have ever had! I even loved the guacamole and I never eat that!

It was such a fantastic weekend! Jen’s friends Nate and Mikey were wonderful and we all had such laughs! I really have to thank Terry and Jennifer for making it all possible and my husband John who got the money together for me to go.

PS: On the way home, I realized everybody got presents but the dogs.  So I stopped and got them a grilled hot dog. They were very happy.   So was I.  It was so odd waking up and having all that room around my legs because no snuggly, furry body was using me as a pillow.  LOL!

Update on Morgan

I realized I haven’t told anyone what the vet said about Morgan:

they think she may have torn a ligament. They’re not recommending surgery yet; they have her on pain killers and told us to keep her quiet so it has a chance to heal. Then we’ll see.

She’s doing better most of the time, and walks on it with a limp. But she overdoes it and ends up having to pull it up again.

Poor sweetie!

One tired, but happy Disney geek!

First off, I broke 1,000 users for my Disney Main Street iGoogle theme and I’m currently at 1342 users! Plus two 5-star reviews! Thanks everyone!

They also finally released my Disneyland webcam gadget on iGoogle:

Disneyland webcam iGoogle gadget
or search for Disneyland under the iGoogle Gadgets section.

Then, our friends Carol and Gary suggested we host a tour together of the Fort Wilderness campground this December, so I made a logo, a sig graphic, and a pin design for that! Here’s the pin proof that a vender made up of my design:

Disney World, Fort Wilderness

I joke that it looks like a spare tire cover for the back of an RV, but I’m really fond of it. I named the dogs Boone and Crockett; if you’re a FW fan, you know why. We even made up a legend for them, like Imagineers do. (And yes, our friends are Canadian.)

Here’s the sig graphic I made for people doing the tour:

Disney Fort Wilderness Tour sig graphic

Then I was working with someone I respect a lot for his presentation on Walt Disney’s career for Magic Meets this July. He’s a former Imagineer, going back to MAYPO and WEDWAY Enterprises, working with Walt Disney himself. He’s going to be showing video footage and sharing stories never released before, and I got to help with his marketing blurb for it! He even asked my advice on his emails while he negotiated the deal! As a little thank you, I sent him a Disney Enchanted Call, having Mickey Mouse call and wish him a magical day. Ha!

Last, but not least, my birthday is in a week. I have a strong love-hate relationship with birthdays. Of course it’s nice when people make you feel special, but I hate getting older! And don’t give me the “it’s better than the alternative!” because that doesn’t help. Getting fired from your job is better than losing your job and being told you have cancer, but it doesn’t make you feel any better.

Anyway, my sister Terry is in New York for a week and invited me up this weekend for a birthday celebration. She got me a ticket for Little Mermaid and is taking me dinner! We’re also going to stop at the big NY Disney store. I keep reminding myself that I’m on a budget, but that’s now before I get into that store!

Ariel smiley

So it’s been a busy, happy geek week! Now I need to work on some slideshows for All Ears Net.

Disney Main Street iGoogle theme!

You know you’re a Disney geek when…..

You make an iGoogle theme of Main Street and the Castle!

Disney Main Street theme thumbnail

That’s one of the headers. Some of the theme’s features are:

  • The scenes change every hour from 5am to 9pm. Then they change at 11pm, midnight, and then 5am again for sunrise. That makes a total of 19 images to reflect (approx.) the time of day.
  • It also has three different footers: daytime, sunset, and evening.
  • It’s designed for a 1024 resolution width, but has a tile and background to fill in the edges if you’re on a higher resolution.

I used a couple publicity images from The Disney Company (like the one in the thumbnail above); they are used with respect and not in violation of their copyright. The rest are my photos.

And now iGoogle has finally listed it in their Themes directory! Go to Themes in iGoogle and look under Newest. Right now, it’s the sixth one down.


Search for Disney! It’s the only one there, so that makes finding it very easy.

And you might want to — oh, I don’t know — leave a review saying what a nice theme it is. Angel smiley

Big Grin!

eBay ripping off customers on Disney Dreams sweepstakes

I signed up for this weeks ago, and immediately ran into problems.  Every time we purchase something, we get a free Disney “gift” and then become elligible for the big prizes.  Unfortunately for a lot of people, eBay isn’t recognizing that we are making purchases and should get our gifts, plus being in the drawing for the big prizes.  It keeps saying we haven’t made purchases, no matter how many you make.

We all contact eBay support; first we’re told the old “clear cache and cookies”, which doesn’t fix the situation.  At that point, eBay pretends you never said anything, not to their Customer Support department, or in the Help forums.  I’ve posted in multiple places on the forums and keep asking Customer Support for help, referencing my case number each time.  Absolute silence.

After all, eBay certainly get their money anyway.  And for the people who are lucky enough to have things work, it makes a much smaller pool of entries and greater chances for them to win, so there’s plenty of people to show on eBay’s big banner of “We give out prizes!  People love us!”.

So if you’re interested in the eBay Disney sweepstakes, be prepared that you’ll be screwed out of your prizes and will never be in the drawing.  That way, you’re prepared for the poor treatment you’ll get.

Hurt pup

Morgan hurt her one leg; John took her to work with him so he can keep on eye on her and see how she does.

I hope she gets better soon. I’m worried about it. And I wish I had the kind of job where I can bring my dog in with me.

Updated: Morgan sent me a photo message –

Hi, Mommy! I’m under Daddy’s desk!

Morgan under John's desk at work

Plus, the lunch truck man gave her a free hot dog! If she figures this out, she’s going to sprain a leg every week so she can go with him! Not to mention, Elphie and Casey are going to gnaw on their legs to get in on this deal!

Second update:

I got ice cream, Mommy!

Morgan gets ice cream!

At this point, I’m ready to chew on my foot so I can go to work with John!

Prince Indy

We went to the drive-in theater on Saturday and saw Prince Caspian and the new Indiana Jones. The funny thing is: John really wanted to see the new IJ film which is why we stayed to see it, and he ended up sleeping through most of it. 🙂

We both enjoyed Caspian. Very old epic style with the build up to the climax. I also liked how they handled Susan and Edmond in this one a lot; putting them right where they were at the end of the first film instead of making them go through the whole angsty development again. It made them very strong characters and a pleasure to watch. I also thought it was good to show the differences in each of the “children” and that they held on to their knowledge when they went back to England, such as sword fighting and how to lead people. Even with the changes in Susan from the books, not that I can remember most of them except the first and the final scene of the last one, I thought it showed how different faith is handled by people. Whether you want to read it as Christian faith or as this Narnian world doesn’t matter to me; I enjoyed how each main character was their own person and this hybrid of adolescent and adult.

Indiana Jones running from ball smiley from
As for the Indy film, it was weak. A lot of times, the acting seemed forced or half hearted with no real feeling to it, like the actors were on automatic or forcing the emotion. The story was also weak with no development, lots of cliches and too often used plot points, with others being just too damned ridiculous. Like the storyline with the son. You know as soon as the kid mentions his mother that he’s Indy’s son. The movie never had any tension or real development or build. A few times, something would ring true, but they’d be rare and too short. The whole first battle is played for comedy with Indy a buffoon who only wins because they others are bigger buffoons. They touch on his older age and show how it adds to his experience, but they never show how it might affect his ability to fight or anything else. He’s fighting very large, strong guys that are younger and bigger than him, and they fail in strength and energy before he does. It makes no sense. And the ending was just a rehash of the first one plus a lot of stolen endings from other films.

The plotline with the aliens was done much better with other series like Stargate, X-Files, etc. and it doesn’t feel like it should be in an Indy film. They should have gone after a classic artifact again like the Fountain of Youth or something like that.

I was glad to see Karen Allen, but she was a charactericture in this movie, like too many other characters, which was a damned waste.

The best part of the film: I stretched out on our bed in the back of the van while I watched it and was very comfy. 😉