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Sitting here watching ESPN FIRST TAKE and listening to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N9PmfpGQrQ – LOVE this song. Singing away. This song has so many meanings for me – Not just the obvious love song type insinuation. I like to reach deeper with music lyrics. I am so into music lyrics telling a story especially where I am concerned. I have a song for EVERYTHING. Don’t you wish you can get inside my head? :p

Still in my PJs cause I can! WOO HOO! I have been so exhausted. It’s amazing what happens when you shut your brain off. The semester is over for me. My last day was Wednesday. Supervisor came. Cake walk! I am waiting for my grades to be posted now. 

This time of year is rough for me. I’m missing my father. I have been going to his house on Christmas Eve since I was 10 when my parents divorced. My husband and I are still going over there even now that he’s gone. My 20-year-old brother is a stickler for traditions. He doesn’t want anything to change including the menu – Filet mignon and lobster. My father used to make the steak and now he makes it. I think my bro makes it better than my father (*Looks up* SORRY DAD). Not a lobster eater. Not a red meat eater either. I have to be in the mood for it. I’ll take one for the team Christmas Eve though. My husband’s birthday is on Christmas Eve too so we always have a birthday cake for him. We are going to celebrate it on the 23rd. We are going into NY.

It’s that time of year for reassessing. This has been another year of enormous growth and learning for me. Since my father passed away on Jan 22, 2009, my life has taken such a different turn. I think I have said this in past posts but it’s unfortunate that it took my father leaving this earth to wake the hell up. This year I have seen people’s true colors and realized who cares and who is only out for themselves – especially in the last two months. I think I have also said in past posts that  if you cross me once I wipe my hands of you. That I definitely got from my father. I have wiped my hands of things and situations. Out with the old and in with the new. I refuse to be anyone’s marionette. No one plucks my strings except me. This is why I have a very hard time trusting people. There is usually an underlined manipulative motive.  I won’t tolerate that. To those that have been in my corner and continue to be, I am very thankful and appreciate all the support – especially with my creative outlets.

I also want to announce that I am going to be an auntie again! My best friend is pregnant again with her second child. YAYYYYYYY!!!!

Switched over to another song I can’t stop listening to – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsPFDzAGb4A – Alter ego? lol


So what has everyone thought of this crazy journey called life I have been on since 2005?

Tonight my husband and I had a nice night out with our best friends and my God-Daughter. We went to dinner at a turkish mediterranean restaurant – byob. Never been to that type of place before. It was pretty good. The only problem I had with it was the salty rice. Not a big fan of salt.

Did you ever think to yourself, biologically I am “insert age” but mentally I am “insert age?” When we were driving home tonight I found myself listening to what my friends and I like to call  “old school music.” I had it playing loudly as I always do. I was singing and just being goofy. I just love that.  My husband just looked at me, smiled, and shook his head. I guess you can put the Prospect Park in the girl but you can’t take it out!

I want to write something else now that our one-act is done. I have a one-act I wrote in a playwriting class when I did my undergrad. I think I am going to update that and make it more modern. I want to stay motivated and just keep writing. I want the sky to be the limit. My ideal? I want to have the writing career of Jodi Piccoult. I want to travel places to do research. I want book tours. I have wanted that my whole life. My fingers are crossed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMq92PDEKP4 Cant stop listening to this song now. This is my song. Obviously not geared at my husband but to everyone else out there! I have all this passion inside. You better LISTEN!

 


Today is a GREAT football day! My husband’s team, the Bears, are on at 1 p.m., then the Jets at 4:15 p.m. and then my boys are on at 8:20 p.m. I just love when they play at night. *CAN YOU HEAR THE SARCASM COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?* I get to go to bed aggravated some times. Just lovely. It’s the Manning Bowl II! Lets go Big Blue!

We are just about caught up on the journey or at least we will be fairly caught up after this post. In any case, when I finished the summer semester I think my nerves got the best of me. I wasn’t sure I was ready to do my pre-professional field (one day a week internship) come September. It was bothering me that I was still on unemployment and didn’t have a job. I have this thing about having to contribute to the bill paying. While I am on unemployment, I don’t really consider that “contributing.” With  everything going on with this HORRIBLE governor, I didn’t think there was any way I would get a teaching job come September 2011. At the same time, I was  doing public relations (still am) for a murder mystery group we are a part of. I like doing that. Anything writing related, I love. My first love will ALWAYS be writing, not teaching. My husband said that if I see a job in the paper that I can see myself doing for a long time to submit but not to just submit to anything. I submitted two resumes and never heard anything. I told my husband that was a sign. If I were to get called and hired somewhere, it was meant to be. If not, then it wasn’t and I was meant to stay in school.  At first I was so conflicted as to whether to mail out the first resume. It was for a PR job at a college. I needed an objective opinion so I emailed a friend of mine from Connecticut that I went to college with who has the same passion for writing that I do. We used to work at the local paper together.

I needed some sound objective advice from someone removed from the situation. I explained I had two semesters and two classes left plus the one day a week internship for September. I would be doing my full internship 5 days a week during the Spring semester Jan 2011-May 2011. Heres what was going on in my head in more detail. I had been on unemployment since November 2008. I was tired of not working. Besides working out during the day, I was bored out of my mind and basically found myself doing house wife things – so not me. I don’t know how some women stay home all day. The education program at Kean doesn’t want you working when doing your internship. In the middle of September, the claim I had for unemployment was going to expire. I would start another tier of benefits. The problem was I did not know how much money I would be getting at that point every two weeks but it was believed to be less than what I was currently getting. Our expenses have gone up because we had to get our second new car since the lease expired on our other car. My husband and I both have new Santa Fes. As I stated, my hubby told me if I could find a job that I really wanted to do and could see myself doing for a long time where the salary was good, to go for it. I was conflicted. I didn’t know what to do. Teaching was going to be a fall back position so that I had given myself options career wise with the current state of the economy. However, my love had always been for writing and PR. I love kids, don’t get me wrong, but the excitement I get when I write wasn’t there while I was thinking about it. I had the envelope with my resume, cover letter, and writing samples ready to go for the college PR job. I kept going back and forth whether to mail it or not. The reason I was conflicted was because I didn’t want people thinking I was a quitter in terms of school or that I couldn’t finish anything I start. That seemed to have been my pattern. Since the whole business fiasco, who knew what people would say. Everyone always has an opinion about other people’s business. Whether they tell you to your face is another story. Since losing my job in Nov 2008, I havent really been able to make up my mind about what the hell I wanted to do and I am 35 years old! I didn’t really get a chance to really assess what I wanted to do and really think about it because two months after I lost my job I lost my dad, my pet died, we had a bankruptcy and so on. Who would immediately have a clear head to make a good decision after all that? I was afraid to take a job in the writing/editing field because I have lost my job so many times because of the economy. BUT, if I stayed in school, I am accumulating loans with no guarantee of a teaching job come September which would cause me to look in the writing field anyway. Plus if I stayed in school, I was another year away from working. If I took a job and I lost it again, I was afraid I would be kicking myself for not finishing the program at Kean. I wanted to make the best decision for my family because of this horrible economy. Like I said earlier, I don’t know how much less money from unemployment I was going to get. I was not having any problems in school. I was just trying to figure out what the hell the best decision was for us. God gave me the answer because I did not get any phone calls from either resume I submitted.

I think all the above may have stemmed from fear about actually having to be in a real classroom now and being monitored by a cooperating teacher and supervisor. It wasn’t a mock classroom anymore. I didn’t know if I was ready for a real setting.


I’m sorry there are lapses in posts. Classes started and I am writing lesson plans and just trying to get on a schedule. 🙂

On June 26, 2009 my god-daughter, Alexa Capri, was born. Melissa texted me at 6 a.m. in the morning of her in her hospital gown with that weird looking shower cap hat they put on her head. She told us Frank would call as soon as Lexi was born and then we can come down to the hospital in Morristown. Lexi was born at 10:24 a.m. My husband and I drove down to the hospital by noon. Melissa had a C-Section so she was still in recovery. We had only been there a few minutes when Frank was wheeling Alexa to Melissa’s room and the nurses were wheeling Melissa back to her room. I flew down the hallway. Oh man. I couldn’t believe it. Melissa was a mom and I was a god-mom and Aunt. I held Alexa and fed her immediately. I can’t even explain what I was feeling. It was only 6 months after my dad passed and now I had a god-daughter. I was crying my eyes out. I started calling her my G-Monk or G-Monkey. Melissa and Frank started calling her goose. My husband, (Uncle E) started calling her Squidgey. I added to that and called her G-Squidge. Poor kid was going to get a complex with all the names but it was all out of love. Needless to say I was at the hospital Friday and Saturday to visit that Monkey.


By the time Easter Sunday 2009 rolled around I still hadn’t really had the time to digest anything. I found myself crying more about my father and just really stressed and angry. Easter morning Melissa and Frank came over before we went to dinner with my mother. When they walked in, they had french vanilla coffee for me and regular coffee for my husband and themselves. They also had a little stuffed chickie with a card attached. They handed me the chick. I just thought it was a basic little Easter gift and Easter card. When I opened up the card, it was written as if Melissa’s and Frank’s unborn daughter had written it. At this time I was calling her G. The card called me auntie and asked if I wanted to be her Godmommy and she promised she would always be good and that she loved me. It was absolutely what I needed. I wanted to be this little girl’s Godmommy so bad! I was hoping I would get asked and I did. This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I love you Alexa Capri!


Sorry there was a lapse in time. I started classes. Today as a matter of fact was my first day interning at a local high school. I will elaborate on being back in college at a later time. Oh boy, I am definitely not used to getting out of bed at 5:10 a.m. The school’s first bell is at 7:20 a.m.

March 20, 2009 – Time for court! My husband and I arrived in a downtown urban area where the court was housed. We walked four blocks to the court building, took the elevator up, and entered the waiting room. The court was PACKED. It was like a sardine can in there. I couldn’t believe all the individuals there for the same reason. Since there wasn’t any room, we stood up against the wall near the entrance and waited for our attorney. When she arrived, she took us into the actual court area we were seated and waited for our case to be called. Supposedly the trustee we were assigned was a real hard ass. When our case number was called, the trustee asked if counsel was present. We approached the table and answered all his questions. He was actually very nice to us. My attorney was shocked at how well he treated us. We explained everything. He had a copy of our Quickbooks. It was very easy to see how much money we lost from this lemon. Listening to him read back our situation left a sour taste. We were sitting with him no more than 10 minutes. He concluded our meeting by saying, “I am assuming you wouldn’t be here if it had not been for this business, correct?” We answered, “correct” in unison. That was it. Our attorney bought us lunch and we left our future in the trustee’s hands. It was another waiting game.

In the next month and month and a half we received news on both fronts. My test scores had come in to ETS Testing Service and we received a letter in the mail from the district court. Nervously I logged into the test site. I clicked on test scores and up they came. WOO HOO! I passed! I got a 164. In order to get a Certificate of Eligibility, a score of 162 had to be obtained.  

When my husband got home from work we opened the letter from the Bankruptcy court – DISCHARGED! The feeling was unbelievable. It was like having an enormous weight lifted off our shoulders. Bye Bye Albatross! We craved a fresh start and now we were going to finally have the chance to get one. One can only watch The Secret so many times!

When I received my Certificate of Eligibility in English in the mail, I started to submit resumes for a Teacher of English position to various districts. I even submitted for Teacher Aide positions. I had two interviews for an Aide’s position out of the 30 something resumes I sent out. This is another situation one has to laugh at. I wonder if people even look at resumes before they call you in.

The Alternate Route path was not working out. A friend of my husband’s who is a principal told him for every position open, the district was receiving 200 resumes. He also said that when he received resumes he separated them into 3 piles – Experience, No experience, and Alternate Route. If someone was alternate route, he didn’t even bother with the resume. Apparently student teaching was a very important component to most districts. That prompted a discussion with my husband about applying to college and getting the certification the standard way. I hadn’t been in college since 1999. Now at 34 I was applying to go back.


Happy Labor Day World! Hope everyone had a nice weekend! The hubby and I ordered new wedding rings this weekend. Finally we are going to match! I can’t believe I start classes again tomorrow. I don’t know if I am ready for the harder part of the journey. Speaking of the journey, let’s get back to it.

It was March 14, 2009 – Praxis Test day. It was literally only a month and a half since my father died. I woke up early, had breakfast, and drove down to the University I am attending now with my husband to take my exam. My body had not been able to come down off the stress yet. I kissed my husband goodbye when he dropped me off at the front of the building. I entered the building and got in line with the other test takers. As I was waiting to go into the auditorium, I got two text messages – one was from my husband wishing me luck and telling me he loves me and the other was from my best friends, Melissa and Frank. They told me they were thinking of me, wished me luck, told me they loved me, and to remember I had a little extra help this time around. They meant my dad was with me. I absolutely prayed for his help and to get me through.

I took my seat and broke the seal when the proctors told us to. I had two hours to finish 120 questions based on all things English related or so I thought. Some of the questions had absolutely nothing to do with teaching English. Isn’t that funny? Two hours for 120 questions? REALLY? It takes several minutes to answer just one question. In some cases, you have to read a paragraph to answer the questions, yet they expect you to take only a minute to answer each question. It’s just absurd to me that it’s mandatory to take a test in order for you to get your teaching certification. Some people are horrible test takers but brilliant in the classroom. It’s just like when you want to obtain a Master’s Degree. What the hell does the GREs and Analogy Test have to do with you wanting to better yourself in a field that has nothing to do with anything that’s actually on the exams? In my opinion, it’s all a bit of nonsense. Just sayin . . .

In any case,  this test was a lot harder than the other two I had taken years ago. As a side note, they raised the score to pass to 162. The first two times I had taken the test, you only needed a 155. I guessed on a lot of the questions. It got to point where I had such a weird feeling. I was on auto pilot. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience and someone else was doing the work for me. When I was finished, I didn’t have a good feeling. My husband was waiting for me in the hall of the building outside the auditorium. He asked how I did. I gave him the raspberries and said, “Forget it! This one was the hardest one out of the three of them.” Now we played the waiting game for the score. If I remember correctly, I think the scores were going to be available in four weeks. Relieved that the test was over, the focus went back to the bankruptcy which was the following week. What was going to happen when I actually had time to sit and digest everything that had happened starting with my father? At this point, I didn’t know because my mind was on court and what our trustee was going to do in regards to our case. I can’t imagine that our petition for Chapter 7 would be denied. We never made a profit in the 2.5 years we owned the gym, I had lost my job and was on unemployment. He had to rule in our favor. Stay tuned!


During the week we lost Tweetie, we shut down the franchise. Another domino down. We had met with our bankruptcy counsel and had the petition filed. This was our third attorney. She was a very get the job done and matter of fact individual. She advised us not to notify our employees, clients, or landlord we were filing bankruptcy and shutting the business down. She wanted us to just put a note in the window or have the locks changed. While I agreed with not notifying the landlord, I didn’t agree with not notifying the clients. We set a date of February 6, 2009 to shut the doors for good. I typed up a letter and mailed them out to all the clients on a Friday. I also contacted all the employees and said we were going to have a meeting Saturday after we closed at noon. By the time we got to the gym Saturday morning, all the employees had already found out because the first thing some of the clients did when they got their letters was of course call “Devri” and complain. When my husband and I explained our personal situation, how we couldn’t do it anymore, how the corporation was of no help, how our attorney advised us to not even give notice and how losing my father put a lot in perspective, “Devri” responded with a VERY selfish comment. But what else was new . . . This woman had the audacity to say to us “I wish you would have told me this the other day. My husband is in Italy. I purposely didn’t go because there wasn’t anyone to work. I sacrificed the trip. I could be in Italy right now.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My response? “Um well, I just lost my father so no disrespect to you, but I really wasn’t thinking about people’s vacations.” Pardon my French, but what balls! To add to her character flaws, she had the nerve to steal supplies that WE purchased in addition to member folders in order to pass them out to those that wished to go to another facility. Her mentality that she ran the place continued even to the day we shut the doors. When the employees left and we realized what she did, my husband left an unpleasant voicemail on her cell phone. We called our attorney and told her what “Devri” did. Our attorney said we could have filed a police report. We decided against that because we still had to live in the next town over. We put a “Closed due to bankruptcy” sign on the door and left. That was the last time we ever saw the women’s fitness facility again. The albatross was slowing removing itself from our necks.

I had to have all the utilities turned off. Before I had the phone disconnected, I checked the voicemail. There were at least 6 on the machine. I only listened to one because I knew that these trust fund babies felt a sense of entitlement to know ahead of time and were only going to degrade us for doing what was in our best interest. God forbid!  The one voice mail from one of the clients said she didn’t appreciate how we did this. She said she understood why but that customers were loyal to us. Who was she kidding? The women’s loyalty was to “Devri” just like “Devri’s” loyalty was to them. They never participated in any of the promotions I had going on in terms of bringing in friends to workout or to try the circuit workout itself. It was social hour and time to get away from their husbands and be with the girls. They didn’t care if my husband and I were struggling. I think they expected us to stay open regardless.  

With all this going on, I had to make time to study for my Praxis exam which was taking place about 5 weeks after the closing of the gym. That’s all I focused on. I threw myself into studying and attending workshops for extra help. I had to keep myself busy to get my mind off everything else. During my study time, we received our letter from the court. The bankruptcy court date was a week after the Praxis. Can you see the domino pattern here?

Through all this, there was one positive. My best friend was pregnant for the first time with her daughter – My God daughter.


I wanted an autopsy done on my father. That didn’t happen. According to my old singing teacher whose husband worked in the FBI, if there is a death in the house when no one is at home, it’s the law to have an autopsy. Everyone including paramedics and the town police assumed it was heart related. I know he was having pains in his legs and started taking medication for it. It could have been a mix of meds, it could have been an aneurysm, it could have been a blood clot in his leg that spread, the stent could have closed, or it could have been something else. The very last time my father was in the hospital he had a blood transfusion. He told us the doctors said he needed iron tablets. A blood transfusion for a heart patient? I still don’t believe it to this day. I think everyone thinks I am a ball full of nerves and there was more to this story that I wasn’t privy too. The funny thing is everyone is so wrong. Especially these days. It honestly annoys me sometimes when people think they know me when they really don’t. When someone starts spending 24/7 with me like my husband does or if someone has been friends with me as long as some people in my life have, then you have the right to say you know me. Until then, you don’t anything about me.

In my father’s will he specified he didn’t want a viewing or funeral. He just wanted to be cremated. I think he didn’t want his family to have to emotionally suffer. His wishes weren’t honored. Our family was talked into a memorial service and private family only viewing in Ridgewood. Each one week after another. This whole thing lasted two weeks between the viewing and the memorial. The day of the viewing my brothers and I wore our Giants jerseys for our dad. He was in a coffin with a Giants t-shirt and sweats. Makes me laugh.  We always joked that we wanted to be buried in our Giants jerseys. That was one of the hardest things in my life I have ever had to see.

Sons and daughters of my father’s friends came to the memorial service the following week with posters and sayings my father said. My father coached football so all his old players came. Someone made a photo collage on their computer. Others made poster board collages of pictures of my dad. Some were with his friends, some with me, some with my brothers, some with my stepmother, and some with my husband and I. Replaying over and over again on the computer collage was I Will Remember You by Sara McLaughlin. That killed me. I was hysterically crying. As the night went on, there was a line out the door and around the block of people coming to pay their respects to my father and the family. It was incredible. I couldn’t believe the outpour of people and love.

I just wanted all this to be over. I still had the Praxis exam to take in March. My husband and I still had the bankruptcy to deal with. How was I going to handle all of this when I just lost my father? This was still a shock to my system. It’s still a shock even to this day. As the days followed, I said after losing a parent, how much worse does it get. From now on, everything was going to be weighed on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being my father dying. And so continued the domino effect.

Two weeks later my pet bird who was still having a little bit of trouble after being seen by the vet months ago didn’t seem right. When we were getting ready to go to bed, she was able to climb to the top of her cage to what we called her “sleep cup.” We covered her and went to bed. The next morning when we woke up, our bird heard us. To get us to uncover her, she always played what my husband and I called “bat bird.” She would flip herself over and flap her wings real hard. I was happy to see she was able to do that after the symptoms she was showing the night before. I uncovered her and when she flipped herself back up on her cup, she was teetering back and forth. I put my finger in the cage. She hopped up on it. The minute I had her out, she collapsed and died in my hand. She wanted her mother. She wanted me to be there. It was heart wrenching. First I lost my job. Next bankruptcy was decided, then my father died, and two weeks later my bird died in my hand. I thought for sure I was being cursed. Someone was giving me the evil eye. What else could it have been? Why was this happening to me? What did I do? Was this punishment for being greedy and having to have a business and wanting money? I had no answers. I honestly didn’t know how much more I could take. I should have read this prayer over again back then:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

I think my faith may have been being tested.


Hello there world! Hope you had a great day! Had a work out with my trainer today and it was a butt kickin as always! Tomorrow I have orientation at Kean University for my preprofessional one day a week internship at a local high school starting Sept 8. I am hoping to have you all caught up by then! Now back to the journey. . .

Things started to spiral more and more out of control. As we spiraled, I found out “Rachel” and her husband were having issues of their own. It turns out their closing on one of “Kevin’s” gyms never happened.  Apparently “Kevin” pulled the same exact thing on them. In addition, he did the same thing to another couple who bought TWO of his gyms. Can you imagine buying two gyms from “Kevin” and being in double trouble? In case you haven’t figured it out, Kevin was not only a chiropracter, he had owned 5 or 6 of these women’s gyms. He pulled the same exact fraudulant scheme on every one of us – except “Rachel” and her husband were smart and savvy enough to check member numbers the day of the closing and not  close on the deal. On the day of “Rachel” and her husband’s closing, “Rachel’s” husband went into the gym without “Kevin’s” permission to check the membership numbers. Turns out same thing! There were about 30-35+ members less than “Kevin” had said! When “Rachel’s” husband called “Kevin,” “Kevin” tried to insist they couldn’t back out of the deal and he had no control over people deciding to drop their memberships yada yada yada. “Kevin” said he was going to sue them for breach of contract. What happened was “Kevin” FINALLY got caught. Up until now he thought he was this business genius that made all this money and would take advantage of people for greed, but the rat finally got caught cornered in the cage and he was squirming. That’s when the court case started. “Rachel” and her husband wanted their deposit back and any monies that were put into the gym prior to closing – i.e. lawyers fees etc. Of course “Kevin” was not going to give the money back. Are you kidding? “Rachel” and her husband countersued “Kevin.” “Kevin” tried to drag it out and negotiate but “Rachel” and her husband were determined to sue him for fraud. They tried to bring my husband and I in on it. We spoke to their attorney. We didn’t have the money it would cost to get involved so we said we just couldn’t do it. They said the case would be stronger with us involved and said we would be subpoenaed if we didn’t agree. We compromised and said we would write a letter stating what happened to us and there was no doubt what “Kevin” did to “Rachel” and her huband was definitely true. We explained everything in the letter – about the story he gave about his dead son, how we weren’t allowed in the gym at any time without him, the numbers being way off and so on. If only my husband and I went into the gym the morning of OUR closing and looked at the numbers, we wouldn’t be in the position we were in! And it only got worse . . .