30 November, 2009

I'm confused....

I'm officially confused. And disconcerted. While I was home for Thanksgiving, I spent a lot of time with my cousins. The 15 year old was practicing Christmas carols for the upcoming Christmas Concert at her school. The one song she couldn't get out of her head was "Carol of the Bells." All weekend long she was wandering around the house, singing "Carol of the Bells" under her breath. It was on the 4th of 5th time she sang it that we caught on to the lyrics she was singing. I'll let you read for yourself, to see if you catch it....


Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away

Christmas is here,
bringing good cheer,
to young and old,
meek and the bold.

Ding dong ding dong
that is their song
with joyful ring
all caroling.

One seems to hear
words of good cheer
from everywhere
filling the air.

Oh how they pound,
raising the sound,
o'er hill and dale,
telling their tale.

Gaily they ring,
white people sing,
songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here.

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas,
Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas.

On on they send,
on without end,
their joyful tone
to every home.

Ding dong ding... dong!


Okay, so it's in bold, I didn't exactly make you work for it.


We told her she couldn't possibly have gotten that right. She must have misread it. And it's easy enough to mishear song lyrics, as we've all done at one time or another. But she insisted she had it right. Even went so far as to break out the sheet music that her choir director had given all the kids. And there it was, printed out right in front of us.

Gaily they ring, white people sing songs of good cheer, Christmas is here.

Okay, Carol of the Bells was written back in the day, and people were considerably less politically correct then, but still, seriously? Every artist to have performed or recorded this song in recent memory has changed the words to: "Gaily they ring while people sing songs of good cheer, Christmas is here." Are you really telling me that a high school with a fairly diverse student body isn't willing to do the same?

Her mother was going to call the choir director today to find out what's up with that. I can't wait to hear for this one....

26 November, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This year, more than ever before, I'm so incredibly grateful for the amazing people in my life. Friends near and far, old and new, who have been unbelievably supportive of me and my family during this unbelievably difficult time. Family, who have stepped up and shown the depth of their love, and the incredible well of courage they have within them. I couldn't possibly love any of you more.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

21 November, 2009

On Edge? Me? Why on earth would you ask that? (Or: How I Told AT&T to go Screw Themselves)

I'm a mess.

I completely lost it on the phone with AT&T today. Granted, it was the 4th time they'd called TODAY ALONE (I know I'm sometimes prone to exaggeration, but this count is legit.), despite my telling them I was dealing with a family tragedy, and asking them EVERY TIME to call back in a few weeks. I know, I know, "C, why don't you just not answer the phone?" Well because my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and grandparents insist on calling that number, and I don't have caller ID.

So finally I completely lost it with the 4th phone call (made worse by the fact that it was clearly the exact same woman who'd called me not two hours earlier), and asked to speak to her manager. Through hysterical tears, I told him that if even one more of his people called me, I would immediately cancel my AT&T service, telephone and internet be damned, and he and all his little minions could go and do something inappropriate to themselves.

He tried to tell me he would take me off the list, but that the list wouldn't go into effect for 30 days. I told him that he'd better find a way to make it effective now, otherwise when I canceled my service, I'd be giving them his name and employee ID number, as well as writing letters to every single AT&T President, Vice-President and Chief-Whatever-Officer that I could find names and addresses for, and telling them that he's the reason they've lost a long-time customer.

On edge? Me? Noooooo......

20 November, 2009

Me and Jimmy

Well, what has easily been the hardest day of my life thus far is over. All that's left to do is get through the next one, and the one after that.

I'll miss you Jimmy.

19 November, 2009

RIP Jimmy

My cousin Jimmy passed away on Sunday, from Tylenol Toxicity, which came on suddenly and unexpectedly over the course of only a week. He was 31. I don't know how better to memorialize him than to link to the very descriptive obituary that his father wrote for him in the Florida Sun Sentinal. I know that I couldn't have had the courage or presence of mind to be that articulate during this unimaginable pain.

Our family has had too much loss in the last month. First his namesake, my other cousin Jim, and now Jimmy. I can't write about it now, can't talk about it, can barely think about it. But our family has suffered another great loss. And I don't know how we'll all make it through this.

Maybe now, in a way he never seemed to be able to in life, Jimmy will finally get some peace. God knows those of us he left behind can't seem to find any right now.

08 November, 2009

I'm back!!!

Well I'm back. It was a wonderful vacation in Toledo, and I didn't want to leave, but on the plus side, cooler weather arrived in Ft. Lauderdale while I was gone! Of course, this being Ft. Lauderdale, "cool" is a relative term. It would be more accurate to say that the obnoxiously stifling humidity has left, which means that the 80˚ weather is at least bearable, even if not at all appropriate for November.

So I was home for almost a whole week, and managed to fit in just about everything I wanted to do! I got to spend some quality time with K&M as well as A, who just got home from Basic Training. It was good to be with my pseudo-family again, and see just how much the Army has done for A -- he looks great!

The bulk of the rest of the week was taken up by the Musical. My cousin is a Freshman at the local high school, and scored the lead in the school's production of Suessical: The Musical this year!! Of course it came as a bit of a surprise when he came home from school one day, announcing that he'd gotten the lead in the musical given that A) We didn't know he was auditioning and B) We'd never heard him sing (except "Happy Birthday" and that has an entire verse about Scooby-Doo!)! I volunteered to go over and sell tickets at the high school a few days that week, and then went over to the theater to watch him at "flying practice." That's right, my cousin flies all over the stage in this thing! It's crazy, and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it! It turns out that the boy's nothing short of amazing. He was a total pro, and everyone kept coming up to us saying that they couldn't believe he'd never done this before. I couldn't be more proud.

All in all, it was really the perfect week. I got to spend a ton of quality time with Mom and Dad, go on plenty of walks with the puppy, spend loads of time with my cousins, and see my pseudo-family!

Oh, and the thing that makes it even better? I'm going to be back there to do it all again in just 18 days! Woo-hoo!