Friday, February 17, 2012


     How dare you! How dare you take away my dream.  My American dream of home ownership.  I feel like this is filthy crookedness.  I am young.  My children are toddlers.  Yes, we have a roof over our heads, but I was raised to want more and I want the best of the best for my children.  Don’t I deserve it? I live in a state that ripes me off on taxes.  I live amongst higher education, elite jobs, and solid blue collar work.  So I expect a little more. 
     We have killed ourselves to save for the down payment and we planned to use that money towards a new home.  A new investment towards our future.  However, the bank wants that money.  The real estate market crashed, the banks failed to lend appropriately, and we are the ones who get punished for it.  What we owe is higher than what the market would bare on a sale, so we had a plan….we will rent out our current home and buy a new one with our hard earned savings.  The banks said “no”, “We will not give you a mortgage!” “Pay us what you owe on your current home….Give us all your savings…and then we will give you a mortgage.”  Does NOT sound like a fair deal to me.

     We are being held hostage I say!  It’s a spit in my face from the banks, the government, and the ones “we” put in office.  They want their money now and either we pay it or we sit and wait for the market to come back.  Will it?  How long? How much longer do my boys have to grow with no back yard to play in?  They don’t mind….they are happy and unfazed but it all.  Like they all should be.  But did they see mommy’s tears yesterday? Did they hear mommy and daddy yell at each other in frustration? 
     I kind of knew what to expect.  But my mortgage broker gave me false hope and jumped the gun on telling me we were pre-approved.  So, of course, I found my dream home in one weekend.  I rambled on like an ecstatic little child about it until my husband broke down and put in an offer.  We happily played the negotiating game and she accepted an offer that was perfect for both sides.  I spent the next week fantasizing about what colors we would paint the walls, where new area rugs would go, and most importantly, how glorious our summer would be in our big backyard.  The children could play without me watching every little move in our fenced in oasis while my husband and I lounged on our deck and grilled our very first backyard barbecue.

    I haven’t had a back yard in 13 years (since I moved out of my childhood home and in with my husband).  My parents sold their home and moved away at the same time that I moved out.  And oddly enough, I missed my home more than I missed my parents.  I know a home is what you make it but I just had terrible withdrawal from loosing that house.  I had to almost block the image of it from my memory just to get over it. 
    But now, I led my mind back open to the happiness a new home could bring to me and my family and the call came and my dreams where crushed.  Another hurdle you say? Another obstacle to add to the challenge?  I should have known….nothing great in life ever comes easy.  My children weren’t easy; my husband was not easy, I’m sure my house won’t be easy.  But these are truly the blessings of life.
     And on that note…. the “banks” can go F--- themselves!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


            I started writing a chapter on friends, but was just distracted by an unfamiliar face at my front door.  He had a clip board in hand, so my immediate reaction was to open the door, see what he was pitching and send him on his way.  But on second thought, that’s how I got myself in trouble last time.  So I checked that the door was locked, ran upstairs to my bedroom and opened the window to yell down to this disturbance.  “Yes! Can I help you?” I yell with my shaky voice.  Between the run up the stairs and my instant nerves, it’s sometimes hard for me to get the simple words out.  He pitches me his window measuring and sealing bit while I pretend to be listening.   How awkward!  I bet the whole neighborhood can hear this conversation and are wondering while I am being pitched to from my upstairs window.  As he continues, he wants to know my name and a time to set up an appointment.  “NO…I’m not giving you my name!”  “But we need your contact information to set up a time”, he insists.  Now I’m pissed because he just transformed from an innocent contractor hired by my complex, into a strange creepy salesman at my door while its pitch black outside. 
I put my foot down and tell him I will Not give him my husbands name (its bad enough I gave him my first name) and he can come back and bother my husband on the weekend.  Please! I dare them to bother the world’s greatest salesman, so I can have a chuckle.  He gets the drift and sneaks off into the night. 
            I’m thanking God right now that I didn’t open the door.  I know we have the best neighborhood watch on the planet with everyone being extremely nosey, including myself, but you never know when they are not watching and someone devious is. 
            I opened my door the last time to a friendly enough looking women.  She told me she would clean my carpet for free.  My carpet, at the time was filthy and I was just thinking about calling sears for a visit.  I was excited to let her in, but then she pulled the old bait and switch.  She called two huge men who looked like they just got released from prison, from around the corner (probably hiding behind a tree), turned to them and said, “ok boys, see ya when you finish” She then gave me the most shady smile and went on her marry way.  I was dumb struck.  For some reason my common sense went right out the window and I let them drag their crusty old vacuum in.  They started moving the furniture and pitched me their cheesy sales routine as to why I needed a three thousand dollar vacuum that looked like it came from the 1950’s.
  I immediately called my neighbor to tell her what was going on and to keep a look out for me.  Then I went into panic mode, grabbed the kids and waited outside on my front lawn until they were finished cleaning.  The carpet guys weren’t too happy that they couldn’t give me the full presentation.  I tried to keep an eye on these strangers in my house by hovering in and out to make sure nothing got swiped but the whole ordeal was extremely awkward.  Especially since Jay kept screaming outside because he couldn’t stand the sound of the vacuum (even from a distance).  In the meantime, my neighbor kept calling my house line to find out if I was ok, but I couldn’t hear the phone from outside with Jay screaming in my arms.  She panicked and thought I was in danger, woke up her sleeping two year old who never normally naps and ran outside to rescue me.  To bad she just didn’t look out her window to see I was already outside.  She was relieved but annoyed she didn’t get to enjoy her daughters nap. 
The kids played on the front lawn while my carpet “supposedly” got cleaned.  After they were finished, they wanted contact information to follow up and try to push the expensive vacuum some more, but at that point, my nerves were shot and I told them to put their paper work away because I was signing nothing. 
            An area rug sized portion of my carpet seemed a tiny bit fresher, but it was so not worth it.  I was up all night roaming the internet for their company’s name and guess what?  No such company exists.  I did manage to find out about the vacuum called “the Kirby” and every website warned “Do not let Kirby salesman into your home.”  I didn’t say that they were dangerous.  It just warned of shady sales, bad ingenuity, manipulative sales people, bogus promises, etc.  All those warning seemed very accurate.  Apparently, certain sales companies hire outside sales people to pitch “the Kirby” (a well know vacuum) but these independent contractors make up their own company name and location to seem local to dim witted housewives, like myself. 
            I was a little relieved to find out these salesman do exist and that they are not just complete criminals coming in to do God knows what, but I was horrified with the fact that I let myself be a target for something bad to have possibly happened.  I put my boys and myself at risk and the guilt punched me in the head all night long.  Usually I am on high alert for this sort of shit. 
When I was ten, the meter man knocked on my parent’s back door. 
I think I had a head cold at the time and my ears must have been slightly block because I swore he was saying “let me in!” as opposed to saying, “meter man”.  My shaky hands peeled back the blinds and my heart stopped when I witnessed him pounding on the door with a big brick like looking object in his hand.  I ran to call 911 and hid.  Now, years later I can see how it was amusing to some how a swat teem showed up with shot guns, bullet proof vests and the meter man in hand.  “Is this the man?” they smirked.  It was! And since I could see him and his uniform up close, I knew he was not a threat.  The police got a nice hearty laugh, which only fueled my fire.  What the hell was I supposed to do?  I thought he was breaking in.  He was shouting, “Let me in.” 
I managed to get a little sympathy since I was a ten year old girl with sad eyes and big tears, but the joke was on me.  The meter man was told by my mother to always use the back door because she was usually sun bathing back there.  Ew!  Come to think of it, I think she must have been crushing on the meter man (I did have a perverted mother) and his brick like looking weapon turned out to be his meter reading device.  I guess he used to pound on the doors so busy housewives could hear him clearly. 
 The poor guy wasn’t at all upset by the whole ordeal.  But he did get a nice scare when they pulled him out of the deli across the street with shot guns and sirens.  At least he will get a funny story out of it…while I get made fun of.  Hey, when you have been subjected to as much cops and America’s most wanted on TV by your father (like I was)  then you might be a little paranoid too.   Maybe paranoia is helpful in this day in age.  It’s a creepy world out there and I have to be on high alert, especially for the children. 
I can’t even tell you how many times I ran for the phone or a knife when I see a suspicious man sauntering to close to my front door.  Or how I carry a big case of mace on my key chain.  I’ve never had to use it, thank the lord, but I feel safer knowing its there.  I’m debating a gun in the house, but like my husband Jake says, I’ll wind up shooting the meter man, the ups delivery guy, an innocent bystander or even my husband, himself.  He would probably be the first victim.  He could be my practice target J  So, a gun in the house is not the best idea.  I’ll just have to rely on common sense and safety.  Something I didn’t have the day I let those damn Kirby salesmen in.

Friday, January 20, 2012



 I’m trying to remind myself right now that it is my motherly duty in life to clean up the kitchen and then

pick up the toys.  It sounds so chauvinistic, but looking at the big picture: I’m in my early thirties, my babies

are still babies, I’m young, have my health and a great family.  I shouldn’t be greedy and think: wouldn’t it be

 awesome to throw on my coat, grab a pack of stogies and head on over to the nearest bar for a drink,

 maybe scout out some hotties.  NO! No! No! That’s what my twenties were for, but rather, my teenage

years since I met my hubby at 19.  I’m a rusher.  So I wanted kids fast.  I mean we lived together for five

years before we even got engaged, but even then, I was screaming to get pregnant.  So here I am, 32 years

old…ok…35.  Two boys (screaming boys, today).  One has a cold and the other is on antibiotics, which

makes for a beast.  The weekend has been relaxing and nice.  Hubby is on the couch watching football and

I’ve been searching the Internet for literary agents and now releasing my thoughts.

            I’m still 50/50.  50% wants to be out and 50% wants to be snuggled up at home.  It’s kind of painful being a cancer and a Leo.  My horoscope is on the cusp, which means my crab and lion fight a lot.  The crab (cancer) wins out most of the time.  This means the sensitive homebody is dominant, but the lion (Leo) is a good fighter.  The lion would take me to a whole new world.  Explore, take over, and be fearless.  The lion was my movie star and the crab (cancer) is my home and family.  Personally, I like the lion though…she has some pretty good stories to tell.
            Looking for a literary agent sucks.  I’ve already received fifty rejection emails within the past two months.  I keep trying to change my query letter, but I know they suck.  Writing a brief synopsis of an entire book doesn’t seem to be my thing. 
 I had an agent call me months ago.  He was interested in my novel, however I had no proof that he was legit.  I couldn’t find anything about him on the internet and his web site was extremely vague and shady looking.  So when my husband Jake said, “I bet he’ll call you from a private number.” I had my guard up, big time.  And so, the next day, he called…from a private number.  I was prepared and in bitch mode.  I interrogated the man.  Where are you from?  Who have you published?  Why aren’t you on the internet?  Why are you calling and asking me what I would like to see happen with my book?  Well, isn’t it obvious jack off  I want it published legitimately.  I didn’t say it in those words of course, but my no bullshit tone was obvious. 
     After an hour on the phone with him explaining the in’s and out’s of the publishing industry, he started to sound official and I couldn’t believe his patients with me.  Well! Any scammer is going to have the patients of a saint, and I’m from Jersey, so this guy better think twice.  He said his crew was going to review the book and see if they had the funds to edit, promote and publish…yada...yada.  My husband, Jake was silently on 3-way listening to the whole conversation and when we hung up with the publisher, Jake started criticizing that I was way to harsh and how “the agent” sounded real enough to him.  That made me nervous and annoyed since Jake was the one who insinuated he was a scam from the start.  He told me that if he was a legitimate publisher, I most likely lost my chance since I was rude. 
            I got an email from the guy the next day that my novel was not in the budget and he’ll keep me in mind..yada..yada.  But you know what!  So what if I lost a chance!  If my gut told me it was shady from the start, well then maybe and most likely…it was.  I mean…If you operate your business to where your potential client originally thought you were a scammer, then how good could your business be? 

Everything happens for a reason.  That’s what I’ll just keep telling myself.  In the meantime, take care of your boys, work your part time job and keep trying as long as you have the stamina for it.  That’s what I’ll tell myself.  Good things come to those who wait, right?  Don’t’ be greedy and enjoy the good life you are living right now.  But its human nature to want more.  Isn’t that what keeps us going! 
                So many questions.  It feels good to get them out on paper.  So I can look back at what an idiot I am.  I’m just being factitious…it’s good to question yourself.  It’s good to have deep thoughts.  I would like to consider myself a “deep thinker” rather than just a “stay at home mom”.  No wonder “they” say the stay at home moms in the 1950’s were miserable.  How can you take pride in cleaning all day?  It should be about whatever makes you happy and if cleaning and cooking and tending to the children make you happy then more power to you.  But most people need a hobby.  Some men fix cars or follow sports and some women sew clothes or join the PTA, but I guess you need something outside of the home to make you whole.  I’m trying to be a writer, however there is no recognition unless you are published.  So that’s my goal for now.  Last year it was to sell my townhouse.  I failed miserably.  I’m still sitting in this small two bedroom box.   I try not to put all the blame on myself.  The economy is resembling the depression and the real estate market has taken one of the worst hits it has ever seen. 
We bought at the height of the market.  When the realtor's where rolling in commission, now 5 years later, we are trying to sell while the real estate market has crashed.  Besides the fact that we would lose a ton of doe, we are in competition with ten other unites in our development and I mean the same exact townhouses for sale.  It’s not like a house, where your lay out may appeal to different types.  NO! We are set up exactly the same and we all have been sitting for sale for years now. 
In the beginning I spent countless hours on the multiple listing website searching for my dream home and boy did I find them.  Them, meaning I have found my dream home so many times.  And they all eventually sold while my house just sat on the market, untouched.  Each sale of my dream home, each open house my realtor had or we hosted ourselves, each appointment made where I spent so much energy trying to make my home look just right for a potential buyer, was heart-breaking.  Not even mentioning all the fights I had with Jake to get him to list with a realtor.  He doesn’t want to sell.  He’s happy were he is.  Plus, he doesn’t want to lose the money, but I’m in this tiny house all day with two boys and surrounded by toys.  A lot of people in this community are the same age, going through the same thing.  We all want out because we have no room. I guess the people who have lost their jobs aren’t complaining about whatever roof they have over their heads, just as long as they have one.  Jake reminds me of that whenever I start complaining about real estate.  He groins, “You don’t know how lucky you are.”  It’s pretty much the same lecture I give my little guy Max, when he won’t eat his food, “Other kids don’t have anything to eat.”
I hate when I get lectured to like I am the child.  He’s right and all.  But I want a pity party because I failed at getting our house sold and it puts a bad taste in my mouth because if I can fail at something small like that, well then, I certainly can fail at the big things in life.  I don’t even want to mention them

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Thank you  http://brainlessmomof7.blogspot.com/ for giving me the Liebster Award. Now it is my turn to choose 5 wonderful blogs to receive this award. My picks are below and my understanding of the rules for receiving this award are as follows:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogshere – other bloggers.
5. Hope your recipients pass the award to their 3 favorite blogs to keep the love flowing

The awardees are:
 http://knowitallinnj.blogspot.com/ (know-It-All in NJ)

 http://becomingsupermommy.blogspot.com/(Becoming Supermommy)

http://thedeliberatemom.blogspot.com/ (The deliberate Mom)

Thank you to all Mom's for telling your wonderful stories!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012



               Today I woke up feeling like it was going to be a great day.  Max has nursery school during which his little brother, Jay and I can come home and play and I can catch up on my DVR shows.  Then we have a play date with Terry and her two kids and then it’s the weekend.  I can relax a little with my husband, Jake home and on Saturday we go to a big birthday bash at my godmother’s house.  My parents are coming from upstate for the party and then they will come and stay with us on Sunday.  Everything is looking good.  It should be a perfect 70 degree weather weekend, not a cloud hovered over my house, my plans and my Friday dream of leisure. 
              An hour after I drop Max off at school, his teacher calls me to say he has a 102 degree fever and his lips are quivering while he is zombie like in a chair.  Ut oh! I rush to pick him up and he is miserable.  He practically falls asleep on the short car ride home.  He is burning up so I get the Tylenol and the cold compresses next to the couch.  Jay and I play upstairs while Max is asleep.  I cancel our play date with Terry and I pray that it’s just a 24 hour bug so we can still make it to the party tomorrow.  I get an hour of work done while everyone is sleeping, but I feel a migraine coming on.  I dread migraines!  It starts out as though a brick is sitting on my sinuses then the pain migrates over to my eyebrow, where the brick then turns into a needle sharp pain above my eye.  The needle starts to burn and the pain radiates over the entire side of my head and ear (whichever side the migraine decided to choose this time around).  The burning starts to turn my stomach and now the nausea has set in.  My only resort is to start popping Advil all day.  Then I try Advil cold and sinus because it’s a little stronger.  The nausea and burning make my stomach feel empty and with all the pill popping I figure I should eat.  Eating eases the pain temporarily since it is only a brief distraction from the constant pain.  The migraine is still there and I know I have to take the heavy duty prescription stuff or this pain may stick around for two to three days.  That’s right! Constant nagging pain for days on end.  The only problem is I know if I take it, I’ll be exhausted and comatosed while my little boy is sick and needs me.  I have to take the medication though….I despise this pain.  I remember when I was in labor with Max.  I was about six cm. dilated and going through contractions with no pain killers or epidural yet and I still said in the mist of a contraction, “I much rather go through this than have a migraine”.  With contractions you get a little break in between.  With a migraine, it never ends and I’m never sure when it will.  I take the medicine feeling slight relief in knowing that it will eventually help in about 2-4 hours.  This medicine takes forever.
              When Max gets up he seems to be feeling a little better, but my zombie like state is starting to emerge.  I text my husband to come home early.  It’s already .  Maybe he will have some sympathy for his wife and child? No such luck!  He texts me back, “the world has to stop when you get a migraine?!” “I have to drive my boss home so hang in there.” 
I’m not so nice, especially when I’m in pain, so a nice “F U!” got sent back to his cell phone.  I tell him he will be getting no “attention” this weekend and I know this will piss him off.  For the next 2.5 hours I grab my head and wait till he walks threw the door, so I can put the kids to bed and get myself to sleep.  He doesn’t look happy when he gets home but that’s just too bad.  When I eventually get to bed, my migraine starts to vanish.  Thank the lord, but I can’t sleep to well since the medicine is keeping me up.  I try but it’s on and off.  Just as my eyes are starting to feel heavy my little guy, Jay starts to scream for no apparent reason.  I get up and rock him to sleep for 20 minutes.  Its in the morning and my husband is still downstairs watching baseball play offs.  I hear him come to bed around and I fall asleep.  At I am woken up by Max screaming.  I rush in because I don’t want him waking up his little brother.  I hate that they have to share a room. I feel Max's head and he is burning up again, even though I gave him the last dose of Tylenol before bed and when I mean last, I mean last drop in the bottle.  We ran out and I figured we could get through the night without any more.  I was wrong and I am panicking.  I’ve heard about high fevers and seizures going hand in hand, so I shake my husband awake and tell him he has to go the store.  He is comatosed since he just got to bed 2 hours ago.  He wakes up cranky and mean, but my tone is crystal clear that I am not taking “no” for an answer.  He drops the “F Bomb” at me while I’m tending to our sick crying child with cold compresses to the head. 
 How dare he!  I can feel my blood boil.  God only knows what I would have done back in the day with no little seeds to raise.  But I am different now and I have to stay calm for my boys.  I take the abuse for a split second, but he will pay and he knows it.  He drags himself out to look for a 24 hour store and comes back an hour later with a bagel, coffee, and of course Tylenol. 
“Where did you go?”
                        “7 11” he grumbles
                        “But it’s right next door? You’ve been gone an hour”
                        “I forgot and drove all over the place”
We finally get to sleep but I know I have to decline the party.  Saturday we stay home, order in food and rest.  Saturday night was worse than Friday.  Max was up every 20 minutes screaming.  Sometimes for a tissue, sometimes because his throat hurt, sometimes for water, but mostly for the pain a fever brings.  We get no sleep what so ever.  I wake up and call my mother.  She tells me the party was great and I tell her our night was miserable.  I have to cancel our plans to have them spend the night.  That means no golfing with my father and no fun for anyone.  My husband begged me for some “action” the whole weekend but I refused and had to explain why, repeatedly:
 “You can’t come home early to your sick family?” “AND you cursed in front of your sick little boy because I made you go out for Tylenol!” then I have to hear him make up excuses to defend all this. 
“My boss was in another building, so I couldn’t just leave him there!” 
He did admit he was wrong for cursing in front of Max but then I get the, “Well you shouldn’t have written “F U” in the text.
            “Oh yes I should have! I felt it was appropriate!”
We are both cranky and tired, however, he got out of going to a party and he despises parties.  Plus! His in-laws aren’t coming over so I guess he made out pretty damn good this weekend, regardless of a few missed hours of sleep.

Sunday, January 8, 2012



            Ever since I was a young girl I’ve always wanted to be an actress.  I’d admire all the great actors and wished I could take their place on the big screen.  The desire was so strong that I can still feel it lingering 20 years later.  I wanted to experience the roll playing, the characters and the fame.  I’ve never had any desire as strong to be anything else except a mother.  So right before I met my husband, I was actively attempting a shot at fame.  But as everyone knows my career of choice would have taken such drive and motivation that nothing like a boyfriend and eventually marriage and family could stand in its way.  By age 19 stardom seemed so far off into the galaxy that my only chance at self fulfillment was love and family.  My choice was a fair trade off but I’ll always remember that I couldn’t obtain my life’s dream.
            I probably didn’t try as hard as I could have and I don’t know if it was in my cards.  Sometimes I feel like my destiny was pre-determined and I almost didn’t have a huge say (more like a small say).  I can’t complain though since everyone has dreams that simply could not come true, but when I think back…. I guess I made a small attempt.
            Every birthday wish was the same, “Please! Make me a movie star?”  When I was about eight years old my best friend and I went for an audition in New York City.  Her father scouted it out in the paper because he was the type of dad who wanted to make his daughter famous.  Since me and her where attached at the hips and both wanted a taste at fame, we went along together.  The audition was for the movie, Mermaids with Cher cast as the main star.  All the eight year olds where taken into a room where we all sat in a big circle and answered simple questions like, “What is your favorite food?” and “What where you for Halloween?”  Whatever answer I gave, my friend and walking clone would give the same.  I remember the adults coming back to me with a little extra enthusiasm in their questioning.  Even at age 8 I could pick up on someone giving me a little extra attention.  So I held on to that excitement and immaturely assumed I bagged the role.  Well, a week later the studio released in the papers that they were giving the role to an already established actress named, Christina Ricci.  The news crushed me.  I cried the whole day.  My parents tried to console me but it was no use.  

  Mermaids turned out to be a pretty cute movie too.  Not only was Cher the main star, but Winona Ryder had the main role and Christina Ricci climbed the ladder to success right after her first movie.  I should have known I had no chance just based on the fact that I look nothing like Christina Ricci.  She had black short hair and a really round face and I had long dirty blond hair with a really oval face.  My best friend on the other hand could have been Christina’s stand in since the resemblance was uncanny.  But we were both brokenhearted and we still, amusingly so, feel jealous when we see Christina Ricci in movies.
When I was 17 I decided to get head shots taken because everyone knows it’s the first step in trying to land an agent.  I decided to use the company who did my school’s class pictures.  They were right in town and I knew they did a pretty good job so I made the appointment and set everything up.  Not only did I go to the saloon that morning but I drove to Bloomingdale's to get my make-up professionally done.  Everything was going great.  I was happy with the results and rushed over to get my pictures taken, but when I got to the photographers, the door was locked and there was no one to be found.  I left 100 messages but there were no returned calls.  After hours of waiting outside and in the rain, no less…I broke down.  My face was covered in tears.  The make up had smeared all the way down my neck and my fancy hair due was ruined from rolling around in bed, sobbing.  The owner of the company called back later that night and said they forgot about our appointment and that if I came in immediately they would do the shots and give me some sad little discount.  But by then, I was yelling, “tell them to go f--- themselves!” in the background while my mother was being her nice polite self to them, over the phone.  My mother was never really the type to get mad at anyone.  She gives everyone the benefit of the doubt.  She would say something like, “Maybe they are under a lot of stress”, or “Maybe they have a sick family member.”  Its hard having an optimistic mother when you are an angry teenager because my thinking was, “Maybe they are a no good piece of shit who can’t run a professional business.” But as I get older, I can see how my mother is one in a million and her positive spin on life and people is something that should only be admired.

Anyway, I fell off the horse that day but got right back on the next.  I looked up photographers in the yellow pages and found a company close by.  I made an appointment to come in and see the man’s work.  When I got there the creepy little fellow gave me the full tour and showed me his portfolio and art studio.  He explained how make-up and hair styling would be taken care of by “his professional” and that I would be extremely happy with the outcome.  When we finally sat down to talk over the numbers he pulled out a contract, started fast talking in some gibberish tongue and pointed to the dotted line for my signature.  I took my time to read over what I thought was everything and innocently signed my 17 year old name.
I was so excited when the day arrived.  I had a sexy wardrobe change and I was relieved when someone answered the door and was actually there for the appointment.  I wasn’t too happy with hair and make-up though.  His professional looked more like his teenage daughter or a volunteer who wanted to play saloon stylist for the day.  She basically gave me a frizzy afro and went way to natural on the makeup.  I could have done a better job myself.  When it came time to actually take the pictures, it all felt rushed and unnatural with the strange poses he had me do, like squishing my boobs together with my arms while bending over just a little too much, if you catch my drift.  I really didn’t mind these poses though.  Even at age 17, that kind of attention didn’t bother me in the least.   I think the whole posing for the camera thing interlinks with the whole stardom desire so I could soak that up all day, but then out of nowhere I felt nauseous, drained and pale.  I struggled to keep my enthusiasm and each quick snap felt like an eternity.  As soon as I got home I barfed and came down with the flu.  Most likely caused from the day I was out in the rain waiting for the original photographer who never showed.  That and my breakdown probably weakened my immune system.
A couple of weeks later the creepy little photographer called me to pick up my head shots.  Before I hung up the phone to run over and pick up my reward he informed me to bring the rest of the cash so I could purchase my copies.  “What do you mean?” I asked.  “I already paid you.”  There was a brief silent pause and then he struck, “Well, (ha ha) my dear.  That was just the deposit.  You haven’t actually paid for the pictures yet.” 
“Oh NO!”  I panicked. “It’s a scam” I immediately thought.
He proceeded to tell me that my deposit was the $1000 I already paid which was for his actual work ie: taking the pictures, setting up the studio and supplying the hair and make-up.
“But we discussed how it would be $1000 for the job?!” I insist.
“Oh No! (hahaha) It states right here in the contract that you pay the down payment first and then you pay for each individual picture.
Well, I looked over my copy of the god damn contract and in the smallest print you could ever imagine it states what he was saying but in some type of unknown gibberish.  I felt like I had been shot in the back.  My first impression of this short, bald, creepy weirdo was right.  He was looking to make an extra buck by taking advantage of a desperate teenager. 
I let my mother deal with him after that.  She assumed that I didn’t know what I was getting into financially so she forked over another $2000 just to get my pictures and away from the whole mess.  I was a sucker, my mother was a sucker for giving in and now 15 years later, I still hear stories about this scamming photographer who took advantage of a ton of people.  Strangely enough, I have run into random people who have used his services for some kind of event and they all were extremely disappointed in one way or the other.  As for my pictures…I wasn’t very pleased.
A year later, I trooped it into NYC and found a very reputable talent agency.  They had set up a meeting and audition for me and of course they insisted I bring head shots.  After nervously auditioning a couple of standard Hollywood lines for two agents, they sat in their chairs and looked over my lousy, $3000 dollar head shots.
“Who took these pictures?” They asked with disgust.
“Why?” I gulped.
“Well, the lighting is terrible.  They are so dark” “This is not even a real head shot with the way you are posed.”
After that I let the flood gates open and told them all about the scamming low life photographer from D---- Photography.  The two men sympathetically listened and could relate because this type story was very common in their industry, however the money part shocked them, “You paid $3000 dollars for this?” Their mouths dropped to the floor. 

They felt sorry for me, but that didn’t stop them from throwing my head shot to the bottom of the pile, or more likely into the garbage can.  I never heard back from them but on a positive note, I did meet my husband (to be) a few months later and he kept my mind and heart occupied with other things.  The years flew by along with my youth.  My husband became top priority and then a new dream took over….my babies.  I wanted them badly and this was a dream more attainable.  I have my husband to thank for making that one come true.
My next shot at fame came recently.  After self publishing my first novel, Missing Sosa, I was so excited to see my work in print that I was highly motivated to get it out there and expose it to the world.  However, when you self publish it is almost an underground writers market where your book can go unseen, unheard of and simply put; impossible to sell.  You have to do all your own marketing which means you have to invest your own time and money.  Two things I don’t really have.  Instead, I made cheap attempts to promote like face booking, I single handedly put flyer's all over neighboring towns, I had my library carry a copy and I pretty much begged little book shops to carry it on assignment (where they would pay me when and if it sold).  But then one day I had what I thought was a big idea.  There is a book store near my town called Book Ends.  Celebrities who have written books come from far and wide to have their book signing in this little, but extremely popular store.  Everyone from Yogi Berra to Bill Clinton, Jose Conseco, Mary Higgins Clark, Bill Cosby, Goldie Haw, Even my guilty shore pleasure, Mike the Situation has made an appearance.  Absolutely everyone goes there for their signings.  I didn’t even realize this until one day my husband and I were shopping in town when I decided to go in and pitch them my little novel.  They hesitantly agreed to put it on a back shelf somewhere, hidden away where no one can see it, let alone purchase it.  But I was happy with my days worth of self promoting, when I noticed a sign on the door that said Jamie Lee Curtis was coming that week to sign her new children’s book.  Ding! A little light went off in my head.  I’ve always admired Jamie since Trading Places, who hasn’t? And since she writes children’s books she must be a nice, sympathetic, understanding person, right?  Well, maybe this type of person would take pity on a new writer who is also a mother, such as herself.  My plan was to go to her signing and give her a copy of my novel with a little personal note for her inside. 
I was excited with my plan.  My letter to her simply stated that I am a big fan and I would be honored if she would accept a copy of my book, signed just for her.  I also included that the book was self published and that I was pretty much a struggling, aspiring author looking for any means of promotion.  It didn’t quit sound as pathetic as that but I’m sure she got the idea that I had a motive.
Jamie Lee Curtis has as much spunk in person as she does on the big screen.  You can also tell how she is madly in love with children.  My son got to sit right upfront while she read her book, My Mommy Hung the Moon and he even laughed at all the funny parts, which she liked because I noticed she gave him a nice wink.  When it was time to get my copy signed, I clammed up a little like I always do in front of any celebrity.  I asked her to make the book out to Anaya (me) and she looked down at my son and factitiously said, “Well, you don’t look like an Anaya.”  Stupidly I responded, “No, Mommy’s going to hog this book.”  I don’t think she liked that too much and come to think of it, she’s right.  I should have had the book made out for Max.  I realize now that I actually turned this unique event into a selfish experience for myself rather than for my son.  I just figured he was four and wouldn’t remember Jamie but on second thought, I could have explained years later that Jamie signed his name to her book, but instead I was selfish being in self promoting mode.

To my relief, she did actually except my book.  She had her security guard throw it in her bag.  It’s been about a year and I never heard back from her but she could have just thought of me as the “selfish mother” who stole my son’s book and shamelessly tried to push my book on her.  But no!  That’s not me.  I’m just a full time mom trying to get a little part time success. 

Anyway, speaking of shameless…After the book signing, my husband pointed out Jamie’s agent to me on the street outside of the book store.  Jake was outside when he overheard Jamie’s agent talking business on her cell phone.  My husband has dog ears and can hear four conversations all at once.  I am in such awe of that little talent since I can barley hear someone right next to me.  As soon as my son and I left the store my nosey husband summoned me to run over and approach this big important person.  I was already running on some adrenaline from Jamie expecting my book that I figured hey why not?  The only problem was that she was still on her cell and I knew interrupting might not be a good thing in this case.  I stood very closely by her side and patiently waited while giving her my most desperate puppy dog look.  However, she was on the move now and I had to follow behind while trying not to embarrassingly jog after her in my heels.  Eventually she noticed I was trailing and since my husband and two babies were also following my lead, she probably knew I was harmless.  Amazingly, she got off the phone to see what all my pestering was about.  I gave her my sad little speech, that went something like this, “Hi, I just self published this young adult novel.  I just gave a copy to Jamie Lee and I am just looking for some exposure.”  I handed her one of my Missing Sosa flyer's and tried to get my motive out as fast as possible, not to take up any more of her precious time.  But in my anxiousness I forgot to ask what her name was and now I will never know who I gave my flyer to officially.  I just hope that maybe that moment will pay off in the future. You never know, right?!

I myself have had my very own book signing.  I set it up with a little book shop around the corner from my house.  The reason I picked this particular location was because it used to be my wedding dress store that closed down and was taken over by the Raider Book Shop.  The store caught my eye the same way my wedding dress did in the window.  I instantly feel in love at first sight with my wedding dress.  It was the first dress I tried on, it fit like a glove, it was unique with small colored, beaded flowers throughout and it just felt perfect.  When I saw the book store it felt the same way to me as my wedding dress did and I said to myself, “that is where I will have my first book signing.” And so I did.  But I am sad to say there was no turn out for my signing.  I did my best to prepare for the event by advertising online and putting up more flyer's but only a couple of supportive neighbors and of course my boys came along.  I only sold about 7 copies but at least the weather was as perfect as the weather on my wedding day.  We all got to sit outside and just enjoy the gorgeous day while doing absolutely nothing.  I chalked it up to a day of experience. 
At least I can say I’ve tried and I am still trying.  If I never become a published author than at least I have some memoirs that maybe my boys will have some interest in reading one day.  And at least I know in my heart that I did make some legitimate shots at fame.

Thursday, December 29, 2011



An old friend came back into my life recently.  She is not officially “in” yet.  I have to keep a distance since the mere mention of her name gives my husband hives.  Ok…not actual hives, but when he found her name on my cell phone he looked as though he saw a ghost…that he wanted to kill.  He has despised this friend from the beginning of time (our time) and he fought my friendship with her ferociously.  Now, you would think…What has she done to make him despise her so much?  And come to think of it…she’s done nothing (to him directly).  Ok! So maybe she was the bad influence friend.  I like to have thought of her as my partner in crime.  We bar hopped, experienced all the clubs and she was even the one who dragged me through Paterson all through the night and let me enjoy the rising sun.  There have been so many movies based on this particular friend.  The one throughout history who has pissed off “the best friend’s boyfriend.”  Everyone knows how the story goes; in comes the boyfriend and out goes the best friend.  I didn’t want that to happen.  I loved her and valued our strong friendship.  So, I fought for her.  She has no idea how many tears and fights I went through just to keep her somewhat in the picture.  At times my husband made it unbearable.  We both admittedly thought we were right and the other was pathetically in the wrong.  His words to be exact, “She’s a dirty w----.  We don’t need her in our lives.” (My husband can be extremely crude to say the least)  And my point, “We have been best friends forever and she has not influenced me to do anything I didn’t want to do in the first place.”  I have no judgment wether she is a “w----” or not.  It doesn’t affect me!” 
My points could never convince him and his jealousy would never convince me.  However, to hold onto two relationships were my best friend and my boyfriend hated each other with a passion, was simply too hard.  The distance grew and the last straw for me was when she didn’t show up or call for the birth of my son.  That’s always a heart breaker.  I finally thought to myself, “Maybe Jake is right.  Maybe she doesn’t give a shit about anyone but herself!?”  But I knew that wasn’t true.  I just held onto the anger to help me rid myself of her and all our memories. 
Years past.  Out of sight, out of mind, but I carried her in my heart the whole time.  Once in a while I feared I would get the dreaded call that she was killed or overdosed and my guilt for not having been there for her would rear its ugly head.  So, I’m a little relieved that she has made contact and found me.  But now that I know she is in one piece, what do I do with her?  Four years later and my life is so different now with two little boys.  I’m a boring housewife.  What will she want from me? 
We have exchanged a couple of brief emails.  Summed up our lives in a few sentences, but I think that’s all I have to offer her.  If I let her into my life and my heart then I’m afraid I will want to fight for her all over again.  Jake is afraid of that too.  He’s watching my next move like a hawk.  I actually find it a little amusing because I was losing his attention to long hours at the office.  So now, I know to use his jealousy to my advantage.  He came home a little early last night since he is trying to show me he is making the effort to keep me happy.  God forbid someone else would make me happy! 
I told her I would meet her at the mall.  Even I am hesitant to see her.  I don’t know why but she has always been an open door for me.  I used her to escape problems at home and school when I was young.  She got me through some bad times.  I don’t think I need that door anymore, but I’ll always want to thank her for it.