Saturday, June 27, 2009

Remembering where you come from....

I like remembering where I came from- it keeps me real. Sometimes it keeps me humble- not always. It keeps me real because I don't distort the truth... as ugly as it is. But just in case I ever do forget- or sugar coat anything- I have some pretty good reminders.

I don't usually offer up excuses for why I was the way I was... but since a lot of people don't know me, I'll offer just this. I lived in a crazy family- and I took care of my mom a lot. I took care of my younger sister and brother too. And I drank and did stupid things. I drank, so I could survive.

Now I really do look upon most of my drinking years as one big party that just got crappy at the end...and sometimes I actually forget that the party went many years longer than it should have because I got off to a very bad start.

So the day before yesterday my niece Marni called me asking if she could stop by- she had something really funny to show me. Sure I said... I love having the girls (my nieces)stop by, I have always loved them to death.

Marni comes in the house and hands me a piece of paper. It looks like a child's school paper and the very first line across the top is...
My Auntie Katie is in Jail.
Oh wait- it gets better...
(pardon the errors I think my darling niece was only 7/8 years old.)

Today at 6:15 we had a phone call Police Station. I was asleep. My sister woke me up at 6:30 AM. I said "What happened? " My sister said Auntie Katie is in jail. How come? She had no license. How does she get out? When we get the money my mom said. She was on the phone until 7:00. I had to make my lunch. Is this her first time? You kidding? No, more than one time. Poor Auntie Katie I said. She deserves it my mom said.
Now sadly, poor Marni only got a B- on this original work. I think she should have gotten a A. I had lost my license years before and never renewed it - it was super stupid. I was super stupid. Drinking makes people REALLY stupid.
Only my old friend Renee, my sister Linda ("she deserves it") and my sister Angie remember those days. And me- I remember.
I'm glad I got things worked out and my son never had to report on his mother going to jail. (or being drunk)I'm glad I am clear headed today- and able to laugh with Marni about this funny paper. Oh- by the way. I went to all of Marni's and Kelly's (her sister) open houses. I got to meet this teacher too.
Crazy old days.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The crazy old days....

Yesterday my sister Angie and I went to San Francisco to meet an old friend of the family for lunch. Carol, our friend is pushing 80… and still going strong. She still moves fast and her brain is as sharp as ever. A native New Yorker, she is a pull no punches- abide no whiners, kind of gal. That’s what I always liked about her.

Carol was in our life the most when my dad owned the restaurant and his wife (after my mom) Jeanie, was still alive and then a few years after she passed away. She would have lunch or dinner with Angie and I- listen to our romance woes or tales of our crazy adventures- and the Jewish mother in her gave us sage advise. It was so nice to see she was still the same. She told us funny stories about men she has dated recently and had us in stitches.

We started to talk about all the people that used to come in or work at the restaurant. Sadly, most are dead now. The cast of characters was amazing though. We did have a unique bunch of friends that spent every day with us.

Some of the departed we thought about -we loved. Javier B, Larry Layne, Bernice Enright, Loretta Mitchell, Johnny Armando, Uncle Irving Beirman. Some just made our days… Mr. Chris, Big Tony, Babe the deaf-mute- a guy who called himself God and walked around taking notes about everyone. Pretty Mary- I’ve written about her.

Angie and I stopped in the restaurant on our way to the car. The place was dingier and dirtier than we remembered. We didn’t know a soul. We didn’t stay.

Yesterday, when we were leaving we got to the garage where we have parked our cars for over forty years, and our friend and old co-worker Rey was there. We were so happy to see Rey and he us. We all hugged. Angie, Rey and I spent many hours together over the course of 20 something years. Working and knocking back a few cold ones after work. We were family. We all were. We were a mismatched set of crazy and colorful people who made life interesting.

So it was a little sad to return to the past yesterday. But fun too. Fun to remember the days when my sister and I spent 10 hours a day together usually laughing; and we owned San Francisco. We could go anywhere in town and know everyone. We were the Figone girls. Or Don's daughters or Bev's daughters.

And the stories we could tell…

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fear and the Crazies

Fear seems to be running a lot of our lives. I can’t even remember the last time I wasn’t afraid of something. Either Nick getting killed, or me getting sick, or being broke or my animals getting sick. I’m always worried that something will happen to someone in my family or one of my close friends. My friend Liz mentioned me hovering over her the other day. I can’t help it- she is one of my best friends and I worry about her.

I do the best I can to push the scary stuff out of my head. But it’s always there ready for a spare moment.

The other day Nick was getting on his motorcycle and I popped my head out the door to say goodbye- be careful… and he started laughing at me. “What?” I said… “You look like an apple doll.” He replied then mimicked my face all scrunched up with worry… no wonder we get wrinkled and really end up looking like apple dolls. Kids.

My life has never been easy- so I don’t really expect the journey to be bump free. I just hate the anxiety I get because I know there is another bump coming and I don’t know how big it will be.

Sometimes I focus on the stupid stuff on purpose. It’s easier to worry about the weeds in the back yard than Nick on a motorcycle. I have been hoeing the weeds like crazy lately. The weeds are growing in gravel, so it’s a good workout. A better distraction. Nick keeps telling me to stop because if I hoe them he can’t see them to spray them. He doesn’t understand it’s just me obsessing over something I can actually control. Weeds.

There are times I wish I could be one of the “oh well” people. But that’s not me. I care too much, love too hard, eat too many cookies. I am obsessive.

Fear can be a good motivator too. I am motivated to take care of my health, watch over my friends and family, walk my dogs, write, read, live.

Fear can make you crazy. I have been there- it’s always a short walk away. It takes a lot of practice to not let the crazies spread their germs my way. Crazy people should try hoeing.

I always seem to have this great advise for other people and nothing for myself. Don’t be crazy is what I tell myself. Don’t be scared. That’s all I can come up with- the wordsmith that I am.

I think I’ll go vacuum something.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A blog about blogging...

I don't feel compelled to blog about every little thing. I'm actually sick to death of some topics. I am sick of politics and the rhetoric that follows. The left hates the right and the right hates the left... those that meet in the middle are ostracized for lack of loyalty or some such nonsense.

I am not an expert on everything. I can't expound on a federal health care system that we don't have, or foreign policy that is ever changing. I can't tell you if this president is a good one or not, (he's too new). I really don't have an opinion about everything.

I can speak to the war on terror only as it has invaded my own life and took my son and changed him forever. But at least I got him back. More than some mothers can say. Along with many friends whose kids have chosen to serve their country, I have worried about their welfare and what will come of them when they return to a country with no work. At least they are not as hated as our Vietnam Vets.

My phone has never been tapped, there is no dossier on me- at least not for terrorism. I have no beef with Homeland Security- what little I know about them tells me they are not effective enough to worry about one way or the other. (granted they are relatively new)

My worries are closer to home now. Employment, finances, sick dogs, friends in need, aging relatives, friends, family - family.

I want to go to Samuel P. Taylor Park and Mt. Tamalpias with my son, before the Governor closes them. I want to go to the Cheese Factory with my friend Renee and have a picnic like we did 20 + years ago. I want to see my niece and my great nephew in the 4th of July parade (in Novato). I want to go to Phoenix Lake with Kelly. I want to make gnocchi with my sisters, and go see my Uncle Richard in Palm Springs. I want to go to Glen Ellen and watch my sister Deb feed the yellow jackets. I want to spend time with all my nieces and nephews and even a few cousins. I want to help Liz build her website and show off her artwork, and I want to spend a day with Patti, sitting in the sun, reading our books and talking about life and loves lost. I want to help people. I want to understand the journey before it's over. That's all I want.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

For Little Melody Osheroff

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t follow my father’s footsteps into the police department. I thought about it- but I guess I knew I didn’t really have the temperament.

This last week, a little girl and her dad were holding hands, crossing the street near their home, when a drunk motorcycle rider ran a stop sign and went right through them. Nine-year-old Melody died nine hours later and her father Aaron lost his leg and was in jeopardy of losing his other leg along with other internal injuries. Their family will suffer forever.

The driver of the motorcycle was barely injured- but screamed to the EMT’s he was in pain and needed medication.

That would be the point in time- I could not be a part of law enforcement because I would have taken a BIG ASS BOOT and jammed it into his head.

When the motorcycle driver was arraigned in court, after his very short stay in the hospital- he flipped everyone off. Really- I have a picture of it.

I think about that time- I would have found a way to put this creep out of his misery. And ours.

The guy had 6 prior DUI’s. WHAT? Are you kidding me?

I have known a lot drunks in my life- and more than a few motorcycle riders. This creep represents none of them. He is a sociopath- plain and simple. He has no remorse, no guilt. He is a classic case and clearly he has wormed his way out of trouble more than a few times. No “recovery” home or incarceration is going to fix this guy.

I can’t stand harm to a child. It just un-nerves me. I know my dad felt the same way. Being a policeman took a toll on him- especially when he was a homicide detective. I don’t have his restraint though. It’s much better that I choose to write about these atrocities, then deal with people I believe would be better off in another world.

I can only imagine the pain the family and loved ones of little Melody are going through. My thoughts are with them. I’ll hope… that Marin County puts this guy away forever. And if something untoward should happen to him in jail- so be it.

April 10, 2010

Here is an update on the trial

July 14th

July 27th.
When I first wrote this blog- I thought it would not be a bad thing if something untoward should happen to the murderer of Melody while he was in jail. I wrote those words. I'm not usually so prophetic- but in this case I have to say I think I'm glad I was. Still NOTHING will ever heal the pain Melody's family lives with daily. My prayers go out to the Osheroff family tonight.