Out with old, in with the new

Well, here it is folks….the ending of an old year and the beginning of a new.

Tonight at the stroke of midnight, we will be entering the year 2011.

Can you believe it? I mean where the hell did 2010 go? I feel like I just finished writing this post last year, and here it is next year!

2010 wasn’t at all a bad year for me, but it did have its challenges.

My work hours being cut.

Two major dental issues.

Financial struggles and uncertainties.

Four sudden deaths of family members of close people I work with.

I realize I may think differently than most people, but I don’t believe anything that happens to me, happens by accident. Therefore, even the challenges I’ve experienced this year have taught me lessons, made me more resilient, and also made me lose more of the need to control my life. Everything I learned this year carries over into 2011, and prepares me to live what has yet to come.

I’m not one to set goals for the year because my goals will forever change and shift like the wind. Instead, I try to consciously stay in tuned to my inner voice and allow it to take me where I need to go. I follow my life, I don’t navigate my life to follow me.

And this works for me, because it teaches me what I’ve come here to learn.

To surrender.

And allow myself to be created through.

Which sometimes means having to experience challenges, yet learning how to use those challenges to experience the life I am meant to live.

So if I truly believe this for myself, which I do, I must also trust that my life is going exactly as planned.

With no bad years.

Only challenging ones.

So, thank you 2010 for all that you taught me. It was a challenging year, but a year also filled with wonderful adventures, self-discovery, new friendships, and immense joy and humor.

I have a lot to be grateful for.

I would like to take this time to thank all of you for being here with me this past year and sharing your lives. It was freakin’ faaaaaabulous!

And remember something….a new year means shedding ourselves of regrets, failures and mistakes, because really, there are no such things.

As long as you learned something.

There's just a nude year……..

Wishing you a FABU weekend everyone!


Ti amo I’Italia

As you can tell from my previous post (by speaking a bit of Italian lingo) and also this post, I find myself lately wanting to express and share my Italian heritage.

But don’t worry, I won’t go so far as to share video clips of Marlon Brando as The Godfather.

And even though I took two years of Italian in high school, the only thing I can say is culo del gatto.

Which means: ass of the cat.

I recently watched two brilliant films that were set within the breathtaking backdrop of Italy.

Eat. Pray. Love and Letters to Juliet.

Back in the late 70’s I traveled to Europe, but never got the chance to visit Italy. However, after seeing these films, I know I must get there one day.

Being an Italian-American myself, I’ve always had a deep-seeded connection to all things Italian.

The food, the wine, the culture, and the overall passion and gusto with which true Italians live.

Italians do everything with feeling.

When they eat, it’s an experience.

When they drink wine, it’s savored.

When they express any emotion, it’s fully.

And when they love, they love with total abandonment.

That’s amore!

Italians live as if they‘re creating a life of art; painting it with each luscious and dramatic stroke of a brush.

They take time to relish each moment.

I adore being Italian.

I love knowing that my family roots are planted within Italian soil.

I can feel it.

Whenever I look at images of Italy….my heart swells.

Venice, Italy

Verona, Italy

Manarolo, Italy

Authentic Italian Food

Rome, Italy

Somewhere, Italy

Tuscany, Italy

Italia bella!

Ciao, baby!

I'm alive, and Merry Christmas!

Yes, I’m still alive and surviving retail.

I think.

Honestly, I can hardly believe it, but this year has been so much busier than last. Shopping started earlier this year and people are still shopping strong. I have no idea where everyone is getting the money to spend in this economy, but they’re spending it. And it’s even more surprising to see a large percentage of customers using CASH.

Weekday shopping has been a little slow, however evenings and weekends have been CRAZY. The store gets jam-packed with like a MILLION people; all coming to see Santa. It’s been an absolutely delight to see all the little ones with their parents. Because I work in a city store, I normally don’t catch a glimpse of so many adorable tots, so it’s been very heart-warming to view Christmas through their sweet eyes.

Most customers have been an absolute pleasure to wait on, however some would have tested the patience of even the Dali Lama.

Having not had a day off since last Monday, and working 9 1/2 hour days with only one throw-it-down-my-throat-fifteen-minute-lunch-break, my patience and tolerance levels have often reached a whole whopping half a second. And I still have five more days to go!

But you’ll be glad to know that I haven’t had even ONE, “Me no like this color….does this bag come in blue” customer.


Yet, all and all it hasn’t been so bad that I wanted to SLAP a customer across the face with Bavarian Cream Pie.

But, I still may.

Anyway folks, since I won’t be posting again until after the big day, I would like to take this time to wish each and everyone of you and your families.….a Very Merry Christmas.

Thank you for your comments and emails this past week, because they’ve been such a joy after a long tiring day at work.

Please know how much I appreciate your presence here, and the two abundant gifts you’ve shared with me throughout this year.

The energy of your words and your love.

Grazie mille!

*Italian for, Thank you so much!

Merry Christmas everyone!


My seasonal break and sisters

As most of my longtime blogging buddies know, I usually take a break around this time because my work hours increase dramatically and a day off becomes non-existent.

I’m coming upon an 11-day marathon where I need to focus all my mental and physical energy on work.

After today my time online will be limited, however I will post once again before Christmas day to wish all of you a Merry Christmas.

Please know that I will sincerely be thinking of you guys and gals and missing you; hoping you’re enjoying this holiday season and celebrating yours.

I would like to leave you with a short video clip from one of my favorite Christmas movies….White Christmas.

There is a scene in the film where Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen) do a flawless number from their sister act called, “Sisters.”

Every time I watch them perform this number, I can’t help but wish I owned one of those faaaaaabulous blue feathered fans, so I could reenact the number in the privacy of my own apartment while drinking a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Things look so much prettier with wine, don’ t they?

What can I tell ya….twirling a blue feathered fan to this gay man is like experiencing a wet dream.

But since I can‘t call designer Bob Mackie and ask him to whip up one of those flawless fans for me, the next best thing would be watching Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye do it for me.

So, allow me to share “Sisters.”

You GO, boys!

Wishing a you magical holiday season everyone!

See ya soon!


My birth mother….like an angel

I would like to quickly reiterate for those of you who may be new to my blog, by saying that the wonderful lady you often hear me refer to as my mother, is actually my stepmother. However, I will always think of her as my mother because she has lovely nurtured me since I was 8 years old.

Tuesday evening, I was looking through some old family photographs and came across several images of my birth mother.

You can read more about her here.

Quite often, people will ask me if I remember her because I was so young when she died. And it’s strange, because I can’t say that I actually remember specific moments with her, however I do remember feeling how strong our bond was.

I was the youngest of my mothers three children, and it was only a matter of six years after giving birth to me that she passed away.

She was 40 years old.

My father in his later years, often told me how close I was to my mother. He said that when I was a little boy, I would be outside playing, and then suddenly run into our house to check in on her; making sure she was okay.

And even though I had no idea she was ill, I must have sensed something because I was apparently always worried about her. My father said that I was forever touching her; hugging her. As if to protect her.

I guess the main thing I remember about my mother is that she seemed like an angel to me.

Ethereal. Delicate and refined.


A gentle soul. Soft-spoken.

I never remember her expressing anger of any kind. In fact, I never remember hearing her raise her voice, even once.

It’s odd to think that I was so close to her, yet cannot remember one single moment we shared with one another.

Throughout these many passing years, periodically I’ve tried to squeeze my brain; hoping to recall something.

Yet, never have.

But what I can recall is the love we shared.

No words. No remembered experiences. Only the bond of love.

And even to this day, I still feel that love.

Holding me. Guiding me. Like a whisper.

Like an angel.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend everyone!


I’m proud of the company I work for

I’ve often shared with you in past blog posts of how much I genuinely love my job. Even with the bitching and moaning I sometimes do about working with the public, and dealing with the tremendous amount of competitiveness in this industry, I have such a passion for offering the public what it is that I sell.

Allow me say first and foremost, that in order for me to sell something I have to have pride in it. Believe in it. Because if I don’t, I truthfully can’t sell it. If I don’t ‘feel’ it, I can’t make someone else feel it.

The company I work for does everything first class, or they don’t do it all.

They are a company who creates their product without worrying whether the public is going to embrace it. They don’t go after the public, they have a way of making the public come after them. And they do this because they create what THEY love, and just assume the public will.

And it does.

The product I represent has a strong following. It may not be as large as some of the other companies in this industry, but it has a loyal following. People who will only use this product.

People who will wait patiently, until this company creates something new.

One of the things I most admire about my company, is that they don’t create new products in a massive hurry. They may only create something new, once or twice a year. They don’t flood the market with too much, so their product remain rare and precious.

They allow the public to want them.

They are also a company who donates a percentage of their sales to various charities throughout the year.

They graciously distribute their success and wealth.

The economy as we all know right now, is not very grand. So selling times are tough, like with most businesses. Therefore, as I’ve shared with you before, my company had to cut back on my hours last Spring. But I can’t say that I was angry or upset with them for doing so, because I knew it would eventually happen. However, the manner in which they did it was very professional and with TLC. I can honestly say, they genuinely care about their employees.

My boss, the person I take my direction from, is someone I also admire and respect. She’s a hard worker. And she’s smart, because she trusts me enough to sell in the manner in which I do (softy), and has faith that I will produce what needs to be produced each year. She never hounds or rides me in any way, she just let’s me be.

Is my job always perfect? No, of course not. Who’s job is?

Yes, I love my company, but I don't always love the industry.

However, right now I’m grateful to have a job, and with a company who strives to give it their best.

Not a whole hell of a lot of people can say they love and have great pride in the company they work for for the past 5 ½ years.

But, I can.

And I’m so happy about that, because it makes me feel more passionate about going to work.

Thank you, company!

Note: If you have some time during this week, please view the short clip of Mr. Louis Armstrong, singing 'What a Wonderful World' on my sidebar - it will make you feel FAAAAAABULOUS!


My apartment with the rice paper thin walls

When I first moved back to northeast, I lived in a four-story brownstone walk-up apartment building for one year.

Actually, it really wasn’t a walk-up because technically it had an elevator, but the elevator NEVER worked, so I always referred to this apartment building as a walk-up.

Alright, let me correct myself by being more specific and say it’s not that the elevator NEVER worked, it did, however it only worked during the months with a letter Z in it, and only during a full lunar eclipse.

Which means the friggin' thing NEVER worked.

In fact, it didn’t work on the day I drove into the city of Philadelphia; arriving in a 20-foot Ryder rental truck, so therefore had to carry EVERY SINGLE THING I OWNED up four floors.

And I thought I was going to have to do it alone, until a complete stranger on the street asked me if I needed any help.

Wasn’t that nice of him? It was as if the heavens above sent me an angel.

So, after he finished helping me move in, I gave him $50.00, bought him a pack of cigarettes, and thanked him endlessly.

Oh, but wait……this nice guy ended up being a PSYCHO because he called me on his cell phone for a week afterward; asking for more money to pay a bill. He would also show up at my apartment, UNANNOUNCED, asking me for more money to pay a bill.

Of course, I didn’t give him any.

I started to realize this guy was just a mooch, who enjoyed nothing more than looking for opportunities to help people, and then hounding them for money to pay his bills.

At first, I was a little frightened because I really didn’t know much about this guy, and yet he knew where I lived. For all I knew he could have been an AX MURDERER!!

I finally stopped answering his phone calls and not responding to the knock at the door whenever he showed up.

Eventually, he ceased contacting me. Whew!

Anyway, back to my apartment……

It was a large studio, with a full-size kitchen, and a nice size bathroom. It had hardwood floors, two walk-in closets, and a beautiful two-window view of a peaceful courtyard.

Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?

And it was….

….except for the rice paper thin walls between each apartment.

(by the way, the floors were also rice paper thin)

And by thin, I mean you could actually hear someone cleaning their ears with a Q-tip in the apartment next door.

Originally the building had been a large house, so the walls were built to be a home, not an apartment building.

And I can’t even begin to tell you all the horrific noise I heard coming from everyone’s apartment. It was like living in a dormitory in the movie, Animal House.

The building was mainly occupied by college students, so let’s just say it was one big noisy PARTY.

And not only did I hear loud partying, but also countless heated arguments between the tenants in the apartment below mine. It was nothing for me to hear doors slamming, objects being thrown, and screaming on a weekly basis.

On the night that my 19-year old cat was literally dying in my apartment, my next door neighbor was having one of her drunken college parties, where her guests were banging on the floor while listening to rock music. It was a nightmare.

However, I think the most CURIOUS noise I ever heard while living in that apartment building, was the noise I ALSO heard coming from the apartment below mine. It was the noise they always made AFTER they had their heated arguments.

And let me just say….

….it was like watching a porn movie, with the picture turned off and the sound turned up REALLY loud.

Yee-haw…..ride ‘em cowgirl!!!

Wishing you a hoe-down weekend everyone!