My Street

October 28, 2010 § 1 Comment

        I’m sure many of you are not aware of the astonishing occurrence that takes place in my neighborhood every day.  I believe it’s my duty to inform you of what’s been happening, so that you are not caught unaware as I have been.  This event is specifically confined to my street and only begins at the exact moment it becomes too dark for me to see farther than the pool of cool yellow light spilling from the streetlamps.  For some reason unknown to mere mortals, it is at this precise second that my street transforms.  It changes shape.  Becomes… different.

          Let me illustrate further.  My street is pictured below, serene in the late afternoon contentment of Pennsylvania’s beauty.  On a normal day, I emerge from my car after long hours of slaving away in front of a computer and take a deep breath of the fresh air.  Small children are often playing in the field across the street and a friendly neighbor or two shouts hello as I saunter up to my house.  I wave back and enjoy the sunshine warming my face and settling on my shoulders.  A faint chime of music tinkles out and I hear “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood”.  Before I head up the steps, I stoop and inhale the delicate aroma of the pink roses that gracefully arch up the house’s porch railing.  In short, there is peace here in my little portion of suburbia.  I am able to walk from my car to my house in all tranquility, unmolested by any evil.

my street at day

(perhaps Mr. Softee hasn't realized he's not in Britain?)


        However, there are many days when I am not able to return home directly after work.  Important life issues call me away from my restful domicile, such as hanging out at Danny’s so I can watch my DVR’ed episodes of America’s Next Top Model or shopping for the cutest new boots at the mall.  There are also those days when I transform myself into a mindless drudge, toiling away at the Café, hawking my wares of snow crab claws and crème brulee to NEPA’s masses.  All of these incredibly meaningful activities interfere with my ability to arrive home before the sun has set.  And I’ve come to know, when the sun sets in my street, things start to change…

Where did that hedge come from!?


       Yes, what you’re seeing is true.  As an eyewitness, I can confirm that once it is dark outside, my street becomes a den of the blackest killers and home to strange beasts of prey.  Generally I make sure I have all my possessions in my purse and ready to grab the second I pull my key from the ignition.  This allows me to make the quickest possible exit from my vehicle, which as you can tell, is exceedingly necessary due to the vile creatures that lurk outside.  I grab my can of Mace but its pathetic spray proves ineffectual against the snares set for my warm girl flesh.  A huge anaconda has somehow escaped the Amazon, sprouted fangs, and is slithering after me, demonic eyes aglow.  A pack of carnivorous spiders hasten out of the grass, clicking their pincers as they come in perfect imitation of Shelob, their mighty mother.  Bats swoop out of the sky and entangle their blood-red feet in my hair, searching for the pulsing vein in my neck.  I am full-out sprinting to my front door now, four-inch heels threatening to topple me with every shaking stride.  I try to dodge the grasping tentacles that have oozed out of the sewer grate as I run under the burnt-out streetlight.  Despite my panic, I cannot but notice that somehow a large shrubbery has sprouted from the sidewalk across the street.  Why? I wonder.  The answer becomes obvious in a moment.  It is hiding a white-masked man, who now pops up and begins to clamber over it.  The orange harvest moon glints off the razor-sharp steel of the knife he grasps.  There is blood already leaking down the blade.  What victim has he taken before me?  What innocent soul was killed in his rage?

         I don’t know.  Perhaps I never will.  The only thing I know at this moment in time is that if I could only just fling open my front door and let the light and warmth of another human’s presence spill over me, everything will go back to normal.  Once I set foot in my house, I am safe.  All that I have left to do is make it there alive.      

(This post was inspired by Halloween and by what I feel every time I have to walk from my car to my house alone in the dark.  I am thoroughly convinced that one night every single one of these things is going to be waiting for me outside my car.)


Christ My King

October 22, 2010 § 3 Comments

An Hour in Eucharistic Adoration

I offer my heart as if it were incense

Rising slowly toward the sky

In a solemn state of grace

To the God I cannot deny.

The wood under my knees is cold and hard

And my hands are clasped in prayer

And my head is bowed down low.

I am not worthy to be there.

My soul is crying out for aid

My mortal flesh is trembling

What can I do but cast myself

At the feet of Christ my King?

Each minute goes by in silent reverie

The rosary between my fingers

Is first my plea and then a light

Whose glow around me lingers.

There is truth here for the seeking

And great comfort for the good

I find solace for my suffering

upon those simple planks of wood.

My soul is crying out for aid

My mortal flesh is trembling

What can I do but cast myself

At the feet of Christ my King?

I Dabble with Scrabble and Paint

October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Baby gear!

Baby gear!

A mountain-free horizon, bitter winds, and a guy with a mullet and a Red Wings jacket greeted my arrival in Detroit’s airport last Friday night.  Despite the inauspicious beginning, my weekend trip to visit Jul and Daniel was wonderful.  Jul is looking so pregnant now that she’s in her seventh month!  It was amazing to be able to feel the baby moving around and kicking.  Daniel has this weird thing against soccer (strange, right?) but I assured the little one that if they wanted to play soccer, I’d help make it happen.  And don’t worry, I’ve started searching the Internets for the best in baby Penguins gear!  There’s no way I’d let my poor innocent nephew or niece start life out as a Wings fan.  Once they reach the age of reason, they can make that decision if they feel a (strange, incomprehensible) need to, but until then, they’ll be a proper Pittsburgh-loving, Crosby-cheering Penguins fan. 

Jul and I managed to register her for some baby stuff, including a stroller that looks like an armored tank and can transform into so many different things I was surprised a rocket ship wasn’t one of them.  On Saturday night, we had a surprise birthday party for Tara, who turns 21 this week.  I stalled her in the car while Jul and Daniel went in to meet everyone.  I pretended to lose my earring and asked her to help me find it, when I had actually hidden it in the cuff of my boot.  I was rather proud of my subterfuge skills, can’t lie.  After the party, Daniel, George, Nathan and I played a rousing game of Scrabble.  Daniel won**.  George, Nathan, and I scoffed.  Nathan used the word rood.  I was impressed.  I spoke to him later about my idea for an “Archaic, Antiquated, Ye Olde English Words Only” Scrabble game and he seemed amenable to the suggestion.  Details to follow.  (**cheated.)  Here is my incredibly well-depicted artistic take on our rousing Scrabble game:

Can you tell who everyone is??
Can you guess who everyone is??


On Sunday Jul and I attended Daniel’s youth group night, called Project 203.  It was very inspiring: it was fun and light-hearted, but you could definitely tell that you were there to pray and worship Jesus.  In person Daniel seems…ah, a bit… airheaded (love you, brother-in-law!)…  but when he gets onstage in front of that microphone with a guitar, he transforms.  He was very good with the kids and I enjoyed the whole thing.  One of the things I miss about working at the school is working with the middle-schoolers.  Might sound crazy, but I enjoy them.   After that ended, we had some people over the apartment to play games and drink a little.  Dave brought up some wine and greasy, cheesy snack food, which seems to be becoming a pattern when I see him at Jul & Daniel’s house (re: wedding after-party when he arrived bearing gifts of juicy cheeseburgers and hot fries).  That’s my kind of pattern.   

The Pattern
The Pattern


Monday morning, Jul and I stopped by to visit the Child Development Center where she works.  I played with the little babies for awhile and let them crawl all over me.  She works with the 11 month old to about 18 month old kids (I think).  They were so cute and funny, toddling around dragging blankets and toys wherever they went.   After that, we did a little more shopping and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing at the house.  My flight got delayed several times and it was after 10pm before I finally boarded and was on my way back to PA.

It was so great to be able to see Jul again (especially since I don’t think I will be able to get back out there until she actually has the baby) and to see Daniel and all my Michigan friends.  Even though it’s hard to have Jul ten hours away, I know she’s happy and content out there.  Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to smuggle my contraband Penguins baby onesies into their house after the baby is born.  Hmmm…


baby gear!



Stilettos On Ice

October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Sharper than you, on the ice and off.”

Yes, I am in a fantasy hockey league and Stilettos On Ice is my team name.  

Has the puck dropped yet?  GEEZ.  Preseason is just not the same.  Despite the delightful joys of the baby-faced juniors and college try-outs making me feel older by the minute, I can’t wait for the regular season.

As far as the NHL goes: CBC is doing a series of articles highlighting each team by division and here are the first four.  I will update as the last two come out.  These are short reviews, but they each contain just enough info to give you a great picture in your head of how the league looks.  Enjoy!

Atlantic Division

Southeast Division

Central Division

Pacific Division

Update 1:

Northeast Division

Update 2:

Northwest Division

Where Am I?

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