Thursday, July 09, 2009


When one lives alone in a house, one should not watch marathons of "Ghost Hunters" before bed. Especially if your kids are not there either. Just a helpful hint.

So, while I was awake last night...*cough*...I remembered the time, when Arianna was about 6, she had this thing where she'd wake up in the middle of the night and wind up sleeping on the floor at the foot of my bed. Now, at that point, I only had a full mattress, so most of the time, when I was sleeping, my feet would dangle over the foot of the bed.

So, on this particular night, she decided it would be a good idea to attempt to wake me by reaching up and grabbing my ankle.


I'm a light sleeper. So, when, in that fuzzy state between deep sleep and sort-of awakeness, you perceive that something is reaching up from underneath your bed and grabbing your foot....well, let's just say that every cell in my body retreated into the direct center of the bed. If it had been physically possible for me to cling to the ceiling like they do in cartoons, that's totally what would have been happening.

She must have heard whatever noise I managed to emit at that point, because she popped her head above the foot of the head, and asked "What?"

The stream of expletives that emanated from my body PROBABLY weren't good for a 6-year old to hear, but TOTALLY justifiable, in my opinion!!

(For the record, she just laughed her ass off once she realized what had happened. My child is a sadist.)

Monday, July 06, 2009


Before: (nice normal red....granted, more faded than it was growing up, but still my red.)

After: (NOT the color I was going for, but....opinions?)

Sunday, July 05, 2009


I've been busy, as indicated by the above books. I am killing myself for summer term, because it's considerably shorter than the other terms, and they pack in the same info into a smaller window of time. In addition, my psychology course is a fast-track one that will finish everything in 5 weeks. I'm seriously on brain overload. I know I said I'd write more often, but cut me some slack for a little bit.

After summer term is over, I'll have about 6 weeks of vacation before fall term starts, and hopefully I'll be doing FAR more fun things for a good portion of that time!

Until then, if you hear a giant boom in the distance, that's just my head.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


So, let me start this by saying I'm not exactly normal....

In point of fact, I'm slightly quirky.

In addition to the odd personality quirks, I go through stages in my life where I star
t collecting random things. Usually it's just because something catches my eye, or I randomly think "Oh, that would be fun!"...but, needless to say, my apartment is full of some things that you people might think are a little off the beaten path of normal...

I'll start with the simp
le, semi-everyday things....

1. Books. How does one collect books, you may a
sk? Wellllll.....see below:

(yes, those are double front stacked on each shelf)

Not to outdo my reading material, there was a time, a few years ago, that I was shipped off to India for work. And I came back with a new obsession....

2. Elephants. T
hey are everywhere in my house. In random spots, like an Indian elephant baby mobile hanging from my ceiling, or on my bookshelf, hanging out in corners, and in a special little shelf thing I devoted especially to them:

After the elephants came something else I decided one day would be fun...

3. Gnomes. Yes, gnomes, okay?? Shut up! I TOLD you I'm not normal! Anyhow, I have one on my computer in my bathroom...some name it:

After the gnomes, my friend Stacey got hooked on collecting poppets. And after many months of watching her take picture after picture with her
roaming poppets, I finally broke down and got my own...I mean, just one couldn't hurt, right? Which leads us to...

4. Poppets.

*Ahem*....MOVING ON....below are some other random things that haven't quite grown enough to be considered "collections"....yet. Give me a little time and I'm sure I can rectify that.

(This is the area above the sink in my kitchen)

But, before you think I'm some kind of crazy cat lady in the making, living amongst piles of newspaper 10 feet high, etc....I'm really not!! I promise! I can prove it!!

So there!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It's 5 am, I've got a headache from the depths of hell, and it's actually worse when I am sitting in the dark...and, amazingly, staring at a computer screen may be helping. And, unfortunately, maybe I tend to be a little too "deep" in the wee hours of the morning. Sorry about that.

Anyhow, I know I promised light-hearted fare here...but,'s a personal blog, and sometimes I may get personal. I'm usually a "stomp it all down deep and don't let anyone see the crap" type of girl, but maybe that's a bad thing? I've done a lot lately to help myself grow and try to be a better person, so maybe I should open my soul a little? Who knows...but, it's still dark outside, my head is pounding, and I have nothing better to do. So here goes.

I've been thinking a lot lately on the subject of friends.

I guess maybe because of how I grew up I've always been a little wary of letting people completely in. I have always been the girl who on the surface looks like she has tons of friends and is really open with them, but that's just the surface...for the most part, I am super-secret-agent about protecting myself, and keeping parts of the "real me" hidden from people. However, with that said, I have lots of people I genuinely LIKE, and people I know fairly well, but I honestly don't know how you really classify friends. There are people who have been in my life FOREVER (some since before I was born, even...hi, Kristin!), and then there are people who are far more recent, but yet they feel like they've been in my life forever. They are few and far between, but I tend to hold on to the really important ones...they make my life a much better place, they put up with my shit and don't give up on me, and I love them for it.

I've been criticized for having an online life. That I tend to hide behind a computer instead of going out and dealing with actual people. But, maybe that's easier for me. It's natural for me to hide behind the written always has been. I come from a wordy-writing family...I think it's how we communicated best. My father wrote me stories when I was little, instead of actually showing me that I was important. Instead of sitting down to talk to me, he gave me fables in which I was the heroine, facing big, bad dragons, etc. Which was pretty cool as a kid, but looking back, wow...that's kind-of a sad testament to our relationship.

ANYhow....the point is, I have tons of people online who I can consider "friends" in the most shallow sense of the word...but I don't have a lot of people in my day-to-day, tangible life who I can do the same with. I rarely let the walls down enough. The people (and you know who you are) who have gotten past that giant, brick wall beneath my skin are in there forever....and with a few of them, that's a very good thing. With some of them, it's proved not to be. But, you live and learn, and sadly, that's been the prevailing motto of my life.

I've had people tell me that I come across like a bitch in social settings, because I do not jump into conversation and emote myself all over the place. But, the thing is, I CAN'T. I am the girl that sits in the back and observes. I can see where this could come across as cold and distant....and distant, yeah I can see that...that's just who I am...but, cold? I don't think I'm a cold person. It makes me sad that some people think that, but I can't physically be "happy gushy sunshine girl" in a public setting, 100% of the time. Maybe sometimes I can pull it off, but I mostly think that is me over-compensating for what I know people perceive me as. I don't like people thinking badly of me, so the actress comes out.

But, I don't see myself as a bitch, and genuinely, I don't think I always come across that way. I mean, I am quiet, but I have absolutely no problem getting people to talk to recent foray into the higher education system has shown that to me. I've been able to make friends in class really easily, and even somehow managed to wind up being the mouthpiece for study groups, which is crazy, since I hate being the person in the spotlight.

Anyhow, here comes the point of this ramble....

What do you do when someone you've let get past the walls turns out to be a giant fraud, and you find out that they've shit all over you, said horrible things and generally treated you - behind your back - like you are the lowest-of-low life forms...when to your face they were still wearing the mask of "friend"?

This pisses me off on many levels, because I've always been super intuitive about people, and I can generally read in the first second whether or not they are going to be worth the trouble. But, sometimes, people fall through the cracks. Most of the time I may notice, but I overlook, and that's my own fault...but, other times, I genuinely am caught by surprise at the inner evilness of some people.

I was talking to my best friend the other day (who lives less than an hour away, and I never spend time with....see what I mean?)...anyhow, we were talking about a situation, and she expressed confusion about how I could be so crazy intuitive (and she's seen that in action throughout our lives)...and yet, how I still manage to somehow miss the insane, general blackness of soul in some people I've let get close to me. We came to the conclusion it is because those people actually BELIEVE their own web of lies...therefore, my inner radar doesn't go off, because they aren't being deceitful on the surface...they're just fucking crazy.

So, I guess my question does a girl like me, who HATES confrontation, handle a situation where she finds out that someone she thought at one time was a friend has said (and I have written proof) some really horrible, shit-stirring things about me? It's not just the mean, bitchy things that were said that annoy me so much...most of the time I can be all "whatever" about them. I mean, I know who I am...I've been through enough crap in my life to be somewhat secure in my skin. But, what really gets to me is the shit-stirring. Is it really necessary to try and make my life more difficult? What is the purpose of that? Is their own life so miserable that when they see even an inkling of happiness in mine, they immediately try to stomp it down, pour gasoline on it and attempt to light it on fire?

Do I call this person on their shit, or do I just continue to cut them out of my life? Which is worse? The inner vindictive bitch in me wants to plan elaborate schemes to yank the life out of them and make them cry...but, then that just puts me on their level, doesn't it? So, I just keep ignoring...which is super easy for me to do. I can put up that ice-wall with the best of them. But, is ignoring really the best way to go? Or is that just me avoiding, and playing the "stomp it all down deep and don't let anyone see the crap" game? I really don't know what to do. I go through a daily ritual of weeble-wobbling on this issue, and I really don't want to fall down this time. I've fallen down enough in my life already.

Monday, June 15, 2009


So, I am now living in a ground floor unit of an apartment complex...which really isn't so bad, because I have a nice, big private fenced back yard, and it's a pretty cute place. HOWEVER, with that said, that brings up the subject of my neighbors.

Now, I've got 2 kids, so I've gotten really good over the past nine years at being able to tune out things that would drive a normal person insane. (Yes, I know that implies I'm not normal...I'm okay with that.) But, the point is, I'm really spectacular with being able to ignore stuff when I want. Which is good, because I guess it appears my upstairs neighbors are loud. I know this, because whenever anyone comes to visit, they're here for like two minutes before their eyes get large as saucers, and they stare at the ceiling with horrified fascination.

In actuality, I'm unsure of how many people live up there, exactly. I mean, I think it's an older couple, their teenage-ish daughter and HER 1-year old baby, and POSSIBLY the daughter's boyfriend. I'm not sure if he lives there, or he just is there all the time. At any rate, it's just a 2-bedroom place, so I think it's verging on clown college up there. I mean, seriously...if they could pack anymore bodies in, I'd be amazed.

Also, I think they may possibly have a bed in the living room. I mean, judging from some occasional "sounds" I manage to notice, that's what I'm presuming. But...yeah...CLASSY.

Oh, and that 1-year old baby? I think she is the spawn of Satan. The child does not sleep. And apparently, she also feels that the period from 9 pm until roughly 3-4 am is the optimal time to shriek bloody murder, run like a water buffalo across the ENTIRE apartment, and possibly occasionally either throw dishware or large human bodies against the ground above my head. I mean,don't get me wrong...I have kids. I understand that they can be loud. But...MINE ARE ASLEEP DURING THOSE HOURS! And they were when they were babies, too. They also never murdered small villages in the wee hours of the morning.

Also, everyone up there seems to have a sick fascination with showers. Like, seriously. I don't know what they're doing up there to get as dirty as they must be getting, because in my little experiment for this post today, I counted roughly 12 showers taking place. In one day. Twelve. Maybe the bed in the living room is part of a "movie set"? Otherwise, who the hell needs a dozen showers a day? The reason this matters to me is because when they shower, it dictates my water pressure. And occasionally, I'd like more than a trickle...thanks.

So, that is the scoop on my upstairs neighbors. On to some others....

Up until the last few days, the couple that lived on my right were a nice, elderly couple that I never heard, and very rarely saw. But, in this last week they moved. And in their place, I have now acquired a cracked out version of Stephen King, complete with jet-black mad scientist hair, and torn Pantera tank top, and his wife...fat Elvira. This is the initial impression I got of them as I mowed my backyard, and watched them watch me (a little too intently, I might add) through the crack in the fence.

If you don't hear from me in the next few days, they've tunneled through the wall and eaten me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Well, Howdy!

Well, I'm back, bitches! (I'll stop a moment to allow for the applause to die down....)

Anyhow, it's been a LONG while, and I assume I probably only have like 2.5 people with me actually still on their feed-reader. Alas... There's been a lot of changes at Casa Adena, of which I won't really go into...this was supposed to be a little, light-hearted blog, and I'd like to get back to that point. I miss the funny writing.

So, I am on my 10 day vacay in between terms at school (yes, I'm filling my brain w/ higher education now!) Once I start back up, I'm sure I will have many humorous things to relate to you...(Biology! Something funny is bound to happen!) I have filled this next term w/ far too many -ogy's, and my brain will probably be mush by the end of it, but what the heck!

The kids are growing, and cracking me up daily, so I may throw some of that in here, too. I know that I really started slacking off w/ the blogging once twitter and facebook began to suck my brain dry...bad soc
ial media!!

I may even start taking pictures again. I mean, sometimes I see some odd stuff! Like this, for instance:

So, I hope you're all still with me. Or maybe you'll trickle back. We shall see!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

I wrote this article, story...whatever you want to call it...2 years ago for the 2,996 Tribute. I don't have any problem running it again, on a day like today. The same feeling still holds this year, as well as any year, since 2001.


When I first signed up for this project, it seemed like such a good idea. 2,996 people, each one memorializing someone who died in the 9/11 attacks. I entered my name, and got assigned Anthony Perez.

However, try as I might, I could not find anything about him online. The only thing I kept running across was a small blurb with a picture on memorial sites:

Anthony Perez- 33, Locust Valley, NY- Technical Specialist, eSpeed, Cantor Fitzgerald Confirmed Dead, World Trade Center, At/In Building.

Anthony1 The picture I kept running across was a picture of him holding his son. Such a simple picture, but it conveyed so much. Unfortunately, it told me so LITTLE about the man behind the photo.

I began to regret taking on this assignment. How could I possibly do this man justice? How could I convey his life, the feelings of the people that loved him, the unimaginable loss for his children...when all I could find was the basic facts, and a few paragraphs about him from friends?

Then, I thought maybe I should take another route with this- Cantor Fitzgerald. Anthony worked for eSpeed, which was an offshoot of Cantor Fitzgerald. This changed everything for me.

When 9/11 first happened, like so many others, I was glued to the TV, Newspapers, the Radio...anything that would fill me in on what was going on. It was so massive and heart-wrenching and horrible, and I swear I cried for 3 weeks solid. I was devastated at the human loss, even 3,000 miles away from the epicenter. I have never been to NY, but for that period in time, I felt like I was FROM New York.

One story, one horrible fact that I was riveted to, was the fate of the company, Cantor Fitzgerald. 658 people from that company lost their lives that day. 658 people that started their day like any other day before it. 658 people who's lives were gone in one horrible instant- All because they had the misfortune of being on floors 101-105 of the North Tower, when at 8:46 in the morning, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into them. The impact of the plane was on floors 93-99. Anthony worked on floor 103.

4 flights of stairs.

Cantor Fitzgerald sustained such a massive loss of life....roughly TWO THIRDS of its an instant. There is no way those people survived the impact. 2 to 6 flights up from such a massive explosion....there was no way. The only comfort out of such a horrific loss of life was that it had to have been instantaneous. AA Flight 11 was the first plane to crash through the towers that day. No one in the North Tower knew what was coming, or what had hit them. The South Tower wasn't so lucky. They had an inkling of what had happened, and I'm sure some sort of dread that the same fate might befall them. So, I guess, in a sense, Anthony was lucky. He didn't suffer.

But, still....658 people from the same company...gone. Just like that. So many many mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, husbands, wives, cousins, sisters and brothers....gone. So much tragedy and loss, and the man I was assigned to memorialize was one of these 658 people. People that I couldn't get out of my head....employees of Cantor Fitzgerald. It seemed fitting that I be assigned one of their employees, but all the same, I felt woefully inadequate to memorialize him. How do you sum up 33 years of someone's life? 33 year older than I am today. How could I possibly sum up his life, who he was, the ESSENCE of Anthony, based on one tiny paragraph and photo?

I was dreading Sept. 11th, wondering what I could possibly write that wouldn't sound trite and stupid....and still be worthy of this man's life.

Then I got an email....


An email from a friend of Anthony's. Someone who had worked with him before he took the job with eSpeed. Someone who missed him so much that she still carried this photo of him around in her wallet...5 years later.

She told me that the group they worked together in was a VERY tight knit group....more like family than co-workers. I get that. I understand. When I was working in the corporate atmosphere, the people I worked with became my family. It seemed like I saw them more than I saw my ACTUAL family. It was a huge loss when our group was outsourced, and we had to "break-up" our little family. To this day, I am still friends with these people, and if any of them were to perish in the way that Anthony did, I would be devastated. Beyond words. So, I understand her loss, and I am very sorry for it.

I asked her to tell me a little about him, and she did. Here he is, in her own words:

"Anthony was a loving father, husband, brother, son. He was a loyal friend, a pain in the butt, a prankster, a nudge, too smart for his own good sometimes. He was a techy kind of guy, thru and thru! We worked tech support together, as peers and then as a supervisor/lead team. (and he called me boss lady in his typical sarcastic teasing way...) He had a wicked sense of humor. He was a die-hard NY Islanders fan. He wasn't perfect, no one is, but he was a good man regardless."

She also sent along an email chain from 9/11. An email chain from people that used to work with Anthony, and who were extremely worried about him in the hours that followed the disaster. I won't attach that here, but suffice to say, it was filled with memories, and worry, and eventually...with loss.

I thank her so much for her help in telling me a little about him! It helped me immensely.

Eventually, I found a website FROM Cantor Fitzgerald....a memorial for their employees that had died. Anthony's page had many, many entries from people that loved him: his wife, his family, his friends, his co-workers....but the ones that touched me the most were from his children: Olivia, Anthony James, and Alexis. They were so young when their father was killed, and they have had to grow up missing so much.

"He was a great man. I loved him and I played with him and I helped him. When he needed help Anthony James (son), Alexis (other daughter), and I would ALWAYS help him! Last year in 5th grade we had this huge field trip and I invited him to go. He missed work on that day and came. We had a great time and enjoyed it together! Then he took me to work! All of his co-workers thought someone was sick on my other side of the family and I had to go with him. The real truth was I wanted to go and I begged him and he finally said yes! Shhhhhh! I share a lot of memories with the Perez family but it is so hard to talk about them!
WE MISS U DADDY!" - Olivia Perez, 6th Grade


" Daddy I love you very much and miss you a whole lot. I'm so sad that you can't come home. Mommy tells me that you are with us all the time, so I hope you can hear me when I talk to you. I love you very very much and miss you. Big Hugs and Kisses."- Alexis Perez, Age 4


"Daddy you are the best daddy ever. I miss you every day. I wish you could come home. I miss playing all the computer games with you and working on the house. I know you're in heaven now, but I like to think that you're also here with me playing ball, going to school and riding my bike.
I love you and miss you very much. Hugs and Kisses" - Anthony James Perez, Age 6

And finally, just recently, from his oldest daughter, Olivia:

"Daddy, oh god. Its been How long? like... five years almost since i last saw you. I miss you so much. You've brought me so many good things in life, and I just can bear to be without you. I've grown and changed and it's just amazing to me of how I've lived. Without you. Please keep an eye over Anthony James, Alexis, Scott Anthony, and Mary, and grandma, and grandpa, and scott, and brian, and the rest of the family, because we love you ,and we think about you constantly."

I think that's really all that needs to be said.

Anthony Perez
March 31, 1968 - September 11, 2001

Friday, August 29, 2008

Adena, A Retrospective...

Okay, let me preface this by saying that up until a few days ago, I had NO pictures of myself from my youth. None. This is mostly due to the fact that my parents and I don't really see each other all that often, and when I was a kid my dad was BIG into a film slide, no print pics, other than school ones.

So, the other day, my daughter brings home a folder that my mom gave her...filled w/ pics of me from grade/middle school. Nothing of high school, which is sad, because my senior photos? Smokin'!!

Anyhow...after I giggled and snorted for a while, a post idea emerged in my head.

So, behold...a small Adena retrospective:

Now this is me in 2nd grade. I think I'm laughing at the fact that I'm wearing a velvet dress w/ a lace bib. LACE!! ME??

*laughter interlude*

Apparently, I was in a "mood" that day, because the class photo shows me flashing the photographer some knee:

Now, on to 4th Grade, shall we?

What. The. Hell. am I wearing?? Holy hell! Let's forget that ever happened.

On to 5th grade. Did I mention I was a skater kid? Behold the bi-level haircut, and the homage to "Pretty in Pink", which I freaking love(d).

On to 6th Grade. Still a skater, but deep into the mid-80's clothing, apparently. Yes, that IS an Izod shirt....COVERED WITH A FISHNET VEST!! Go ahead, laugh. I understand.

Ahem. On to 8th Grade. This may be the worst yet. Note the fluffy hair and bangs. The mock turtleneck and V-neck sweater...and THE BOW IN MY FOOFY HAIR!!! I'm tempted to burn this one....seriously.

That's it for school photos. BUT, to redeem myself, here is a pic of me at 18. Why I didn't bask in my hotness, I don't know. I'd kill to look like this again.