Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I Tried.

The dog I tried to help save on Christmas day...
 
E-mail I sent out to our Lake's association:  "Merry Christmas!  I hope this e-mail finds you well.  This afternoon as I was out for a run I came across a near frozen, poodle-like dog on Sand Lake’s north shore.  The dog was shivering (probably facing hypothermia) and unable to walk.  I wrapped the dog in my sweatshirt, ran back home, and returned shortly after with my car to pick it up.
 
 
The dog is now warmed up and safe in our basement.  However, we need YOUR HELP in locating the dog’s owner.  The dog has no tags, nor a collar.  But here is a pic (attached), that we hope will help you, help us, identify the owners."
 
* Sadly, the dog's health is poor; apparently he has been neglected for quite some time. Our neighbor, a vet, stopped by this evening and explained this 12 to 15 yr old cockapoo with rotted teeth, infected ears, and dementia would probably need to be put to sleep tomorrow.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Further Down 94

And so I picked him up at the airport shortly after 3, and we ventured east on Highway 94 to his Grandma's place, located on the outskirts of Detroit.  We exited and kept our direction, until we dead ended at Lake Shore Drive.  We then drove north along Lake Saint Claire and I admitted to him, this is Michigan territory I had never explored before.

He pointed out a few notable sites along the way and explained Henry Ford's son use to live a bit further up the way.  We were in Grosse Pointe - what wikipedia describes, "an affluent suburb of Detroit."  Much of the neighborhood was comprised of homes built when the automotative industry was booming.

It's fascinating how the ideas of one man can completely revolutionize a city - and a world too, actually.  Henry Ford's invention of the assembly line made cars affordable for "common" man.  As a result, the city and suburbs of Detroit thrived for quite some time.  But now, most people with a decent income, tend to live outside the city.  And Detroit is not on anyone's top 10 list of US cities to visit.

But my brother lives in the city.  And despite the fact he has had 3 cars stolen, he loves it.











Sunday, December 23, 2012

The NonGirlfriend

Tonight, once again, I played the role of the nongirlfriend.  This is two Christmas holidays in a row, where I've ended up back home - someone else's home - chatting with some guy's parents and sweet,  old grandma.

Both guys - just friends, yet I feel like I'm some sort of fill in for what should be played by a girlfriend.  It's okay though; I'm a decent actress and I can hold a conversation with nearly anybody.  And for the most part, I really do enjoy participating.

And the reverse is true.  Over the summer I had a couple of nonboyfriends make their rounds at my family's lake home.  My Aunt Mary inquired about one, "What's wrong with him?"  He was the second one I had brought home within 2 weeks and she wanted to know why I wasn't dating either one of them.

Again, just friends.  I have about a half dozen single, guy friends where it's kind of just like that...

However, I'll admit, it's odd to have some of these experiences involving family with guys that are just friends - especially now that I'm in my mid-thirties.  Because these types of moments are seemingly reserved for the boyfriend.  But since I don't have one of those; I'll continue to play the role of nongirlfriend. 







  




Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Beginning

If last night was the end, today must be the beginning.  The good news is, every day is a new beginning.  And as my mom once told me, "You never know what life is going throw you."  On a somber day in my early twenties, she insisted, life is worth the living.

Last night I celebrated the end of the Mayan calendar with the guys from down the shore.  There were 5 guys, me, and one wife.  The guys grilled out on in the December freeze - 30 degree temps, and even colder with the fierce wind blowing.  After a steak dinner, I learned how to play poker and how to cook crawfish simultaneously.

At midnight we paused from poker to ring in the beginning.  With REM's song turned up, we dance and obnoxiously sang along.  "It's the end of the world as we know it - and I feel fine."

Not that I really thought the end of the world was going to happen last night, but I did in the late 80s.  Some crazed man predicted the end and as an impressionable youngin I believed his prediction very well may come true.  I hadn't yet read much of the Bible yet, so I didn't know people who claim the Bible as truth aren't supposed to make end of the world predictions.

It was summer, I think, and I considered, wow - this is great.  I'll never have to go to school again.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shooting Stars

Thursday evening, shortly after checking in to my PA hotel, I tweeted, "shooting stars - lots of them. no wishes made. a happy heart driving through PA. is THIS really happening? grateful and amazed by God."

It's still unknown if THIS job opportunity is a go. But as I wrote a friend today, "the crazy thing is, this job would have a lot of down time where I'd just need to be around. Those that interviewed me were thilled to learn I'm a writer and would have something else to do to keep me happily occupied. From what I've experienced in the hiring process thus far, I sense God's favor in opening the doors."

I'll be okay if it's a no, yet I'm hopeful the momentum will continue until it is a go.

Friday I continued my drive back Michigan. I had flown one way to LGA the previous Saturday and was driving a U-Haul back for a family friend who had recently transferred over his NYC apartment lease to an author named Eric M.

My family friend needed a large load driven back to my birth town of Owosso, Michigan. I signed up for the truck driving venture so my travel expenses out to the city for my job interview would be covered.

Less that two hours shy of my Friday night destination, I stopped in Ann Arbor to join my brother and parents for my brother's 37th birthday dinner. By then we had all received word of the Connecticut shooting. 

Tonight (Sunday), Obama spoke to the grieving community, and in doing so quoted the following Scripture:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardl we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

AND

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:13-15

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NYC Interview

NYC Interview Day 2

Yesterday the HR man told me it seems I'm "a match made in heaven" for this position. God, would that be true?

Today I returned to the offices for a second round of interviews.  This job may very well be the right fit for me - because, you see, it would enable me to pursue writing simultaneously.  I'd be well-financed and situated to write the books and articles that have been sitting inside of me.

My former coworker Nick would shake his head in disbelief and say, "Only you, Katrina.  Only you."

Why me?  I'm not sure.  But I'll take it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Back So Soon

When I left the city 3 Sundays ago, I thought it would be months, perhaps years before I'd returned to New York.  I thought I was done with the East Coast , convinced I'd return to my West Coast home. 

But yesterday afternoon I took a flight back to LGA and when I stepped off the plane, I was all smiles.  When I stepped foot inside my temporary sublet in the Upper West Side, the doorman to the apartment complex warmly welcomed me.  "You're back!"  I explained I had a job interview.

Later in the night my friend Bethanie and I reunited at our favorite gathering spot - George Keeley's, between 83rd and 84th Streets.  Although I received the job possibility through a girl in my Bible Study, I discovered this past week my friend Bethanie already works for the same family.  Oh, the irony.  She explained over dinner she is the one who crafted the job description.

After dinner the guys from the table beside us joined us, and we spent the remainder of the evening in their company.  We ventured down to Chelsea in a cab - conversing at the Beer Garden and then dropping by the Jane Hotel briefly.  The two men are from San Diego and do work in the non profit realm.  As it turns out, I'll see them both tomorrow at Charity: Water's seventh annual ball.

Today I ran Central Park in wonderment that I was back on its trails.  The ducks at the South Pond seemed to abound - 50, perhaps 60, all near the edge of the shore.  I wish he could have seen them.

Tonight, following church, I attend two different Christmas parties.  One involved church people, and the other, students I worked with at The King's College.  The only non college students present were two other writers who are much more impressive than me - Gabe Lyons and Alissa Wilkinson. 

Gabe wrote a book call The Next Christian and founded an organization called Q Ideas.  Alissa, for now, writes shorter articles, but will one day present her own masterpiece. 



Friday, November 30, 2012

Last Night

And so I tweet:

a quarter mile night hike down the shore, 16 darkened summer cottages in between, a full moon to light the way, he & a warm fire to greet me

Today last night became a movie. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pause, for the time being...

The reason so many writers live in New York is because every time you step outside inspiration steps in front of you.  You can't go more than a few blocks without seeing or hearing someone or something that has the potential to trigger an epic idea for your next novel or short piece.

And then there's the people you meet - people from all around the world, making their way through the city.  Some for a short visit, others for months, or more than 52 weeks.  And each person arrives with a rich story in hand - David from Israel, Sabatina from Germany, Leonardo from Mozambique, Retika from India, Ace from New Zealand, and Moses who came up from West Virginia to Occupy Wall Street.

But at the moment I'm far from NYC and inspiration jumping at me is few and far in between.  I'm less than a week in to my return to rural, middle of nowhere, Michigan.  Today I sulked that the greatest inspiration my county had to offer me was a post church trip to the most popular store in our county's seat - Walmart of Adrian.

Starbucks offered me a spark of normalcy, as I picked up a venti Pike and a pastry before driving 14.2 miles through winding country roads, to get to where I needed to be.  Home.

And since I'm here for the time being, and new inspiration isn't shooting up at me.  I'll pause from blogging for the time being and instead finish the book writing work God has started in me.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Remaining 10

Over the summer I gambled on my Dad's ping pong abilities and won big!  Read story here:

http://katrinablank.blogspot.com/2012/07/ping-pong.html

In September I received a portion, but not all of my winnings.  Read story here:

http://katrinablank.blogspot.com/2012/09/ping-pong-payout.html

To be perfectly honest, I didn't think I'd ever see the remaining $10.  But last night my brother and I walked down the shore to join the boyz of summer.  And when we arrived, the guy from down the shore insisted we join them for a game of Texas Hold 'Em - a game my brother and I have never played before. 

We were hesitant, but the guy from down the shore pulled me aside and said, "Look, here's the deal.  I know I still owe you $10 from the summer, but I will never flat out give you that money.  But I will buy you into this game.  So what do you say?  Do you want to play?"  Although I'm not into gambling, given his offer I agreed for him to buy my brother and me into the game.  And so we received $10 worth of chips, and used our shared lack of knowledge to attempt to win.

I thought we'd be out rather quickly, but my brother quickly figured out the game, and how to successfully bluff . So we finished second, receiving a $10 payout for the chips.  Thanks bro, for keeping our $10 alive.  And thanks Dad for the $30 ping pong win.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rich in History

This year for Thanksgiving an 86 year old woman named Doris joined us for our dinner feast.  She and her husband Marty have lived across the lake next to my Grandpa Cec's since the 1950s.  But in recent years, Marty's declining health forced him to relocate to a nursing home, and this past spring he passed away.

Doris still lives across the lake, and although her mobility is limited, she is still sharp in her thinking.  After dinner and pre pie, Doris and I challenged my parents to a game of euchre.  We nearly beat them with the final score 10 to 9. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Sand Lake, Onsted, Michigan

But even more fun than the card game was hearing Doris tell stories - like how she and her husband eloped, and ice fishing on Sand Lake (she and her friend caught more fish than the men), and stories about my Grandpa, who Doris claimed her husband once stated, "If I was stuck on an island with only one other person, I'd pick Cec.  He's a good man."  My grandpa passed away when I was 9, so my memories of him are few, but how neat to hear Doris reminisce about days of past.  There's something special about meeting with someone who is rich in history.



 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dad Gets Published!

Today's blog post is brought to you by my dad.  When I returned home from my run this afternoon my dad excitedly exclaimed, "Katrina, I got published!"

He waved about a book called Real Life Real Miracles - true stories that will help you believe.  My dad explained that James Garlow and Keith Wall compiled several hundred miracle stories, and they included one of his stories in the mix. 

I took a closer look at the book - it was legit.  Not one of those self-publishing doings, but rather quality design, and published by Bethany House, a subdivision of Baker Publishing Group.

So here it is, my Dad's story: Financial Aid From the "Bank of Heaven"

At a church I pastored, a young couple attended with their four children, participating faithfully, tithing regularly.  The man had a job in a local factory.

One evening they came to see me.  They had purchased a house in the past year to meet their expanding family needs.  They thought they'd checked out all the costs involved before committing.  However, to their shock, an unforeseen assessment had just been levied on their property for $2,000, due within the month.  They didn't know what to do.

I didn't know either.  I had less than $100 in my discretionary account.  I said a prayer with them, asking God to provide. 

A couple of days later, I received a call from a wealthy member who said he wanted to catch up on his tithe.  He explained he hadn't fully tithed the past few years while paying his children's way through college.  He intended to make a donation of $10,000!

Right before the Sunday service, he walked in and said, "As I was writing out the check, it occurred to me that you might like part of this to go into your discretionary fund.  Would that be all right?"

I assured him it would be appreciated.  He handed me a check for $2,000. 

I could hardly wait for the service to end.  When it did, I grabbed the couple and led them into a side room.  "You're not going to believe this," I said.  "I have the money for you."  I explained that someone had given me the exact amount they needed.

Needless to say they were overjoyed.  And while I never told the donor who they were, he likewise was overjoyed to know that God had used him to bless a Christian family in need.

- Richard Blank, Onsted, Michigan

Funny, how this is right on topic with what I wrote about yesterday... hmmm...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Generosity

The words we absorb become who we are - what we read and what we listen to are far more influential in our lives than what we would think.  But even the words we speak, shape who we are, impacting our interactions with the world around us.

Because our spirit soaks up each word we hear and speak.

That's why many churches include the practice of reading liturgies.  Some churches, like the Catholic, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches, are super liturgical, and include a significant amount of aloud reading that you repeat over and over each week.

Other churches, like my NYC church, utilizes liturgy much more sparingly.  However, when I first started attending the church we'd read what is called the Generosity Liturgy most every week.  To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really into "it."  I was bored by the routine, and haunted by my Episcopal Church upbringing. 

But I'm now realizing how much the words have seeped into my being and I now believe every church ought to be "determined to increase in generosity until it can be said that there is no needy person among us." 

The reason I bring this up is because I recently approached a church to see if they could financially help out someone who I knew was in need in their community.  I had a connection with a staff person at the church, and I knew the person in need (a friend of mine) had been serving faithfully at this church for several years.  So I asked the staff person if the church could help this individual out.  But instead of receiving my request, the staff person at this church redirected me to my own local church community - miles from this situation and this person in need.  This confused and saddened me because I have come to believe that one of the functions of the local church is to help care for the needs of those in their community.  I'm grateful my own local church in NYC is one that makes such practice a priority.   

THE GENEROSITY LITURGY

There is nothing we have
that we have not received;
all we have and are belong to God,
bought with the blood of Jesus.

To spend everything on ourselves,
and to give without sacrifice
is the way of the world
that the Father cannot abide.

But generosity is the way of those
who call Christ their Lord;
who love him with free hearts,
and serve him with renewed minds;
who withstand the delusion of riches
that chokes the word;
whose hearts are in heaven, and not on earth.

We are determined to increase in generosity
until it can be said
that there is no needy person among us.

We are determined to be faithful stewards
of such a little thing as money
that Christ may trust us with true riches.

Above all things, we are determined to be generous
because our Father is generous.
It is the delight of His daughters and sons
to share their Father’s traits,
and to show what He is like to all the world.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Driving Don'ts

Today's blog is inspired by my drive from mid-PA, where I woke up this morning, to my parents' home in Michigan, where I'll fall asleep tonight.

Top 10 things you probably shouldn't do while driving... that I've done at least once before.

10.  Brush your teeth 

9.    Hit a deer

8.    Fall asleep (and rear end the car in front of you... )

7.    Read your Bible

6.    Change your shoes - from flips flops to high heels

5.    Change your bra - from regular to sports bra

4.    Go REALLY fast (and get pulled over by a cop... ) 

3.    Switch from glasses to contact lenses

2.    Make and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (did this today!)

1.    Exchange phone numbers with the attractive guy driving beside you (on the 91 freeway in CA!)



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Double Seven

This evening, after a chaotic week of hurricane clean up, I headed down to Gansevoort Street for a benefit event at the Double Seven

Many Hopes threw the event to raise funds for orphaned boys and girls in Kenya.  You can go to http://www.manyhopes.org/ to contribute too!

We danced the night away...



Around 1 AM we decided to switch venues, and ventured to the Jane Hotel for even more dancing fun.  Such a fabulous final, Friday night in the city!  #Grateful!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bethesda... Dried Up Dreams

I explored the north end... Harlem Meer...

But I still made my way to the Bethesda Fountain...

To do a lap around it, but when I arrived there was no water inside, so instead I did a lap inside of of it.

I was surprised to see it nearly dried up...

I a lap inside the fountain...

Penny Wishes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Poetry and Photographs

I offered my car to complete stranger this evening.  Literally, a stranger - I didn't even know this man's name, but after I learned he lost his poetry and childhood photographs in the storm, I wanted to help him any way I could. 

He also had an underground storage unit in Chelsea - not too far from mine.  But I know he lost far more than me - because I still have nearly everything that holds my greatest words and memories.  When I packed up my apartment in July, along with some clothes, I took my photos and journals back to my parents' place in Michigan.   

But this man lost his words and his photos.  Those are irreplaceable.  He admitted to tears in mourning the loss of the most intimate evidence of his life.

But before handing him my keys, I reneged on my offer, fearful he might get a parking ticket while trying to load his salvageable possessions out of my car and into his apartment.  (I've learned the hard way; you can't load and unload a vehicle in the city without someone else being present to babysit your car.  The ticket cops are bound to get you.)  I also considered he might hit a new Mercedes, like the last person who borrowed my car did, or worse, steal it altogether. 

I explained if I could stay and help, I would, but I needed to get to Bible Study.

So I took off, and by the time I got to the end of the street, I felt like a complete a**hole for taking back my offer because I needed to go do my Christian thing, when I knew the Jesus thing would be to stay.

I reversed with my emergency flasher back down the one-way street, determined to let this man know I would somehow help him.  But unable to find a convenient parking space (and fearful of another parking ticket), I gave up, and continued on my way to my small group.

But I couldn't shake the ickiness for having had the opportunity to do something kind for someone who was hurting, and letting it pass by.

And so...

PART II - yet to be finished...

After calling and speaking with Valencia at the storage place... she called him on my behalf, and gave him my number...

Shortly after 8:30 I receive a text, "Hi Katrina.  Thank you so much for your kind offer to help me today.  It's been an overwhelming couple of weeks for everyone - but thanks to kindness like yours - it is all just a little easier.  So thank you very much.  I secured my things i could save in another unit - and all will hopefully be okay.  Thanks again for your kind offer to help.  Best, Nicholas"

And I reply, "would u reconsider?  i have 3 guys here who r eager to help & an already smelly car that is getting shampooed clean tomorrow - think on it for a few... we can meet u at 9:15"

"That's so kind of you!! I would hate to be an unnecessary burden.  I locked my things in the next unit over from mine - hoping for the best.  I'm sure it will be okay.  Again - thank you for your compassion.  It's a rare find these days."

"ah but we are all about carrying others' burdens :) but i understand your decline - yet feel free to change your mind in the next 20 mins ~katrina blank

He didn't change his mind, not that I expected him to, but if I could rewind time, I would have stayed put and helped him right from the start.

OutTAKES

I'm not sure why I said Bible study; perhaps because small group, for a potential nonchurch goer, would make no sense. 

 Even though the units are indoors and temperature regulated, I thought the humidity might get to the photos.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Submerged

still beautiful after drowning in the storm - my grandpa cec's water color paintings #sandy




unfortunately opa's hand crafted backgammon board didn't make it through... sad to see it lost to the mold and the mildew



number of books submerged in the storm = 134

dear fuller theological seminary,
please note, i'd like to point out, not one of my theology books made it through the storm.  systematic theology will fail you, yet my faith still stands... (just like my student loan debt - wish that could be shaken.)


number of saved wine glasses = my entire set! 12 and i say we drink to that!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sandy Hits Katrina

Saturday's Tweet

there's no way to smile my way around it - loss is painful. and i lost everything.

Sunday's Tweet

i pulled out a bin of books, every title saturated through. Everything Is Illuminated stared at me, pleading, like me, to be rescued

Umbrellas

Thursday, November 8, 2012

On The Way Home

I arrived back at JFK at 1 AM, and as I passed by a television screen, CNN told me Obama had won the presidential election. I knew he would - just like I knew he would win the last.

Confession: I didn't vote this year. I wanted to, but couldn't. With my Michigan mailing address, California voter's registration, and New York couch surfing status, my absentee ballot didn't make it to me in time. My mom mailed it to a friend's in New York with the intent that I'd receive it before flying out to California last week, but with Sandy's anticipated arrival, I switched my flight to Sunday and lost my right to vote. I'm not overly devastated, but only because, like my Dad, I didn't feel comfortable voting for either Obama or Romney.

I took a near desolate subway train west towards Manhattan, but got off before crossing over the East River. I then hailed a cab, and had him drive me to my parking spot, praying my car would still be there, and not damaged by the storm. On the way, my cab driver informed me that gas is scarce. He told me he had to take off nearly a week of work due to the gas shortage following the storm.

Thankfully my car was right where I left it.  My cab driver watched and waited as I inspected my Corolla.  No water had entered the interior of the vehicle and it started up without any hiccups. But it was low on gas - only a quarter tank left.

As I drove towards the Queensborough Bridge, I came across a gas station, and nearly pulled in, but then spotted the lines. It extended down the other street, and I knew the wait would be at least a half hour - if not more. It was half past two.  I needed to get back to catch some sleep in the Upper West Side.  I'd have to fore go gas for now.  And ration the remaining amount in my tank. 

New York got hit hard by Sandy. 

And I got hit hard too.  Just before my departure from LAX, I learned my storage unit, had indeed been flooded in the storm.  All my stuff - ruined.  As I cut across through Central Park on 85th Street, I told my car, maybe it's time to move beyond this city.  After all, I only have me left and I'm tired of fighting to stay here.


On the way home,
this car hears my confessions.
I think tonight I'll take the long way.
This weather.
The wind outside is biting.
It has left me feeling tired & exposed.

~Dashboard Confessional


OUT TAKE
Not too long ago I heard a speaker state, "Our nation will get the type of leadership we deserve." I think our nation is far more in shambles than anyone would like to admit - not because of Obama, but because there are no boundaries or standards of excellence and integrity for anything anymore. And when a community of people can't agree on what is good and true, then anything goes. That's why one of my nephew's classmates often chooses to wear a dress to kindergarten even though he is a boy. His parents have brought into an ideology that the school system is too fearful to speak up against, because they don't want to be on the news, and targeted by the LGBT. So instead, my nephew returns home from school, confused at why a boy is wearing little girl's clothing. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One More Night in Hollywood...

And so we met up in Hollywood at The Piano Bar for drinks, conversation, and really loud music.

http://www.pianobarhollywood.com/

From there we headed over to IO's for an improv comedy show.  Two teams competed for a shiny, oversized belt - like the kind of belt I'd see on Saturday morning TV, when my brother would take over the remote and force me to watch WFF - World Wrestling Federation.  Girls should not know the names Jake the Snake and Hulk Hogan, but because of my big brother, I do.

http://ioimprov.com/west/

The improv show was decent, but the humor was plagued by a smelly, farting dog sitting in our row.  I'm not sure how the man snuck the dog in through the doors; it was triple the size of one of those small, yelping dogs, and its farts were triple the smell of a normal human fart.  It was bad, really bad.  In fact, several of the guys in our row, nearest to the dog got up to leave after fart number 3.

The guys were graduates from Anderson University in Indiana, and they had worked at the same camp as us in Michigan - Spring Hill.  Although they were a decade younger, we all "got" each other because we had all blobbed and slept in a tee pee.

Following the show we continued on to Dillon's, the pub we had met up at on Thursday.  We joined a couple of his other friends for a round of french fries and Laffy Taffy jokes.

I'm not sure when I'll see him again, but I know I will.  Some people are like that.  It's never good bye, but rather, see you later.  Although, I suspect this later, will be a bit longer - I'd put my money (if I had any) on 8 months.


And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California
I think you should
(Na na na, etc. yeah)  ~ Counting Crows

Monday, November 5, 2012

Manhattan or Manhattan Beach?

the ocean, a few blocks to my left.

the hollywood sign, a few miles to my right.

red wine with a complete stranger - why not?

i had a few minutes to spare.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

To Rewrite

The other night my second hottest guy friend dropped me off around 1 AM, stopping in briefly before saying good bye for the night.  I wanted to introduce him to my friend Mia, but we were too late; Mia was already tucked away in her bedroom and under her covers for the night.

And so he drove home, and I readied for sleep.  But before I completed my routine, Mia got out of bed, and readied herself for a late night guitar lesson.

The next day Mia demonstrated the three chords she had learned – A, E, and D – and explained she and her instructor (i.e. some handsome guy) had stayed up all night, watching the sunrise from her LA rooftop.  She pointed to the flowers in the kitchen; along with his guitar expertise, he had brought along a gorgeous arrangement of white roses from the film set he had been working on that day.

Suddenly I was jealous – Mia’s evening was far more epic and romantic than mine.
                                                                                                                     
But even in hearing her tell of her night, I was reminded of a near similar evening I had on a cruise ship years ago with this guy named Jeremiah.  After the disco closed for the night, we stayed up playing War – the never ending card game.  He suggested, “I think we need to put some stakes on this game.  How about if you win, I have to buy you a drink?  And if I win, you have to stay up all night to watch the sun rise with me? “  I agreed.  After all, I reasoned, either way was a win for me.  This guy was one of the most attractive men I had ever met up in my life and I had no qualms spending additional time with him.

We were both seniors in college, on Spring Break with our friends.  He was the quarterback at some school I can’t recall the name of, but I’m rather certain it was located somewhere in the state of Wisconsin.  He and his other buddies on the ship had nicknamed me Ginger, and my other friends not.  (Okay, so Jeremiah told me they called my other friends the nuns.  Ironically the “nuns” all married now and I’m the one who is still single and sex free.) 

I can’t remember who won the game of War that night, but following the win, we stayed up chatting until well after 4 AM.  It was then that I mentioned wanting to stop in at my room, so Jeremiah walked me back to my cabin, grabbing an arrangement of flowers on the way to present to my friend Emily upon our arrival.  I had told Jeremiah it was her 22nd birthday, so he insisted on bringing her a “gift.”  Since all the shops were already closed for the night he didn’t think the Cruise Ship folks would mind if he took a few flowers from a table in the corridor. 

After waking up Emily (which I’m sure she loved) and wishing her Happy Birthday with the floral arrangement, Jeremiah and I conversed in the corridor for a half hour more.  But rather than going up to the top deck to watch the sunrise, I opted to call it a night.

But if I could rewrite that night all over, I would have stayed up to watch the sun rise with him.

I never saw him again after we parted ways that night.  I had assumed we’d find each other on the ship the next day before we docked and that we’d exchange contact information at that time.  But instead, that late night good bye was our last good bye.

I find it’s not uncommon for the final good bye to come before you know it’s through.

I’ve always preferred hello.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Red Line

And there I sat at the bar, waiting for his arrival - like I had so many times before.

http://www.dillonsirishpub.com/about_us

But this time was different. 



It didn't hit me like it use to when he called me babe.  And I was indifferent to his greeting and departure.  A kiss on the cheek, or a hug - it didn't matter. 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Train Tracks

"Riverside Station.  All aboard."

I was aboard, settled in my seat with a book, hoping I would reach the final chapter before reaching the train's final destination - LA Union Station.  After spending two nights in Redlands with my friend Jen, I was on my way back to LA.

My friend Marie had dropped me off at Riverside Station just after 5 - just in time to catch the train to downtown Los Angeles.  We had spent the afternoon together, catching up on over a year of life.  Marie is one of 5 California roommates I lived with in a near mansion home my final year in California, and I hadn't seen her since my extended visit the previous summer.

She and her sister attended a conference this past spring called Storyline - a conference I would love to go to, but can't, because it's complicated.  It's not overly complicated, but complicated enough for me to forego signing up for the February conference.  Still, I recommend this conference for anyone and everyone else.  Because the conference is about living out greater stories with our lives, and I think we all have the potential for more than what is currently in front of us.  But we have to awaken the more in order for it to come to life.  And this conference does just that. 

Click here to register: http://www.mystoryline.net/conferences/

I asked Marie if anything specific came out of the conference for her and she started telling me about how she's working towards starting up a microfinance company to help empower women in the developing world.  She wants to devote her efforts specifically towards helping women because women tend to apply their earnings towards their families' well being, while men in the developing world are more likely to squander their earnings.

I find it fascinating that women have had to take on the Genesis "curse" of both man and woman.

Not that I'm at all opposed to females earning an income; I'm a huge fan of it, actually.  It just seems in an ideal world, it should complement, or provide short term relief in times of economic hardship with job loss, rather than be the primary financial source for a family.

Then again, I know more than one happily married couple who have arranged life as such where the husband stays home with the kids, and the wife is bringing in the income.  But in those situations the men are actively staying on top of home life responsibilities.

And I write this as a single, woman in her "early" thirties - what do I know about the economics of marriage and family?  Except that when two people synergistically work together there is a more that cannot be obtained as a wandering, free floating agent.

Ah, the craving for more - it never goes away, does it?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Saturday evening, rather than heading out for another epic Hollyween party, I packed my bags and tweeted.

"off to penn station - booking it out of this city before hurricane sandy hits - see you soon LA!"

I had initially booked a flight for a Tuesday afternoon departure, but after my mother caught wind of Hurricane Sandy and she passed her concern onto me, I considered it might be a good idea to look into an ealier flight.

And so Friday evening, I called US airways,

(watching the weather on television has always been my mother's favorite...)

But when I boarded my plane Sunday morning I didn't consider my storage unit Chelsea, and the fact that it's underground....

Nor did I consider my car might be swept away from where I parked it in Queens. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

World Changer

"You are a WORLD CHANGER. And for you, world changing is not just a lofty idea, but rather it’s the reality of your life."





Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Caught In Suspension

I wasn't sure what I was going to say, but I knew I needed to say something.  The unknown was getting to me; it had been since the 4th of July when I missed seeing him and the fireworks.

Instead of watching the display over the Hudson with him, I spent the evening out at the Hamptons.  Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed my time outside of the city with fun friends, but I also regretted not being with him that night.

I texted him, after a drink or two, and then fessed up to a friend, "I'm starting to make poor texting decisions."   She laughed, and we both set our cell phones aside to join the dance party in the living room.

I suspect my friend Thomas, pictured down below, may have also made a few poor texting decisions that night.  Either that, or he got a really high score playing some video game - perhaps Tetris.



After that evening I determined I would say something to him, before my departure back to Michigan.  But my determination was thwarted when I ran into him a couple of days later at a subway station.  He was out on some date with some other girl. 

With the "signs" not showing any favor, I left the city, leaving no hint in his mind that I might actually have feelings for him.  Besides, I argued, he and I were a horrible match on paper.  Feelings are feelings; I'd set them aside - like I have numerous times before.

But the communication, although minimal, continued over the summer.  And when he texted in August, "i miss you.  a lot."  I pondered more deeply the possibility, that maybe it would be worth it - to say something or, as the band Mae sings, "Say anything... I'm caught in suspension."

Yesterday we met up in a certain New York park.  He greeted me, "Hey there pretty lady... " reassuring me with his words, and a warm, welcoming embrace - it was time to risk my heart.

Some things in life are worth risking.
 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Tour Part III

I slumped down against the back wall of the balcony, finally allowing a few tears to escape the captivity of my saddened eyes. 

I fumbled with my phone, rereading a text message my friend Steve had sent earlier in the evening - one that inquired if I would be joining him and a few others for a bite to eat following the service.  Steve asked again, in person, on my way into the church.  I told him I'd drop by for a bit, not going into detail about my departure from the city.

I sat for a few more moments, in the sacredness of my goodbye to a church I've grown to love.

As the chatter down below moved towards silence, I picked myself up off the ground, and moved towards the stairs, taking each step slowly, feeling the impact of my body against the wood boards.

My friend Ray East greeted me on the base step with a warm hug, and enthusiastic words to see me.  He continued on, going into how a former student of mine expressed to him how much she enjoyed meeting up with me recently.  As he spoke the tears well up once more, cluing him in.  I wasn't okay.

"Ray," I quivered as I spoke.  "I think I'm going to have to go back to Michigan.  I'm not well enough to stay in New York."

And then Ray, who is the most discerning, humble, and encouraging man I know, rested his hand on my shoulder and spoke over me, and prayed over me such a way, that finally made me believe...

I AM GOING TO BE OKAY.

I AM GOING TO GET THIS THROUGH THIS.

MY BODY AND SPIRIT WILL BE HEALED.

Ray believed for me.  Ray had faith for me.

He instilled in me the confidence I so desperately needed.

I WILL BE HEALED.

"Katrina," Ray explained, "I had migraines for 5 years, and thought I was going to have to go back to the Bahamas and have my mom take care of me the rest of my life." (His family is from the Bahamas, I internally noted - not quite the same as returning to the depressing winters of Michigan.)  But I'm healed, and I'm here in New York."  Ray went on to reassure me, I would be too. 

Someone was waiting to Ray's far right.  I apologized for holding up Ray on their way out.  I had taken only 2 or 3minutes of their time, but it was perhaps 2 or 3 of the most crucial minutes of my life.

As Nate and I walked over to join the others for dinner, my plans to "responsibly" step down from my leadership position along the way, shifted. 

Nate insisted, "You don't need to leave New York.  WE'LL figure this out.  WE'LL help you find places to stay until your housing situation gets worked out." 

I've never been so grateful for such stellar brothers of Christ.   Living life single is already hard enough, but to have quality men from my church step in for support and reassurance makes me an even greater fan of the local church. 

I'm not alone.  I'm part of a body - my local church body.  When I hurt, the healthy parts pull me up and into the life stream, so I too can get the oxygen I need.


Ray East

a former coworker/cubicle mate, author of The Life of Manny, professional life coach, elder at my church whose awesomeness was first mentioned to me by Scott Harrison a month before meeting him in person, who I still need to set up with my good friend Amanda from Portland



Monday, October 22, 2012

The Tour Part II

I carried my last load out to my car on W 87th Street with my decision made.  But it didn't feel like a decision; it was my default action.  Where else could I go?  I can't carry on as a vagabond and expect to get healthy.  Maslow insists, I need a home.

I crammed the remainder of my possessions into my trunk and as I did, the owner of nearby parked car requested a jump start.  I offered up my battery without any hesitation.  I was already plenty late to my Sunday night church service; another 15 minutes wasn't going to hurt.  Besides I wasn't going to hear the sermon; I was going to say a few fare wells and help my small group co-leader identify a replacement for me.

I drove South along the Hudson to W 22nd Street, determined I would hang with people from church for a bit, then start my drive back to Michigan, pausing in Pennsylvania to get some shut eye for the night.

I arrived in Chelsea shortly after the service finished.  As I crossed 8th Avenue, a couple of girls called out my name.  They were students I had worked with at The King's College.  They caught me off guard, and my interaction, to my regret, was minimal as we passed each other in the street.

At the church I found Nate, my small group co-leader and told him the news.  "Nate, I don't think I'm well enough to stay in New York."  I teared up as I spoke.  Nate was working the visitor's table, and couldn't leave his post.  I told him I'd find him later and entered the sanctuary, trying to find the guy who reached for my hand the previous Sunday.  But instead of finding him, I found another student I had worked with at TKC; I pulled myself together for some chit chat and then pulled upstairs to the balcony, away from the crowds. 

I couldn't keep face. 



Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Tour

The tour bus is on its way back into the city which means my time is up, and it may be time for me to leave the city.

I've been subletting from a friend who has been touring with singer/songwriter Regina Spektor the past two weeks, buying time, hoping my fall housing issue might be resolved.  But I've waited patiently for a month now and I still have not yet been given a conclusive answer.

So as Regina and my friend return to the city this evening, I must go. 

But go where?


As I pack up my car, I have absolutely no idea where I am headed to this next week.





Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Innovative" Pick Up Lines

The bad news is my health was especially poor this past week.  

The good news is I met a doctor Thursday evening.  His pick up line: "Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice you have a flip phone..."

Perhaps it's time I get a second medical opinion.  :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reclaiming Radiance

Today I wrote in my journal, "I'm learning to value myself enough to no longer let people take advantage of me."

A number of years ago one of the students I worked with told me, "You're the most radiant person I've ever met."  The gal who spoke the words claimed atheism, yet she came to Young Life club every week and often listened to me talk about Jesus.  I was encouraged by her words because I knew the radiance she spoke of stemmed from a life of following Jesus.  I trusted the time I spent with her planted seeds of hope and curiosity within her.

Reclaiming Radiance * Katrina Blank

But a few years after she spoke of my radiance this same girl witnessed me being treated poorly.  As I allowed myself to be disrespected by someone who she knew claimed to be my friend as well as a Christian, this girl lost all respect for me.  I've never been the same in her eyes because I didn't stand up for myself.  She watched her "hero" be trampled upon in my "refusal" to claim my value as a human being, made in the image of God.

I later wondered if she lost all wonderment in Jesus that very night as I failed to value myself the way Jesus does. 

I mention this story because I discovered today that it is likely that some of my ongoing health issues are related to how I've let others treat me.  My counselor told me concerning one particular instance, "You should be angry.  You were treated poorly." 
 
But rather than being angry, I extend grace and my physical body, rather than the responsible party, receives the message and impact that how I've been treated is not okay.

One step closer to wholeness and healing - no more mistreatment of me.  For too long I've "valued" keeping the peace at the expense of my own dignity.

* Please note, in July 2013 I would learn that oxygen deprivation was also a contributing factor to my poor health.  After years of running and being a woman, my ferritin level (i.e. iron stores) had dropped so low that I was no longer receiving enough oxygen for my body and brain to function properly.        

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saying Goodbye

This morning a dear family friend passed away, not even a week after her 84th birthday celebration.  My own grandmothers passed away before I had the opportunity to get to know them, but I did have the opportunity to get to know this lovely lady - Anna Pennington.



My interaction with Anna this past September was minimal, but in December she was well enough to hold a conversation.  She remembered my name after I prompted her with a clue.  "I'm Dick and Bettina's daughter." 

"Katrina!"  She proudly exclaimed.  Anna's memory at that point in time wasn't the greatest, so even I was amazed she was able to recall my name correctly.

I told Anna about moving to New York and working in the Empire State Building.  And then she wanted to know if there was a man in my life and insisted I invite her to my wedding.  I regret I won't be able to invite her to my wedding, but I trust she's enjoying the celebration of being in the presence of our Lord - a far grander celebration than any earthly wedding feast.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Go Dog Go!

On Friday my nephew Nolan turned 3.  The beauty of childhood is the natural inclination to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  There is much to learn from those we teach.

I think I need to go to Central Park, and throw some rocks in a pond - to simply watch the splash they make, and the ripples that extend out as a result of their impact.  And as I watch I'll resist the temptation to get overly contemplative about life.


Or perhaps I'll curl up on the couch this week, with some bubble wrap, and go to town, popping the air out of the bubbles.  And not feel guilty at all for ruining perfectly good packaging.

And if I was back in the Midwest, I'd build a fort in the basement with my niece and nephews, and crawl inside and read them a book.  Preferably my favorite book - Go Dog Go! - but of course, I'd let them choose.

Kids are great - offering a perspective on life that forces us to rethink our daily pressure to excel and achieve.

One of my Prof's at Fuller, Chap Clark, once pointed out to our class that 3 verses away from the frequently recited passage about coming to Jesus for rest, is a verse that talks about what is understood through the eyes of a child.

Matthew 11:25, 28-30

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

It is when we set aside the worries and concerns of being "grown up" that we are able to receive the rest for our souls that we so desparately need.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Holding on with Hope

Tonight I'm reminded of a song I wrote years ago.  As the song suggests, I wrote it while hoping the guy I liked would call - and actually, he did.  Mid-way through writing verse two the phone rang.  And my heart leapt - the same way it did tonight when something unexpected happened that stirred emotion in me. 

The lyrics "sound" much better on my guitar than on my screen.  The words here are flat, and noticeably amateur.  But I don’t claim to be a song writer, so I’ll stop the disclaimers and let you read what should be sung.

VERSE 1
We try to ask the question, "Where is this going?"
But failing to have the answer, we just hold on close
Close to ending everything, while moving right along
My problem is identified and maybe I'm wrong
But...

CHORUS
I don't want to go to bed without hearing your voice
Holding the phone with hope you know I wait
I wait
I wait for you to call
But this time circumstance leaves me
You leave me
Can't you see you've left me all alone

VERSE 2
I know you feel the same, by the look in your eyes
Our friends can see it too, why bother to deny?
Denying won't do anything, the feelings are still there
To say good bye forever, is a thought I cannot bear


Tonight I'm one step closer to writing a song with a line I've been wanting to use for years:

Words may slip, and so might I
I slip your hand into mine

He reached for my hand tonight not realizing the implications of his simple, playful gesture.

You see, the second month of this year he told me he finds me to be an attractive woman.  He went on to describe qualities and characteristics he sees in me, affirming my gifts and my character.  He made no mention of my physical appearance - not because he doesn't think I'm pretty, but because ultimately, in today's post modern, porn dominated world, it isn't the external that attracts a guy to a girl.  

A week later, in the third month of the year, another man arrived in the city.  During his brief stay he unexpectantedly swept me off my feet, and I "forgot" about February.  March showed a tremendous amount of upfront interest that kept me wondering and hopeful for months.  But I think he was only attracted to the physical me, or the idea of me.  So when I wasn't in front of him anymore, he forgot me.  I supsect he wasn't attracted to my spirit, and so his attraction for me was short-lived - or so that's my theory.  But I also suspect, if he took the time to get to know my spirit, he would be amazed to have found someone who understands his spirit.  And we'd both feel known and understood a bit more.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Go Blue!

Today I "picked up" a Michigan fan in the laundry room.  We exchanged numbers.  Go Blue! 

Or perhaps I should say, go Tigers?

It's the 11th Inning of the Yankees/Tigers game.  I feel like such a guy - I've been watching sports all day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weehawken

Weehawken: City in Jersey, just on the other side of the Hudson River.  A short commute away from Manhattan's Port Authority.  Great view of the city's skyline.  Home of my friend Marc.  My Friday night. 

Marc's instructions to me to get to his place, "Get on the little, short bus."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Soho Night 10.11.12

Tonight my friend Bethanie and I headed downtown, to my friend's place in Soho where Lindsay Lohan showed up one night, but she didn't tonight. 

But a musician named Micah did, and he played an acoustic set.  And as he sang his songs, my thoughts returned to the memories of that particular "venue" over the course of the past year and a half.  I was surprised, actually, how many memories were contained in that one room - from worship nights, to an epic Halloween party, to Sunday night post church dinners.  This home has been one of the most meaningful locations for me during my time in New York City.
Spring 2012 * Young Oceans Concert * Eric Marshall 

I'm thankful for the space - and for the hospitality of the two generous men who so frequently open up their home and invite others in.  Space like this is rare in New York.  And even rarer are people with such space extending such gracious hospitality.  Thank you Travis and Andrew. 

Young Oceans Concert in Soho * Spring 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Like Wine

This evening I tweeted:

some stories are like wine, needing time to mature before opening up and sharing... richness comes with time, so does healing #WriterLessons

The book I'm working on includes stories of the past - like ones up until Aug 2010.  What's fascinating, is by the end of 2010 I thought I had finally "arrived" at a place of success and safety, only to be swept back up into a tornado less than a year later.  In this, I've realized, there is no arrival point, but rather life is an ongoing series of trials and events, and victories and celebrations.

At the beginning of last week I e-mailed the following to a friend:

"Living out of my car as a homeless, couch-surfing, vagabond, isn't a good situation for me to be in with my health being as such. And it is difficult to write and job search in such circumstances. Today I found a decent deal on a short-term sublet that I'll be staying at from this Friday, Oct 5 until Sunday, Oct 21. Only a few more days of praying for couches to sleep on; I'm thankful."

Yesterday I tweeted:

the # 1 adjective people use to use to describe me is "random." this year the word shifted to "strong." almost through the storms

My health has been poor for nearly a year now, and over the summer my health got progressively worse.  My parents watched me in my weakness and pain - through my fatigue episodes, and nauseating migraines.  The silent tears of July turned into wailing by summer's end, and my parents begged me not to return to New York.

My sister told me on the phone just last week, "Mom and Dad are worried that you're going to die of a brain aneurysm or seomthing and that they're never going to see you again."

That's when I got scared.  Because over the course of the past several months I've felt my body being destroyed.  And I wondered if satan would win my body, because he knows he can't take my heart. 

But that's part of the reason I knew I had to get back to New York.  I needed to be reconnected to my body - my local church body.  For some reason I knew that if I could back to my church, the healing would begin. 

And it has... I'm still not fully recovered, but I know I'm getting there, and it won't be long now before I'm walking in the fullness of who God intended me to be - healthy and whole.

A few days ago a woman who attended the fall conference I coordinated wrote me the following message:

Katrina,
So beautiful inside and out. Thank you for your kindness and all your hard work. I appreciated it and was a true beneficiary of it. Everything went splendidly! Thank you for seating me at the dinner with some wonderful people whom were warm and inviting, as I was there alone. May the Lord bless your servant heart in the days ahead and give you the desires of your heart, even those from a little girl...He says to Dream Again...You've caught Our Father's eye...

I'm ready to dream again... just need my body to cooperate with me.  Praying for soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Initiative Part I

A friend of mine from college, who now works at the University of Michigan, recently posted on my facebook wall the following:

Excited to judge tryouts for the Women's Club Cheer Team - started 15 years ago by an awesome person named Katrina!! — with Katrina Blank at Central Campus Recreation Building.

And I commented:
looooooove this! funny, back in 1997 the person i spoke w/at the UM's athletic department said i couldn't start this group, so i called up the lions, hoping to get a pro team started... they said no too. but then i learned, if you get 5 signatures, you can start ANY group on on Michigan's campus - cheers to overcoming obstacles in making your dreams come true! :) often times our noes in life are our answers en route to finding our yeses. tears, prayers, and a good friend named Emily Cheng Nelson also helped bring about this group. thrilled to know it still exists!

Erwin McManus claims we're all made of the same stuff.  But I'm starting to question this claim.  Because reflecting back on my college experience,  no one "taught" me to take initiative, but rather, I just did.  And I don't think it's "normal" to go after something like I did, and to continue to go after my "dream" despite such opposition.  Most people would have given up if not at the first no, then at the second.  But for some reason, I refused to take no for an answer. 

Granted, the "cause" I fought for in college was seemingly trite, but I loved cheerleading enough to not let it go to the wayside, simply because I was 5'8" and much too tall for the coed team.

And so 15 years ago I created what today is this:
http://www.umich.edu/~mcheer/UMich_All-Girl_Cheer/Home.html

But I mention intiative, because although it may not be as natural for eveyone else like it is for me, it's still within each and every one of us.  I suppose that's where Erwin is correct in his claim.  The potential to take initiative is there, but some people are more apt than others to step forward and pursue possibility.

So what is it that holds us back from making our ideas a reality?


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Value

He pulled his car over to the side of 8th Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Streets, near Penn Station.  This is where we would part ways for the night, but I hadn't yet finished answering his question, so I stayed inside his car a little longer to explain.  He wanted to know what I was looking for in a guy. 

"I want to be with someone who values me - someone who is thrilled to be with me and doesn't take me for granted."

"That's it?"  He questioned.

My answer seems to change every 3 to 5 years, but this is where my answer currently stands.  And this answer has nothing to do with the guy himself, but rather it's about how he views and treats me.  If a guy cherishes me, I'm hooked.

"Oh, and I want to be with a guy who follows through with his word."

"You mean, a guy who has integrity?"

"Yeah, a guy who has integrity."

Integrity isn't actually what I meant, but it was close enough.  I literally meant follow through, and for the times when he doesn't hold to his word, an apology is all I need to know he still values me. 

I considered this Friday night car conversation more deeply on my Saturday run, and finally everything about the pursue rules made sense to me.  I've always, only heard them explained in context of what a guy needs - they need to pursue a girl, and if you're too readily available, they're wired to lose interest.  He has this "stupid" need to pursue.  So I have to be passive, sit pretty, and hope some guy, who isn't creepy, will have the balls to ask me out.

But I finally get it.  And I get why I need him to pursue me.  Because first and foremost in a relationship, I want to be valued.  And if a guy isn't willing to pursue me, ultimately it is unlikely I will ever feel valued and treasured in relationship with him. 

I'd like to say, done.  Time to let the guys pursue.  But the problem I've encountered over the years is most guys don't feel like they're good enough for me OR they don't feel like they'd stand a chance with me.  And so they drop the idea before the possibility is even explored.  And so we're all left on each others radars, with minimal interaction, missing what we don't know.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Electrified

I didn't realize what my friend Bethanie and I had gotten ourselves into until I returned home this evening and googled our experience.



http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ultrabook/experience/electrified/program.html

Bethanie and I were less than impressed with the display because we didn't realize it was a real person in the middle of the electricity display.  We simply thought it was some robot. 

Ha!  So instead of taking pics and being intrigued by David Blaine's "show," our interest was diverted to the fireworks show that started up over the Hudson.

 

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Vagabond

For the past 36 days and 36 nights, I've bounced from one location to the next... living out of my car and laying my head down at night at over 18 locations in 8 different cities... never staying in the same home for more than 2 nights in a row... 

According to Wikipedia and Dictionary.com, my existence has become that of a Vagabond.

Today I moved into what will be some sort of semblance of home for the next 16 nights.  A 2 and 1/2 week stay any where is a far cry from home, but at least it's a consistent place for me to sleep and write for a decent time frame, and for that, I'm especially grateful..

On my afternoon run through Central Park, the song Home by Mumford and Sons, came on over my little AM/FM radio. 

As I listened to the lyrics, "Settle down, it'll all be clear" I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps that is what God is asking me to do here in NYC.  I've told many I'm thinking of moving back to LA in after the New Year, but now, I'm not so certain...

Lyrics to Home :
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Perhaps my time in NYC is intended to be more than a 2 year stint. Perhaps it's time to make this place my home. 

Acoording to Wikipedia

A vagrant or a vagabond is a person, often in poverty, who wanders from place to place without a home or regular employment or income. Other synonyms include "tramp", "hobo", "schnorrer".

According to Dictionary.com

vag·a·bond 

 
adjective
1. wandering from place to place without any settled home; nomadic: a vagabond tribe.
2. leading an unsettled or carefree life.
3. disreputable; worthless; shiftless.
4. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a vagabond: vagabond habits.
5. having an uncertain or irregular course or direction: a vagabond voyage.

noun
6. a person, usually without a permanent home, who wanders from place to place; nomad.
7. an idle wanderer without a permanent home or visible means of support; tramp; vagrant.
8. a carefree, worthless, or irresponsible person; rogue.

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Celebrity Dating

I've never dated a celebrity, but I did somewhat date a guy, who prior to me was seeing a girl who had dated George Clooney.  I find it fascinating that I'm two degrees away from having kissed a celebrity.  Not that I would want to kiss George - he's too old for my liking, but there is something intriguing about celebrity circles, and I'm dumbfounded that I could be so near to something that use to seem so far away.

Today I hung out with a friend of mine who has been on several dates with a celebrity I use to watch on television as a little girl.  The show: Who's the Boss.  Yep, my friend has been out with Tony Danza on more than one occasion.  She says he's a great guy, but like George (age 51), Tony (age 61) is probably a bit too old for anything substantive to form between the two of them.


Charity:Water Ball Dec 2011 * Katrina Blank and Kari
I thought of my friend and Tony when  I was recently out in Hollywood.  I made my friend Sarah pause to take a picture when I noticed Tony's star beneath our feet.

After hanging out with my friend Kari, and meeting her new, attractive guy roommate, I picked up my friend Sally Ann from the Times Square area.  Sally Ann is a model, an opera singer, and always a good time.  She and I drove up to the 180s, where we stopped in at a friend's birthday party, before heading back to her place to crash for the night.  Sally Ann and I met on a ski/snowboarding trip to Vermont a couple of winters ago, and we bonded further over a Halloween Party in Soho last fall.  You'll be able to read all about that night, along with my dating life for my first two years in NYC in my second book titled My Second Hottest Guy Friend

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Congo

I have a new friend.  She's from the Congo and plays the guitar.  She's also Canadian and says "eh" from time to time. 



Saturday, September 29, 2012

UWS

UWS
translation: the Upper West Side

Friday, September 28, 2012

So Long Astoria

This morning I woke up in Harlem to the sound of pouring rain.  I went running in Central Park, anyway.  And returned to my host home on West 122nd Street soaked in and through. 

For the second day in a row I spent several hours in my temporary office space on 34th street, down a few avenues from where I use to work at the Empire State Building.  The location comes with free wifi, free parking, and today, because of national coffee day - free coffee.  Yes, today I'm thankful for Mc Donald's. 

Later in the afternoon, after finding a parking space in Chelsea, I walked over to Union Square to meet up with one of my former students.  We then ventured down to Washington Square where a guy by the name of Justin approached us with a guitar.  He wanted to serenade us - and had a list of songs we could choose from. 

Typically I avoid these money making scams, but when I saw the song "So Long Astoria" by the Ataris on his play list, I decided he couldn't be all that bad of a guy, and why not be serenaded in the middle of New York City.

Justin serenading a couple of other gals after singing for us.

And so Justin got on one knee and played So Long Astoria.  And somehow I gave him $5 to go towards some cause I didn't catch the name of because he told me it as I was reviewing his play list.

Justin  told me I'm now in the running to win $500 and tickets to Saturday Night Live.  Supposedly he plays bass for Saturday Night Live's house band and is volunteering his time to raise money for this great cause.

Anyway, my student Kendra, Justin, and I got talking for a while.  And we heard the fabulous tale of how Justin met his fiance, and how they had known of each other for 14 years, but it wasn't until a year ago that they hung out.  And when they did, they just both knew it was right, and 9 days later Justin proposed.

I have to admit, I'm a bit envious of Justin's tale.  I'm still hoping for a story of my own someday - because right now, all of my romance stories are stories of the almost maybes.