Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sweet Summertime



If you don’t have a deck or a patio, I suggest you invest in one some day. If you can’t, that’s ok, use your imagination instead. Hell, just go get a chair and sit on your front lawn. Bottom line: relax.

Summer to me is when my dad plays Jimmy Buffett or Ray Charles so loud in our backyard that the neighbors complain. His favorite part as he says is when, “you can touch your feet to the cement and it’s warm.”

He has eleven adirondack chairs that vary in color sprawled out around our concrete patio and there’s no better feeling that relaxing in one of them while listening to music and feeling the warm breeze on your skin. Especially when you don’t have to worry about crawling out of bed the next morning.

That is my current situation. Minus the fact that I have to be up at 7 o’clock.

You can tell there’s a storm brewing, but that won’t get our asses out of these seats unless it starts to downpour.

I also forgot to mention that he decked out our yard in lights. Literally. The garage and the railings of the deck itself are covered in rope lights, multi-colored Christmas bulb lights, and a bunch of signs and flags that emphasize that “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” No picture does it justice, you just have to join us and when you do, leave your worries at the front door.

Oh, and that palm tree up there? My dad made it out of plastic pucks and gold and green rope lights. He calls it “The Lone Palm,” in reference to the Jimmy Buffett song. It also sways…cool, huh?

This is definitely a Parrothead’s back yard.


The Rug was Pulled Out from Under My Feet


I’ve recently succumbed to the feelings of the phrase, “when it rains it pours,” as well as the meaning of the Beatles lyrics, “I’ve been working like a dog.”

The Journalism job I was rooting for was over before it even started. I applied for a position where I was one step away from it being final, but once the head cheeses had a meeting they decided to eliminate the position.

Optimistic thought #1: I got further in this interview process than I have in the 40+ jobs that I’ve applied for.

Optimistic thought #2 is the typical, “The one that is meant to be will come along when the time is right.”

I’ve also decided that I’m not settling for just anything because it pays. I don’t want a writing job that’s going to pay me $1 per 100 words because it’s not worth my time. These words that I’m typing right here are for free, but I’m writing them because I feel good expressing my own feelings on my own time.

And I thank you all for listening to my rants and stories. I’m keeping this one short, yet sweet…before I apply for 3 more jobs.

Baby is such a Baby


I’m going to start this post off by saying that I’ve never had a dog or a cat. Not because I have two handicapped brothers, but because Jason likes to pull their tails and my parents would feel sorry for the animal. I’ve had hamsters, but they never had to go to the vet…obviously.

So for the first time ever, this morning I had my first vet experience with this precious little feline.

When my boyfriend was 9 he lived next to a man who impounded cars for a living. Nobody noticed a box of kittens in the backseat of a car that was about to be crushed and Baby was the only cat that was able to jump out of the window. She was wandering around the lot when the neighbor found her, and since he couldn’t house the kitten, she was given to my boyfriend’s family. He named her baby because she could fit in the palm of his hand and let me tell you, she lives up to her name.

She’s a spoiled kitty, but she’s the most precious one I’ve ever met. I hated cats for 17 years because my grandma had a devil cat that when I was three, scratched me for no reason what-so-ever. Then I met this sweet ball of fur. So why did I have a change of heart when I met Baby? Well for one, she’s declawed.

Now back to the vet story.

Baby doesn’t cry. She purrs, she meows and does everything but. She’s also an indoor cat. She got into her little cage thinking it was all in good fun, but the minute we got outside I never heard a moan like hers. She wailed the whole car ride and once we got into the office, she finally stopped. I’ve never witnessed an animal in such distress.

After waiting a little bit, the vet came in and it was amusing to see a cat act like a child when they go to the doctor. She was hissing, she was trying to jump off the counter and when she was done she was looking for a treat.

$300 later, after blood work and an antibiotic shot (another expensive reason why I’m glad I never had a dog or a cat) we stepped outside again and it was another 10 minutes of wailing in the car until she got home to her safe place.

Then after we dropped her off we had to go buy her treats, because she hated us.


Friday the 13th with a side of Full Moon

First of all: Never trust a man to give you a neat manicure.

I’ve been going to a local nail salon by my house for 10 years now and occasionally the owner (who’s a man) fills in for the ladies when they’re busy. I was already running on lack of sleep because I made the mistake of sleeping with my windows open the night before. I’ll have you know that I’m surrounded by loud, obnoxious dogs on all corners of my house that like to bark at 6 o’clock in the morning to the point where it makes me wish I had a shotgun. Thanks neighbors. 

Anyway, after his grunts of impatience because I couldn’t relax my hand, he cakes on nail polish to the point where it wasn’t going to dry for at least 30 minutes and if it did, I’d smudge it regardless. Which I did! He also went outside the lines on 8 out of 10 nails so I left the salon with messy smudged nails. I didn’t have the patience or the time for him to fix them. Needless to say I could’ve done a better job myself, for free.

My day of bad luck continued when I got home and had a taste for a salami sandwich. A pound of salami was sitting in the fridge for weeks, so naturally I thought it would still be there. Nope. My dad threw it away because it was old. Oh well, there was ham. So I just made the best out of that situation.

Back in February I booked a weekend downtown for my mother for Mother’s Day and that weekend happened to be this one. As if my day wasn’t going smooth already I had the pleasure of riding the “L train.” We get to the station and once again I have to deal with this stupid Ventra system that took over the rail system. I followed the directions and then after inserting my last dollar, the machine says “transaction not complete” and spits my money out, but not before it tells me to see the cashier. The cashier verbally instructed the directions I just followed, meanwhile we’re missing our train because we have to wait in line again and deal with this crap. Naturally after doing it a second time with this lady hovering over my shoulder. It worked.  

We finally got downtown and I was able to enjoy myself…after a few wine flights. 

Second of all: I would’ve blogged about this sooner, except the hotel we were staying at wanted to charge me $18 to use the wireless connection. Complimentary my ass…





If You Build It, They Will Come…

Ok so I’m not building anything, nor am I a half-naked Indian in the movie Wayne’s World, but I do have a point.

As I previously mentioned, I’ve been applying for Journalism jobs excessively with no luck. Because of the neurotic obsessive-compulsive weirdo that I am, I’ve kept a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to track jobs that I’ve applied for. I wish I was lying when I say that number adds up close to 40.

Recently I was presented with an opportunity to get paid to blog about entertainment in my city. It’s a dream job of mine. The best part of it: they encourage you to write in your own voice.

Nothing is set in stone yet and I don’t want to jinx myself, but my point is this…keep trying. No matter how much you want to give up believe that when the time is right the opportunity will present itself.

You will eventually reach your goal.

Life’s About Taking Risks

I’ve always had a passion for food. I love to eat it, cook it, write about it, etc…and since my Journalism degree is getting me nowhere I regret not going to culinary school with each day that passes.

My cousin Katie and I always planned to have our own show on the Travel Channel someday. Her college background revolves around law enforcement so she would reign as security on set while I do all the writing and camera business. Our topic of choice: Profiling all of the places that are handicap accessible in the world and providing makeovers to those that are not.

That’s original enough for me. While growing up, everyone always thought I would become a physical or occupational therapist and my response to them was, “No thanks I’m around handicapped people everyday…I don’t want to make a living out of it.” I still don’t, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to help people out. A girl has to be her own person and branch out from the life she’s all too familiar with.

If I could create a show like that it would be a dream come true. I could travel the world with my brothers while gaining independence and  staying true to the world I know best.

With all that said, I applied for a job with the Travel Channel tonight…it’s for a Sales Assistant Position for the Food Network and Cooking Channel…it’s a long shot, but life is about taking risks right?

Jason Graduated High School Today



If you’ve read my first and second posts you’ll learn that I am the oldest sister of my two handicapped brothers Jason and Sean.

Today I was a proud sister when my brother Jason graduated from high school at the age of 21. Most of you are probably thinking, “Most students graduate at 18 or 19,” but disabled children are allowed to be in school until they are 21 or 22, depending on when their birthday is.

Jason has attended North Side Learning Center in Chicago, IL for the past 7 years. He was very popular, not only with the ladies but with the teachers, his friends, and everyone he came in contact with.  He really knows how to make someone feel special and he’s not shy. He’ll greet you with a hug if he’s known you for years, or if you just met he’ll say, “Hi” while giving you a wave.

I am so honored to be this kids sister. He has the biggest heart and an even bigger personality.

He doesn’t like change but his future plans are to go to a day school. One that he will choose himself. Two options are up in the air right now, but Jason will be the one to decide which one he likes best. Whatever his decision is, there will be friends wherever he goes, old and new.

I’ve never met anyone that loves school as much as he does. He’d live in a school if he could. He’s been saying the word “bus” everyday for as long as I can remember and he has accepted the fact that he will no longer be riding one. It is the end of an era for him. Now he gets to ride in the “van,” his second favorite vehicle.

It’s time for Jason to roll with the changes…literally.



Forgive Me

For I have broken the cardinal rule of blogging. The cardinal rule that is: one must thought post on their blog as if it is their job. Oops.

Well we all have lives (real jobs) and busy schedules, but that is no excuse for ignoring yourself.

After graduating I went on a “writing hiatus.” I kept thinking, “Hey Dana, you’ve been writing for five years straight so give yourself a break.” Well that break turned into a year, hence why I started this blog. I rant, I rave, I have emotions and writing has always helped me deal with my crazy mind.

As a kid I wrote poems. When I got older and read them I thought they were stupid, but hey, they meant something to me at the time. I’m a hopeless romantic, so as a teenager there was a lot of “I love him, I hate him, I wanna burn you in the eye with a cigarette so you can feel how I feel…” Okay that last part was a little dramatic, but teenagers are dramatic.

My motto is and always has been that the paper doesn’t judge you. Write exactly what you feel. However, if you don’t want anyone to read what you feel, then you better lock that journal up in a safe with a pass code.