Lent 2014 – 30: So Sue Me

So I’ve missed a few days of writing.  I promise that I have a good excuse.  I was busy…. well, living.  I know, it sounds lame, but it is actually true.  Yes, writing is a discipline and I should do it every day, but I’m not going to forego nurturing my relationships for the sake of writing.  So what have I been doing?  Well, as you know, I went to the ballet on Friday.  On Saturday I celebrated my friend’s birthday.  I behaved myself, but I was the DD for someone else.  Isn’t it amazing how drunk people have endless amounts of energy and they just want to stay up all night?  Like allllllllllll night!  I think it was 4 a.m. when I finally got home and crawled into bed.  That should explain what I did on Sunday; I slept!  Last night I went out with some friends  because it was necessary.  The shame is that I have an essay in me tonight, but I just don’t have the energy to write it.  I am exhausted and I am only awake because I am forcing myself to stay awake long enough until it is late enough that I will sleep through the night.  I hate this game.  I’m thinking that 9:30 p.m. should be a safe time.  I should probably watch some Breaking Bad to help lull me to sleep.  

Check back tomorrow for a real essay.

Until tomorrow… 

Lent 2014 – 29: How the Leaves of Change Changed it All




I took my friend Amanda to the ballet tonight. It was the first time that either of us had been and it was a rather enjoyable experience. I discovered that ballerinas are so skinny because they spend a lot of time running around in circles on the stage without really going anywhere. I learned that I prefer happy, upbeat numbers as opposed to the stoic ones. But, try as I might, even though I found the dancing to be beautiful, I still had no idea what each dance was about. I mean, the one titled “Auschwitz” was pretty self explanatory, but the others were slightly more evasive in their meanings. I was mildly disappointed with the costumes since I felt like they didn’t put much effort into fitting them on each girl and they looked a bit frumpy. Only one number was accompanied by live music, the rest were recordings. The seating was comfortable and spacious and the view of the stage was actually quite good. So, over all, I would give the experience a B+.

While I was watching the dancers tonight I found myself thinking, “That could have been me.” That could have been me on stage if my mother had not pulled the dance rug out from under my feet at a very young age. Let’s go back to where my dance career came to an end. The year was 1986 or 1987. It was a crisp fall day in the suburbs of Detroit. My sister, Lala, and I were outside playing in the leaves. We were laughing, singing, and enjoying the bond of sisterhood. My mother called out to us and told us that it was time to put on our tights and leotards so that we could go to dance. We said that we would come inside in a few minutes, but then the exuberant color of the leaves overtook us and we continued to throw them above our heads as we would laugh and laugh. My mother yelled out to us again; we were running out of time. We were about to go inside when the warmth radiating from the grown lulled us back into a trance while the Earth struggled to hold onto the day as the sun was quickly releasing it’s grip and setting in the West. My mother called out one last time and said that if we did not go inside immediately we would never dance again. The sun knew what we did not; time slips away quickly and sometimes you have to let it go, or you will end up in the dark with your ballet slippers tucked away for good. Lala and I continued to play well into the evening and, as my mother was true to her word, we never danced again.

I remind my mother of this story from time to time just to let her know that I have not forgotten her dream crushing blow. The truth is, I would not have lasted in dance very much longer, for the same reason that I would never last in the military: I refuse to take orders.  The picture above is from my one and only performance; I’m sure it was a sold-out show.  was Thumbelina.  Let me stress that for you again I, Erin Elise, was Thumbelina! However, my dance teacher saw fit to put 15 other girls on the stage and tell them that they were Thumbelina as well! Ha! Everyone knows that there is only one Thumbelina!  I followed along at each practice. I completed each step during rehearsal, but during the recital I claimed what was rightfully mine.  I stood at the end of the line of 16 girls; we spanned the width of the stage.  When the time came for the line to dance to stage left, I danced to the middle of the stage and stayed put, I was right where I belonged, center stage.  I spun, I twirled, I danced my heart out amid the whispers of the teachers backstage trying to usher me to join back up with the other girls.  Why on earth would I do that?  I was a Prima Ballerina Assoluta! I am a Prima Ballerina Assoluta even though I have not worn my ballet shoes in 27 years and I refuse to listen to anyone who tries to tell me otherwise! So while my mother kept me from going to dance, she was never able to take the dancer out of me!

“Thumbelina, Thumbelina tiny little thing
Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing
Thumbelina what’s the difference if you’re very small?
When your heart is full of love you’re nine feet tall.”

-Danny Kaye

Until tomorrow….

Lent 2014 – 28: Still Feeling the Cold Even Though It’s April

Seriously, what is with this weather?  I don’t complain about the weather much for two reasons:

1.  There is nothing I can do about it and,

2.  It will always change (at least it does living here in Cleveland)

But even I have to say, enough already!  I want Spring!  I want to hear birds chirping.  I want to see baby bunnies.  I want to smell flowers in bloom. I want to wear a skirt with no tights, or nylons, or leggings on underneath.  I want to expose my incredibly pasty white legs to the world and say, “Look, look at how my skin reflects the sun!  Spring has sprung my friends, spring has sprung!”

I want to grill out and drink beers, nope, scratch that, I actually hate using the grill.  I want friends to come over and grill for me while I drink some beers.  I want to play poker with the windows open so I can feel the cool breeze as I ante up.  I want to play corn hole and smoke cigars while we take a break from playing poker.  I want to watch neighbors take their dogs for walks and then yell at them when they shit on my lawn and don’t pick it up (the dogs, not the neighbors).  I want to negotiate with the neighborhood crackhead about how much I am willing to pay for him to do my yard work.  

Good Lord!!! This winter has gone on for so long that I am looking forward to holding conversations with crackheads.  So Mother Nature, if you are reading this, please send Spring our way.  Oh also, if it’s not too much to ask, please subscribe to my blog.  I mean, I’m sure your’re probably into a bunch of environmental type blogs, but it would be cool if you followed mine too.  Thanks!

Until tomorrow….

Lent 2014-27: Tonight I Just Need to Rant

I had this entire blog written.  I needed to vent about how much pain I’ve been in because of the damn herniated discs in my back.  I needed to vent about how I’ve done every single thing asked of me for the last year and a half. I’ve taken every prescription I’ve been given (some have been enjoyable, others have made me so dizzy that I can’t even drive my car).   I have had three rounds of physical therapy, three rounds of cortisone shots, two rounds of Epidural Steroid Injections, I’ve been to a chiropractor and nothing has helped.  I have constant lower back pain, constant sciatica pain, and I don’t remember the last time that I was able to stand up straight without being in pain. I have Bursitis in both hips which makes it difficult to sleep on my side, I can’t sleep flat on my back, and sleeping on my stomach is good only in small increments.  So my nights are spent tossing and turning non stop and my days are spent with me being constantly tired.  I have six different kinds of ice packs, two different heating pads and a ridiculously expensive bed and mattress topper.  I make plans based on how far I will have to walk, if there will be a place for me to sit down if I need to, and how much time I will have to stand unassisted.  

I know that there are people who have it worse off than me, but I’m not talking about those people, I’m talking about me and my little corner of the world.  I had all these plans of what I was going to do when I FINALLY graduated from college, and so far I have done none of them.  I am angry, exhausted, and disappointed.  And that is why I deleted half of this blog.  I know that everyone has their own issues and these are just mine.  I know that everyone has something to complain about and many people can “top” my frustrations.  I know that there are people out there who would willingly trade me their pain.  So I deleted the rest of this blog and decided to watch Breaking Bad instead.  Perhaps that will put me in a better mood.  Perhaps.

Until tomorrow….

Lent 2014 – 26: It’s The World We Live In

Have you ever just walked into a room and had the feeling that something was “off”?  You walk slowly and scan the area looking for something, anything, that will tell you what is wrong.  Sometimes you can figure it out, but other times you just have to shake it off and walk away.  I had that experience today.  

I pulled in my driveway when I got home from work, put my car in park and the feeling hit me!! Alarm bells started going off in my head.  Something just wasn’t right.  I stepped cautiously out of my car and allowed myself a fraction of a moment to appreciate that this is the most beautiful day we have had all year, windy, but beautiful.  As quickly as the feeling of pleasure came, it went, as it was drowned out by that nagging feeling again that something was wrong.  The sun was shining brightly and people were on the streets so that helped to steel my nerves a little bit.  I walked to my front door and tested the handle.  I always check my door before I unlock it so that I can tell if it was unlocked before I opened it.  I let out a sigh of relief when I discovered that the door was still locked.  I didn’t go inside though.

I turned my back to my door and surveyed the street.  I looked left, I looked right and then my gaze locked on my tree lawn and I knew what was wrong.  I jumped down my front stairs and ran around the side of my house to my backyard.  I lifted the latch of my gate as my muscles tensed in preparation to fight or flee as the situation would dictate.  I stepped through the gate and realized that my worst fear had come true.  I ran back to the front of my house, climbed my steps and surveyed my neighborhood once again.  I stood there in bewilderment as I questioned what could have possibly happened.  

Today is trash pick-up day.  I put my trash out when I left my house this morning and noticed that my neighbors all up and down the street had done the same.  Yet inexplicably, upon my return home, there was not a single empty trash can to be found.  Now, lest you are thinking, “Perhaps, dear Erin Elise, your neighbors already took their trash cans in”, let me explain to you why that could not possibly be the case.  I live in the hood.  Not the “hood-hood” but hood enough.  Okay, it’s not really hood at all.  I live on the outskirts of the city where people are too afraid to really live IN the city, but too poor to really move OUT of the city.  The point is, my neighbors aren’t really the type to be on top of things like bringing in their trash cans the same day that trash is collected.  So, I can only imagine one of three possible conclusions, and they are as follows:

1.  A kind neighbor took my trash can up with their’s to keep it from blowing away and they will return it to me as soon as possible.  

2.  A roaming crack head (and yes, while I don’t live in the “hood-hood” there are roaming crack heads who offer to do yard work for money) found my empty can and thought they could trade it in for some rocks.

3.  This is the saddest possible option, my trash can is currently being blown all over the city as it struggles to find it’s way back to me.  It is probably in a dark alley somewhere sobbing about how empty it feels right now.  Ugh, I don’t have the stomach to think about it!

So, I have decided that I will wait until Saturday to see if someone returns my missing trash can.  If not, I fully intend to plaster “Missing” posters up and down my entire street.  In fact, the police station is two blocks down, I should probably just stop in and see if they have seen or heard anything.  I will not rest until my trash can is returned in one piece.  

Until tomorrow….. 


Lent 2014 – 25: Succumbing To The Distraction That Is Netflix

So here’s the thing, I don’t feel like writing tonight.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, I actually do, I’m just trying to determine how much I want to share about my personal life with the online world.  So, while I debate that, I am going to spend tonight watching Breaking Bad.  I know, I know, the show is over and I am JUST now starting to watch it.  Please don’t ruin it for me because I really like it so far.  So I am going to watch my show, eat some Swedish Fish, drink some tea and then go to bed.  Let’s me back here tomorrow and we will see what I have come up with.  

Until tomorrow….