Who Cares

I am now officially out of my job. I finally quit today. It was a long time coming. I have a great resume, and I know I can find work elsewhere. So, for now, it’s just my nursery school teacher side gig. I work Monday through Friday, 6 AM to 10 AM. I will have a lot more time on my hands now. But that’s OK. I have over $700,000 saved in the bank, a house that’s paid off, and some land I bought in Piscataway that appreciated nicely. I don’t know if I’m ever going back to marketing for drug companies. It’s a highly specialized field, and I can command a salary of $175,000, easily. But do I want to?

The blue skies are calling! I think I’m going to head on down to Sandy Hook and get some sun. I’m feeling daring, so perhaps I will venture out onto that beach where attire is…optional. I’m a plus-size woman, but I am secure in my shape and appearance, so it may just happen. I’ve never done anything like that. I mean, I’ve been to Mexico and the Carribean where tops are optional for women, but to go totally birthday suit is going to take some extra bravery on my part.

Martial Arts

I just saw a Bruce Lee Movie and I’m pumped! I want, so badly, to be able to kick someone’s butt if they ever tried taking my purse. Right now, I’m 5’3″, 250 pounds, so no one is going to be afraid of me. I want to get in shape so I can, at least, protect myself if I needed to. I’m a fifty-something woman who wants to be able to be a literally tiger if need be! Kee-yah! I took Tae- Kwon Do in intermediate school, but I never reached black belt. It was more geared toward lame tournaments where I “performed” my moves and hot advancements. I think I was a yellow belt when I quit.

Did I Retreat To Nursery School

My sister claims I am regressing. Like, somehow, my marketing job means so much more than teaching little ones the basics, their ABCs, how to use a tissue, even! Who is she to say this? “Golden Child” dynamic in my birth family. I respect her, so I wouldn’t comment on the many failures in her life. Starting with two divorces, getting hooked on pills, getting fired from five jobs, yelling at my great-aunt when she was high. Now she has a good job making $210,000 yearly. She’s sober and clean so good for her but she rubs it in that my job pays a lot less. Life’s a beach and so is my sister.

How Do You Stop Procrastinating

I don’t know. This blog entry isn’t going to me me telling you. It’s me, hopefully getting some good responses, or great links. I am baffled. I am a professional procrastinator. Trust me, I deserve the honor. I want to stop, really I do. I feel like my life could have been way better if I had not been like this.

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Staten Island News

What do you guys think about Staten Island? I am a part-time resident. I split my living between my Mom’s house on Staten Island on the weekends, and my own home in New Jersey during the week, about forty minutes from the island. I know there are many issues people have with Staten Island, but I am actually from Brooklyn, and we moved to Staten Island when I was in third grade, just as I finally made friends with everyone, after years of agonizing shyness.

But once we moved, I made even more friends! When we moved to the island, Staten Island was still an oasis within New York City. Since that time, many old-timers have sought greener pastures in Florida, Texas, the Carolinas, New jersey, Pennsylvania. New neighbors took their place. Some are friendly, like the original people. Others are not. Most green spaces have been built on. We moved in 1975 (dating myself here—hey, don’t be an ageist!) and the island was a different place. For instance, we had horses at the end of my block. Now, it’s a deli and nail salon and pizzeria. Progress.

Most of the people I speak with in New Jersey think Staten Island is Long Island. Can I really understand the confusion? Staten Island News, co-workers, friends, and New jersey neighbors tell me, is all about organized crime happenings. That’s just not true. Nor is it true that the island is made of garbage. If it makes them feel like life is more exciting because Sheila spends her weekends on the island, I guess who am I to burst their bubbles? But the “Staten Italy” comments are too much. It’s just not funny. And jokes about Staten Island Italians’ skin being “orange” because of tanning salons make me almost puke! This IS my skin color. I’m 75% Italian, 25% Puerto Rican. I am dark, so deal with it without the comments. And, my Italian relatives are literally brown, my Mom’s Dad, from Puerto Rico, has blue eyes and is fair. Life is strange.

The truth is, Staten Island is a big place. It’s almost Brooklyn’s twin borough, in terms of size. Like seventy square miles or so. There are a half a million people here and so you can be sure it’s just another part of New York City, and not some place out of the movies, a hick-town of some sort. I would have bought a house on Staten Island, but the prices are so high that in New Jersey, where I ended up, I can get a house with 5 bedrooms, 4 and a half baths, a half acre of land, all for what you would probably think is a house made out of a box on Staten Island. Staten Island houses can be boxy. I mean, there are mansions that probably cost 100 million dollars, houses with acres of land up in the hills, but for the most part, the houses are either townhouses or detached homes that are somewhat modest. Yet costly. My New Jersey home is decidedly majestic. I mean, it’s even a unique design. On Staten Island, I’d be in a box.

As far as Staten Island news goes, there are plenty of different things happening, and no newspaper is going to get it all. The local paper, the Staten Island Advance, is very old. It’s like a hundred years old? I remember, as a kid, doing Current Events homework assignments, having to cut out an article from the Advance and summarize it and then present in front of the class. My family also got the New York Times and the Daily News. (My uncle had a truck route delivering the papers from the plant, and he always gave us free papers. He lived downstairs until he moved back to Italy in 1999.)

The news on Staten Island ranges from who is having a Sweet Sixteen to politics and everything in between. Staten Island is not a town. It’s a borough of New York City. And so, we have like 50 towns on the island! On the North Shore, where it’s urbanized, they’re called neighborhoods. But in the East and South Shores, where it’s more like suburbs on Long Island, we call them towns. Most towns have a station on the Staten Island Rapid Transit, now known as the Staten Island Railway. It’s not quite a suburb. Don’t get confused. It’s still NYC. But there are tons of parks, and that’s why we’re now known as the Borough of Parks.

There are a lot of Italian people on Staten Island. That rumor is true. As a result, the pizza really is the best in the world, and there are tons of choices for Italian food. There are also many salumerias and even places that make fresh cheese and pasta! Overall, it’s beautiful, but it isn’t for everyone. There is a lot of traffic. Tolls are $20 for the bridges. Yes. You read that right. And lastly, you have to be able to tolerate that NO ONE outside of Staten Island is ever going to do anything but laugh at your borough.

There’s a lot of culture here, too. Sailor’s Snug Harbor is amazing. It’s a sprawling cultural center built on the site of a home for retired sailors. I kid you not. I even went to school there in fifth grade every Friday, a program called “Across Four Bridges.” We learned all about New York City maritime history. It was fun not to be in actual school.

So when you think you’re going to make a witty joke about Staten Island news being all about mobsters and organized crime, think twice. To me, that’s just biased. There’s a whole lot more here than you could ever imagine. We actually like it that outsiders don’t come around! Staten Island is like a secret. If you don’t want in on it, that’s cool. More pizza, fresh mozzarella, and handmade ravioli for me!

I started contributing articles to local newspapers. I know I’m not the best writer, but I know grammar, and I can be passing entertaining. How much skill does it really take to be in the news business, anyway? And, for real, I’m just doing this for fun. My career is in marketing research and early childhood education. Well, twin careers.

Yoga For Sheila

Am I really crazy when I tell you that yoga changed my life? Twice? Listen: If you haven’t ever done Hatha yoga, give it a try. You will feel better. I started for autoimmune issues, tightness, fascial pain, and a lot of other issues. I feel fine now. I’ve been practicing yoga now for five years. It took only two months to feel better in so many ways.

Autistic Kid

One of the pre-schoolers, Jeff, we’ll call him…He’s..different. Clearly a potential candidate for further investigation by medical professionals as to whether he’s “on the spectrum,” but definitely not the domain of another parent to say so. I mean, if your kid got bitten by someone else’s kid, say anything you want. But it was just in reference to how shy Jeff was, how aloof he seemed. It was a biting comment, definitely not about anything positive. I was there and quickly responded that parents shouldn’t make comments to other parents in front of the kids. I mean, Jeff was RIGHT THERE. You gotta stand up for the underdog!

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Why Don’t I Care

I feel like I have become heartless toward the owner of the pre-school I work at. She’s an older woman and she is very annoying. But I think she was just lonely and I was sort of rude this morning. I have to set things right as soon as possible. She’s from India and I think she was trying to just be warm and share her life stories with me. I think I was just too impatient. What should I do? I feel awkward mentioning it, so I will try to just adjust my behavior instead. She’s just trying to connect as women, as people. I feel so badly about it. I can’t sleep. It’s a good thing I am single. I think back and wonder when I became such an angry person with such an impatient manner. Really makes me wonder.

Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash

Not Wearing A Mask

Masks harm people when they’re not worn! But that time is over! Lockdown, bye bye! I don’t know how I am going to adjust to reality post-COVID. I feel like I forgot how to socialize.

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

Are Essential Oils Really Any Good

I am wondering if I should get some. My cousin sells Young Living, but it seems like some sort of thing I am just not into. I don’t want to sell oils myself. And hers are like double the price of Vitamin Shoppe. I know that there are different grades of oil. It’s obvious because the price range is so great. But Young Living isn’t organic, and is priced higher than the organics. My cousin tells me how great they are, but she seems a bit too starry eyed to be trusted. And, she’s not the first. I’ve met exactly three other people selling Young Living Essential Oils, and they all seem way too enthused. Maybe I’m missing out on something?

I mean, my cousin is a doll. Such a sweet person! But those oils…she never stops pushing them on you.

I guess it works for her? She’s been doing it for a while. I guess she makes money with it? Who knows! I keep fearing, in the back of my mind, that her cellar, attic, garage, and spare bedroom are full of Young Living Essential Oils! I have a serious concern that she’s so nice she keeps buying and buying from HER distributor. I said she’s sweet, she’s actually the sweetest. This girl is so thoughtful, soft-spoken, and kind. She has bright blue eyes and seems to never have learned to lie or hurt others. I just worry that her distributor gave her a sob story and now she’s subsidizing her existence via wholesale purchases she can’t possibly sell. Just a thought.

The Vitamin Shoppe essential oils are a bargain, but you get what you pay for. To me, many smell like they don’t clean their equipment thoroughly between batches; that is, they all have undertones of mint, lavender, orange, and other strong notes like cedar. I almost can’t tell which is which.

Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash

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