Welcome to SANDYLAND!!

stories from my childhood

Chasing Jordan Catalano – Chronicles (Part 2)

I was literally mesmerized by him.  By everything about him; his energy, his positivity, his kindness, not to mention his good looks.  What’s really funny is that he is not what I would have normally considered “my type”.  But there was something about my Jordan that I just couldn’t shake and the attraction was stronger than any other I had known.

Jordan bad Habits

Even his bad habits were ignored by me.

When those two days finally passed and I was about to be near him again, I could barely contain my excitement.  It was complete insanity to be this excited over someone I didn’t really know.  But as soon as I saw him, I understood it once again.

We saw each other and it was like the world around us was set on fire.  We were in a very crowded room among a frenzy of people and I had to leave.  I hate crowds (and sometimes people) and it was all too much – Jordan or not, I had to escape.  So, I went out into the hallway where the crowd was lessened and the noise was minimized.  And as I waited for my friends and for the event to start, the door opened and out came Jordan.  His beautiful bright smile was directed at me and while he busied himself, he stood next to me and engaged me in conversation.  It was everything a young (or old) girl could have asked for.

After the event, I was once again trapped in that small room with him again.  And like the two days prior, once the crowd thinned out, it was just a small group of the same people left.  And here we were – Jordan and me (and it seemed, no one else) chatting away as if we’d known our entire lives that this moment was meant to be.

…to be continued.

Advertisements

Chasing Jordan Catalano – Chronicles (Part 1)

Remember “My So-Called Life”?  That ridiculously real show from the 90’s that launched the careers of Claire Danes and Jared Leto?  Remember how Claire’s Angela pined for Jared’s Jordan?  (“Don’t you just love how he leans?”)

jordancatalano

Ah, Jordan Catalano  (via Yahoo)

Jordan Catalano was the epitome of teenage boy crushes.  Because he embodied everything we had imagined, our entire lives, our soulmate to be.  Jordan was imperfectly perfect.

I’m sure we have all experienced a love like that of Jordan Catalano.

The one guy who you see for just a split moment in time and you simply….fall.

You can’t sleep without dreaming of him, you can’t eat, you see him in everything you do; his name is written on every page or sign.  You simply can’t function because your “Jordan” is everywhere.

I remember the first time I saw my Jordan.  I noticed him from across a very large and crowded room.  I recognized his name, but had never actually met him.  I will admit, although he was not what I expected, he caught my eye.

The next time I saw him, several weeks later, my eyes lingered on him for a long while.  An amidst a sordid incident with others, I felt an unrelenting need to protect him.  That same day, I found myself in his presence, hearing him speak and being in close proximity to him.  And I can say this with complete honesty, I have never wanted to physically put my hands on another person so badly in my entire life.  Standing just a few feet away from him, all I wanted to do was reach out and touch him; to graze even just his stomach.  I had never been this physically drawn to someone before.  And maybe never since.

Less than a week later, I was sharing space with him again.  We spoke briefly before an event and it was as if the world stopped around us for those few moments.  Mini fireworks seemed to go off in the background while we chatted.  For the next hour, we watched each other from across a room.  Eyes meeting eyes.  And then once again, we were next to each other in a small room, amidst a small crowd, and once our eyes met, they never left each other.

From that moment, I could not stop thinking of him.  He was on my mind constantly.  The mere thought of him made me dizzy and I often had a hard time catching my breath.  And each and every time we spoke by phone or email or in person, my heart rate would jump and the butterflies in my stomach would swirl around in a frenzy.  When I had plans to see him again just two days later, I couldn’t shake the feelings of excitement, nervousness, and anxiety.  Here was this boy that I barely knew, and I was headed to see him.  My palms were sweaty, my heart was racing, and my breathing labored…or at least it felt that way.  I felt like I was on a roller-coaster that would never end.  I spent those two days thinking of him…of nothing but him.  I was like a kid at Christmas waiting for Santa.

….To Be Continued.

~Cheers


Halloween Movie Countdown – Part 7

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

H20

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120694/?ref_=nv_sr_1

This movie jumped on the bandwagon of teen horror films post Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.  I mean, sure, it’s a franchise that had started in the 70’s, but this time around it really seemed it was geared toward a younger crowd.  And it did ride the heels of the others.

Cool Kids

The cool kids

I am not a big fan of the Halloween movie(s).  Not because I found it super scary, although, don’t get me wrong, Michael Myers is definitely a creep, but moreso I found it boring and annoying.  And because I’m not a Jamie Lee Curtis fan.

HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER, Jamie Lee Curits, Chris Durand (as Michael Myers,) 1998.

Aww…look at that face.

All that being said, I have always like H20.  And perhaps it is because it is in the same keepings of the Scream and IKWYDLS films.  So, I was happy to rewatch it this year after not having seen it in a long time.  And, of course, the fact that there’s a new Halloween movie geared for release next year (40 years!) did give me some incentive to see this one again.

~Cheers


Tales from the Fog

Last weekend I got a hankerin’ to start my Halloween movie watching – albeit a little early.  With the coolness in the air last weekend, and now that the leaves are starting to change color and develop their crisp, Autumn scent, it seemed appropriate that my viewing  would come sooner this year.

My beau and I were talking about Stephen King’s Silver Bullet and, of course, that’s what I decided to spend a late, lazy Sunday afternoon watching.  After spending nearly all of my weekend working on my fitness biz, it was a perfect-ish way to relax for a few hours.

silver-bullter

Total 80’s creepiness and fromage.  Oh-so-fromage.

And, as always, Silver Bullet did not let me down.  Corey Haim and Megan Follows are forever perfect as Jane and Marty, siblings dueling with each other, and with a werewolf – with a conscience.

haim-and-follows

Childhood horror heroes (and Anne of Green Gables, yo)

And, of course, we can’t forget Gary Busey.  I love that dude.  He is spazz-tastic.  Just say no to drugs, kids.

gary-busey

Um….caption this….anyone?

So, there I was, Sunday evening, watching Silver Bullet with not another thought to it.  A movie I’d seen a bunch of times before.  And all was well.

Then, Monday morning came.  Eaaarly Monday morning.  I’ve been teaching fitness classes in the park very early Monday mornings since the summer and as the summer came closer to ending, the later the sun has been rising.  And last week when I went out, not only was it pitch dark, it was foggy.  There was a thick rolling fog.  Perfect for a nervous Nelly….and werewolves.

As I’m waiting for my class participants to arrive, I’m sitting in my car, doors locked, of course, staring down over the park, trying to see through the thickness of the fog.  And texting my friend about the possibility of werewolf attacks.  She called me a fool and said there was no such thing as werewolves.

werewolf_hunting_woods_fog_night

Don’t think I DON’T see you lurking there.  This was pretty much my view at  the park.  Pretty much.  😉

But, I’m pretty sure that the last person who got attacked by a werewolf was certain there was no such thing as werewolves.

Next up (hopefully):  Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original!)

~Sandy


Hitting the Family Jackpot

To say that I grew up in a loving family is an understatement, to say the least.  I grew up in an abundance of love.  With warmth and hugs and kisses.  I hit the family jackpot!

I was surrounded constantly by my family – parents, brother, best friends – who were basically adopted siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  And everyone is very close.
My mom’s parents lived only two houses up the street from us and they were the foundation of my family.  They were our proverbial rock.  Walking into their home was always walking into warmth.  They had an open-door policy and their faces would light up anytime we walked into the home.  And although they lived just a few minutes away and I got to see them pretty much anytime I wanted, nearly every day, it was always a great treat to visit them.  Nannie and Grampie.
My brother and cousins and I would take turns having sleepovers at their home.  And they made each and every one of us feel special and like we were the most important people in the world.
When I was very little, not school-aged yet, my nannie would take me shopping.  My grampie would give me money before I left and my mom would joke that I would always come home with a treat and more money than I left with.
I was their favorite.  We were ALL their favorite.  And they never made us feel like we were anything less.
These people were so special – to all of us.  We would always have big family Christmas parties there; celebrating, and being in love with each other and being so thankful for having these wonderful, loving people in our lives.  Feeling truly blessed.  In the summers, we would have “wiener roasts” – a backyard barbecue of sorts on the side lawn with a fire pit and swings and making “hobo pies” out of white bread and pie filling and roasting them in the fire.  These would go to after dark and were such a treat because we kids, the cousins, got to stay up late and play and be surrounded by so much love and friendship.
My grandmother, Betty, was an incredible woman.  Bright, witty, spunky, hilarious, and hip.  And my grandfather, Brent, loved her more than words can ever express.  And the two of them loved us unconditionally.
Nannie

Catching a fish and wearing white jeans with a thick black belt – this woman was ahead of her time

I remember never wanting to disappoint them.  And even today I still try to live each day trying to impress them and making them proud from their perch in Heaven, as I know they are looking down on me.
In fact, I remember the first (and maybe only) time my grandfather yelled at me.  I was maybe 3 or 4 and I was playing with my baby cousin, Daphnie and I held her wrong or something that may have injured her – and my grampie yelled at me.  Not out of anger, but to prevent me from hurting the baby.  I was instantly heartbroken and I burst into tears, confused and ashamed that I made this man, who I loved so dearly, angry with me.  Of course, he and my grandmother cleared up the confusion but I still remember that moment vividly.
My grandmother was very, very hip.  She drove a moped!  And she loved Billy Ray Cyrus and Clint Eastwood.  And she taught me how to play (read: cheat at) cards.  If were driving with her and jokingly said “Nannie, look at the cute boy, stop the car!”, she would indeed stop the car.  And she would laugh.  If she saw cute boys she would call them over and introduce us.  Instant mortification to a teenager, but funny as hell now.  Nannie would let me put make up on her – regardless of how hideous it looked – and tell me how much she loved it.  She would welcome me with open arms when I would “run away from home” and walk on the inside of the guardrail to get to their place (my mom would always watch from the end of the driveway).  I never felt of out of place with my grandparents.
Nannie had a heart condition.  She had two heart attacks by the time she reached 40 and then had a pacemaker put in. When I was diagnosed with a heart condition when I was in my late teens I was also told I would have a pacemaker by the time I was 30 (Note 1. My family doctor was super pissed at this statement and said the specialist had no business telling a kid something like that!  Note 2.  I don’t plan on ever turning 30.).  At the time I was annoyed and confused and scared at this diagnoses.  But, although I saw it as a potential obstacle in my health and life, I also saw it as something I possibly inherited from her.  Something that made me feel just a little more bonded to her.  I have held onto that.
When Nannie was diagnosed with lung cancer in the late 90’s I was devastated.  I remember my mom told me one Friday night while my friend Kim was with me so that I could be comforted at the time of receiving this terrible news.  But Nannie was so strong.  And after having her lung removed, her cancer was gone.  I also remember that while she was in the hospital for this surgery and treatment she was telling me about this gorgeous (male) nurse or orderly that she thought I would find so cute – as she found him so cute – but then she broke the news “….but I think he might be gay.  Dammit.
Within months of having her surgery Nannie was out in the fields picking berries in the summer heat.  Something she loved to do.  She took me with her one summer when I was 15, but I was not meant for that kind of back-breaking work – or using a port-a-potty in midsummer heat (so that I complained the entire day about having to pee) and she refused to take me again.  Ever.  And she kept her word.
That fall I had an essay to write on heroes.  And in my essay I wrote that I did not believe in heroes because I saw them as mythical beings, but that the closest I could come to was my grandmother, for all that she had done and gone through, and even made mention of the berry picking right after her surgery.  (I may also have mentioned my affection for Drew Barrymore for all that she had gone through in her short life and had overcome so much.  See, lifelong follower of this girl.) My nannie was indeed heroic.
Not long after, Nannie was diagnosed with throat cancer.  Cancer so bad that there wasn’t much to do.  The cancer would win.  My nannie, however, stayed strong and fought as much as she could.  We had family gatherings and spent as much time as we could with this woman.  But sadly, devastatingly, heart-breakingly, Nannie passed away in November of 1999 at the age of 60.  A young woman still with so many years of love and adventure left to live.  And my world crumbled.
I have never experienced pain like that in my life. Ever.  This woman was our world.  Our rock.  Our light.  And her death devastated me.  I still have not fully recovered.  To this day, even in this moment, I cannot think or speak of her without crying.  And maybe it’s because it was the first time I really experienced death and loss.  And maybe because she was just so full of life and love and liveliness.  I continue to mourn her loss each day.  But I also celebrate her life each day.
I live in my own world sometimes – hello, SandyLand.  I have adventures, I laugh my ass off – even at the most inappropriate things, I hug and kiss my nephews with so much love that I think they can’t stand it, and I have taught Abby how to play the first game of cards my nannie taught me to play.  And, just like my nannie, I play to win!
There are moments when I can be a real scrag.  I admit it.  But for the most part I try to live each day with goodness and love and laughter.  I want to continue to please my grandparents and not disappoint.  Because I know one day I will see them in Heaven and I know I will have to explain my actions to them if I’ve been a real asshole.
Each night I say a prayer for them – and my dearly departed Aunt Linda – and pray that they are all together and loving and watching and waiting.
I know, since the passing of my grandparents and of my aunt Linda, my mom and my aunt and uncles are pained.  They are broken-hearted, as we all are.  And sometimes it’s terribly difficult to get the family together for holiday celebrations or gatherings because it feels like the spark has gone out.  Like the house is empty and there’s really no point anymore. Because deep down – or even right on the surface – it’s so unbearably painful to celebrate our family when we’re no longer complete. Since my grandmother’s death, my mom (the eldest of her siblings {sorry I used the word “eldest”}) has pretty much taken over the role of the rock; the matriarch of our big but little family.  She always makes sure that no one is left out of Christmas gifts or celebrations.  She wants to honour everyone in the family – especially those who are no longer with us. But everyone sticks together.  As a family, we have had our moments, our ups and downs, that’s what happens in families sometimes.  But we love each other.  Parents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  We support each other.  And there are days we want to beat each other over the head with a golf club, but at the end of the day, when it comes right down to, our family is bonded with love and togetherness.  That is something we all inherited from Nannie and Grampie.
I want my family (my nephews, my future children) to feel like it’s Christmas morning – to feel that abundance of love and togetherness and that incredible light of love that I always felt at Nannie and Grampie’s.  Walking into my parents’ home I always feel the warmth and the welcoming I felt each time I walked into that house up the street.  And when I visit my cousins and my aunts and uncles I am always welcomed with open arms and smiles and hugs.  The way it was meant to be.  And the way it will be when we’re all together again.
~Sandy

We Are All Made of Stars

A few weeks ago someone shared a video on Facebook.  It kept popping up in my news feed for days and days so I finally watched it.  And I am so glad I did.

It was the clip of little Grace Vanderwaal singing her original song (and playing the frickin’ ukulele!) on America’s Got Talent.

I don’t normally watch the umpteen dozen talent shows on TV.  In fact, I find them very tiresome.  But every once in a while we stumble across these incredible talents. These shining stars that, until the development of social media shares such as Facebook and YouTube, we might never have seen.

So, to that end I’m going to share with you my top 3 (unknown) stars.  The first, of course, being the incredible Grace VanderWaal.

I can’t get enough of her.  There is something so unique in her sound – like you can hear the Dutch ancestry coming out only in music.  And that look Howie Mandel gives her the moment she starts singing is the same way I feel every time I hear her – like it’s shocking that this girl is so.damn.talented.  Each time I watch the clip (which has been a lot!) I teary eyed and goose bumpy.  I am constantly singing her song and cannot wait for this kid to put out a record because I am just so enamored with her. She is a huge talent (did I mention that she writes her own songs and plays the ukulele???) in this tiny vessel.  She is charismatic and innocent and there is something just so special about her.  We need more innocence in today’s musical word of Britney Spears (*barf*) and Beyonce (*barf* squared).  I am predicting big things for Grace.

****

Last summer my friend Jesse said “You have to watch this video”.  I did. Over and over and over and over.  Now you watch it.

This video let the world fall in love with “Backpack Girl”.  I’m not kidding.  After I watched it I Googled and Googled and found out the rest of the internet world was trying to discover the identity of this group of gorgeous singers and Backpack Girl.  Turns out, these lovely ladies are from the island of Grenada and this little minute-and-a-half video of theirs sparked an insane internet sensation to “Find Backpack Girl.”  Yes!  Talent like this should not be kept from us.

Backpack Girl’s name is Jasmine Murray and she’s coming out of her shell.  Check out this remix of the same song at a local function.

OMG That Voice!!

****

Last, but not least, is Shaheen Jafargholi who I discovered after Michael Jackson’s death when we were YouTubing a bunch of Michael’s songs.  This kid was on Britain’s Got Talent years ago and started off singing some shitty Amy Winehouse song.  Simon Cowell stopped him in the middle of his performance and told him to basically try again.  Thank goodness he did.  Shaheen’s next song choice was “Who’s Loving You” by MJ, and man, what a performance.

This little dude embodies the old, bluesy, soulful music of old-time blues and jazz clubs we can now only hear about or see in the movies.  And he’s got that big voice and those little dimples.  I love Simon’s smirks throughout Shaheen’s performance – so much well-deserved cockiness (Simon knows his shit!).  This appearance has led to some big things for Shaheen – including singing at Michael Jackson’s memorial.

****

With all of this talent in only three videos, I can only imagine the sea of ‘undiscovereds’ out there.  Like millions of acres of unclaimed land in the world, there is an multitude of oceans of beautiful voices just waiting to be heard.

~Sandy


Fight Club

If you are from my hometown then you are more than likely familiar with JR’s.  If you’re not familiar then let me give you a little background:
JR’s was this little bar – similar to a honky tonk, I’m guessing – that was dark and grungy and known for the people it attracted (if you’re picking up what I’m putting down) and the fights that broke out.  It was not my bar of choice, in fact, when I turned 19 and was old enough to drink and go out to the clubs, my mother nearly forbade me from going to JR’s.  She didn’t actually forbid me, which is why I did go to that spot on occasion, but it definitely was not my cup of tea. Nor my first choice of dance clubs.
One summer, however, my BFF Kim and I had planned to go to JR’s.  It was her first time going and it was a big deal.  It was the summer of Ghetto Superstar and we could hardly wait to rock out on the dance floor to that song.  (Lord, I’m getting old!)  The bar was packed.  There is a military base just outside of our town and Saturday nights the boys let loose.  JR’s was the bar of choice for these cats.  There is also a lot of agricultural business in and surrounding my communities – lots of farming of many types.  And a lot of farmers hired outside of Nova Scotia, back then mostly Bajans (read: Barbadians).
The military folk were cocky – arrogant SOBs who walked around like they owned the town, and the Bajans would hit on anything walking upright.  These two groups clearly did not see eye-to-eye.  (But then again, the military boys didn’t really see eye-to-eye with anyone.)
And then there was us:  locals.  Valley peeps just out for a good time, having a few drinks, dancing our butts off, and hanging with friends and people we knew from high school.
This night was special though.  Kim was my best friend.  I always felt like we were soul mates.  I partly credit her for helping me bust out of my shell and becoming the hilarious girl I am today; and I had promised her for so long that we would eventually go out to JR’s and we would dance our dance to Ghetto Superstar and it would be a fucking blast! And the night went pretty perfectly.  We danced.  We had a few drinks.  We mingled with friends.  It was summer and the night was young fun.
Ghetto Superstars

Oh my God the 90’s!  That’s me and Kim, Betty and Veronica (I’m the brunette) , the terrible two, gearing up for one of our infamous adventures in SandyLand.

Several times while we were on the dance floor, however, this young, drunk punk kept bumping into us.  The guy wasn’t very big but he was completely wasted and he was perpetually on the dance floor (alone) bumping and knocking and grating on everyone’s last nerve.  Y’know at first, everyone was like “Meh, it’s all good.  We’re cool.”  But after so many times you kind of can’t handle much more.
There was another young couple on the dance floor.  The guy was clearly military and he and his girl were dancing and making out – but minding their business and having fun.  McBumpy danced into them a few times and Military boy was obviously getting more and more annoyed.
When Ghetto Superstar was finally played Kim and I made our way to the center of the dance floor and broke out our dance moves.  We were stoked and we were literally having the time of our lives!  Then it happened, McBumpy bumped me again and again and again.  I know the poor dude was just out for a good time and should have been cut off long before, but I was seriously irritated and when he bumped me for the last time I made sure it was the.last.time.
I shoved him….and bam!  He cascaded right into Military dude and his woman.  Needless to say, Military dude had had enough by this point and he shoved him back, and then he smoked McBumpy.
This is where it gets realllllly interesting.  It was like a domino effect, but in reality, it was just the nature of JR’s.  Because right after Military dude punched McBumpy, someone else punched someone else.  And then someone else punched someone else….until a full-out brawl broke out.  I’m not even kidding.  It was like something out of a movie.  Dozens of people were fighting.  Even the bouncers were sucker-punching people (again, the nature of JR’s).  It was REDONKULOUS!
I grabbed Kim’s hand and we made our way outside of the bar as we ducked and avoided getting the shit beat out of us. Once outside, the scenery was exactly the same – fights were erupting everywhere.  Bajans and Military and Homeboys and Locals and Bouncers.  It was chaos.
One of my friends, who happened to be a former boxer, got a tap on the shoulder in the midst of all this.  When he turned around he got sucker-punched.  Big mistake!  I can still hear the sound of his fist connecting with the other guy’s face!
In the midst of this chaos Kim and I were trying to decipher what the hell we should do and how to get out of that bruhaha.  In the distance, we could hear the sirens wailing, and they got closer and closer.  Still holding hands, Kim and I bolted through the crowd, dodging fists and slaps, and ran through the back parking lot, through what can only be described as a tiny field back then; running, running, behind buildings, to safety – and far away from what was likely the biggest fight in JR’s history.  While we were getting out of Dodge, we looked back and saw NINE police cars already at the bar!!  I didn’t even realize our little town had nine police cars!  I’m sure more came later.
We roamed, quietly, the streets for a while, staying out of sight, until the hoopla died down, and eventually made our way back to my car and headed home.  But the night was so insane that, even though it was probably already 3am, we were so wound up from our crazy adrenaline rush that there’s no way we could have slept.  So, we drove to my church parking lot and climbed onto the hood of my Chevy Blazer (Dave) and stared at the stars.  The smell of summer is not something one can easily forget.  And that night is still vivid in my memory.  After a while of us just laying there in silence we cracked.  Uncontrollable laughter of what had just happened.  And all because we wanted to dance in peace.  That night we were ghetto superstars!

Minnie Driver and a Cuppa Joe

When I was in high school I started working at a Tim Horton’s coffee shop.  I worked there for 6 years.  And I never drank coffee.  Ever.

I couldn’t stand the stuff.  My dad is a coffee drinker – although I think he preferred instant back then, and my mom is a life-long tea drinker.  But neither were for me. In fact, the smell of the coffee at Tim’s gave me terrible heartburn.  I didn’t even know that was possible but it happened.  Often.
In school, kids would stroll into class with their morning brew in their refill mugs and I would think “WTF?  Why are they drinking that ghastly stuff?” Especially because, y’know, we were kids.  So, I went through all these years of my life not drinking coffee.
Then one year, in my very early twenties, I went to Montreal with a few friends for my birthday weekend.  Two of them had a sporting event, which I watched the first day and was so exhaustingly bored that I wanted to punch myself in the face just to stay awake, that I decided on day two to stay behind in the hotel and hang out by myself for the day.  I had some adventures on my own, which, back then was totally unlike me.  I hated doing things alone.  I needed someone with me at.all.times. (Thankfully I have grown out of that and love having my independent adventures.  I wish I could go back to that hotel in Montreal and LIVE IT UP!)
Adventure
On a stroll around the hotel on my own I came across one of the cleaning ladies’carts. It had an InStyle magazine on it, which, undoubtedly was left behind by one of the other guests after checkout.  So, being the badass that I was I snatched the magazine off the cart and kept on my merry way.
Back in my hotel room I devoured the entire magazine, reading each and every article. Actress Minnie Driver was the cover girl and there was a huge fashion spread with Minnie as the model, accompanied by a big article on her.  At one part in the interview she talked about getting up in the morning and sitting on her porch in her robe, reading the paper, taking in the scenery, while having her morning coffee.
Minnie Driver Instyle

This is the magazine I ripped off from a cleaning cart.

What?  Is this what adults do?  Is that what I’m supposed to do?  Be a grown up and read the paper* and drink coffee and wear a robe??  (*In my defense, I totally read the newspapers when I worked at Tim’s.  They were free reads while on our breaks in our tiny little break room.  And it was race to do the Lexicon first on Saturday!)
For some reason, that little article on Minnie has stuck with me all of these years since (and more than likely I probably still have the magazine in a box of other magazines or a desk drawer somewhere around my house).  And so, as the years have passed I have made my attempts to become a grown up and drink coffee in the mornings.  For a very long time I failed miserably.
And then one day it happened.  I had a cup of coffee.  Like a real grown up.  Maybe it’s because my taste buds have changed since I’ve gotten older – or since I started drinking wine), but I no longer cringed at the smell or the taste of a good brew.  I actually look forward to a small mug of joe in the mornings.  And, although I could never drink it black, I can enjoy a cup with just a little unsweetened almond milk or blended with a spoonful of coconut oil when I’m doing a Whole 30 program (aka eliminating sugar and all processed foods in all forms, etc.).
Summer is my favorite time – when I can sit outside in the sunshine while reading a book and taking in the scenery.  And I love weekend mornings when I can get up and put on a small pot and relax on the couch before getting my day started.  Drinking a little coffee in the morning makes me feel like I’m finally adulting.  (And thank goodness for Starbucks and whip for when I want to be a kid pretending to adult.)
I’m still working on the robe, though.  I have a few but I like my PJ pants and fleece socks and Banana Republic dresses to sleep in and lounge around the house in.  I’m not Mrs. Roper!
Isn’t it funny how one little thing can change your perspective?  Something as small as a cup of friggin’ coffee in the mornings.
Morning coffee

#adulting

~Sandy


SandyLand Stories

The other night I finished what was, I think, my 23rd John Grisham book.  And although I’d picked up three more of his on the weekend, I couldn’t wait to delve into Drew Barrymore’s Wildflower.

Drew-Barrymore-Wildflower

As you may know, I love Drew Barrymore. She is my all-time favorite actress; since the first time I saw her in E.T., I fell in love with her – with her spirit and her spunkiness, and I have since followed her career.  The ups and downs. The stints in institutions and rehabs, the bad movies, the badass moves.  I have followed the 90’s wild child and doted on her for years.

David-Letterman-Drew-Barrymore

The original wild child and my not-yet-met best friend (Drew flashing David Letterman in the mid-90’s)

And so, I have been waiting since I received this book for my birthday in October to read it but, 1. I had shit-tons of studying to do to prepare my nutrition exam and 2. I’m kind of addicted to John Grisham’s storytelling and am always anticipating completing one of his books so that I can immediately begin another.  This time, though, I forfeited Grisham to finally read Drew’s book.

And I am so glad I did. I started reading it Friday night, and now, Sunday, I am almost through it. This book is not an autobiography, although it is autobiographical in a sense.  It is a telling of some of Drew’s personal stories and memories.  It’s lovely.  And this book has made me miss writing.
This afternoon I was reading one of the “chapters” titled Flossy.  Flossy was Drew’s rescue dog which she had for nearly 20 years.  I remember reading about when Drew first adopted Flossy. I remember hearing about her in interview and seeing her in the background in magazine spreads featuring Drew.  And this story told the lifeline of this dog, this sweet companion to Drew, a lost soul longing for a friend who would be her lifelong mate and confidant.  And this story told of the demise of Flossy and Drew’s beautiful tribute to her once she passed (sorry, no spoilers! You’ll have to read the book.), and there I am, sitting in the gorgeous long-awaited sunshine, bawling my eyes out at the telling of the loss of this life love.  With tears streaming down my face and wiping my snotty nose on my arm, I was so completely moved by this memory.
Although I am a little bias because I still believe Ms. Barrymore and I should be best friends (squad goals), I will admit that she is not the best writer in the world. I even found a few grammatical errors *gasp*, but she’s a good writer.  And she’s a great storyteller; one that can clearly move me to tears – or laughter.
And so, being inspired by these stories, these little collections, I am committing myself back to my writing.  I am going to begin telling chapters of my life, albeit through this little blog, and I will share with you tales of my adventures, my reflections, my wisdom, my stupidity, and tales of just…my life.
I am not going to commit to writing every day or every week because life – work, teaching, mating, adventures – comes first.  And I like to live my adventures before sharing them.
But stay tuned….the first one will be right up.
~Sandy

A Super Bowl Sunday Story

Happy Super Bowl, everyone!

As the weekend approached I remembered this silly little story from back in the day and figured, meh, why the heck shouldn’t I share my sadness and stupidity with you?

When I was 15, a few days before the Super Bowl I received in the mail a letter from Publisher’s Clearing House stating that “I could already be a winner” of something like $15 million bucks!!  I was young, naive, and ecstatic.  The winner was going to be provided with the cheque on Super Bowl Sunday.

I thoroughly believed that I was going to win 15 million dollars.  *le sigh*

So, Sunday approached and, while everyone was making plans and doing their thing, I made my best friend come hang out with me allllll day so that she could be there when my winnings arrived.

PCH

But, the faux cheque they sent me HAD my name etched into it already…..so I had to win, right??

Every damn time the phone rang I thought it was Ed McMahon calling for directions.  And every single time I heard a car coming down the street my heart jumped into my throat and I held my breath.  And every time the car kept driving past my house I felt a little more devastation enter my heart.

This idiocy went on for hours.  Eventually Kim had to go home, and sometime around midnight I figured it was time to let go of the dream.

Damn you, Ed McMahon!

Entertainer Ed McMahon (March 6, 1923  June 23, 2009).

I mean, how could I ever have trusted this face??? (Ed McMahon (March 6, 1923 June 23, 2009).

Go ahead.  Laugh at a girl who’s down and out $15 million dollars.  Kick me too while you’re at it.

~SandyLand