September 11, 2009

9/11 Memorial: Jerrold H. Paskins

Jerrold H. Paskins was an insurance executive with the Devonshire Group that lived in Anaheim Hills, CA. He was viewed as the quintessential Midwesterner with strong values, an even-temper, and a bright, caring way about him. He had a strong work ethic – in the office by six each morning and never stopping for lunch.

Jerrold believed in personal mementos and routines. He never left the house without the ring his wife Inez gave him for his 40th birthday, a 1976 silver dollar issued for the nation's bicentennial, and each day did one pushup for each year of his life and an extra for good luck.

On Sept. 9, Jerrold came to New York for what was supposed to have been a three-day business trip. The morning of Sept 11, 2001, Jerrold was to work on an insurance audit in a large, windowed conference room in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Jerrold perished after the first plane struck the tower where he was working. His remains were identified Nov. 11, 2001.

Jerrold is survived by his wife, Inez, and their son, Robert. The 1976 silver dollar and the special birthday ring were also found and returned to his family.

Posted by Princess Cat at 10:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

9/11 Memorial: Juan Nieves

Juan Nieves was a hard-working man from Puerto Rico. He was a father of four, living in the Bronx that was always spending time with his family members.

For nearly thirty years, he made salads and appetizers at the Russian Tea Room but lost his job when the restaurant renovated. In 1994, he began working at Windows on the World on the 106th and 107th floor of the North Tower in the World Trade Center.

On September 11, 2001, flight 11 collided with the North Tower, killing 73 restaurant staff members and 92 guests and destroying the restaurant. In 2006, some former Windows on the World Staff opened “Colors” as a tribute to their fallen colleagues. The eclectic menu is meant to represent the diversity among the staff at Windows on the World.

Posted by Princess Cat at 10:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

9/11 Memorial: LeRoy Homer, Jr

LeRoy Homer Jr. grew up on Long Island where he always dreamed of flying. He began flying lessons at the age of 15, earning his private pilots license before the age of 18. He later graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force.

Homer served in many operations while on active duty, to include Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield and those in Somalia. He later joined the reserves and achieved the rank of major.

Homer continued his flying career by joining United Airlines in May 1995. On Sept 11 2001, he was the First Officer of flight 93 - the plane that was hijacked and later crashed into a reclaimed coal-mining area near Shanksville, PA. Flight recorders showed that the crew and passengers of Flight 93 took heroic action against the highjackers which ultimately prevented the plane from reaching its intended destination, believed to be the U.S. Capitol or the White House.

For his actions on board Flight 93, Homer received many awards and citations posthumously, including honorary membership in the historic Tuskegee Airmen, the Congress Of Racial Equality's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Drum Major for Justice Award, and the Westchester County Trailblazer Award.

Following his death, the LeRoy W. Homer, Jr Foundation was established to provide financial support and encouragement to young people, with an interest in aviation, to pursue professional flight instruction leading to certification as a private pilot. Tax deductible donations can be made at:

LeRoy Homer is survived by his wife Melodie and their daughter Laurel, who was born in late 2000.

Posted by Princess Cat at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 11, 2009

Just When You Thought This Blog Was Dead For Sure ...

... I went and picked up "Escape from Cubicle Nation" by Pamela Slim at the library ...

"Chapter 1. I Have a Fancy Title, Steady Paycheck, and Good Benefits. Why Am I So Miserable?"

If that doesn't scream, GIVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE, I don't know what does.

Now, I don't have a fancy title but I do have a lovely cubicle , a steady paycheck, good benefits, and plenty of misery.

On the good days, I recall how tough times are and am satisfied in the knowledge that I am not facing a layoff. I know that I will be able to pay my mortgage, put food on the table, see the doctor, and probably even take a vacation within the next 12 months.

On the bad days, I realize that I am not choosing the position that grants me the ability to be thankful ... I am stuck there. When the reality that I am well and truly trapped returns to the forefront of my mind, I struggle to get out of bed so I can get to work on time, fight back tears at my desk (sometimes losing the battle), and wonder where I went so terribly wrong in life. I was once a bright, intelligent, high achieving, successful person that was excited about new information and challenges. How did I find myself in an environment where I feel like I have nothing to offer and can't manage to get anything right but helping everyone else get ahead?

I think I'd better get to reading...

Posted by Princess Cat at 01:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 11, 2008

Honoring 9/11 Victim - Barbara G Edwards

Barbara G Edwards

Age: 58
Place of Residence: Las Vegas, NV

Barbara Edwards was taken from us on September 11, 2001 when the plane she was in - American Airlines flight 77 - flew into the Pentagon. She was traveling that day with two of her good friends, Darlene "Dee" Flagg and Wilson "Bud" Flagg who were also taken in the tragedy.

Mrs. Edwards, as she was known to her students, was a high school teacher. She taught German and French language classes at Palo Verde High school. She had recently begun sharing her German classes with students at the Community College of Southern Nevada.

Warm memories of time with her are still being shared across the internet and on her guest book. Barbara is portrayed in these outpouring by friends and family as a positive and upbeat person that did her best to share those feelings with those around her. She is clearly missed as a teacher and as a caring individual that many could trust and depend upon.

A scholarship program to remember Barbara Edward's contributions to the world was established to benefit students studying German. It pays for tuition, books, and an undetermined one-month immersion program in a German-speaking country for the recipient(s). If you are interested in making a donation to the scholarship fund, please send your donation to:

The Barbara G. Edwards German Scholarship Fund
c/o Financial Aid Office
Community College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston W1D
Las Vegas, NV 89146

Posted by Princess Cat at 05:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 29, 2006

Verdict: GUILTY

The headline reads: Drunk Driver Found Guilty in Death of 84-Year-Old Woman

... convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a collision that killed an 84-year-old woman.

He* was also was convicted today of leaving the scene of the February 18th accident. Prosecutors say he* was drunk when he caused the head-on collision.

Prosecutors say his* blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit after he was arrested.

He* faces up to 15 years in prison on the involuntary manslaughter charge and four years in prison for leaving the scene of the accident.

It's not going to bring her back, but at least for now it keeps everyone else that much safer

*Name removed

Posted by Princess Cat at 07:10 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

October 18, 2006

Sometimes, Death Is The Least Painful Part

Today, at 7am EST, the torture stopped.

No more confusion. No more tremors. No more dementia.

My aunt's has life ended.

My uncle lost his wife years ago. They were each other's world, but she stopped recognizing him as her husband. Still, he devoted his life to taking care of her. A nursing home or some kind of institution was not the right answer for them. It was tried, but she broke a hip in one of those places ... he brought her home and saw to it himself that she was safely tended to.

He watched her slowly lose who she was and slip away from the life they had built together. The more of her he lost, the more of his world that crumbled. But still, he was the person there day in and day out ... cleaning the soiled sheets, dancing with her like a child to coax her into tasks, and making her still feel pretty, I'm sure.

Maybe this was the easiest part for her, to lie down and wait for death. Maybe this was the most peaceful thing she experienced through her struggle with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. I don't know. She did what any social animal would do ... she went away from the 'pack' and waited for what her unconscious brain knew was coming. Maybe that is peaceful? I can only hope that it was.

But for him, the real agony for is just beginning. A life without even the shell of his love is something I don't think he is prepared to lead. To me, no services mean no closure. I just hope his heart hurts only half as much as I imagine it could right now.

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:31 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 11, 2006

9/11: Honoring 2,996


Philip L. Parker


Philip L. Parker, 53, of Skillman, NJ, Senior Vice President of Aon Corporation, died Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center site. His office was on the 99th floor of the South Tower.

To so many, this is all they will ever know about Philip L. Parker. It is my job today - not just as a blogger but as a fellow American - to keep that from being commonplace and to honor him and his family with a fitting tribute.

Philip L. Parker emigrated to the United States from Canada in the early 1950s and became a naturalized U.S. citizen while still in high school. He is survived by considerable family both in the United States and Canada.

I never met him, personally, but I did meet him through the wonderful words that his friends, colleagues, former co-workers, and family have said about him since his tragic death. He was clearly a kind-hearted, loving, family man with a temendously generous spirit. He was a vastly passionate man with a love for his family, his green MG convertible, and music.

Portions of the posts on bring home just how lucky the world was to have Philip L. Parker for the time that we did:

"I worked with Phil for 2 years. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew he was a special man. Kindness, compasion and warmth were only a few of his qualities." -- Christina McCoy (Mt. Laurel, NJ )

"He had a wonderful sense of humor, a quick wit and he always made time to say hello and catch up." -- Patricia Barraza (New York, NY )

"He had a charming wit that he easily put to paper and pen. He made coming to work a joy. Heaven has an angel." -- Randi Seeley (Brooklyn, NY )

" Phil was always a joy to work with and compete against; a true gentleman and friend." -- William Hopkins (Annandale, NJ )

"It was a joy and a privilege to know Phil ... I am sure I am not alone in having had encouragement and support from Phil..." -- Fred Shearer (London, England)

"I had the pleasure of working with Phil as his Admin Assistant for six years. Phil was one of the most intelligent, articulate, honorable and generous men I have ever known. He was deeply committed to his family, friends and his work. He revered "quality" and strove to achieve it in all he did." -- Laura Petticrew (Philadelphia, PA )

Donations may be made in honor of Philip L. Parker to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Philip Parker Fund, 1515 Broadway NY 10010. The purpose of the foundation is to re-establish music programs in schools that lost funding to do so.

To Joan, his wife, and Stephanie, his daughter:
Thank you so much for sharing with the world a person whom you could have kept to yourself but that created so much joy for others. Thank you for letting us see your love for him and your personal loss so deeply. Please accept my deepest condolences.

We as a society are truly at a loss for having lost such a great man that day. Yet, our society will be forever indebted to him for having left behind such a tremendous legacy and having brought to so many people his gift of love and laughter.

Posted by Princess Cat at 12:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 10, 2006

Gone In Great Company

Being at the Freedom Walk was probably the most perfect place for me tonight.

Before I left, I felt good about going. I was enthusiastic about being a pair of feet on the pavement to prove we have not forgotten - that I have not forgotten.

As I left, I felt tired and heavy. I had just learned about another death in the family. He died of cancer ... and I didn't even know he was sick.

Before I walked, I felt blessed. I had friends to keep me smiling and my mind on bigger and happier things. I live in a city where I can show my support in big ways for those I will never meet.

As I walked, I remembered the family and friends that this walk would mean something to. I thought of the people who are gone, that gave us a reason to walk.

Before going home, I sat in the Pentagon parking lot, listening to an operetic rendition of a song about America ... but I honestly cannot tell you which song it was ... and I thought of my now missing uncle.

He didn't die in an attack on America but, when he died, a little bit of real American history died with him. He came from nothing and made something of himself. He lived in a town formerly named for our lineage where he became the largest landowner the town had ever seen. He farmed. He farmed and he farmed and he farmed. He was Old MacDonald if I ever saw him.

He passed his trade along to his son, with whom he shared a name. I only met Junior the one time and his kids a bit younger than me, but he came from good stock and he seemed to carry on the traditions of his pa.

My uncle was good people. But they seem to be going fast.

I have only their essence to think of now ... the lessons they taught to those they knew ... their spirit that lives on through the family ... and the hope that generations will mimic what came before them to continue the America that we all came from.

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 08, 2006

Every Vote Counts

To anyone that lives in Platte County, MO ...

I implore you to vote in your local elections today.


Posted by Princess Cat at 02:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2006

More Loss

I just found out that my great aunt lost her battle with heart trouble this morning. She was on the transplant list, but that miracle didn't come soon enough for her.

And a few days ago, a girl I used to call my best friend lost her dad after a long struggle with lukemia.

It has been a tough year.

Posted by Princess Cat at 04:23 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 18, 2006

Life Is Perfectly Still

It dawned on me this evening as I sat here wondering what to do with myself in the midst of a summer thunderstorm … it has been six months … to the day.

No matter how many times I fly into town, make the trek to the house, sleep on the small, uncomfortable bed in the back bedroom, have an unhealthy breakfast in the kitchen, and open the window while I shower because there is no exhaust fan, it still feels like nothing has changed.

It isn’t until I walk into the living room and it seems oddly quiet that I notice something is amiss. When I walk into the master bedroom to investigate, I remember what it is. The police scanner is turned off. It has been off since February. No one is listening to the local boys in blue or their trouble making counterparts.

The tall, important looking bed is scattered with my dad’s papers and clothes. The back supporting pillows have been tossed aside, onto the floor. The folded blanket from the foot of the bed is in a pile on top of a chest nearby.

She is not propped up, resting in bed, crocheting something ornate. All of the signs of her … her essence … have been removed from her most personal and private place.

Then I know she is gone.

(I would have posted the song itself, but I'm too retarded to figure it out right now)

When I looked out today
And saw that the sky was gray
I thought about the way
You loved days like this

And driving in to town
It really started coming down
Bringing me back around
To all that I miss

It feels like it's rainin' you
It feels like it's rainin' you

I didn't even run inside
Or worry about staying dry
Besides there nowhere I can hide
These feeling now

Running down my face
Takes me to another place
I can't think of another way to drown

It feels like it's rainin' you
I can't explain it
But I am baptized anew
It feels like it's rainin' you

If I had my way
It would do this every day
I would never see the sun
Because the closest I get
To holding you again
Is every time that sky opens up

It feels like it's rainin' you
I can't explain it
But I am baptized anew
It feels like it's rainin' you
It feels like it's rainin' you

--Brad Paisley

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 16, 2006

Headed For Court

I've made it back from Kansas City, safe and sound ... somewhat mentally worse for wear, but better in others. It was a rough week all around. Some of the family are still fighting with various stages of decomposition, I suppose you could say. Too much run around, too much lecturing, too much fighting, and too many tears.

Four days was plenty long enough - I left with an eye twitch (which commonly happens)

The good news of all of this is that we are now officially headed for court and I have an approximate date by which I get to see this murderous ugly mug go behind bars with a sentence on his head

Full story below the fold

PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man charged with involuntary manslaughter as a result of a head-on collision that killed a woman could face 15 years in prison, the result of a stricter drunken driving law passed by the Missouri Legislature.
Todd N. Hickox, 37, of Platte City, was originally charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, after colliding Saturday with a car driven by an 84-year-old woman from Leavenworth, Kan., Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said.
The woman was taken to Heartland Health Center where she was pronounced dead.
Zahnd said Hickox, who was found to have a blood-alcohol content nearly twice the legal limit, was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter. He is being held in Platte County Jail on a $150,000 bond.
“Missouri law now allows us to get tough on repeat drunk drivers and people who kill someone in another car while they’re intoxicated,” Zahnd said.

Story published Feb 23, 2006 in the Kansas City Star Crime Blog

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 28, 2006

The War Tapes


The War Tapes screening has arrived!!
"It’s the first war movie filmed by soldiers themselves on the front lines in Iraq."
"These soldiers got the story the 2,700 embedded reporters never could."

Friday, June 30
11:40 2:25 5:10 7:35 9:50
E Street Cinema**
555 11th Street NW
Lincoln Square Building
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 452-7672

Get out there, go see the movie, and support the people who lived the story. It will only show for one week ... With that many showings, you've got no excuses, so DON'T MISS IT.

View the trailer here

**Entrance on E Street between 10th and 11th Street
100% metro accessible from the Blue, Green, Orange, Red and Yellow lines at the Metro Center and/or Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stops

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 26, 2006

Goodnight Acidman

I was so stunned to read tonight that Acidman has passed away.

We never met but his was one of the first blogs I started reading when I started to get serious about putting on my blogger britches.

There is a great feeling of loss all across the country today.

Goodnight, Acidman

Posted by Princess Cat at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 12, 2006

Neglect & Disappointment

As the blog so clearly shows, a lot of things I care about have fallen victim to neglect these past weeks. More realistically, over the last month or so. I have been so consumed in personal frustration that I have lost touch with everything and everyone that makes me happy and keeps me sane.

My house has never before been such a disorganized terrible mass of chaos - none of the times I have moved can even approach this level of discord.

I have left many blog friends hanging in the ether of webspace without contact for months. Unbeknownst to them, they are often in my thoughts ... but my fingers never quite manage to communicate those thoughts in their direction.

Phone call after e-mail from family and friends go unanswered. None of them needs to take the neglect personally, but several if not many of them have. It is a growing mess I can't bring myself to clean up.

Graduation and my trip to NYC were a believable excuse for a while, but their effects have been much longer lasting ... and somewhat more detrimental...

In true mid-20s fashion, the dysfunction between my family and me is rampant, if not unbearable at times. During the later part of May, I saw all their worst qualities...

My brother, the epitome of insecurity and weakness, lashing out in anger at the hint of a challenge ... walking around on a pedestal of his own making, yet relying on the fragile world he created to validate the existence of his pedestal.

My father, second only to my brother in weakness of character, just broke my heart. Our communications have grown superficial at best. The belief that follow through or support will come from his direction is gone.

Spending two weeks with my mother almost destroyed any relationship we managed to build over the last 5 years. I saw in her the worst kind of selfishness and self-interest ... a fundamental lack of respect for others and an inability to understand the impact of her actions.

And before people go pointing fingers about being ungrateful for the money spent on my education ... I am thankful that my parents paid for college and helped me in part with graduate school ... but we all know the cliché, "money can't buy you love." Instead, I'd like to ask, where was the attempt to understand what I study, or why I studied it? I am the single, sole departure from medicine. Where is the curiosity about how I developed such a different passion? No one asks how I walked away from my previous passion so easily? Money will never answer those questions for me and could never keep me from asking them.

I suppose I am as lost and frustrated as you're supposed to be in your 20s, but when it comes to "finding myself" I believe I'm well found. I know what I believe in and I know why. I know where I want to go and I have learned many of the painful and necessary lessons from where I've been. I know that there is a world out there larger than myself, one that will keep spinning even if I fall off, that can still be influenced if I put my heart into making it a better place.

But when I am as secure as I about myself as I am, yet still find such little emotional support from my family - the people that are supposed to be your cheerleaders because they love you that much - how am I supposed to have faith that I will find it anywhere else in the world? How am I to believe that our society as a whole isn't made up of hopeless, weak, self-interested characters? Who else will do the right thing even when they must do it alone?

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 18, 2006

The Things You Told Me

The things you told me in just a little while,
wouldn've taken me a hundred years.
I can't imagine travelin these miles
without somebody like you here.

Guess I knew all along, he'd take his angels home,
cuz he loves them to much to let them stay,
guess I knew all along, he'd take his angels home,
but I didn't know it was gonna be today.

I remember the places that we've been and the little things we used to do.
Looking back now thats when I began to realize that I'm alot like you

Guess I knew all along, he'd take his angels home,
cuz he loves them to much to let them stay,
guess I knew all along, he'd take his angels home,
but I didn't know it was gonna be today.


Friends and family help to pass the time,
while thumbing through pictures of you
feelin lonesome missin you and cryin,
but thats not what you'd want me to do.

Guess I knew all along, he'd take his angels home,
cuz he loves them to much to let them stay,
guess I knew all along, he'd take his angels home,
but I didn't know it was gonna be today.

guess I knew all along, he'd take his angels home,
but I didn't know it was gonna be today

No, I didn't know it was gonna be today.

I'll miss you tomorrow, Grammy. I know you would have wanted to be there more than anyone else.

Posted by Princess Cat at 04:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 28, 2006

Good Night Fran O'Brien's

I just finished watching the local news story on Fran O'Brien's and I'm nothing short of sad.

First, what good does it do for the local news to run the story once it is too late? I'm quite sure the local media was made aware of the battle before tonight, yet still they remained silent. They had plenty of opportunity to enlighten the local people otherwise unaware of the military circles ... you know, those people that live here and would have had the opportunity to show up at Fran's every Friday night to show their support, should they so choosen ... if only they had known ... but the media did not do this; just tell me why.

Second, why did the media let Hilton tell their side of the story (the accusation that rent & utilities have not been paid for four months without justification) but only aired a tiny blurb from Hal? The only thing the public saw from the Fran O'Brien's side was Hal saying, "Not only have they said no, but they said heck no - get out by Monday." I don't think anyone in their right mind will defend that as balanced news coverage.

But I am only saying good night to Fran O'Brien's and their tradition of support for wounded veterans tonight. I will not say good bye ... I have faith that Fran's will come back and the tradition will continue. It is only a matter of time.

Posted by Princess Cat at 10:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 13, 2006


That is, Retraction & Apology ...

I got an e-mail this morning from the girl I labeled "Ms. Bed Bunny" in yesterday's post. Who knew she was actually a reader? In her e-mail she let me know that she had never showered at my house but was both incredibly and rediculously cool about the whole situation.

I have e-mailed her an apology for the misdirected rant but I'd also like to publicly apologize and retract my statements.

Looks like its crow for dinner tonight ... Mmm Mmm

Posted by Princess Cat at 06:25 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 11, 2006

Not Funny

To The Guy Running This Silly Game:

Listen up, Buddy. This isn't funny anymore. Ha, ha, you had your little fun trying to dump a bunch of emotionally difficult crap in my life all at once, but you're taking the joke just a little bit to far now.

You won't defeat me. You can pull your little strings and turn all of my concerns about the near future into reality, but it will be for not. You see, I know that your game will continue - your stunts are predictable. I am prepared for everything you are waiting to put in my way.

I'm asking you nicely here - please, just cut this shit out so we can all get on with our lives. I'd venture to say it would be in your best interest to play nice here ... because, at this point, you're just pissing me off and that is not a good place to be in relation to my foot.

So, how about you cut the shit and I won't hunt you down and kick your ass ... ok?


Sick and Tired of Your Games

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 26, 2006

Even in Death...

It is going to take a lot of time for me to accept that my grandmother is gone and that she was stolen away by some selfish prick with nothing better to do than drink his pathetic life away. I'm incredibly angry at life for taking her now, like this, so unfairly.

But even in death there is still a silver lining, of sorts ... I suppose ... In some sick and morbid way, I'm kind of glad that my grandmother died the way she did - she died being who she was - a helper, a doer, and one stubborn lady.

You see, my grandmother was not your typical lady. Her husband died of cancer over 40 years ago, leaving her to raise 3 kids on her own. After that she designed and built the house she lived in for the rest of her life. She was a school teacher with two Masters Degrees and a world traveler that most military personnel couldn't hold a candle to. There are places that today even young men should be careful about traveling to that she brazenly went to over the last 25 years, even as an elderly woman. She followed protocol and custom, always learning about cultures around the world - I found no less than 5 foreign language dictionaries on just one of her bookshelves. She was a ground breaking woman that did what she thought was right, regardless of how difficult it might be.

Even in her death, she will continue to push the limits of what society has accepted as normal. This time, she will be the center of creating a new local legal precedent. The case brought against the other driver will be the first in the county to be prosecuted under new, stricter, and more lengthy maximum punishments. As tough as it will be, I'm am glad that my grandmother, such a strong woman in life, will continue to help her fellow man through her death.

Posted by Princess Cat at 10:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 20, 2006

Of Course - The Fucked Up Part...

Naturally, emotions are running high through the whole family right now...

Trying to make arrangements for my grandmother, Dad sat in the very same funeral home that had taken care of his father some 40 years ago, simply by accident. The man across the desk said, "I know your family. My father took care of your father." It was an odd comfort, in a creepy kind of way.

But the creepiest part of all this ...? The step mom...

She flew in last night and will be staying with the whole family in my grandmother's house. My mom and step-mom in the same house ... awesome. But that's not it ... evil stepmom will be sleeping in my grandmother's bed. Maybe I'm the only one that has an issue with this but, in my book, that takes the dysfunctional cake at the moment. She doesn't know a thing about my grandmother, and then there's the fact that my grandmother didn't like a thing about the woman. Over the Christmas holiday, my grandmother did everything she graciously could to avoid going to stepmom's house and only spoke to her when it was impolite not to.

So much for thinking about what grandma would have wanted...

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:39 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 19, 2006

It's Not Quite Real ... Yet

Thank you to all those who have offered their thoughts and prayers, sympathies and condolences. This whole situation doesn't quite feel real just yet.

Everyone expects that their grandparents (and eventually parents) will pass, it is a part of life that cannot be avoided. It is hard to watch as a body fails those we love, but the body is a fragile thing that just gives out after a while.

I remember being at my great-grandfather's funeral when I was a young child and I remember how it felt when my great-grandmother died 12 years ago, but I've never lost a family member that I am used to spending holidays and special events with.

When my great-grandfather passed I was too young to have any real emotion - in fact, I don't even know how he died. When my great-grandmother passed I remember feeling relieved. She had spent years in a nursing home, suffering with worsening dementia and Lord knows what else. She went to breakfast one morning and fell asleep at the table, where she peacefull passed and went onto a better place.

But this time ... my grandmother was a relatively healthy woman for her age, remarkably so, in fact. Her body was slowly beginning to fail in ways that her peers had experienced years before. She had a good 5 years left of her life to enjoy before she could be expected to suffer the 'hell of getting old.'

I don't ordinarly get angry when someone dies, but this time is different. She didn't reach the natural failure of her body, she was killed. Life brought to her, and to our family, a senseless, meaningless, stupid death that no one deserves.

I keep sitting here trying to reconcile my feelings on this but I keep coming back to the thought that my grandmother's life was stolen away ... she was nothing short of murdered by a selfish man who could think no farther than himself when he got behind the wheel of his truck that night.

Posted by Princess Cat at 10:54 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 18, 2006

A Heartwrenching End

I got a phone call from my dad last night at 3:30 am. He called to tell me that he and my brother had landed ... they were going to visit my grandmother for the weekend. But that was all he could say before the line went quiet and he handed my brother the phone.

He told me something had happened. I didn't learn the details until this morning.

My grandmother never showed up at the airport last night to pick them up. They called the police to go check on her, but she wasn't at her house. Before they knew anything else, they got a call from the Chaplain at the hospital - my grandmother had been in an accident.

She was hit head-on by an oncoming truck that came into her lane - Carolla vs S-10. Despite her good driving record and her new, safe, little car, the drunk driver was stronger. He fled the scene on foot but was later apprehended by the police.

I had hoped to hear she died instantly, but she had a pulse at the scene. She died either enroute or shortly after getting to the hospital, but before my dad and brother could make it there. My brother said she looked ok though - no largely traumatic injuries that could be seen at least.

But as if a car accident weren't a bad enough way for an elderly person to go, she died alone. That is the hardest thing for me to take right now. She lived alone, she always felt like no one was paying attention to her, and now she has died alone.

My dad has asked me to stay put until the services but none of those arrangements have been made.

Posted by Princess Cat at 12:20 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

And Then What?

...I've been asking myself that question for the last 5 days... And then what? The pain, the anger, the confession... And then what?

I've had a really hard time recovering from the spewing of my deepest secret last week. I mean, really ... How does one return to regular blogging after that? It all seems just a little too blah to be read about once the underbelly has been exposed.

Truthfully, I've gone into hiding since last week. Not just on the blog but on email for the most part and via phone. I know I've upset a few people and made others worry far more than necessary, but I have felt very raw. I know everyone that cares about me means well, but I haven't been ready for the "so how are you doing" conversations just yet.

I just want to feel normal again but now I know that everyone knows my struggle. How do you feel normal when everyone else knows your daily life is an emotional roller coaster, no matter how strong a face you put on it?

So I suppose I'm working on "normal"...

Posted by Princess Cat at 01:16 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

January 28, 2006

WRMC: Visit 2

I went to Walter Reed Medical Center again - it felt good. I saw first hand that our wounded are not forgotten by those that could easily brush them off as an inconvenience or a number, if they wanted to.

A highly visible VIP was there visiting the wounded on an individual basis, talking with them and their families, without an entourage. It wasn't a publicity stunt. It was real. It was one human being showing concern for another. It was what mankind should expect of itself. It was munificent.

I also saw SPC Lopez, of whom Blackfive and I have both blogged before. Please continue to leave comments for him and his family and pray for them (if you pray). They need as much love, support, and understanding that we can send their way during this scary and confusing time for them.

Posted by Princess Cat at 06:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

Visiting Walter Reed

As Army Wife, Blackfive, and Andi have all mentioned, we all went to Walter Reed Medical Center on Saturday to visit with wounded troops. I was able to meet with about 5 different guys and some of their family. Each visit was absolutely amazing and personally inspiring.

Chuck and Carren were incredible. They were both full of laughter and stories, showing off pictures of their kids. I secretly think they are both natural bloggers at heart. ;-)

Joey and Jayme may have been one of the toughest meetings for me. They are both doing fantastic - a living reminder of just how far hope, determination, and love can take you. They have beaten the odds on so many levels and in so many ways, but not an ounce of self-pity or bitterness about the trials that most people would feel ever makes its way to their smiling faces.

I listened on as one young, very recently wounded soldier told us about his treatment options and what his likely decision would be. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place with his choices, but he spoke of his decision so easily. For him, the choice was easy - he was going to do what it took to give his little girl the best life he could give her.

The thank you's that these guys and their families said to us though, they were tough. I went there to say thank you for what I didn't have the strength or courage to do for my country and here they were saying thank you to me? Truly inspiring...

Soldier after soldier being placed in the most difficult situation of their lives, yet they keep their hearts in the right place. Even when they have every right to be angry and selfish, they continue to serve as examples to us all with their attitude toward other and their outlook on life.

Thank you, Warriors.
Thank you, Andi, Sandra, & Blackfive.
Thank you, Fisher House, Soldiers Angels, Wounded Warrior Project, Sew Much Comfort, Any Soldier, Books for Soldiers, Homes for Our Troops.
Thank you, to all those that do what they can to make sure these men and women (and their families) know they are appreciated, loved, and most of all not forgotten.

Posted by Princess Cat at 06:56 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 18, 2006

Mikey Update

It seems that Mikey is making improvements and is moving toward recovery.

Da Goddess, Smash, and a whole slew of people are doing everything they can to help. Looks like all those thoughts and prayers are doing their thing too. Let's keep up the words of support and do what we can to make sure Mikey and his family get through this together.

Posted by Princess Cat at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2006

Mikey Needs Your Support

I am sad to say, fellow Munuvian and Bear Flag Leaguer, Mad Mikey, has had a stroke.

He needs our hopes, prayers, good thoughts, and anything else positive we can send him to help him recover. Please keep Mikey on your mind as he fights to get better and his wife in your thoughts as she stays strong for him.

Da Goddess is keeping everyone updated on his condition and printing comments from her blog and Mikey's blog as support. Please go help out her efforts to keep everyone in the best spirits possible.

Posted by Princess Cat at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 26, 2005

On Christmas

Despite all the drama this year, I think I may have learned to be a little more of a Christmas kind of gal...

It is the first time in many years that I have finally felt supported and valued. I have spent less of my time feeling alone and abandoned, despite the moments I have found myself in tears. And I owe my blogger friends a great big thank you for that. I probably would not have had the emotional stamina to stand my ground if it were not for their tremendously kind words of encouragement.

Who knows ... maybe a few more years like this and I'll be the 'sphere's next Tammi at Christmas...

Posted by Princess Cat at 02:37 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 19, 2005

Let's Bring Em Home (pt II)

There is only one more week standing between us and Christmas. I know this because the annoying lady on the radio commercials keeps reminding me in her nagging voice, "until next week... tick tick tick..." Ugh, I could kick her in the teeth most mornings.

But this one week until Christmas means that there's also only one more week to get Ernie's Let's Bring Em Home project to its goal. While he unfortunately can't reunite military in the desert with their families, he's working very hard to bring as many service members as possible to be with their families elsewhere in the States.

So head on over to and pay forward a couple bucks of kindness, if you can afford to. That young service member who ordinarily would have spent another holiday alone will really appreciate it.

They are only $3107.85 short, I know we can do this!

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2005

Let's Bring Em Home


Its holiday time and Ernie has rolled out his Lets Bring Em Home project for the fifth year in a row. It keeps growing and growing, bringing home more and more troops, one at a time, to be with their families for the holidays. I'm a little late in getting this up but there is still time for donations. Please take a moment to check it out and help in whatever way you can. If you haven't heard about it, you can read below how Ernie takes donations and uses them to bring junior military personnel together with their loved ones.

This is our fifth year taking donations to purchase plane tickets for junior enlisted military personnel, allowing them the opportunity to fly home and spend the holidays with their families. This program was initially started in December 2001 to show our grateful appreciation to American service members deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and has become an annual tradition ever since.

Our heartfelt appreciation to EVERYONE who donated in 2004 and we hope we can count on you this year too! With your help, we hope to reach our goal of $50,000 in donations for Christmas 2005!

Remember, your donations are tax deductible - you can view our non-profit 501(c) info here!

Thank you to everyone who has the money or frequent flier miles to donate, to all those who donanted to Valor-IT, and to all those doing everything they can to help make the holidays a little easier on the men and women in uniform.

Posted by Princess Cat at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 07, 2005

Pearl Harbor Day

Today is the other day we remind ourselves never to forget... to remember those who were caught by surprise and mourn their loss, all those years ago...

Posted by Princess Cat at 06:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2005

Walk the Line

I saw Walk the Line last night. Let me tell you, it was a hard movie to watch. It was a good movie, but I almost walked out on at least three separate occasions because it weighed so heavy on me that I thought I might never get the tears to stop if I stayed. However, I did stay and was able to manage keeping the waterworks to a minimum.

Earlier yesterday, I read Eric's take on the movie...

… the sad thing is, Johnny Cash had everything.. fame, fortune, and blowjobs from adoring bobby-soxers… but he drove himself into the ground because his Pa was an asshole… full of self-pity, the Great Man in Black had the backbone of slow-boiled Cajun shrimp.. at least according to the movie… it took June Carter straightening him up and stroking his ego to save him from oblivion…

I have to say, no disrespect intended, I didn't see things quite the same way. Of course, most everything I now know about Johnny Cash (other than the music) is from this movie, so I could be off in left field picking belly button lint for all I know. But I saw Johnny Cash as someone far from that with a backbone of slow-boiled shrimp. I saw a man more honest with himself than most people I've met today, that lacked the tools and support to constructively manage that honesty. There were no secrets about his pain or where it came from. I saw a man that knew, deep down, that he was worth something with great things to offer. But I also saw a man that saw himself through glasses that, unfortunately, no one else wore. His mirror became their perception. He was abandoned, even in success, and turned to vices for comfort.

June Carter didn't stroke his ego. From what I saw, she elegantly kicked him more times than most any man could ever take. What man today do you know that would keep coming back after all the closed doors and broken dreams? Not many. June Carter didn't straighten him up. She walked away from the self-destructive behavior and refused to be a part of the negative comfort seeking lifestyle he was leading. What June Carter did for Johnny Cash was the greatest thing any person can do for another - she shattered that mirror of other people's perceptions. She wore the glasses he had worn so long ago. She allowed him to see a better reality that didn't need to be escaped.

I will admit, no one is bulletproof, but in my mind, my heros will always be 6 feet tall... You see, my heros are the ones that struggle but manage to get back up again. The ones that can stumble, falter, and fall, but always return with a comeback. The ones that inspire perserverence and determination by their success against adversity, not their luck or aura of Godliness. Anyone that can keep walking forward, no matter how many roadblocks come up or how many times they make the wrong choice, will forever be the tallest person I know.

Posted by Princess Cat at 01:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 12, 2005


*up top through Veteran's Day (Nov 11)

I have a rediculous soft spot for the military so I have no choice but to join up with Project Valor-IT as they try to raise money this week with a blogger competition fundraiser.

What is Project Valor-IT??
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse. The experience of CPT Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important this voice-controlled software can be to a wounded servicemember's recovery.

I joined up with team Marines (the studly way they wear those blues only had a little to do with my choice) but you can join up with a team supporting any branch you like. Blackfive has all the details you could ever want on how to help keep a wounded warrior in touch with friends and loved ones.

Posted by Princess Cat at 12:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 20, 2005


October's end is nearing and all the attention it brings to breast cancer awareness is approaching sunset along with it. In fact, I am feeling more than a little guilty that I haven't done anything to celebrate my mom's survival of the horrible disease...but I don't need the calendar to tell me to do that, I should be doing it everday.

To start myself on the right path, I may go visit this event (if work allows)...

The mobile mammography unit operated by the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, in conjuction with the George Washington Medical Center is launching tomorrow near the Foggy Bottom Metro. It offers screening to women without access to healthcare and guarantees their care under GW if anything is found.

As a major sponsor unable to attend, Dad has offered my attendance in his place as a representative of the company he works for. It would feel good, but we'll see... If nothing else, it would be nice to see the President (of the foundation) again.

If you are able, stop by and see what benifits sponsorship by evil capitalist corporations can offer to the community.

Posted by Princess Cat at 11:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

I'm Racked...

...with guilt...

Since I started my internship I have been terrible about keeping my cell phone charged. The building I work in saps the battery but I continue to leave it on, just in case. If I'm not at home, it doesn't get charged. This weekend I simply forgot to charge it and the battery went dead. During the time that it was off, a dear friend I haven't heard from in a long while called...

...from Iraq...

I feel just awful that I wasn't there when he wanted to talk to someone back home, some touch with normalcy, or worse...what if he needed some kind of comfort?

The only good part of the phone call was knowing he's ok. During his last deployment I was able to stay in touch via the internet. This time I have heard from him only twice. The last time he messaged and said the truck he had been riding in was part of an IED attack. The time between our communications has been so long that I find myself checking the casualty list for his name at least a couple times a week.

I can't even tell you ... I feel just terrible ...

Posted by Princess Cat at 05:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 30, 2005


Two years ago, I found myself trapped at a hotel, surrounded by a wildfire that ultimately burned major portions of San Diego county and took countless homes. Today, just north of Los Angeles, my family is in danger of facing an eerily similar situation.

A neighborhood near my mom has already been evacuated - mom went to work with everything she wanted to save packed in her van. The only thing she left behind was the cat, whom the neighbors promised to rescue if they were evacuated too.

If the fire turns toward Malibu, my dad's house is likely to be in the direct path. The fire department made the area clear the more brush away from the houses than in past years, but I don't know if that is going to be good enough. He stayed home from work today in case evacuation was necessary; step-mom is still recovering from surgery and preparing for her chemo so she's in no shape to gather up the lives of four people. Dad said that just looking outside his house the sky is dark with smoke. As much as he wished it was just a grand midwestern thunderstorm, it is definitely signs of something much worse.

My brother's place is probably most likely to be the safest of all three right now, but who knows with fire. It has a life of its own and doesn't like to answer to anyone.

I'd like to ask that you please keep my family and the families of all those who stand the chance to lose their homes to this fire in your thoughts as they pray they are among the lucky.

Posted by Princess Cat at 12:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 12, 2005


Mr Torres, the man who sat by his wife's side each and every day of the three months she was in a coma, only to lose her when life support was removed following the premature delivery of their daughter, has now lost his young daughter as well.

AP has published a story carried by most major networks.

I can't even imagine the pain this man has gone through. To watch them both slowly slip from his life must have been a torture I cannot even fathom.

Posted by Princess Cat at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2005

9-11 Anniversary

Yesterday, to remember that day, the people who died, those who have and continue to suffer, and those who have fallen in the name of what came following 9-11, I visited the Pentagon. For a few brief hours the damaged wing of the Pentagon that has been rebuilt was open for public tours.

Before we left the metro station there was a Sailor to greet us. He directed us toward the path to the tour that was dotted by additional Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines placed to guide people in the right direction. My purse was searched, our wristbands placed securely on the left, and we were on our way.

Just outside our starting point lies a single remaining brick from the attack. Blackened by the raging fires, it stood out as a reminder of what had been. It is engraved with the date of it's injury and behind it lies a capsule filled with various personal artifacts. Inside there is a memorial alcove with black, engraved, wall like dedications to the people that lost their lives. There is a display explaining the purple heart awarded to the military personnel that died and a display explaining the defense of freedom medal that was awarded to the civilians whom also died along side them. Adjoining that room was a small chapel, something the Pentagon lacked prior to 9-11. At the front is a pentagon shaped stained glass window filled with symbolism. 184 pieces of red glass form a ring around an eagle, one piece of red glass for each innocent victim. The remaining elements of our tour of the new E-ring contained glass wall cases filled with handmade offers of condolences and support - from cards of young children to blankets and quilts - not only from our nation but from around the world as well.

It was an honor and a privilege to be part of such a dignified memory to what so many lost at the Pentagon four years ago today.

Posted by Princess Cat at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

Top Dog

I forgot to mention the other day that in the midst of all the trauma and drama going on with the family out in LA that Dad got a promotion!

That now makes him ... drum roll please ...

a Director

He was promoted from Associate Director of the same department I didn't even know he was up for a promotion. And apparently neither did he until a few weeks ago.

Good news for Dad, great news for everyone right now.

Posted by Princess Cat at 08:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

West Palm Beach

I'm thinking of heading to Boca for Christmas this year. Does anyone know how convenient/easy to use the West Palm airport is?

Anyone? Anyone?


Posted by Princess Cat at 05:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

RIP Fishies

I went into the living room today and found my little sharky dead in a plant. The other is fighting it but well on his way to the same fate. Poor poor sharkies.

Best thing I can give them now is a 2 flush salute.

Posted by Princess Cat at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2005


Dear readers, I need your help...

If anyone knows a lawyer in the area of Joshua Tree, CA please let me know ASAP. I need to be in touch with them immediately to help resolve issues surrounding the aforementioned warrant.


Posted by Princess Cat at 02:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

Help For Lil Bro

Last night I got a somewhat disturbing voicemail from my dad...seems Lil Bro was at work yesterday and just passed out for no good reason.* He hit his head on a filing cabinet, chipped a tooth, and put a big gash in his forehead. At the hospital his blood pressure was only 95/50...and he's 6'3"...

I had a similar episode happen to me when I was in college. I've had dizzy spells for years but this time I actually passed out in the shower. I came within inches of hitting my head on the sink as I fell out of the shower and ended up with massive bruises all over the left side of my body. I was scared shitless...but the guy I was dating didn't think I needed to go to the hospital. I had seen a neurologist before that but he couldn't explain what was making me nearly pass out and remain so weak. Despite continued dizziness, I haven't passed out since then.

Hopefully docs can find an answer to what made Lil Bro go down...otherwise I think we are both destined to have it happen again. I am worried about him though...he has never experienced this before and can't yet recognize the warning signs enough to keep himself from getting hurt. Please keep him in your thoughts and pray they can figure this out before he gets seriously injured.

*I haven't asked about if he had eaten, but I assume I would have been told if that was a contributing factor.

Posted by Princess Cat at 07:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 12, 2005

Give Up The Juice

Blackfive is bringing to our attention today the blood shortage facing our medical centers and the quality of patient care.

He's a smart go do what he says...find a donation center most convenient to you and use it! Because when it comes right down to it, giving up a pint of your juice could mean the difference between life and death to someone else.

Who might even meet someone cute at the cookies & juice table... what's hotter than a cutie helping others? Ok, maybe a cutie taking a nap with you cuz the lack of blood made you sleepy...

Wait...Why are you still reading? GO!!

Posted by Princess Cat at 07:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack