Thursday, October 26, 2006

Help Thomas and His Friends!

Today I entered another writing contest on gather.com. The prize for this one is $1000 for room improvement and so far, I'm winning! My story is below! If you like it, go give me a high rating at http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976824552


My name is Thomas. Thomas the Train Bed. I started my journey in this room with a cute little toddler named Scotty. I felt so at home, surrounded by stuffed animals and my friend, Donald the Dresser, proudly holding his choo-choo lamp. Lolita. Scotty and his friends crawled through my tunnel, happily declaring me the best bed in the whole wide world. Those were the days. But as Scotty grew older, a horrible truth emerged. Scotty, fooling the world with his innocent smiles was, in fact, a slob of the worst proportions.

Oh why couldn't I have had an owner that would neatly dress me each morning, clothing me in fresh, clean sheets? I'd heard of other beds adorned in cozy flannel sheets for the winter. Even new traditional cotton would be a welcome relief. Instead, I'm left with a boy that leaves my old sheets in careless disarray, dirty and threadbare. My coverings are so disheveled that often my mattress is exposed, stained from years of abuse. Imagine the shame I feel as the stuffed animals look on in sympathetic disgust. Donald can't bear to look at me, embarrassed himself at his overstuffed drawers and dusty shelves, Lolita looks away, too, her lampshade now broken, falling, exposing her bare bulb, vulnerable to glares and ugly catcalls from Furby. In addition to the ubiquitous clothes and old toys that are left scattered, this room, my home, is filled with what can only be labeled as junk. My tormentor has left trash, old candy, puzzle pieces, and legos lodged in places that constantly itch and irritate my frame. He's fostered kittens, adorable and so stupid. Do I look like a litter box? Wait! Don't answer that. For sadly I realize, I must. The coup de grace came one night unexpectedly. All was dark and tranquil, when suddenly, I felt it! Like a sudden gush of lava from an erupting volcano, chunks of repulsive vomit were spewed everywhere. The smell was unbearable. Despite the painful treatments of cleansers and scouring pads, scars remain. Remnants of bile are still stained upon my inner sideboards.

Over the years Scott's brought home more and more riffraff. He mounts posters, artwork and broken Christmas lights, thoughtlessly torturing the walls with tacks. Not long ago, he brought home Doxy, a desk from the streets. That's right. She was out in a neighbor's yard with a sign that said "Take me". He painted her, attempting to disguise her as a piece of furniture that belonged in a room with Donald and me. I wanted to scream out, "How dare you bring in that filth!" And then I realized I, myself, have become no better than street furniture!

Now Scott is twelve. He often chooses to sleep on the living room couch rather than grace me with his presence. His callous preteen attitude hurts more than I can describe. I cry silently at night at what I have become. I was once adored and now I am an abomination, slowly dying in this train wreck of a room. I can just imagine Sir Topham Hatt, proclaiming in that arrogant, annoying English accent: "Thomas is a really useless engine."

This final humiliation, a photo on the internet accompanied by my story, I'm enduring for only one reason. Hope. Hope that Donald, Lolita, and I might some day find a better home. Hope that someone might teach Master Scott how to respectfully treat his furniture and his room. Hope that order will one day be restored to this battle zone of outdated d├ęcor and rubbish. In the name of The Velveteen Rabbit and all other toys and furniture that have lost the love they once had, vote for me.

Note: Doxy is on her own. Once a street desk, always a street desk.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Free Hugs

Another fruitful week with lots of photos that are hard to choose from. There was my daughter's 22nd birthday, the first snow, and Halloween excursions. As usual, my week has been the typical roller-coaster of emotions. I still feel sad at my most recent "off-again" status with no new relationships in sight and fear that I'll never find love again. I so miss that comforting feeling of having someone hold me. And then a friend sent me this video clip http://youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4 . It reminded me how we can get comfort from anyone and give it to anyone, even a stranger. Last night I went to the PWP Service Auction and Shiloy, a sweet PWP'er who had helped plan the event, brought in a "Free Hugs" sign. Getting those free hugs from my PWP friends as we were dancing was definitely one of the week's highlights.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fabulous Weekend

















What a fabulous weekend! I couldn't limit it to only one picture because I did so much this weekend. It started Friday night with the Worst Date Benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Andy and I both made it as finalists! We invited friends and two other of my very handsome men friends were able to make it! So, even though I didn't win the "dream date" first prize, I got an elegant night out with 3 "dates" which is enough of a "dream date" for me! Saturday, I went on a bike ride in Waterton Canyon with Brian from PWP along with a couple of his friends and his son. I was out of shape, but finally back on the bike again, and the weather and scenery were perfect! Saturday night was a party for two of my Fisher friends who were having birthdays. I love the people I know from my Fisher class and every time we get together I feel like it's a family reunion. I know they'll be there for me whenever I need them. Today, in between typical weekend chores, I was able to grab lunch with Genet and then tonight went to a West Coast Swing Lesson and dancing with JP and Brian from PWP and a couple of Brian's friends. It was so much fun. This week I'm grateful for gorgeous weekend weather, West Coast Swing Dancing, a scenic bicycle ride, and most of all...friends!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Race for the Cure



This morning Scotty and I ran the Race for the Cure 5K at the Pepsi Center. I think they said there were over 67,000 people! This is the first year we did this race and everything went amazingly well. No wait for busses or porta-pottys or registration! This race was really much more about support of victims of breast cancer rather than about running. Pink ribbons and balloons were all over the place...not to mention pink boas, pink T-shirts, pink hats, and pink costumes. I told Scotty he should have worn the pink pajamas we bought him yesterday in preparation for his Halloween Energizer Bunny costume.

I have a couple of friends who's mothers are victims of breast cancer. One of my friends wrote a few days ago that her mother learned the cancer is progressing. She'll be going through one more intensive chemotherapy round of treatments. The crowds were full of survivors and those celebrating and supporting victims of breast cancer. As I looked at the crowds, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the health my family and I are currently experiencing. We have not had to endure cancer in our family at all. I saw the strength and courage of the survivors, saw so many tributes and "in memories of" Moms, Grandmothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends. And although breast cancer is more rare in men, I know they are not immune.

So today I'm grateful for the comraderie I felt as we ran through the streets. I'm grateful for the bands that filled the streets with music and the volunteers that made the event such a success. I'm grateful my incredible kid, Scotty, who got up at 6am to go run this with me, always full of smiles and energy. And I'm very grateful for health. For the families that are struggling with breast cancer, my thoughts and prayers are with you today.