Summertime, Baseball


I have been unemployed since August - can't find anything that is worth me getting out of bed and putting gas in the car for. $2.79 a gal isn't cheap. And a job that pays $8/hr...well the paycheck doesn't even pay for the gas to get to and from work. Bills are racking up. Joe still hasn't been able to get into court and get ANYTHING resolved with that See-You-Next-Tuesday of an ex-wife of his. She demands almost 10k from him...yet she hasn't paid her child support since April 11, 2005 - which is now at a total of $5,200.

Slowly but surely, my life is totally falling apart.

I am supposed to get married this summer - June 24th - at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Don't think we will have any $$ to do goes on hold again...all over little green pieces of paper.

We went to NYC on Saturday - $2.00 tickets to Shea for the baseball game. All 5 of us - the beau and the 3 girls went to have the game get canceled. Just my luck - if it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.

I have been trying to keep a stiff upper lip. All it gives me is a headache.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I hope it gets better soon. I can't handle being called the angry white woman anymore. If something would happen that wouldn't make me so fuckin' angry all the time....

........why does all the shitty stuff happen to the good people? it doesn't pay to be nice anymore........

But I DID figure out that new userpic thingy - so the one photo I uploaded is me and Johnny Valentin - the ex BoSox now ex Met.

........and that made me smile.......
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Summertime, Baseball

What's the price of a child's well being? $1191.84 my life is in utter turmoil. I am jobless - have been since August 5th. The long and the short of that story is I am not a company suck up. It's not in my chemical makeup. I can't do it. I am one of these people that if you tell me that the sky is orange, and it's not, I'm not going to do the corporate head nod and agree with you. I can't. My Daddy is a Leo & a Brooklyn boy to boot - very gruff, shoots from the hip, doesn't mind telling you what he thought at any given time. I guess "Daddy's Girl" is an appropriate phrase to use here. I am one that understands and accepts 'constructive criticism'. I am not above admitting when I am wrong. I am fully capable of knowing right from wrong. But I have a very hard time trying to eat bullshit without something to wash it down with. On top of losing my job, Joe is going through a very hard time with his ex. This is long winded (so what else is new right?) so bear with me if you want the whole story. I'll probably only get you through step one - the prelude - today. I know that reliving this makes me mental but maybe purging my system will let the abscess heal. There are no meds strong enough for this one baby.

Joe was in the Navy for many years. On the Dwight D. He is a Blue Nose. Been to the Poles, the Equator, everywhere. Been to the wildest places on Earth. Let me put it to you this way. We were talking about going to a strip club (don't remember why but...) and he said to me that he wouldn't go to clubs state side. When I asked him why not, he told me that there was nothing that could amuse him like the clubs in other countries did. Chicks shooting ping pong balls out of their hootches to hit cups off of the heads of sailors in the audience. Smoking cigarettes and blowing smoke rings (and NOT with their mouths) Picking up stacks of change off of tables - that sometimes the guys had either heated up or put on ice for a long time. Juggling hard boiled eggs - and NOT with their hands...OK! Glad to see our tax money is hard at work!! Never mind that old adage of going to exotic places and killing people. He was a part of the going to exotic places and watching what the local female population could do for entertainment purposes. The stories he has told me. Shit that was on a need to know basis and that was shit I REALLY DIDN'T need to know. That was enough for me!!! He enlisted when he was in his early twenties. He was born city county state NY, NY, NY. He had watched enough of his friends get killed to know that it was time to go. It was the early 70's and the times they were a-changin'. So he left. He was finally stationed in Hawaii - yeah - life was tough. He had a great job, BEAUTIFUL location. Life was good. But he was far from home. There was a woman that was stationed with him who was from MA. She had that close to home accent...closer than Hawaii. I was told that, in her prime, she was something to look at. They became fast friends but she was involved with someone else. Over time, they got closer. She ended up pregnant - and not with Joe's kid. She went to Joe, asking him if he would take her to an abortion clinic. Whomever the father was obviously wasn't interested in keeping this child and she didn't want to lose her career in the Navy to have to be a single mother. The long and the short of it is while they were in the clinic, Joe said he would marry her, take on the child as his own. No one would have to know. It would be their secret. That would be the beginning of the end of his first marriage. The only stipulation was that he wanted a child of HIS own. He wanted a little girl - not like you can pick and choose the sex of your child (YET) but that was what he was hoping for. They had a son(Gabe)in March of 90. She became pregnant again (with Joe's child) and they had a daughter born Oct of 92. Joe swears that the minute Sabrina came out, he was at that end of the table, she smiled at him. They bonded that instant. The marriage was slowly dissolving. Gabe was a Momma's boy - the Golden Child - could do nothing wrong. Joe couldn't reprimand him without getting the wrath of hell brought upon him by Erica (Funny side note: Joe's ex wife's name is Erica. My ex hubby's name is Eric...just one of those things that make you go hhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm) The beginning of the real end was near. Joe left his career in the Navy in order to allow Erica to continue her career and he could be home with the babies. He worked as an MP on the base - more civilian job - more civilian like hours. They ended up moving back stateside to MA where her family is. Her mother is a ROYAL See (C) You Next Tuesday if you get my meaning and the apple sure as shit didn't fall far from the tree. They moved in to her mother's triple decker, living just above the mother's apartment. Well that didn't bode well for the relationship. The mother was very demanding, controlling and had the upper hand over everything. She would call during supper and Erica would have to run out of the house, downstairs during the meal, to deal with whatever nonsense her mother wanted her for. What was the line from Parenthood - you need a license to have a dog, a license to fish but any butt reaming asshole can be a father - well its true for her too. She didn't want children - she wanted toys to play with, dress up and have do her bidding. Joe finally left the marriage. He moved only 2 miles away, over the border from Blackstone, MA to Woonsocket, RI. Shit he could have moved to the moon. You would think that was how far away they lived from each other from the level of contact her was allowed by that bitch. He figured by divorcing her, the marriage was over, his commitment to HER was over and now he could concentrate on getting his life together and being a Dad.

Ok - now that you are caught up on the background behind that fiasco of a relationship, let's go forward. Sabrina and her mother have never gotten along. Like I said, she bonded with Dad. She was and still is a Daddy's Girl. She was depressed living with her mother. Like I said, we only live 2 miles from her mother's house but the children were only allowed to see their father every other weekend. She wasn't allowed to just come over whenever she wanted. Her mother would not allow it. Joe was referred to as 'your old man'. NIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCEEEEE. My disdain for my ex is HUGE but I have never and will never speak poorly of him in front of the kids. That's not right. Kids grow up into adults and they figure out the truth behind their parents as they grow older. They ain't stupid. Sabrina was told just to hang in there. When she would turn 12, she would be able to tell the courts that she didn't like living with her mother and could ask if she could move in with her Dad. The courts allow the child to speak once they become 12 and they tend to listen to what the child is saying and take it in to consideration. Sabrina's 12th birthday was 10/10/04. The day she turned 12, she told her mother she wanted to live with her father. You can imagine how well THAT went over. Sabrina came to Joe, asking if he would go to court and make it possible for her to move in here. Going to court meant getting a lawyer which meant having money of which we didn't have. We would try and make life easy for her here. We would talk to her during the week, seeing how her life was going. It was in rapid decline. She wasn't happy. Life is tough enough at 12. To be dealing with a mother like hers, that wasn't going to make life easier. Her Meme (Grandmother - Erica's mother) was mean to the child. She would call her a whore. Tell her that she was stupid. She was going to amount to nothing. When Sabrina would tell her mother what Meme was saying, her mother would agree. She was nothing but a little slut. (Uh, excuse my stupidity here but if you are 12, a VIRGIN, never even KISSED a boy - how the hell are you a slut???) She had 'slashed' her wrists in defiance at her mother. She talked about how miserable she was. How Gabe could 'do no wrong' in mother's eyes. How he would set her up and blame her for things that she didn't do. Life was not going well for her. Her grades were slipping. Her personality was contorting into something that no one liked - including Sabrina herself. We could see it here but her mother was still oblivious to the child's cries for help...or just plain out didn't care. I opt for the latter and you will soon see why.

It was the weekend of April 8th, 2005. Sabrina told her mother yet again, that she was moving out and going to her father's house. Her mother went and got black trash bags, told her to pack her shit and just go. WOOOOOOOOOOO WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Sabrina was PSYKED! She packed her most prized possessions in to trash bags, waited for Dad to show up and pick her and Gabe up, loaded up the car and off they came home. Imagine my surprise when she walked in. I didn't ask right away. I let her go and put her things away and then I caught Joe in a private moment. "What's going on Joe?" I wasn't upset about her coming here. I was more worried about the legal ramifications. Erica is a cunt - HATE the word but if the body part fits....She's the type that would set you up to get you arrested. Joe said that Erica told her to take her shit and she did. Well ok then. I told him that he was now going to HAVE to find a lawyer and get in to court to make sure that this didn't turn in to a HUGE mess. I know what pissed off women are capable of. They are vindictive, cruel and malicious when they have to be. And I knew she would be.

Sunday night Joe brought Gabe home. Erica wasn't there. He dropped Gabe off and came home. I was on my way back from Boston with Sabrina when my cell phone rang. I answered it. "Hello?" Reply "Joe there?" (It was Erica) "Nope he's probably at home. Call there" *click* I called the house and warned him of the impending doom call. The line beeped "thats her honey" he says "gotta go fight the war." I told him I would be home shortly and talk to him then. Upon our arrival home, Sabrina went off to bed and Joe and I retired to our room (the basement). He told me that Erica blew a gasket. Wanted to know why Sabrina wasn't home. Joe said that you told her to pack her shit and get out, so she did. Erica was under the impression that Daddy would talk her out of it and make her come home. That is what makes this woman so delusional. That she would think for ONE SECOND that Joe would make that little girl go home to that life of misery when (as far as her knew) she was finally cleared to go from that hell. Dumb bitch. I asked him what we were going to do now. He said he would take her to her old bus stop over by her mother's every morning and she could go to her friend's house after school until one of us got home to pick her up and bring her home. Like I said, we live I think less than 2 miles from Erica's house so it wasn't a huge stretch or inconvenience. If this is going to make Sabrina's life better then we were all for it. Joe would bring Sabrina over to the bus stop in the morning, wait for her to get on the bus and then go off to work. Her mother's house was within eye sight of the bus stop and Erica would make herself visible (if she was home) every time Joe would drop Sabrina off. Sabrina's friend Sarah lived right up the street and after Joe explained the situation to Sarah's parents, they were fine with Sabrina going over after school every day for a couple of hours until one of us got home from work to get her. Everything seemed like it was going ok.

The the floor fell out from beneath us.

Two plus weeks later when Sabrina was getting off the bus, her mother and Aunt Kelly were there. Her aunt is a BEAST! She'd take out most men that I know in a fight. When Sabrina got off the bus with her friends, her aunt grabbed her, trying to push her in to her mother's car. Sabrina started screaming. "I DON'T WANT TO GO WITH YOU!! I DON'T LIVE WITH YOU!! LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!" All of her friends stopped in the street. They knew that it was Sabrina's mother but they also knew the situation. "LEAVE ME ALONE! HELPPPPP!!!!" My understanding is that the aunt was very derogatory in her conversation with Sabrina, telling her how wrong it was to live with her father, that he was a piece of shit, that her mother loved her and wanted her home. After a few minutes of struggle and seeing the crowd at the top of the street, Kelly let her go upon Erica's request. "Don't you worry Sabrina. I'll get your Dad." Sabrina ran for her friends and called her father from Sarah's house and let him in on the situation. He, in turn, called me at work. I was appalled, disgusted, hurt, and FUCKING BENT! I was all set and ready to leave work, go find Auntie Kelly and see what her fucking issue was. Joe told me that Sabrina was fine. That he was talking to a lawyer and court was coming soon. I think the mother side of me was more horrified than anything. I couldn't IMAGINE being Erica. How the hell could you put your child through something like this. It was obvious that Sabrina didn't want to be with her. That she was happier with her Dad. She had HER SON - the Golden Boy. Just leave it alone. But she wouldn't. And it continued.

The next night, the phone rang. It was the Chief Of Police in Woonsocket - where we live. He was calling because he had received a call from (supposedly) Erica saying that Joe had kidnapped Sabrina. Now it was funny that Kelly had dated a few Woonsocket cops and now this phone call was being made almost 3 weeks later but not too long after Auntie Kelly's attempt at kidnapping. The cop (THANK GOD) was very empathetic, listening to Joe's plight and the situations that had transpired - Erica telling her to pack her bags; the attempted snatch off the bus; the slanderous statements. The cop asked Joe for Erica's address and Joe, in turn, asked Sabrina. The cop said "Is she there? Sabrina?" and Joe replied of course. The cop wanted to talk to her. Joe said fine. She was put on speaker phone with the Chief and the head of the Juvenile Department. They asked her if she was happy and safe. "Yes" They asked her if she was being treated properly. "Yes" They asked her if she had been taken or kept away from her mother's house with out her permission. "No. I don't want to live with her. I want to live with my Daddy." The cop asked to speak to Joe again. The Chief was a divorced Dad too. He knew Joe's pain and suffering. He asked if Joe had a lawyer and Joe said yes. The cop said he would make all the necessary documentation to this situation and advised Joe to get a temporary order for Sabrina to live there. Joe wasn't going to be arrested, this time. Joe thanked the officer, apologized for this big fiasco and hung up. We dodged that bullet.
This time.

Another day went by. It was a Thursday. Sabrina came home from school with a letter from her principal. It was to inform us that since Sabrina was no longer living in Blackstone, she could no longer go to school there and Friday was to be her last day. I was STUNNED!!!!! The only person that would tell the school that she no longer lived with her mother in Blackstone was HER MOTHER! You have got to be kidding me! The woman is having her daughter kicked out of school because she doesn't live with her anymore, doesn't want to EVER live with her anymore, ever again. (CUNT) Sorry - there's that word again. When I got home from work, I read the letter over and over and over again. It was CCed to the Superintendent of Schools - the guy's last name was Campbell. I asked Joe what we were going to do now. He said that we would just have to get her enrolled in Woonsocket Schools ASAP. I told him that I was going to take the next day off from work and fix this mess. It was almost the beginning of May - school was out in a month or so. How the hell could that "C" do that to Sabrina. That's not being a parent. That's just being a vindictive C. As a parent, you are obligated to do what's BEST for the child. What is in the CHILD'S best interest. Not what you as a manipulative douche bag want. Because all this had behind it was malice - plain and simple. No betterment for anyone. Just pain and suffering for Sabrina.

Joe called the Blackstone schools on Friday morning, requesting Sabrina's transcripts so we could get her enrolled in Woonsocket quickly. The school refused to give him the transcripts. He was not the 'appointed parent'. Now what the fuck does THAT mean?? Appointed parent??? She was living with us - as the school knew. Who was her appointed parent? The C was and she refused to sign the paper to allow us the transcripts. She was back dooring this situation. She didn't want Sabrina with us. She knew the child HAD to be in school by law. By not letting us access to the paperwork, Sabrina would have to come back to her. OH HELL NO! I wasn't going to let her win. This wasn't about a dog, or a toy, or a car. This was about a CHILD - HER CHILD. I could see right through this plot. Like I said, I know what goes through the mind of a pissed off, vengeful bitch - been there, done that - but not at the expense of my children EVER! I was IMing Joe back and forth from the house. He told me what the school said. He told me that he was at a loss of what to do now. We couldn't enroll her. She would have to go back to Blackstone. OVER MY DEAD BODY I wrote back. I was calling the school Superintendent. Joe started to sweat - I know it. He was worried that my emotions were going to get the best of me and I was going to start shit. His line to me was always 'don't write checks with your mouth that your ass can't cash'. I wasn't worried. I was on it. There had to be something that we could do.

I called and got his secretary. I asked if Mr Campbell was available and she indicated that he was not. I told her that it was IMPERATIVE that he call me back before the end of school that day. "And what is this in regards to MA'AM?" It was regarding Sabrina Zecher and her mental well being I told her. The woman said she would give him the message. It was 10am. School was out at 2pm. Four hours. "He better call me by 1p" I thought to myself. If I didn't hear from him by then, I was going over to the school, and I would wait to speak to him IN PERSON. I let Joe know what had just happened and that I was waiting by the phone. Joe wished me good luck. "I don't know what you think you can accomplish honey but I wish you the best! and so does Sabrina - I know it". I told him just to wait and keep his finger's crossed.

Mr. Campbell called me back around 11a. I thanked him for returning the call. I told him that I was Sabrina's step mother and........"I just came from a meeting regarding this situation" he told me. "Really? Well I'm glad that there are some other level headed adults there that understand that this is not in Sabrina's best interest. There is only a little over a month left of school. It is tough enough dealing with 12 year old issues, your parents being divorced, moving in with your father. Why should she have to leave the school she has been in with all her friends for the sake of a month and aa half or so?" "Well...unfortunately, Sabrina does NOT live in the district anymore." (OH YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! The voices in my head were SCREAMING obscenities but I knew I had to keep my cool.) "So what are you saying Mr. Campbell?" My voice was becoming louder, more strained. "Joseph has been told that he can not have access to Sabrina's records to get her enrolled in our district and it is NOT in Sabrina's best interest to go back to her mother's house. You and I both know it would be detrimental to her mental well being" (Keep your cool Jen.) I had remembered something being said about being able to pay the school...I don't remember from what conversation, but I IMed Joe about it while I was waiting for Mr. Campbell's response. "Yes Jen. You're right!! Back when we first started talking about Sabrina moving in before she turned 12, I found out that she could attend that school as we are a border town. We would have to pay for her to go. And you know it ain't going to be cheap." "Mr. Campbell" not waiting for his reply..."I remember being told at another time that as a border town to you, we could pay for Sabrina to go to your school. Is that still a possibility?" I heard the dollar signs; the slot machine registering 7s all across the board. "Well" his WHOLE tone changed now. We were talkin' money now. "Each school day is calculated at $24.83 a day. There are 47 amount of days left. The total would be 1167.01" I could hear the contempt in his voice. I could 'hear' the smirk on his face. I was sure that Erica had already made her phone calls, poisoning all the minds at that school. "Cash or check?" I answered as the other side of the pillow. Silence. You know that 6 seconds of silence when the other party doesn't know what to say or how to react? DEAFENING silence. "Mr. Campbell are you still there?" "Uh, yes ma'am I am. Either or would be acceptable. We would need it here no later than the close of school on Monday." "Mr. Campbell, what time do you get in on Monday morning?" I asked. I was going TO HIM. No one else. If this was some sort of legal extortion, I was going to pay 'da man' himself. "Someone is here as early as 8am ma'am." was his reply. "No sir" I countered. "I asked you what time YOU were going to be in on Monday morning." Now he was stammering. "Uh, yes, uh, I will be here about 8am on Monday morning yes." "I will see you then Mr. Campbell. 8am on Monday morning. Thank you for your time sir and seeing that this is the best resolution to this issue. It is, of course, all about the child's well being." "Yes, yes you are right ma'am. I'm glad we could be of assistance. Good day." *click* Well, I got the answer I needed. We could keep her in school...but at a hefty price. I IMed back Joe the good news to which I got "thats GREAT Jen, but where are we going to get 1167.01 by Monday morning?" "Leave that to me baby. I'll get the money. That little girl is staying in school. Her mother will NOT win this one. She don't know who she's fucking with this time."

I made phone calls. I 'called in cards' that were owed to me. I went to every person I had EVER lent money to and explained my scenario. I am not the type to 'call in cards' on things that aren't important. I don't make relationships with people in order to get from them later in life. But I do remember - LIKE AN ELEPHANT!! And I have no issue 'refreshing people's memories' of times past when I need to. Desperate times call for desperate measures. By the time Friday was over, I had the money. Cash. All $1167.01. Joe didn't ask. I don't think he really wanted to know. He was just overwhelmed at the hoops I must have had to jump through to pull this off. I'm a stubborn bitch - just like my Daddy. Don't fuck with me, my family or my friends. That's the WORST mistake you will ever make. And you will pay, three fold.

I told Sabrina on Saturday that she would be able to go to school on Monday. She kept going back to that letter. "I can't Jen. They kicked me out remember??" "Don't worry honey. I gotcha back. You can go to school." I explained the conversation with the Super (to some degree). I explained that I had raised the money (not HOW but that I did). I told her that her mother wasn't going to win this fight. We won this one baby. "Now go do your friggin' homework." Evil step-monster has to keep up that front ya know!

Monday morning arrived. I told Joe to just drop her off at the as usual. I told her that if her mother came out to talk to her, just to ignore her, say nothing, get on the bus and go to school. If there was a problem, call Daddy. He'll call my cell. Everyone went off for their day. It was just me in the house. I called my District Manager and briefly explained to her the last few days of hell. I said I would be in as soon as I paid off 'da man'. She told me to take the day and start drinking early and she'd see me in the morning. Very cool chick Deb was. She understood my plight. "Jen, she's not even your kid!" I remember her saying. "Not by birth maybe. But she's stuck with me like I'm stuck with her. You gotta do what's right by the kid, right Deb?" She knew it was what was right. And just. And fair....for Sabrina.

I got out my best grey slack suit. I had just bought it for a regional meeting I had had the prior week. I found my white mock turtleneck, donned the suit, the black 4 inch heels, the briefcase, and a white envelope filled with exactly $1167.01. I won't forget that amount for the rest of my life. I made out a receipt on my computer for Mr. Campbell to sign. I didn't want to give a check, albeit I guess it would have been easier. But the cash was better. This was extortion in my eyes. And you pay extortionists with cash right? Or at least that's how they do it in the movies. I put the cash in the envelope in my inside breast pocket, grabbed my shit and out the door I went. I was pissed. I was heated that I had to pay $1167.01 because that CUNT (sorry AGAIN) was out to play fuck-fuck with me and my family. It wasn't about Sabrina anymore with Erica. It was revenge against Joe. (I still don't understand how the woman could really hate him that much...hell, he saved The Golden Boy from death. Did she forget that??) It was hate and contempt towards her daughter. There was no love. No thought for Sabrina. It was malice. And I wasn't going to let her win. I don't quit. I don't give up. But I was going to pay the price - $1167.01

I walked in to the school Superintendent's building. Nice plush carpeting. Very modern. Blackstone is the epitome of white suburb America around here. Not rich. Just exclusive if you know what I mean. No minorities in the schools. None. All white, christian America and their ideals. Don't get me wrong - to each their own. But that's not my shtick. I was raised Roman Catholic by a 100% Irish mother and a 100% Italian father. The only black kids that went to my school when I was Sabrina's age were bussed in from Boston - the METCO kids. But I was never taught racism. Or exclusiveness. People were people (GREAT Depeche Mode song btw) and that was it. No one was right or wrong for they way they thought - just different. I walked down this long hall to the Office Of The Superintendent. I knocked on the door and opened it. There was a woman sitting behind a desk, a few chairs, and an open door behind her. I could hear a man's voice. It was 8am on the button. "I'm here to see Mr. Campbell please." "Is he expecting you?" This was the same 'pleasant' woman that I had spoken to on Friday. "Yes he is." I replied thinking 'he doesn't WANT to see me - just my money' "You're name MA'AM" emphasizing that MA'AM word (I hate that word. 30 something is NOT ma'am - unless there is a wedding ring which there is NOT YET!) "My name is Jennifer Pacelli" "Have a seat" as she pointed to her left. She got up and went through the door behind her (Whats behind Door Number 1 Monty????) I could hear the man's voice. "Who?" mumble mumble "I'm not expecting anyone." mumble mumble "Oh NO. Is IT?" mumble mumble "DO you THINK she has the money?" mumble mumble. "Let her in"....She returned from her conversation to find me standing, heading towards the door. "I heard" I replied as I smiled at her. "Thank you"

Mr. Campbell was a standing behind his desk, quite a nice one too. Rich mahogany. Lots of photos, accolades donned his walls, pictures that kids had drawn, thank you notes from people in the community. On his desk were, I can only assume, photos of his family in front of this magnificent home. "Wonder how much cake you're making in this job" I pondered to myself. All the teachers I knew didn't have offices like this, a house like that. Well it is Blackstone. And I'm sure I'm not the only one that has had to pay 'da man'. I reached out my hand to him. "Thank you for time in this matter Mr. Campbell." He had a soft handshake. Flabby I guess is the good way to describe it. In my years at the limo company, I learned that a firm handshake is almost mandatory. It is empowering to take someone's hand and exchange greetings. Shows some of you prowess I guess. That's the way I looked at it. Flabby handshake = flabby person. No spine. Gutless I guess. He looked like a whipped dog, choosing most of the time to not look me straight in the eye. THAT pisses me off. When I talk to you, you look at me. Common courtesy. My eyes were focused on him...every second. He offered me a seat and I declined. I had come in with nothing but me, myself and I and that white envelope. His office door was still open. I know I have a loud voice, so I made sure I projected it towards it. "Let's cut to the chase here sir. You told me that it was $24.83 per day for 47 days which came to a total of..." I pulled the envelope out of my inside pocket, took out the cash and said "$1167 (all laid out in big bills) and (into my hand) .01. Am I correct?" He stood there, just stood there, looking at this money on his desk, the penny shiny face up on the top. He finally looked me in the eyes. "Uh yes. Yes, that's what I HAD said." I heard his inflection change "however..." Oh shit - don't you DARE pull a fast one on me mother fucker. I'll rip off your head and shit down your throat. My head is spinning...waiting....."there was one more day of school that we didn't calculate. So you owe us another $24.83." "Will you take a check for that sir?" I sternly replied. I had left my briefcase in the car. SHIT! "I will have to go out to my vehicle to retrieve my checkbook. I do have a receipt for you to sign as well that you received this payment. I will leave that here with you as I go retrieve my checkbook. I'll be back in a moment." Keep your cool Jen. Just walk out to the car, get your fucking wallet and get this the fuck over with. I crossed the parking lot. In front of me is this HUGE NO SMOKING ON SCHOOL PROPERTY SIGN. Fuck you! The minute I was done here I was firin' up one! Wish I had something else to smoke right about now. My blood pressure was through the roof, head pounding with the sounds of my own heart beat. I HATE this shit. I got my wallet, put my Marlboro Light 100s into my (now empty) inside pocket, and walked back in to the school. I walked back in to his office to find the money and receipt in the same place on his desk. "Who do I make this payable to?" I asked. He told me the Blacksone Millville Regional Schools. "For $24.83, correct?" I wanted to make sure that the number hadn't inflated since I left the building. "That is correct." Fucker's not looking me in the eye again. I wrote out the check and I wrote in the memo - final extortion pymnt Sabrina School pd $1167.01 cash. I handed him the check which he put in the pile of everything else. He walked me, the receipt, the wad o' cake and the check out of his office, past the nosy bitch at the desk and around the corner to another secretary. "This is Miss X (don't remember her name but I remember she had that fake painted on sadistic OVER SMILE on). She will sign the receipt for you and give you one from us as well." She stands, forces her hand out and puts up that smile. "HI! NICE TO MEET YOU!" firm handshake but way to overdone. I just wanted my receipt and to get the fuck outta there. "Pleasure" Mr. Campbell was making a fast exit past me when I stopped him. I extended my hand to him again. "Thank you Mr. Campbell for understanding that this is truly all about Sabrina and what is best for her." He stopped. I picked up the receipt from Ms. Smiley Face, tucked it in my pocket, and turned back around. "Extortion is a wonderful thing isn't it? Money DOES make the world go around. $1167.01 plus $24.83? I guess that's a small price to pay for saving the sanity of a 12 year old innocent girl." And I left before he could say a word. REALLY flabby handshake that time. More like FLAB bergasted.

I walked past Nosy Bitch who looked as if someone had just farted in her face. The look of contempt in her eyes for me. I smiled. "Have a GREAT day! Hey have the boss by you lunch. He's got cash" and I was gone.

The MINUTE I got out the front door, I grabbed my butts, and fired one up on the steps of the building. Mr. Security Guard pointed to the sign in front of my car. "MA'AM NO SMOKING ON SCHOOL PROPERTY MA'AM" I turned around. "Fuck you pal. I just paid $1167.01 cash and another $24.83 in check to this building. Right now, I OWN this stair and the path to my car."


(End of Part 1)
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Copy of the letter I sent to the NY Post

Mr. Sports Editor:

As a born and raised Boston Red Sox fan, there were no tears at the end of the Yankees season this year. Of course, we Red Sox fans were just happy that you as Yankees were not in the top 2. We had been crying since our own demise at the hands of the Chicago White Sox. No finger pointing here. Well yes there is – at Theo for letting go crucial parts of our Idiot Bunch before he should have – Pedro, DLowe. I knew after winning last year that we didn’t have a chance if we imploded our team – and we did – and history shows us what happened because of it. Early dismissal for golf games. So I had already resigned myself to the obvious when the team was demolished in the off season. My fiancé is a Met fan. Imagine the interesting dinner conversations we have had – 1986….Pedro and his complete games this year….the Manny to Met-ville mess.

I was never for the decision to bring A-Fraud to Boston. I hadn’t seen him do anything of any substance in the ‘clutch’ games. I didn’t want him. I didn’t want Edgar Renteria either but that’s another story. I didn’t think we needed those flashy names and those HUGE payrolls to win the World Series. I didn’t think that taking on another ego would help the team – we had Manny and that’s enough of a handful. I never understood how A-Fraud could be so good for 162 and then fall to pieces when it was the race to 11. His huge price tag might as well have been slashed and put on the clearance rack. Unable to produce when necessary means that you are NOT necessary, especially in Georgie’s world. It must be nice to have an unlimited supply of cash. Ooops – maybe not. With MLB’s largest payroll, you would THINK that maybe you could make it to the Dance more often – the last one being against the Mets in ’00 (We DON’T discuss that here.)

And to keep a cheater in your house…that’s another issue. To me – what kind of message does that send? Jason Giambi was nothing and is nothing but a cheater. No one has an issue labeling Raff that. That’s what they are – cheaters. And you mean to tell me with the payroll of the Yankees and their love for being “America’s Team” they enjoyed having that stigma put on them? OH – so ‘no one else is doing it’….Guilt by association right? With the cash that Giambi was making, he should have been out in the public’s eye more, trying to save face and clear his identity. Another financial debauchery by George AGAIN.

With all the players at Joe Torre’s disposal, you would have thought that maybe they could all put aside their chest pounding to put their talents together and make it work for you….to bring home the illusive ring that you have been chasing for 5 years now. I know how it felt to chase it for 86 years (or at least the 34 of them I had been alive). I can’t see how with the line up that you had, you’re done – gone. Don’t get me wrong – I’m smiling as I type this – but shouldn’t you be there??

We needed the pitching staff – of which we need again now. The chosen son here – Curt Shilling – I consider Mighty Mouse. He always thought he could come in and save the day. Not impressed with his bloody sock (and many around here think it was faked – ketchup and the like)…not impressed with shooting off his mouth and thinking that the world was behind him. We got the pitching staff last year. We had it all together last year. And this year – it was gone. We had that ego issue here and you see what it got us…..

Baseball is a kid’s game. Sandlots, parks, playgrounds, stick ball in the City (or so I hear from my better half). These grown men are making, and spending, millions on a kid’s game. I understand the commercialization of the game. I understand the marketing of the game (by the way, how much did A-Fraud make at his concession stand this year??? Were 13 jerseys popular?? I can’t imagine they were.) I understand that it is a FOR PROFIT game. But for all the money that George has spent, what has he gotten? I’m ok with no singing of “Dirty Water” this year in October. Like I said, I knew it was coming after last season. For him, there is no ring. There are no victory parades. Frank is not singing.

George has much work to do this off season. He has a lot of looking in the mirror and finding out what the truth is behind the team, HIS team. I tell my girls that it isn’t about the money you spend but the heart and soul behind the things you buy. Empty, soulless team…that’s what George’s money got him.

The only thing I have to hang my hat on this year is the fact that I was lucky enough to have my better half pay over $100 per ticket for bleacher seats at Yankees Stadium for me to see my Red Sox beat the Yankees in that murderous 17-1 victory over Memorial Day weekend.

And sometimes as a Red Sox fan, that’s good enough.

Summertime, Baseball

These are the people in my neighborhood.....

Spot The Photographer Spot The Photographer

Mermaid Parade Coney Island 2004
Sabrina & Kaitlyn
Johnny Val & Me Johnny Val & Me

Mets Fan Photo Day 2001
So what if he's a Met - he has always been one of my favs!
Queenie & Princess Queenie & Princess

Kaitlyn and Taylor
Kate's Homecoming '05
Happy Parade Participants Happy Parade Participants

The Gang - Kate, Sabrina, Joe and Taylor - Mermaid Parade Coney Island '05
Chocolate Anyone? Chocolate Anyone?

The Chocolate Fondue Fountain - the best weekend activity EVER!
Now THAT'S a woodie Now THAT'S a woodie

Joey and the tree Stokes State Forest NJ/NY/PA border
My Colors In Their House My Colors In Their House

Red Sox vs Skankees Memorial Day 2005 (17-1 ass kickin')
The Queen & Me The Queen & Me

Kaitlyn's First Baseball Game 8/26/98
Viva Las Vegas Viva Las Vegas

Billy & Me Las Vegas Limousine Show 2/2001
Becoming One With Nature Becoming One With Nature

Kate in the Delaware River on vacation Summer 2005

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Take me out to the ballgame.....

I'm a baseball junkie. Have been long as I can remember. Boston Red Sox fan...until the day I die. I waited the 86 years (ok - only 34 of them were MY years) for last year. I turned my girls in to Sox fans. Racists is what Joe calls them. "Why DO you hate the Yankees Jen?" It's being racist. You hate them because you are born here and you just have to. From birth, we as Red Sox fans are taught to hate the Yankees. The Evil Empire. Georgie Porgie. The Skankees. Bastards.

Kaitlyn was turning 7. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She wanted to go to her first Red Sox game. She had never been and I figured at 7, she was old enough to go. I bought the tickets, called the people she wanted to have come with us and the day was planned. The Red Sox were playing ON her birthday - August 26th. We had right field box seats for a BEAUTIFUL afternoon game at Fenway. After lunch (chicken quesidillas - Kate's fav), cake and ice cream at Friendly's, we were in to the station wagon and off to Boston. I had bought her a Red Sox shirt, baseball hat. She had her long dirty blond hair braided with a red ribbon tied top and bottom. I painted her nails red. She was good and ready to go. I had bought a Sharpie marker at CVS and put that along with a baseball that I had gotten from Johnny Val years before hand in my bag. No autographs on it and today was a perfect day to start getting it signed.

We got to Fenway early - 90 minutes before the game you are allowed in to the park. We started walking towards the building and I could see her eyes lighting up. This was like going home for her. She had been watching games for as long as we both could remember. She knew the players' names and numbers. She used to have me quiz her on car rides. "GIMME THE NUMBER MA! I'LL TELL YOU WHO'S IT IS!" I could go through the entire line up and she wouldn't miss a step. She could do them any way - position, number or name. She impressed me! We walked through the gates after showing our tickets and proceeded in to the underground, the bowels of Fenway Park. Fenway is the oldest ball park still in existence. I have been to other parks - Skankee Stadium, The Toilet aka Shea Stadium. They were newer. They had ESCALATORS! but they weren't 'home'. You could smell the spilt beer already...the popcorn, pretzels....sausages with peppers and onions...and HOT DOGS!!!!! I could see her getting all her senses assaulted! Her eyes were wide open, absorbing everything and anything she could. She wanted to see it all, taste it all, FEEL it all. I could see the entry way to the seats...I could see the Green MonSTAH in the background. I was itching to get out there. But I was working on Kate's schedule. She wanted a soda in a Souvenir Cup. Only Coke Kate - she's a Pepsi junkie like mom. It was ok. She wanted some cotton candy - pink or blue? Pink please. Arms full of stuff, food for the Gods, she was ready to go. "Wanna go out to the seats baby? Wanna see the REAL Green Monster????" The smile went for miles. She was ready to go. So off we went.....

Once she hit the concourse, she lost it. Her mouth was agape. Her eyes were tearing. "OH MOMMA! ITS SO BIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGG" She was in shock. She just kept looking around, taking it all in. She was seeing everything in real life that she had only seen on TV. "THE GREEN MONSTER! THE JUMBOTRON! MOMMA - THERE'S EVERYTHING HERE THAT IS ON TV!!!" Oh to be 7 and not know anything - the innocence of little kids is SO AWESOME! We went and scouted out our seats, find where we were going to be sitting for the next few hours. Perfect view of the JumboTron. GREAT view of the field. Out in the sunshine of that late August day. I couldnt have asked for anything better for her.

I told her to put her stuff down on her seat and we were going to head down behind the dugout. She was very inquisitive. Behind the dugout - why? I grabbed my bag - with the baseball, the Sharpie and my throw away camera in it - and we headed down. I explained to her that the players sometimes come out before the game and sign autographs. There were lots of players out on the field, warming up, stretching. She knew who every one of them was. "There's Johnny Val Momma! And Petie's brother! And NOMAHHHHHH." She was pointed, leaning out over the wall, as if she could almost touch them. I looked to the right and I saw someone coming out of the dugout. "Who is that Momma?" she asked. "I think thats Jason Varitek, Queens" (Note: Queens was always Kaitlyn's nickname from me. As the first born girl, she was 'entitled' to the nickname of Queens or Queenie. Still sticks to her this day. Her little sister is of course "Princess") Varitek was the new catcher for the Red Sox. Scott Hatteberg was the first string catcher at the time. But he had an elbow injury. Wasn't due to play. Jason started down the wall, signing t-shirts, baseballs, hats. "Oh Momma....he's CUTE!" she exclaimed. I agreed with her. "Yes he is my dear." I was single at the time and being the good daughter, she was always looking for cute guys for Mom. Good looking out Kate! Kate was nervous, I could tell. I gave her the Sharpie and just told her that when he came over to ask him to sign her shirt. It was white and the Sharpie would show up nicely on it. I took out my baseball and camera, getting ready for that photo op and (hell yeah) I was going to get my baseball signed. I was still in as much awe as she was. Always had been, always will be! "Mr. Varitek, will you sign my shirt?" She thrust the marker at him, her little hands trembling. A big smile came over his face. He took the marker and signed the corner of her shirt. She was ECSTATIC! I asked him to please sign my baseball as well. "Would you let me take your photo?" I asked. With the marker in one hand and my baseball in the other, he stopped, no smile, and looked right at me. I snapped the photo, put the camera down on the wall and thanked him. I took back my baseball and Kate took back the Sharpie. I looked to the right to see who else was coming out of the dugout and Kate was fidgeting with the marker. The top fell off and on to the field in front of her. She FREAKED! I told her to relax - its only a $2 marker Queens. Well Jason heard her pitching a fit and turned around. He picked up the marker cover and handed it to Kate. While I was still looking right, Miss Queens took the cardboard off the back of my throw away camera, wrote something on it and yelled "MR. VARITEK - HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEE" I turned around to see her handing something to him. "What did you just do Queens" I asked. She replied so nonchalantly "I gave him your phone number Momma" "KATEEEEEEE - YOU DID WHAT!?!?!?!?!?" I couldn't believe this. "You can't do that honey!" I was flabbergasted. "How come Momma? You said he was cute!" Ok ok ok ...she had me there. I can't expect a 7 year old to understand etiquette like that. "You just can't baby - you just can't." Oh boy. The eventful start!

After Ramon Martinez and Brian Daubach signed her shirt, it was time to take our seats. She was so proud to be able to remove her hat and sing The National Anthem. She was busy telling the grown men around her to remove their hats. "You have to respect the flag and our country" she would say. How do you not listen to that??

Well the game began...typical Red Sox game...keeping up on the edge of our seats. At that time, Red Sox policy would not allow birthdays to be announced on the JumboTron. I had tried but was told that wasn't something that the team did (then. They do now.) So in between the top and the bottom of the 3rd inning, I stood up on my seat and started talking LOUDLY!! "Today is my daughter Katie's 7th birthday and this is her FIRST RED SOX GAME! Would you guys join me in singing Happy Birthday to Katie?" The crowd went wild. Kate was DYING! "Mommma - be QUIET! MOMMA! STOPPPPPPPP!" "Ok guys - on the count of three - ready 1...2....3...." and the whole right field box section started singing "Happy Birthday"...there I was, proud Mom on top of the chair, pointing to the top of her head...crying tears of joy and singing as loudly as I could. It was my little girl's 7th birthday and I was going to make it the best and most memeorable EVER! "HAPPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAY TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUU" and the applause was deafing! She was nine shades of red but she stood up and took a bow. "Thanks Mom." she whispered to me. "That was the coolest - EVER!" When else are you going to have thousands of people sing Happy Birthday to you ever again?? I know I haven't ever in my life time!

Lucky for us, it was a good night for the Boys and we won the game. As we were leaving, Katie was busy reliving everything over and over again. She had gotten a souvenir batting helmet which she had proudly (but too big) perched on her head. She just kept going and going and going...the Energizer Bunny (on pink cotton candy!!!) "That was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER MOMMA! THANK YOU!!!!!" and that was enough for me. She was happy - BEYOND happy - and(as a mom) that's all you could ask for.

But it was just the begining......

I was waitressing at Friendly's at the time. Not a very lucrative job, but I was a good waitress. Attentive, friendly(duh - hence the name of the joint), and personable when I had to be. I made decent tips. I usually worked the morning shift. Busier shift, better tips. My ex was a cop and he worked the night shift in Boston so if I worked days, the kids could be with me at night while he worked. We lived less than 2 miles from each other. The marriage had dissolved and we had become parent of convenience. Whatever worked out best for the girls. It was, of course, all about them.

A few weeks since Kate's birthday had lapsed. It was some obnoxious hour of the morning and I heard my pager going off in my bag. "Oh hell. If its important, they'll call the house" I thought. I wasn't about to get out of bed to answer it. I only had a few hours of sleep left and I LOVE to sleep! When I got up, I checked my pager. There was a message on my voice mail. Ok - let's check that. I punched in my code and got ready with a pen to write down the message.

"Hi Jen. Its Jason. Gimme a call" and then there was a 416 phone number...with a room number. Jason?? I don't know anyone named Jason. And 416??? Western Mass is 413. But I don't know anyone out there. Ok. Start the morning routine. I turned on the TV to hear the news of the day prior. I started brushing my teeth and washing up. The area code still bugged me. 416. I called the operator and asked her where that area code was. "Ontario" she told me. "Canada?" I replied. "Yes ma'am. Only Ontario I know of." Well ok then. Canada. I definitely knew NO ONE in Canada. Wrong number I thought. But they had my name and my name wasn't on my voice mail. Oh well. I kept getting ready for work. My friend since grade school Billy showed up at my house. He was out of work on disability and would hang out at my house while I was at work, chatting on the computer. Kinda like my own personal watch dog. I told him about the weird phone message I had gotten. He thought the same thing as me - wrong number Jen.

The sports had just come on the TV, bashing the Red Sox for the loss in extra innings to the Blue Jays. "BILLY! THATS CANADA!" I exclaimed. He knew about Kate and the phone number incident at the game. "DO YOU THINK!?!?!?!?!" That's the only Jason I knew....and he was in Canada....oh my God - WHAT IF!?!?! I made BIlly go to Dunkies to get coffee. "Ill buy if you fly!" I had that AWFUL morning voice thing going...I'm a chain smoker and I sound like a younger Suzanne Pleshette in the morning. I've been told it sounds sexy but if I was going to be talking to a MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER!?!?!?!? AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Billy reluctantly went to Dinkies and got us both coffee. I stared at the phone number over and over again. "Are you going to FUCKING CALL IT OR WHAT?" he barked at me. "I got you your god damn coffee now go get a date with a ball player for Christ sake!" Now it was all on me. Kate got me the phone call, Billy got me the coffee, now I just have to make the call. I was scared. Me. Not scared of shit. Too scared to talk to someone. No one would believe it! But I was. I picked up the receiver and dialed the phone. I still had no idea where I was calling or who I was REALLY calling. All I had was hunches.

The phone rang...and rang....and rang...for what seemed like forever. "Thank you for calling the Hilton Ontario" I heard on the other end. GULP. "Hi - could I have Room XXX. please" "The party you are trying to reach ma'am?" "I believe its Jason Varitek's room" "Yes it is Mr. Varitek's room. One moment please." My throat sealed shut. My mouth went dry, despite my Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla cream and 3 sugars. My palms were sweating.
"You have reached the voice mail system."
GAK! Now I have to leave a message. What the hell do I say???
"Uh, Hi Jason. Its Jen. Tag, you're it. Here's my home number. I have to work today until 4 but I'll be home after that! Talk to you then! Bye"
I couldn't believe this was happening. "Do you want me to answer the phone if he calls while you are at work?" Billy asked. "NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! Let the answering machine get it!" I had caller ID at the time and (thinking like a chick) I didnt want Billy to answer it because I didnt want Jason to think that Billy was 'my man'. Chick thing. Dont want to give the wrong impression. OH MY GOD! A PRO BASEBALL PLAYER CALLING MY HOUSE!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!

Off to work I went, head in the clouds. It was a Friday morning. Busy as hell but the shift seemed to last FOREVER!! By the time I got the girls and got home, I had missed the call. He called the house and left me a similar message "Tag - you're it! Call me back!"

All weekend, the BoSox were playing. All weekend we played phone tag. We both started leaving goofy funny messages for each other. The whole time I'm wondering if I am ever going to talk to this guy. And if I do, what do I say???

It was late late late Saturday night/early Sunday morning when I finally got a hold of him. I called the hotel and they put me through to his room.
"Jason?" "Yes." "Hi - its Jen" "Well FINALLY!" and he laughed.
I don't remember exactly what we talked about. I remember talking about the game the night before...I remember saying that I didn't think I was ever that tough to get a hold of...I remember apologizing for Kate. I told him how it was her first game...trying to set Mom up....etc. "I agreed with her - I thought you were cute and that's all it took for her." He laughed. The conversation went for a good 15 minutes or so before he said "I've got some bad news for you" "Oh boy - what's that?" I asked. I think I really knew. "I'm married" he replies. I knew it. "That's ok" I said "because for the last few days you have made a divorced 28 year old mom of 2 feel like a 16 year old again. For that, I can never say thank you enough."

We exchanged some more thoughts and the conversation was over. What would have been devastating for so many made me ok. This guy, this major league ball player, called me - my house. He didn't have to. He was a BALL PLAYER. He was exempt from the etiquette of calling someone back that gave you their phone number. But he didnt. He called. And he didn't have to. But I'm glad he did.

Jason became the team Captain this year after FINALLY breaking that 86 year old curse last year. I felt like a proud parent. I need to get a new Varitek jersey - one with the C on it.

The BoSox are down 2- 0 to the Chi White Sox. Game 3 today @ 4p at Fewnway. Kate and I will be glued to the radio until we get home and then it will be to the TV.

And we both smile everytime Jason comes up......
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Summertime, Baseball


Ok so a THOUSAND years ago, this AWESOME guy Terry (yeah you - with the face!!) told me "Jen - you need to do NEED to make yourself a live journal"....there was a lot more to it - like crying, sobbing, suffering. But that's the general gist of it. I NEEDED to do this. Well every day since, I have looked at this page and thought 'what the hell do I want to write about? My life is in such misery that I don't feel like LIVING it, let alone writing it.' Something today got me though...something today made me say - 'ok - I'll do it, I'll do it...'

Lemme back up. Terry was a gift of a friend of mine...and that friend of mine was a gift to SO many, including Terry. I knew Billy through work. We were both in the limousine industry - a tough trade as a guy let alone a chick. I had a nickname - BABBS - short for Bad Assed Boston Bitch...born and raised here baby. Bad accent and all - PAHK my CAH in HAHVAHD YAHD...yeah yeah yeah...Billy made me do it too - dirty bastard :) My first encounter with Billy was when I had started for this guy named Jake. Jake was a prick - a snake oil salesman...I didn't like his business style AT ALL...dishonest &$^%^$. Anyway, a car was supposed to have been sent to pick up this woman for an on air time interview. Long and the short of it - the car wasnt there when it was supposed to have been there. I took the order. I had the info. I read it back 3 times to the girl on the phone that gave it to me. But the address did not hold the woman in question. Now the phone is ringing....its this guy Billy - calling from the booking company - SCREAMING at me about the location of this car. 'Don't yell at me' my brain burned. The LAST thing you want to do is piss me off. I get a wee bit stubborn - I'm of Italian / Irish decent. Stubborn and a penchant for drinking and fighting - hell of a combination!! The screaming match ensued...I remember Billy screaming at me "I'm going to go get Cheryl" and I thought to myself - whatever....go get da bitch. I don't know who she is. (Cheryl was one of the owners - oops!) I re-read the info that I was given over and over again while trying to get the driver to the location that Billy was telling me. It was on the other side of the world and this woman was NEVER going to make her on-air time. The argument ensued and after finally realizing that this job wasn't going to happen, the lines went dead. Billy was going to Cheryl and I was going to lose my job. "Not my fault that your people in LA dont have a CLUE what the difference is between Charlestown and Boston. Better get better directions next time." I told him when he screamed GOODBYE and hung up. DAMN! No idea who THAT was, but I'm not about to go find out either. Cheryl called Jake. Jake lied and blamed me. Jackass - didn't want to lose face with the company Billy was working for. And hell, it was easier to 'blame the new girl' right?? Fuck.

I left Jake's company not too long after that. I still had contact with Billy's company on the West and East coast. When I went to my new limousine company, I wanted to take that account with me. I had many friends within that company and I thought that my new company could service their clients much better, more efficiently, more professionally. I went to my new boss Dawson with the proposition. He told me to make some phone calls and get the ball rolling. One of my calls was to Billy. Over time, he and I had patched our relationship up to realize a) Jake was a jackass, liar and thief and b) a chick from BAHSTAN couldn't really be all THAT bad! :) An arrangement was made to have the heads from Billy's company - BILLY INCLUDED!! - come to our location so we could show them what we had to offer. It was a very lucrative deal that - if it went through - meant big bucks for our company. Well worth the time and effort to put in to it. Billy and a few of the 'higher up' came to Boston to tour my company. I waited in the garage for the car to show up. I was so excited to finally meet Billy - my sparring partner. What a DOLL! HUGE hugs and kisses!! The personality to fit the voice....very upbeat...smiling...enthusiastic. That's what our company needed. Did we get the deal?? YES!! Was it because of me and Billy - HELL YES! I made him a promise that as long as he was there at the company, I would do anything and everything to make sure that I, personally, did not let him down. I was thrilled to have landed this account for my company - no bennies though - cheap fuck Dawson.

Time went by and in Feb '01, the Limousine Show was being held in Las Vegas. I heard through the 'grape vine' that we were going to be receiving an award from Billy's company. Dawson came to me and asked me if I was willing to fly to Vegas to help accept the award - since the account was mine and everything. He offered to pay for the flight, the hotel room, EVERYTHING!! WOW! Hell yeah!! I had never been to Vegas. Been to Europe, been all over the Eastern coast, been to Canada...not to Vegas. I'm not a gambler. As a divorced mom of 2 girls, money is ALWAYS tight. I can't see stuffing quarters (or dollars and five dollars as I saw out there) in to a candy machine to see if you can have some of it back. Ridiculous. Before I went, my Daddy gave me $20. He told me to put the $20 of quarters in one cup and all my winnings went in to another cup. When the $20 cup was empty, I was done. It's not my money. Sure Daddy. Whatever you want.

I packed my bags, got my best Halston dress(thank you Billy Joel), dropped my girls off with my ex, gave them big smoochas, and off I went. What a PLACE!! I was staying at the Venetian Hotel. I can't even begin to DESCRIBE to you what this place was like!! ENORMOUS! GORGEOUS! anything that ends in 'ous' works for this place. The second floor of the hotel was set up like Venice with canals, boats, singing. It was all so surreal - especially for me. Lavish spending is NOT my gig. I shop at Savers - a used clothing store. But I was going to soak it all up while I was there. We went to parties at the other limo company's requests. We were the belles of the ball. Everyone knew our names - we were up and comers, a force to be RECKONED with. Cuba cigars, cocktails and conversation. An experience I will never forget. I was one of the very few women there 'with a brain'. Sorry for the wording, but the bimbos that were there were more eye candy than anything else. Big boobs, tiny waists, tall, long legged, silly giggles, TONS of makeup....EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW. Just not my style! Along I came, all of 5'3", average everything else, shoulder length dark hair, dark skin, dark eyes, tattoos, mouth like a sailor (that's why Billy and I got along so well together). Sure, I can walk the walk AND talk the talk when necessary. But I am pretty much a 'what you see is what you get' type of person. I call 'em as I see 'em. And I think that if you put all the women in the same room *sans me*, you wouldn't have gotten them to light a 5 watt light bulb. Sad. Just sad.

That night, we were to get the award. I was nervous. I'm NEVER nervous, but this was a BIG DEAL! There were going to be TONS of people there to see this. TONS of people to get noticed by. And who was there right up front??? BILLY!!!! He cheered, he screamed, he clapped LOUDER than anyone!! Dawson, the VP, two of the sales guys and myself stepped up to get that award. I was on Cloud 9. I couldn't stop smiling!! After the flash bulbs stopped and we were able to walk in to the crowd, Billy was the first one there to hug and kiss me!! He said he was so proud of me. He gave me a silver musical note keychain (which is still on my key, thank you) and a 'letterman' style jacket - black wool with black leather sleeves that had his company logo on it (still have it - not cold enough to wear it now though). He asked me if I was up for some partying and I said 'lemme change and Im ALL YOURS'. After getting in to something more suitable for drinking, Billy and I went off to visit some of the company bashes that were being held. I have some GREAT pictures of that night - my favorite being the one of Billy with a plastic bag over the top of his head. It hangs in my stairwell in a collage with all my other favorite pictures from my life. Billy had become such a huge part of my life, professionally and personally. He was no longer a co-worker, but a friend.

Both Billy and I left the limousine industry - he a little before I did and he left by choice. I got canned by the new H.R. Guy - fat fuck. (He's gone now though too - serves him right. Fat fuck) The day I was let go, I called Billy at home, FREAKING out. He told me not to burn my bridges. "Don't freak out Jen. You might need these people later on in life. Don't worry. You'll do fine. I'm right here whenever you need me. PROMISE!" I listened to him...hard as it was...I listened.

It was a cold day in January when Ralph (the VP of my old limo company) called me at home. I knew that something was wrong, immediately. "Sit down Jen. I have some bad news" Thats how it started. I don't remember hearing much more than "Billy was found dead this morning". The rest is very hazy. I remember thanking Ralph for calling. I called Billy's East coast affiliate and asked for Lisa. Lisa did Billy's job on this coast. When she answered and I said it was me, she lost it. She couldnt stop crying. 'Heart attack they think Jen'. Thats what I got for useful info from that conversation. What the hell was going on? Billy can't be dead. I had just talked to him a few weeks earlier, seeing how his job hunting was going, listening to him tell me to just pack up and come to LA. "I'll show you around Jen. You can stay with me!! What safer place to be than with a gay guy! And I'm fun too!" I was lost. I didn't know what to do. The services were going to be out west - of course. And being out of work, I had no money to even send flowers. I was dumbfounded. How could life be so cruel to someone so kind?

I was online a few nights later, when Billy's screen name showed up on my AOL buddy list. My throat sealed shut. I couldn't breathe. Billy was dead. How was this happening?? Billy from the grave?!?! That really wouldn't have surprised me too much. I clicked on the name and up popped a chat window. "My name is Jen. I was friends with Billy. Who's this?" Ballsy I thought. Who am I to be asking this?? I guess I felt I had a right to an answer as Billy was a friend of mine. I waited. It was late, I had been 'indulging' (shall we say in extra curricular activities) and I was afraid. I didn't know what to expect. It was Terry....Billy's better half - as Billy would put it. Terry and I started talking. I told him that I was so sorry for his loss. We commiserated on how awful life was without Billy around. I told Terry about how wonderful Billy was to work with, how he could always make the day better with just a call. I told him that I knew how empty I felt inside...I couldnt imagine the pain that he felt. Terry told me that anytime I wanted, I could write or call. "I'm keeping Billy's cell phone number so I can hear his voice on the message whenever I want. Feel free to call him when you miss him." I remember trying to hold it together. The tears were welling in my eyes, blurring the screen. I remember that empty feeling....having nothing to say...and everything to say at the same time...but speaking no words.

A LONG time had passed since I had last talked to Terry. Every so often I would find things that would remind me of Billy....a long lost photo of Billy and I was the rekindling of my relationship with Terry. Which is what leads me to this page today......


Yesterday, I started a project of cleaning my attic so I can make a bedroom up there - story for another day. While moving boxes from my old apartment, I found one full of old photos, cards, 'stuff from the junk drawer'. I know you know what I mean. I began rummaging through - old photos of my girls when they were little, old Christmas cards from friends long ago, I LOVE YOU MOMMY notes from the girls, report cards from elementary school.......

.................and this home made birthday card.............from Billy.

I love you Billy............thanks for introducing me to Terry.......just wish you coulda been here......


PS - oh and the $20 from my Daddy?? I walked away with $8.00. Told you...I SUCK at gambling!
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