Detroit

Motor City Kitty

Live in Chi-town, but love my Motown ...

Live in Chi-Town, but love my Motown

I didn’t realize how much I missed “home” until being back in metro-Detroit this past few days. Maybe I’m just contributing the feeling of “home-sickness” to how jaded I am with my former employer. Which is bad, since I really truly do love the city of Chicago.

Anyway, we’re back in Chicago for the next week or so. We have some business to take care of along with making sure that Yami & Rain haven’t taken over the entire apartment with their crazy antics. (We never know what kind of trouble a smart black cat and a senior-citizen deaf cat can get into!)

Oh and next week we get to go see this. I am such a Gleek!

But anybody that knows me, knows I have a penchant for music. Love to sing. Love to try out harmonies. Love to listen to any type of music with a great beat and an amazing hook.

So it’s probably no surprise to most of my HS and college friends that I’m heading back to Detroit to embrace my Goth/Industrial roots on Memorial Day Weekend. Yep … after missing last year, Hubby & I are going to head down to Hart Plaza to attend the Movement Festival; otherwise known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF).

Huh? Goth/Industrial music related to Electronic Music? Specifically Detroit Techno?

Yes, I say. My love for New Order naturally lead me to the darker Joy Division; then Bauhaus and all their reincarnations, which eventually led me to all other Goth/Industrial music out of the now-defunct Wax Trax label out of Chicago and the likes of Front 242, KMFDM, and even Kate‘s Meat Beat Manifesto. 🙂

Yes; the same Chicago that brought on the birth of hard-thumpin’ bass-pumpin’ House Music. Which, alongside Detroit Techno began the (r)evolution of Electronic Dance Music.

Anyway it’s no surprise that in my college and post-college years, I spent lots of time at a bar/nightclub called Industry, which played a lot of industrial music mixed in with Chicago House and Detroit Techno.

Okay … so that was a quick lesson on the history of how I got into Electronic Music.

What I really meant to talk about was that this year is the 10th Anniversary of the inaugural Music Festival. Those who attended that first year will agree that there was something quite … for lack of better words, spiritual about that weekend. It was as if all the stars aligned and remain aligned for the entire holiday weekend. Not that there weren’t any hiccups during the first year, but the fact that Detroit managed to put together something that garnered international attention … and not have it be about the Auto Industry or the crime rate of the city … was nothing short of incredible.

That inaugural year was actually captured on film by a few of Hubby’s friends who were putting together a documentary about how the DEMF finally brought Detroit Techno back to its home. But because of a multitude of issues, the film … was never released. Until now, that is.

Ten years later, The Drive Home will finally be shown on the Big Screen; it’s premiere being included in the pre-festival parties next Friday. I am sooo excited to be going!

For me, the best part will actually be seeing snippets of Hubby in some of the film footage. You see, Hubby & I were asked to “cover” the event for a HS friend of his, whose website was pretty well-versed in the NYC club scene. So as “Media” guests, both Hubby & I were able to get access to areas that the typical festival-goer did not have.

Now how do I know that Hubby might be on film? Well, it’s because we’ve already seen him on the trailer! Check it out …

Yep, that's Hubby on the rail to the right, snapping pictures!

Anyway, I find myself connecting with the overall theme of this documentary. The fact of the matter is that Detroit Techno, while its roots come from musicians who have lived in Detroit, was more influential internationally than it was on its own backyard. However, as the years and decades past … the importance of this style of music was eventually recognized in the city from which it was born. While these artists and musicians (because it’s not all about DJ’s and sampling … ) are considered legends in other countries (such as the Netherlands and Germany), they go mostly “unnoticed” and they feel most comfortable when they’re back in their home town.

And especially since this last visit back home, where we spent more than just a typical two-and-a-half day weekend in town, I’ve noticed I’m also more at ease when I’m on more familiar ground.

Again, this may all be as a result of my most recent stressors here in Chicago. But I can tell you this … I’m looking forward to our drive home next week.

Anyway, here’s the trailer for The Drive Home … hope you enjoy.

And while you’re at it … check out the part of the article we wrote for his HS friend’s website. I’m actually amazed it’s still out there on the web. Well, at least Part II is … not sure where Part I or III is! LOL!

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A Folgers Moment

Hubby & I are back in Michigan for a few days; and I must admit that it’s good to be home. Especially after the past couple of weeks, post-employment.

Would LOVE this view with my Morning Java ...

I won’t lie. I’ve been completely stressed out over the unemployment issue. Between Hubby not getting paid in a timely manner (despite working non -stop on multiple jobs for the past few weeks) and me not bringing any income … we’ve been up late and night worrying about finances. And my job hunt has been painstakingly slow (well, at least in my eyes anyway).

So being in Michigan … and not having to be back to return on Monday to a non-existent job … has been nice. Minus the multiple loads of laundry we’ve brought back with us and cleaning up around the house we now consider our “home away from the city”, we should be able to relax … even for just a little bit.

We came home yesterday afternoon in time for Tyler’s Confirmation; where Hubby was given the honor of being his Sponsor. Afterward, we spent time at the In-Laws trying to convince Kairi that we were, indeed the same Auntie & Uncle she visited earlier in April. And after dinner, we spent time trying to sharpen Tyler’s Scrabble skills by playing a couple of games. So by the time we arrived back at our house, it was pretty late and it took all of a few moments before the dog was fed and we were in bed for the night.

Hubby & I crashed so hard that when the alarm I set on my phone went off this morning, I picked my phone up and “answered” it. And while I admittedly slept well in our wonderful non-IKEA queen-sized bed … I have to admit that I woke up feeling stressed. It’s as the minute my eyes opened, my mind bypassed neutral and went straight into overdrive.

Yeah. I’m that pitiful.

In any case, after a few moments of tossing and turning in bed I got up to take a very anxious Kozzy out for her morning business. After all, If I couldn’t calm myself down … the least I could do was calm Pacey McPacer down. So I took puppy-girl and headed out our front door. As she did her business next to a couple of bushes on our front lawn, I sat on our porch to take in the morning air. Then Kozzy decided to do the same thing; laying on the grass to bathe in the morning sunshine. It was … the most relaxing moment I’ve had in a looong time.

And because I had to share the moment with my best friend, I went back in and grabbed Hubby. We sat there for a spell, taking in the sights and sounds of a beautiful Sunday morning and absorbing the tranquility of our surrounding. No trains passing by in the distance, no traffic down the street … no taxis honking at the cars in front of them. Other than the sounds of birds chirping and the slight breeze passing by, it was so quiet.

A Couples Massage would be nice right about now ...

Unfortunately, we had places to be by lunch so we reluctantly went back in. Even Hubby agreed that it was a nice calming moment … saying that the only thing that would make it better is if we could go to the spa and get a massage**. And I couldn’t have agreed with him more!

But wow … what a perfect way to collect our thoughts and start the day. If I could find away to capture that moment and relive it every morning, I totally would. But then I guess this wouldn’t be a moment I’d be able to treasure forever.

I wouldn’t be able to document my own personal “Folgers Moment” …

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** The irony? Our Kozzy-girl is the one with a Spa Day. She gets to go to the groomer tomorrow and get a bath and her nails trimmed … or, as I’ve been calling it, a “Pedi-Pedi”! Is it wrong that I’m jealous?!

Freshly Laundered

It’s …  oh, 1 pm Detroit time. Hubby & I should already be in the car heading back to Chicago but alas, we’re still finishing up the last two loads laundry here.

Cutie-Pie Kairi during this visit. Her bib says "Teething Bites!"

What can I say? If we had to keep our house here, we might as well get use out of our in-home washer and dryer while we can. Because laundromats are great for getting multiple loads done at one time … but there’s nothing that beats being in your own house while your clothes are being washed!

Yeah, we should have spent all of yesterday evening doing the laundry, but instead we did other things. Like … see “Alice In Wonderland” in 3D. With our friend, J. Who came with us afterward to grab some food. And well, next thing we know it’s close to midnight again. And we’ve got an early morning breakfast date with my parents.

Seriously, I love coming back to Detroit and spending time with family and friends. But by the time the weekend’s over, I’m exhausted .

SO … since I’ll be spending the evening driving home, I figure I’d post my daily Lenten “duties” for the day.

Good Deed of the Day: Not sure if this would be considered a “good deed,” but Hubby stayed up later than I did working on a creative job. His good deed was to “finish” doing the laundry while I slept, but somehow I knew that wasn’t going to happen.** But since he climbed into bed pretty late (just after he was done with this job … while “waiting for the dryer to go off,” as he said … ) and we had to be up and out the door by 7:30 am, I let him sleep up until the time we had to leave to meet my parents for breakfast. And now … after returning home, I’m letting him nap some more while I work on finishing up the rest of the laundry. Like I said, not sure if this is really a “good deed.” After all … he’s the one that’s going to be driving us home, and I’d rather him be alert while behind the wheel.

Gratitude of the Day: Well, since we’re still home … no sense in not turning on the TV. To watch the Detroit Red Wings. Take on the Chicago Blackhawks. After all, it’s soooo much better watching it on TV instead of trying to find a radio station to listen to the game on the drive home. GO WINGS!!

Woops … well, there goes the dryer. Time to do more folding …

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

** Especially since both of us had been up late the night before and up early the next morning. And he was working on this creative job.

Spare Parts

I actually started writing this post on my iPhone on the drive from Chicago to Detroit. Ah … The wonders of modern technology!

Click on to the picture to find out about this "store front"

Typically on the 5-hour drive, Hubby usually gets the “honor” of being behind the wheel. And there’s something about his driving that usually lulls me to sleep. But today, despite staying up late last night and putting in a six-hour work day, I’m surprisingly wide awake. Maybe it’s the Real Fruit Berry Slushie from the Sonic in K-zoo? Nah …

In the past, whenever we’d go on long road trips, Hubby & I would make it an event. We’d stack up the CD’s and pack some snacks and have so much fun. And in between Van Morrison and CCR songs** Hubby and I would have these incredible conversations about our life together, our future, and our hopes & dreams.

Not that we still don’t have awesome conversations now on our round-trips between Chi-Town and Motown; it’s just that they don’t always happen during every trip … Especially with Hubby’s uncanny ability to make me so nice and relaxed when he does the driving.

And because those conversations were really in the earlier years of our relationship, there was more to find out about one another. There was more about us, as individuals, to share. There were more dreams of the ideal future to discuss.

There was none of those shared worries or disappointments. There was no shared heartbreaks for futures that weren’t realized. There was only hope.

It’s because of those things that these awesome conversations happen less … But when they do, they are so much more exciting and fun.

Today, Hubby & I had one of those fun conversations. Since learning more web apps, he’s been dying to either a) start up and design his own blog, or b) take my blog and move it to my own domain so that he can have all the fun in playing around with it while designing it. Now I’m totally for Option B here*** but I’d also love to see Hubby write his own blog as well.

Anyway, a couple days we were trying to come up with potential names for his blog. Unfortunately, we never came up with any that would “stick.”

Today on the drive to Detroit, I came up with a name that I thought would make for a great new blog title … For me. Except when I told Hubby about it, he thought that I was talking about a blog title for him.

The title? “Spare Parts” which would have been great for an infertile living child-free like me, who still has all her lady parts. Except … well, except they just don’t work. So yeah. Spare. Parts.

Hubby, on the other hand, thought that I was talking about a blog name for him, where he’s just the “spare part” to me. In which  he proceeded to say to me, “What does that mean? That I’m so old and broken? And that I’m replaceable? For newer parts?”

He was serious, and yet I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Of course not,” I told him. “I was talking about myself!” and then I explained to him the reason I came up with the name.

But that still didn’t stop Hubby from calling himself as “Spare Part” for the rest of our drive home. Or referring to particular Hubby behaviors as a “Spare Part” behavior. Like, for instance, the fact that he has a tendency to ask multiple questions at one time as “Spare Part questions.” Or heading in the wrong direction towards the freeway as “Spare Part directions.”

Later on that night, as we were closer to home I told him that he was irreplaceable. That there was only one Hubby for me. And if anything, I was the one who was replaceable … with my broken parts.

And of course he told me that *I* had no spare parts; that I was perfect the way I am. Most importantly, he told me this: The two of us separately can be seen as “spare parts.” But together … well, that just makes us whole.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

Now … for my daily Lenten activities:

Today’s Good Deed: At work, I had scheduled a vendor meeting for my entire team (not my first choice of days during the week). This, unfortunately meant that my telecommuters had to come in to the office for the day. Hubby gave me the brilliant idea of bringing in some treats for the team. So we stopped off at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to the office and picked up a dozen donuts; for no other reason other than to celebrate that it was Friday and that we were all together in the office. The best part? As I stepped out of the elevator, three of my team members were waiting to climb on to go down for a morning snack. And guess what they were going to buy? That’s right peeps … donuts! Hubby obviously had a sixth sense about stopping for this particular snack.

Today’s Gratitude: Every time we go back to Metro-Detroit, we make it a ritual to meet up with our friend, J. And of course, we try to meet up at our favorite local tavern for some good burgers. Tonight was no exception to our meet-up, but … being a (questionably) good Catholic, I refrained from eating meat on a Friday during Lent. (I know! What restraint!!) I may have mentioned in previous posts that we consider J one of our closest friends; so today I’m grateful for this friendship and the incredible conversations we have whenever we get together.

So that’s it for today … it’s actually quite late as I’m finishing up this post. Truth be told, it’s already Saturday early morning … but since I technically didn’t sleep yet … this is still Friday’s post. And that’s how I’m going to date it.

So there. <sticks tongue out>

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

** Because there’s something about those classic rock songs that just make you wanna sing them at the top of our lungs while driving long distances …

*** Hey, why not?! It’d be relatively free for me!

Not Gold, but …

Goalie Miller, after the OT Gold-winning goal by Team Canada

Whew. I can breathe again.

What. A. Hockey Game!! Of course, it wasn’t the outcome that I wanted … but it was sooo exciting! AND, at least I got to practice singing the Canadian National Anthem. And I’m sure that Loribeth & Mrs. Spit are more than happy to see their National Team win. AND that the entire nation of Canada can now breathe a sigh of relief.

But still … would have been nice to see the US, the underdogs in the tourney, win. Would have been nice to see the MVP, Ryan Miller (and someone with Michigan ties, to boot) get the gold.

Well, at least Canada’s team was built and coached by all those Detroit Red Wing staff! 😉

At least Canada can, once again, continue claim that that Hockey is still *THE* Canadian sport. Next to Lacrosse, anyway. But just like hockey, that sport has historically been more popular in Canada than in the US (although it’s gained much more popularity since Hubby played back in high school).

Yami doesn't want the Olympics to end, either ...

I guess … well, I guess it’s the Red Wing fan in me that just reaallly doesn’t like Cindy — oops, I mean Sidney Crosby. Don’t get me wrong, he’s talented and incredible. BUT … this goes back to the whole “this is a team sport and not a Superstar-plus-Team sport.” And Crosby? Well, in the NHL, he’s that “Superstar” that the league seems to be banking on; placing all their proverbial eggs in the basket. I know that it’s not necessarily his fault that the media places him in such a huge spotlight, but yet I’ve never seen him redirect the emphasis back on the team and teamwork. Who knows? Maybe he has … and I just have never seen it.

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With that out of my system, tonight is officially the last night of the Olympics. But more importantly, tonight is the last night for February’s NaBloPoMo.

Which means that I’ve officially posted a blog entry a day for the past 28 days. While it’s not an Olympic Medal, at least I can put this “medal of honor” on my blog.

And well, hey; since I still am going to be posting daily until Easter, which is April 5th this year, I might as well just sign myself up for March’s NaBloPoMo. But before I do, let’s at least finish up on this entry:

Good Deed O’The Day. This one is a “good deed” (if I can call it that) for myself; which, and follow me here, will ultimately be a good deed for those that I work with. And that good deed is this: I did NOT do any work today, or any day this weekend. In fact, I mostly relaxed this weekend (with the exception of grocery shopping, of course).

While it seems like a rather “selfish” good deed, I know that this is a deed that needed to be done. Quite frankly, I’ve been running myself ragged since the end of December and working pretty much 7 days a week. And even though I’m not quite working the whole 8 hours on the weekend, the fact that I am doing anything work-related on those days I should be relaxing is a sign that I’m overworking. SO … by doing nothing but things I liked to do these two days allows me to unwind a bit so that I’m charged up and ready for the next week.

I think Rain looks better in a tiara than Julia Mancuso

Gratitude and Thanks: As I mentioned before, things have been pretty tight with our monthly expenses. Having both a monthly rent and mortgage payment has been killing us. And seeing as the housing market in Detroit ain’t turning around any time soon, we don’t see any resolution with this issue in the near future. SO … what I’m grateful for right now is that: #1, I have a job during these difficult economic times; and #2, I have family that love and support us. Because if it wasn’t for all that they provide, Hubby & I wouldn’t be able to pick ourselves up and forge forward during this difficult period.

So there it is. Last post of February. Look out, March! Here I come!

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Oh NUTS!!

Somedays work feels like Mr. Stay Puft

Proton Pack Day #2. Except today I was remotely putting out fires from home; which definitely had its challenges. But ask me if I minded doing it from home, and I’d tell you that I would find a way of putting up with the challenges in order to take advantage of this benefit. It’s just too bad that I’m limited to working from home only one day a month. Boo …

Anyway, because I worked from home today I did not have much opportunity to do any new Random Acts of Kindness. Instead, while taking my puppy-girl for an extended walk (after my work day was done), I once again spread some goodies for the Chicago wildlife. Well … the birds and squirrel variety, anyway — none of those “back alley” city wildlife.

Squirrels are funny creatures; more so, it seems, in the city. Hubby & I have had the conversation before about how squirrels in Chicago seem just a bit different than squirrels back in suburban Detroit. First of all, the colorings/markings on Chicago squirrels are remarkably greyish-brown; more of a hodge-podge of various squirrel colorings. And then there are those suburban Detroit squirrels, which tend to be either reaaallly brown or black.

Meet City Squirrel (Chicago)

And because I grew up in suburban Detroit in the decade following the 1967 Detroit Riot and during Coleman Young‘s five terms of Mayor (both circumstances that contributed to the massive segregation between city and suburbs, caucasian and non-caucasian), it’s a silly observation that Detroit squirrels should be so … well, black and white. Add to the fact that up until the last decade or so, it was rare to see a black squirrel past Eight Mile Road* … that’s irony at its best!

But regardless of ra- … I mean species , the big thing that we noticed about city squirrels and “country” squirrels*** is the personalities. Suburban squirrels (at least in all other areas of the Detroit area other than Ann Arbor) are rather timid. They are easily frightened by anything and everything. Whereas, their cousin, City Squirrel just loooves to come up to anyone or anything … especially my dog.

You know, the same dog that has anxiety issues? And totally gets nervous/aggressive when other pets are around? Yes, City Squirrel loves to antagonize her. (My poor Kozzy-girl … ) They love to stand in direct path of her and make clicking sounds in order to get her attention. And then they looove running away the minute Kozzy starts pulling on her leash and barking at them.

And this is Suburban Squirrel

Some days it’s absolutely hysterical. And then there are days, like today (as I tried to feed them), that it’s downright frustrating!

(Remind me again why I was trying to feed them? Oh yeah, for my daily Lenten *good* deed … NUTS!!)

As for what I’m thankful for today … I guess because we’re quite tight in the wallet lately, I’m grateful that I have food to put on our table and food to feed our pets. While City & Suburban Squirrel can probably scrounge off the land (they’re raised to do that) or fill their tummies with scraps given to them by suckers like me, at least I don’t have to go further than the closest grocery store to get mine. And how about all the other people I see in the streets of Chicago? The ones asking for spare change just to get food? The same ones that are grateful for any leftovers that other humans give to them? That just makes me even more thankful that we have what we have.

Okay … that’s it for the night. Think I’m going to crash now, so that I can be prepared to fight more fires tomorrow. <sigh>

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

And finally, meet City Squirrel II (Detroit)

* Yes, that IS the road that is referenced in the famed Brian Grazer/Eminem** movie. This road in Detroit is literally (and figuratively) the dividing line between city and suburbs.

** Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: I have a friend who actually went to HS/Middle school with Marshall … well, at least until he dropped out!

*** Remember City Mouse and Country Mouse? Meet their kissing cousin, Suburban Mouse! LOL!

Today, I am Polish-Filipino

If there’s one thing I love about Chicago, it’s the fact that they share a lot of the same traditions as Detroit does. Today just happens to be one of those days.

I had a co-worker back in Michigan that moved from the East Coast. The first February in Detroit, she recalled how she’d be reading the newspaper and would stumble upon this word that she had NO idea how to pronounce.

“Pack-zee? Pass-key?” That’s how she thought the word would sound like. “And what the *heck* is ‘Pazz-ski Day’ anyway?”

My fellow Detroiters and I laughed when we heard that statement. “Poonch-kee,” we corrected her. But really, we couldn’t fault her because … well, unless your Polish, you probably wouldn’t know how to pronounce “Paczki.”

For those of you that aren’t familiar with what a Paczki is, it’s a deep-fried piece of dough that is typically filled with either crème or jelly. Sounds like a regular doughnut, doesn’t it? Except it isn’t … it’s made out of especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugars and sometimes milk.  So basically it’s a lot more calories than your typical filled doughnut.

Paczki Day started as a Polish tradition in which a typical Polish-Catholic would make batches and batches of paczki to try to purge any ingredients that might spoil during the Lenten season. And, of course, what better day to get “rid” of all those extra paczki than to make Fat Tuesday the official day for these treats?

This tradition carried over to the US, and in particular the Midwestern states, where there are large communities of Polish-Americans. Detroit, in particular, has Hamtramck; a city of Polish descendents within the city of Detroit. And Chicago, apparently also has a multitude of Polish neighborhoods; which is collectively known as Chicago Polonia.

And why do I know so much of the history of Paczki Day? Well … let’s just say the Catholic Grade School I went to comprised mostly of Polish-Americans. So much that this Filipino-American knew more about pierogi and sauerkraut than the typical non-Polish-American. 

Seriously … our Grade School’s Annual Festival comprised of your typical Midway rides, a beer tent and a Polka contest. (And no … I do  not know how to Polka. But I have been taken around the dance floor a couple times!)  In fact these same co-workers (who helped me tease our East Coast transplant) have all but named me an “Honorary Pole” for knowing a little too much of Polish traditions!

So yes … I just thought I’d bring a little history to y’all non-Polish peeps and any non-Midwesterners. Have a wonderful FAT TUESDAY and a Happy Paczki Day!!

Overtime Ties

Keeping my TIES with Detroit ...

Whew. What a day. What a work week! And the sad thing is that my work week ain’t even over.

Yes. That’s right. I gots myself more work to do. And not just the normal “sign into our system from my laptop at home” -type of work. Nope … Tomorrow I get to schlep my butt back downtown and work at my wonderful cubicle. And that’s because the rest of my team is coming in for a little overtime work as well.

Sigh … Why does it always seem like the beginning of a business year is less about “new beginnings” and “fresh starts” and more like “leftovers” and “pilot projects”? Not like I already have a pretty full plate …

And it’s only February! Can’t *wait* to see what’s in store for the rest of the year.

So yes, work has been insanely busy. What I had thought would be a break from insanity after the big audit in November has only brought more insanity. Which has been slowly building since … well, November.

Okay, so maybe I’m just going into panic / anxiety mode right now. Maybe I need to go back to my happy place (which always seems to involve sand, beach, water and palm trees) and just relax. Yeah … that’s what I should do.

Alrighty … enough complaining. Let’s talk about other things. Fun things. Like … the conversation I had with a fellow supervisor today about sports. Yes, sports … one of many things I love, like music and movies and books.

It’s been fun talking to this co-worker about sports; especially because of our love of our home teams; mine being Detroit and hers, Chicago. Her Bears and my hapless Lions. My “Bad Boys” Pistons to her “Michael Jordan” Bulls. My “Justin Verlander” Tigers and her “Mark Buehrle” White Sox.

But today’s discussion happened to be one of our all-time favorite sports: Hockey.  And specifically Red Wings and Blackhawks Hockey. We had talked about how both our teams were doing (hers *really* good, ours … not so good) and the connection that our hockey teams shared.

Yep, that's the slap shot that Chelios taught me!

One of them is obviously Chris Chelios; who had grown up in Chicago and played for the Blackhawks for many MANY years. Except … as I chided with my co-worker … Chelios never won a Stanley Cup Championship until he played for the Red Wings.

This, of course, led to me sharing a dream I had of Chris Chelios a few years ago. One where I supposedly won a contest to participate in a Red Wings pre-game practice. And in that dream, I vividly recall having Chelios teach me how to set up a slap shot. Yeah … only *I* would have these types of dreams; but at least my co-worker appreciated it!

Anyway, the other connection that both the Red Wings and the Blackhawks shared were that they were part of “The Original Six” hockey teams of the NHL.

From there, the conversation went on to the whole “expansion” of the NHL over the years, and how some of these “new” teams were difficult to remember. (Woulda thunk Columbus, OH or Nashville TN would ever have an NHL team?!) Or what we’d do if we ever moved out of a non-Hockey city.

Specifically, we had talked about what Hubby & I would do if (when?) we move out west. Portland doesn’t have a hockey team; and neither does Seattle. Would we go for the Ducks? Or would it be the Cannucks (out of Vancouver)?

As it turns out, we both decided that we could never “give up” our home team; her Blackhawks and my Red Wings. That despite a move to a different city, we would always root for our home teams … we’d still hold on to our TIES to our hometown sports.

And I obviously do … as it’s been over a year since moving to Chicago and I still cheer … not only my Red Wings … but for all the other Detroit home teams as well.

I always loved that Cameron Frye wore a Red Wings Jersey on "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

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Letting Go …

This past Sunday morning at our Michigan home was a rough one.

I should preface this by saying that the raggedness of that morning had absolutely nothing to do with the baptism we attended later on that day. Because I was actually looking forward to spending time with these good friends; a couple that experienced the roller coaster of infertility first hand. I was looking forward to meeting their daughter for the first time.

Nor did it have to do with spending time with those other family friends’ kids who are waaay too adorable. Because, believe me … seeing how these kids grew so much over the past six months was just plain fun. (Personally, the story about our friend’s two year old son placing a Vic.toria’s Secret bag on his head and walking around calling himself Opti.mus Pri.me was my absolute favorite!)

Nope, what made the morning rough was what I stumbled upon while cleaning off the top of our dresser.

And the thing is … I should have known better because it was in the same exact place I left it when I last stumbled upon this item.

Hubby happened to be there this time when I found the picture of our two would-be babies. And he noticed the subtle flinch I made as I picked it up and set it aside … this time to pack it away so that it would be “filed” somewhere safe, so as not to be lost while in the midst of our “final” move to Chicago.

And when Hubby asked me if I was okay, I told him the truth. I was okay for the moment, but I was sure that it would affect me at a later date. It could be tonite … or it could be next week.

As it turned out, I would have to face my feelings about my failed IVF at that very moment. Because that was the moment that Hubby stood next to me, picked up the snapshot and said, “I’m going to throw it away.”

“No,” I immediately responded. “Don’t.” And when Hubby asked me why, I responded “Because that’s the only picture I have of them.”

Them, meaning my babies. My one instance at biological motherhood I would ever experience. The one time I could ever say that I had babies inside of me. So what if my babies didn’t “stick”? So what if I never got my second pink line? Or an HCG level that would ever equate to a positive pregnancy test? That picture was everything that could have been. That picture harvested all those unfulfilled possibilities.

And even though that one and only IVF cycle failed … that picture showed that Hubby & I were able to create something (or rather three * “somethings”… even though we didn’t have a snapshot of our third) from the two of us. It was a testament what lengths Hubby & I traveled in order to have children created from our own flesh and blood.

“It doesn’t matter,” Hubby said in response. “We’ll always know what they mean to us.”

And because I had no smart reply to that, Hubby continued. “It’s time to move on,” he told me. “We need to keep moving forward.”

“D*mn it,” I remember thinking to myself. “He’s right.” But rather than acknowledge it (after all, I am stubborn), I continued cleaning off the dresser.

That is, until Hubby snuck up behind me and put his arms around my waist. “It’s time,” he repeated.

“I know,” I finally said to him as he picked up the picture from where I last placed it on the dresser.

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Our Two Little "Somethings" ...

“So I can throw it away?,” Hubby asked.

“Yes,” I said. “But do it quickly before I change my mind.” And then as he took the picture and walked towards the trash can, I turned the other way.

“I can’t watch,” I told Hubby.

I listened to Hubby slowly walk away from me and pause by the bedroom door. Where the trash can was. And after a quick rustle of paper, the picture was gone.

*****

I blocked that moment out of my mind for the rest of the day; busy with two parties, the one baptism I mentioned above and the other a birthday party for my aunt. Both at buffet restaurants, may I add. (Still. So. Stuffed.) Then it was the long drive back to Chicago so I could work in the morning.

It wasn’t until Hubby & I dropped my cousin off (who bummed a ride with us to attend our Aunt’s party) that Hubby and I talked about our “babies” again. And how hard it still was for me to let them “go.”

That’s when Hubby turned to me and told me that it was hard for him too. Hard for him to throw away the picture. Harder for him to let go than he thought.

And as sad as that moment was for me, there was that little sliver of hope … that small glimmer of light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. Because even though our car was packed with stuff we were moving from our old house to our new “home” in Chicago … the weight in my heart felt just a smidge lighter.

I guess this means I’m actually letting go.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

* Our third “something” was a lone blastocyte that was frozen. Hubby and I had hoped that more blastocytes would have survived the initial IVF procedure so that we would have the ability to try a “frozen cycle.”

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