Just scared
Sunday, September 30, 2007, 11:59 PM

Yeah, well, I promised to blog. I started this one a few hours ago and typed it through my tears, saved it and walked away, and now here I am again.

What do you do when you're scared with worry, too far away to do any good, and too choked up with emotion and misgivings and guilt to make a phone call, because you know all you'd do anyway is cry? I'm weak. I don't handle worry or stress well, not even on Wellbutrin. And right now I'm scared and angry and feeling like a sham. I am not brave.

I don't write well about my feelings. Or about myself. I never have and I probably never will because I prefer to laugh, and there hasn't been much to laugh about over the past few years. So I haven't written much. I prefer to hide my hurts and fears.

I'm waiting for tomorrow at five o'clock. And if I'm weak right now, I hope to God it's because I've sent all my strength, all my Xs and Os, and my optimism, to Oogie.

Please do good. I love you!


Update 6:49 p.m.: She did good! Oogie was scheduled for heart and stress tests today, and she did good.

I can breathe again.

2 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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My OCD, let me share it with you
Thursday, September 20, 2007, 6:24 PM

I’m a staple puller.

I once pulled a thumb muscle from pulling one staple too many.

So I switched hands.

A quarter of my day is probably spent just pulling staples from pages. Sometimes doing this drives me nuts because it crimps my style and slows me down, but I can't leave a staple in a page if it has no purpose. And there can't be more than one, especially if it's just a two or three-page document. It looks sloppy. It feels sloppy.

There's this company who sends me bills in duplicate. They staple the duplicate bills together, which makes no sense because if they're sending bills in duplicate because they're afraid one might get lost, well, both are going to get lost if they're stapled together. Dammit. Even worse, if there's a packing list, they'll staple that to the stapled duplicate pages. By the time they get all the double-stapled bills stuffed in the envelope, that's another forty-one cents to mail. Of all the geezly. Of all the Christly.

I like the sound of a staple being pulled neatly from the page. Clink. Clink. Clink. If it snags and the staple crimps, my rhythm is thrown off. God forbid if I have to attack the page with my fingers to get the staple out--it's as disruptive as writing with a pencil when the lead snaps.

If I’m in a hurry or in a bad mood, I’ll leave the staples in the pages. On purpose.

It fills me with guilt.

5 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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Almost autumn
Wednesday, September 19, 2007, 5:46 PM

Wah-hoo, my favorite season is almost here. Fall in Los Angeles isn't the same as fall in Fort Wayne, but eh, I'll take it. Fall means orange, red and yellow-colored leaves, a snap with the scent of burning leaves in the air (well, not here in L.A.), and pumpkins. This is also when my creativity is at its most powerful--the time of year when I hear my muse's voice the loudest.

"Just shut up and write," she says. "Do it now, or I'm off for Malibu."

I'm having fun with Holly Lisle's Notecard Plotting. I even had some handy-dandy index cards, purchased God knows when. I considered it a sign when I found them. Maybe Rwyn (my guardian angel) left 'em for me.

Well, I'm off to play with my one sentence scene blurbs.

3 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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Still Remembering Joe Coppo
Monday, September 10, 2007, 7:17 PM

I bet I've had over 30 searchs for Joe Coppo or Coppo this past year, and I'm so glad I decided to write this tribute as part of project 2996. I hope what little I wrote was a comfort to those who found my post.

2996 turned out to be a much larger success than D. Challenger Roe envisioned; the site was temporarily suspended last year at 10:45 AM EDT on 9/11 for excessive MYSQL queries. You can read the whole story here. This year, Mr. Roe has his own domain and a revamped site, complete with a blog, a forum and its own history.

Now, for a moment of Joe's.

“Two days before he died, my father told me that I should be disciplined, take pride in myself, stand up straight and hold my head up high,” Matt Coppo wrote in a college essay about his father, Joseph J. Coppo, Jr. Matt had been struggling emotionally with his size (he’d stood 6’3” and weighed 240 pounds at the time) when his father gave him this advice. “[H]e told me God had given me a great gift and that I should use it to my full potential.”

Matt admitted that he took those words for granted at the time, but they came to his aid during his father’s funeral days later—when Matt towered over almost everyone else and was an easy-to-spot focus.

“As I walked down the aisle at the end of [my father’s] service, I realized that everyone was looking straight at me. I tried to appear dignified and brave in the hope that my calm, tall presence would comfort my family and friends and give them the courage to make it through.”

Five years ago on September 11, 2001, Joseph J. Coppo, Jr., went to work on the 104th floor of the North World Trade Tower. He was Vice President of municipal bonds at Cantor Fitzgerald, but seemed to be more comfortable coaching kids on a baseball field. People knew him as every kid’s coach. He'd coached his youngest son’s All-Star baseball team that summer.

"He was very demanding, but he was someone you always wanted to work hard for," said his daughter, Kathleen, who played center field for him on a softball team.

Kathleen also relied on her father’s insight and good advice, saying he was "[M]y best friend, the first person I turned to for anything."

Joe Coppo didn’t believe in war and Kathleen, a teacher of social justice at a small Catholic school, seems to share that belief. Even though she lost her father in a terrorist attack, Kathleen’s wasn’t one of the voices crying out for retaliation, and she believes her father would have been proud of her stance following 9/11.

From what I have read in my research about Joe Coppo, he seemed to be the type of person who liked to be involved in his Community, especially if it had anything to do with baseball. He seemed to be the type of guy who easily inspired and led others—not because he was a big man, but because he had a big heart.

Joe Coppo, I remember you. Although I wouldn’t have shared your love of baseball, I would have eaten a hotdog on the stands with you and listened to what you had to say.

Patricia, Kathleen, Joseph, Matthew, and John, please know that your husband and father is not forgotten.


I never knew Joseph Coppo personally, but I have heard that he is one the kindest, nicest men alive.
-Erin, 9/11/2004

I knew Mr. Coppo through his daughter Kathleen. Not only was he an amazing dad, but also a wonderful coach and motivator. I have nothing but the fondest memories of him, and will always keep him in my heart and prayers. God bless you all.
–Cheryl Gelsomino, 10/22/2004

Mr. Coppo, you will always be a hero to me and a hero to the town of New Canaan. The days I spent around you are days I will look back on for the rest of my life. You taught me lessons that I will take with me as I live the rest of my life. Your care and courtesy for not only myself but for the town of New Canaan will live forever.
–Matt Brook, 9/11/2005

Joe, I miss your honesty, humility and your friendship.
–Chris Queen, 2/25/2006

In the few short years that I knew Joe, I quickly came to realize how much I would learn from him. The veteran took the rookie under his wing. Always suggesting things in just the right way, not too forceful, but always firmly. As his catcher, I could see his ability to control any situation. It is my guess that this is how Joe was as a father and a husband. I will always remember the easy way and big smile.
–Carlos Rodriquez, college teammate, Manhattan College

I am very grateful and blessed to have known him and his lovely wife, Pat. God rest you, Joe, and God bless you, Pat and the children. He will never be forgotten. I feel I am a better person because he came into my life.
–Dorothy "Deebs" Butcher, friend

We still have not come to grips with the fact that Joe was taken from us in the most tragic and unfair of ways, but we take solace in the wonderful fact that God allowed him to be part of our lives for 47 very special years.
–James R. Quandt, friend

More memories can be found in Joe's Guestbook


I haven't forgotten.

1 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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Last month of post slackerdom
Saturday, September 08, 2007, 8:15 PM

I've decided to do National Novel Writer's Month this November. I have an outline and a chapter one finished, although that's technically breaking the rules. But it's not so important to me that I adhere to the rules, as long as I'm cranking the words out despite fatigue, boredom, hunger and plain ole lack of motivation. If I can press forward through all of that for 30 days, I'll finally be able to call myself a writer without feeling a pang of regret.

I'm going to get into the writer's mode by posting at least a 500-word entry here every day during the month of October, with little-to-no regard that the post has to be interesting, fun or well worth the electronic space taken. This will be my toughest challenge during NaNoWriMo; to keep writing forward even though the words that have gone before may be weak and cause debilitating brainburn from which I'm unable to recover. (One excuse of my many. And I loathe excuses. They make me look weak and whiney.) It's easy to give in to almost any other temptation, to think there's nothing good on the page, to not bother working past it or on it or through it.

I've never made myself do that before. Not even here on my blog.

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. ~Stephen King

Well, I'm ready.

Almost ready.

6 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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