Saturday, December 26, 2009

Today I went to visit my father's (also grandmother and uncles) grave. I did this for the first time on Halloween when I was here in PA, but didn't take any pictures. As you can see, my dad died in February so a graveside service was not held. I wanted to come back and document it and to try to remember how I felt that day upon seeing it for the first time.

A little backstory: my mom and dad divorced when I was quite young. When my mom remarried and moved to NY I saw my dad several times a year. I did not know him very well. I've pieced together some glimpses of him from the time that I spent with him (which was always fun) and from what others have told me.

It's so weird to see this grave and to know this is my father and to feel somewhat detached. I didn't even know he was a Sergeant in the Air Force. I knew he was in the A.F. but had little knowledge of anything else. I wonder a lot about him. I wonder which parts of me I got from him. I don't particularly look like him, though my brother does. He was always pretty quiet, so I know I didn't inherit that either. I have so little to go on, so I just assume I'm my mother's child. I think I'm ok with that.

I do have a lot of fond memories. I inherited my first car from him. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier. Tons of great memories of helping him wash and wax the car, playing air guitar and drums to the oldies with my brother in the backseat, minigolfing, him laughing at me minigolfing because I'd get pissed when I lost, him watching my brother and I play hockey in the driveway, taking us to hockey and baseball games. Some very good times. When I think of these times, I feel as though he was a very good man, if even he had some very rough patches.

I decide to focus on these precious few memories even though I know some hard things about my dad. I'm writing it down so the precious few don't escape me later on. I know that I loved him in a way that a child has that sort of blind love and loyalty for her parents.

I realize this post is a little disjointed and doesn't flow well. I'm not going to edit it. These are just the way the thoughts flowed. It's a good start to sorting through all this stuff. I have some work to do, yet, but a decent start for sure.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Fairies

When we got our Christmas tree last week I told the girls that there were Christmas fairies that lived in the branches of the tree that bring snow and do other various jobs to get ready for Christmas. Kiddo thought she should leave a note for the fairies. The following is what she wrote (urtext):

Hi! Dear Christmas Fairies,
I Have 3, mabey 4 questions for you.
#1. Could you tell Nissa I'm better at spelling?
#2. What are your leaders, (kings or queens) Names?
#3. Do you actaully not make noise?
#4. Has anybody in the world seen you or Discovered you?
#5. Can you get sick?
#6. Are any kinds of germs bigger then you?

that's all. I hope you can answer my questions! I love you, whoever you are! (Look on the back for further reading.)

Hey fairies, Do you know Santa, If you know him so much He's your leader, do NOT answer the second question! P.S. When answering my questions, Put numbes next to them so I know what you're talking about!


I answered #2 by saying that technically Santa is the top dog but because there are millions of Christmas fairies worldwide, they organize by region. Our particular fairies come from Western NY League of Christmas Fairies, Local 79. They do have a League head whose name is Eolyn.
I also replied that Nissa (who is the tooth fairy working our circuit) was impressed by Kiddo's efforts in spelling and to keep up the good work so she can get a good job someday.

Good times, good times.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


A recent facebook status from a friend of mine posed the following question:

"I went to the school library and got a book question and answers which only discussed evolution viewpoint. If I toss the book I can get a new one for the school, with creation included. Is it ethical to toss the book? I don't want my kids learning evolution is the only way, at school, this will confuse them!"

It seems like there is an obvious answer to the question "is it ethical to toss the book?" Well, no, the book does not belong to you, therefore you can't just get rid of it. Besides, you'd have to replace the same book. You can't just "lose" a book and then replace it with whatever you want. Problem solved. Content of the book shouldn't really come into play, here, because the book is not the property of said question-er.

Tossing books does not sit well with me. However, the following response to the query really pissed me off: "If you own the book, it is ethical to destroy it. I have destroyed/burned many books I had moral/ethical disagreements with because I could not justify allowing their continued existence to propagate a lie. If you dont own it, then your choices are obviously limited."
I have left names off to protect the stupid. Burning/destroying books? Really? Now I realize I have a slight bias, in that I am the daughter of a librarian and that I grew up with a great respect for books and what they stood for. To be careless with a book or to ruin it was, in some small way, to end someone's personal record. Respect for the physical book equated respect for the author, if only in that he/she spent valuable resources to get the book published and that book is that author's personal stamp on history. Here is my immediate response:
"Are we burning books now because of disagreements? I don't entirely believe in evolution but I do strongly believe that books are someone's opinion which they are as entitled to as we Christians are. I personally believe everyone has a right to their opinion, published or otherwise and if we start burning book we lose the ability to have conversation. Hitler burned books. I think you further your faith and strengthen by allowing yourself to consider other's points of view even if you disagree. You do others a disservice by burning books and not allowing that same learning experience. I am sad to hear that as Christians we can't enter any conversation that is in disagreements with out beliefs.
I fully understand that there are other view points on how we (humanity, the world, etc.) came into existence. I have a solid belief of how that happened, but I want the girls to have a full understanding of all viewpoints so that they are not threatened and confused when these inevitable conversations happen. My job is to teach my kids how tothink and reason for themselves and to be able to work their way through things they come across that they might not agree with in a manner that is respectful of others. I'd rather them learn evolution in my home with some helpful guidance than have them be snowballed by it when they get out into the real world. Christian cannot hide their head in the sand on these issues and expect to be taken seriously. We must be able to be a part of the conversation."
Sorry for bad grammar. I was typing quickly and I was angry. I later wrote a personal message to my friend somewhat apologizing for being reactionary, in which I included the above comments on respect for books in general. I also offered for her to remove my posts if she thought they were offensive. I'm glad she didn't.

I can't tell what angers me more- the sheer stupidity of plugging your ears like a child when you hear/read something you disagree with or the arrogance it takes to actually burn a book because you think you know better than your fellow man. Does that guy really think that I'm so dumb that I couldn't process the information in that book for myself so he's just going to do me a solid and destroy it before I get the chance? Or I shouldn't even be allowed the chance because the content of the book "propagates a lie".

Here's what is frustrating. That guy has a right to burn books in protest. He isn't disturbing the peace by doing it in his home. He isn't putting anyone at risk. He's just stupid. He has the farging right to be stupid, too, same as I have the right to increase my knowledge. It's just frustrating as hell when people are willfully ignorant.

Open season for discussion...go!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stand over here across the precipice.
You're on the other side
But I hold the flame.
I dropped it and caught the wood ablaze.

Indifference did not soothe,
nor wine from a skin.
Those written words you left behind
misunderstood to begin with.

Tell, again, the tale of Fortunato
it is my own.
stuck behind the bricks, drunk in a jester's cap
All for the love of God. Yes, for the love of God.

Monday, August 10, 2009


What I've kept with me and what I've thrown away

Don't know where the hell I've ended up on this glaring, random day

Were the things I really cared about just left along the way

For being too pent up and proud

Woke up way too late feeling hung over and old

The sun was shining bright and I walked barefoot down the road

Started thinking about my old man

It seems that all men wanna get into a car and go


Here I stand - sad and free

I can't cry and I can't see

What I've done

God, what have I done?

Don't you know I'm numb, man, no I cant feel a thing at all

cause it's all smiles and business these days

And I'm indifferent to the loss

I've faith that there's a soul somewhere who's leading me around

I wonder if she knows which way is down.

I poured my heart out

I poured my heart out

It evaporated. . .see?

Blind man on a canyons edge of a panoramic scene

Or maybe Im a kite that's flying high and random dangling on a string

Or slumped over in a vacant room head on a strangers knee

I'm sure back home they think Ive lost my mind.

These belong to Ben Folds (so don't steal his stuff, k?). Feeling these words today and thought I'd share. Thanks, Ben Folds.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Off the Wall (revised)

Stay away, you'll cut your feet on these jagged shards.

Stay close, and you'll dangle on the branches

I'll wait for another word from the bard,

But I'll die before I take my chances.

Off the wall in a million pieces, 

I could just lay here.

I'm stuck in the creases,

Could I just stay here?

Stay away, you write your songs of love.

Stay close, and I'll sing them for the crowds.

I'll try my hand, I might meet you above

But I'll fly and fear I'd never come back down.

Off the wall in a million pieces

I lay after the plunge.

All the king's horses and all the king's men

Couldn't lift me back up

But maybe the king himself....

(c) Mel Muscarella 07/09 (so don't steal my stuff, k?)

Not quite finished yet.  This was an exercise in rhyming, which Cara can seem to do better than I can, and also kind of helped me put to words where I seem to be spiritually speaking.  Even if nothing else comes of it, it was at the least cathartic. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Garfield Minus Garfield

Some Sunday funnies for you (even though it's only one funny, it's awkward to say Sunday funny). Also, there's nothing Sunday about this funny.  But it's funny.    

Saturday, February 28, 2009


These headlines are totally why I keep Yahoo! around. 

"California aquarium blames flooding on curious octopus"

"Illinois mystery: Placentas found in sewage system"

"Odd News Video: Big ape learns how to whistle"

"Cypriots and U.N. soldiers in asparagus standoff"

Monday, January 26, 2009


I just finished reading the book "Twilight", which had been passed along for me to read by my mother-in-law.  Though dubious, you can't not read books passed along from your mother-in-law.  It took me about 8 hours to read and only about a half hour to understand why this book is such a success.

Theory number 1.  
Secretly, every woman is in love with love.  Meaning she wants to be the subject of some dude's rock song, to receive handwritten letters or a bouquet of origami lilies, and generally to be swept off her feet in a movie worthy flourish (sorry, Chuck were right. Stupid John Cusack and his dumb radio).  

I won't lie.  I am no exception to this theory.  I am also attracted to shiny things and impulsively buy boxes of fortune cookies from the endcaps at the grocery store.  Get over it, people.  I'm female. Sheesh.  

Anyway, "Twilight" satisfies theory number one.  The achingly gorgeous male lead, who also happens to be a vampire, is constantly dazzling the female lead, who is the self-described ordinary girl who is hopelessly and endearingly clumsy but is seen as totally hot by all high school boys and can't help but get asked to the prom by every boy.  

Theory number 2.
Everyone gets caught up in the classic story of two people who love each other but can't be together for whatever reason.  In this case, it just happens to be that the achingly gorgeous lead just can't help being what he is and that means they can never be in love because he might accidentally suck all of her blood, thus making her a vampire. Isn't that ultimately a good thing?  Then they can spend eternity together making vampire babies.  If you said 'yes' you'd be wrong. Achingly gorgeous vampire finds blushing to be the one quality that he loves most about self-described ordinary, yet hopelessly and endearingly clumsy human female.  Vampire ladies don't blush.  OMG. How romantic.

Again, "Twilight" delivers.  And again, who doesn't like the Romeo and Juliet-esque tragedy?  

There you have it.  Due to the Harlequin romance novel nature of this book, I apologize that I may be slightly less smart for a few days. Sorry.  Also, see Tyler for those lilies.      

Thursday, January 15, 2009


As part of getting my hygiene degree we had to take a class on recognizing child abuse because we are mandated to report it if we see or suspect it.  The images we saw in that class were so awful and made me so angry.  I never expected to have to make such a report until I had to do it today-for a 4 year old patient.  There aren't words to express the anger and sense of injustice I feel.  

That said, I can only pray that this child would be removed from this situation.  I hope you will too.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Water flows across the breast in frantic lines,
like a hungry snake whose meal escaped its fate.
I am the hunted vermin who found solace in the crooked vines,
and your crooked smile brings a peace when the hour is late.

The blackened sod beneath me writhes and yearns,
like a half-born child whose lungs have yet to taste the air.
I am the suffocated who found breath in a steady breeze,
and your steady hand brings warmth to a soul stripped bare.

(c) Mel Muscarella 01/09    (so don't steal my stuff, k?)

*No chorus and I haven't yet rhymed either "yearns" or "breeze" though I'm leaning on keeping "breeze".

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Four friends of mine, Scott and Tracey Austin(whose links are to your right) and Brian and Bec Haak ran a marathon a little over a year ago.  I thought they were crazy, because really-who wants to run some 26 miles in a row?  But I thought that it was pretty cool to set up a goal like that and then accomplish it. I was so impressed by their accomplishment and even thought I'd give some thought to a half marathon if they decided to ever do something like that again.

It looks like they've decided to do something like that again...only this time it's a triathlon instead.  So I think I'm going to seriously look into doing a triathlon. I've been looking for some motivation to get back into shape and I think this would be sufficient motivation.  

I'm going to do a little research to see what such an endeavor would physically, monitarily and emotionally entail, but in the meantime I'm going to start working to get myself to a place where I'm physically capable of beginning the training.

I'm interested to see where this goes.  I'm not always reliable when it comes to long distance type things, in that I don't always finish what I start.  I've got a dumb puzzle in my basement that's been 3/4 done for over a year now...I'd really like to impress myself by setting a sizeable goal and then meeting it.

Wish me luck!