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Friday, January 24, 2014

Whatchoo talkin' "bout, universe?

Today I was driving down the road and I suddenly got all freaky and started to cry. This happened instantly...out of the blue...with no warning...and guess what precipitated the tears????? I suddenly remembered the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl!!!! So if this isn't proof that I'm losing it, what more proof do I need?
Don't worry...I'm not about to go all maudlin or whackjob on you. I feel good today even though I sometimes think the forces of nature are testing me. Well, I don't think they are...I know they are! But at 12:45 p.m. today someone thought of me!!! That's quite something considering I often think I'm floating out here in the universe a lone vessel, nagivating choppy waters with a broken compass...Hannah--you're beautiful, too, and I love and miss you!
I've been working on my memoir every day. It's very cathartic and I have to laugh at myself because the more recent events are harder to recall than the ones that happened early on. I wonder why that is? I'm guessing it has everything to do with the mind and heart having had time to process everything that happened in the beginning while the ending is still being processed.
So, you know how they say if you want something and you're having trouble finding it, you should ask the universe for it? Well, I'm job hunting these days--looking for something to do while I wait for Tom to graduate in 2015. I've only been looking for a couple of weeks and I admit I haven't been looking all that hard but I need to buckle down. If anyone has any suggestions for me, send me a message via FB or email ( Thanks!
Is anyone out there watching American Idol? As much as I love Keith and Harry (and tolerate J Lo), AI has lost its appeal for me. While I was in Texas I watched the entire season of The Voice for the first time (it's one of Oscar's favorite shows) and I have to is far superior to AI. It makes AI look like a circus sideshow by comparison. Just sayin... I'm waiting anxiously for Dancing With the Stars to start up again (my fave show cuz I have this thing for Derek Hough. I hope he's coming back for the next season).
I mentioned the universe earlier. You've heard me say before that the universe is unfolding exactly as it should even if it doesn't seem like it at the time. Well, I have to tell you something about my relationship with the universe. I believe in signs and I know for certain that the universe sends signs. And I have noticed something very interesting that the universe does every time I'm going through certain experiences in my life, such as going for a job interview, writing a new book, trying to make a decision about something big (like running off to Texas to marry a Latin lover that I conjured up one cold, winter night), learning a new, daunting task, etc.. Every single time WITHOUT FAIL, the universe makes the same song play on the radio while I'm listening. It makes sure I hear this same song EVERY TIME (already Kayla and Tom know exactly what this song is because they've been witnesses to this very obvious sign sent from THE UNIVERSE directly TO ME). The song is called "Cable Car" and it's by The Fray. Here are the lyrics as written by the lead singer and pianist Isaac Slade about his troubled relationship with his brother, Caleb, whose nickname is Cable Car:

"Over My Head (Cable Car)"
I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through
That everyone I knew was waiting on a cue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth
But that's how it's got to be
It's coming down to nothing more than apathy
I'd rather run the other way than stay and see
The smoke and who's still standing when it clears

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Let's rearrange
I wish you were a stranger I could disengage
Just say that we agree and then never change
Soften a bit until we all just get along
But that's disregard
Find another friend and you discard
As you lose the argument in a cable car
Hanging above as the canyon comes between

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your ...

And suddenly I become a part of your past
I'm becoming the part that don't last
I'm losing you and it's effortless
Without a sound we lose sight of the ground
In the throw around
Never thought that you wanted to bring it down
I won't let it go down till we torch it ourselves

And everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Everyone knows
She's on your mind
Everyone knows I'm in over my head
I'm in over my head
I'm over my...

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Dear Universe: I HEAR YOU! I am acutely aware of just how IN OVER MY HEAD I am about most things. Not to complain or anything but you've made your point. Now could you send me a new song that tells me what to do about it??? I'd appreciate the guidance. My radio is on! I'm listening! I'll know it when I hear it (hahaha...I may have already heard it, by any chance, a message from one Sarah Bareilles...something about her wanting to see me be brave????). Let me know!
Until next time,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where in the World...

Congratulations, Seahawks! Good luck at the SB!
I know Sherman lost his mind for a minute after the game the other night but I wish people wouldn't be hating on the whole team just because one dude got caught up in the excitement and didn't use good judgment in that rant of his. Seattle is comprised of classy, talented, tough, good sportsmen. I love that team!
So on to other subjects. It's three weeks into the new year and I find myself in a most unusual place--back where I started! Dang! Not where I thought I'd be. It took a lot of convincing to accept that coming back to Ohio was not a backward step with my life but rather a sidestep. It's only temporary. I don't like to look too far ahead because that's just too daunting and I sure as heck don't need to be looking backward (at least not until I finish my memoir), so the day-to-day goal is to stay in the moment. But...I can't help but wonder and speculate as to where I'll finally decide to plant my roots next year. I'm narrowing down my options and zeroing in six places. They are:
1. Washington (Whidbey Island area)
2. Texas (Austin area maybe or Galveston area)
3. Florida (either coast--as long as I'm close to the water)
4. California (somewhere north of San Francisco)
5. Louisiana (there's something about it that speaks to me and draws me in)
6. Someplace unexpected (I'm open to suggestions)
The reason why I call this blog Somewhere Else is because no matter where I am I always want to be somewhere else. I've always been this way. I just can't help it. I wish I could. I make myself crazy sometimes dreaming about being anywhere but where I am. I always feel like I'm chasing some elusive entity...some goal that to anyone else is easily attainable but to me, it's just out of reach. I catch glimpses of's right close...but, damn...I can't quite get there. Last year I defied my own odds by not only seeing what I wanted right in front of me, but actually reaching out, grabbing hold and hanging on to it...for a time. That was big! For someone who's always let fear hold her back, I leaped! I didn't look down...I just jumped into the arms of the universe and hoped it would catch me. And it did...sort of. That leap into the universe was just what I needed! I proved to myself that I could take a risk...go blindly toward the unknown with no guarantee of success or safety. And even though the risk didn't pay off in terms of happily ever after, it paid off in bigger ways. Here's my take-away from my giant leap into the universe:
1. I'm not gonna win the lottery...but buying a ticket helps.
2. I'll never get anywhere if I don't open the door and take the first step.
3. I don't have to know where I'm going as long as I'm going somewhere.
4. With great love comes great risk but love is always worth the risk--always.
5. I had to live the story of my love in order to write the love story of my life.
6. If my plan doesn't work out, I'll make a new plan.
7. Don't make any plans.
8. That music you hear at the end of an awesome movie that captures the theme and sends you out of the theater humming? That happens in real life! A song played on the radio for every big moment I experienced in Texas. My story has a soundtrack! Perhaps every chapter title of my memoir should be a song title. Am I allowed to do that or will I get sued? I'll check into it.
9. Sometimes someone tells you something they really mean at the time they say it  only to find out later they don't.
10. You know that saying, "When one door closes, another one opens?" Well, what happens if the opening of one door and closing of the other don't happen simultaneously and you get stuck in the dark space between the two doors? Food for thought.
I shall close here and go make some lunch. I'm hooked on those Lean Cuisine Salad Additions. Yum!
Have a good January 21st everybody. Until next time...
P.S. Notice the colors of that map up there? Go Seahawks!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Salvation in Seattle

Good morning:
I am aware that my recent blog posts have had a melancholy undertone (that may be the understatment of the century!). So I'm gonna try to be upbeat. HAHAHAHAHA (that was quasi-hysterical laughter there). The irony of it all is that I am characteristically a positive, upbeat, glass-half full, rainbows and sunshine kinda gal. I am a Sagittarius after all (so is Russell Wilson, the QB of my favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks...just sayin'). Speaking of the Seahawks...
I don't think anybody who knows me was/is aware of my passion for the NFL. For the record, I am a late-bloomer where professional football is concerned. It's only been the last three or four years that I've actually paid it any attention.
It used to be that I liked having the football games on the TV because I liked the sound of it. I didn't necessarily understand what those dudes were doing on the field besides throwing the ball around and trying to get it past the goal posts. Frankly, it wasn't all that interesting to me. But I liked the sound of it. And by sound, I mean the actual, literal sound (not the idea of it but the actual, physical sound). I liked the roar of the crowds. I got a kick out of the QB yelling nonsensical jibber-jabber to his teammates that had important meaning to them. The commercials were entertaining, for the most part. And sometimes the talking heads, i.e., the sportscasters would say the most inane things that would catch my attention and make me chuckle as I read a book or cleaned or baked or whatever I was doing while the game was on keeping me company. By the way, in case you don't know, Terry Bradshaw (someone who often says inane and funny things) happens to be my cousin. His grandmother and my paternal grandmother were sisters. He is from Louisiana and this past year I had several occasions to ride on his highway--the Terry Bradshaw Highway. That always made me laugh in its absurdity. I'm not doggin' on Terry. He's alright.
Anyway, getting back to the Seahawks. When I was a student at Kent State University studying journalism a hundred years ago, I had an occasion to cover the sports beat of the Daily Kent Stater newspaper (we had to cover all the beats to get a feel of every kind of story that makes up a newspaper). It happened to be January and almost Super Bowl time. I was given the assignment of interviewing a football player who was in town visiting family. He happened to play for the Seahawks (they were not playing in the Super Bowl). We had a nice chat--he was very nice and I got a cute story out of the interview in which he diplomatically refused to make a prediction as to who would win. I couldn't remember his name so I went back and did some research on-line (how did we survive before Google?) and I found the guy. His name is Jeff West. He was a punter back in the day. The Seahawks were a relatively new team back in the 80's--nobody really paid them much attention as I recall. Anyway, that was my first connection to the Seahawks. I wrote the story and promptly forgot they existed (I think most of the country did, too).
A couple of years ago I started paying more attention to football. I suddenly found it interesting because I came to the realization that it wasn't as complicated as I thought it was. There is actually a method to the madness out on the field. I found myself getting caught up in the momentum of the games and I noticed that sometimes I would make a comment on what I'd just seen on the field and within seconds, one of the commentators would say exactly what I'd just said. Except I'd said it first! And then I started talking to the players in my head (and sometimes out loud)--telling them how to play the ball--how to run it...whom to pass it to...which way to run up the field...when the QB should pass it vs. just run it himself...whether to use their time-outs or just keep playing...yada, yada, yada. And I noticed they were listening to me! (Well, not really, but it seemed like they were cuz they were doing what I was telling them to even though I was thousands or hundreds of miles away in my living room in Ohio).
I developed a love for two teams; The Buffalo Bills and The New England Patriots. I was a faithful fan for a while but eventually I broke up with them. I ended it with the Bills due to irreconcilable differences and I broke up with the Patriots because of Tom Brady. He turned Hollywood and became untouchable. But I never forgot those Seattle Seahawks. The problem was their games rarely, if ever, played on TV in my area, but I'd occasionally read about them in the newspaper and keep up with their progress. And I even cried when they lost to the Falcons 28 to 30 last year. It's the only time I've ever shed actual tears over a football game.
Until last week I loved San Francisco (but I deleted their app from my phone and ended it with them because they're not nice. I replaced them with the team they beat, the Panthers). I also love the Raiders and the Buccaneers (I've always had a thing for pirates, thank you, Captain Jack Sparrow) and the Chargers and, of course, the Seahawks...
And here's why I love, and am indebted to, the Seattle Seahawks:
Last fall I was in Texas and because we had Directv (and the package called NFL Sunday Ticket) we were able to watch all the games every week. So I got to watch my Seahawks (cuz they're mine, you know). And my love for them grew by leaps and bounds. They're classy, smart, scrappy, excellent at overcoming great odds and coming from way behind and just darned nice guys. And while I was enmeshed in darkness down in Texas, suffering in a situation that was breaking my spirit and I was feeling awfully close to losing my mind, the Seattle Seahawks became my escape. I downloaded their app into my phone. I studied the players' stats. I got to know them via their Wikipedia entries. They were my escape...and in a weird way, my salvation. Because when the Seahawks were playing I knew that for at least three hours I didn't have to think about the situation I was in. I could forget for a few hours that my heart was being bull-dozed and my psyche was being undermined by a master manipulator. I felt happy when I saw their blue and green colors on the big screen TV. I fell in love with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch and Steven Hauschka and Golden Tate and Percy Harvin and Earl Thomas (and yes, even that rascal Breno Giacomini) and all the rest of them.
During Thanksgiving week I flew to Seattle in search of a feeling...a sense of beloning. I drove to Renton where the Seahawks practice and felt their magic. I drove through Seattle and saw CenturyLink Field where they play and I felt their spirit. I bought some Seahawks souvenirs so I could have a piece of them with me--a tangible bit of evidence of their realness. They helped me through dark days and nights when I felt like the a lost soul in an empty world.
Thank you, Seattle Seahawks, for being the classy, cool team you are. Thank you for being with me when I needed something to hold onto. You were a beacon in my storm and I will always be your number one fan. And no matter what happens tomorrow night when you take on the 49ers, you will always be a winner to me. Good luck, guys!
Until next time,

Thursday, January 16, 2014


     One of my favorite words is bittersweet. As a matter of fact, I keep a list of my favorite words in the notepad of my phone. I also keep a list of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, some of which are sad. I mentioned one of those songs in my last blog post. I'm a list kind of person, come to think of it. But today I'm thinking of the word bittersweet. Everybody knows what this words means, but I decided to look up the definition on Google. And I learned something new. It has four meanings! Here they are in the order listed in
1. A woody vine of the genus Celastrus especially the North American species C. scandens and the eastern Asian species C. orbiculata, having small, round, yellow-orange fruits that open at maturity to expose red seeds. Also called the staff tree. Also called bittersweet nightshade.
2. The color of dark to deep reddish orange.
3. The taste of bitter and sweet at the same time (as in chocolate).
4. Producing or expressing a mixture of pain and pleasure (at the same time).
     There is no doubt I have just rounded the corner of a bittersweet year and what a crazy ride 2013 was! First of all, I can't believe my crazy year is already over. Seriously, how does time go by so fast? Does global warming have something to do with it? Ha ha! Just kidding (though I do believe in global warming in terms of its effects on climate). is it 2014 already and not only that but January is already half over? Wow!
     Time and distance are two concepts that fascinate me and they both played a part in my bittersweet year. Last year I got high--seriously high--and then I got knocked down--hard. I travelled thousands of miles, experienced emotions to an extreme level and felt time pass. I actually felt it. I saw it, too, in an abstract way. Last October 20 was day one of 60 days I spent in a time warp. I lived in a red, metal castle like some weird, modern day Rapunzel (minus the hair, though I do have long hair) waiting for Dec. 20, the day I would be set free from a life I loved and didn't want to give up. But I knew I needed to get out because it was killing me to be there--not physically, but in every other way that can cause harm to a human being. I was engaged in psychological warfare and definitely on the losing team--until Dec. 20. That day in the courtroom, I was proud of myself. I was composed. I didn't shed a tear. I didn't even feel nervous. I think I even smiled. It helped that my Tom was there giving me silent strength like he always does. And I had a great lawyer. My lawyer was great because he had been down that road before with the first Mrs. Hernandez. Little did I know when I randomly chose his law firm from Google that I had unwittingly chosen the same law firm who'd represented the one who came before me. And the lawyer who was randomly chosen to represent me was--believe it or not--the same exact one who'd freed the first wife from the metaphorical prison. And I can call it a prison because that's exactly what it was--a beautiful, twisted, enchanting, dark, bittersweet prison.
You may be wondering--what the heck is she talking about? what does she mean by prison? just how bad was it down there in Texas? Is she making this stuff up? It sounds crazy!
And that's because it was. It was crazy and amazing and bizarre and seriously twisted--you can't make up what happened to me in Texas. I am currently writing a memoir about my experience. I am already 60,000 words in. And I have also written a piece for the New York Times about it. I am waiting to hear if they are going to publish it. If they don't, I'll post it here in this blog. But when you read it, you'll have to keep in mind, you're getting the condensed version--the 'bittersweet' version. In my memoir you'll read about the dark stuff. For the NYT I kept it slightly more upbeat (and that's putting it mildly). There is no doubt about it--I had quite a year. But you want to know the weirdest part of all? The part that I can't even believe myself? Though it was bittersweet and sad and deeply painful, I have no regrets.
I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Until next time,

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Mystery of Music

Yesterday was elduck's 49th birthday. I sent him a happy birthday text and we did have an occasion to speak on the phone where I again wished him a happy birthday. I didn't ask him what his plans were for his special day because I didn't want to know. Knowing too much about what he's doing these days is still too upsetting for me. Because of this, I had to unfriend everyone I knew in Texas so I wouldn't learn things about his life that could set me back in my recovery. Now, that being said, don't think I'm sitting around crying and moping all day. I most definitely am not! (I did the first week I was back in Ohio but I was beginning to want to punch my own face so I snapped out of it). That's not to say that I don't get sad from time to time. My wound is still fresh and will be for a while, but I can handle it. And the only reason I'm bouncing back as fast as I am is because I have formed a new and interesting friendship with someone who walked in my shoes. If I'd only known then what I know these last days I have learned so much about the world I was enmeshed in down there in Texas. I knew something was wrong in my world but I couldn't figure it out and when I left Texas on December 20, I still didn't know what had happened to me...but I do now. My eyes have been opened and boy, have I seen the proverbial light. I have to keep what I've learned close to my chest for now, but that's what memoirs are for. I will continue writing my memoir from my own innocent perspective as everything unfolded in Texas, but thank goodness for epilogues and afterwards! Only then can I divulge what I learned.
Music is very important to me--it was to me and elduck as a couple, too, and played a big part in our relationship. At the very beginning it seemed like the universe (or the record companies) was writing the soundtrack to our romance. So many songs completely encapsulated our love as it unfolded. So many artists like Justin Timberlake, Hunter Hayes, Muse, Phillip Phillips, etc., had songs out that could have been written just for us. And now I find that the universe (or the record companies) is still at it. It's playing songs that completely align with our ending. And there is one song in particular that I first heard before I left Texas that, when I first heard it, I felt like I'd been kicked in the head. I was stunned by the lyrics and I still am. I hear the song all the time, even now, as it gains in popularity and I'm only just beginning to be able to listen to it without falling apart. The reason this song is so appropriate is because there are actual lyrics in it that I spoke to elduck long before the song was ever released on the radio (at least my radio). I had NEVER heard the song before I spoke lines of it to elduck way back in the later summer and early fall. I'm going to put the lyrics in this blog and hope I don't get sued. I didn't write the song, but I lived it--every word. The song is by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera and it's called, "Say Something." When you read the following lyrics, imagine my voice, saying the words to elduck. It could have happened. It did happen. It's that right on on the money.

"Say Something" by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera, written by Ian Axel, Chad Vaccarino and Mike Campbell and produced by Dan Romer

"Say something, I'm giving up on you.
I'll be the one, if you want me to.
Anywhere I would've followed you.
Say something, I'm giving up on you.

And I am feeling so small.
It was over my head
I know nothing at all.

And I will stumble and fall.
I'm still learning to love
Just starting to crawl.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you.
Anywhere I would've followed you.
Say something, I'm giving up on you.

And I will swallow my pride.
You're the one that I love
And I'm saying good-bye.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.
And I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you.
And anywhere I would've followed you. Oh-oh-oh-oh
Say something, I'm giving up on you.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.
Say something..."

I said those words long before I ever knew this song existed. How did they know? I lived those words before ever hearing it. How is that possible? It's the universe...talking to me. The universe is always talking to me...sending me me clues...dropping hints...keeping me afloat. It's unfolding exactly as it should...
Until next time,

Friday, January 3, 2014

Try a Little Kindness

Day three of the new year and I'm still trying to get my land legs under me. Some days I feel like I'm walking in quicksand. But I'm learning that when you try to fight your way out of the quicksand that you only get sucked deeper into it. So I'm trying to be still. To give myself time. To take slow, deep breaths and wait this out. Peace is coming but it's not showing up today. It's only been two weeks since I awoke from my coma. I can't expect to be normal just like that. I've heard that it takes half the length of the time that the relationship lasted to get over it, so for me, that'll be about five months, which puts me into May. I kinda dread May. I got married on May 9. But, hey, it's five months away. Maybe by then I'll be able to smile and think happy thoughts about that day one year ago. I wonder how I'll be on February 26. That's the day I slipped and fell into the coma. But again, it's two months away and I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, I must take one day at a time. Though I feel lost and out of sorts right now, I have to believe that in time, I'll find myself. I'll feel normal again,whatever normal is. I've actually had a few moments here and there recently where I've almost convinced myself I made the whole thing up. I FAKED IT! IT NEVER HAPPENED! I TRICKED EVERYONE! But then I feel the pain in my chest and I know it's real. I awaken before dawn and for a few seconds I have no idea where I am. In my bed in Texas? In a hotel in Texarkana? Or Dallas? No. I'm in my old bed in Shaker Heights, in my room with the blue and cream striped wallpaper that reminds me of a French boudoir, with my heart beating so fast that I wonder what's keeping it from running right out of my chest.
     When I was 18 I got my heart broken BADLY. I mean it got shattered beyond all recognition. I never truly got over that heartbreak--it informed every relationship I ever had thereafter and never in a good way. But now I know why it happened. It happened to me at 18 to prepare me for when it happened to me at 53. This time I saw it coming and I was able to prepare myself for the aftermath. Well, for how to deal with it anyway. I can't let this time wreck me like it did the first time. Instead of giving into the pain and making wrong choices about relationships, this time I'll learn the lesson the universe is teaching me. I truly believe the universe is unfolding exactly as it should even though it doesnt always feel like it. One day I will learn why it happened to me. It happened for a reason yet to be revealed to me. But I'll know in time. I've already learned one valuable lesson that I intend to implement into my daily life. I learned that there is another way to live besides the way I was living before my coma. I was on the right track with my life before, but I hadn't completely nailed it. Here's what I confirmed:
There is absolutely no need for impatience, unkind words, cruelty or rudeness. Every situation can be handled with a gentle voice, a calm demeanor, courtesy and patience. There is no need for road rage. There is no need to freak out over a broken plate, a dented bumper, a spilled drink, a failed exam, a bill that can't be paid or a dream unfulfilled. It just doesn't help. Every question has an answer and every problem has a solution. It's our mission to figure it out. Even if it takes ten weeks and breaking someone's heart to get the answer. Or if it takes a lifetime. Just stay calm, cool and kind. That's the way we lived in Texas every day, even when it was clear that there was something terribly wrong beneath the surface. We stayed calm, used quiet voices and spoke kindly. When someone broke the kindness rule, they were called on it...with kindness. It's the only way to live--without fear of being criticized or yelled at or made to feel inferior. We were allowed to make mistakes without fear of reprisal. We were allowed to live in peace even when a silent war raged all around us.
I'm done philosophizing for now. But I'm not done searching for answers to the big questions--the whys and the whens and the hows. Everything will be revealed in time. I'm gonna figure it out...and whatever your dilemma is, you'll figure it out, too. Good luck to all of us!
Until next time,