Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘about me’

The Queen

When I was growing up, we lived in San Jose, California. We didn’t have any family near us. My mom’s family was in Texas and my dad’s in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Then, when I was about twelve or so, my dad got in touch with his half siblings in southern California and we began going to visit them on weekends, several times a year. The drive was a long one, especially before the I-5 section between Los Banos and Los Angeles was completed, in the days when we had to drive south on either US-101 or on SR-99.

Visiting the cousins was  a lot of fun because they were all spread out. Some in Norwalk, some in Baldwin Park, some in Orange County and some in Long Beach and each of the families of cousins had their own standard of living and the neighborhoods were so different from where we lived.

On one of the visits, our Long Beach aunt and uncle took us to the Queen Mary. which had been permanently docked at the Port of Long Beach and turned into a tourist attraction. When I first visited, it had restaurants in it but had not yet been turned into the fiasco that it later turned out to be. I remember the first time I set eyes on the Queen Mary. She was so beautiful. Majestic. Titanic. We walked up the footbridge and set foot on her wooden floors. In that moment I felt like I belonged on that ship. I remember a feeling of awe as I walked around the ship…a feeling that I was somehow linked to the hundreds of thousands of passengers that had walked those same steps and looked over the same rails, climbed the same stairs.

I kept wanting to go back and when I was older and my parents had moved to Long Beach, I went to visit The Queen as often as I could, even if I was by myself, with no excuse to visit her. I had dreams of being a passenger on the trans-Atlantic cruise ship.

Later, as an adult, I was teaching sixth grade in Glendale, California. The year the box office hit Titanic hit the big screen, my students were all about the ship and all things associated with the Titanic. I talked a lot to them about the tragic events of the sinking of the Titanic. Then I talked to them about the Queen Mary, which some of them had visited. I mentioned that the Queen Mary was bigger than the Titanic but they would’t believe me.

My own teenagers loved the movie and one weekend I decided to take them to see the Queen Mary because I had researched the two ships and they had so many similarities. I normally would not have spent the money to take them on the tour and in fact, I had never taken the tour in the dozens of times I had visited the ship. However, they were really fascinated with some of the similarities so I splurged and we took the tour. It was wonderful for me to find out all of the behind the scenes tidbits about the ship and hear stories of some of the passengers that had actually traveled from England to America on board the Queen Mary. The opulence of the ship was more apparent on the tour which took us to areas that were off limits to non-tour visitors. When we were inside of the swimming pool room (I believe it was the First Class swimming pool), I was listening to the guide when I caught a bit of movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked and there was a shadow of movement up on what I thought was a balcony overlooking the pool. The shadow was shaped like a person and moved as if it were a person, first watching the tour group then moving away and out of sight. My oldest daughter nudged me and asked if I had heard the voice. I hadn’t. I kept listening to the guide. My daughter kept staring up toward that balcony. She was clearly spooked.

When we left the swimming pool with the tour group, someone asked about the man in the balcony. The tour guide stopped dead in her tracks. She asked who else had seen the man in the balcony. There were about seven in the group who had seen him, although some of us said what we saw was a shadow, not specifically a man. My daughter and one other were the only ones that had heard a voice which they described as a child’s voice although they couldn’t make out what her sing-song voice said. The guide told us that she had never seen the shadow in the balcony nor the child or heard voices although she had heard some splashing even though the pool had been completely dry for decades. She did say that this was one of the places where many people reported shadows and voices and laughter “haunting” the ship.

The tour continued through the art deco opulence of the ship and we heard many more stories and a lot of famous names dropped throughout the tour. I didn’t see any other ghosts or spirits; neither did my daughter. But even now, more than twenty years later, I’m sure of what I saw, just as my daughter is sure of what she saw and heard!

I haven’t been to visit the Queen Mary in many years, about twenty I think, but would love the opportunity to go check her out again. She has seen better days but I don’t think that’s the end of her!

For a comparison between the Queen Mary and Titanic, go here.

received_2012899798736267

The Queen Mary, permanently docked in Long Beach Harbor. Thank you to my niece, Lisa Trimble for the snapshot.

T

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

About Me

I have blogged for many years before landing at WordPress in 2007 and I haven’t ever written an About Me page. I find it difficult to write about myself. I’m not a “self promoter” so there’s that. I’ve struggled with what I want to say and I’ve come close to actually sitting down and doing it for several years but it hasn’t happened until now, 2016!

So who am I? I’m Corina. I was born on Christmas Day (in 1955) so my mom gave me a Christmassy middle name: Joy. I’m a lot of things which include: a mom; a nana; a forever learner and former teacher; a writer and reader; a helper, forever volunteering; a blogger; a Tarot lover and collector of Tarot decks; an optimist; a friend; a daughter; a sister; a mother-in-law; a thinker.

Those are a lot of words to describe me but I can’t help but feel that they don’t really give you a view of who I am. I guess for that, you’d have to read some of my blog posts. If you do, you might learn that I love to read Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. I love the Godfather trilogy. My all-time favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I love Tex-Mex music, Latin jazz, and the Beatles! I love coffee and wine and more recently, I have enjoyed beer tastings and making my own flavored vodka!

You would also read about some health issues that I struggle with and you would read that I am fighting them as best I can. I’m not going to let anything get me down, if I can help it. I love to take hikes with my grandson. We go up in the forests around Portland, Oregon which is where we currently live. He’ll be 6 in 2016. It’s one way I have changed after a particularly difficult health challenge which had me in the operating room in April of 2015. Now I want to enjoy every moment possible and I often find myself overdoing…accepting too many things…because I don’t want to miss one single moment.

I guess I can add to this or you can come along and read my posts. Or better yet, both! I hope you’ll find somethings to think about and laugh about in the many posts here. You’ll probably find some things that might make you wipe away something moist, too. In any case, you will probably discover that I’m loyal. Stick with me and I’ll stick with you.

See ya in the blog world!

CJC1225

Read Full Post »

50 Things + 10, Part 1

Ra over at Rarasaur posted a 50 Happy Things post that I truly loved. I thought it was a good idea and so I decided to do one, but you know…the holidays…!

So this is part one of my 50 Things post, which I will try to do an extra 10 as I turned 60 on December 25, so I am upping the number! I’m doing it in parts because it’s long and I want people to read it so…little chunks!

Family

This year, my family has made me happy. They usually do but this year brought more happiness. (1) Anderson has made me the happiest grandma in the world every day. This year he started school. He still loves to come over here and when he’s here, he always wants a “sleep over” which isn’t always doable because of school (I am not getting up at 6 to get him up and get him dressed then drive him to school…no, been there; done that…my turn is over). (2) Spencer is a crack up. He is so much like his mommy was at that age. He is speech delayed. We only understand about 15% percent of what he tries to tell us. His mom was the same. Hopefully that will be addressed in 2016 as he will be getting evaluated by the speech therapist in the local school district. In the meantime, he knows we won’t understand him so he comes to us, takes us by the hand and takes us to what he wants. (3) Tina is such a good mommy. Sometimes she astounds me by the mommy-smarts she displays and it shows in the boys! (4) Susie is my baby. She’s 25 and lives far away, in California. Although I miss her, I take pride and joy in the fact that she is showing her strengths and abilities to live alone and be productive. She’s doing it and doing it right! (5) Tony. He’s my oldest and has always been my rock. He grew up pretty fast when his dad left home, leaving him to be the “man of the house” even though he was only 10. This year he was faced with a really tough decision at work. He felt overworked and underpaid and not happy. So after ten years of working for that Internet Shopping Giant (the one with things from a to z) he decided to quit. So he is newly unemployed but not too rushed to find a job as he has a cushion and has already had several offers without applying any place! He does his job well even when he doesn’t like it. I think his job prospects are good…better than good. And this coming year, will bring a (6) new baby boy to him and his beautiful wife, (7) Sarah. Sarah has been wonderful about backing Tony up in his decisions about work.

Then there is (9) my mom. She has beaten cancer at age 83. She is a fighter. I always knew she was strong but didn’t realize how strong. (10) My dad died in May. I’m not happy that he did but I am happy that he is no longer suffering; no longer in pain. And I am happy that in the final days he was alert and aware of the comings and goings of family. He and my mom, separated since 1974, have had a very bitter relationship but in the final days, they were able to mend that with apologies and mutual understanding. (11) My older sister, Sylvia lives with my mom and takes care of her. It’s not the best situation but she is there to take my mom to appointments and make sure she takes her medicines and that she is awake in the morning. She allows the rest of us that bit of peace of mind that my mom is not alone. It wears on Sylvia and she is not in the best of health herself, including mental health, but she does what she can.

Numbers 12 and 13 would go to Chris and Perry which are the significant others of my daughters. They make my girls happy. They, mostly, take care of them. And they help me too, when they can.

Okay, I think I’ll stop Part One here. Part Two will come shortly and will be more interesting. Maybe even some humor?!

Read Full Post »

This Reminds Me Of Me

I was reading this blog yesterday and I really liked the idea so I thought I might take a further look at it and do something like it myself.  I am not sure that I will do the whole project but I will give it a go with the beginning post.  So keep reading to find the list of the things that remind me of who I really am, deep down beneath the years, the scars, the pain, the smiles and the laughter.  This is what I used to be like; what I used to like.

Socializing with everyone at school.

Belonging to a group.

Wearing high heeled shoes.

Makeup.  Green mascara and brown eye shadow.  Black eye liner.

Reading non-stop.

Writing stories.

Pleasing people.

Smiling.  I remember when my face had smiles on it more often than not.

Chocolate cake.

Banana splits.

Class field trips.

French class.

Tex-Mex music.

Being the first one on the dance floor and the last one off.

Sassy.

Listening to crickets.

Learning new things.

Creating things.

Going to the theater.

To Kill A Mockingbird.

Stopping at Winchell’s Donuts on the way home from babysitting.

Being someone’s favorite.

Yeah.  I remember the girl that used to be this one.  I’m wondering where she went.  She shows her face from time to time.  I miss her.  I want her back.

CJC laughing

Read Full Post »

Momma seems to be giving me a lot to write about. There was yesterday’s Sassy post and today’s post. Last week, she tagged me to do the Love It! Hate It! meme in which the blogger is supposed to list ten things they love and ten things they hate. There was some discussion as to the use of the word “hate”. I agree with the other bloggers that it’s a strong word and, for the most part, I don’t use it. In fact, I wrote about it here. I use the word/s dislike/strongly dislike. That said, I thought I would use today, Tuesday, to post the list as I am sort of posting lists on Tuesdays anyway.

Ten Things I Dislike
1. Saying “no” to anyone but especially to my grandsons
2. Flying…from the time I leave for the airport until the time I get into my seat on the plane
3. Being alone on holidays
4. Saying “goodbye” at the end of a visit with my kids/grand kids
5. Interruptions when I am writing
6. Going to the doctor
7. A bottle of wine when it is empty
8. Answering the phone when I don’t know who is calling
9. Answering the door when I don’t know who is knocking
10. The end of the day on December 25th

Ten Things I Love (because I like to end on the positive)
1. My two grandsons, Anderson and Spencer.
2. My three kids (they’re grown), Tony, Tina, and Susie
3. My siblings and my parents, both the ones no longer here and the ones still here
4. Traveling, except the part covered in #2 of the Dislike list
5. Me, Myself, and I
6. Writing, including blogging with which I could not be without
7. Reading, which means my Kindle
8. Any holidays in which I am with my family
9. Kisses from the grandsons, even when they are sticky ones
10. Hope

I am not tagging ten people. I am just letting you rise to the challenge, if you so choose.

Read Full Post »

Momma over at A Momma’s View challenged her readers to pick a topic from a list she posted and write about it then post the results. As I looked over the list, a few called my name but none louder than “SASSY”. So here goes.

Not long ago I mentioned in a post that I was feeling down because I was no longer happy and I remembered being happy. Just like I remember being happy, I remember being sassy. I think that sassy was a part of happy. I lost that a long time ago but I think I am getting both happy and sassy back and I’m thinking that it’s about time!

I was once asked to describe a favorite outfit of clothing, past or present. I immediately thought of the one outfit. It was in college so it was the probably spring of 1976, my sophomore year. I wore this one outfit all the time but the one specific time that pops into my head all these years later is the day I was walking from the counseling center back to my dorm. I was taking a peer counseling class so that I could be a peer counselor in the dorm when needed. As I approached the intersection of Bowdoin and Salvatierra, traffic stopped for me to cross at the pedestrian crosswalk. It was about 11 in the morning on a beautiful day in Palo Alto, around 76 degrees. I walked strutted across the street with traffic stopped in all directions. I was wearing a navy blue body suit with white cuffs and collar and over that a pair of white hot pants that had a skirt attached. The skirt had gold buttons with anchors embossed on them and they were fake buttons down the front of the skirt…the skirt did not button in the front. It was open in the front, giving the appearance that it had been left unbuttoned. As I strutted across the street, I was aware that more than one pair of eyes was on me and I was smiling. I smiled because I was happy and because I was feeling sassy.

Years later, after my divorce and years of feeling unloved and unwanted, I got some “attention” from an old friend who found me online. That attention brought that sass back to me for a little while. There was a song that I had always liked since the first time I heard it in the 60’s and because I always listen to oldies in the car, I heard it often during that time. It is called Do Wah Diddy Diddy, the version by Manfred Mann. Every time I heard that song I felt like it was being played just for me and it always made/makes me smile. Listen to the song and tell me if that is not a song that feels sassy. That’s what it does for me, even all these years later when that attention is no longer on me. It makes me strut. It makes me happy. It makes me sassy.

And that brings me to now. The present. I mean the present as in not the past or the future; I mean the present as in a gift. After so many years of not feeling well and not feeling happy or sassy or like myself, the person I am inside, April’s surgery has given me a gift, a present. I am starting to feel like the old me again, even with no “attention” on me. I am now feeling like I can go out in public without people staring at me. I feel good and I want to be out, not inside all the time like I used to be for years. I want to do things. I want to meet people. I want to have fun. I want to dress up. I want to be seen. I want to be happy and I want to feel sassy. I want to feel like me. I want to be me.

Sassy is calling out to me. Sassy wants me back. And I want it back.

Read Full Post »

1. My favorite number is 5 and any other number with 5 in it.
2. I am 5 feet tall. That’s it. Not 1/8th of an inch taller or shorter.
3. I love to dance but I haven’t danced in a long time…long, long time.
4. For about ten years, I was the one that cooked all the food for the Christmas party for the Stanford Chicano/Latino alumni association. We had anywhere from 100 to 150 people each year. That meant that I cooked for days. Mostly I made tamales (usually 3 different kinds), and chicken enchiladas. I sometimes also made menudo. If you don’t know what menudo is, you’re missing out.
5. If you haven’t guessed, I love to cook.
6. When I was in high school I worked in the attendance office after school every day. I operated the old fashioned PBX board (switch board) with over 150 lines going out and 8 incoming lines. I once accidentally disconnected the Principal when he was on an important call with the school district. He was not happy and made sure I knew it.
7. Although I was born and raised in San Jose, I lived in Glendale, California for 26 years before moving to Santa Rosa, California for 4 years.
8. I was trained as a rape crisis counselor when I lived in Santa Rosa.
9. I volunteered to answer the 24 hour rape crisis hotline. I worked the night shift (9 PM to 6 AM) for eight months before I had to quit (because I moved out of state).
10. While it was one of the most important volunteer positions I have ever held, it was also one of the most heartbreaking.

To read more about me:
10 Things About Me #1
Ten Things About Me #2

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »