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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Protected: Follow the voice inside….

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Protected: The girl who finally got a clue….

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Never Forget – Stephen Mulderry, one of 2,996

Back in 2006, on the 5th anniversary of 9-11, several other bloggers and I participated in a tribute to the victims of 9/11/01. We were each given a name and asked to post something about that person and our opinions of what kind of person we saw/read about. The name I was given was Stephen Mulderry.

Each year since that time, I go silent on The Soda Stand in memory of Stephen and all the other lives lost. This is the same post from back then, just copied and pasted. This post will be here until I post again on the blog again on 9/12/12. Never Forget.

Before I start my tribute, I’d like to thank DC Roe for getting this started and for all of his hard work. I’d like to thank all the bloggers taking part and all the people who have helped DC Roe finalize this tribute. It’s huge, it’s moving and I’m honored to be a part of it. This is a sticky post. It will be at the top of my blog until after 9/11/06. 2,996 people died on 9/11/01. People like Stephen. Don’t forget. I know I won’t.

This post is dedicated to the life of Stephen V Mulderry who was on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center when it was hit by a plane. All of the information I’ve gained is from obituaries and online websites dedicated to the victims of September 11.

The impression I got from everything I read, was one of happiness, family, love and generosity. It seems he was generous with his time and love and he loved to help people. I can’t say that I knew him. But I can say I’ve known people like him and I wish I had known him. People who take up the whole room when they enter. Their energy and magnetism just light up the room. There’s no mistaking the charismatic look in his eye in the pictures I’ve seen of him.

When I look at the picture of him, I envision a tall, lanky, happy man who is secure in himself and in the world he has immersed himself in. I see passion and strength. I see happiness and love. I feel a warmth spread from my heart, at the same time as feeling incredible sadness that the world lost someone like him.

Everything I’ve read on the internet has given me the impression that the man never rested. He was always doing something for someone. He was always working at something that he loved, like being a top equity trader and a vice president of the employee-owned investment banking and brokerage firm, Keefe, Bruyette and Woods. Even in high school and college, Stephen did for others. He worked as a counselor and mentor at Project Strive, in Albany, an after school and summer program for grammar school students.

Stephen Vincent William Mulderry was born on May 4, 1968 in Albany, NY. Stephen had seven siblings, Amy, Andrew, Daniel, Peter, Anne Connel, Alexandra Andreani, Bill and Dara. Stephen’s parents were Anne and Bill Mulderry. Stephen attended Bishop Maginn Diocesan High School. After graduation, he attended the University of Albany.

Stephen moved to New York City after graduating from college, to pursue his career. When he first moved to the City, he was delivering chocolate milk to bodegas and he was a bartender. It’s been said that he poured energy into everything he did. Whether it be work, family, or basketball. He loved playing basketball and played it throughout college, where he led the team as point guard for three seasons.

Stephen’s nickname on the basketball court (and probably other places) was Zipper. I’d say this was because of his speed and agility on the basketball court. While playing basketball in the city leagues, he was voted Most Valuable Player during the Lower East Side Hamilton Fish tournament.

Everything I read also told me that he was a gifted musician, singer and dancer. People have said he had a quick and kind wit. He was uninhibited with his appreciation of other people’s talents. In one of the many pages I’ve read, his brother, Andrew, had this to say: “He loved basketball, but he had four passions: friends, family, work and basketball. He was an incredible source of love and support for me. Even in the midst of this horrible circumstance, I feel nothing but blessed for the older brother I have.”

What an incredible source of light and memory we have. Stephen Mulderry, I pray that you are resting in peace. Know that we remember you and what you did while you were with us on earth.

To the Mulderry family, I am incredibly sorry for your loss. I am also very humbled and grateful that I was able to write this memorial for your son, brother, friend and loved one. May you find joy and happiness as you continue to remember the wonderful person that Stephen was.

11 years ago today….

11 years ago today, I made a very poor choice, which ended up with me making the best decision of my life. I had made an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney the prior week and new the money I had in my bank account was for that consultation. That Sunday evening, I went out to the Sun Coast casino in Las Vegas and proceeded to lose every penny I had in my checking account. I gambled for hours on end. On my way home, several hours later, I was beside myself. I was angry and despondent. For one split second in time, I considered driving my car into the median on the Summerlin Parkway. This thought resulted in me becoming so angry, I thought “fuck that. I am not going down like this. I will not let this define who I am and how my life is lived.”

When I got home, I went to straight to bed and cried myself to sleep, trying to figure out what to do and how to get that money back. While I was at work the next day (Monday the 30th), I talked to a co-worker who was also a very good friend, a wonderful woman and what I considered my spiritual adviser at the time. After speaking to her, I called a family member (my dad’s sister) who was in Gambler’s Anonymous. I told her I needed help and I didn’t know who else to turn to. She told me to pick her up after work and she would go to a meeting with me.

I was scared and felt so lost and alone. I picked her up and we went to the Unity Club in Commercial Center. The moment I walked into that room, I knew I belonged there. I knew I would no longer have to fight this alone. I was people who were just like me. People who had made some poor choices and were here rebuilding themselves and their lives. This is where I WANTED to be. This is where I NEEDED to be.

11 years later, I look back and see all the changes I’ve made, all the progress I’ve made and all the pain I’ve endured to get here. They don’t call them growing pains for nothing! Each evolution I’ve gone through has included some pain emotionally or physically. I met my platonic soul mate in this program and I also lost that same platonic soul mate (Todd). I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life. Not one person in this program does NOT understand me and the way I think. The crazy thoughts that go through my head (even 11 years later), they get it. They get me. They understand me. They accept me, warts and all.

Today, I feel blessed. I feel honored and blessed that I’ve been able to share the last 11 years of my life with people who know who I am at the core and love and accept me anyway.

Thank you to every member of Gambler’s Anonymous who came before me and showed me the way to a better way of life, a healthier perspective, and a place to dump my toxic waste I tend to pile and collect inside.

My name is Kathy, I am a compulsive gambler. It’s only through the Grace of God that I am here today and I am VERY grateful to be here.

Shut the front door!

I skipped my workout today. The Trainer never got back to me and I just didn’t feel like making something up myself. So I came home and am now trying to catch up on my DVR’d shows (True Blood, The Newsroom, Common Law, Big Brother). Dang. I have a lot of shows on my DVR! Those are only four of them that I watch regularly.

I’ve had Todd on my mind a lot today and this always seems to open up everything in my life that brings about strong emotions for me. I have a hard time pushing through some of them and every now and then, it takes a day or two for me to do it. I have financial things, romance things and work things all running through my head at a million miles a second. It’s driving me batshit crazy, to be honest.

There are, apparently, some really “major changes” coming up at work in the next week or two and yet, someone finds it important to tell me that, but not tell me the details. This? Drives my curiosity through the roof and back a hundred times over. I start creating scenarios in my head. I’ve been able to eliminate a few of those scenarios by telling this person and he lets me know if I’m wrong or not. I’m hoping to come up with enough scenarios in my head that I’ll guess what’s going to happen before it happens. Just need to keep him engaged in the guessing game!

My finances are slowly getting better. I’m hoping the progress I’m making is not stymied by some unforeseen emergency (car break down, medical mishap, etc) before I can get back on my feet again. It’s been a long, hard road, but I’ve made sacrifices and I’ve cut back in a lot of areas. I could probably do more, but I find I’m not quite willing to make myself that miserable. I know what amount of money I make and I know what my bills are. Once I’m caught up 100%, I know I’ll be okay (barring the rainy day need for now). This area of my life may improve markedly soon as well with me booking a few parties for the end of this month and the middle of next, so I will make some cash then.

I won’t post about my romantic life here. For some reason, I just want to keep that to myself. It’s mine. I don’t feel like opening that part of me up for the world to see. If something substantial comes along, I may change my mind with that. But right now, I’ll keep it close.

I’m losing my motivation to workout everyday. I used to make up a workout for myself when I never heard from him. The last few weeks, I have found that I just keep skipping if he doesn’t get back to me by 3:45 p.m. Usually, if I haven’t heard from him by then, I won’t hear from him. Good thing I don’t pay him, otherwise I’d be asking for my money back on the days he forgets!

Until next time…

Oh the memories

The memories this day brings up are just intense and sometimes breath taking. I have a busy day ahead, as I work until 4pm and then have union business until 9pm. I will leave the house at 7am and not get home until close to 10pm. The only good thing about this is that I won’t be able to sit here and think about Rex and Todd. One of the bad things about this day will be that I won’t have time to go sit with Rex on the anniversary of his death. He’s buried here, which I did not find out until after I moved here. It kind of creeped me out at first when I found out, but now it’s kind of comforting.

Rex was 26 when he passed away in 1999. My beautiful blonde, blue eyed ex-boyfriend. He was so precious to all of us that were involved in his life. He was special, loyal, full of integrity and knew how to make us laugh. He had a lot of life ahead of him and it was taken away. It just seems so wrong, but I know there is a purpose for it that I know nothing about. God needed to call him home to be an angel for us.

Todd was 39 when he passed away in 2005. He too had a lot of life left ahead of him. My Will Truman. Some days, I feel lost without him, even today. Again, it seems so wrong to me that someone so precious and special would be taken from us in this life. I remind myself once more that there is a purpose I know nothing about and God needed him. I repeat this over and over again with Todd’s death. It’s been 7 years and sometimes it feels like it was yesterday. Other times, it feels like it was decades ago.

I’ve evolved and changed so very much since his death it amazes me I even recognize myself. I go through these changes and realize I’m in yet another evolution of self and wonder where it’ll take me this time.

Today, my heart and mind are with Rex and Todd’s family and friends as they deal with the anniversary of their loved ones’ death. While it’s been hard on me, I can’t imagine how hard it’s been on them.

RIP, Todd & Rex. Know that you are loved, missed and thought of fondly.

Changes to my blog

You’ll notice a lot of new blog posts here on The Soda Stand.  I had my brother help me in converting my workout blog to this one.  I was keeping them separate and realized I didn’t want to do that anymore.  I can guarantee you’ll see posts almost everyday unless I change up the format on how I post my workouts.

I’m going to be talking a lot about my working out and CrossFit because it’s the only thing (besides Josie) that is keeping me sane lately.

When he imported the posts from Blogger, I’m hoping no one’s feed readers blew up with the 300+ posts over there.  However, if it did, I apologize and I’m asking that you forgive me!

Until next time…

5 years.

I snagged this image off the Facebook page.  It’s been 5 years today since the Puppy Monster was taken at such an early age, leaving behind sadness and pain.  Today, I’m thinking of NYCWD and his family and sending all my love.

Topsy turvy

Things go from good, to not so good, to bad, to very bad in a very short period of time.  Work is good, no complaints momentarily.  I’m sure if I thought for a few seconds, I could make a list of complaints about work.  However, in my quest for a 2nd part time job, I’ve finally gotten a break in that area.  I have been applying at several places over the last several months and never heard a word back.  And now, in a one week time span, I have two interviews.  Tomorrow, I’ll be going for an interview at the new Ross Dress 4 Less that is opening here in town and next Friday, I’ll be interviewing at UPS for part time package handler.  The 2nd one is a little more physical than I was looking for, but at this point, I can’t be too choosy with what kind of job I end up with.

While I let fear of the unknown engulf me every now and then, for the most part, I’m keeping a pretty “hopeful” outlook and think it’ll work out just fine.  As long as my car doesn’t break down again, I think I can get out of this slump I’m in and actually get ahead of the game if I get one of these jobs I’m interviewing for.

I think once I stopped focusing on all the bad shit going on, and actually let myself just breathe and look at the better things in my life, I realized there is hope.  I don’t know how it’ll work out, but I’m pretty sure at this point that it will.  I’m too stubborn to let this shit keep me down for too long.  It also helps I’ve been talking in my GA meetings and sharing the shit in my head.  I share my fears, my hopes, my problems, everything.  While sharing doesn’t make it all better, it does help me see things in a clearer way and gives me a different perspective.

There’s some other stuff of a more personal nature (men) going on, that I might do a post on someday.  But right now, I’m just going to say that my horoscope yesterday said “Today will have its fair share of drama going on, and you’ll be the featured player.” It did not disappoint.   While it wasn’t really “bad” drama so to speak, it just was drama enough to enlighten me about a few people in a different light (nothing bad.)   By the end of the day I was confused, emotionally drained and didn’t really know what to think.  In the light of the day when I woke up, I was still confused but not as drained and more in an “acceptance” phase.

Until next time…

Happy birthday, my friend.

Today would have been Todd’s 46th birthday.  Instead, we are counting down to the 7th anniversary of his death on the 27th of next month.

However, today, I’m remembering his smile, his laugh, his voice, the silliness we shared together.  He was, without a doubt, my platonic soul mate.  Gone too soon and never, ever forgotten.

Happy birthday, Todd.  I miss you.