Birthday Hijinx and Shenanigans May 2018

After my last post in April about irrational fears, my sister/best friend reminded me that Grandmother Zenobia (from Gypsy Kisses and Voodoo Wishes) also has a phobia of the number twenty-three. It’s called Eikositriophobia. Google it, I dare you. I didn’t see the movie “The Number 23” starring Jim Carey when it first came out, but I remember researching the superstition about the number. When the time came for me to decide the birth date for my cursed twins David and Anton, the answer was crystal clear to me: 5/23. Born under the sign of Gemini, it would be clever that they are twins under a twin sign! Without revealing any spoilers, I threw as many weird things as I could at the boys. There were lots of strange facts that sparked my imagination, such as each parent contributes twenty-three chromosomes to their child, or that it supposedly takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate throughout the body.

This peculiar date was perfect!

In my excitement it didn’t dawn upon me that there was an even greater significance to May twenty third. What could be greater, you might ask?

It’s MY birthday.

So yea, the twins are cursed, and blessed. Blessed I say, because I love my birthday. It isn’t about receiving gifts; however, if you give me a present I will graciously accept it (wink wink). To me it’s about celebrating your personal New Year. What were the astronomical odds that you were even born? You made it this far and thank God, you’re fortunate to experience another year.

It genuinely makes me happy when someone – anyone – wishes me happy birthday. I do my best to acknowledge other people’s birthdays too, especially on social media. If we’re friends on Facebook, I will wish you all the best for your special day, even if I might be a day late.

This year I turn 298 (or something there about) so I have many fond memories of my personal New Year. My most recent, favorite birthday memory happened in 2016 on Bourbon street in New Orleans (no shocker if you know me and my love for NOLA.) I wandered into Maison Bourbon http://www.maisonbourbon.com to hear some old school jazz. There was a delightful four-piece jazz band, playing great songs to a packed bar. The band leader asked if anyone was celebrating an anniversary or a birthday. Not a soul spoke up. I was solo, and didn’t want to draw attention to myself but the band seemed disappointed that no one responded. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone. Nervously I raised my hand and said “It’s my birthday.” People applauded! The band asked for my name. I smiled and answered “Sunny,” a nickname that fits my personality when I’m not writing dark, paranormal stories. The band broke into a lively version of “Happy Birthday” and the entire bar sang along. To my delight and surprise they then sang “When the Saints Go Marching In”. My heart soared.

The next night, two of my gal pals flew in from Los Angeles and I took them back to my new favorite spot. When we walked through the door, the band remembered me. “Sunny’s back!” they exclaimed before playing “Let’s go Fly A Kite”. It was the best time ever in terms of birthday shenanigans! The memory still brings me tears of joy.

I enjoy receiving gifts and using celebratory coupons from my favorite restaurants for my birthday month. (A little known fact unless you’re one of the cool ones born under the sign of the twins: we Geminis celebrate for a minimum of a week.) However it’s the wonderful memories I get to reflect on and share with others that I treasure most.

Regardless if you are a Gemini or not, I hope you take the time to celebrate YOUR personal new year too.

Love Notes – February 2018

Almost every day, I take a brisk walk.  It doesn’t matter what my schedule is like. I walk at work, I walk at the gym, I walk when I plan to lounge around at home, and I even walk when I’m on vacation. Why the daily ritual?  It’s a way for me to shake off any negative energy that might cloud my day.  The cardio gets my blood pumping (which is definitely needed after creating dark stories and peculiar characters, letting words spill from my brain through my fingers, onto a keyboard). I also walk because my mother’s neurologist recommends doing 30 mins of exercise a day, or two and a half hours a week to fight the chances of getting dementia.  I love walking outdoors because helps fuel creative ideas that simmer in my head and keep me healthy.

The other day as I was on my last lap around the employee parking lot (I call work my muggle job, because it’s a great place but lacks magic for me), a seagull flew up  and perched a few yards away from me. I stopped in my tracks because I noticed something peculiar about this bird, who I shall name Sammy the Seagull. Sammy held a folded up, yellow Post-It in its beak.  If I didn’t know any better, I swear that my new friend was delivering a note.  I wondered, could seagulls carry messages like Carrier Pigeons? Did Sammy have a message specifically for me? Is Twitter down?

Great questions but, no, no and no. Sammy dropped the Post-It once she figured out it wasn’t edible and eyed me for a few moments before I walked on my merry way.  The discarded note reminded me of my dark fiction novel GYPSY KISSES AND VOODOO WISHES when young Will Jalio sends a message to the love of his life.  It was short and sweet. In the story, the words inspire his true love to follow her heart. 

Last year my father shared with me a beautiful letter my mom had written over 10 years ago.  He discovered it when doing some spring cleaning.  In the letter, she told of how ever since high school she loved my dad. I already knew that Dad always loved Mom; he would tell my sister and I how he clearly remembers the day he stood in a sandbox as a little boy, pointed at her and declared “that is the girl I’m going to marry”.  We’ve seen the yearbook where he signed it “Love, always and forever”.  My sister and I have a high standard of what we look for in a mate, thanks to the love my parents share.

But this letter Mom wrote?  It was a surprise! Its honesty was endearing.  As of November 2017, my parents have been married for 50 years.  Today, Mom suffers from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t know what day it is, let alone who are her family members.  The heartfelt words, written years ago, gave my dad an extra spark of life.  He knows she loves him, even if she can’t say it often, and this discovery was a beautiful reminder that what they have is very real.

I should mention that all notes don’t have to be romantic.  I constantly try to remind friends (in person and through social media) that I appreciate them.  Sometimes at work I randomly leave little silly notes for a few coworkers, just to get them to laugh.  I love to torture my sister with corny Haiku poems or scribbles on napkins that say “TAG you’re it”.  It’s a treat to see how the smallest of gestures can have an impact on people.

The saying “It’s the thought that counts” means a lot to me. Communicating with others in a positive way matters because words have power and meaning.  I bet Sammy the Seagull didn’t know how it affected my day.  Thanks for the note, Sammy.  I’ll see you and your cousins on my next walk.