I Turn Around and am Surrounded By Love

So my Love and I are going to NYC, to celebrate my 40th birthday.  It’s the type of milestone most people generally want to avoid. Hitting that next decade, can prompt an existential if not mid-life crisis. While the existential, neurotic, musings are chilling with me lately, I’m hoping mid-life crisis is one I might avoid.  All in all, my life is pretty great, so I’m living it up.

We are going to NYC, to see P!nk on my birthday, at Madison Square Garden.  Seeing P!nk has long been near the top of my bucket list, but I never really looking into attending a concert. I figured the tickets and travel would be too much for me to justify spending.  Well, my Love surprised me with tickets, and we are off.  I’m pretty excited, and my partner in crime is going to get more than she bargained for, when I sing and dance along to the entire concert.

We won’t be in NYC for too long, but hope to do some tourist-y type stuff, while there.  Unbeknownst to me, my friends and family got together to make this trip even more epic.  I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone, for making this birthday so amazing, I might forget the small detail of my turning 40.

My family and friends contributed to the following, which is just overwhelming and wonderful:

NYC Souvenirs, Dinner on April 3rd, Birthday Breakfast, & Birthday Lunch  ~ Cathy, BJ, and kids
Pink Souvenirs and Birthday Dinner ~ Mom (Judie)
Metro Cards and LIRR Tix, and Adult Admission Tix to Rubin Museum ~ Mike & Cathy O’Keefe
Street Meat ~ Marisa
Empire State Building VIP tickets ~ Mom & Dad (Barb & Dave)
Birthday Dinner ~ Duffy
Marco Doggie Daycare ~ Lindsay, Joli, Ruby, Ozzie, and Man

I hope we are able to take plenty of pictures, of this grand adventure, as I hop over one of the 3rd rails of life, moving from 39 to 40.

I think it’s common to reflect on your life, at different moments, and to be struck by how different your life turned out to be, from what you once imagined.  I certainly had a different picture.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian, an astronaut, a ballet dancer and the 2nd female President (I knew you had to be 35, and thought we should have a 1st by then. I was so naive!).  Well, I might have went off that beaten, and perhaps un-realistic path, but that’s not the only thing I didn’t see coming.

I never realized that what would be more important than where I ended up, was who I ended up there with. No matter where I am, I have an incredible family, and some pretty amazing friends, plus a love to last a lifetime. I have my person, to share my life with, and I am surrounded by love.

Thank you all, for being in my life. Your love is overwhelming.

Billie Ferretotious Difranco 07.2000 – 01.2016

Billie Ferretotious Difranco.


She was my first MY cat. We had a family cat, when I was young, but she was a family cat. Even though I’m pretty sure she knew she was mine, she was still the family’s. Once I graduated from college, I got a cheap apartment. One day I was looking around and realized I wasn’t in college anymore. I could get a cat! My very own cat! I called my mom, because I knew she would be visiting soon and I knew she would love to go pick out a kitten with me. When we got to Lollipop Farm, it was packed. We signed in and had to wait in front of those in the queue ahead of us. I walked around to view the kittens and see which one I might like to adopt. I was really wanting a Persian or all gray cat. Not sure why, just what I wanted. Then I saw these 2 black kittens. A volunteer took them out of there 1 window display room, so the lady in front of us could see them. When the volunteer came back out she told us that one of the kittens had “kissed” the lady, so she was adopting that one.

I instantly forgot about the other cats I had seen. These 2 kittens had been checked out, and one was being taken. The other, presumably a sister, was being put back in the 1 window display cage to be left alone without her one friend. I couldn’t let her just be alone, so that was that. I had to adopt her. My mom drove home, so she could sit on my lap. Once we got inside, we started to try to come up with a name. My mom looked up at a poster on my wall and said “Billie”, after the photo of Billie Holiday. It was perfect. She was my Billie.

Within a week, I started to notice that every time she heard a noise (which was often in our city apartment), she would stand up on her hind legs and looked very much like a ferret. It was the cutest thing. She would just stand there and look around for the cause of the noise. I had to give her a full name, which took form of Billie Ferretotious Difranco.

She could jump from the floor to the top of the kitchen candidates in one giant leap. I would play with her, using one of those sticks with feathers and stuff hanging off the end. She would flip in mid-air and do it again and again. She was fierce and fearless. She would try to escape the apartment (which was inside a house) and run around the hallways, until realizing the apartment might be the best place, and then go back. Once, she woke me up while I was sleeping. Why is that notable? Well, I was sound asleep, and she did what she often did. She was walking around on my desk, and then decided to walk on the printer. The printer tray. Then it happened. The tray broke, and she went down with it. I woke up, saw what happened and after I stopped laughing, checked to see how startled she was. She had a fascination with printers (f%^cking lexmark piece of shit).

Billie loved when I would print something. She would stick her little paw in that printer, trying her damnedest to either attack the paper, the cartridge or the evil creature making that noise and movement. We moved around to many different apartments over the years, and finally into a home of our own. She was with me for 15 years. Through the big stuff, the small stuff, the good stuff and the bad. She was the happiness in any moment when she walked in the room to greet me, or I would find her snuggled in my clothes, or hiding somewhere.

She would come up on the bed and sleep next to me. I could put my arm around her and hold her like a teddy bear. A living, lovey teddy bear. She was the sweetest cat, and I was so lucky to get her to love her. She would meow and “talk” so much that calling her the lady who sings the blues was fitting. She loved to butt her head into me. We could head butt each other again and again. She loved it.

I’ll always miss her soft fur. I’ll always miss her meowing and telling me how hard it is to be her. I’ll always miss her love of ribbons, printers, and anything she can attack. I’ll always miss her purr, like a motorboat. I’ll always miss her big huge eyes. I’ll always miss my sweetness. I’ll always miss my Billie Ferretotious Difranco.