…Well, sometimes…

Happy Anniversary, Glenallen Hill!

15 years ago tonight, the Yankees beat the Mets in the final game of the 2000 World Series. It was their 26th championship overall (at the time) and their third in a row, but that particular event, amazing as it happened to be, wasn’t even the best part of the night for me. That was to come much later.

Immediately after the game ended, I changed into a nicer outfit, put on some make up and my best friends picked me up because we were going into the city to club One51. A friend of ours, who worked for the Yankees at the time, told us that some of the Yanks would be there celebrating if they won the World Series that night. My motivation for going out so late on a work night was because I wanted to see Derek Jeter up close and personal. I was also 26, single and carefree and could handle being out late on a weeknight. I did it all the time.

So the four of us drove into the city around midnight. We were able to find parking relatively quickly and nervously walked toward the place. We didn’t know what to expect.

There was a line out front and we were about to go wait on it, but the bouncer waved us over and said, “Ladies, you can come in.” We all were like, “Huh? Um, okay.” We couldn’t believe they let us in right away. When we walked in, we realized why. It was a club full of girls. The ratio had to be 90:10. It was hilarious. Our friend Rich was at the bar so we walked over to him and noticed that none of the players were there yet. He told us that they were on the way. As we stood at the bar more and more girls walked in. Some in really skimpy outfits. I felt completely out of place in my black buttoned up blouse and grey pants. As single and carefree as I was in my 20s, I was also a prude and foolishly didn’t show off my nice figure when I could have and should have. You live and learn.

Within ten minutes of our arrival, everything changed. The front door opened, the people who were milling around the bar area parted like the Red Sea and in walked Derek Jeter and his entourage. I swear I heard the Hallelujah chorus in my head as he walked by and honestly, it was as if he were walking in slow motion. And I’m not joking or stretching the truth in any way, every girl he walked by, turned to stare at his ass. It was amazing and hilarious. But then, Derek Jeter’s ass was pretty amazing at the time.

The players who showed up to One51 that night were Jeter, Jose Canseco, David Justice, Jose Vizcaino and Glenallen Hill. My best friend Racquel was disappointed because Tino Martinez wasn’t there, but at the time, I couldn’t care less because I was in the same room as Derek Jeter. Jackpot!

The players all walked up onto this raised platform area which to the side of the dance floor and they hung out up there the entire time. The four of us were just so excited to be there that we didn’t even try to get to Jeter or the other players. We went out onto the dance floor to dance, while every other girl in the place made a beeline towards him and the rest of the guys.

After a while, as we were dancing to some awful song, my friend Melissa said, “Oh my God.” We all asked her what was wrong and she said, “Derek Jeter is totally watching us.” Then she quickly added, “Don’t all look at the same time!” So we all turned to look, one at a time, because we were playing it cool, and sure enough he was leaning over the railing of the platform, watching all of us. The look on his face was priceless. He looked shocked and a little insulted that we weren’t paying attention to him. It was pretty hilarious. We just continued to dance and not pay attention to him. Again, we were just excited to be there, we didn’t want to act like groupies. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

At one point later on during the night, I noticed a girl with short blonde hair, and an amazingly fit body, wearing a piece of cloth as a top. I’m not even joking or exaggerating. It was a piece of black fabric, that was draped over her boobs and it was held on by one clear strap across her back where he bra strap should have been if she were wearing an actual shirt. She was trying to get to Jeter and the players. So me, being the catty bitch I was at 26, started making faces behind her back and imitating her trying to get to him. As I was doing it, I looked out the corner of my eye, turned my head and saw that David Justice was watching me bitchily imitate this poor girl. So I stop, like I was being admonished by a parent and start blushing. He began to laugh at me and then nodded his head in approval while raising his glass in my direction.

It was pretty funny.

At one point, Glenallen Hill bumped into me on the dance floor, and no joke, I went flying. I’m not a small girl by any means, but he was built like a brick shit house. After I recovered from being thrown across the dance floor, he placed his big meaty hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m sorry baby,” so I said, “You won the World Series, it’s okay.” I was going to tell him that he could throw me around the dance floor again if he wanted to, but I didn’t know how well that would go over. And I will never forget what he was wearing either: A blue silk top that completely unbuttoned to show off his chest and stomach, with a thick gold chain around his neck and black dress pants. He was having a ball. So were me and the girls. We stayed later than the players did and stayed until the club closed.

I finally got home at 5:30am, went straight into the shower, got dressed and went back into the city to go to work. By lunchtime I drooling and nearly passing out at my desk.

When I arrived home from work that night, it was about 6:40pm. According to my mom, I was asleep, fully dressed with my shoes still on, flat on my face by 6:49pm. She said my feet were hanging off the bed. Honestly, I don’t even recall falling into my bed, but it was totally worth it because it was such a fun night.

I was with my three best friends, we had a blast, and we were out celebrating the Yankees winning the World Series with some of the Yankee players! What could be better?

[This piece was originally published on this blog in 2010. I reworked it a bit for the 15th anniversary.]

October 26, 1985

Most people know the date October 26, 1985 as the night Marty McFly first goes back to 1955 in the movie “Back To The Future.” But for me it is a day, even 30 years later, that remains one of the best days of my life.

I was a cheerleader from 5th grade until 8th grade for the Valley Cottage Indians. We cheered for their Pop Warner football squads. I decided to join cheerleading because my mom wouldn’t let me play baseball for my dad’s team or softball because she was afraid I’d get hit with a ball or an errant bat and go blind in my (at that point) twice surgically repaired left eye.  It turned out that I was already friends with a lot of the girls who also had decided to join and I ended up making some new friends from other elementary schools so I enjoyed cheerleading right away.

In 1984 when I joined the squad as a Junior Pee Wee, the first County wide cheerleading competition was held. The North Rockland Red Raiders, the county’s powerhouse football program’s equally strong cheerleading squads swept every single division. We always watched those girls in awe during games because it was as if they were military trained. They always stood up straight, their cheers and the execution of those cheers, were always flawless and crisp. They seemed to be an unstoppable machine.

Our squad ended up coming in third place during that first competition, but we weren’t expecting more than that in our first year. Hell, most of us were happy we even placed in the top 3.

The following year when we moved up to the Pee Wee Division, our coaches decided to get a little more serious about the competition. It was a lot of hard work; practicing for hours after school in various places, but it was worth it. And I ended up having a big part in the competition cheer. I was called upon to do a handstand into a pyramid from the side so I had to make sure my body was perfectly straight, then one leg would also be straight while the other was bent into a perfect triangle – my straightened leg would be held by someone else in the pyramid. I was actually proud of playing such a large role in the pyramid’s construction. Of course, if I screwed up, I’d ruin the entire thing. But, I was flawless in practice, and I believed I would be flawless in competition. My mom didn’t tell me until after the competition, that she had a bad dream the night before. In it, I went up into my handstand too hard and too fast, and I knocked the whole pyramid over. It’s a good thing she didn’t tell me beforehand. So as I went into the handstand during the cheer, she covered her eyes and her friend had to tell her all was clear, and that I was up and perfect (thank you very much).

I will say that my palms were sweaty the entire time we were doing our cheer and yes, I had a brief moment of panic when I thought my wet hands would cause me to slip and fall as I was about to go into the pyramid, but thankfully everything worked out well. I did my handstand, it was great and I didn’t fall on my face at any point during the cheer.

Anyway, our performance was really sharp, and we all worked very hard at making it that way, but I still didn’t think there was any way that those big bad Red Raiders would be dethroned. They were much too strong. Plus, the competition was being held at North Rockland High School and it seemed like the fix would be in.

For some reason that year, they only named the top two teams to place in each division so when it came time to announce the Pee Wee squad results we were all nervous. What if we didn’t place? We would never know where we came in.

The person announcing the results was one of the heads of the Valley Cottage Indians and when she said, “In second place,” and paused, we all assumed it would be us. But then she finished, “….the North Rockland Red Raiders.” The entire gym gasped. The only person who didn’t gasp was one of our coaches, Mrs. Havrish, who was whispering, “We did it! We did it!” I kept saying, “No we didn’t. No we didn’t.” I was a pessimist even as an 11 year-old because I just couldn’t believe it. How on earth was North Rockland in second place? The coaches and girls on the North Rockland squad were in shock. To be honest, everyone in that gym couldn’t believe what was happening. Their Junior Pee Wee squad came in first place so the crowd and the rest of participants assumed they’d sweep all of the divisions like they did the previous year. But it was not meant to be.

So after the North Rockland Pee Wee squad reluctantly collected their second place trophies – some of them actually looked disgusted holding them – it was time to find out who came in first. “In first place,” the woman paused again, and it felt like the longest three seconds of my 11 year-old life, then yelled out, “…the Valley Cottage Indians!!” I remember yelling, jumping up and down, and then running to get my trophy with the rest of my teammates. I even cried because I was so happy and quite frankly, relieved. After all of the hard work we put in, after hours and hours of practice and repetition to the point where I was doing that cheer in my sleep, we had actually won! We beat North Rockland and we were the only ones to do that year. They swept every other Division. And it is, to this day, the only first place trophy I have.

Sadly, we were dethroned the following year, but on that special day in late October 1985, the Valley Cottage Indians Pee Wee squad singlehandedly let the other squads in Rockland County know that it was actually possible to defeat the North Rockland Red Raiders. And after we did it, it became much easier for everyone else to do it.

So you’re welcome, Rockland County.

[This was originally written and published on this blog five years ago, but I tweaked it for the 30th anniversary.]

A year ago tonight or why I can’t watch Derek Jeter’s last walk-off


Me holding dad’s hand 9/25/14

[Throughout the course of the day, you may see a lot of stuff on social media about Derek Jeter’s last at bat at Yankee Stadium because if you can believe it, it happened a year ago tonight.]

A year ago tonight, I was with my father in his hospital room, watching the Yankee game. I made it a point to be with him that night because I figured who better to watch Derek Jeter’s last home game with than my dad. He was the one who introduced to baseball when I was a little girl, and he was the one who turned me into the rabid Yankee fan I am today. Dad wasn’t feeling well that day and had a fever, but he was able to see Jeter’s double in the first inning. He even pointed at the TV as Jeter made it to second base. He fell asleep sometime in the second inning and didn’t wake up again until about 30 minutes after Jeter’s walk off, but I held his hand almost the entire time. The only time I let go was when Jeter hit his walk off, and I jumped off the chair and quietly celebrated in dad’s room so the rest of the people in the burn unit at Weill-Cornell couldn’t hear me. If you can picture it, I was jumping up and down and pantomiming screams. Thank goodness no one saw me.

What I didn’t know that night was that it would be the last time I’d see my father “alive.” I put alive in quotes because the next morning, my dad coded. The doctors were able to bring him back, but the damage was too much and he suffered catastrophic brain damage. We’d find out a few days later that it was irreversible and that he wouldn’t be my dad ever again, and a week after he coded, we said goodbye.

For me, the Jeter walk off is hard to watch because at the time, I had no idea what was in store for my dad or for me and my family. That night I was euphoric. I left the hospital after saying goodbye to my dad and watched the replay of the last hit and even stayed up to watch the Encore on YES. And about 15 hours after the walk off, I was devastated because even though we didn’t know exactly what had happened to my dad that morning or the extent of the brain damage, I saw what he looked like and saw how his eyes were fixed on the ceiling and how when you picked up his hand, it was limp, and I knew things wouldn’t be the same for any of us again.

So now, that night symbolizes a lot more for me. It was the last night that I made eye contact with my dad and I will never forget the look on his face. And because I was the last one with him before he coded, I still go over in my head, every single moment from that night and wonder if I missed anything. I don’t exactly blame myself for what happened, but I feel like maybe I missed a sign from him. Maybe in that last look, he was trying to tell me something and I didn’t pick it up.

While everyone else is posting about Jeter’s last walk off and celebrating it, and they have every right to do so, I’m thinking about my dad and how I wish I could have one more moment with him. Just one more. Maybe we could talk about baseball and I could tell him about all of the stuff he’s missed this past year. Or I could just tell him how much I love him and miss him.

So please do me a favor today. After you watch Jeter’s walk off for 500th time, hug everyone close to you and tell them how much you love and appreciate them because you never when they’ll be taken away.

(Published originally on It’s About The Money 9/25/15)


September 1995

I can’t believe I did it. I told him I liked him and he rejected me. The only reason I said anything was because Dan made me believe that Tim liked me back. And I was not imagining things; he flirted back, he showed an interest in me, and I thought that for the first time in my life a guy wouldn’t reject me. How could I be so fucking stupid?


“Go away Dan.” I can’t be around anyone right now. I need to leave this stupid bar and get the hell away from them. Jesus it’s cold out.

“Stacey. Get back here.”

“No!” Why do I always do this to myself? I always set myself up for major disappointment. It’s really cold out. Isn’t it September? I blow a breath out of mouth to drive the point home.

“Come on Stace. Come back and have a drink.”

“No.” Is that a truck? Should I do it? Is he worth it? Is anyone worth having your body splattering across a road from the force of a dump truck?

“Stacey!” Dan runs over and pulls me back onto the sidewalk, “Are you insane? You could have been killed.”

“So what? Who would have cared? Tim wouldn’t have.”

“Stace come on. We’ll go home.”


Dan and I walk across campus. It’s dark except for the lights along the pathways that loop around the exterior of the quad. I wouldn’t do this walk alone. Thank goodness Dan is a big guy. He doesn’t say anything to me. At least he knows when to shut up. I just want to go back to my room, get undressed, crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep lying in fetal position. I should have worn a warmer jacket tonight.

Dan stands in my doorway, “Will you be OK?”

I fake a smile that Dan can see right through, “Of course!”



He repeats my name in a tone that only my mother would use just to annoy me.

“Don’t lie to me.”

“I just want to be alone.” Please, I’m a girl. We like to cry ourselves to sleep. It makes us feel so much better. He gets the hint and leaves me.

I walk up to the mirror above my roommate’s dresser, “Why doesn’t he like me? What’s so terrible about me?”

I look at my face and examine it in the harsh fluorescent dorm lighting. “Jesus I wouldn’t like me either.” I look at my left lazy eye, my slight acne scars, and my bushy eyebrows. How could my parents let me out of the house looking like this?

I hear noises outside in the common room. My suite mates have returned home. I am beginning to sober up so hearing their loud shrieking voices only cause my mood to sour even more. I turn my light off and jump into my bed. I pretend to sleep so they won’t bother me.

I stare at the ceiling when my eyes adjust to the dark and begin to play tic tac toe in my mind with the tiles. I win. I win again. At least I’m winning something.

There’s a knock at my door.

“Stace? Are you up?”

I don’t answer. It’s my suite mate Wendy. She’ll just want to rehash every ugly moment of the night and I don’t feel like it. I just want to crawl into a hole.

I pray that Tim will be too drunk to remember me throwing myself at him at the bar. But I know that’s not possible and that I probably just ruined everything. Stupid Stacey. Way to screw up your first year away at school…

I talked to my dad yesterday

I have been dreading the next couple of weeks for a while.

It’s because we are approaching the first anniversary of my dad’s passing which seems unfathomable to me. How can we be already be nearly a year removed from the worst week of my life?

I guess the only positive to come out of this is that we’re approaching the last of the firsts. We did our first Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter and Father’s Day without dad, and yesterday was his first birthday since he passed. I had my mom take me to the cemetery to visit his grave. I don’t get to go there often because I don’t drive. In fact, I think this was only the fourth time I had been there and that’s including his funeral.

Mom said a few prayers, and I stepped away while she did that because I’m not going to half heartedly recite a prayer when I don’t believe in that stuff anymore.

Afterwards, I asked her if I could have a few moments to myself with my dad. Like I said, I don’t go nearly as often as my mom or my brother do, and I wanted to be able to talk to him and not hold back. Isn’t it so strange how you feel like you’re talking to the person who’s buried deep beneath the ground you’re standing on? I always talk to my dad when I go to his grave. I usually fill him in on what’s happening in baseball as if he’s going to respond to me with, “Is that right?” which was his customary response whenever I told him something he didn’t know or hadn’t yet heard.

But yesterday’s visit was different. Yesterday I broke down almost immediately after my mom walked away. I think it was because I was standing there alone and felt like I could let it out. I don’t usually break down in front of my mom or my brother. Is that odd? I don’t know. This is my first time dealing with the death of a parent so I’m not sure if I’m actually doing it right.

I usually cry alone in my room at night. Those nights don’t happen as often as they did immediately following my dad’s death. I think I cried at least once every single night from October to January. But from time to time, I’ll break down when I think about him and think about how much I miss having him around.

While I was standing there, in front of my dad’s stone, I told him how much I miss him and described all of his habits that were annoying while he was alive but that I now miss terribly. I also told him that I couldn’t believe he was actually gone because it still doesn’t seem real. It feels like a nightmare that we’re all having together and that we’ll wake up and he’ll be here.

I would give anything to have my dad walk into the house while I’m watching a movie or a show and have him say, “Give me the remote…” hesitate for a few moments, then add, “…please,” to the end of his statement. He never asked for the remote, he’d always demand I give it to him. I either stormed off because he’d put on some annoying sports talk show or, heaven forbid, Fox News, or I sat there as he changed the channel, then watched as he nodded off after 10 minutes. Then I’d get mad because when he did that, he usually fell asleep with the remote on his crotch and when that happened, I’d get my mom to fetch it for me if she was home.

I let myself cry for a few moments then composed myself before I walked back to the car. I also told dad that we’d be back in two weeks because that’s the anniversary of his death.


A year ago today, on Saturday, September 20, 2014, I walked into my dad’s hospital room and couldn’t believe what I saw. He was sitting up, and his vent was set to a mist. I screamed, “Daddy!!” and he mouthed, “What?” with a slightly annoyed expression on his face. I was so happy because it seemed like things were finally looking up. A year ago today, the doctors and nurses were saying that it was possible that dad would be taken off the vent a few days after that and that he’d be able to talk to us. He tried talking to us that day but it was hard to figure out what he was saying. He did mouth “I love you.” That wasn’t hard to figure out at all. A year ago today, we were talking about the possibility of dad being moved to a rehab facility.

That never happened.

But I am glad for that day a year ago because it was one of the only days, after he had gotten really sick, that he seemed like my dad again. It was one hopeful day. One happy day. One day filled with possibilities. And, sometimes, that’s all you can really ask for and hope for.


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