I'll try and make this quick as we have much more important things to talk about. I was born about a half-hour from the Bronx, NY, in a town called Mount Kisco, NY. I lived in a suburb outside the city called Brewster most of my life. I had a "normal" family; Mom, Dad, and one older sister. Both my parents worked. My Dad was an operating engineer, and my Mom, a waitress at night and on weekends. We weren't well off by any stretch, but my sister and I never really wanted for much except, I'd say, a freaking air conditioner. My Dad thought that if he places a fan in our bedroom window pointing out, it will keep the cool air in. Yeah, that's a hard no. It doesn't work, never worked, and if you were on the top bunk bed like I was, it was an oven.
Our home was roughly 900 square feet on a quarter of an acre. It was immaculate inside and out. My sister and I generally got along very well growing up. She is four years older rarely broke the rules, and when she did, she got caught, and I broke lots of the rules and got away with it. I grew up in the '70s and '80s before social media; THANK GOD.
I just passed high school because I did not apply myself and also cut out a lot. I almost didn't graduate in 1988 because I had too many absences from gym. There was no way I was coming home and telling my parents that one so I begged and pleaded and was able to make it up by writing a paper on "The Importance of Physical Education. " I didn't like authority and had a very big set in high school. I still do but, I try and walk on the sidewalk instead of the middle of the road these days.
I played the drums since 4th grade. Back then, I was told, "girls didn't play the drums." I was given a flute and no disrespect to Jethro Tull I hated it. I could never get it right and sucked. One day my band teacher heard me practicing and asked if I was the one that wanted to play the drums? I said "yep," and he said, "go get yourself a pair of sticks and a drum pad." This was my first of many buck the system win.
I wanted to be the next Tommy Lee. From middle school through my senior year of high school, I was first chair for percussion. It may not sound like a big deal, but this meant I was better than the boys and could give them their parts. If someone was on my shitlist for whatever reason, I'd give them something boring like playing the bass drum. I learned to read music by taking private lessons and also can play by ear. I practiced in my room for hours a day. Remember, we had a little house, so there was no hiding or tuning out my jams. I was in various bands throughout my life, but the longest was a heavy metal all-girl thrash band named Bedlam. We were heavy, hot, and played with the best of the boys.
When we got on stage, you could see the audience looking at us like, ok here comes some "We Got the Beat" with a little edge based on our look, but we hammered out punk/heavy crunchy and loud originals and had many mosh pits. Those were great days. At one time I had a 17 piece set along with roto toms. We didn't glam it up, no poser looks just jeans and a t-shirt. We played all over the tri-state area from your 3 person shithole to popular clubs like LaMour in Brooklyn and "The Downtown" in NYC. I thought this was going to be it; I'd be touring with Metallica in no time. Not. There is so much talent out there, and those that make it generally know someone with influence (connected) or you get lucky. Social media is a bit easier today because you can have a gig, record it, and if you are good, it will go viral, and perhaps a record company might become interested. Enough about my wild dreams to become a heavy metal rock star. I'm still pissed that Kid Rock has a female drummer who I think I could probably run circles around.
After holding a bunch of jobs and not getting anywhere, I figured I should try college. My grades sucked too bad to get into any university, and I don't even think I took the SATs because I had NO plans for college. I had to start at a community college, Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY, to see if I was college material. I was still young, partying, and not really taking things seriously but did graduate with a 3.0, which may be a push. I then went onto Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT because I was still living at home as a music major but after trying to learn how to read keys, and notes (E, G B, D, F) vs quarter notes, sixteenth notes, and paradiddles I changed my major to psychology. I took an abnormal psych class as an elective and liked the subject and thought that if I wasn't going to make it as a rock star, all I could do is teach, and there is not much of a market for music teachers. During my time at WCSU, I started to get my shit together and graduated with a better GPA I just don't remember it. I held a bunch of different jobs both major-related and not to make my own money. My parents helped but the responsibility was ours and not working was not an option.
My now-husband, Anthony, and then high school sweetheart was also trying to figure out what the hell he was going to do and decided to join the Marine Corps. There wasn't anything good happening in our small town and it was the best decision of his life. After he graduated from Paris Island and came back from deployment, I moved down to North Carolina for 2 years. We lived outside the base on Topsail Island and being young and free, we were living our best lives. I'd say every weekend or every other weekend, many members of his platoon was at our house, and we threw some great bangers. Many of the men he served within the 90s are still his friends/brothers today. If you know any marines, you will understand the brotherhood. Again, thank God there was no social media at that time. Coming from New York State, living on the beach with a fully furnished condo with a pool and tennis courts for $575 a month was a steal, and we were living large.
When he got out of the service, we moved back to New York, and I began graduate school, and he tried to figure out how to go from having the title "anti-armor assault man" into the civilian world. It wasn't easy, but he figured it out.