June 30

2011:  don't see me ever saying "I hate my job". But, "I hate my job TODAY!" Glue stick? 100 small metal objects? Point and shoot digital? Photoshop? I'm done - Enough for today - going to have a cocktail, meatloaf, mashed, veg & movie.

"Jack of all trades, master of none" is the term that comes to mind when I think about the vast amount of projects that I have worked on in my lifetime to pay the bills.

This project paid quite a few bills and although I do like a challenge, the challenges of this project were many and not many of them were fun for me.

I was impressed that this local client was already doing so well with e-commerce.  I was even more impressed that he produced a piece product that was being bought in bulk in China.  Dog tags.  I would have guessed that China would have a corner on the market for such a product, but, I would have guessed wrong.

The reason I was retained was to be the technical liaison when speaking with the India company that was tweaking and publishing the company website.  It's not an easy feat to talk tech with techies from India.  A communication and cultural exchange that could cause high blood pressure in the most mild mannered soul.  But, I was getting paid well, so I endured.

Shortly after proving my worth to this company, I was asked to handle other odd tasks and I did because my pay rate justified working as many hours as I could.

It was a challenge and a mistake for me to offer to take digital images of metal dog tags.  I didn't have the right equipment or the right experience at staging those kind of photographs.  I labored over this task and I'm thankful that I could do it from home because my temper flared on more than one occasion and it probably wasn't pretty.

One day I just up and decided that spending long days on a project that causes me misery is just not worth the money.  I cleared my house of dog tags, handed over hundreds of digital images and thanked the nice client for the experience.

2012:  Bonnet Shores Beach Club History: here’s something sad – I just scanned 100+ beach photos from the ’20’s. With the technology we have today, I can zoom in and see that what looks like ‘ants’ in the photo is really a family of 5 – all smiling/laughing with white teeth, slim, fit and having fun. The sad part is that most of the ppl in the photos aren’t around to see them anymore

June 9

2016:  Such a long and very productive day. And look what I got... pretty toes for the first time since Janie made me get them done last. Yes... that long. I hate pedicures. I'm ticklish to a fault. Jane used to shame me into going and she'd always come with. She was probably with me every step of the day today. I'm now ready for flip flop season

2019: This was a facebook memory from a few years back.  I remember it well because I fit this mani/pedi in between meetings.  After I got this done, my next meeting was at Ruby Tuesday's where I scheduled an introduction between my ex (in life and business dealings) and one of my clients.  I made the connection because I knew that both could help each other in an up and coming industry.

I was right.  I provided the connection my other half needed - a cash cow so to speak.  I'm disgusted that he doesn't remember that and has chosen to devastate me financially rather than reward me for years and years of service for our mutual betterment.  A pity.

May 5

1980. ’80’s Are Just Entering The Scenes Now.

Graduated from St. Patrick's High School in May of 1980.  Didn't know if I was going to graduate because I was at a stage of rebellion at that time and I failed my Religion final exam.  I got a 4 grade on a scale of 1-100.  I was reading Steven King novels at the time, smoking weed, and having fun.

Like, going to the Frat House near Delta Drug and Kentucky Fried Chicken on Smith Street in Providence, RI.  Two floors of nightclub fun and open bar from 7pm until 9pm for a whopping $3.00 cover.

My friends and I were young, and broke.  But, we were tenacious.  We rolled up pennies in wrappers to pay our cover. Got Mom to give us a ride to Delta Drug next door and drop us off.  We paid our way in with penny rolls.  Enjoyed open bar for a couple of hours.  Drank for the rest of the night on my brothers and friends.  Always had a ride home.

The '80's were full of those open bars.  Playden cost $5.00 and had open bar and buffet with hanging meats.  Barry's in Warwick cost $5.00, too.  They had a buffet and top shelf liquors.  Black Russians were the drink of choice for me at that time and I am not sure how I ever got home safe.

But, I always got home safe.  I had those brothers and lots of friends that I speak of.  I was taken care of.

HOWEVER, there were some times after we all got home that I would get these calls.
Michael: "Mary, I am in the Cranston police station and I need you to take Mom's car and come and get me.  They won't let me drive because I am drunk".
Me: No Michael.  I'm drunk, too.  I'll call John.
Michael:  Mary, He's locked up, too.  Ya gotta do this for me.
Me:  Ok.  On my way...

2010: I was still happy then.  Although my brother John and my Dad had already passed, I had time to process those deaths and I had learned to carry on with fond memories and stories of each of them.  And I still had other siblings - my closest in age being Michael and Janie - "We Three Of Family B"... We were tight and we were all still alive.  In 2010, I was also happy with my ex-SO (significant other) and we were building a house after spending over a decade of days and nights living together, working together, loving each other and sharing family with each other.  I began planting perennials by plant and by seed.  Leaving a legacy in my wake...

2013: On this day in 2013, life the way I knew it in 2010 had changed drastically. They say that hindsight has 20/20 vision and in hindsight I see the warning signs that should have made me run away from my Ex to a safer haven.  I never could have guessed what I would have to endure for the next few years, but, I never stopped wanting a better life and on this day in 2013, I secured the kind of job that would allow me to flee if need be.

As I said, on this day in 2013, I never could have imagined what I would have to endure for the next few years.

2014: By this date in 2014, my brother Joe was in his final resting place for five full days already.  My Mom's health had been declining for years and my sister Janie had already begun aggressive treatments to try and eradicate the surprise cervical cancer that had been discovered just about a month before.  On this day in 2014, she had no white blood cells and she was worried that I might've been mad at her because of the painful time we shared while she was transfused.

On this day in 2014, my life was already officially dedicated to doing what I could to keep my sister alive. It was a singular focus and the most important responsibility of my life.  And I failed.

2015:  On this day in 2015, Janie had already been gone for one month and five days.  Her death wasn't an April Fools Day joke.

2016:  The signs come in strong from those that are already gone.  Michael is still alive but we are estranged.  That was meant to be.  I was meant to venture out and try to find a new life without having to deal with seeing him die.  There was only so much I could handle.

2017.  Michael died in January of this year.  I kept my head in a computer coding, kept busy with charity work and began taking bullets from a toxic ex significant other.  In 2019, I became a Hazel Nut.

2019:  We're all still learning how to live and work together. There are a lot of people in and out of this house and things are constantly moved or rearranged. I'm not used to that.

If I'm not left with a nightlight to guide my way to the bathroom at night, I have to light up the stair way. And since Hazel's room has been rearranged, she sees my shadow looming down the stairs each time I need the restroom which causes her to call me by name... sometimes relentlessly - all night long.

The lesson here is to keep the bathroom light on with the door ajar. I won't break any bones and Hazel won't know I'm on the first floor. Kind of simple. TY.

2019: If I listed the kitchen staples that I am out of (important things), you can start calling me the "kitchen magician". How many things can you make when ONLY vegetables are delivered. I got crafty today.

Lentil Veggie soup has cauliflower, onions, yellow peppers, garlic, white and sweet potatoes. I only had dried herbs to use (parsley, basil, onion powder) and no stock or bouillon so I stole seasoning from a package of ramen. A quart in the freezer, a quart in the fridge and she devoured a big bowl so I know it was a good choice.

I had potatoes and about 3 dozen boiled eggs (a donation), but, no mayo. So Potato/Egg/Veggie salad with peppers, cucumbers, red onion and tomato. I had no olive oil or enough dressing so I simmered canola oil with all my dry herbs and added some white wine vinegar. It's all I had. I used equal parts of potato, eggs and veggies. It's healthy for sure and she devoured that, too... although she didn't know what she was eating.

THANKFULLY, I bought scallions and had fresh ginger in the freezer so I was able to make a version of my famous chicken and broccoli. I missed having sesame oil on hand, but, I did what I could. Marinated the chicken with garlic, ginger, hot pepper seeds, a little soy (ran out), cornstarch and scallions. Cooked the chicken, removed. Cooked broccoli stems (fiber) with more garlic, ginger and scallions. Added florets and steamed until bright green. Added chicken back and doused with 1/2 flavor packet of Asian ramen and cornstarch slurry. I had a couple taste testers to let me know how that turned out... I didn't need to test it. And the house smells incredible.

The sweet potatoes will be roasted and a big salad will be made with some chicken strips and eggs for protein.  It's nice to have some peace on weekends to accomplish this kind of healthy cooking. It's only 5:15 pm... I'm not done yet.

2019: Those eggs will be deviled now, Hazel.  And you'll have some asparagus and even corned beef (and hash and eggs, maybe) this week, too.  I've got some mighty fine friends that read my crap and have you in their hearts...

I was able to send some lentil soup and chicken and broc in return.. but, NOTHING... and I will reiterate, NOTHING can compare to the thought that went into this delivery.  Sleep well you pretty in pink Queen of the house.  Me and all my friends are in your corner....

2019: Last night I was typing to myself.  This morning I woke to an email with the subject line, "An Ode to Michael".  He was one of a kind, ya know.  I don't know if anyone will ever really know him as much as I did.  I was a lifelong mission for him.

The Kempo Karate post had me thinking...

"My body and mind is on chill tonight.  That's a nice place to be.  January-April is still a rough time for me.  I was trying to find that post that I read that prompted me to find photos of Michael at George Pasare's studio.  I couldn't find it.

But, the person who posted shared a story about learning from the masters in regard to what to do if being attacked by a dog.  He was told to let the dog grab hold of his left arm, even though it would hurt like hell.  It left his right arm open to drive his fingers into the dogs ear and end it all.

This is true and I was mentored in the same way.  Sounds horrendous - especially as a young girl to hear.  But, Michael came home from his years and years of training and taught me so much... a never ending lesson. I never had to use any of it... but, I always thought myself capable.  I made it a point to keep myself (and family and friends) out of trouble so none of those teachings would come to fruition.

The fellow went on to add that it happened to him and it worked out in his favor in a way.  His left arm took a beating (through a leather jacket), but, he scared off the dog and also got in a couple right shots to the dogs snide owner.

That may sound like abuse in this day and age, but, it wasn't.  It was trained self defense. It's the way real men learn how to protect.  Hands, feet and close combat.

One of the most valuable lessons Michael ever taught me was that not all people out there are like my brothers.  They use guns and knives instead of hands and feet.  He told me to run away from any exchange I might see happening.  That was a very valuable lesson that saved me and my friends while out and about during the nightlife scene.

Sometimes I don't know if the stories that I remember so well should be shared.  Other times I know in my heart that they need to be shared."

2020:  Today marks 9 months smoke free.  I've got some allergies going on but, I think I am Covid free.  I feel like this day in 2019 was a million years ago.  Once again I find myself in a position where I am forced to locate my next place to call "home for now" and begin meeting the people who are destined to be in my next chapter.  This pandemic is making things difficult, but, difficult is something I have become used to.

 

March 11

2006. Blending Marketing And Charity.

Oh My! I just did a computer search "for a cause" and almost 10K files came up. Found this gem of an article from Providence Business News from 2006. I barely remember doing that interview... but, it's priceless.

"Parties ‘for a cause’ blend charity with marketing
Providence Business News - Published 03/11/2006 Issue 20-48 - By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer

It’s a simple premise: Invite your employees and customers to enjoy cocktails and appetizers at a local restaurant in support of a nonprofit. The nonprofit benefits from the donations and attention the event creates, while the business gains a marketing opportunity, plus the satisfaction of helping the community.

But it is not as simple as that. There is an art to matching businesses and nonprofits. And that is where Mary Mullen comes in. Mullen started Providence-based For a Cause Biz about a decade ago after years in the hospitality industry. She knows firsthand that having a good party is the first step toward having a good event.

“Most of my events are all cocktail receptions,” she said. “They are meet, mix and mingle. It’s a good way for people to socialize, to network. … [Companies are] getting exposure among the public for being community-minded.”

Mullen organizes gatherings that she categorizes as “Cocktails for a Cause,” “Christmas for a Cause” and “A Party with a Purpose,” for organizations sensitive to substance-abuse issues. Her services include securing a location; making and sending out invitations; sending out press releases; recruiting volunteers; and organizing auctions.

“It’s basically all the administrative and technical support needed from conception through reconciliation,” she said. “My events are low-cost, designed to be inclusive of any age and economic means.” Tickets for a typical “Cocktails for a Cause” event might cost $35 to $50 per person at the door. Most restaurants provide appetizers and a complimentary cocktail so that the majority of proceeds from the event go to the company raising money for a nonprofit.

“Most of the time restaurants are doing it as a promotion,” she said. “It’s their donation. They’re the most generous sponsors.” Some of the restaurants that participate in Mullen’s events are Agora at the Westin Providence hotel, Cactus Bar & Grille, Café Fresco, Davio’s at the Providence Biltmore, Grappa, Grille 262, Mediterraneo and Parkside Rotisserie & Bar.

Mullen said even if a small business has limited means for marketing, if it partners with other small businesses in an area to sponsor a “Cocktails for a Cause” event, the result could mean more exposure for each business while supporting a worthwhile cause.

“Cause marketing is something they all should learn,” she said of small businesses in general. “They’re already spending money on marketing. This is just a new way, where they are using their marketing dollars for philanthropy.”

For a Cause Biz’s nonprofit beneficiaries are mainstream organizations, said Mullen, such as the YWCA of Greater Rhode Island and the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island, among others.
Mullen charges less to nonprofits that hire her as a consultant. And she plans some events for nonprofits pro bono. For example, Mullen helps plan events for Leadership Rhode Island, a group focused on developing leadership skills in the business, social and public sectors of the state. (Mullen is a graduate of the program.)

Leadership Rhode Island President Kathy Swann said Mullen excels in making sure an event operates smoothly with the least amount of stress for everyone. “Attendance is always greater,” Swann said. “She gets people to come from her enthusiasm and her strategies for promotion.”

Mullen works with her own mailing lists in addition to the lists of other organizations to generate attendance to an event. Her mailing list is full of people who’ve attended her events before. She said she has developed a following over the years. “People were coming to the parties because they knew it was a good party,” she said.

Mullen said she didn’t start event planning for nonprofits until she volunteered at them. As a restaurant manager – after years as a server and bartender – she planned special events to promote the restaurants where she worked.

When she realized the demand for fund-raising events for nonprofits was outstripping supply, she started acting as a consultant to bring the two sides together.

“Events are a labor-intensive form of fund raising,” she said, “but they are needed as a way to reach new markets. Fund raising will always be needed.

“This is a culmination of my past,” she said of For a Cause Biz. “Fund raising isn’t a field anyone chooses to go into. It kind of just happens.”

Parties ‘for a cause’ blend charity with marketing
Providence Business News - Published 03/11/2006 Issue 20-48 - By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer

It’s a simple premise: Invite your employees and customers to enjoy cocktails and appetizers at a local restaurant in support of a nonprofit. The nonprofit benefits from the donations and attention the event creates, while the business gains a marketing opportunity, plus the satisfaction of helping the community.

But it is not as simple as that. There is an art to matching businesses and nonprofits. And that is where Mary Mullen comes in. Mullen started Providence-based For a Cause Biz about a decade ago after years in the hospitality industry. She knows firsthand that having a good party is the first step toward having a good event.

“Most of my events are all cocktail receptions,” she said. “They are meet, mix and mingle. It’s a good way for people to socialize, to network. … [Companies are] getting exposure among the public for being community-minded.”

Mullen organizes gatherings that she categorizes as “Cocktails for a Cause,” “Christmas for a Cause” and “A Party with a Purpose,” for organizations sensitive to substance-abuse issues. Her services include securing a location; making and sending out invitations; sending out press releases; recruiting volunteers; and organizing auctions.

“It’s basically all the administrative and technical support needed from conception through reconciliation,” she said. “My events are low-cost, designed to be inclusive of any age and economic means.” Tickets for a typical “Cocktails for a Cause” event might cost $35 to $50 per person at the door. Most restaurants provide appetizers and a complimentary cocktail so that the majority of proceeds from the event go to the company raising money for a nonprofit.

“Most of the time restaurants are doing it as a promotion,” she said. “It’s their donation. They’re the most generous sponsors.” Some of the restaurants that participate in Mullen’s events are Agora at the Westin Providence hotel, Cactus Bar & Grille, Café Fresco, Davio’s at the Providence Biltmore, Grappa, Grille 262, Mediterraneo and Parkside Rotisserie & Bar.

Mullen said even if a small business has limited means for marketing, if it partners with other small businesses in an area to sponsor a “Cocktails for a Cause” event, the result could mean more exposure for each business while supporting a worthwhile cause.

“Cause marketing is something they all should learn,” she said of small businesses in general. “They’re already spending money on marketing. This is just a new way, where they are using their marketing dollars for philanthropy.”

For a Cause Biz’s nonprofit beneficiaries are mainstream organizations, said Mullen, such as the YWCA of Greater Rhode Island and the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island, among others.
Mullen charges less to nonprofits that hire her as a consultant. And she plans some events for nonprofits pro bono. For example, Mullen helps plan events for Leadership Rhode Island, a group focused on developing leadership skills in the business, social and public sectors of the state. (Mullen is a graduate of the program.)

Leadership Rhode Island President Kathy Swann said Mullen excels in making sure an event operates smoothly with the least amount of stress for everyone. “Attendance is always greater,” Swann said. “She gets people to come from her enthusiasm and her strategies for promotion.”

Mullen works with her own mailing lists in addition to the lists of other organizations to generate attendance to an event. Her mailing list is full of people who’ve attended her events before. She said she has developed a following over the years. “People were coming to the parties because they knew it was a good party,” she said.

Mullen said she didn’t start event planning for nonprofits until she volunteered at them. As a restaurant manager – after years as a server and bartender – she planned special events to promote the restaurants where she worked.

When she realized the demand for fund-raising events for nonprofits was outstripping supply, she started acting as a consultant to bring the two sides together.

“Events are a labor-intensive form of fund raising,” she said, “but they are needed as a way to reach new markets. Fund raising will always be needed.

“This is a culmination of my past,” she said of For a Cause Biz. “Fund raising isn’t a field anyone chooses to go into. It kind of just happens.”

March 10

2012: Quiet Year.I noticed yesterday when I was organizing my blog that I didn’t have too many posts from 2012. I remember why… I had to keep my living situation secret. So I only shared what wouldn’t get us in trouble.

2012: There’s nothing like some brand spanking new software to stop the procrastination streak I’ve been on all week… and my new toy came in the mail today – it’s charging up while I work. Feels like “Mary Christmas”!

February 7

2011: Will You Be My Valen-Swine – think it might’ve been 2011 when I gave the famous “eat it ‘n best it” pig his wings to promote LJ’s BBQ Valentines dinner specials. He sported a Santa hat near the holidays when we were promoting gift certificates as the “pork-fect” gift.

I was marketing with a shoestring budget and enjoying every second of it. However my involvement at LJ’s BBQ didn’t begin by dressing up their pig in photoshop. It began when my sister called in a Friday night and asked if I would be willing to come to the restaurant as a server because someone had just walked out.

I didn’t hesitate to say yes. It was a Friday so I was sure to make money. Black pants, black top, black sneakers and out the door I flew. That decision didn’t go over too well with my other half as he always wanted me all to himself. All my skills, all my time and all my attention. I had never realized that until I started working with friends at LJ’s.

And what started as a waitress job turned into a longtime website and marketing client relationship. We evolved and I had a lot of fun with it.

January 13

2012: The Gift That Kept On Giving – Separation of church and state was the issue at this Cranston Rhode Island high school says the ACLU.

This post is from a local celebrity news personality John DePetro: – “Stand up to the ACLU. Join me this Tuesday night Jan 17, at 5:30 at Western Hills in Cranston for a Rally to Save the Cranston West Prayer. School committee is meeting there. Leave a comment if you will support us.”

The Cranston West Alumni Association formation and the prayer banner redoing was a gift from Cranston West’s first graduating class of 1963, of which my ex was a member. The Alumni Association website was a gift from me. I bought it, I built it and I gifted it.

More unpaid time and skills dedicated to the betterment of my ex. I should have learned.

The very first donation that website processed was $5,000. At least I got pride from my labor.

November 30

2016It’s Not About You Anymore. It’s All About Me Now.

My own published work (website) reminds me what I was doing when the games for sexual slavery were being played.  I was working.  I was building websites, writing, being technologically creative, technologically challenged and overall just working my brain.

For the life of me, I do not understand how at one moment in time, someone can applaud you for your intelligence but in another moment, treat you like a stupid idiot.

2016:  Hi! I’m Mary Mullen and I build WP Websites.

And I also provide Traditional Marketing, Internet Marketing and Technical Support related services. My specialties include: Business and Nonprofit startup, Website design, development and management, social media development, technical and administrative support and training.

Although I’m mostly technical in nature, I’m also a creative. I ponder. I innovate. I design. I develop. I code. I maintain, I analyze, I teach. Sometimes I amaze. .

I am an independent, creative, freelance web designer and developer that looks beyond the confines of four walls and considers YOUR business objectives in my overall strategy. With many years of experience in a multitude of industries and a very unique skill set, I patiently research your needs, pursue creative solutions, and expertly make things real for both of us.

Click to learn more.