Sunday, September 28, 2008

They say it's your birthday (revisited)

On reflection, the big 43 didn't completely suck. "Completely suck" is lemon juice on an open cut or squirrel hit by car or too much red meat and coffee diarrhea. This was the first birthday in ages I spent with my best pal from youth, my "little" brother Robert, who's really alive and sober and happy after a long stretch of not-so-much. And we spent it with live music in a dive bar, "doghouse bass" and banjos in the mix. And fuck if I don't look 43.

Aside from the fact, yes, I made one more revolution around the sun, absolutely healthy and somewhat happy, the birthday ummm...pretty much sucked ass. No beautiful cake (but I planned ahead, bought myself a will-do-num-choco cupcake from a little hippie bakery on Boulder's Pearl Street to assure I wouldn’t fail the "must have cake on your birthday" karmic rule), no bottle of champagne. Not much fuss or paying much mind.

Single (read: alone) on your birthday is either the stuff of sitcoms or a very lonely day indeed. Sans family makes it more so. That's why we have tequila.

The day did bring me back to a brother. Means everything, really.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999

No man gets my heart pounding like Mr. Cusack and George W., although for entirely different reasons.

I own a quaint (read: small) townhome I can afford, planned and paid for in advance just one spendy get-away in the last decade (albeit a really grand one – mostly piss poor company aside - Bermuda, snuggling the dolphins, topped by a show at Madison Square Garden with my beloved Bono) and have total combined credit card debt of less than four figures (to which I make double, sometimes triple, sometimes full payments monthly). And I’m among the scolded, broadcast nationally, like kids who overspent their allowance. Taxpayers are being asked to fund a $700 billion bailout of overly compensated men and woman entrusted to manage national finances (and who failed) and those with pithy means who wanted it all and wanted it now.

How about we tax the stupid people, those who dart into oncoming traffic and lack the personal responsibility to refrain from buying McMansion homes and playthings out of realistic reach?

Until then, let's party like there’s no tomorrow and we've months to live, like Jerry Lewis in "Hook, Line and Sinker." Finance (but not pay for, paying is for suckers) the cute bungalow priced at four times my annual salary with the imported Spanish backsplash tiles in the best Denver boutique neighborhood. Sleep with the marrieds, skip the condoms and the SPF. Drink and drive. Eat what I want and simply have the golden aftermath sucked out via a lipo tube. I’ll fly you to Europe, baby, and buy you horses and diamonds.

Why live like there are consequences?

Life's Been Good

I’m happily busy creating exquisite marketing collateral for a Fortune 500, billion dollar conglomerate, braless and wearing the super soft Old Navy t-shirt I slept in last night while “Tiny Toons” hums on the DVD in the living area.

I may hit Macy’s at lunch, or the gym.

Hell, yeah.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hurts So Good

Sore from a busy weekend, I just had a quick soak in Epsom salt. Residual aches linger from Friday amusement park thrashings and a pleasurable rough ride Saturday night. At any given time, I have freshly sprouted or fading into green and yellow copper bruises along my body; the two newest an indigo blue mark the size of a silver dollar on my upper thigh (roller coaster) and a peachy-red patch on the inside of my left wrist, about the size of a man’s thumb and about where one would hold someone down.

I ache somewhere every single day of the week, more so due to a recent fitness quest than frolicking. The hottest bodies, the men and woman lusted after and cat called who proudly display results of lifetimes of work - and those of us who are a work in progress - are often in pain and/or medicated (and not in the fun Courtney Love kind of way).

My gym routine has become just that, a regularly scheduled, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel piece of every day:

Monday, a full hour of spinning on a cycle with a small, hard seat and much up and down motion that's resulted - on occasion - in interesting linear bruising in an interesting place. Yeah. There.

Tuesday, a lunchtime spin and thirty minutes of weight training.

Wednesday, Cardio Kickboxing, an hour of mostly invisible ass kicking and much “power” work: squats, push-ups, deep lunges into full lateral jumps. It hurts. A lot.

Thursday, my new favorite, Cardio Kick and Sculpt. See “Wednesday” plus 45 minutes of strength training using weights and the Bosu Ball. It hurts. More than a lot.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I mix it up, perhaps a fun Cardio Hip Hop (where my more-white-than-realized-inner-dancer is unleashed) or step class, time on the elliptical or treadmill. Sometimes I give myself a day or two off.

Fitness isn’t pretty. It’s daily doses of Bayer Back and Body, rashes, gnarled toes, blisters and sore feet. Oh, and regular stink. It’s also addictive. Once fully on board, a stop of just a few consecutive days results in the most unpleasant side effects – crankiness, feeling bloated, not sleeping well. And damn if the only way to make it all better is to put down the cocktails and appetizers, get back into the gym and the produce section.

Happily, the new mind set is finally getting the job done. I still imbibe, enjoy a couple glasses of wine a night, a dirty or beer out with friends. I eat amazing and tasty food, loads of lean protein, seafood and vegetables (last night’s Emmy binge? Red bell pepper strips dunked in zippy homemade ranch - ask for the recipe, you’ll never, ever do bottled again), frozen whipped yogurt, dark chocolate and iced coffee with a splash of vanilla soy milk, dried cherries and crunchy almonds, chewy whole grain pasta with olive oil, capers, kalamatas and feta, sushi and sake on occasion…I could go on and on. Yet I still go down a handful of pounds a month.

Macy's is a regular weekend destination and I find myself in the lingerie department more often than not, knee deep in satin slips and frilly baby dolls, lacey bras and panties. Fitted jackets, slim jeans, heels; I'm always in heels now. I even bought a white trench coat with a tie belt. I never wore anything belted.

When men say I'm cute and funny and my teeth aren't teeth, but pearl, I just lap it up like honey, I enjoy being a sore, sometimes stinky girl.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A funny feeling in my tummy

As I contemplate another orbit around the sun, cake and candles and blowing on tap for next week, one year older is on my mind. Aging shows itself in odd and unexpected ways. Like the small knot that sat in my stomach most of yesterday afternoon and evening, the results of a crunchy big salad at lunch. At age 8 and 15 and 25, I paid no mind to digesting raw vegetables or dairy. In inaugural drinking years (also known as college), I imbibed without concern of mixing beverages from the fruit family, hops and grains, clear and dark liquors; a large helping of pancakes wet with real butter or weighty cheese-and-chili-fries at Denny’s before sleep, then a quick chaser of fountain Coke in the morning, put me right the next day. Now that extra dirty or third glass of red leaves me fuzzy around the edges.

Last night, I played for hours at a private party held at Denver’s downtown amusement park (think Six Flags smack dab in the middle of tall buildings and rail yards, Interstate 25 busily humming alongside). Private party meant no lines and little waiting; we rat-mazed quickly through metal handrails and endless steps. We rode four roller coasters in a row, in less than thirty minutes, even stayed a couple of times for a double-go-round. I’ll take on anything that spins or flips or rolls and dips. I enjoy being suspended stories up and held entirely upside down, thrown about and manhandled by centrifugal force.

I woke up this morning sore. My neck aches from side-to-side slamming, biceps stiff from hanging on so tight; feet swollen from sandals absolutely inappropriate for this type of adult playground (then again, I never choose appropriate shoes, my only lace ups are those worn to the gym).

Aging is physical, flying squirrel-bat-wing flaps of under arm flesh and nipples requiring adjustment to an up and outward stance. The littlest and biggest toenails changing shades, taking on a yellowy hue. Gravity versus a ball sack. The gray creeps in my part every four weeks, as does the occasional budding of silvery southern stubble (luckily that pasture is strictly maintained and mowed). I’m somewhat wrinkle free after teen years spent in the shade or under a thick layer of SPF 50 to protect fair and freckled skin while other basted in baby oil. Been mostly spared deep lines and birds feet. Kicking the nicotine habit a decade ago helped saved my face, as does a daily intake of loads and loads of water (my motto? "Pee Clear").

Aging is emotional and intellectual, wisdom culled from years of lessons learned, showing in self-love and awareness and better orgasms. Bigger paychecks. Saying “no” (sometimes “fuck no”) and meaning it. Loving me more, allowing the inner bitch out when needed and feeling perfectly suited wearing her stiletto heels and cherry lips.

For all its turns and flips and bad behavior and broken hearts, I love the roller coaster.

“When I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Because it still matters

Had a habit for many years, on this day, to express love, admiration, pathos, longing for the people who brushed by my time here. Just in case, you know. Seven years since, the list is sadly shorter. And happily longer. No less meaningful. Those who know, know it. Those who want to think it, you have it. No questions. Doesn’t have to be a question mark at the end.

Much love.

From the bottom of my black heart*

The Good
"Sensuous. Inclined to luxuriate in the things which give gratification to the senses. Anxious to experience life in all its aspects, to explore all possibilities, she resents any restriction or limitation being imposed on her and insists on being free and unhampered."

The Bad
“Wants to overcome a feeling of emptiness and to bridge the gap which she feels separates herself from others. An un-admitted lack of confidence makes her feel she must make the best of things as they are.”

The Ugly Truth
“The fear that she may be prevented from achieving the things she wants leads her into a relentless search for satisfaction in the pursuit of illusory or meaningless activities.”

Sounds about right. Go test yourself.

*Courtesy of hip Don and the free personality test

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

La petite mort

Lance Armstrong has announced plans to emerge from self-imposed retirement to compete in professional cycling in 2009, quite possibly (and of course) to include another Tour de France and possible eighth champion’s title. Armstrong says he will take no salary and no bonuses, and quite frankly he doesn’t need them. And quite frankly he'll still make millions. And quite frankly there may be some desire to reclaim that spotlight; he has an ego like any other hero athlete, banging Kate Hudson included (but in all fairness eventually all of us will have banged Kate Hudson).

I got hooked on the Tour in the years of Armstrong’s dominance. I’d awake early for 20-some days every July to catch live coverage and commentary streaming from almost-too-purple-to-be-true lavender fields of Provence, hors cat├ęgorie mountain climbs, cobblestone streets and miles of pavement carrying “Fuck you Armstrong!” messages scrawled in pastel chalks. I knew all the riders names, all the stages, all the bulges.

Then scandal. Doping. Landis. Hamilton. I don’t believe Armstrong partakes. His tool, his body, is built differently than yours and mine. He extracts more oxygen from every breath and uses it to generate more power. His heart can pump more blood per minute and beat more times than the average heart. During his cycling career he peed in more bottles than a van full of frat boys on a long road trip with few rest stops. If he’s hiding doping, he does so brilliantly, one slippery dick.

He’s an inspiration to those facing uncertain futures, a dragon slayer who beat back the demon eating at his body. This year alone, nearly eight million people will die of cancer worldwide. I knew one. Chances are you did too. If he rides for them or for him, it doesn’t matter. It's hope and it's entertainment and it's buckets of research money and it’s helping those in fear turn that into action and it’s education.

It’s about living, not just about dying. Viva le Lance.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's Martini Time!

With David Duchovny entering rehab to address a self-admitted, overly froggy nature, sex addition has made mainstream news. The Web site offers online testing to self-diagnose and determine ones level of constant want of feet-in-the-air, or in more clinical terms, “…to assist in the assessment of sexually compulsive behavior which may indicate the presence of sex addiction."

Curious, I took the test and scored a scant (and surprising) mere 8 out of 20, making my saucy proclivity more a hobby than issue to be addressed. Break out the condoms!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jenny From The Block

The celebrity bred and fed, all-encompassing sense of self-importance and grandeur makes me nauseous. Or is that a flutter, the weirdest little flourish of life coming from my womanly innards? I have trouble chewing and swallowing the notion that Jennifer Lopez, a.k.a. JLo, a.k.a. Jenn Pants, insisted during her much ballyhooed, Doublemint pregnancy, “…this is the first time in my life where I'm just going to be a little bit selfish.” Her publicity machine certainly doesn’t spin it that way, screaming gold-chandeliers-in-the-baby-nursery-mama-in-a-Dolce-and-Gabba-mumu, nails and hair perfect.

A book of photos of oneself as a “gift”? Not unless those pictures where of a filthy and erotic nature, something useful for a girls “alone time” and accompanied by batteries and various saucy accoutrements. Did I mention my birthday is this month?

Don’t be fooled by the stones that she got.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Want You to Want Me

She’s bigger than John McCain.

Since emerging as pick for republican VP candidate, Sarah Palin has become queen of the tabloids, on the new covers of Us Weekly, OK!, People and the National Enquirer. She’s fodder for internet rumor and innuendo, the lineage of her month’s old son in question, her not-yet-old-enough-to-vote daughters’ unwed baby bump exposed. John Edwards didn’t get so much negative press and he was dumb (or egotistical) enough to let the condom slip.

Sarah Palin's Dark Secrets!
Affair that nearly ruined her career!
Family war that exposed her lies!
Babies, lies and scandal!
The real truth about her baby!

Forget successful and powerful career woman, one who stands to possibly change the course of history. Her media fueled persona is more akin to teen-daughter-train-wreck-enabler Lynne Spears. Pictures have emerged on the Web of Palin from college days, pert and perky, and wearing a t-shirt that reads, “I may be broke, but I’m not flat busted.”

So. Fucking. What.

I want to feel proud that a woman may hold the second most powerful seat in the country (okay, third, after Oprah). But instead my vagina is sad. Is she scandalous merely because she’s a woman, an attractive one at that? Or is it simply that she doesn’t bring enough to the party, foisted upon the masses as the token woman. During this historical time in the presidential election process, women still get the fuzzy end of the lollipop. A country that once enslaved people of color now celebrate a skinny young black man, holds him in rock star grandeur. He sells out stadiums. He preaches and promises. He’s U2. But we’ve yet to accept a woman, any woman, as a leader of change. Strong woman are still bitches, effeminate women (like Palin) ditzy and misguided.

We’re smarter than this, boys and girls. It’s all just a cheap trick.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pleasure Victim

I’ve overindulged. Give me a long weekend and I tend to go a bit off my boat. Too much food, too much drink, too much sex…well, really, how does one define “too much”?

When left to my own devices and without the confines of writing projects due, work responsibilities and alarm clocks, I overdo. I need constant stimulation. Sitting still, not an option.

Although the scale was kinder this morning than expected, I jumped into the precipice Friday; lunch with the ladies then a thorough scouring of the racks at Macy's, an evening of vodka dirties and a full, salty plate of fish and chips at a pub in the ‘burbs and an 80’s cover band. I adore the sounds of the 80’s, the music of my people. I get the passion and excitement another generation has for synth pop, leggings and red chucks. But I OD’ed soon after “Baby Got Back” and woke up Saturday oversalted and with a swollen tongue.

That night brought a new and interesting friend. We shared Chinese and chat and loads of red wine. He brought a present. Something akin to jewelry, worn in an interesting spot(s), something silvery and shiny on a somewhat delicate chain. Definitely new to the repertoire and highly recommended. The effects lasted a day after.

I ate the rest of the Chinese after he left.

Sunday and Monday, days spent lounging in soft cotton pajamas, reading the marvelous Stephanie Klein, mindlessly tonguing sour Jelly Bellys and the best soft, warm and ridiculously juicy peach I’ve had yet this summer (as we head into fall). Gin and tonics during The Jerry Lewis Telethon and a big bowl of salt-and-peppered edamame eaten much-too-late-last-night during a marathon of “Jon and Kate Plus 8” rounded out a long stretch of pleasure.

Today I redeem.

And how was your holiday?

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