Wednesday, December 31, 2008

(Just Like) Starting Over

As 2008 melts away, dissolving like this piece of dark chocolate on my tongue, I disappear for an hour or two into blogs written in the past 12 months, revisiting landmarks and rest stops and scenic overlooks. A lovely, difficult and triumphant year.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot? Some of them.

Tonight's destination, maybe a private party at a jazz club downtown, cheap dirty drinks in a cheap dirty tavern on South Broadway or me, Thai take-out and a Strangers with Candy marathon. Don’t know yet, but the quest for the perfect red dress ends today at the behemoth Colorado mother ship Macy’s, two grand levels and thousands of square feet stupid with potential. I was too fat most of 2007 to shop Macy’s or Nordstrom or any other wonderful boutique shop. But five sweaty hours a week since April in the gym, the majority spent building and reshaping my quads and ass in spinning class, and I could now crack a man’s head like a peanut between my thighs. Thirty pounds gone with 40 more to follow takes me half way there, livin’ on a prayer. Fell off the snack cart a couple times, but stayed the course.

Said goodbye to a Dad and a good deal of biologically tied family, but re-emerged to meet authentic me and take great gulps of the taste and smell of everyday joy.

After too much time spent doubting my beauty, I learned to flirt, getting better after a few rocky starts.

Then there was the guitar player, whose swagger and stubble, talent and testosterone had me enthralled.

I dove in the deep end of boys and men and crazy, no-more-holds-barred sex. Four men wandered into my bed, including an actor, a romantic and fireman fantasy. There was one who peeled back some layers, made my hands shake. I think I fell a little, didn’t realize I had it in me. And I didn’t sleep with him.

Lost a friend full of grace and ballsy attitude. And watched true love transcend closed eyes.

Note to self in ’09, really need to change that profile picture.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

You say you want a resolution

I’m not one for resolutions. I make goals all the months of the year. Before the ball drops next week, however, I'm revisiting certain behaviors.

I must limit dirty birds. It will pain me to imbibe of my salty, briny friend only periodically, but weight loss has hit a plateau (good news, I’ve maintained my "high" weight over the holidays, and fuck if three pounds of that isn't currently menstrual cycle – MC – load). I also tend to get overly sentimental, cheeky…well, horny when the gears are Grey Goose slippery. And the internet is bad fun when you’re slippery, as some e-mail and chat will attest.

Red wine is good for you, yes?

I will embrace more adventure in ’09. Leave my phone number on the credit slip for the waiter I’ve flirted with over breakfast, the twenty-something with the tattoos, two of five he’s shown me so far…wait, check. Fulfilled that resolution yesterday morning. Rub a Buddha belly or some God beads that a jingle results. Although I recently pledged to pursue older gents, what a tonic to recent tumultuous times.

I will travel farther than Denver in '09. Anyone for Bermuda? I’m not kidding. See resolution above, the one about more adventure.

I will get off my comfortable safe ass in ’09. When the spirits shine on you, bring old friends into your current world that own, say, a publishing company, who offer to met and, perhaps, talk about optioning your blog into a book or, maybe, a screenplay listen to them.

I’ll love me even more in ’09. Despite best efforts, I’m still a fat girl. I’m in my 40’s, not my 20’s. Sometime sport a pimple or ruddy patch. Yet in any room, at any time (red-faced and panting at the gym, in line at the grocer, out on the town and surrounded by perky and tight) I’m attractive, sexy and the woman you want to know because I believe I am.

I’ll be a DOUBLE-U-O-M-A-N, say it again, in ’09. The mysterious distance between a man and woman* doesn’t have to be argumentative and trying. I’m strong-willed, but caring and loving. I have walls, but am worth the climb.

I'll be more happy than sad in '09. Hells yeah.

*I stole that from Bono, credit where due

Friday, December 26, 2008

I Need A Man

Got a smile and hello in the seafood department today. From a fireman, natch. They’re drawn to me like, well, firemen to flame. He was older though, perhaps by a decade, but the rugged older, the still toned and sprinkle of gray on a full head of hair older.

He had great eyes.

I think I’m going for the older, established gents for a bit. Ones who’ve built careers with some prestige, still enjoy their work but have become distracted by the want for more life, the good red wine. Those who are just learning to play guitar or who write and can escape for weekends and pay for nice dinners out at little spots found by accident that soon become favorites and who dance close to honky-tonk music at a dirty hole in the wall that serves PBR in the can and who’s attentive in bed and wears a suit jacket sometimes. And who is confident enough about life and self not to be intimated by an equally established, creative, searching and craving, independent-to-a-fault (and who finds that really sexy) woman.

I want a man like me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

I have every hope 2009 will be a good year. I believe and feel it. Optimism empowers. I’m excited the worlds view of us may change, that new leadership may begin to correct past failures, build a stronger foundation and protect that which inspires us. Forge paths unheard of, unseen and create more self- awareness and motivation. Find a clearer view of goals, however far in the distance, and fight fear disguised as something else. Get up off our fat asses and take care of our bodies, feed the soul. Simply take care of each other. Simply figure out how to love.

Ironic, after months of building core strength, my back erupted in a crescendo of spasms last night. I pulled it, damaged it again sitting on the floor, wrapping Christmas presents the night before. I had only one Aleve tablet rattling in a rarely used bottle, which is funny since they usually go two-by-two. I sobbed from the pain and vodka-enhanced sadness. I have so much work still to do.

I've been labeled “selfish and self-centered” by a man who also said he loves me a little. And via e-mail, which just makes cruelty easier to deliver. I never thought of myself as either; perhaps I'm both. Something tells me to protect and preserve at all costs. When did I get so scared? How do I not be? Maybe feeling, knowing that hands might catch you as you fall is a good place to start.

“Estranged” is a funny word.

es⋅trange [i-streynj]
1. to turn away in feeling or affection; make unfriendly or hostile; alienate the affections of
2. to remove to or keep at a distance
3. to divert from the original use or possessor

I have every hope 2009 will be a good year. I believe and feel it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Rapping

Just awoke from a 2 hour nap, the best kind, in bed and under the covers, fully clothed and with ribbons of sun burning through the blinds on a cold Colorado day. My toenails are the color of red in a candy cane, so perfectly shiny and glossy objects reflect in them. I would say I treated myself to a mani-pedi after a morning workout and soy latte but I treat myself often. And well. Now.

Tonight I’ll sit by a sparkling tree, adorned with sentimental ornaments collected over the years and wrap the few presents I've purchased while enjoying a glass of Bridlewood Shiraz, the surprisingly plum-ey and warm red suggested by the FLA niece. Monday is lunch with the CO niece.

Angels those two. There's no other word. Young women with old, beautiful souls, they picked me up and kept me close through the madness and isolation, when no one else with similiar DNA did. I’d like to think some of that compassion was learned from an Aunt.

No mad, bustling trips to the mall this weekend, no full-throttle family drama and servings of familiar passive aggression next week. Just a simple, peaceful, centered and authentic few days. This year I opened the gift to really seeing, then really believing, that I’m not damaged or marginal and absolutely worthy of joy and respect, unconditionally and with no-strings attached. Next year more love will be under my tree, in a big, big box wrapped in a bow. I have a stocking full now.

New Year’s Eve, however, I’m going crazy. The activities one partakes in while passing from one year to the next shapes the following twelve months. I hope I’m in bed, heels still on, most of the lip gloss off and happily dizzily from champagne.

Wide awake in anticipation.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ebenezer Scrooge was wrong

Who knew I was a power consumer. Years of comparison shopping, living within doable means and coupon clipping aside, I could have been, should have been living it up, embracing the Veruca Salt “I want it all and I want it now” lifestyle.

The bills are due, and I’m paying. Regardless.

I drive a Honda Accord, before that a Civic. Sturdy, middle-class, soccer Mom cars (regardless of cooling up my ride with nearly black-tinted windows, it’s not a sexy machine). I wanted a Mustang, a convertible Mustang. Not cherry red, that’s expected and desperate, maybe an emerald green. But with common-sense booming in my ears, I opted out and headed to the sensible shoes side of the showroom. With this mornings approved bailout of U.S. automakers, Ford got its hands in my pants after all.

My cozy, loft-like town house I’ve held in deed with Wells Fargo for eight years. Like me, it’s cute, warm and accomodating, if lacking some basics - no garage, no guest room. Had I not eschewed the boutique neighborhood bungalow or suburban McMansion I’d feel better taking it from behind from the banks.

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas is my bailout plan. And a naked man with girth and cardio stamina.
Love,
Jodie

Monday, December 15, 2008

And how was your weekend?

I think I broke up with someone I’m not dating.

Friday night, after several months of casual get-togethers and mostly hooking up, I got hung up on. I think. His cell phone drops calls often and at the most inconvenient (and perhaps convenient) moments. That the line turned to a hum after I said something akin to not calling anymore is a good indicator my sex life has abruptly halted and I shouldn’t expect a holiday card.

He said I kept flip-flopping, changing my mind about him. I think when I told him truthfully what I wanted, and what I didn’t, he tried to became that in the moment, only to feel taken advantage of later. Admittedly so, I can be a tough nut to crack when it comes to the relating part of relationships, and we agreed to be casual with few strings. Then his words tried to convince me I was lacking because of what I don't want, at least right now. I choose to eat from the appetizer menu, small tastes and new flavors. I’m not ready to order. He wants a dinner portion and "to go" box.

***

Technology has dumbed down a generation. At the dry cleaner Saturday morning the clerk brought out my white trench coat, one that had endured a rough autumn and layers of ground in dirt. I squealed in delight, “Oh! It’s pristine!” The girl behind the counter stared at me blankly, I stared back. “Um…” I finally offered, “It’s really clean.” She didn’t even LOL.

***

Playback Theater West is an improv “dramedy” troupe out of Boulder and one of the best I’ve seen. Improvisational comedy seriously tickles me; sharp and witty and intelligent, I’m in awe of actors who can evoke and entertain in a moments notice. At a sold-out show Saturday night, the cast literally threw themselves, physically and whole body, into performance art. They build scenes from shared audience stories, playing back and animating words with humor and slapstick and pathos and warmth.

I considered sharing my story of Christmas Day a long time ago when Santa returned to take our toys away. After fighting for hours, like kids do, Mom and Dad demanded we bring all the holiday booty - clothes, candies, GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip - to the foyer. We were bad children and Santa wanted his crap back. The next morning, everything was gone, down to the tiniest crumb and Barbie fuck-me pump. A week of sadness and disingenuous sucking up passed. That Sunday, arriving home from church, we found our goodies had re-appeared. I don’t know if the lesson was one of love thy sibling or you must earn affection, even from Santa.

Wish I’d been brave enough to share how alone I felt in a small theater, filled to capacity, surrounded by patrons paired two-by-two, or three or four. No one to drive home with.

Boulder is an odd city, its population contrasted-and-compared by $55 Abercrombie & Fitch plain white tees and thrift shop wear, the Hummers and the hippies. I realized in the ladies at intermission, I don’t fit so much anymore. I went to college in Boulder, lived on and off there for years. Still find myself enthralled by the surprise beauty of the foothills. But now I’m Denver. I pluck my eyebrows and own no hand knit caps. Picture me in Max Studio short tunic dress, black cropped tights and pointy flats washing palms at a bathroom sink next to the new Mom, baby tied to her chest in a pink scarf, Timberlines and pants too tight in the crotch, loudly and soulfully humming “Silent Night” and you’ll get the juxtaposition.

***

I adore bath products, perhaps because one uses them while warm and naked. A hot soak, especially one that lingers on the weekends, is ritual. Sunday afternoon I lined up bottles and potions and razors for all patches on the tub ledge, saved a spot for a class of Chardonnay. The philosophy Candy Cane salt scrub smells like heavenly peppermint, invigorating to skin and senses and amazing on feet and outer thighs. However after scrubbing under otherwise sensitive arms, I maintained a curiously strong, all-over minty sting for an hour.

I brought the latest issue of O Magazine into the tub, the one with Oprah heralding weight troubles on the glossy cover. The article blamed and blamed, calling upon her diagnosis of hypothyroidism (the “Get Out of Fat Free” card) and side effect of meds on her body and (mostly) head. The pages of “O” are an endless stream of platitudes and gratitudes, extolling the joys of the “authentic” self, a concept lost in the airbrushing of some of the now 200 pounds from her frame. And much like Who Moved my Cheese it’s stuff you already know; do unto others, let a smile be your umbrella and always put the seat down. Oprah just sells it with cashmere slippers.

***

And how was your weekend?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Notorious

Bettie Page passed away yesterday.

Bettie was a 1950’s pin-up girl and icon to the rockabilly community, all the cats and kittens. To me, she was everything a gal was supposed to be. Larger than life (yet standing just 5’5), curvy but with a sharp-edged hourglass figure; I envied how the crease of her ribs cut into a deceptively tiny waist. She was creamy white with jet black hair, heavy bangs cut above eyebrows and curled tight like a cigar; a look I could never pull off, not with my round face. She wore red lipstick and black platform pumps.

Along with glamour photography, she did fetish, bondage and nude, some of it shocking even now, back in the days of petticoats and good girls keeping it under wraps until marriage. She showed it all, right down to full-on, curly doodle; funny how a woman in her natural state looks so unnatural now.

Out of her extensive portfolio, her image captured in black-and-white short movies, for all the bikinis and the nakedness, Bettie never looked sexier than she did in a candid I found, red lips smiling, bra peeking from underneath a red-and-white polka dotted blouse blown by unseen wind, movement I imagine coming off a lake or boat. It mirrors perfectly in Kodachrome how I see (and want to see) myself as a woman; alluring and beautiful and colorful and lovely and warm.

Bettie had a bit of trouble in the head, spent time “away” and had a violent streak. She went after not one, but two people who'd done her wrong, wielding a butter knife as a weapon. True kitten with a whip.

She eventually ran from debauchery, after a failed marriage sent her by happenstance into a church and into God. And although she denounced a good deal of her past work, said she had regrets, she didn’t regret the money. She did, however, refuse to be photographed, saying she wanted fans to remember her as she was then, full of life. I will.

Rest in peace, Bettie.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wherever I Lay My Hat

Is it bad for your female “area” to sit in bed with an ever-growing-warmer laptop on crooked knees?

Because, damn y’all, my loins are sweating.

I need room to write. A space to call my own, not shared with research and online tools and quippy marketing copy like, “Think you can’t afford IT? Think again.” I have precious little space, the mid-section of my compact, loft-like-three-story laid out in a strategic grid of home office, living area and galley kitchen (“dining area" is the steamer trunk in front of the couch, which also sometimes serves as hunched over writing space).

If I removed the faux-leather cigar chair in the top level master, I’d open a corner where, perhaps, I could place a thrift store vanity or small desk. But like a TV in the bedroom, is that toying with the love and lust life?

The basement is strictly off limits. Finished or un-, I can’t beckon the creative in below ground space, a bit too Unabomber crafting his manifesto. The basement holds laundry, dusty work out equipment (never used) and crap that doesn’t fit in livable space. My gift-wrapping room if you will.

Excuses, excuses, right? Diablo Cody wrote the screen play to Juno sitting in a Starbucks in a Target (talk about the genius emerging from vanilla corporate frosting). I can do this anywhere. Even at 6:14 a.m. in a short pink nightie and under the covers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The alter super-ego

Time for a new profile picture. The thumbnail representation of persona, who I want you to believe I am and using only the best angles and lighting. What’s my motivation? Do I go tits again (self love to those who’ve asked to see more), or Tina-Fey-glasses-take-me-serious-as-an-essayist pose? Perhaps Shirley Manson-Garabagesque.

I’m leaning towards risqué. Between firemen, dick chat and erotic dreams, I’m bringing frisky back (with thanks to the pokey thyroid meds I railed so hard against). But there's that fine line between saucy and salacious. For a minute-and-half I’d posted a photo in a blog reflecting results of much hard work, the half-point on the “I Love Me More” health and fitness tour. It’s my favorite new picture; instead of sloping shoulders disappearing into fleshy arms, it shows squared, defined edges holding up a beautiful clavicle. Much cleavage, perky where needed and toned in the thighs. I have a waist, hips. But since I took the picture myself, reflected back in a mirror and wearing a vintage-looking black slip, it’s a bit Craigslist and I quickly pulled it.

Didn’t think it through to comments typed with one hand.

I’m sexy. It’s as odd a concept as suddenly sprouting a third thumb or waking up a foot taller. I have a way to go yet, and more work to do, but love and stroke my body at every stage, at every weight and as flab moves to lean. I finally get it. That I shop in the ladies department at Macy’s after a decade confined to Lane Bryant is perhaps the greatest thrill of all.

I have a long-time friend, a photographer. At 27, my heart shattered by rejection, he and I did a photo shoot together. Never comfortable in pictures up to that point, I needed to find me after not being seen by a man I thought I'd fallen in love with. It took a good many mimosas to calm strong shaking but I did it. I still recall dreading the first look through an eye scope at tiny squares filled with my image. I remember saying out loud, "These aren't bad. I look…good.” I cherish those photos now. I see a young girl in B&W and the first pecks to crack a thick shell of insecurity built on childhood taunts and never feeling pretty. I’m proud of her. It may be time to capture her again.

That’s not my face now.

While my pussy snores

My feral cat snores, sweetly moans and groans in deep sleep. She's at the foot of the bed doing it now. I'd post a video but I'm not wearing panties and am concerned the lens angle may be wide.

Odd the things you'll do to bring slumber in sleepless times, the self-made rituals. Chamomile tea, extra-snuggly blanket, vodka with an Ativan chaser. My latest insomnia cure is curling up sans silkies, commando, kitty to the wind. I feel free, less encumbered, no wedgie riding up into ridges.

Bonus, the dirty dream. The tried and tested theory stands – with (even partially, or southernly) nude sleep comes dreams of the saucy variety. Last night I had a moist head trip about a long-time male friend, one I'm due to have a drink with this week or next. In reality we've flirted at best, nocturnally we’re kissing madly, me in a gray satin slip and he fully dressed. Supine and melting into a plush sofa, on my back with knees up, him on top and inching downward. Two friends in the room watching. An old acquaintance washing dishes, trying not to look and best girlfriend, judging without words. I reluctantly, but slowly and gently, push him away.

We're alone, standing feet apart outside of the house. He’s still clothed, I’m still not. He tells me he likes the pleasure. I tell him, "But I don't want to be the show."

I don't get it either.

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