Thursday, December 31, 2009

Drink a cup of kindness

The words "Auld Lang Syne” translate literally from Scottish dialect as “old long ago.” The poem on which the annual celebratory song is based regales love and friendship in times gone past.

The good old days or more idiomatically, "long long ago."

Once upon a time.

Do you live more in the past or the present? Time tends to sugar coat memories with a sweet dusting of sentiment and nostalgia; we forget the rough spots had at a job, with a friend or in a relationship. The past is safe to an extent, no more surprises, the present and future unknown and a little scary.

The past can leave you stuck. Old scars can be sewn up but you still see the tear (stole that from Bono). But if one isn’t willing to catch tender skin jumping over a fence or going breathlessly over an abyss, unless one trusts that arms are strong enough to hold and propel through the tide, what’s on the other side will be forever out of reach.

And that’s the bitch.

And the thrill.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ode to Joy

There’s a scene in (500) Days of Summer (a breezy, un-romantic comedy with a mod vibe, shot in 1960’s pastels, the girl in tight-waist-swirly-skirt dresses and the boy in khakis, sweater vest and a tie) where Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character walks, skips and dances home the morning after an evening spent with the lovely Zooey Deschanel. Hall and Oates provide the bouncy soundtrack to elation and joy in a moment of living, recognizing happiness as it exudes fingers to toes and beyond.

That’s a good feeling.

I had a day like that Sunday, a day of surprises and little trinkets of happenstance around every corner. I bet I even skipped because, often, joy happens when you simply pay attention.

Like the New Radicals songs that started playing at the exact moment I turned key into ignition and a favorite, sing-along-loudly tune filled the car.

Don't let go
You've got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don't give up
You've got a reason to live
Can't forget
We only get what we give

Or the parking space that opened up right in front of the always busy bagel-coffee shop as I turned the corner and the so-fresh-it-was-still-on-the-cooling-racks chocolate chip bagel that melted hot on my warm tongue.

Spotting the dozen plus tiny to large icicles lining a lunch café awning when I drove past, sparkling and twinkling like Christmas lights and hoping at least one or two of the diners inside would notice when each eventually dropped like a diamond dagger into a puff of snow below.

I made every red light.

Smiling when the notes of a beloved and cheesy one-hit-wonder swelled as I merged onto the highway and cranked it louder.

I used follow, yeah that's true
But my following days are over
Now I just gotta follow throughI remember what my father said
He said "Son, life is simple. It's either cherry red or midnight blue"

The tiny box of Godiva chocolates I picked up for myself at the boutique (on post-holiday sale) because, even though my winter weight is up, a sweet treat is just that. The raspberry star is my favorite.

I have 7 pieces left in the box.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

He’ll be back at Christmastime

I had the funk, bit of the blue Christmas. Now I can’t get over how quickly the season has passed, that this weekend my glittery, sparkly chachkas will be packed away for one more year. Given out most of my presents, just a few things for the manfriend still under the tree.

Been a long time (read pretty much ever) since I spent the holiday cuddled up with bourbon-y, muddled clove drinks, a real wood fire and boy to roll under the mistletoe. He’s even got the dog for the hearth. We took a walk hand in hand down Pearl Street Mall in Boulder last weekend, an uncommonly warm December day of 50 degrees, sweater and jeans only weather, carolers and bustling and panhandlers wearing Santa hats, which begged the question, “Where did they get those hats?”

I like Christmas, could even say I love it. I adore giving gifts, packages wrapped in beautiful paper with sharp, crisp edges held with too much tape and wrapped up in tulle bows. I send out piles of cards and leave the tree lights on day and night. Bought a real, piney wreath to hang on the front door and there's snow on the ground. A white Christmas, not a blue one.

Went to a show Saturday before last at the Boulder arts center with a dear new friend I’ve known 20+ years. Driving to meet her, I was reminded how one year ago I’d gone to my first performance there alone, just me. Company is better. Things can change so much in one years’ time. Joy and regret, discovery and surrender, life and loss. My family has grown to include the girls from my past who are now the women of my present and (hopefully) future. I met men and boys, some who slid off and some who stuck as friends and more, like the old high school crush I found was just as insecure as I was then. Finally kissed him, it just took 26 years.

Syd and I meet for pasta and wine before the show, chatting wildly like girlfriends do. We were high on the company and the food and looking forward to spending time with the performers who’ve become friendly acquaintances through sometimes silly, often thought-provoking improv storytelling. At one point, they asked us watching to turn and share a story with someone sitting nearby, something he or she didn’t know, our story. Syd and I laughed; there’s much we know and much more we don’t. I was reminded of one of the last memories I have of my oldest brother. It happened at Christmas. And I’d forgotten it for some time.

My oldest nieces’ birthday falls within weeks of Christmas and growing up her decorations always included a tree, fuzzy stockings and snow. She was even born in a blizzard. She was nearly three, and a few of us gathered for cake and the gifts we could afford (always clothes). My oldest brother, estranged from his wife at the time, was drifting between Nebraska and Colorado and dropped in unexpectedly. Something of an awkward surprise. He brought with him one single red rose, perfectly kept. Don’t know how it didn’t wilt or curl from the cold temperature outside (and I knew he had to have walked there). He crouched down to her height to make himself only as tall she was, held out the flower and said very softly, just to her, “This is the first of many.” He kept his coat on the whole time, a navy blue puffy jacket, and stayed only a few minutes. Then he was gone. That niece turned 25 a couple weeks back and now has a daughter, nearly three.

When he died a year or two later, his own daughter was a toddler; she can’t recall a lot about him. And I bet this story is one that was never shared with her. So I did. It’s a good story.

Happy Christmas and Merry Cringle.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Meet Virginia

Ladies, it’s time to take back your business.

Your vagina. Say it loud, say it proud and hold out the “ggghhaaahhh” sound in the center.

Borrowed a copy of the January 2010 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine from the gym (I’ll return it once done perusing; I leave my Vanity Fairs and 5280’s, a sweaty, bacterial coated library). I read Cosmo religiously as a younger woman; it’s something of a right of passage. Interest waned in the breezy content and stilettos-worn-in-the-bathroom models, but I’m looking to freelance articles to pop culture magazines, newspapers, Web sites and the like and needed to gain a feel for content.Sunk into a hot bath and began to peel back the bubble gum pink cover. The most entertaining thing about Cosmo (any woman’s magazine really) are the bold, exclamation pointed titles on the cover, the cheeky tinglers meant to grab attention at the grocery checkout: 

100% Hotter Sex. Thrill Every Inch of His Body Using a Move No Woman Has Dared to Try on Him Before
Totally misleading. The article inside is all about girl on top, straight and reverse cowgirl. Of course men love the cowgirl, the view is spectacular coming or going, hands are free and we do most of the work. The “never dared tried on him before” is the side saddle mount. Who doesn’t know this already? 

The New Male Sex Habit That Can Hurt a Relationship (too much solo self-pleasuring, if you’re curious). 

Your Hoo-Ha Handbook. Get a Healthy, Sexy Vagina
Hoo-Ha. Blame Grey’s Anatomy and Oprah Winfrey. Grey’s writer Shonda Grimes created a fresh and amusing at first name for the vagina in an episode where a pregnant Dr. Bailey crowns. Bailey is a balls-tough lady of medicine, a doctor for vaginas' sake, and can’t embrace her vulva?

Soon after, Deepak Oprah picked up the va-jay-jay and spread it liberally in her afternoon chat fest. Sad when strong, empowered woman refer to their magnificent vaginas with cutesy names. There are giggles associated with the pure terms for many body parts - rectum, uvula, coccyx - and the happy sex bits always end up stuck to the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

Va-jay-jay is just one of the latest in a string of silly sexual terms, joining the classic ranks of coochie, cooter, heart-shaped box (read in the Poppy Z. Brite biography of Courtney Love that in courting days she filled a heart shaped box craft box with all things lovely and gory as a gift to Kurt…intriguing and distributing to know any more detail than that). Let’s retire the va-jay-jay, wish it into the cornfield and (if still needed) run new pussy platitudes up the pole: 

Commander Bun Bun
Squeaky Fromme, the no-hair-down there, clean as whistle variety (and it’s opposite, the ZZ Top) 
Squish mitten
Virginia

Next I'm looking into the editorial tone of Glamour magazine: 

Relax! 7 Reasons Guys Love You Just the Way You Are

Reason number one? Commander Bun Bun.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Word for word for word forward

Sometimes a day starts with unplugging a toilet. Like today.

I've been an absentee blogger. Blame it on work or social life or drink (it's a bit of all that), but mostly I haven't blogged because I didn't want to. The ideas swirl breezy like a wad of cotton candy in front a hair dryer nozzle, but then...

Who cares what I write?

Who's reading anyway?

Who's listening?


It's vanity to blog, no question. It's also therapy and burning off crazy energy, the kind that has me in the gym so often lately the bottom of my feet hurt from pounding on the incline trainers. Picking up the throw rug under life and shaking it out hard now and then is good for you, and I need a good hard shake. Gotta try to write more. With two weeks off work I hope to. I went through a bit of a pity-party-of-one-why-do-I-do-it phase, the creative energy tapped and suddenly finding topics off limits. But I know some people read my words, some are inspired by them, some laugh at them. Some are voyeurs. Like me.

And I think it's okay to be sad. Sometimes. I think it's always good to share your truth.

As of today I’m 10 days late. Again. At 44 “late” is a relative term given the bio clock doesn’t tick as it used to (and three pee sticks still reflect the happy minus sign). We had the chat briefly, though, the manfriend and I.

“Thought you ran on time,” he said. “Oh yeah,” I reassured, “Just a little off this month. It’s fine.”

One beat. Two beats.

“What would we do if I was?”

He doesn’t want any more children, he has one. Been there, done that, in the middle of it.

“I thought you didn’t want any either,” he said.

I did in my late twenties, a short phase nothing more, mostly because I decided and knew I didn’t want to raise a chicklet on my own and the opportunity and years simply passed by, clicked over one by one. But I would have been a good Mom.

I don’t want or need to pass a head. Nine months without a cocktail is enough of a stretch.

And you have to pick the people you procreate with carefully. You could come out with some goofy looking Little Lord Fauntleroy boy with Annie-esque curls or manly girl (everyone is beautiful in their own way, sure, but have you seen paparazzi shots of Adam Sandler’s offspring? She’s toddler sized Sandler in a dress. She’ll grow out of it, yeah? Yeah?) Cross the manfriends ginger beard, light eyes and freckles with my bluish white pallor and spots and we’d produce something nearly see through, like those tiny tank fish whose dark eyes and spine are the only part visible in a clear floating shell.

I’m not (First Response® and a recent episode of Nip/Tuck tells me so – no brown nipples, belly bloat or hormonal acne), still the first serious conservation we’ve had relationship wise.

And it lasted all of a minute and half. I’m okay with that.

I'll be back to chat. I have to come back. My longtime love, gum chewing, sexy beast Dave Grohl said it well:

It's only words, they're just fucking words. But I meant every word for word for word.

Forward.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm good with my vagina

A blog quip over at author Stephanie Klein's place and the home page of people.com this morning planted boy-girl couplings and sex thoughts in my grey matter.

More than usual.

Strumming about in a newish relationship (the real deal kind, one that’s lasted through a couple of holidays and both our autumn birthdays), I still have trouble naming it. At 38 and 44 respectively, "boyfriend and girlfriend" sounds too Grape Bubble Yum and hands over the sweater, just the tip. Same sex has a lock on "partner” and “lover” (pronounced lovah) makes me think of hippies with overgrown pubes. Introducing him as a "friend" sounds as if we're just doing it (that's the "fling").

So I do "manfriend." He calls it "seeing someone."

A perfect storm of circumstance and failure to keep ones pie hole shut have forced a public confession of infidelity from Tiger Woods. He doesn’t confirm sinking his putter in another gals green, but the PR sanctioned note of apology says it without saying it.

If I sat a long time and thought good and serious, I’d be hard pressed to name coupled friends or acquaintances where one or both haven’t strayed. Or wanted too. Whether sexual encounters, long term affair(s), a drunken kiss in the coat closet at the office holiday party or simple flirtation, people cheat all over town. Coupling is good, like the comfort and warmth of sleeping, just sleeping, with two arms tight around you. Really good. But so often it becomes (or begins as) a situation held together by money or stature or spawn or fear of being alone or feeling this is my prize, something I own and something I deserve.

Simple Simon says if you want to date and/or dip around, be single or polyamorous.

Flings are adventure without strings, nibbling from the buffet and I went through a long period of just that. My last, eleven years younger and cute as an old-school Kennedy, happened while I was wholly and without question uncommitted and absolutely single. The fling wasn’t, in fact he was living with a woman long-term. I was having a relationship (casual as it was), he was having an affair. He simply liked being (his word) “bad.” Years ago I went to watch Bill Maher do stand up. His perspective on why men stray is they simply want “different” (his word).

Commit to and pick one dish off the menu and forgo the scent and tongue feel and savory taste of tapas and appetizers and small plates. Husband means eating at home. So does wife.

And Elyse Keaton is gay. Now. After three marriages and five children, Meredith Baxter (née Birney) has come out as a "later in life" lesbian (Kelly McGillis recently called it too). Hard as I shake my Magic 8-Ball I can’t predict with absolute certainty my sexual future, but given the only female genitalia I’m interested in is my own, I’m confident to go out on the hetero limb...

I like men. And boys. More so the men.

Search me