Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not sure who I'd be without it

I’ve always been amused by bloggers who announce their sabbaticals or exit from online journaling with big fanfare.

And I’m in awe of “day writers” and other nine-to-five creatives who write or produce short films in their spare time, or freelance or actually get published. They must have better time management or simply watch less TV than I do.

I love writing and this blog. Pulling stories from my hands is almost magical; time stops a little while I do it. As dramatic and Sarah Bernhardt as it sounds, I make sense of things here. I own this name, bought it earlier this year thinking I could do something more with it than attract a handful of page hits a day. Because what I do here isn’t sharing cute kids stories, or keeping up with extended families, or veiled messages (usually, although sometimes), or trying to shock you from behind a character. This is me and I want this to be something. It’s not a hobby. This is a dream and it’s lost.

But maybe there’s no big discovery anymore, no Diablo Cody moment of tripping across a lone blog among millions on the web and offering a new voice the chance to soar. Unless that blog is about shit my Dad says or awkward family photos. I’ve been here, doing this, for four years now. And although I’ve discovered and envied others talent and lusted after some and flirted with many and sometimes brought a tear and often a laugh or helped a boy fall in love with me, I haven’t found the audience that wants more. I haven’t done anything to do something.

I haven't sold me.

Sadly I don’t really call what I do for work “writing” anymore. It’s more like “word dissemination.” But I need to direct energy and attention into those words, the commerce words. I haven’t written more than a few pages this past week (and last) because I’m blocked, with no desire and little momentum and deadlines looming, editors at my chops. I need to write over there.

And not here. I may post some classic stuff, some of the things I wrote in some 429 blogs that I really like, that are really good. I said it. My writing, this storytelling is good. Really good.

So at the end of the page I don’t know the etiquette, and probably wouldn’t follow it if I did. Does one say goodbye or later gator or I’ll see you around, maybe or I may come back now and then?

Okay.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I do declare

It’s okay to be gay week on Oprah.

I tease because I love. And I happen to love men, I just never had to come out and proclaim it. No need to name my side, publicly choose team mates, define myself by my genitals. As a heterosexual woman I was allowed to taste and savor and straddle without fanfare or laying myself open to judgment or ridicule or hatred or hopeful acceptance. And tears. I bet a good deal of tears.

Monday on Oprah, Portia (de Rossi) DeGeneres appeared touting a new memoir about her battle with anorexia and bulimia, a defeating body image and being a gay woman and actress. Tuesday Ricky Martin appeared touting a new memoir about his coming out as a proud gay man and life as a single parent, mother and father to twin moppets.

On today's show, “Oprah and Gayle's Camping Adventure, Part 2.” Wonder if Oprah is gearing up to tell us something.

It’s painful and shameful to hide who you are. Denying sexuality is denying self and goodness knows emotion and lust and desire and love and nakedness and penetration makes it fuzzy and difficult for some. Virgins are misunderstood (especially the late in life ones), so are whores. Preachers kids were always the wildest of my high school bunch, because tell a kid they can’t have a brownie and you have a diabetic in the making.

Society still looks at sex with a giggle or hand in front on a gasping mouth. I had a woman friend years ago (not like that, giggly) separating from her husband who’d invite me over for dinner and movies with her two young girls. One night she queued up Legends of The Fall. During the more violent and splatty scenes, she’d excuse her daughters from the room, ask them to get a snack or simply cover their eyes. During the sex scenes she did nothing.

My Mom shooed us away if a kiss lingered or jaw slightly unhinged on an episode of Guiding Light or one of her other stories. I was taken aback by my friend, respected and honored her and the women her daughters were no doubt destined to become. And never forgot it.

Hiding sexuality, shaming it or defining it as wrong or different or against God, there can be no peace.

We all need a little peace and, if you’re so inclined, a little piece. Not everybody does it, but everybody should.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, Monday can't trust that day

Talk about a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Okay, well I did wake up and had the ability to walk myself down the stairs. That’s something, definitely a big something. Still the bad ones creep in here and there. Some of it stress, some of it lackadaisical attitude, some of it self-medicating. All of it my own doing.

Wish I had the truth pill to pinpoint what’s eating me. I can assume, I can guess, I can fill it with pretty words that make you think I’m deep and silently tortured in my genius.

But I think I’m simply lazy. Today is Election Tuesday and I haven’t educated myself enough on ballot issues to cast a qualified vote. Instead it may come down to bubbling in answers with a No. 2, high-school-test-taking style, which is more offensive than simply opting out. Yes, I know it’s a right, a duty even, and my guilt may get the best of me – meaning an hour pouring over the blue book (which they don’t mail anymore) instead of gearing up for deadlines due. And past due.

Is this depression or simply slacking?

I know I’m angry with myself. At my body, which I feed well and which I try to take out for exercise but which feels both foreign and painfully familiar right now. I’m angry at the number of empty wine bottles in my weekly recycling.

I’m angry that what I love the most is what I’m paid to produce on a schedule because it dilutes it. I’m angry that I don’t have a passion for it, because I’m good at it. I’m angry that I’m judged and constantly pulled. I’m angry my pants don’t button. I’m angry that I don’t bother to even get dressed most days, because I don’t have to.

I’m angry that I’m lying about what I'm angry at. Which is simply me. Angry that I think less of myself when I'm not "perfect." Angry that I think you do too.

So right now I'm going to shower and put on my big girls pants. Slap myself hard in the face then sit back down right here and put words together. Go to spin class at 5:30. Eat a sensible dinner. Call the boyfriend or best girlfriend later.

And right now I’m going to try not to cry because I don't want to. Probably don't need to if I was honest with myself.

Sometimes it just works out that way.

Monday, November 1, 2010

“It’s nice to have someone to eat chicken wings with”

That's what he said.

No longer chasing guitar players and firemen, now rarely ducking into little bars and dives in search of live local music. No more online meet-ups and greet-ups. I miss that girl and the attention she got. But maybe I've simply stopped running about because she found good stuff at home, a cozy home that always smells good. And to quote Clueless, “My party clothes are so binding.”

Spent Saturday night in leggings and a tank (no underwires) and a snuggly much-too-big zip hoodie on his couch munching chicken wings and nachos. Being All Hallows Eve eve, we watched Zombie Strippers, a silly and groan-worthy, not-porn romp starring Jenna Jameson. I nearly lost it when she loaded up her zombie hooch with pool balls to shoot at a rival zombie stripper. You read that right. Later a documentary we’d queued on Netflix, one of my choices. Then we all curled up together, him and me and the dog and the cat and slept. Slept until almost 10 a.m. Then he took me for Sunday brunch.

A friend recently wrote about “the middle,” the part of the relationship past the flutter, the courting, the crazy sex, the lingering dinners. The middle moves the two of you into edging towards arguments, or coming home to a dog who's been sick in his kennel. Or job or family or health worries. Or being brave enough to ask, "Are you happy with me?"

“Middles are life,” she said.

And her words made me think about the hand always looking for mine to hold and not seeing the extra 15 on me and the latte every morning I wake up there and falling asleep during almost every movie watched.

Sometimes it’s nice to just have someone to eat chicken wings with.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pull on a ski mask and it’s one step away from Furry

Back in my day when you were cold you put on socks and a sweater. Now entire fortunes are made by stitching a felt throw into arms, cutting a head hole and calling it a Snuggie®. On those days you just can’t get out of bed, you can wear it. There are Snuggie’s for babies, Snuggie’s for dogs and now Snuggie sex.

The just published Snuggie Sutra features more than a 100 erotic positions including "The Matador" (check out the Keith Herring-esque erection outline) and "The Mel Gibson" where, "he gets to wear the Snuggie, because he fucking deserves it." Guides to self pleasure and happy alone time included (the Snuggie is machine washable.)

I find going down under the covers a bit claustrophobic. I like my head out. But I'm wholly and wooly intrigued by "The Pitched Tent."

It's tingly in a bad way that what look like the blue and pink plastic peg people you stick in Hasbro's Game of Life car demonstrate positions. My head goes to the kid on the box cover, all freckles and 1970’s orange turtleneck. He didn’t have a Snuggie chubby.

But this is an actual book, a book what got published and will no doubt find itself inside stockings this holiday season. I can play too, sell a little of my soul for an Amazon.com listing. Putting aside heartfelt confessions and completive personal essays, Chapter One:

How to Get Down and Dirty (Then Clean Again) with the ShamWow.

Coming next Christmas. Don’t steal my idea.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

There was a little girl, who had a little curl

Nothing last forever and few things stay the same over time. Water streams over and smoothes rough edges of river stones, sand becomes a pearl. Charlie Sheen is back on the drink and the hookers.

As we age, body metamorphosis seem to happen overnight, often to ones surprise or chagrin. You awake to a couple new pounds, a deeper marionette line or less snap-back in the skin on the top side of hands (is there a companion word, the opposite of "palms?")

Noticed one particularly odd change as I got older. It wasn't when my breasts went teardrop, taking a turn both downward and up (like a seal pup nose) or the occasional full strand of gray instead of a few random pube-like sprouts. Instead my stubbornly stick straight hair went curly, the kind of wave I sported through much of high school and college courtesy of an Aveda natural botanical and seaweed perm; you couldn’t wash your hair for days after and it smelled of the sea and plankton. But a girlfriend who scored a swanky stylist job at the swanky downtown Boulder salon did them for $20 after hours or on Sundays and they were kinder to the scalp. I rocked the Tawny Kitaen for years before following follicle folly and embracing my naturally smooth locks, in long layers and with heavy bangs. My trademark.

So imagine my surprise when I began to notice natural wave. Just a little at first, the sad and homely kind like morning-after hair or curls past their prime. Even mousse or gel wouldn’t coax out more. But on a slow ship to Bermuda five years ago the humidity exploded my shafts (dirty) to twice their size and for the rest of the cruise I tucked away the blow dryer and flat iron and, after a wash and condition, would simply dry my head leaning over the balcony, a sea spray and saltwater finish.

And this is me now. Sometimes and rarely, because I still prefer Manson girl straight. Old friends recognize it instantly. The face has changed some.

So have the puppies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nocturnal admissions

Been an odd couple of weeks in the REM cycle. Dreams are funny things. The romantic ones warm your heart, the sex ones leave you invigorated but reluctant to slide slippery from bed. And those about real people in your awake life doing what feels like real things can actually make you angry towards them. Or feel sad. Confused even.

In the last several days I’ve have three dreams about the manfriend. In the first his ex and a gaggle of hens gathered to cackle, sharing loud and unkind chatter about me. And he said nothing. Funny, he doesn’t say a lot anyway. I start conversations, I continue conversations. It’s frustrating at times, he knows that. I’ve told him that using my words.

In the dream I exclaimed, pleaded perhaps, “Stop this…please make them stop. Say something.” Silence. I began to break. “If you don’t say something,” I warned, “I’m leaving and not coming back." Funny, I had a similar conversation just about two years ago, some of the last words spoken to my Mom. She’s not dead.

He said nothing so I left, behind the wheel of a car full of people, dropping them off one by one. All along the way each reminded me of all the awful things I used to believe about myself. That I wasn’t worth the time. That I got what I deserved. That love is only for some. I should have turned the car radio on and up loud to drown out the noise. I didn’t. But I dropped them all off.

I remember waking up in his bed and physically rolling myself as far to the mattress edge as I could, away from him. He noticed and awoke slightly and asked, “What’s wrong?” “I had a bad, bad dream. Your ex and her friends and your friends were awful and you chose them. And you didn’t say anything, you just let me go."

“You know that would never happen, right? It was a dream.” Then he pulled me in tight and snored.

A few days later, also in his bed, I dreamt again of him and me but the details are fuzzy. Then last night he chastised my writing, calling it either addictive or written like someone with an addiction or for an addict. Addiction to what? Truth maybe. Funny, because I’ve been stifling, censoring myself a bit. He has a one way ticket into my thoughts and actions and desires and insecurities. He follows my Facebook and Twitter.

But he never asks about any of it.

Funny thing dreams.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I sometimes envy the lesbians

Ladies throw your feet up in the air because 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill.

My love-hate relationship with the pill is well documented. In the “pro” category, complete freedom for spontaneous activity, absolute regularity and a lighter ride of just 4 days. Plus you can skip the placebos and entire ebb and flow that month should you have a special event or need to wear white. The “cons” however put me off and have kept me off, primarily the weight gain. Not only the water retention but actual gaining of real body weight, the "whose ass is this?!" variety. Since the pill tricks the body into thinking it's pregnant, it screams to store fat. That shit ain't funny because within 2 weeks of popping the first of the pack, 10 pounds come on and stay on, even long after quitting them.

Now after half a century, the pill has three new side effects you should know about, or so reports a local radio chat show (btw, when did morning radio get so dumb and vapid? Or is it just the Denver market? Thank God for Brett Saunders.) British scientists claim the pill makes you brainier and can actually swell grey matter essential for social skills and memory. Second it changes your taste in men, preferring softer, more feminine features over a macho and chiseled type. Balls. I call balls. The men I’m attracted are 1) funny 2) taller than me and 3) the ones who ask me out. On the pill or off.

And third, it creates extreme jealousy. You men are screwed (or more to the point, not).

Pity us ladies, often stereotyped the more emotional of the sexes and hormones only exacerbate it. The weeping tendencies, the mood swings, the desire to eat a can of chocolate frosting are real, but the majority of our contraceptive choices are hormone-based. Even the IUD can contain a small amount. The diaphragm is natural but a bit messy and awkward; I spent the better part of 10 minutes trying to fish one out this weekend.

Patches and rings and shots…all chemical. And condoms, not so pleasant for us either. They can delay or prolong a (okay, your) big finish and the slippery friction we enjoy becomes akin to rubbing sticks together to make fire.

Fire bad.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Babes in Toyland

Some of you should stop reading right now.

I’ll give you a moment.

Sex toys tickle me, and not like that.

Told you to stop.

Adult diversions are silly and funny, especially the female variety. The names (dildo is a damn funny word), the colors, sometimes simply the sheer girth and volume of them. Japanese sex toys are prohibited from looking like penises, so manufacturers there make toys with faces or that look like animals (bunnies, ducks, anything with long ears or a bill). I have a large purple member with a smiley face stamped under where the head would be.

Some ladies giggle like school girls when mentioning theirs or give them cute names, just as some do for body parts. For the record, my tits are tits, not Turner and Hooch, Thelma and Louise, Fred or Barney.

I’m not a super huge fan of the toys. Yes they do they trick when the treats aren't there, but nothing in the world compares to a partner. The job just isn’t the same. And The Rabbit? Yet another reason to dislike the vapid (and sort of woman hating) series, Sex and The City which first introduced millions of woman to the whirly dervish that is The Rabbit. Myself a dutiful and adventurous girl I tried it and it’s a seriously scary thing, what with the beads swirling and the twirling and the noise and the rrr...rrr...rrr. Plus it’s big, meaning long, and you can only travel so far downtown. I mean, you can’t park a stretch limo in a standard size garage.

I favor and recommend the classic Pocket Rocket, swift, palm sized, hella efficient and useful alone or in pairs. Just a bing on the button does in minutes what few men can. And he likes it too, an “end result” so strong he may think he won’t get it back. But then I can pull off condoms with mine, like a party trick.

Kegel's ladies. Do your Kegel's. And did you know men can do them too?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baby did a bad, bad thing

I can’t recall a weekend in recent history like the one just passed. I did things I haven’t done in years, nay decades. Thought I’d emerge come Monday feeling shame, regret. The need for a priest and a confessional.

None of that the case.

The manfriend played a gig Saturday night, a tribute to much admired local musician. His band played first to a house more packed than expected. A wonderful thing happens when you enter into a regular relationship; you integrate into the others group. Hugs and welcomes all around, chatting up new friends, no more sitting alone at the bar like the girl with the band. And despite (or perhaps somewhat due to) a motorcycle mashup earlier that afternoon, he was in high spirits. They did a tight set and I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. He looked good, played lively. And was all the way alive.

Found it tough to shake the worry-is-wasteful image of deep, powdery white scratches on fiberglass, leather jacket skid marks and (in my imagination) head cracking like an egg on the pavement. He looked good and mostly well.

We both enjoyed some medicine before the first set, a surprisingly good dirty martini. I’d have two more by nights end, one past my usual (and six green olives the only food of the day after a handful of raw almonds and a coconut water). And so it came to be that night that manfriend met Drunk Jodie. He liked Drunk Jodie. I like her too because she’s extra affectionate (she went diving under the covers later that night and pitched a happy tent) and hungry. She proclaimed, “Pizza!!” so we stopped for a pepperoni and black olive pie and ate three pieces each, washed down with dark beer.

I don’t eat pizza as a rule and and never have I indulged in three big slices. All in row. Thought I’d wake the next day with an unhappy belly and worse-for-the-wear head.

But I felt amazing. Up and atta 'em and big and bright. Dare I say, reborn. We lingered and lolled in bed then went for Lamar’s Donuts. Hadn't been near a donut in decade plus, closer to two I reckon. I had most of an air variety (glazed) and bite of both his buttermilk bar and the blueberry glazed cake he got for us to share. We watched cartoons, drank lattes and passed the Sunday paper. Later I brought him tea and honey as he recouped from second day aches, curled around a heating pad and his big dog.

It was a good, good thing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm a bad boy for breakin' her heart

I kind of feel for John Mayer. His testicles are the new celebrity gossip punching bags.

Any woman seen or photographed or working in close or far proximity to Mayer becomes tabloid fodder, an always eventually abandoned conquest left only with a wet spot and a crumbled heart. The bad-boy-Lothario poster boy. Even teen pop sweetie Taylor Swift has (allegedly) penned a song for her new album that (perhaps) is an ode to how he (maybe) done her then done her wrong. For those not in the know (a.k.a those with a life outside idle idol worship and TMZ.com) last year she provided some collaboration plus a small vocal (and maybe more) for Mayer’s last album.

Now in “Dear John” she pines, "Don't you think I was too young to be messed with?" Mayer is 33 and Swift now 20 (way to go Mom). And from the sound of her bubble-gum-pink scented lyrics, things ended badly:

Dear John,
It was wrong
Don't you think nineteen's too young
To be played
By your dark, twisted games
When I loved you so.


My mother accused me of losing my mind
But I swore I was fine
You'll add my name to your long list of traitors
Who don't understand
And I'll look back in regret
I ignored what they said 'Run as fast as you can.'


It's no “You’re So Vain” but then the girl is an embryo.

Who ever claimed rock stars beacons of morality and good boyfriend material? They aren’t meant to practice tantric yoga and eat soy sausages. I want mine to sleep around, fight crabs, turn it to 11, drink and drug and collapse in a pool of their own sick. And eat from an endless buffet of women, smart girls, stupid girls, girls who climb on rocks, fat girls, skinny girls, even girls with chicken pox...

That’s why boys want to be rock stars. Girls too. Just ask a Go-Go.

And if guitar players have taught me nothing, "dark, twisted games" can be fun if you read the instructions printed on the bottom of the box first.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Writing cheat

  1. I sprinkle garlic salt on eggs when fried, but dill when scrambled.
  2. And for years I didn't eat eggs because they're chicken babies. Fetuses really.
  3. I very well may be composed of 10% coffee.
  4. The rest is red wine, Grey Goose and green olives.
  5. But I'm actually pretty healthy, mostly because good health sprouts from your head.
  6. I can beat all comers at Beatles trivia.
  7. I always had more men friends than woman until recently. Because at a certain age the women with your men friends don’t warm much to a single woman being friendly with their man.
  8. I like men more because some women (more than you'd think) are veiled misogynists. And that's the most unattractive thing on a chick besides a lip pimple.
  9. I’ve never understood milk.
  10. I have a bad back but a strong backbone.
  11. Those Victoria Secret sweatpants with “PINK” stitched on the ass are unimaginative at best and silly pussy advertisement at worst. 
  12. I have a tiny tattoo.
  13. And a lone freckle in a most interesting spot that few have (or will) ever see. Yep. There.
  14. I like to fart. 
  15. I may have had some shit kicked out of me as kid and blocked as an adult because a) x-rays don't lie and b) survivor is a better word than victim. And c) we used to get "the belt" and that's some serious old school parenting. It was white leather with a big silver buckle and I have pictures of my Mom wearing it. With hot pants.
  16. I don't lie much. Don't have to. Sometimes pure truth hurts me though; not mine as much as others reactions to it because that can be a slippy slope. 
  17. I was a bona fide, clinical virgin well into my thirties.
  18. What sometimes comes off as juvenile is actually a rabid zest for life.
  19. A wicked sense of humor turns me and will get me in bed.
  20. Pop-culture-heavy-cartoons like Animanics, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid and Tiny Toons I could watch all day.
  21. Worry is a fucking waste of time.
  22. Any or all of these randoms may become a blog. Well, #14 is a stretch.
  23. I write for a living (and snug paycheck). This makes me feel accomplished because what's your day job? And sad because I'm tired tonight and gave in to a writing cheat like a random and self-indulgent list.
  24. I'll forgive myself.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Piss or get off the pot

Stole this from Stephanie Klein’s blog (her memoir, Straight Up And Dirty, is a little too SATC-inspired, right down to the martini drinking, curly headed heroine, but I folded page corners down over several quips I wished I’d have written):

“I have been living this...book, but I haven’t started the proposal. What is that about? I worry that there’s not enough of a story, a depth, a deeper discovery, a reveal. I don’t want to write a book that’s just funny for funny sake. There has to be depth to it, self-discovery.”

Well smack my ass and call me Judy. No don't. Sometimes people mistake my name for Judy and I despise that, worst ever from the fireman I sleep with who, when I called (yep I called, first bad sign) the next day addressed me as "Judy."

But I digress.

And in fairness it was back when I was pretty bad in bed.

However...

Really at the end and the beginning of the day I want that too, to write a book of this story I'm living. And have it mean something. A readable, relatable tale about more than embracing single in a world of double, later in life sexual abandonment and cheeky asides. There’s grit in truth, sympathy in shame and vicarious lust in reinvention. Essayists share memories and pithy observations of life around them, stories others feel and relate to and fold page corners down over. I want that too because I can. I have an absolutely winning idea for a novel floating in my head, but fiction writing comes harder. My dialogue feels unnatural, stifled and kind of Flinstone. But it would sell a million copies (paperback) based on the back cover summary alone. Every woman over 40 who grew up loving Duran Duran would buy a copy.

Wednesday I paid off my car; last week I handed over cash for a new battery and tires for winter (and the next 32K miles). My lone credit card has one last payment due. Refied the mortgage to an obscenely livable monthly amount (and could walk with $30K-ish sticking out of my back pocket should I sell). I’ve been setting myself up so things like money don’t motivate (or even be part of the equation of) the next move I make. Whether that move is into the manfriends house or a single loft in the grittier heart of Denver (rented, less root and more wiggle) or a bungalow on the hip side of the highway, near coffee shops with names you’ve never heard of. Or moving on from a decade of corporate gigging.

Stole this from Navin R. Johnson (as played by Steve Marin in The Jerk):

"Things are going to start happening to me now."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm not a gym rat. More a gym gerbil.

One of the hardest things about a regularly scheduled work out regime is deciding when to shower.

My work site has a fully loaded gym, locker room and showers included. But for the many years I worked in a for real office I never took advantage of it. Although I have little to no problem with nudity (even my own lumpy variety), I couldn’t risk a full on glance or even imagining my bosses and peers closer to naked. My eyes have the tendency to wander to the area of a mans’ package (much like boys do with cleavage) and catching a swinging bat and ball sack in light weight gym shorts steals the innocence of the more wrapped up version brought to staff meetings. TMGI – Too Much Genital Information. Same with the diameter and color of areoles and choice of pubic pattern for lady co-workers.

Now that I work from home my days are less structured, and with the gym minutes down the road I pick and choose times, classes and manner in which to get my sweat on. But since I perspire often and from the top down, an hour of cardio leaves me squeaky damp stem to stern, pits to crotch. And therein lies the shower conundrum.

A shower in the morning is best – welcoming a new day fresh, hair smelling of almond cookies, blown out with serums and smoothed flat with an iron. Body slathered in lovely flowery lotions and just a touch of natural makeup. Out of my pajamas, tucked and nipped into clothes I can actually wear to fetch the mail or run to the grocery store (I’ve had many days and many outfits that embarrass the UPS man). Starting the day with ritual pumps me full of energy and anticipation of work ahead. The other option is to roll out of bed, perhaps wash face and teeth (or not) and lumber to the laptop in the t-shirt I slept in, sometimes stopping to put on pants (I have written for hours in my underwear - see UPS horror above). I prefer to start the day with the shower scenario, but add a lunchtime or after work workout and another shower must come at days end. Otherwise I stink up the sheets.

Physical fitness is really all about timing. A few other gems of gym wisdom:

Keep your work out clothes separate and in view. Dedication comes easier when gearing up is as mindless as pulling out tops or tanks and pants in a complimentary color palette to mix-and-match, like Garanimals.

Maintain a proper gym bag because anytime you have to hunt or dig to find clean socks and the iPod the apathy clock begins ticking down to a King Of Queens rerun and cold adult beverage (with a side of, “I’ll go tomorrow.”)

Find a class, instructor or method that works for you and don’t be manhandled (née shamed) by the personal training staff. When I first joined the gym I’ve now gone to for years, my new membership offered two free sessions. I wasn’t a fitness “novice” per see, having done cardio aerobics for years. The trainer kicked my every loving ass, many sets of step-ups to 24” high bench, full on sit-ups with legs extended while catching a heavy weight ball. When I woke the next morning I thought I’d caught the polio; my core remained stingy sore for a week after. Protect your physical tools and modify when needed. I rarely to never complete power squats (in fear of another hip fracture) or moves that require extreme weight and pressure on my hands or wrists. Those are my tools, they make my bank, and I call it good with a few sets of push ups or lingering down dogs.

Take advantage of the steam and sauna rooms. Massage and sweating out the lactic acid from your muscles afterwards helps alleviate the sore. Plus you get to be naked and sweaty. And hands can wander in heavy steam.

Last, even on your fattest days, go. Find yourself yelling more often at the kid or the cat? Go. Don't want to go? Go.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall back, my ass

Damn Daylight Savings Time. I'm going to have to get a desk lamp. And all my electrical plugs are full.

It's just around the corner (again), the first Sunday in November. Except in Arizona, those rouge rebels. Always found the concept of DST odd at best. Men so in fear of their own mortality or small penes they, indeed, found a way to control time. Scary, soylent green, “the man” stuff. What if "they" decide we need more days a week, Beatles style, and add an eighth? What is one refused to participate, like those folks who simply don’t pay their taxes?

Is it for the farmers and the trick-or treaters? I rebel against the finger of time telling me when to awake, to rise, to shine. I’ll shine when I’m damn good and ready mister.

The morning sky had already changed from a searing, so deep Tiffany blue it seemed you could scoop some out with a spoon to a soupy gray shade when I roll out of the sheets at 7ish. When I worked in an office proper I had to wake earlier (my commute now simply a walk down the stairs, no bra required) and sometimes in absolute pitch black. The before-the-early-news-news-shows on telly the only bright breaking through. Like driving to the airport in the dark, showering and dressing under cover of darkness makes you feel like you're up to no good.

But watching the sunrise over the course of my formerly long drive into Boulder was often times majestic, especially in the dead of winter when white reflects back in blue in silver. It even sparkles.

There was that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey

This would’ve been a great morning for it. Rain coming down in loud, ploppy drops, cool but not really cold. The sky still oddly dark for 8:02 a.m. This morning would have been perfect to open the windows wide and do it.

Because when the rain comes, so do I.

We’re morning people. Used to be evening people, often evening and the next morning people, but it’s changed of late. Because with the evening comes the tired from a day that begins (for him) at 6 a.m. And in the morning we’re not fuzzy from several rounds of strong pub beer or after dinner cocktails. And with the kid on board full time, the energy level is high; it's like having a pigeon in the house (in a good way). Add to it his new habit of coming downstairs on lazy weekends to wake us. Explanations of "wrestling" only get you so far.

How do you breeders get doing it done?

We could have snuck away for a quiet quickie Saturday night. The boy had an evening, drop-off birthday party (many blessings to that brave, possibly hearing impaired Mother). But instead of naked time we spent our spare 2 ½ hours on a dinner out, just us grown ups. No crayons on the table, we even sat at the big polished wood bar and made friends with the barkeep. And at was good. The ambers and the mussels and the frites and the casseolet (made with sausage and bunny) and the dirties and the bourbon. Too good because later that night (after snoozing 20 minutes into the Jane Lynch hosted Saturday Night Live) my belly was too full and head too sloshy for sex. We simply both fell asleep. Fast. Early the next morning, tangled up together, he suggested a shower. A grand idea squashed when a toe head, Chicklet grin appeared asking for breakfast.

Morning sex allows time to sneak away on the premise of brushing ones teeth (proper morning bang bang etiquette) and (two birds, one stone) for diaphragm insertion. Found some men have – let’s call it – a concern about boarding the downtown bus with a passenger stuck way in the back (I don't think they're ready for this jelly), so timing is crucial.

This would have been a great morning for it.

Maybe it'll still be raining at lunch.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are You There God? It's Me, Jodie.

It’s coming. I feel it.

Been about 22 days, so a little early this month, but all the signs have arrived already. I’m dropping things left and right – actually more like violent flinging, projectile-like. Right before it comes I get clumsy, everything I touch or attempt to pick up slips from my hands; if I were a professional football player I’d be benched four days a month. I run into walls, trip up stairs. Fall off my shoes. Something to look forward to, however, is “Happy Pre-Menses Day.” In the 24 hours (or so) before, I’m happy as a clam, giddy as a school girl. I sing and skip and could write an opera given how freely the creative, boisterous juices flow.

And I get super horny.

Maybe it’s coming Wednesday because nips are inexplicably sore (no rough touch or tools in use this weekend) and I can feel the fluorescent “Vacancy” sign flickering on in my uterus, tickles and twitches meaning no one has checked in. Not this month.

Wouldn’t mind an early start because it means a quicker finish and the manfriend is playing a gig this weekend, a gig I’ve already picked out the dress for. A short Calvin Klein, super-light gauge and soft black sweater dress, three quarter sleeves with a metal zip up the front. Saucy and sassy with opaque tights and the new knee-high boots. And although cut a bit blouson, on heavy days a tarp can’t cover the bloat. Every cell seems to double, triple in size. Even upper arms feel like they’re retaining water, so Pillsbury Dough Boy plump one imagines a finger poke leaving a divet like the jam hole when making thumbprint cookies. Jowls come out, the neck expands (or so it feels) and (in an ironical twist) the belly extends to resemble a first trimester treat.

Certain if men had menstrual cycles we’d have more sick days allotted per year.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Listen To What The Man Said

Anyone in a man-woman relationship for more than a minute-and-a-half understands the fairer and masculine sexes communicate in vastly different ways. Both speak and hear through some kind of gender filter. For instance at the beginning of a now mostly regular and monogamous relationship, I broached the topic of extracurricular activity. I believed then (and now) in full disclosure about casual boom boom, even as we pursued something clothed and occurring outside the bedroom during daylight hours. He didn’t hear exploration or lifestyle or Seriously, I’m the girl who tells tales of a less than puritanical view of sexuality, and you know that seeing you read all of it before our first date. Instead he heard he wasn’t enough. He heard he didn't satisfy me. He may have even heard small dick.

None of which is the case. Trust.

And just weeks ago during a rather intimate and weepy conversation, I unexpectedly blurted out, “I don’t like my body right now, I don't feel as sexy," followed by the insecure mea culpa, "I’m not the same girl you met." In fairness his reply registered medium-to-high on the sensitive guy scale:

“You know that's not true, or wouldn't matter."

The better answer, “What fat?”
(And it wouldn't matter because that's not what he see when he see me. Which is why tonight when he treats me to a dinner date at the cheeky Belgium pub he’ll insist on several rounds and splitting an order of the fried pickles. With aioli.)

The manner and method of mano e mano and girl-on-girl chat differs too. Us ladies talk, a lot, usually over wine and whining, repeating and making points heard over and over. We attach “I hate to say…” and “I just don’t know…” to the beginning of sentences and say them anyway and can go for hours, until the phone hums hot in the ear or we’ve shredded several paper napkins to bits. Then we hug it out. To contrast and compare, the manfriend has a recently single friend, one whose marriage ended (what seemed on the outside) suddenly and whose kid was quickly transplanted out of state. At a gig, another good friend – aware of his situation - caught up:

“Hey, you doing okay?”

“Yeah.”

“Need any money?”

“No.”

And then they had beers. And probably got him laid.

Friday, October 8, 2010

And I got a big package

Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when Richard Gere’s Edward compliments Julia Roberts' Vivian with, "I think you are a very bright, very special woman,” and she replies, “The bad stuff is easier to believe”?

I smell what you’re stepping in, whore, because (self-flagellation aside) I’m a pretty spectacular woman myself, with a certain “It” quality. I‘m good enough, I’m smart enough and, doggone it, people like me. But damn if I don’t always feel it, until reminded by myself or others.

Walking to the mail kiosk brings waves from several neighborhood directions; I’m trusted with keys and plant life when neighbors are out of town. The staff at the auto dealership I've known and trusted through three new cars throw in freebies and extras and always introduce me all around. That’s a sure-thing-positive sign, being “owned” by your peeps, the folks in your short or long circles who want others to know it. And know you. Lay claim and welcome you into the larger pack.

Like right out of college when having a hot girlfriend helped get me hired at Contempo Casuals in the mall, the hip chick boutique where the uniform most days was black bike shorts or mini tube skirt, a baby doll tunic or oversized long jacket and cowboy boots (god damn, I miss the 90’s). Only the hot girls got hired there and getting in on a hot recommendation made me hot by association (even if I wasn’t recruited out like the truly hot girls to work at the new concept restaurant coming to town called Hooters.)

That same girlfriend invited me along for birthday brunch around the same time. She (like me) lived hand-to-mouth but she (unlike me) had the empirical beauty card and also ran in a circle of other empirically pretty young hipsters with trust funds and convertibles. One dated Robert Plant, one Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes (or was it the same girl?). I silently dreaded the weekend meal, certain I’d wilt in their combined golden glow but went for my good friend and laughed and talked and ate eggs. A day or two after brunch she called. “Everyone is talking about you,” she said. “I got calls from every single girl there about how cool and fun and funny ‘Jodie’ is.” And even two decades later - on the days my pants explode over my waistband or I find another hard white pimple lurking on the edge of my bottom lip - I’m reminded it’s the package, not the packaging.

I like that I'm mostly socially comfortable and breezy in situations that require an opening line or engaging conversation. A friend with an Architectural Digest-worthy loft downtown used to invite me to parties because I could work a room, make friends and jump start an event. The manfriend is bemused (often) at my friendly making ability. He teases about the phone store guy who replaced my cell battery for free, or the wait staff who know me by name or drink and who bring a second dessert, on the house, because they had an extra in the kitchen. Or the time the butcher block young fellow gave me a turkey meatloaf.

Some girls get showered with flowers and diamonds but I get meat. And it makes the bad stuff not so easy to believe.

Monday, October 4, 2010

“Fabulous and full of cake”

Official birthday doesn't launch for two-and-a-half hours and I've already been gifted 4 bottles of wine. What does that say about me?
That I've got killer friends ;) Trust.

September 27 at 9:38pm Comment ·Like

Trust when you have little to do, little gets accomplished.

And it’s absolutely fantastic.

In the last week the most orchestrated tasks I've completed include having another rotation around the sun, drinking many more bloodies and vodka drinks than most should, partaking in loads of sex and shopping and wine – so much wine – and sleeping late. So very late. Not a minute spent in the gym or the steam room or writing. Nary a word, in fact. Haven’t sent a freelance inquest or drafted a book proposal. But lingered over lunches and brunches and soaked my pedis and got chatted up in the beer line on a Friday afternoon in a college town and met up again with a friend who shares a similar lust for life and sat happily in it.

It's no wonder I haven't written a word this last week.

An oft overlooked treasure of birthdays or becoming sick or scared or hitting a wall of tough times or accomplishing something big is those who know you enough to know it share words in cards and letters and notes and calls and emails. Tiny reminders of the things we believe about ourselves at the core, but that shine brighter and hotter when coming from the people who see use from the other side of the mirror.

His card wished happy to the fairest of them all and was signed “Love" and seeing those words swirled out in fine point black ink felt good, so good I keep looking at them. He spoiled me with gifts few others would think of or recall in passing conversations. He made sure I had cake to eat. The girl I met at 16 or 17 and I shared strong, ballsy chat and drinks and ink that read, "...such a mix of qualities – wise, kind, funny, sarcastic, dirty, vulnerable – a well rounded woman.” It's mutual. Thoughts jotted in funny cards and stunning cards, one thick stock paper cut into a work of yellow sunshine art and postmarked NYC. Another handmade (like she always does) and stamped, “Someone like you should be celebrated every day.” The bottle of red and bottle of white grape that came with will help me do just that.

Yet another bottle of red came the next night. Another gift, another good thought. I'm drunk in all of them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The importance of a full body inventory

Something or someone has taken a bite out of me, McGruff.

A small piece of my left earlobe appears to be missing. A tiny bite, Mike Tyson style, a concave edge running along the bottom curve of my left lobe. And in the charming words of my people from the Midwest, it stings like a mother fucker. Maybe that bit was always missing, perhaps I was born that way and the red and sore patch merely the result of a large, curious insect bite or errant flat iron burn.

It’s times like these one wishes they’d done a previous full body inventory. Did it always look like that? Has it always been that color? Was the smell more in the yeast or halibut family?

Trying to envision one of those recreations like you see on the Discovery channel (or 3D animation of how OJ killed Nicole), the kind with fluorescent blue laser beam object outlines and sniper cross hairs to pinpoint how it might have happened. Maybe Sadie the feral cat tagged me in my sleep much the way her ear was notched by the free clinic vet who took her wild lady parts. And if so, I blame my Super Friends power of reluctance to pain (see blog entry “Cracked hip and befuddled looks from doctors, x-ray techs and physical therapists”) for not waking up during.

Painted some Nu Skin - which I theorize is the same stuff packaged as airplane glue and adhesive at the nail salon that smells like a mix of cranberry, strong peppermint and embalming fluid - over it this morning.

Moral of the story, count your fingers and toes. And don't anger the pussy.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Afternoons And Coffeespoons

And so it (soon) begins.

I’m taking a short sabbatical from work. Two weeks (plus weekends) away. Some might call it a vacation, but it’s more. And a little less since I don’t think I’ll be traveling anywhere exotic or far. And although a cruise or weekend away with the manfriend sounds divine, we haven’t made that happen. I like to see and sit in new places, but don’t care to do it alone. Maybe I just should. I have open invites and places to nap among friends. But I don’t want to visit friends who haven’t seen me in some time – decades or two for some - in this fat. Vain and unnecessary, I know, but some of my cutest things are cutting a little funny.

I plan only to be nothin' to nobody. No deadlines, no schedules to keep. I’m going to nap during the day, drink in the afternoon. Have lunchtime sex. Write in coffee shops sipping from a porcelain cup, stirring in nutmeg and froth with a metal spoon and feel inspired more than tired, like the kind of tired I am right now. I’m going to linger at the gym and take long steams. Read the newspaper every day and spend too much time on Facebook and in the indie movie theater where they serve drinks and real butter on their popcorn. And eat birthday cake on Monday and Tuesday.

And maybe I will surprise myself with a last minute trip. Maybe to New York. I think I want to live there because I feel somehow boring and slow and safe here, not floating in the glitter you have to shake up from the bottom, like in the snow globes they sell in souvenir shops along Times Square.

Gosh I hope we get our first snow the next couple of weeks.

I'm starting a 1/2 hour early with this Grey Goose dirty martini, two gargantuan olives instead of the usual three. Because you have to start somewhere when getting back into smaller jeans. He's picking me up for a date in a hour. Dinner, drinks and the theater.

He likes me in whatever I wear.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've been standing here waiting Mr. Postman

Postcards are a dying art form. Love letters too, letters period. And greeting cards.

I'm bringing correspondence back.

Hard to find postcards to purchase, unless you're in a coastal town or tourist spot. Thought the book store up the street might carry a few retro, mod fabulous cards in stock but no luck. Later a quick run through Walgreen's scored a "Boulder, Colorado" aerial money shot for just 27 cents, tax included. Mailed it back east, Pennsylvania bound, this afternoon to the grandson of a young old friend, part of his first ever kindergarten project.

Years ago on a trip to Bermuda we stopped into the local post office; one of us suggested we purchase and mail ourselves a postcard, a reminder of the trip to be delivered once home. I've kept mine five years now, tucked into the ribbon bound to the board next to my desk. A glossy, brightly pastel colored photo on the front and on the back it says simply, in my own handwriting, "Welcome home."

Imagine a love letter that said that. Written in pen.

I'm a fool for card and stationary stores. Can literally spend an hour browsing the shelves, opening and reading each one that catches my eye. The prose must be just that, no bad writing or cheesy sentiment and I stay away from those that rhyme, it's too easy. Often I make a second lap around the store, perhaps a third. I mail and give cards for no reason other than how pretty they are or that a recipient is on my mind. I choose super sparkly and embossed, last years holiday card the pinnacle of glitz - a stocking adorned with shiny jewels in pink and white and red, a string of feathers like a boa encircling the top. Cost more to mail each one and I sent a full box (plus another of a different design.)

One is never too busy to sit with a stack of cards, address and lick and stamp each, leave behind a small note and signature. Never. I address and mail my holiday cards the weekend after Thanksgiving and hope for many to fill my mailbox over the next month. I stand each one up in the house like a decoration.

Recently I left a small gold card with an even more gilded small honey bear bottle - the kind you squeeze out into your tea from - inside a medicine cabinet. The next morning he was reminded, "Honey I love you" on the front and inside that, "You make my life sweeter." He found it the next morning, embarrassed and busted that I knew he'd gone to bed without brushing his teeth. He doesn't throw away quickly. The first card I ever gave him - a Valentine - I found tucked in his utility draw in the kitchen. I was looking for tape.

There comes the moment, however, you must decide to keep or discard. I have cards tucked and pinned up, stuck to the refrigerator with a magnet shaped like a sugar cookie, more in the small basket that holds things like receipts and the charger to the cell phone, extra keys and take-out menus. There are stacks bound with rubber bands in shoe boxes in the basement. Along with a few love letters. Just a few. Some even written in pen.

And plenty of room for more.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"So, what do you do?"

I write, it's what I do. I blog about things as simple as my too large key fob and love of strawberry-scented body butter to what it felt like the day my Dad died and all I could think to do was make coffee. I write PG-13-rated honestly about the men I've slept with (the boys too), of what scares me, brings me joy and the all the creamy filling in between. The blog is like my CliffsNotes.

But why do I do it? Why do you read it?

For a long time I wanted recognition and vaults of positive comments praising my prose. I wanted hundreds, thousands of blog followers. I wanted fame, to be discovered Diablo Cody style, imagining who would play me in the movie version and insisting on which bands appeared on the soundtrack. One of the best compliments ever paid me (and I was in the room to hear) happened between the guitar player and the man who booked a big music venue where he often played.

"This is Jodie Kash," he said as way of introduction. "She's a writer. She writes a fantastic urban blog."

My heart swelled, by bosom filled and my cheeks blushed happily. But I also felt I was getting away with something. I blogged, but was I a real writer? That plus I'm a good 12 minutes north of urban, in good traffic.

I've found reputable corporate fame and (comfortable) fortune as a writer and can claim myself one unequivocally. Every morning I sit down and do just that for six, eight sometimes ten hours. It's my job and has been for 10 years. At parties or mixers when asked the ever-vanilla ice breaker, "So, what do you do?" my retort is, "I write for a web site," then further clarify the type of sales and marketing collateral it is when asked more about it (and I always am).

There are dozens of sayings and cliches about passion and purpose. Living your dream, fulfilling a destiny, boats-at-sea-and-not-tied-to-a-harbor. I have grander goals for the kind of writing I do here. The kind I envision doing every morning for six, eight or ten hours. I like that you're here to read it, enjoy or giggle or frown at it. I hope you come back and want to read more. Because I'll be writing. And the next time people ask politely over get acquainted cocktails or cookouts, "So, what do you do?"

"Me?" I'm a writer."

It's just what I do.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A bottle of red

I could go on for tomes if I weren't too deep into a bottle of red to be kind. And that's what the good and decent girls do. We play nice.

The ladies with the worst behavior get rewards from the men they manipulate. And the ladies with the good behavior, that you should worship, fucking hate that men are that stupid. Then pity them. Both.

God that's good. And I wrote it.

We stay neutral, like Switzerland. We ask for what we need and accept less because, after all, your needs are important too. We get that. Right good girls? Meanwhile my needs sit at the bottom of an amber bottle on bad nights and on the seat of a bike at the gym on better ones. Working it out, rushing it out. Damn if I didn't make it to the gym tonight. Wish I had.

Still you won't find me easily bashing women with so little self-esteem they stay in relationships for the security. Manipulate their way into declarations of love (whatever that is) with men who are okay with it. Accept it. And good girls don't reflect back insecurities about themselves and wonder why no man ever loved her so deep that she believed it...oh, I mean them...and wonder if they're simply too rainbow bright and fudge-ripple-with-sprinkles in a world of vanilla to ever be scooped out as more than sample spoon.

We make it easy for you to love us.

But tonight I have a bottle of red.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'll have the meat and two veg

The newest season of Survivor premiered tonight and the catch this year is “older” versus “younger," those under the age of 30 up against a tribe of 40+ year-old members. As someone who’s never really watched or carried on through a full season of the show (but finds herself with more time spent at home of late, just the cats, red wine and telly), I finally get the appeal. It's the men with lovely buff and waxed bodies running about in boxer briefs. My only complaint is that CBS censors pixelate outlines of penis and balls in the jungle, turning proper packages into anatomically incorrect, flat front Ken dolls. We’ve seen nipples for years, what’s wrong with a happy sack or divining rod?

Show me the full Huey Lewis and the News.

Genitals aside, and as someone who’d fall into the older tribe bracket, I propose age brings wisdom and stronger competitors. Knowing how things work, how people operate. Sure aged bodies don’t respond the same - there are more limits. So as the season plays out will the advantage be strength, stamina or something else?

But the girl with the fake leg? She has zero chance given chatter has already begun about the “sympathy” vote she would earn in a final duo. Reminds me of a story from years back. I was taking a corporate class in something silly but useful like the Meyer Briggs personality test or “Channeling Anger into Action.” After lunch we gathered again to find the instructor pensive and standing at the front of the room. He held his fingers in front of his face, upward and together like the steeple in the “Here is a church, here is a steeple,” rhyme.

“In the cafeteria just now I saw a man,” he said softly, speaking mostly into his hands. “He was…“ dramatic pause, “…in a wheelchair.” Long sigh. “And I thought for a moment, how lucky I am.”

What in the name of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon? Mirrored pathos, embracing and hugging out ones “good” fortune in the reflection of someone else’s "bad" is distasteful at worst and unfair at best. And as for that man in the wheelchair, I knew for a fact (given he was the brother of the man I was living with at the time) he got scads of pussy because he was engaging and funny and smooth. And made a shitload of cash because he was smart and talented and driven to do so. One happy bastard.

As for my Wednesday nights, I find Survivor Marty hot and hitting all my tingly spots. And on the “old guy” team. He should wear boxer briefs. And just asking, but why do older, folksy woman on these shows always speak with a Fargo accent?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Forty-f*cking-five

Realized this morning that in a couple of weeks (knock wood) I’m going to turn 45-years-old.

Forty-fucking-five.

Forty-four felt fine, a balanced double-even number that easily rolled off the tongue, 44 and feet off the floor. I don’t look my age and that’s not a haughty wish or vain compliment; most of my family is preserved like Dorian Gray. In my 20’s I looked like a teen and when I first landed a corporate, big-girl gig someone asked if I was, “One of those, you know, kid geniuses or savants. Like 'Rain Man' but not retarded.”

When I was a kid, 30 sounded old. My parents were 30 if not more and grown ups wore latex girdles, sweated yellow pit stains and sighed a lot. Nearing cuarenta y cinco I don’t see myself like that. I still wear heavy bangs and leggings and sparkly eye shadow (no glitter, glitter ends at cheer squad).

But I’m not 20. Or 30. Or 44 for much longer. The bucket list is shorter or replaced by "The Murtaugh List,” a record of the things (one believes) to be too old to do anymore. Inspired by the best and really only telly show I watch on a regular basis, How I Met Your Mother, it’s a reference to the Roger Murtaugh character from the Lethal Weapon series, whose signature phrase is, "I'm too old for this shit." Sat long and hard and without tumbling into pathos or mourning the bloom off my rose, came up with a list. A short list:
  • Get a facial piercing. I always found the “Monroe” comely.
  • Fit into a size 4. Or a 6. Fuck an 8.
  • Be the youngest in the room. Or the prettiest.
  • Wear a mini skirt. Or a choker. Or glitter eyeshadow.
But I'm also still going to:
  • Drink Guinness and fall down drunk on the cobblestones in Ireland.
  • Fall in love. Again. And again.
  • Swim with a dolphin (although I waffle on this one because, really, should dolphins be in tanks for us to straddle?)
  • Go back to New York (City, bitches). And Bermuda.
  • Possibly live there.
  • Return to the ocean, and this time be brave enough to wander into the surf.
  • Learn how to dance. Proper.
  • Learn how to play the guitar. Or bass. Or just stalk John Taylor.
  • Be proposed to. And I’ll say no.
By the way, the HIMYM episode ended thusly:
“After being drugged at a rave, Barney is finally forced to accept the reality that he is growing older and gives Ted the victory. Having re-watched the complete Lethal Weapon series, Ted realizes that Murtaugh still did the things he claimed he was too old for and decides he has more to live for than waiting to grow older.”

Okay, maybe I'll say yes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I swallow a lot

Over on Facebook today, I posted a photo of a piece of original art I bought this weekend. It fits perfectly into the color and décor of my kitchen, right next to the hanging basket of limes and tomatoes and north of my collection of vitamins and herbal supplements. Guess how comments were about my pee? Well, two. And one selling me on the idea of a program that, truth told, I would try and embrace were it not available only via a pointy marketing pyramid.

Lack of comments for the artwork and my interpretation that it represents wisdom lies within aside, I swallow a lot. And not like that. I take vitamins and minerals and supplements every day. Some call them unnecessary, expensive, mostly peed out. But given the nature of the food chain and degradation of nurturing soil, I’m of the belief that adding to an otherwise balanced and crunchy diet is a good thing.

My belly and cells don’t take kindly to western potions and pills. They make me anxious or angry, bloated and urpy and prone to breaking out. I listen to and heed traditional doctors, but many still treat ailments as a “Been there done that.” Take this to cure that because that’s what most do. Same size, same dosage, same treatment, some side effects.

I take Vitamin D, E, C and Selenium (to build thyroid strength), Biotin (hair and nails and a great all-round B vitamin), Glucosomine (for joints) and Flax Oil and a metabolism booster of Kelp, Lecithin and apple cider vinegar daily. And I feel mostly great most days. Haven’t had to attempt Synthroid for a third nasty time, my thyroid damaged by an autoimmune event, also known as a goiter which is about as sexy as the gout or a thick yellow toe nail. I’ve kept it healthy and running to my endocrinologists liking with lifestyle changes and loads of research. I don’t get sick much and when I do blame it on the environment of sweat at the gym, where I do cardio for my heart and weights for my muscles and yoga for my head.

I eat well, absolutely, and don’t limit anything per see. Knock wood, but I’m not going under a bus wishing I’d had that dirty martini or plate of warm hummus and flatbread. I’m currently obsessed with sweet potato fries roasted in olive oil, sprinkled with salt, cracked pepper and herbes de Provence and topped hot with goat feta. Been eating enough red meat lately (because of the easy wonder that is the Hibachi charcoal grill) that my body wants it less right now. Fish takes center square of my white Crate and Barrel plates.

I like veggies more than fruits but whip together a smoothie of berries or peaches or stone fruits, Kerfir and a scoop of coconut oil most mornings. The candida cleanse (courtesy of the oil) has been…foamy. A pipe cleaning for the colon, it eliminates the bad fungi and replaces it with good, probiotic bacteria. Not pretty, mind you, but effective. Plus a slather of coconut oil on a couple of wheat saltines before a work out sends performance through the roof, especially for those (like me) who tend to exercise with little food in them. Full belly + heavy cardio = vomit waiting to happen (also known as The Biggest Loser money shot.)

And I pee clear. Rule #1.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The ying and the yang, ping and the pang

Woke up yesterday bright and alert at 7:30 a.m. I may have even had morning wood. But like Robert Smith sang, Sunday always comes too late and I couldn’t roll my ass out of bed. An odd thing this life, the ying and the yang, ping and the pang. One morning ready to take on the world, Pinky, and the next wanting only more covers to roll up over your head and guilt about skipping out on 10:00 a.m. yoga to fade.

We’re happy, we’re sad. Fat and skinny. Coupled and uncoupled. Brave and cowardly. Pretty and ugly. Content and wanting. Sometimes all in the same day. Sometimes all in the same Saturday.

Maybe it’s the impending birthday. Maybe I’m just feeling old or wiped out. Or disappointed. Last year right around this time I had a new relationship and a new dress, and both fit so well. I felt good in them, healthy and sexy and vital and worth adoration. Now I'm tired. Told myself no more doctors this year, treating ailments with exercise and yoga and more soy, less dark liquor and more clear. I don’t want to begin again with tests or trials or knowing nods and succinct explanations because nothing is one size fits all. After my teens and into my 20’s I suffered terribly with acne, the small bumpy variety and large painful lumps. Used to imagine (wish perhaps) I could peel off my entire face and scrub from the other side, clean out all the crap and black plugs. Scrub it good and hard. Too bad we can’t do the same when our bodies or minds or hearts misbehave, cut into each cell and section and have a good look (although I guess that’s what one calls an autopsy). It’s so much guessing, so little science. Science and science fiction.

I’m completely drug free (my choice and insistence), save a couple Bayer aspirin in the morning and half-dozen daily natural, herbal supplements. Living clean, hoping fatigue is merely boredom, aches the treadmill. And I'm aware that sad is more than the opposite of happy, it's a litmus test for the possibilities and a reminder that happy will be back. Maybe tomorrow, maybe 10 minutes from now. Still, for all the kumbaya I'm not looking forward to holding myself up in a down dog in an hour. It’s a lot of weight today, even though I was two pounds lighter on the scale this morning (the second measured after a good poop).

Maybe some days all you need is a grateful, good morning poop.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How to get a head with the ladies

If I ever found myself with a son of dating age, one of the best mingling tips I’d offer is don’t overlook the plain Jane (or Joe). If teen romantic comedies and Taylor Swift songs have taught us nothing it’s that the gal pal, the girl you laugh and share musical tastes and fart jokes with will end up, in the end, the one. She’s always the better fit than the blond who sprouted tits and pubs first, the one with Heather Locklear kind of hips that never go out of style, generation after generation. Case(s) in point:

Some Kind of Wonderful
Pretty in Pink (roles in reverse and a toss-up, considering Duckie was gay; but then Blaine seemed curious, too)
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

And when that hypothetical boy comes of age, how does one broach the topic of pleasing a lady? I assume fathers still do the standard penetration and keep your penis clean talk (my mother’s idea of “the talk” was a book with pictures; most of my childhood I thought babies were pooped out). But I’m talking technique, tickling the man in the boat.

Do I need to elaborate further?

Having a box lunch? Pearl diving? Away, away, away down south in Dixie?

If not fortunate enough to have a woman engaging enough to tell and show how she likes it, perhaps there are pamphlets, men’s journal articles or practice on a wedge of cantaloupe. Girls share every sexual trick and tip and there are scads of guidebooks providing step-by-step instructions (the double ball swallow an interesting concept and sideshow skill). I've heard urban legends of women who don’t care for it. I’m not one of those. You could pitch a tent, provide a cold drink and stay downtown all afternoon. Don’t blow it by blowing on it (it’s not like a nipple, you can’t coax it out with a breeze), use all your tongue, stem to stern, and hum if you really like it. Bonus, once you visit we’re more likely to reciprocate. Not the must-have-go-to on the appetizer menu but I order, devour and savor too. Best part is looking up at him.

And like your daddies told you, a clean peen is a happy peen.

With treasures and wisdom like that it’s a pure damn shame I don’t have a son.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yes, I can still see my toes

It’s creeping back. Hard like dough, not like when first made but after it’s been sitting under a towel for a time rising. Before you punch it back down. The belly.

It’s keeping me out of the five pairs of smaller size dark wash jeans and into the larger two pairs fast becoming more and more faded from the wash. Leggings and tunics hide wonders, but underpants that ride down over the hump or cut in at the edges serve as a reminder that the vanilla Absolut over ice (like I’m sipping now) and Rudi baguettes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, Murray River flaked (and light as a damn snowflake) salt and fresh cracked pepper that I snack on like popcorn aren't doing me any favors.

Luckily I kept few clothes from my formerly fat(ter) life, given to Goodwill, tossed in the dumpster or folded into boxes in my basement (too large to wear, even now, praise be.) I don’t fit into women’s sizes ("The Scarlet W"), Lane Bryant and Torrid fashions cut with droopy shoulder seams and too high rises.

But damn if I’m not fat.

I could make a list of the why. The relationship, the one who heartily devours both food and me, injuries that have interfered with a regular gym schedule, the pills and the potions and the doctors and the white wine instead of red. And the bourbon. Oh, god almighty-Jesus-Mary-and-Joseph the good bourbon.

Oddly it's the fat person who'll feel most welcome and wholly accepted at the gym. I’m serious pudgies. For years I too was intimidated by the boys with large quads and small packages and overly tan girls with asses you could eat lunch off of. But I've found some of the most respected and encouraged folks sweating it out are the big ones. There’s little to no (zero-nada) stink eye or sideways glances. If anything there's an appreciation about taking charge of one's health. Doing it. Doing something. There are plenty of skinny fat folks wandering around, but the bitches who earn my respect have biceps. Nothing comes naturally – especially health – and committing to a workout regime is balls hard work, for the fittest and the fattest.

Cross my heart and jiggley thighs.

Ran into the fitness director morning, a tiny former dancer and cheerleader from somewhere in Cali where that  kind of thing equals celebrity, so slim a large man could palm her entire waist. She always remembers my name. Told her I’d been a bit absent mostly due to the crack in my hip and an intense, bone snapping fear of anything jumpy. She reassured me, told me to come to class and we’ll modify. Amazing people teach at my gym, like my spinning coach who likes when I call her Chrissy (Christy to everyone else). She’s certified, trained by Schwinn and just launched a web site that marries music and cycling drills to keep it interesting and challenging. I attempt (and succeed) in pacing her every stroke, every rotation of the heavy silver bike wheel. I do the same with her husband when he comes to class. Good folk both, solid and all-American. They must have a chocolate lab at home.

So don’t fear flabbies. I’ve re-committed to cardio, 5-6 days a week and as many steams afterwords as is healthy. But damn if I can’t quit the crostini’s. And the drink. It’s just bread, right? And wine. It's like god’s diet.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

City's Burning

Boulder, Colorado is on fire tonight. And not in the manner the city that's host to my college Alma mater and home for many years is often defined or portrayed in the media. And local pubs.

Initial reports say a car hit a propane tank over the holiday weekend in one of the woody areas up the hill and started a blaze that shot plumes of surprisingly white clouds at first, later raining ashes for miles and miles. As of tonight 140 structures are gone. "Structures" means barns and schools and homes. 140 photo albums, special pairs of boots, letters, books, things that don't matter really I guess. But look up from your glowing screen right now. Look around at wherever you are, at your things, your coffee shop, your library. Your people. Imagine what's been lost. Imagine being locked out, forced out by nature for the last three days.

One of the amazing doctors I met this year who treated me with care and comedy and pathos has lost her home. Saw her in one of those online videos anyone with an integrated camera can create and post to a news site. I'm not the praying type, but I pray in my own manner for her. For the people and the animals and the land and the loss. And yes, cynics, when you move to a hilly wild area there are rules, fire lines must be drawn. Safety number one. You anticipate and plan, the worry attached to the reward.

Doesn't make it any more palatable.

I ache for my city and for those dealing with beauty lost. Everything will return, the homes and the flora and the fawna and the dogs and the cats and the air that smells most often like grass and a flower I could name if I knew about those things. Tonight it smells like charcoal in the bottom of my Hibachi. It smells wrong and unwelcome.

I love Boulder. I love its madness and its pretentious nature and its patchouli stink and its transparent hold that welcomes me every time I descent over and past the highway lookout that unveils the Flatirons and the fourteeners and the fancy homes way up in the hills and the University that fed my mind and laid ground for my passion. And for the people.

People who want to touch it so much they live up the hills.

The hills that are on fire right now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

There’s music that plays succinctly as a soundtrack to life, events as they happen start to finish. Or that encapsulate moments of time, to remind you how it felt or simply make you smile when heard unexpectedly. I kept returning to track 7, comforting myself with track 11 each time it made me cry. Which was every time.

Little sister don't you worry about a thing today
Take the heat from the sun


I miss being and being called a little sister. Such protection in the phrase, as if there’s a boy or a man who’ll watch over you. Not a coincidence track seven is about the mysterious distance between a man and woman, because men and women aren’t merely lovers alone, but brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters, parents. I miss those men, sometimes more than anyone could think I can feel. Because a cavalier and strong candy coating, ready smile and hearty laugh buys that shelter.

Oh you look so beautiful tonight!
In the city of blinding lights


The last time I felt the part was alongside my only older brother, arms in the air at Madison Square Garden singing along with thousands and thousands. Rejoining in a city I love but have been to just twice. I miss it. All of it.

The mosquitoes have been bad this summer and each bite leaves an angry and swollen red mark. There are several on my legs. I seem to scratch at them again and again. Again.

But you can't be numb for love
The only pain is to feel nothing at all


I used to feel something, anything by creating hurt on my body. Because when one feels nothing one creates sensation to know they’re alive. It began innocently enough; a new kitten with pinpoint sharp claws leaving tiny, stinging marks, mostly on my legs. They hurt and stung the more I scratched at them. After a time I created some myself, soaking in Epsom salt, sometimes rubbing them over with alcohol to get rid of evidence of so much unhappy. So much that was imperfect. It took months and months to heal. If any or many saw it, just one commented. A couple of years past it I told my Mom and about the song I played over and over and over as a mantra to get through, to make myself better. She went out and bought the CD. Last time I saw it at her house it was still in the cellophane wrap. Not from this album, but I love and hate it each time I make myself listen to it.

So you never knew... how low you'd stoop to make that call
And you never knew... what was on the ground until they made you crawl
So you never knew... that the heaven you keep, you stole
Please... please... please...
Get up off your knees

See, I am bigger and deeper and wider and brighter than just cheeky stories about a fat belly and male genitalia. I'm a writer after all (says so on my tax returns). No worries, wrote this a week ago and have stories to share soon about why I miss being single, boys who date plain Jane's and cunnilingus tips.

Take this soul stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul and make it sing (sing)


It's what I do.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

You're dangerous, 'cause you're honest

A weekend that begins with roller coasters and being swung upside down (one of my favorite things) I call "off to a good start." That and my body dysmorphic ass fit in every ride and he went out of his way to find me a warm pretzel.

With cheese.

Found if you take a moment, get down on the floor and play a bit, it can be kinda cool. So is dinner cooked on the grill and "Almost Famous" on the couch built for one that still holds two and cocktails and penetration and breakfast of scrambled eggs with mushrooms and fresh dill and bacon on the side cooked while he tells you, "Stay in bed, have a lazy Sunday" and hear their sounds moving about upstairs. This afternoon I picked out cards, wonderful and sparkly cards for some of the people I love. And a birthday gift for a bright and beautiful girl who reminded me late this week of what and who I really am. She aspires to be me, and I reflect my own image back from her. It makes so much sense.

The truth takes courage and deflecting blows sometimes. Often in fact.

Been listening to Radio U2 a good deal, Bono the poet in the mostly wide open red room that is my heart. Lyrics that tell me what I know. Do you feel loved? How can you stand next to the truth and not see it?

I do, for reals. And I do. For reals.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bono, to you

"They say that what you mock will surely overtake you. And you become a monster, so the monster will not break you."

I could quote Paul Hewson all freaking day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Don't feel like waking up to that

Don’t you hate when you Google an ex? But damn if you just got to.

Worse is coming across pictures of him and the new wife. Married to the man afraid to commit, so stung by former nuptials he said he’d never do it again. Even though he loved you best, for a little bit at least. The picture is of just the two of them, obviously taken by someone else. He’s leaning in, close to her lips. Her face is mostly obscured by his, only a wide and toothy grin clearly visible, and I notice the hair; very dark and almost red locks with heavy bangs that look so much like mine. They’re about to kiss.

You can definitely see the big sparkler of a clear ring on her left hand.

He said "I love you" first. He was the first to say it to me ever. I believed it but didn't say it back. Thought once you said it it stuck forever and ever and I wanted to be certain. Ah, youth.

A decade-plus-a-little later when he re-appeared (as he did every six years or so), I asked him to care for me after my Dad died. Maybe pick me up at the local airport and help me around a town I didn’t know anymore, hold my hand so I didn’t crumble into dust. He said he was busy. Had a birthday party to go to. A party for a one-year-old, not his. The kids always come first.

So at 1 a.m. I can’t sleep and more to the point I don’t seem willing to let myself. I want to stay up all night. Feels like things are ending, more to the point feels like I’m letting them and I don't feel like waking up to that.

Found my Mom has a Facebook page. She’s moved on and in with a fellow I’ve never met. They work on their yard together. I know enough to know she met him last year or so right around the time I meet my fellow.

But he wants her more.

And again I said too much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jagged Little Pill

Men, take control of your birth control.

The scale this morning is finally heading in the right direction (who else misses old school scales with the pointer and the numbers? The digitals report paunch to the nth degree, and you can’t adjust down or up to make yourself feel better or play a mean trick). Happily I’ve shaved off 3 of the 9 pounds that have plagued me and which I blame on 1) a healthy relationship with a man who has cash and good taste and 2) the BC, the birth control pill.

Oh, and 3) leggings and tunics.

The BC and I go way back, to my mid-20’s. Wasn’t regularly connecting bits then, but stabbing ladies days had got to the point of bent over cramps and anemia before my doctor suggested hormones to balance my cycles. I loved it. Twist of the daily dial, click to the fourth green pill in and one Thursday every month I flowed. By Sunday, she was gone – in and out lickity split, quick like a bunny. Sad the number of years spent inserting only tampons. But I would have been bad, really bad in bed back then. Had much to learn.

Stayed with the BC for years, until my early 40’s, at which time I chose to go au naturel. Given I have no history to rely on in the area of perimenopause or what’s coming when, I wanted to see what my body – my wonderous internal machine – would do on its own. The BC merely tricks your uterus into thinking you’re pregnant all the time. Take the BC well into your 80’s, ladies, and you too can maintain your youthful flow.

After nearly 2 decades on it I was surprised at how my body returned to clock work regularity, running every 26 days thank you very much. But impromptu and morning and in the back seat of the car sex is so much easier on than off. Tried the diaphragm (which I like a good deal, no hormones, no wackiness). Condoms are okay, but unwrapped is better. So after many tests and talks with my new gyno that oh yes, I’m a prime candidate for twins over 40, I went back on the BC. Opted for a lo-dose version and the first month or two seemed fine. No muss, really no fuss and the big finish we both like. Then came the moodiness, the puffiness. The moodiness that lead to the little blue cloud of unhappy that lead to skipping the gym that lead to puffiness and tighter jeans and 9 pounds more of me, mostly on my ass and some to my back, which is oh so sexy.

Stayed back on the BC three months and have been off for two. I feel like the guy now – cutely exscusing myself at just the right moment to jelly up and insert my flying disk, cleaning up after (a careful roll off the side of the mattress and jaunty skip to the toilet while he stays splayed out and glowing). I hate being the dude in sex.

Broached the idea of a vasectomy. I think he either chuckled or flinched.

If only there were a pill for men. Of course unless in a committed-strings-attached-thing, girls would you believe at all times he was protected? The old fling sent a text message a while back. “Did I tell you I had a vasectomy?” Really?

Me and my plump juicy ovaries. At least I’m a not growing a mustache yet.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

All pointy-toed shoes and testicles. Must be Thursday.

I have a pair of red leather pointy flats that I would marry if it were legal in the state of Colorado. A polygamist, I have five pairs in the same style - two in black, one pewter, one gold and my red. The pewter was my first.

Pointy shoes, flats especially, remind me of the flare of 80’s fashion and black short zip boots the mods and Teddy Boys wore. Plus an extreme point elongates my otherwise Fred-Flintsone-variety-wide foot. In Duran Duran days, I wore and wore and wore out a pair of pewter penny loafers, bought at the Wild Pair in the mall, back then our go-to destination for MTV and/or new wave inspired footwear. Flash forward two decades where I paid full retail at Nordstrom for a fresh pewter fantasy, the find a coming home. I wore the hell out of them, snug and comfy as I skipped all over town. They rarely come out of the closet now, so overly worn and a bit musty.

Then I found red. The perfect muted shade of leather, they go with sweaters over leggings in the winter, high cuffed skinny jeans in the summer and every black Studio M dress I own. I've even written about them:
The handsome pair eventually found an open booth directly behind my party. In true flirt fashion, I swiveled my stool fully around, crossed and pointed legs towards them like the needle of a compass even though doing so somewhat clogged the path to the bathroom; I nearly hooked the testicles of several men with my very pointy red shoe.

Shoes so magical, the black pair made a fast celebrity friend (photo included):
While waiting at the bar for a rum Del Sol, I spot a petite blonde in navy crinoline staring at my shoes. "You must love them or hate them,” I say jokingly of the extreme pointy toed, testicle catching lovelies (I have them in red too). “No, I love them!” she retorted. “Those shoes are going take over the party.” Check out some visual art installations, check out the boys and find a seat on a squishy L-shaped and obviously brought in for the show excuse of a couch. Half hour passes. “That's Amy Sedaris...,” I exclaim in shock. "Amy Sedaris liked my shoes!”

Authors note: I just can't talk about my pointies without mentioning balls. Apparently.

Found them sitting on an off-season Nordstrom rack (along with the black and gold). They now have water stains, the foot bed is perfectly stamped with an outline of my arch and all five toes, and some of the stitching is threatening to pop. But I just can't quit them.

I tried and tried to - gasp! - replace the red, a search both high and low for just the perfect fit, the perfect color and feel. The perfect roach stomper point. I came close with a Nine West knock-off, but I've yet to wear them. I still reach for my first loves.

I’ll never let go.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Snug as a bug in a rug

Since when is comfort bad? Who doesn't love a leather flat or peep-toe sandal you can go miles with and not get a blister? Or panties that don’t ride up and in your crevices or skinny jeans with a bit of stretch (one of the best inventions of modern man). Of course being the tipping scale, look-at-life-from-both-sides-now Libra that I am, change is good too. Even the words for it are magical - metamorphosis, rebirth, revolution. Most of life I’ve awaited change, even ran after it. Sitting still was never really an option, instead the loose wires in the brain constantly buzzed go forward, move ahead.

It does one good, this wanderlust. Go to school, talk to a stranger, learn, read, explore. It also tires a girl out. So much so that she can get lazy. Because after years of the chase and the run sitting in a comfy chair feels good. Too.

And here in lies the conundrum. I’m bored mostly stupid. I eat and drink it away at night. As far as career goes I’ve worked hard, honed the elusive “it” quality needed for success in the business world and am really good at what I do. And it's dumb and unfulfilling (for me now). For months and months (maybe years) I've loudly pecked at a safe and warm shell that holds the nutrients to sustain me at the most basic level of existence but never cracked through. Because damn if it’s not perfectly adequate in there.

So I do nothing to change other than think about it, and have grown to truley dislike this about myself.

This morning I turned to an anonymous page in that fat little paperback that sits on my desk and read:

Action time: Zen master Tue Trung Thuong Si said, “What’s the good of discussing a musical masterpiece? It’s the performance that counts.” Be honest with yourself on the subject of when you’ve talked enough about your ideas and dreams, and when it’s time to put your planning into action.

I dated that passage with ink and folded up the bottom corner of the page. At least I did something.

Monday, August 2, 2010

This is a relationship. Right?

He's not overly stylish in dress and has no desire or need to change his crooked bottom row of teeth. His is a lived-in guys house. He doesn’t share some of the big things that happen to or around him or many emotions good or bad, unless prompted. He’s not the party-waiting-to-happen social flirt I am.

But he laughs out loud when we watch episodes of “The Young Ones” and makes coffee on the mornings I sleep over and was there to put oil in the car when the red-neon-genie-lamp looking icon began flashing Saturday. He plays the 80’s new wave station when I ask for music and always keeps butcher shop bacon on hand for breakfast. I ask a lot of him. And I’m still not convinced that I'm wholly with him. And vice versa. We’re together because we like and love each other and like and love having company and care and the other to watch movies and have dinner with. And maybe that’s what it is. What it's supposed to be.

I know I feel calmer with him to rely on. I know it feels good when we're together, few pressures and a time to recharge. A lazy Sunday spent on the couch (one I would pay him to haul away). I know I have real fear of real issues and the times when I say too much, or want to say more but feel it's better I don't because, damn, if I can't talk and talk.

He told me once I deserve to be loved.

Maybe that's it.

Right.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I Am the Cheese

The manfriend took me out for burgers last night, a favorite spot on the edge of downtown. It’s a bar mostly, dark and wooden inside but with a surprisingly charming patio out back, all wobbly tables and mis-matched chairs.

Oh, and there’s no name on the door.

You go for the burgers and the drinks. And for Paul. He knows manfriend from music (the local scene is more than incestuous; you can’t swing a drunk girl without hitting someone-who-knows-someone-who-sang-with-that one-who-played-an-open-mic-with them.) And like Pamela Des Barres, I like being with the band.

Paul shakes what I’ve declared the best dirty bird. Slight on brine, perfectly icy premium vodka and floating three giant olives. Our second round was on him. He’s a good guy.

We noshed on my favorite burger in town, grilled on a silver flat top, piled with caramel-colored grilled onions and three kinds of cheese, one a happy yellow plus a smear of jalapeño cream cheese on the bun. Best with lettuce and tomatoes and extra pickles (at least five chips). It’s a messy, glorious, juicy and hot handful of love.

Like me. Laughed in that moment and in that place at how much the meal defined me, the duality of personalities, an analogy of life. My cocktail smooth yet with a bite. Classy and sassy old school charm adorned with a designer label. My burger a melding and melting of taste and texture, something of a mess the deeper the bite taken but wholly satisfying in chewy happiness.

And it leaves me wanting more because it's a damn fine burger.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

And I'm getting older, too

As is the annual ritual, I got new contacts this year. Not just fresh and sparkly lens hermetically sealed in tiny packets of juice but an adjusted prescription, one lens tweaked to far-far-far-away and one for a crisper up close so I can read the sushi menu through legally blind eye bulbs. I also now wear custom (and groovy, natch, metal and copper colored - almost rose) computer glasses over top of them when working at the laptop.

Huh.

Although I like the look of trendy hipster in my cat eye rims, or hot under-the-bun librarian fantasy that comes with sporting specs, the reason I wear contacts (and have since I was 15) is so I don't have to wear glasses. Another curse of getting older, the choice is no longer mine. Even that eye flap surgery where they slice a bit of the cornea off the top like peeling a grape would leave me needing computer glasses.

If it's not nipples peeking in two different directions or fighting back the inevitable jowls that sprout in mid-age on all the ladies in the family it's wearing glasses over contact lens. What the hell comes next?

I already pull on what women in the past referred to as “support garments,” stretchy camisoles under my Old Navy cotton tanks at the gym to secure the jiggle and back fat. Underneath my clothes you’ll find one piece body briefers, the sexy all-over lace variety but still I’d love to rock a bosom up, mostly sheer demi-bra without bulges (or the dreaded four boob crease) showing through the light weight fabric of a white tee or silky dress.

Where did I leave my reckless youth? All nighters and shots with a whipped cream topping. Now after a night of cocktails, I take two aspirin before going to bed. I limit raw red onions on salads. Stretch first or risk a strain.

Hold my hand when the jowls come for me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

364 days

“Wear something nice. I’ll pick you up at five.”

The manfriend is taking me out tomorrow night, one day shy of our first meeting in the flesh a year ago (meeting of the flesh went down the next night; that’s another kind of anniversary, not sure if Hallmark or the far superior Papyrus makes a card for that). He’s playing out Friday, a band gig, so asked for Thursday special. Wonder what’s up his sleeve, what he has planned. I know for sure it’s not the Denny’s Early Bird.

Never made it this far with just one. Mostly the boys came in and out (dirty, meant to be) and admittedly I still sometimes sniff from a distance. Good bad habits are hard to break. But if the last year has shown me anything it’s that being a part of something is good. Better than auxiliary to a story line, I’m a plot point.

And things are changing, the duo becoming a trio. The kid enters the picture, a situation forced more by circumstance than choice, but that’s how those things go sometimes. I know he’ll dig me, bet I’ll mess up some and still pretty sure it’s healthy and right for kids of divorce and single parents to have a seat to genuine, gentle and real man-woman, boy-girl relationships. After all, that’s what you want for him or her one day.

But for the rest of this summer it’s just me and the manfriend doing the things we’ve been doing during one full orbit of the planet around the sun. Dinners and indie films and the search for the best burger, the best ice cream in town. He spoils me, treats me like a girl and I like it. I like when he orders for me, opens doors and lays a hand palm down on my thigh when he drives. I like that he knows how I take my cocktails and my coffee. I like his dog.

I like feeling part of something.

Before you think I've fallen completely into a vat of sugary-girl-sap, I assure you I prefer my pot saucy. Felt me up inside the music club he took me to the next night but, ever the gentleman, didn't want to assume. He didn't bring condoms.

No worries. I had plenty at home.

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