Friday, April 30, 2010

He's Just Not That Into You?

Sheryl Crow must be pissed.

It was widely reported after her romantic split with Lance Armstrong (and confirmed by both) that the relationship (and their engagement) ended mostly because Lance didn’t want any more kids, his deal-breaker. Plus right after they broke up he went and gave her the cancer.*

This morning Lance tweeted news of a second child with girlfriend Anna Hansen just 10 months after the birth of their son. For those keeping score that's two sperminations post Crow. At the time of the first girlfriend pregnancy Lance confirmed despite going through rough treatment for advanced testicular cancer it was a “natural” baby, his first in that fashion; three kids with the ex-wife whisked up in test tubes from frozen dealies taken beforehand. So I'm guessing protection wasn't much of an issue, the first baby a suprise in the truest sense, testament to the power of his sperm and cosmic giggle of nature and biology.

And now super ball has gone and done it again.

Talk about getting the one fuzzy end of the lollipop.

*A joke. One-toe-over-the-line humor not intended to offend. Besides you can’t “catch" cancer. It has to be whammied on you.**

**I apologize most sincerely for the apology. Y'all come back now!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If I were a carpenter

Some days I wish I was a baker in an apron dusted with flour in the shape of my hands that made lovely, delicious and wanted pies and cakes and scones and pastries and sugar cookies with silver jimmies and white icing. And at the end of the day there were simply pies and cakes and scones and pastries and sugar cookies with silver jimmies and white icing for all to enjoy, to melt on their tongues and swallow slow.

And it's good because at the end of the day, I'd made something.

Something.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

White bread

Never had a man send a flirtatious, anonymous drink. But once I got toast.

Chatted yesterday with an old girlfriend, one who comes with decades of memories. She reminded me of a story from a marvelous time of life, fresh out of university but still living in a college town (I shared a two-bedroom flat over a bar-and-grill and around the corner from a tattoo parlor) when friends were always available, when we had little money and ate dinner at happy hour or befriended barkeeps who fed us on the sly from the kitchen. When I worked two jobs, office temp during the day and retail clerk at night yet found the company to socialize with every night and the energy to do it all again the next day.

We never went out before 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. and often to the strip mall dance stop whose name escapes me now. Started as a gay club where the hags and artists were embraced and celebrated too (and before it was sadly infiltrated by the frat and sorority crowd).

Earlier that evening I’d been to Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, stopped in the vintage clothing shop my then best-gay managed. He talked me into (and cut a very nice deal on) a gorgeous vintage hat, black and bowler-ish and tied with a huge tulle bow worn in the front. I wore it out that night and to breakfast at 2 a.m. Just a girlfriend and I, probably tearing into coffee and the pounder platter of cheese fries (the Denny's after-drink special, cheap but with real cheddar and sometimes chili). We hadn’t been there long when the waiter brought out a stacked pyramid of toasted white bread (what we ate then and never questioned that it lacked whole grain or fiber).

“Sorry, I didn’t order that,” I told him. “No, it’s from the gentleman over there,” he replied, neck gesturing towards a table of three young men. They smiled back with cheeky grins before one raised a cup to me.

“Love the hat,” he said. Nothing else came of it, perhaps just a smile and wave when they left.

Hadn’t thought about that story in years and it’s one of the better ones tucked away in the cranium. A happy memory. I only wish I realized then how cute I was, only wish I responded to and appreciated attention from men (or boys). I just always said they weren’t in to me (and many weren't, always been a bit of tough nut to crack). Plus I had no game; the only fellows who felt me up in the day were doormen or security (so I went to a lot of concerts. A lot.)

Worse yet I defined myself (despite the fabulous hats and pandemic personality) as white bread. That girl didn't believe (yet) how spectacular and tasty she is.

Like cinnamon toast. Or a Strawberry Pop-Tart®.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

Meyers Briggs tells me mine is an ENFP personality and, surprising to some, extroverts aren’t (by this definition) the most social of all butterflies at a cocktail party. Rather extroverts derive energy from and recharge in the presence of others. I'm not full, not even close it feels.

ENFPs have a strong need to be liked. Some have real difficulty being alone, especially on a regular basis.

I feel like crap and have for some time now. I don’t care for it.

Yes, I believe in the balance of happy-and-sad, ying-and-yang, chocolate-and-peanut butter. But could I just feel better already? Inspired? Ready to straddle the planet and shout yea-haw? All I want to do is drink dirty martinis and chew on the olives while supine on the couch, wearing a tank top instead of a bra and pants that pull on, no snaps or zipper.

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. Basically happy people, they may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks.

Took a solid week away from the day job and spent it making plans. Plans plans plans plans plans. Kept up a strong pace of activities so the worries and lonely and feeling left out of what everyone else seemed to be doing, to be having wouldn’t catch me. And I had some marvelous times. Wandered the Denver Zoo in the morning, munched a patty melt and real chips in the afternoon at an Irish Pub. Drank beer when I wanted. Meet up with old girlfriends, Easter dinner, took myself to movies and a show. Finally signed up for the first of many graphic design classes.

And then I made more plans. So many that plans have overlapped plans. So many that if I don’t plan to make it to 5:30 spinning tonight, no other classes fit until Sunday.

ENFP's see meaning in everything and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace. They're constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves.

Haven’t seen the manfriend much and that gets me uncomfortably sad and angry because what started out as something casual turned into something regular, then headed into something good. Now something maybe dissolving too easily.

Always seeing the possibilities of what could be, ENFPs may become bored with what actually is. Less mature ENFPs may need to feel they are the center of attention all the time.

A deeply insightful friend (the kind that really listens when you talk) and I chewed over drinks and amazing bread we dunked often and much into olive oil and heavenly grated cheese. She told me mine is a life with the luxury to ponder, to be still and think and absorb. Both a blessing and a curse, she said, because such reflection can lead to a constant hum of dialogue in ones own head. And yes, I agreed, I'm sometimes felled by not knowing which way to go and simply fill the quiet with noise instead. Or sit down in the middle of it all, disengage and tell myself it doesn't matter anyway, hey hey hey.

ENFPs live in the world of possibilities and can become very passionate and excited about things. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.

It matters. Goodness it does, so fill me up.

Monday, April 5, 2010

You’re not as alone as you thought

None of us ever really gets to start over. We only continue. I didn’t write that, stole it from a Washington Post review. Those twelve words best sum up my reaction to the film, “Prodigal Sons.” Saw it last night, an audience of just three at the indie film house I haunt.

First glimpsed Kimberly Reed while I was on the treadmill at gym, she a guest on Oprah. A stunning, very tall blond woman with an exquisite sloped nose and wide smile. Kim was born Paul (looked long and hard and never saw an Adam’s apple) and had recently completed a documentary of her return to Helena, Montana (after fully transitioning) for a high school and family reunion.

When I found the film was playing locally, made immediate plans to see it. I like others stories and this one Hollywood couldn’t write. You wouldn’t buy it, grandiose and nearly epic in its exploration of who we are, who believe ourselves to be and what happens when bodies or minds trap us.

I squawk frequently about change, about forward movement and reinvention. I believe it’s possible at any moment to change your mind and change your life. I felt an odd kinship to Kim Reed; half her life seemed to have never existed. She didn’t care to speak of who she was before gender transformation, only to say the skin didn’t fit then. Mine didn't fit for a very long time, either. So I hid, too. She asked family not to share old photos in new situations. It’s difficult sometimes to look back too long at where we came from, at who we were then rather than who we are (or believe ourselves to be) now. Including what others say, how they define(d) us.

Kim’s story is intriguing enough on its own, the handsome high school football star returning to small town America, easily accepted (it appeared) by most in her new body (and a bikini body it is, right down to the nipped Brigitte Bardot waist). Mostly the questions from childhood chums sipping Budweiser have to do with sexuality, not gender. Is she a lesbian or homosexual? A dyke or a queer?

A secondary storyline involving Kim’s adopted brother Marc at first plays as simple reflection on the theme of living in a body that doesn’t fit. After suffering severe head trauma in a car accident, his mood swings from sad sack to frightful aggression. He lives mostly in the past, speaks of high school as the best time of life, while in reality he woefully lagged behind the golden boy who could throw a spiral and got all the girls. The boy he wanted to be became a woman, a scrambled thought process that sometimes offensively computes. Marc’s true lineage comes to light in the second act and it’s stunning, so unbelievable the scenes are Fellinni-esque, right down to swimming in the waters off Croatia. Yet even that fails to ground him, fails to root or plant him.

Like Kim, I’ve disengaged a good deal from my past. So many family photos now stored in boxes in the basement, still in their frames. I was touched how this wholly nontraditional family rallied and kept hold of each other, albeit sometimes at arm’s length. Few stay, few hang on under much less intense terms.

The reason I'm drawn to documentary film, the reason I write and reason I ask a million questions is we all have something to share and something to learn. We are all teachers and students, most with the basic need to belong. After a really bad day at work, or jammed in traffic or pulling on impossible jeans in the Macy’s fitting room, hearing how another felt in the same, even trite, situation makes you feel less alone. More normal.

That you fit, worn edges and all.

"We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say - and to feel - 'Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.'"
-- John Steinbeck

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Second verse, same as the first

I have a friend who’s been singing the same refrain for years now. Stay or go? Will I or won’t I? Perhapsmaybeshouldcould. Although not a huge believer in one action representing another, part of me would advise he jump from a plane (parachuted of course) or over an abyss with nothing but bungee attached to ankles. Take a step over a dangerous edge, see what happens. I bet you land exhilarated.

Because talking doesn’t make it so, action does.

There’s a wonderful, simple and simply wonderful line in the 80’s romedy (romantic comedy) “Say Anything”:

How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and just be in a good mood?

Almost makes sense, doesn’t it?

So many similes and metaphors, of which I’m known to sprinkle generously into my writing like double jimmies on a cupcake (see). You cry freedom, then fear, but mostly wolf. And in truth you only stand still crying. Days and nights and moments and minutes and seconds are limited.

Throw some toes over the edge.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

Machines are taking over my space, large smooth plastic and metal casings with wires and cables at the ready to catch and hold dust bunnies. To be fair, technology and the internets have allowed me to work from home sans big girl pants that button and tight shoes for years, close to a decade. I’m home for package delivery slips and the repairman. I can grocery shop and hit the gym in the middle of the day, have lunchtime sex.

But at what cost? Asked the boss for an external monitor for my 15” laptop. It arrived today, a 21-inch, comically large widescreen that takes up half or more of my work space (and I like a clean work space). May relegate the unopened box to the basement and simply squint.

My cable telly provider will soon retire analog channels in favor of digital. I’m not much of a TV watcher, never subscribed to premium channels or On Demand programming options. I’m good with just TBS for reruns of “The Office” and CNN for my Andy Cooper. But as more and more channels slowly fade away (I miss “America's Next Top Model” marathons on Oxygen) I requested a digital converter box. It’s the size of a small flying saucer and requires two inches or more of free area on all sides to properly "ventilate". The goddamn thing breathes. I haven’t the space or energy for it. Calling Comcast in the morning.

I’m happy old school. I like the smell and smudge of pencils on paper, grainy stock used to hand write a thank you or amorous note. I prefer movies in a theater (the home experience just isn’t the same) and was last on the block to buy a DVD player.

The manfriend (lovely and thoughtful) set up an internet radio receiver in my place. He said, "everyone needs music," and knew my cassette-CD-phono combo was on last legs and sans antenna. It’s wonderful, only downside that I have no player for my vast CD collection (other than the car) and digital music takes time to organize, not to mention storage space. Remember liner notes, the smell and feel of vinyl. And photo albums? When people talked instead of texted? ...sigh...

I’m Laura Ingalls Wilder. She used a hot nail to curl her bangs.

I tend to perseverate over technology, what’s working as it should and what’s not. I simply want the light switch to illuminate the dark and water to run from the faucet (hot or cold on demand). I don’t want to know why or how or from whence it came. I don’t need to see how the sausage is made, just enjoy its meaty goodness.

Thanks to the tiny Ativan I just swallowed to remove myself from this brave new world, sleep is still mostly low-tech.

I miss Conan O’Brien before bed.

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