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 jalapeƱo 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.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Words make my mouth exercise

I bitch and moan a lot about “my writing.” How I wish I had more time for it, how I wish I knew how to do something more than attract 28 blog followers and loads of comments from those who take time to read and like my stories. I wish I knew how to answer the question (asked as recently as Saturday afternoon while lactic acid pockets and triggers were handily rubbed out of my naked shoulders and neck), “Why don’t you write a book or something?”

All the good things I’ve gathered and gobbled up in life (so far) I've had a hand in. Relationships kept strong and mostly real regardless of miles or time or fear and excitement of the next steps. The good food I choose to eat, the dedication to exercise and shining of my heart.

Or my first apartment at 17, the one with posters and magazine covers of the The Go-Gos, Duran Duran and The Police tacked to wall. Or how I applied for college with just about a dollar in my pocket and no financial plan other than I’d figure it out with the acceptance letter. Or how I finished five years later with a cumulative B average and bachelors degree I believed I could do anything I wanted to with.

Or how ten years ago I got hired at my corporate behemoth after blowing off one then miserably failing two more highly technical interviews by counteracting the snarly upper managers question, “I don’t see why I should hire you” with, “Because I don’t give up.” Or how years later I sashayed into the new boss’s office and proposed a dream gig in communications that, after three more rounds of stuffy uppy executive interviews, I created for myself from scratch. Or how I later determined I could write for the company web site and creative team based in New York from right where I sit - at home in gym gear on good days, pajamas on most and a cat on my feet.

Or how as a result of all of that plus mindful spending (and 784 credit rating) I now partake in and enjoy the creature comforts of few genuine money worries. Or how I buy only new cars and designer towels and good bottles of wine. Or the house I work out of. Bought by my glorious words.

Minutes ago, my muse and mindful mind brought forth this gem:
“This offering provides pre-installation planning and guidance for the power, cooling, physical layout and mechanical systems required for highly dense systems. Services include power analysis for server and rack level configurations and guidance on power distribution and cooling analysis of both air cooled and water cooled solutions."

God or Buddha or Yahweh help me.

Motivation is difficult, some days impossible. I'm bored silly most days, regretful some and truly sad others. Because I need to simply do. Again. Uncertain as I am to jump, history tells me I land upright. And thank you for reminding me.

Day after day
I will walk and I will play
But the day after today
I will stop
And I will start...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Will you still need me, will you still feed me

With help from the index and header touting Sunset Wisdom, I turned to page 47 this morning to read, "Aging can enable you to see beyond the world's outward forms. People who gain wisdom with age can appear radiant, full of humor and fresh perspectives, and fun to be with. Make sure you're one of them."

Sure. Yet things that suck with industrial strength as I get older are (in no particular order):
  1. Nipples with minds of their own. It's a new requirement of dressing to arrange and point them in the direction they're meant to be. An art project if you will. I tend to go for the "Perky Seal Nose" position most often.
  2. Defining ones drink. I don't imbibe fruity or anything with a sugared rim. A true margarita is Patron, lime and a whisper of citrus liqueur, rocks never frozen like a gee-damn Slurpy. My drink is strong, not sweet. Bourbon, when stirred into cola, gives me bad, bad dreams. Love a gin and ginger ale (with the juice of half a lime) but dread the calories and morning after bloat. I'm down to martinis and red wine (even white is mostly syrupy water; want a Micheline man tummy, go for a Rose'). I can't Mad Dog it all night long anymore. Now after the third glass of red or second lethal cocktail I wake the next morning, head pounding and looking in vain for the cat. You know, the one that shit in my mouth.
  3. Carbs hate me. They puff out every cell in my body (who knew upper arm bloat was possible) and head pounding tells me I've overdone it. Again. I mostly gave up chips, now-and-then a Cheese Nip, raw almonds or (special treat) the salty-soy flavor of Asian trail mix. But when it comes to soft cheese and bread, I'd rather be shaved with a potato peeler than dunked in a lemon juice bath than give it up. I'll take the badonkadonk booty.
  4. How does one pull muscles while sleeping? Even with a squishy Tempur-Pedic topper and proper weight, down filled pillows I awake with a neck or shoulder strain. Some mornings, after adult activities not requiring sleep but also done in bed (or the couch, on the floor, or back seat of the car) I'm immobile enough I swear I caught the polio.
Wisdom, shmisdom.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart

An absolute bean of a girlfriend gave me a book for my birthday last year (September 28 for those planning gifts ahead) titled, 1,001 Ways to Live in the Moment. Truth is, I don’t care for the self-help section of the bookstore. Much like the maze of simple tales that is Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s mostly stuff you already know. But this was special, this fat little book (nearly 400 pages) of wisdom and insights and meditations about the everyday joys found in life.

Best of all she read the book front to back, writing notes meant just for me on page after page, more than I can count. She even clipped some entries with the most fantastical tiny metal paperclips.

The book sat on my nightstand for a while, now it’s on my desk and each morning I crack open the soft paper spine and read a bit. Not even pages but a spattering of vowels and consonants mixed together just right, the perfect blend of sweet and savory. It’s like a call from a best pal that helps clear some of the daily dread of a project deadline, trepidation about another hard and sore workout. Reminders that round out a sometimes sharp edge of lonely, words that help make sense of it. Today I happened upon:

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

A-to-the-men, tingly Anais Nin.

A good gift.

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