Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Heart Trembles

You know that feeling you get when a person you like says just the right thing, looks at you in just the right way, or does something innocent but intimate?

My heart trembles.

Marvin Gaye and other soulful singers created that feeling through their music, but it's so much nicer when it comes from that special someone and, you know, in your actual reach.

~sigh~

Okay, enough with the mush. In the real world, there are some things that can really get you in trouble. A man says or does just the right thing, and before you know it, you're sling-shotting your underwear across the room and getting your hair all messed up. That's all right - if you are in a committed relationship, not drunk or doing anything against your will or better judgement. Not only is that all right, it's a good thing.

I said all that just to tell you about something really nice that I saw on G+ yesterday:

I don't care who you were, I don't care where you been. I care about who you are and who you plan to be with me.

Now, damn! That's what you call a nice rap. Get a couple of drinks down, have the Sade going - you're going to get in some trouble.

When I saw that posted, I had to comment that if the right man said that to me, I'd hurt myself making him mine. Don't know why I'm playing. If the wrong man said that to me, my knees would probably wobble.
-
Anyway, that line was so good, I called up one of my best friends (B.B.) to tell her about it. After she cussed me out for calling her so late, she told me I was just being susceptible again. (She really talks like that. Sometimes. Sometimes, she talks like Moms Mabley or Nina Simone. She is the woman who got me and the other BFFs calling each other "bitch" as a term of endearment. She says you have to really love someone to call them a bitch only because it's easier than saying "I love you, girl." But I'm wandering again.)

I guess I am susceptible. B.B. says I have to be very careful right now about letting my knees get wobbly. When I first left T, I crashed with B.B. and her sister in their place outside of Houston. I hadn't slept well for months because T's favorite form of abuse was sleep deprivation. He'd get drunk and threaten to rape me if I dozed off or he'd stomp around the house, ranting and raving about anything-nothing, so I'd be afraid to sleep with him there. I am ashamed to say now that I sometimes slept with him just to make him leave me along. When I got to B.B.'s, I was tired and jumpy. After I got caught up on my sleep, B.B. and her sister T.D. (now my sister too) tried to make me remember what it was like to enjoy life. I think this is when B.B. first realized she'd better warn me not to get caught up in my weakness.

We went to a wine festival somewhere out on a ranch/winery and I got drunk just doing a taste-testing. When this ninety-something year old guy told me I was pretty, I damn near swooned. B.B. dragged me to the dining room and started feeding me goat cheese canapes. She tried to make it look like we were just chatting when she was really pinching my earlobe and threatening me under her breath.

"Sober your drunk ass up before you end up in a hay pile with Father Time," she warned. "If I ever knew CPR, I've forgotten it.You're going to give that old man a heart attack while we're out here in Klan country."

I thought that was funny (because I was drunk), but B.B. wasn't playing. "You know you're scared of dead bodies, " she reminded me.

I looked over at Colonel Sanders and he grinned at me. Dirty old man. What the hell had I been thinking? Ew.

Susceptible.

Yeah, and that wasn't the worst. The worst had to be when we went to some trendy dive in downtown's "art district" to see a drag show. We had to walk four blocks from where we parked and I turned my nose up at every guy trying to hit on us along the way, but when I got into the bar, I became "susceptible" again. I got into a deep and meaningful conversation with some guy I'll call Jessie.

Sitting in the middle of a roomful of superfreaks, Jessie and I were talking about everything from molecular design to quantum thought. If you want to know how ridiculous that is, know that I had to use a dictionary to spell "quantum."

Right when the discussion was getting good and I got all caught up in what nice hands Jessie had, he suddenly excused himself. I'm sitting there, ignoring B.B.'s mama-glare, sipping Couvoiser (as if I'm such a connoisseur), listening to the music and thinking what a nice guy Jessie is, what a sweet guy.

The drag show started and the first act came on looking a whole lot like Jessie in a cheap wig and shoes that I to this day want to buy. He can have the ugly ass dress he was wearing.

Damn. Really?

B.B. damn near fell off her stool laughing. She was laughing so hard I thought we were going to be asked to leave. We left anyway, but still... T.D. didn't laugh at me, but she did want to stick around and ask Jessie where the hell he got those bad-to-bone shoes he was wearing.

"A drag queen," B.B. crowed. "You were getting hit on by a drag queen!"

Susceptible.

I kind of cooled out after that. A couple of days after the Jessie incident, we girls went to a festival of street art by black and Latino artists and I completely behaved myself. Flirt that I am, I even controlled my impulse to let some junior politician seduce me with his talk on funding for some project or other. I think I even yawned at some point. This made B.B. a happy woman.

"Good girl," she encourage. "Keep those knees steady."

That heifer. When I called and told her about that smooth line about smooth line from G+, she let me go on and on before she got sick of it.

"Baby," she said. "I have two words for you: drag queen."

I had one word for her, but she hung up before I could tell her. She is right though, I need to get myself into check.

Peace
--Free

P.S.: The line from G+ made me think of this one by Melody Gardot and I'm going to post over there. You need to check her out. That little young gal can put it down. I like Worrisome Heart because I do have some troublesome ways.




Random Things (again)

I haven't done the "Random Riff" thing in a while. Here goes:

  • I feel so fat that I don't like my body at all.
  • I'm starting to like my short hair. I can always weave some in if I want more.
  • This winter damn near killed me. The cold, the dark and the sarcoidosis. Yuck.
  • Life really scares me right now. Some days I think I'm going to be all right, some days I can barely face getting out of bed.
  • I really, really need to be in love again. 
  • I want to be in love again. 
  • I believe that humans are meant to love. 
  • I believe that we need love as much as we need air and water. Maybe more.
  • I am kind of scared to trust anyone enough to be in love.
  • I'm a little bit scared that no one will ever really love me the way I need to be loved.
  • How do I need to be loved?
  • I don't know the answer to that last question.
  • My "sweet tooth" has gone away. I rarely crave chocolate anymore.
  • I find that I'm in one of my cussing modes lately. I'm talking the hard stuff: You bit*h, f**k you, stupid ba*tard... Wonder why I cuss so much sometimes & can't stand it other times.
  • I would like to have a puppy. One just like my poor little Rags...
  • I used to still love Tim even when I wasn't in love with him anymore. I don't love him anymore.
  • That's a strange way to feel about someone I once loved so much.
  • Isn't it?
  • I threw out my finished trilogy. Had to clean all the Tim out of my life.
  • My cat acts like he can understand when I talk to him. About cooking, writing - anything.
  • That whole cat-thing up there sounds a little crazy.
  • I have been neglecting my best friends lately. I need to stop that.
  • I dream about my mother and father a lot lately & don't know why that is.
  • I really don't want to be sick anymore.
  • I have run out of things to say right now. That doesn't hardly ever happen to me.
Peace
--Free

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thanks J.P.

Man, I do love my family!

I went on a little shopping expedition last evening with my nephew. J.P. is mid-twenties, funny, thoughtful, real and kind. But you have to be a thick-skinned person to take him shopping with you. I wanted to cruise through Burlington's to scope out possible summer outfits (you know, because of this weight issue I have going on). Here is kind of how that went:

Me: (Stopping at the entrance and deciding where to head) "Hm. Maybe I should ask for some help?"

J.P.: "Maybe you should just head that way. (Pointing toward the "Women's Plus" section.)

Okay.

After some 6 months of shopping for larger-sized clothes, I still have not mastered my vanity. I usually do a sort of Pink Panther routine of sneaking through the other sections of a store before I kind of slink into where the "big girl" clothes are.

J.P., obviously unaware that my approach to that particular section of a store is a slow, um process, just tromped right on over to that "Plus" section. And, just in case at least two of the fifty other people in the store hadn't noticed us, he practically shouted my name when I wasn't moving fast enough.

"Here are some big, roomy blouses!" he yelled. "Cheap, too!"

Damnit. Really, J.P.? Why don't you repeat that so the cute guy halfway across the store didn't hear you? (This is where I started being really thankful for my super-hero ability to go emotionally numb at will.)

So, okay, the clothes in the "Clearance" section for larger-sized women was not as dowdy as I expected. When I shop at Walmart, the bigger clothes are either super-freak loud or dowdy as hell. These were nice. I saw a lot of different prints, nice color combos and super cute styles. Those $7.99 price tags didn't hurt a damn thing.

It only took me about five minutes to pick out a few tops that I could work around the "roomy" jeans I got for Christmas. I was almost enjoying the shopping experience. J.P. was busy looking at a starved-looking heifer a couple aisles over. Yeah, she got to shop in the regular "Misses" section. No big, glaring pink "Plus" signs over there.

Me: "Okay, I'm going to go try these on."

J.P.: (Glancing at me only long enough to notice one particular selection) "You're getting that?"

Me: "If it fits." I kind of liked the animal print, even if the hangar had a purple "L"stamped on it big enough to be seen from space

J.P.: (Shrugging and already back to scoping on the skinny chick) "You're gonna look like a pregnant cheetah, but, hey, do your thing."

That little shit. I used to change his diapers and I still love him to death, but I hoped the girl he was checking out had a boyfriend. A big, burly, thuggish boyfriend.

I went in and tried most of the 6 tops. I could have stopped after the first one. They were all marked "Large" but it was becoming clear to me that I was going to need something in "Extra Large." The tops were cute but tight. (Tight when you are a size 6/8 is se-xy. Tight when you are a - well, my size... Not sexy. From the neck down, I looked like Homer Simpson.)

If I wasn't paranoid about germs, I'd've sat on the dressing-room floor and cried. Still, I couldn't help myself. I tried on the animal print top. I think I need to ask my doctor about my tendency toward masochism.

J.P.: (Eyeing yet another girl and barely noticing when I came out of the dressing room): "She's cute, isn't she?"

Me: (Dumping all the tops in the Return cart) "Yeah. Cute. Let's go."

J.P.: "You done?"

"Yep."

"For real? Not going to look at anything else?"

"Not tonight."

We got all the way to the parking lot before J.P. asked, "Looked like a pregnant cheetah, didn't you?"

"With triplets."

He slung his arm over my shoulder. "It's gonna be all right, Auntie. You're going to lose the weight and be really healthy again."

Man, I really love my family.

Peace
--Free

Note: My intention is not to put down large sized people. This blog and my postings about my health issues are just my way of dealing with things. I surely don't want anyone practicing unhealthy eating habits to meet unrealistic expectations. Please, do what looks good, feels good and is healthiest for you.  I'm aiming for a healthy weight. I am working my way back to what is natural for me. I am under a doctor's supervision for my health issues. (I still might need a psychiatrist, but this blog is cheaper therapy!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Seasons

I was talking the other day with someone who is very thoughtful and wise. He mentioned how my health situation has sort of matched the seasons.

I was diagnosed in the summer and my illness took me through the most changes over that summer and fall. Winter was the roughest, physically and emotionally.

Here comes summer again.

Hopefully, the coming months will bring good things. I am trying to get life back on track. Clean slate. Get the marriage officially over with, get my mind in order and get well enough to look forward to work and just being happy again.

Everyone goes through life seasons, I suppose. I really hope all of us are through the harshest ones,

Peace
--Free

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dating Advice

I was talking to one of my younger nieces the other day about her problems with meeting decent men. She is in her mid-twenties and living in a large city in the Lower 48. Should be easy to at least connect with one or two nice young men.

As we talked, I could hear her frustration, but then I remembered something about her (and about myself when I was around the same age): the types of men she was looking to date had nothing to do with the type she might actually be happy with. Going from there, I gave her advice that came from my own personal experience. (Too damn bad I had to learn all this after going through hell.) Anyway, my niece thought that my advice was good enough to share with others. I felt so good about that, I'm going to give it a shot...

First, try thinking of what you like about a guy- any guy, not just the ones you'd want to date. I have always had close male friends in my life. These are guys that I wouldn't dream of dating. They are just great friends. For whatever reason, we are only attracted to each other as friends.

Think of the men you know and really like. What is it that you like about them? For me, it's personality or sense of humor or smarts. Those are just the things I happen to find attractive about men. However, when I was younger and dating, I always looked for other things. I was all into whether they guy was "nice-looking" (and sometimes not even by my own standards). I was looking for the guy that I thought would make me look good or better just because I was with him. I was an idiot then. I'm a little wiser now.

So, my advice is this:

1- Look for what you like in a man. Is it a sense of humor, the way he smiles, a sweet personality or maybe just the way he makes you feel special? When you are out and about - shopping, at the movies or gym, in church or wherever you generally expect to meet a man - don't limit yourself. Out of any number of guys you might meet, only so many of them are going to be some kind of Adonis, but more of them are likely to have other qualities you want. Understand this: there is a reason some guys are called "bad boys" and others are called "nice guys."

2- Look for a friend who can end up being more. (I myself only used to believe in love at first sight. I have actually experienced deep liking at first sight.) It makes no sense to try being with someone you can't have a whole relationship with. A guy might be loaded with money, droolingly gorgeous or have a reputation as a great lover, but what happens outside of all that? Try to find someone you can talk to, listen to and just vibe with. Wouldn't it be better to look for someone you can count on to be there for you no matter what? If you get the right guy with the right qualities, money and physical attractiveness won't be the best thing in your relationship. I don't care how great a lover a man is supposed to be, for most women good sex comes from how we are made to feel before we get near a bedroom.

3- Don't worry about what other people think of a man  you choose to be with. He might not be what they call handsome or desirable or whatever, but if he makes you happy, then be happy.

And, probably most important

4- Look for the man that respects you, truly likes and cares for you and wants to be happy with you. You don't want a guy - no matter what he looks like or how much money he has - to beat you down, break you down or take you down.

I hope this helps. Like I said, it took me a long time to learn this. I've had heartache like you wouldn't believe. I've had the man who wanted to break me down - and he did, for a while. I don't want any of my friends or family to go through that kind of hurt.

I want to end by sharing a sweet little story with you.

 When I was traveling back home from Texas a few years ago, I overheard a couple sitting near me in the DFW terminal having a minor argument. The argument seemed to be over something petty and finally, the wife wouldn't even discuss  it. She folded her arms and turned her back on the her husband. Poor guy, he sat there for a minute looking like he was praying to understand the female mind. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when, after a few quiet moments, I heard him pitifully tell his wife, "All I want is for you to be happy."

Wow. That's the way I want a man to feel about me because that the way I want to feel about a man.

Peace
--Free


Recycled Post #2

Not the whole of the original post, but the best part.




Sometimes...
when you cry...
NO ONE sees your tears.

Sometimes...
when you are in pain...
NO ONE sees your hurt.

Sometimes...
when you are worried...
NO ONE sees your stress.

Sometimes...
when you are happy...
NO ONE sees your smile.

*
*
*
*
*
*
BUT...
*
*
*
*
*
*
fart just ONE time...



 A bit crude, but I still fell out laughing. (Sometimes, I need to be more of a lady!) 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Recycled Post #1

I am kind of tired these days & my sense of humor is not always steady. For a while, I am going to be recycling old posts.  I hope I don't lose my favorite visitors. You know who you are & you've hung in with me for a long time. I'll get it together & be back soon as I can. Til then:


"What's Wrong With Folks" (3/26/2009)



I thought that the story involving sex and a power tool was going to be the one to go down as Most Bizarre. I was wrong. I often am.

THIS attention-seeking genius right here is going to serve 90 days in jail for
 **wait, wait - I just need to crack my neck**

...For performing a sex act with a car wash vacuum.

Yeah, you read that right. I did not say that he was having sex with another 
person or that he was vacuuming out his car, but - performing a sex act. With a car wash vacuum.

Now, I know that some people might get a little lonely or frustrated or - I don't know, strung out on those sexy late-night commercials. But how lonely do you have to be to turn to a vacuum? What, you can't find something to get relief in the privacy of your own home? You don't have your own, um... appliances? What? I just don't get this. I mean, I don't like having sex with my husband in hotels where the walls might be a little thin. I sure as HELL ain't going out to the local Wash 'n Scrub to get it on with a vacuum. And even if - let's just say I am that kind of person and DID want to spice things up with the possibility of getting caught - even then, I don't think I'd want to use a vacuum hose that has been who-knows-where sucking up who-knows-what out of other people's nasty cars... (Or - here's a thought - maybe those other people have been doing the nasty with that same hose...)

I mean, damn. I don't really like to use those vacuums to VACUUM. I'm the one who always wraps a paper towel around the hose while I try to suck up gravel and grime from the floor mats. (Lemme quit lying: this is Alaska - my car only gets washed about twice a year anyway. The rest of the time, I just leave it to the other cars splashing me in traffic, run the wipers and call it a day.)

Maybe I have missed something about sex. Maybe I haven't lived enough or paid enough attention to what's going on with other adults. If so, someone please explain to me whether or not a guy having vacuum sex AT THE CAR WASH (
with a car wash vacuum) is strange or not.

I hope while this dude's in jail they don't give him mopping duties. He might try doing something weird with that little squeegee thing on the bucket. Then, when he obliterates his hanging happies, he can sue the city. Then he can buy all the women - or vacuums - he wants to help with... Oh, wait. I don't guess he'd be all into sex after that.
**smdh**

Peace
--Free

Saturday, March 24, 2012

1 (of 2) Things You May Not Know About Me

I have other things on my mind this morning, but I am determined to let this weekend be only about good things: good thoughts and feelings and good people.

On G|+ the other day, some folks were doing a post called "Two Things About You That We May Not Know." It started on a day when I wasn't feeling so well and I missed out. It was a lot of fun to go back and read some of what was shared. I am going to do my sharing here. Of course, because I cannot tell even the shortest story in less than novella form, I will break this into 2 posts.

So "The 1st of Two Things About Me That You May Not Know" is...

...I can't drive a "stick shift."

I started driving when I was around 16 and starting my last year of high school (I graduated at 17, not because I was an academic superstar, but because of the way my birthday fell or something). My parents had divorced, things were running different in the household, so there was no one to drive me to school. I could have taken the bus but one of my older brothers (Joe) thought it would be cool to toss me the keys to a second car he had and say, "Don't do any damage."

Now, technically, I knew how to drive, I had three older brothers and about 30 "play" brothers from our military days. I had a learner's permit or something that allowed me to operate a vehicle as long as there was a fully licensed driver with me. There was. Of course, being fully licensed had nothing to do with whether or not my friend "Arnetta" was fully sane. She wasn't.

My brother told my mother that he would make sure I got to school, but I don't think that he told her how that would be happening. Mom had gone back into the workforce after 20-some years of working for my dad as cook, tailor, lover, child-bearer, nurse, psychologist and hold-the-fort-down-er. She had fearlessly taken the classes to prepare her to work in an office environment and she was up really early mornings to get out there and support her family. (My God, I miss Mom!)

Anyway, Mom would be gone by the time four of my friends and I took off in my brother's car (I think it was an Oldsmobile...) and somehow made it alive to school everyday. I wasn't a danger to anyone else on the roads. Even if I had hit someone, the only damage would be from them laughing so hard at my grandmotherly pace of speed. We lived about a mile and a half from school and it took me around 30 minutes to get us there. It took me a whole 5 minutes just to go through the pre-drive checklist Joe had taught me. Airline pilots have done less checking before flying their planes... And once I got moving, it was at the pace of a yawn. My friends would tease me that somewhere a crippled turtle was outpacing me. I didn't care. I was determined to be safe. (I did learn at one point from a really nice policeman that I could get a ticket for moving too slowly. He said something about impeding the normal flow of traffic, Then he laughed all the way back to his car. Probably called and told all his buddies how he had to race to catch up with me.)

I eventually gained confidence in my driving skills, but when I turned 25 or so, I had to learn to drive a manual transmission vehicle.

Oh. My, Good. Mercy,

I was terrified. I had always said that I would never want to drive anything with a contsantly moving gear shift. I liked the idea of just putting a car in one gear and leaving it there. I liked having to worry only about moving my feet to stop and to go. All that busy hand and foot work was just a distraction from the music I liked to listen to when driving. (When I had lived in England with David, I never did drive because not only were almost all the cars manual, but there was that whole wrong-side-of-the-road issue to deal with. David and I got into an argument once when leaving a restaurant and my hot-tempered self decided to storm my way to the car, get in and slam the door. David got the last good laugh when I ended up sitting behind the steering wheel...

Anyway, this time I had no choice but to learn to drive my own worst nightmare. My family and I had decided to take a break from living in the cold of Alaska and move to Arizona where we'd be closer to my brothers. My mother's health was still decent, but she had gotten to where the cold winters were a little bit tough on her. We put the house up for sale - the one that Mom, my sister and I had worked so hard to own together. We put in notices at our jobs, packed up things for storage, and made the decision to keep a tight travel budget. I've always been "frugal" (okay, tight) with money so I was down with the skimpy budget. Until our car started having engine problems. See, part of our budget included driving the AlCan out of Alaska and on down to the Lower 48. Our family has been making that drive since I was 12 years old, but we'd never done it in a car we had to worry about.

The Family (what we call ourselves when we pull together in a crisis - anything from a death to somebody's broken heart) decided that we needed to dump the old car and get a new old car. Thinking of the budget (damn that budget), we set a spend limit and went looking, or rather we sent the guys looking. One of my older brothers and a few of the "play" brothers started putting out feelers and such. We women were too busy packing up the house and getting everything (except the kids) ready for either storage or shipping that we were paying no attention at all to the car thing. I should have been.

I came home from work near the end of my last week on the job. A friend had been driving me to and from. When we pulled up to the house, there was this tan and brown station wagon in the driveway. The back window had a sale sign with "Sold" written across the price. I told my friend that it looked like I'd be able to drive myself in the rest of that week.

You'd think.

Wow, we had a car, the house was almost packed up, I had only a few more days left at work. It was looking like we were going to be on our way.

You'd think.

I was so happy we had a car that I didn't pay much attention to it right then - just that it was not too beat up and looked roomy enough for all of us. Yay.

When I got in the house, I wondered what horrible thing had happened. My mom, sister, brother, play brother and my sister-in-law were there. They looked like people do when they have bad news. Not major bad news, but fixable bad news. I wondered if they were going to tell me something like the sale of our house had come undone or something.

Soon as they told me "the news," something had come undone all right: me. I think I must have had a mild panic attack then blacked out for a moment. When my head cleared, everyone was standing around me saying things like, "It will be easy as learning to ride a bike."

Yeah, uh huh. That's kind of what my mom told me about sex a few days before my wedding. That's kind of what my mom told me about learning to bake a cake from scratch. Well, turns out I like sex. I like baking. I was never, not ever going to like driving a stick shift.

My family has the saying about sucking it up and doing what has to be done. That's gotten me through a lot in my life. It was going to have to get me through learning to drive the new old car.

My sister-in-law, Theresa, was going to be the instructor for me and my sister. Yeah, because Mike (my sis) didn't know how to drive a stick shift either. (My mother did. Mom had grown up driving a pickup with the gear shift on the steering wheel. Mom was a can-do woman. The only problem was, none of us wanted my mom anywhere behind the wheel of a car at this point in her life. Cantankerous, ornery, road-rage old woman.)

Now, Theresa is one of the sweetest women I have ever known. She really is a beautiful soul. She is also patient. Thank God. She also tends to fall down laughing over just about anything. She took me and my sister (in that dang Subaru) to an empty school parking lot to teach us how to drive.

Oh, my goodness. We were comical.

My sister, bless her heart, was probably as nervous as I was, but she was determined. The look on her face was cracking me and Theresa up. She look so serious.

Theresa drove us around the lot a few times, talking us through the basics of using the gear shift and the clutch. Then Mike got behind the wheel. She did pretty good except for damn near putting us in the hospital with whiplash. Every time she shifted gears, my head punched the back of my seat. Theresa was riding shotgun so she could give instructions, but all she did was laugh each time her head whipped back. She was giving herself a stomach ache and tears were rolling down her face. She was yelling stupid words of encouragement like, "Good! You're getting the hang of it!"

What did she say that for? Mike went and got all ballsy and decided to cruise out of the lot and down a little side street.

"All right, Mike!" Theresa's laughing and shouting.

I'm in the backseat having weird memories of the time David almost knocked me out having sex when I banged my head on the headboard. (Yeah, almost too much information, but I'm trying to tell the truth here.)

Well, I guess all that encouragement got so good to Mike that she forgot she was just learning to drive this car. Somehow, we ended up on a little bit of a hill. Not anything steep. We made it up and would have been fine if there hadn't been a Stop sign. Mike stopped just fine and seemed not to realize the situation she'd put us in.

I did realize. Theresa certainly realized, but she only found it more amusing than our sore necks. She was so doubled over with laughter that she couldn't warn Mike about the tricky thing about hills and clutches.

Soon as Mike got ready to take off, the car started to roll, so she HIT the brake.

I'm in the back, worried that someone is going to drive up behind us. Theresa's laughing so hard that she's about to wet herself. (Can I admit now that I was really, really pissed at Theresa by now?) She is trying really hard to explain to Mike how to use the clutch to move forward. Mike is terrified to get off the brake. I'm about to get out of the car and walk home.

It took Mike about minute or two, but she did get off the hill and back to the safety of level road. Theresa pretty much gave her a gold star and pronounced her ready to practice more on her own.

My turn.

You know how when you just aren't good at something and it's hard to admit it, but you do? I didn't. I refused to let Mike be the only one who could master the stick shift. We were in that parking lot for another hour before I made a circuit without stalling out. I even drove us the 3 or 4 blocks home.

The next day, I had to drive that damn car to work. I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to call in, but I'd been paid for working a full week, I had a ton of stuff to clear off my desk before my replacement took over, and I just couldn't stand to let my bosses down.

My knees knocked the whole time I was getting ready for work. My mom made things worse by telling me how she just knew I could do it. Mike had the nerve to give me tips on driving. (Was she kidding me? I was damn near in a neck brace because of her and she is the pro here?)

Back then, our house was just off of International Road, not far from Minnesota Drive. I worked out near the airport, so I had to go down a slight hill to a light, then turn onto a busy, busy road. Once I got past the turn, I would pretty much be okay since I could ride a frontage road on to my work site.

I made it down the hill and to the light. Then I could not get going again without stalling out. I stalled through a 2 light cycles.

This is Alaska. People tend to be pretty nice about most things. The first light I missed - with a line of morning traffic behind me - people were patient. No one blew horns, flipped finger, yelled nasty things or tried to bust through my window and beat me up. Then I missed the second light.

This is Alaska. People tend to be pretty nice, but they have a limit. We were in a double turn lane. Cars started jockeying to get around me. Some of the drivers were giving me dirty looks. I just kept my eyes forward, practiced some deep-breathing and tried to remember how to ease off the clutch.

That third light came and I stalled again. Tears were rolling down my face. I noticed that the driver in the car behind me had put on his flashers and was getting out.

He's coming to kill me, I was thinking. I shut my eyes and started praying. (Seriously, I was thinking of leaving the car right there while I walked my sad little self back home.)

This nice man tapped on the window and smiled, bless his heart. I cracked the window and he said that he would stay behind me to wherever I was headed.

"Just calm down and take your time," he told me. "You can do this."

You don't believe in angels yet?

This man's kindness somehow calmed me down. I made it through the light and to the frontage road. I pulled over and waved my angel past.

Of course, I damn near rammed the car into the side of the building when I got to work. Don't ask me how.

My drive to and from work the rest of that week was basically my practice time. My co-workers would watch my arrival from the windows and my departure from the parking lot. I was like the entertainment for their dull little petty lives... I have to admit, it was kind of amusing.

Two weeks from the day we got that car, we were in it and ready to drive the Alcan. Three women, one teenager (Cherie) and twin toddlers (J.P. and Gabs). We did make the drive and I've posted here before about that episode of my life...

 The funny thing: I cannot drive a stick shift anymore. I probably could  if I had to, but I don't right off remember how. But it's probably just like riding a bike.

P.S.: By the way, we hated Arizona. We bought a house and stayed there less than a year and a half. I came back to Alaska after about 9 months and went back to my old job. We never lived in Arizona again until after Mom passed. All of us siblings just needed to be closer together. It was the first time in 12 years (I think) that we all spent Christmas together at Joe & Peg's. A favorite memory and I have the photos to remember it by...


Someone told a joke & we all just lost it.
l to r back: Darrell, Lawrence ("Chuck") & Joe
l to r front: Sandra ("Mike"), Gwen ("Chubby") & me



Darrell & Chuck wandered off. Joe told me a bad joke.
 Mike & Chubby were telling each other how good they looked!



The sisters-in-law (Keva & Peg) had to take around 30 shots to get a keeper.
 Man, I love these guys!
(Gilbert, AZ Christmas 2007)



Peace
--Free

Friday, March 23, 2012

Just Like Car Trouble

For the past several - what, days? Weeks? I'm not even sure - I have been feeling crappy. I was even beginning to think that the prednisone wasn't working. Because that could mean going back on a higher dose, I have been having a lot of anxiety about seeing my doctor tomorrow.Actually, yesterday, I was starting to feel a little it sick to my stomach even thinking about it.

So what does all this have to do with car trouble? Well, my body is apparently acting just like a car that is not operating the way it should. Until you get it to a mechanic. 


Yeah, suddenly, after having a really "sarc-ey" morning -  skidding when I walk, stumbling around the house, forgetting everything but the ability to forget and snapping at people - I was feeling a little bit better the night before my doctors appointment yesterday. Of course, right?

That kind of sucks because I forget symptoms when they are not fresh in my head. I'm always afraid that I'm forgetting to tell my doctor something important. Thank goodness he's so patient with me and doesn't treat me like I'm crazy when I suddenly mention something {or maybe mention it a million times over}.

The good thing is, I'm still feeling all right today. Not great, but better. I am not really having a lot of trouble with my keyboard right now. Understand that I got a few drops of water on the keyboard, so some of the keys are just gone out to lunch without me.

Anyway, my point is that I bet if my appointment had gotten postponed, I'd have been feeling at my worst...

So, yeah, the good news is, I feel better and bad news doesn't matter until it happens, right?

I'm going to keep up the exercises {even though, apparently, the prednisone is making weight loss freaking impossible}, stick to the quit smoking torture and just keep on being thankful for the good stuff in life. All I can do anyway is keep going.

I love Oscar Wilde's words about dealing with troubles:

"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."

Peace
--Free

My She Speaks Product Review {Simple Skincare}

I have said before that I belong to a word-of-mouth site or two. The one that allowed me to try a new skincare product {a gentle scrub by Simple}is called She Speaks. I have been able to try quite a few products with them since 2008. {If you are interested, She Speaks will give you a forum to review almost any product. You also get to participate in 'campaigns' like the Simple products one I just mentioned. If picked for a campaign, they send you a full-sized product to try and, usually, coupons to share with friends.}

Back this facial scrub - and, yes, I suppose this is a bit of a 'plug,' but since I'm not being paid, so what?

The big sell of this Simple line is that there are no dyes, artificial colors, etc.  I love that. I have used Oil of Olay's Regenerist Serum along with Ambi's Even and Clear moisturizer for a looong time. They were a perfect combination for my skin. The problem is, Olay can be expensive enough where I can no longer justify the purchase and Ambi doesn't work as well on its on {at least, not for me}.

I have gone back to my remedy my younger & broker days of olive oil - along with a new find: coconut oil. {Laugh if you want, but a lot of us southern ladies grew up using Crisco, olive and other kitchen oils for our skin.}Olive oil is one of the best body moisturizers for almost any type of skin. I discovered from a friend that coconut oil is a little milder and nice for the face and neck. And, no, you don't feel all greasy and you don't smell like you just left a blessing line at a Pentecostal church! Olive oil has that odd smell only until it soaks in, and you can always use dusting powder or whatever when it does soak in. Coconut oil's pretty mild as far as the smell and it feels really nice on the body and face. You don't have to buy the priciest kind, just make sure that the olive oil is extra virgin and cold-pressed. Since I never wanted to walk around lugging a jug of oil, I use little cheapo containers from Walmart or wherever - or put some of the olive oil into whatever lotion or sunscreen you are using. {Coconut oil should be in a solid state, so do what you can.} And, please, make sure to use a sunscreen all the time.

 So, while the pantry oils are taking the place of my moisturizers, I still needed a cleanser. Castile soap is pretty good, but it can be really drying for certain skin types. So this Simple line looks like it's going to work out for me. It's very reasonably priced - between $4 and $7 around the U.S. That's kind of amazing.

By the way, I have tried out the scrub {and I almost never use any type of scrub on my face}. It was extremely cleansing and gentle at the same time. It felt as clean and, well, simple as advertised. I liked that there was no scent. I don't like scents on my face. {Can you tell that I'm picky about what I put on my face?} I will probably only use this once a week or so. I don't think I need a facial scrubbing that often...

On a side note, it's interesting that the Simple product line was a hit in England before it reached our shores. I remember from living in England that those women had the most beautiful skin. Of course, the weather is similar to the the Seattle area and the women there have that great skin and hair going on too.

So, there you have it. My little plug and review of a new-ish product is now over.

Peace
--Free

**DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample to review as part of my SheSpeaks membership**

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't know how the heck I'm so late seeing this crap, but I'm feeling irate after glancing at this news story. The silly (and badly written) headline: "'Who would want to be married to someone who nobody coveted?' Charles Saatchi explains why he's happy viewers fancy Nigella."

Nigella is a TV cook. I've only ever glanced at her show, so I can't tell you about that. I can tell you that she's a nice-looking woman - not drop-dead gorgeous, but really good-looking. I can understand her husband's sentiment. It's not what he said that bothers me, it's not even him. What bothers me is that whole attitude about "having" someone beautiful.

I guess I'm just touchy about relationship ideals. I always have been. The idea that people want to be with someone beautiful or handsome is fine. So is that idea that people want to be with someone wealthy or powerful. The problem (in my opinion) is that if that is all that attracted you to someone, where is the love part? Where is the genuine affection and pure wonder of the attraction?

Women have body issues and men have ego issues because of the beauty-wealth disease. I'm not a man so I can't really tell you what a man feels, but I can tell you about the anxiety a lot of women have. Women worry that when a man is attracted to her, the attraction will only last as long as her looks hold. And before you snicker, haven't you ever heard men joke about trading in a woman for a "newer model"? I have. I've seen it happen. Women know that there are men who won't want a woman who:

  • Isn't a certain size or shape (some men want a woman with a butt, some want Olive Oyl)
  • Doesn't look good enough to make other men drool with envy 
  • Won't do certain things in the bedroom
  • Isn't good in bed or "adventurous" enough
  • Won't do anything in the bedroom before a certain amount of time or event
  • Doesn't have cute feet or the right kind of hair or a dimple on the left side of her face...
  • Doesn't have a certain level of education
I am sure that men have their relationship anxieties too. They know that there are women out there who won't date a man who:
  • Doesn't have a job or profession
  • Doesn't have the "right" kind of job/profession
  • Doesn't make enough money
  • Makes good money but isn't handsome
  • Is handsome but doesn't make enough money
  • Doesn't drive the "right" kind of car
  • Isn't a "bad boy" or is "too nice"
  • Isn't good in bed
  • Are too "old-fashioned" (read: gentlemen)
  • Isn't into the club scene
The crazy thing is, when a man or woman gets with their "ideal" person, they start to resent the things that made the person "ideal."

For instance, a man will get a woman who is, by social standards, a perfect 10. He should have nothing to complain about, right? Wrong. He will talk about how high-maintenance she is, she's always in a mirror, she doesn't do this or she doesn't do that. Well, duh, you dumbass. You married a woman for her looks, so, probably, she cares more about her appearance than she cares about you.

Then there are the women (and I know plenty of females who live this) who wanted a Mr. Money-Handsome-Swagger-Man, then when they get him all they talk about are his faults. (He's materialistic, he's conceited, he likes to run everything...) Basically, they got what they wanted only to realize he's not what they want.

I don't really get it.

Here's what's always scared me: if a man wants you for your looks, what happens if you lose them? I mean, you'd better hope he learns to love you deeper before you get something like stretch marks, wrinkles or, worse, worse,worse case, cancer or something that is really going to put your body through some changes.

And I really feel for guys who have to wonder if their woman's going to be around when a financial crisis hits. Will she be there when a job drops off? When maybe the money starts to get really, really tight? Will she be there for you if life goes all twisted for him? (Chris Rock jokes to men that when they lose their job, "she may not leave you right then, but the clock is ticking.")

This is scary stuff.

I personally know someone (and I know them very well) whose husband has threatened her for the whole almost 20 years of their marriage. His threat? If she gains over a certain amount of weight, he's gone. When I asked her about it once, she had the best answer. Basically, that's fine with her because when he can't keep her in the right jewelry and zip code, she's out too.

Well, damn.

The best thing (at least for that couple) is that they have made it through quite a bit of time. I think they are going to make it now.

I guess the only good thing about people who live with these crazy expectations is that they wind up with someone they deserve.

Peace
--Free

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dealing

It's just about 3 something a.m. I haven't been able to sleep for the last couple hours.

Yesterday was rough. I was just having one of those days when my mind wouldn't work right. Couldn't think straight and just felt like my brain was on Delay all day.

It's scary. I feel stuck in a cycle  - do well and fall back. This happened before, but I thought it would get better. I have been doing pretty well for probably a couple of weeks, and to just go a little bit brain blind makes me feel helpless. It's as if I can't count on my body, my mind.

I have an appointment coming up and I am worried about letting my doctor know what's happening. He's going to want to put me back on a higher dose of that damned prednisone. Just when I am starting to lose some of the weight.

This is so messed up.

This is not the way I want to spend the rest of my life. This is not even the way I want to spend another month.

At sometime in my life, I must have said the wrong words or had the wrong thoughts. There is a reason this is happening. If I could figure out why, maybe I could ask God to take it all away.

Monday, March 19, 2012

That Lady Could Sing

This is one of those stories that make me feel so very sad.

Eva Cassidy. What a voice. I had never heard of her until someone on G+ intro'd me to her music. Now I can't imagine not listening.

Go ahead and look her up. You're going to understand how God blesses some people with something special.

Peace
--Free

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Feeling A Pull

I don't often write verse & when I do, it's more in the form of lyrics (since there are a few musical souls in this fam). Today, I saw a beautiful photo on G+ that reminded me of my (very) small town place of birth, my first 'boyfriend' and what might have happened. (I don't know whether to be happy or sad that It was only an almost-event.) Whatever. I wrote about it.




Small town downtown
Mine and your town


Big-eyed pretty boy
waiting for a girl like me


This girl good girl
I knew who you are


Touch hand kiss cheek
Love is to be we


Hold hands kiss peck
in daylight then dark


Good Ahhh! Sweet Ooo!
You I and we


More than romance
I are you are we three


Soft round and surprise
He are you are and me


Wow. I still don't know how this makes me feel.

Peace
--Free

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Fitting Room Blues

Yesterday I had it out with a bra in Walmart. This bra:


Yes. The "Genie" bra. "As seen on TV." According to Tristar Products (they rep the item), with the Genie Bra one can "enjoy all-day comfort and support."

Oh... really?

Well, I guess so. I mean, anything would be relatively comfortable after contorting yourself to get into the damn thing. (Side note: I just noticed how much I italicize when I'm pissed off or being sarcastic - in this case, both.)

If I dared, I would post pics of what I looked like trying to work my way into this contraption. I don't dare. I almost need sedatives to let my doctors see this body... But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me back it up for a sec.

I went to Walmart specifically to buy a bra. After months of being in denial, I have accepted the fact that I've gained 63 pounds (yes, that much) and that my perky little 38B's have turned into 40C's. (I swear I believe that most of that is just re-positioned fat and not real titty. I dunno.) I have dreams about the day I can venture back into a Victoria's Secret store... For now, I am out of the market for cute bras like...


the "Scandalous Bandeau" from Free People
(my favorite style - EVER)

... and into plain black, white and tan blah-bras. I've even stopped caring about style. I'd wear a slingshot if it fit. (We won't even talk about "pannies" other than to say that I now wear only the boy-short variety. Also found at Walmart. In black, white and grey. I may never have sex with the lights on again. Why I am playing? I may never have sex again. Period.)

Anyway, bottom line is, I no longer wear underthings that can be described as "scandalous," "deliciously teasing," or even "minutely attractive in the barest and most common way possible..." Nope. In just a few months, my entire wardrobe has gone from Working-Gal-Funky to Homebody-Frump. Mature-and-Sexy to Old-and-Slumpy. It's hard to be attractive with this body and no money. Fat and broke. Damn.

Now, before I get my ass kicked by some other women, let me say something. I know there are the Big & Beautiful females who look damn good and can pull off sexy that will melt a man's shorts right off. I have those women in my own family. Being that way (being any way) takes a woman years of getting comfortable with her natural body. My natural body was a size 0 (teen-aged years to 20's), size 4 (20's to 30's), size 6 to 8 (30's to 50). I didn't feel really good and confident about my body until I was around 40. Seriously. I knew how to walk and sit and prance and dance - In. My. Natural. State.The size I am now, I can't even cross my legs without getting seriously out of breath. That's not sexy. Hell, that's damn near not even normal. Hate me if you want, but that's how I feel.)

Sorry to get off track. For a minute there, I forgot to tell you what happened in the fitting room at Walmart!

So, I'm browsing the aisles on my way to the underwear section when I see a display of the Genie Bra. My sister and I had been seeing the TV ads and wondering if these bras really were "all that."

The first thing I noticed was the price: $19.99. For 2 bras. That sounded pretty good since I was expecting to pay around $20 for one decent bra. (By the way, Frumpy is cheaper than Sexy.) The other thing I noticed is that the sizes were given as shirt sizes (i.e. "XS/S," "Large," etc.) instead of cup sizes.

I should have had a clue then. The chick on the cover of the box should have been the other clue. 

(Look at her. She's probably a real nice lady, but, oh, how I hate her at this moment.)


Being realistic (mostly) about my the current state of my body, I picked up a "Large" and headed back to the fitting rooms. The attendant/clerk name-tagged as "Sue" had attitude while she led me to a room (Cranky bitch. Acted like she was pissed about having a job.)

Now, the bra itself is not awful looking. Just kind of plain-janey.



Notice that this is a "pull-over" style. That's tricky if you don't want to muss a hairdo. My hair is short & natural, so no problem for me there. My problem was that whoever determined the sizes on these bras might have been a tailor for Barbie dolls at some point. This thing barely fit over my head. No way was I going to try pulling it over my boobs. 

I wanted to ask "Sue" to bring me the next size up, but when I peeked out the fitting room door, she glared at me like I owed her money. (Again - bitch.) I might owe every-damn-body else in the world, but not this heffa.

Skip to size 1x, 2x and 3x. I brought them all back to the fitting room. 

The 1x - no go. It got stuck partway over my head. I forced it anyway, got it over my boobs and almost lost consciousness. I thought I'd have to cut my way out of it, but managed to escape without scissors. Somehow.

2x. I got it over my head okay. Whew. Got it over my boobs with same results as above (except I could take small gasps of air). The bra was on! I couldn't move much and I'm pretty sure that my already high blood-pressure was on the rise. I was kind of relieved about being in the bra at last until I noticed that the bottom part was rolling up. That really hurt my feelings. I never felt so fat. The more that fabric rolled up, the more I felt like a sausage whose casing was coming apart.

3x. Better body fit, but...

Now I noticed the real problem with the Genie Bra: the cup sizes were all the same!

Son-of-a-boogeyman.

I matched the cups of all three sizes and - yep. Same cup size, no matter what. Basically, even if you manage to get the contraption over your head and onto your body, it does you no good if you have more than a handful of boob. I always had and still have a handful - for a good sized pair of hands, but what about someone who is truly blessed? Poor thing would look like she had a frontal hump instead a nice rack. And on top of that, she'd be in cardiac arrest from being squeezed to death.

On the positive side (uh, yeah), for anyone who can fit into the Genie Bra, I will say that it seems very sturdy. The colors are decent and the bras come with removable padding, which is nice for laundry purposes. And, again, you can't beat the price.



Damn Genie Bra. Obviously, the thing is made for a well-endowed doll. I was pretty depressed because there was a time - like a year ago - when I could have fit this bra and worked the heck out of it.

...Sigh...

When I left the fitting room, there was old "Sue." Cow. Just to be spiteful, I stood right near her station and called the manager to complain about her attitude. She ignored me, then rubbed it in by being super sweet to another customer. I hope she gets an all-day toothache. (And, by the way, did you know that Walmart posts the manager's number all around the store? Handy.)

Whatever.

I ended up buying a few $5.98 bras in different colors by Simply Basic

On my way out, I stopped by the display just to take a peek at what a size XS/S looked like. I left the store feeling damn near suicidal.

Peace
--Free

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breast Check Reminder

Ladies, this is the best breast-check reminder ever:
I just about broke my phone trying to download the app.

Peace
--Free

What's Wrong With Being "Old-Fashioned"?

I am a little bit sad and a whole lot happy to say that one of the BFF's - "T" -  is "in love." Let's not think about the fact that I am jealous as hell. (By the way, I told her that and she laughed, so we're okay with it.) What I like most about T's love groove is that it's old-fashioned. The slow courtship, the falling deep, the whole thinking-about-the-future thing - it's just something I haven't seen a lot of for a long time. Matter of fact, my mom and dad's relationship was the last old-school kind of  love I'd personally known of.

I was telling all of this to a younger (40-something to my 50 years) lady. I'm thinking that, since we come from a similar cultural background and aren't a thousand years apart in age, she would understand what I meant. She didn't.

I explained to her that, to me, old-fashioned meant showing respect when approaching a person. Courting them with some real kindness and sweetness before you put on all the intimate moves. Learning to like them before you start sizing up what kind of house or car or job or bank account they have. Trying to see how you might fit into their life before you invade their life. In other words, just taking things a little slow. I mean, what's wrong with the whole, "I like you, do you like me?" kind of approach? That's way better than the usual, "Hey, baby, you looking so fine." Hell, it's more mature than that.

My friend looked at me like I was Jim Jones holding out a cup of Kool-Aid.

"Are you serious?" she asked me. (And she was serious.)

"Yes, I'm serious. Don't you want something real and mature and hopeful," I asked her. "Or do you want the sorry old pickup lines, lies and too fast to be good kind of thing?"

"Tell you what I want," she said. "I want a man with a job - a good job. He's got to look good, and he's got to have some swagger. You can keep that old-fashioned mess for yourself."

"So, you don't care if a man respects you or cherishes you - as long as he looks good and has bank?"

"Not only do I not care, I don't give a real good damn."

Well, at least she's honest. (You might notice that she is not one of my best friends.)

We talked about it a little bit more. Basically, she wants a image, not a man. She wants whoever looks good to anybody who might notice. I didn't ask, but I wonder what she'd be willing to put up with to have that in a man? I mean, could he beat her ass? Could he not really even care about her as a person?

I see so many women these days (my age and younger) who are into that "I gotta have a man" mode. They don't care if it's a good and decent man or not. One lady I know actually admitted to me that she does not feel "complete" without a man. What the hell is that about? I mean, to me, there is a difference in feeling "complete" and feeling "completed." I think we all want to feel completed. But, no, this friend says that she just doesn't want to be alone. To top it all, her preferred "type" is one with (I swear, she told me and another friend this) "A little bit of 'thug' in him." She's fifty-three years old, so this is not a youthful phase she's going through. I believe she's just a little bit crazy.

There are other people I know who have settled down with someone they are not happy with. They stay because it's "safe" inside a relationship. Or they stay because of kids - which I don't know how I feel about that. I mean, I think stay for the kids, but sometimes I wonder what good is an unhappy parent? You might be teaching your kids about commitment, but what are you teaching them about joy? So, that's a tough one and I change my mind every few days or so. But I really hate people who are just in a relationship only for the sex or money or laziness. Why be in a relationship if your soul isn't?

That's not what old-fashioned love is about. At least, not the way I know it. All I have to go on is my parents' relationship. (And let me disclose that my parents ended up divorcing, but they remained friends and never stopped respecting each other. Not ever.)

My father was an Air Force man. He was from small-town Arkansas. He was raised to love and respect his parents, especially his mother. (My mother always said to look for a man who loves his mothers and sisters. That didn't work out with my ex, but that's just him.)

My mother was a beautiful woman. She was a very maternal kind of person, if that makes sense. She loved to care for my dad and their family. She felt like he was the man and should be allowed to feel like a man. (Please, don't give me any feminist crap here. A woman can be strong without trying to out-man her man.)

My parents were a team. My father let my mother be good at what she was good at and she returned the favor. Sometimes, Mom was good at things that most men are "supposed" to be good at. For instance, Mom ran our finances. Daddy used to say that Mom could make a dollar out of fifteen cents. He'd give her the little bit of spending money (and G.I.s didn't make a whole lot of money) and always be amazed at what she could do with it. He loved to brag about how Mom could feed and clothe eight people (there are six of us siblings) and make it look so easy.

My dad, bless his heart, was not one of those men who was mechanically inclined - or whatever you call people who can repair and upkeep things. The big joke in our family was that whenever my dad did take something apart to fix it - say, a lawn mower - there'd be parts left over when he put it back together. (Believe it or not, most of time, whatever he fixed did work afterwards!) Now, I say it was a big joke, but it was a silent joke. My mother would have (as she'd put it) slapped the taste out of our mouth if one of us said anything to Daddy about his workmanship. She would look the lawn mower, or whatever, and go on and on about how "her man" could take care of stuff like that. She'd be acting like he had adjusted the world on Atlas's shoulders.

And they just loved each other. Just that simple. It wasn't anything complicated, as far as I could tell - just love.

I used to watch my parents do that thing where lovers look at each other across the table or a room. I didn't understand it until I fell in love myself for the first time, but I always know that that look means you've got something special with someone. My inner gauge for how I feel about someone now is when I want to give them that look. (Well, that, or when I get that melting feeling in my stomach when I think of them. With my first serious boyfriend, I knew I was feeling something the day I fell down some stairs while I was thinking about him. It happened at school. He'd been nowhere on my mind until we passed each other in the hallway just before I had to take the stairs to my own class. I was feeling so goofy-good! Man, when I went down those stairs, ending up with my skirt all up around my waist, I think I dang near busted my ass... The worst thing wasn't the falling, it was thinking how stupid I'd look to him if he saw. I couldn't even think about it and him at the same time without feeling so embarrassed.) Anyway.

So, I just want that old-fashioned kind of love. I want the man who is attracted to me, then begins to like me, then begins to want to know me better. I want the man who just wants to spend time with me because he likes being with me. I want to make him laugh, feel good about himself and feel good about life. And I want him to feel the same way about me.

Trust me, I've known the smooth talker. That didn't work because words alone won't sustain love. I've known the rich guy. That didn't work because money won't sustain respect. I've known the guy that pretended to be everything he really was not. That didn't work because real love can't be based on deceit. Real love is honest and maybe a little painful. It's awkward and it can be confusing and even kind of scary.

Old-fashioned, new-fashioned. Maybe it doesn't really matter as long as we find something real. I think my BFF has found that. That heffa!.

(I love you, T. Be happy.)

Peace
--Free


Working the Phones

Sitting here stuck on the phone - holding, holding and holding - and playing around with G+ while fighting a really strong craving for a cigarette. (Oh, and my doc, who I do love to pieces, has no-no'ed my taking a higher amount of Wellbutrin.)

The G crowd have been trying to help me out with phone choices. I was due for my upgrade, but I am still broke as a dropped glass. I picked (no surprise coming) the Samsung Infuse. Mainly because it only cost me a penny, no shipping, no upgrade fees. I had that or the Captivate to choose from. A penny, no shipping, no upgrade fees. (Hey! Right in my budget of... a penny!)

I'm a little bit scared now, though. Made my choice, put in the order, and NOW I'm hearing some crappy stuff about it. Too freaking late. If it drives me crazy when I get it, I will have the grace period to change my mind. The way I figure, it cannot be anywhere near as bad as that Motorola Backflip I once had.

Oh, wait. Did I ever blog about that? If so, I'll hit that rant again because it will never get old. Not as long as that electronic demon-thing still exists.

The Backflip. Where do even start?

This phone was so awful that when I took it into the AT&T store here in town, one of the reps saw me coming and said, "Keep that thing away from me. It's cursed." (I was really looking pretty fine that day, too. The rep was a cutie himself. I'd been hoping he was going to crook his finger and say something Marvin Gaye-ish. Nooo... That man saw that Backflip and looked like he was ready to throw holy water on me.)

Yeah, that bad.

Soon as I told him I was there to return The Thing, the rep and I had a whole comedic routine going. We decided that the Backflip was so bad that it could actually poison anything else within about 10 feet. The rep warned me not to put it in my purse or it would make my money disappear. (Um, too late - the ex did that already.)

"Don't hold it, lady. You don't have gloves on!" (heh  heh) He actually took it from me only after getting a tissue to hold it with. The way he looked at it, it could have been slime from a crime scene.

Yeah, that bad.

Of course, I had to go through all my complaints for the rep before I could process a free replacement. That was easy. All I had to do was look at the list of what any decent cell phone should do, at minimum, (things like dial, ring, hang up...) and scratch it off the list. This phone was so bad that sometimes the only way to disconnect a call (if you were able to make the call) was to take out the battery. I'm not playing with you.

Uh huh. That freaking bad.

And, of course, whenever a customer complains about a phone (even when the rep knows you're not exaggerating), they have to run it through its paces. Just to make sure. Okay, so the rep dials a number. The call goes through (and I'm thinking, "Son of a boot!"). Then... the phone won't disconnect. Woooow!  I just about started shouting like I was in church. Vindication,  oh sweet vindication!

So, yeah. That's how bad the Backflip was. Even Motorola didn't want it back. They knew they wouldn't be able to pass that piece of crap off even as a three dollar re-furb. (The rep admitted to me that AT&T had stopped displaying the phone about a month after it came out. THAT BAD!!!)

Anyway. I am hoping the new phone won't be a lemon. Even if it is and will only dial numbers beginning with "8" on Wednesdays between 6 a.m. and 6:55 a.m. when it's sunny out with no chance of rain - it cannot be as bad as the Backflip.

Yeah. It really was that bad.

I will have to let you know later how the new phone works out (if it works at all). For now, I have moved up in the call-holding queue to spot number 3. Pray someone comes on the line soon, because if I hear Barry Manilow's "Mandy" again, I'm going to smoke a piece of carpet.

Peace
--Free

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day In the Life of A "G"

I'm about as "G" as Oprah. I got swagger, but not street swagger. I can't even go into Mountainview without locking down the doors. And Mountainview (our version of the 'Hood) is nothing like rolling into the hard side of Phoenix or South Oak Cliff. The one time I passed through Oakland, I almost fainted when some guy walked up on me to ask what time it was. I was damn near ready to clutch my pearls... So, yeah. I'm about as G as Carlton from Fresh Prince. No shame in my game.

(Now, how in the hell did I go off on that rant? That's not even what I logged in to blog about...)

Oh, I know where I meant to go with that thought: I'm not a G, but, I am a G Plusser.

Okay. I'm kind of back on track now. (This is just how my mind works these days!)

Sooo... I'm taking some time (after my morning exercise) to catch up on my Adds overon G+. When people add you to their circles, I think it's kind of rude to wait too long getting back to them. Even if I'm going to "ignore" them. Best they know right off.

I am "meeting" some very cool folks. Artists and photographers (I know what I like); Scholars (I might not understand it all, but, damn! Smart is sexy); Christians (my brothers & sistas); Non-believers (still my brothers & sistas - long as there is mutual respect); Funsters (yeah, they are there) and Munsters (hmmm).

Today is a strange one. I am not only checking in online, but I am busy with other stuff, but mostly around the house and on the phone and digging through some stored things.

Because.

I am ...

Going to make an attempt to write again.

Yeah, that's right. This G is going to use this down time to at least try to do something that might help my brain work better. I'm not even thinking that anything I write is going to make sense (I mean, look at this post I'm writing), but it gives me something to think about other than smoking.

Also today is a day to get some of my financial papers in order. And personal stuff, like trying to get the divorce started.

Wow.

That's a painful word.

Divorce.

This means I thought we loved each other (and maybe we did), but love doesn't cover everything (not the nasty, bitter words and names I've had to hear) and everything doesn't cover love (not good sex, bad sex, not wishing and wanting, and not fear of being alone).

Yeah, so.

I guess it could be more painful. It would have been, way back when I first left. I hadn't even realized that it's been over 3 years of physical separation and almost a year of total separation.

Wow.

Do I feel hesitant? No. Maybe back when I thought there was even a sliver of hope that things would get better, could get better. But not after he just wasn't there when I was at my lowest.

I remember when I first got sick. I had gotten out of the hospital but the meds were really doing things to my emotions. Even with my family surrounding me and trying to keep me together, I felt like he should have been here. No matter what the cost, the way, the what-the-hell-ever - he should have been able to pull himself together to be here for me. And he wasn't.

While I was feeling like my whole world had really come apart at the seams, he was somewhere drunk and helpless and probably sleeping with someone else. And all I could think was how I had never been helpless when he'd needed me. I had been the one to work and pull our shit together. I was the one who was willing to turn my back on my family and friends to be with him. I was the one who gave him my body, my mind, my heart, my money, my jewelry, my love, my love, my love. I'm beginning to think I gave him my health. God knows the stress I went through for 3 years could not have been good for what was obviously fermenting inside my body. I gave him everything I had to give and he couldn't be there for me.

So.

Anyway, I fell out of love with him before all that happened, but I stopped loving him when that happened. Now, I don't feel much of anything. (Is that cold or hard of me?) I don't wish him ill luck or anything. Matter of fact, I kind of hope that he has found someone to be with. No one should be alone, and I sure don't intend to be. The idea of divorce is painful because it means that I failed myself.

My life now has to be about getting completely healthy and whole. And if I mess around and find myself in love again, well isn't that what it's all about? If there is no love, there really is no purpose. Love makes everything else real.

Okay, now that my thoughts have skipped to the freaking lou all over the place, I need to shut down and get back to my half-assed multi-tasking.

Peace
--Free

Oh, yeah - because I'm sappy and always emotional, I have to include some music. How about a little Aretha? This song is kind of how I feel all the time...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life's A Beautiful Mess

My life is becoming a freaking nightmare. So much has happened to me today. At least two things anyway.

And I don't mean to complain about my life, but I can't help it. Maybe I shouldn't call my life a nightmare. Maybe it's just a bad daydream (is that possible?) and I'll wake up with drool on my chin and my world intact... For the time being though, my life kind of sucks.

One thing that happened was a job that almost was. I got all excited about it because God knows I've been  hoping and praying for something good to break: better health, some strength, good love... At this point, I'd even settle for better problems.

Today, out of the blue, opportunity knocked in the form of a potential job offer. Great job, great people, within my comfort zone, but... out of my damn zip code.

What happened was, an old friend of mine (actually a guy who once proposed to me) got in touch today. I will call him "Lou." Said I'd been on his mind for some reason (yeah, there has to be a reason because he's now married to someone else, damnit) and he hunted me down because he had news. The news is that a friend of ours is working for an old boss of ours (seriously) and, while traveling, ran into Lou in Denver airport and got to talking about old times and old friends. Somehow, my name came up (I don't want to think about how). This guy mentioned to Lou that he wished he knew where I was because I'd be "perfect" for a position  coming open in the company.

I was kind of excited at this point  - partly just because of hearing from "Lou" (why'd I pick a fake name that I hate for a guy I used to be so crazy about?) and partly because of the possible job. And I was a little scared because I still hadn't told Lou about my current medical issues. Like me, Lou talks a mile a minute. It's probably why we were always so hot for each other. No, that's not why. I think it was his eyes. I have a thing for eyes.

Anyway.

Lou goes on and on, telling me about this job and the company... Oh, it was just going to be such a good thing for me. Working for an old boss I really respected. Perfect because of the whole supply chain tie-in with my customs brokerage experience, my experience as a trainer, and yah, yah, yah. And, oh yeah, because our former colleague is in pretty tight with all the 'suits' at this company. He's practically one of the suits, except he's just not a suit kind of guy. The only possible downer is I'd be up against another really sharp guy within the company who was hooking for the position. Then again, I do have 15 years with a freight giant. This sh*t was getting complicated.

I digress. I always do.

When Lou took a breath, I asked which local hub I'd be working out of (as if I'm already hired because I get these bursts of confidence that make me know I can fly without wings). I don't mind either of the two major hubs, but I hate the small one and I loathe any office-based brokerage. I'd rather be around the actual freight and near the on-site Customs agents.

Good news! The job's not at the small hub or at an office brokerage.

Bad news :-( The damn job's in Tulsa. Tulsa's not in Alaska.

You ever have one of those rollercoaster kind of moments? So high you can hardly breathe, then dropping so fast you get stomach cramps?

Yeah.

And why?

Because I am terrified. Terrified that my brain doesn't work right anymore. Terrified of failing, falling, freaking the hell out. And terrified of being terrified.

The worst thing is, I had like a manic moment of panic and broken-ness right there on the phone. I started babbling about everything and anything except the job. Of course, Lou knows me well enough. Don't you hate that? When someone knows you so well that you can't cover fear or shame?

My secret is out with Lou. I told him what's happened to me. We spent about two hours on the phone. He gets it. He gets why I'm scared. He gets why I'm feeling so closed into myself. I even sent him a pic in Messenger because he just refused to believe I'm rolling my fat ass around, packing 200 pounds! (Bless him, he lied and told me I am still beautiful. Bless me, I told him he was a lying shit, but I love him anyway.) And how I miss Lou. Man, I really effed things up by letting him get away. At least his wife sounds like a keeper. She better be since he deserves only the best. (And, for those wondering what happened with me and Lou and the proposal, there's a reason I declined. Lou and I would have been terrible together. We're too much alike. I need someone like me, but not like me.)

Like I said, my life is a nightmare. It's going to get better.  Lou told me two important things today. One was that sometimes life is a mess, but just the fact that we are still here to live it makes it a beautiful mess. (See what I mean about this man?) The other thing he told me is that I might ought to be thankful for what I'm going through. He says that something wonderful could come out of it all.

So, I am going to keep praying and exercising and not smoking and doing all the little brain games. Maybe Lou is right about something wonderful coming out of this beautiful mess of mine.

Oops.

I almost forgot to mention the other thing that happened today. My bestest friend (J) called me because she knows I'm having this random period-like situation, complete with some cramps (I didn't answer because I was sleeping through the cramps and a cigarette craving, holding a hot pack to my stomach and praying I get in touch with my doc to raise the dose of my Wellbutrin before I start smoking pieces of carpet). The thing about me and my phone is that I'm always leaving it in another room or accidentally muting the ringer. All three of my best friends (J, B, and T) know this about me. They also know I'm kind of loopy these days and they worry about me. If I don't answer my  phone, I get a voice mail warning to call or text them back. I don't call or text back within a half hour or so, my family starts getting calls. It's a little embarrassing, but I love those bitches.

Anyway, when I didn't answer the phone, J left me a silly message, doing her vocal interpretation of Tammy Wynette's "Hard To Be A Woman." She called my sister later and found out I was okay. I woke up and listened to her really, really bad singing on my voice mail at least three times. I forwarded it to the other two Besties. Then I went back to sleep. LOL (I know my friends & somewhere in Houston and in Amsterdam there are a couple of women trying to decide if they are going to upload J's vocals to YouTube.)

Peace
--Free

And, remember...