Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Bernstein-esque Tribute To My New Love... Herr Bose.

I have a love, and it's all that I have.
Right or wrong, what else can I do?
I love it; I'm its,
And everything it is
I am, too.
I have a love, and it's all that I need,
Right or wrong, and it needs me, too.
I love it, we're one;
There's nothing to be done,
Not a thing I can do
But hold it, hold it forever,
Be with it now, tomorrow
And all of my life!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Uuuugggghhhh... so.. very.. fat.

I ate way too damn much tonight. Aside from that, it was a pretty good day. Bummed around this morning, took a 5-mile run around noon. Relatives came over around 2 and we did presents. My brothers & I went over to the hospital to see my aunt. She went in yesterday and it turns out she has pneumonia in both lungs. A sad place to be on Christmas, but definitely glad we got to see her.

Had some of my favorite Yellow Tail Shiraz-Grenache, lots of Mom's ziti (etc., etc.) and then an assload of cookies. Mmm -- so many cookies. Must resolve to be less of a fat-ass in 2006. Living back in the grotto is not conducive to good eating. Well, maybe the eating is a little TOO good - and that's the problem.

Anyhow, tomorrow I leave for a ski trip with S&W Jason. We're going up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for 3 days, 3 nights. A little nervous, as I am really not wanting any intimacy to occur. He's nice, but I don't like him enough to deal with a physical relationship. I'm hoping he doesn't have the nerve to initiate anything. I'll be sure to give a detailed recap upon my return.

'Til then, friends - Ciao.
"Where Are You, Christmas?"

I think getting older sucks. I mean, there are obvious benefits -- like being able to eat at restaurants whenever you feel like it - or have ice cream in the middle of the day (and probably loads of other non-food-related perks I'm missing) but for other reasons - like Christmas, for instance - being older sucks.

I am the youngest of three, having two older brothers. When we were little, I remember the weeks leading up to Christmas. My brother J & I would make secret missions to my Mom's closet or to the attic to see where she was hiding the loot. I remember as clearly as could be, the day in December, 1982 - when J spied my Mom lugging in the E.T. doll I had been begging for.

I remember when I was little, Christmas Eve was the most exciting day of the year. At night, we'd all get dressed up to go to the Candlelight Service at the Methodist church (my Mom is Methodist, and we three were baptised - although I was the only one who followed through on Sunday School and was confirmed. My Dad was a non-practising Jew. He used this fact when it was convenient for him -- like if he didn't like what was for dinner, he all of a sudden became kosher -- but some years, he'd come to church with us on Christmas Eve). I remember the church was always packed to the seams - SRO - and it always looked so magical with the glowing candles everywhere and the pointsettias strewn around.

We'd get home and head off to bed. My bedroom was upstairs across the hall from my parents. I remember creeping to the foot of my bed, struggling to hear them lug the bounty of presents out of the attic and down to the living room. I half-believed in Santa at this point -- even though I knew what they were up to. That was the beauty of being a little kid -- things didn't have to make complete sense all the time.

And every year, J would be the one to come bounding up the stairs before 6 AM to wake me up (so that I, in turn, could wake up my parents). We'd gather in the living room and tear into shit -- just like all kids probably do. We'd have Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and Swift Premium Brown & Serve sausages for breakfast. Then we'd spend the day playing with our toys, watching TV, trading naps. In the evening, my cousins and aunt would come over for dinner - sometimes more relatives - sometimes fewer. It didn't matter -- it was just this feeling of warmth, safety and magic that kind of hung in the air.

I truly miss what Christmas used to be. Last night, I did get to the Candlelight Service - even played trumpet in a last-minute brass quartet. Sadly, the church was more than half-empty. My oldest brother B came with his 'lady friend', and my Mom sang with the choir. But something was missing -- where did the magic go? I sat and listened to the sermon but felt nothing. We got home and went to sleep. This morning, I woke up on my own around 8:00 and the house is quiet. B is at his lady's house, Mom still asleep.

J is married now, and they have an amazing son, my awesome nephew "Bean" -- kids make Christmas fun. Last year I was living with The Brit and we had his 11-year old son with us on Christmas. It was kind of neat to have my own little family. Maybe that's the idea - and what I am missing. I guess now it's up to me to make my own kind of Christmas. Maybe I'm trying too hard to hold onto what my parents' version of Christmas -- as awesome as it was.

In any case, I'm where I am [Limbo] but I will not be here forever. So make the most of what I DO have: enjoy the family that is still with us, and make Christmas great for Bean so that one day when he's a bitter, blogging 30-year old, he can recall some great memories too.

Merry Christmas - I hope this day can be special for you.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Spent the past 7 hours on my feet, having volunteered to work at the ECE on Christmas Eve. The longer the hours, the more it loses its appeal. Though I must say I am becoming quite handy with the lattes, I couldn't help but be a somewhat snarky barista tonight.

Got a ridiculous amount of booty from my kids yesterday. One awesome thing about being the 'hep-kat' music teacher in a money town - lots and LOTS of Christmas goodies! An enormous amount of baked goods (of which I feel compelled to try 'at least' one of everything).

Laying here cookie-bloated, with a partial buzz from the 1/2 glass of wine I just had, I want nothing more than to put on sweatpants and watch "A Christmas Story" for the next 24 hours on channel TBS. Unfortunately, I have to get my self up, showered, and to the church down the road to grace the world with my bad trumpet playing.

I hope wherever you are, you're warm, happy, and surrounded by loving folks. Peace.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ever just feel like everything's going really REALLY fucking well? Like you're in the flow - surrendering - and exactly on the right path, at exactly the right time?

The best way I can describe it is that I feel like I'm in love. You know that feeling of elation? Feet not quite touching the earth? That heightened sensitivity to everything: music, smells, sights... feeling like your heart is singing?

The strangest part of it all is that there is no ONE person for whom I am feeling it. It's an overall feeling of being in love with life. Riding the flow - trusting in it all. Allowing the energy to pass through me, to make me stronger, and wanting to pass it along. In doing so, my own energy is not depleted, but expanded - enhanced.

I'm not going all religious on your asses, fear not. I just feel FUCKING good! And it's worth blogging about. So from me to you - a little love your way.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tonight I danced around the living room with my 2 & 1/2 year-old nephew, both of us wearing funny hats, spinning around until we both collapsed - dizzy - on the floor, laughing our asses off.

Thank you, Bean.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Last night's holiday concert was a success.

It's always worse in my head than it actually turns out. The hellish part is assembling 100+ pre-pubescent middle-schoolers - armed with musical instruments - in the school cafeteria for warm-ups & tuning. Inevitably (and despite numerous warnings and death threats on my part), they use that time to do everything that they should NEVER do -- especially before a performance. Like swapping instruments with their friends: the tuba player's playing a flute, the saxophonist - a trumpet. A trombone slide goes missing, a bassoon bocal narrowly misses a 12-year old's retina. And what better time - than in an overheated, overcrowded cafeteria - to yell, scream and play as LOUDLY as you possibly can?

But once they get set up, lined up and ushered out onto the stage, the transformation occurs. I stand backstage, awaiting the principal's intro, and gaze out across my fleet of mini-musicians. Sitting there, instruments in their laps, fidgeting with excitement -- tugging at neckties, waving at parents. I walk out, stand before them, they sit up straight - instruments at the ready, their eyes meet mine. I smile -- they relax, and AWAY WE GO!

Months of preparation - frustrating rehearsals, intense break-throughs and bad jokes - pay off in one glorious evening. They come through - they always come through in a clutch. And after the last cutoff, they sit tall, proud. My heart swells and I realize I am one of the luckiest people in the world to do what I do each day.

Monday, December 19, 2005

"Abhor Me" - A Haiku

Snot runs out my nose -
Slimy, oozing, drippy mess.
A sight to behold.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Today was a fine Sunday. I woke up feeling slightly more under the weather than yesterday - a barking-type cough in the wee hours of the morning and a pretty stuffy head. But I had plans to go into the city with a former colleague to hear the complete Brandenburg Concertos (Concerti..sorry) at Lincoln Center. So I got my ass outside for a run, figuring the fresh air and exercise would clear my head, and perhaps the endorphins would have a sort of antihistamine affect. Yes, I frequently make up ridiculous medical hypotheses that sound like they might be legit, and then fool myself into believing that they're real.

I actually DID feel better after the run, although my stuffy head + the cold weather = excessive amounts of snot. But what better way to expunge snot while on the move than snot-rockets? If you've never tried one, I highly recommend it -- very empowering. Nothing quite like blowing your nose into... nothing. I do need to wash my jacket, however. Damn wind.

We left for the city around 2, even though the concert wasn't until 5. If you've ever tried to go into New York on the Sunday before Christmas, you're obviously just as stupid as I am and therefore deserve whatever traffic you hit. And especially if there is a pending transit strike. But we made it in okay.

The concert was fantastic. What added to the experience was that I actually read the program notes and was fascinated to learn the origin of the pieces. Here is it is layman's terms: In his early 30's, Bach was a cocky young bastard working for a rich prince. He popped over to Brandenburg one day to pick up a new harpsicord and ended up playing for this guy who liked him so much, he asked Bach to write some music for him. This was around 1719. But Bach was too busy and was kind of like, "screw him."

A couple years later, the prince was due to get married and the future princess apparently thought her fiance spent too much money on frivoulus things - like music (Bach). Bach knew he'd be out of work soon and - remembering his Brandenburg connection - quickly pulled some musical works out of his [ass] collection, renamed them "The Brandenburg Concerti", and sent them off to the guy, 2 years too late.

Suffice to say, the guy didn't respond. Bach was stuck taking a gig at St. Thomas church in Leipzig where he stayed til he died, 30 years later. And no one's even sure if the guy in Brandenburg ever even heard the music because his musicians were hacks and probably couldn't perform it (remember, there were no iPods or even 8 tracks back then -- if your musicians sucked, you were screwed). They recovered the music later on -- lucky for us!

So I thought it was cool to learn all that. Added a bit of a human element to it all. Thought I'd share it with you lucky bastards. You're welcome.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Downward Spiral of the Cosmo.

First cosmo imbibed by the drinker at 4:30 PM on an empty stomach, having had only a cup of Lipton soup & half a banana about 5 hours prior. It seeps into the brain - flooding the lower extremeties with a warm, numb sensation. A lovely prelude.

After the second cosmo, the drinker tends to get chatty and amorous. Starts to wander around the bar, small-talking the cute men who stand with their bottles of Bud and Corona. Suddenly intellect is no longer a requirement, as long as they're mildly attractive and willing to flirt back. Hormones are in full-swing, pheromones oozing from every pore.

The third cosmo generally leads to a melancholy state, wherein the drinker starts to pine for the Old Flame. Luckily, this drinker happens to be surrounded by good friends who will not allow her to wallow in above-mentioned state very long. Instead, they swiftly lead her to a completely new level induced by a shot of lucious Cuervo tequila.

Post-tequila, all one wants is food, and lots of it. The greasier the better. So the drinker is whisked off to Chili Willie's - a top-notch purveyor of Mexican food - where she consumes mass quantites of proteins and fats. Once the drinker finds herself back at home, nothing is more inviting than 2 Advils, a giant tumbler of water, and the beckoning of her soft floor.

A fine evening, for which she will pay handsomely tomorrow morning.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Okay Storm... you win.
THIS time.
I will remain in my warm bed with my hot tea and my bad television.
But just this once.
Dear Approaching Storm,

You have a lot of nerve. You think that just because you're a massive front of high pressure clouds you're allowed to come and go as you please - uninvited? You throw your weight around, rile us up, and typically are never what you claim to be. Sure, last week you went out of your way to live up to your reputation. But on a night like tonight, when everyone else fears your potential, I know that you are half of what they predict. Flurries - droplets - at best. The higher-ups will cancel my concert because of your threats - which we both know are idle - thereby forcing us to reschedule for Monday. Forcing me to miss one of the few opportunites I have to venture to the city to hear some music

You are nothing but an inconsistent, inconsiderate bastard. May you rot in hell.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Another fine piece ~ written by a fine Italian piece.

(oil is pleasure)

My name is Valentina, and I am 599 cubic centimeters.
I own four pistons and sixteen valves. A tank above my
head pushes energy through my blood stream, and
I run run run run run....
I transform energy. I create entropy.
I make things fast. I make lines fade away.
I trasform sleeping beauties into moving daemons.

My owner, my lover, he respects me.
We give life to each other.
He rides me, making me scream, letting me reach my summit.
At 13,000 rpm, higher than the Everest mountain,
oxygen is never enough, but I keep screaming,
accelerating, scrambling, devouring asphalt...
eating dust, smashing wind, cutting breeze,
penetrating clouds, lights, fog and amber.

I fear speed. I like to sleep in my garage.
My owner, my lover, he kisses me every morning.
His hands are so strong. He guides me through the
labyrinth of shadows and flashes, signals and spaces.

I push us to speed, and we become a single body.
We make love thorough speed.
He lubricates my heart and keeps my fire on.
Beyond the sides, shapes deform; on the center,
hypnosis of lines.

I`m a pleasurable partner.
I own my driver and he owns me.
Like gods, we owe each other life.
Like daemons, we gift each other death.

But my owner, my dominator, he knows, because I know.
He wants to reach speed of light,
where time becomes slow and immensity fades away.
I will follow him, because my destiny and his destiny,
are to be a single destiny: until the end of the asphalt.

Holiday Musical Revues From The Shell, Vol. II

"Christmas Shoes" -- A heinously cheesy ballad performed by some gravelly-voiced, country-esque dude who sounds like a mix between James Ingram and Michael Bolton. This is quite possibly the worst song ever written (non-holiday songs included - although "Butterfly Kisses" is a close second. Come to think of it, that one sounds remarkably similar -- could it be they are by the same pathetic man? I must research...)

While only milliseconds occur between the time I hear the first chord and the time I lunge to slam the radio off, it's still enough time for me to cringe with embarrassment - even if I am completely alone in my car. It's just plain BAD.

Why can't all holiday songs be as cool as "Sleigh Ride?"

*Sorry for the brief postings -- holiday concert tomorrow night. Getting the kiddies ready for the really big sheeow. Pray the snow holds out 'til Friday.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Watched the movie "Amelie" tonight. Movies like that make my heart hopeful - make me sappy - make me wonder what I am missing. Make me wonder if there is really all this beauty and passion and adventure in the simplicity of life. They make me want to chuck it all and move to Paris. Or to Italy, or somewhere beautiful and old. Where the people live and love with reckless abandon. Perhaps in a place like that - where everyone is like that - I could be less closed-off.. less emotionally constipated.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Holiday Musical Revues from the Shell, Vol. I

While driving home from a fine evening (spent drinking Shiraz, eating moo shu and watching "Bridget Jones's Diary"), I tuned into 106.7 Lite FM. They've been playing Christmas carols 24/7 since before Thanksgiving. Admittedly, I haven't quite been feelin' the Christmas. But after today's big snow - and probably after a little too much Shiraz - the spirit was moving inside me (or it may have been the moo shu). A few observations...

** I heard a cover of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas" done by Celine Dion. I don't think she should be allowed to cover that song. Or any other song. In fact, Celine Dion should not be allowed to sing. Ever.

** Apparently this formula works: 1 run-of-the-mill singer (Bryan McKnight, etc) + crappy karaoke-type back-up recorded beat + way too much vibrato = SUCCESSFUL R&B BALLAD. And the formula also applies to HOLIDAY ballads.

** I am such a sucker for "O Holy Night". That bad-ass punk, Josh Groban totally kicked Michael Crawford's - and a bunch of other guy's - asses by making the high note at the end seem completely effortless, while they all seem to pop hernias trying to reach it. Then he proceeds to REPEAT it, and holds it out for like 15 minutes!! You go with your bad young self.

** Did Trans-Siberian Orchestra write anything else except that crappy metal version of 'Carol of the Bells'??

** Finally, tell me that Frank Sinatra carol "The Merry Bells" (or maybe it's "Happy Holidays" -- whatever) isn't one big sexual innuendo. For instance...

- "Santa's got a great big pack"
- "Leave a peppermint stick for Old Saint Nick"
- "Loop-de-doop, and dickery-dock, don't forget--"
(why do I always compelled to finish this rhyme with the word COCK?)

You ain't foolin' this savvy perv, Ol' Blue Eyes. I know what you're up to, and FRANKly, I'm disgusted.

They called us last night to let us know that we'd have one today. There is no sweeter a sound than that phone call. And no sweeter voice than the twangy, southern drawl of our secretary, uttering those 3 sweet little words: NO SCHOOL TOMORROW.

So my lazy ass remained in bed until 10:00. And it felt GOOOOD.

Paid a visit to The Brit the other night to collect my Christmas decorations. I'd left them in the attic while moving out last spring. Who the hell wanted to think about Christmas then? But while fixin' to decorate this year's tree, I noticed some of my best crap was missing -- hence the visit. When I got there, he answered the door wearing a fleece coat, gloves and a hat. Because it was 42 degrees. INSIDE the house.

MORAL: When you don't have a job, you don't get paid money. And then you can't pay bills. Like the oil bill. And then you can't get oil for heat. So your house gets really cold. And you have to wear gloves and a hat inside. For four days.

The above concept is logical - even to a 6-year old. But apparently not to 40-year old Brits.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bonus post: A story written by my friend, S, the "Eminent Professor of Physics, and the Art of Life".

(the man who could not escape evil)

Raleigh, NC, 373 years before I will be born again.

After the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease epidemic of 2177, most of herbivores disappeared. It was the decision of EU and NAF (North-American-Federation) to eliminate all herbivores to contain the disease. It was a complete disaster.

At that time, planet Earth contained roughly 15 billion people. They were just starting sending explorers to Titan, a superficially known outer moon with huge hydrocarbon resources. By burning herbivore carcasses, most of the world’s population developed cancers caused by the dioxin produced by organic combustions. Humans were dying in billions. The United Federation decided to send some sort of Noah arks spread on the solar system. My ancestors were in one of them. The Earth’s life was rapidly disappearing.

The probes sent to the inner moons did not last long. The small moons, like the Earth one, were too small to capture a thick atmosphere. The amount of free water vapor was not enough to sustain more than few thousand colonies, so they had to move to bigger systems.

The colonies on Mars had better luck. They were producing electricity with the solar wind, and underground light with second order harmonic generation of cosmic rays. Big caves were carved under the carbon ice pack of the surface. New religions became popular.

After a couple hundred years, the Titan colonies became wealthy and a war started for the domination of the big methane seas. There was no reason. There was methane for all of us. The Mars colonies were in desperate need of methane. Such gas was necessary for feeding the bacteria on the surface. They were producing oxygen by terraforming the silicates present on the surface. The dream of Martian colons was to have an oxygen rich atmosphere with at least 10-20% carbon dioxide so the greenhouse effect would have kept the atmosphere with a decent temperature range, necessary for the colonies to live in the surfaces. They were dreaming to create an Earth-like planet, the planet they killed with total negligence, just three hundred years before.

Unfortunately the Titans did not want to share the methane because they were using it for trading at the border of their outermost cities located in the Pluto moons. They were exchanging it for Helium3, the most rare and precious element in the universe. Helium3 was necessary for the neutron-free nuclear reaction which was the key component of the Queller drive, the only engine capable of pushing a ship to near light speed, and, therefore, allowing interstellar travels with the big sleep of astronauts.

The war lasted many decades and I ended up being a soldier, unfortunately.
We were all soldiers.
We were young.
We did not understand the reason of the war.
We believed in the good and bad distinction that our politicians told us.
Our gods, Theos and Pyros, were silent.

Titan forces were hitting us by exterminating our people. We were doing the same to them. There was no purpose of these continuous retaliations. Who started became a no-problem anymore.

I saw friends dying in burning ships for no reason.
I fought in cities falling in flames.
I saw enemies similar to me: young, terrified, covered of fear, with poisoned souls.
Were they my real enemies?
Were they? How was it possible? War has never ennobled men.
War, where did it come from?
Where was the source of all this evil?
Where were our gods?

Then, I stole a small ship and escaped. I was followed and I pointed to the heart of the sun. I did not care anymore about myself. I was escaping war. A space-time-field distortion, just below the Einstein-Schwarzschild radius, brought me here.
Was I lucky?
Did I go to the past, so that I would have to live twice?

And I saw the same evil... the same wars.
And I felt alone.
More alone than up in the sky, between my stars and my empty spaces, where evil turns silence –
And my eyes become blind of infinite light.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's been way too long. Apologies all around.

I spent the morning in court -- albeit merely municipal court. My first (and hopefully last) time in front of a judge. Last month, whilst down in Bumblefuck, NJ meeting a stupid computer date guy, I got lost on the way home. I drove around aimlessly for 45 minutes, following bad directions from evil gas station attendents, and pulling illegal U-turns at just about every intersection. Finally, on my ninth (and final) U-turn, lights and sirens went off and the jig was up (who hasn't always wanted to say that?) Long story short, the cop - a stocky little fellow who obviously suffered from SGS ("Short Guy Syndrome") -- advised me to go to court to amend the 3-point ticket he was writing me - "Wouldn't it just be easier for us both if you didn't write me a ticket? Seriously, though?" And so I went.

Court was very educational. And it beat being at work. Mostly there were just a bunch of other [stupid] people, like me, who were there for doing [stupid] things while driving. And most of us spoke to the prosecuter to get our sentence reduced before going in front of the judge and claiming GUILT. But there was a lot of waiting around inside the courtroom, and a couple of entertaining cases.

There was the guy who looked like Fred Sanford, that came dressed in Native American garb (complete with headdress and carved walking stick). On the back of his big shawl was a picture of an Indian -- kind of like an iron-on -- with the words "Black Angel" embroidered around it. When the judge asked his name, he replied: "Black Angel Jones" - which explained the embroidery. He blessed us all on his way out.

There was another case which was disturbing on an entirely different level. Richie was called to court facing several assault charges against his girlfriend, Marisa. She stood up there with him. Through an interpreter, we all learned that Richie had grabbed Marisa around the neck, scratched her face and slammed her head into a wall. Then we learned from Marisa that this was the fourth time Richie had assaulted her since April. And that she decided to move back in with him anyway, despite the restraining order, because he had convinced her he would REALLY change this time. Oh, and that they have a baby together.

It was so infuriating. And sad. And so TV-like. And so real. The judge was great - you could tell he just wanted to climb over the bench and throttle Richie - we all did. The judge told Marisa that no one had the right to touch her EVER. That all she needed to do was make one phonecall to the cops if he ever touched her again and he would be in jail. She nodded - thanked him in her broken English. But come on -- people like Marisa are drawn to assholes like Richie - for whatever reason - and she won't be calling the cops.

I had my turn with the prosecutor (who was textbook- Jerry Orbach) and played the "Gee, I'm just a stupid teacher who was out way too late in a far-away town and I got all scared" card and he dropped my points. When I went to the window to pay my handsome fine, I found myself standing right next to Richie and Marisa. I stood up straight, and my 5'8"+heels self towered over that little creep. I thought of how good it would feel to grab that little bastard by his neck and slam his head into the wall. I looked at Marisa - even smaller. I tried to catch her eye - to give her some form of... I dunno... something, but she would not look up. She kept her eyes glued to the floor.

So many people in the world. So many stories going on all around us, all the time. We need only open our eyes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Let's see...

Had a very boring day today and school could not be over soon enough. So I came home and took a nap. Due to the unseasonably warm weather, the beloved crickets are back AGAIN. Suffice to say, I did not sleep well last night. But I didn't actually SEE crickets until this morning. Perhaps a part of me just knew they were lurking about? My lack of sleep may also have had to do with one or more of the following (I love bulleted lists):

- Ditched The Brit YET AGAIN and was feeling some pangs of guilt & possible remorse
- Ate dinner way too late and drank way too much wine for a weeknight
- The pumpkin spice latte I drank after the late dinner was not decaffeinated (as I was drunk and forgot to specify)
- It was really really hot in my cricket-infested lair, forcing me to shed layers of clothing throughout the night
- Waking up at one point and realizing I was naked
- The sad reality of being sweaty and naked in bed. Alone.


Monday, November 28, 2005

As a result of P.McQ's "Lax-O-Tea", last night I expelled the biggest, foulest and most hideous demon known to man. It was inhuman. I think things came out of me that had been inside of me for a long time. In fact, I'm sure I saw a bit of the cake from my 13th birthday party. My abs hurt today. From shitting. That is not normal.

And just in case I haven't COMPLETELY made you sick just yet, let me describe the odor...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Great day all around. Went for a run, watched some parade, helped cook food, helped eat food, drank lots of wine and finished the day with a viewing of Harry Potter IV.

I am thankful for good family, good friends, and a damn good life. Happy Holidays, all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

If you happen to be reading this blog to keep tabs on whether or not I am lying to you in regards to The Brit, I will say only this... "lying" is a very harsh word.

I prefer to think of it as "omitting information which might otherwise cause you to:
A) Question my better judgement
B) Question any shred of respect you might have left for me
C) Vomit all over your computer screen"

My life is fucked up. I prefer it that way. It keep things interesting.
And I love you -- 110%. Know that always.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Amazing weekend. Simply amazing how life can happen and your perspective can change in a heartbeat.

Was a good (long) ride down to Bethesda on Friday. Mom mapped the ultra-scenic route which took us down most of the Appalachian trail, through Rocky Mountain National Park, the Everglades and past Mt. Rushmore. Right to Bethesda, MD. Cause she hates the Jersey Turnpike. But I won't go there. Roadtrips with Mom are worthy of an entire blog unto itself.

We got in Friday evening - stayed at a beautiful Hyatt - and had a great dinner. After 2 glasses of wine, I got sappy and nostalgic (as I often do) Ended up texting "The Ex" (shall we call him The Brit? He's a Brit. It seems fitting) was just wondering what he was up to. He was in the middle of a horrible date. We both seemingly are having our shares of those. After a few texts back and forth, culminating in a heated discussion, I shut my phone off and Mom and I pay-per-viewed "The 40-Year Old Virgin" -- damn funny movie!

I got up Saturday morning and hit the hotel fitness room. Apparently when gyms upgrade and throw out their old weight machines, they are snapped up by hotels for their fitness rooms. Some of these dinosaur contraptions looked like torture devices. All kinds of miscellaneaous straps and cables. Quite eerie, actually. But I made do. After 6+ hours in the car and a huge dinner the previous night, something physical needed to be done.

I spent the early afternoon wandering the streets of Bethesda. It's actually a really nice city. Very new and clean, and far enough south that the people are a whole lot nicer than here. The seminar was at 2:00. There were about twelve other people there as well as the presenter and her husband. I learned a lot about the program. I also learned a lot about ME and the fact that I REEEEEALLY WANNA DO THIS!!! So I am gonna see where it goes. All my shit's in - profile's complete - and today I got my invite to the very big, very important Recruitment Fair in Boston (February) More on all that as it unfolds.

We left after the seminar and got home (via the NJ Tpk) in about 4 hours. My pining heart led me to call The Brit. I went over to the house we once shared and we spent some time together. We saw each other again yesterday (after my 4-hour "Evil-Coffee-Empire" Community Outreach venture: planting bulbs, raking, and painting the local library). Had dinner and saw "Pride & Prejudice" -- HOLY CRAP what an excellent film! And the soundtrack... I say again, HOLY KEE-RAP! Loved it. Completely.

Had good speaks with The Brit. He knows where my heart is and what I want to do. He knows I am going to pursue this teaching overseas thing. I know he wants to find a wife and build a life together. We are in a no-win situation. Yet, there is so much love there. So we're doing this: spending time with one another. No expectations. I say, keep up your hunt - if you find someone you want to pursue, I will not stand in your way. But know that this is just for now - it's all it can be. And the thing is, KNOWING that is making it so much more passionate. Is this weird/wrong/possible/stupid/crazy/selfish? I don't know. And truthfully, I don't care.

So there.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

He's gay. Damn it, I should have known. How did I NOT know? I mean, he's not just "a little gay". No, he's BIG, ALL-OUT, FLAMING QUEENIE gay. "Hellooo Frisco" gay. Oh well. At least the coffee is free.

Tomorrow I am leaving for Bethesda, MD. A road trip with my Mom. It's been years since we've road-tripped. And I think that by the time I get back - either Saturday night or Sunday morning - I will remember all too clearly just WHY it's been years. *Sigh* Ah well.

I am hoping things pan out there. Hoping for a little more info, a little more direction so I can remove myself from this limbo in which I have been flailing miserably about. I need change. Change is good.
So many exciting things going on these days...FINALLY! But how the hell is it Thursday already? Does time just go faster once you've hit 30? Yes, I am thirty. I can say that now. And I can even type it. 30. T-H-I-R-T-Y.

First of all, I had my third date last night with Sweet&Wholesome Jason (who will hence forth be known only as "S&W". Not to be confused with S&M) Do men like him actually exist? I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. To find out he is a bigomist with 4 other wives in this state alone. Or that he spends weekends molesting orphans with cystic fibrosis. Because people as nice as him cannot possibly be real. And if they are, I most definitely have never had access to such creatures.

In short, the date went well. Even concluded with a simple kiss - at my car - under an umbrella - in the pouring rain. [Insert sweeping violin passage here]

Tomorrow I am leaving for a workshop in Bethesda, MD. I am considering the possibility of taking a hiatus (from my real job) and spending a year abroad. More info on that as it unfolds, as I am still very much in the dark about it all.

And finally, you must know that after 4:00 PM today, I will be an official "Barista" for the local "Evil-Coffee-Empire" (hence forth referred to as "ECE") a part-time, holiday job I've decided to take - not for the money (because God knows, it ain't gonna be much) - but mostly because the general manager is a hottie.

I am such a loser.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dear God am I tired today. My body feels like it's 89-years old. Why am I so tired? I feel like my veins are full of sand. I'm a giant sandbag.

I met a nice guy last night for coffee at the local B&N. Cute - beautiful eyes. Very tidy. He's a "P.A." which I learned is a Physicians's Assistant (I think?) Like a doctor without the degree. He also teaches courses at a local university. Very neat to talk to, someone I definitley would not have met unless I was doing this internet dating thing. Though I must admit, I am still partial to the Sweet&Wholesome Jason. Will be seeing him tonight for dinner & a movie.

It's funny... I was a bit of a prude growing up. But for the right reasons, I think. I didn't wanna hook up for the sake of hooking up. Would you believe I was 24 when I finally lost my virginity? I wouldn't change a thing, it was a great experience. Since then, I've certainly shed my prudish ways and done my share of hooking up.

Recently (though maybe not too recently) I discovered that, while it's okay now and then, I could certainly live without sex. For me it's more of a hassle than anything. Yeah, it's fun in the beginning. But halfway through, I start getting bored and my mind tends to wander... "What should I eat for breakfast tomorrow? Did I wash the pants I was planning to wear? How do airplanes stay in the sky?" Right. ADD rocks.

Then it's finally over and there's the whole "cuddle process" to endure. What happened to the guys who just got up and left? Why do I always seem to find the ones who get all cutesy and lovey? I say, just get dressed and get out so I can clean up and go to sleep. Perhaps I am a man trapped in a woman's body. Maybe a gay man.

What got me on this rant? Oh right - Sweet&Wholesome Jason. He has not tried to kiss me yet. Tonight is our third date. My past experiences indicate this should be the Sex Date. I can't imagine things taking that drastic a turn. But perhaps I'll get a kiss. That wouldn't be too bad at all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Shall we talk terrorists for a moment?

I spent a good portion of last evening laundering up my bedding. It had been days since I had last seen a cricket, and I was hopeful that the exterminators had done a solid job. They said it might take a few days to be free and clear. So I was all ready to move back to my brandy-spanking new bed.

I washed the sheets, took the quilt to the laundromat. Had even bought sparkly new detergent and fluffy fabric softener sheets. Everything was clean, dry and folded. And as I brought the last of it down to my grotto to set up my Dream Palace, guess what I find - smack dab in the middle of my bed?

Yes. Square in the middle of the bed, its green-striped body a stark contrast to my virginal (ha!) let's say "white" mattress pad. The antennae twitched, its shoulders pulsing ever so slightly with each plotting breath (alright, so crickets don't HAVE shoulders - and they probably don't breathe either - but endulge me here, okay?).

The battle was fierce. In the end, there was just one victor: my slipper. Mine enemy was reduced to a gooey blob of legs, smeared across the bottom of my Eddie Bauer suede shearlings. And once again, I retreated north to the guest room, my sad pile of clean bedding a reminder of the looming fear.

We never know when they'll strike. We don't know where they come from, where they hide. And in the war against terror. is there ever clearly a winner?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Just had a fine remembery from last evening's date with Junior Gorg...

We somehow got on the topic of turtles. He disclosed to me that he currently has three pet turtles - the miniature kind that you get in Chinatown. He proceeeded to tell me about his pet snapping turtles from a few years back.

Apparently, there were two regular-sized snappers and one runt. The two regular-sized ones were not very kind to the runt. I guess they picked on him, wouldn't let him join in any of the snapping turtle games. And then they went as far as biting off his tail before Junior moved Runt to its own little bucket. One day, Junior went away on a trip and when he returned, he found that a window in his living room had somehow been broken and the heating lamp for the two regular-sized turtles had been broken. And on top of that, due to the broken window, a wintery blast had been assaulting the two snappers for several days on end. Needless to say, the two regular-sized turtles met their frosty demise. And Runt lived to tell the tale.

But wait... it gets even better.

Years later, Junior took Runt to the vet. "You see," he told me, "turtles have holes. Male and female. And all of their functions take place from these holes." It seems as though Runt was very well-endowed. And when male turtles get aroused, their little turtle willies poke out from the hole. But Runt's got stuck in the OUT position. And so he couldn't poop.

Junior took him to the vet for an enema and penisectomy. Mercifully, Runt did not survive the procedure - he passed away from the anesthesia. Junior asked the vet for the turtle's remains. And he has had them for the past five years. In his freezer. Where they await their Viking funeral.

I could not make this up if I tried.
This was the Weekend of Plentiful Dates. I've been registered with an online dating service for the past few weeks. I probably should have learned my lesson from the LAST time I did the online dating thing. "Remember? You ended up spending 2 years and LOTS of money on a mess of a man." But c'mon, there were a lot of good times too. Hence, my getting back on the horse and giving it another go.

It started with Bankrupt Rick, whom I met during the first week. He was witty as hell, as cute as Tom Hulce in "Amadeus" and a complete and utter mess. Recovering drug addict & former stand-up comic who had returned from a 5-year stint in LA to move back home with Mom & Dad (who am I to judge?) Obnoxious, dangerous, and amazing in bed. He was my rebound boy. Short-lived, but necessary. I think of him as the dish of sherbet: after the heavy meal and to cleanse the palette. Bad news - not much potential - and I just got OUT of a situation like that.

After Bankrupt Rick came Boring Rich, Quiet Tom and Auschwitz James. I was growing very disenchanted by it all, to say the least. Finally, this Friday night I met Adorable, Wholesome and Awesome Jason. He is a self-sufficient, good-natured outdoorsman. He owns a house in which he is fixing up the kitchen. He has a steady, well-paying job. He has a beautiful truck, is into mountainbiking & kayaking. He is funny. He is CUTE! We had dinner Friday night and stayed out past midnight talking. He didn't even try to kiss me goodnight.

Today, Jason and I went mountainbiking. He picked me up in his nice truck and we rode 22 miles, chatting the whole way. We stopped and had lunch on the way home. He even e-mailed and asked to see me again during the week. Yes, I like Jason.

What I neglected to cancel was the date I had made for this evening with "Junior".

We met at a restaurant and my first impression was that he looked like Junior Gorg from "Fraggle Rock". Apparently, I hid my horror well. I figured I'd make the best of things and ordered some wine. Lots of wine. The date was just 2 hours and we chatted along fine. The wine helped keep me talking. I will write some more tomorrow about the gruesome details. But for now, I will try to put it all out of my head. I must sleep.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Last night we had a party for my aunt's 80th birthday. Had some family over that we hadn't seen in years. Why is that? How does it become that people you used to see on a daily basis, you now only see at funerals or landmark events? I guess that's life.

Anyway, these cousins were always thought of as "the RICH cousins". The dad works for a major pharmaceutical company - brewing up cures for cancer and the common cold. The mom uses lots of foundation and hairspray, and gives "air-kisses". And their son is now a big stock guy on Wall Street. But they're nice people. And my aunt was so very happy to see them.

Me, I felt like a big loser. 30 years old, living in my Mom's basement. Sharing a house with my Mom, AND my 80-year old aunt AND my 39-year old brother (did I mention that?) Suffice to say, I spent the majority of the evening in the kitchen, setting/cleaning up - in between glasses of Yellowtail.

Must go shower. Have a date to go mountainbiking today and a dinner date later tonight.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Is is bad to go on a date with a guy you're broken up with? What if you don't hate him? What if you broke up simply because you don't really wanna have to deal with having a boyfriend? Does this make me selfish and evil? I like the fun parts of the relationship: dinners, movies, walks in the park, holding hands and yes - sex. But I could no longer deal with the bullshit. And especially while we were living together...

Worrying about when he'll get his shit together enough to pay the bills. The fact that he was laid off from work back in August and STILL hasn't gotten another job, but is plotting to make his millions on eBay. How very unimportant his relationship with his kids seemed to be. What's weird is: all these things - while in the midst of the relationship - were justifiable. He managed to convince me that these things were all somehow OKAY. And how is it that I - a fairly intelligent human being - could be so blind to it all?

Last night sitting across from him at dinner, hearing his latest "big ideas" (pimping out a van and spending a year driving across country, building his eBay creations out of it and not having to worry about paying bills or rent) combined with his "reality" (owing Ex-Wife #1 over $20,000 in child support arrears, and being threatened with the loss of his passport) it dawned on me that either:

A. I am not as intelligent as I thought, or
B. Love has the power to blind

Possibly a little bit of both. But for the first time, I truly felt a sense of pity for him. And not the usual pity which was more like sympathy - buying into his views of how the world was screwing him. No, this pity was a genuine nature. Of realizing someone is not who you thought they were. And possibly the realization that things truly are over, as now it's all so blatantly obvious. A sadness. A closure.

We finished out the date. Went and had coffee. He told me about some of the miserable dates he's been on since we've split. It wouldn't enter my mind to tell him about the men I've met. It would kill him - he'd stop me and tell me, "I really don't wanna hear this" - although I didn't stop him. I let him tell me these things, knowing he was doing so to try to hurt me - but not feeling hurt by it. Just pity.

We sat through a movie. He held my hand. I'd catch him glancing over at me, reaching out to stroke my hair. I realized that being with him - even as friends - was worse than no contact at all. And writing this out loud, I am saying "Well DUH!" as I know anyone reading this is also saying. I won't be selfish anymore. He deserves to be free.

This is what I am sharing my bed with these days.

Welcome to my hell. I am a Cellar Dweller. It's been nearly 6 months now since I've moved back home to my Mom's basement. Tried the whole "live-in-boyfriend/girlfriend" relationship and failed miserably. Just couldn't get used to the blow torch on the kitchen counter or the soldering iron on the coffee table. Ah, but I guess everyone complains about these things, no?

So here I am: thirty years old and evaluating it all. Shouldn't I be married by now? Living in Suburbia with my 2.5 kids and my Antarctic Blue mini-van? The job's okay - no worries there. Though it does get monotonous. If things go my way, I could end up living abroad next year. The question is... where?

All in good time, my friends. 'Til then, I've got some crickets to party with.