Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Lover's Prayer

I came across this in my writings. Don't know when I wrote it, but it sure fits the bill!

A Lover's Prayer
Bring my lover to me
So our Selves are enhanced by union
Let us enjoy each other's company,
Respect each other's space,
Opinions, beliefs and desires
Let us be best friends,
Passionate lovers
Respectful partners
Let us always communicate honestly as adults,
Never fight as children
And be spiritually directed,
Whole in our individual faith
So we are strong in spiritual partnership
Let us be sensual, enjoying the touch and smell of our skin
And always show appreciation and affection through caresses,
Kisses,
Hugs and
Holding hands.
Let us be devoted, growing old happily and harmoniously together
Let us positively augment each other's existence; never will one be absorbed by the other
Let us willingly walk similar paths
And just as willingly allow the paths to diverge, as they sometimes do,
Knowing that as we grow as individuals so will our commitment to each other become stronger as our paths intersect again.
Let sincerity, respect, laughter, love and faith be the mainstays of our pairing
Let the sex rock the house to it's foundation!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Top Halloween Songs

With it being October-eve and all, and with getting all amped up with my Steampunk costume for this coming Halloween, I'm already getting in the mood with music to celebrate the coming of one of my two favorite holidays (Christmas being tied).

So, here's the Halloween playlist I have for the ultimate Halloween Party Mix. With the exception of the first "song" (which is actually a spoken monologue from the Disneyland ride The Haunted Mansion and makes for a bitchin' kick-off to your party) these are in no particular order. Throw in a few non-Halloween dance hits for hip-swaying excitement and you're set :

1. Welcome monologue from Disney's Haunted Mansion Ride
2. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
3. Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield
4. The Munster's Theme song
5. Monster Mash by Bobby Boris Pickett
6. Sorceror's Apprentice by the Del-Vikings
7. Werewolf by The Frantics
8. Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
9. This is Halloween (From Nightmare before Christmas) by Marilyn Manson
10. Boris the Spider by The Who
11. Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus
12. Shopping for Blood by Franz Ferdinand
13. People Are Strange by Echo and the Bunnymen (or go for the Doors original)
14. Chost Town by The Specials
15. Ghost Town Blues by Social Distortion
16. I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow
17. Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo
18. Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
19. The Devil Went Down To Georgia by The Toy Dolls
20. Howling at the Moon (Sha La La) by The Ramones
21. Bloodstains by The Chop Tops
22. Dead Man's Party by Hillbilly Hellcats
23. Cadillac Hearse by Cadillac Tramps
24. Meet the Creeper by Rob Zombie
25. Dragula by Rob Zombie
26. Bleed it Out by Linkin Park
27. Devil Doll by X
28. Astro Zombies by The Misfits
29. Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show
30. Blitzgrieg Bop by the Ramones
31. Thriller by Michael Jackson
32. Le Freak by Chic
33. Holy Ghost by The Bar-Kays
34. Atomic Dog by George Clinton
35. Wild Thing by Tone Loc
36. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
37. Sex Dwarf by Soft Cell
38. Every Day is Halloween by Ministry (or try the Tre Lux version)
39. Sheena is a Punk Rocker by the Ramones
40. Weird Science by Oingo Boingo
41. Who Do You Want to Be by Oingo Boingo
42. Full Moon by The Black Ghosts
43. Addam's Family theme song
44. Beetlejuice Theme song
45. Haunted Heart by Concombre Zombi

and for kitzchy fun:
46. They're Here by Boots Walker
47. Martian Hop by the Ran-Dells
48. Monster Surfing Theme by Deadly Ones
49. My Son the Vampire by Allan Sherman
50. Haunted House by Jumpin' Gene Simmons
51. Spooktacular Finale by Spike Jones
52. Wolfman by The Bobby Fuller Four
53. Teenage Brain Surgeon by The Mad Doctor Cappy
54. Day-O by Harry Belafonte (sung in Beetlejuice)
55. Goolie Get-Together by the Groovy Goolies
56. The Mummy by Bob McFadden
57. Rockin' In The Graveyard by Jackie Morningstar
58. Dinner with Dracula by Zacherle
59. Satan Takes a Holiday (Instrumental) by Anton LaVey
60. Ghost Train by the Electro-Tones
61. Strychnine by The Sonics (or The Cramps, take your pick)
62. I'ma gonna throw in Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr. so I don't get yelled at by anyone.

Yep. I have all of these in my iTunes library. Quite a few of the oldie-but-moldies come from Lux n Ivy's favorite songs that inspired The Cramps. Quite frankly, if you're of the punk-minded, you could go all night with The Cramps, mixed up with The Misfits, Concombre Zombi, Cadillac Tramps and Rob Zombie. You'd pretty much be set. Keep in mind I realize not EVERY Halloween style song is listed here. Most of the main list has songs that keep a party moving. And, these are just the kind of songs I like. There's probably a ton of songs I missed!!

For more ambient background eerie gothic sounds, any Nox Arcana album will do ya, but my favorite so far is "Carnival of Lost Souls." Check out their "Darklore Manor" and "Shadow of the Raven" as well. Another really cool album is "The Phantom of the Organ: The Vampyre at the Harpsichord" by Noted Phantom Erik. Yes, it's exactly as it sounds. All harpsichord, all gothic...think Anne Rice, a shadowy mansion and lots of pale people in boots n such.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Want That Last Bite of Cake?

Love really is an over-used word in my vocabulary. Over-used, but not necessarily erroneously. I just fling it around a lot.

I LOVE that song!
LOVE that photo…
I SO looooove those shoes! (I say that a heck of a lot)
LovethatcolorLovethatdressLovedayslikethisLovemykidsfamilyandfriends
LovemyGodLovemypetsLOVEmyBetsyJohnsonearrings...
Love
Love
Love

Maybe I use the word "love" when I truly mean "appreciate."

But isn't love appreciation?

That's a good question. What is love?

Oh my GAWD. An eternal question in a slew of eternal questions! "What's the meaning of life?" "What came first: the chicken or the egg?" "What is love?"

"Where's Waldo?"

I could let Tina Turner plead with me about what's love got to do with it, I could turn to the Bible and be taught love is patient and love is kind, among other things. I could read Byron, Rossetti, Browning and Shakespeare and be immersed in the flourish of love both sublime and tragic. I could stare at masterpieces of love hanging in museums and galleries etching those images onto my brain. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time watching romantic comedies growing up as a kid, so I kind of got brainwashed by Hollywood's version of love.

But what love really is is something special and unique within each of us – yes, shaped by the experiences we're exposed to throughout life – but what each of us actually feels, what triggers our emotions, the things that we express love for –  that's not generic. That's special and individual and exceptionally personal.

What makes me feel the emotion of love might not be exactly what makes YOU feel the emotion of love. What may seem crazy to you, may be "I'm in love" to me. Who are you to question who I fall in love with or why? Who am I to question that for myself? It just happens. It just is. And when we find other people with whom we can relate our version of love, that's magic.


As for Romantic Love... (You pretty much knew this was coming, right?). What I desire to feel between myself and a man, well, that's deep and layered. The love I WANT to experience has been determined by years of mistakes, misguided dreams and naivete in previous relationships. That sounds negative but I don't think it is. I think it's actually quite a good thing. Choosing to be single since my divorce has helped me think about the mistakes I made in the past. It's helped me realize good things are worth waiting for and that I won't allow myself to enter into a relationship with someone just because I feel lonely. My past mistakes have helped me forge a mental image in my mind of what I want in someone based on what I DON'T want. It helps remind me of how I want myself to be in a relationship because I've been what I DON'T want to be. It may be backwards, but how else do we learn? When we were kids, how did we learn not to touch something hot? By touching something hot. Don't put metal crap in the light socket! Why? Because electrocution sucks. We learned based on our mistakes.

A couple years ago I went to a funeral of a very young woman named Devin. On the back of her program was her definition of love. I don't have the exact words here, but it hit a chord in me. Because it wasn't anyone's typical, sappy version of what love is – it wasn't Hallmark material. It was outside the box, personal, honest and stirring. It made me think of what love is for me:

Love is...

...Passion
For each other, ourselves and life. It's a fire that never dies out…a continual desire to keep moving forward, stay in perpetual motion, even when quiet and still…it's passion that is both physical and spiritual. It's inside of us and drives us to find the adventure in living. Without passion life is dull, grey and dead. Boring and routine. There must be a consistent fire that keeps us warm and vital inside. One that can be stoked to intensity both in bed and in living life. A great relationship is when we each can keep our own fires burning and somehow that inner  passion helps add fuel to the other's fire. It's symbiotic and natural, not forced.

…Sensual
When our senses are engaged with the ones we love, we Listen and See (not just hear and look). We whisper in each other's ears, hug, hold hands, kiss, smile. Touch is powerful. A single brush of the fingers can send volumes of messages. This is affection at it's finest. I'm a touchy-feely person. It's one way I can show (in public) how much I care. My favorite (public! :) ) act of affection is to caress the back of a man's neck. If you want to show me you love me, give me a look, a caress, grasp my hand, plant a gentle kiss on my forehead.

…Sexual
This is taking the Sensual to a whole new level. It's the yummy, raw, physical aspect of love. Sex is miiiiiiighty fine. Two bodies manifesting their emotions through the most intense and intimate touch there is. When the right people are together, sex is limitless. It can be adventurous, gentle, tender, animalistic, sweet, intense. Sometimes all of that good stuff in one go, or in a few fun sessions through the night. When there's love there's no fear so we're free to sweat, breathe hard, move, and make lots of noise (and laugh a lot afterwards…that's the best, really.)

…Respect
Understanding that we are each viable, unique souls that have a right to think the way we think and express ourselves the way we do is showing each other the utmost respect. Just because we disagree doesn't give us the right to humiliate, control or hurt each other.

…Trust
Hmmmm. I have some serious trust issues. Henry L. Stimson said, "The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him."   RATS! But, yeah, I get it. I've been lied to, manipulated and cheated on. Been hurt bad. My Trust baggage is pretty packed. But if I choose to love someone, I choose to trust them. Trust is important to me. I'm a loyal person, but crush my trust and that's it. Done. Kaput. To trust in a relationship is huge for me. Mistrust is another form of fear. So, if I'm mistrusting you, I need to ask myself what I'm afraid of losing.



…Appreciation
It's important to let people know they are appreciated. Saying I Love You is wonderful, but sometimes it becomes habit. Rote. Kind of like a side-note. "Oh, P.S. I Love You. Oh, P.S.S. Don't forget to get cat food on the way home." There's other ways to say I love you…a note, a touch, an act of selflessness, a simple thank you.  In "The Princess Bride" the farm boy tells the daughter of the farm "As you wish" as he did the things she asked him to do. Not that I'm looking for a subservient farm boy (wait….thinking, thinking….nope)…but it's a nice analogy of using action to show love.



…Acceptance
No one on this planet is perfect. You can't change me, I can't change you. Truly loving someone is saying I'm ok with the good and the bad; I can accept the negative aspects and choose to illuminate the positive. I've entered relationships where I thought "Oh, I LOVE this guy!" and I completely ignored the red flags that were popping up left and right. Because I chose to think I could make "Him" change. Nuh-uh. Ain't gonna happen. I either enter a relationship knowing and accepting the negative, or I don't enter it at all. As much as I'd like to say otherwise, the truth is I DIDN'T love those guys because I didn't accept them wholly for who they are. It's a tough one. It really is.

…Compromise
Not quite the same as Acceptance. Agreeing on a middle road in any situation is really showing love for one another. Insisting on "my way or the highway" is disrespecting your rights, giving myself a false sense of control, and leaving me closed-minded to other options. Being able to let go of some things, see another point of view and coming to a mutual agreement is mature and healthy. It helps me understand how you think and feel.

…Communication
Sorry guys. But honestly…it does help tremendously. Just try it. Just a little baby step: "I feel……" Ah, honeybun, I feel your pain is what I feel. I know. Not everyone is The Great Communicator. My oldest daughter was five when her Dad and I split. She didn't know how to write yet and she was experiencing a lot of emotion she couldn't articulate. So, I gave her a sketch pad and colored pencils. I told her if she felt something she could draw whatever it is on the paper and it would help me understand how she was feeling. Today we have conversations about what we're feeling. But adult relationships can be tricky. There are different elements involved. Ego, fear, vulnerability, pride. Sometimes words get in the way (thank you Gloria Estefan). So, corny as it sounds, I turn to lyrics and music ALL THE TIME to get in touch with how I'm feeling. Giving someone a note with two or three song titles on it and saying "here, these say what I can't" can be quite powerful. But, honestly, as hard as it may be, the best way to communicate is to take a deep breath, sit down and draw out the strength to say the words I simply need to say.  I must admit, I get shaky and nervous when I need to talk to someone about something that's on my mind, so my best offense has just been to get it out. Whew.



...Laughter
Finding joy in life and each other, giggling, enjoying little things, secrets…laughing like kids. That's unbridling ourselves from our strained and strict adult forms and letting ourselves be free. It's wonderful and light and absolutely amazing when two people who care about each other can laugh so hard together they fall over crying. I love laughing to the point where it's just a silent wheeze. Face is red. Can't breathe. That's REAL laughter. May not be pretty, but it usually is good for more laughs from the other party. I think an important part of this is Playing. Whether goofing off on a date-night or getting silly with the kids, playing induces laughter and laughter lightens loads and breaks down walls.


…Enhanced Happiness
I say enhanced because I cannot MAKE you happy. Nor are you responsible for my happiness. I cannot, WILL NOT require you to fulfill me. I must be happy within myself. I must feel fulfilled alone before I can partake in the beautiful relationship of love with YOU. Two unhappy people don't make one happy couple. They just make two unhappy people in close proximity. Which gets UGLY. (Speaking from experience). I want my happiness to ENHANCE your already happy self. I want to ADD to your life. Not make it. I've said it before: I will NOT stay in an obligatory relationship. I've tried that…just because society says "it's the right thing to do" doesn't mean that's true. What's real is the need for all of us poor slobs here on Earth to be happy. When we're in a place where that isn't happening, it's vital for us to find our happiness. If after all is said, done and tried...if it finally means walking away from a bad relationship, then so be it. Selfish? YOU BET! But I'll tell you what. My daughters have a HAPPY MOTHER TODAY. They did not have that the first 5 years of their lives. I was miserable, lost and hopeless. I finally stood up for myself and stepped back into living my life. Hardest thing I've ever done. And the most freeing, uplifting and strengthening thing I've ever done. I'll never again give up my personal happiness in order to try to be someone I'm not with someone who doesn't love me for who I am.

…Space
Oh My GAWD. Give me space. I do not need to be stapled or duct-taped to you to be yours. And for goodness sake, go out with the boys. Smoke cigars. Play poker. Watch football at the sports bar. (Hey. Wait. I like watching football…and playing poker…). Go on a trip. Get away and be the man you want to be. Pound on your chest and make 'um big fire! Enjoy yourself, have fun and come back to me happy and in love. Because occasionally I need the same. I may not need to pound on my chest and make big fire…but I like to have MY TIME ALONE occasionally. I like my girlfriends. Holy cats. When I was married I completely lost my sense of self. I never went out with girlfriends, never had free time. Never ME time. And, we stopped dating. We didn't give ourselves time away from our kids. It was like an eight-legged creature moving to and fro….there were no distinctions, no separate personalities. We were a blob of boring body parts. Well, that's how I felt. And now I feel the security of SPACE. I don't need to talk to you 5 times a day to know you love me. (Once or twice is nice…with texting in between if so desired). But I'm busy at work, you're busy at work…I like my freedom as I'm sure you do. So, let's agree that just because we don't see each other every day doesn't mean it's the end of the world. Ok? Yay!

…Sharing
On a complete flip-side of Space, there is the massively important element of sharing life together. It is a real partnership when we have days and nights enjoying events and rituals together. Having similar interests and desires that we can celebrate hand-in-hand in the adventure of life is oh-so-vital! Mutual hobbies,  dreams and goals provide a thread that connects us. It can be as exciting as riding in a hot-air balloon together for the first time, or simply experiencing the unwind of conversation about the day's events.



…Savoring
I'm done with flash-bang romance. I want to learn about you slowly, experience nuances and find nuggets of information over a period of time. Like reading a really, really good book. I want to engage in the story and learn more every day, week and year. There's excitement and anticipation in the unfolding of YOU. If you get it all out all at once there's nothing left to be excited about. And the REALLY cool thing is that we continue to change and grow, so if looked at in a positive perspective, we'll always be learning about each other as time goes by.



…Balance
It all comes down to Balance. We are two separate human beings. We each have a purpose in this life. We each have busy lives. Life is all about balance. Finding out how to be sons and daughters, siblings, parents, employees, friends, family-members, lovers and partners and spouses, good human beings out there in life. It's a constant rotation of hats…and the only way to stay sane and happy is be achieving balance. To come together as two people, maintain our individuality while combining parts of ourselves. Having faith that in this life there is Time and Space for everything and everyone. Knowing when to say yes and when to say no. When to be selfless and when to be selfish. And understanding that I'm not the only one that needs that.

Oh and I disagree with "Love is never having to say you're sorry." Ideally our behavior should be of such that our actions and words never cause situations to apologize for. But let's face it. We're human. Not all the wonderful principles and ideals I listed above can possibly be adhered to 100% of the time. It's more likely it'll be a lot of some, or a little of most...ideally with practice they become natural in body and mind and spirit. But I think letting go of ego and admitting we're wrong when we know our actions and words have hurt someone takes a TREMENDOUS amount of love.

That and letting them have the last bite of cake. I mean, really. THAT'S love in a nutshell.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Road of Life

About 11 years ago I hiked Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon….made it all the way down to Indian Gardens, about 4.6 miles from the rim. The trail is all switchbacks and there are only two stations for water along the way, then there's a creek at Indian Gardens you can rest your tired feet in. The hike back up was – hahaaa! – arduous, and got to a point where I'd walk a couple switchbacks and have to rest for 5 minutes, eat, drink and psyche myself up for the next round of pain. But I made it back up. I was pushed not only by the desire to prove to myself I would walk off that trail of my own volition, but that it would cost me a thousand bucks to have someone 'copter me out.  No way was I going to give up. The surge of relief, pride and adrenaline overshadowed the exhaustion and pain coursing through my body (I will not waste my time talking about the inhuman beings that hiked the trail full speed TWICE just on my way down…freaking aliens visiting from Roswell is what THEY were).  I developed some pretty strong leg muscles that day.

Much like that hike so many years ago, I currently feel too tired to keep walking. I have had to stay in a lot of action the last couple years and everything seems to be taking forever to resolve (again…loan modification in second application, filing bankruptcy pending approval of loan modification).  Over the course of the last few months I've felt like my legs have been chained to cinder-blocks making every step I take heavy and difficult. But I have kept moving forward. Slowly and sometimes fearfully I have continued to place one foot in front of the other and taken care of business to the best of my ability.

Through most of that I experienced a "relationship" with someone. There was and still is a chasm between us that made it impossible to develop a real relationship, but the emotions I felt didn't pay any attention to that unbridgeable space. Feelings rebelliously touched down like an F5 hurricane. Against all my intellectual attempts to stay the fall I faceplanted it hard.  I have not felt that way about anyone before…I craved him physically, emotionally and intellectually even though every day my head told me I was crazy, it wasn't good for me, blah, blah, blah. Every time we talked was bliss, the silence in between was agony, but there were always the hopes and daydreams to sustain my romantic heart. We attempted to "just be friends" but that was impossible for me and so we severed all ties.

I was not prepared for the flood of emotion that has overwhelmed me since then. It's hard enough to walk away from someone you deeply care about. It's much harder to be faced with the cold realization that once that facade was removed I was STILL facing all this other life turmoil, with no daydreams to fall back on, no fantasies to smooth the serrated edge of divorce, single-motherhood, financial fiasco and possible loss of home.  I feel like a small part of my soul has been removed, or cut open…exposed and raw and I don't know where I'm going to draw any more strength from. I have not sobbed so deeply or often since my ex-husband and I split up two and a half years ago. I have been faced with the sobering thought that I was using my hopes for that psuedo-relationship as a pillow…to muffle the blows of all this other chaos served up in my life.

So suddenly I have become very tired. Emotionally and physically. Just too exhausted to keep moving forward. I believe in God, the power of prayer and I have a support group of friends that amazes me every day. But some days no matter how not-alone I am, it hits me that I really am going through all this stuff by myself. For the first time in my life I'm dealing with problems like a grown up, not a victimized child. There's no one to "save me," no one to share this burden. No one in my bed at night into whose arms I can fall, who will kiss the top of my head and whisper "everything's gonna be alright." Somehow, some way, I need to draw up that "arms/kiss/whisper" experience alone, between me and God. But let me tell, ya. That doesn't cut it day in and day out. Sorry. I know there's lots of spiritual folk out there who are perfectly fine with themselves and God and no one else. But this girl? There are just days I need a physical manifestation of someone loving me, feeling the weight and comfort of someone holding me. Sometimes it's an ache, sometimes it's not.

Occasionally, like the last few days, I have a severe case of the fuck-its. Other days it's just enough to know all I need to do is to get through the day ahead. But I have a sustaining hope, and that is knowing, like every uphill path, there's a point where it all levels out, and there may even be some easy moseying in the days ahead, maybe some downhill sauntering. It's just another leg on the journey. And I am never alone. I realize that. I have God, I have family, I have friends. Sometimes they carry me, sometimes they lead me, sometimes they push me…but they never stay far from me, nor I from them. Albert Schweitzer said "Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and accept as something precious what comes back to you from them." I try to do that every single day. He also said "If you truly love something let it go, if it is meant to be yours it will return, if not it was never meant to be." Fucking Schweitzer.


Anyway, for the most part I'm pretty proud of how I've been able to slog through this very uphill, rocky, sometimes muddy part of the trail I call my life. Up until now I've expected myself to keep moving forward, like a machine, keep walking, keep stepping, keep moving…no matter what, don't stop. Because if I stop I might not start back up again. But last night I realized, just like on that Bright Angel Trail hike…sometimes you just can't physically keep moving on. You HAVE to sit down, rest and draw strength to stand back up and take that next footstep. I'm developing some pretty strong spiritual, mental and emotional muscles these days.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Glass? What Glass?

Ohmigosh. Has it been over a month since I've posted a blog?? Yep. That's because so much has been happening and very little inspired thinking going on. Or, maybe it's more of the same ol' same ol' so I don't want to beat a dead horse. Aaand dance on it's grave. That's just not right. But, you know, I can't help it, sooooo…loan mod, bankruptcy, love, accidents.

In fact, if I were my old, pessimistic self, I'd take a good hard look at these last 8 months and accuse myself of being born under a bad sign. Great song, btw. (Of course, we all know Leos are the Royalty of the zodiac, so that's not really true…but even so, icky stuff happens to us royal pains in the ass).

Let's look at this with a couple different kinda glasses, shall we?

GLASS IS HALF EMPTY
Right around January/February I fell oh-so-freakin' hard for a guy – honestly…I've NEVER felt that way about anyone before. I so, so, SO much wanted to take time to get to know him…learn about him slowly. Savor him. Learn his likes, dislikes, fears, joys, moods…discover what I do that makes him happy, what I do that makes him pissy…wanted to be his first thought in the morning, last at night and the whole lot in between. Wanted nothing more than to look into his gorgeous eyes, melt at his heart-breakingly breath-taking smile...walk hand in hand in the park, sit by the ocean watching the stars, read books on the couch, talk over coffee, spend entire weekends in bed together. *sigh* Too bad he doesn't feel the same. OUCH. Yuuuuup. Yup. This girl got shot by Cupid BUH-AD. Little bastard. Next time I see him, I'm gonna bitchslap the little diaper-wearin' freak-of-nature. Cupid that is. In case you were wondering which "him" I was talking about.

In April someone jacked my checking account info and stole $700...charging up a storm at walmart.com. That's how I KNEW more than anything that I hadn't spent the money all in one night in a retail therapy blackout. At that same time I was all set to fly out on my first international trip EVER for my life-long dream-trip to Ireland and KABLOOIE…Iceland exploded. Silly Iceland. Trip postponed! That is, until….

…..May arrived and I had to use all my trip money to replace my transmission in my car.

I can't remember if that was before or after  I broke my toe walking into a rock, which made my…

…Camp Pendleton Mud Run in June OUT…couldn't run on my newly healed piggy. Hey. I ain't no Jerry Rice. There will be no cutting off digits to finish the second half for THIS wussy girl.

With all this crap on my mind, no wonder I rear-ended a lady in the intersection end of June….we were both at a red light, completely stopped. Green light, she goes, I go. She stops. I don't stop. Rats. Now the dumb broad is claiming "bodily injury" for a fender-bender that caused NO damage (I have pictures!!). Hmmmph.

July hit and that was my best friend's birthday. But not anymore because SHE'S DEAD. That's a total bummer.

So here we are in August…my bankruptcy was on hold till my loan modification is finalized, except now the loan mod is declined because the stupid Orange County Recorder's Office TWICE rejected the paperwork…the LAST WEE BIT of paperwork the financial peeps needed… and BAM. I missed the deadline. Speaking of missing…

…the dude on the 215 last Saturday FAILED to miss me when he changed lanes without looking and hit me. I USED to have a car that only looked somewhat crappy. Now I'm one of those poor schlubs with duct tape holding parts of it together.

BUT NO!!!!!! I'm NOT gonna focus on all the negative stuff. Gonna focus on the positive stuff.

GLASS IS HALF FULL
After my divorce I thought I'd never fall in love again. I'd been hurt so much for so long, that I just figured I'd never be able to let loose with those emotions ever again. Yet I found myself falling for someone; it happened and there was nothing I could do to stop it, no matter how hard I tried. You know "Standing Outside the Fire" by Garth Brooks? I found out that's me. I can still love. Haven't put a steel wall up around my heart. So if I walk away with nothing more than that…that I am still willing to risk pain for the chance at truly loving someone with all my heart and having them love me the same way…then it was worth it.

The stolen money and equal amount of transaction/overdrawn fees (coming to a whopping $1100 total) was quickly returned by my bank. I LOVE my bank. They're good people. And a week after my trip was cancelled, my boss told me I was going to Quebec, Canada on business. I've since been there twice with a third trip in September. See…I didn't get my passport for nothin'! What a beautiful place Quebec City is. I want to go back someday, for pleasure.

Hey…if I had gone to Ireland and spent all my money, I'd have no car right now. (And who knows whose car would've been hit by 215 Schmuck if I didn't have my little green-weanie car?) The fact that I shelled out $1300 for a transmission which was same amount of money I paid for my trip…well, that's not a coincidence in my book.

Toe healed. What else can I say? I don't have to wear the grey orthopedic boot anymore! Just because I missed my first CP Mud Run THIS year, doesn't mean I'll have to miss it NEXT year.

As for miss bodily injury girl…like I said, I got PICTURES of her "no damage" rear-end (no, not her butt…her car). And my insurance company will happily decline her claim if they can. More to come on that.

And my friend Kerrie? Well, I've learned to be philosophical about her death and have healed tremendously. I have lots of gratitude for my life. For more on this read my previous blog Happy Birthday Kerrie Ann. Besides, MY birthday was also in July and I had a great pool party with lots of wonderful friends. Who could ask for more?

Good news on the loan mod…I now have ALL the paperwork they need and they said I can reapply!. Hopefully it'll go through and we can get the bankruptcy on the road.

The schmuck that hit me was at least a nice, honest schmuck. He claimed full responsibility for hitting me and as I type my car is in the bodyshop and I'm driving a rental. Considering my stereo got stolen out of my car 4 years ago and I never replaced it, I am SO THRILLED to have a car with a radio and cd player! YAHOO!! And, they're painting two panels of my car....so,  it'll look nice from the front left at least.

WHERE THE HELL IS THE GLASS?
So you see? It's all how you look at things.  I'll admit some days it seems like someone took my frickin' glass altogether. *looks around...oh...there it is. In the dishwasher...* But. When I really consider all the wonderful things in my life…like my daughters, my family, my friends, my job…the fact I STILL have a condo and a car TODAY…life is nice. Chaotic. Dramatic. Funny. Interesting. NICE. Life with me will NEVER be boring, that's for sure.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Kerrie Ann

Today is an interesting day.

It used to be an amazing, wondrous, fun-filled day.

For a time it was a day of sadness and regret.

Today is my best friend's birthday. Her birthday was a week before mine and for years our celebrations were intertwined and inseparable.


Kerrie Ann, my dear little soul sister. Happy birthday love.

Kerrie and I met when I was 12. The circumstances were less than ideal. When I was 5 years old, my parents separated for a year and during the course of that year something really bad happened to me. To this day my mind mercifully hides the details from my conscious soul, but for years my physical reaction to certain experiences and my mental reaction to LOTS of circumstances convinced a slew of therapists, counselors and psychologists that I had been traumatized. We just couldn't break through to the extent of the event.

Fast forward seven, almost eight years, and there I am meeting Kerrie Ann. I had ditched school for three weeks straight. My parents and I were in counseling for what seemed like forever and we had lots of problems. The school-ditching was the last straw. The only solution left was to throw me in a teen-unit at some hospital to work with me on a daily basis.

Can you imagine being 12 – almost 13 – and watching your parents walk away – down an unknown, scary, sanitized hall – leaving you alone? At the time, I could only focus on that all I had done was act out, miss school, yell and scream at my folks a lot. And there I was, left in a room with two lesbian punk-rocker drug addicts. I knew that because they made sure I was clued in the moment my parents walked away.

Today I know that was one of the hardest things my folks ever had to do.

That night I sobbed tears that seemed to manifest from somewhere deeper and darker than the physiological tear-ducts from which they sprang. I was more scared, lonely and grief-stricken than I had ever been in my life.

And then came Kerrie. She bounded up to me, smiling and hugging and announced we were friends. I had become her cause. She became my saving grace. I spent almost a month in that place…Kerrie was there longer. Regardless of what I had ever endured, the physical, emotional and sexual abuse Kerrie had experienced made my life look like a cake-walk.

We stuck with each other for years…she was my best friend through junior high and high school. We didn't attend the same school, but she continued to be my saving grace through those years. I was scared of everyone and everything….my peers frightened the hell out of me. I felt like I just wasn't good enough, dressed right, smart enough, pretty enough. I sure made it impossible for anyone to befriend me because I was sure no one could possibly like me. But Kerrie was always there.

I went to college after high school. Kerrie didn't. We had two very different lives. My parents were still married, we were reasonably well-off, we were all educated and intellectual. Kerrie's family was disintegrated, dysfunctional, poor. It grated on her self-esteem and she looked up to me as something to aspire to. I didn't like that so much. I just wanted to be her friend.

We eventually parted ways…that happened a couple times. The first time was because she started down a path of self-destruction and I think, even to this day, her "abandonment" of me at that time was her way of protecting me from a dark and scary life. She turned to drugs and I never did. We reunited after a couple years, she had cleaned up and we both embarked on a spiritual path of living our lives under the Grace of God, helping others and self-reflection. But where my life took an up-turn, Kerrie could never quite shake the demons of her past. We again parted ways and this time was a longer and more arid separation.

Years passed by with intermittent communication. I got married and didn't invite her. The few times we had met up, the beautiful, sweet, always-friendly girl that I fell in love with was barely there. She was changing permanently. She was back into drugs and alcohol. I didn't like being around her. Plus I had issues of my own. Shortly after getting married I got pregnant and had my first daughter. My husband and I were living with my parents while trying to buy a house, and out of the blue Kerrie showed up at their front door, not knowing I lived there or that I was home on maternity leave.

I had yet again failed to include her in one of the biggest events of my life. There I was with my brand-new baby and Kerrie…my best friend, my little soul-sister…stood there, cooing outwardly at my daughter. I can only imagine the turmoil of hurt that swirled inside her at that moment. The fact of the matter was that I was trying to lead the life of my dreams…married, kids, buying a home. And my friend had become an embarrassment. There were no conversations with her that weren't dripping with innuendos and rude, foul language.

Six months later I received news that Kerrie had died. She'd had a heart-attack. And I knew it was drugs. Those of us who had known her for years sat around our table at the post-funeral luncheon and we all just knew. The coroner called it a coronary, but we knew it was the drugs that finally did it. Her soul had tired of the fight long before. It was just a matter of time before the body followed.

I don't know why my life turned out so differently from Kerrie's. I don't know why I have been able to trudge through the events of my past, face the darkest and ugliest corners of me and emerge healthy, happy and free. I don't know why one person can face painful truths and another cannot. I am not better than anyone. I certainly was never better than Kerrie Ann. We were one and the same. We both tried for awhile to fix our pain by shoving shit down our throats. And certainly there was a long spell after her death that I spiraled down, way down, into black depths of depression and abuse and came very close to dying by my own hand. So I still don't know why, when we started off on the same road to freedom from pain and misery, why she didn't get to stay and I did.

Today if you were to ask me how I am, I will answer you "I'm great! I'm very happy!" And, amazingly enough, that's no bullshit. I'm not trying to fool you or myself or get you to go away, or make you feel like I'm some special girl. Even in the midst of heartbreak, upheaval and chaos...which seems at least for now to be hovering at a safe distance from me...it's there and I'm dealing with it...but I can say from the deepest parts of me that I am happy. That's huge. Because for so long I lived a life of self-loathing and fear. When those are your main motivators, life is not lived, it is existed. I've stopped looking without for solutions to my need for happiness and started looking within. Today I can look at my past, the good and the bad, and say I'm grateful for every moment, because they shaped me. Today I really like me. And today I'm less afraid of you…in fact, I'm perfectly fine accepting the fact that not everyone likes me. That's just scientifically impossible. The most important thing is that I like what's under my skin, and under my skull.

I've long ago forgiven myself for "abandoning" my friend in her time of need. Because I've learned that nothing is guaranteed, everything happens for a reason and that no matter what transpired, we still loved each other. That connection never broke, even when we didn't see each other for years.

Each day that I wake up, I am thankful for the gift of life, and today is a day I'm especially grateful to celebrate life. I shall always remember the loving, smiling friend…the bright sweetness of that little girl's smile. The honest love and care that she exuded to a scared stranger. That's the Kerrie I celebrate today. Because that's WHO she was. And it's from my experiences with her that I am who I am. So, I live my happiness with a salute to Kerrie Ann.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Break It Down...

Ok, on to the breakin' it down portion of Dream Interpretations with eirekitten. Meow! This is a follow-up to my last blog "Bust Out Your Dream Dictionary" in which I recounted a really weird and comical dream I had earrrrrrly, this morning.

In my past experiences, using most so-called "dream dictionaries" is usually a farcical effort in superstitious futility. Yeah, go figure THAT sentence out. I don't even know what I said. Anyway, the kind of "You dreamed of a crow. You're gonna die at noon tomorrow!" crap is probably written by the same dorks that believe in chain letters. Psh. Really.

On the flip-side I have found some definitions and interpretations of certain symbols that resonate with the dream I had and really, that's the starting point of figuring out what a "story-like" dream means. What is your subconscious trying to tell you? Well, start how you felt when you woke from the dream. My dream this morning? It had all the elements of a Cohen Brothers movie. Dark humor. Funny in a bloody, decapitated kind of way.

So, the dream didn't hold doom-filled emotions for me...it was lighthearted and funny. Which is a VERY good thing. As I like to view life with a sense of humor as much as possible, even in the darkest of times. The sooner I can use humor to get out of a funk, the better off I am.

So, on to the dream.

First of all, as I just said, the dream "felt good." It had a POSITIVE spin to it.

I did look up various symbols on-line and found some interesting connotations that work with what I feel the dream meant:

HEADLESSNESS
Good indication that your head and heart are not communicating. Your emotions may be running overboard and you need to stop and take a moment to think about things and where your intense feelings may be taking you. Maybe you have been behaving irrationally and are "losing your head" (mind is most likely). A separated head can mean mind and soul are not in balance or the idea of senseless or thoughtless action, or acting without a sense of responsibility. (Well, no shit. I've known this for months. Go ahead and read my "Gag Order" blog from May. You'll see.). This symbol may ask us where in our lives our emotions and logic are not in balance and invites us to rejoin the areas of our life that seem separate or disjointed. (This could be where my need to "reattach" my head makes a lot of sense! The whole pun of "running around like a chicken with it's head cut off" or "I've lost my mind" or "gotta get my head on straight" reallllly applies here.)

VASE
I couldn't find much relevant about a vase. Other than the vase symbol can mean the idea of containment or restraint. (yep....practicing LOADS of restraint daily).

POOL
I mentioned that part of my dream took place by a pool. I didn't know why it mattered but it did. Therefore it does. Sooo, I discovered that a pool of water can mean the context of your life, meaning the settings and situations within which your life takes place – your "world". Can also be a huge, deep area that you feel holds secrets. A calm body of water can represent peacefulness or relaxation. (I now recall that the guy in my dream was cleaning the pool – I think – so...that's pretty cool...a big part of my life getting cleaned up...)

MIRROR
Self-awareness, examination of self, looking inward. (Hmmmmmmmmmm)

BLOOD
Life force, life energy or the essence of humanity. My bleeding can mean I feel weakened or tired emotionally, mentally, or physically. (Well. How 'bout all three?) or you feel something is sapping your energy or time or attention. (Yes, yes.... aaaaaand.... yes.)

HEADACHE
Thinking too hard (no effing way!) overwhelmed, a problem or challenge or complication.

BANQUET
Abundant nourishment for the mind, body, emotions or soul – or a desire for it. (I'll take door #2 Bob).

NURSE
Can represent support, nurturing, healing or the idea of responsibility or authority over others. (So, what if the bitch refused to help? Um, like she did???)

KEYCHAIN
Symbolizes opportunities, secrets or responsibilities and may indicate locking away feelings and emotions. To dream of "finding" a keychain is lucky and means you may soon have a breakthrough in a real-life situation. (I only include that because I really, really, really, really want that.....)

DEAD BRIDE AND GROOM
(Ok...lots of different takes on dead people...) dreaming of dead people can represent an area of your life that has "died." (The fact that the dead people were a bride and groom is so flippin' overwhelmingly obvious to me that I really don't need to look up the interpretation...)

TRAVIS BARKER
Only thing I can think of is that he represents music...

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER AND YOU GET.....
Clearly, I've been going through a lot in the last few months. Lots and lots and lots of disappointments. Lots of pressure to do things like, oh, I don't know...save my house! Deal with a Gemini-influenced ex! Go bankrupt! Keep my job! Help my parents. Raise my kids. Fall in love and get my heart broken to smithereens. I've been unfocused in all areas of my life, acted irrationally, irresponsibly and selfishly in a few areas, less than elegantly in others. I've been overwhelmed by so much lately. So, clearly, I've "lost my mind"! And, as a result of going through all this stuff, I have done a crapload of introspection, writing, crying and praying. I'm still processing the "death of my marriage" and, lately, the death of romantic hopes. My fervent wish is that my attempt to "reattach" my head is a subconscious identification of my ability to finally get my head on straight. Get my mind cleared....clean out the areas of my life that cause discomfort, and once again feel peace and serenity. Maybe reaching out for help and having the helper reject me...maybe that means the ability to make things alright really lies within me, and within my relationship with God, that I've relied a lot on others for support, which is perfectly fine, yet the answers are with me and what I know to the core of my being... my "God Gut". And maybe if I continue on the path that I've just stepped back onto, getting my head on straight...the situations going on in my life will also straighten out. That and the fact that it all had a humorous spin....like I said, humor is integral to my survival...no matter how mad or depressed or sad I get....humor and music self-reflection and willingness to find solution are keys to the freedom of happiness for me.

Bust Out Your Dream Dictionary

I've had a lifetime of intriguing dreams. Many of them are odd, as you would expect, but they all have had beginnings, middles, and ends. They are comprehensive, regardless of their esoteric symbols and imagery. And most always there is a story in there...a cinematic note to my lowly, earthly self from my "higher self". I've often been able to derive many important messages from my dreams that have helped me through situations going on around and in my life.

But after having two kids my dreams kind of faded away. It's not that I stopped dreaming, it's just that I was so dead tired that I stopped remembering them.

So, when I wake up remembering one of my "epic" dreams in total, I have to write it down. Ergo this note. Aha!!

Today's blog brought to you by the subconscious mind of Kristen, very, VERY early this morning:

It began with the fact that my head was severed. Never one to let small matters stand in my way (I like to think), I promptly smushed my detached head (no King Missile jokes please) down on to the stump of my neck, aligning all the things that needed to be aligned, and held it in place by putting a big, bulbous crystal flower vase over my head. (Because doesn't that just make sense? *psh*)

I walked around looking like the star of some 50's Grade-B Sci-Fi flick. I also was very careful not to make any sudden movements, lest my head started to slip-n-slide, or, worse, fall off.

Despite my care, I lost my head. (Not unusual in my life, I must say.) However, I went about my business of doing errands and picking my daughter up from preschool (which is NOT the norm, as I work full time) and it was perfectly ok for me to walk around headless, greeting 5-year olds and chatting with teachers.

But I needed to put my head back on.

(Now...where did I put that? It was.... tsk... It was here JUST a minute ago.... *searching, patting pockets, patting head...oops, nope, haha! silly me...*

Ohhhhhhh! Now I remember!)

I went to the home of a guy who had my head. And the vase. (Thank goodness for THAT!) Why he had them, I don't know. Who he was, I don't know. I have the impression that we were seeing each other but he was busy cleaning the backyard (the pool specifically) like he was expecting someone special...and was kind of in a hurry. I felt a wee bit hurt, but really, under the circumstances, I wouldn't be attracted to a headless significant other either and couldn't blame him for moving on. I really couldn't imagine him wanting to kiss me...especially with the vase between us. Or even without the vase...the slightest bit of lippy pressure and spliiish...my head would slide to and fro.

Anywhoo... I was more concerned with finding my head. All this took place in his backyard with a pool. I don't know the point of that, but it's a detail, so it's here.

He pointed to a little building where my head was. As I walked in, I caught a view of myself in a full length mirror. There I was in all my glory: nice shirt, pants, holding my purse...a body with a bloody gaping wound above my shoulders where my head WASN'T. (Note: The clothes I was wearing were...GAH!...like...a 45-year old frumpy house-mother! I was actually wearing a BLOUSE and SLACKS! Screw the head, just kill me now.)

The vague thought that "THAT doesn't seem right" entered my mind...wherever that was. I also realized that although things that day had seemed normal to me, I wondered if I actually permanently traumatized the children and teachers I interacted with.

(*Hello! What? What's with all this silly kicking and screaming. Why are you catatonic honey? Oops, sorry, just dripping a bit...here, I have a wipey..HEY! Come back!! You've...you've got RED on you!*)

I picked up my head, smushed it back in place with the manky vase, and realized some important things:

1. I couldn't walk around with a vase on my head forever. It was hot, beginning to smell and it was hard to see as my breath kept fogging it up.

2. How on earth am I able to do all these things if my important bits and pieces aren't attached to each other?

3. I couldn't live much longer if I didn't get my head reattached. (The term "No shit Sherlock" is, I think, appropriate here.)

I had to find someone to sew my head back on. Besides, I was beginning to get a headache. And the squishy parts where the two halves of my neck met were starting to get oozy. And I was turning a bit grey.

Securing my space-vase, I naturally headed (no pun intended) to a banquet. (Because isn't that what you do? I don't know about you, but I do occasionally turn to food for comfort.)

Anyway, I meandered until I found a woman who was a nurse. I pursued her all through the hall, repeatedly asking her to please help me reattach my head and wondering why she was being so rude and cold. She was very busy trying to get drunk and darted around ducking in and out of pockets of people to avoid my swivel-headed, vase-face – creepy really – pleading. (I don't think I held my arms out in front of me nor dragged my left foot...no, don't think so, but it is possible that is what SHE saw.)

I followed her into a small room, at which point I was stopped by a security guy. Clearly this was a private affair and he was just doing his job keeping a bloodied-up lady with a vase on her slippy head from crashing the party.

But no. No, he did not detain me. Instead, he shoved a little plastic baggie in my hand. I saw the baggie held a small commemorative keychain.,but I can't remember what it looked like. I looked up at the blue tablecloth-covered tables set in a u-shape and realized this was a reception line of sorts...kind of like a reception/book-signing. My harried nurse was at the head of the line shaking some guy's hand. On the inside of the U I saw a sullen bride in all her regalia, sitting limply behind a stack of wedding videos. (Is anyone surprised the stack of videos were the video case I have from MY wedding?)

As I proceeded up the line, I shook the hand of the gloomy groom (really, neither of them were at all happy. Having gone through two marriages, I completely understand) who was actually Travis Barker (Blink 182) and thought "He doesn't look happy, and he's kind of pasty. And sort of glowing. Oh...that's because he's DEAD!" He did look crappy, although neatly dressed in his wedding white skater hat, perfectly askew, his white and black graphic tee and his black dickies. Ah, Trav...always trying to make a buck, even in death. They were promoting their wedding by selling videos and giving away trinkets. (So romantic! So "forever!" So....reality T.V.)

I finally caught up to my nurse who was slugging one back at the bar. As she turned to give me a look of complete annoyance/dread, my alarm went off.

So, I never, technically, did get my head reattached. Is that bad?

Next blog – Making sense of all this crap!

This is good stuff people!! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gag Order

I am experiencing something I've never had to deal with before...having feelings and emotions and being unable to fully express them. To openly shout to the world "Goddamnit, I am in so much pain, my heart is about to explode, my head won't leave me alone and I can't even say why!"

I've never, ever been one to hide my feelings. I have often joked that I should have a long-sleeved t-shirt printed up with just one word on the left sleeve: EMOTIONS.

No one ever has to question what I am feeling. My emotions leap from my head and soul to animate my face, my movements, my body language. I am an open book and regardless of what I'm feeling you're gonna hear about it. If I'm extra excited that my bank account didn't dip below $10, you'll know in all gleeful glory. My heart breaks, the tears flow and there's no need to ask. Just give me a hug.

I talk about everything I go through. That, and write about it. I'm a free-spirit when it comes to what's going on in my head (and, yes, I understand that may not be such a noble thing in many folks' eyes. Do I look like I care? Nope. Not me. They're MY feelings afterall. Cmon. I'm a Leo.) Sometimes my telling or writing is done quite privately, but it's done nonetheless. Other issues I turn to close friends who have experienced whatever it is I'm going through. And, then, most any other time with less touchy, day-to-day crap, I have no problem updating all my other friends via Facebook that I'm a) in pain, b) happy as a lark, c) feel even-steven...whatever...and also WHY I'm feeling all those things.

I think it's because I need support from friends. Like, knowing that what I'm feeling matters to other people. Whatever. It's who I am.

But this shit I'm going through now. I can't talk about it. I can't even express on my Facebook page what I'm REALLY feeling. I'm trying to pull out of this and get back to my happy self, but my usual outlets aren't working. And can't work. Because I CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT. And it's driving me crazy. Because I want the world to know I damned well hurt. My heart is broken. I made a stupid decision, I was naive, I was selfish...I was all kinds of things – including used – and now I'm just hurting. And I am powerless in explaining why. It's like tying my hands and legs together and dangling a keyboard in front of my face.

"You know you want to write about it...


*dangle dangle*


"Oh...almost got it that time..."


*dangle dangle*


"Oh, heh heh...she's so funny and cute when she's frustrated...look at her TRY!!"

*dangle effing dangle*


Every time I go to tell the truth on Facebook about what I'm really feeling, I stare at it for moments on end and end up clearing the field. What's the point. What's it going to accomplish. Who gives a crap. Sometimes I actually get to the point where I post a "truthful" update...but I delete it and end up with an update like "Gah!!" or "GRRR!" or "AGHHHHH!".

Fuck.

There is so much I want to say. I want to yell at someone. I want to unleash on this someone. I want to say so many things. Ask so many questions. I want to cry and make it perfectly clear just what is going on in my head and my heart. And I cannot. It is a feeling of impotence I've never experienced in my life. And, while I can allude to what I'm going through here, I still can't give details. I can't even say WHAT I want to yell and hit and cry about. Yep...that someone is on Facebook. And I don't want that someone to know I'm going through this. I want it to be all smooth and even and uneventful and I'm good. Yep. No troubles here, cuz you didn't hurt me one little bit. Nope. It's ALL good. Moving on, as they say. Right?


Thank GOD that someone doesn't read this blog. And even then I can't let loose here either. Not this time. I just get to go through today, probably tomorrow too, feeling like I've been patted on the head and shunted to the farthest corner of the garage...an embarrassment to be ignored and probably hopefully forgotten. Yep. That's how I feel. And if you know Leo women, that is NOT a good thing. It's not a good thing for any woman to feel. It's not a good thing for anyone to feel, actually.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

All You Can Eat Buffet

Was listening to a song the other day – a song from one of my favorite movies 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The song was a Dream Academy version of The Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let me Get What I Want."

Oh how that song made me smile.

"...Good times for a change
See the luck I've had
Can make a good man turn bad...


I'm actually not a man, and damn, life is pretty frickin' great. I certainly am happy in the majority of areas in my life. I have a wonderful career, I work for a bitchin' company, my children are happy, well-adjusted and healthy. I have a home and a car and beautiful friends and family that add joy to my heart. I think I've had quite a good run of luck lately and so cannot complain...

"...So please, please, please
Let me, let me, let me
Let me get what I want this time...

...Haven't had a dream in a long time
See the life I've had
Can make a good man bad..."


I've had lots of dreams, and some have even come true. My life has been rich with adventure, heartache, laughter, love, solitude and faith.

It's that whole begging "please, please, please, let me, let me, let me, get what I want this time" part that drives to the heart of me. If God gave me everything I ever wanted I'd probably be in big trouble. I know acceptance and disappointment build character and being grateful for what you have is a direct spiritual path to God. I've also gotten a few things I thought I just had to have and found the disappointment and pain far outweighed the anxiety of the wanting.

Have you ever wanted something so bad, so madly, that your entire mind – your body – aches for it? You want it, it's there...sooooo goddamned close and nope. Can't have. You can smell it, you can taste it. You can close your eyes and FEEL it right there with you. Your mouth waters, your body shakes and your pulse quickens, and you still know you can't have it. The more you can't have it, the more you want it. It's like you're starving and you're standing outside the window of a buffet knowing they won't let you in to get what you need. You know you should just walk away from the window....it would be so easy to turn, step and keep moving away. But you do not, and you stand rooted in your purgatory.

It's insanity, I tell you. It's maddening, frustrating, exhilarating and laughable, all at once.

I'm laughing right now.

Because I understand the principle of "Letting Go."

If you let something go...honestly let it go...then no matter what transpires in the future, you're good to go. Cuz you let it go. Ta-da! (BTW, spare me the "if you let something go..." poem. Read it a thousand times...)

So, if in the future that something turns left...you're good. If in the future that something turns right...you're still good. Cuz it's been "let go." Bye-bye. Doesn't affect you anymore. Likewise, if in the future, that something makes a u-turn and you're again face-to-face with your erstwhile desire, well, hey now! That desire must have been meant to be. That's the icing on the cake, cuz you let it go – either way, life proceeded happily up to that point because you moved on and weren't enslaved to a maddening desire.

Understanding "letting go" also makes it easy to recognize the consequences of not doing so. Discontentment big time. Mingled with self-deprecating laughter and head-shaking.

So, then, why is it sometimes I make a conscious decision to hold on to something? Why, why on Earth would I ever choose to say "I cannot have this thing, however I shall romance the notion of having it, regardless of the fuck-upedness it causes in my brain."

* Aside: Fuck-upedness is now officially a term. I have coined it, therefore it is so.*

When I look at the facts and I am not glorifying or romancing anything but can see facts boldly in front of me and STILL say, "I choose to not let go" I have to sit down and think about what in the hell is going on with me that this mule-headed craziness serves a purpose of some kind. Is focusing my energy on something I can't have keeping me from opening up to other opportunities? Is it safer to invest thought and emotion and energy into something that isn't real, than to risk something that IS real, but has a possibility of disappointing me?

Believe me...I WANT...oh, so want to be willing to just let it go. It is such a crazy struggle. Still laughing. Laughing at myself and my ridiculousness. The daily arguments I have with myself in my head are hilarious. Someday someday someday either I'll get what I want (and then what?? Will it be a good thing or a bad thing?) or I'll get so tired of this cast-iron grip that I'll finally just give up and let it slip through my grasp and blow a kiss as it flies away in the breeze. And I'll turn, take a step and keep on moving. I wonder, too, if there's a third possibility...a balance to be achieved. A full acceptance that the gnawing hunger may always be there, never quite completely satiated.

Still laughing.

*sigh* It's a hell of a predicament. Sometimes the clear and simple choice is not so easy to make as it seems.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

To Whine or Not To Whine Redux

I originally blogged this on Facebook the day before my trip was scheduled to begin. With one eye on the telly and another on God, I had hope the flight would be allowed through, but it was not. And all for the best as I don't wish to be among the first guinea pigs to experiment with flights to Europe. Let those who have an exacting need to get to and from there first crack. I'll wait, thanks!

So, I chose a positive-thinking attitude regarding the whole "dream trip to Ireland" thing. This is all quite interesting and, like everything else in my life, has set me contemplating.

First of all, I could choose to be pissed, hugely disappointed, cry, stomp, yell...argue with airlines, and whine.

What a pain in the ass that would be. And what would it accomplish?

Or I could choose a different mindset:

1. The flight was cancelled, and I took the full refund because they wanted another $553 to book the trip in September. So, instead of getting their $553, they got nothing. And I'll stash that cash in the bank and lurk about to find a better deal. My trip isn't cancelled...just postponed. I admit, once I hung the phone up after taking the refund, I did cry. But I think it was other things going on that got to me and the cancellation simply broke that shaking wall keeping the tears at bay. Now I have the opportunity to save more money for the trip, and perhaps even tack on a few extra days to see more of Ireland, or, even better, visit friends in Scotland.

3. I am a firm believer in "Everything Happens for a Reason." Therefore, for whatever reason – and I may never, ever know what the reason is – I was not supposed to go on this trip right now. I have been thinking about my experiences at home with a new perspective since they wouldn't have happened/be happening if I had gone to Ireland as planned. The conversations I've had, the moments I have cried about, laughed about, the hugs I received from my daughters that I hadn't planned on seeing for 11 days...the books I found in my favorite bookstore...all of these were fresh and new. And what about the experiences to come? It's all very existential to think about them in this way..LOL.

4. A huge part of this trip was the excitement and anticipation! How cool is it that I get to continue that experience for a little while longer?

5. So, I miss the Dropkick Murphys in Ireland. Who knows who'll be playing there when I go later.... The Pogues?? Flogging Molly?? Gogol Bordello?? Volbeat? :) That's just another surprise in this whole grab-bag situation.

5. To throw a temper tantrum would be like believing this entire Iceland volcano eruption was a totally personal affront: "What about the money I scrounged to take this trip?" "This is my DREAM TRIP I've waited 25 years for!" "It's not fair!!!!" "Doesn't that effing country know who I AM?" Really? Wow, the ego is a crazy thing. What about all the people here or over there who are stuck away from home? Maybe they're running low on cash...they miss their family...they have jobs they need to get back to. What about the people in EU who are going to be impacted by this economically if not physically? What about the crops and livestock affected by the ash fallout? What about the people who depend on the travel industry? Wow. One airline passenger's dream versus hundreds of thousands of OTHER people's dreams, hopes and livelihoods. Makes my "problem" a blessing. Makes it easier to temper the disappointment too.

Like I said, things always happen for a reason. And sometimes we have to wait for what we want. If it's supposed to be, it will be. Sometimes events/situations just get in the way of what we plan...(my plans ALWAYS make God laugh) and we are (ME..I am...) forced to practice a virtue called "patience." Which I'm just not too good at! :) Apparently I'm supposed to be practicing it though, because I keep getting people, places and things in my life that I need to be patient with. Oh, and let's just throw compassion, gratitude, acceptance and faith in that mix.

To all my friends who have encouraged me and rooted for this dream becoming a reality, thanks!! I really enjoy sharing hopes and dreams with you all, if it wasn't for these friendships, the journey would not be an adventure! (I'm not just talking about the trip you know!)

By the way, the very fact that I'm blogging about the philosophies of accepting the cancellation of an international vacation...cripes. Let's just say, I am exceptionally blessed in my life. I have NOTHING to complain about. To do so would be amazingly ungracious.

Besides, it's not the trip that has been the main purpose of this process which began in January. The very fact that I stopped talking about going and actually took action to make a lifelong dream come true...THAT is the real gift in this. Does that make sense? The trip is the icing on the cake. It's the personal changes that occurred through this process that are the biggest deal to me.

Life is all about the adventure. Sometimes the greatest adventures are the ones that happen right in our souls.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sexy Is As Sexy Does. What Is Sexy?

I don't typically do two blogs in a day (it HAS been done, though)...I just came across this while cleaning up some word files. I wrote this almost two years ago. I find it all to be quite as true for me today as it was then. My circumstances and relationships have changed and I initially wrote this as an Anthem spouting against my ex, but now I see it more as a guideline to remind me what I want (and don't want) in a relationship:

Self confidence is sexy. Arrogance is not.

Self-reliance is sexy. Having "be my mommy" syndrome is just plain sad.

Strength of character and emotion is sexy. Most men don't realize that has nothing to do with muscles.

With that said, muscles ARE very sexy and working out to be fit and healthy is wonderful...but there's a line that sometimes gets crossed where it becomes a complete ego-fest. Then it's a TOTAL turn-off.

Having goals and working hard to accomplish them is sexy. Cheating and taking short cuts to get there faster is repulsive and pathetic.

Facing problems and finding solutions is sexy. Avoiding truth is not.

Living life to the fullest is sexy. Doing it at the expense of hurting loved ones is selfish.

Knowing when to compromise is sexy. Prideful obstinance is not.

Action is sexy. Very sexy. Laziness is not.

Passion is soooo sexy. Obsession is not.

Understanding passion isn't always a sexual thing is also quite...sexy!

Outside is sexy! The couch is NOT! (Welllll....sometimes the couch is QUITE meow! ;p )

Rising to challenges and having determination are sexy. Quitting when the going gets rough is definitely NOT.

Romance is sexy. Vulnerability in the name of romance is wonderful! Neglect is deadly.

Dancing is sexy. Seriously...if more guys knew the power of taking a woman on the dance floor, every man in the world would be cutting a rug 24-7!

Goofiness – or, more, the freedom of having fun for fun sake and not caring who's watching – is so sexy.

A kooky sense of humor is sexy. Thinking you're too cool for school is not.

Shyness is also quite sexy. Maybe because I have always been shy (I cover it up with gregariousness! lol!!!). Just don't let it stop you from getting what you want. Or who you want.

Education is sexy. Ignorance is not. And I'm not just talking about college degrees.

Reading is sexy. Because knowledge is sexy. I like a man who enjoys reading a good book.

Respect is sexy. Control is NOT. I've had enough control. There is NOTHING you can do or say to change me.

Acknowledging other's feelings is sexy. Apathy is NOT cool or sexy.

Taking the time to learn something about your significant other to help you understand them is SEXY. Shouting, degrading comments, and acting like there's no problem is NOT.

Acceptance is sexy. Fixing isn't.

Honesty, even if it hurts, is sexy. Lying is pitiful.

Smiles are sexy. Scowls suck.

Cuddling and affection are VERRY sexy. Groping isn't. Grow up. Don't be a pig for God's sake.

Truly enjoying the smell and taste and feel of skin is soooooooo sexy. Sensuality can never be overrated...scent and touch is God's natural aphrodisiac. Cmon...a heartfelt caress...or massage...where the energy and focus comes right through your fingertips will leave me shaky for days! :)

Appreciation...Letting the world know how much you love your girl and want her and that she is special to you is sexy. Possessiveness is cuckoo scary.

Walking through life side by side is very sexy. Walking through life where one is leading and the other struggles to keep up is not.

Sweat from honest work is soooo damned sexy. Sweat from getting off the couch to get another beer from the fridge is NOT sexy.

A man in a button-down shirt, tie and slacks one day and in jeans and tee-shirt the next day is very sexy. A guy who always looks like he's off the skater-circuit is not. Cmon! Dress up sometimes! And LOSE THE BAGGIE PANTS! Leave 'em in the prison system, please. It's time to give up the bag.

T-Minus 8 Days

I have exactly 8 days and two hours before I touch down in Dublin airport. I've gone through terminal maps for JFK and O'Hare airports to make sure I know where I'm going when I connect to/from my Aer Lingus flights...I've packed and repacked my little carry-on with my "if it doesn't fit in the bag it doesn't go" necessities...I've even weighed the damned thing to be sure what I'm taking will fall under the weight-restrictions for carry-ons. Today I fax the Arlington Temple Bar (since apparently they don't respond to emails) to confirm my reservation. I have my itinerary, my pass vouchers, my concert ticket...I have my Euros and I have my passport. I have everything. I'm ready to go.

What I don't have (yet) is butterflies in my stomach. I find it odd that – after 25 years of planning and wishing and talking and dreaming – my emotions and anticipation are almost muted today.

Is it because I'm actually a wee bit nervous about doing this alone and don't want to focus on those negative feelings? A shocking amount of folks I've spoken to have expressed surprise that I would go alone. That I'm "ballsy" "bold" and "beautiful" (Ha ha...I threw that last one in there...).

I guess it is a bit daunting to take your first international trip somewhere alone, but it's not exactly as if I'm doing it to Siberia for gawd's sake. I'm going somewhere friendly, English-speaking (not that that's a prerequisite...please don't saddle me with Ugly American Disease), cultural and moderne....not so much of a leap for my first trip. It's actually a pretty safe and sane choice to go to Dublin. I think a lot of folk still misunderstand the difference between "Free Ireland" and "Northern Ireland" (sorry, my little bit of political commentary in that naming protocol). So to the people who think I'm cuckoo for going alone...I say, "pfft-ish." I could make it a big deal if I wanted, and worry and fuss, but why? It's FUN!! EXCITING!! AN ADVENTURE!! Focus on that. Not on the "scary parts." I could just as easily be going to Boston or New York alone, right? Would anyone think I'm all those b-words if that was the case? Besides, I like the idea of my first trip abroad as unfettered by people with their OWN agendas. I like being a free-spirit, I like doing things that I want to do, when I want to do them. Don't like to be tied down... Well, figuratively speaking of course... ;) Ok, ok, I'm just kidding. Really... (why do I ALWAYS go to the gutter??)

Actuall, this lack of "oomph" so close to my departure is, I think, because I am trying to NOT focus on the fact that I will be spending almost 20 hours doing the airport/flying thing. THAT's what makes me deflate a bit. Have to be at LAX at 8:30 a.m.on the 18th...flight takes off at 11:30ish a.m...arrives JFK 8:00ish p.m., switching to Aer Lingus and leaving the states around 10 p.m. Arriving Dublin "the next day" at 9:45 a.m. *gack*

*Focusing on THE ADVENTURE!!!!* :)

*sigh*

Maybe it's simply because I've dreamed of this for so long that I won't believe it'll be happening til it happens. Maybe even then I won't believe it. I don't know. These are just random thoughts in my mind right now. Pretty tired. Have only had 1 mug of coffee. Don't ask me to be profound or scholarly or philosophical this early. BTW, speaking of philosophical, let me just take this moment to say I think Jean-Paul Sartre, in all his glory, was way too puffy in his writing. Just get it out man! I am not impressed with your verbosity.  There. That's been on my mind a long time since beginning Existentialism and Human Emotion. *sigh* Don't even ask me why I brought it up here. Consider this blog free-thought and basically nothing more than a quick insight into how my brain works early on a Monday morning.

So. 8 days. Will you check back here throughout that week to see what I've written about my bold, ballsy travels? I promise not to be too verbose. Stupid Sartre. *grumble....where's my coffee?*

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Venus Trines at Midnight

"Close your ears to the sound of my voice and through the thunder of a thousand cannons you will hear it calling your name...
Blind yourself to the light in my eyes and through the blackness of eternal night you will feel them piercing your soul...
Insulate your body against my hands and through blocks of ice it will tremble to my touch...
Turn your cheek away from my breath and through layers of rock you will feel it against your lips..."


From "Venus Trines at Midnight", by Linda Goodman, found at the end of the Leo Woman/Sagittarius Man section. Oomph. This still packs a punch for me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

I recently spoke to a friend of mine. He was stressed. Tired. Overworked. Lots of bills, lots of taxes, and his only recourse is to work more hours. I totally understand that. He's a responsible father and husband and has a family to take care of. But it made me sad to hear him so discontent.

The next morning I was in my car, heading out for a 45 minute drive to my grandma's in Sun City. I popped in some good tunes and I danced in my seat as I zoomed down the 91.  The day was beautiful, traffic didn't faze me. It occurred to me that I used to just get in my car and drive. I'd drive to think, to relax and I loved spontaneous road-trips. Then marriage and kids happened, time bottle-necked and driving became a routine chore fraught with tight timelines and frustration. And cussing.

In my reflection on those times, I realized that at that very moment I was doing an act of happiness for myself. My mini-roadtrip to Grandma's was a throwback to peace, time and freedom. And I was in an amazing mood! It was such a profound a-ha that I wanted to share it with the world. Naturally, I texted my tired friend:

"Need to figure out what makes you happy then go DO it or GET it, big or small. Hope your coworkers are alive. Have a great day."

Then I thought, wow, how preachy am I?!?. So followed up with, "You know me, I speak my mind. If I ever overstep, just tell me to shut the hell up." Actually, I'd probably cry if he told me to shut the hell up. I'm sensitive.


His response was "Thanks, it's all good, thanks for thinking of me, have a good day."


Aw. He's so sweet. Then I realized, damn, he says that to me a lot. It was so non-committal that it took me a few minutes to decipher his diplomacy.  He had very nicely told me to shut the hell up. But he did it so well! And I didn't have to cry.


The whole thing got me thinking  hard about all the little things that make me happy that I can do or get for myself on a daily basis. It's easy to give my soul jolts of energy like espresso shots of joy in a demi-tasse cup.


I also realized it's not actually the possession of The Big Things, really, that will or do bring me happiness. It's perfectly fine and dandy to want and work for nice things, but I think lots of times I wake up and then go to bed and realize I didn't really laugh at all during the day, or spent the entire day tired and frustrated.  So what's the point of all that crap if I don't have time or energy to enjoy it anyway. 


And here is the really, really weird part. If I'm truly happy, I mean beyond a doubt, smiling, content happy...then the stuff won't matter. Weird. Simple and weird. Profound. Deep. If I'm happy for real, then bigger, better and more won't make a difference. Because I don't need it to fulfill me. I'm already fulfilled. Fact is, I can still garner happiness today in my old car, small condo and lots of times for free. Anything bigger, better and new is like icing on the cake.


So I asked myself: "Kris, what makes you happy? What experiences, sensations, actions or events bring a feeling of lightness to your soul, make your heart sing and carry your spirit to higher planes? Besides the headlights of an oncoming car, what lights up your face? What makes you smile so abruptly that it takes you a moment to realize you're smiling?


Then I turned that preachy text on myself: "Figure out what those things are – big AND small – and then GO DO THEM. GO GET THEM. And when you feel that level of joy...take a mental/spiritual snapshot of it. Savor it like you would your favorite food or drink. Absorb it so that the sensation of it gets stored in your brain for the very next time, perhaps sooner than you think, you're gonna be not so happy."


Because those not-so-happy days, hours or moments come whether I'm ready or not. I used to think I had to have things, people and specific situations – reasons to be happy. If I didn't have (fill in criterium), I wasn't happy. Today, I realize it's really all in my power to feel good or bad, happy or sad, depressed or upbeat. And, like just about everything else in life, there are tools I can use to promote those emotions.  


Before I get into the "what makes me happy" part of this spiel, I do have to say there's no certification, degree or diploma, no credentials that I have to tell anyone how to be happy. No, I think actually, it's my expertise in unhappiness that makes it easy for me to identify it in others. I spent so many years in angst, depression, anger and misery, that now, out of that negative frame of mind, I cringe when I see others having to go through tedium, frustration or unhappiness. 


Not to say bad days don't happen. I am – as are we all – human, and you know, crankiness is allowed here and there. And there's always a "good reason," right? Here's some icky facts: I have daily chronic back pain and get bad headaches, some migraine-level. I'm single and sometimes I feel quite lonely demmit; I miss the companionship of a man. I am going through a lot of financial difficulty, trying to save my condo, bankruptcy (which means daily phone calls from not-so-nice creditors).  Blah, Blah, blah. While bad days ARE allowed, wallowing in the mire needs to be avoided like the plague. 


What I need to remember is when these things give me pause to feel sorry for myself or worry, there are tools I have identified and can use. By simply giving myself a dose of joy, I can bring peace to my soul, pull out of depression (if only for a moment), ease my anger or put my worries into perspective. The great thing is, the more often I do this, the easier it is and it happens more often.Thankfully I'm learning how to create more happy days than unhappy days and here are some ways I do that:


Roadtrip!
Yep, a spontaneous trip to somewhere I haven't seen in awhile, if at all, is always fun. It's an adventure!


Enjoy What Nature Has To Offer
The wildflowers of Spring and the smell of rain in the Fall are intoxicating. I delight in rainbows, giggle at clouds and marvel at birds in trees. Right, laugh it up chuckles. I'm just saying, there's truth in that old adage "Stop and smell the roses."


Music
Music can enhance or change any mood I'm in almost instantly.


My Girls
My girls give me unending joy that outweighs the frustrations of single parenthood.


Quiet Time
Reading outside or inside by the fire, or simply sitting and meditating or writing is cathartic


The Great Outdoors
What's around the corner is exhilarating. How am I gonna find out what it is if I'm constantly sitting on my couch, behind a desk or computer? I make a point to be outdoors whenever I get a chance. Even if it's a 15 minute walk or eating a quick dinner at an outside cafe.


A Sense of Humor
It's hard when you're depressed or angry, but if I find something to joke about even sarcastically, then I can pull out of my bad mood. Watching a funny movie or show or listening to comedy on my iPod helps too. Even in my writing, if I find that I'm getting angry and negative, I try to twist it up with humor. 


Make a Gratitude List!

It's difficult to worry or be depressed or stay angry when I make a conscious effort to be grateful for what I have. Writing a "gratitude list" can change my perspective fast. My gratitude lists often consist of items like: Family, healthy children, money, a car that runs, chocolate, Starbucks, air, music and sexy shoes! Seriously...don't limit yourself to what you think you SHOULD be grateful for. Hey, I've written "vacuum" on my list before, because I was so happy to have a nice, clean carpet that day. 


Positive Thinking Resources
I enjoy gleaning certain bits of wisdom from sites like www.tut.com; I listen to Mike Dooley audiobooks; I get positive-thinking "Notes from the Universe." A also have a friend who is a motivational speaker and I enjoy reading his blogs for new insights or "oh yeah, THAT!" reminders (Chris Rausch, Achieve Your Dreams at    http://www.facebook.com/mastermotivators). 

So, what makes you happy? Then GO DO IT for pete's sake (Oh, that's another good song I like to listen to...by the Monkees!) Besides, if the Founding Fathers of our great nation considered happiness an inalienable human right, far be it from me to argue with them.

Rock on.