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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

In Praise of Alex

I'm sure many of you are sick of hearing all about Alex, but tough shit! haha! The Official Ego Feeder of the 1970 model Kira (April/Gimpy) made a nice comment about Alex yesterday, and I realized I was long overdue for another "Alex is too wonderful" post. Since April has been doing an EXCELLENT job at Ego Feeding (ego says: BUUUURRP!), I figure I have the contented happy energy to turn around and praise my boyfriend.

First of all, let me just say that I understand that what makes Alex perfect for ME might not be as interesting or appealing to other women. Sometimes a woman gets all excited that her man does X or Y, and another woman's response would be "big deal." As an example, I offer you the simple fact that Alex sends me long stem red roses on a frequent basis. Most of the time he sends me 18 or 24 too, as if 12 just didn't cut it. I am the only person I know who is constantly asking folks, "Do you need a vase? I hate throwing these things out but he sent flowers again, and each time they come with a vase..." The French are very in to flowers. Culturally, he was raised to use this method of expression. I love it. LOVE IT!!! But my sister, on the other hand, would not love it. She has told me repeatedly that she doesn't want to be given flowers because all she can think of when she stares at them is, well, that could have been a shirt from Banana Republic, but instead it's flowers that will die in a few days...haha! To each their own!

Alex will send these flowers during the usual times (anniversaries or valentine's day or whatnot), but he also spontaneously sends them when he just FEELS I need them. He doesn't care how broke he is. I remember once last fall he sent me 24 longstem red roses at a point when I KNEW he was broke. I felt badly about it, but his sweet attitude was, well, I just took an odd job handing out papers to passersby for 8 hours over two days so I could swing it, don't worry! Folks, he did that...in the freezing cold weather of the late fall! I would never have asked him to do that for me nor would have wanted him to do it, but he did, and that made each one of those flowers extra special.

Alex is going to school right now and getting a dual international MBA in France and in America. His motivation? He wants to be able to move here for us. But also, how's this for adorable? One time we were talking and he insisted that he was not worthy of me. I, of course, insisted that he IS/WAS. I listed off many reasons why he's so wonderful, and he interrupted it with a wail of, "Ok, so you deserve Alex, but a RICH Alex." HAHAHAHA! Part of the other reason why he's in this specific program is that he wants to financially 'take care of' his family. Wow! But he certainly has never even once hinted that I should quit teaching as he knows I like it. It's not like he wants a little stay at home wifey; he just wants us to be able to afford whatever we want to do is all.

I have two children with my ex husband, and Alex never gets jealous or upset about how much I have to deal with said ex. In fact, he's made every effort to get along with him. This particular quality is what triggered this entire post, actually. I don't have to hide or feel ashamed about anything going off with the ex because he will listen and suggest and be fine.

One of Alex's finest qualities is that he is such an upbeat person. Sure, he can get sad or depressed or angry just like the rest of humankind, but it always passes quickly...and he never, ever takes it out on me. I have had the unfortunate experience in past relationships wherein the guy was very upset about something in HIS life, so he makes himself feel better by being a bastard to me. Why thanks!

My therapist was very emphatic about this point: find a guy who has qualities you like that he does naturally, not because he's trying to impress you. That way, when he's 'caught' you and done trying to impress, the behaviors you liked won't be going away. But guys (and girls, to be fair!) always put their best foot forward at the beginning of a relationship. How would I know he would be like I loved him and stay that way? Well, I quizzed his family and friends...haha! They pretty much all agreed that Alex didn't put on faces to impress. His brother James' comment, which I still find entertaining, is that Alex's only fault is that he is TOO nice. haha! I can deal with too nice!

Alex's theory on housework and childrearing: if Kira is not sitting down and is working on things for the house and family, I may not sit down either. When she sits, I may sit. No, really, that's his actual theory as he put it to me once long ago. He's a complete and total partner that way.

Alex makes it way too easy for me to admit I'm wrong becuase he approaches all of life with a sense of humor. I will never forget when we were having a discussion once and I realized I had screwed up at something. Immediately I apologized, feeling pretty crappy for being a dumb ass. His response? "It's not your fault; it's my fault. If I hadn't distracted you with my good looks, you wouldn't have done that." HAHAHAHA! That one still gets to me! I went from sniffing to laughing in 3.4 seconds flat!

Most men have some sort of testosterone need to impress the other males of the species. "I wear the pants in the family!" "I am the head of the household!" "She doesn't tell me SHIT, I tell HER when to jump!" and all sorts of crap is what men want to show to other men in their relationship. Alex, on the other hand, has no such desire. He doesn't feel even the slightest need to alter his behavior to impress other men. His attitude has always been, "If I make her happy, I get laid more, so I win." :)

Some men can't remember any date of anything important. Alex remembers all dates, even ones a guy would never think to note like the actual date we met face to face. He remembers trivial details constantly, which lets me know he LISTENS when I talk and doesn't yes dear me.

If he agrees to do an activity that was not his suggestion, he does so enthusiastically and energetically. For the record, I hate it when anybody (bf or gf!) agrees to do something with you that he or she doesn't necessarily want to do, and then he or she becomes a giant wet blanket about the whole event, thereby spoiling the fun level for YOU. If you are doing it out of love for that person, then don't whine or roll your eyes or go quiet while you are there. Say no if you really don't want to go, and otherwise, try and have fun!

He gives me nightly massages. I know that won't go away because he massages his whole family, too. He just LIKES making people happy that way.

Although Alex has plenty of friends and family he loves, he makes sure I understand that he is completely devoted to me and my children. We rank. Nothing comes before us.

Alex is a natural romantic. It's not just the flowers. I get chairs pulled out for me, my coat taken and hung up for me, my hand kissed, my doors opened, and sweet, geunine words of love given daily. Oh, and I get chocolates a lot too...haha! And let's not forget the most important thing: sex on demand! :)

I love how Alex is very sweet and accomodating. A friend of mine once called him 'indulgent.' That is, he is very content doing what his gf wants to do just because she is so happy as a result. However, make no mistake that Alex has a lot of backbone there, too. He can stand up to me so that I don't walk all over him *coughs*. That's always been the tightrope to walk with me. I don't like men who are pushovers because my instinct then is to CRUSH because I'm a bitch! But men who are very, very stubborn and strong willed like my ex make life miserable when you have to fight for anything you want. I needed a man who had that perfect balance: he would let me have my way a fair bit, but not all the time. Alex does just that.

Most importantly, Alex loves ME JUST THE WAY I AM. Even when I'm being a total bitch and making rude ass comments, he looks at me with adoration in his eyes. Guys, every time I turn on the webcam or walk into the room or wake up next to him, that first moment his eyes turn to me, it is VERY clear what he feels (and often he comes out and says it too!): you are stunning, the most beautiful woman alive! His look never wavers nor changes even when I'm wearing an oversized tshirt, haven't showered, and my hair is pulled back in a tight bun. He lets me know he feels this way several times a day, for YEARS now. Gaining weight, losing weight, dying my hair, only wearing sexy clothes, always putting on makeup...none of it matters!!!! I can just be me and he loves it! He even seems to get a huge kick out of my flirtatious manner, and he doesn't get jealous at all. Wow!

Man, I haven't even begun to tap the surface on why Alex is so fantastic. This would be a post that never ended if I kept it up until the reasons were gone! He's also smart, funny, motivated, kindhearted, has similar interests to me, loves to go out and DO things with me, can make plans himself without me helping, listens well, is hot as hell, is great in bed, loves animals, loves MY children as if he had sired them himself (even calls them 'his', too!), understands the concept of future, likes things clean around the house and is willing to work for that without making it a neat freak experience, is very patient, he blushes adorably, and....well...again, I can go on and on. I AM the luckiest woman around!

Here, Alexisms to enjoy (some of which I've posted before but they are too good not to repeat)--

Kira, at a water park: Why aren't you looking at all of those cute 19, 20 yr old girls who never had babies and so have flat tummies and are running around in itsy bitsy bikinis?

Alex's response: You mean there are other women here???
Kira, at fancy New Year's Eve party: Ohhh did you see that long silvery dress? It was gorgeous!

Alex: What dress? You know I have problems noticing other women, dear.

Kira: THAT one! She just walked by! Aww, Alex, come on, I WANT you to look at this dress so you can see if you think it'd look good on me since I love it!

Alex, a few minutes later: Oh! I just saw this lovely silver dress float by, and I think you're right, it would look good on you!

(note: girl wearing dress was STUNNING, too LOL)

"Women are crazy and men are stupid. But the main reason why women are crazy is that men are stupid."

"Yes, all men are assholes. That's why I'm a lesbian."

And, finally, my favorite thing Alex has ever written to me:

Before I even met you, I was looking for you. You are the embodiment of my desires, my needs and my dreams of the perfect woman, wife and mother of our children.
I will never forget the first time I pmed you on the forums or called you on the phone. That wonderful silvery laugh of yours killed me and gave me life. I fell in love with that laugh the moment I heard it.
The first night on my way back from my visit to the USA 2002, I asked my best friend if he would be my best man one day. I knew you weren’t ready but I knew I didn’t want anyone else in my life. It was you or nothing.
Before I met you, I had no ambition, no real degrees and no idea where I was going in life. I had to meet you before I could become myself. Thanks to you I have pride, dreams and a future.
There are so many moments we have shared that I will never forget: that first week end in Washington when we ran all around the garden. The first movie we took Ariana to see (Lilo and Stich), the day you met me at the airport in Florida and gave me that stone ring, our first kiss (my real first kiss hehehehehe), my first trip into a Church, your reaction when you heard my results on the test to get into the business schools…There are so many and you have made me the happiest man in the world. Thank you for everything my love,
TO many more years of happiness by your side,
Je t’aime.


I love you with all my heart, Alex. I can't wait until you come back to me. I know it should be soon, but I still just can't wait. If anything ever happened to you, I think I would just go back to my Man in a Box and never date again (man in a box is a box that has a stepstool, jar opener, and vibrator in it...with those three items, a man becomes no longer a necessity in your life). I keep waiting to wake up from the dream that is knowing you, but every day I wake up and somehow, you still love me. Somehow, you're still happy and funny and soooo good to me. Somehow, you never take me for granted and you always appreciate me. It's been two years now, and somehow, somehow, somehow...every part of me is yours!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Today's Harry Potter Analogy

I have no problem using "the F word" at all. I don't think it's any worse than any other curse word, despite what others may feel. As I read other blogs, I come across many who use substitutes but are essentially trying to give you the same FEELING as saying "fuck," like...f'ing...or effing...or F you...or whatnot.

So, here is your Harry Potter Analogy for the day:

Saying substitute words like effing or f'ing for fuck is like saying He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named or You-Know-Who rather than Lord Voldemort.

Thank you for your time.

The Girlfriend's Code

I have more male friends than female friends because men, although frustrating, are just more out in the open and honest than your typical women. Women are taught to manipulate. Women are encouraged to be petty and jealous while fighting for male attention.

That being said, the female friends I DO have are worth their weight in gold. I'm talking the true friends...the ones you can call up at midnight, drunk and crying because Asshole just hurt you again. The ones who will will then bail you out of jail when you exact your revenge on said man. The ones who, knowing you are flat broke and are trying to move out of a miserable situation, send you a check to buy a washer and dryer. The ones who can listen to you repeat the same damn story over and over again without ever saying, "That's enough already!" I'm not talking about acquaintences (who may one day end up in the True Friend category, but aren't there yet), nor the ones you've learned you can only trust so far or only have so much in common with so you keep a piece of yourself reserved. A REAL female friend is there for life and for all times, good and bad.

Because I value my friends so much, I follow the Girlfriend's Code. I always am deeply sad when a woman I considered a Girlfriend violates this code. I consider it the baseline of courtesy, the minimum we can do for a woman who is, in a lot of ways, a part of us.

Basically, the essence of the Girlfriend's Code is: Thou shalt not let a man come between us, even if he is the most wonderful male of the species you have ever met.

Why follow this code? Well, men come and go, but a REAL girlfriend lasts forever. There's nothing worse than screwing over all your friends for a man to then get dumped by said man and have nothing. It's plain common sense.

What does this code entail? Thou shalt not flirt with nor pursue nor sleep with any significant other, PAST OR PRESENT, that your girlfriend has or had. That is a primary tenent. Even if the girlfriend says it's ok, it's not. It makes things awkward. For instance, the last thing Amanda wants out of me is to sit down with her dos equis one night and discuss PB's oral sex techniques, pros and cons, with me participating fully since I've been there. Trust me on this. She's over PB, but that doesn't mean I would disrespect her by even giving the fucker a second glance (unless it was to get a good glimpse for a hit and run later on). Why? Because I love Amanda. She's a great friend and I intend on keeping her forever. Do you see the beauty of this ideal? There are probably a good one billion men on planet earth over the age of 18 who are not gay and are single. Your choices are endless. You don't HAVE to have her man, past or present.

Another part of the code: don't ditch all your friends so you can spend every waking moment attached at the hip to New Man In Your Life. It's not healthy for your relationship either to be so co-dependent, so spend some quality time with your girlfriends, just as he should go spend some testosterone time with his guy friends. You will NEED your girlfriends to bitch at later on when you have bumps in the relationship anyway. I don't care if the man is the total love of your life and does so much you adore, you WILL have bumps because you're human and so is he. Also, when things are going well, isn't it great to babble happily at a friend who you know is very happy for you? REAL girlfriends rock! Don't abandon them for a man. You'll regret it.

Also, absolutely NO catfighting over a man neither of you possess but both of you find attractive. The only winner there is the guy who now has an ego too big to fit through the door. Here's the way I always look at men anyway: either he wants me, or he doesn't. I can't be arsed to fight for a man. If he wants me, he can fight for ME. So, there would never be a reason to let an interesting man come between me and one of my True Girlfriends.

Why am I contemplating this set of rules today? Well, see, a girlfriend just violated it, much to my amazement. She flung herself at my ex, even KNOWING EXACTLY what transpired between us and how he conducted himself and what unfolded in his life. Stunned, I struggled to keep myself at a certain level of indifference. My ex can go screw sheep now for all I care. As long as whatever it is happens to be an adult, good to my kids, and NOT A FRIEND OF MINE, I just don't care. I've patiently listened to him discuss the relative merits of this woman or that for a while now, and it just doesn't get to me. But...a friend of mine wants him? We're talking she wants to have him and keep him, too, not just for sex! I don't WANT to hang out with her and have her start complaining to me how things went in bed last night with my ex, and girlfriends are supposed to be people you CAN discuss your sex life with. What to do, what to do? Well, nothing to do, really, except just feel irked that I apparently valued our friendship more than she did. HER ex two years ago hurled himself at me and I TURNED HIM DOWN...because I follow the Girlfriend's Code.

Oh well. At least I have a wonderful selection of great girlfriends left!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

No, Please, I'd really like a Mindfuck to Go

I don't understand why I do this to myself. In theory, it is due to my great love for my children. I read an article in a parenting type magazine a while back about how the "new" way to handle divorce with children was to get along really well with your ex and even DO things as a family unit post divorce, either with significant others of the exes too or not depending. Ok, fine. Alex is not even in the country, and my Ex wanted to take my son to see Thomas the Tank Engine at a live "Ride with Thomas!" program a few hours away.

First of all, the ex has never taken my children anywhere overnight all by himself. I know he's far more competent with the kids now than he was when I was living there (due to forced taking care of them on his own from time to time), but I still was nervous about that concept.

Second of all, I would have rather had somebody periodically ice pick me through the chest than miss out on seeing my son ride on Thomas the Tank Engine, his hero, his idol!!!!!

So, I thought about it and offered....well, we can go together, all of us? I cleared it with Master Alexander first, and true to his wonderful nature, it was no issue for him. He mostly seemed concerned that I'd tolerate the Ex ok for the timespan alloted...haha! The ex jumped on the chance. We couldn't make it a day trip due to the drive involved, and so we had considered camping. I insisted that if we did so, he would be in ANOTHER tent to me, and he grumbled about that a lot, but then agreed.

I told him I'd arrive by 9a. He said fine. I reviewed what the kids would need, and he looked at me blankly. I said, never mind. Provide the tents and your own clothes, and I'll take care of myself and the kids. I worry about things like, did he pack the inhaler? I KNOW he has inhalers at his house, but if he went on an overnight trip and forgot the inhaler, what would happen to Ariana if she had an asthma attack? He's totally disorganized, and so I think I have a legitimate reason to be concerned.

So I arrive, 9a on the dot because I'm good like that. He figures he has hit big time Accomplishment City because the kids are dressed and had breakfast, but nothing else is ready. 45 min. later, he has his stuff packed and has done the other piddly things he needed to do. Then he announces he doesn't WANT to pack the tents; he wants to stay in a hotel.

Ok, this freaked me out because the ex always wants to camp. He is Supreme Hippy Man in a lot of ways, and he LOVES the great outdoors. I think he was trying to appeal to me. I mean, I like to camp, but I also loooove a nice luxury stay somewhere. Ok, I replied, as long as it's a two room place and Ari and I get one room and I can LOCK THE DOOR between you and Jared, fine. He laughed and said ok. As a side note, yeah, I was a bit peeved that I had packed up an air mattress and sleeping bags, etc. for camping. I wish he'd have figured that out beforehand...

So, we drove. He talked to me about his love life problems, which is comical really, but we've reached that point. I can truly sit there and dissect things for him in a way nobody else can because nobody else knows him like I do. It was no more freakish than the other times he's gone over this topic with me before. We talked about the kids, about life, about the universe...I slowly became stunned as I realized we had NOT been around each other for conversation this long for years. And nobody was yelling.

We found a place in the tiny town to go for the evening. It was a family oriented bed and breakfast with two big beds and two rooms. Perfect! The ex tried to convince me that I should let the kids sleep together and he should sleep with me, but Ari screamed at him. That's right; my DAUGHTER screamed at her precious daddy! She told him, you guys are DIVORCED and she doesn't need to sleep with you! HAHAHAHA! He was a bit stunned by her viciousness there. You go girl! She said, divorce means mommy doesn't have to sleep with you anymore, and she'll sleep with me. He grumbled. Now, at 3a when Ari's foot ended up in my face I was a bit frustrated by my decision, but when the Ex mentioned to me the next day I could have avoided that by sleeping in his bed, I told him: better a foot in my face at 3a than a dick between my legs. Ok, so he laughed. I did too. It's just best to have a sense of humor about anything in life, I suppose.

The "family oriented" part of the place was shown by a bubble hour in the evening, followed by a cookout with marshmellows. The kids LOVED it! The place was gorgeous...on a river, next to a playground too. The ex and I were getting along so well I expected somebody to mumble something about blah blah and your wife. I was prepared to state, "No, we're divorced...that's why we are so nice to each other." haha! Yeah, just remember folks: bigamy is when you have one husband too many. Monogamy is the same damn thing!

Jared was amazed by being able to ride on Thomas the Tank Engine. The whole place was completely Thomasville--lots of things to buy and do and see. Ari and Jared both loved the play rides and the imagination station, and we bought for them a few items as souvenirs. Ariana is a pill about eating, so we were delighted to find a restaurant that offered a meal she'd eat. This restaurant also had the most amazing find in my 35 yrs on this planet:

A beer I will drink.

I have tried over 20 beers in my life and hated them all. The ex ordered a Sea Dog Bluepaw Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale and it smelled soooo good that I asked for a sip. He let me, and I immediately ordered my own. He remarked several times that it was stunning to see me sit back and swig a beer...haha! I can't believe it. There IS a beer I like! It's definitely beer tasting, but also has this hint of blueberry I find intriguing.

So, for the ex, he "did good": only two beers at lunch and three glasses of wine at dinner. Then two more beers at lunch the next day. That's not enough to even give him a buzz. He's got an amazing alcohol tolerance level for obvious reasons. Anyway, I was relieved that he wasn't up for drinking more, but I found myself lapsing into old behavior. I had my beer with lunch, but no other alcohol the entire time because I worried "just in case" the ex drank too much. That is, somebody needed to be responsible adult in charge. I never drink around the ex, at least not after he became an alcoholic. I can't afford to what with the kids there and all. I'm just glad that he seems to be ok with restraining himself when he has the kids by himself. He drinks a shitload when they are gone, but that's fine. Just don't do it around the kids and life is good.

Anyway, we ALL had a blast. The ex laughed at me because on the way back, all I could do was mumble, my god that went well.... I talked to him about doing trips for the kids in the future, WITH Alex if he were in town, and he was totally up for it. I would prefer Alex to be there for overnight trips (or my daughter at least to tell him to fuck off when he got fresh...haha!), but I'll do it again. Isn't that amazing? Three years ago, I would've pushed him off a cliff if I could have gotten away with it, but now I'm content with things being back to friendly and comfortable. You guys have to understand that I met the ex and started dating him when I was 16. He's just...a part of my past that will always be there. I'm really relieved we've reached this point where we can travel together and have fun with the kids. The kids...well, they couldn't be more happy about it either, especially Ariana.

The biggest surprise was how MUCH help the ex was with the kids. It used to be that I managed it all. Since he has gotten into the pattern now for years of having to tend to the kids on his own, when one of them says I need a glass of milk, half the time he's getting it before me!!!!! I had heart failure when I realized that simple fact.

And as long as he doesn't do an overnight trip with the kids but without me, life will be good.

Still, pardon me while I feel mindfucked. I was around my ex for 24 hrs, and everybody had fun. And nobody yelled. And nobody was drunk. Wow.

Amanda's Interview

Ok, Amanda! Here are your five questions. When you are done, don't forget to post them on your blog along with "the rules" as posted below.

1) What five items must always be in your refrigerator, and why?

2) If you could go back to school for a PhD with some super grant that pays you $50k a year to study, all fees and tuition and books prepaid, what field would you choose and why? ALL fields would be open to you--even ones you don't have a major, minor, or master's in already

3) Mechanical rabbits: what are the best size and style? :)

4) You have won a contest to redecorate any single room in your house! Money is not an object as long as the item can realistically be placed in said room to make it functional or pretty. What room would you pick, and how would you decorate it? (Note: chick question...sorry...LOL)

5) If you could change any ONE feature about yourself (either personality wise or physically), what would it be?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I Hate This Photo!


I really do. I just am NOT photogenic. This picture was taken by one of my students at Premiere Tech. The student in question is a sweetheart, although he's a little fixated on taking my picture. He also took one of me and alex when we were at school one day...


Yes, Alex's eyes are half closed...oopsie!

He also took about five or six other ones, and one of them was NOT one I agreed for him to do. He just sorta...snapped it from the side when I was sitting on the desk and teaching. I sit on the desk when I teach because the podium is anal, and I can't sit behind the desk because I'm a midget.

A woman that once worked with my ex was a former Miss South Carolina. She won the "Most Photogenic" contest. A girl had asked what that meant, and this older woman said snidely, "That's when the photo looks better than YOU do," and I know I shouldn't have laughed, but....I did. Bad me! I am NOT photogenic. My sister is, however, so I know it's not a family trait. My son is photogenic; my daughter is not. My daughter is GORGEOUS, but I was trying to find a picture that expressed it...nope, none. She has her momma's curse. My son, however, has some adorable ones! EVEN when he has not a scrap of a smile on him!


I wonder why the camera favors some and not others?


Second topic for this blistery hot night...

Ever KNOW you shouldn't feel one way but do it anyway? I mean, your intellect screams, you are being irrational, stop it! But your emotions just run away with you anyway? You end up doing stupid things like picturing how satisfying it would be to take a bottle and crack it open over somebody's head? Or measuring every word, afraid that if you didn't you'd say something you'd regret profoundly later on?


Why does one feel one way DESPITE the logical brain saying, dumb ass, stop it????


I hate that. I hate how we can't just realize what is logical and illogical behavior, and then fix it as necessary. If I could do that, I'd be so much nicer of a person to have as a friend or lover...haha!

Oh well.

The Interview

Innana has interviewed me as part of a blog game. She's picked up some very interesting questions...but that does not surprise me as a) she's extremely intelligent and b) she read over my blog to figure out what to ask me! I can't promise to be half as clever with questions for those who want me to interview them. Here are my answers:

1. If a movie were made of your life, who should play you, and why?

I would choose Jodie Foster. She's a fantastic actress, so I know she would do a good job. I wouldn't want some "hottie" actress playing me because that would be unrealistic. I'm pretty, but not gorgeous or sexy or enticing (hush Alex), and that's about right for the 'aura' Jodie Foster gives off. Plus, I've just never seen the woman do a bad job in any part, even if the movie she's in is Suck with a capital S.

2. What shape, a color and a number from 1-10 first come to your mind? (This is a private little psychic thing I ask some people. It's supposed to tell me things about your personality.)


3. Do you have a favourite goddess? Who is she?

Rough question! Which pantheon?

For Greek mythology, I would say Hecate. I like the goddess of the underworld and magic and crossroads, etc. because of her origins. She was pre-Olympian, Tracian in origin, but when she was absorbed into the Greek pantheon, she was given all the lineage and placement appropriate for a goddess there. If you go pre-Greek to her roots, she was a strong all-powerful Goddess figure...yet in the patriarchal Greek system, she had to be reduced to a lesser figure. But if you read some of the earliest tales we have, you can tell from the words and phrasing that Zeus is afraid of Hecate--and that's our call back to her origins! Go girl power! It reminds me of Beowulf, actually. He swears not to use weapons to fight Grendel and be manly about it. But when he goes to fight Grendel's MOTHER, he loads up on weapons and armor. Why? Because girls kick ass and Beowulf feared the woman more than the man (Ok, I have another theory which was that since women were peaceweavers in this society and men were the warriors, having a woman who was in battle was a violation of the 'roles' and hence especially scary...but I digress).

The online name that I have used on many forums and places on the net has been Aradia, Italian moon goddess and daughter of Diana. So Aradia has a special spot for me as well.

I'm not going to suck up by saying that Innana/Ishtar/Astarte is a favorite. I swear. haha!

Other honorable mentions: Ma'at (Egyptian goddess of law, truth, justice, and divine order); Brighid (complex to explain, so let's just say the Gaelic goddess of fire, insipiration, and healing); and Kali Ma (Hindu goddess of destruction, but of NECESSARY destruction...people often misinterpret her as being just 'bad' because of her area of power, but there is a creative force associated with her destruction as well).

4. What English grammar mistake irritates you the most?

We do not have enough time to list them all. Haha!

Ok, first pet peeve: apostrophes. Guys, if it shows possession, use an apostrophe. Please remember that the possessive pronouns do NOT need an apostrophe...they are already in the possessive form.

Secondly: they're/there/their and you're/your confusion

Thirdly: alot is not a word. Put a damn space between the 'a' and the 'lot.' Thank you.

Fourthly: guess what? Alright has not been formally accepted in America either, even though you see it in print! Try "all right."

Honorable mentions: improper usage of verbs, specifically irregular verbs; over comma disease; never use a comma disease; and a lack of a question mark when it is damn well clearly a question.

5. What do you think heaven is like (Christian, Buddhist, pagan, whatever)?

You know, it is telling of my personality that I'd rather you ask me a question about my sex life than about religion! I'm one of those strange people who feels more naked in front of a group discussing my religious beliefs than anything else AT ALL.

*shifts uncomfortably*

Ok, what I am about to say is probably not going to make much sense to the rest of you, but it's like truth or dare, folks...I have to answer.

I went to eleven years of Catholic schooling. I always remember that, in my religion classes there, Hell was defined as the absence of God. This definition made sense to me depending on how you consider God/the Divine.

The universe has a certain unity that binds it together. Starhawk once wrote, "Love is the glue that binds the universe," and to some degree I see her point. I think that here, on Earth, on a day to day basis we experience both Heaven and Hell. Hell is when we feel separated from the love of the universe, and so we feel alone and in pain. This loneliness and pain drives many people to do many stupid things. Heaven, on the other hand, is the integration of our soul/spirit into the love of the universe. One feels whole and complete. One feels unity and belonging and togetherness. Most of us get flashes of this joy in our daily lives, just like we get flashes of the separation and agony that follows.

So, to me, heaven is simply that joining to the love-glue of the universe, making us feel completely whole and together and at peace and at One with All...but in a constant state instead of the flashes we get in our mortal bodies.

That's really what I do believe, and all I ask is that nobody laughs at me about it because...woof...I feel like I just ran around the streets of downtown New York City nude after that one...haha!

All right! Phase two!

Rules of this game:

1. Leave me a comment saying 'interview me please'
2. I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here)
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ariana's Thought for the Day

I forgot to inform blogdom of my trip this weekend to Hilton Head. Oopsie! Sorry! We just got back. I have some good friends who sponsored the whole trip. Eric lives there, so free lodging. Maureen and her son Nathan drove down, and Nathan and the kids love to play. The water park, tolls, and all food/meals out were taken care of by Eric because he's just a totally freakingly wonderful person. So, for the price of gas, we went to Hilton Head! Yay!

Yes, we have tans now.

So, we drive through Greenville on the way back up. Ariana asks me why it's called Greenville. I shrug and reply, "Well, I guess that when the first people arrived here, it was green and lush and in bloom and beautiful, so they decided to just name it 'greenville,'" I said as a shot in the dark.

Long pause.

Her reply, as she stares at the buildings and cement and traffic: "So why did they decide to destroy it then?"

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Ok, ok, so I'm entirely too amused my my children's wit....*continues to chuckle in a lower tone so as to not to disturb others*

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chiquita Banana Nose

Ahhh the wierdness that is my family. Ari and I started an odd tradition before Jared was even born, but when I was pregnant with Jared. It involves Chiquita Banana stickers pulled off of bananas and stuck onto our noses. Basically, she was fussing in the grocery store and I was about to lose my mind instantly (IE, pregnancy hormones). So I pulled a sticker off the bananas and put it on my nose. She stopped fussing. She asked for one too. Hence, the tradition.

Every time I go shopping with my daughter, she asks for the stickers on the nose. We place them on our noses and go through the store, and the rule is this: as long as one of us still has it on, both of us has to have it. If one of us loses her sticker, then the other pulls it off too. Most of the time we make it the whole trip with the sticker on our noses.

What the hell do I care? I'm not there to pick up men anyway. And heck, if a guy won't date me because I like to amuse my daughter by walking around with a sticker on my nose, he can fuck right on off! I don't want him either!

Most people don't notice it. I mean really, how many people do YOU even notice when you're at the grocery? Sometimes people stare blatantly like I need a therapist. Thank you, I have one. Haven't seen her in a while, but I've still got her. Other times, people just laugh. It's our tradition. *WE* think it's freaking hilarious, and that's all that matters to US. Jared thinks it's funny too.

Today the checkout clerk I actively avoid due to supremely low IQ (no really, she's the least mentally gifted grocery store checkout clerk in America) saw our stickers and came over and stared at us. "What's the point of the stickers?" she asked.

Well, the point is FUN, thank you.

Then to prove my point about being mentally challenged, she said that spoons are better to stick to your nose because then you get all the ice cream.

Oohhhh kay. Thanks for sharing.

I remember a group of my students at The Premiere Technical College gathering around my desk after my English 101 class one time, and we just decided to chat as we had free time. There were about eight of them. For some reason the Chiquita Banana Sticker custom came up. They all thought that was hilarious. "Don't you care that other people are staring at you?" one asked. I shrugged. "What other people do isn't my problem. I just live my life the way I want to, and ignore the rest. It's like when I sing in my car. Loudly. With nobody IN the car. Folks think I'm talking to myself and plain nuts. They get out of the way. They drive on faster. More road for me! WOOHOO!"

I'm thrilled that I have a seven year old daughter who will smack a sticker on her nose and ignores the rest of the store, you know? It bodes well for peer pressure issues later!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005



My children ran around like crazy rabid foaming at the mouth water buffalo. From hell. I swear they didn't have much sugar today! I chose water buffalo because there was a lot of stomping, plus I swear the apartment complex floor almost echoed with every step they took. Or stomp they took. Hum.

It has been two hours now since Jared went to bed, and one since Ari went to bed, and I have still not recovered. If my liver didn't growl at me and say no way due to my overindulgence of limoncello the other night, I'd surely be swigging at more of the stuff to regrow a few nerves (just to be able to say I had some nerves). I would make a crap alcoholic since if I drink more than a glass or two of something one night, I tend to evade alcohol for a while afterwards. Considering how my ex is, I guess I should be grateful.

Once in a while we have one of these days. They actually weren't fighting. They were just LOUD, and they ran around, and they got louder, and they played with the cat toys, and all other toys got dumped in the living room, and they spilled half the goldfish on the floor (by accident, and as I was watching I knew that to be the truth of it), and then their father showed up UNEXPECTEDLY with a PIRATE COSTUME ON (please do not ask).

AARRRRGHHH! *rips hair out in clumps*

I wanted to write the rest of Jerome's story tonight. Ain't happening. I'm going to take my allergy medicine to stop the dizzy waves as I occasionally have a reaction--like today-- that causes congestion that presses on my inner ear, curl up in the fetal position on my bed, and go numb until I pass out.

I love my children. I am happy to be a mother. I love my children. I am happy to be a mother. I love my children. I am happy to be a mother....

Monday, July 18, 2005

Jerome, Part I

It's about 9 years past when I met Jerome. Jerome was more of a nickname. It's not his first or last name. I won't put down his full name due to confidentiality reasons because...he was once one of my foster kids when I worked for the Department of Social Services.

I remember every one of my kids. Every last one. It's been nine years, and some of their faces in particular still haunt me. Some I remember and I smile because I know they will be all right, despite the atrocities they have faced in their young lives. Those kids have Iron Will, something I always respect in any person at any time. Some of these children I suspect will never make it. The damage is so severe, and they have no motivation to try and make a new life. I never stopped encouraging them to move on, but I can't GIVE a child the will to live. I can only help to provide him or her with reasons to try.

However, out of my case load, there is one child who haunts me every single day of my life. I mean it truly: it's a rare day I don't think of Jerome. I think if you asked Jerome, he'd say he forgot me, but then you'd look in his haunted eyes and realize he's not forgotten me...nor half the other people who have loved him and left in his life.

Jerome was created by a woman who was too frail to ever make it in this world. If you met his mother, you would think that she had good intentions, but that she couldn't possibly direct her own fate. She accepted the smacks and verbal abuse and derision as what she deserved, as something she couldn't turn down or push away. It's almost like when you talked to her, you thought she wasn't totally there. I don't mean that mentally she was loopy, although sometimes she was; I mean that it felt as if her body was faded half out of this world and half into the next. Jerome's mom was one of those women who had a natural aversion to a man who would treat her well. If you put her in a room of a thousand men, all of whom were amazing, good people except one, she would pick out the bad one and happily take him home.

Jerome's father knocked her up and left. We have no idea what happened to him. Jerome and I liked to call him Sperm Donor.

Jerome's mom then had a few boyfriends, all of whom decided to physically abuse Jerome and his siblings in addition to his mom. They all were verbally abusive, too. When he was ten, his mom developed a hernia that had to be operated upon. He was left at home with the latest abusive boyfriend and beaten while his mom was in the hospital. Then, this woman's luck went even worse: while in the recovery room, a man stole into the place and raped her while she was not conscious yet. The man was apparently caught and put in jail eventually. That's the good news. The bad news is that his rape of a woman who had just came out of an operation and was a bit out of it made her stitches rip and caused her some severe bodily harm. She was rushed back into the operating room and stitched back up.

This trauma proved to be too much. She came home, curled up on the sofa...and didn't move for six months, catatonic.

So, let's review: Jerome's older siblings had a way of escaping the house or already had escaped; his mom was useless on the sofa; and his mom's boyfriend was beating on him regularly. Jerome decided it would be more fun to run crazy outside, and so he came into DSS care at 10 years of age because he was caught trying to hotwire a car. After investigation proved his mom to be psychologically unwell at that time, and her mom's boyfriend as abusive, he was put into foster care.

Jerome was ornery for many years after that. When I got him, he was 16. He had been a runaway for a while, and then when he was caught and brought back, he had to go to DJJ (juvenile detention/prison) because he was caught selling crack. His case file was something ridiculous like 8 two inch three ring binders full of paperwork. I was handed all 8 of them and told, just babysit him. He can't be saved.

Well, I have this stubborn streak that always makes me go, "OH YEAH???" when somebody tells me how I need to do something. How can I chalk off a 16 year old boy just because YOU told me he was worthless? I read all the case files...ALL of them. It read like a horror novel. I couldn't believe what this boy had been through in his life. He switched placements weekly and ran away regularly. His foster parents always seemed to fear for their life or just plain give up on him. All the old timers told me: spend your energy on the others. They might be saved. They told me too: you can't touch him. He's been so physically abused all his life that he goes NUTS if you so much as lay a hand on him. Oh, I was given a long list of orders...don't touch him, don't waste energy on him, just fill out the paperwork, don't tell him what is going on because he'll just make trouble, blah blah blah. I swear this kid was painted out as satan.

And make no mistake, I've met kids who COULD INDEED be described at 16 as a lost cause. I'm not so optimistic and cheerful that I don't recognize that society occasionally produces sociopaths. Jerome, however, was not satan. He was not a sociopath. He was salvagable, but everybody failed him...everybody.

His old social worker introduced me to Jerome on Jerome's birthday. We were allowed to bring him food when we came to visit, and we had the luxury of not being searched since we worked for DSS. The other worker, a 25 year veteran, told me we should bring him a birthday meal. I thought this was a fantastic idea, and I insisted on a birthday cupcake too. We were allowed to sit at picnic tables, and he sat as far away from us as possible. He seemed surprised when I moved closer to him. I sat down next to him and handed him his cupcake as if it were a million dollars, more excited about it than he was. He looked at me as if to say, "See, now this is why I think white chicks are all crazy," but he didn't ask me to move nor move away. He revealed nothing. He said nothing more than a grunt of yes or no to questions. I took mental notes. He DID say thank you for the food as the place didn't seem to feed a growing boy very well and he said he was constantly starving there. So noted: food is the way in. Got it.

He was moved to a new facility. The new facility was privately run, an experiment by the state. They didn't know what the hell they were doing. I brought him a two cheeseburgers meal from McDonald's and some candy bars and m&ms. The candy was stuffed in my purse. When they took him out of a class and put him in a room with me, he was surprised I bought food. "I remembered you said you were always starving," I told him, and he seemed even more surprised that I had listened. As he ate, I talked to him about his upcoming court case and how I thought we should handle it, and then asked for his input. "Nobody ever asks me, nobody tells me, I just get suddenly dragged off and have no idea what's going on," he tells me, stunned. I nodded. "Well, that changes with me. You're 16. In two years you have to manage your own life. So you need to know what the hell is going on." Then he grinned at me as if to either say, yay my dss worker says hell, or yay she's telling me what's going on in my life. Maybe a little from column A, a little from column B...

I handed him the candy bars before I left. "I can't take them, they'll take them away from me. I have to eat them here and I'm full," he told me sadly. I shrugged. "Your pants are baggy. Stick one in each sock and then one in each pocket until you get to your locker. Hide them inside your spare set of shoes. They won't think to look there." He laughed, disbelieving that his worker just told him that. "I follow the rules. Most of 'em," I told him, "but I don't follow stupid ones that make growing boys hungry. Seeya next month," I told him.

The third visit was the turning point. You see, as his DSS worker, I'm his legal guardian. I am supposed to be informed of ANYTHING medical that happens to him, and usually I have to sign off on it too. Unfortunately, the DJJ facility decided Jerome needed to have his wisdom teeth pulled and did NOT bother to tell me. It was luck...fate (WYRD!)...or the divine that I arrived on JUST that day. Take your pick.

First of all, I walk in and they have problems finding him. Not good. I stand there holding my McDonald's offering, frowning, waiting for them to figure out where he was. He was in the lunchroom still since the other guys went outside for PE and he couldn't go. He looked miserable. Jerome's cheeks were swollen the size of grapefruits. He had a tray of SOLID food in front of him, uneaten. I stared, openmouthed. He was barely able to talk, but what I got out was the following: two hours ago, he had his wisdom teeth removed. The dentist told him to eat liquid foods now, but the facility would not accomodate, and he was in too much pain to eat the solid food (nor should he unless he wanted dry socket...that's my orthodontist's daughter knowledge coming in to play). He was told to use icepacks to reduce swelling, but they wouldn't give them to him because he might use them as "weapons." He was also told to get pain medication every four hours, but he had yet to get a dose because the nurse was "busy" and would not be seeing him until bedtime. This boy, who had been trained to never show emotions, looked like he was in a lot of pain. Not good.

I'm trying not to get too mad as I type this. There is ONE thing that will set me off and make me Mean Evil Bitch Woman (even when not pregnant...haha!): cruelty to kids. This counted.

I think, at first, Jerome was amused. I'm tiny...5'2". This was pre-kids, so I probably weighed all of 105 lbs, 110 lbs at most. I moved with a speed that belied my little legs, and demanded icepacks from the kitchen workers. It went like this:

Worker: I can't give that to you. He might use them as weapons.
Me: He won't. His face hurts. He will use it to make himself feel better.
W: but he might...
Me: give me the damned icepacks.
W: (smugly) We don't have icepacks here anyway! Just ice. You'll need to go to the nurse.
Me: damnit, he's in pain. I'm not going to hunt up the nurse. Give me ice.
W: What, like a cup? He can't use that!
Me: (exasperated) Right, he can't. But you can take a spare set of those latex disposable kitchen gloves you are all required to use, fill them up with ice, and tie them off. Viola, icepacks.
W: (stunned) Oh! Yeah, I guess I could!

Ok, icepacks secured, Jerome looked at me in the most goofy-happy manner. I guess he wasn't used to seeing somebody stick up for him. Either that or the anesthesia from the wisdom teeth being pulled hadn't worn off yet! haha!

I snapped at Jerome to come follow me. I started barking out commands to this guard or that worker, and he started to chuckle behind me. Jerome towered over me. He was over 6' and gangly--like a growing boy would look, especially if he never got enough food. I had them yank his DJJ social worker out of a meeting. She was surprised by how 'in your face' I had become. We had talked before and, previously, I had always been so sweet! Oh well.

I told her how he had to have liquid foods. NOW. She protested; I set her straight.

I told her how he had to have food that was not too hot or the blood clots would melt. He was not to use a straw either or the blood clots would wriggle free from the suction. He was not to have solid food for a few days or else the food pieces could lodge in his open wounds and get dry socket. And I made her put in his record: Contact DSS worker FIRST before ANY medical proceedures are done. I would have come down that day to be with him anyway, probably even at the dentist's office if they let me. I was pissed.

Jerome continued to chuckle.

"And he gets taken to the nurse NOW for painkillers!"

The social worker protested that she had no ability to do that as the nurse's station wasn't open. I started fussing about how the hell they didn't have a nurse available 24/7 because this facility had tons of boys in it, boys who would need medical attention. "If he sliced open his thigh right now outside, you couldn't call the nurse? You'd have to let him bleed? Call the damn nurse!"

More protests. She wouldn't come 'just' to give him painkillers. That's not a high enough priority.

I don't scream, exactly. I just say it...painfully loud without losing control of my voice ever. And then there's the river of lava that pours from my eyes. And the growl at the back of my throat.

Jerome, still holding both icepacks to his cheeks, started to outright laugh and then stopped himself.

The social worker admitted defeat and had Jerome escorted by the guards then to go to the nurses' station to get the medicine. We had another chat about how I'd be checking up on Jerome all this week. Every day. And she was to tell Jerome when I did, so that when I next came, he'd be able to tell me that he knew I checked up...every day...and that all his needs were taken care of. Jerome grinned at me and waved. Without thinking, I patted his arm before he went. He didn't flinch. He just continued to grin as he walked off.

The social worker stared, open mouthed. "He won't tolerate ANYBODY touching him. ANYBODY...for any reason...he got put in solitary last month because a guard put a hand on him and he slugged him!"

That was how things changed between Jerome and I...yet I still couldn't save him. Salvagable, but yet nobody managed to do it...I know where he is now, and he's not going anywhere....

Sigh. I'll continue this tale later.

Saturday, July 16, 2005



Oh, limoncello, you are my loooooove!

I am excited because I found this brand of alcoholic lemonade here in obscure town, South Carolina. Yay! It's $20 a bottle though, so it won't be a frequent purchase.

Stick limoncello in the freezer. Serve it in tiny glasses. Deb had these gorgeous little lemon type glasses, very small, that she got in Italy to serve it with. Wow, they were cute. I suppose Alex and I must now go to Italy so we can fetch some. haha!

Yes, kids are with the ex tonight. Duh. As I sit here sipping my limoncello, I ponder the greatness of life. Tomorrow, however, I might just ponder the cries of my liver instead.

I would like you all to know how much I love Alex. See, my Harry Potter: HBP just arrived today, but I've not opened it and instead am talking to HIM on msn. Yup, that proves it. He needs no other demonstration!

And other random thoughts: I found Jared's precious express coaches for Gordon (IE, Thomas the Tank Engine). He'll be soooo excited. I can't wait!

Ari, however, is getting some blue nail polish and a little Lisa Frank craft kit.

Why are they getting presents for no reason? Well, I realized that if Ken gave me $2k, I can give my kids a little something as well. Yes, I will get my dermatologist appointment too. It's just....well, why can't the kids have something fun for all that too?

See, this is a wonderful night. I have: Alex, webcam, on msn; limoncello; fresh bread and goat cheese; cheesecake with strawberries. And HP waiting for me when I get off the damned addictive computer. Only thing that could be better is Alex in person. Woohoo!

Oh, glorious night! Oh wonderous world we call Earth! Yes, yes, tonight I am happy! Yehaw!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Moving into the Mansion

It was a 'make Kira's ego' three day journey as the head moving guy hit on me (apparently he loves redheads), a man hung out of his car and howled at me when I was walking back from a store with my niece and nephew (my niece couldn't stop laughing because I flipped him off and screamed, kiss my ass!), and then I got spoken to outside of Charlotte when I was driving back. This was just one of those men I will remember for a long time because of HOW he phrased his compliment. He saw me pumping gas and in a really thick Southern drawl said, "You ain't from aroun' here, are ya?" I replied no, I wasn't. He grinned at me and said, "I knew you couldn't be from aroun' here 'cause there ain't nothing as purty as YOU in THIS town!" HAHAHAHA! I thanked him politely and tried not to laugh. He told me to have a great day and then walked off.

In all honesty, I haven't been howled at or hit on by guys in a while, so...even though I'm happily with Alex...I guess it felt good. I mean, I have felt far less than attractive since I gained some weight due to the pill, plus I've been rather moody lately anyway. I thought about it on the way home, and I realized: yeah, I guess I needed that. Thanks, random hormonal men who probably hit on all women but still managed to make me feel hot! haha!

I'm really glad I went to help out my brother and his wife and family. Ken was on a business trip on Tuesday night and didn't get back until Wednesday, and Deb couldn't get out of a business meeting Wednesday morning. But that was when the movers were due over at the old house, and she also had two deliveries come in Wednesday morning at the new house. I had to let the movers into the old house, tell them what they needed to know, then drive over rapidly to the new house and be there for the deliveries to arrive. Deb thrust money in my hand for breakfast since she had to leave early and there was nothing in the old house to eat. There's a Starbucks at the corner of the new subdivision, and so I stopped in there and grabbed a lemonade and a chocolate/cream cheese muffin. DAMN that muffin was GOOD! I ended up in the mood for the lemonade because Deb had me try out this fantastic liquor called Limoncello (she had brought this particular bottle back from Italy) the night before, and WOW! I fell in love with the stuff! I have decided that this stuff is so good I would prostitute myself for it...haha! Seriously, it's like the best lemonade you have ever had with a KICK!

I was mad at my brother for part of the trip. Deb and I had to sort through a box of old cards to see if any of them should be kept as keepsakes or memories. My brother has been divorced for I dunno, 7 years now, and he's never bothered to sort through this box. She got to read all sorts of lovey cards from him to his first wife, or vice versa. I was just so PISSED at him for being so MALE and not thinking about how that could hurt Deb's feelings or make her feel crappy! She's so nice too, and she just was tossing them in the trash without comment. I would then pull them BACK out, rip them up into 13 pieces, and then smile sweetly at her and say, "Better." She laughed.

Ken and I are the family rejects for getting a divorce. On both sides of the family, there have been only four divorces (remember, they're all Catholic...kids everywhere and so it's a really amazing statistic). We get to 'claim' two, much to my parent's dismay. It does mean that Ken is a bit more understanding of some of what I've gone through than my other brother or my sister can understand. Anyway, because the ex wife also just up and moved out suddenly, she left behind lots of her shit in the attic. And in seven or so years, Ken can't ditch it? WHY does Deb have to deal with it?

Deb told me that their old wedding album was out too, and she politely told Ken that she wanted that boxed up and kept for his daughter and son, but that she just didn't want it displayed. Very reasonable. But then I got to thinking that MY old wedding album is just sitting there in a stack of albums, and I asked her if she thought I should do the same for Alex. We decided I should do that sometime: just box it up and put it in Ari's closet so she has it for later on. Poor Alex already gets to hear way too much about the ex. Might as well make a few things easier on him.

The new house is GORGEOUS! Three stories, lots of high ceilings and moldings and unique light fixtures....my brother has turned one room into what he calls The Man Room. The Man Room uses its built in curios to display sports memorabilia. It has a 50" TV. It has a huge home theatre system. One of the coolest things about the man room is that you can flip back a secret compartment, slide one of the bookshelves out (like in an old haunted house!), and bam, there's a room behind it! It's just a small room where the water heater and the cannister for the central vac system resides, but damn does that bring a whole new dimension to playing hide and seek! haha!

The house has a kitchen I'd die for (except it's white...harder to keep clean). Corian counters, tons of cabinet spaces, kitchen island, kitchen desk, place for cookbooks, great stovetop and oven, etc. Nice walk in pantry too!

My brother and Deb are typical people from my family in their level of generosity. I tease my friend Shana--a diehard democrat from a long line of democrats--that if all republicans were like my family, she'd be one too. Shana laughs, but she sees my point. My family believes strongly in noblesse oblige, that is, the responsibility of the rich to take care of the rest of the world. My family just believes it's not the GOVERNMENT'S job to do so, is all. So, my wealthy relatives are constantly donating money to this or that cause and doing volunteer work. I was raised being dragged to a school of the deaf and to a children's cancer clinic when I was younger because that's what my mom did with some of her spare time. My parents currently do Meals On Wheels and have done so for over a decade. My brother Ken pays extra for his maid service because this one company provides health insurance for their staff, and Ken considers it criminal to make a person work full time hours and not get health insurance for it. He once told me, if you can afford a maid, you can sure as hell swing another $10 or $20 a month onto the cost of having her come out there so she has health insurance, damnit. I watched this idea in action once again when the movers came. Before Deb left for work, she told me, "Make sure they get whatever bottled water they want, I bought all of that for them so they wouldn't get dehydrated. And if I'm not back by lunch, give them this," and she handed me a wad of bills, "because I always pay for the movers' lunch. They don't get paid enough as it is, and they need to have a decent lunch. It's the least I can do," she tells me before taking off. Believe me, she left me enough for them to go sit down at Red Lobster for lunch--not for them to all be able to hit up McDonald's. Most folks just would think: I'm paying them hundreds of dollars to move things. Suck it up. But nope, not Ken and Deb! I totally admire that.

And of course I realized that Ken would probably hand me money even though it wasn't discussed. I had to steel myself for this on the ride up. I figured he'd probably hand me $200 or $300. I calculated how much it took me in gas to drive up and then food and such, wear and tear on my car, whatever, and just kept repeating to myself: it's ok, take the damn money, you can use the extra $100 or $200 because this summer things are tight. I am LOUSY at accepting help. I rarely ask for it. Damnit, *I* want to be wealthy and giving my money to everybody. I don't want to be the poor one who has to accept aid *cries*.

So, he walks in my bedroom, tosses a check onto my chest and walks over to the blinds, "These need to be shut or you'll wake up too early," he tells me in a neutral tone, and as he goes over to shut them I realize he's just handed me two THOUSAND dollars, not two HUNDRED. So then the Dance starts, and Ken knows me well enough to have expected it fully. He also knows how to handle it by now.

Kira: I can't take this. It's too much. (hands it back to him, which he refuses)
Ken: Come on, you're broke this summer and this way I don't worry.
Kira: It's too much, I can take something but I can't take THIS much!
Ken: Shut up and take it, Kira.
Kira: No, Ken, I just can't, that's two thousand dollars, that's way too much...
Ken: Kira. Listen to me. Shut up and take the damn money! I just got a commission check that was for about what a person earns in FIVE YEARS, and that's not even for my whole year. Take the damn check and shut up!
Kira: (bursts into tears) Ok.

So, that's that. I had already mapped out the summer expenses so I could make it, and now I'm really ok. I may even go to the dermatologist like I need to for my hand! I have a periodic problem with my skin on my right hand needing a steroid cream (long story), but I've put it off for a while now due to finances. I guess I don't have an excuse now!

I got to see Joe on the way out of town. We had lunch at this great restaurant called Pops. That's actually where Joe LIVES, it seems, as everybody knows Joe there by name and jokes around with him. The food was fantastic!!! It's Italian, and that was the best damned calamari I've ever had. I got a little too enthusiastic with the eating and found half of one down my cleavage later on...hahahaha!

Joe is great at snuggling but he is a lousy ass grabber. Apparently, my friend Terry (who was unable to join us for lunch) told Joe to give me a hug and grab my ass. That's usually how Terry says hello, good bye, how are you, or whatever to me and has for years. If I recall correctly, he even does this to me around his wife and she doesn't blink. It's just Terry. Joe, however, was a bit nervous about fulfilling this aspect of Terry's request. I even turned around and TOLD Joe, it's ok, just grab it. He reached out and gave this wimpy, tentative pat. HAHAHAHA! Poor Joe :) It's a BIG target, Joe, how can you miss? So, Terry (who reads this blog but never comments)...you still owe me an ass grab.

Can anybody tell I'm a natural flirt? I'm really glad that Alex is amused by this side of me and loves it. He knows I'm his at the end of the day, and so little else matters to him. Gotta love it when you can be yourself and still adored!

Anyway, that was my trip. It's good to be home, but I had a great time. I like to feel needed. I helped them move; I helped Deb by talking to her about a few things about the family history that she really needed to know to figure out what was going off with some other issues; and I helped my niece a lot by guiding her through some difficulties. Kira's portable shoulder to lean on and moving service! I have to say, if the pay were always that good, I'd quit teaching and do THIS for a living! haha!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Chian the Psychic Wonder Cat

I'm being plagued. My cat just won't leave me alone. You see, there is no fooling Chian about ANYTHING. I know some of you will think I'm crazy, but it's just a fact. I have a 13 yr old cat who knows way more than a cat should, and he's always been like this. My cat has plagued me for the last four to five weeks, saving the week the ex had him while we were at the family reunion because...I became moody and depressed when Alex started having problems with his visa. He's concerned, so he follows me EVERYWHERE. I go to the bathroom, he lies on my feet. I shit you not. I get up, I head to the kitchen, and unless it's 7a and feeding time, he's not even meowing for food. I lay on the couch; he leaps up and doesn't even aim for my bladder, which is what he does to me when I'm my normal self. He's just there to curl up and place a paw on me protectively. I wake up with a tail in my mouth because he's curled up on the pillow next to me. Usually he's at my feet, but the pillow maneuver he saves for my worst moods.

I long ago faced the fact that my cat is not a cat. I've had four cats in my life, and only two of them were actually "cats." Besides Chian the Psychic Wonder Cat, I had Scruffy the Grouchy Old Man. Scruffy was a bit odd too, but that's another post. Anyway, Chian walked up to my door as a skinny adolescent tabby cat in January of '93. His age is actually an estimate. He was suckering me and my ex, along with about five other people in the apartment complex out of food. I already had two cats. I was NOT going to become the cat lady, damnit, so I tried to find him a good home. I had PROMISED the ex when we got the second cat: I only want two cats. We won't get more. And I meant it. I really, really did. Oddly, it was the ex who decided that Chian should be kept as ours and we needed a third cat. He doesn't like cats that much, so I always was amazed by that decision.

Poor Chian. "Welcome to the family! *snip*" With neutering and his shots, sponsored by my friend Tess who desperately wanted to adopt the charming cat but was/still is allergic to cats, Chian became ours. Chian had a certain life and personality that most people can't attain, let alone a cat. But, he really didn't do anything wierd until he had been with us for a while. Unless you want to count the time he grabbed a cream filled, chocolate covered krispy kreme doughnut from my hand and ran off with it, putting a paw on it and growling as he tore at it. That surprised me because cats aren't supposed to go nuts over sugar. I mean, some like ice cream, but that's because of the dairy.

He started to get keyed in to my moods. I realized that if I were sick, he was with me constantly. If I were sad, he was with me constantly. And if I were in a regular mood, he just went off and did cat things.

Right away, the oddest thing I'd say he did was never leave my side when I took a bath instead of a shower. It wasn't often, but he'd perch up on the bathtub and watch me. If I had the nerve to scare him and put my head UNDER the water, I'd have a wet cat paw tap tap tap on my head until I came back up.

Also, before we really adopted him and he was still hanging outside all the time, he would follow us wherever we went when we went for a walk. Even when we walked along the river in the back of the complex. On rocks. HOPPING from rock to rock. Over water. Cats aren't supposed to enjoy water...

My cat knew I was pregnant, both times, before I did. No really. Only twice in his life has he done this odd thing, and both times within a few days I found out I was pregnant afterwards. Basically, he came up, sprawled out next to me, and started patting my tummy with his paw. Pat pat pat. Then after I stared at him and said, what the hell are you doing? he basically just LEFT his paw there for a while until I got up to go do something.

My daughter Ariana had colic for the first three months of her life. She'd cry just about every waking hour during that time. It was awful. She'd start up her shrieking wail, the other two cats would tear up the stairs and hide under the bed...the ex and I would look at them jealously...and there would be Chian, meowing at my feet. I would pace, walking Ari back and forth, and there he'd be pacing with me, meowing. I'd sit on the sofa and he'd leap up and sit on the arm of the sofa, reaching over to meow and pat pat pat Ari's shoulder, settling a paw on her until she finally passed out cold and slept.

He used to sleep at her door regularly every night too. Guard cat, I guess.

Scruffy used to have the prime location of sleeping with Kira in her bed, though, until he died in August of 2001. That's when Chian seemed to step up his other senses...almost as if now that Scruffy died, his job duties had expanded. From that point on, if he felt I were out of it, boom, there's my cat, on the pillow. Again, that's how I know he feels I'm worse off...he goes on the pillow instead of at my feet or side.

It'd be so easy to map out depression issues for a therapist or doctor. "Well, see, Chian sprawled out on my pillow during the weekdays when Alex was gone--he was coming up on the weekends from school-- for the two to three weeks around my divorce hearing. Oh, and he was on my pillow for about three weeks while Alex had the first visa issue with his student visa. Hmmm....yeah, and the two months after I moved in to the apartment after moving out, he was on the pillow. But really, it's not been consistent since I lived in the house, and during the last year or so there I couldn't pry him off the damn pillow with a crowbar."

I pretend I'm doing fine because if I'm really upset, I don't want to talk about it. Sort of upset, you hear every last painful detail: really upset, my lips are sealed. But I can't fool the fucking cat.

He's lying on my feet right now, asleep. Snoring. Damned bastard!

Last night I was feeling extra broody because Sunday was rough with the ex, and then yesterday I decided I really had to just go ahead and get my next pill pack for $45 (note: OUCH). I was trying to figure out if I had enough for gas, birth control pills, and food for the rest of the month per what I budgeted out, and then I decided I could swing it. I get mad paying for the pill when I'm not getting laid. It's like walking in, paying for the all you can eat buffet, and walking out without taking a bite. What the hell good is THAT? I always liken the pill to the all you can eat buffet because...oh god, here I go showing you my OCD issues...if I use condoms, I actually THINK about the fact that each condom costs money, and I decide if it's worth it. Plus, I don't like a plastic baggie up my crotch. If I wanted that, I'd buy a bunch of ziploc bags and throw them on my vibrator. I prefer the pill. Alex gets killed with the pill, however, because then my attitude is just like my attitude with the all you can eat buffets: I've already paid for all I can eat, damnit, so I'm gonna gorge until I burst!

Hmmm where the hell was I? Oh yes, money. Buying pills. So, I figure it out and I realize it'll be ok, and I get a pint of haagen daz too (my pharmacist is inside my grocery). I also purchase some chocolate covered sugar cookies. I figure those two items would be good to self-medicate my depression. I brood some more about Alex not being here, and then I start brooding--as I walk to the mailbox--about the fact that tomorrow (which is now today...god, now I sound like Jared...)I leave to drive up for three days to Raleigh to help my brother move. I love my brother endlessly. I am very happy to help him. However--go ahead, think I'm petty if you like, but I can't help being human--it's sorta depressing helping your brother move his leather sofa and beautiful artwork into a 5200 sq foot house when you've just sat around contemplating if you can afford your $45 birth control pill pack that day. And then I open up the mailbox and find that Chian is due for his annual checkup...aw, fuck. $60 more. Damnit.

I go back into the house, and there is the cat, meowing at the door waiting for me. He follows me around. I try to use the bathroom. He lies on my feet again. Arg!

SO, by the time I torture Alex last night by manipulating him to stay up til his time, 6a, because I'm moody and want company on the computer, there's Chian on my feet again. Sprawled out. Snoring. When I went to bed at midnight, he yawns, stretches, follows me to the bedroom. We both take a pee. I flush; he burries. We go to bed. He doesn't go to the pillow right away this time...first he presses up against my chest and puts his cat head ON my head. What the fuck is he doing? I wonder. I feel his purr vibrate against me. I plop an arm around him...he's fat, so this isn't so hard to do...and I realize suddenly: the damned cat knows I miss Alex in my bed so he's trying to stretch out against my chest and put his head near mine like if Alex were in my bed! Shit. Chian the Psychic Wonder Cat, I tell you. He's irreplacable. My last cat, my only pet, and there's just NO way I can find another anywhere half as great as this one.

Guess I'd better pack up my bag and shower and start getting ready to drive to Raleigh! Well, if I can move this cat off my feet...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Damnit, I'm tagged!

Ok, so I just found out that Angie tagged me, so here we go!

1. The total amount of DVD's, videos, films I own: I have no idea. I would estimate approximately 30 VCR tapes and 50 DVDs. Most of the DVDs are kids' movies, of course.

2. The last film I bought: Good question. OH, wait, I remember! Thomas and Friends: songs form the station. My son collects Thomas the Tank Engine stuff, and THIS dvd came with a SPECIAL EDITION platinum Percy! OOHHHHHH AHHHHH!

3. The last film I watched: Yesterday. Herbie: fully loaded (I think that was the full name...can you tell I have kids yet?)

4. My favourite five films of all time: See, now, this sucks. I don't like "favorites" lists because I'm too indecisive for them. I'll name off five I really, really liked, ok? Star Wars. LotR (don't make me select one of the three). Bend it Like Beckham. Princess Bride. Flesh Gordon. Just kidding! I think I've only seen like two porn flicks in my life, so no porn on my list. Hum. My last one would be... uhhh....Spirited Away. I know a lot of you probably haven't seen either Bend it like Beckham or Spirited Away. The former I think most people would enjoy. I make my classes see it for a "multicultural" movie. The latter you'd only like if you think anime is good. It has a good message and is intriguing in how it unravels, and it totally lost me in it when I watched.

I have different criteria for "favorite" movies...do you mean my favorite movies I love seeing because I lost myself in them? or favorites because they make me think? or favorites because they make me laugh? etc. For that last list, I chose the first type: favorites that I watch because I get lost in them and fully entertained.

Ok, so, now I tag two folks, eh? Laura, April! Enjoy!

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

No, I have not started my period today. I just like U2 and the title fits my mood.

My ex left about an hour ago with the kids. The event was agitating enough to have me down an OJ and vodka since he left (note: Grey Goose really IS the best vodka money can buy). But, after giving careful thought, rather than bitch about it, I want to tell you why I was attracted to the ex to begin with. I want to tell you about his good qualities. I think that'll be more helpful to me right now than brooding.

The ex is funny as hell. I can't tell you how often I laughed with him over just about anything in life, good and bad, especially before Jared was conceived. He has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor that matches mine (well, Alex has the same sense of humor!). You can feel like you're in the worst possible situation, and something will fly out of his mouth that may, indeed, be wholly inappropriate....but you'll laugh despite yourself and feel just a tiny bit better.

The ex is brilliant. He had a full, academic based scholarship to Duke (AB Duke scholarship) and has an IQ of approx. 170. You can put him into any academic setting in any class, and if he likes the subject and professor, will receive highest marks AND remember all the information he learned for the rest of his life. For theory, philosophy, and politics, the man is fantastic in how his brain swallows it all whole. We could talk or debate issues for hours and it was amazing what he could come up with. Very impressive. Since this is a post about his good qualities, we won't talk about his lack of common sense probably as a result of his extreme brilliance in areas of theory :)

The ex has a strong will and a good backbone. He isn't into the victim mentality. I have never once heard him say, "I did this wrong because of how I was raised," and believe me, he has every right to do so. I worked in foster care, and I tell you true: he and his two siblings would have been taken away by DSS if they knew the half of it. I once asked him why he couldn't acknowledge at least that his father being a psychotic dick somehow affected him, and he said, "that only works when you are a child or a teen. I'm an adult. I am responsible for ME now." That always impressed me.

The ex was the kind of lawyer I would want to be. He was the kind of lawyer I could respect. He wasn't in it for money (aw hell, he worked for the government most of the time as a prosecutor...he made jack shit!). He wanted to help with Justice and Truth and all the good stuff! If he felt that the person didn't do it, he didn't prosecute. He dismissed the case. If he felt that there were extenuating circumstances, he tried to get reduced charges. If he felt the fellow was a rat bastard, he pinned him to the wall. And the best part was, he is SO DYNAMIC at arguing and using his mental powers for debate that, usually, what he decided should happen in a case did. When he went briefly into private practice, I remember him pacing back and forth all night long about this one disturbing case he had accepted. The woman had been charged with what was, essentially, her 7th DUI. He KNEW she was an alcoholic and because she had gotten out of jailtime for the other incidents, never tried counseling or going dry, etc. She had her truck taken away from her because her license was suspended when she was arrested. He said to me, well, if I try to get her off completely, that would be the worst thing I could do. She NEEDS about a month or two of jailtime to sober up. If she gets no jail, she'll just continue drinking. So, I'm going to work for her to get a month or two of jail, reduced charge for her DUI, and her truck back. I said, don't lawyers always want to get their clients off? Doesn't that do the most for your rep? He said, screw my rep, this is the right thing to do. She needs to sober up (ironic all things considered...). And lo, that was what he got.

On a wholly entertaining note, the policeman at the jail called him up afterwards and asked him how the hell he did it. "Your client is sleeping off a drunk! She was in court DRUNK! How did you get her through court AND get what you wanted?" haha! Why? BECAUSE HE IS THAT GOOD. He's the man I'd want defending me as a lawyer because he has a heart and soul as well as a fucking load of talent and brains. I loved how he never cared about money but just wanted to do what was "right" with his clients or the case. How many lawyers have that as their priority?

The ex wasn't jealous of my naturally energetic and flirtatious personality, nor threatened by it. That's a gift right there (although for the record, not only does Alex not have an issue with it...he loves it! haha! It's great to be appreciated for being what you are!). He understood that I wasn't going anywhere as long as I told him I wasn't going anywhere, so there was no reason to be uptight. Hell, the whole "All Clad for Sex" joke Joe and I had took place in front of my ex for the most part, and he thought it was funny! Conversely, no matter how bad things got--and there's no denying they got bad--I knew for sure that until I said or he said, it's over, he wasn't going anywhere or cheating on me.

So, yes, there were a lot of problems that made me leave. I'm at a much happier place now, with a man better suited to me and my life. But...I just would like to present the other side. He's a good person, but he's not traveling the same path as I am and hasn't for a long time. He has issues (so do I), and we've divorced. But he's not a BAD person.

Ok, that was much better than bitching today. I feel better. Whew!

Saturday, July 09, 2005


"Today's post is brought to you by the letter N!"

Sorry, too much Sesame Street as a child.

This evening as my children run around out of a bath (Jared) and shower (Ariana), I ponder nudity and the unclothed.

It started last night. My dear friend Shana stayed the night with her son Harvest. Shana is, unfortunately, my ex's brother's wife. I say "unfortunately" because after the divorce, I have periodically fretted that I would lose her due to the collapse of my marriage. I KNOW it stresses her at times to feel torn between loyalties to her husband and loyalties to me, one of her best friends. She hates conflict. Unlike me, who goes into battle girded with sword and spear, she prefers to Hide In Shadows and let others do the battle cries. Ok, that was a geek reference. So sue me. Anyway, Shana's son is only three months older than Jared. We were pregnant at the same time (for six months at least). I was four months pregnant when I cooked for fourty people and threw her a baby shower. You should understand my obessive compulsive issues when you realize that I was exhausted, pregnant, fighting nonstop with my husband...yet I managed to make a ham, chili, homemade guacamole, salsa, taboule, crab dip, shrimp platter, mushroom piroshkis, tiny quiches, etc. for fourty people ALL BY MYSELF. And little place cards. I actually ordered the cake from Publix. Who can blame me? I worked on that stuff with a 2 year old tugging at my ankles for many days.

Shoot, I'm rambling crazily more than usual. Let me get back on topic.

Ok, nakedness. Last night. Shana, Harvest, my kids.

So Shana tries to force Harvest to keep his clothes on. Harvest turns five in September and apparently HATES his clothes. I tried so hard not to laugh because she convinced him to keep his underwear on, but as it came closer and closer to bedtime, he inched his underwear halfway down his butt. By morning, he was nude and running around the house. I thought it was kind of funny. I had a hard time convincing my seven year old daughter she couldn't join him by running around nude too....haha!

Nudity. What is it? The Greeks used to do the Olympics in the nude...yet whenever we, modern people, see nudity we think SEX SEX SEX FUCK ME! How did the unclothed body become purely sexualized? And this is what Harvest's untold glee, running around my house bareassed, caused me to ponder.

I remember working at the Office of Child Support when I was pregnant. Note: I am even MORE blunt and brutal when pregnant. It's scary. I was talking to this fella who was rather conservative and prudish, and he told me how horrified he was that he was in Spain (his wife is Spanish), and they went to a hospital to see a woman who had just given birth. "The baby cried, and she just...she just...whipped out her BREAST and FED him!" he told me in a hushed, horrified voice reserved for things like, "Oh god, and then he buried the body in the backyard," or, "and then she voted for Bush, Jr!"

My response was immediate and scathing.

"What the HELL do you think BREASTS are FOR???? YOU? You must be crazy! Those are for babies! You get 'em on loan! All you saw was their intended use. What the HELL is your problem????"

He gaped at me, and started sputtering things about boobies being sexualized in modern culture and so they should not be exposed. I cut him off again.

"The baby was hungry. You want her to let the baby cry and starve 'cause you are in the room? What the hell is WRONG with you? You can't see a breastfeeding baby without getting an ERECTION? It sounds like a personal issue to me!"

He was now as white as a sheet and sputtered a lot. I tend to do that to people when I'm on a roll. I'm not sure why. Anyway, I continued with a lengthy explanation on how breastfeeding was natural, how it was great for the baby, and how if he didn't want to see it, he had the option of walking out that door. And how if other people didn't want to see HIM eat dinner with his mouth open or a stupid grin on his face, they could turn around and leave too. I berated him for assuming that nudity equalled sex, and told him he needed therapy. Then I stomped out of the room.

Oddly, an hour later he sought me out, told me I was right, and asked me to have lunch with him. I still haven't figured out how I get away with being a bitch. Hum.

My parents are conservative, Catholic, Republicans, don't be nude in front of me, If I say sex I blush people. They are GOOD people...the best! But I was not raised to have these ideals. Trust me. My parents spent their whole lives screaming, "PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!" to me. My other three siblings were never like that, so I don't know what happened. Did they drop me on my head?

So last night, I watched Harvest run and run around the house nude, and I thought: lucky bastard. If I stripped nude and joined him, I'd be called a pervert, pedophile, disgusting freak, etc. I don't really like clothes much either. In the summer, when the kids aren't in the house, I'm nude. I'm not a nudist. I don't WANT to walk around other nude people all day. It's just more comfortable for me.

Why does nudity conjure up so many different ideas and images depending on who is nude and who is viewing it?

Poor Alex added to my thoughts this morning by mentioning that he was mortified and embarrassed because he was forced to go with his father's good friend Robert and his wife and their children (Alain was the boy he was friends with) to a...nudist camp for the day. Ok, I couldn't stop laughing. Alex is really a prude when I am not. My job is to make him blush and I manage to do so daily. ALEX in a NUDIST CAMP!!!! Fuck. That could be a MOVIE that we'd ALL pay to see! haha!

I had a million reactions when he told me. The first was, oh crap, you saw your dad's good friend's WIFE nude? Then, you were ten and you had to hang out with your good friend Alain....NUDE??? I joked about it, and Shana started cracking me up. I love her sense of humor. We looked at the site of the nudist camp that Alex showed us he was forced to see, and it advertised THREE NUDE SHOPPING MALLS! Shana dryly quipped, what the hell do they sell? Surely not clothes! haha! Then she added, maybe they sell bags since the nudists obiviously have no pockets...oh god I laughed my ass off, and so did Alex.

Then I wondered about my reaction. WHAT is wrong with nudity? What about my response tells me how much I am affected by the modern ideals of modesty and equating nudity to sex? I teased that man about breastfeeding (and ok, I still would, I'm big on breastfeeding), but...could a nudist make fun of me in the same way? Why is it ok for me to run around nude alone in my apartment, or obviously when Alex is around, but I don't around other people? Sure, I'll change around Shana or some of my closest female friends or my mom or my sister, but why is it such an issue to be nude around others? Why do I react like it's odd? What IS nudity?

I haven't figured it out. I really haven't. It's just...a series of thoughts, of rambles. Sorry...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

100 Things About Me

I've seen a lot of people do this list (most recently Amanda), and so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

1) I love to curse. I make no effort to restrict myself except when around my kids. My kids still hear hell, crap, and damn but have been told that--like alcohol--there's an age minimum to use them. So far, that works.
2) I can't be convinced that cursing is 'bad' because, as an English major, I know the power of words is not the word itself but how one wields it. Therefore, there aren't any bad words or good words, only bad usage and good usage.
3) I love cheese, chocolate, and wine beyond words.
4) I confess: when I was an anorexic (see photo of me in red shirt), guys used to whistle at me when I drove my car and stuff, and it began to annoy me. So once in a while, when a guy pulled up and oggled, I deliberately picked my nose. It always worked to get him to stop looking...*coughs*
5) I am a complete geek (geek being...a nerd with social skills)
6) I have a phobia about speaking in any language other than English, which is why I stuck with Latin and Old English in school.
7) But now I'm dating a Frenchman, so I'm breaking out into hives while learning French. I find reading and writing it easier than speaking it, as per expected.
8) For a woman who is insanely picky about men, I sure as hell make some bad choices.
9) Except for Alex of course. We're up to about a dozen of my female friends begging me to clone him, so I know I finally hit gold! I really believe this man is "it."
10) Speaking of love, I have loved deeply, madly, passionately three times in my life.
11) For some odd reason, all three had black hair and blue eyes.
12) Sometimes I stare at my kids and my whole body and mind and heart and soul just fill up with love for them, and I think I'm going to burst or cry or something stupid.
13) Despite loving them so much, I admit fully that there are some times when both of them are screaming and fighting and I wish they were at their father's house instead of mine at that moment.
14) Then I remember what their father's house looks like, and I decide that's too cruel :)
15) I have no social filter that stops me from saying what I shouldn't. My mouth opens and whatever is on my mind flies out...even things like, "Damn you look awful in that dress," and other classics like, "Wow, you are truly the worst writer I've ever had the misfortune of encountering," or "Man, that was more like kissing a vacuum cleaner."
16) For some astounding reason, people know HOW to take me though and I still have friends. Haha!
17) I have two male friends whom I have actively wished I COULD fall in love with because they so totally rock. Now that I have Alex and am happy, it's not as much of an issue, but sometimes I stare at my man-choices and wonder what the hell's wrong with me that I could be pulled to jerks and not to these two terrific men. Go figure the female heart.
18) Math and foreign languages (spoken, not written) have always been my academic weaknesses.
19) I used to play roleplaying games every week with a bunch of geeks in high school. I was one of three girls who went (two of us regularly); there were about seven or eight guys. I miss those innocent days. We drank coke, ate pizza, played games, went to the movies...no sex or alcohol 'cause we were geeks, remember? haha!
20) I still keep in touch with every last one of those people.
21) For some unknowable reason, I can tell just about anyone any detail of my sex life he or she would want to know and not get embarrassed, but I get tongue tied when I try to explain my religious beliefs.
22) I can't dance, but I do it anyway.
23) Ditto for singing.
24) I can't draw. When I look at things like...well, like Hof's drawings...I'm amazed. I have pictures in my head but when I try to put them on paper, they crumble.
25) I have tried to play musical instruments in my life, and nothing has really worked. I tried piano and the hammered dulcimer. I loved the hammered dulcimer because I could screw up and it still sounded great...haha!
26) Sometimes I fear failure so much that I stumble all over myself and make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
27) I started reading when I was three years old. It happened spontaneously. One day I couldn't read; the next day I could.
28) When I was four, I moved up to Reader's Digest and whatever was around the house. Apparently by the end of my fourth year, I was reading at a 12th grade level. I stare at my four year old run around my house and I think, what a freak I was. Well, still am.
29) Also when I was four, my mom was talking about the concept of reincarnation around me with a friend of hers. I listened to every word and then cried myself to sleep that night because I couldn't "remember" what I was nor could I enjoy the idea of not being able, next life, to not "remember" this life. We're back to: what kind of freaky four year old ponders that shit? haha!
30) I got into the Oz books when I was five. My sister's boyfriend told me, at age seven, that if I really wanted to read some good 'out there' stuff I needed to read HG Wells. He brought over War of the Worlds, Invisible Man, The Time Machine, and Food of the Gods. I read them all voraciously. Food of the Gods scarred me for life. When I stare at my seven year old who reads age appropriate books, I wonder what it would have been like to have normal experiences as a child.
31) But instead I didn't have but a friend or two sporatically in my life until I was ten. I wasn't antisocial; kids my age just didn't get me until I got older and so did they. I ended up hanging out at the adult table at parties my parents threw.
32) I started out life with blonde hair. Go figure. By 5 or 6 it was gone.
33) I am the youngest of four kids...by far. Next youngest is five years older than me.
34) My mom had three miscarriages between #3 and me. They wanted five children. Why? Catholic. Need I say more?
35) Because of the three miscarriages, I counted for four babies. Yes, I was spoiled.
36) I was raised in Tampa, Florida.
37) I graduated from Duke at 20 (young and confused) and then did temp work there because...I had no idea what I wanted to do out of life and hadn't figured it out yet.
38) Then I thought I'd try being a veterinarian and went back to school to take science and math courses.
39) This did not work out as I didn't like the animals dying. I still love animals a lot, though.
40) My daughter almost died when she was in my belly and I was in labor, and I had to have an emergency c-section.
41) Guilty confession: sometimes I stare at my kids or at Alex while they sleep because they look so angelic and wonderful.
42) Worse than that: sometimes I grope Alex in his sleep just to get him to 'react.' That was probably TMI.
43) Once, I cried at my ex because he wouldn't go for a fifth time that day and I thought that meant he found me unattractive. Needless to say, that was at the beginning of our relationship. TMI again? I told you I don't have a social filter.
44) I've never been longer than two weeks without a date since I turned 16.
45) I think that's a really, really bad thing.
46) I can't stand weak people. Especially weak women who faint and can't take care of themselves without a man in their lives.
47) I have a bad temper that I spend time restraining.
48) I have minimal patience.
49) I have more patience now that I have children....it used to be NO patience.
50) I was allergic to milk as a young child and was glad to get over it, but the end result is that I just don't drink milk straight up. Reminds me of vomiting I guess.
51) I don't diet.
52) I hate talking on the phone.
53) However, once on the phone reluctantly...I talk for hours.
54) I started writing my first story when I was 9. It was a story about how my mom fought off bad guys and rescued her family...my mother's day present to her.
55) For an impatient, strong-willed, tempermental woman...I sure as hell do have a damned soft heart.
56) I don't care what People On The Whole think.
57) But I care a lot about what those I love think.
58) I had braces when I was 13.
59) I never wore my retainer when I had them pulled off.
60) Hence, I could probably use braces again as I have a crossbite.
61) And I've embarrassed my dad by not wearing the retainer and having a relapse because...he's a retired dentist. Woops. Sorry dad!
62) I don't like pastels.
63) I only had three wisdom teeth. Never had a fourth one. Had to have those three removed because--contrary to popular belief--I have a small mouth.
64) I used to have an inverted left nipple that would only pop out if coaxed. Ariana breastfeeding fixed it. TMI again?
65) By the time that I met Amanda, I had decided there were no cool people in the upstate. She fixed it, and then introduced me to Angie and I realized...there are cool people here but I just have to HUNT for 'em...haha!
66) I love teaching because of the students.
67) Pay sucks though.
68) And dealing with rules always sucks at any job.
69) January 31, 2006 I will be old enough to run for president.
70) I believe I'm an amazing improvement over the current one we've got, so please vote for me.
71) I want to keep Alex forever and have another baby with him.
72) I have a C section scar across my abdomen. It's numb for about half an inch on either side of the scar, permanently.
73) And I have a freckle on my ass. My grandma used to sing to me when I bathed, "She's got a freckle on her but(t) I love her still!"
74) I don't regret my relationship with my ex. I got two great children and a HELL of a lot of writing ideas out of it...haha!
75) I am the most sarcastic optimist you will ever meet.
76) In fact, my Brit friend Gav told me I was too sarcastic for an American, and so he dubbed me an honorary Brit.
77) I annoy all my friends by making them be the ones to initiate contact with me. I have no idea why I'm like that.
78) But I try to make up for it by loving them to pieces when they DO contact me.
79) I'm really good and sensible with money. I can have practically no money and survive.
80) If I had to list off my talents, it would be: I am smart, I can cook really well, and uhhh...well, that's it. Haha!
81) Although if having a huge, soft, gushy heart is a talent, I've got one of those too.
82) I want to pretend I am bitter and realistic and all, but....the truth of the matter is, I made a decent social worker because I believe in the potential of people.
83) You have no idea how I wince to admit that I see good in nearly everyone.
84) I have a huge nurturing streak.
85) And I'm very protective of those I love. You should have seen the trail of bodies I left behind once when one of my foster kids had his wisdom teeth pulled and they wouldn't give him ice for the swelling nor his pain medication because he was in a DJJ facility *grins evilly* He got his ice. He got his pain medication.
86) At 5'2", I'm the tallest woman in my family. Scary!
87) I never have to worry about dating a man shorter than me unless I look for my men in the circus.
88) Another piece of info that crosses the sharing boundaries: I am so strong willed and dominant all the time that I prefer to be a sub in the bedroom :)
89) If I had to name my top three things to purchase with money, it would be vacations (I love to travel), good food, and books.
90) I have no fashion sense. If you like what I'm wearing, chances are good my sister picked it out for me. Or Alex.
91) I chop off my hair every two years for the Locks of Love program--wigs made of real hair for children cancer patients who lost their hair due to chemo. Great cause, that.
92) I'm due for another ten inches removed in September.
93) It's still long after ten inches going away...and then it takes two years to grow ten more inches.
94) I really thought that my experiences with men rendered me useless as far as love went.
95) Alex showed me that was a mistaken thought.
96) I know I spend too much time on the computer.
97) I have chronic back pains that seem to go away when Alex is around because he gives me nightly massages with special oil.
98) I got the pulled back in '92 when I lifted a pull out bed sofa after an adrenaline rush in order to save a cat who was stuck up in it. My back popped when I put the sofa down.
99) I used to have a 21 inch waist when I was in college. Children fixed that.
100) I am a total water baby and always have been. My childhood house was on a lake. My dream house is also on a lake one day so I can "return" to the water. I swim like a fish and once had my lifesaving certificate through the Red Cross.

Ok, that was enough fun.