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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!

Friday, June 30, 2006

I'm Back, I'm Better than Ever, and I Have a Chainsaw!

Ok, never mind. I don't have a chainsaw.

After a long haul back up from Tampa to the upstate of SC, here we are! The kids are asleep right now and my cat is begging for food. It's 5a, and for some reason I fell asleep but then woke up and can't get back asleep. Oh well.

I remember a while back that NWJR mentioned how people set up paypal buttons or donation things all the time on their sites. Although he directed his readers towards a more worthy place to donate online, I, however, am shooting for unworthy. After two very long trips in the car with no cd/radio/clock working--and having no music to listen to and no way of telling the time--I think I'll set one up so random strangers can buy me a new one. No? You don't think it will work? Rats! Oh well. I guess I'll have to buy a watch and continue to sing random songs in the car. Still, I never realized how much of a spoiling thing it was to have a clock/radio in the car until mine died. I never owned a car wherein the music source died before. This is a new one on me. I've already made several trips to Columbia with the broken thing, but two hours vs. eleven hours in the car with no music/clock is QUITE a difference.

Next chaotic thought: Alex is in France eating fantastic cheese, chocolate, and bread, plus drinking great French wine. This is not fair. I should be there with him *throws tantrum on floor*. Oh well. We've had a rough couple of weeks, folks, and it's too long of a story to duplicate, but let's just say that it was only at the very last minute that he was given his I-20 so he could have his student visa to start up school next Wednesday, and for a while there was a real and present danger that he was NOT going to be able to continue at USC this year. My stomach lining is gone. I'm not being dramatic there...something really IS messed up there because whenever I've been stressed the last couple of weeks, I get really bad stomach pains. Pepto bismal is my friend. Nasty tasting shit, though. Oh well. Once he returns to the states and he does so alive next Tuesday, I'll be able to calm down...well, unless it's actually an ulcer. My mom, cheerful woman that she is, suggested strongly that I might have one. NO. I refuse. I know at least that ulcers are curable with an antibiotic, but whenever I'm placed on an antibiotic, I have a bad reaction to it. So, no. That's not what it is. I am plugging my ears. I cannot hear you. La la la la la!

Next chaotic switch: I have a nasty carpet burn. I am a very bad liar. These two thoughts are related, I swear. See, my mom does NOT want to know anything at all about my sex life with Alex because she would like to pretend that we're not having sex until we're married. Being engaged hasn't changed her opinion on that one at all; she just prefers to pretend and live in her happy Catholic world wherein all are virgins until marriage (a hard one for me to fake at this point with two children, you know?). I try not to destroy her reality at all. But, this vacation she kept asking me where I got this horrible wound from, and I kept evading...poorly. I couldn't even begin to think of a lie that would work, and even if I did, well, one of the main reasons I don't lie is that I'm crap at it. Nobody would believe me. I LIVE all my emotions out on my face! I just don't think she wants to hear, "Oh I received both my carpet burns...one is just not as bad as the other, you see...from wild dog sex on the carpet in front of the TV at Alex's place. Don't worry. The kids weren't there to see it." No, no, no. I am certain she doesn't want this answer. But now that I'm home, I don't have to answer that question anymore. Whew!

So, what's on the agenda this weekend? The ex gets the kids, so I'm going to do the following: drink alcohol with Chuck, eat good food, read books, write more (I can't believe I'm writing steadily right now...how the hell did that happen?), sleep more, and um....ok, more wine. Yeah. I'll miss sitting down and watching Emeril Live with Ariana tonight. We've developed that into a ritual over the last few weeks. I rarely turn on the TV as I prefer the computer, but she likes to watch TV with me because we can snuggle and talk about the show together. She figured I couldn't resist this one...smart girl! Usually she asks me to replicate whatever dessert he's making, but she has no interest in trying the OTHER foods. I still have as a goal in my life to eat at every Emeril's restaurant out there. The closest one to me is in Atlanta, and ironically that's not one of the ones I've eaten at so far. Still! It's next on the list!

All right, I think I'll try and get some sleep now. Let's hope it works. First I'd better feed this cat or he won't let me try to sleep....

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Just Checkin' In

In entertainment news, Mickey Roarke suddenly declined to reprise his role as Marv, causing studios to scramble for a hasty replacement.

(Ok, sorry, Grant made me do that! haha!)

That picture is my dear Ariana in Grant's coat. She thought it was so ultimately cool that she had to try it on too. It's twice as big and twice as heavy as she is, for the record!

On the way down to Tampa, we stopped and saw Grant in Atlanta. He always talks and talks and talks about a specific Japanese restaurant on his blog all the time. It appears that he actually lives there. Well, he took us there and I have to say...it's all he claims it is! I had some of the better sushi I've ever had there, and truly, it was a bargain price-wise too. I loved meeting him, and Alex and I will definitely return sometime to pester him in the future. In fact, I think that's why he let us escape his lair this time: he's lulling us into a false sense of complacency so that we will be unsuspecting when we next visit! It's partially his fault we were late when we arrived in Tampa. I didn't want to stop talking to him, and the kids and the cat were playing happily in his bachelor pad. The other part of the reason we arrived late was IT WAS FRICKIN' ATLANTA! My god. Accidents on I-75 kept us going at less than 5 mph for way too long, adding on a chunk of time to the journey. I thought we would get there between 9 and 10p; we ended up arriving at 1130p. Oh well. We surivived!

I've had lots of good food so far, and I was happy to hang out with Lee, Rob, and Madella yesterday while mom and dad did grandparent things with the kids. Yes, we miss Alex, but we're still having a great time! Another reason to love Lee: she referenced me as "skinny" once yesterday. Aw hell I'm not, but I love her for saying it :) haha!

One of the things that is sort of brooding on my mind now is a situation that I don't remember creating nor desiring. What do you do when every one of your high school buddies is aware--way more than you are--that a mutual friend STILL has something for you and still carries something for you in his heart? He's married, he has children, but his wife still feels threatened by me...and something I have never noticed (HAH! Remember, I only notice if a man is hitting on me or interested if he strips nude and gyrates on my hips asking me to do him)...he apparently reacts strongly to my presence. I was sitting there protesting to them and saying I didn't DO anything to encourage that, and they all reassured me that they knew it was fact, but...still the situation exists. When I pointed out how happy I am with Alex, and that alone should make the wife not feel threatened, I was told the obvious that my dumb head didn't understand: what woman wants to share space in her husband's heart with another woman? Ok, yeah, I guess so. Sigh.

I don't want you to think I have low self-esteem. I don't. I think I'm pretty ok. However, I do NOT understand how a guy can be interested in me for so long. All right, I'm cool. But I'm not THAT great! Why on Earth would a guy still find me interesting after really getting to know me like that and knowing me for decades? I'm a pain in the ass! I just happen to be the RIGHT type of pain in the ass to make Alex happy is all...haha!

Lee's coming over for dinner and she's bought my favorite Gigondas in the whole wide world for us to drink. I can't wait! Lee also wants to take me to a sushi restaurant this week, and I think I'll be eating at one when I get back and have dinner with Chuck. It's probably the most sushi I've had in this short of a time, but I could honestly eat it every day, so that's fine! We have plans to go to the beach with the kids one day too, and mom wants to take me shopping. Translation: mom thinks my wardrobe is sadly lacking and wants to purchase stuff for me. Who am I to stop her?

Ok, so to finish things off, here's a couple of lines somebody sent me in an email today:

Embarrassing my children: just one more service I offer.

I'm not fluent in idiot, so speak slowly and clearly.

My parents said I could be anything I wanted, so I became an asshole.

Rehab is for quitters!

I'm not an alcoholic; I'm a drunk! Alcoholics go to meetings.

...aaaand now I'm off to snack on some of this great dip my mom made. I get my love of food from her. She's always making something yummy. This is a great vacation!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Going to Florida!

Well, tomorrow I head off to Tampa for a week. I'm driving down with two kids and a cat in my car. Pity me. However, once I arrive, I will be planted firmly in the Land of Spoiled Rotten, so that will rock! My mom will end up making a lot of my childhood favorite foods (she's a fantastic cook), my dad will end up paying for stuff that I need, and the kids will get to do things like go to the beach while having a set of extra adults to entertain them so it actually feels like a pleasant trip for me too. Alex won't be coming along because he has to leave to go to France to get his visa restamped. We didn't want him to go to France right now due to the expense, but even though he has a student visa that is good until 2009, he has to LEAVE THE COUNTRY and then re-enter from France to get his old internship visa off and his student visa re-stamped. No, he can't simply go down to some gov't agency with all the right paperwork here and SAVE $1300 by not having to go to France! Oh no. No no no. THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE! He must fly out and fly back in. Well, since he has to go back anyway, he might as well stay a week and visit family and friends...get a few things straight with his school and with the wedding...and purchase wine and chocolates for me :P I wish we could all go with him, but that was not in the cards (the cards are actually my bank account, you see).

I was born and raised in Tampa. I spent the first 17 yrs of my life there before I headed off to NC to go to Duke. I used to live in a suburb that was very nice and on the outskirts of town; now it's part of town. Tampa is SO much bigger now than it was when I was a child. We used to live on Lake Carroll, and I was raised swimming, boating, and waterskiing my summers away. There was always something soothing about waking up and seeing the lake look like a smooth mirror, not a ripple anywhere as it was too early for anybody but maybe a fisherman out on a small boat somewhere on the lake. My brother Mark taught me how to fish, and I used to go fishing on that lake for largemouth bass all the time. He also taught me how to clean his fish, and I often got suckered into cleaning his catch. I have fond memories of my childhood house, too.

The house I was raised in was one of the most unique houses you will ever see, both inside and out. The architect who built our house was a new guy who impressed my dad. My dad, in a rare moment of creativity, told him, well, we have three kids...we're going to have one more...and I want a place to stick my office desk. Go for it. The fellow sure did go for it, and what he created was something very unique for the late 60's. In fact, the house ended up being photographed for a national magazine and the fellow ended up designing part of the Tampa Airport and the governor's house. He was so talented! He ended up living a couple of blocks away from our house, and I used to ride my bike past his house all the time. It was done in that same very unique, modern style that he did so well. I wish I had a scanner so I could put up a picture of my house so you could see what I meant! Anyway, I always tease my family that the reason why I'm so different from them is...THAT HOUSE! It corrupted my soul with its uniqueness :) I miss that old house. My parents sold it my freshman year. It was a big house meant to raise four children, and with me--the youngest--going off to college, they wanted to get a townhouse which would be so much easier to take care of and much smaller. They're still in that townhouse, and that's where we'll stay when we are down there.

Some of the things I remember about childhood have now come to South Carolina. For instance, Publix is a Florida based grocery store chain. When I first went to graduate school at USC in Columbia, there weren't any Publixes there. A year or two later, the first one appeared. When I moved to Greenville, the first Publix opened up there the month after I arrived. Now there are tons of Publixes around here, and I for one am glad because I love that place. Many items and stores I once could only find in Tampa are now available up here, much to my delight. However, there is one thing that Florida has that SC does not have right now:

A real Cuban sandwich.

A real Cuban sandwich has pulled pork on it...oh yummmmm. I'm going to gorge on good Cubano food while I'm there. I love fried plantains too. Well, ok, I haven't ever tried Cuban food I didn't like, so you can assume I'll keep eating until I am about to burst!

It'll be fun to see some of my friends again, too. Mom and dad have already invited Lee over to the house for dinner one night as they view her as another child in some ways. Lee and I used to hang out so much when I lived in Tampa that she might as well have been my sister. Hmmm. No wait. She treats me much better than my sister treats me. Ok, she's a sister PLUS. How's that? I had told Lee recently about how much I was enjoying reading up on wine, and that I was thinking if I kept reading and sharpened my palate, I could take the Certified Wine Educator test and maybe end up teaching folks about wine for a living one day. In typical Lee fashion, she responded:

You'd be awesome at that! You need to build up your tolerance for alcohol. What fun. I can be your drinking buddy!

I just chuckled when I read that. See, Lee is NOT an optimist. She is NOT one of those feel-good happy people who looks for the best in every situation. That's MY role in our relationship...haha! But when it comes to me, she can be genuinely happy for me, encouraging, and enthusiastic. It's moments like that when I realize how much I miss her. I know my friends up here would like her too, so maybe I should just force her to move up here!

Anyway, the kids are looking forward to the trip and so am I. The drive up and down will suck save for one detour we'll get to make, but the trip itself should be wonderful. OH! And as further incentive for Thursday night arrival, dad says if I'm a good girl and arrive around 9 or so, he'll have SAVED ME the last glass of the bottle they are opening up Thursday for his birthday...a '95 St. Julien Bordeaux that is worth more than I am. OH MAN! I can't wait!

(I have no idea if I'll blog at all while I'm down there. Now that dad got DSL, I think I probably will be on the net here and there, but I can't predict!)

Seeya, guys!

EDIT: ok, I have to say that, once again, Alex proves why we're cloning him! Haha! I just received a dozen roses and a note. WHY did he send me roses today? Because on today, four years ago, he met me for the very first time, just as friends back then. Thanks, sweetheart. You really ARE perfect for me...and more patient than any person should be, too!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Dreaming, Dreaming

I find it ironic that ever since my sister had told me angrily that I had no original thoughts ever that all I've been doing is dreaming, dreaming, and dreaming some more. The snippets I remember are assembling into a story. I try and scribble down notes when I just wake up if I can recall the important parts, and everything is starting to come together. I haven't written fiction in a while. Believe me, nobody will laugh harder than me if I end up with a book out of all of this!

I guess I have a little bit of Angie disease. Angie disease is when somebody tells you that you CANNOT DO SOMETHING, and that makes you decide you're going to do it or die trying. I've noticed that she's mentioned several times in her life somebody critical telling her there's no way she can accomplish X or Y, and that just fuels her on to do it. I'm betting that later on it will be revealed that the REAL reason she passed statistics is that somebody told her she couldn't...haha! Anyway, I guess a part of me feels like saying "fuck you, thanks!" to that idea that I am not creative. My subconscious agrees anyway.

My dreams have always been a critical part of my life experience. I know some people never remember their dreams; some people remember their dreams only on occasion, but then the dreams don't make sense. Nearly all of my dreams have something important to them. Sometimes they are the proof that my mind is continuing to work on problems as I sleep. Sometimes I really believe I'm tapping into something outside of me. I have thought about elaborating on that one, but it's a rather personal thing for me. Believe me, if one of THOSE dreams end up being related to you, I'll tell you. They don't happen too often, but I am at least able to wake up and go, ah, yes, I need to pass that one on. The main way that my dreams seem to function for me is as a creative outlet. I distinctly remember since about 13 yrs of age having dreams that were definite tales, stories unfolding in front of my very eyes. I have even had pages turning as part of the dream: introduction, chapter 1, chapter 2, prologue...no, really, as the plot unfolded, each new section was that clearly separated out. I have notebooks full of scribbly notes on those stories, and some of them I've written out and shoved under my bed. Others still wait to be written. I may never get published, but I enjoy doing this for the sake of doing it when it happens, so it's ok.

I don't want to lie to you though. I HAVE had completely perplexing, wierd-ass dreams that seem to have no purpose (for instance, the Amanda Elf Machine dream I blogged about probably a year ago). It's not like everything I remember is either important or a story. However, I find that most nights I remember something...and most nights it is another piece of a puzzle in a bigger picture, either fiction or non-fiction.

I like my dreams. I like having dreams. It is my reminder that...how do I put this? I guess it's my reminder that I'm tied to something bigger and broader and more abstract than just this body. Yeah, ok, well...that made sense to me!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Yes, I Am Strange

I never really worried in high school about what the other kids thought of me. I had good friends, and those who didn't bother to get to know me yet judged me could go to hell. I laughed, I had a great time, and that was all that mattered. However, because I loved geeky things and never tempered my behavior to suit peer pressure, I soon had a reputation as being the "freak" of the class. I really didn't mind.

My second semester, Freshman year, I started a new religion class. It was an all girls' Catholic school, you see, and every semester we had a new religion class. In this classroom, students had assigned seating. The teacher figured that would cut down on talking and notepassing.

I was sat next to a gal in the class, Michelle, who was one of the "popular" crowd. She was HORRIFIED--and I mean truly just horrified--to see that I was her assigned table partner. There were two kids to each little table, and there I was in all my freaky glory. I figured we'd just ignore each other and life would be fine. Oh no. Nope. That wasn't enough for Michelle.

As class started, she angrily started whispering to me about what a freak I was, how nobody in her right mind wanted to be anywhere near me, how nobody liked me because I was so strange, etc, etc. The damn bitch just wouldn't shut up. I suppose it bothered me for like, I dunno, five seconds. Then I grinned. Why? Because I can be 100% evil, that's why!

I started mooing under my breath. Softly. Just low enough so she could hear.

Michelle stared at me. She whispered at me, what the hell are you doing?

I'm a cow, Michelle, I whispered back. I'm a reincarnated cow. I have fond memories of chewing on my cud, in a green grassy field, and it was peace, and lovely. I wish I could go back...but since I can't, I just moo. Then I mooed more.

She started screaming, leaping out of her chair, and yelling, "YOU ARE A FREAK!!!"

The teacher scolded her. She got in trouble big time, and she got moved to her own little isolated island on the other end of the classroom. I, on the other hand, got my own table...SCORE! And I tried hard not to laugh to give it away. My friends thought it was hilarious.

I really DO believe that when one lives one's life as one feels one should, it all works out in the end. My junior year in high school, I was in another religion class and Michelle sat next to me (but in a separate seat...this classroom had single seat desks). The teacher said something, and I fired off some typically wild and crazy Kira idea, and the whole class laughed, Michelle included. Suddenly a note slid onto my desk as the teacher turned, shaking her head. I looked up at Michelle, curious. She just grinned at me, and the smile was genuine. Huh? I opened up the note. I think I still have it somewhere, actually. This is what it said:

Kira---you know what? You really ARE crazy, but I love you for it. You're great! Stay the way you are!

Oddly, after that point? We were friends. I made a few more friends out of the popular set too by the time my senior year rolled around. Not all of them...just some. Still, whenever I think that people are viewing me as plain nuts for doing whatever it is I am doing, I remind myself of this incident, and then remember: in the end, it usually turns out OK!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Oh yeah. I'm blogging under the influence for sure. It's so worth it.

This crappy week is over. Although Jared is still having his tummy problems, he seems to be getting better. That's the important part. I had to force myself to hand him (and Ari) over to their dad this weekend because I just don't see my ex as being able to take care of the kids when they are really not feeling well. HE doesn't either. In fact, he's often told me that he feels I'm the best for taking care of the kids when they are sick. That COULD be that he doesn't want to deal with them when they are sick, but in actuality I think it means he knows I just have a good nurturing spirit for the kids when they don't feel well. I was a sickly child myself; I have experience in what makes things "all better." Anyway, he'd call me if something went wonky, so I have to have faith that Jared is continuing to feel better.

Things won't ever be the same with my sister. Of course I still love her, but I think the most cutting thing she said to me during our exchanges was that I "never have an original thought." For all of you who write for pleasure (not just blogging), you'll know how crippling that kind of opinion can be from somebody you love and respect. I'll live. And maybe, just maybe, one day I'll get something published...and dedicate it to my sister who thought that I never had an original thought ;) In many ways I feel sorry for her. As much as she forgot the fundamental rule of debating and fighting with those you love ("what is said cannot be unsaid"), she just doesn't have the level of support, happiness, and joy in her life that I do mine. I think that's what makes her lash out. I see it...like a disembodied soul, staring over her as she fusses in her home in Texas. I see it, and it makes me understand and forgive. Forget? No. But I love her, and that's that.

Here's the important part, folks, and it's the part I need you to remember:

Just because somebody whom you love and respect feels you are one way, DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE. Only you know what you are. Only you live in that body, with that soul, with that mind. So go and do what you need to do. The end.

Ok, now for the fun stuff!

There is a fantastic Mediterranean Tapas and Wine Bar in Columbia, SC. Alex took me there tonight. My god, the food is terrific...let me see if I can dish up their link....

Gervais And Vine

That's where I became intoxicated. Alex drove home, obviously...haha! We had this fab bordeaux, a young one, a cab/merlot blend, 2003, yummy for being so young. I can't remember more because I'm still ripped. Oh well. He had one glass. I finished off the bottle. WEEEEE! We had so many yummy little tapas dishes...oh yeah! I love this place. We've been about three times in the last year. We'd go more, but it's not cheap. Usually we think of going when the kids are with the ex.

There are a thousand reasons I love Alex. This weekend is only one of many. See, he knew I had a rough couple of days. He KNEW I felt just...crappy. The way Alex thinks is, Kira is having a bad time. It is my duty to make her feel better! So, he has done all sorts of amazing things since I arrived Friday night. Last night, a couple of hours of sex and massage was how he started out my entrance to his domicile, coupled with some very tasty wine. When I'm feeling badly, Alex likes to do things like give me a bubble bath...give me an air pillow for my head...serve me wine...wash my hair, wash me...put my towel in the dryer so it is warm when I get out of the tub...pull me out of the tub when I'm ready and dry me off with a deliciously warm towel. He massages me, and he gives me lots of sex. Ok, so I realize this is WAY more info than a lot of you want about me....too bad. I can't imagine a better stress reliever than sex. Seriously.

Most of the time, I don't feel like I'm the kind of gal who needs attention. I just realized recently the main reason I don't feel that way is that ALEX GIVES ME so much attention I hardly need it from another source. He understands when I need space and gives it to me; he understands when I need HIM and he gives me all he's got.

Please also understand: I'm amazed at finding this at my age. I'm the kind of person who just spits out what's on her mind, so believe me...if Alex annoyed me or pissed me off, you'd hear it here instantly. He reads this blog, but it doesn't make me clip off any part of what I'm feeling. I'm a bitch that way. Or maybe I'm direct that way. You choose. I don't care. When things fell apart with my ex, everybody who bothered to talk to me heard my pain long before I moved out. I don't WANT to make things seem good when they are not. If they're not good, you'll hear it. If they are good, you'll hear it. Folks? IT'S GREAT!!!! And I wish for ALL of you to be just this happy. I really do.

He told me before I came up this weekend that the weekend was all about spoiling Kira and making her feel better. He's totally succeeded. I can't be more grateful. Good food. Good sex. Massage. Pampering. Ahhhhh!

And on my final note!

There is a gal Alex and I met on the net long ago and talked to for a while. She is the type to "one up" another person if she can, and that doesn't tend to impress us or our value system. We're the types to dance for joy for you if your life is going well, and YOUR life going well makes ours just that much better. We don't need to prove our lives are better than yours. Well, this gal...she needs that. I don't know why. Anyway, she popped on tonight to chat with Alex for the first time in like a year. It became apparent that she wanted to hear that Alex and I had broken up, and when she learned we didn't, she went on and on about how fantastic her career was, how much her boyfriend was a god in bed, how great her family was, and how PERFECT her life was. Her life was the platonic ideal of human existance, and my god weren't we jealous? I chuckled about that for a while afterwards. What's the point of that? Why is it so important for her to insist that her life is the best ever and we should wish to have it? I don't want her life, you see. I want *MY* life. My life has faults, flaws, and unhappiness...which makes the contrast of my joy and rapture that much stronger. I couldn't be happier with my life just as it is. I don't WANT people to think my life is perfect; it's not. I want people to think my life is GOOD despite problems and bliss, both ends of the spectrum. AND IT IS!

Ok, now after the wine at dinner and working on this dessert wine (a Rhone dessert wine, a Muscat...bah, I'm not going to read the lable to tell you, but I can say it's tasty as shit!), I will go and sign off. I have a man who has been too good to me who needs to be rewarded. We'll ignore the part wherein his reward is also good for me, ok? :) Take care guys! Love you all! WOOHOO!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Really, Nothing Else Needs To Be Said About Today....

Yes, it's been that kind of day. Seriously.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fighting With Those You Love

Right now, I'm brooding because of a fuss my sister and I have had over the last couple of days. I'd rather not go into the details of it because it flusters me too much; however, it's made me think about how painful it is to have somebody's opinion matter to you. See, on the whole, a stranger, an acquaintance, a person who hasn't bothered to get to know me before listening to other's opinions of me to make a judgment....they can go to hell :) I really am able to blow off about 99.9% of planet Earth's feelings on me and my actions. If *I*, Kira, manage to do the best I can that day and try very hard to do the right thing, then I win. The people who know me best and love me best know that I try always to do what I can, and so they cut me slack when I screw up as humans are wont to do. The end.

The downside of this attitude, though, is that those I let come closest to me have a HUGE importance to me as far as how they view me. These people know me and love me, and therefore when they tell me I have a problem or I'm wrong, I tend to listen. Sometimes they're right, and I need to apologize and fix it. Sometimes, however, I'm mystified on how to fix it when I'm not sure WHAT I did wrong. I'm sort of in that quandary right now.

My sister and I disagree on a variety of issues because we are very different temperamentally. She's a ballet instructor and a former electrical engineer; I'm a lazy slack ass English instructor. I like geek stuff; she doesn't understand it. But we always had a mutual respect and love for one another despite--sometimes because of--our differences. My sis and my mom have never gotten along, and oftentimes I stand between them and mediate. She trusts me to do that because she knows how I feel about her. Ditto for mom. Lucky me for being in the middle...haha!

Anyway, when my sis exploded at me over this particular issue, she flat out told me that she was unwilling to look at other information on the topic PERIOD. She knew what she believed, and obviously anybody who believed otherwise was an unreliable source. Since I have looked at these other sources, I am gullible and do not understand that some sources are not credible...wow. My sister is nine years older than me, and sometimes she treats me more like a daughter than a sister. I feel almost like this is one of those situations, you know? It makes me think of A Few Good Men...."You can't HANDLE the truth!" I'm at a loss. I just have to drop it...and I have. That's the best way to continue on with our relationship. I drop it. I pretend it never happened. But it's hard to ignore that on June 6, 2006, I finally realized that my sister views me as a naive little girl who needs to be protected from her own innocence and gullibility. I think the word "ouch" fits here, as I've never even thought myself remotely like that (nor have ever had anybody else in my 36 yrs view me in this way).

I suppose in the midst of my brooding, I wonder about the nature of reality. Bear with me in my geek reference here. There was a Star Trek: Next Gen episode wherein an incident occured and several people were involved. As each one testified about supposedly the SAME few days, each person gave such a different view from the other that it was like reality had shifted and each one was telling of what happened on an alternate universe. NO ONE had the same vision of what happened. In the end, the judging of the event took place by assembling the pieces of the versions each person told, to reveal the truth of what happened. Only through these unique perceptions on the same event could the truth unravel. No one had it right all on his or her own as each one had his or her own priorities and feelings that interfered with the senses as they gathered up what happened.

When I went through marriage counseling with my ex, the counselor spoke of a childhood filter. She said that how we were treated as children is how we filter the world, and the more abused the child, the thicker the filter. She said being aware of the filter helps a lot, but that it can never go away because we ALL absorb things based on how we've experienced the world in the past. There were times that I told a very different version of an argument than my ex did, and looking at either of us in the eye would show we BOTH really believed our version: we both thought the other was being stubborn for not seeing it quite the way we did. It made me feel crazy. My only consolation is that the two times the ex and I had a big fight when there were adult witnesses, the witnesses seemed to see a vision of reality closer to mine than his. It was almost a relief to hear their versions...like somehow this made me LESS crazy than before.

What does one do when somebody one loves has a totally different take on reality than you do? I guess it always has to depend on the specific situation, but regardless it leaves me questioning myself and what I saw or remember every single time. And so, that's where I am right now!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Vin et fromage et pain...the holy trinity!

So on Friday night, I drove back to my place with Alex and the kids. It was the first time Alex has been back to the apartment in a while...since I think we went to the Clemson/Duke football game with Amanda and Angie, actually! Every weekend or time off we've either gone to visit folks or I've gone down to Columbia, so he's just not been back up this way for a while. The kids were supposed to see their father Friday night and Saturday night, with us picking them up on Sunday night, but my ex (long story) decided it was best for Saturday morning and Sunday evening for the trade off times.

After dropping off the children at 9a, we decided to plot out a day of hedonism. We settled on lunch at a nice seafood place (Flat Rock...it's a chain, but there's only something like six of them so likely most of you guys have never heard of it), a movie (X-men 3, which we both enjoyed...that was a pleasant surprise since the director changed), then a stop at Total Wine and More (finest wine chain I have access to! Great place!), plus a stop at Whole Foods. Greenville has only recently opened up a Whole Foods, and I'm glad since they needed a place that has good cheese to replace the Earth Fare that closed.

I have finally read enough about wines to be able to not embarrass myself in front of a wine expert. In fact, depending on if the wine expert is very familiar with French wines, I have a chance of knowing more. That pleases me immensely. For instance, the wine person at Whole Foods yesterday who was setting out a sample of a white wine and a red wine for everybody was chatty and friendly. She knew a hell of a lot more than me, but not about Rhone wines! She tried to tell me that the spanish wine tasted like a Rhone wine...and I corrected her after tasting it that it was more like a SOUTHERN Rhone wine, not northern, because there wasn't a hint of syrah/shiraz grape in there...nor that pleasant spiciness and boldness that the Northern Rhones tend to get due to the fermenting of the grapes WITH the stems and such. It was vaguely similar to a southern Rhone, though, mostly because it was a single varietal wine with that grape being Grenache, which is a major grape used in the Southern Rhone and...ok, I've bored you all. Never mind. Let's just say that afterwards I just was very, very excited that I could contribute to a wine conversation!

Most of the wine we picked up, we picked up at Total Wine and More. I decided that I'm going to work on my phobia over pink wines. My entire phobia over pink wines is the whole "it's Boone's Farm! It's a white zinfandel!" thing. I don't like sweet wines unless it's a dessert wine (I like a nice sauterne, for instance). But, of course there are dry rose wines...I just haven't tried any. We purchased one at the recommendation of the wine guy at Total Wine, and it's in the refrigerator ready to go now. Summer is the time to drink rose anyway. It's as good of a time as any to get over my phobia!

Whole Foods is a tremendous grocery store. It's basically Kira heaven. There is WHOLE FRESH DUCK there...WHOLE GUINEA FOWL too!!!! WOW! Alex nearly died as duck and guinea fowl--common in France, but hard to find here--are two of his favorites. They had a fabulous cheese selection, and we splurged on four cheeses (three of which actually matched well the wine we were drinking, but the fourth--although excellent--interfered with the wine's taste and had to be eaten seperately). They also had a great bakery!!!! Oh yeah! We brought home a baguette, plus two chocolate goodies.

I am definitely a glutton. If my metabolism weren't so good, I would weigh 200 lbs or more easily. I can't stand to not savor good food every day of my life. I tell you true: good lunch, enjoyable movie, wine and cheese shopping, then home to enjoy the wine, cheese, chocolate, and bread...oh yeah. Heaven. That really is heaven.

If I ever get to a point in my life wherein I'm comfortable with money, I'm going to shop at Whole Foods a LOT. Total Wine and More and Whole Foods are conveniently located across from each other...mmmmm...too much temptation in one location! Hedonism: it's not just for breakfast anymore!