Monthly Archives: June 2011

As it should be…

As we all know, I forget to eat.  I do.  I’m a bad person for not taking better care of myself, but when I’m working, I totally forget to stop to eat.  So today, I wanted to switch gears and make sure I ate (and had leftovers to spare).

Today was fun, I worked a lot, which is consisting of a LOT of writing about MMOG’s, MMOW’s, and MMOE’s.  Ok, for those of you who aren’t into the online world genre, a MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online…in which case the “G” stands for game, the “W” stands for world, and the “E” stands for environment.  It’s a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo, so just be glad I’m in my own little world having to write about all of it, and trust me, I don’t want to go into it any more than that because I’ll barf if I talk about it anymore today.  Think about it this way, when you leave work, do you really want to talk about it more?  Um, that would be NO.

But, after I finally came to a stopping place in my work, I realized that my cupboards were bare and I needed to grocery shop.  So, like a good girl, I had already been compiling my list as I was noticing I was running out of things, so after gussying myself up, I grabbed up my list and hit the door.

I have to say, the one nice thing about living alone is that you don’t have to worry about having to grocery shop for more than yourself.  There’s no compromising on things you want to eat, things you want in the cupboard as a snack or having to worry about having dinner on the table at a specific time.

As a side note, I have to say one thing, I love living alone because after I went through my apartment with a bulldozer and cleaned it after the spring semester wrapped, it has stayed clean.  I was hopping into the shower this afternoon and I have to say, before when I lived with ye-who-shall-remain-nameless, the shower was always a honkin’ mess.  It was always gross and it always seemed to grow mildew without hesitation.  Now, my shower is a pristine haven of  good smells, no mildew, no dirty footprints, it’s just so clean!  I love it.   My maintenance man came in on Saturday to change my A/C filter and believe it or not, he looked at me and said, “Wow! Your filter is one of the cleanest I’ve seen,” meaning that the apartment is very clean and pristine.  I was tickled to hear that!

So getting back to grocery shopping, today I walked into the store with my fresh new ‘do…(my stylist gave me new blonde highlights on Friday…it looks so good!) and with a few less pounds, I did the aisles. (To answer your question, yes, I’ve lost 3 more pounds, woot!)

The fun thing about the grocery store today was how many men stopped to look at me.  This is the moment you come home and do the happy dance because you finally feel like you’re really starting to shine again after being shoved in the shadows for years.  It felt so good.

After the store, I carried everything up my stairs and unpacked it all, and my cupboards are now full again for relatively cheap. (I shopped very smart, took coupons and only got what I needed, well, except for the bag of Cheetos that are my treat.)  Every time I reached for something on a shelf at the store, I asked myself, “Are you going to eat all of that?” which made sure I purchased only what I would completely consume.  It’s amazing when you go to the grocery store and are vigilant about making sure you’re not just getting stuff to fill the cupboard and you’re vigilant about making sure you eat everything you buy, the grocery bill is a lot cheaper.

No one ever tells you that when you go through marital demise that you have to go back through and make sure that you change your shopping habits too.  That one took me a long time to learn, and finally after two years, I’m not buying the huge package of toilet paper anymore.  (Don’t ask, the ex went through more toilet paper than I could ever imagine.) I also finally made sure to get things that I could package separately and be able to defrost one thing at a time instead of a whole package.  I got two steaks (my endocrinologist…weep, more on him later…got on me for not eating more red meat on my last visit with him because my vitamin B was a little low on my last blood test), so I coupled that with a nice selection of meats including a very nice roast to make sure I had plenty of protein in my diet.   I also got something I haven’t purchased in over two years, a bag of potatoes.  Ok, just to tell you how huge this is, I usually get my carbs through rice or pasta because I grew up on potatoes.  My mom can make a potato into an origami and I love them, but they’re also the antithesis of trying to exchange five pounds of fat for five pounds of muscle.  However, my world famous Smash Potatoes were calling me and with the roast in my shopping basket, yeah, I got potatoes (in which I’m going to do my best to eat them all before they grow roots, but knowing me and my devotion to steamed rice, I’m not sure.)

My diet is really important to me because I’m trying to get myself into a relatively pleasing form again.  I’ve kept up with my workout diet which consists of lots of protein and a few carbs.  Hey, it’s working, 34 pounds are gone and I’m starting to see some physical changes for the better (my pecs are starting to beef up again, we like that, it makes for better buoyancy up top and makes it easier to fight gravity).

But tonight I went into the kitchen and made a roast, smash potatoes and string beans.  So good!  I hadn’t had my smash potatoes in sooooo long.  I stuck my finger into the bowl (another perk of living alone) after I had smashed the heck out of them, and put the taste of sublime heaven in my mouth.  I had forgotten how good my potatoes were!  So I sat happily with a full plate and watched The Witches of Eastwick and laughed at the exchange between Alex (played by Cher) and Daryl (played by Jack Nicholson):

Alexandra Medford: Are you married?
Daryl Van Horne: Good question! You see, brains! The answer is no, I don’t believe in it. Good for the man, lousy for the woman. She dies, she suffocates. I’ve seen it! And then the husband runs around complaining to everyone that he’s f*’ing a dead person, and he’s the one who killed her! [bursts into laughter]  Where’s your husband?
Alexandra Medford: Dead.
Daryl Van Horne:  Well, sorry, but you’re one of the lucky ones.  When a woman unloads a husband or a husband unloads a woman, however it happens…  Death. Desertion. Divorce.  The three “D’s”, when that happens, a woman blooms, she blossoms…

Whoever wrote those lines has been married, and personally, it sounds like a woman wrote it, because that is the BEST way I can describe what’s happened to me.  I died the day I said, “I do.”  Hell, I wish I would have followed my gut instinct and booked it out of the courthouse in Montreal without putting my head into the noose.  But alas, I wouldn’t be able to talk about how wonderful it is to grocery shop for myself, make myself a fantastic meal, or sit back and laugh at the whole mess without going through it first.

But I have to say, things are going well, my job is great, I’ve done all of my maintenance (hair, nails, waxing) and grocery shopped twice and I’m doing it on my own.  Forgive me for being proud of myself, but remember way back when I told Doc Cat that one of my life goals was to live successfully on my own?  Well, I’m doing it and I couldn’t be happier.

Ok, now let’s follow up about my endocrinologist.  Oh weep, I’m so upset about this… As we know, I’ve broken more ties to my ex.  I’ve got my own heath insurance now, and well, with my new plan, I couldn’t keep my endocrinologist of the last six years.  I have to change doctors.  My endo was such a great guy and he was my psychiatrist pre-Doc Cat and he was there before and after the bomb dropped and the ex left.  He’s also the guy who’s given me guidance on how to shed the 34 pounds I’ve lost.  So last Tuesday was my last visit with him before I get my new doctor.  I’m sure I’ll fill you guys in when I go to see the new one.  But much less to say, I’m quite sad I lost my favorite endocrinologist.

The upside is that my new insurance has me going to a different lab for my blood tests.  Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is a pain because every three to four months I have to get blood drawn to check my TSH and T4 levels along with an occasional vitamin check.  Remember, the auto-immune disease creates more white blood cells (they’re attacking my thyroid, remember?) and if my meds are working, it keeps them under control and the cell count correct.  Well, the new lab I have to go to is wonderful.  There is a large lab in town that most providers use and it’s always a mad house with screaming kids, long lines and whathaveyou.  Well, my new lab was a different story.  When I walked in, the waiting room was empty and it was beautiful.  I signed in, handed over my insurance card, got the blood drawn and was in and out of there in about five minutes.  If that’s a sign of what my new insurance is going to be giving me, I’m looking forward to seeing my new endocrinologist.

But, between new blonde highlights, a great job, full cupboards and the trimmings of living life as a success, I can’t believe this is happening to me.  I guess Daryl was right…when you go through one of the three D’s, you bloom, blossom and really get some traction.

Right now, my dishwasher is running, my groceries are put away and I have a beautiful bowl of fresh grapes on my desk to refresh my palate.  My glass is full, my apartment is clean and I guess this is the moment where you say, “Everything is as it should be.”

But I’m still sitting back and thinking I’d like to have a special guy to share this with…I guess it goes with the movie I watched tonight over dinner:

Alexandra Medford: I don’t think that men are the answer to everything.
Sukie Ridgemont: No.
Jane Spofford: Then why do we always end up talking about them?

Jane, it’s the “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” thing.


In the land of the living…

Sometimes I wonder how I made it through the last ten years. I can effectively say that during those ten years I was a walking corpse, just simply existing, and I have no idea how I got through it up to now. I guess that’s why I call the time I was married, “The Coma” or “The Sleep” because I don’t remember half of it and I think it’s best left that way.

For a long time, I think, no, I know that I had given up on myself. I had lost the will to live an exciting life. I remember a long time ago writing about the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times,” and I remember writing:

That’s a curse? When things are interesting, whether it’s drama, or a new lover, or a bad breakup, at least you’re reminded you are alive. It’s all in remembering that you are a living, breathing human being that is taking part in the world and born to make a difference. In the back of your mind, when you know you’re alive, and even though things may not be the smoothest in the world, at least it’s worth waking up for so you can see what happens next! If you want a real curse, “May you get married and your life be boring as all hell.” THAT is a curse. At least, living in interesting times will make sure that your brain doesn’t rot from boredom or lack of stimulation.

I’m a girl who used to thump my copy of Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis, screaming at the top of my lungs, “Live! Live! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” But somewhere along the way, I forgot what it was like to do that.

Back in the day, after I would get off work from the aquarium, I would get myself dolled up and ready to head out to Spago for an evening of decadence. Hey, it’s never a bad thing when you’re in your 20’s and you can go eat wienerschnizel and drink Riesling after you pick yourself up a new watch at the Swatch store and walk into the restaurant waving it and saying “Fresh kill” in regards to it, like you’ve gone on safari and bagged a trophy animal. To me, that was living. It was going out, interacting with the world and being a part of it, drinking in every moment like it would be my last. Today, I can effectively say I’ve been inspired to get off of the bench and full-on back into the game.

Ok, so why this today? I got paid. My first real pay day in over 10 years. Yes, I’ve had contract work here and there, but nothing on the scope of what I do now. An actual paycheck where I got to pay all of my bills out of my own checking account, that I could go to the grocery store and pick up whatever I wanted (but remembered to stay frugal) and still have money left in my pocket after all of it, enough to pay next month’s rent and then some. I’m tempted to cry, but to be honest, I’d rather do a happy dance because I’m headed in the right direction.

Now, on to the more “interesting” parts that parallel my new job, and it’s been two weeks since I’ve last dug into what’s happening with me so I figure it’s time to write about it. Here it is: along with the new job, I’ve also been going out and hanging out with someone not blood related to me. Go ahead, do the shocked face, I’ve been going out with a guy! Ok, not in that way, but a friend. It’s not dating, much to my chagrin, but it’s ok, it’s someone I know well and who I trust.

As we all know, I have a love of men with long hair. Yep, that’s me, I’m a true hedonist, I want a wild looking man if I’m going to come out of my coma completely. Call it a recovery step if you wish, but it’s one of those things, I found a friend of mine that I’ve not seen in 15 years and reconnected with him, long blonde hair, luscious body and all.  He’s got this amazing smile, contagious laughter and is just an all-around joy to share time with.  Of course, it’s not a relationship thing, but it is someone who is completely gorgeous that I can go and hang out with who knows me really well and it’s someone I can have fun with on a weekly basis. Best thing of all, he makes me smile when I’m not teasing him about being messy, never growing up and my usual admonishments for his torn jeans and my grimacing at all of the muscle cars he’s purchased to restore hanging out in front of his house and on the land in the back of his house. I’m just going to right away give him a moniker, he’s Mr. Blonde and he deserves some lip service because he’s the one who taught me the phrase, “Everyone doesn’t need to know everything,” and who put me on the road to being really good in PR, because he was the one who taught me how to judge the moments where something should be said combined with knowing what needs to be said, what doesn’t, and having the common sense to know when to divulge details. He’s my poker-face zen master.

That said, I think you need to know the back-story of why he’s such a great influence at the moment. Like he taught me all those years ago, I won’t give you all the details, but I’ll give you the parts that are important and are within the boundaries of what is good to share with an audience.

15 years ago, Mr. Blonde and I used to work at a nightclub together. I would be doing my job, wearing my Doc Martens, club clothes and dancing on top of “The Bamboo Bar,” (effectively doing eight hours of cardio a night dancing to house music as one of the club’s house dancers in the Diversities department) and he would be across the way at his bar, serving drinks. When I’d get up and dance to a song he’d love or it meant something between the two of us, I’d see him across the way, with no shirt on, blowing his whistle and throwing a ton of napkins in the air, grabbing body parts and cheering me on, effectively telling me how much he loved watching me.  It was always so cute because he’d let me know at distance how much he loved me or how beautiful I looked.  We dated for almost three years.  When it came time for us to break up, he looked at me and said, “I can’t tie you to a relationship with me. The world is a huge place and you need to get out and have experiences. You won’t have those if you stay with me. You’re destined for great things and I can’t bring myself to deny you anything.” Now if that isn’t a great break-up line, I don’t know what is. Sure enough, 15 years later, it’s just as he predicted, I had to get some experiences under my belt and I’m much more interesting as a result.

Of course, this does represent some issues. Mr. Blonde is still the same person he was 15 years ago. He’s still messy, he’s still unkempt and he’s still refusing to grow up. In the mean time, I’ve grown up and now instead of the clunky unrefined twenty-something he used to know, I’m now a full-on educated thirty-something with grand aspirations.  I’ve gone from a nightclub house dancer to becoming a fairly high-paid executive with a lot of responsibilities.  Here’s where it gets funny. In the last 15 years, Mr. Blonde has gone from sharing a house with four roommates to owning a bar and a nice chunk of land complete with three horses, four birds and six dogs. And I thought I had come from nothing to something…um no. He tops me 100 times over, he just refuses to show what he has; he’s a guy who lives a humble life without pridefulness. You know me, that’s heady stuff because that’s exactly what I’m trying to get to, albeit a bit cleaner than him and with less animals.

While we were at dinner on Tuesday, I tried to ask him how he came into owning a bar and he wouldn’t answer me. What’s worse is that he’s restoring a 1963 split-window Corvette, a 1968 Super Bee (which is apparently the predecessor to the Dodge Charger now), and a myriad of old American muscle cars. When I asked him how much the Corvette will be worth when he’s finished restoring it, he didn’t even flinch, he just looked at me, shrugged and said, “Oh, about $100,000.” My jaw dropped onto the table. Back in the day, I watched him restore an old 1970 Pontiac GTO which he painted “Fly Yellow” and restored it to pristine condition, it ran like a dream. But that’s Mr. Blonde’s thing, he loves American muscle cars. When he heard my Prius, he exclaimed, “But it doesn’t make any noise,” not surprising that he’s amazed with my hybrid beauty when he’s restoring gas guzzling smog monsters. But with all of our differences like my love Spago, new Swatches, Creme Brulee and my education, he’s in love with three things, American muscle cars, being a bartender and never growing up, we do still have some things in common. What we have in common is that simply, having money means that you can get yourself what you need, it’s not Carte Blanche to go crazy with it. If we have a pocketful of money, it doesn’t mean that we change, we stay frugal. If I’ve learned anything in the last 10 years, it’s how to be frugal and buy only what I need in which he and I both agree on.

I remember after Mr. Blonde and I broke up, I went through the process of getting into the Spago scene and doing what he told me I should be doing, which was going out, living and having interesting experiences. 15 years later, and I’m educated, love to read and I’m always about making sure I reach a high plane, and he’s still very down to earth, could care less about being educated and doesn’t like to read. Diametrically opposed doesn’t cover this friendship. Back in the day, he protected me, cared for me and really looked after me when no one else would, I was a very lost soul that he valiantly tried to place on the right path. It took a while, but everything he wanted for me, I went out and did for myself. Funny part, he looked at me on Tuesday and told me that bar-none I was one of the most beautiful women he’s ever seen in his life and he just loves spending time with me just to look at me, that I’m definitely not the same girl he knew 15 years ago and that I’m a little more snooty than I used to be, but he enjoys hearing about my work, my bizarre life in cyberspace and just being able to hang out with someone who has had similar life experiences and accepts him for who he is, nothing more, nothing less.

I can handle that.

The thing is, the door swings both ways on that. I mean this guy is some SERIOUS eye-candy. The long blonde hair is great, I love it. Back in the day when we worked at a nightclub together, we had a race going to get our hair to grow out, always seeing who’s was longer, and he always won; now my hair is longer than his, and mine is more fluid and really beautiful compared to back in the day. I guess you can say I came into my own and he really is digging on that. However, the one knee-weakening item on Mr. Blonde is his blue eyes. Oh, no, you just don’t know…he’s got these amazing ocean blue eyes. Whew! It’s enough to make any girl bend her knee inwards and go, “Um, hi…” Worse yet is that he’s almost the exact description of Kyrian of Thrace from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, he may only be six feet tall and 170 pounds on a good day, but…oy veh, he’s still HOT.

However, he’s just a pal now. Ok, you know what, we ALL could do with friends like that. He’s funny, sexy (very sexy), and charismatic. He’s one of those guys who’s few words speak volumes. But, I have to say, I love it when he calls and says, “What’cha doin'” in his very thick mid-western accent and asks me what I want to do this week. Whether it be just hanging out and watching Animal Planet together or going to dinner or just sitting and visiting on the phone, it’s nice to have a pal who calls me to hang out and enjoys being around me just for being me. It doesn’t matter to him that I’m 144 pounds, he laughs when I call myself “fluffy,” laughing and saying, “No you’re not, you’re beautiful.” He doesn’t judge, he’s just him and I think that’s what makes him so great.  We may be really different in a lot of ways, but it’s just nice to have someone to call when I need a hug who will, without hesitation, give me one.  It’s just like back in the day, he can’t bring himself to deny me anything and I can tell he still loves me after all these years, but it’s more about loving a platonic friend than a romantic interest, which is just fine with me.

The best part of it all was when I relayed the fact that being around him was really the first time in 10 years I’ve been around someone socially outside of my family.  I told him that I didn’t know how to be around people any more and he looked at me and said flatly, “You don’t have anything to worry about around me, I’ll help you get used to being out again.”  I nearly cried when I heard that, it seems like he’s always been coming to my rescue in one way or another.

Ok, details aside, here are the brass tacks.  I’m going outside.  I’m hanging out with people.  I’m getting paid for doing my dream job.  I mean, OMG!  AND I’ve got a long blonde haired hottie who’s calling me beautiful…can this get any better?

Damn, being patient is one thing, and it truly is a virtue, but when everything starts to hum along just like puzzle pieces finally all fitting together, it gets a bit spooky.  I keep waiting for the bottom to fall out, but until it does, OMG, I’m going to enjoy this.

So, for the song of the day, one for Mr. Blonde who reminds me in a small way of Eddie Van Halen back in the day…but the simple facts are that he can do to a car body what Eddie can do with a guitar…something amazing.