Monthly Archives: August 2011

Sea of Stars…

Last night I swam in a sea of stars.  Ok, as romantically twisted as that sounds, it’s true.

For weeks now, my blue-eyed friend has been begging me to go over to his house to take a swim. Now, what I’ve not disclosed thus far is that he lives in a beautiful house that’s sort of in the boonies…well, it’s in the city, but where it’s located almost feels like it’s in its own little bubble, carefully separated from the rest of the world. In the back yard of this almost hidden sanctuary there is a beautiful swimming pool that he maintains very carefully.

After weeks of begging, he picked me up last night in his new truck, grabbed my bathing suit for me and informed me that I would be swimming. Ok, I had to dig my bathing suit out of mothballs (remember, the last time I used it was around this time last year), but amazingly as I tried desperately to forget my swimsuit (body image issues on my part), he grabbed it up and proceeded to make sure I didn’t forget it. After a visit with his dad (who is very cool by the way), I got told to throw on my swimsuit because we were swimming.

Ok, first, let’s talk about me and water. We know the story of me at 6-years-old and my mother teaching me to swim by pointing me at the wall and saying, “Sink or swim”, my fish stories, sharks stuck to the top of my head, me in 26 feet of water surrounded by really big fish (sharks in the 10-12 foot long range), my checkout dives in Crystal River with the manatees and my myriad of other aquatic feats. But, watching this beautiful beyond description man beckon me and say, “Come on, it’s not going to bite you,” was rather poignant. Truth told, that was the first swim I had taken in a very long time without it being for the purpose of sitting in a whirlpool, swimming laps or scuba diving. That he was encouraging me to have fun was rather unbalancing because, put bluntly, I forget to have fun. I’m all reason and purpose. When I do things, there is always a reason and a purpose to them, and there he is asking me to throw those things out and just have fun with no purpose other than to just relax and enjoy the experience. Am I wound up or what? If I forget what it’s like to have fun, you know there is something seriously wrong.

Let’s stay on how badly I’m wound up for a moment. Last night, I was having issues with my long hair and I put in a set of low pigtails just to feel young (ok, you know me, reason and purpose…the reason for the pigtails is because I wanted to give an image of being fun and a tad cutesy for the purpose of just making him happy). Come on, I turn 40 in less than a month and there I am sporting pigtails, a cute top and faded out denim because I was working out pulling myself out of the doldrums of my illnesses.

Long story short, I had a bad run-in with my disorders this week, my PTSD decided to rear its very ugly head and send me into a really hard crash. Oh hell, it’s one of the worst I’ve had in forever, and there he was, just mopping me up and doing what he knows how to do to make me feel better. If I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again without hesitation, being with someone who shares your illness makes life so much better and easier because they come naturally equipped to handle the situation. A halo and wings are just not enough for him, he’s earned them 1000 times over with me. Me, with all of my nightmare programming and horrible past, he takes and says, “No, you don’t get to spiral, we’re going to be replacing bad memories with good ones.” A-freaking-mazing. Talk about someone who can handle my best and my worst…it leaves me wanting to scream really loud, “Where the hell have you been?” But truth told, getting to this point was vital so I could recognize and enjoy the fact he’s here now.

So, now back to the swimming pool… He left the pool dark, no lights at all and I have to say, it was a little scary. When I got in, I had my hair pulled into a bun on my head, but you could tell he wasn’t having it. He looked at me after I waded in and got shoulder deep in water and said, “That’s why I’ve always hung out with tomboyish girls, they’re not afraid to get their hair wet…” After being taunted like that, I said to hell with my MAC makeup and carefully crafted coif, removed the elastic band that was holding my hair together, placed it next to my glasses and proceeded to dive into the water. The smile I got from doing that was so devastatingly gorgeous it was to the point of knee-weakening. That was the point that I started having fun. After getting comfortable in the water which was at a perfect temperature, I floated on my back. With only the sound of my own breathing (which is why I love diving so much, it’s so relaxing), I looked up and felt myself wrapped in the fluid medium looking up at the stars. I could see constellations, and all around me was dark, so it truly felt like I was swimming in a sea of stars. It was INCREDIBLE.  The Myst Universe inhabitant inside of me whispered, “like a leap into the fissure…”  My fellow Myst-inspired folks will get that, if you’re not into Myst, here, have a visual…

We played in the water for a good solid hour, if not more, talking, laughing, telling stories, and I realized that I was having this tremendous experience just doing something as simple as swimming. While we were flitting around in the water, we talked about my inability to ride a bicycle. Ok yes, I am going to be 40 years old and I don’t know how to ride a bicycle. Judge me if you must, but it’s just something I have never done. I have a story about why I never learned, but sufficed to say, my parents tried to get me to learn, but at that time, I just wasn’t having it. While the other kids rode their bikes, I ran everywhere. When it came time to learn how to drive a car, that’s when I rode places. LOL. However, last night after recounting the tale, I think my blue-eyed friend has made it his mission to teach me how to ride a bike. Oy veh.

Alright, you know, after talking about him, I realize, he needs a moniker. Shit. I, um, oh hell, I have no idea how to put this…ok, well, you know the stories of my Ex, right? You know how horrible it was, right? Well, how do I put this? The man I’ve spent almost the last two months with is eloquent, gentle, kind, understanding, busting-his-ass-putting-in-all-the-work-that-they-always-tell-you-that-has-to-go-into-a-successful-relationship-but-I’ve-never-experienced-firsthand, romantic, funny, (along with the rest of his endless list of adorable qualities) and has basically taken all of my preconceptions, assumptions, and normal working order of things and basically turned it on it’s head and said, “No…that way is broken, don’t do that. This way is more healing, try this…” and it makes me feel kind of like a cat on shaky ground, arms and legs splayed trying to get steady. Oh and what a pain in the ass I’ve been! Every bad habit and nightmare quality have reared their head for him and he just will NOT give up on me! WTF! Where did this come from? So, as you can see, he needs a moniker because he’s going to be around for a while and I don’t want to rip his shorts down around his ankles by disclosing his real name.

I’m tempted to ask all of my readers to give him a moniker. He’s my version of Liz Gilbert’s “Filipe.” He’s my champion and he’s single-handedly teaching me how to beat my illness into submission…he’s giving so much and putting so much into being with me that, well, it’s like he’s come riding up on a white horse to save the day. Now as melodramatic as that may sound, it really does feel like that sometimes. So, he needs a name.

The things he teaches me everyday about myself, himself, and the rest of the world is always amazing. He’s got this incredible viewpoint and he’s always telling me, “Just relax and enjoy things.” He’s a bit of a farmer with the ability to grow tomatoes that are so floral that to bite into one is like tasting heaven, he’s a bit of the tinkerer and shares my “have to take it apart and put it back together to understand how it works” gene, he looks at the world with an experienced, wise pair of stormy blue eyes that, when I look through them, no obstacle seems insurmountable or so bad to work through. He gives me hope. But I guess the biggest thing I can say is that he’s got this incredible amount nutritional value that goes beyond anything I ever imagined the phrase “nutritional value” could mean. His smile is infectious, his voice is like a distant rolling thunder that gives you comfort in the fact that a healing rain is never too far away. The biggest thing is that he has taught me what all of those little expressions I heard growing up really mean. My father has always spoken about my mother that she’s his “partner.” I never really understood what that really meant and felt like until he talked about how a relationship is a “right hand, left hand” kind of thing.

The “right hand, left hand” thing is the moment where when you’re doing something together, one half knows exactly how to respond to the other half, when and how to hand them things, knowing instinctively how things work as a couple. When he spoke about it, I finally learned what Daddy meant when he said Mom was his partner. When I spoke to my dad on the phone this afternoon, he told me that those things take time, but when you get it just right, it’s wonderful. So, I guess that all of the relationship things I’ve ever heard about such as the work you put in to it, the partner aspect, your pal and best friend now really make sense. I never really got what people were talking about when they said things like that until now. It’s different, I’ll tell ya that, but it makes me wonder a couple of things…why am I just learning about this now? How much have I missed out on? OR is it that we live our lives and take in our experiences to make us ready to appreciate it and recognize it when it happens?

At times like this, I think about Doc Cat and how she loves the Sternberg Triangle…and I remember when she spoke about it, she was all hearts about it, as in Doc Cat <3's the Sternberg Triangle, kind of thing…I remember when she taught about it, I thought about my parents, how it seemed as they had it all sewn up, they have the passion, the commitment and the intimacy that make it all work right.  I am just now starting to experience the pieces of the triangle in a palpable form for myself and it's peculiar, I am learning all about the "intimacy" portion of it.  Intimacy isn't about sex or sexuality at all sometimes.  Intimacy is what I'm fighting to overcome, it's where you basically pants yourself, drop them down around your ankles and have all of your weaknesses exposed.  It's showing the chinks in your emotional armor and figure out that the person you're with isn't going to use them against you.  Intimacy is a trust thing I think.  It's trusting the other person enough that you're able to let them be close to you.  That, my friends, is what my stormy blue-eyed knight is fighting against, all of my trust issues…but the thing is, amazing as it sounds, I think he's winning.  Doc Cat says that love is all about risk, what you're willing to put out there and pray that it doesn't get stomped on.  It's scary stuff, but I think it's like that dark swimming pool, with the right person, the scary parts can turn into swimming in a sea of stars.

So, while we figure out a moniker for my walking, talking, dreamy guy, who Sherrilyn Kenyon would term as “sex on a stick,” here’s a tune that seems to fit his ice cream and daisy style…”Ice Cream” by Sarah McLachlan.

Separation Anxiety

I’m quickly learning that any relationship that starts out after marital failure is the equivalent of overcoming the fear of roller coasters. At the start, the first plummet over the edge always has someone on the ride screaming to get off, but then after it starts gaining momentum and they get used to the sensations that come along with it, they can’t imagine themselves anywhere else. They’re usually the ones who, right before the end, are the ones cheering their heads off, holding their arms up, enjoying the ride. At that moment, they become hooked on the adrenaline rush and when the cars finally come to a stop, they are the first ones off the ride so they can run around to get in line to ride the roller coaster again, giggling and laughing the whole way, ready again to scream, laugh, and ultimately enjoy the sensations.

Crazy, right?

I am one of those people. The first plummet of my roller coaster ride consisted of me being very narrow in my view. I was squealing my head off that I wanted to get off the ride because I didn’t know what to do, had no idea of what to do with the emotions that I was experiencing, didn’t have control of the situation and was completely disoriented by the feeling of my stomach plummeting into my shoes. I had no idea that I’d end up being someone that was willing to release my death grip from the safety bar and hold my hands up and, as someone wise told me, “Just relax and enjoy it.” Not only did I find someone who was willing to be patient while I released, albeit one finger at a time, my death grip on the safety bar, but he also bravely braced himself to endure my tirade of clawing to get off; he patiently taught me how to hold my hands up and really get into why people enjoy the ride to begin with.

But, here’s where the separation anxiety comes in: I am now the lunatic who is running from the ride exit to get back in line to get back on again. It’s crazy how there are some things you can’t get enough of. Addictive, yes. Or as Liz Gilbert so eloquently said:

Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never even dared to admit that you wanted – an emotional speedball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with the hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is withheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but who now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore — despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere…because he used to give it to you for free). Next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have that thing even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you. He looks at you like you’re someone he’s never met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is, you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You’re a pathetic mess, unrecognizable even to your own eyes. So that’s it. You have now reached infatuation’s final destination—the complete and merciless devaluation of self.”

I’m trying desperately not to be a junkie for that emotional speedball. And here’s why.  I don’t want to blow it. When you have a relationship with someone who is almost an identical reflection of yourself, from the PTSD, abuse and addiction to the untold damages that come with living a life that ended up being a pothole-ridden superhighway to hell, you sit back bathing in the attention, daisies and ice cream of it all and wonder why it’s just now being presented to you. You sit back wailing the questions,”Why couldn’t have this happened before I got married?” “Have my experiences been the road to make me ready for this?”  “Why am I so broken?” “Do I deserve to be this happy?” and on and on the questions go until you inevitably beat it to death and fall into bed mentally spent. The wisdom that says “just relax and enjoy it” finally occurs to you after you’ve closed your eyes and after a “doh” moment, you promise yourself that you’ll try to enjoy it more tomorrow.

I sat mortified for a while, flailing my arms and scared stiff of being close to anyone. Worse part of it was when Nan looked at me and said, “You’re being courted.” My eyes got as big as pie plates and I did some serious emotional flailing trying desperately to justify my idiotic need to push someone away who was being very open and honest with everything. I think my subconscious was telling me that this wasn’t a trifle, I couldn’t play around with it and there was little room for error, because I was being presented with a real, live, honest to gods chance to be happy. 

For me and my history with relationships, that was the equivalent of the bubonic plague of all emotional experiences, because each time I thought I had found it, it turned out to be a lie or I would unknowingly sabotage the whole thing. So to be presented with something that huge, ok, let’s cut to the chase, when you’ve got the brass ring in front of you and you’ve had it jerked out of your grasp time and time again, you’re going to be scared senseless or completely disbelieving and mistrusting of anyone who would dare hold it up again. Do you reach for it or don’t you? As Doc Cat says, “Life is about risk. What are you going to do when the risk comes? Sometimes, you just have to jump and see what happens.” For me, that kind of jump is near to impossible, and oh boy did I have one hell of a time being talked off the ledge and convinced to take a leap of faith.
I have been getting hit with this amazing emotional speedball right, left and center. So, what does the addict brain do? It tries desperately to hang on to its habits, it does anything to justify the use of whatever it craves to get by. The cherry on the cake of all of this is that the relationship I’m in seems right now to be a very healthy addiction. I took Doc Cat’s advice and said, “Ok Sher, you get one hour, ONE, to obsess and then you’ve got to get on with the things that have to get done,” and I’ve been doing just that, devoting my time to work, getting registered for school, getting my financial aid all worked out, everything top to bottom all fixed up. But then my hour comes, and it’s filled with dinners, conversations that are meaningful and sweet, and they end up being longer than just one hour.
And don’t you know it…I just got a 2 a.m. text from him about external hard drives, killing the whole topic that I’m writing about, talk about a reflection…the guy is as random as I am.  I get asked, “Are you up?” I of course reply, “Yes.” and what do you think I got?  Instead of “I’ll be right over…” I got “Here, check out this hard drive.”  OY VEH!  He’s so going to pay for that tomorrow.  My relationship partner is a fellow reader and I have only one message for him.  That’s right pal, you’re gonna get it!  I’m thinking of the denial of good back scratching or I might hit below the belt and be a foot massage hold out.  My devious mind will come up with some playfully cruel way to inflict some sort of retribution for messing up my great romantic story.  Ugh, talk about getting de-railed…well, HA!  Try as you might to give me writers block, I’m not falling for it!  I’m in charge of steering this boat, so we’re going to get back on topic…

Here’s where the next dip comes, I’m not alone in my separation anxiety.  I’m not even the one who brought up the topic, he did.  Speaking of text messaging, I got one the other day that referenced his separation anxiety from me.  I can’t help but think it’s healthy.  Two addicts, two absolutely triggerable PTSD sufferers and the great thing of it all, it’s two people who understand what’s going on, how to make it better and be soothing for each other.  Except for the 2 a.m. external hard drive text, (oh, he’s so gonna pay…) especially when I’m in the middle of romantic separation anxiety.  Note:  If a girl says she’s having that kind of anxiety, don’t talk about computer parts!  It’s not computer parts she’s thinking of!  LOL!

See what I mean?  I think it’s a good thing to have separation anxiety when it comes to someone who makes you laugh, who when you come out of the dressing room at Banana Republic he’s standing there with his oh-so-groovy sunglasses on (which look amazing on him by the way) and he’s got this great straw fedora on and it makes you squeal in laughter and joy (when before you would have been embarrassed because you didn’t know what to do with the emotions it evoked), that his goofiness plays right into your own, that when you both face something you don’t necessarily like to do and you give each other a “get out of jail free” card just in case someone gets triggered, ensuring no one gets hurt, and you end up spending the evening laying on a blanket under the stars and a full moon while the outdoor play you went to see doesn’t inspire either of you so you make the time work for the both of you and end up counting the stars, looking for the satellites passing over head and all of a sudden the thing you didn’t want to do turns into one of the favorite moments of your life.

It’s having the same favorite soda pop.  It’s knowing that when you’re in the kitchen and it’s just big enough for just the two of you, there is a happy little dance that happens where one person is like the right hand and the other the left hand and you negotiate things with ease and a happiness that is rare to find.

So tonight, the left hand is looking around for the right hand and not finding it.  I’m having separation anxiety, but it’s a good thing, it’s got tons of nutritional value because, well, I know there is always tomorrow and I know he’s having it too.  I finally feel like I’ve got a partner…and it’s pretty damn cool.

So for the song of the day, something that says it better than I ever could, a perfect little tune by Lifehouse called “Broken.”

Searching for a sign.

Tonight, I once again loaded Eat Pray Love up on my DVD player. I guess it was one of those nights where you look at your life, trying in vain to realize what’s going on, and then you sit back and sigh, then try to find something that will give you a sign as to what direction to go next.  I figured I needed to watch the movie because it would tell me something profound like it always seems to do.

I sat in my big, fluffy desk chair today staring out the window and thinking about the person I’ve been spending time with over the last three weeks. He’s sweet, handsome, and wonderful in every respect when it’s just he and I, and he has catered to every emotional need I’ve had, drying tears and putting up with my growling with effortless grace. He made me realize what I was missing by not having someone to share time with. But inevitably, we all have to realize and accept that there’s no point in trying to live in a bubble. Outside influences, along with a whole list of baggage problems, have finally made me realize that although I may like someone a lot, and find them more precious than a handful of jewels, well, when you try to play the gracious host welcoming another person into your life, you also have to deal with your baggage along with the baggage that they carry as well; and then you have to decide whether or not you’re available to be an emotional baggage bellhop and/or figure out if you have the storage space to deal with all of their baggage that you try neatly to store next to your own.

As we all know, I’m working hard on rebuilding my life. I’ve spent the last two years purging every single last piece of emotional baggage, tried in vain to discard every last box filled with bad memories and just spend time trying to find out who I am and then figure out if I really want someone to share it with.

The person I’ve been spending time with over the last three weeks has really been angelic dealing with my what seems like constant moodiness, my inability to keep my blood sugar at a constant level because I forget to eat and all of the other circus features of my often mixed up life. I think he quite possibly could have qualified for his halo and wings by putting up with me, but on the flip side of that, maybe I have as well.

It’s not easy trying to deal with a new person in your life. Take a look at me, I’ve lived for two years by myself with barely any human contact outside of school and my family and even Nan will go so far as to tell you that if you move something in my apartment without my express permission, I get a little freaked out. Yeah, as you can guess, he’s moved a few things around, stored some dishes in places they don’t belong in and even went so far as to misunderstand what was going on in my kitchen one Saturday afternoon, effectively ruining the lunch that was waiting to be eaten after an hour and a half long phone call with my boss, plunging me into further blood sugar deprivation. Of course he took care of me through it, but it became something that I looked at with a discerning eye.

But as we say, it takes two to tango and no one is ever without fault. Even though he’s so sweet, I can’t bear to see him anymore because at three weeks in, I’m having more and more reservations about it. He has an incredible amount of baggage that, even if I tried to play Tetris with my emotional storage space, I couldn’t even begin to house it all. The worst part of it all is that our tastes are so very divergent that I have problems trying to keep up with the most simple of things, like going out to eat. I’m a Spago girl, I’ve been going there since it opened here in Vegas in 1992. I know the maitre’d, I’m definitely on speaking terms with the chef and it’s been a very safe place for me for almost 20 years. After all, they were the ones who picked me up when my 28th birthday became a tragic horror story and while I fought back tears, they were the ones that began the tradition of Creme Brulee and champagne for my birthday every year. The food is sublime, the company always friendly and I can’t think of anywhere else in the world I would rather go to just sit back, unwind and feel like myself. It’s part of who I am, for better or for worse. On the flip side, the man I’ve been seeing is balancing so much (I won’t go into details, but when I explained it to Nan, she winced, if that’s any indication), to ask him to try to fit into my not-so-carefree life (but pretty darn close), or for me to try to fit myself into his very baggage-laden life, it doesn’t seem to want to gel.

But back to the movie again. I watched the part where Liz has moved in with the “Yogi from Yonkers” and his ever-constant state of unemployment and their arguments that arise from it, I kind of knew that even if the guy I’ve been seeing was made of gold, he still has a lot of work to do on his life and there’s not much room for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m not trying, I sat through dinner at the greasy spoon, I’ve been more than supportive, accepting and everything else…but let’s face it, when one person’s life is on the way to being organized and the other person’s isn’t and in danger of falling into further chaos, even if you tried forever and a day, someone is going to end up dissatisfied, hurt, triggered or something else. In all, I think it’s just a really bad case of bad timing, it really breaks my heart because he is really wonderful, but the timing just isn’t right.

But there is one thing that I didn’t count on in all of this, that the sweet, gentle man I’ve been seeing for the last three weeks has inevitably been running head-long into situations that cause memories of my ex. It’s not his fault that my marriage was just doomed from the outset, nor was he there for every single excruciating moment of a relationship that had no business existing in the first place. Nonetheless, being that he’s the first person that I’ve had something going on with in over two years, I guess it was inevitable. I guess I’m not done putting away all of my baggage that would allow me to be a healthy, active participant in a relationship. It makes me sad because I guess I’m just not ready yet and that that poor man had to put up with the angst I still have over how badly I was hurt.
But as Liz Gilbert so eloquently put it, “Ruin is the road to transformation.” When we look inside of ourselves and find that even though we’ve been ransacked, pillaged, burnt and torn down, we all find a way to build ourselves up again. I guess that’s the sign I needed that said that I’m not broken, he’s not broken, we’re just in a state of transformation. It takes time to build yourself back up again after being so torn down, so I guess I just hope with all of my heart that his transformation will go smoothly, that he’ll someday find who he wants to be again, while I sit and do the same. It’s like what Liz said, “We all have to be ready for endless waves of transformation.”

I guess it’s easy to misunderstand where I’m coming from. It could happen, but we all have to look at our lives individually and determine where they want to go. It’s like what Doc T once told me when we were discussing how to write well and convey what we mean, he said, “When you write, you’re your own deity. You determine where things go, you determine what meanings are made from what you have to say. So just write, and live the way you write. You determine everything, so just go with it.” Yesterday’s post was about my attempts at embracing Liz’s “endless waves of transformation” and how I reacted to them. I can’t help how I feel about things and how I view the world, it’s who I am, to be any different would be the equivalent of giving someone else power over my decisions, and I’ve done quite enough of that, thank you very much.

So, I’m going to take Doc T’s advice, determining my own path and just going with it. I guess today I need to remember that from ruin comes transformation. That should hold me over for a little while.  I’m sad things didn’t work out, but I’ll just remind myself that even though I’d like things to go a certain way, I can’t force people to live the same way I do, however much I’d like them to, and no one else can ask me to live the same way they do either.

Banging my head into my desk.

It’s been a long day. It’s been one of those days where I think I would have been much better off by just pulling the blankets over my head early on and just letting it go by without acknowledgment.

Work was, I’m sad to say, quite the string of problems today. Knowing how to make your words kind, gentle and tasteful doesn’t come as second nature to a great many folks, so I spent my afternoon banging my head into the keyboard, my desk and after having that last shred of patience be tried and worn thin, a partially drank, small plastic bottle of Dr. Pepper found itself flying across the room in anger.

I think I’ve finally found one of the root causes as to why I am the way I am. I’m a girl who lives day in and day out with a pretty high set of standards. Yeah, my kitchen might not be the world’s cleanest right now and my laundry is laying in piles just waiting to be done, but we all can go the one simple fact, that when I do something, I do it right. I go all the way or I don’t do it at all.

Friday night was a real treat, dinner at Parma (click on the link to check the menu) and margaritas afterwards at a beautiful little place called Agave. You have to admit, I pick some nice little spots. Parma, for it’s outwardly “hole-in-the-wall” appearance, has inside it’s doors a very quaint and welcoming atmosphere. Put succinctly, it’s got the appearance of a “hole-in-the-wall” outside but it has Spago-esque high-end cuisine inside. I had a Filet Mignon that melted in my mouth, but not before I had a wonderful appetizer of mozzarella and tomatoes with full leaves of basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was wonderful. The ambiance was simple yet refined and the food was delicious. In all, another triumph of an evening dining on Chef Marc’s cuisine.

I have to say though, I need to think more thoroughly about my selections as to outdoor venues to relax and have a drink. In Las Vegas, being outdoors at night in July is the same as sitting in a blast furnace, and along with the fact that we’re having lots of humidity right around now, it made sitting outside to enjoy a drink into a sauna-type environment. So, it wasn’t the greatest idea in the world to try to take in some patio margaritas. Oh well, we live and we learn.

Saturday wasn’t the most banner of days. My meetings all went well during the day, but let’s just say that my evening dining experience wasn’t what I had on Friday. I obeyed my internal directive to always try something new every day. Instead of the previous evening’s crafted cuisine, well, I ended up at an Asian buffet that had all of the ambiance of a greasy spoon, which we all know that in comparison to the dining experience the night before, it made the evening inevitably fall a little flat. I tried to embrace it, I really did, but my whole person sat there absolutely repulsed. I couldn’t help it.

Yes, I’m getting out and trying new things, and while Nan would tell me I can’t be prideful about the things I’m presented with, I do have to say that well, we all have things that we enjoy and are accustomed to. As we all know all too well, I’ve lived the last 10 years merely surviving. I don’t find “survival” acceptable anymore and after 10 years, I don’t know many people who would. I have things that I like to do, I have places I’d like to see, but the one overarching fact is that under my own power and dictates, I live well. When combined with another person, it doesn’t go so well. I’ve found that some people are “ok” with just surviving while I’m doing everything in my power to not only survive but thrive. “Just surviving” isn’t an option for me anymore. If I can give myself the wonderful things I do, I would fully expect someone trying to co-exist with me to live their life the same way.

Let’s look at my ex for a moment. We can all agree that he was pretty weak. The phrase “weak-ass sh*t” from the film Bull Durham would be most applicable to him because whereas he’s always had some kind of problem and did his damnedest to try to take me down with him, away from him I not only do well, but extremely well. If I choose, I can go to the spa, I can eat at the restaurants I like to eat at, and I can do whatever my heart desires with all of my bills paid and no worries. I never have to quibble anymore over my choice of cuisine nor the ambiance I enjoy it in. Admittedly, it is good to be an empowered woman.

Ever since my ex hit the door, I kind of feel like Crash Davis (Kevin Costner’s character in Bull Durham) stepping up to the plate. You know, the part where he’s got the bat in hand and he’s getting ready to hit a home run and he looks at the pitcher and thinks: “Throw that sh*t again, Meat. Throw that weak-ass sh*t again,” and there I stand just waiting for the pitch that I’ll hit sending the next poor soul over the fence and out of the game. As horrible as that may sound, and as prideful as I may seem, part of me says that maybe I don’t gear shift that fast, or maybe I’m just the world’s biggest snob and that I am so spoiled being by myself that I’m not fit for human consumption anymore. Either way, the gear shift from Friday to Saturday was not only unhinging but told me one simple fact, not everyone lives the same way I do, not everyone has what I have and although I may be generous and so forth, it’s tough to pitch in a foreign league against rough hitters, and admittedly I’m as rough as they come.

But let’s take the ballpark analogy a bit further. There is a vast difference between hitting in “the show” and hitting in minor league ball. Look at it, the ballparks in the majors are vast green fields, painstakingly kept, the baseballs are always brand-new, clean and white. In the minor leagues and below you see that everything isn’t quite as kept up the same way, the baseballs in the buckets are not always straight out of the wrappers and the crowds aren’t always as thick in the bleachers. On top of that, there’s something about a hot dog at a minor league baseball game that is just not the same as it is in the majors. Call them hot dogs all the same, but there’s a big difference when you consider the ballpark you’re eating it in because it’s rather exhilarating to be sitting on the third base line right above the dugout in a vast major league stadium and sitting behind home plate in a small, modest minor league one.

Call me snobby if you must, but simple facts are, I like major league baseball.  I love the painstaking attention that is paid to the field, the pampered and often over-priced players and so on.  Ok, let’s say it plain!  I like quality things.  Tell me if you can’t see the difference between sitting in Fenway Park and some little minor league field, it’s all about discerning the differences, just like having nosebleed seats in Centre Bell to see the Canadiens or sitting in the VIP boxes or four rows up from the ice, you definitely know the difference.  But then again, I’m the girl who sang “Kill the Wabbit” while sitting through a performance of “Ride of the Valkyries” by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra inside Place Des Arts in Salle Wilfrid Pelltier.  (See the box seats, left side bottom row, second up?  That’s where our season-long seats were.)

And believe me in those 10 years, I did a lot like Bugs looking at the man next to me, eye rolling with the thumb motion pointing at my ex going, “Yeah right, magic helmet…” LOL!

But in all of my joking around, and my disdain of the symphony, mountaineering, and overall pushing back from anything that would require me to get dirty, you have to admit, I like nice things.  I tried an Asian buffet this week, effectively trying something new, but I won’t be doing one of those again anytime soon, I promise you that.

On Friday I have on the bill of fare a trip to Spago for Weinerschnizel and Reisling with my regular dinner partner of the last two years, a book. I definitely think I deserve it.  Peace, Love and Spago, just how life should be.