Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sex Is Work

I've mentioned my opinion on sex work before. I think it should be legal, and I get really frustrated with the judginess of other women when discussing the choices of fully grown women. Let's be clear here...I'm not talking about women on street corners addicted to crack or little girls at the mercy of their pimps, I'm talking about women who are smart enough and mature enough to decide for themselves that spending a few naked hours with your heels in the air beats the hell out of flipping burgers any damn day of the week.

Supposing I'd had the guts back in the day when the goods had a bit more financial value, I like to think I'd have made a damn good escort. Smart enough to realize that sex work is at best a gig that lasts a few years and crazy enough that the outlandishness of a client's requests wouldn't have caused me a moment's hesitation, but also sane enough to keep a life outside of sex work. I think I could have done it, and I wish like hell I'd tried. These days, let's face it, I'd be lucky to be pulling down a twenty for a back seat blow job. The goods ain't what they used to be, and for that matter, neither is my stamina.

Besides, really, what is sex work? Supposing you have no religion to answer to, and that you could give a rat's ass what society thinks of you, (both of which applies to me, btw) why not? How hard is it to pretend that you're enjoying sex? We've all done it. God, knows I have. (And for the record, no, that's not a dig at my exes...it's simple honesty.) In the confines of even the most loving relationships there are times when your partner wants it and you don't. And, yeah, you could be a cunt and tell them to fuck themselves, or you could be a stand up gal and take one for the team...heh heh. In theory, I suppose, it's a lie...in reality...it's another way of being a loving partner. No one wants to be rejected. Even when you know your partner loves you, even when you know your partner is enormously turned on by you most of the time...that one time they say, "Not tonight, honey..." It can really hurt. Now, admittedly, if your sex life becomes all about the sex for your partner's sake, something's wrong and you need to fix it.

And, frankly, let's face it. A lot of the jobs I've had in my life were about someone paying me to be a body...I didn't make my minimum wage at McDonald's (my after school job in high school) for my brilliant mind, let me tell you. It was hot, sticky, stinky work that hurt my back and my feet and for which I earned a pittance. I think of the hours spent scrubbing the smell of rehydrated onions and french fries out of my hair and realize that for the same amount of ick factor I could have easily made fully 25 times what I got paid to sling burgers. Wasted opportunities....


And for the record, as a mom...no, it wouldn't be my first choice for my little midget's career, but neither would I choose for her to sling burgers. If she decided, as an informed adult, to spend a few years as a sex worker, why would I have any more problem with that than if she were gay or bi or straight or anything else having to do with her sexuality, which is not really any of my fucking business. Now, if she becomes a born again Christian, or (oh, the horror) a Republican, then she'll hear it...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Smile

I have a few blog posts all ready to go on my laptop. Unfortunately, my laptop is back at the shop for repairs...boo... They assure me that this time it won't take 4 weeks to get it back, so hopefully I'll be up and running again here soon.

In the meantime...here's a musical interlude. This is what I have on repeat on my iPod at the moment.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mmm...Fresh Baked Bread

I'm sitting in my living room enjoying our beautifully decorated tree and the smell of the bread I just took out of the oven. It's very cozy on this blustery day. It's been pouring down rain all day, but thankfully we haven't lost power. It's probably because we're prepared and actually could go somewhere if we need to do so.

I'm a baking queen these days. I even made english muffins last night, but they're kind of a pain to make and I think I'm doing something wrong because they didn't have all the nooks and crannies they were supposed to have. I might try them again, but today was all about the French bread. French bread is a bit more fussy than the challah I made last time. It requires regular kneading during the rising process, so while I was helping the midget decorate the tree, every ten minutes or so, I had to stop and punch down the dough. But it was well worth judging by the heavenly smell wafting through the house. I won't get a chance to sample it until tomorrow night as I baked it for the family dinner at my aunt and uncle's house. It looks as good as it smells though...


While it looks pretty, it doesn't look anywhere near as pretty as the challah.



I used the second loaf of challah to make French toast this morning. It was amazingly yummy stuff. We ate it so fast there was no time to take a picture.

Baking is fun stuff...I just wish I had a maid or an assistant to do all the cleaing up afterwards!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow Days: They're Just More Fun With Power

We got snow early this year. Usually, my neck of the woods doesn't get much snow and when we do get it it's February/Marchish. But Sunday night we got a foot and a half and most of it is still sitting in my yard.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the snow. I love watching it fall and I love how beautiful it is when I'm looking out my window. And I love, love, love having my four wheel drive (such a dykey thing to admit, right?) when it snows. But, this week I did NOT love the snow. I did not love it because about two hours into what was supposed to be a cozy snow day with my daughter, our power went out.

Everything in my house runs on electricity. Heat, stove...We're on a well so even our water doesn't work when there's no power. But we hunkered down and tried to make the best of it, thinking that we'd have power back shortly. Only, we didn't. And without heat, and no firewood, this house got very cold, very quickly. I had my snake in my shirt, and my kid and I were bundled up with blankets and trying to make the best of what was started to look like a very uncomfortable situation.

As night started to fall, I must admit I started to panic a bit. I'd tried to figure out a way to get the kid somewhere else so that she, at least, would be warm, but my parent's driveway was impassable and her other parents were being less than helpful, and then the temperature dropped very suddenly, and despite the layers of clothes and the layers of blankets we started to get very, very cold.

I had a short break down and threw myself a pity party. And then I made myself snap out of it. You really don't have time to fall apart when you're a mom, regardless of the situation. We gathered up scrap wood, I made a fire in the fire place, broke out the candles and started to try to figure out exactly how we were going to entertain ourselves until bed time. Just as the house started to warm up, and we were getting around to thinking we were going to be okay...we'd made ourselves a nest of blankets in the living room near the fireplace and were cuddled up with the dogs (Ellwood was, and still is, very upset about the snow) when suddenly the power came back on and there was much rejoicing.

It's funny, but during those cold hours, I hated every single flake of snow that fell. I took it somewhat personally, as though this massive storm front that was affecting millions of people was somehow aimed at me and my little one, and our beloved pets. Can you say narcissistic? And then, the power was on, and it was warm and bright and the snow was beautiful again and Ellwood's disgust with the cold wet stuff and Charlie's silly hopping through the snow and my daughter's open wonder was joy distilled.

I've got some pics of Charlie romping through the snow, because, let's face it, there's nothing cuter than a moppy little black dog romping in the snow. I'm going to try and remember how to post them so that interwebs can feast their eyes on the cuteness that is my Charlie-dog...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Control Freak

Okay, guys....hold onto the edge of your seats, it's confession time. I am a huge control freak. I like things my way and feel that it would be best for everyone if they just did what I told them to do. My therapist says this stems from my inability to control my crazy life as a child. My exes say it's annoying. I say it's just part of my charm.

Anyway, the point of that startling revelation is that I have found a way to channel my need for control in a way that is neither self destructive or a nuisance to those around me. I'm baking. I've immersed myself in all kinds of baking projects. I'm waiting for challah dough to rise as I type this and yesterday I made my own bread sticks and a few days before that I made dinner rolls.

Previously, I avoided any recipe that required yeast, because it seemed like a job that is much too fussy for me. But what I've discovered is that there is no reason to be afraid of yeast. It as actually quite easy to work with and I've had fabulous results. And while my aching hands occasionally protest and I think longingly of the beautiful stand mixer in my mom's kitchen, I really enjoy getting my hands in the dough and taking out of my anger and aggression in a harmless and productive way. I tell you, it's saved me years in prison, because I hear that's where you go when you throw bricks through windows.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Stabbing...

Did you ever have one of those days where stupid people keeping giving you reasons to stab them? That's the kind of day I've had. And the people who keep giving me reasons to stab them know that I'll totally do it. Okay, I probably won't, but the stress of not stabbing them makes me want to stab myself which is totally lame because I'm not the one doing stabworthy things.

Queen-Sized?

I have a queen size bed. I bought it about seven years ago. The exgirlfriend and I had been sleeping on a futon. A horrible, tiny lumpy futon. That first night in the queen bed...it was such a luxury. I could turn over and not get an elbow in the eye.

The ex has moved on, but I've still got the bed. You'd think I'd be feeling lonely in this big bed all by myself. But...uh...I'm not sleeping by myself. I've got about 30 pounds of canine cuteness sprawled out beside me. These two are small dogs. I keep telling them..."You're little dogs, you don't need that much space." They're not buying it.


Before Ellwoood, Charlie was not a cuddler. But Charlie's such jealous lump that he has to be closer than Ellwood, and since Charlie has a tendency to snap at Ellwood if Ellwood dares to touch him while he's sleeping, I end up with one on each side of me. I think I need a bigger bed...

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Game I Can Really Get Into...

I think I've mentioned a time or two my feelings on marriage. It's fine for other people, but I'd rather just stand here while you beat me with a stick. Basically, it's not for me.

It seems the folks at Adult Swim can empathize, and they have created the most fantastic game...Five Minutes To Kill Yourself: Wedding Day. You can personalize the wedding to represent you and your potential mate. It even allows for same sex couples....or you can just let it pick for you, which is what I do. It's great fun and a good way to kill (get it..ha...I'm so damn funny) five minutes.

Go here and check it out. Poke around the site for other fun games. (I like Zombie Hooker Nightmare, too.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful

I've spent my day doing what I love most...cooking. And cooking my favorite meal of the year, at that. There is something about traditional Thanksgiving fare that just lightens my soul. I love the simple flavors, the savoriness of it all. Not to mention that while it takes quite awhile, it is the simplest, most straightforward of cooking. And I'm damn good at it.

While I dislike the racial history behind Thanksgiving, it is my favorite holiday. I am hardly religious or even "spiritual," but the gathering together of the people I love so that we may feast and enjoy and simply be together, without all the consumerism that mars Christmas is lovely.

As I went about my tasks...boiling the yams and making stuffing, I realized how very different this Thanksgiving is from the last one. Last year seems so far away, perhaps because so very much has happened this year, and I am miles away from the life I was living last year at this time. All the joy had gone from my life and I was so numb, so anesthetized by my depression that I didn't even see it. I went through the motions, but took no joy in what has always been a joyful task for me.

I have so very much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful, as always, as I will forever be, for my beautiful, healthy, brilliant daughter. I am thankful for the task of being her mother, though it isn't easy and some days it is harder to see the joy, she, more than anything else in my life, gives me a reason every morning to be. If I accomplish nothing else in the world, being her mother will be enough. Though, to be brutally honest, I haven't always felt that way. I was not one of those mothers who looked at their infants the moment they were born and felt that indescribable feeling of coming home to oneself. I spent years struggling with the occasional resentment I felt that I was not living the life I had wanted, the fear of being "just a mother." I wish it had been easier, that I had felt the rightness of being her mother from the moment she was born, but then, those things that are the most important rarely come easily to me.

And while this has, in many ways, been the hardest year of my life, I am thankful for the things that got me here. I am thankful to be feeling again. And, yeah, the pain has sucked. But, I've also found the capacity for joy again. I'm still a little rusty at all of this, and parts of my heart are so broken I wonder if it will ever again be whole. But, even if it isn't, at least I am present in my life once more, present as a mother and a sister and friend, and that is beautiful to me.

I am thankful for my family, without whom this year could have been the death of me. I never cease to be amazed at the good fortune that gave me a second family to give me what my first could not. I am thankful for all the people who love me despite my craziness, despite my irrationality. I'm not the easiest person to love, and my family and my best friend (who is half a world away from me tonight, but still the one of the biggest pieces of what makes my life beautiful) make it look simple. I thank you and I love you with all of my all too imperfect heart.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Junk Science

At the risk of sounding really conceited, I'm a really intelligent girl. There's quite a bit going on my noggin...no common sense 99% of the time, but that's a whole other ball of wax.

As an intelligent girl, it never ceases to amaze just how uneducated (or just plain stupid) other people can be. There's so much information available in the world, it seems a waste to not take advantage of it. But, that's not the worst of it, really. The worst thing (as far as I'm concerned, anyway) is that some people will believe anything they read or see or hear someone else say. The idea of finding legitimate sources, or cross-checking facts simply doesn't occur to them. They read it on the internet or in some new-age dimestore novel and so, of course, it must be true.

This sort of thing, the "I saw it on the internet, so it must be true" ridiculousness is my single largest pet peeve. When I run into it, it makes my head explode. Okay, not really...but it does set me off on a three hour lecture about fact checking and peer reviews and reliable sources, and no, goddammit, Wikipedia is NOT a fucking reliable source.

The Archaeogoddess runs into this far more often than I do, what with her being a an archaeologist and all. I once listened as this utter moron I know talked about The DaVinci Code conspiracy crap with the Archaeogoddess as though it was fact and not ridiculous fiction. The Archaeogoddess kept a polite smile on her face the entire time, and then politely changed the subject. If it had been me, I'd have berated the woman up one side and down the other...but that's just part of my charm.

Here's a hint, folks...if it's been "kept hidden" or if it's a "secret they don't want you to know" move on. It's likely utter nonsense.

And just because there was a "new study" that showed that the cure for cancer is rubbing bacon grease in your butt crack, that doesn't mean every cancer patient should be slathering on the lard. A study is just that...a single study. It could have been an anomaly, a chance occurrence, a mistake made by the researchers. In order for something to be true, you must be able to prove it. You must show me proof. I want to see first sources, and repeatable results. Your cousin's friend who drank pomegranate juice and suddenly cured her fibromyalgia isn't going to impress me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Archaeogoddess Rocks!!

Ha..I love it...Archaeogoddess...rocks...get it? I kill me!!

Anyway, my best friend is on a dig in Qatar as a paid archaeologist. You can read about her adventures here. I am so proud and amazed and thrilled...despite the fact that she's even less accessible than normal due to lack of regular internet access.

On a completely unrelated note...I have been reunited with my beloved laptop and should, therefore, be back to posting quasi-regularly. I broke my ankle the day before Halloween so my life has been that much more lacking in adventure, but I'm sure I'll find something to blog about, given enough time I always find something about which to complain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reunited....

...And it feels so good...

My trusty laptop is back where it belongs...sure, it only took a month for them to replace the motherboard...the motherboard of a computer only 9 months old, but it's not like I'm complaining or anything...Fuckers...

So, the loss of my laptop for the last month has meant more time on my hands. Even on the days when I was able to use my sister's computer while she was at work, that atill left hours of no computer access of everyday. And then I up and broke my ankle...because I am a dork like that...and I had even more time on my hands. So, rather than use my time productively, I spent a lot of time thinking, obsessing really. Because Facebook keeps me from thinking...it's true. The last day and a half have been filled with mindless Facebooking. Good times...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Laptop is Broken...

Seriously broken...as in the power comes on, but it won't boot up. I'm hoping it's an easy fix and that it doesn't damage any of my data, but the repair people at Best Buy have had it for over a week now and I have no idea what's going on with it. In fact, the bastards won't even answer the phone today. Don't they understand I NEED my laptop? How can I stay on top of shit without my laptop? (Okay, who the hell am I kidding, I can't even stay on top of shit with my laptop...sigh...)

Anyway, internet action is spotty at best and only available when I can steal my sister's laptop...so that's why there have been no recent posts...not because I'm a lazy bitch...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Winter Soon...

I live in California, so my next sentence makes no sense. I hate summer. I live for winter. The rain, the sweaters and extra blankets and stews and soups and even the quality of the light. California sunshine, especially by summer's end, is painfully brilliant. It washes out the sky, leeching it a pale baby blue that lacks depth or beauty.

As winter approaches and the leaves fall and the sun sinks lower in the sky, I want to curl up on the sofa with a good book and the beautiful quilt my mother made me. I start breaking out my winter recipes, soups and beans and biscuits and cornbread.

My kitchen is a disaster area. I made potato soup and biscuits and bread pudding yesterday. I know that other people can cook without using every dish and destroying every cooking surface. I'm not one of those people. I can't cook without the end resulting looking like the morning after a frat party.

Oh, but it was heavenly stuff. Lots of garlic and goodness. And months and months of my favorite season yet to come...I'm a happy, happy girl tonight...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Guess You Just Never Get Over Your First...

In the 1996 presidential election, I was voting for the first time and I had a kick ass government teacher who made the process interesting. Needless to say, I voted for Clinton. I was madly in love with that president. He was my dream president and to have voted for him in my first election...well, it was the beginning of my love/hate affair with politics.

In the dark ages of the Bush administration, I missed Clinton fiercely. I idealized that man, that presidency. For a president like Bush to follow Clinton seemed the worst sort of irony.

But then, a few years ago, I started to read more than the standard press reports, delved a bit deeper than the pretty little sound bites you get on the evening news. I realized that Clinton wasn't quite the dream man I thought he was. I learned about Rwanda, learned what a publicity whore the Clinton machinery really was. It took a bit of the shine off the memory, and the man.

And yet, every now and then I see him on tv...doing an interview and he says something that makes me forget my disappointment and takes me back to the first heady days of my political awakening.

This being Sunday, there is nothing on tv, so I was going through my dvr recordings and getting caught up on The Daily Show. And there he was...in all his eloquent glory talking about healthcare. And he said what I always want to say to my conservative family about healthcare. And yeah...being on The Daily Show is a bit like preaching to the choir, but I still have to share it because...well, because it's just damn good...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Bill Clinton Extended Interview Pt. 3
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests


Oh, Bill...you know just how to sweet talk me...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Gosselins

I admit it. I'm one of those people who watched Jon & Kate Plus Eight. I enjoyed the show, enjoyed the kids...thought it was cute. I even sort of enjoyed the not so friendly byplay between the two of them. Yes, I winced from time to time when she was particularly harsh or he was particularly checked out of their relationship, but I thought it was nice to see that other couples were effected by stress. Too often, we expect that people will be perfect even during extremely stressful times. And no, I don't understand the stress of that many children...but I do know the stress of a chronic illness and too little money.

Their divorce has been tough for me to watch, probably because I'm going through a similar thing. No, there is no divorce, but I don't think the demise of a ten year relationship is that much different.

I always kind of felt sorry for Kate. Which I know puts me in the extreme minority. Everyone felt sorry for Jon because Kate was a complete shrew, which she admittedly is...but Jon was such a non connected lump that I kinda understood her shrewiness. I mean, having one child and being alone in that endeavor, as I have been for the last six months, sometimes drives me to the brink of insanity, I can't even begin to imagine what having eight kids and an emotionally bankrupt partner would be like. I'd be locked up in a loony bin somewhere mumbling lines from Monty Python to myself.

So, yeah...can't say I was terribly surprised when they announced the divorce. But, what they're saying about each other in the press...? It's unbelievable. I mean...I know that when your heart is broken and you have all this hurt and anger you say horrible things, things you mean and things you don't mean. And realistically, while you're trying your damnedest to keep your kids out of the crossfire, sometimes they hear what you've said. And this is both a good and bad thing because while you hate for your kids to hear that sort of thing, it gives you a chance to talk to your kid and explain that you're human and that you make mistakes and that sometimes anger and sadness make you say things you regret. It can be a good moment for you to teach your kid a lesson about life.

But when you go on Larry King and declare that you despise someone...that's not done in the heat of the moment. That's cold calculation. When you give an interview to People magazine saying that the child's other parent doesn't care about them that's calculated as well. And these kids aren't going to have a good teaching moment, because what you say in the heat of the moment you can explain...but what you say in a cold and calculating attempt to hurt someone...you can't explain and you can't expect to be forgiven for. For the rest of their lives, those kids are going to be able to read and hear what their parents did to hurt each other, and that's the kind of pain you can't outgrow...

Monday, September 07, 2009

I'm No Betty Crocker...

My poor little munchkin is sick. She's got the flu, and is absolutely miserable. So when she asked for my "really good potato soup." I was more than happy to oblige. I stole the recipe from Julie Powell's Julie and Julia. I feel no guilt about this because she stole it from Julia Child, and it's the best and easiest soup recipe I've ever encountered. My mini me adores it, and tell me that it's the best potato soup she's ever had.

So, I made a great big pot of soup and that's what we've been indulging in all weekend. We were supposed to be with family celebrating a cousin's birthday, but the she had to get sick and ruin that plan, so I've been shoving fluids down her throat, along with Ibuprofen. And when I'm not tending to her, I've been a busy little worker bee this weekend. I finally finished unpacking my bedroom, which is fantastic. I also cleaned rat cages and the kitchen and did some grocery shopping. I'm currently staring at the living room trying to muster up some strength to unpack the last of the boxes and hang the pictures. So far, no luck...

I never really imagined myself to be the soup-making kind of mom. In fact, I never really imagined myself as a mom. And no, I'm not the mom who gets up every morning and makes fabulous breakfasts and packs great lunches. She eats hot lunch at school and breakfast more often than not is cereal and juice. I don't greet her at the door when she comes home with fresh baked cookies. But, when I do cook for her, I feel good about it. I love it when she tells me how much she enjoys something that I've made. Currently, she's been begging for homemade egg rolls. I make the best egg rolls, if I do say so myself.

So, no...I don't wear pearls to do the vacuuming and it's not uncommon for me to spend the day in my pjs...but all that aside, I think I'm a pretty good mom...I'm just not June Cleaver or Betty Crocker, but really that's okay...because I'm pretty sure I'd be homicidal if I ever tried to fit that roll...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Identity

Gay, straight...or something in between?

Back in the day, before the exgirlfriend, I identified mainly as straight, though admitted that should I find a girl I was attracted to, I would definitely not hesitate to act on it. However, once I dated a girl, lived with a girl, loved a girl, it became abundantly obvious that I was most definitely not straight. But since I still have all those pesky hormonal reactions to attractive guys, also clearly not gay.

Most people would use the word bisexual, but I hate it. Aside from it's clinical sound, it just has such a negative connotation within the queer community. Somehow, being in between is construed as either a cop out or an inability to commit to the gay community. And it's true that a lot of people struggling with their identity do use bisexual as a stepping stone. But for me, it's not a stepping stone. It is what I am. Not gay, but not straight, either.

And gay girls generally avoid bisexual girls like the plague. And not without reason. There are plenty of girls who call themselves bisexual, but really mean bicurious and end up using the gay girl as an "experience." Leading them on, forgetting that their great party story is going to be simply a heartbreak for the other girl. Many bisexual girls have a boyfriend and want a girl on the side or to bring into the bedroom to spice up the relationship. In short, a lot of bisexual girls use gay girls as sex toys, with little regard for the consequences. The end result is that once a girl says she's bisexual, most lesbians head for the hills.

Much worse, in my opinion, are the girls who claim to be straight, despite an ongoing relationship with another girl. As in..."I'm straight...I just happened to fall in love with her." Um...here's the thing...if you get off on fucking a girl...you aren't straight. And I don't understand not copping to it. The homophobes are still going to hate you, perhaps even more than "normal" queers. To paraphrase the utterly fantastic Mistress Matisse, there is no such thing as a First Pussy Free policy.

Another pitfall for the bisexual girl, most guys take it to mean that you want to put on a show for them...um...no. No, no, no, no. If I'm with a girl, I want to be with a girl. When I'm with a girl, I'm not doing it because it's turning some guy on. I'm doing it because it turns me on. That's why that whole Katy Perry "I Kissed A Girl" phenomenon disgust me to no end. Kiss girls if you want to, if it feels good and you like it...but don't do it to get the attention of some guy. Other women deserve more respect than to be used as spectacles for some drunk guy.

It would be easier to be straight or gay. There aren't nearly as many landmines. You don't have to worry about "betraying" the queer community if you fuck a guy and you don't have to wonder if the guy at the bar buying you drinks is doing it because he genuinely likes you, or if it's because he's imagining watching you go down on the girlfriend he left at home...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Killing Time Until True Blood

I'm having one crapfest of a weekend. Nothing really going on, other than that apparently while I sleep tiny, angry elves sneak into my bedroom and beat the living crap out of me. And also slip sedatives into everything I eat and drink. I think they're working for the "I Hate The Queen Of The Universe Club." Maybe that's where the dues money goes...

So, yeah...like the title says, I'm basically just killing time until I can watch another installment of True Blood. Mmmm...yummy vampires!! I could be doing laundry or unpacking the boxes in my bedroom..but no, that would require energy and I have none thanks the minions of the "I Hate The Queen of the Universe Club." (Man, I've got to find a shorter way to say that.) So, I guilt-tripped my sister into letting me use her laptop since mine has been sabotaged by the Club. For some reason, the ac plug isn't working which means, no charge to the battery, which means no laptop. Yeah, there were tears...I'm taking it in this week because my life is meaningless without it.

So, I spent Friday evening at my aunt and uncle's house making yummy, yummy food with my cousin. We had the world's best bruschetta, which I made, but I can't really take all the credit because the tomatoes were the uber yummy ones my aunt grows herself and then there was fresh basil from my cousin's basil plant...I'm telling you, it was better than sex. Okay, maybe not better than ALL sex, but certainly better than some of the sex I've had...after all there is a ton of sex I've had in my life that I'd never want to have again, but I really, really want some more of that bruschetta!

And then yesterday was a frenzy of activity...kind of. The munchkin and I made a compost bin and I bathed the dogs, much their dismay, but now they are soft and clean and smell good, which are all requirements for anything I let sleep in my bed. I also cooked moose for the first time in my life. We're at the end of the month, "Oh fuck, we have nothing but stew meat and crackers" stage. A coworker of my sister's gave her a bunch of moose meat because we live in Amador County and that's just how the Amador County folk roll. It was good, but kinda wierd. I kept reminding myself that there was no difference between moose and cow, but myself wasn't really buying it. It's been ages since I've had any kind of game meat...I mean, when I was a kid, we didn't eat anything but game meat, but that was because my step-father was a freak who liked to shoot stuff.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Hearty Welcome to the "I Hate The Queen of the Universe Club"

I don't watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. I don't do it because I know they will talk about me (a liberal) in very derogatory terms. I don't respect their opinions, so why subject myself to it?

But, I'm a sensible like that. I try to avoid situations in which people tell me how much I suck. I don't need to hear it. There are plenty of situations I can't avoid that people tell me how much I suck, why look for more? Yet there are plenty of people who know I don't like them, know I've got all kinds of negative opinions about them and yet they can't stay away from the words I post here. I'm always sort of confused by this. If you don't like me, if you think I'm a lying psycho bitch, then what the fuck are you doing here? I've gotten pissed about it, gotten depressed about it, but now I've decided to take advantage of it.

See, a few of my regular readers come here because I can be pretty funny from time to time. What better way to amuse them than to start giving the members of the "I Hate The Queen of the Universe Club" what it seems they want? I'm going to find a way to blame them for everything from a bad hair day to the war in the middle east. Maybe that will give them the sense of power they seem to be seeking. If they want to hear how much I think they suck, then why not indulge them? It might keep me from feeling stabby. (Stabby is my new favorite emotion. The Archaeogoddess sent me a link to the The Bloggess' blog, and I've stolen this term from that amazingly funny site.)

By the way, if you want to join the "I Hate The Queen of the Universe Club" you are going to have to contact a current member. Needless to say, they don't give me a whole lot of information about membership, dues, mission statements...I'm just the object of their obsessive hatred, not like a real person or anything...

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Many Second Chances?

Getting over the collapse of a ten year relationship should hurt. It should be difficult. There should be tears and sleepless nights and anger and fear. But, there should also be an end to the pain, a lessening of the pain. Ever so slowly, the good days should come to equal and then outnumber the bad.

That is how it works if you are smarter than I am in the relationship department. If you are smarter than I am, you don't answer the phone when your ex calls after you've said that you are done talking to her. If you are wiser than I am, you remember all the lies you've caught her her in and you don't believe her apologies and her pleas for forgiveness and second chances. You make yourself indifferent to her attempts to get at you through second sources. And you refuse to believe that she has any desire to make amends, no matter what she's told others.

However, I am not smart when it comes to my heart. I am not good at giving up on people I love, even when they hurt me. And this is what I must learn. This is what I have to remind myself to do, every second of every moment. I must learn that no matter how much I love someone, they don't have the right to hurt me again and again. I must remind myself that if I expect others to value me, I must value myself. And that means that my affection and compassion must come at a cost. Not an exorbitant one, or an unrealistic one...it is simply that my time and affection must be earned through kindness, compassion and affection for me. It is not unreasonable to expect the people I love to love me in return.

I must also remind myself that it is not a second chance when you've done it before. Everyone deserves a second chance to do the right thing. But no one deserves infinite chance to continue doing the wrong thing.

Stuck On Repeat

I've got a gazillion or so songs that I love and usually listen to on shuffle on my mp3 player, bur right now I've got these two songs stuck in my head and on repeat...





Saturday, August 15, 2009

Only In My Dreams

I had the most beautiful dream last night. I dreamt that I was driving home from my parent's house and there, by the side of the road, was my sweet Cera dog. I dreamt that I opened the door of the car and she jumped into the car and I brought her home. The dream was so real and vivid. I could feel her fur, that silky coarse German Shepherd fur...I could feel the weight of her leaning into me, draping her head over my shoulder in her distinctive puppy hug.

In the dream, I brought her home to my new place...And the whole ride home she stood in the back seat with her head on my shoulder while I was driving. Just the way she always had. When I woke up, I could still feel her fur in my fingers, and the weight of her leaning against me. And then, as I became more aware, there was the sick feeling in the hollow of my stomach. Cera is gone, and has been since March.

During the first dreadful chaos that followed the break up, my six year old German Shepherd/Chow mix that had been with us since she was only 9 weeks old, went missing. I lived in the middle of nowhere on a mountain. I was living in the small guest house on the same plot of land as my parent's house. We lived on over 90 acres of wilderness. Our neighbors, such as they were, lived up the same mile long dirt road we did. None of us have fences or anything like that, and our dogs have always had the run of the mountain. Cera loved it. She was always exploring, coming back to check in and then heading off again in search of adventure.

The first night Cera didn't come back at bedtime I was only a little worried, because while it was rare for her to not come back at bedtime, it wasn't unheard of. But when she still wasn't there when I came home from my daughter's softball game, I began to get very scared. I called the neighbors, asking if anyone had seen her...I called the shelter and the local vet offices. I was worried but sure she'd turn up soon. I made up fliers and my daughter and I drove all over our area putting them up and driving up and down the tiny dirt roads along the canyon. We knocked on doors and looked in ditches and called out to her over and over again.

There were a few calls in those first days. Vague sightings that could have been from before she went missing. Nothing concrete. I berated myself for putting off microchipping her, though truthfully, I don't think anyone found her and turned her in to a vet or shelter. I called all the shelters within a 150 mile radius, and faxed endless fliers to endless vet's offices. No one has seen Cera. And they would remember Cera. There aren't many all black German Shepherds with purple splotched Chow tongues who are missing their right front leg. She would have been recognizable. I still troll the shelter websites, calling on any black German Shepherd mixes listed, even when I've seen the picture and know in my heart that it's not her. Even worse is when there is no picture, only a short description and I actually begin to hope, only to be told, yet again, that the dog in the shelter is not my dog.

I keep meaning to write a fitting memorial for my beautiful girl. But I can't bring myself to do it. To do so would be to admit that she truly is gone and is never coming home, and I am not ready to admit that. Better for the time being to hope that someone out there has her, that she's safe and sound tonight with a family that is looking for her rightful family and they're giving her love and keeping her belly full until the day that we can be reunited.

Sweet dreams, my Cera girl...until we meet again...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Selling Sex

I just finished watching the documentary 'Very Young Girls.' It's a documentary on prostitution, and the exploitation of young girls.

Now, I actually support the legalization of sex work. I think that if adult women make a choice to provide sexual services in exchange for money, that's their business and there is simply nothing wrong with it. Sex work in and of itself is not exploitative. If a woman chooses to be a sex work provider, chooses the days and times that she will work, which clients she will see, what sex acts she is willing to perform...that's not exploitation. It's freedom.

However, most women who have the power to make those kinds of decisions choose not to enter sex work because of the legal implications. Furthermore, criminalization of sex work makes it dangerous. Clients are aware that sex workers are outside the law and that status means they aren't as likely to call law enforcement for protection. And because all sex work is illegal, girls and women who are forced into sex work by predatory pimps, poverty or drug addiction have little recourse for reaching out to get help. Girls who are being held against their will by vicious pimps are arrested and prosecuted, not rescued and helped.

'Very Young Girls' provides insight into the nightmare that these children live daily. In this country, a 13 year old girl cannot legally consent to sex, but she can be prosecuted for receiving money for sex. It simply makes no sense. It's like saying you can rape a woman and then if you give her money, she is somehow not a victim. These girls are not choosing to have sex for money. They are being forced to have sex with men to make money for other men. And these pimps know their stuff. They know how to target girls from hellish homes, girls who are looking for someone to give them acceptance and love. And they know how to draw them in, make them feel loved for the first time in their lives, and then use the love girls are dying to give to them to turn them out on the streets. And rather than rescue these girls and help them, our laws put them in jail cells and then right back out onto the street into the clutches of their abusers.

The documentary delves into the work of GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services), an organization run by a former victim of sexual exploitation. The organization works with the girls to attempt to rehabilitate them, get them off the streets, off the drugs and out of the hands of their pimps. They give girls the chance to get an education and a job and a life. The work that goes into helping these girls is mind boggling. And a lot of the girls go back to their pimps, because the pimps are masters of manipulation. It is the sort of organization that is actually doing the work that our elected officials are supposed to be doing, but aren't.

If you're looking for a cause to champion or have money that you can donate, or just want to learn about the amazing work these people are doing check out their website. You can find the documentary on Netflix, it's available for streaming online. I highly recommend it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Feeling Icky

Well...we have moved. That is to say that most of our belongings are in our new home, and we are sleeping here, but there are boxes everywhere and stuff still at the other house. It was a long and often frustrating weekend. Moving is such a stressful experience when you are well and everything is organized.

But, I am neither of those things. I didn't get everything packed before moving day, not by a long shot. I had the muscly help for only one day, so getting furniture was the priority that day. Never mind that I had stuff piled on top of stuff and hadn't vacuumed in ages. Sigh. I long to have one of those immaculately clean houses that always feels relaxing, but I hate, hate, hate cleaning. I've never been all that fond of cleaning, but definitely being sick has exacerbated the issue. It's hard to want to use what little energy I do have to do something I find so completely distasteful, regardless of the necessity.

To make matters more difficult on myself, as I insist upon doing, I ran out of my thyroid meds and didn't call it in in time to have the doctor's office fax over the refill, so I wasn't able to pick it up until this afternoon. So, today marked the third day with no thyroid meds and as a result of that combined with the exhaustion caused by moving made for miserable day today. I was awoken by Charlie barking at the guys who came to trim trees and service the water purifier system. I knew within seconds of opening my eyes just how bad the day was going to be, and decided that I had no other choice but to use today to rest. I intended to spend the day on the couch, doing nothing. But, then Ellwood vomited on my bed, so that made sheet washing a necessity.

Then, I decided that since a full day of rest was apparently out of the question, I'd take the burden off my sister a bit by going and getting the salt pellets for the water softener. I loaded the dishwasher, puttered at a few other things, but every little thing I did wore me out and required rest.

There is still so much left to do; clean up at the old house, unpacking, figuring out where things go. I know tomorrow is going to suck, as well, and I've promised to make dinner for my moving help by way of thanks since money is out of the question, but with all that I need to do...like finish bringing over kitchen items so I can actually cook dinner, and putting away what I can so that I can start to settle in...I just don't think it's going to happen.

Monday, August 03, 2009

On Anger

I despise being angry. I hate the way my stomach churns and my eyes prick with unshed tears. I hate the callous way my brain puts together deadly insults and hurls them without hesitation, without considering the consequences. I hate the screaming, the hasty decisions, the thirst for vengeance. I hate the way anger uses love as a weapon of blunt force, causing pain and destroying that love in the process.

I have for years swallowed my anger because I hated the person it made me. And yet, tonight, I find myself longing for the anger that has sustained me over the past months. Anger gives you strength and purpose. It doesn't hurt. At least, it doesn't have the same hollow knife's edge pain that accompanies the sorrow and grief that is all that is left of a love once vibrant and strong.

In my anger, the years that I've spent loving that lost heart that used to beat with mine seemed inconsequential. When anger was my companion, I didn't mourn all the soft, gray mornings I awoke to find my arms full of my lover and my brain full of the warm, sweet scent of the curve of her neck. My anger reminded me of all the tiny annoyances, all the larger slights, and ignored the beautiful, breathless moments that made up our life together.

Tonight, my heart is wrapped in silver grief. This grief is softer and deeper than my previous grief. This is the grief of acceptance. The grief that looks back at the past from an impassable distance. This is grief accompanied by gratitude for the moments that still burn so brightly in my mind. This is grief tempered by the knowledge that I am closer to the woman I want to be because I once loved and was loved so completely. This is grief wrapped in sorrow for the pain I have caused my once beloved, for the pain she has caused herself. This is grief wrapped in forgiveness for the pain she has caused me.

Life moves on, as it ever has.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Single Is Working For Me

I've gotten a lot of advice since the break-up. Advice on how to move on, when to start dating, how to feel better...that sort of thing. And some of it has been useful. But most of it has been utter nonsense.

I've had people tell me that I should just face facts that because of my advanced age (32) and the fact that I have a kid, there's no way that anyone will ever want me. And you know...it's not my happily coupled friends who say these things. It's my single friends/relatives who say these things. And most of them are older than I am. I assume it's projection on their parts. And if it turns out to be true for me, then the fact that they are single will somehow have nothing to do with them, and everything to do with age and family status.

I've also had people tell me not to wait. To "get back on the horse" again. But, you know what? I am loving being single. I love it. I haven't been single as an adult. I was with my daughter's father on and off from the time I graduated high school until my daughter was a few weeks old and then I was with the girlfriend. So for the last 13 years I've been in a relationship with someone who shared none of my interests, whose interests I didn't share. I've spent 13 years apologizing for being intelligent, for loving to learn things about religion and politics and history and for sticking my nose into every book I find. I've been told that I'm condescending and patronizing when I tried to talk about what interested me.

I don't have to try and please someone anymore. I have issues with conflict. As brash and loud and opinionated as I am...when it comes to actual conflict with a partner, I twist myself into knots trying not to make them angry. Because in my warped mind, nothing is worse than having that person be angry at me. I know why I do it...I've had enough therapy that I get that, I just don't know how not to do it. And so, I'm not constantly worrying about that anymore. I'm making decisions, big and small, based on what I want and need and what's best for my mini me, rather than what is likely to piss someone else off the least.

And you know...I have friends. I have my family. I'm not in the least bit lonely. I'm laughing more..spending more time with people than I have in years. It's good. Really good. I'm not ready to bring someone new into my life. I want to really get to know me...I want to indulge my need for new and useless information. I want to focus on me and my kid and not deal with the guilt trip because I'm not worried about taking care of an adult.

I am not only not looking for a new relationship...I am actively resisting the idea. I am not ready. I know what I don't want, but I don't have the first idea of what I want. And until I'm sure I'm not going to end up in screwed up long term relationship volume three, I'm going to run as fast as I can from even the slightest hint of romantic entanglement.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It Isn't the Entree

So, I made the mistake of clicking on one of those "recommended" stories on Yahoo. I won't link to it, because it was lame and I don't like to share lameness. But, basically it was yet another story telling women just what is wrong with them that they are still single.

Seriously...do straight girls actually believe this shit? That the reason they don't have fulfilling marriages with 2.1 childrena and picket fences and all of that crap is because they ordered a salad on their first date? Or because they didn't order a salad on a first date?

I'm single, for the first time since the summer after I graduated high school. And I'm actually beginning to really enjoy it. And realize why it was so damn necessary, but that's a whole other post. Now, I have no intention of being single for the rest of my life but I'll be damned if I'm going to try any of these "tricks" to find myself a decent partner.

First of all...finding someone isn't really all that hard. I know happily partnered people with all sorts of really big character flaws that would send me screaming in the other direction and I'm by no means the pickiest girl on the planet. (Honest self-observation or subtle dig at my exes? You decide.) The question isn't so much about finding "someone" as it seems to be about finding The One. You know, the one person in all the world that was created just for you, who will make up for the prom date that stood you up and the lover who stole your entire dvd collection.

The only problem with that little scenario...It just isn't that easy. You aren't going to find that person until you really know you. Because, while the drummer who broods mysteriously in the corner while laughing at your attempts to seduce them is exciting...exciting doesn't help when you are working out the details of a life together. If you're an intellectual who would rather spend an evening reading the latest issue of your favorite scientific journal while your partner would rather be watching a marathon of The Real World...it's not going to work.

There just isn't any magic rule for being lucky when it comes to love. But, if you're reading books that tell you the reason you're alone has anything to do with your choice of entree on your first date, you're looking in the wrong direction.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Communal Living

Things are going quite well in this little corner of the universe. I've had a very fun week, thanks to the fact that two of my cousins are in town. One of them has moved here (woohoo!) and the other is on an extended visit. They both have children, so we've basically just been spending the day together. Today was the first day of swimming lessons for the brood. My mini me is taking a stroke refinement lesson and her younger cousins are either doing their "Mommy and Me" class or the "Intro to Swimming" class.

As we've coralled our children and helped each other with cooking and cleaning, I've been pondering the advantages of having "sisters" for lack of a better term. In our modern society, we're all really focused on "doing our own thing." Which has its advantages and drawbacks, but the biggest drawback is the loss of community. We're all very focused on our lives, our own children, our own needs. It used to be that neighbors, friends and families spent time with each other at home. It was nothing to pop next door for a cup of milk or to gossip about the neighbor on the other side.

And not that I'm looking to get married...but I understand some of the appeal of polygamy. Not the lock the women and children on the compound kind of polygamy, but polygamy as it is practiced in other cultures. Motherhood can be a lonely and frustrating time. Even if you don't work and can spend all your time parenting, you still feel like you don't have enough hands or patience. And having other women around who are also mothers, who love your children, who are willing to help care for them, there is something very comforting about that. There is always someone there to lend a helping hand, a comforting shoulder and a supportive ear. And it's just more fun.

To tell you the truth, I've lived in apartments where I didn't know the name of my next door neighbor, let alone any information juicy enough to use as gossip fodder. I love living this close to my family. I love that my cousins and I are so close and that our children are so close that we dump them all in the bathtub at the same time. I can't ever give my daughter siblings, but she has her cousins, and they are as close as siblings, with all the good and bad that comes with it. Yes, they squabble over who got more ice cream or whose sandwich is better, but they also cuddle together while my daughter reads them stories.

I love, too, that because of all this time we're spending together, my nieces and nephew (okay, well I suppose you could say cousins, but they call me "Auntie" and I call them my nieces and nephew) have become so comfortable that they will let me pick me them up the second I walk in the door, they give me hugs and kisses and don't seem to notice which one of us is bathing/feeding/changing them, and know that coming to any of us for help is an option.

My daughter and I are close, in part because I've not worked in a quite awhile due to my health so I've been able to be home with her. I'm glad we're as close as we are, but I've always wished that weren't so constantly alone. Because even before the breakup, my daughter and I spent most of our time alone together due to the exgirlfriend's work schedule. And, frankly, even though she was working, she hated us leaving on the weekends to go and spend time with family. I'm loving that I get to spend time with my cousins any time, that I don't have to worry about someone else's schedule.

My sister and I are putting in a rental application for a house that will give us all a bit more space and privacy. Which means that in just a few short weeks (hopefully) I won't be hearing her scream "Seriously?" every time someone else uses the bathroom. Because, you know, we should only use it when we are certain she isn't going to want it. What was that I was saying about sisters? Sigh...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm Rubber, You're Glue....

All my life I've listened to what others think of me. Not the others who love me and actually know me. Know what's in my heart and who and what I am...No, those loving, compassionate voices are a whisper beside the shrieks of the few people who dislike me.

Now, I'm not everyone's cup of tea. I get that. I'm not the nicest girl in the world and I'm flaky and more than a bit lazy. But, I'm not cruel, and hurting someone, regardless of what they've done to me, hurts me. I don't like it when I know I've let my brain get ahead of my heart. Because my brain is quick and clever and has a tendency to lash out before I can "filter" what's going on.

It's time for a change, though. I need to stop listening to the things that people who don't like me say simply to hurt me. Generally speaking, the feeling is quite mutual. It's rare for me to want to befriend someone who doesn't want to befriend me. So, why on earth do I ignore the words of the people I love most, the people I admire and respect?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

...Because I Knew You'd Freak Out!!!

I have a reputation for being high strung. I'll be the first to admit that it's not an unearned reputation. I have said frequently that I wouldn't live with me, and I wouldn't...I'm opinionated and neurotic and melodramatic. Not a picnic by a longshot.

But some people would have you believe I'm a compassionless shrew who freaks out over the least little thing. Not true. If I'm stressed and tired, I might flip out over nothing. However, both of my exes love to excuse lying to me, or omitting the truth or waiting until the last minute to tell me something by saying they didn't tell me something because they knew it would upset me. And, yes, sometimes the truth that they omitted or, frankly, hid would cause me to freak out, but lying? That will always cause me to freak the fuck out.

Here's the thing...while I'm the first to admit that I'm highstrung and dramatic, I'm also fairly logical. I don't freak out over nothing at all. If you're sure that whatever it is is going to freak me out, then hiding it or postponing is hardly the best way to go about defusing an imminent breakdown. And these are people who have lived with me. Not casual acquaintances...they've heard my monologues about how much I hate lying, what a waste of time it is. Especially since it's really hard to keep the truth from coming out...what's that line about how two people can keep a secret as long as one of them is dead?

I often wonder how much my flying off the handle at them is self-fulfilling prophecy...that in attempting to keep something from happening they actually set into motion the events that cause me to lose my shit.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Would Never Wish Bad Things...

I try really hard to "be the bigger person" and it takes something outrageously unacceptable for me to cut someone out of my life. I've forgiven things I thought I'd never forgive, and have learned that saying "never" to something is pretty much the quickest way to bring it about.

That being said...I'm extremely quick to anger. I have a short fuse and it doesn't take much to make me lose my shit and scream at someone. But that's usually where it ends. It's rare for me to hold a grudge. The only way I can even bring myself to do it is by ending contact with that person, and even that is not foolproof. I believe in second chances, I believe in letting people make amends, if they are so inclined. Life is so short and choosing hate over love, choosing hatred over forgiveness seems so wasteful. There is plenty of anger and hatred in this world, and far too little forgiveness and acceptance.

Of course, I'm human, and an extremely high-strung human at that. While my heart breaks over any tragedy that occurs to someone, I must admit I take a fiendish delight in the smaller mishaps that occur in someone's life when I am angry with them, or if I don't particularly care for them. Is it honorable? No, of course not, and regardless of how altruistic I want to be, when I'm hurting over something that someone has done to me or to someone I love, I want them to feel a bit of that. I want there to be some kind of punishment. I'm not saying I want bad things to happen, mind you...

A former friend of mine referred to this sort of thing as "tiny acts of terrorism." Of course, these were things she would do, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about things I can't control that makes the person in question a tiny bit unhappy. For instance, I'm watching the last season of The L Word right now, and one of my ex's favorite characters (Shane) has hooked up with her most hated character (Jenny). And I have to admit I thought about the reaction she'll have when she sees it (if she hasn't already) and I giggled...for about five minutes.

I don't want bad things to happen to her, or anyone else for that matter...but there is a tiny vindictive part of me that would love to exact revenge. Thankfully, the rest of me is a bit more mature and compassionate. So, while I genuinely hope that she finds the happiness that has eluded her, and that nothing catastrophic happens in her life, I refuse to feel guilty about my moment of vindictive glee. And I'm honest enough to admit where it comes from, and that it exists...can you really ask for more from me?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Things That Suck

Having only 8 episodes of Season 1 of True Blood until the weekend of June 28...I am so not good at waiting...

Late night panic attacks.

Having nothing new to read.

Empty promises.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

....There Is a Season

There is a place here in my home town that has seen every season of my life. It's right down the road from me, it's known as "Lion's Park," but for the uninitiated, it's sort of a misleading name. It's not really a park in the traditional sense of the word. No long stretches of unnaturally green manicured lawn, no swings or sand boxes. It's got a few ramshackle picnic tables, a few ugly cement barbecues and the prerequisite "outhouse." It's also got a creek and beautiful native trees and grasses.

Here in my home town it's a common site for teenage assignations and anything else you don't want your parents to watch you do. Needless to say, I've spent a fair amount of time there and it holds a lifetime of memories, good and bad. I've fallen in love there, laughed there, cried and screamed there. It's seen my frantic first kisses and angry break up scenes. It's seen my daughter grow from a hairless baby in nothing but a diaper to a beautiful girl on the brink of adolescence. No other place in the world screams home to me the way it does.

Tonight, after spending the evening with my cousin, watching our daughters run around like maniacs, I drove my daughter to Lion's Park. We sat on the tailgate of my 4Runner, listened to music and stared at the stars. The feeling of history was so think you could touch it. It was one of those sweet moments you could almost feel hardening into a touchstone to bring out in later years and remind yourself of what used to be...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Best Saturday Night In Ages..

So, last night was one of the best nights I've had in ages and ages.

I won't talk about the week that led up to it. I'm putting that in the vault until I'm a bit more...erm...calm and rational.

Anyway, this being the Italian Picnic weekend here in good old Amador County and my dear friend Craig, of the Craigorian Chant, being a member of the Italian Benevolent Society was in town. And, unlike the last time he was in town, I was not only available, but feeling well enough to meet up with him. We spent a fabulous couple of hours laughing about the messes that are our separate love lives. Of course, as is par for the course when it comes to any conversation about drama with my friends, my crappy love life totally trumps his crappy love life in terms of sheer drama and craziness. Still, after the last few months of either spending time with people who are totally happy in their love lives (nothing more nauseating at the moment) or people who have simply given up on having a love life, it was a refreshing change. And, as usual, he was just a lot of fun to talk to. Every time I talk to him, I want to smack the next straight girl I see, because it makes no sense to me at all that no one has snared him, yet. If I knew a single straight chick who wasn't completely batshit crazy, I'd hook her up with him. Sigh...

After that I went to the Italian Picnic to meet up with my sister, my niece and my daughter. We handed the tickets off to the girls and went and had a beer, which makes two in one night, and also two in the last year. We wandered around, found the girls, watched them ride a few rides, and then went home. We sat up for a while afterwards giggling and carrying on. I haven't laughed so much in ages.

So, life goes on, the world still turns and I've found my laugh again. It's a nice reminder to enjoy the people and things you care about....

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another First Kiss....

As I've mentioned, I'm hugely obsessed with the Tudors...Henry VIII, his various wives, and really all the players in that drame. While I deplore the lack of historical accuracy in the Showtime series The Tudors, I must admit I own the first two seasons on dvd, though should you ever have occasion to watch it with me, you'll quickly regret it and want to smack me every time I say..."But, that's not how it happened..." and then go on to explain the history as I understand it...and since I've spent quite a bit of time reading history. Not the historical fiction of Phillipa Gregory (though, I must admit I've read those, too) but I own several nonfiction histories, and have read many others. I'm no expert, yet, but I know more than just the basics.

Wow, that's a long explanation to get to the real reason for this post.

Anyway, in the first season of the Showtime series, there's this fantastic first kiss between Charles Brandon (Henry VIII's closest and most constant friend) and Princess Margaret (Henry's sister). And yes, the real history is that Charles marries Henry's youngest sister Mary, not Margaret, however, the scenes between Gabrielle Anwar and the uber yummy Henry Cavill are electric enough to almost let me forget that...

That first kiss...well, that's something I miss. The excitement, the breathless waiting for the moment. The anticipation, the soft, first hestitant touch of lips on lips, accustoming oneself to the nearness of this new and exciting person, the spark that makes you wonder what the next kiss will be like...sigh...It's enough to make me wish I was ready to be looking for that new someone today. And though I'm committed to getting myself into a healthy emotional place where I'm not weighed down by the baggage of the ghosts of lover's past before heading into a new relationship, I am impatient for that first moment, that butterflies that lead up to it. Sigh...I shall simply have to somehow curb my impatience and resign myself to living vicariously through small screen and literary romances, until I'm ready for something healthy and real.

And because I'm the kind of girl who likes to share things that make me swoon...here's the scene I'm talking about. Tell me this doesn't make you think about the next first kiss. The moment I'm talking about is at 2:26 and it goes straight from that to their first sex scene...it's a bit explicit, so if that sort of thing offends, don't watch. Though, if that sort of thing offends you, you likely aren't someone who is reading this blog...

Friday, May 29, 2009

What Next?

Since the break up with the girlfriend, there have been the inevitable questions...What's next? Are you going to date again...are you looking for a man to "take care of you?"

You see, while some people in my life understand who I am and what led me to my relationship with my girlfriend, there are others who view the last ten years as some kind of anomoly. That she was a substiute somehow for the man I was missing in my life.

While I'm in no way ready to find another relationship, I have given a lot of thought to this. It would be far easier for me to decide to simply lead a celibate, loveless life. After all, hospitals, doctors offices and parent/teacher conferences don't exactly lend themselves to romantic opportunities. And let's face it...the wretched statistics for relationships and chronic illness don't exactly inspire hope. After all, it's much easier to ask an already devoted and loving partner to accept your physical shortcomings, finding someone to commit themselves to someone whose life is limited to what her body allows, which frankly isn't a whole fucking lot, seems more than just a tad unfair.

And yet, being who I am, as passionate as I am about my friends and family, and having a partner, I cannot resign myself to being alone. Being ill has robbed me of so much...the plans I had for my daughter...camping trips and hiking trips and trips to museums and the ocean. And frankly, it played a really big part in the demise of my relationship. Why on earth should I allow it to take even more of my life? And what kind of an example would I be setting for my daughter if I just gave up?

Life isn't fair...as we all know. And your whole world can change in an instant. But crying about it, accepting nothingness, accepting lonelinees and heartbreak is just stupid...if you do that...if I do that, then I will deserve to be unhappy.

So...I am contemplating what comes next. The surgery was only slightly succesful...and I will most likely be undergoing another one in the not too distant future. And on top of it, my GP (regular doctor) had planned on adjusting my meds to get a better handle on my various diagnoses. But, until I'm healed from the surgery, and a decision is made about the future surgery, it's not really an option. My gynecologist is very reluctant to do a complete hysterectomy, because he thinks that I will change my mind and decide to have more children...Of course, I can't actually get pregnant without the use of in vitro fertilization, and quite frankly, I'm not healthy enough to sustain a pregnancy. Besides which, I don't want more children. I love my daughter dearly, but she's all I need.

My plans at the moment are to get through this surgery, focus on the next and then adjust my meds...I want to spend the next year or so getting as healthy as I can, maybe educating myself in something that could provide me a way to earn a living at home. I want to read and learn and try to really know what I want, and spend time with my daughter and my dogs and my family and my friends. And hopefully...just hopefully, by doing that, what I want romantically will be clear. And then I'll let the rest of the world know.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Going Under The Knife

I had intended to write a post today about the fact that I was scheduled for surgery tomorrow. I'm going to have a cystectomy and adhesions from scarring removed from my bladder and small intestine. In theory it's supposed to be outpatient surgery and I should be home tonight, but clearly will not be in any state to blog.

So, wish me luck...I guess I'll be getting that afternoon nap today, after all.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Open Letter To My Dogs

Dearest Ellwood and Charlie,

I can't tell you how happy I am that you are part of my life. Your antics as you wrestle over that stretchy dog make me smile. I love to watch you plot to steal each other's toys. And your presence late at night in my bed keeps me from feeling any of the loneliness one might feel sleeping alone in a queen size bed.

However, you need to understand that there are limits to the love I have for you. While I don't mind filling your food bowls despite the agony of five inch cysts on my ovaries, and I don't mind waking early to let you to do "your business" while I wait for you to come back in, I have to draw the line somewhere.

You are simply no longer allowed to splatter your bodily fluids anywhere inside of our home. I did not appreciate waking from my nap this morning to discover, Ellwood, that you had vomited on my bed, the bed that I changed last night. I was amazed that you were able to paw my comforter out of the way after vomiting on it, and spew the contents of your stomach on both the top sheet and bottom sheet. And then, when I thought I had discovered all that you had managed to do, I saw that I was wrong, that you somehow managed to vomit down the side of my bed, onto my floor and the shoe that was sitting there minding it's own business. May I ask...has simply chewing on my belongings lost it's appeal? Is that why you are choosing to defile them with your vomit?

And then, Charlie, my sweet little Charlie. After you watched me labor over the vomit clean up, hunched over in pain, you looked at me so sweetly. You came and sat beside me as I curled into a self-pitying ball on my naked bed. You licked my face as if to say, "I love you, and it will be okay." You then wandered off, and I began to relax, watching a comforting episode of Season 3 of Charmed. Then, as I truly began to relax I noticed that smell. That distinctive foul smell of dog shit. I began to explore, letting my nose lead me to you...in my daughter's bedroom where you had just crapped on the floor. Really, Charlie? I thought we had something special, that we understood each other. Why couldn't you just come to me and let me know you needed out? I would have opened the door for you, and stood there and waited for you to come back in. I wouldn't have left you out in the 95 degree heat. But, no. You simply couldn't be bothered with waiting for me.

So, I'm putting the two of you on notice. I don't crap in your crate, don't vomit on your toys, and I demand that you show me the same respect. Yes, I love you, and will do nearly anything for you. But even my love for you has limits, and the next one of you that makes me clean up foul smelling bodily secretions is going to get his ass kicked!

Respectfully,

Your Loving Human

The Sort of Thing That Consumes My Thoughts

I am obsessed with the Tudors. Not the Showtime series that makes me want to take Jonathan Rhys Meyers and do naughty things with him all while telling him how historically inaccurate his show is. No, the history, the drama that was Henry VIII, his wives, his parents...the whole story.

My obsession started with a healthy respect for Elizabeth I. Yes, she was the beginning of English Imperialism, and thus perhaps responsible for some very reprehensible history, but she was an amazing woman, nonetheless. She did not bow to the church or to a husband as so many women of her era would have, and as indeed, her sister before her did. She sacrificed the comfort of family and children to rule as she saw fit. She was ages ahead of her time in terms of feminist ideals.

I've spent hours reading history and learning as much as I can about the players in this drama. It is such a fascinating story, such compelling reading. Henry VIII has this iconic standing, and is considered to be one of England's greatest monarchs, which puzzles me endlessly. The evolution of Henry, from sheltered, spoiled second son, to spoiled heir apparent, to newly emancipated monarch coming out of the shelter of his father and grandmother is fascinating. If he had stayed the kind of man he was when he honored his betrothal to Katherine of Aragon, I could see making the case for him as a great king. As a young king, he was concerned about his people, strong in his faith, desirous of governing his people in a humane way, allowing for justice to prevail. But, over time, he became a monstrosity, both physically and psychologically. His reformation of the church was little more than thievery. He twisted the law to define justice as his whim. He persecuted anyone who dared utter an opinion different from his own. This is hardly the kind of man one wants to call a great leader, and when you evaluate him on a human level, his relationships with the people he loved personally make him even more monstrous. Yes, there is the execution of two "beloved" wives, but while that's sickening, it is his execution of his dearest friends that show him as the monster he was. In modern times, he'd be sitting in a prison cell, accused of serial murder, and yet historians want to hang this title of "greatest monarch" on him.

I spend an inordinate amount of time imagining what it must have been like to be one of his wives, the terror that must have lurked in the back of the mind of each woman who knew what he had done to his first and second wife. How could you slip into bed beside this man knowing that if his eye wandered to one of your friends you could be exiled from friends and family at best and imprisoned and murdered at worst? How could a mother or a father stand and watch this man court a daughter knowing the danger inherent in the situation?

I could go on and on when it comes to Tudor history (and I will at the slightest provocation). Every time you think you understand all the undercurrents of politics and religion and intrigue, there is something new to discover, a new element to consider. It makes today's politics seem so dry, so tame. I tell you, if this was the kind of history they'd taught while I was in school, I'd have never missed a day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

No More Spaghetti From A Packet

One of the best things about this new single life is the newfound food freedom. See, the exgirlfriend was not the adventurous type when it came to food. Basically, it was a rotation of spaghetti from one of those spice envelopes (blech), pork chops cooked the same old way every damn time, and tacos. Good food, food that was different and interesting was pretty much out of the question. It was always the same restaurant, the same dish. Very, very boring.

Since the break up, I've been doing much more cooking...less eating, thanks to all those icky emotion things, but more cooking. I've scoured the Archeogoddess' blog for all the yummy recipes she's shared, renewed my interest in Allrecipes and added a bunch of new recipes to my repertoire, much to the appreciation of the midget and my sister, who was kicked out of Canada and had no place else to go, so she's inhabiting my couch.

I've made Rogan Josh, scallop pasta with garlic butter sauce, and my new favorite, caramel pork chops with apples. I'm remembering how much fun it is to cook. You sort of lose interest when you have made the same thing so many times that you could make it in your sleep while standing on your head and reading War and Peace.

So, while I'm not looking to duplicate the Julie/Julia Project I am enjoying expanding my culinary horizons. This summer should provide all kinds of opportunities, what with barbecueing and whatnot.

I'm keeping track of all the good things about being single...having the bed to myself, no compromising on movies or listening to yet another boring work story about a bunch of white trash lunatics. But so far, the best thing about this single thing is actually enjoying eating what I cook.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I Am About To Overshare...You've Been Warned...

Today I had an experience I've been dreading. I tried to psych myself up about it this morning. I said..."Come on, Laura...It won't be that bad, you've certainly been through worse." I think I lied to myself.

See, I had to have my "annual exam" today. You women know that this polite term means that you are going to be violated with cold plastic and have to make small talk with the your OBgyn's bald spot while he peers at your nether regions. Annual exam sounds like such an innocuous term for such a traumatic experience. From now on, I am not going to say, "I am going for my annual exam." I'm going to say, "I am going to be finger raped by a man I barely know." It's much more honest and this way I get to spread the misery around my sharing that appalling mental image.

But, see I have been a bad girl. I haven't had been finger raped by a man I barely know in just over two years. So this was my first official visit as a "woman over thirty." And yes, a tiny piece of my soul died when the friendly nurse (who would also be peering at my nether regions) referred to me as such. What I didn't know is that as punishment for aging, my visit was going to have a much more disturbing component than ever before. You see, my friends who are under thirty, this is the age when they begin what is referred to as "colorectal cancer screening." It should be called anal finger raping. I've spent my entire sex life avoiding having anything put there...and now I've got to experience it every year. And have that same balding man make small talk while his finger is inside my ass!!!

After today, the last few months look like a picnic in the park with butterflies and ponies...

Friday, May 01, 2009

You Always Hurt....

Strangers have no power to hurt me. The kid who mooed at me in high school earns a chuckle these days. Friends of a friend who say or think bad things about me, well...that stings a bit, mostly because they get most of their information about me through an intermediary I assume thinks I'm pretty much okay. But no one, and I mean no one, can hurt me the way that someone I love can hurt me.

Someone you love, when that love goes south, has more ammunition than anyone else in the world. She'll remember the bad a whole lot more clearly than the good and since she knows you...she knows which daggers will be deflected and which will cripple you with their accuracy. She won't remember the time you made mashed potatoes from scratch because nothing else would satisfy. She'll remember instead the time you spent the rent money in a casino and didn't tell her until the day it was due. She won't recall the times you stayed up until the wee hours of the night because she was having panic attacks and only knowing you were awake, watching over her, enabled her to sleep. Instead, she'll remember that you slept late into the day, missing her day off.

Of course, this goes both ways. When I talk to her, I don't thank her for the nights spent in the ER holding my hand and wiping away tears, instead I shriek about the times she wasn't there, didn't believe me, or didn't care. And each time she hurts me, I ransack my mind for more ammunition and use my quick and clever brain to twist my words into blades of derision.

It devolves quickly...she shouting, me crying. Neither saying anything that will make the other one feel like she mattered the way she did.

I hate that I do this, hate that I can't stop doing this. I wish I could fast forward my heart and brain six months, two years...whenever that magic moment when I will be able to see clearly all that was, the good and the bad and appreciate it for all that it was. I wish I could stop myself...or at least find the magic words to make up for all that I've said, to let her know that I regret what I've said almost immediately upon saying it.

I know there is a way to break up that leaves both partners with the dignity they deserve, I just don't how to do it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

If You Don't Like It, Don't Read It

I've had this blog for awhile. And during that time, I've had issues with my words being misread with malicious intent by various parties. I've been tempted to abandon it altogether, and I'm sure any regular readers have thought from time to time that I've done just that. I've yet again had an experience where someone reading what I've written is reading between the lines and finding meaning I never intended. Along with contemplating abandonment, I've also contemplated simply censoring what I have to say to avoid any issues.

However, after each incident I've come to the conclusion that whatever a person decides to take away from what I've written is that person's problem, not mine. I'm not a subtle person, and have a blatant disregard for making myself looking good. I tend to be really honest, and maybe too honest, but that's who I am.

You can't please all the people all of the time, and if you try you'll end up pleasing no one. I am who I am, and I've spent over thirty years making apologies for that to various people. It wasn't until the last few weeks with my sister and my biomom that I really realized just how often I apologize. And, quite frankly, I've decided to save myself the energy.

Here's the deal...What's written here is about me, and maybe in some ways about others, but mostly just about me, my feelings, my thoughts, my interpretations. If you don't like it, don't read it. I am who I am, no more apologies.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

You! Outta My Head!!

So, you've done your post break-up ritual, whatever that may be. You've danced naked around a bonfire of pictures of the two of you, or whatever. You've packed away the things you want to keep, but can't look at right now. THE OTHER PERSON HAS FINALLY GOTTEN THEIR SHIT OUT OF YOUR HOUSE!! You've resisted the urge to call more than once. You've even gone away for the weekend to spend time with your family to take a break from the familiar, so you aren't thinking about them.

But, then...that same family decides to go out to dinner, and despite being in a city that makes your home town look like the Hickville it is, it happens to be a restaurant you last ate at with your ex and her friend, while delivering the baby blanket YOU made for HER friend. And, joy of joys...they don't put you in any of the twelve other dining rooms in the fucking place...no, that would be just too easy. Instead they stick you in the same room as the last visit, and since you were the last person in, you get stuck in the seat directly across from the table you sat at.

No matter how hard you try, there are some things you can't do on your schedule. You can't erase that person from your brain, or somehow magically lock up your memories so they can only be accessed for fun source material when remembering why, exactly, you will never again date a musician. And there is no telling what will bring the memories to the fore, either. Certain sights or smells or sounds can be perfectly safe one day, and send you off the deep end the next. There is no rhyme or reason, no way to safeguard yourself from the unexpected punch in the gut. Just a reminder to yourself that it is okay to cry sometimes, it is okay to get and stay mad. So long as you don't stay mad forever, as long as at some point you can look back and smile.

I'm so not there, yet. I will be one day, I assume. No one actually dies of a broken heart, and plenty of people go through break ups and come out the other side, smiling. I've just never had my heart so completely broken, never lost something I thought that I could never lose. The only other significant break up in my life I knew was inevitable, even when I defended the relationship to every person I knew and told everyone we'd always be together, I knew it was unsustainable. This was different, though, and while I never wanted to get married or say "forever" I also never imagined that there would be a day that we would not be together. And, no, it doesn't necessarily make sense that I could be so wholeheartedly against "forever" and not have foreseen that this day would come. But, what in love does make sense?

Friday, April 17, 2009

At Least I Still Have the Love of My Life

Yup. He's sleeps with me, licks away the tears and only rarely changes the channel when I'm watching something good. He's sweet, and though he doesn't really like little kids, he agrees that Cassidy is pretty amazing. He doesn't lie, and I really don't have to worry that he'll run off with someone else.

He's my Charlie-Man, the little shih tzu/poodle mix that I rescued from the shelter two years ago this August. He's kind of a dork and makes me laugh pretty regularly. It's hard to be sad when he's around.



I took this picture the last time I had all three dogs out and about together. Charlie was having a grand old time running with Cera. He misses her terribly, they're best friends and he's still waiting for her to come home. He really needs to be groomed, but look at all that hair...Isn't he just the perfect match for me?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wait...But You Left Me....

Breaking up is never a simple process. And it's never cut and dried. There is not one person who screwed up, there are almost always two people who screwed up and you can waste hours arguing about who screwed whom more, but it's a waste of time and only serves to cause each other more pain, prolong the anger and slow the process of healing.

However, while two people screw up the relationship, it's rare that two people sit down, look at each other and say, "Hey, even though this isn't working anymore, I don't want to hurt you, so let's do this as rationally as possible." If you're married, then you have lawyers and a court system that decides who gets what and who pays for what and when each parent sees the child. But when you aren't married, there are no "rules" and no real guidelines, you just kind of make it up as you go along.

Unfortunately, since there can be a lot of acrimony in a break up, even in a break up between people who genuinely care about each other, things get out of control. Every word, every tone is examined for malice and even when none is intended, it is often assumed by the other person. This is how people end up hating each other. This is how the ex girlfriend and I are going to end up hating each other. I have all of her things in my house still. I have asked her repeatedly to come get her things, and put what she doesn't have room for in our storage area. It's been a month now, since she finally let me in on the secret that she was done with me, and yet, all her things, minus a few bags of clothes are sitting here...my constant reminder of what I've lost.

I don't have a lot of energy to do things, and I'm at the point where the energy I have should be spent taking care of myself so that I can be a good mom. Those are my biggest jobs at the moment, and yet, I've got this monumental task of boxing things up, loading it in my truck and putting it in storage. I'll be honest...I've had my fantasies of re-enacting that scene from Waiting To Exhale where Angela Basset puts all of his stuff in a car and lights it on fire. I'd never go through with it, but considering that she left me, it's awfully brave of her to just assume I'll take her of her things. Luckily for her, my hurt and anger haven't dulled my sense of right and wrong enough to allow me to do it...but it's tempting from time to time.

So, let this be my admonition to you, gentle reader...If you are ever in a relationship and find yourself in the position of having to leave the other person, do them and yourself a favor...have a plan. Know where you're going, and whether or not your things can go there with you. If they can't...make arrangements for storing them some place, and don't leave it on your ex to do. Your ex should be spending post break up time doing anything but focusing on you. Unless your goal is to hurt your ex as much as you possibly can (which, is wrong regardless of what's happened and will only cause you regret in the long run)be considerate enough to take your things with you, don't leave them in your ex's possession just to rub salt in her wounds.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

An Ending...

Nine and a half years ago, I was blessed with two amazing people in my life. I had just given birth to my mini me, and began a friendship with an amazing woman. Very quickly, that friendship deepened for me. It wasn't long before I noticed that her eyes changed color depending on her mood, or the lighting, that her skin was soft and beautiful, that her smile was slightly crooked, which made it all the more heart stopping...It wasn't long before I needed to be around her, I found excuses to see her. I fell hard, and fast, long before I had any idea of who she really was.

Three months after Cass was born, I "kidnapped" that amazing woman because I had grown to care about her so much and she was going through a rough time, and I was scared for her, and wanted to help her. The next year was alternately giddy and then unsure. We grew closer, and I fell even harder for her. She was such a different person than anyone else I'd ever known. She understood me, and hidden beneath her facade of anger and indifference was the kindest, most loving and generous soul. She was wounded, and understood that I was as well.

There was never an official moment that we decided that we were committed to each other. There was simply a deepening of understanding, a growing trust, a blossoming love. We went on a road trip with a friend to San Diego and shared the most beautiful moments late at night, with the moonlight shining on the ocean.

She became my partner, my friend, my lover. She became my daughter's mother and loved her intensely. We were a family and though it wasn't always easy, it was always worth it.

I have always distrusted "forever." I learned at a very young age, that love or blood or legal paperwork was no guarantee that a person I loved today would still be there tomorrow. Instead of trying to find a way to trust that this amazing woman would be in my life forever, I kept a part of myself at arm's length...swore that I didn't believe in happily ever after, in forever. I promised her that I loved her, but I couldn't bring myself to promise that my love would last. I couldn't bring myself to trust that she would be different, that she would stay when others had left. I hurt her deeply by being unable to move past my fear of being left behind. If I could do it again, I would take back all the times I qualified the love I had for her, the times I refused the level of commitment she offered.

Even though I said I didn't believe that we would be together, the love I had for her was so immense that deep inside, in a place I never let her see, I began to believe in forever. I began to WANT forever...as long as we were together. And no, it wasn't perfect, and it wasn't easy, but then, what in this life is? And every struggle, every obstacle just made me love her even more. I should have told her that I was scared to admit how much I loved her. I should have told her that I kept back that part of myself, not because I didn't love her, but because I didn't trust that I could be enough to keep her. That I could be good enough, that she would never grow tired of me.

When I got sick, I thought...this is it. This is when she'll leave. But, she didn't. She stood by me. Watched with tortured eyes when they poked and prodded and I got sicker. She held our daughter to calm her, to shield her from the pain of my illness. As more and more of my life, of the things we so loved...hiking, camping, being able to just up and go somewhere...slipped away I retreated to a a very dark corner of my mind. I hid from her, from the pain I was causing her, from the disappointment as all the plans we had slowly wilted. Going from doctor to doctor took it's toll on all of us. Instead of reaching out, instead of fighting, I buried myself away...became the illness, and gave up hope.

I can make excuses, and some of them are even valid...but I hurt her, and I scared her and I let her down. I hurt my daughter, and I scared her and I let her down. I let the ugly depression that has been my constant enemy win and I gave up on them. I gave up on me.

I can see now what I did, I can take responsibility and I'm learning to stand on my own two painful feet. I'm learning to fight again, and it's hard. All the more so because I am doing it without her. We've hurt each other so much, and it's hard to understand how two people who loved each other the way we did can end up where we are. I may have learned it too late, but I've learned that in this life, when you are given the chance at happiness, when someone reaches out to you and says..."You...I love you even though you aren't perfect I will be here." that not trusting them is in essence throwing away the greatest gift one person can ever give another. I've learned that if you spend all your time lamenting what was, and refusing to let go of the past, letting it imprison your present, you will lose everything that is precious to you. It's a painful lesson, and it comes too late, but it's a lesson I'll never forget.

To that amazing woman: As much as I'm hurting now, I wouldn't trade what we had for anything. I learned so much from you. I can never thank you properly for all that you have given me. I'm so, so sorry that I couldn't give you what we both needed. I will always love you. I will always carry you in my heart. I hope that your future is as beautiful as you are, that you find what you need and that you can forgive my failure to love you as completely as I could. Be happy...Be well...I love you.