Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekly Quotes 2014 #8

A very strong case can be made for the statement that science grows by its mu answers more than by its yes or no answers.  Yes or no confirms or denies a hypothesis.  Mu says the answer is beyond the hypothesis.  Mu is the “phenomenon” that inspires scientific enquiry in the first place!  There’s nothing mysterious or esoteric about it.  It’s just that our culture has warped us to make a low value judgment of it.  (290)

Buy good tools as you can afford them and you’ll never regret it.  (291)

When you take up a nut there’s a point called “finger-tight” where there’s contact but no takeup of elasticity.  Then there’s “snug,” in which the easy surface elasticity is taken up.  Then there’s  a range called “tight,” in which all the elasticity is taken up.  The force required to reach these three points is different for each size of nut and bolt, and different for lubricated bolts and for locknuts.  The forces are different for steel and cast iron and brass and aluminum and plastics and ceramics.  But a person with mechanic’s feel knows when something’s tight and stops.  A person without it goes right on past and strips the threads or breaks the assembly.  (291-292)

The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called yourself.  The machine that appears to be “out there” and the person that appears to be “in here” are not two separate things.  (293)

No matter what anxious people are afraid of or what they want, welcoming the fear of new and challenging experiences helps keep them moving. (kindle)

When you resist feeling afraid, fear sticks around. When you allow it, when you fully experience it—when you welcome it—you remove a complete layer of fear. You stop being afraid of being afraid. You stop worrying about being uncomfortable. (kindle)

The more we resist the steps—complaining, avoiding, moaning, and whining—the longer it takes to reach the goal. The more willing we are to move into the steps, the quicker we get what we want. (kindle)

When worry dominates, we start to believe that we must know the specifics about unfamiliar or unique events. But success in new situations often depends not on knowing absolutes but on translating the skills we had over there to a related experience over here. (kindle)

Past successes become yet another source of internal encouragement to keep moving forward into the unknown. (kindle)

Cunt again?  It was odd how men . . . used that word to demean women when it was the only part of a woman they valued.  (824)

Women were always cruelest where other women were concerned.  (854)

Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.  (907)

Men are mad and gods are madder.  . . . (934)

Jewish activists might become “white” people in Harlem, when many had never before experienced themselves as “whites” in the larger American culture.  For them, being white in Harlem but Jewish (and hence not fully white) elsewhere provided special insights into the relative nature of social identities, as well a s a status otherwise unobtainable.    (178)

Quoting Annie Nathan Meyer:  It is of now more use to be ahead of your time than behind it.  (192)

Contradictory ideas about race and identity were a matter of course.  (211)

Patronage remains one of the most vexed issues in the history of the Harlem Renaissance.  Some contend that it was a sincere attempt at interracial collaboration.  Others believe that white patronage curtailed and ultimately destroyed black creative expression.  Many posit it somewhere in the middle, as a kind of necessary evil, support at the movement could not have done without but that it accepted at a great cost.  (216-217)

Quoting Zora Neal Hurston:  The Negro, in spite of his open-faced laughter, his seeming acquiescence, is particularly evasive. . . .  The Indian resists curiosity by a stony silence.  The Negro offers a feather-bed resistance.  That is, we let the probe enter, but it never comes out.  It gets smothered behind our tactics:  “The white man is always trying to know into somebody else’s business.  All right, I’ll set something outside the door of my mind for him to pay with and handle.  He can read my writing but he sho’ can’t read my mind.  I’ll put his play toy in his hand and he will seize it and go away. Then I’ll say my say and sing my song.  (226)

Each of us is our own best healer.  (1)

If you’re not sure you’re making the right choice, pretend that your situation is a problem for someone you love.  The healthiest answer will follow.  (21)

Most people have a hard time with change and will stick with what’s familiar, even if it’s not giving them what they truly want.  (39)

When we take right actions for ourselves, we are energetically fed by the activity. Whenever we feel drained, it’s a sign that participating in those activities is not for our highest good.  (70)

Energy medicine is based on the laws of quantum physics—mass is energy. Even an object at rest has energy stored in its mass.  These laws govern the human body and everything living within it:  organs, tissues, bones, blood, cells, and DNA.  If everything is made of energy, then diseases are too.  Diseases occur in those areas of the body where energy is stagnant or barely moving.  In contrast, healthy, vital areas of the body are full of motion of freely-circulating energy.  (73)

The length of one’s life is less important than how one lives it.  (79)

February Wrap-Up

Last month I sort of did a quick look back at January and shared some highlights of the month.  It is my intention to do this every month.  So here goes.

Something About the Weather

Seriously, I know we are not alone in Georgia in saying that this February will be remembered for the weather.  And our snow wasn't even that bad.  Not compared with what others were facing.  But this was the month that the weather kept Rob away from home for a few days.  And we usually only get one really good snow fall a year, and even then not every year, so to start off 2014 with not one but two snowy weather experiences is quite remarkable.  Hence, my remarking upon it here, in my blog.

Yes, I've Been Reading But . . .

So last month's book was misplaced and I decided to move onto February's book with hopes of finishing January's as well.  Why didn't anyone warn me that reading Thoreau is like a meditation and demands to be savored rather than devoured?  I simply cannot push myself to read more than one or two pages in a single sitting.  At this rate, I'll be surprised if I finish Walden before Christmas.  But I am enjoying it.  Very much.

Speaking of devouring books . . . Holly ate one of my books, Hawk of May.  This is one of the books I had on my reading challenge because, I blush to confess, I've owned the trilogy for over 20 years.  When she ate the first book in the trilogy, I was four chapters into it but frankly not terribly excited by it.  I took her eating the book as a sign and pulled the other two books from my bookcase and put them in the give away box.  I apparently will never read them and I'm making myself miserable trying to do so.

What About The Book I Edited?

Well, the author is so happy with the work on I did, she's asked me to edit her blog posts.  Awesome!  A little extra income coming my way.

Working on her manuscript inspired me to share some of my own writing here in my blog.  You probably noticed but, in case you missed it, I've shared three pieces this month with plans on sharing more.  You can see them here, here, and here.  I've started reaching out to the writing community again hoping to make some connections with potential critique partners. I haven't had much luck with this.  Mostly I hear praise for my writing or disdain.  Nothing in between.  The praise sees no room for improvement (I loved every word of it!) and the disdain sees none either (It's crap.  You don't know how to write.) so I am at a loss.  I just stare at the words and know something isn't working but what it is I am clueless to define.

This is also why I'm reading K M Weiland's book on structuring a novel.  I have another book on storytelling I'll be reading soon as well.  I'm either going to figure this shit out or give up altogether.  Stick around.  No doubt I'll blog about it either way.

Boot Camp

I've been on it six days a week, taking the seventh day to rest.  Yes, towards the end of the month I hurt my knee but, all in all, I survived in tact!  But the boot camp is coming to an end.  Next week is the eighth and final week.  I have a plan in place and will continue to blog about my progress on Tuesdays.  I'm not sure what to expect with my cycle, obviously.  I just hope I don't re-injure my knee.  I liked being pain free for a few weeks and even months there.  I think I could live happily pain free for the rest of my life.

My Month Ahead

In March, I hope to accomplish the following:
  • Remember that planner I planned on using?  Yeah.  That.  Still not using it.  (Hopefully this month I can turn that around.)
  • Make a smooth transition from doing the boot camp to exercising consistently without the boot camp to hold me accountable.  (I'm counting on you, dear reader, to be there vicariously cheering me on!)
  • Get ready for turning 52.  My birthday is April 4.  Mark your calendars!  (And maybe plan a little celebration along with me!)
  • Read this month's book 1) without misplacing it and 2) actually finishing it before month's end.  (I can do it!)
Do you have any plans/goals/intentions for March?  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Things to See or Not #2

The Hobbit

Rob and I have been saying we would watch this together but I finally gave up on watching it with him. I think he would have enjoyed this more than I did.  However, I think he, too, would have found some of the changes weird. Like the scene with the trolls where one blows its nose on Bilbo.  While I understand that the screenwriters made changes for visual narrative purposes in Lord of the Rings (or, for that matter, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which added a wolf chase that was not in the novel), I do not understand why changes were made that compromise the tone and integrity of the original source.  The scene with Gollum was brilliant but not worth the price of admission.  And what the hell was up with Galadriel disappearing?  Ugh.  So disappointed I don't know if I want to see the second one at all.  I do love my soundtrack for the film.  I just hope I can forget all of the stupidity of the movie (which is beautifully acted so kudos to the actors anyway) when I listen to the gorgeous music.

Thelma and Louise

I give up.  I keep watching this movie because I feel like I ought to enjoy it.  I love Susan Sarandon.  I love Geena Davis.  Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, and even Brad Pitt.  So why do I dislike this movie so much?  No.  I don't even dislike it.  I'm completely apathetic to it.  I find it uninteresting.  Something about this movie eludes me.  I'd rather watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and now I wonder why I didn't.  It's more fun and I recommend it if you haven't seen it.  And if you love Thelma and Louise, you're not alone.  I feel like I'm the one who is alone because I don't.  I just hope I don't waste my time trying to give this movie another chance.  At this point I think it's safe to say, I'll never grow into an appreciation for this movie.  Not ever.

Bates Motel

I did another marathon of a television show.  I knew two episodes into this one that I probably wouldn't like it because I could guess almost every step of the way what would happen next, right up to the surprise moment that ends the season, that manipulative moment meant to drive viewers to the edge of their seats until next season.  I knew I was in trouble when I realized that they had moved the story of Norman Bates from the past to the present, contemporizing the story to, I suppose, appeal to today's audience.  But those old enough to appreciate Hitchcock's movie Psycho won't appreciate the cell phones and such.  Younger viewers may like it.  I don't know.  I suppose I could see if there is a second season scheduled.  Not that I will watch it.  Ignorance is bliss.  Maybe I don't want to know that this silly show survived when a show like Firefly was forced into too early retirement.

In my queue for this week:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Writing Wednesday: To the Virgin: Manifestaion

Don't let the fact that this is written in verse and prose put you off. I think the poetry is accessible enough. And it's more a story than a random collection of poems. This is part one of what I pictured would be a four part chapbook series.  I never finished it.  This is a revised draft.  And yes, I've shared a few of these pieces on this blog before.  But I don't think I've ever shared it from beginning to end.  Enjoy!

To The Virgin:


A Love Story Told in Poetry and Prose


Profile silhouetted,
I see you and nothing more.
You stir your drink three times
Counter clockwise
Then tap tap tap your straw
Before dropping it on the bar.

A herd of girls huddled around a table
Fending off any approach from guys
Who jockey like jackals for position
Hoping one will break away.

I watch you join the others
Who sip their neon pastel drinks.
You edge yourself apart,
Latent and lovely,
Drinking in gulps from a glass
Too soon empty.
You are removed.

I want to remove you,
Take you away to someplace where
I can discover, uncover more.
My mouth waters;
Even then I won’t approach you
Afraid to encroach
I remain watching
From a distance.

Missed Opportunity

     I wait outside the restroom. I check out the women that come and go, talking loudly, leaning and stumbling into one another, or slinking by, still sober enough to stride with seduction.
     I wait for you to emerge, easily ignoring the rest. You are my target. You are the one I want to know. I barely allow myself to blink, knowing how quickly such fantastic moments can slip by, forever lost in the crowd of the usual club distractions.
What is it that quickened in me, that uncoiled and rose when I first saw you? You are extraordinary and I know that when I draw closer I will become inordinately drawn into the orbit of your magnetism.
     When you come through the door, I see you fumble for a lighter, a cigarette already caressed between your lips. Your head bowed, the neon light turns your hair a soft blue as if you were veiled and bowed in prayer.
     Stepping forward, I offer to light your cigarette for you. You thank me, your surprisingly dark eyes reflecting the light of my flame, your fingertips brushing the back of my hand.
Your fingers are cool from just washing them. The flame from my lighter flaring heat across my face so close to your own. Your lips slick wet with fresh gloss. These details rise quick and with a flick I close my lighter.
     “That’s a nice lighter.”
     “Do you smoke?”
     I see the spark of curiosity. Intrigued, you want to know more but you are here with your friends. We say goodbye without exchanging names or numbers.


I look up, see the couple—dark, young, and
pretty—looking up at the menu.

They debate what to choose, listing
items—a coffee, a latte, or chai.

I envy the oh-so-easy way they
stand together, lean into each other.

I envy them because they have a choice
and, choosing, have chosen one another.

He is taller than she as she looks at
him in adoration, deferential,

letting him choose for the both of them
an arm close around her holding closer.

She hooks a finger through his belt loop, linked
and chained, they turn as they each take their cups.

They add sugar and cream and then blow
soft to cool the heat of their chosen drinks

before seeking a table, a corner,
a place in which to curl together.

Because I have no choice all I can do
is admire, desire and envy,

for a day when I can be as they.


One week and another
I return to the club to see
If maybe fate will take me
To where you are.
The vapid faces of
Paper doll predictable girls
Cannot distract me from
Recollecting the way
The shadow fell across
Your lowered eyes
As I lit your cigarette
And the memory of how cool
Your fingers felt touching me
With a tattoo deepness
That no flirtatious flutter
Of lashes can dull. 
Even a one night stand
Between the thighs of another
Leaves me wishing I had been
More bold in the dim and din
Of the club where you were
But where you aren’t tonight.


Your shadow falls across the page where I am writing in my notebook. I am baffled when I recognize. “I’m sorry,” you say stepping back.
“No please,” I say. “You’re the girl, from the club?” It’s rhetorical really but you nod. I smile and push the chair out with my foot, inviting you to sit with me. Our conversation builds slowly then builds momentum as questions come staccato quick. Where do you work? What do you do for a living? Where are you from? How long have you lived here? What is your favorite color?
The questions I don’t ask won’t wash away as I sip my coffee, taste bitter on my tongue. How did you find me? Why are you here? When will I see you again? Do you always smell like lilacs and cloves?
I let your questions predetermine mine and my eyes widen in wonder when you laugh at my jokes, pushing your hair from your face in an easy habit.
That is when I notice the ring on your left hand and a wall begins to separate me from you. Whatever hopes or expectations that rose from our coincidental meeting are stopped, the kind of reality check I am never expecting.
You catch my glance and shove your hand beneath the table as if to hide some embarrassing evidence, pleading the fifth to a question I haven’t spoken.
“Would you like another coffee?” I offer.
“I’ve had my limit.”
I want to know all your limits but settle for your name and number which you offer instead of staying for more coffee and conversation. You promise to call me sometime. I want to mark my calendar with something specific, a day and time when my phone will ring.

Keeping Busy

I woke up when you became
The still small voice to which
I constantly seek to listen
Beyond the thump thump thump
Of club music pounding in the background.
The sound of your voice humming
In my dreams and memory
Keeps me restless, desperate
To fill these empty hours
With frivolous activities so I won’t
Think endlessly about you
     I wake up
     Brush teeth
     Wash face
     Brush hair
Reflect on my reflection in the mirror
Wondering why you didn’t see in me
The promise I perceive in you
      Get dressed
      Get keys
      Get to work
Wonder what you do to fill your days
The ways you distract yourself from
Those thoughts that hold you, control you,
The way this thought of you won’t
Leave me alone; wondering how you
Became my true north, the point
To which the needle of my thoughts
Constantly return turning back to
The give and take of activities
Stop to shop on my way home
Cook a meal to feel full
Undo the morning’s doings
Climb into an empty bed
The sheets cool like your fingers
Against the flame of my body.


I’m the one you call
Always when you’re crying
Sometimes we meet someplace
You to escape the pain of home
Me eager not to be alone

You sit close enough for me to hear
The way your breath hiccups
Around the choke of tears.
I dry them, then push
The stray fall of hair,
Watch light refract starbursts
On your lashes.

When you go to the bathroom
To splash cold water on your face
I lift your glass to sip
Place my lips over the lipstick line
So close to a kiss and before you return
I settle back into my role,
Ready to console and commiserate.

Tonight you prefer to stay home
To hold me only as close
As the phone to your ear.
Your voice on the line scatters and echoes
With the untouchable weight of
Just friends.

On my end, I wish I could find a way
To close the distance you maintain.

Seven Minutes

Deprived of sight, my other senses heighten. 

The slide of hangers pushed aside as I
Reach out to find an arm, a shoulder

All I can hear are the giggles of our friends on the other side of the door, my heart pounding, and our breath as our faces draw closer and

We kiss.

We dare you, they said, before pushing closed the door leaving the two of us alone in the dark. 

At first, lips tentative turn daring as hands
Begin to fumble and fingers or palms brush
Hair, cheek, breast, back, waist, rib, flesh but

This is my first kiss

So there is only so far I dare to go although neither of us stops or pulls away until the inevitable knock, a fifteen second warning, hammers on the door and

Jamie says, “You taste like a miracle.”

Tugging unseen clothes back into place
The door is pulled open as I
blink myself to sight and realize
I’ve already forgotten how Jamie tastes.


I number the times you’ve touched me
Leaning in as I light a cigarette,
The way you bump me when I make you laugh,
Your ever cool fingertips brushing mine
Your foot tapping my leg beneath the table.
These accidental connections become nothing
After the first time you reach across the table to
Grasp my hand, hold, then squeeze
All for just a moment before you release me.
This first intentional outweighs the incidental
And I start over, measuring the times you
Reach out with reason.


You email said “Sorry for the lateness.  Please say yes.”
Attached—a pdf file, a flyer for an opening.
Your name.  Your face.  Proud to announce
Your third show at this fine gallery. 

And yes, I say yes, because who am I to deny you anything?

How does one dress for another’s success?
I choose more carefully than I would if this
Were a first date, wanting to impress you more
With how I dress so you will notice me

Although this is your special night and not mine.

Before I leave I make the bed, just in case
Tonight you decide to come home with me.
I haven’t pushed the point but you’ve been
Crying to me about your ex and I want to be

So much more than the one you cry to over the phone.


I arrive fashionably late but underdressed, aware of my own smallness, reinforced by the assault of your massive canvases.  Does my jaw drop?  Do I stare wide eyed?  The colors are angry.  The lines violent.  Architectural landscapes all linear, angular, so unlike the artist whose every curve has become my responsibility to remember. 

I pause longest at a tower which hints at curves somehow, creates an illusion of feminine form without fully revealing her, as if she were veiled, demure, hidden somehow. 

“Do you like what you see?” 

I know it is you, your voice coming from so close behind me I can smell the lilacs blooming.  “Yes.”

“She’s one of my favorites.”  You step beside me and I am torn between wanting to see only you and knowing I should continue to admire only your art.  “The owner thinks I’m a cunt for not doing more like my previous series but I’d done the Kabbalah stuff enough, you know?  Time to explore new horizons.”

I wonder what you mean by Kabbalah stuff, what your other paintings looked like, what you expect me to say in response, but you are already turning to give me a polite air kiss on the cheek before shifting through the crowd.

“We need to do coffee again soon,” you say as you walk away without looking back, a promise said to the air and I can only hope is meant for me.

I work my way through a bouquet of other women, hoping to find a drink that might quench my thirst. 


I seek you through the crowd to say I’m leaving
I want to thank you for having invited me and maybe
Suggest a day, a time, when we could just hang out.

I see you looking up at your ex, whose profile
Is as precise as in the portrait you had shown me
And who stands taller than you by almost a foot.

You are smiling, your back arching, swaying
Slightly inebriated from the praise or wine or
Maybe just his presence as he takes your hand.

I turn to leave without saying goodbye,
Leave my empty wineglass on the buffet
Weave my way toward the exit, and pause

At the painting I had admired, with the hint
Of feminine silhouette somewhere suggested
In the brushstrokes, the one that was not for sale.

Tables Turn

Arriving early, I sit with my back
To the door so you will have to look
For me, letting you, the hunted, attack
Making myself the bait for your hook.

Whenever anyone walks through the door
I will not turn to look for you once more.
I take a risk and go to the bathroom
Knowing you could arrive while I am gone.
Afraid I may have missed you, I return
To the table looking, recognizing no one.

My relief upon seeing your face is
As strong as my desire for your kiss.

Family Ties

“I don’t like talking about my family,” you say after I ask you about your parents. 
“You talk about your sister all the time.”
“That’s because my sister’s not crazy.”
I want to ask you what you mean, ask you how it is you define “crazy,” what actions manifest determine to that your parents are not sane.  But your hand trembles as you pull out a cigarette and I decide to leave it alone.
“Tell me about your parents,” you insist, as if daring me to have a story worse than your own. 
I do what I have never done before while sober:  I tell you about my childhood.
I tell you about my father, who ran away from home, showing me my future.  A man who left nothing behind but his features in my face and the lighter I fiddle with as I go on.  I describe how my mother worked herself into a depression so deep that I forgot how to be happy.  She drank a lot and confessed things to me like how she couldn’t stand to look at me because my face was like my father’s or how I was just like him and would probably run away from home too.
She met a man. And then another.  And another.  A parade of testosterone that would move in on my mother, call our house their home, and then come into my bedroom at night after my mother had drunk herself to sleep. 
I cannot meet your eyes as I rehearse these memories.  Your cigarette is long finished by the time I finish telling you how I finally left home behind, pushed my way out into the world, and found myself sitting across a table, telling you about the nightmares I’ve survived but from which I can’t seem to wake up enough to fully escape.
When I stop I look up to your face and you do not show any emotion.  I see no sign of pity or horror.  Your face impassive passes before me and I feel the part of me that was beginning to close after the disclosure beginning to open, expand.
In your absent expression I recognize the impossibility of full acceptance.
“Let me tell you about my parents.”
And you begin to open yourself to me.


You take your coffee light and sweet with a trip shot,
Stir counterclockwise, then tap your spoon thrice.

This is one of the many gestures I have memorized.
Like the way you lead with your left to lift the cup to your lips.

When you leave I list the everything of you
All the details—food, drink, movies, whatever you mention.
I buy the books you say you’re reading, copy quotations
Alongside the descriptions of what you were wearing last time.

I gather them all in my notebook, pressing them like an orchid
Between the pages, try to capture what I can because I cannot hold
The point where soap, shampoo, perfume end and you begin when I
Inhale your farewell hug then exhale you onto the page as best I can.

Smoke and Mirrors

Because Mom disapproved, Dad took his habit outside, lighting up as soon as the door closed behind him.  I would ride my bike up and down our side of the street and he would watch, wave, smile, between puffs and clouds of his addiction.

In school we learned about the dangers of smoking and I knew I should ally myself with my mother, who frowned every time Dad walked out the door for just one more.  But I knew, with that primal childhood instinct that if he did quit it would be me alone outside, riding without his support. 

I was doing laundry a month after he had not come back.  Emptying his pockets, I found his lighter, flipped it open and inhaled the familiar butane flame.  Whatever guilt I felt for not stopping him from going out for a smoke was thrown out like so much rubbish with his things and this load of laundry was the last remnant remaining, to be denoted to the clothing drive in the morning.

I pocketed the lighter, kept it as my own.  It’s cold and dark outside, I thought.  You never know when you might need a light to find your way home. 

The first time she caught me smoking Mom said, “You look just like your father.”  She didn’t frown at me for smoking or look sad about the words.  She looked away before I could be certain but I think she was smiling.  I spend a lot of time outside smoking, staring into mirrors, and looking for my father. 

Past Loves

The first was dark, a damaged child who kissed
Me with her whole body.  I tried to save her
By losing myself.  She saw through me and
Pulled away.  It was so easy to want
What I believed we had but, in the end,
I knew salvation was more blind than love.

My next said she didn’t believe in love
And she never really liked to be kissed.
From the beginning I knew how we’d end
Though I loved the exploration of her.
Her body and taste were all I could want.
I was not alone in wanting her and

I asked her to commit to me and
Promised to help her believe in my love.
She said she’d never wanted what I want,
Smiled, apologized, and last of all kissed
Me.  When all I wanted was to bring her
Back in my life, I wanted it all to end.

Pain, so unlike life, really has no end.
I found girls who were easy and
Promised to help me forget about her.
They were not able to replace my love.
I learned less hurt came from those left un-kissed,
To be patient for what I truly want.

In all of this, have you heard what you want?
I can’t assure you nor predict an end
To what’s barely begun now that we’ve kissed.
All I know is I want to kiss you and
Learn together the new ways to make love
To you until you forget about her

And every single memory of her.
I only doubt that this is what you want
Or that I would inspire you to love
Me.  I cannot spend time dreading the end.
I want to focus on this and you and
How my mouth hungers now that we have kissed.

I loved that we’ve kissed.  You are who I want.
My feelings for her had to reach this end--
Holding, knowing you, and believing in love.


Are you up?

You text me at almost midnight and I reply “yes” although I am in bed. I wait for my phone to ring.  Instead, it is the lobby buzzer and I know without asking that it is you seeking entrance. 

I grab my jeans as I hurry to the intercom, buzz you in as I slip into my clothes, tugging on a sweater over my tank top.  I cringe to think you will see me disheveled and avoid the mirror so I won’t have reason to turn you away. 

I listen for your approach on the other side and you are there, as I open the door, your clothes clinging to you wet, your hair hanging in ropes, your makeup streaking down. It is your bottom lip, trembling, not from cold, that tells me you’ve been crying.  And because I live closer to the bars where you like to hang out, you have come here instead of going home. 

I offer you a change of clothes, reaching for my largest t-shirt, a pair of sweatpants, knowing that I am too small to adequately clothe you.  I pour you wine and when you curl into the corner of the couch, I take the comforter from my bed and cover you before sitting down close but not too close. 

And I listen.  You tell me how he, your ex, called to talk.  Wanted to meet for drinks.  Suggested the bar where you both first met.  And every sentence is punctuated by tears, by sniffs, by hitches in your breath, your hand clutching the wine glass. 

“You know, I thought he wanted to apologize, to try again.  And all he wanted was to try to get me into bed.”

“I can’t say I blame him,” I say and blame the wine for making me so careless with my own thoughts.  You make an odd noise as if dismissing me; this makes me angry, thinking about how she would have thrown herself at him but dismisses me.  “I can’t imagine anyone not wanting you in their bed.”

You drain the last of your wine, lean your head back on the cushions and look at me.  Your breath is smooth and you do not blink away tears.  Instead, you look as if seeing me now were something new. 

You kiss me, leaning forward, your hand touching like a feather my cheek and I close my eyes slowly as I respond, my own hand reaching behind your head, sinking fingers into the flame of your hair.

“I’ve never kissed a girl before,” you murmur.

“You are a miracle.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In Complete With TMI

If you want to skip the TMI portion of this post, simply glance at the pictures and move along (or leave a comment to let me know you at least hung around that long).  Otherwise, read at our own risk.  I won't go into details but there are things that impacted my experience this week. Bah humbug.

About halfway through the week, my knee started hurting.  Badly enough for me to lose sleep over the stabbing pain as I would try to move or stretch.  It wasn't good and it was getting worse.  I started popping Aleve in a desperate attempt to not lose momentum while also following the advice given in boot camp:


I adapted by taking something for the pain and resting my knee as much as possible when I wasn't doing things.  I adjusted the boot camp workouts, avoiding squats and lunges and keeping everything low impact.  And I accepted that my knee bothering me is just my body's way of reminding me I need to be kind and gentle even when I'm trying to work up a sweat.

Truth is, I even celebrated the fact that I had made it seven weeks without hurting my knee.  That's pretty impressive and shows just how great this boot camp is at offering modifications.

In spite of my knee pain, I didn't miss a day.  I exercised six out of seven days, doing what I needed to do to not hurt myself.  I was oh-so-careful and my knee started feeling better.

Then came Saturday and I got my period.

Now, for those of you who don't know, I'm 51 years old and I'm going through perimenopause.  I had gone six months without getting my period and I was beginning to legitimately hope that maybe I would be free from having my period for good.  I was genuinely looking forward to it, even.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I realized I wouldn't be quite that lucky.

But I learned something really important as well.

I had forgotten how having my monthly cycle affects me physically.  I had cramps.  Okay.  No big deal.  But the exhaustion, the way it affects my vertigo, making it harder for me to do anything--these things I had completely forgotten.  I don't know how I was dealing with this every month.  I literally lay down the other day and was asleep before I realized it.  And I don't mean one of those twilight sleeps where I was vaguely aware of my surroundings.  No. I was gone, completely unconscious, oblivious to everything except how the bed was moving beneath me and how nauseous I was feeling because of the vertigo.

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So all in all, not a good week for yours truly.  I gained 1.2 lbs, which is probably due to my having my bloody period.  (pun intended)  And now I can only hope that next week's weigh-in shows signs of loss.  If not, I don't know what I will do.  The usual advice is to cut back on sweets or something like that (but I don't eat sweets so that is not a viable option) or push yourself harder while exercising (which I cannot do until my knee is better and then I probably ought not do if I don't want to hurt my knee again).

I really hope I see some weight loss at next week's weigh-in because, if I do not, I'll be in a damned if I do, damned if I don't position and, from experience, that's not a very comfortable position to be in at all!

I'd love to hear what you've been doing to take care of yourself this week.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Another Week in the Life


By some miracle, we made it through an entire day without Holly having an accident.  And we only put her into time-out three times the day before.  Otherwise, it was mostly an uneventful day.  We did some housework and tried not to get so caught up in what we were doing that we missed any of Holly's signals.  I kept expecting to get a call from my friend Love whose birthday gift arrived on Saturday.  If not a call, a text.  Something to say she had received it. As it is, I wouldn't have known she did if not for package tracking.  We usually talk on the weekends so I'm guessing sometime this upcoming weekend she'll tell me it arrived.


Georgia weather is crazy.  Seriously.  Last week we had an ice storm.  Today it was so warm we were able to take the dogs to the off-leash dog park.  They had a wonderful time and Snowdoll was running alongside Holly for much of the time.

We hadn't been to the park since the last time Snowdoll was attacked.  Therefore, it was unsurprising that Rob and I were both a bit on edge at first, especially when Snowdoll's hackles were risen.  She settled down quickly enough and had a great time but, given her last experience, I'm surprised it wasn't worse.  Not that I thought there would be another attack.  I just didn't think Snowdoll would be able to relax again on her first trip back.  I may have learned something about forgiveness.

And we made it through a another day without a Holly accident!

Do you see the red welt?
That's actually 2 of 4 such marks
left after my mammogram.

Erin took me to have my mammogram.  I honestly don't understand why we haven't come up with a less painful way of doing this.  Oh wait.  We have.  It's called ultrasound. But they are overly dependent on the skill of the technician and are less reliable for that.  This mammogram hurt worse than any I'd ever had before.  Afterwards, Erin and I went to Moe's for lunch where I had a salad and she had a delicious looking burrito.

Back home, Rob and I made two different dinners--both of us having chili only his had beans while mine did not.  I followed a new recipe I found online and, while I liked the use of cumin and allspice, it ended up being a little spicier than I typically can handle.  When it comes to spicy foods, I'm pathetic.

And then Holly ended the day by not ringing the bell when she needed to go outside.  Back to day zero.

This PetSafe system
works very well for us.

Not only did Holly make it through another day without an accident but we took the dogs to the off-leash park again.  There weren't as many dogs there this time.  There was one smaller dog that was a bit skittish around our huskies but, after we'd been there a while, another woman arrived with two bull dogs, more the size of the one dog, and I saw how the little dog perked up and came into his own.  It was delightful.

The dogs collars arrived and we knew we could start training Holly to stay inside the yard, using the wireless fence system.  We won't be able to leave them alone out there but we won't have to keep her on a leash which means she can run around more easily.  And I won't have to worry about her pulling me off my feet, which she did literally last week.


Rob had to work so I was on my own with Holly so I intentionally planned to do nothing.  That's not to say I did nothing.  Nope.  I did laundry.  I did dishes.  I organized a few things.  I even managed to read in bits and pieces.  I am a champion.


Or not.  My knee started hurting me Friday but it didn't hurt so much that it was prohibitive.  Until this morning.  I was surprised by some sharp pain while doing the boot camp workout.  It only became worse as the day went on, taking Holly and Snowdoll outside, moving up and down the stairs to the deck, trying not to hurt myself but being in pain nonetheless.  I've exercised six days this week so I won't need to exercise on Sunday but I am disappointed that the pain in my knee has returned.  Crossing my fingers that my weigh-in goes well because right now I'm needing all the encouragement I can get. (Not getting much from the people on myfitnesspal or from my scale.)