An edit to a previous post

When I mentioned people having “too much” I misspoke (man, I could be a policitian!). I was quite upset when I wrote that as I had just been told that my lack of ownership somehow made me less worthy by someone who said they didn’t care about education because they didn’t have kids.

I don’t really believe that people have “too much.” I do, however, feel there is a responsibility that comes with success, any level of success. In general, folks should do the right thing. Many wealthy would pay someone copious amounts of money to avoid taxes. When my father was in the oil business he had a business acquaintance who figured he paid an accountant $100,000 a year (this was in the 80’s) to avoid about $100,000 in taxes.  His reasoning was he would be mad if the government was going to get his money. I never understood that.

We are so fortunate to live in this country, every damn one of us, whether rich or poor. But there is responsibility associated with this good fortune also, and that is taxes. If 95% of the nation are going to see tax cuts,  isn’t that what a democracy is about? The greatest good for the greatest amount of people?

I hope like hell to one day be part of the top 5% of the economy in the United States and if I am and seriously believe that by bringing home only $162,500 of my $250,000 salary makes me feel that I am poor, please someone smack me!

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Thanks for clearing that up!

I just told someone I work with that I am voting for Obama.

Their response, “That’s because you don’t own anything!”

OOOOOO, so that’s it?  It has nothing to do with wanting a president who will tax those who own too much?  It has nothing to do with the fact that I want a president who is concerned with education not just veterans and a war that’s going nowhere? It has nothing to do with the fact that the idea of Sarah Palin being even remotely able to be the leader of the US keeps me up at night?

It’s just because I don’t own anything.

Well, here’s some news. I DO own something. I own my body and should be able to do whatever I want with it. I own my mind and should be able to think what I want, when I want, where I want.  I own my pride in my country, that doesn’t make me blind to the fact that there are issues with it. 

I own my freedom and would like to know how the Iraqi war really is defending it?  I want to know what we win? How do we determine we have won the war?  When all of the Iraqis are dead? How many more of our military men and women have to die before we’ve won? It seemed to me that the objective was to get Sadaam Hussein out of there…he’s been gone awhile and yet $10 billion a month goes there while our financial system crumbles.

I would like to own my future, but I don’t know that I do. I do know this, I own my vote and it is going to Barack Obama. Not because I’m voting AGAINST someone, not because I’m a bleeding heart liberal, not because I don’t “own” anything. I’m voting for him because he exemplifies what this country could be, a place of hope, a place of change, a place of honor and he will be a leader I can be proud of.

So there.

I think I’m missing something

At lunch today, a coworker, I dare to say a “friend” made the statement, “I don’t know how a white person can vote for Obama.”

Go ahead, let that sink in for awhile…..I’m still trying to make sense of it.

I know she’s a Republican and super conservative and blames her racist tendencies on being raised in the country, but really? You don’t know how a white person can vote for Obama?  Well, wait, I don’t know how ANY person can vote for McCain, so maybe I am no better then she is. Then again, my issues with McCain have nothing to do with his race. His ignorance, advanced age and freakishly short arms don’t help him in my mind, but his color has no bearing on my decision to not vote for him.

When confronted with statements like the one I heard today, I tend to sit in silence. That kind of blatant hatred and ignorance terrifies me. In my mind I am screaming “WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU SAYING?” Then I wonder where this comes from. Sure, my parents raised me to think that we are all equal, etc…and that helped, but I’m a grown up and can make decisions on my own.  The person who made this statement is a good 15 years older then me. Surely she can make decisions on her own. Let’s say she came to these racist ideals on her own…WHY? Why does it matter what color someone is?  I don’t get it. I simply don’t understand.

Similar thoughts of inability to understand come up when discussing the rights of homosexuals. The only people who’s sex lives make any difference in my world are those that I chose to have sex with…..an ever dwindling number these days. What bearing does loving a person of the same gender have on your ability to raise a child?  Why is love between two men or two women less important and special and rare then it is in a “traditional” couple? Is a commitment less than because both people have the same parts? Seriously, I want explanations.

I feel naive lately. I feel like some stupid Pollyanna who just wants everyone to be happy and loved. Then again, I also feel like a militant person who doesn’t give a fuck what anyone does as long as it doesn’t effect her…and thinks that others should feel the same. Be self-centered folks….worry about yourself and that is all. I don’t know.  It’s hard times these days. The world is in a crazy place and it seems like no one really knows what to do. As a result, the worst starts to come out of people. My only hope for the future is the fact that I have many friends with young children or children on the way and these amazing people will fight the good fight to leave a good world for their kids…..hopefully no one will find THAT a controversial statement.

First Day of Fall Brain Cleansing

Lots of things are rolling around in this noggin of mine. Sounds like a bulleted list is in order.

  • I have a little under a half a tank of gas, but refuse to go “top off” and be a part of the insanity that has made gas almost impossible to come by in Nashville.
  • The people who talk about driving around for two to three hours looking for gas make me crazy–if you have enough gas to drive around that long, you didn’t need gas!
  • Noodle and I participated in the Mutt Strutt this Saturday and then went to the Dog Day Festival. It was a GLORIOUS time. The highlight had to be Noodle “cheering” for his girlfriend Macy in the Fetching Contest. He loves him some Macy!
  • Terrified isn’t even a strong enough word for my feelings about the upcoming election. The idea of John McCain (or worse, Sarah Palin)  having any power over the United States makes my blood run cold.
  • I wish people would understand that there is no one who is “Pro-abortion”, well, there may be some that are, but the fringe sick-o’s don’t count. The word “choice” is the important word in the phrase “Pro-choice.” It has become abortion specific, but it need not be. It’s about being able to do whatever one wants with their body without fear of legislative interference. “Pro-life” ticks me off too, most people walking around are pro-life, meaning that they are all for being alive. Again, there are the fringe sick-o’s who think death is the way, but that has nothing to to with abortion.
  • I recently learned how to do ghetto silk screening and have perhaps become obsessed. Prepare yourselves for silkscreened items for gifts 🙂
  • The love of cooking has been rearing it’s head lately. The hatred of cleaning up, however, dominates the love for cooking in almost all cases.
  • I am so ready for Fall I can’t stand it. I’ve been keeping my place cooler then need be so I can bundle up. Sweater weather is the best!
  • I’m growing my hair out for Locks of Love and it’s about the make me crazy. I asked a friend of mine if he thought it was ten inches from my shoulder and he said “Way more then ten inches” but then I remembered that men can’t be trusted on judging the length of anything.
  • My work load has slowed to a crawl, but I’m not complaining. I think it is the calm before the storm.
  • I love my Dyson vaccuum cleaner too much.
  • I just openend up my iTunes to sharing at work…and am scared at the judgement that may result from my random music choices.
  • If Reckless Kelly don’t come to Nashville soon….someone is going to get hurt.

I want to cry

I want to sit in the middle of the floor and cry and scream like a little kid.

I want to tear things up, throw things around, wring someones neck, shoot a gun, drink a fifth of whiskey. Something, anything to change the path of things the last few weeks, or at least become numb.

My biggest client at work has been running us all ragged. The creative team came up with all these weird promotions for an event at the zoo and even though I said that some of these would be next to impossible to achieve, I was told to make it happen. I have driven nearly 300 miles hunting down and delivering 600 boxes of animal crackers (that I spent 4 hours Friday night stickering–who would think having no social life would come in so handy!). I have bought 4 different things to try to put a logo on a yoga ball. None of which have worked. I have ordered and paid for 25 yoga balls, 10 of which were what I actually ordered. These are for elephants to play with. I went to college so I can figure out a way to create balls for elephants to play with that are branded with a sub-prime car insurance brand logo!

I have been so physically and emotionally spent that when I get home I just sit on the couch and watch tv or sit at the computer and read people’s MySpace and Facebook pages to try and remember what it was like to have a life.

I want to cry so much that it physically hurts me. But I think the pharmacueticals prevent that these days. Although I am able to cry with joy, as I did when I found out that a dear friend heard the heartbeat of her baby that she has waited so long for.

I want to chop all my hair off and dye it purple. I want to skip paying my rent and buy a bunch of clothes. I want to buy a car I don’t need and can’t afford. I want to do something, anything to shake things up. This brickwall I keep running into is getting tired of the abuse.

I really, just want to cry.

Odd logic

This time last year started a string of deaths in my small world. I became numb to the phone calls where the news was bleak.

Currently, it’s almost as if the universe has taken a 180. People are having babies left and right. It’s a pleasant turn….trust me.

However, I have, as of late, had the urge to volunteer at a hospice. In college I volunteered at the Carl Bean Hospice in Los Angeles (which, I found after a quick google search, was shut down two years ago due to lack of funding) It was opened right after the LA Riots of 1992 and housed patients with HIV who had proof from a doctor that they had less then 6 months to live. Many of the residents came directly from jail, or off the streets. It was in a less then savory part of town. But the second you drove through the large copper gates, it was as if you were in Shangri-la. The modern architecture and wide open spaces were inviting and lovely.

The time spent at the hospice was always delightful. My presence there was simply to entertain the residents, no song and dance, but board games and the like were par for the course. There was a resident who loved to play with my “white girl hair.” He had been a hustler for the majority of his life and was never without his lavender robe and matching turban. I would walk in the room with every hair tool I could find and he would go to town. He asked about my life. He seemed to savor the inane stories I told him. I would ask him questions and he would respond with a question back at me. I caught on pretty quickly that he didn’t want to talk about himself. One day as I drove up to the hospice I saw him sitting on the sidewalk outside the gates. I rolled down the window, asking what he was doing. He just shook his head and motioned for me to drive in. When I asked one of the counselors what was up, she told me that he was waiting for his dealer. He had been clean for 4 years, but had a sudden craving for the heroin that had played a large role in him being in the hospice in the first place. It broke my heart. The counselor assured me that it was fine, his t-cell count was so low and his viral load so high that his time in this world was short. If heroin was going to make him feel better, or even just feel nothing, it was the best thing for him.

Visits were exhausting. I would spend a few hours focusing on only the positive aspects of life and simply being there for someone who had no one else. I would walk out the door energized, but it would only take driving a few blocks before the tears would come. It scared me to see how alive people are right before they die. It terrified me to think that something horrible would have to happen before I would really appreciate life. It dismayed me to know that in a few hours or a day, I would forget these feelings and go back to the life of a college student, until it was time to go back to the hospice and the circle of events would start all over again.

It seems odd or morbid, perhaps, but being surrounded with impending death like I was made me feel more alive then usual. It puts things into perspective.  That is why I think I want to go back into volunteering with hospice. No one should die alone. From a completely selfish standpoint, the ability to bring joy or relieve sorrow is the best feeling ever. I guess I have some research to do…….

THIS single girl’s guide to gay boys

First off, I call all males boys, regardless of age, sexual orientation, etc.

It has been said that gay boys have an affinity for me. I seem to draw them to me. Perhaps I look safe, a port in the storm, if you will. Maybe they can just tell that I think they are fabulous and funny and great in general. Are there invisible words on my forehead that tell them that I don’t judge? Do I give off a serious ‘Straight, not narrow” vibe?  Whatever it is, I like it.

I’ve been watching “Queer as Folk” on DVD lately and it makes me love the gay boys even more. I admire their ability to live complex lives in a society that doesn’t understand, much less accept them in so many ways. I love watching the characters interact with one another in a way that heterosexuals, regardless of gender, simply don’t do.  For example, on an episode I watched last night, one of the guys (guy 1) said to another one( guy 2, whom guy 1 happens to have a horrible crush on) that they were bonded to each other because neither one believes they deserve to be loved. Those words are still resonating in my ears. Straight girls would never admit that to each other. At least, I would never admit that to another straight girl. That’s the thing with gay boys, so much of their lives is considered “wrong” by society that they don’t feel the need to cover things up between themselves…..sometimes.

Watching these DVDs has made me realize a couple of things about the gay boys in (or formally in as the case may be) in my life.  A couple of weeks ago, one of my best work friends moved to Dallas. I am still somewhat in denial about this, but have almost come to the conclusion that he is really gone and that he is not coming back. I gave into this reality when I noticed how quiet my days have become. How I have no one to talk about celebrity gossip with anymore. How Project Runway isn’t as exciting without the re-cap conversation the next morning. How, in general, my days are not nearly as good as they were when he was here.

But, he is a gay boy, and as I have learned the hard way, they get over things like that much faster then I do. Which brings me to the relationship failure that has perhaps affected me most in life. See, I have a gay ex-husband. I never called him my gay husband when we were friends, but with the nastiness that came along with our “break-up” it seems only fitting. I now feel as though I know what it feels like to be a divorcee who never had kids with their ex. You go from seeing each other every day and knowing what it going on in the minutia of each other’s lives, to nothing. Apparently no residue of emotion is supposed to exist. You are just to move on and almost act like the other person doesn’t exist.

Our break-up was complicated, as most break-ups are. I was wrong in many ways and he couldn’t deal with me anymore. This is not to say I don’t feel wronged by him, because believe me, I do. But I am fine with the knowledge that it was my actions who started the decline of our friendship. I was no longer a silly girl who would go anywhere and do anything. I was a terribly depressed person who spent more time crying then anything else. I had gone through some physical issues and work related things that made me a wreck. I understand this. I wasn’t fun to be around. I hated to be around myself, but hated being alone more. I was a mess. Apparently I was too much of a mess for some people to deal with. I understand that.

I guess what I don’t understand is how, nearly 2 years later, I am still hurting over this and he doesn’t seem to care. When we run into each other it’s as though we are faint acquaintences. I will occassionaly send an email commenting on something that we were both in to and get no response. (Admittedly it’s been months since I’ve done this. I can’t deal with that much rejection.) I still find myself almost calling him to share something that only he would appreciate, but then I remember I can’t. I remember that I have lost this person. Except for occassional sightings or updates from mutual friend, or of course, his blog (ahhhhh technology!) he is dead to me.

Perhaps gay boys don’t really like me any more then straight boys? Perhaps our times of laughter and silliness and endless chatter are simply the gay boy/straight girl version of cheap and random sex between straight girls and boys?

I don’t really know. The more I think about things the more I realize that I don’t know much. Maybe that’s fine. Perhaps the knowledge that you don’t know anything is liberating. But right now, it just feels pretty lonely.

Chemistry.com: The Truth

This is not some expose on a online dating site. This is, rather, a more truthful response to the extensive profile I filled out on the aforementioned dating site earlier today.

Who I am and who I am looking for:

I am borderline neurotic. I have a vivid imagination and a tendency to over-share. I can tend to be clingy, but need my space. I feel alone in crowds. I love my dog too much. Sometimes I forget to brush my teeth. I never put away my clean laundry. I like the idea of eating healthy, but eat crap out of convenience. I have pretty blue eyes, and I know it. There is no way for me to have cleavage. I fall down a lot. I laugh way too loud. Sometimes I hold in my sneezes in some weak attempt at femininity.  I enjoy museums and such, but spend large amounts of time watching random reality shows.  I sometimes think people are looking at me in admiration, but in my heart know it’s not true. I relate very well to gay men. Gay men love me. Straight men are much less interested. I sometimes have a horrible time holding up my end of a conversation. I try to be a people pleaser to the point that I either come across as super boring or eventually freak out and spill all the dissenting opinions I’ve been holding in. I was once a registered Republican, but currently am terrified by Republicans in general. I believe in God and think Jesus was probably a cool dude, but, in general, Christians scare the hell out of me. I don’t care what anyone does as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Stealing is bad. I drive too fast. I sleep too much. Sometimes I take 3 showers a day. Sometimes I don’t shower for 3 days. I have 2 cats, and am ashamed of that sometimes.  I’ve kissed a girl. I can’t understand why people like me but am crushed if they don’t. I have a philanthropic heart, but a lazy ass. I love gossip. I may want to have children, but probably for all the wrong reasons.  I’m loyal to a fault. I’m nosy. I’m mostly a mess, the wants to be loved.

I am looking for a man. I like dark hair and beards. I want someone who listens to the minutia of my day and can tell which of my two friends named Erin I am talking about without clarification. I like boys who drive trucks. I like smart boys, who aren’t too smart to act stupid.  I want a boy who is more attractive then me, but doesn’t know it. I want a boy who will hold my hand. I want a boy with a healthy sexual appetite. I want a boy who understands the ridiculous nature of porn, but isn’t too “high brow” to enjoy it. I want a boy who cooks, or at least will eat my cooking. I want a boy who loves Nashville, but wants to travel. I want a boy who can hold his liquor….but doesn’t hold on to it too tight or all the time.I want a boy who will get pleasure out of seeing how excited I get at a Reckless Kelly show. I want a boy who thinks it’s great when I want to hang with “my girls” or even better, when I want to hang with “my boys.” I want a boy who knows more about me then anyone else, but still wants to know more.

I’m pretty sure that even if I had forked up the $50 to get an actual subscription to this dating site, had I filled out the form honestly, it would have been $50 down the drain. I’m all for online dating for others, but it just ain’t my thing. I lack the self confidence to open myself up like that and would much rather spend that $50 on shoes.

So there.

Whitewashed Memories

The human mind is a funny thing. It files things away in a seemingly random way and brings memories up out of nowhere. It also seems to have a great editing feature as it will often change the memories to only show the good (or sometimes bad) in a person or situation.

This past weekend, the “good” edits have been in full force for my subconscious and particularly in my dreams. For four nights in a row I have had the strangest dreams about a former “flame.” The dreams have been more memories then the fantasy situations that normally entertain my sleeping mind. However, these memories have been edited, some quite drastically, to only recall the good. They have been so well edited that I have been anxious to go to sleep in hopes the dreams would be there waiting. I’ve been fighting waking up because I knew, once I did, the dreams, like the person they were about, would be gone.

We first met in the spring of 2007. At a Marine base. The day after he got out of the brig. Dubious timing is a forte of mine. A friend had been dating a Marine for awhile and she thought it would be great if we all dated Marines. I reluctantly agreed to go with her, and one of our other friends, to Camp Pendleton for the evening. I didn’t dress up. I didn’t “do” my hair. I just went because I had nothing better to do.

If you’ve never been on a military base, as was the case with me at the time (for the record, I had dated military before, but they were on ships) it is a foreign place. I used to joke that there was a different climate at Camp Pendleton because of all the testosterone, but seriously, it’s different there. It is strange because all of the places are familiar (buildings, fast food places, etc) but when all combined and placed on this area that is dominated by males, it makes for an odd mix. Once we cleared the gates, I was sure there was nothing there for me.

It is a well known fact that I am bad at noticing people flirting with me and that I tend to “try” to flirt with people who have no interest in me. This used to bug me. I’ve learned to deal with it. My first (and only) night at the ‘E Club’ (enlisted men’s club) was no different. I don’t remember any details about the boy who had my attention that night, but I do recall that I didn’t have his attention. I’m pretty sure, in my mind, that confirmed my suspicions that there was no one there I would have anything in common with. I had been ignoring the boy, all dark eyed and charming, who was buying me drinks and asking me questions all evening. It wasn’t until we went back to my friend’s boyfriend’s barracks and this fella joined us that I even acknowledged his existence. My other friend had met someone and had disappeared, promising to pick us up in the morning (as she was our ride) so it was just the four of us, hanging out, being silly, doing nothing.

It soon went from a foursome to two duos as he and I were no longer aware of anyone else in the small, sparse room. He asked if I wanted to go for a drive. I did. We drove and drove and talked and talked. We went back to his room and talked some more. He’d lived an interesting life. He explained why he had gone to the brig. He talked about what he wanted to do in the future. We finally had talked so much that we couldn’t talk anymore and well, we made out. I remember details about that night like they were yesterday. 

He asked for my number, promised to call. I gave it to him and didn’t have any expectations of him calling. He called later that day. He explained that he was on this ridiculous 24 hours on 24 hours off schedule. He wanted to see me as soon as possible, but didn’t know when he would be able to make the 82 mile trip North to take me out. I told him I’d figure something out. I did.

So it began, 6 months of requesting work schedules around his days off.  Driving up and down the 405 countless times. Late night calls from him to help him make it through those last few hours of his 24 hour shift. Getting up at 5 am to get to base by 7 am when he would be getting off work. Waking up in his room at 6 am so he could get back to work and so that I could get out of there before the Commanding Officer caught me. (He did catch me once, we had a nice talk. He like Michael a lot and thought he just wasn’t made for the Marines. He said I wasn’t like the normal “barracks bunny” and said he’d turn a blind eye to my presence, as long as I kept a low profile) It was, in many ways, an exciting time. 

These are the memories that are popping up in my dreams. The look on his face when I would walk up the long sidewalk to the barracks. The serenade he coordinated for me one day, with 10 Marines singing “Pretty Woman” to me from the catwalk. The picnics we would take on the beach. Picking strawberries. The way his skin tasted like cantaloupe. The way his big dark eyes could see right into my heart. The way that his touch sent shivers through every cell of my body. The physical attraction that we had that almost scared me, it was so strong. Talking about our dreams and our future and feeling that those dreams and futures would be achievable as long as we were in each other’s lives. We talked about me going home with him to Louisiana once his discharge was final. He talked about me to his mom. He met my mom. He would switch days so he could have 2 days off in a row and come up and see me. We played house at my Dad’s place when he was out of town. He cooked me gumbo.

What doesn’t seem to pop up in my dreams is his random tantrums. Never would these be directed at me, but his fiery temper was terrifying to witness. He once found out that a friend of his had hung out with me alone in his room and beat the crap out of the guy, in front of me. He found out that his discharge was going to take a lot longer then he had been told and he punched a hole in the wall. He would disappear for a few days here and there and no one really knew where he went. Since he didn’t have much interaction with others in his job, the only thing that anyone could ever confirm was that he had gone to work, which meant he was alive, but no one knew where he was other then that. His roommate would call me asking where he was. I would call his roommate asking where he was. No one knew. He wouldn’t talk about where he had been, but he was always slightly different when he re-appeared. As time progressed he went from accusing me of smothering him to accusing me of not caring enough about him. His drinking increased. The good times became fewer and farther between, but when times were good, they were SO good. These, apparently, are the memories that I am really holding on to. In a lot of ways, I find no reason to remember the bad. I remember the things I learned from those bad times, but I think it would be fine to forget the details.

Michael and I saw each other from time to time after I moved to Nashville. He was on the road a lot and when he came through town we would see each other. We rarely spoke of the past. We never talked of a future. It was all about the present when we were together because we, or at least me, understood that the present was the only guarantee there was for the two of us.

A couple of years ago he showed up at my place unannounced, as he normally would. He was going to be in town for a month or so for some training. We saw each other pretty regularly. We never went out. I never introduced him to my friends. I never even told them he was here. An opportunity for him to move to Nashville had arisen. The discussion about that was not a pleasant one. The actions that followed that talk made me fully aware that I no longer wanted him in my life, for any reason, for any time.

So here I am, two years since I have laid eyes on him. I have moved and he doesn’t know where I live now. I got rid of my land line so he has no way to call me. Yet, I have these dreams. These wondrous dreams. Dreams filled with good times, and sweet gestures and a certainty about the world. I guess I’ll keep the dreams and these whitewashed memories. There’s enough negative things in the world that I don’t need to hold on to more that has no effect on my current life. So, Michael Andrew Gonzales, wherever you may be, we’re cool. I don’t want to ever see you in my awake life, but if the visits to my sleeping life stay the way they have been, you’re welcome any time.