Friday, December 18, 2009

Good-bye 2009, Hello 2010

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Had a one night stand.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never make resolutions - that way, I have nothing to break!

3. Did anyone close to you die?
My mom. I still can't believe she's gone

4. What countries did you visit?
The Republic of California

5. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Money! Okay, and maybe a boyfriend. Or a boy toy. Or some sort of male thing-a-ma-jiggy.

6. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 10th, because that was the day my mom died.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not committing suicide.

And in case you think that's a joke, it really isn't.

8. What was your biggest failure?
I can't help but think I failed as a daughter. I knew my mom was sick, but admittedly not as sick as she apparently was. Still, I should have known my parents were keeping something from me and I should have spent more time with them last year.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
In this area, I was blessed - I was pretty healthy this past year. The two health issues I had, I was able to take care of with OTC meds.

10. What was the best thing you bought?
Just one thing? I had so much luck at Goodwill this year - I found a lot of books on witchcraft and a couple of really cool tarot decks. Plus, with my dad's help I just got a Wii this week! I haven't set it up yet, but I can't hardly wait to do so!

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friend, Denise's. She was a true friend when I needed one the most.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I don't like the word "made." No one can make me feel something. Yet on the other hand, their actions can trigger a reaction in me. However, there were some people I encountered whose behaviors appalled me, especially my "friend" Colleen.

I was also appalled at my own behavior with a someone. I apologized, yet I still haven't totally forgiven myself for it.

As for depressed... yeah, I had that, too. But I don't want to talk about it any more.

13. Where did most of your money go?
Mortage, bills, food and a couple of emergency repairs (house, car, etc.).

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
This was not a year of excitement for me, so using the "really really" doesn't apply. However, I enjoyed seeing Joel McHale at the Silver Legacy, and also was pretty excited about the Black Hat Society's annual participation in the October Wine Walk. Witches Rule!

15. What songs will always remind you of 2009?
"Good-bye to you" by Scandal. Yes, I know it wasn't released this year - but it will remind me of this 2009 for years to come.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder? Happier.

ii. Thinner or fatter? Guess.

iii. Richer or poorer? Poorer, dangnamit.

17. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading for fun. Spending time at the park. Having sex.

18. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying. Hibernating.

19. How will you be spending Christmas?
Hopefully with my dad, if the weather holds up.

20. How will you be spending New Years?
New Year's Day will be spent with my covenmates.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

22. How many one night stands?

23. What were your favorite TV programs?
Cougar Town. Life. Life on Mars. Medium. The Big Bang Theory.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't tend to "hate" people. There is someone I really dislike, though!

25. What was the best book you read?
Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Pink (I know - she's been around for a while, but I've been listening to talk radio for the last five years or so!).

27. What did you want and get?
A job.

28. What did you want and not get?

A loving relationship with a guy.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
It's a tie between "He's Just Not That Into You" and "Julie and Julia."

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
On my birthday, I was fortunate to be able to spend it with my dad in California. We went to the flea market and then to my favorite book store, Half Price Books. As for my age - who knows? I've been lying about it for so long, I'm not sure I really even know any more.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A lot of things - but if I were to narrow it down to just one thing, I'd say "a job."

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Sweats and pajamas, and sometimes the two were mixed together.

33. What kept you sane?
Exercise, wine, classes and my friends. I have to say, I have some really excellent friends. God has blessed me richly in that department.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
It's probably still Chef Colicchio from Top Chef, although if I were younger, I am sure I'd be pining over Daniel Radcliffe.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Government bailouts.

36. Who did you miss?
My mom.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My friend Suz. While technically I met her in July of 2008, we didn't see each other again until January of 2009. We really hit it off, and she has become one of my closest friends since then.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Let people help. I have been independent for so long - I hate asking people for help. But this year, I had to - and I was surprised at how much people - well those close to me, anyway - not just wanted to help, but actually put their money where their mouths were and sprung into action.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"It's been a long December and there's reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last."
--Counting Crows

And the future?

In 2010...
1. Will you be looking for a new job?
Hopefully, no. I have every reason to believe this temp job will morph into something more permanent. It feels like a good fit, and I absolutely already love three of my co-workers.

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship?
Duh. Of course!

3. New house?
Hopefully not!

4. What will you do different in 2010?
I don't know if there's something in particular I feel that I have to do differently. I will continue to work on myself, to grow, to learn, to strive to be a contributing member of society. I am sure I will still have my foibles and my limitations, however I will continue to move forward, just as I have always done.

5. New Years resolution?
I don't make New Years' resolutions.

6. What will you not be doing in 2010?
One thing I definitely will not be doing in 2010 is having a baby! Other than that, who knows? "Never say never!" After all, I said I'd never have a one night stand, and now look at me, sullied, disheveled and satisfied!

7. Any trips planned?
No trips planned, but I would love to get to Carmel again this year.

8. Wedding plans?

9. Major thing(s) on your agenda?

10. What can't you wait for?

11. What would you like to see happen differently?
I would like to see government voting differently, planning differently, and organizing differently - I am so afraid of the direction our country is going.

12. What about yourself will you be changing?
This is a secret.

13. What happened in 09 that you didn't think would ever happen?
I didn't get a job until my unemployment ran out. I sincerely thought I'd only be out of a job for 3 months - 4 months tops. I never EVER thought I'd be out of work for a year.

14. Will you be nicer to the people you care about?
I think I'm pretty nice as it is, but I would certainly hope I'd be nicer. After all, becoming softer and more aware and nicer is hopefully part of the evolution process as we age.

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 09?
Oh yes, most definitely. Pajamas and sweats aren't welcome at acme digital services!

16. Will you start or quit drinking?
I already drink, so starting is moot. I will not quit because I do not drink too much. I pretty much only have a glass or two of wine on the weekends (and Corona Light in the summer) is a nice way to end a day. And there are some weeks I don't crack open anything at all - yet other weeks when a six pack just doesn't seem like it's going to be enough (it always is - but still I worry!).

17. Will you better your relationship with your family?
There's really only my dad, and I think we have a good relationship. However, again as he is lonely since my mom died, I will strive to spend more time with him.

18. Will you do charity work?
I would love to, but honestly? Probably not.

19. Will you go to bars?
Hmmm... It's not like I hang out in them now. I am sure that in the year 2010, I will go to at least one bar at some point in time.

20. Will you be nice to people you don't know?
Why? What's in it for me?

(I'm joking!)

21. Do you expect 2010 to be a good year for you?
I actually do. I feel like I am coming out of a dark tunnel and emerging into the light.

22. How much did you change from this time last year till now?
I changed a lot. One of the things I feared most in life happened: unemployment. I have been working since I was 10 years old. I never thought there'd be a time when I wouldn't be able to find work. But it happened, and it changed me. It showed me that yes, it could happen to me. It showed me that I could rely on people - and the Universe. And it showed me that there is a chink in my armor - not sure I wanted to know that, but I do, and it's changed me.

My mom's death also changed me. It showed me that there is no going back - no changing things.

The loss of my 11-year-old relationship also changed me. I'm still not quite sure how - I guess I'm figuring that one out still. In some areas, the loss changed me in welcome ways: I feel freer and more like myself once again. In other areas, well, let's just leave that unsaid for now.

23. Do you plan on having a child?
Fuck no!

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now?
I hope to God I will be - and I hope to add some more to the mix.

25. Major lifestyle changes?
Maybe one.

26. Will you be moving?
I do not think so.

27. What will you make sure doesn't happen in 10 that happened in 09?
I will not gain another 10 pounds.

28. What are your New Years Eve plans?
I have absolutely no idea.

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight?
Probably not.

30. One wish for 2010?
To continue to be gainfully employed.

First Week

Well my first week on the new job is over with. Okay, it wasn't a complete week - but it sure felt like it! So much to learn. So much to take in. So many people to know.

However, I think I am going to really like it there. For one, it really is pretty much a paperless office. Our area doesn't deal with paper at all. The only paper I have are some handouts from training and my notepad. Everything else is on the computer. Such a new concept for me!

Secondly, I already love three of my co-workers: D, A, and M. These three guys have been so helpful and nice. If they weren't about 15 years younger than all of my friends, I'd be hookin' those bad boys up with some sistahs!

Again, the money is not good especially for the types of skills the job calls for. Still, it seems a given that, unless one totally screws up, the temps do get hired on. Everyone I met was a temp at some time, as that's the company's policy: to hire temps, train, and then bring them on board.

The only thing I don't like is the placement of the bathrooms. I have to go to the back of the offices, leave, then go through the energy company's hallway to finally get to the restroom. It's a long haul - not that I oppose to walking - but you know, it's kind of inconvenient that there aren't bathrooms located in our part of the facility.

I am still getting used to the hours (9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.). This is an awkward shift to work. I can't run errands before work, and by the time I get off, most places are closed (except for dept. stores and grocery stores). Don't have enough time to run errands at lunch, because we only get 30 minutes.

I'll have to figure out how to navigate these hours more successfully, as by the time I go grocery shopping or whatever after work, I get home at almost 8 p.m. That's hecka late for dinner, and then in another hour or two it's bedtime. Yes, I'll have to figure out a better system!

However, I am blissfully happy to be working and learning and feeling like a productive member of society once again. I am very thankful to have this job, and I have a feeling it's going to be a very good fit.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Wisdom of Avalon

The Wisdom of Avalon is an oracle deck by Colette Baron-Reid, and I used this deck a lot after I was laid off last December.

Today I pulled a card to see what I could expect today from my new job: the card is Birth/Rebirth. Some highlights from the card's meaning:

Rejoice for spring is in the air and you're beginning again. This marker bodes well for any new project, endeavor, relationship, or idea to take shape and be birthed into the world.

This marker reminds you that the process leading up to a birth can feel cumbersome, restrictive, painful and never-ending, yet the final shift brings an extraordinary gift of new life, a new vision born of surrender, and a total release. Know you've come far and are at a place to celebrate your ideas and all things anew.

It has been a long, restrictive and painful road. And like any birth/rebirth, there is a learning curve. I must first learn to walk before I can run. Still, it's nice to know I finally received my walking shoes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The First

Friday morning, I left to go visit my dad for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. This was my first birthday since my mom's death. I knew it would feel incomplete. My dad knew it would feel incomplete. But - we celebrated, anyway.

We got through Friday night by watching a movie I rented: the remake of Pelham 1-2-3. I never saw the original, but I have to say this version was entertaining. If there's one thing John Travolta can do, it's play crazy well.

Saturday was my birthday. I woke up feeling some trepidation - but my dad and I had plans for the morning to keep us busy. We went to the flea market, then off to my favorite store (Half Price Books, where I got a great deal on a tarot deck), and then to lunch. So far, so good.

We went home, and it was time for gifts and pie. I knew opening my gifts would be difficult, because the gifts were things my mom ordered from catalogs for me when she was bedridden. In other words, the gifts were from her, but she wasn't there to celebrate with me.

All the gifts touched me, but two stood out: a copper wall hanging of a pentacle next to a moon, and the Jessica Galbreth's Enchanted Oracle. My mom picked these out of my favorite "witchy" catalog without any hints from me at all. My mom was so supportive of my alternative life path - much more so than she was when I was following the independent fundamentalist Baptist path I was on when I was in my 20's. In fact, after I became born again, she told me I was not allowed to talk about God and stuff in her house. I think it relieved her greatly when I chose a different path later in life.

After my dad and I shed a few tears, we put "House of Wax" (from the clearance rack at Half Price Books) into the DVD player. Nothing can get rid of tears faster than Paris Hilton in a shriek fest. Again, this is a movie to which I hadn't seen the original, but as scary movies go, this one was good - and of course, pretty gory and quite frightening - at least to me.

It was difficult to say good-bye to my dad this afternoon. He started to cry when I left - and he hadn't done that since I was 17-years-old and on my way to boot camp. I know he must feel so alone there, surrounded by so much that reminds him of my mom. After all, he met her when he was 18 years old, and had been with her ever since.

And so the first celebration has come and gone without my mom. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't complete. However, I still felt her love and that certainly helped more than it hurt.

Monday, November 09, 2009

So Fresh To God

My mom died a month ago. I have so much sadness inside regarding that, and I'm not even sure how to express it. One saying that keeps running around in my head is this:

"I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing, when they, who are so fresh from God, love us." Charles Dickens

What grabs me is the "so fresh from God" part. That certainly describes the gift of birth - but what about death? "So fresh to God" is more apropos there. I feel that she is now fresh to God; it's as if I can still feel her here, and yet feel her gone as well.

Soon I will no longer feel her here. I look at some of the things I use in my daily life. Just today I used a notepad which she had put in my stocking last year. I just finished a bottle of water from a case she had bought for me before she went into the hospital. One day soon, those things will all be gone and I'll no longer have much tangible evidence of her existence - only memories.

I can remember sitting with her that last night at the hospital. I held one of her hands, and my dad held the other. Every once in awhile she would come out of her morphine stupor and say "Oh Pam" or "Oh John." Sometimes she would simply wake up and say "I love you." I can remember her voice, heavy with drugs. But will I remember it in a month? In a year? I hope so, because my greatest fear is that I'll begin to forget those things that were so clearly a part of her: her voice. Her eyes. Her laugh.

I don't want to forget. I want to hold on for dear life.

Friday, October 30, 2009

He isn't who he says he is...

Before my mom died, I actually went out on two dates with the same guy. Go figure - me. Out. Not once, but twice.

The guy is someone I met via my favorite-and-not-so-favorite matchmaking site. He is a top blogger, and seemed kind of into me. And in all honesty, probably way more into me than I was into him.

On paper he seemed great. His blogs are funny and insightful. He seemed genuine. And nice. When we moved our email conversations to the phone, I still found him to be interesting. And genuine. But... not as funny as his blogs. And in fact, kind of not funny at all.

He had this annoying habit of asking me a question, and interrupting me before I could finish my response. He also admitted that his driver's license had been suspended because of two DUIs. But, I decided to overlook all that (he changed his lifestyle - he promised not to talk over me when we met) and meet him anyway.

Our first meeting was nice. I didn't think he was as good-looking as his photos, but he was nice. Well-dressed. Pleasant. I enjoyed our talk - or at least I enjoyed it when he didn't interrupt me or talk over me. I do admit I got a bit annoyed that he interrupted me so often.

I felt weird just leaving him there when I left. He waited for his dad to pick him up. I fluctuated between thinking I should have offered to take him home to thinking it was kind of sad that a 49-year-old guy had to wait for his dad to pick him up.

He told me he definitely wanted to see me again. And since it wasn't a bad date, other than the lack of sparks, I decided to give it another try. The next time we met was for dinner, a movie, and then drinks afterward. Drinks? Yeah...I know. But that was the plan.

He was all dressed up - a tie and a leather jacket. He looked good. But once again he interrupted me frequently - and I found myself getting irritated. I remember saying "Please let me finish, and then ask me your questions!" But...he just couldn't help himself. He would talk over me and ask me questions that had nothing to do with the original question I was answering in the first place. It was driving me bananas. Plus...he wasn't funny. Where was the guy that was so witty in his blogs?

Well, then my mom died and he sent me an email asking me to call him. I didn't feel like talking, so I didn't call. He emailed me again a few days later and asked me to call him. WTF? Was his dialing finger broke? It kind of ended after that, but it was probably dead long before that last email.

It's weird to read his blogs now. So many woman want him. And he wants so many of those women. And his blogs are so funny and insightful...but they aren't like him at all. Or are they? Was he just not like that with me? I dunno...

But I had to laugh when I read his latest blog written to a specific woman talking about his fantasy date. It would involve picking her up and going for a drive and making out in the car. Last I heard, he wouldn't have his license for another five months. I hope whoever she is doesn't mind making out in the car with dad in the driver's seat.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two Weeks Ago Today

Two weeks ago today I arrived at the hospital a half an hour too late.

Two weeks ago today, I stood outside my mom's hospital door, waiting for the doctor.

Two weeks ago today, I listened as he told me what I already knew in my heart.

Two weeks ago today, I sat by my mom's lifeless body and cried.

Two weeks ago today, I waited for my dad to arrive.

Two weeks ago today was the first time I ever saw my dad break down and cry.

Two weeks ago today, my dad and I held on to each other for support.

Two weeks ago today I felt lost and confused.

Two weeks ago today I thought I'd never be happy again.

Two weeks ago today I finally understood why people get married and have children.

Two weeks ago today, I realized my mom understood why long, long ago.

Two weeks ago today, I made the hardest phone calls ever in my life.

Two weeks ago today, I thought I'd never get through the night.

Two weeks ago today, I was awaken by the sound of my dad's voice, and I realized he was talking to my mom and my heart broke for him.

Two weeks ago today, I knew how alone my mom felt at age 16 when she lost her own mom.

Two weeks ago today, my world completely changed and it will never be the same again.

I miss you, mom.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's About Damn Time

...or is it?

This is a comment I made in response to what I read as a flirtatious remark from an old boss of mine. We've kept in touch on and off through the years. Recently when I was going through old emails, I realized I hadn't responded to his last one sent a few months ago. So, I wrote a response and updated him on my life, which included an update on my love life: barren.

When I worked with my old boss, he was married and I was with Todd. My boss was happy in his relationship, I was, well, relatively happy with mine. There was no flirting. No crushing. We were just co-workers. But...

I will admit to just liking him. As a person. I found him to be smart. And funny. And he had his head screwed on straight. He didn't get caught up in office politics or gossip. He was a good husband. He was also a mentor of sorts to me. However, I had no romantic feelings for him at the time, and I imagine it was also the same on his end. However...

When we spoke on the phone in December or January and I discovered he was divorced, I remember thinking "Hmmm...." Nothing much more than that. Just "Hmmmm..." Maybe the statement tickled some sort of thought of possibility, but that was about it. Then...

I received his reply yesterday. He wrote, "Sorry to hear about Todd. But I'm sure you'll have no difficulty finding new romantic interests. Heck if I wasn't 100s of miles away..."

Ah...HA! Or was it Ah HA? I don't know...but I do know that I wanted to proceed carefully. How should I let someone I once worked for know that I, too, might be interested. Or was that what he was saying?

Finally, I sent off a reply. I addressed other things in his email, first, and then replied to the above comment thusly: "Why John Smith (name changed to protect the innocent), are you flirting with me? It's about damn time."

I haven't heard back. I'm wondering if I should have just left it at the question, and not put in the "it's about damn time" comment. See...perhaps that part made him think I was crushing on him way back when. And that might make him feel uncomfortable - thinking that I had wanted him to make moves when he was still married. Which I didn't. But you know...a lot can be read into a comment. And I do seem to make many comments that people can read into...when really, I didn't mean anything by them.

What will happen next? He's in Roseville for now, which is only a two-hour drive away. But we're both broke - so much different than our days of working together, when we both made pretty good money. Ah...the good old days...

I dunno, though. I'm ready for more good days. And who knows what today's email might bring...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Observations from the Ellipitical

I hate wearing those little ear pod things when I'm working out at the gym. So, when I'm on the elliptical, it's just me, the overhead sound system and my thoughts. Since I'm not the kind of girl to keep my thoughts to myself, here they are:

1) I saw Turtle working out. He looked a tad bit thinner - but just a tad. I scanned the gym for Vince, E, and Drama, but no luck. I guess Turtle was there on his own.

2) The song One Week by Barenaked Ladies has one of my most favorite lines ever: Okay, I don't make films, but if I did they'd have a Samurai.

3) Speaking of songs, I don't know how I'd get by without a little help from my friends. Last week was a doozy of a week - I ended up sending out an SOS to all my friends, and all but one replied. Without their love, help, and encouragement, I'm not sure how I would have picked myself up from the floor.

4) I Will Survive. This is a karaoke staple, and one of my Cupidian friends attempted it on Saturday at Spiro's. Unfortunately, it is also one of those songs that a) you have to have a certain type of voice in order to carry it off well and b) you think you know it, but when you're up on stage, not so much. So when my friend stumbled over the words, I got up to help her out. However, as I'm tone deaf at best, I performed the song instead of singing it - and as a result, people high-fived me as I walked back to the table. "You sing good!" Um, no. But I certainly can dazzle the crowd with enough performance art so that they are fooled into thinking I do.

5) After reliving Saturday night's Gloria Gaynor impression in my head, I realized that I am a survivor. I hate using that word, but I can't think of another word that applies here. What other word describes someone who was bullied every day of school, yet never quit? A girl who just kept going back, no matter what, knowing that one day it would all be over and behind her? Or how about the woman who fought off the guy who broke into her apartment, with the intention of raping her? I think the word "survivor" does apply - even if it's somewhat cliche and overused.

6) "Panama" is probably not the best song to be lip-syncing along with while some blonde hunky guy is staring at you. After mouthing "Ah, you reach down, between my legs, ease the seat back," I looked up and saw Blondie's mouth drop open, and he almost fell off the lower back machine. Oh well...not my fault he's easily turned on. Maybe he should wait to take his Cialis until after he leaves the gym.

7) Speaking of Cialis, the old guys at the gym love me.

8) It's a good idea to keep your keys with you, because when you place them on the public Key Board, it's really easy to take someone else's keys instead of yours. And when you accidentally (on purpose?) take the good looking fitness sales guy's keys and he catches you, joking with him eases the embarrassment.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


"How many times can I break till I shatter?" That's a question I've been asking myself for years. I can even remember one of the first cracks - in one of our favorite restaurants on B Street in Hayward. It happened while we were enjoying a meal, and the words that came out of his mouth cracked my heart almost instantly. "You're not..." this. "You're not..." that.

It became a pattern I learned to hate - meals in public places often turned into a litany of unwanted information - I heard over and over again why I wasn't a good girlfriend.

So why did I stay? Maybe because I also received flowers with note cards attached which stated how important I was to him. How much I was loved. How his life would be empty without me. So many contradictions - my heart would crack, and then be fixed with the Super Glue of sweet words.

In my mind's eye, I could see my heart - every crack, chip and dent. I knew it was fragile, but wasn't prepared for the shattering break that came yesterday. He's getting married. To her.

Sure, sure...she proposed to him - just like his first wife did. I guess this is the magic trick - the one I could not ever master. Making him feel wanted and loved and desired. I gave it my best - but I didn't propose. He proposed to me, about four years after we started dating, then he spent the next six years running away from me.

I honestly thought we'd end up getting it right. After all, he often told me that one of his greatest hopes was that we would. Did he lie again? Intentionally mislead me? I do wonder, as these comments were made all the while he was pursuing her. Or allowing her to pursue him - whichever scenario suits him at the time.

I sit in this mess surrounding me, a pile of rubble that used to be my heart. I had so much hope. I loved him - love him - so much. He never understood that. Never "got" it. Was it a communication failure on my part? Was it that I didn't love him enough? And what was last week all about?

I don't really have to ask that question, because I know the answer. Once again he was feeling me out - ensuring that his safety net was still in place.

I'm tired of being his safety net. I quit.

I'm in dire need of some Super Glue. I am bound and determined that, though shattered, my heart can be put back together. Sure, it won't be the same as before, but it will be mine. I am, and always will be, the sum of my parts. Beautiful, dented, cracked, and used. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Five

1) I used to work out in the morning, but night sweats and a sick cat have been keeping me up nights. Translation: by the time morning rolls around, I'm too tired to get to the gym. So, I've turned to evening work outs. Tonight (or should I say last night?) was the latest I arrived at the gym: after ten p.m. I was surprised to find it pretty busy. On the plus side: the two guys who normally hog the ab machines were gone.

2) Does having a beer after coming home negate any calories spent? If yes, does the fact that it was a light beer change anything?

3) This week was movie week. I saw Julie & Julia, (500 Days of) Summer, Adventureland and I Love You, Man. Ratings: Excellent, excellent, okay, and cute (with extra bonus points for being a Paul Rudd movie). Favorite line from I Love You, Man: "You've been Rushified!" Adventureland was a bit of a disappointment, in that it was clearly marketed as a comedy, but it wasn't actually funny. At all.

4) Dr. Atkins would turn around in his grave to find out I succumbed to a bag of movie popcorn, slathered in a buttery-like substance. He probably wouldn't be happy about the beer, either.

5) I found a Christmas card with money in it. I promptly took it down to the Silver Legacy, and bought a ticket to see Joel McHale on September 5th. While there, I put a dollar in the Wheel of Fortune penny slot machine, and won $1.70. I quit while I was ahead. I bet the casino hates me now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There's One In Every Group

The other night, a bunch of my friends and I were at GSR for Ladies' Night. After a drink or two, the band started playing dance music, so we got up to dance. of my pet peeves has to do with guys and dancing. We women don't mind dancing with one another, and in fact we enjoy it. And the guys will just sit at the bar and watch, but not ask us to dance. But there's always some asshole who waits until we get up on the dance floor, then sidles up to us and boogies in the center, as if he is a big stud and we're all part of his harem.

I hate it. It drives me freakin' crazy. And so of course it happened the other night - some doofus who didn't have the balls to ask us to dance jumped in between us during a song, and started dancing. I turned my back on him, and so did my friend Carmen. My friend Tammy, who is probably one of the sweetest women I'll ever meet, felt sorry for the guy and danced with him. After the dance, she invited him back to the table.

As I mentioned before, the guy was an asshole. So, he made some lame excuse about going to the bar to get a whisky (and of course didn't offer to buy anyone at the table a drink, including Tammy who was sweet enough to invite him over). After he left, I said "Oh my gawd" and Tammy started to laugh. She said, "I know what you're going to say!"

"What, that I hate guys like that?"

"Yeah. As soon as he came up to us, the first thing I thought was 'Oh PJammy is going to be so mad!' My instinct was to protect him from your wrath!"

I said, "Tammy, you are just so nice. You always do the right thing." And then I realized that really, all my friends there were nice. "Suz, you're really a good hostess. And Joni, everyone who meets you falls in love with you. And Colleen is so motherly...." I stopped. "Oh fuck!"

Tammy said, "What's wrong?"

"I just realized that I'm the bitch in the group. Every group has one...and I'm it, aren't I?"

Now remember, these are nice women, so they all used different words. "No, you're not a're just confidant." "You're strong!" "You're blunt!" Oh yes, all sorts of different words for "bitch" were was nice of them to try, however there was no disguising it - I am the bitch of the group.

I am not sure I'm happy about that, but the reality is that every group does have one. In this case, I'm it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Faux Sex with the Ex

Your ex really isn't your ex until you have sex...isn't that right? I swear I heard that somewhere before...maybe just in my own head. But, it's kind of true, right? Almost every woman I've ever talked to has had sex with her ex.

Now I'm one of them.

Well, kind of. Let me explain... Hunky's new girlfriend doesn't want him to have female friends. Of course, that includes me. We still occasionally chat online, but basically we no longer talk on the phone, and emails are few and far between. As he was my best friend for eleven years, it's kind of odd not to talk to him any more.

Two weeks ago, he called me when he was in the car on his way to an appointment. He didn't have much to say - just wanted to let me know he was thinking of me and hoping all was well. We chatted until he arrived at his destination. Surprisingly, he called me again when he left his appointment. We talked some more, and I almost invited him over for tea, but something stopped me.

I visited my parents that weekend, and when my mom asked if I'd heard from Hunky, I told her the story. Then I added that I almost invited him over for tea, since he was near my place, but didn't. She asked me why I didn't, and I said I wasn't sure - maybe I just wasn't sure it was appropriate.

I thought about my conversation with my mom, and the next time I had reason to email Hunky, I told him that I had almost invited him over for tea. Then I said that if ever wanted to catch up in person, he was welcome to come on over. And Hunky being Hunky, he actually did email me to let me know he'd be in my neighborhood again; was the invitation still open?

It was, and today was the day. I worked this morning at a temp job, and had not eaten so I was famished by the time I got home. I made lunch for us both, as it turned out he had not eaten yet, either.

Over lunch, we talked. It turned out he and Girlfriend had an argument last night, and it continued on this morning. We talked about that, and one thing led to another led to another and at some point it came out that he was still attracted to me physically. Or sexually. Or both.

Next thing I knew, we were naked. Well, I was naked; he was half naked. And then we had faux sex, which in my definition is sex without vaginal penetration. Because, let's face it - if naked body parts and orgasms abound, it's sex. Maybe not real sex, but it's sex.

Afterward, he asked me if I felt guilty. Nope. Not one freakin' bit. It would have been different if I knew Girlfriend and felt some sort of loyalty to her. But I don't know her. And, it would be different if she allowed us to be friends. But she doesn't. guilt here. Only the afterglow of pleasure.

Of course, there is one more thing - and that is that it was simply sex with the ex. It's not going to turn into a huge romance. He's not going to leave Girlfriend for me. It's simply sex - and that's something I'll have to figure out if I'm okay with.

I think I am, but you know it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just call me "Marci"

One of the best temp jobs I ever had was through OfficeTeam, so when I was laid off in December, the first thing I did was sign myself back up with them. Last week they called and asked me if I would would work a short-term temp job this week. I jumped at the chance to get back to the top of their list, so I said yes.

The job is as an order taker (you know how I love taking orders...) at a convention in town at the Peppermill. But, I was warned that I was only an alternate. So, I was to show up this morning at 7, go through training and then wait around for two hours to see if I was needed. I hate to admit this: I was hoping I wouldn't be needed. Not because I didn't want to work - no I want to work. It's because this little piddly two-day job will screw up my unemployment. And as someone who hates dealing with those numbnuts, I was hoping I would get sent home.

But, Marci S. did not show up for work, so I was given her name tag and put to work taking orders. It was okay, but slow. So. Very. Slow. There were eight of us, and as we pretty much spent most of the day waiting around for people to give us orders, I am quite surprised they kept all of us there until quitting time.

As I wanted to work, I smiled at just about anyone who walked by the table. "Please sit down and give me some orders" I silently urged them. One guy saw me smile, and sat down. "Hello....Marci. Wait. Is your name really even Marci?" I laughed. "What makes you think it might not be?" "Oh, I go to enough of these things to know that someone always ends up with someone else's name tag."

Now, everyone at the table had the correct name tag but me. How he pegged me as wearing the fake one, I'll never know - unless it's just as simple as I don't look like a Marci. Anyway, we chatted a bit - he was there to talk to the Big Man at the booth, who actually wasn't there when he came by. But, for the rest of the day, he chatted me up on and off as he kept hoping to meet The Big Man at the booth.

I'll tell you, though, this guy wasn't the only person who liked Marci. As I mentioned, we were not busy at all. So, it came as no surprise when one of the booth guys came up to us and said that he wouldn't need all of us tomorrow. He told the woman sitting next to me that he would not be needing her, and then he pointed at me "But you! You I need. Can you come back tomorrow?"

Dammit. Yes, yes I can.

I'm not really sure how I was picked over the woman next to me. The only thing I can think of is that while wearing the mantle of Marci, I did a pretty good job. I didn't eat any of their samples. I didn't stray away from my station. I smiled encouragingly at people, hoping they'd come sit at my desk so I could take their orders. So, it turns out this Marci girl is a pretty good worker. And apparently fairly well-liked.

But she sure is going to screw up next week's unemployment claim.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lizard or Redhead

When Chris Costa took his third set break of the night, a guy came up behind me, put his arms on my waist, leaned into me and with his lips almost on the back of my neck he said, "So is it a lizard or a redhead?" Um. Huh?

I must have made oogly eyes at my friend Carmen, because she raised her eyebrows and looked at me. I asked the guy to repeat himself. "Is it lizard skin or a redhead?" He kept his hands on me, and his mouth was so close to my neck while he spoke that the words almost felt like kisses. Then he said, "Please push my lips away from your neck."

I didn't move, because I was still puzzling out the question. Lizard skin or redhead? Okay, I get the redhead thing - I have red hair. But...lizard skin? What was lizard skin? Was he asking me if my dress was supposed to be lizard skin? Or was my skin lizard like? I dunno, because while I was thinking about what it was that he was asking me, he pulled away.

He told me I was sexy, and then walked away to join his friends - an odd conglomeration of men. One old black guy, one middle-aged black guy, and a very blond, very young surfer dude.

My friend Carmen quizzed me. I told her I had no idea what he said to me - he was obviously buzzed. We made a couple of jokes about it, and then started talking about our regular girl stuff. We could see them all staring at us while we talked, and could tell they were going to make another move - we rolled our eyes and waited for it.

Sure enough, all three sauntered over to the table. Mr. Lizard approached me and said "I'm sorry about kissing your neck." Now, the thing is, he didn't kiss my neck. But apparently there was some sort of bet thing going on, and not wanting him to lose (because I'm nice that way), I said "No problem! Kiss away." His eyes lit up, and he approached me from behind again. Then I felt it - his lips on my neck. He kissed me three times, and I could see Surfer Dude talking to my friend Carmen. I could tell she was giving him a hard time, but couldn't hear what she was saying.

Mr. Lizard invited me to join him at Nikki Beach. He said there was music and dancing and he was sure I'd enjoy it. I told him there was music and dancing where I was, so I was going to stay put. He tried to entice me with his beer (yep. His beer - it would have been much more enticing had he offered to buy me my own). I smiled sweetly (well I tried, anyway), thanked him, and said that Carmen and I were enjoying the music here so we were staying. He said okay, but if I changed my mind he would be there waiting for me.

When they finally left, I asked Carmen about Surfer Dude. She said she had asked Surfer Dude what was going on. He said "Mr. Lizard is trying to get your friend's panties wet." She said "What, is she fucking 15-years-old? It takes more than a kiss on the neck to do that! Haven't you guys learned anything? Don't you have any game?" She said Surfer Dude laughed, but backed away.

And it was obvious that none of them had any game. Oh they tried, God bless 'em, they tried. What he didn't know, though, was he couldn't have done anything to get my panties wet, because I wasn't wearing any.

Just call me Britney. Now I must go - I hear K-Fed calling my name.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I am Cougar, Hear me Roar

Ever since this Cougar thing has been featured in magazines and on TV, I have to fend of 28-year-olds like crazy. Their emails are all very pointed, and are frequently crude. However, I do admit that there is this one guy from another site who contacts me regularly, and I do keep writing back. I think I keep writing because he seems kind of naive and friendly and lost. These qualities make him endearing to me.

This particular young man lives in Carson City. He recently moved back after being away for a few years, and wants friends. The thing is, he's shy. Or he says he is shy. I find myself believing him, though, because as a fellow shy person, I recognize the syndrome.

In today's email, he asked me if I was at the Nugget in Carson last week. I told him that I was and then asked him if he saw me. He said that he had, or at least, he was pretty sure it was me. He said "I only saw half of your face, but your boots were damn sexy." I told him he saw someone else - that I was wearing tennis shoes. He said "Uh uh - I don't think so." I laughed. He had me.

So, now that he knows I wear sexy boots in the evenings, he is being bolder with me than he has ever been before. He still hasn't asked me out - but I can tell he's working his way up to it. He is just having trouble actually asking the question - he keeps dancing around it.

I could make it easier for him and guide him to the question. I'm not, though. My purpose isn't to torture him - I'm really just trying to figure out how to respond to him when he actually does ask. Do I really want to go out with a 28-year-old guy? Or is it really such a big deal? I mean, he definitely has the Cougar-expectation: he's said enough to me for me to glean at least that much.

Am I a Cougar? I guess I could say "yes" and find out.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Dead Man Flirting

Graveyard dirt. Believe it or not, it's a key ingredient in many spells. Unfortunately, graveyard dirt isn't easy to come by. You can purchase it in stores, but who knows if it really came from a graveyard? And, if you've been to a cemetery recently, you know that most graves are covered with grass, so digging up dirt would be a desecration of sorts.

Another little known fact: to be used effectively, graveyard dirt must be obtained ethically. That is, with full consent of the deceased. It helps to aid the Goddess Oya in this endeavor - and there is a way to do that as well.

I've had need for graveyard dirt on several occasions recently. I decided it was time to do a little research so I could stock my cabinet with this much needed and hard-to-come-by resource.

I thought of the perfect graveyard, in my hometown of Fremont. There is a little cemetery not far from Ohlone College. When I was a kid, we often walked our dog there, and spent time honoring those long since gone. Some of the graves date back to the early 1800's, and we assumed there were no family members left to visit. So, we'd visit instead.

This weekend was the perfect time. I helped my dad at the flea market (conveniently held at Ohlone), and after I was able to excuse myself, I went to CVS to get the last needed requirement: wine. See, Oya likes her gift of nine pennies to be doused in wine - specifically, red wine (that's my kind of Goddess!). I grabbed a four-pack of Merlot, checked out, and drove back to the cemetery.

At the entrance, I called to Oya. I let her know I had pennies and wine for her and asked to to allow me entrance. Before I could finish, I swear I heard Oya say "What are you waiting for! Give me my pennies." So, I did. Then I left the wine at the foot of the stairs. I heard her say, "Don't cap the wine!" I made sure to keep it open, because I certainly did not want to piss her off.

The next step was to talk to the spirits. I let them know why I was there, and told them a bit about my history and what I planned to do with the graveyard dirt. This is the part that can literally take hours. I was hoping it wouldn't, as I had to get back to my parents' house to check on my mom.

I walked around, and visited graves. I spent a lot of time with those who were veterans, hoping that our mutual connection of service would grant me permission. I sensed that a former Corporal in the Army wanted to grant me permission, but his wife did not want him to. I walked around some more. Some clearly told me to move on. Others were eerily silent.

I saw one grave that someone had clearly been at recently, and not in a good way. I talked to the pair (sisters, it looked like), and apologized for the state someone left their graves in. I looked around for a garbage can so I could clean up, but none was found. I moved on.

I visited grave after grave. I talked to many, and didn't make much of a connection. Finally, I asked Oya for help. "Oya! I'm having trouble locating a helpful spirit here. Is there somewhere I should be looking at specifically?" Oya answered me with the help of a squirrel. I saw him poised at the edge of a gravestone, and then he ran. I wasn't sure which grave to check out, the one he started at or the one he ended at. I decided to check them all out.

I talked to all those spirits in the immediate vicinity of the squirrel sighting. The only one who engaged with me was one Richard "Dick" Valencia. He died in 1999, at the age of 74. His wife had not yet joined him, but her name was already engraved on the headstone next to his.

I told him what type of spells I wanted to use the graveyard dirt in: Protection, Love and Banishment spells. He said "I can help you with protection and maybe banishment. But, girlie, I can help you more with sex than I can with love." He was joking with me - and I so did not expect that. We "conversed" for a while, and he continually flirted with me. I asked him if his wife would mind if I took dirt from his grave, and he said "Who cares? I want you to have it." So, I took two handfuls of dirt and left him nine dimes in return.

After leaving the nine dimes, he was delighted. He said, "Take more dirt!" I told him I'd only feel comfortable taking another handful, and that's what I took. He told me he liked my red hair. I thanked him. We talked for a few more minutes, but since I had the dirt and had left the dimes, it was time for me to go. Before I left, I kissed his gravestone. I swear I felt him blush.

He escorted me part of the way out. When I felt he was no longer with me, I said good-bye and thank you to Oya, and left. I knew, though, when I got home I'd have to check the Internet to see if I could find out any information about him.

Tonight I checked, and I found him easily. It turns out his nickname was "Muscles" and he was apparently really well liked. I could tell that, though, from his spirit. He headed "The Big Dick Golf Tournament" in the Bay Area, and was an avid sportsman, hence his ability to readily admit the dirt from his grave could aid with protection. And, I do imagine that his sportsman-like physique probably did make him a big hit with the ladies, so perhaps he wasn't joking when he said he could help me with sex magic.

Either way, as read about him on the 'Net, I felt him next to me again. He didn't say anything, though, he just seemed to delight in reading his obituary. Plus, he seemed to just enjoy my company.

It's kind of sad that the only guy enjoying my company this weekend is a dead man, but I'll tell you, I'll take what I can get. After all, a compliment is a compliment, no matter who it comes from.

Thank you, Muscles. It was nice talking to you.

Friday, August 07, 2009

One Thing

Even though I know
I don't want to know
Yeah, I guess I know
I just hate how it sounds
--Finger Eleven, "One Thing"

True Sight. It's both a blessing and a curse. It's the one power I have that I have been using since I was a little girl. I have almost always (almost) been able to tell when someone is lying. I also know when something is being hidden. And, I quite frequently know the story behind the story, without ever being told.

When I decided to move out of Hunky's place and into my own home, we both thought it would be a good thing for our relationship. The original plan was to just start dating again, with the hope that since we weren't living under the same roof, we would be better able to start mending our relationship.

But, I knew he was dating other women. He didn't talk about it, but also wouldn't deny it if I asked. I knew his routine inside and out, so when something was different, I knew. I would know if he threw a play party at his house. Or if he went out on a simple date. I knew the differences, and I didn't want to know - yet at the same time, was glad I knew so I could deal with it emotionally.

At the end, I knew that it was over before he would even admit it - both to himself and me. I was his safety net, knew his foibles and eccentricities, yet loved him anyway. He could not be sure that would be the case with his new girl, so he held on to me "just in case." But I knew...and he knew I knew...and eventually admitted it and we parted ways for good.

With the exception of other witches who are good with Arte of Glamoury or Abjuration, I just know things about people. It's not a psychic ability, as I don't see the future or the past. I just know things, like someone's history or why they are the way they are. I know when a guy is interested in me, but afraid to make another step. I know when a guy is not interested enough to make the next step, even if he says he is. I know when a guy is lying to me (again, most of the time - there have been a few exceptions). I do not make it a habit to call people on this stuff, unless there is some reason for me to so. Most of the time, I just take the knowledge and use it to make my next move, whatever that might be.

Lately, I've made a few mistakes with men. Errors in judgment...maybe. However, in the exit interviews I've conducted with my psyche, I realize that I knew. Of course I knew. I was just testing my boundaries and my newly found freedom. Perhaps I was also exercising a little wildness. Or allowing myself to experience new things by picking the right people to do that with, still knowing in my bones that these were just play dates, and nothing to hang my hopes on.

The thing is, while I just know things, I don't know what to do next. How best to proceed. My magical mentor suggested a few things...and I'm pondering those as well. Yes, the gift of True Sight is both a blessing and a curse - but it doesn't help me predict the future, so my next move is still a mystery to me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Love is a Challenge

Loving anyone is challenging. The love brings us to places we might not have thought we were strong enough to handle - and sometimes to places we were hoping to avoid.

Loving someone with a disability is extremely challenging - I should know because I did it for over ten years. My ex-boyfriend (life partner, live-in significant other - take your pick) was not neuro-typical. He has Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Because he is high functioning, it was often easy for me to forget he had a disability. It was at those times I forgot that it became an issue.

I haven't written much about this before, because I didn't want to come off as a martyr or as a show off. However, I am starting to realize that loving someone with a disability has helped form me and change me in many positive ways. Unfortunately, it also showed me my limitations, and my failures.

I knew what I was getting into - he told me about his disability on our first date. I researched it, and felt I would be able to handle it. And, most of the time I handled it well. However, there were times I handled it poorly and I often wonder if that didn't help to kill the relationship.

While one might not normally think that a relationship with someone who has a disability could be advantageous, in this instance is was. People with autism don't tend to lie; their brain doesn't process information in the same way as a neuro-typical brain, and so when asked a question, they will often just come out with the truth. Of course, a lot of time that truth is not filtered, so if you are asking someone with autism a question (i.e. "Am I fat?") be prepared for a completely honest answer.

So, when our relationship was on the rocks, if I asked a straightforward question (are you dating someone else), I would get an honest response. One I could trust to be true.

Navigating the dating waters now is kind of tricky for me. I have come across liars aplenty. Thank goodness I have a pretty good b-s meter, but still... some lies get past me without being noticed right away. When this happens, I miss the honesty I had in my long-term relationship. But if I were to be really honest, there are things I don't miss as well.

I don't miss dealing with the OCD and the over-analyzing. I don't miss the times of lethargy - when he simply couldn't move or take care of himself, so I had to step in and do it all - (even sometimes encourage him into the shower). I don't miss the germ phobia and the sleepless nights. Nor do I miss the fact that we never went to any of the fun things around Reno together because he could not be in a crowd - so, no Artown events, Street Vibrations, Hot August Nights. If I wanted to do any of those things, I would have to do them on my own.

For the first time in over ten years, I feel like I have a life. I didn't realize how suffocating and small my world used to be until our relationship ended. Don't get me wrong - I didn't want our relationship to end. But end it did, and as the saying goes: When God closes a door, another one opens.

This particular open door has led me to good friends, fun activities, and a great period of growth. But I don't ever want to forget that my relationship was also a period of growth and self-awareness. I certainly would not be who I am today had it not been for the challenges that the relationship provided me. For that, I am grateful.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Longest Day

MIdsummer - even before I publicly acknowledged that I am a witch, this was my favorite day of the year. The day the sun stays with us the longest - I dunno why - has always been a magical day for me.

I can remember when I was a kid laying on my neighbor's lawn (they had the best lawn), staring at the sky and watching the clouds. My brother, friends and I would shout out what we saw up above - summer was so magical then. We could stay out late. Ride our bikes all over the neighborhood. Run through the sprinkler, and then make mud pies in the gutter - and we were free until mom called us back inside after the sun went down.

Summer seemed like an endless present of sunny days, bathing suits, and watermelon. On very special days, my mom would drop us off at the theater, where we would see a double-feature. On other special days, she'd drop us off at the Lagoon, and we'd spend all day splashing in the muddy water. The rest of the time, we hung out with the neighborhood kids, playing games, roller skating, dressing up - whatever, really - it didn't matter, because we didn't have to go to school.

Summer isn't as magical to me now as it was then, with the exception of midsummer. On this day, I can feel the magic of yesteryear as clearly now as I did when I was eight years old. I can still feel the sticky sweat on my forehead, taste the refreshing sweetness of a cold Coke on a red hot day, and hear the sounds of the neighborhood kids chanting "Red Rover, Red Rover..." It's as if no time has past - but of course, it has. Lots of it, in fact.

We held our ritual outdoors and burned an effigy of the Sun God. We toasted the sun with wine and feasted on hot dogs, salads, and chocolate cake. And as the sun made its way down, we sat around the fire and talked about our future, together and apart. We were united underneath the sun of the longest day, and magic surrounded us.

I hope I never lose my fascination with midsummer, for it's the one day of the year I can count on in which the veil is lifted and I am once again eight-years-old, with no cares in the world whatsoever. I see fairies and shooting stars and clouds shaped like bunnies. I feel love and joy and complete freedom...that is, until mom calls me back home to face the reality that is the mundane, everyday world of home life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Strange, but True

Tonight I was out with my girlfriends, and I ended up driving one of them home. On the way, she said that the evening was another bust - another night in which she didn't meet anyone who flipped her switch. Another lonely night...

It took a minute for this to sink in. Why? Because she's the one most of the single guys I've met ask me about. "Hey, PJammy, what about your friend? Is she seeing someone? Is she free?" And here she was, expressing some of the same things I've thought time and time again... "Why not me?"

In all honesty, I don't expect to meet anyone on our dancing nights. I look at it as girls' night out, and don't even entertain the idea that I might meet someone. Still...when we do other things together, I think "Maybe tonight?" And in that vein, I pay a little extra attention to what I put on - clothing, lipstick, jewelery.

So, when one of the "pretty" girls says she's disappointed that she didn't meet anyone and she's lonely and wants someone, I realize that at our core - our heart - we are the same. We want the same things: love, security, a big hug, some tender and not-so-tender kisses, and, well, a little, ahem, something extra.

One could say that we went home alone tonight. And in the literal sense, that's true. But actually, we both went home together, our hearts in harmony and our desires mutual. The pretty girl and the not-so-pretty girl are one and the same in this quest for love. For now we have each other - but it's not enough so we continue to hope. And dream. And wish. And if we're lucky, our wishes will come true.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Go Out...Tonight?

After announcing financial difficulties, my horoscope ended with this: Tonight: go out and have a good time! And when I read my horoscope while drinking my coffee, I nodded and said "Yes, Astro, I am going out tonight!"

But the day wore on. And on. And on. And except for a bright spot in the morning, the day just didn't end. And neither did the rain. So when the girls started backing out of tonight's plans one-by-one, I actually started to feel some relief. A night indoors. Yay...I think.

I was ambivalent about it. In reality, I didn't want to make an effort. It was just that kind of day - the kind of day that left me wanting to put on my sweat pants and stay at home. But when I called my friend Ms. C to see if she was also going to give up on tonight's planned outing, she said no.

After three phone conversations, it was decided that she was going to go to the movies with L. That was perfect! She had company, and I could stay at home, curled up under a blanket. I went into the kitchen to scrounge up some food. Shortly after a tiny bit of success, the phone rang again. Ms. C said, "Hey! It turns out that all L. really wants is some popcorn and chocolate, and I have that here. So, we are going to watch a movie at my place. You in?"

And I was. In like Flint. See, when I went into the kitchen, I fully expected that I would have to turn on the light, as it had to be dark out, right? Wrong. It was still light outside. Would this day never end?

I brushed my stumps, put on my shoes and left for Ms. C's house. We talked and got the snacks ready. L. arrived with her dog, Buddy, who is now officially my new boyfriend. We talked, and then we sat down to watch Mildred Pierce, surrounded by popcorn, chocolate, stuffed mushrooms and dogs.

After the movie, I left because I have an early day tomorrow (oops...I probably should be in bed. Dang it!). I checked email and saw my horoscope still in there. I hadn't deleted it. I opened it up to see if there was some reason I hadn't. And the last portion of the 'scope stood out like a hooker in a bridal shop: Tonight: go out and have a good time!

I can't believe I had forgotten that part of my horoscope. And yet, going out was the perfect antidote to a draggy day. Good friends. Good food. Good movie. Good dogs. And sweat pants. I am pretty sure I enjoyed all of that more than I would have our original plan. In fact, I know I did.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama

When the girls and I go out dancing. there is one song that always gets us up on the dance floor: Sweet Home Alabama. It's one of "our" songs. Our other no fail song is "The Joker (Space Cowboy)."

I think it's cool that we all rock out to the same song, although I know our reasons for loving the song are all different. For me, the song always takes me back to Aschaffenburg, Germany - my first duty station. I was in a room with four other girls, and one of my roomies hailed from Mobile, Alabama.

Her name was Mary, and she was supposed to be my "sponsor" when I first arrived. She wasn't happy with that assignment, so she often pawned off her duties to someone else. I thought she hated me - in the end, she turned out to be my best friend.

Mary was a bit of a partier, and rarely did a Friday or Saturday night go by without her leaving the barracks to go to the Enlisted or NCO club. She used to take a long time getting ready, and spent most of that time blaring music on her stereo. "Sweet Home Alabama" was one of the first songs she played after her shower - it was the song to get her in the mood to go out.

When she decided she liked me enough to start including me in her forrays out to the club, I was excited beyond belief. After our showers, we headed straight to our room to finish getting ready. As soon as we had finished blow drying our hair, she'd put "Sweet Home Alabama" on the stereo and turn that baby up high. As we rocked to the beat, she would sip wine (I didn't like it back then - yeah, really I didn't) and I would go through my meager collection of civilian clothes to find something feminine to wear.

The music promised a night of fun and excitement. And the promise was almost always kept. Once at the club, we'd dance and have a good time. She always found someone to make out with. I always found someone to dance with. And when we got home, the music still pulsating in our soul, she'd whip out the forbidden cooking paraphernalia she hid, and make us macaroni & cheese and peas with white sauce. Over this early morning meal, we'd rehash the night's activities and giggle until the need for sleep overrode the need to talk.

'Til this day, the song "Sweet Home Alabama" always feels like home - while it may be Mary's actual home, it's most definitely my spiritual one.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Sex and the Single Guy

I recently met a guy with whom I have explosive chemistry. We can barely be around each other in public without a gross display of public affection - so we planned on moving things to the bedroom.

Before we did, though, he dropped a bomb on me. He told me that he had two kids that he hadn't told me about. See, I knew about one of them - a 17-year-old daughter. I was fine with that; she graduates soon, and so that isn't a problem. However, it turns out that he had another child with his ex-wife, a son who lives in Washington state. Along with that is a complicated story involving custody issues, guardianship, etc.

As they say on the game shows "but that's not all..." Nope. It turns out that he also has a son, the result of a one-night stand. Apparently he didn't know about the son until two years after he was born, and the mother is a drug addict, blah, blah, there are more guardianship issues, blah, blah, and so on.

After he told me all of this, he said he would give me some time to mull it over. And I did, of course. He called me the next day and asked if I had any more questions or concerns. I did, and we talked about those. Then he asked if there was anything else I wanted to know. I said no, but that one thing concerned me, and that was the fact that he had a one-night stand and didn't use a condom.

Even if he assumed the woman he had sex with was on birth control, there is still the issue of STDs. And in this day of HIV and AIDs, I just do not get why a guy (or a gal) would engage in sex with a stranger without the use of a condom.

He didn't have a real response for me as to why he doesn't use condoms. He did say that if it was any consolation, he gives blood regularly therefore he knows he doesn't have "the big one." But what about all the so-called "small" ones? Chlamydia. Herpes. Syphilis. Gonorrhea.

Some time after our "talk," we finally did move things to the bedroom. And just as things were about to come together, I asked him if he had condoms. "Uh, no." NO? Not even after we talked about it and planned for it? No condoms?


I put my clothes back on and left. If a guy doesn't care about his safety, that's one thing. But if he wants to also put my safety in jeopardy, it's a sure sign he's not the guy for me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's In His Hug

About a week or so ago, I joined a new dating site. A guy from there emailed me and totally cracked me up. We corresponded for a while, then moved to the phone. After our first phone conversation, we knew we both had to meet.

And meet we did, today during his lunch break. When he walked into the joint, looked at me and smiled, I have to admit my heart did a little flip inside my chest cavity. We talked and joked, and before we knew it, his lunch break was over.

He asked if he could walk me to my car, and I said yes. We talked for a while, and I knew he had to leave...but he just couldn't. And I didn't want him to. He asked if he could see me again after he got off work, and I said yes. We made plans to meet again.

When we met later, he was disappointed to learn that I am going away this weekend. He said he really didn't want to wait until Monday to see me again - so I invited him to go along with the girls tomorrow night to hear a friend of ours sing at The Polo Lounge. He seemed up to it, but hesitant. I don't blame him - it's always difficult to meet the friends, and meeting them on the second (or would that be third?) date is probably daunting.

He walked me to my car, and there was that awkward moment... you know the one. We were both standing there, and he moved just a little closer and then asked, "Can I hug you?" I said, "Of course!" And before I knew it, he hugged me.


My heart fluttered and my loins went crazy. He smelled good. He felt good. Add that to the good things going on in my body, and I felt like I hit the jackpot.

Oh I know it's just a first date. And this might not even amount to anything... but I'm hopeful. And that counts for something.

Happy Anniversary

If Todd and I stayed together, tomorrow would have been our eleventh year anniversary. We almost made it that far - but of course, did not.

I've been on edge all week, feeling close to tears. It wasn't until today that it hit me why. It always surprises me when the sadness about this failed romance hits me. I guess because there are times I feel so strong - so healed. And then I realize that really my heart was only put together with a Bandaid - and the thing about Bandaids is they're temporary, and need to be replaced now and again.

There are times I really miss Todd. I miss watching "our shows" together. I miss drinking morning coffee with him. I miss his voice, and seeing his emails in my inbox. I miss the safe way he drives, and the how he might occasionally surprise me with flowers. I miss his three-four phone calls a day, just so he could hear my voice. And I miss knowing that much about someone - knowing so much about a person that you just KNOW what's going on without a word being said.

When I think about these things, I cry. But there is a remedy for this: thinking about the things I don't miss. And it's that list that keeps me moving forward - that helps me heal and move on.

And so I move forward, hoping that some time in the future I will be celebrating a new anniversary. But until that happens, I'll be mourning the old.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The pagan community in Reno/Sparks is quite large. However, as large as it is, the opportunity to actually learn and grow is small. For the longest time, there was only one person who taught classes - in anything. Then a new guy came into town advertising the fact that he taught Wicca classes. I told my Black Hat Society ladies about it, with the disclaimer that I hadn't met him and couldn't vouch for him, but he was new and his classes were cheap, so why not check it out?

Check it out they did. And those taking his classes love him.

Flashback to me (this is my blog after all), and since Cupid has done me wrong, I took my business to Plenty of Fish. And on that site, a guy messaged me asking me out on a date. It turned out the guy was none other than the new guy in town - the guy some of my ladies were taking classes from.

Well, as these things go, I was supposed to meet him, but he got called out of town, then my mom was hospitalized, and blah, blah, blah, a month later, we still didn't meet. I gave up on him.

A week ago, I went to another apprentice's house for Thursday class. I knew something was wrong the minute I walked up to the door - it was too quiet. I rang the bell. A man came to the door, and I told him I was there for class with S. He said "S. isn't here, but you're welcome to come in and wait for her." I said no, if she wasn't there, class was obviously somewhere else and I was going to have to track it down. I thanked him for his kindness and left.

Last night I received an email from Mr. Wicca Teacher, asking me if I was still interested in meeting. It turns out HE was the one who answered the door. He is renting a room from S., and when he asked who the hot chick was at the door, S. told him and he said "I was supposed to go out with her way back when..." So, we have a date this coming Thursday.

I'm glad that was one of the few nights I actually dressed up for class, instead of wearing my gym sweats and gym perspiration. Just goes to show, you never know who you might meet in this biggest little city...

Monday, May 25, 2009


On the nights that I don't want to listen to Coast to Coast AM, I turn on the local (if you can call Sacramento "local") NPR radio station to listen to jazz while I wind my way to dreamland.

I love jazz music. Now, I probably wouldn't be able to rattle off artists and their corresponding records, singles, and hit pieces. No, I'm not that prolific. All I know is that I like it. Jazz music just transports me - it takes me to different places in the world and different places in time.

On Saturday night, the particular pieces NPR played took me to rainy Portland, Oregon. I could just imagine myself walking down the streets, the rain drizzling down. I remembered a little vegetarian cafe I ate at while there, and an art store I popped into. The music surrounded me with my memories of Portland - it was the next best thing to being there.

Earlier last week, the selections played took me to New York City. The frenetic energy. The panic felt when my friends and I were afraid we spent too much time at the restaurant and might miss the opening act of Rent. The nights spent in the hotel with the window open, listening to the city sounds below.

There have been times that the music has brought me to heart places instead of physical places - when the notes open up the rawness of losing my last love or the heart-wrenching moment I realized he was cheating on me. Sometimes the notes strum a strong desire of wanting - playing my heart and opening it up to love. Other times, the notes take me to childhood, to lazy afternoons spent laying on the grass and watching the clouds go by.

Sure, many nights I spend my last waking moments listening to George Noory fielding calls about Big Foot or shadow men. But I think my favorite nights are those that take me to magical faraway places right before the sandman hits.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Yesterday I was at the bank, and I saw a wickedly handsome guy at the counter. His daughter was standing next to him - and, as I don't have kids or am familiar with kids, I have no idea how old she might have been. Eight? Nine? Ten? Somewhere in there. She was as cute as he was handsome, and obviously loved her dad.

Me? I was digging her dad as well. He was probably the handsomest guy I've seen in a while, but in a bad boy sort of way. Wild hair. Sunglasses around his neck. Soul patch.

When he smiled and joked with his daughter, I could see his personality as well. He was definitely a guy I would have liked to have gotten to know. However, in the crowded and busy bank, all I was able to do was smile - and think "Man, now that's a FILF!"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gramps and The Witch

A few Wednesdays ago, Gramps asked me to meet him the following Tuesday to practice dancing together. I told him that I could not, as I was scheduled to teach that night. He asked me what I taught, and without even thinking about censoring myself, I said "Tarot."

He gasped. Literally. Then he momentarily stopped dancing with me. He collected himself, and said "Piepa, you don't teach Tarot, do you?" "Yes, I do," was my reply. "Do you have tarot cards?" I laughed. "Of course I have tarot cards! I can't teach tarot without them!"

He tsk'd tsk'd me, then said I shouldn't be fooling around with that "stuff." I didn't say anything else, and he continued to dance with me during the night.

Later, though, he said, "Well, you can't meet me next Tuesday - how about Thursday instead?" I said "Sam, you know I have a class on Thursdays! I can't go."

He said, "What sort of class do you take?" Then, before giving me a chance to respond, he said "Oh, I probably don't want to know, do I?" I said, "Nope. You really don't want to."

He didn't leave it alone, though, and kept bugging me and bugging me. Finally I said "Okay, do you really want to know?" He said yes. I said, "I take witchcraft classes on Thursdays."

His eyes bugged out and he stopped breathing for a minute. Then he slapped me on my knee and said "PJammy, it's been nice knowing you," and almost ran away.

This past Wednesday, he was there. The girls asked me if I thought he'd ask me to dance. I said no, he would not. And he didn' least, for quite a while. He asked every woman there to dance, and even circled our table a few times - but the girls were mad at him on my behalf, so their steely-eyed glances shooed him away.

After a couple of hours passed by, I saw him ask a woman to dance. She said no. He walked around looking lost, and finally came up to me to ask me to dance. I said "Me? Really? And here I thought you weren't talking to me!"

When we were dancing, he asked me why I would think he wasn't speaking to me. I just smiled. Then he smiled and said "Well, are you still taking those witchcraft classes?" I said, "Yes, I am." He asked me if they worked. I said, "Well, you're under my spell, aren't you?"

To his credit, instead of running away he laughed. But he didn't ask me to dance again!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Am I Sweating or Glowing?

It's freakin' hot outside, and of course my swamp cooler isn't hooked up. So, I'm walking around the house naked, hoping to cool off. I think it's working, expect that I keep sticking to my desk chair.

Note to self: call plumber tomorrow to have swamp cooler hooked up.

Other than forced nakedness, today has been a fairly good day. I watched Taken, compliments of Redbox. Liam Neeson never disappoints. Never.

When I returned Taken, I rented Passengers. I haven't yet popped it in the DVD player, though - I'm waiting until the living room cools down. I'm sure after seeing Liam Neeson take out a small Army of Albanians, Passengers will be a disappointment. Still, for a dollar I don't expect I'll be too terribly disappointed.

Speaking of disappointment, I think I need to stop engaging certain guys in conversation. It appears that some guys think I'm a pimp - they keep bugging me to find out more about my friends. I'm tired of getting notifications that I have emails, only to be disappointed when they aren't really for me - they're to find out more about who I hang with. So, either these dudes need to start paying me to get information and phone numbers, or they need to get a set and contact these ladies on their own.

I vote for paying me. I'm all for pimping out my friends for money. Or wine. It sure beats unemployment.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Powder Puffs

When I called my parents last week, my dad asked if I could come up a day early. He was going to need my help with mom. As I'm not working, I really had no reason not to go a day early, so I said yes.

My dad wanted to be sure I was strong enough to guide my mom to the bathroom, so he could man their booth at the flea market. So, when I arrived on Friday, my dad let me do a test run with my mom to the bathroom.

I held her hands and walked backwards to the bathroom. We did fine together. We got to the bathroom and my mom said "you'll have to lift up my nightgown." I did, and asked my mom if it was up far enough. She said, "Yes, and now you can see my powder puffs."

Powder puffs. This is what she calls her buttocks. And I couldn't help but find myself feeling both amused and sad.

I can't imagine what it must be like for her to have lost so much of her independence. She can't walk on her own, and now is confined to the couch downstairs. She can't get upstairs to her bedroom. She can't get to the bathroom on her own. She isn't even able to wear regular clothes any more - nightgowns are the only thing she can wear, and I think my dad actually changes them for her, as she can't put one on by herself any more.

But in her loss of independence, I see how much my dad loves my mom. He is so patient with her and loving. He changes her nightgowns. He takes her to the bathroom. He no longer sleeps in his room, and now he sleeps on the recliner downstairs so that if my mom needs to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, he's there to guide her.

He doesn't complain, and yet I know this has got to be a strain on him. He's older than she is, and yet he keeps going. He doesn't get to sleep through the night any longer. He takes care of my mom and the house. He cooks all the meals. Does all the gardening. Takes pictures of the garden so my mom can see that everything is still in good shape.

And I guess this is really what love is... it's not beautiful like in the movies. It's raw and it's painful and it's time consuming. And yet, there are powder puffs - soft, round cheeks that remind me of a woman who may not be the sex symbol she once was, but is still fiercely loved and adored by her husband.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Let Me See Your Hands

Last Wednesday at GSR, a guy I call "Prince" (because of his slight build, propensity to wear cowboy boots, and uncanny resemblance to the pop star) asked me to dance. He said he was tired of dancing with his sister and her buddy. I would be too, so I said yes.

We danced for a couple of songs, and then he walked me over to my chair and thanked me for being his dance partner. Then he said, "I would like to ask you to dance again sometime...but please, let me see your hands first." He held his up in front of him, and asked me to do the same.

I did.

He looked at them and said "Thanks, was nice knowing you, but no way!" Then he walked away.

I know what it means when a woman gauges a guy's hands. But what the heck does it mean when a guy asks to see a woman's hands and measures them for size?


Help a sistah out...I'm lost.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Wrong Kind of Anniversary

Yesterday marked my fifth month of unemployment. I thought it would last maybe three to four months at the most. I never counted on my job search lasting for five months. Or longer, as the case now is.

I've been working in some form or fashion since I was a little tyke. Daily chores at home, graduating to working for my grandparents, and then to babysitting and then to my first "real" job at 16 working as a Dining Room Girl (I know -very PC) at the Masonic Home for Adults. At 17, I went into the Army, and have pretty much been working steadily ever since.

Five months without a job - and without hope of a job - is really draining.

Unemployment messes with my sense of self worth. It dampens my spirit more than I would care to admit to. And, it's just not fun.

I know as a working stiff, I used to say things like "Oh it would be so nice not to work." Let me tell you, it is not. Maybe it is if one is wealthy and doesn't have to worry about bills and food and healthcare. But, six months after being laid off, I can say that my once uttered words do not ring true to me at all.

What I wouldn't give to be getting up at 5:30, just so I could be ready to walk out the door at 7:00. What I wouldn't give to be stuck in the Spaghetti Bowl on my way home from hard day of work. And what I wouldn't give to do it all again four more days in a row...

Believe me, if you have a job, thank your God(s) for it. You don't know what you're missing, and for that, be grateful.

Easy? Really?

Those of you who know me know how much I like my teen angst movies and TV dramas. I can't explain why I do - or wait, I could explain, but you know, I guess I'd just rather not. It's a guilty pleasure, and you know, we all have to have our guilty pleasures. Teen angst is mine.

There's a show I like to watch online called "The Secret Life of an American Teenager." The lyrics for the theme song are:

"Falling in love is such an easy thing to do.
Birds can do it, Bees can do it..
Let's do it - Let's fall in love!"

The first few times I heard this song, I thought "How lame! Falling in love is not easy." But you know what? The song is right. Falling is love is easy. Almost too easy. The difficult part is staying in love.

I do think it's easier for a young person to fall in love than an older person. See, the more hits in the heart, the thicker the barrier is, making it a little harder for Cupid's arrow to penetrate easily. Still...once someone makes up their mind they are ready to fall in love, they will.

Oh, I'm not saying they'll fall in love wisely - I'm just saying, if one really wants to fall in love, they can because it's freakin' easy to fall in love.

But is it, as the fairy tales say, true love? Eh...probably not. It's a romanticized version of love, and a lot of time it doesn't have staying power. Sometimes, though, it does.

The staying power of love isn't readily apparent in the beginning, during the honeymoon stage. Nope, it comes later - sometimes much later. Do you still love the person after they enclose you in a Dutch oven (see? I do watch too many teen movies). Or after you see them pick their nose for the first time? Or after you find out their dirty little secret? How about after they are diagnosed with an awful disease?

Yeah, it's only when love is tested that it is revealed to be lasting or not. Until love is tested, we can only hope we chose wisely in the first place.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Start Of Something Good

As I may have admitted before, I'm one of the losers who posted a profile to a well-known singles site. I haven't had many dates from the site, but I did make a good group of friends there.

About once a month, we organize a get-together for the local singles on the site. The one we had last month was at Spiros for the Retro Dance Party. Shortly after I arrived, two guys came in. One of them looked at us, and headed for the bar. (Yeah, I'm kind of used to that.) The other looked at us, looked again, and came over and said something, then joined his pal at the bar.

I didn't hear what the guy said, but apparently he said hi to one of the other girls. It turned out it was my favorite Bill Pullman lookalike from the site, and he was there with his dad. We all kind of gave him the once over, and the girls in the crowd concurred that he was a cutie.

After we'd been there for a couple of hours, "Bill" and his dad got up to leave. Bill came over to me, put his arm around me and told me that he enjoyed my blogs, but that he hoped I wouldn't blog about him being too "chicken" to join us (I'm notorious for that, ya see). He added that he didn't realize that we were having a site get-together that night.

When I got home, I logged into the site and sent him an email, telling him I promised I wouldn't blog about him. Then I promptly wrote a blog entry and mentioned him. Oops. I guess I lied.

Well, I joked with him about it, and he emailed me to say he'd like to take me out for a glass of wine some time to thank me for the "hours" of enjoyment he had received from reading my blogs.

He actually went through with the promise this Friday. We met at the Marina for a walk, and then drinks. Before we met, he stressed that he thought I'd be a "good drinking buddy and companion." In other words, "Babe, this is not a date."

That's okay. I didn't mind - I just wanted to get to know "Bill" better.

I don't know if it was the fact that I felt he wasn't interested in me, or what, but I was fairly comfortable with him. We talked. And talked. And talked. We walked around the Marina twice, and still hadn't run out of anything to say.

We went to The Jib for drinks, and our conversation didn't end. Before I knew it, it was almost 7 p.m. He told me he was enjoying my company - would I like to go out to dinner? I wanted to. SO BADLY. But, I had promised Grandpa Sam that I would meet him at the Nugget for dancing, so I had to go home and change.

Bill walked me out to my car, and we chatted for a minute. Then he turned away. I said "Hey! Gimme a hug!" Normally I'm not that forward, but I felt like I could be with him. He came back, hugged me tight, and kissed the side of my head.


Now, granted, it was the side of my head. He could just be a very friendly guy. Or maybe he had started to change his mind about me. Whatever - I don't care. All I know is that I couldn't stop smiling all the way home.

He has since emailed me to say he enjoyed meeting me and we have to have another adventure soon.

Yes. Yes we do.

I don't think I'll stop smiling any time soon. And that's a good feeling - a good feeling, indeed.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Underwire Support System

When I first moved to Sparks from California to live with Todd, I found out that a co-worker from my California days lived on the same street. I thought "hey! A built-in friend." Not so much. I mean, she was and is a nice girl, but any time I got together with her, I was exhausted afterward. She talked. And talked. And talked. And, I never got a word in. Plus, she would tell the same stories over and over again about injustices at our old place of business. In my head, I would say "move on already!" In person, I would nod and smile, because like I said before, I couldn't get a word in edgewise.

So, our friendship fizzled, leaving me kind of alone. I mean, sure I had Todd, but that was it.

Todd kept after me to make friends. And believe me, I tried. But, as this area is kind of transient in nature, it seemed as if every time I made a friend, that friend would move away shortly afterward.

And then, well, I don't know how it happened, really, but I ended up with a bunch of friends here. And more friends than I had had in a long time. This support system was in place when I made the decision to leave Todd and move on.

The timing couldn't have been better.

At the time I made that decision, my life came crashing down around me. I got laid off. My mom's health took a turn for the worse. And of course, even though I was the one that made the decision to end our relationship, the decision had really been Todd's in the first place - he just couldn't or wouldn't let go. I had to sever the ties that kept us bound to one another, and that was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

And even though this time in my life is probably my darkest hour, I am surrounded by friends. These people constantly surprise me with their generosity and love. For example, I was going to have to quit my Thursday night class, because it is money that I shouldn't be spending right now. But, my classmates didn't want me to leave, so they take turns paying my way, week after week. My ex-co-workers invite me out for lunch and insist on paying my way. And just when I think I can't stand another moment alone, someone calls and invites me to a movie or out for a walk or over for belly dancing.

It may have taken me years to find some friends here in Reno, but the time put in was well worth it. I couldn't ask for better friends - and for those of you who are reading this, I thank you. You've been a lifesaver in ways you couldn't even imagine.

Dancing With My Grandpa

Another girls' night out at GSR...and I wanted to dance with someone other than the girls. I sent a little prayer up to God. And God, laughing at me all the while, said "Sure, PJammy. I will get you a dance partner," and he promptly delivered me Grandpa Sam. Now, Sam is old hat. We've seen him there before. Normally he focuses on my friend Colleen, but tonight he only had eyes for me.

I know I've said it before: The grandpas love me. I don't know what it is about me - my mentholated perfume, my stockpile of Poli-Grip, or my bagful of hard candy, but they love me.

So, Sam and I danced. And danced. And danced. Sam asked me if I had kids. I told him no. His eyes lit up. He said "I could really fall for you since you don't have kids!" Damn. Why didn't I say I had a litter? Huh?

Sam continued to woo me all night long (well, until the bus from the assisted living place showed up, anyway). He asked me to go out dancing on Friday night. I know - every woman's dream is to have a date on a Friday night, huh? But, is every woman's dream to have a date that she will have to tuck into bed at eight p.m.?

Anyway, Sam kept at it, and I have to admit, there's something about a guy who is persistent. I took his email and phone number and promised I would call.

Yes, I know what you're thinking, but I will. I promised.

And then from across the room I saw him: Biker Dude. Only, tonight he was dressed up as Cowboy Dude. He really likes to keep a girl guessing. He spun me around the dance floor a time or two - dang, he is a good dancer. Actually, Grandpa was a good dancer, too, but he stepped on my toes a few times and said "oops" while he giggled like a girl.

Yes. He giggled. I have to admit, that was kind of cute.

As the evening wore on, my friend Steve decided it was time to go. And so did just about everyone else. I got up to walk out with them, and Colleen said "What? You're leaving? Don't you want to dance with Grandpa anymore?"

I told her that Grandpa had gone home, because it was time for his nightly medication and intake of oxygen. So yes, my girls night out came to a close.

Just as well. Grandpa tired me out.