Friday, January 27, 2012

Cocktails at Cafe Lux, Part 2

There's been a disturbance in the force again.  I've screwed up the times of two appointments this week, and I've run out the apartment without my bank card two days in a row.  Everything worked out fine, of course, but when I start to fray around the edges, it usually means I'm doing too much.

I've been busier at work than usual getting the student teachers situated for the spring semester and assisting with the admissions process.  I like both these projects, and if I ever have to move on to a new school so I can be an administrator and make more money - or if two of my most esteemed colleagues and I really do decide to open our own preschool - this experience is invaluable.  Being busy and productive at work is a bit of a departure for me, but I doubt it is at the root of the disturbance in the force.

The search for a new home and impending move is a big deal.  With luck, I will be moving to contract this weekend on the apartment across the street from Little Cutie since I went up there with a contractor on Wednesday night and confirmed that I can make it even cuter than Little Cutie and will be able to watch the sunset over the George Washington Bridge from my bedroom window.  The view from Little Cutie pretty well sucked, and the apartment across the street is in the catchment area for a popular public school - so whether I decide to sell it in five years or fifteen years, it will be an easier sell than Little Cutie.  Since all my assets will be tied up in this apartment, it behooves me to be in a place that has the maximum resale value.  You never know what tomorrow will bring and all that.  As major as this whole development is, however, I don't think it's causing the disturbance in the force either.

Velvet being home and looking for a job is actually very pleasant.  It's a tad nauseating when he and Cupcake are cooking together in the kitchen because she giggles, but young love is supposed to be sweet and she seems to be an all together good influence.  Velvet has been down in the dumps for the last couple of weeks - ever since he went up to Syracuse with his father to move all his things out of Hookah House - because he feels like a failure at school.  He was moping around, all depressed over his inability to focus as if it were a new development.  I pointed out that he never has been able to focus on anything so instead of letting an institution that was totally wrong for him get him down, he should be celebrating just how much he accomplished so far without being able to focus on a damn thing.

He's finally got his act together and figured how to fill out a job application on his own, and he's been buzzing around the west side dropping off said applications at EMS and Patagonia, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods - all the places that hire coolio, crunchy kids.  He has a good shot at EMS and Patagonia because of all the expedition experience he has from NOLS, and they're hiring - so we'll see.  Meanwhile, when we were out to dinner after meeting with the contractor the other night, Velvet actually sighed and said he was counting his blessings.  Notably, a supportive mother and father were among the blessings he counted.  In some ways, that development is so significant that it might cause a disturbance in the force.  I don't think it did, however, although it is certainly worth .5 on my list of Beautiful Things - and that brings us fully up to #45-101 (Exploring Beauty Challenge via realia). He wasn't so grateful that he would have been happier about bringing fifty bucks to Cafe Lux which I wanted him to do the other night when I found myself without my bank card.  I don't resent his attitude because he wasn't in the neighborhood, but that's why he only gets half a point.

Personally, I feel like the shift in the orientation of the galactic axis may be having an impact on my happy little world.  It's that 26,000 year shift some folks believe is bringing on the end of the world.  I prefer to look at is as the paradigm shift that bringing on the end of the world as we know it - which is a good thing, when you consider that the world as we know it is a world where people actually take Newt Gingrich seriously.  Ron Paul and Barack Obama, too.

After my short but productive date with Mr. Wisdom last night, I'd say we are certainly seeing signs of shifting paradigms.  Mr. Charleston commented yesterday that I was pissed off at the man before he even walked in the joint - which isn't precisely true, but it's close enough to the truth that I won't quibble.  I was so nervous that I ran off without my bank card, so when he got there, I had to tell him that even though I had fully intended to take him out for drinks, all I had on me was a gift card for Starbucks.  He graciously said that he'd pay my bar bill any time - which is one of my all time favorite things to hear, and in my view, remarkably nice since he could easily have said, "Of course you did."  When I noticed I'd run off without my bank card, I was embarrassed at the transparent Freudian moment.  That's why I called Velvet and wanted him to bring fifty bucks to Cafe Lux, instanter, as if I were Bertie Wooster and he were Jeeves.

I'm not sure exactly how we got on the subject of how he rarely calls since we went from talking about how nice I looked in my big girl shoes and dress to discussing Klingon Birds of Prey, but I told him that I was getting used to the idea that it was just his way.  He was so glad to hear it that he pulled out his little pad of graph paper and drew me a picture of what he was trying to accomplish by June with all this working.  All he had to say was that he wanted to get rid of the "family nest" apartment when the lease runs out in May and establish his own residence - but he's a visual kind of person which is probably why he's in TV and film in the first place.

The main thing is that we were so comfortable together that I decided it was safe to ask him to come see me read on February 10th with Bad Date Great Story.  I'm considering this development to be more evidence of a paradigm shift since I never once asked the Narcissist to come see me read at KGB.  I never asked The Narcissist to Cafe Luxembourg either because even though I was mixed up with that man for nearly three years - four when you count all that stupid blogstalking of his - he was so judgmental that I wasn't comfortable with the idea of him hearing me read.  There were plenty of places I didn't want to go with Buzz Kill but that was because Buzz Kill cramped my style.  Poor old Buzz Kill.

To me, inviting somebody to hear me read is kind of like asking him to come inside my head.  I love it when my real friends come to readings, but I generally prefer to keep a little distance from boyfriends.  We all have intimacy issues to some degree.

Something about Mr. Wisdom feels safe enough that so that I'm okay with giving up any preconceived notions of what a relationship is supposed to look like in order to let this one take its own course.  Although Mr. Wisdom and I are only just beginning to get acquainted, I'm pretty sure he honestly sees me as an equal.  The fact is that in the forty or so years that I've been paying attention to this stuff, every male I've ever known thought he was smarter than me at least for a while.  As far as I can tell, that thought has never entered Jon-El Wisdom's head.

There are moments when I wish he'd call more - moments like right this very minute. I'm not sure if we're seeing each other today or not, and there are arrangements to be made.  However, the telephone works both ways.  Since I could pick up mine if I wanted, I'm thinking Mr. Wisdom and I are in one of those subtle situations that reveal the dynamics of power in a relationship.  I'm 100% sure that Mr. Wisdom isn't power tripping here because I learned all about power tripping and control from that dumbass narcissist.  I learned a few things about power tripping from the Ashley Madison Experiment, too.  As it happens, that's how I discovered I'm a woman who tops from the bottom, although I refuse to participate in any of that BDSM stuff since I think it's a completely artificial manifestation of dominance and submission in a relationship.  It's one thing to indulge in fun and games - it's another thing entirely when some fool thinks that he can tell you not to eat peas all day, and when you go all day without eating peas, he thinks it proves something.  Don't ask me what.

So even though I could totally pick up the phone if I felt like it, I don't feel like it because I want to see how Mr. Wisdom manages this situation.  Then I'll understand his patterns better and adapt accordingly.  Maybe that's naturally compliant or submissive.  Or maybe it's just one of those little adaptations people make so they can get along together.  Like Stevie says, "Rulers make bad lovers . . . "

Good News:  He contacted me in a timely manner and we're seeing each other tomorrow when we both have more time.  Now, if I'd have called him at 8:00am in half a snit, we'd have never seen that he managed the situation exactly the way I hoped he would.  I'm going right over to Termites of Sin to tell Mr. Charleston I've taken his words to heart and given the man half a chance.  In my defense, I can only say that I'm beginning to think the shrew is fixing to be tamed, and that would cause a disturbance for sure.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cocktails at Cafe Lux

My date with Mr. Wisdom is supposed to be tonight.  I'm assuming that nothing has changed since I haven't heard from him, and if there were a problem, he would have contacted me.  I didn't make a reservation for dinner since I haven't heard from him either.  I'm thinking he's one of those people who don't RSVP to parties either since they think the hostess already knows they're coming. I also think that maintaining the social conventions of relationships has been his wife's job so that Mr. Wisdom has not been responsible for more than shaving and showing up on time.

When we confirmed this date via email a couple of days ago, he said we'd communicate before Thursday night.  I refrained from saying anything challenging, such as, "That'll be the day," or "Not if you have anything to do with it."  I have that sort of restraint unless I'm PMSing.

In the land of relationships, his communication style is not a deal breaker.  It suits me fine that he's not wanting to talk on the phone all the time because talking to him would interfere with my conversations with Woody.  Me and Woody talk three or four times a week - and in Woody's view, he's doing all the heavy lifting in the Triciasphere since he'll listen to me obsessing over real estate contracts and renovations, my wondering about Mr.Wisdom and any amount of cannabis driven discussions that wind up with one of us getting stuck in a High Loop.  What can I say besides, "It's Twue! It's Twue?" According to Woody, Jon-El Wisdom has it easy.  But then, Woody is fully in the Triciasphere and even though Mr. Wisdom and I have made strides and cleared hurdles, he's been back on the periphery for the last couple of weeks.

He's not a boyfriend or a lover.  He's a nice man and we're dating - end of story.  I find it disappointing, however, because I'm reading on February 10th for a series called Bad Date, Great Story and I would have liked to ask him to be there.  I still might, while I'm happy to read in front of total strangers, I'm not so into reading at a bar in the East Village in front of a "date" especially when the topic is bad date, great story.  In the Triciasphere, he could simply be the next story.

When I look the Truth in the eye, I have to confess that I identify with this song:

Nevertheless, Velvet will be home this evening and, as far as I know, Mr. Wisdom is on deck with his kids this week. I'm not sure I'd want to go back to his sublet with him tonight even if the apartment owner is back in Arkansas where he belongs.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dressing for the End of an Empire

Mr. Wisdom and I have a date this week.  I suggested it once I realized that he is Mr. Wisdom for sure and started feeling guilty for causing a fuss.  I don't feel guilty anymore because (1) every woman I've discussed the situation that led up to me feeling like I was a corn-fed cutie working the drive through window at the Dairy Queen concurred that I was not being unreasonable, and (2) it's not that I caused a commotion, exactly.  It's just that I'm a Klingon.

I had forgotten that I was a Klingon until Velvet reminded me the other day.  I had been mopey because I was feeling like there was no way I was ever going to have a healthy, happy relationship because I've got a chip on my shoulder.  I often look at the physical disturbance in my physical shoulder as the physical manifestation of clearing the heart chakra, which in turn frees my voice.  It's all well and good when the energy is getting itself unstuck - clearing the blockage, as it were, and pushing itself out, out, out.  That will cause a shoulder issue.  It can cause other stuff too, but since it's my energy I'm looking at, I only paid attention to the shoulder part on this interactive chart from Carolyn Myss:

For the whole fancy, flash presentation go here:

It occurred to me that when my head gets mired on the Road to Beaumont,  the past becomes like a lead weight pulling me down and giving me a defensive attitude.  The chip on the shoulder.  There are plenty of folks with a chip on their shoulder, and none of them are pleasant although some can be fun and entertaining at times.  A Klingon with a chip on her shoulder is not pleasant in any way:  Kapla!

I kind of like it that I'm a Klingon because it's handy to be strong, direct and a little bit crazy when asserting your honor and integrity (Aspects of Mother, Stonerdate 11.29.10).  I need to do something about that chip, though, because if I'm ever going to heal in an energetic sense which always has subsequent physical effects - I've got to work a little spiritual alchemy, and turn that lead to gold.   Ergo:  last Tuesday, I asked Mr. Wisdom out for drinks this week at Cafe Luxembourg.   I wanted to wait a week or so because, even though I hadn't figured out about the chip on my shoulder when I asked him out, I know that it takes a while for me to get back to my usual charming self after I've gone fully Klingon.

I've decided that this particular situation calls for me to feel my absolute best charming self - which is where the black patent leather Cole Haan pumps come in.

I got them before Thanksgiving when Gigi and I were in the Time Warner Center for some reason, and there's a Cole Haan flagship store in the Time Warner Center.   The friendly salesman told us about a secret sale, so I got like 30% off for buying them that very day.  I have not had a chance to wear them yet, however, because my overall lifestyle lends itself to desert boots:

I had to get a whole new outfit to go with the black patent leather pumps because I've lost so much weight from going gluten and dairy free to address the shoulder inflammation that my old black dress is entirely too big.  I can still wear it with motorcycle boots and a belt - but that's not a look that will make Klingon memories disappear, although I look more like a Hogwarts teacher in Harry Potter in those boots than a Klingon.  So I went to L&T with my old buddy Nicole and got a black lace pencil skirt, a black camisole made of a stretchy, damask that echoes the lace in the skirt and a black cashmere v-neck cardigan which should accentuate the cleavage while maintaining a modicum of modesty. 

I understand that there's trouble in the world no matter where you look - big, ugly troubles like human trafficking, endless war and poverty, and the determined destruction of our environment by the 1%.  And there are stupid troubles like upcoming presidential election which, in my view, is exactly like that old Miller Lite commercial where one side yells, "Less Filling!" and the other yells, "Tastes Great!" and neither side realizes they are shouting about the same damn beer.  That's the two party system for you, broken and corrupt.

Be that as it may - if we're going to be sitting on the front row watching the Empire deteriorate into idiocracy and chaos, I intend to look my best.  That's how we roll on this Battle Cruiser, and as any good trekker knows, the Klingons and the Federation reached an accord and became solid allies.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pissing Contest

My stalwart friend and ally, Woody Konopelli, of Walled-in Pond, Worldwide Hippies and a few other blogs since he's a prolific old cuss, has been ruminating on that story about US soldiers peeing all over a bunch of dead bodies.  I forget which country they were doing this peeing in since we've got soldiers killing folks overtly or covertly in 150 countries and are involved in seven known combat situations.  I lose track of where we're colonizing, ripping off resources and generally enriching the Military Industrial Complex (although I still see Dick Cheney at the top of that food chain).

Anyway, Woody has been bent out of shape about the naive outrage splattered around Facebook.  I personally try to avoid all that Facebook shit because I have enough trouble in my life without inviting stupid people to shoot off their mouths in my living room - which is exactly what we do when we get involved in most of those political threads on Facebook.  I'm glad Woody gets off on that shit, though, because even though he sputters invective like a crusty, old prospector sitting outside the General Store in a some generic but classic Western - Woody's more like Dead-Eye Dick than Stinky Pete.  More to the point, because Woody pays attention to the entire swirling shit storm that constitutes public discourse over current events and politics, I don't have to.  I just have to pay attention to Woody.

Here is one to the vlog entries he regularly does for Worldwide Hippies:

My favorite part is at the end:
What you should be upset about is that the guys doing the pissing were there doing the KILLING in the first place, and they were doing it in YOUR and OUR names. Still, after 10 years.
How can citizens demand extraordinary compassion of our soldiers when we do not extend it to our own citizens?
We are not a “civilized” nation, and will NEVER be, as long as the State encourages taking private profit from the immiseration (the imprisonment, illness, injury, disability or death) of its citizens.
When we cannot or will not take proper care of our own, will not protect the most vulnerable from the predations of profit in their darkest and weakest hours, where do we get the chutzpah to complain when OUR soldiers behave inhumanely to their adversaries corpses?
They did no more to those corpses than our own gummint does to the weakest of us, pissing on us when we’re down… (Full Text: WWH 1.19.12)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 18: Black Out Day

Menopausal Stoners, in solidarity my colleagues at  and our friends at The Wild Wild Left, joins the internet blackout to protest SOPA and PIPA.

Wikipedia started the action:  Stop Online Piracy Act,

Fight for the Future explains the necessity:

Essentially, these bills protect Corporate Interests and give Homeland Security more tools to send us all to Gitmo which recently had its 10th anniversary since Barack Obama didn't close it like he promised.  I heard today that General Dynamics now has a contract with Homeland Security to monitor Facebook and other social media for signs of citizen dissent.  Our tax dollars are at work looking for terrorists like me and you under the NDAA.

How's that Hopey Changey thing working for you?

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Road to Beaumont

Jon-El Williams fell fully into the Triciasphere today.
That could be a good thing because I've gained some insight into how connecting certain points on my personal time line throws me directly onto the Road to Beaumont.  Bob Hope is nowhere in sight.

I'm afraid that I've insulted and/or offended Mr. Williams with something I said.  It's important to remember that in all the years I was growing up, I never got popped for anything I did.  I got popped in the chops because of something I said.  So it's no surprise that there are times when I keep my thoughts to myself - at least until there's a safe distance between me and the other party.  Generally, it's not safe to be in the same room because even when they can't reach you, people will throw things when they get pissed.   The Man chucked his car keys at me once, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't aiming for me since they hit the wall a few feet from my head.  The Dr. Pepper my mother threw at me missed my head, too, but I think she was aiming at me and just missed.  I can't even remember what I said to my father that got him up off the couch and chasing me with the vacuum cleaner that happened to be between us.  Sometimes I just say things that set people off.  Other times all I do is cry so hard it feels like my eyelids are fixing to turn inside out - and I prefer to avoid that too.

Maybe if I could learn to tone it down a little, I could feel safe having substantive personal conversations with people who are in the same room.  It's easy for me to manage substantive conversations at work, or with readers and writers at KGB - but not so easy with someone with whom I'm in the process of becoming intimate.  Intimacy is tricky for everyone, I suspect.

I hope Mr. Williams hasn't decided I'm a damaged lunatic prone to theatrics.  I suppose I'd have to accept that characterization as accurate, but it takes a certain kind of trigger for me to land on the road to Beaumont.  I refuse to think of it as "making a drama" because that phrase suggests mountains out of molehills in places like The Jersey Shore.  I doubt there's ever any real tragedy involved in the piss ant little tantrums that pass as drama on soap operas.  Once you're in a land of trauma and tragedy, I'd say the story is big enough to include a few musical numbers - which brings us again to one of my favorite intersections of Imagination and Real Life, Sondheim's Into the Woods.

Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
And learn.

My family comes from Beaumont.  We moved to Houston in when I was two because my dad got a job with the phone company, but we went back to my grandparents' house all the time.  That picture up in the side bar, the one with me and Granny the Ho, was taken in Beaumont.  Even though Granny was certainly a character, her house was safe.  She wasn't living out some Tennessee Williams play.  Tennessee Williams might as well have lifted my grandparents' house and dropped it into some gothic psychodrama much like Dorothy's house was lifted straight out of Kansas.  We didn't have the kind of money Big Daddy had in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but we did have some issues with Mendacity.

These days, months and months can pass without me even remembering the place.  As it happens, one of the first things Jon-El learned about me is that I was from Beaumont.  He'd known one other woman who came from Beaumont, and she didn't like talking about it either.  I wonder if she knew my uncle or my grandfather, or if she had uncles, stepfathers and grandfathers of her own.  Most likely.  That shit happens everywhere, but there's something about all that Spanish moss hanging from the live oak trees that makes it all seem just a little more twisted.  I expect that's why True Blood is set in Louisiana.

Speaking as someone from the Texas side of the Sabine River, I have to say that I fully believe the folks are more twisted on the Louisiana side.  They may be meaner in Texas.  One thing's for sure, Boudreaux and Bubba cause trouble no matter where they show up.  Just ask the people in the 9th Ward after Katrina.

Years ago, Jon-El was in the Congo for work, and before he could go into some remote area, he had to meet the local medicine woman.  She threw some bones on the dirt floor of her home and told him he had to leave in thirty days.  He did, but his crew stayed behind for another week and wound up with the encephalitis that fucks up your brain but the symptoms didn't show up until after the crew had landed in Haiti.  And that was back during the Duvailers and all the necklacing.  I figure if he has been through that shit he can handle the road to Beaumont.  I can't imagine why anyone would want to handle it, however.

I can't exactly identify what the trigger was last week, but I've been struggling with feeling like a Booty Call.  Jon-El apparently loses track of time when he's working hard, and although he generally responded if I sent a text, I initiated all the communication except for the time he called me on Friday evening, a little tipsy, wanting to come over the next day.  It was kind of cute the first time, but when it was looking like the same thing was fixing to happen, I was feeling like Jon-El and I had reached a point where, according to the Code of the West, my dad would be asking the man to state his intentions toward his daughter.  When a woman is my age, she's got to ask the question her own self.

Maybe I do turn into a damaged lunatic who is prone to theatrics, but there is a bright, shiny little girl who still lives inside me, and she deserves protection in a world where it can be hard to tell the good guys from the bad ones.  We all have that child archetype.  According to Carolyn Myss, the Child is one of our survival archetypes, and it has subcategories - Wounded, Orphaned, Magical and Nature.  Carolyn Myss is an intuitive healer who often works with archetype and story.  And if real life were a story, I'd be the one in the red cape right now watching out for that Big Bad Wolf just like my mother and my grandmother told me.  My mom and my Granny had uncles, stepfathers and grandfathers too.

The Patriarchy is a drag.

From a metaphysical perspective, it looks like I had a survival reaction to some First Chakra energy that was activated when I met Jon-El Williams. Gwen was saying something about first chakra stuff being especially major this year on account of some 26,000 year cycle.  She talks about all kinds of energies on Thursdays now at Here Be Monsters when the focus is the Consciousness Shift as seen in Occupy!

The good news is that I learned Jon-El Williams is not the big bad wolf.  He would be the kindly woodsman who killed the wolf with his axe because Mr. Williams is a 100% honorable man who actually listens, has astute insight and even when he's firm, it feels fundamentally kind.  I know this because in real life, his head might have been exploding once he read my email, but his response was restrained, focused and well written.  Once he sent it, he finally came over to the blog.

Him finding his way over here was a big relief for me, but I can see how it might be disconcerting for a person to be confronted with a character he has become in some theatrical lunatic's blog.  I sure like his character, though, and some people think it's kind of cool to find yourself in the middle of an unfolding story.  Maybe it's a little twisted, too, like the families in some mythical southern town, fallen into genteel decline, with mildew spreading along the white sides of the houses and moss dripping from the trees.  It gets pretty steamy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Being taken Seriously: Thing of Beauty #44 1/2

I'm not sure, but I think that Jon-El Williams and I are heading toward becoming Lovers.  It's disconcerting.  I've been trying to figure out the difference between Boyfriends and Lovers, and I can't come up with anything more specific than it seems like boyfriend/girlfriends see each other more regularly - in an ordinary sort of way.  For example, Velvet and Cupcake are always meeting up and doing stuff like errands, or going to the movies or hanging out with friends.  They're an established couple and get invited places together.

The Man from San Antone and I were like that, and I suppose it was like that with Buzz Kill, too.  I must have had other boyfriends - but I was so focused on getting married back in college that guys who weren't marriage material never lasted more than a few days.   And if they were marriage material, we got engaged.  I liked being engaged to Ed who went away in the Peace Corps - at least until he really went away in the Peace Corps.  Then it was a drag to be engaged to someone who was clear across the world.  I still think I got engaged to Jack, who reminded me of the Poor but Honest Farm Boy on Sesame Street, just to spite the Man From San Antone.

A few days after I got engaged to Jack, the Man from San Antone asked me to accompany him to the Bahamas.  When I told Jack I was going off with The Man, Jack made it clear that he thought girls who are engaged to one man don't even entertain the idea of traveling with another.  I told him that was provincial nonsense.  The next thing you know, he was back with his old girlfriend and I was hanging out with The Man from San Antone although we didn't really travel together for a few more years.  We were only 19 or 20, after all.  We were engaged twice, me and The Man, first in 1980 which led to my realization that I was much more interested in a big party and a new dress than getting married.  That realization turned into a series of major acid parties that became known as The Annual Bluebonnet Cotillion.  Then in 1986 or 87, he asked me to marry him in earnest.  He gave me his big old University of Texas class ring, but after a few days, I turned him down.  As it happened, after I ran off to New York City to be with Buzz Kill, The Man picked up a woman in a bar, and once he was asleep, she stole that ring and Then Man's big old honking Rolex too.  He alleged that she slipped him a mickey.

I got engaged to my high school boyfriend pretty much because this girl in my Humanities class got engaged during Senior year, and I wanted a ring too.  Plus I was anxious about going away to college, and being engaged to Billy made me feel more secure.  I kind of hated him, though, because he popped me in the chops once when he thought I was mouthy -  and once when he was playing Frisbee with some other guys, he slammed into a tree because he wasn't watching where he was going and started hollering at me for not warning him.  Notably, he was a devout Christian who attended services at the local Church of Christ and was terminally annoyed because I refused to take communion with him.  It was a stupid relationship, and I would have broken up with him after a month or two except that when some of the guys from his auto mechanics class saw me kissing a delightfully bad boy with a leather jacket and blond hair falling into his eyes, the code of the west compelled them to reported it to Billy, who was compelled to chastise me thoroughly for being a Ho.  After that incident, it was generally known among all the boys in that countrified environment that I was Billy's girl as per the Code of the West.  If I wanted a date to the prom, I was stuck with Billy so I dang well better get a ring.  It was only a hundred dollar aquamarine from Foley's, but it still counted.

I must have been traumatized because of that episode with my Uncle Jennifer, the incestuous pedophile.  And besides, I had been popped in the chops by my dad a few times and figured that occasional displays of power were part of the male/female territory.   Once I was a little older, I learned that real men don't smack their girlfriends or try to fuck their nieces.  I'm pretty sure I learned it from Oprah.

The Narcissist claimed we were Lovers, but I told him that was impossible because he was incapable of reaching outside of his own ego to form an intimate connection.  Love is a difficult for Narcissists because they tend to view it as a sign of weakness and are more interested in control than connection - even with their own kids which is sorely fucked up, but that's just the way it is.  In any case, a couple can have a million booty calls and never be Lovers.  I was sincerely attached to The Narcissist but in retrospect, it may have been my first real experience with Co-Dependency.  Whatever may have been fucked up about my relationships with Buzz Kill and The Man from San Antone, I can safely say that we were not Co-Dependent because during my brief hospitalization for suicidal tendencies, I didn't have to attend group therapy for Co-Dependents.

Bradley and I were definitely lovers, and we love each other to this day.  We were entirely too young and dysfunctional to maintain a healthy relationship, though, so it's a good thing he headed to California  the first time I got engaged to The Man from San Antone.   There was always an element of Star Crossed Tragedy with Bradley that suited my adolescent notions of Romance.

The reason I'm pondering all this stuff is that Jon-El and I apparently cleared a hurdle this week.   I was distressed because I was feeling Out of Sight Out of Mind, and instead of swallowing my feelings and pretending nothing was wrong, I decided to address the issue in an email.  He took me very seriously and went out of his way to make sure I knew he was taking me seriously.  He was so serious about taking me seriously that my fears about him being an asshole were instantly put to rest.  He's got his idiosyncrasies like everybody else - but that's just human.  I never see any reason to get bent out of shape when someone is simply being human.  He must have been prepared for accusatory histrionics because he seemed mightily surprised to find that I wasn't going to cause a commotion.  But really, when somebody listens to what you're saying and understands your point, and makes a special trip to put your mind at ease in person - that's a Thing of Beauty.  I'm almost ready to declare it Thing of Beauty #44-101, but I want to see what tomorrow brings.

Apparently, the man values our time together and appreciates my general equanimity.  It's such a novel experience that I'm not sure what to make of it.  The good news is that I spoke up about my feelings instead of stifling myself to avoid potential damage to the relationship.  I figured that if the relationship were worth pursuing, there would be room for my feelings even when I'm miffed.  Thing Of Beauty # 44-101: Being able to take care of myself in a relationship.  Jon-El taking me seriously can be Thing of Beauty #44.5 - 101.  If it turns out that Mr. Williams walks his talk, it will carry so much weight that I'll be up to #50 in a heartbeat.  For the moment, however, I will continue to view him as a man whose domestic situation is such that he is, for all practical purposes, a married man.

After seeing what tomorrow brought, things aren't exactly kopasetic, but I feel okay.  In the comments below, my old buddy Jim, Digital Existence. wisely recommends treading carefully with a man who is in the middle of a divorce - and I'd estimate that this man is so newly separated that he's not anywhere near the middle yet, even though I'm pretty sure he thinks he is.  Anyway - I'll let Carlos Santana (with Rob Thomas) speak for me today

And just like the ocean under the moon
Well thats the same emotion that I get from you
You got the kind of lovin that can be so smooth
Gimme your heart make it real
Or else forget about it

Sadly, despite all my optimism, I'm not so sure we can go there. Divorces don't leave much energy for developing new relationships, and I'm not cut out to be a fuck buddy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Occupy the Mail Box and A Few Words from Nina Simone

I've been having fun writing stuff across fundraising materials sent by the Obama campaign or the DNC, stuffing them in the postage paid envelopes kindly provided, and sending them straight back to the sender at their own expense.  The return address is #OWS or Occupy!

I opened a solicitation today from the Obama campaign that wanted me to check a box saying I believed we were seeing changes like a rebuilding a Fair Economy for the Middle Class.  I wrote:
Obama = Oil & Gas Industry, banksters + military.  That's all that would fit.  Last week, I sent one back to the DNC saying: NO CASH FOR CORPORATE BITCHES.  At least the postal workers will see it.

It will be interesting to see how all of this Occupying develops over the winter.  January is busy with   Occupy the Courts on January 20 to mark the anniversary of Citizens United, as well as Occupy Congress on January 17 and Occupy the United Nations, an Indigenous Day of Resistance, on January 27 in San Francisco.  In the spring, we'll see Occupy AIPAC in DC at the beginning of March, the National Occupy Washington, NOW DC at the end of March, and worldwide General Strike in recognition of May Day.

I will be watching with interest, and sending a few bucks here and there like I always do - but for now, my activism will be limited to occupying the mail box.  It's inspiring to see thousands of people filling the street  in a united call for justice, but the truth is that I'm afraid of being jostled in the crowd and hurting my arm.  The shoulder is better, for sure, but the best I can say about it is that it's tolerable which is great as far as my daily life is concerned but not so great for massive demonstrations - particularly when so many cops are swinging their clubs and driving mopeds into people.  That's a scene I prefer to avoid.

If my search for a permanent home for Velvet and me develops the way I hope, I'll be spending the spring renovating our new digs anyway.  I put in a bid on an apartment yesterday, and if I get it, there is work to be done.  It's across the street from that little cutie with the green counters.  After some thought, I decided it was a better value for a number of reasons.  Most importantly, I'd have the river view from my bedroom window.  I'd be able to watch the rising sun color the Palisades and the sunset over the George Washington Bridge.

Little Cutie is in the building blocking my view of the bridge, but there is still plenty of sky and if the view were any nicer, I couldn't afford the apartment.  The cool thing about this place is that it's substantially less money than Little Cutie so that even though it needs work to make it into a functioning 2 bedroom, when everything is said and done, I'll have a space that suits my personal taste instead of one that suited the people who lived there before- and it will still be less money.   My mother will come up for a few weeks to boss around the contractors.  She's fixed and flipped 20 properties.  I have a feeling we'll have an argument or two since she likes to economize with an eye toward making money on the flip where I prefer to personalize my space - but since I really may want to sell this apartment to the yuppies that move into this neighborhood for the school district, I'm inclined to listen to my mother right now.

I'm also inclined to think that Jon-El Williams likes me a lot.  He came over yesterday afternoon and when he was fixing to leave, he gave me a run down of his schedule for the next couple of weeks.  It may be that he's so accustomed telling a woman his schedule from being married that he went there out of habit, and I'm still acutely aware that people who are going through divorces often fall into relationships that repeat dysfunctional patterns.  Now that I'm thinking about it, I feel the same way about a relationship with him as I do about an apartment - I want one that suits me, not the people who lived there before.

He didn't have much time the other day since he had to meet his kids at 6:00, but it was plenty of time to determine that It's Still Twue.  Frankly, it's so Twue that I'm a bit unsettled.  I suspect that he's unsettled too because (1) he said that fitting together as well as he and I do is rare and (2) he left without his wallet and his keys.  I figure that a man has to be comfortable with and discombobulated by a woman to leave his wallet and keys in her apartment.

That Narcissist was so hateful and suspicious, and Buzz Kill is so anxious and paranoid that neither one of them would ever forget his wallet or his keys, much less both.  The main reason I'm aware of repeating dysfunctional patterns is because I repeated a lifetime of dysfunction with The Narcissist.  You can clearly see me looking for external validation in every single relationship prior to The Narcissist - but especially in romantic relationships like all the college fiancés most specifically The Man from San Antone, and of course, with Buzz Kill.  I made these boyfriends into judges and then I gave them the power to stifle my voice and my creativity.  My mother had that power, too.

I'm satisfied that I'm not repeating any dysfunctional patterns right now - not at work, or with the new home and especially not with Jon-El Williams.  However, I do see indications that I'm becoming attached.  I surely think he's about as cute as a man can be, and from what I know about him so far, I admire and respect him. But we haven't known each other long, and the fact is that my response is most likely due to a potent combination of oxytocin and vasopressin - hormones that facilitate attachment.  The best research on this phenomenon was done, in my view, by Helen Fisher at Rutgers, and is presented in the article Romantic Love: an fMRI study of a Neural Mechanism for Mate Choice.   For a more popular explanation, read I Get a Kick Out of You or The Science of Love from Your Amazing Brain.

Now that I'm officially smitten, I may be repeating a hormonal pattern that I first discovered during the Ashley Madison Experiment when I wound up attached to a totally unsuitable asshole or two.  Very likely I'm also repeating patterns by looking to intellectualize this experience and turn it into something cognitive when it's unarguably socio-emotional and physical.  We'll just have to wait and see how this situation develops over the winter, too.

During this development phase, I'm inclined to listen to Nina Simone talking about Freedom from Fear.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Intersection of the Political and the Personal

I'm settling in, waiting and wondering when I'll hear from Jon-El again.  While there is ample evidence to suggest that he will call sometime this week, there is also plenty of experience that suggests he'll drift off into his own shit and reject the idea of a relationship at this time.  People do that every day.  It's part of that eternal cycle of Anticipation and Disappointment which brings us to Barack Obama.

There is a distinct correlation between dating/romantic behaviors and the big, wide world.  That was the whole lesson I learned during the Narcissist period.  How can we confront Major Assholes, such as The Supreme Court, if we roll over and play dead when dealing with assholes in our personal lives?

The opposite may well be true, however, so that we should not let our disappointment in public figures influence our personal relationships.  I may have been filled with hope when Barack Obama got elected, thinking we'd have someone in authority to get decent regulations in place on banks and businesses - particularly the Oil & Gas industry which seems hell bent on destroying the whole planet for a few bucks because they can't think beyond the length of their own little dicks - and it turned out that Barack Obama is essentially Bill Clinton in Black Face (Glen Ford said it in Black Agenda Report) so that we have yet another president who works for corporate and military interests -
well, that doesn't mean that I'll hear, "You're an amazing woman, BUT . . . " from Jon-El Williams.

Maybe Barack Obama is on my mind today on account of Woody's segment on a recent Worldwide Hippies News.  He's at his spitting mad best at about 4:40

The man in this still from WWH News is Ed Croft NOT Woody Konopelli, aka John Konopak - unless it's Joe.  Can't always tell what youtube will post.

Woody's vision of the 2016 Republican ticket - Jeb Bush and Liz Cheney - is infinitely more alarming that any of those goofballs in the clown car so many established Democrats keep holding up to justify the Lesser of Two Evils approach to voting.

Anyway, I'm formulating my personal position on how I intend to manage discussions of electoral politics this year and haven't quite got it together yet.  The gist, though, is that I'm not discussing the presidential elections with anyone who doesn't concur that the differences between our two corporate parties amounts to the same amount of difference as there is between GM and Ford.  Or Budweiser and Coors, Skippy and Jiff, or more to the point: Exxon and Shell.  If we can agree to start from that point, then maybe I'll talk about electoral politics.

Meanwhile, I continue to manifest a relationship with an intriguing man who comes back again and again.  I sincerely hope it manifests with Jon-El Williams because the other morning when I was indulging in one of my all time favorite activities - getting high as hell and going to the grocery store first thing in the morning - I had a revelation about the Revolution.  Specifically, the very best way I can support the Revolution in America.  As it happens, Mr. Williams has an idea that involves the bell tower in the church where I work.  I'm not sure if he's had this idea ever since he was a youngster growing up in Harlem where that tower is a prominent feature of the skyline.  Actually, it's a prominent feature of the full New York skyline because you can see it for miles and miles, even from an airplane.

It occurred to me that if Jon-El and I stirred up some energetic alchemy up there in the tower - the tower of the very same church where Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his sermon, "Beyond Vietnam: Time to Break the Silence," (American Rhetoric) - we might very well be able to wake up the spirit of MLK himself, as well as a few other great American ghosts, so they can lend a damn hand in the coming year.  It's kind of like how Aragorn had to wake the spirits of his ancestors in order to win the battle against Sauron and secure the future of Middle Earth.

Here's my favorite view of the tower. When you're on the West Side Highway, you can see the tower connected to the chimneys that release the gas from the landfill out into the atmosphere by billboard reading Wicked.  The way institutional religion has been connected to the ruination of our environment and our society is very wicked.  Some practical magic may very well be necessary to push this paradigm shift into high gear.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's Twue! It's Twue!

Let the record show that Jon-El Williams and I had a lovely dinner at my house last night. Since I am a practical woman, I made a dinner that could wait on the stove for an hour or so once he got here: Chicken roasted with rosemary and garlic, baked sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas and collards with lots of bacon.

I had never made collards before, so I kind of went overboard with the bacon because I figured it's hard to fuck up something sautéd in bacon grease.  There were big chunks of almost crispy bacon in the collards, but when you mixed in the black-eyed peas, it was damn good.  I made a sauce of mixed mushrooms - shitakes and such - and the pan drippings from the chicken using corn starch so it would be gluten free.  The sauce got kind of congealed before we got around to dinner, so I stirred in some of the delightful Malbec he brought, and it was outstanding, if I do say so myself.

He left at 11:30 since he wanted to be home with his kids.  I thought they were out with their mother for the whole night, so I wasn't expecting him to leave so early - but the truth is that by 11:30 I was pretty baked anyway.  Overall, I applaud his choice, although I didn't like to see him go.

One thing I know for sure, however, is that Miss Kitty never, ever gets whiny or needy when Matt Dillon says he has to go.  Maureen O'Hara never gets clingy and demanding with John Wayne either.  I have said numerous times that I believe relationships should be like Kitty and Matt, and I even told Jon-El Williams so the time he took me out for barbecue.  He concurred, although in his view Kitty had Matt tied around her finger.  All this cowboy talk was on my mind yesterday as I was getting ready when this song came up on my playlist:

So I was wondering about those cowboys and running over examples of African-American cowboys in popular culture. There are a few notable examples, like Danny Glover in Silverado and Morgan Freeman in The Unforgiven.  Although those are outstanding characters, they are both sidekicks.  I was looking for a sheriff which led directly to Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles.

If the world of Blazing Saddles defines the characters in your Romance, then that makes me Lili Von Shtupp, a character brilliantly played by Madeline Kahn and, I'm sorry to say, not that far from reality when it comes to my own experiences with men in recent years.

Once you're fully into the story of Sheriff Bart and Lili Von Shtupp, there's nowhere to go besides: "It's true! It's twue!" I was there in my head by noon yesterday, and I have to confess that by about 10:00 last night, I was there in real life too.

Even though all my personal insecurities were in full operation before he got out the door, it wasn't long before I discovered he left behind the Cape Verdean CDs he'd brought over. I may be a confirmed Jungian Feminist, but I'm enough of a Freudian to interpret that little slip as an indication that Jon-El will be back sooner or later. Meanwhile, he's got to tend to that divorce, and I've got to buy a new apartment. I'll also be manifesting about a substantive and lasting romance with a man who comes back.

Given that he sent a text just before noon, simply saying, "Wow," I'd say things look promising.