Sunday, August 30, 2009

The persistence of memories . . .

Today was an ideal day for a walk, so off to the lake I went. It was also a perfect day for a BBQ it would seem, for as I made my way around the lake the unmistakable aroma of a charcoal fire reached me and took me back to times past.

Many years ago, my father would pile the whole family into the car on days like today, as well as a cooler full of food, a bag of Kingsford and of course our trusty Habachi. We then head over to Schepaug park for a day playing in the water and of course a BBQ! He would vanish for most of the day into the bowels of the nearby iron mine looking for rocks.

So of course as I was walking around the lake, my senses transported me back to those lost, but not forgotten days in the water and sun at a road side park. Oddly enough, I lived on the shore of a lake growing up, but the real joy of playing in the water was there in the Schepaug river. I have some pictures of that spot at home, and when I get there, I'll post some of them. Hope you're all having a day of good memories . . . Charlie Pride is singing "Burgers and Fries" on the radio as I get ready to send this. It was fresh and new, playing on 1050WHN back in those days, somehow it's so appropriate right now . . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Strange dreams . . .

Yeah, I know, two posts in one day? What's gotten into her?

So I've been having these series of ongoing dreams based on Charmed. Yeah, I know, it's a TV show Sam, a canceled one at that, but hey I still watch it on DVD now and then. Okay, more than now and then, I go through phases. Oddly enough, Phoebe and I are still in a relationship despite the fact that at the end of the series she and Coop are married and have children of their own.

Anyway, in this dream I was "working out" with Paige. She wanted to hone her skills dealing with demon attacks and the like. So I was pretending to be a demon (much like Leo had pretended to be Balthazar a while back) and throwing energy balls at her. Energy balls?!?!? Me?

And that dear readers is why this blog entry. Something inside me has changed, I known not what right now, but I was throwing "low voltage" energy balls at Paige like it was the most natural thing in the world. This is strange because it's something I'd never really do, in fact for most of my life was utterly terrified of doing anything like it. I won't bore you with a discussion of Quantum Physics and how it might even be possible, or entertain the idea that it's not even possible, because well, someone says it can't be done. Neither of those trains of thought are relevant here. What is however is that I was throwing energy balls, and could have easily increased them in size and power to cause harm and damage. Could have taken them from demonstration to weaponry with nothing more than a thought.

And it didn't even freak me out. It should have, or at least would have once upon a time.

When I was young, I had a recurring nightmares of doing horrific damage and causing pain, intentionally, because I was in a rage and suffering everyone else should. I'd long ago "locked out" any chance of something like that using hypnotherapy. While I've studied more than enough Quantum Physics ( A.K.A. Metaphysics) to know how to do it, it was more in an attempt to define and hone the controls or limits I placed on myself.

That included dreaming. Or it did. Until last night.

Throwing energy balls as easy as breathing. And I shouldn't be. Ever. No matter how hard I tried, I shouldn't be able to do that for any reason.

Then again, now that I think of it, I got angry the other day. Really angry, and managed to work through it without wanting to kill myself, or anyone else. This for me is something new too. Last time I got really angry and let myself feel it, let alone express it, it nearly cost me my life. No that's not being over dramatic trust me. Anyway, that's another story, probably better for my other blog.

The point here is now that I think of it, two amazing things have happened of late, and I'm at a loss to quite fully figure it out. Though now that I think about it, I can't help but think that they are related. Got very angry, the world didn't come to an end, and now she's throwing energy balls in her dreams. Will the wonders never cease?

I just tripped over the double standard . . .

. . . and is my face red.

I'm a feminist. I always have been. Since I can remember I've been one, since I've known what a Feminist is I've been one. Because of my past, and my childhood, I was, for a good portion of my life accused of being a "Militant Radical Lesbian Feminist." [MRLF] I was even once heard to say that the moment women could control birth sex to select for females, and could reproduce without men involved, they (men) would die off in what might be the ultimate twist on Darwinism. I even went as far as saying that men should be kept in cages, well trained and on very short leashes anytime they were out of the cage.

Thankfully I've out grown that by a fairly significant degree.

Now, I have known women who rage against the "double standard" here in the United States specifically, how it is evil and needs to be completely removed. They are as ardent in their fervor as I used to be when I was still a MRLF. They rage against being objectified as sex objects, and while I used to stand with my sisters on this subject, today I found myself something of a hypocrite.

Yeah, a hypocrite. Me. And wow, was my face red.

Last night I was watching "Top Gun" because someone on line had mentioned it, and I realized I hadn't seen it in a long time. That kind of set me up for my realization today. I'm driving back from Staples where I picked up more 200 page college ruled comp books because I go through them so fast. As I'm driving along I saw a guy jogging towards me in black shorts and sneakers, so I slowed down to get a better look at him. I'll not lie, he was a good looking man. Just the right amount of hair strong, fit, well simply put, quite yummy. So as my heart and mind is fantasizing about being held by him, touched, kissed, how he'd feel, smell, taste, the alarm bells started ringing in my head.

In the United States if I jog down the street in nothing but shorts, I'm going to get arrested, and of course have every male around staring at my breasts. I can't tell you the number of times in my life I've bent my knees to meet some guy's eyes and say gently "Hi, I'm up here?" I don't feel like I have to be the perfect example of femininity to attract a guy, or have them look at me. I NEVER slave over makeup, and often just run a brush through my hair and keep it in a ponytail. I used to argue right along side other feminists that we shouldn't be objectified as sex objects with all the passion and conviction they do.

So of course when I face planted after tripping over a fine line known as the double standard I realized, there are some benefits to it women take for granted. Mind you I don't think it helps much that men simply LOVE it when we stare at them fantasizing about them. So when I realized I was doing what I'd often protested so loudly against Men doing to me I realized I was as guilty of supporting the "double standard" as any one.

"Top Gun" I've always said was kind of a perfect date movie. Fast cars, Motorcycles, JETS, dog fighting, competition and of course the guy getting the girl. For women we got all the eye candy of cute young Navy Pilots, including a volleyball match that was just gratuitous male bodies on parade and of course the strong female lead who caught one of those cute young fighter pilots letting him think he caught her. The scenes of the two of them finally coming together giving views of both genders a chance to dream about being one of the two. As someone who's bi, I could and did imagine being with either one of them.

Which of course just cemented in my head and heart what a hypocrite I was today. So yeah, my face was red. But it makes me wonder about all the fuss over repulsive objectification of women, yet it's okay for us to do it to men? What else in the "double standard" is similarly skewed I have to wonder?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Progress is not a dirty word revisited.

I live, at the moment, for better or worse, on a fixed income. That's not really as important as the slow and steady steps I've been taking to make the most of things, and leave myself with some breathing room. Plus attempt to save for some things I'd like to do, including but not limited to a "rescue" mission of sorts to my storage locker. So I've been working on doing my best to keep slightly ahead of the man with his hands out without getting deeply in debt. My nefarious plan has been (knocking wood as she says this) working out more and more. It's a week to payday, and unlike the past, I am ahead of the game so to speak. All my bills are paid, in fact some of them prepaid a couple of months worth, I bought myself something special this month, spent time friends and family, have plenty of food in the house and money left in the bank. A safe cushion worth in fact. Plus I have meager reserves in case something were to happen with the car, or something along those lines. You know, the unexpected.

And this, is, for a change, equally unexpected. Unexpected, but blessed.

A year ago at this point, the last week of the month, I'd be hanging on waiting for payday with things tight enough they squeaked. Last year this month my bank of three years gave me a small unsecured credit card. The first one since Earl destroyed my life and credit. They've given me a line increase because I've been a very good girl. Then again, I've been "cheating" after a fashion. I keep a very small running balance month to month, and make large payments, well above the minimum every month right before my statement is generated. So from a credit score standpoint I'm NOT running up huge debt. From a bank standpoint they are making very small amounts of interest off of me, so they are happy. And me, I'm moving hundreds of dollars through it every month. They like that too. So it's basically a win/win situation. So much so that my horrible nonexistent credit rating has gone up to good and my insurance company dropped my rates by more than half. As I predicted twenty years ago I have unlimited 24/7 phone service (on my cell) for less per month than I used to pay just for local calling on the hardline. This is good! So much so that I don't even HAVE a hardline anymore. No point to it really.

So the hard work, planning, knowledge of banking and credit, and patience is paying off. It's still tight, then again it pretty much is for everyone, but it's breathable instead of panic tight. All in all, progress, which for the better part of almost two decades (the last two) has been a dirty word, has had it's status upgraded. For those with some military background, I am no longer operating at Defcon 1, and while I'd love to say I'm currently at Defcon 5, honesty demands that I say I'm not quite there yet. So this is kind of my long winded way of saying

"Attention On Deck: Set Condition 4, I repeat, we are now operating at condition 4."

Considering the last decade of my life, this is an amazing point. Now if I could get myself to really believe it, I might entertain DEFCON 5. But hey, it beats living for years on end at Condition One! So it's progress, and this is a good thing!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Today was, on so many levels, an amazing day . . .

. . . so much so that I have at least two posts in me about it. Part of it here, part of it on "A Mile In Her Shoes" only because it's got a harder edge to it.

So the awesome stuff, I had lunch with my friend Laura from "NPD Unmasked" today as she was headed east. As awesome as she is online pales this in comparison to hanging out in "Real Time" (Not to be confused with the Bill Mahr show) just chatting. I know from reading her blog, that like me, she's been to hell and back. Despite that she's strong, smart, beautiful, and has, in my opinion, made more progress toward healing and growth than I have. She's also got the most awesome puppy named Emily and I got to meet her today too.

For me, today marked some interesting milestones. Not only was I up and out of bed well before lunch time today despite not having slept well at all, I was on the road, as planned just after lunch time for a relaxed drive up to Dayton. I wanted to get there a little early and try and get us a table, figuring that Applebees might be doing a brisk Sunday afternoon. I did get there before Laura and managed to snag a table so we didn't have the siting around waiting thing going on. We wound up spending several hours over lunch catching up, and covering some of the kinds of things in terms of details that neither have use have really gone into on our blogs. It was all at once cool, and at the same time sobering, and well left me in parts angry, hurt and fighting tears. Because I'm sorry, NO ONE of any species should be treated the way her abuser treated her. There is simply NO EXCUSE whatsoever. But I'm not here to talk about that, I'll cover some of that on the other side.

It was, despite some of the horrific portions of both our stories, awesome seeing her and getting to break bread as the saying goes. And in the daytime no less!

After we said our goodbyes, I took a nice, longish drive home. In fact drove past my house and into Kentucy before swinging back up and home. I did this so that now as Jumper One is in great health and has four new tires, I wanted to see what kind of gas mileage I'd get in mixed terrain. On the flats through Eastern Colorado and Kansas, I get upwards of 50 MPG, going up hills and such the load is different and that's going to impact fuel economy. I'm pleased to report however I'm getting 33mpg on the highway in hilly terrain. You know, from a ten year old car, that's pretty awesome! And it's better than the factor specs for this car when it was brand new. You know, I kinda like that. So it was an awesome day for me. I'm exhausted, and hopefully I'll sleep really well tonight, but it's a good kind of exhausted.

This is me . . .

. . . not sleeping again. Or is that still? I'm supposed to be getting up at a reasonable hour top have lunch with Laura a bit later one, but so far I've not slept so well. This is annoying! So I have some Xanax in my now and that should get me back to sleep long enough to wake up at a reasonable hour. At least that is my great hope!

Good night America and all my wonderful friends and family, where ever you are.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I did not buy . . .

. . . a perfect purple, 18 speed bike today. I was tempted, very seriously tempted. It was the perfect shade of purple. 26 inch wheels, quick release seat, front suspension and derailers I'd never even heard of. Now, admittedly that doesn't say much, since it's been years, decades even since I've done any serious bike riding. But it was PURPLE! I even have the money to afford it right now, but I didn't go in there to buy a bike. Plus I'm honestly not certain I'd make the commitment to riding it right now that it would require. And I'm still saving to get my stuff out of storage, and right now that's way more important. I went in to buy a freestanding fan for the living room, knowing as I do that WILL reduce my energy bill, and be quieter than the air conditioner. So, armed with fan, and my wallet a few dollars lighter, I came home to babble a bit here.

In the interests of trying to imporve my sleep schedule, and the fact that I have to be up and out of here on the early side tomorrow to meet with Laura in Dayton, I got up and out of here early today. First time in a while to be honest. Filled up Jo with petrol, made it to Bruggers for some bagels well before they closed, and of course bought a fan. I'd love to say I made it to the park for a walk, but that would be lying, and I'm not one for doing that. so the park, will have to wait for another day.

The fan however is working famously, just sitting in the background nice and quiet, moving the air around. Awesome!

So while I was out and about, I noticed Fall in the air. There's that feeling, a scent that I so adore, and my creative juices are starting to flow. I have about half a dozen plants that need new pots and I was looking at those trying to decide what I wanted to do. Yes, I it turns out have a green thumb, and have a house full of plants. Growing, thriving, happy and very green. I almost bought another one today, I was so tempted to get a nice hanging fern for the hook I have in the ceiling, but held off until I repot the ones I have, because I don't want them to feel jealous, or less loved. Which is quite honestly the ONLY reason I've not yet gotten the couple of Ficus trees I want for my house. Eventually I'm probably going to have three to five ficus trees, because I want at least one in my bedroom and I'm thinking of four in total for the rest of the apartment. At least two in the living room, maybe more.

So that's about it in my boring, quiet life. The vast majority of my friends and family are healthy, happy and safe, more than that a girl can't ask for.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sometimes, life is just weird . . .

As I'm heading over to the store to pick up a few things I notice the brake light is on, again. So when I get to the store I pop the hood, grab some break fluid out of the trunk, and top it off. One of the guys loading his groceries into the car comes over as I pop the hood and ask if I needed help. I thanked him but said I had it. So much to his wondering eyes' I not only topped off the brake fluid, but buttoned her up and then activated the self adjuster. Which is to say I backed the car up a bit, stopped, and then pulled back into the spot. He's still standing there as I get out and throw my purse over my shoulder. "I smiled and said you look confused? Did I do something wrong?"

"Well, no Ma'am, but I'm wondering why you backed the car up and pulled it forward like that?"

So explained the pedal was low because it's losing a little fluid and after refilling the reservoir I had to bring the pedal back up. The self adjusters are there for exactly that purpose.

"Forgive me, but did your Dad want a boy? And if you know so much about brakes why not have it fixed? Then it won't leak you know. You might have a bad cylinder and that could be dangerous."

So I explained that the cylinders were fine, it was the master distribution junction on the firewall and I was too lazy to replace it, especially since I was waiting for the part to come and I'd do it when I did the front shoe which where just about ready to be replaced. His next question was one I wasn't ready for . . .

"Are you seeing anyone?"

. . .because I'm not used to being hit on in the parking lot of the grocery store.

We chatted for a bit and I thanked him, but building a relationship on my knowledge of cars probably wasn't ideal. He laughed and said "No but the bragging rights alone would be awesome!"

So then, as if that wasn't weird enough, I get pulled over shortly after I leave Krogers. Why? Because the cop wanted to know why I went out the side entrance instead of the main one. I wish I was kidding. So there I am freaking because I couldn't imagine what'd I'd done wrong, and he wanted to know why I didn't go out the main entrance? I'd already given him my paperwork which he glanced at and then handed back so I said "Are you a real cop? Or is this some kind of candid camera thing, or am I in even more trouble than I think?"

[We've been having trouble around here with people pretending to be cops, pulling women over and raping and robbing them. I wish I was joking.]

So he puts his hands where I can see them and says, no ma'am, it's okay, I am a real cop, and your not in trouble.

So cautiously I say "Then if you don't mind me asking, why did you stop me?"

"First Ma'am I'd like to know why you went out the side entrance when you had to drive past the main entrance to get there?"

"Well because the side entrance takes me to a side street, which is then has a light to let me cross all three lanes of traffic to set up for the turn at the next corner. Frankly I consider it safer than taking the left fast and crossing those three lanes in the space permitted. A controlled intersection is always a safer bet and helps avoid accidents. It helps keep my insurance rates low, and it means less work for you guys."

So he's laughing now and when I finished he said "Thank you for making my whole day. My whole shift I've been watching people do the dumbest things, and then having to write them tickets. So I thought I'd pull you over and earn some good will for the department by NO giving you a ticket. Now I can finish my shift and chalk it up to a good day. Thanks, and keep up the good work."

It's officially one of the strangest traffic stops I've ever heard of, but hey, it's right up there with a warning for not doing 90 on the highway.

A rebound life . . .

Over on "A Mile In Her Shoes."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

An official shout out to my sister Sara . . .

No, not the one in Colorado, the other one, in California who's been really quiet of late. I just saw that she commented on a mutual friends blog, so I know she's still out there somewhere. This is just an I miss you and hope you're okay. There's a widget down the page is you want to send a private email . . . hint, hint, hint . . . Or Véronique has my email address if you want to get it from her.

Wow, I feel like I'm in a Newhart skit. "This is my sister Sara, and my other sister Sara." Well hey, I think it's awesome, one can never have to many sisters I say!

Hugs girl!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The things that run through my head while . . .

. . .fixing lunch. "Fixing" leads to Decious which I immediately realize is wrong because that's the name of the Romulan War Bird Admiral Picard and Ambassador Tomolak show up in during one episode of ST:TNG. So my mind goes looking for the right word I was looking for, that also happens to be of Latin derivation, which is the name of Shane Falco's boat in "The Replacements:" "Fixious" which means "in the fight." Having made my sandwhich and not wanting to stand at the counter to eat it, the thought "Ego indeo navo locus" prompts me to move into the dinning room to eat. "Ego indeo navo locus" is very old latin for I need a new location. And makes me think of my crazy sister-in-law yelling at Daniel Jackson from SG-1 for having to look-up Locus because it's so obvious in the episode "Fifth Race" that Jack means location. Eating lunch alone? Hardly, after all I've got Riker, Picard, Tomolok, Daniel Jackson, Jack O'Neill, Teal'c and my SIL with me. So much for a quiet lunch alone. . .

Friday, August 07, 2009

Two Moms . . .

Well it's being interesting as always, and last night was no different. As I think I've mentioned before I've sortta been adopted by/adopted a 13 year old girl who needs a Mom. My sister-in-law and I have been kinda doing the whole co-parenting thing for the last year, but it's not like I set my own benchmarks for personal success around being a sucessful Mom.

Mind you since I was 8, well younger even than that really, I've always wanted to grow up to be a wife and Mother like my Mom was. The wife part, well we KNOW how well that worked. Given that "failure" in my life, I'd pretty much written off ever being a Mom. So last night after my daughter went off to bed my sister-in-law and I were talking. I expressed my concerns about not having accomplished as much as I'd have liked to in the last year and she just kinda looked at me and said, "You've accomplished more than you give yourself credit for! That little girl that just left, she worships you, and you may not exactly realize it, but she's still here today because of you. You are an amazing Mom!"

Wow, that caught me off guard. And She's right. My daughter has had a life in many ways everybit as outrageous and unbelievable as mine has ever been. Her own biological Mom died, in jail, when she was six. Her Dad is a nice guy, but he's got his own major issues, and my girl has been more rasiing him, than him raising her. So when it comes to any real parents so to speak, she's never had any until last year when my sister-in-law and I stepped up to the plate. We've been doing in many ways, the good Mom, "bad" Mom thing for a while. She's a whole lot more strict and good about setting boundaries while being nurtuing and supportive, and I, well I try to get my little one to think outside the box, helping her find the value in boundaries of working with people while nurturing and supporting her as well.

When I stopped to think about it, I realized, okay, yes, I can see Val's point. I've acomplished way more than I thought. I can also see how having two Moms isn't the horror so many people think it to be. Frankly it's kinda cool if you ask me. Wow, it also dawned on me that if Earl and I had started a family right away, and we'd had a daughter first like I wanted, she'd be about 13 now too. Funny how our dreams can come sneaking up behind us while we think we are losing them forever, just waiting patiently for us to notice them. Wow, I'm a Mom?!?!! I can handle this, I can cope, I can do this! Ironically it's one thing I'm really good at doing instinctually. Plus my Mom was an excellent example and I learned how to be a Mom from her.