Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sticks & Stones

We all remember hearing the old saying as kids, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me."  If you're a parent, it is likely you've said this yourself, or some derivation of it.

And as a child, it is helpful to have perspective and this is one way we try to do so.

But as you know, they were wrong.  Names and words DO hurt. 

This morning on the radio I heard an old sentimental song that was popular in the early nineties.  And nearly twenty years later, I can still remember my then-girlfriend teasing me (and not so affectionately, I believe) because I liked the song. 

Insults hurt.  And the pain lasts longer, sometimes than a broken bone.

Now, I'm not crippled because someone I cared about gave me a hard time about liking a sappy song.  And that is, ideally, the distinction we are trying to make when we use that phrase.  But even that, we know, is not true.

I have received an interesting smattering of responses to my post the other day about whether or not dyke is derogatory.  And I feel badly that so many of you have had a negative experience with the use of the word.  To put it frankly, it sucks.

They say with kids and spouses and maybe dogs (although they tend to be more resilient) that they hear the negative things 10x louder than the good things.  That means we need to be really careful with what we say. Or we should be. 

There are certain things you should NEVER say to your spouse or significant other.  Things that may be particular to him or her and that person's insecurities, as well as broad "insults" that generally should not be said.  If you hit their insecurity button, then it does not matter how many times in any other settings you tell them the opposite, all they will EVER remember is the one time you affirmed their biggest fears.

My ex felt that she was ugly, old, and an idiot.  She felt worthless quite often, and I felt powerless to do anything about it.  The reality is that I could not fix her self-esteem, and it was not my place to do so.  I was fortunate, that for the most part, I could remember that.  But the one responsibility I *did* have was not to undermine it and make it worse.  Not to say something cruel in a moment of pettiness. 

That made things kind of delicate sometimes.  She'd give me the opening, "I know x is kind of y ..." and if I walked into the trap, then later, in a fight, it was guaranteed this statement would come back to haunt me and would come back amplified.  Suddenly a shirt that was unflattering means that she always looked ugly. 

{and a friend, who knows who she is, just interrupted me for some afternoon fun and completely derailed my train of thought!}

Typically, I write my posts in one sitting.  It doesn't mean I don't step back and think about them sometimes, but I do much better writing in one sitting.  This is the third time I've hit this post, and I can't help but think that I should quit while I"m ahead and go ahead and post it. 

The point is that words do hurt.  You should think twice before saying hurtful things to others, because the scars that may form from that may last longer than physical scars.  If you care for someone, you care how they feel.  So even in the heat of a moment, you still think about what you might say will do.  Because more than sticks and stones hurt us.

Sour Grapes

So, you may have heard on Twitter that I was involved in a big storm last night.  From the news, I know I'm not alone, and that it has continued East, hitting the mid-Atlantic, in particular the DC area this morning. 

First, while I am about to complain / whine a little here, I know, in the bigger picture, things could have been much worse, and frankly, I am grateful that they weren't.  I realize, in the bigger picture of things, what happened at my house (big, huge ass neighbor tree plowing through front fence, and filling up tiny front yard, but missing the house) not really a big deal, not unusual, not "special", not earth-shattering, not end of world, not any of those things that the following words might suggest that I feel like it was.

I was at my contract site when the lights first started to flicker, and after the power went out, we all watched out the floor to ceiling windows as the storm came in somewhat quickly.

People were worried on their phones calling home making sure their loved ones were okay.  I checked on what few friends I have in the area, too, and we did the best we could to get in information with sporadic cell network coverage.  One poor woman felt silly when she was trying to get the radar to come up on her phone, and declared, "I have WiFi on! I don't know why it isn't loading?" "Um, dear," I politely informed her, "the wireless network kinda needs power to be useful."  "Oh... yeah...".

Eventually the storm died down enough where folks felt it was safe to travel, and non-essential folks were slowly sent home.  The power never came on before I left.  It was the end of the month, though, and certain sales people were anxious for the power to return to finish their sales and make sure they shipped out of the warehouse.  I imagine it didn't happen.

There came a point, though, where it seemed silly for me to still be hanging around.  I had nothing to contribute.  But, here I, at least, was amongst people, and the thought of going home and sitting alone in my house in the dark with my cell phone battery dying didn't seem like much fun either.

Plus, I was afraid what the neighboring tree might have done.

This neighboring tree reminds me a lot of the tree in Poltergeist.  (As a side note, go back and watch that as an adult - as a kid, I totally missed the parents toking on weed!).  Early on I learned not to park on the side of the street closest to the tree in front of my house because any small wind or storm was always a good excuse for it to drop a branch or two.  I liked my car the way it was.

And, sure enough, when I came home, the tree had CLEARLY dropped one of its big branches down in front of my house, taking out my front gate, and landing perilously close to the front porch.  Nothing, thank goodness, hit the house.

So, there I was about to go into this dark powerless house alone while winds and rain were still stirring a bit, and just wait for the rest of the tree to come down into the house? 

Um, no..

I didn't like the plan much before the tree was a player in the party, I certainly had no desire to stick around then.  So I packed a small bag, got in my car, and headed West towards the sunshine, intent on staying with a friend who lived thirty minutes west. 

An hour or two later, I received the text message and the calls from town saying the power was finally back on, and since when I arrived at my friend's home, I discovered the sleeping quarters were going to be more cramped than I had hoped, I quickly took off for home. 

I detoured around and checked out other friends' homes and the destruction in their yards, too.  Again, not anxious to face, again, the tree.

And as I'm driving up the block to my home, I am looking around at my neighbors homes and yards.  And they are ALL clean.  The only destruction whatsoever on or to the block was at my home.  I gotta admit, that kinda annoyed me, too, and so at #wineparty last night, during my brief visit, I often had the hastag #crankypants attached.

But, I have power, my own bed, no holes in the roof, so I am, for the most part, happy.  Just a little cranky... too.

This morning I took my sweet time heading out to the front to try and figure out what to do.  I had no burning desire to go attack it - and in the end, that turned out to be a good thing.  Sometimes procrastination is good!

I looked at it.  Took a few more pictures.  Sent a few more messages to friends saying, "I have no idea even where to begin."  Got out what few tools I had.  Picked up a few sticks and started to pile them.  Scratched my head.  Got hotter and hotter because the heat wave is back.  Hacked up another plant that had fallen over.  And in the middle of that, my landlord drives up.

I was just thinking of him.. wondering if he had a chainsaw, if he'd come by.  I had sent him picture by text last night.  But I am one of fifty properties he owns, and one of twelve, apparently that were damaged.  He told me to leave it be, and I didn't need to be told twice.  He took pictures for insurance, and then told me how high a deductible he had.

I comment, positively, well, at least it didn't hit the house.  To which he replies, "Would have been better if it did and burned the whole house down to the ground..."

I'm thinking, and I actually say out loud, "Um, maybe for you....? But not so much for me.."

And then he drove off and I putzed with the wild plant for a little longer and thought about what he said.

What would I do if the house had burned down?  Would I even stay in this small town, or take it as a sign that it was time to start over?  Where would I start over?  What would I do?

I spend time in life, and even here on the blog a little, justifying why I live in a small town and that I like it.  But I admit I began to wonder if my hooplah over living here was some sort of Aesopian "sour grapes" justification for being here. 

I don't know, to be honest.  I know that we need to appreciate what we have, and that I do.  Tree in my front yard and all.  Maybe this isn't the best place for me, and maybe it is.  I don't know.  But it is where I am at, and until the tree takes the house out and makes the landlord happy (?),  I'll stick around a bit longer and do my best to enjoy it. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Watched Pot

So, I have been very excited to see my blog and its readership grow.  And I must admit, it makes my little Borg head grow, and adds to my narcissim. 

Blogger has a built in stats tracker, and I know there are more sophisticated trackers I could program, but I have stuck with the basic built in stat tracker.  I admit I watch it.  And obsessively track on a regular basis (I have a huge screen shot collection that I am almost to embarassed to mention, but there it is, it's out (I'm too lazy to actually write in a notebook)).

And I have set goals for myself, too.  Of how many views I hope to have by what time. How many average views daily, etc.  I am intrigued and inspired.

Blogger's stats can show you your stats for the following time periods:
  • Now- the last 2 hours
  • Day - the last 24 hours
  • Week - the last (24x7 hours - you do the math, I already admitted above I'm lazy)
  • Month  (you get the idea)
  • And all time
It will also show you what search items brought people to your blog (three folks have actually found me by searching for borg blog!!  Another one found me, surprisingly (NOT!) in the UK on Yahoo for "Women who like breasts"  (Guess which post turned up #3?)

But I can't watch it all the time - which is probably good.  Because I have discovered, much like that watched pot that never boils, as soon as I "tune in" to see the numbers, they start going flat.  Every once in awhile, it would seem to be an anomaly, but it's happened quite a lot lately which leads me to only one conclusion.

A watched blog is never read.  :(

(So, I'm leaving now, so you can read in peace and privacy...)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Isn't "Dyke" Derogatory?

(I love an interactive blog.  Feel free to ask me questions any way you want!) 

A good question was raised in response to my last post about Dyke in a Small Town: isn't "dyke" a derogatory term?

Well, yes and no. 

I have my personal response to this question, which I will provide here, but I decided to go look at that Internet "expert" in all things, Wikipedia, too, in formulating this response.  Which was actually quite illuminating.

I came out in my teens.  Still in high school.  A baby dyke.  (There's that word again).  Frankly, the word homosexual does not roll off my tongue.  And the older I get, the more clinical the term sounds.  So while it is an accurate word that can be used to describe me, it is not my preference.  Lesbian is a more acceptable gender-specific term that also applies to me.  And, at times, I will use it, too.  It, also, does not roll off the tongue.  But it is also an accurate term for me.

I'm not sure when I started using the term dyke.  It would not surprise me that my usage was as a direct result of enjoying Alison Bechdel's syndicated comic strip: Dykes to Watch Out For.  She started the comic strip in 1983, and I caught it in the first decade of syndication, and owned the first three books at the time with the past strips.  I loved it.  It was hysterical. (To find more about the history of the strip, ironically, Wikipedia has a fairly informative page.)  I was very fortunate in that we were able to get her to come to our school during Pride Week.   

Now within the "community" there are various ways to distinguish between "lesbians" and "dykes", but I am NOT going to go into that, here, or otherwise - because like all stereotypes, there are bound to be some innaccuracies, and unlike using the word dyke here, I might actually offend someone in spelling out the distinctions.  But let's just say, shortly, I more identify as being a dyke.  It comes out of your mouth much easier than "lesbian" or "homosexual".  It's short, sweet, and simple. 

While there could be some nuanced argument about someone choosing to use a derogatory term to describe themselves and related self-esteem and all that, this is NOT the issue going on here with me.  Generally, when one party chooses to use a "derogatory" term to identify themselves it is often a way in which they can reclaim the word from the negative connotations and make it a positive one.  Someone wants to call me "dyke" under their breath, I'll say, "Yep, that's right."  It is no longer the insult that they might have expected or wanted.  They'll have to work harder, then, to disparage me. 

The word "dyke" though is used by much more than me and Alison Bechdel in common Pride parlance. Many gay pride marches will begin with the "Dykes on Bikes", which I once participated in. And San Francisco has had (still has? It's been years since I lived there) a "dyke parade" the night before the big Pride parade (and a much better place to pick up women than the main parade....).
Now Wikipedia will inform you that the word "dyke" has many multiple references, and as a "vulgarism" meaning "lesbian" doesn't even appear until #10.

So, yes, I guess if you call it a "vulgarism" it perhaps has some, um, derogatory character still attached to it.

What I found amusing / interesting / depressing is another reference within Wikipedia for "LGBT slurs" which has tried to be reclaimed, renamed as and redirected to "LGBT slang"

In introduction to the list, it clarifies that such terms may be acceptable when used by members of the LGBT community and their allies, but when used formally by outsiders might be considered perjorative.

I find amusing, quite interesting and apropos for this post that someone within Wiki is asking "by whom?" in the placeholders for references. 

Ultimately, the use of terminology is similar to usage of racial terms.  The wikipedia article on "Terminology of homosexuality" touches upon this in it's introductory paragraph:

Think about the useage of the word "colored" "black" and "African-American".  Depending upon who says it, and to whom, any of those terms might be offensive, or might be preferred. 

At the end of the day, no, for me, the term "dyke" isn't derogatory.  But I'm also pretty easy going - it doesn't really matter what you call me.  I'm just me.  The Borg Blog [substitute real name there] and I am uniquely me and just like you, all at the same time.  (See Assimiliation).  What's that old joke, I don't care what you call me, just don't call me late for dinner! ;)

Resistance is futile.

Dyke in a Small Town (15 & 16)

So, when I started out this blog, I wrote this post about all the different things that came to me to describe myself.  I had written this list, and then I randomized it, and wrote it out.  I started several posts to begin elaborating on all of the things in the list - and I never quite finished it.

Too many other things came up. 

But I have a link to the post in my Twitter bio, and so (surprisingly!) folks have been reading it.  And the other day, one of my new followers mentioned the post and told me she had a question.  Sure, go ahead, ask - I'm an open book after all...

She said she wondered about #15 and #16 - "How's that working out for you?"

Now at first I was confused, because when I went back to look at my post, I had thought she'd said 14 and 15, and I didn't see what was so incongruous about them. 

14. I am single. BLAH (no, that wasn't in the original post)


15. I am a dyke.
16. I live in a small town.

"Well," I laughed when I responded to her, "look at 14.  I guess not so well." 

But that is a little too simplistic, and I'd like to think she was asking about more than simply my dating life, although some days that is all I wonder about. 

I will admit, when I first arrived here in this small town, I was warned that people might not be so accepting of who I am, and I did not suddenly drape myself in a rainbow flag and nothing else and parade down Main Street (yes, there really is a Main Street).  But that isn't exactly who I am to begin with, so it wasn't as if not doing so was a big sacrifice. 

One of the reasons for randomizng the list is that there wasn't any ONE item in the list that I felt particularly defined me.  All of those attributes and facts of life combined to describe who I am and where I am in my life.  Yes, in the late eighties, early nineties, I sported a mullet - then The Official Dyke Haircut.  And in college, I was known to wear a pink triangle.  But it's always been just a part of who I am, not all of who I am - probably a part of the reason for my thoughts on Pride.

But while I do not go blazing down Main Street wearing nothing but a rainbow flag, I also do not hide in a closet - at least not very long.  I use gender appropriate pronouns (sometimes gender neutral).  I talk about my "ex"?-wife.  There aren't always a lot of moments where I need to be clear about these things, so it doesn't always come up with everyone.  But I don't hide it, either. 

When I do have a conversation about it with someone usually I hear about other gay relatives or friends.  When they are specifically women, I joke about being set up with them.  Sometimes I have wondered if I am the only gay person in the area, but I know that I am not.  There is no bar where we gather - have to go out to a "big" city for that - but apparently there once was a lesbian bar in town.  Dating opportunities are not as obvious as they were when I lived in San Francisco.   And yet, I felt just as lonely when I lived there as I do here sometimes.  So, I don't think the size of the town is responsible.

I like living in a small town.  You have to be a bit more careful, because you never quite know who is where and already knows what.  News is so slow, that something you do might easily be found on the front page of the paper.  You never know when you go get lunch in the drive thru if the person serving you will recognize you from soccer.  So, you might think twice about going out to grab a quick bite with bed head.  But the people care about you.  It is a community.  And once you are embraced by the community - once you lose "outsider" status - you are embraced by a community. 

When I came here, I virtually had nothing.  And when I moved, finally, out of my friends' home into one of my own, people stepped up to help me out.  One woman donated an old bed from her guest bedroom.  Others sorted through their kitchen cabinets for things they never use.  One dropped a desk off on my front porch one day when I was out.  Another brought me a couch and an easy chair.  Others gave spare linens.  Even just recently, I had someone give me a washer and dryer.  All of these gestures invited me to stay.  They wanted me to be comfortable, and they wanted me to stay. 

And one day, some of these girls who keep telling me about their dyke sisters, will introduce me to one of them!  (But, one might wonder - and this is a whole other post - whether I'm ready to date, anyway.. so it's probably best that they're waiting).  But when they do, it will once more be a sign that I belong here in this small town.  Dyke and all. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dessert, Mormon and Pneumonia - Apparently I'm influential

So, this past weekend, in order to more effectively view #wineparty, I finally logged into HootSuite to try a Twitter app.  Overload, I will admit.  Twitter-crack.  Crazy.

One of the things I discovered was something I'd seen whispers of which is "Klout".  I hadn't gone onto Klout's page before (or at least I don't think I did) because I didn't need to sign into something new without knowing what it was.  But, apparently, nonetheless, I have acquired Klout anyway. 

In HootSuite, amongst other things you can see in one's profile, you can see their Klout score.  I scratched around a little and found out that not everybody had Klout, and the numbers vary.   Oprah, of course, has Klout.  That wasn't too surprising. 

So this evening I finally corner another tweep down who is posting about Klout and finally ask her.

I already knew my Klout score was 42 - an irony I love since it is the answer to everything.  But what I didn't know, prior to this evening, is that I am influential in 13 categories.  Including Dessert, Mormon and Pneumonia.

You can find the full list at the bottom of the blog.  I find it of note that of the things I influence, blogging comes in sixth.  Guess I need to work on this.  I'm guessing there is no category on the Amish. 

Now, I know where the Mormon comes in.  It came in the middle of the conversation about the Amish, and we were talking, generally, about special underwear.  And the Mormon's wear some, too, and I brought this up in, of course, a #wineparty conversation a couple of weeks back. 

I'm not quite sure how I got so influential in Dessert - although I do eat them from time to time, particularly Cookies which comes in fourth.

But I have NO idea how I became influential in the topic of pneumonia.  I've had walking pneumonia before, but I haven't yet discussed that here or there or anywhere... (well, now I have, but..).

I laugh that I'm influential under avi, considering it's only been recently that I have finally moved on from being an egghead after so much taunting and teasing...

Anyway, the end result is I am both very amused and very disturbed by my Klout score.  Frankly, as I said, since 42 is the answer to everything, I hope it stays right there...

(Oh, and who are the 618 others?  They haven't all been on here, yet... I guess I need to use my influence a little more.. )

If I've influenced you, go ahead and use your Klout to get someone else to come and read my blog.  As the person who I was DMing about it with said you might as well take advantage of the perks (although I have a feeling that wasn't what she was talking about, but we'll pretend for a few moments..)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Funk Cubed...

Today on Twitter, I posted a link to a prior post - The right to funk.. since I had woken up in, well, a funk.  In addition to posting to my Twitter-world, I also shared my funky state (which sounds SO much cooler than the state I was in) with two good friends.  Hoping, I guess that they'd attend my "pity party" as one of the commenters has called it.

Unfortunately, my invitations crossed in the mail, as both of them - separately of course - informed me that they, too, (or is it three?) were in a funk.

Isn't that like the Earth and the Sun and the Moon all eclipsing each other?  Isn't that supposed to be a special event?

Maybe not so special. 

Fortunately none of us seemed so far into a funk, that we couldn't at least send presents to each other's parties.  And I hope, as this evening draws to a close, we'll all three find ourselves out of this funk. 

Maybe it was just a funky day.. and not in one of those good Sanford & Sons ways...

As I wrote to one of them:  This too shall pass.  Resistance, after all, is futile. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Purple Thumb

While I think it would be wonderful, in theory, to have a garden out back and grow a lovely vegetable garden and have fresh food, I don't. 

The reason I don't is because I have a purple thumb.  And no patience.  I'd overwater the plants and drown them in my love and affection, er, I mean water. 

Except, I don't.  Mean water, that is.

Well, and I don't mean a vegetable garden, either.

A friend and I have been joking that she's been developing a harem.  And the more I think about the idea, the more I realize I need one.  And the more I realize I need one, the more I realize, um, I've been developing one by writing this blog and shamelessly promoting it.  (Well, not so shamelessly, but..).

In my life, generally, I've believed in serial monogamy.  And not just in romantic relationships, frankly, but in friendship, too.  I have a series of "best friends".  And I realize that one of the reasons I have a "series" is that I wear them out. 

I don't do it on purpose.  I just, um, kinda keep watering them.  I inundate them with 10s of emails a day, or, er, an hour.  At first they like the attention, too, and keep up.  But it doesn't take long before I have saturated this line of communication.

I have one friend who served as the repository for all the odd things and connections that went through my head that now serve as blog entries for over two and a half years.  And I was working through some heavy stuff during that time, let me tell you.  God bless her. 

Early on, the fool wrote: "I'll read every word you write."  Which was so refreshing after my ex had stopped reading stuff long before.  I bless her for the sentiment, but after two and a half years of reading my tomes - because let's face it, I can write a tome - she, um, blocked me from her e-mail.  She was taking space overall, and it was a lot more complicated than I need to get into here, but even after she started to "release" other forms of communication (Facebook, texting, phone calls), she's still left e-mail blocked. 

You'd think I'd get the hint. 

And I did.  I, er, created this blog.  My friend, Robin, has been fairly instrumental in all of this, and she became the new repository for my long tomes.  Until she got a life of her own (damnit - who told her she could?). 

And now, another new friend has recently become the victim of my multitude of e-mails.  She texts me a lot.  I think she's scared to look in her e-mail box.  I don't blame her.  The flood from over-watering might cause her to drown.  And I wouldn't want that.

And so I need a harem.  A multitude of people with whom I can share my many thoughts and ramblings.. Now.. where can I find that?  Oh, yes.  Of course.  Twitter.

Welcome Lawsbians!!

After the last two nights of live Bloggess Book Club (and accompanying twit chat) I have a few more followers today who are fans of The Bloggess. 

She is so great!  When she reads her book, I admit, it is in the same voice - lilt, expression, dry wit that I hear in my head read her blog. She is great!  Last night she read the chapter about the colon cleanse.  One classic line I still remember in my fuzzy haze this morning is when the pharmacist reminded her that her anti-depressant pills are supposed to go in her mouth.  You'll have to read the chapter yourself to understand the context and how funny that is.  Just trust me. It is.

One Lawsbian last night (that's the name for us fans of Jenny, and I think it's great because of the pun, and well, I'm also a lesbian.. (in case you haven't gotten that far in my blog yet, start with So who am I?)) was perusing the site, and particularly upon the one link I had sent her Success and got ahead of the story where I talk about my success in my crusade to get Jenny's attention.

Let me give you the background, and then you can click on any of the links I provide below, or even better yet, click on the label to the side there, that big one that says the bloggess, and read from beginning to end. 

I started this anonymous blog with a bang in February.  Like anything when we start a new project (particularly when you have ADD) it's never quite clear whether you will actually make a go of it or if your energy for it will peter out.. (Raise your hands, fellow bloggers, if you've started a blog, and it's been a little while since you've posted...?)

Having an audience - I can confirm - gives you additional energy.  Writing for yourself and your dog, and your best friend Robin (because you don't want to tell anyone else you're writing it, because it would defeat the purpose of an anonymous blog (a whole other theme, look at the anonymity label)) is hard.  You have little feedback.  You feel like you're talking in an empty room, and after awhile, it's easy to wonder what the point is and think you're just a wee bit crazy. (although I know I am crazy - there's even an insanity label over there, but I don't remember what I used it for, so I'm afraid to direct you there.. )

So, a few blog entries before I hit my 25th post, I had this wonderful inspiration to get The Bloggess' notice, because if I could get even a a teeny weeny percentage (0.001%) of her readers (and this was before the book hit the stands), it would be a HUGE boost to my readership.  This was about the time she was calling out Nathon Fillion, and coined the term Nater-Tater.  So, I thought the theme of where she was fit perfectly, and so I ran with it on my 25th post (a celebration of making the milestone) and Called out The Bloggess and told her not to be a Nater-Tater and to send me a picture of her collating paper or with twine - that she could understand how much it would mean to me, as Nathan meant to her. 

Robin is a recovering Twitter addict.  And despite the personal danger to herself, she helped me use that little app that came with my iPhone to join Twitter.  (And now I'm a Twitter-crack addict  - I should have heeded the warnings) and so my first tweet was to The Bloggess (thank you, Robin, for teaching me the ways) with a link to my post! 

You'll have to read the posts as they were written from here to see what happened.  But in Success you'll see I have my picture of The Bloggess with twine, and regardless of whether it might be true, I like to think she posted that picture for me.  Even if she didn't acknowledge it on her blog.  I still choose to believe that!  ;)

Welcome to my blog.  Look around.  Explore.  Get to know me.  I have a lot of different things on here, and hopefully, beyond simply our affinity for The Bloggess, you'll enjoy my writing and my stories.  Oh, and tell your friends.  There's little "share" buttons and stuff.. And start populating my comments.  Your comment is MUCH more likely to be read and responded to by the blog writer HERE than if you write on Jenny's page, so come get your fix for attention here.  ;)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wine Party

Forgive me, I've just been laughing a little too hard just a moment ago...

#wineparty on Twitter is just winding down, and despite a bumpy start, I had a great time.  It almost felt like a real party - I couldn't get engaged in any of the groups talking due to technological issues, so I stood in the corner (whined just a little) and before I knew it, my friends noticed me and came over to the corner to talk with me.

Now, we didn't come up with anything so creative as Amish Swingers this time (I probably should make a label for Amish Swingers, too..), but we did have a lot of fun.  Particularly as I kept adding random strangers with one-off names to our party. 

I went on Twitter-crack this evening, folks.  Seriously.  My head is still spinning on this.  I came home determined to finally find a different app that would make following #wineparty easier.  See, it's a hashtag, and if you just watch that window, you miss people who might respond to you and forget the hashtag, so you kinda gotta circle back to your Mentions page, too (for those of you lost on FB, let's face it, you don't follow me anyway - at the moment all my followers are Tweeps).  I was doing this on the iPhone for the first two wine parties. 

But I thought there had to be an easier way.  And I was told there was. 

So tonight, when I got home, I made it my mission - before #wineparty began to figure out these other apps.  Two general ones were recommended: HootSuite and Tweetdeck.  I did a quick google for HS vs. TD (I've learned to be cool and abbreviate - only way you can talk about them in 140 characters or less!) and what brief few things I read, it seemed like HS - which was web based and not desktop dependent - might be the better way to go for the various things I might in the future use it for.

So I got on it, and I rolled.  And immediately a new tweep recommended TD, and we chatted for a few, and so she convinced me to open another tab and try it out.  And next week, I may use it.  But it felt a lot like Twitter itself, and so HS had some new features that I'd just been figuring out how to use to maximize my Twitter viewing.  So, I decided to try the slick HS this evening.

Right before #wineparty, of course, I was online watching the Bloggess' book party. Lots of fun there, and I've made lots of new tweeps from that interaction, but the chat function was not working properly for me for 3/4ths of the time, so by the time I hit #wineparty, I was already technologically frustrated.

Now Twitter - generally - has a way so that you can see the tweet to which the new tweet was replying.  So you can remember where you were at or figure out how the person got there.  It's quite helpful, particularly on a "party line" conversation like #wineparty.

But that screen, highlighting all the hashtag posts didn't have that functionality.  My patience was already shot, so I almost gave up.  I waved "Hi" at a few people I knew, and eventually others joined me in the corner, and we had a good time.

I missed a lot.  And it's a shame, but we still had fun.  I do feel bad for @kristin_g and @gcb who got pulled in unwillingly and unknowningly because HootSuite doesn't automatically pull everyone back in for the reply, and my typing left a little to be desired.  Ooops!  But it made me laugh!

Love you tweeps!  Thanks for a great evening!!


I have decided to add this as a label over there on the side, because I have a feeling this will be an ongoing discussion for me, and it is one I have already, often, had on the side (just not THIS side) with others.  It is an issue I find myself struggling with, and I have already discussed briefly this struggle in my post Clark Kent.

Having fallen in love with Twitter, I am now finding many new bloggers.  And I find that we blog for many different reasons.  Some of my new friends are Mommy bloggers.  Some are selling products.  Some are rambling and sharing their life like me.  Some have focus.  Some don't.  There is a wide variety of purposes to blog.

For me, in case you haven't already figured it out, I have some issues to work out, and this is cheaper than therapy.  Kidding. Sorta.  But in order to feel "free" to be perfectly honest and open about some of the things I might want to write about, I felt "safer" creating this blog anonymously. 

Despite what you might think, the reasons for remaining anonymous while working through this stuff wasn't about protecting me.  As I've written before, I don't really know how to live in a closet.  There's very little that you could ask me directly that I wouldn't give you an honest and full answer to (probably more than you might even want to know - for example, I wrote a four-page e-mail to a friend this afternoon in response to her 140 character tweet!). 

But my "issues" are about living among and with other human beings.  It is about our relationship to each other.  Which is why I enjoy the irony of the name of this blog, even though it wasn't necessarily intentional.  And so it isn't so much that I am afraid to expose myself, as it is that I am afraid of hurting others who are important and matter to me.  Others who may not prefer to be exposed, who may not want their business identifiably linked to them. 

As I mentioned before, I live in a small town.  One woman I work with, whom I kid that she's "connected", honestly believes that she knows everyone in town, and while I've quizzed her on occasion and found that she doesn't, she knows quite a few.  Including me, for example.  Today, I went to a drive thru for a restaurant I never go to on my own to pick up lunch for a friend.  I was in a bit of a Friday daze, and wasn't paying good attention, making the taking and filling of my order a little harder for her.  I apologized when I got to the window for my distractedness, and she told me it was okay, and that she knew me from soccer.  It was like we were old friends. 

So if you know who I am or you know where I live, you will likely know who I'm writing about.  And while I can make those decisions for myself, it is not fair of me to make those for others. 

When I started the blog, I also made up some good bullshit reasons in who I am about why I wanted to remain anonymous, and in my post Assimilation about how I really am just like you, and that knowing my exact identity might end up being distracting.  It all sounded nice and good when I wrote them (and they are.. but...)

Lastly, frankly, protecting my identity and my whereabouts has become a sensitivity for me since leaving an abusive relationship.  At this point, I know if she wanted to find me, she could.  And after three years, given that she hasn't shown up at my door ready to do me bodily harm (murder-suicide was on many people's minds), I feel fairly safe that she won't.  But for a long time there, I wasn't certain that she wouldn't.  I hoped I had moved far enough away to prevent that scenario, but I didn't feel safe.  I restricted amongst my close friends even where I lived, let alone sharing a phone number or an address.  I had a P.O. Box when I finally needed to have some means for people to reach me, and for a long time even the people at the church only had that address to reach me.  When you have a period in your life where you live with or otherwise share your life with an unstable person, and you have reached the point where the only way to set the boundary is to abandon just about everything (except a storage unit full of stuff that you DID manage to take with you) and move across the country so that she can't try and undermine you and your efforts to take care of yourself, you become protective.  (Someone on Twitter once told me that this was bullshit when I wouldn't be more specific about where I live and that I was lying about the ex-spouse who was also an ex-cop.  Needless to say I have since blocked that person!)
I once read a book about how they figured out who "anonymous" was who wrote the book Primary Colors about Clinton and his affairs, and how all of us have very distinctive writing styles and can be identified - with effort I presume - by how we write.  So, at some level, to presume anonymity on the web is, well, presumptuous. I do take care not to use some distinctive identifying written mannerisms while writing here or on Twitter.  Usually I am successful. But I am sure some expert could figure out who I was.

And recently I had a momentary fright on another friend's blog, since not only do we have this distinctive signature in how we write, but we also have a distinctive electronic signature that we leave.  So, I do recognize that if someone really wanted to know who I was and where I am, they could find me and figure it out.  Hopefully, though, no-one decides to look behind the curtain to see who is really the Wizard of Oz, er The Borg Blog. 

This will be a continuing discussion for me it seems.  And, sensitive to other's identity, you CAN comment on here as "Anonymous".  Or, if you want your discussion to be just between us, you can e-mail me directly at

Procrastination - UPDATED

Procrastination is one of the greatest tools of those of us with ADD.  We need the pressure of the last minute to give us that umph to get things done.  I write this awake at the 6 o'clock hour (without an alarm) because I have a 9 AM meeting that I still, um, need to prepare for.  That extra two hours, apparently, is too much time so I'm writing here.  Yeah, that works...

Except, if you caught the sarcasm dripping there, it doesn't. 

I will complete what needs to be done (I hope) before my meeting.  And even make it to my meeting on time.  (Again, I hope / expect). But will the work I bring be the best that I could have brought?  No.

Yesterday, at work, I wrote myself out a To Do list.  And at the top of the list, I put the two things (Yes, only TWO) that I needed to do and work on to prepare myself for the meeting.  Then I listed out a whole other set of social and entertainment things I wanted to do.  Some of those social obligations WERE important.  And then there were the errands - paying the bills, also important.  At the end of the day of work, all things but, um, the work things had been done.  (To be fair, I did do SOME work things, but they weren't the top priority work things, and.. well.. here I am awake at 6:40 AM (and have actually been awake for about an hour))

Why do we do that to ourselves?  I know that this is a trait that not only annoys ourselves, but annoys those around us.  Did I mention to you, yet, that I found out I had ADD (even though it should have been bloody obvious) through relationship counseling??

First, to those of us in our lives who find it really really frustrating that we can't seem to do anything before the last minute, I am really sorry.  It frustrates us, too.  We may act blasé about it but it really pisses us off, too. We've just learned - or tried to learn - to accept ourselves as we are.  But we recognize - thank you very much - how much of our potential we aren't using, that we're missing out on.  God, do we notice.  Or at least I do.

When I am hyper-focused... hell, when I'm just focused .. I can usually accomplish more in two hours than I can sometimes accomplish in two days when I'm not.  Which is why, apparently, I'm not stressing as much as I should be and working on what I need to do to prepare for this meeting rather than write in here.

I know my ADD has cost me relationships and has strained relationships.  People can't understand why I just won't DO certain things.  "I can't" seems unfathomable.  Seems immature.  Is darn well frustrating.  And ultimately hard to believe.  Particularly when there comes a point that I CAN do something - but there wasn't just that "motivation" (which is what it looks like) before. 

We all - or most of us - procrastinate.  So it is hard to differentiate between a normal person's procrastination, and an ADD person's procrastination.  The funny thing is that I actually very much prefer to have things done early and ahead of time.  For things that don't seem to trigger the ADD, I can get them done with plenty of time to spare.  In my office, several years back, I was the model of efficiency.  In certain areas.  And less the model of efficiency in others. 

It is frustrating.  For me.  For you. For anyone around me. 

Part of the reason I have this meeting, to be frank, is because in order for us to do something, sometimes, we HAVE to have deadlines.  So I have scheduled a series of meetings to make ME accountable.  To get ME to do something and finish this part of the project that has been 80% done - and standing - now for about 5 months.  I must have gotten bored.  I don't know. I honestly don't.

And if I could fix it, I would.  Believe me.

POSTSCRIPT:  FYI, two hours wasn't quite enough.  At least not to do what I needed to do AND get cleaned up. Oops.  It was close.  I did send an e-mail just before 8 AM to push back the meeting by a half hour, and when I got no response, called at 9 AM to make sure she got my e-mail.  She's out sick.  Good thing I didn't know that earlier! Now to get cleaned up and on my way. Eek!
If you like this, stick around and read other entries.  Hit a few on the right that are favorites, or go to the home page of the blog, and read from beginning to end.  Take a moment to send me some feedback.  Thanks for coming.  Please come back soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Awesome Day!

Today was a pretty awesome day!  Particularly in the world of blogging for me.  I wrote the 100th post (and the 101st, and the 102nd, and here we are on 103rd...), and my viewership surpassed 1,000 views.  My posts or my blogs were mentioned on two other folks blogs: , and

(THANKS guys!)

Plus, a cute girl sent me a picture of her smile... (oh, wait, that wasn't blogging, that was separate.. BUT, part of making it an AWESOME day!)

(Any other cute girls, again, feel free to send me pictures... Email me

Also, I have 50 comments (yes, that includes mine...but... I have to be a polite hostess and respond to my fandom).

Overall, pretty darn awesome! 

Keep it up! (Oh, wait, that's me.. but you, too.. you keep it up! Keep reading... keep inspiring me!)


If you like this, stick around and read other entries.  Hit a few on the right that are favorites, or go to the home page of the blog, and read from beginning to end.  Take a moment to send me some feedback.  Thanks for coming.  Please come back soon.


I'm seven views away from 1,000 views.  Half-tempted to undo my "Don't track my pageviews" to push me over the top, but enjoying the race to the 4-digits.  Keep reading. 

The L Word

Okay.  Stop for a moment before you read any further, and tell me (or at least think to yourself) what word you think I'm referring to when I say the "L" Word.  And, I wonder, does that reflect how well you are beginning to know me? Or more about yourself?  I am not a trained analyst (although Lord knows I do it enough without training), but I think what it says about both me and about you would be interesting....

Okay - done with that.

The L Word. Oh, really, just one?  There are so many good ones.  Yes, due to the popularity of the show, and that I'm a dyke, I know you might be thinking "lesbian" - how BORING and unoriginal.  ;)  Then there's the trio of "like", "lust" and "love".   Since "vagina" has been so popular lately, there's even the racier "labia"..

If I were in a less happy place, there would be "lost", "lonely", "limited", "less", "loser"... Fortunately we don't have to worry about those today (I hope - I'm still composing this damn thing, who knows what might pop up?)

I recently met someone with whom I have having a heck of a lot of fun with.  It's only been two weeks since we have been communicating privately, but I really do enjoy that time.  It's been a really long time since I've had such a shit-eating grin on my face consistently, day after day.  Basically since the tryst moved away a year and a half ago (and she was so much more than a tryst, but it's still the safest word to use).  So I am enjoying it.

But in the past few days, I have found myself with that "l" word on my tongue.  And while I do, already, care deeply about her, it is not only not appropriate to use that word after only two weeks towards her specifically, it also isn't, yet, accurate.  But with maturity and hindsight, now, I can see how that word would slip out of my mouth so early on and so easily in my past relationships when I was younger. 

I know, now, that what I love is how she makes me feel.  I love the attention.  I love feeling special.  I love to flirt.  I love having this smile on my face so much.  I love the cute things she does, including the pictures she sends me.  I love that she likes me.  I love her honesty.  I love how brave she is.  How she is willing to take risks. She bares all in so many ways that I would find quite risky myself.  I love that she trusts me.  I love that she thinks of me.  Again, I love how she makes me feel.

And one day, perhaps, all of that will be the foundation to love "her".  But it is not the same.  And I am glad that I am older and wiser now to understand that.  To realize that.  To differentiate that.  Because, boy, I do love how she makes me feel.  But we are still getting to know each other.  I know, in reality, just the teeniest pindrop of information about her.  We haven't even yet met in person, so I have no idea what she's really like when she wakes up.  How grumpy she might get.  How pissy she might be that might really annoy me in real life.  I get just the tiniest little view into her life, although we do share quite a bit.  But I know that I don't really know her. But I do like, a lot, what I do know. 

Having not really been in straight relationships, I can't really speak to what I am about to say with any expertise, but I think lesbians are quite quick - and probably quicker - to RUSH to say "I love you".  After all, the classic dyke joke is: "What does a lesbian bring on a second date? A U-Haul".  As women (I presume), we are quick to rush in.  Quick to create the facade of security and stability, that may or may not be there.  As women, generally, we want to nest.  Put two women together, and the steps from "just dating" to practically married zip by in the blink of an eye.

But I think we miss a lot when we do that.  I think flirting and courtship are fun.  I know, in the real world, this relationship with this new person won't really lead anywhere.  We live too far away, our lives are very different, and a hundred other reasons I could list off.  And in so many ways, that gives me a freedom to it to enjoy whatever it is. 

I've tried hard in the last couple of relationships I have had to enjoy the moment, and NOT try to plan too far in advance.  With the 10+ year ex, that lasted about a month to maybe six weeks.  With the tryst, well, I call her a tryst so as to keep myself in perspective as to what, in the long view of my life in hindsight, she might have been, even though there is a part of me that still thinks she's the "one".  I try to keep myself open to the here and now, and enjoy it.

It's harder to do than you might think.  But oh, so worth it.

If you like this, stick around and read other entries.  Hit a few on the right that are favorites, or go to the home page of the blog, and read from beginning to end.  Take a moment to send me some feedback.  Thanks for coming.  Please come back soon.


Well, this is it.  The hundredth post I am publishing on this blog.  Wow!  It's been a wild and great trip already.  At the end of February, I wrote post 25 and I was somewhat serious about my four readers from the Ukraine.  I decided to try and hit the big time by "calling out" the Bloggess, and telling her she shouldn't be a Nater-Tater. 

It is a little amusing to re-read that post, and actually the two posts leading up to it. 

Ah, the days before I found Twitter.  All that free time I used to have... I remember it now... 

Well, She favorited me, and then forgot me.  But my top read post, by far, is that 25th post.  I've had 951 views as of this typing - 22 new last night alone. 

The top five blog posts are:
1. Calling out The Bloggess - Don't pull a Nater-Tater
2. 21. I have / am ADD
3. Amish Swingers (that's a fun one.. )
4. Married Women Like Breasts (I still like that one, too.. although I haven't gotten as much response as I had hoped! More stories and pictures, please!)
5. ADD

Proof, though, that I am beginning to gain in popularity, my post from yesterday, is in the top ten.

I am having a hell of a good time, and I hope you are, too.  Seriously lots of thanks to my new tweeps - you're the best. 

If you like this, stick around and read other entries.  Hit a few on the right that are favorites, or go to the home page of the blog, and read from beginning to end.  Take a moment to send me some feedback.  Thanks for coming.  Please come back soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Say Anything..

(And if your mind just went to John Cusak standing on the street holding up a boom box, you are OLD, like me...)

And, if you're OLD like me, then you have come to realize that life is not all roses and rainbows, and unicorns, and 100% happy, carefree, and stressless.  If you're like me, you've experienced some of life's speed bumps, and witnessed your friends going through speed bumps too.

But these moments, in addition to the deep emotional pulls that they can be for us as individuals, can often be awkward for friends.  What do you say? What do you do? How do you respond? What do they want?

I read a lot of advice columnists - I like the study of people - and often people write about how their friends disappear during a crisis. 

A week or so ago, a tweet was posted by someone about how they will never again say "Big hugs!" to a friend because someone else had just done it to them and they found it so patronizing.  To which I joked back because it is often a standard I use.

Because what do you say when someone you know, particularly someone who is at a distance, is going through a hard time?

Recently a co-worker's mother passed.  Before she passed, though, she had been in and out of the hospital and in and out of hospice and all the "fun" stuff that often precedes passing.  And my co-worker / friend had been in and out of work helping to care for her and being with her.  When she returned from work after a particularly long absence I found myself in this awkward position.  What do I say to her? I want to ask how her mother's doing, and how she's doing.  But I know that being at work is probably a relief for her, at the moment, to think about something else.  And probably if one more person brings it up, if I were her, she'd snap. 

So, several days after she returned, I had just that conversation with her.  I asked her how her mother was doing, and explained why I hadn't wanted to ask before.  She thanked me, and fortunately, my timing was such that her mother had actually improved at that point, so it was not as unpleasant a topic for her. 

But we often get stymied at situations where people we know - or are getting to know, or even barely know - are going through hard times.  What do we say?

My natural inclination in almost any situation is that I am a helper.  Carrying a big box, and need the door opened? I'm rushing ahead of you to open it, and if not too awkward, helping pick up the other end of the box.  While I know my church would run just fine without me (in other words, I don't kid myself that I am essential), I have become quite the master of ceremonies behind the scenes with everything from preparing church bulletins to scheduling assistants, making announcements, calming squirmy kids without parents in the pews and dressing acolytes.  I like to be helpful.  As a youngster in school, I was the go to person for the sound system - even being pulled out of class to help with something in one of the younger classes.  I volunteered to meet people and make friends.  It really is an expression of my shyness, at some level, because I'd rather be doing something than sitting around awkwardly doing nothing.

So it's really really hard to sit on the sidelines and do nothing.  But often that is all we can do. 

I find myself often chomping at the bit, so to speak, because I want to be able to do more.  I want to be able to wave a magic wand, and have the situation resolve itself peacefully.  I want the person in pain to find peace.  But from a distance, all I can give are words.

And they feel so inadequate on this end, sometimes.

But I gotta tell you.  Having been on the other end, they mean more than you think.  And the great thing is, that if you truly care about someone, it doesn't matter what the words are that you say, because if you express yourself sincerely, that is what comes out, and that is what they feel. 

But do say something.  Even if it's "I don't know what to say, but I care about you." 

My friend "Robin" has read way more than her share of e-mails in the last six months of my angst over a particular situation.  There isn't anything to say.  I'm grieving, and grief is, well, grief.  It's a process. There are no easy answers, no solutions, no particular advice that I need (and sometimes all I'll write to her is "P.S. I miss her"). And sometimes all she sends back is :(.

And sometimes, that is all I need.  Another recent friend wrote me yesterday about a situation about something related in her life, and then followed up with "I don't know if that helps. I'm not good at these kinds of discussions. I never know what to say!"  And what she wrote was wonderful - it helps to relate to each other - and even if all that she wrote were these last three sentences, it would have been just fine, too. 

We don't want to feel alone. And maybe something you'll say will be idiotic.  I've read a lot of advice columnists, and I've read people's reactions and, in my opinion some over-reactions, to what may have been good-meaning people.  It is a risk.  And maybe you won't get the response you expect or want.  (I've read people upset because they never got a "thank you" for flowers sent as condolences... um, it isn't about YOU!)  But take the risk.  Send someone "big hugs" and risk the snarky reply (it is now a joke between me and this tweep, and at least from ME it isn't seen as 'patronizing'... (I hope?!))

It is easy to withdraw when someone is having a hard time.  It is scary to engage and become involved, even if peripherally.  And it is really hard, sometimes, to know what to say.  But it's okay even just to say that.  "I don't know what to say, but it really sucks you're going through this."

I know that I fall on the great platitudes - which from a distance are often just platitudes: "If you need anything..." (although when close by, people often try to anticipate what you might need, and this is why we have a great tradition of bring casseroles to people in need... it's their way of helping).  Some that may seem like platitudes, but might mean the world, "I'm here if you need a shoulder to cry on, or if you want to talk."  "Big hugs"

SOMETIMES, a joke might help - but you have to tread carefully here.  But a laugh or a distraction from the situation can be also welcome. 

Advice is a tricky thing.  It may be needed and even wanted.  But recognize that most times, there isn't anything that can be done, your advice has already been given, they are too overwhelmed to hear anything at the moment, or your advice will come off as patronizing - as if they don't know what to do.  I struggle and give way too much advice sometimes, I know, because I feel helpless.  But I know from both sides of the conversation, that often advice is not what is being sought.  Pay close attention as to whether it is wanted at that moment, if you go that route, and pay attention to whether it's being appreciated.  Usually, what we want most is just to be comforted and to not feel alone. 

Be careful, too, sharing your own horror stories.  If the horror story you are relating is something they might still have in front of them, it is probably not helpful.  Sharing that you understand what they are going through can be helpful, but be careful with the detail.  You may have accepted something in the situation that they are not yet ready to accept.  I have been cruel, lately, to one friend who keeps telling me the most recent shitty thing that her soon-to-be-ex is doing, and trump her with something really crappy my ex did.  SOMETIMES it is good to let someone know it could be worse, but you have to be careful not to be dismissive of them feeling crappy at their own situation.  I usually use it with a smile on my face meant to amuse her, and with this particular friend, I feel comfortable doing so (we'll see if she tells me after she reads this how much she hates it, but hopefully she won't do it publicly in the comments).  Usually we just end up laughing -as best we can - at how crappy people can be. 

Last night, another friend of mine wrote me a two word text "It's done."  And while I did confirm that she wasn't referring to dinner, I had a good idea what she was talking about.  Two words... does she want to talk about it? Or just letting me know and needs to retreat now? Do I ask specific questions and MAKE her talk about it? Or is she numb?  If I were there, I would just pull her into my arms and hold her and wait for her to let me know what else she needed.  But from 3,000 miles away, I feel helpless.  In the end, I gave her three options:  If she wanted to talk about it, we could.  If she wanted a distraction, I could provide that, too.  And if she wanted me to, I'd just sit there quietly next to her (virtually) and hold her hand. 

But the bottom line is say anything and let them know that you care, and remember that this is about them and not you. 

Any other advice or thoughts from folks who have experienced a hard time and what you want others to do or not to do?  What gesture did someone make to you that you found heartwarming, helpful, supportive?  Please share your stories with those of us who never know what to say...

If you like this, stick around and read other entries.  Hit a few on the right that are favorites, or go to the home page of the blog, and read from beginning to end.  Take a moment to send me some feedback.  Thanks for coming.  Please come back soon. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


Oh my, and one of the BIGGEST reasons I came away from this weekend thanking God that I was still single was all of the time that I spent WAITNG for others!  I mean, being single, the only person you are waiting for is you.  When you're ready to go, you, um, go?

It's pretty simple. 

It's not that I never wait in my life.  I do.  And I didn't mind the "waiting" when I was ready before the time that we said to go happened.  But the text messages at that time, or worse, after, that said "Fifteen more minutes..." when I was already waiting in the lobby.  Given that my room was across the hall from them, I finally trained them out of this "Meet in the lobby" crap and told them just to knock on my door when they were ready to go.

But MAN did I have to WAIT a lot this weekend! 

If you like this, stick around and read other entries.  Hit a few on the right that are favorites, or go to the home page of the blog, and read from beginning to end.  Take a moment to send me some feedback.  Thanks for coming.  Please come back soon.


Or more aptly titled, the joy of being single? Perhaps.

I understand in long term relationships - and maybe even in short-term relationships - a certain amount of bickering will occur.  Certainly with the long-term ex, we bickered quite a bit, and it worried my ex considerably.  In hindsight, perhaps she had a point. But at the time, we began to notice when we spent time around other couples that we weren't the only ones that bickered.  That bickering was, perhaps, a price to pay for having someone by your side all the time.  That and having someone at your side all the time was the price to pay!

I have recognized in the three years since we parted ways that I have developed certain sensitivities and over-sensitivities from that relationship.  When I hear one partner belittling another, it sets the hair on my neck to high alert.  When one is being disrespectful of another, I get anxious.  I am very sensitive to the signs that while someone may love another, that love may still not be quite healthy.  For either party.

Bickering is bound to happen when you take two (or more) independent people and spirits and try to make them into a single unit.  This is true with romantic couples, and true in other social gatherings with a purpose.  (Go to any board meeting of any local sports group, charity, parents group, etc, and there's bound to be some bickering in there).

I heard a bit of bickering this weekend - and I listened to the tone of voice.  One party seemed prepared to bicker no matter what was said by the other party.  And I have been in that position - there's one guy who I don't care what he says, it will annoy me, even if it is how nice I look today.  But also the response of the other, or if there was poking or prompting of bickering.  Who was escalating, and who was diffusing? If any.  And over what were they bickering?  Was it something that would actually save twenty minutes in traffic, or was it over something that didn't matter if either or both were right?  Such as, "I like salt." "Well, I like pepper".  (Bad example, but go with me here.. )

I found this weekend that I really didn't miss bickering.  That I really don't like bickering.  At one point, I was joking - but really quite serious - from the back seat of the car and told them that the kids don't like it when Mommy and Mommy fight.  Even though they weren't "fighting", the tension with their bickering made me tense.

And it made me appreciate being single even more....

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The Art of Happiness

In the book "by" the Dalai Lama discussing the art of happiness, one of the keys to happiness is quite simple:  increase the number of things in your life that bring you pleasure, and decrease the things in your life that don't.  (I use "by" because the book is written by this other guy, clearly in his own voice, about his discussions with the Dalai Lama on this topic, so the underlying ideas are his, but ... well, that's more than you need to know)

Yes, I'm simplifying things, and I don't think the Dalai Lama will mind too much because he seems to think that the secrets to life are very simple, so...

This weekend I had a stark reminder of how that works.  One of the group of friends I went to visit, I have known since college.  Let's just say that time has not been her friend.  And I wonder, as I type now, if she was as bitter in college when I first knew her as she is now, and I just didn't notice and it's be amplified by time, or if this is something life has given her in the last 20 or so years.

Because she is not a happy person.  And, as the Dalai Lama instructs, I do feel compassion for her.  I wish I could find some way to uplift her mood or outlook on life, but I do realize, at the end of the day, that's not my job or responsibility.  Or perhaps, sadly, possible. 

There was a group of us all together, so we didn't always spend all our time all together.  And in reflecting about the weekend, I find that I really enjoyed the time this weekend when she wasn't around, and I really didn't enjoy the time this weekend when she was present.  Now, I hate reaching that conclusion.  It saddens me tremendously.  But, I also respect and acknowledge it. 

And I realize that I will limit the responses to invitations from this friend to small bits and not large ones like a full weekend in the future.  I will meet them for dinner, where I can escape after a lovely meal catching up.  But I will not plan on spending a long evening with them where I feel trapped and unable to escape her negativity. 

I'm not sure I can necessarily capture in any greater detail or specificity what it was about her demeanor this weekend that turned me off so much, and I'm not sure for the purpose of this post that I need to.  But I did appreciate the CLEAR illustration of the Dalai Lama's principle of reducing or removing things in your life that do not bring you happiness.

Share your stories about toxic people in your life, and think about who you might need to spend less time around in order to be happy and not dragged down to their level of unhappiness.

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The Need for Pride?

WARNING - I am pretty sure, I'm going to be slightly politically incorrect somewhere in here.  I haven't written this as I write this warning, but based on what's going on in my head, do not enter if you are overly sensitive.  Or if you do, and you get offended, well, don't say you haven't been warned.

I admit that when I lived in the BIG cities where Pride is huge, I didn't necessarily feel the need to go every year.  In fact, I didn't go every year. 

When I lived in San Francisco, I'd go to the dyke parade the night before, but that was, well, simply hoping to pick up a dyke.  There were a lot to choose from, so I hoped maybe one might plop into my lap.

When I lived in the LA area, I went once or twice, and then only specifically to meet with friends who were in town.

The first year I came out, I lived near DC.  And Pride happened on Father's day.  As interested as I was in going then, I deferred in honor or out of respect for my father, who was a little anxious for my safety.  As this was back when caveman knuckles still dragged on the ground, I can appreciate his concern.  And either way, it was an inexpensive gift.

Once I figured out I was gay, there wasn't much of a closet for me.  In college, I had come out to the entire school my first year by October.  (When I do things, I kinda do them big sometimes!)

I am not a "big fan" of Pride.  This doesn't mean I'm a detractor, yet.  But I guess the reason I don't need Pride is that I live Pride every day. 

Pride provides a couple of key things.  One, it gives people who might otherwise be in a closet on occasion a chance to be out and proud and feel accepted (except by those haters on the corner telling us that our party will end in flames... but we ignore those people).  Two, it gives people a chance not to feel alone - to realize that they aren't the only gay person in the _____ [fill in the blank - world, city, etc.]. 

Both of those contribute to someone feeling proud about themselves - they don't have to hide, and they feel supported that they aren't alone.

I've never really needed it because I don't know HOW to hide (fool!) and for the most part I haven't felt so alone.  I admit, living in small town, it was nice to be amongst my people this year.

So why did I go?  To meet old friends who DO go every year.  In fact, they were some of the friends I met up with in LA that year I went.

Now understand that I don't begrudge or intend to belittle at all anyone who likes or enjoys or needs or wants Pride.  And like any gathering of people, it's a great time to people watch, and people exhibiting "Pride" also tend to "exhibit" a whole lot more (particularly, in San Francisco).  - and that can be fun to watch, too.

But as I woke up this morning, I thought about what it would be like if other groupings or "affiliations" got together for "pride" parades.

I mean, if we got together for White Pride, they'd call it a KKK rally.  If we got together for Black Pride, well, let's face it, the cops would be called, and those folks over at the White Pride parade would be scared.  Irish Pride works only on March 17th, and that's really mostly because they share all that beer.  German Pride would scare all the Jews.  (Although, if they, too, shared their beer, they might be more acceptable).  It would be silly to have a long-hair parade, or a ten-fingers-parade.

And yet, to me, all of these things are inherent qualities of who we might be as individuals.  I understand the need to not feel alone, and I understand the need to let others see us when we otherwise feel invisible.  But I pray for the day when we won't "need" a Pride parade.  When every day will be a pride parade, and everyone will know who we are and not think twice about us. 

Until then - Happy Pride season everyone.  Go hug your favorite gay person and remind them you love them just the way they are.

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For those of you who have been wondering where I have been the last couple of days, and why I have been quiet it is because I went to the Big City for Pride weekend.  Anything profound SHOULD wait until tomorrow after I've had a good night's sleep in my own bed... but I'm still awake and a bit of an insomniac, so who knows what might come up in the next few hours.

Don't worry, though, I have plenty to share with you.  Apparently, I'm at 100 posts - although that includes some random drafts, so I have to keep writing to get there. 

Good night, my readers.  More fun to come.

Quote of the night from listening to the Bloggess read from the introduction and first chapter of her book. "I take my vagina with me everywhere.  Like my American Express Card."  Take that Michigan lawmakers!

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Those Amish Swingers..

.. I tell you my blog is getting more attention thanks to those Amish Swingers than I know what to do with.  Two recent searches show up in my stats: "Amish Swingers" AND "Hot Amish".  Hey, just because they swing doesn't mean they're "hot"... well, except in this weather, without air conditioning and all, maybe they are. 

People amuse me so...

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There was a time in my life when I gave out endearments quite sparingly.  I only used them addressing my significant other, and outside of that, they often felt strange.  Even the first time I called my S.O. "Sweetie" may have felt a little foreign to me...

But then I spent a lot of time with someone who uses them quite freely, and before I knew it, for some reason, they have come rolling off my tongue.  Maybe it's more acceptable here in the midwest, where everyone is a "hun", or a "sweetie", but I find myself using them without care, without regard.  Almost, even, without notice.

It took awhile before I could call anyone else "Sweetie" after calling one person only "Sweetie" for over ten years.  For a brief period that seemed like a special nickname reserved only for her.  Except, of course, by that time she had been anything but sweet.  That name seems to have lost it's taint, and now it comes out along with "dear" and "honey".

In the spoken word, I have had it pointed out, though, that whenever I go to use the word "honey", I apparently use it in quite a patronizing way.  "Now, honey..."  Ever since someone has told me that, I am amused when I hear myself about to use the word "honey" and I often think twice about what I was about to say and how.  "Hun" does not have that patronizing use.

I admit that I tend to stick with the basic generics.  But I know there are people who come up with more creative nicknames and endearments.  Feel free to share below.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

What's on your bed?

If you're single, like me, let's face it.  Unless we are sleeping in a twin bed, we don't sleep in the whole bed.  And so, sometimes, things accumulate where we don't sleep.    Yes.  We'd like it to be a hot sexy person in that extra space, but since that person isn't HERE, well, we find substitutes don't we.

Typically I fall asleep with my laptop on my bed.  I have gotten comfortable enough to know that I won't roll over and knock it off the bed in the middle of the night, and I know how close to the edge I can have it and be safe.  So waking up with that next to me, or my phone, isn't so unusual for me.  Sometimes my glasses don't quite make it to the nightstand either - although I *do* worry about breaking those.  All things not so unusual.

The other morning, I woke up snuggling next to my wallet.  I'm not quite sure what that was about, but it happened once more, too. 

This morning, all those friends are there - although the wallet was closer to the foot of the bed than in my face staring back at me saying, "Good morning, Sweetie" like it did the last two times.  I have an unopened bag of chips that has been there for two nights.  I guess it's there just in case of emergency, and there hasn't been a chip emergency yet.  My keys are in bed with me - not a usual companion, but there you go.  My glasses case also near the foot of the bed, with my sunglasses resting safely inside.  Some loose bills, a thank you card for a graduation gift, and of all the stuff, this is the one I'm most ashamed to admit, a Ziploc baggie with the leftover packaging from a roll of cookie dough.  There's also an ice pack that I keep for my laptop which tends to run hot, and those laptop fan thingies never seem to help. 

Looking around, I see also, that I missed a ball point pen, too.  On other occasions, if I have been playing with, um, toys, they'll be here, too, but last night that wasn't the case.

What was the case, clearly, is that when I came home last night, rather than empty my pockets out on to a table, as I usually do (or several tables), I clearly just emptied it out at the foot of the bed, and never moved it. 

While I may not make my bed every morning, I usually do clear it off - although the emergency potato chips seem to be a clear exception.

What strange things do you wake up to in bed with you?

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Married Women Like Breasts...

It's true.  I've had a handful of married women* tell me somewhat recently about how much they like breasts (because more than a handful *would* be a waste).  It's this pattern that I've noticed, and I must admit, my basic reaction is this:  "Good, because I do, too, and by the way, I have two.." (thinking really, completing that sentence, "I have two you can play with...", but I keep that to myself until I have more information...)

I just find it amusing, and so I had to share.   I admit that I have tried to use this information with varying success.  I hate to admit - because someone will call me on my line - that I have asked more than one of them what it is they like about breasts, hoping that the conversation might take me, er, us somewhere fun.  I mean what are you supposed to say to a woman who tells you she likes breasts? It wasn't like below I *asked* them first.  It was information that was just volunteered to me - I figure they told me for a reason, right?

So, if there are any other married women out there who want to share with me how much they like breasts, they can be bold and comment below, or even bolder and send me a private e-mail.  Just be aware, I might ask you what it is you like so much about them...

* One of them, I do have to admit, is getting divorced, and ideally won't be a married woman much longer, AND, I did know her (in the Biblical sense, yes) as a lesbian before she realized she might actually be bi and got married, so I admit that including her in my pool of married women who like breasts (Ah, doesn't that sound interesting, a pool of married women who like breasts? I'm ready to jump in... ) may be skewing the stats a little.

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Lost Threads...

It is easy as a blogger to sit and stare at that blank screen looking for inspiration.  To write that one witty blog post that will get everyone talking, and retweeting like that age old Breck ad (please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers the "and then they'll tell their friends, and they'll tell their friends... " ad..).

That is the dream of the golden egg at this stage in a bloggers life (later, we'll have hopes to be like Jenny and go on book tour, but that is getting WA-A-AY ahead of ourselves, and frankly expects that we decide not to be anonymous after all, and that's a whole other set of questions.

Anyway, it is easy for us to have writer's block.  Or to start several posts and have them get nowhere, as I described in this post about dykes, insanity, relationships, romantic

Fellow bloggers, please take a moment to tell me below what you do to get out of your slump.

I've been fortunately, lately, riding high on a wave of Twitter (who knew it would happen?) that I have been fairly prolific recently, but I have been listening to a friend the past few evenings struggling with writer's block.  And wishing - as I always do no matter what problem a friend may have - that I had the magic pill to fix the problem.  Maybe because of all the problems she's going through, that's the one I'm most likely to have a real solution for - and yet, I haven't provided her with one yet.  (Here it is!)

As bloggers, when we write, we have the great landscape of what we want to talk about out in front of us.  We recognize that we can't tell you everything at once.  Leo Tolstoy tried that once in this short little novel War and Peace but I'm not sure how many people he actually managed to tell his whole story to.  (I've read the first 150 or so pages, and it is interesting, and I'd be curious to pick it up again, as it was 25 years ago that I first tried to read it.  My father when he separated from my mother took that book with him - supposedly in his head it was going to be what he accomplished but the last time I had asked him about it, he never finished it.  I'm not sure if he cracked it even). 

Bloggers, surprisingly, don't want reading their blogs to be as challenging as Mt. Everest, unless, of course, that brings hundreds of thousands of readers.  But the reality is we want you to stay. 

So even though we have this vast landscape of ideas of things we want to tell you about, we know we can't dump it all into one blog entry. Otherwise we'd be book writers.  But we see it as we write about just a small portion of what we want to tell you about.  We know it's there, so we hint at it "Ah, but that's a blog post for another day."  "Oh, that's a story of itself"  "Continue reading, I'll address that in a later post." 

In our heads, it's all mapped out beautifully and ready to go.  On our computers? Not so much. 

So I suggest to those of you bloggers who are feeling empty of ideas of what to write about, that you go back and re-read your own blog to see what you hinted was to come, but hasn't yet come, and perhaps find a topic there that strikes your fancy, your imagination, and most importantly, your fingers. 

Good luck.  I can't wait to read more of your stories...

P.S. Bloggers? Don't be afraid to use my blog as a place to tell me about yours.  Until I start getting over 100 comments a day to this post (a girl can dream) I promise to go look at every blog that is mentioned in the comments below.  Go for it.  And keep writing.

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There is a "joke" response that I've often given when I've heard someone express frustration over their mother.  "Why is it that she can seem to push all my buttons?"  To which I give them the classic line (and I'm sure it's not mine originally), "Because she installed them."

I have been trying to write a post for some time now about button pushing people, and figuring out which buttons it is that are even being pushed.

Yesterday, for example, I saw the train coming.  The headlight heading my way as the train approached.  I had plenty of time to step out of the way, and even made one half-hearted attempt to do so (although when I made it I thought it was full-hearted, but clearly was not).  But somehow I found myself caught in the light, stuck in the track and unable to get out of the way of this train that tried to steam-roll over me. 

At some level, I remained detached.  Unlike other interactions with this person before, I did not lose control of myself, but I did seem to easily lose control of the situation.  Unlike before, when the train came from behind and I was completely surprised by this person, I saw it coming.  But I still couldn't step out of the way.  Why couldn't I let people behave idiotically if they chose to do so?  What compels me to point out the error in their logic?  Do I really hope to change their mind? 

As I've written before, I am a church-going person.  I admit that circumstances wouldn't have to be so much different for me NOT to be a church-going person.  A lot of why I go is for the sense of community.  And I have become very involved, so extracting myself, at this point, would be difficult.  But I have found myself dreading Sunday mornings lately because of one parishioner who knows how to ring my bell - and not in the good way. He walks in the door, and already I'm annoyed.  He can never answer a direct question.  He can never accept a simple answer.  And, I concluded last Sunday, the reason he annoys me most is that he has or at least shows little respect for me. 

I like to think that I am a reasonably decent person who treats other people, well, reasonably decent.  I don't expect people to kow tow in front of me and lick my boots.  I don't hold myself in such high (over-inflated) self-esteem.  But I don't expect people to walk all over me, either.  I expect, surprisingly, to be treated reasonably decent. 

Now I understand that I can provoke someone with the best of them.  And if someone responds upset to something provocative by me, I can respect that.  I can even respect an irrational response.  But it makes a difference, in the end to me, whether someone can back up and try and understand their own response, and articulate to me why what I said or did upset them.  If they can, at some point, step back and evaluate the situation and try to resolve it rather than escalate it. 

I can even half-heartedly accept a half-hearted apology - "Sorry, woke up on the wrong side of the bed"  We all over-react, and sometimes don't even understand our own over-reactions.  And there will even be times when we won't see it.  Over time and experience with you, I can learn to understand and accept that.  And even in the beginning, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. 

I work hard at giving the compassion the Dalai Lama states is the secret to happiness.  But, I admit, in return, I expect or hope an attempt at compassion for me from you. I don't think that is too much to expect. 

And apparently, those who can't give it, have found a button in me that they can push. 

If you like this, stick around and read other entries.  Hit a few on the right that are favorites, or go to the home page of the blog, and read from beginning to end.  Take a moment to send me some feedback.  Thanks for coming.  Please come back soon.