March 29, 2007

If you want a cure for the whines and non-wintery blues an easy solution is to drown yourself. I have done it successfully over the past two months and have not been able to hold me head above water long enough to catch my breath. I have been a crazed soul. I swore I was feeling blah and then turned around sixty days later and could no longer remember the passing days of February and March. Blah turned into a whirl. I can’t say a breeze because that implies ease and something like porches and ice tea. There was none of that. There was chaos, depression and anxiety. There was stress, happiness and excitement. There was anger, frustration and exhaustion. Pick an emotion and I had it. We bought a house. Which makes two. A house and condo. So now we carry two mortgages and I consider myself a land lord. Well hopefully one as we try desperately to rent it out. Which is stressful, and annoying and entertaining, with more stories to come. But something I have complete faith in. Until I am proven wrong. But lets just assume that won't happen here. Will ya?

I have to hope to god that I make a good landlord, in that not a thing goes wrong and I silently cash those checks every month. Please please please let that be the case. Because in the two years I have lived there, I have not had as much as a toilet over flow, and I know how to over flow a toilet. I count not the leak, because that was external. So let us continue on this wonderfully perfect home ownership streak. At least so long as a nice unassuming renter squats there.

Well this also means we moved. In one month's time. We packed up and moved. Organizing and arranging such was for lack of a better word, awesome. In the way the bible describes awesome, like awe inspiring. Or really really crappy. You take your pick. I am not going to bore you with brown boxes, packing tap, and sweaty men, who are set to arrive this weekend. No not those kind of sweaty mean either. But this takes time and effort and infinite patience. None of which I actually own or come close to possessing on a good day. So I become Glinda the not so friendly totally evil maniacal I hate you so very much bitch. Which is exactly what Magoo wants when he is making big purchases and deciding things, like moving places with people. I mean who does not want to live with such a princess? Which again made our whole world a wonderfully peaceful candy cane filled joy.

I got a new job. Yeah because changing addresses and zip codes was not enough for us all. That in between all this I was on a mad pace to interview in any law firm that showed me some leg or cleavage. Because I was a whore. And I would’ve accepted any one of these jobs even if they paid me $9.73 per hour and asked me to pay for my computer usage time, which you know is a lot. Because I needed to get the HELL OUT OF DODGE. That was a burning building and I was not going to be taken down with it. Not when I was made to feel so incompetent for too long. Not worth it. Not worth it at all. I knew it and had known for a long long time. But the gun was loaded so I was at point blank. It just so happened to be when I bought a house and moved. Yeah so timing is not everything. But it sure feels good to be leaving this address. The new one is scary and anxiery filled, again more about that later, but rest assured it was the right and proper decision.

Lets also throw in the dentist. Whom I love. Or love to hate. Every ounce of my being is consumed with anxiety over my visits. And there were plenty of visits leaving my wallet infinitely lighter, so there was plenty of anxiety. Plus a solid near week of no food or conversation, following the gum surgery. While not anxiety per se it was stressful and tiring none the less, as eating and talking are pretty much by existence. Which was impressive during these days when my anxiety was devoted to prepping and waiting for potential employers to call me back and tell me they love me. Or in reality, not. Since I went on 76 interviews before I found the one. And when all my remaining energy has actually been spent renewing insurance policies, paying taxes, finding a renter, packing clothes and ordering movers. So that does not leave a lot of spare time to fully loathe the dentist in the proper way that he deserves. But I did. I managed to squeeze it in while cursing under my breath how much I despise moving and what a *(!#*($U@# my boss is. Not that I don’t curse, but the use of the expletive is necessary as words can’t adequately describe my emotions. Which is impressive as I am expressive as well. It is just that bad. Take my word. Like I said, not too terribly sad to say good bye.

That’s all. Not really. But that is all I have time to think about and detail. We all know that is not all there is in life. There are vet appointments, and manicures, there is time to exercise and go to the grocery store. Birthday parties. Anniversaries. Yoga, tennis games, manicures and dog walking. Friendships. Families. Phone calls. Oil changes. E-mails. Paying your bills. Making dinner, sex and sleep. There is life. So that is not all, it is just the tip of the ice berg and the major giant sized glaciers that were ramming themselves into my life making me realize that I had no such animal as winter blues. And making me recognize that this is truly what life is. Especially because it is now spring and I look forward to the renewal and new life. It means wonderful pastel colors, flowers, and sunshine. The weather is perfect here and there is so much good to look forward to. So much to dig and plant. We will grow in this new house and I will thrive at my new job. I would disgust you with the story of my new gums. But know that there is growth there as well. It is the time for renewal and changes. Every one of them will be good and positive. It is time to stick your toes in the grass, dream, and marvel at what life gives you. It is time for porches and ice tea. Finally. Mine will have bourbon, because you know me and that's what I do. Because some things never change, no matter the zip code. But please just bear with me as I may not be around as much - anxiety, moving, and bourbon will do that to you.

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March 28, 2007

I sit at my desk crossed legged, even in a skirt, even with no skivvies on. I don't care. I need to be comfortable if I am going to be strapped to the chair for eight hours. Ew gross, sure. But it is behind a large oak desk, so I am flashing nobody. I just let it hang out. Isn't it most important that I am comfortable. Or are appearances everything? Do I really need to be a la-di-da lady with my door closed? Because I have an esquire behind my name and a plaque on the wall, does that mean I have to maintain certain pretenses? Can't I just be me?

We do our best to find ourselves. Our true selves. To just be me. But what society tells us to do gets in the way more often than not. It is impossible to filter. All our decisions and impressions come from outside sources. I know there is psychology on this. To the point you will disregard your whims. You don't even know you are doing it, a lot of the time. Gut instinct is dismissed when others voices are planted. They tell you to go ahead do it, don't feel that way. We can convince ourselves of anything.

But we have to make sure those conversations don't detour from the original purpose, the one where you need to know what is good for you. The chorus of opinions offer advice, that may talk pretty, but they cannot over power your inner voice. Not to the point where you can no longer understand where you lay. You came to the table with an idea and a notion. But now the multiple voices have drowned out those thoughts. It has become a jumbled mash of mixed up ideas. Almost impossible to tell what yours were and doubly impossible to determine if they were "right". But we all know there is no right. Not when you are trying to be you. Because it is just you. There is no wrong, so don't go there either.

Go where you want. Do what you want. Offer advice and take it, but only if you can handle it. Only if it is meant to be processed and refined to match your ideas. You have opinions and beliefs. It is you after all. Go with those. You are the only one who is going to know 'em, to truly without pause know them. You are going to be the one who has to live with 'em, at the end of the day it is your head that has to hit the pillow. Make it so you enjoy it. Because in the end it is just about being you. Sitting comfortably crossed leg at your desk wondering if your secretary knows your ho hah is hanging out.


Won't You Be My Neighbor
March 26, 2007

I lived next door to Fidel Castro. In Miami in the 1990’s. I know the neighborhood can attest to this truism. At the house two doors down, the only non-ranch style house. It appeared to have two stories and the the purple Mustang in the drive. I suppose there is no accounting for taste. Especially in a house where a Cuban dictator lived. Who wouldn’t have thought that a bearded man wasn’t Castro? Not when we roamed the streets in army greens. My sister and I swear we saw a cigar, Cuban no doubt, hanging from his mouth and peaking out from the grey beard. In those days too, Castro’s prominence was questionable. The media never showed him and there had been rumors that he died. Well, we knew the truth, he was alive and talking leisurely strolls down 70th Avenue. Residing amongst millions of Cubans exiles and lapping in the sun of South Miami.

In Tampa we moved to the golf course neighborhood. New to us, but there were old school Southerners. Rambling homes with oak trees, brick streets, and Muffys. One next to us who spent her days at the Yacht club, drinking beverages with tonic and lunching. Or we would presume. Possibly mostly the beverages. As her husband later went bankrupt – which would drive me to drink. To welcome us to the neighborhood she “made” a peach cobbler. People like her make things by paying for them. She daintily crossed the lawn careful not to ruin her silk heels or trip over her alcohol. She warmly knocked and welcomed us. A kind gesture no doubt. But for the chunk of cobbler missing from the dessert. “Oh, my husband was hungry so I gave it to him.” Welcome to the neighborhood.

In a few days I get new neighbors. As we are set to move into a house in a new area of town. Yeah we are moving. (!) Out of the condo and into more space, where we don't need a storage unit and we have grass and a kitchen. We will have tables and not just one but a dining room one too. This means no more eating on the couch and and it means room to spread out and cook and relax. It also means I get to meet a new breed of people. To me they are like co-workers. You have no idea where they come from and they are bizarre and strange with some questionable fashion sense. Yet they are there daily and you spend significant amount of time with and near them. Some how they also become the fabric of your life. Weaving in and out and sharing their witticisms with you - often without a choice. You standing there awkwardly waiting to exit the conversation and be polite. They do make for good storytelling and insane frustration, but hopefully in this instance some good friends too. We all dream of those blocks with parties, friends, and wonderful street life. Or at least a lack of drama. Let’s just hope Castro and Muffy stay where they are.

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Afternoon Ladies
March 23, 2007

The last time I can remember being at home just watching TV was hurricane day. The anniversary of Katrina. When Ellen was too much - the tears were more than I could handle - I flipped to Oprah. It was late summer, August, and she and Gail were debuting their road trip. Now here I am several months later, home again, and it is part two and three of the road trip. Are the TV gods telling me something? Road trip? Girl time? Get out and see America? I am never home at 4. I always wonder about signs like that. Road signs if you will. Some kind of sign that I can figure out later. Maybe when I get some more signs or clarity. Because at least she appeared to have a true real time out on the highway. Her and Gail in love with the moment. God they are not gay - they are just true to life best friends dealing with the ups and downs holding hands and smiling all the way. They just seemed happy.

Now it is time for Ina. I am not sure why she is the Barefoot Contessa. She is one of my favorites. Magoo and I also love the decadence of Paula and her obsession with butter. But Ina is so soft spoken and always has a ton of references to our traditional Jewish foods, she could be my mom or my best friend. But what about her is Contessa like? Or barefoot for that matter? She is Martha Stewart-esque, minus the annoying over achieving aspects. Martha's attitude makes me feel bad about myself. That I don't own actual linens and that I don't iron them. Or even have a proper room for them. But who the hell really does? I doubt Ina does. She seems real and always in love with her friends. Martha has no friends. At least no real ones. But Ina seems to possess an Oprah/Gail ability to be happy and in love with her friends in the moment. It seems genuine. Martha is just a plain mean girl and we know what I think about that.

I continue by breaking up teeny-tiny pieces of bread to shove into my mouth. A snack. Uh yeah whatever. My co-workers are on the cleanse diet and in a sad way I am too. I know that the adage that if you chew your food slowly and in small portions you will become fuller. I know it because it happens to me. Three bites of oatmeal and I am done. I've gotta be down a few. I turn back to my TV lady friends and notice that they consume and enjoy. No cleansing diets for them. They love their food, both dedicating their shows to it. Well all three, lets throw Paula in there too; she is gentile, kind, funny and welcoming. And they all have shows. How 'bout that? They are warm, smiley, and successful. Open about the whole thing. But they hold onto those extra lbs - lovingly almost. Like old friends who just don't care. So I stop worrying. When my ability to chew is back I will enjoy the hell outta a burger. Surrounded by my friends. Maybe this attitude will give me my own show. Probably not, but at least it will make me smile and happy and I can embrace them, hold their hands, and laugh. That may mean we are gay but it does not make us gay. It just makes us happy.

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The Non-Grudge
March 22, 2007

I wrote this and minutes later my doorbell chimed. I peaked out and no one was there. I opened anyway and there were tulips. Sent from a dear true old friend. One who I met at the same time as the other, but whom I actually became and maintained a friendhisp with. By choice and not by circumstance. Who I have remained such even under circumstances. One of which passed not too long ago and that we were not too removed from dealing with. Though she still cared enough to send flowers. A quality we should all have in our friends and ourselves for that matter. But one I found he did not possess.

The bigger point is that I need to keep that in perspective. I do it all the time, not just with her. In a lot of my life and relationships. Forgetting the larger picture and living in the details. The moment of it all should not erase what has been done in the past, especially when it is voluminous. One time should not cost us the total love. We all fail. We all make mistakes. Some are unintentional. Which is equally as wrong and very difficult to swallow. But so long as those times happen with infrequency we can continue down the rose garden of friendship. It is when the wrongs out number the rights or they are just so wrong that we put the friendship down. At least we should. But that was not the case here. I just needed a drill to my mouth and a mystery doorman to remind me of it.

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The Grudge
March 20, 2007

I have a sick day and a new friend helped me by sending some exercises.


We were not those kinds of friends that were considered us to be old. We considered ourselves to be good though. At least at one point. Having been there during a time when we both needed the company. It bonded us together until that necessity stopped needing. At least I learned that later. We pretended to continue to need, but we actually didn’t when we first met and we no longer do. So it has been easy to keep the grudge. It was my way of holding on and my way of taking control. As if admitting that our true friendship was gone. We had known each other for years before, never bridging a friendship. Not until we had to and then we needed to. So when those times passed it was not surprising the friendship ended with it.

I invited him to a party. I don’t have them for this reason. I can’t handle the rejection. The idea that no one will show up. That people will pass on something you are thrilled about wanting to do to; show off your home, your food and your love by inviting them in. And they say no. No to all of those things and no to your ego. Well he didn’t have to, he said yes. He just did not show up. Or call. Or apologize. Or call again. Not for several weeks at least. And then there was a failure to mention any of it. I was tremendously hurt. I put myself out there, and as my friend he agreed to it. By not showing, he showed me he failed to care. To even garner enough respect to cancel or apologize or make up a lame sickness excuse.

With him though I was not terribly surprised. This was not too far from his norm. I had come to expect this response. Which really was the problem, not the party. It is never really about the party is it? To me, it is not what friends were made of. But yet we maintained the pretense of a friendship, probably longer than we should have. So I held a grudge.

The truth was it had been dead for a long while for all those reasons. I could hold the grudge, but I was holding onto a long gone relationship. My way of ending something that was already on life support. This was my way of taking power over the situation and my feelings of loss, rejection and hurt. But his overall behavior that told me we were not going to remain friends. I couldn't do it with someone who didn't value me in that way. Didn't think about friendship in the way I try. Which is probably why were were not initial friends. Which was why this was never meant to be a long lasting one. Which was why were not supposed to be old friends. And why the grudge continues.

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March 19, 2007

I am without a doubt nervous. It creeps up on me and my hands shake, I have to catch my breath. The true literal meaning of it where it is taken from me and I have to dig deep to find it. Then I tell myself some calming thoughts. None of which are true, but they suffice to get me straight again. And they will have to do to get me into that chair. In the next several hours I will become more and more of a wreck. At times even holding my breath without knowing. Biting down hard and grinding. Which is what got me here in the first place. I decide to read about others reactions and procedures on blogs and in chat rooms. Then I decide it is too horrifying and gruesome. Maybe I would rather not know. Though in my calming exercises I tell myself that my anxiety comes from the unknown so I try to play out what they will do. Which is how I got online in the first place.

I also tell myself it is only thirty minutes and I try to capture thirty minutes of time to see how quickly they pass. But we all know when living through a personal hell those thirty minutes will last a life time. So I eat. Fearsome because I won't be able to later and I can't stand the thought of being uncomfortable AND hungry. But also to soothe my nerves. It keeps my busy, it makes me happy and it fills my belly, which feels empty and scared. I like the feeling of the hard apple against my gums, knowing I won't get that for days. Or longer, I just don't know. And I don't really want to.

The best thing I can tell myself is that I will get through it. That it will pass and it truly will be over in a matter of time. That at least I am getting it taken care of and I will no longer have to worry about it. But again, that does not a whole lot to ease the worries. And the closer the hour gets, the higher the anxiety level becomes.

I will tag this breathing, even though I really am not.


Even Stevens

As promised, the pictures. Also because I told Kevin this was blog worthy. So really it is mostly for posterity purposes, as I don't want to continue to rub in the blue skies. In a few short hours I am heading in for gum surgery. It is actually a graft where they take some from the bottom and move it to the top. A cut and paste job, if you will. So let's call it even. I have the weather, but I am bed bound and going to the dreaded dentist. Again. Plus my eating will be severely impaired and that is a huge concern of mine.

Saturday was billed as Gasparilla Part Two. Which mostly means sitting around and drinking as there was no parade. Though I am willing to guess as many drunks. And who really needs an excuse to drink? As if the whole St. Patty's thing is not an excuse in and of itself. Especially when the weather was just so.....remember we are even. No grumbling. We had a tremendous afternoon lazying around, eating, watching what else but basketball, playing with the dogs and celebrating birthdays. And did I mention drinking?

Sunday was the Tampa Yankees. Our spring training team. We managed to make it through five innings and a grand slam, before the real spring team played. There were as many Yankee's jerseys in that stadium as Gators. And they all needed to exit by 2:30 for NCAA action. Looks like it is time for the Sweet Sixteen.

Just send me wishes that mine will be sweet too. And remember we are even.


Green with Envy
March 17, 2007

Yeah so today is supposed to be about green and beer or whatever the Irish enjoy. And right now I am six or seven deep though mine is Canadian whiskey and the green is for MSU. No I have no lost it, I am a good sport. For that sport. We have a TV. As in a single one and it is that time of the year. So long as the beverages flow and I get access to the internet, I am good with the basketball. Well as good as it is going to be. Since I doubt two devout Gators would let me watch Sex and the City on a Saturday evening.

As for the afternoon. It again was gloooooorious. Sorry to the Northerners suffering through the March snow. But we got it good. Good as in the 60's with crystal blue skies. But for now you gotta take my word for it. Or maybe I don't want to make you too too jealous. Or it is just a lack of technnology let's be honest. More pictures and details to follow, promise. Not to mention that it will be equally as lovely tomorrow and there are more outdoor activities - involving sunshine, friends, and hops. Remember we live in a world of spring training.


Smell the Flowers
March 15, 2007

I have had the opportunity to leave work early these past few days. Which means 5 o'clock. Because of the time change as well, it has been glorious at that hour. Look at that blue sky. So Ginger and I have had the chance to take long walks around the neighborhood. Keep in mind in busier winter-y times it is dark and I am tired. But she gets to revel in the glory of my current status, as her tongue hangs out of her mouth by the time we get back home. Likely from all the energy exerted in sniffing out every piece of garbage in the 3 mile radius. Regardless, I have noticed the lovely flowers that have bloomed as a result of our Spring. I also like to think that, as a result of my current position, I am now in a able to stop and smell the flowers....

This one is actually growing on my back porch. It "bloomed" on it's own accord. It is actually an aloe plant that sprouted this flower.

I found these across the street, next to a parking lot and office building. I like to think Ginger helped these grow over the past few months.

The hibiscus are quite common in Florida, but still look exotic and lovely. The orange bloom in multiple layers.

Whereas the hot pink are vibrant and big.

And the lighter pink are softer and delicate. To be honest, I cannot verify if these are true hibiscus. But they sure are pretty.

I am not sure what these yellow beauties are either. They were one of only few blooms on a desolate tree. Quite lovely. I was able to snap them before Ginger's nose dragged me away for better scents - hers were not of the floral variety though.

Our neighbors down the street had these growing next to their fence. Ginger and I quietly trampled up to the side of their house to snap these.

These had a Christmas time feel to them, I think because of the colors. They were in a bed low to the ground. I was able to get that close to them as Ginger also used them for a "break", let's just say.

After all our scratching and sniffing, well mostly hers, she returns home happy and with a hanging tongue. I got my pictures, she got a cookie.

Now it is your turn to enjoy the great out doors and take the time to stop and smell the flowers.


Reason No. 637
March 14, 2007

I climbed into bed on top of a groggy man. He was half asleep, with an ESPN Magazine resting on his chest. Tired from a long day, allergy medications, and an alarm set to sound at 5:30. He mumbles I love you's. Half coherently. I ask him for one specific reason why. He complies with a sweet response and demands 10 kisses. I comply. Then I climb back off and head to the showers. Dropping my clothes to the ground on the way into the bathroom. I flip on the light and turn the faucets, only to be greeted by every ones worst nightmare. A cockroach, in the corner, near the toilet. I do what every Florida girl does, I scream. In 2.5 seconds, a sleepy Magoo comes running in. No further words are exchanged. I jump into the shower, closing the curtain for apparent safety. As if the that will protect me from the bug. He reaches for toilet paper, grabs the sucker, flushes him down the toilet, and stumbles back to bed. And that is the reason why I love him.


Spring Forward
March 12, 2007

Things I want to do:

1. Plant a garden/buy plants.
2. Enroll in the 90 day writers workshop
3. Make a lasagna.
4. Spend a weekend at the beach. Even just one
5. Print out and frame my photographs.


Meaner Girls
March 09, 2007

I wrote thinking about those girls, from my past and wondered where they were. Then I got picked up over here , and a ton of comments . I spent time thinking about it and I realized I faced a modern day mean girl dilemma; are the associates in the offices next to mine just grown versions of the mean girls? I don't think so, but in a law cliche, the verdict is still out. The Nina's and Lisa's of the world were evil. They manipulated and plotted so that they looked good and made you feel bad. Real bad. Laughing about it the entire time. They pranked called and some how made you always feel like a sucker. I was left holding a phone and feeling like an ass, when in reality they were.

They were smart in that they understood what they were doing and how to execute. But I don't know if they were savvy. I think what differentiates them from aggressive people is the savvy. And I think what you find at a law firm, for the most part, is savvy. People doing what they can to get ahead, at what ever cost. It is not meant to hurt you, unless you are in the way. But it is not a direct attack. It is simply because you stand on their path to greatness. You can spot them as they never look at you, just through you in an attempt to get by you and to figure out how to do it best. And they just don't care. Their time, their ideas, and their shit is not only more important than yours but somehow they have made it not stink. They just push on and up. With no intent other than to make them number one. Don't be fooled they don't mean well though. They are still mean people. I guess that is the difference between an intent to harm you and just plain indifference. Again, I'll use the law, but it is the difference between first and second degree murder. How I remember that second degree murder is a depraved indifference to the value of human life, is totally beyond me. I can't even remember Magoo's phone number.

But the aggressive people out there have a goal and go after it. They may work hard or they may work smart. The mean girls just worked mean. They may have morphed into those aggressive types, but I think of them to be different creatures. Evil and ugly, but different. Which may mean my answer is no, they are not those kinds of mean girls.

Then I think. Does it freaking matter? They are all ill perceived, at least to me. And to most, as you all have so wonderfully pointed out. Making excellent calls about unhappy people and wrinkles. So who the hell cares what kind of mean they are? They are all people I can't handle and the reason just does not matter. I try to avoid acting like or associating with either breed. Of course the problem is they may be my associates. But it does not matter how you brand it, they are ick people. Unhappy with some extent of their life or just built with the aggressive, competitive, get-ahead gene. Either way they are not meant to be someone I associate with, at least not beyond the coffee room or Holiday party. I long ago moved away from Nina and Lisa. I was in a sorority and found the clump of people who had no tolerance for the crap. The other 40 some odd girls could have their Greek letters. There is no room for it. Really there is no need for it.

I went to law school and I litigate, so they are everywhere, especially in these corridors. But the bottom line is I cannot STAND people like that. Get over yourself and get a grip on being mean or meaning to be. Live a little and laugh a lot. Enjoy. That is, enjoy your time as a happy fun loving person. Breathe. You will see how much energy was wasted on the negative and the hateful. Being mean may be fun, but it is a crack cocaine high. One that lasts for a brief moment, is fabricated and highly dangerous. Not the natural high from the wind in our hair. Go out and enjoy that life and stop taking the time to get ahead or to hurt another. Enjoy your time enjoying.

So if they want to continue with it. Go ahead. I want no part in it. I am out enjoying my life, laughing at you, not with you, and kicking ass but not in the way that it hurts anyone, just in the way that it will make my glutes look killer.

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Big Chill
March 08, 2007

…. Labor Day weekend; the start of the holiday, the end of summer. Technically. The calendar said it was time to start school, roll out the tweeds, boots, and oranges and tuck away the swim suits, beach towels, pinks and flip-flops. But it was Florida and we had months of sun to enjoy, even if white pants were forbidden. There was still humidity to contend with. With the air conditioning cranked down to simulate cooler temps and in a nod to the impending fall, we cozied in. Sharing space next to each other, we sat crossed legged at the coffee table. Able to do so as the dog had been dropped off that afternoon, at Fuzzie Buddies, in anticipation of the holiday trip set to begin the next morning. Otherwise, food at that level was perfect for her grasp and guaranteed to be gone in an instant. So we relished the holiday away from the jaws of a 30 pound beagle and set out three types of cheeses, apple and pear slices, dates and nuts accompanied by chicken finger slices. You insisted on them as their smell always permeates the Publix parking lot and draws you in. Normally abiding by the rules of the diet, this time though, you gave in, using the holiday as an excuse for gluttony.

There we sat, splitting a bottle of red and a movie we chose for the occasion. To me, nothing says the end of summer like The Big Chill. You had never seen it and it was on a list of such movies. A movie about friends on an unexpected holiday. I had seen it a dozen and a half times and memorized the soundtrack. It is really the music that makes that movie. Well, maybe not, maybe it is the acting and the actors. Or that compelling story line. Reminds me of my friends of the past and what I want from friends in the future. Well, minus the suicide and the adultery. But a compelling story and it draws me in no matter how many times viewed. Such a classically good movie, makes it impossible to pick one aspect that makes that stands out. It was chosen for all those reasons and more. I wanted to see those scenes through your eyes, seeing it for the first time. Which creates a new imagery and ideas. Sharing those with someone and learning their innocence. The essence of fall is present in that movie; the changing temperatures, the multi-colored leaves and football. That Michigan football game, is fall regardless of the state or decade. The outdated running shoes and hair do’s transcend the 1980’s and still today portray an spirit of fall. Those emotions tumble together into the first days of school, a slight crisp in the air, browns showcased on the cover of Vogue, new TV shows and football Saturdays. All kept me entertained with the memories of such. Smiling contently from those ideas and from the warmth of the wine, cheese and my company.

At the same time it all brought me to tears. During I Heard it Through the Grapevine, a small whimper of a cry forms. Tiny drops I was able to keep private. Even hidden by a smile and a few seconds of singing along with their performance. But by the end of the number, I sobbed and held my face in my hands. My chest heaved and loud sobs emanated from my throat. You looked over fearful you missed something to cause my convulsions. But this was not something; this was the moment of it all. We’d created a strong sense of peace and contentment. So thoroughly at ease that I enjoy myself so much I tear up. That perfect place captured with a perfect scene, and not the scripted one portrayed on the T.V. It was this scene, this moment with our knees touching, holding hands, laughing at the movie. I wanted to live in that and wear around me like a warm blanket used on cool days next to fire places. I feel at home in the emotion and that moment, where tears form without knowledge. Just pure bliss. The kind that gives goose bumps, belly aches, and heart palpitations. The kind made for T.V. and longed for in our best dreams. I had all of that in my hands during that moment and it made me smile and weep all at once. Letting me create a present perfect memory of a new type of Labor Day. The temps were dropping, the time would change and we would fall forward, but that night I wanted to sit in those last days of summer and enjoy the emotional holiday before the vacation began the next morning. Before we moved away from summer.....

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Hot Pink
March 07, 2007

"I am so pale"
"Oh my god me too. I would love to pick this hot pink, but I am like so pale."
"We HAVE to go to the beach. Like now"
"Ahhhhh such a good idea!. Lets go to Boca Grande, like next weekend"
"Hell yeah. We are so going."
"Does this red make me look slutty?"

Scenes from a South Tampa nail shop one Friday afternoon in January. Scenes between two high school aged chickies. No older than 18, with no perception of the world. Really. None. Boca Grande? Tanning does not mean a three hour trip to an expensive island get away. Not at 17 and not on a whim. And not just so the barbie pink Essie nail polish will look better on your toes.

I sit and think if I was ever that bad. If I ever came across to strangers in such a way. I understand my lot and position and how I can be perceived. I know what it is like to be in a group with girlfriends, loud and unaware of people listening in. It can get out of hand and it can look, well, like a snotty mess. I am aware of that possibility and aware of what is going on. This seemed different as it smacked of indifference. A lack of understanding or appreciation of what was going on around them.

I have to think that in a Sweet Sixteen Laguna Beach world this type of open display of vapid wealth has been deemed acceptable. They see the shows and think that it is the norm. With little understanding how ridiculous they sound. How overly grown and yet totally unsophisticated they come across. But with disposable wealth at their newly painted finger tips. That when we watch the train wreck that are those shows, we laugh and point and shake our heads. Wondering how much is played up for the TV. How much is edited and prompted by the producers. And who really has parents that are willing to drown their kids in spoils, without realizing the repercussions of their actions. But I fear that when that generation, because yes this is a different generation, views these shows they look at it as examples. Of how they can and should behave. And that it is okay for their parents to provide them with every amenity. That there is no perception of reality, aside from what is splayed on MTV and a determination is made that this is what they want as well. With no grasp of the absurd nature. That instead of an understanding that these shows are ironic and are meant to point out just how ridiculous these kids actions are, the exact demographic embraces the life. They mimic it to the best they can and then display it openly as if proud that they resemble the spoileds of Orange County. Not fully realizing how they look or what message they are sending. Or what life is really like for these kids. No perception.

With no boundaries and endless wealth at 16, things are lost. And those things are ideals, morals, and values. Those come with boundaries, lessons, and earning things. We are taught by our parents and by looking to our peers. We learn lessons from their examples and the tough way, through failure. These roads are important to gauge yourself and learn trust. To experience, cry, pick yourself up and become stronger. Perspective is key to seeing all that and understanding the privilege as well as the struggle. But with the world in your Gucci wallet, it no longer matters what the rest of society deals with. It is not about learning lessons the hard way, because that has been paid for and bought. You can see only as far as the next manicure or tanning session. And as teenagers we are all short sighted and self absorbed. This is not going to change. But when the habit is fed with a bottomless pit of green, it knows no limits and can't possibly be learned. They are not going to recognize or see that this is not how the world functions. They are indifferent. There is no one and nothing to stop it and give them a reality check. Especially when reality TV shows that this is what is the norm. And that upsets me. Which is big coming from somone with a love for pink toes, tanned legs and MTV.

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Gum Disease
March 06, 2007

Anyone who knows me, who really knows, understands the depths of my fear of the dentist. Everyone claims to have some. Mine is probably clinical, like a fear of heights or spiders. This is hard core serious anxiety. My fear has made it so I try to take good care of the teefers. So I can avoid all procedures. The simple cleaning causes panic and stress for the two weeks leading up to it. Just the suction noise will irk me to the point of vomit. Fuck writing about it right now I am chilled and bothered. The drill is all sorts of unheard of. I can't even hear a drill without getting stressed about dentists in general.

Today I saw a periodontist. Gah. It is so awful even saying it. Magoo had to make the appointment for me. In a mind over matter method I drove myself there. Repeating a mantra to myself that it will not be that bad. Good thing I have a ton else going on that I couldn't let myself run away with the horrors. I tell myself, repeatedly on the 20 minute drive to Temple Terrace, that it is just going to be okay. I have to convince my mind that this is manageable. That 'there is nothing to fear but fear itself.' I need to get there mentally. Plus it was just an initial eval, to tell me what I already know. But it is just a quickie to go over the big details so there should be no invasive treatment. Of course the fact that I am en route to a dentist is enough to send me into cardiac arrest.

With that frame of mind I enter the office. I sit anxiously waiting for the terrorist, er doctor. He is a kind middle aged Bull Gator. He talks to me about New Orleans, attorney life and of course my health. I take it all in, probably breathing every third minute or so. This is all pretty routine for any doctor's office, but it still creeps the hell out of me. And nothing can prepare me for what is about to happen though. The entire staff was kind and understanding, and not in a condescending way. They seemed genuine. I found myself complimenting one's engagement ring, something I never usually do. The tech actually patted my arm when she could sense my anxiety. Mind you that came during a routine discussion about flossing. But the whole thing freeeeaks me out. The point is that they were so very soothing and comforting that they almost (I say almost because probably only a bottle of Xanax could really get me there) calmed me. At least they did so to the point that during the initial gum exam, I found the doctors finger in my mouth soothing and slightly erotic. He ran his hand through my gums and around my tongue with a latexed gloved finger. It felt warm and comfortable. I wanted to suck on it. And it was definitely a little turn on. From a 50 some odd year old dentist nonetheless. I have to think that my anxious emotion was transferred to him when the office was so soothing. That I found something new to ask for in the boudior. Bonus. But seriously they rocked and that takes a whole lot for me. I am still not over the fact that I have to go back and undergo a true procedure. But at least now I don't dread my March appointment. Plus they promised me sedatives, which is kick ass because it means I get fingered and good drugs. But no, I still hate the dentist. Hate.


March 03, 2007

I get words stuck in my head. Like songs, but just one word. Over and over again. Is it Rain Man? Or a stress technique to keep my mind occupied. Like counting. I have been a counter, counting cars, stairs and minutes. I did it on road trips to pass the time. And in class, well you know why. My ninth grade English teacher had a sign over the classroom clock covering the time that read, "time will pass, will you?". Clever, but did nothing to cure the boredom. But we were in school and it was meant to be borseome at times. Today the word is fideo. Yeah sure not just any old word like cheese, which it has been before, but fideo. I can tell you where it came from too. An article in Food and Wine that featured Ilan, the season two winner of Top Chef. His specialty, derived from his Manhattan based Spanish restaurant, were fideos. The article featured the recipe and he won praise for such on the season finale. Go figure. That was what stuck. Go figure that he would win.

What I am not struck by is Top Design. Blah. Blah with a side of vanilla blah. So goddamn boring and I will pretty much watch anything. Which means Bravo, you have effed this one up good. How could you fall so far from such greatness? Despite the choice of Ilan, Bravo has shown serious levels of greatness. But Top Design is a disaster. The camera work is nauseating, panning back and forth between the designers and their rooms. Todd Oldham is completely un-motivating and his voice borders on chalk board to nails irritating. There is no enthusiasm or interest like his counter parts. The three judges have about as much to say as, "yeah." No one offers insight or perspective on the design or decorating world. They point out such obvious things as, "design is subjective." Well kids that is not going to cut it. Not here when we need an hours worth of TV and we sign up to be entertained. Because the problem is all of these shows are subjective, but you gotta pick a winner. And as supposed leaders in your industry you should know a few things about such. You should be able to offer praise and criticism. Like what good taste is. Or how to well execute an idea or plan. Or the theories behind interior design. And how to make something not look like a bag of crap. But maybe that is subjective. All I know is that it has been booted off the DVR rotation. Because it bores me and I am no longer in 9th grade. Which gives me all the more time to repeat fideo over and over again.


Hamstrings, Perfect Men, and Birthdays
March 02, 2007

An E-mail

eb.:Is there anything you want for your birthday?

Rebe: humm- dont know. maybe cooking classes- but i cant commit to a certain time because i have lots of traveling coming up. maybe a new pair of legs for running. the perfect man? what do you have in mind?

eb: I am not going to tell you. I just wanted to know if there was anything my credit card could buy for you - 'cuz I am not sure I have enough credit to buy legs and I don't know if there are perfect men and if there are whether he would accept visa.

Rebe: Alright, how about looser hamstrings. i bet those are cheaper than an entire set of new legs. i actually like my legs, i just wish they were faster. ooh- how about some run faster potion. i bet they sell that on red envelope.

eb: Yeah I saw a two for one sale on hamstrings. which is good b/c you probably need two right?

Rebe: I would say so

To My Dear Sister - Happy 25th Birthday.

Here is to a year of perfect men, better hamstrings and 'run faster potion'. May all your dreams come true.


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