Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015 in LAX

It's been a year since I've been back here and nothing has really changed.  Oh there are a few new construction projects, but on the whole, this town is stuck in the twilight zone.   Opening presents in my hotel room on Christmas night was THE place to be.  First Daughter and her man Husband In Everything Except The Paper,  and First Son and his wife The Girl With No Plans and I surprised and delighted each other with the perfect gifts.  There was wine and snacks and playing of Times Up until First Son had to go to work.  We continued my favorite kind of get together, just talking together about our lives until it was time for everyone to get some sleep.  First son came back after the news show was complete and took everyone away.

And I was happy, basking in the afterglow of so much love from my kids.  The next morning First Daughter was up early to spend as much time with me as possible so I grabbed a taxi and we had a wonderful breakfast at The Breakfast Club and Pub.  A new restaurant that has an 80's theme.  SO of course I wanted to go.  Great food and of course great prices.  We did some window shopping.  Stopped into Def Ear to say hey to the owner and get my Sandman collection complete.  And to get the word out that I'd be downtown later at Yesterdays, one of my favorite bars. 

Then around 1pm First Son and The Girl With No Plans came to get us to hang out at their place until Husband in Everything Except The Paper was of work.  We played Exploding Kittens, a great card game and more laughter and conversation.  We had a quick Chinese dinner and then off to pick up our last party member and head to Star Wars.  Unfortunately when we got there it was sold out.  So we went downtown early to Starlite.  This was so fun to have martinis and munchies at another of my favorite bars.  But by 9pm we were all feeling a bit partied out.  So the kids dropped me off at That Guy's place for the partying with my friends to start. 

The plan had been to hang out there, gaming and watching movies and getting our pre bar party on, like we always used to do.  Then hit downtown and let everyone know I was really out.  Benny Sweat made an appearance to be sure he caught me, just in case I maybe did too much pre bar prep.  And guess what?  I never made it out of That Guys place until it was time to call it a night.  I was having a great time, don't get me wrong.  But I'm so out of practice, that when the stone wall hit me, it hit me pretty hard and pretty quick.  In my own defense I did get through two viewing of Fury Road while watching gaming at the same time, and hitting everything pretty hard.  I'm afraid my hard core partying days are behind me.  And while that might have let That Guy down a bit, it certainly did not let me down.  I had the best time, because I didn't get so drunk I had to be carted to the hotel or hung over this morning.  But just enough to have had a great time and build fond memories with my friends and family. 

I look at this as personal growth.  To know my limits and still have fun without regrets within those limits.  Those of you that have partied to access in the past know what I"m talking about.  And with that being said, while I've had fun at those times too, what you can remember of them, its much more fun to not wake with any guilt or regret and to know that all the fun you had was on your terms  I know this is how most of you operation normally, its just not how I operate normally.  I usually want to please everyone else first.  But not anymore.  Not since I left here and moved to the Windy City.  Now I'm doing me.  I'm pleasing me first, because I realize that it's my life, and the people that love me will love me more if I'm me, instead of being who I think they need.  Being who I need is more honest and real, and much more intimate. 

I love all of you that I was able to see, and thought of a great many of you that I didn't see.  Maybe next year.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Five More Days

Five days until Christmas!  Five days until I see my family again!  I'm so excited I really can't think of much else. Well except Star Wars.  If you watched The Big Bang Theory last week then you have an idea of how I felt watching the movie.  On opening night, I even texted both First Daughter and First Son a T-minus 15 minutes and counting text BEFORE I streamed the episode Saturday morning.  How embarrassing to be so publicly and correctly adapted from fact to fiction.  I'm a fan girl and I loved it.  But not as much as I love my kids. 

Its been since last Christmas, when I'd been able to see First Son, and his wife, The Girl With No Plans, but we talk almost weekly on line.  I can't wait to hug them and let my eyes drink them in.  And it's been only a few months since First Daughter moved back there but it feels like a year since I had a meal and talked with her about life.  And we text at least twice a week.  Seeing her and her Husband In Everything Except The Paper, again will be just as wonderful as the last time.  I wish I had more time with them, but a quick trip is all I can do this year. 

I'm sure even with a weekend together we will shove everything we can into those days and nights for the memories will have to last a year. 

I think this is the hardest thing about having children, watching them grow up and leave you.  Don't get me wrong I wanted my kids to move out when they grew up, tried to push them out the doors, but at the same time, those doors were always open in case they needed to come home.  Now as they are both approaching thirty or in their thirties, it seems my time alone is finally here.  It seems they would never need their old bedrooms, and quite frankly I moved away from them almost two years ago as well.  I'm am at the same time, proud of their successes and miss them both more than I can ever express in written form.

BUT in five days I will show them.  With all the love I have to give. I will listen and be empathetic to their dreams and lives and hold them and cherish them for who they have grown into being.  I will trust their decisions but be there to offer advice where I see they might need a different point of view, but as always I will only be telling stories.  Stories that hopefully shed light on their situations.  Or in other words I'll be the best parent I know how to be and have always been.  I'm one of the lucky ones, for I would pick my children to be friends if I met them on the street, and I know it's mutual.  So heres to five more days.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

We're Almost Half Way Through The Dark

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and I'm like a little kid.  Eight more days until the solstice and we'll be half way through the dark.  The days will start to get longer, and winter will come.  I can't wait to see my kids this year and catch up in person.  I love the internet but it's a sometimes sad replacement for actual human contact.  We have a very short visit but its quality time, and we will cram as much as we can into it.  I hope to catch up with That Guy and She of Little Combat Boots as well.  We will fly by the seats of our pants and party like it's 1999.  I plan on sleeping on the train. 

I'm so superstitious.  I know I wont need my laptop or a book.  But I've convinced myself if I don't pack them I'll need them.  For example:  If I don't pack my book the train will be late and I'll wish I had it to pass the time.  And If I don't take my laptop illness or work will prevent my family and friends from spending time with me and I'll wish I had it to pass the time.  You see where this is going.  Now I'm not really sure but I think I've been this superstitious all my life.  And its just about my intuition or my gut feelings if you will.  It's not about black cats or the number 13 or breaking mirrors or walking under ladders.  Not common stuff.  It's always about what my gut tells me and I'm usually not wrong. 

The strange thing about knowing this is, I don't always listen to my gut.  And when I look back I realize I should of even if it sounds stupid and outdated to believe in such things.  And I've been guilty of trying to shake off the feeling and chalk it up to an active imagination.  But I do believe in magic.  And I do believe in feelings.  And I do believe in wishes and positive thinking having power or negative thinking.  Some of you I know believe in prayer, and what is that but a deep wish and magic.  Aren't miracles magic of a sort?  A magic we may not understand or ever hope to duplicate? 

This is a magical time of year where miracles, or wishes, happen.  I know, I'm in the middle of a great wish coming to pass.  And with the new moon passing and the full moon coming at Christmas you can bet I'll be wishing.  Casting even.  Magic is powerful, and the energy you put out there comes back to you ten times.  So if you are a caster, or a wisher or a person who prays, keep it filled with love, keep it real, and harm no one.  Spread love, not only in this season but every day.  Lift your curses, and your negative feelings towards others and happiness will not only surround you but you will pass it on.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

For All Of You

They say death is the great equalizer, and I'm sure its true, but I'd like to believe that age is one too.  Unfortunately most people in today's society don't look upon the elderly with any real respect.  I guess it's always been that way with some, but in the past we held our elderly to a higher esteem.  We listened to their advice as hard earned experience, and welcomed their knowledge of history as it lived compared to how it was written.  But today it seems that the older you get the less useful you are to the younger generations.  I have found personally, that even with friends, when I'm telling them the truth as I see it happening to them, they don't listen or stop wanting to talk about it at best.  And at worst get angry and call my advice bad armchair psychology.  (Cue RUSH song). 

But as a friend, what they forget, is that I am only trying to help them not make the same mistakes I made.  Weather it is getting Crazy Girl Brain over a man who is perhaps acting like a boy, or just doing what he thinks is right for the moment.  Or when it's hiding the truth from themselves about a way that they are expressing themselves in a negative manner, always seeing the worst instead of finding the best they can. 

You see I don't give advice on topics or situations where I have no experience.  For I am on a journey too and learning everyday.  But when I see a friend or loved one going through something I myself have had to face, I can't help but try to give them some insight.  Usually I do it by telling them a story about my past.  But sometimes the need is so great that I have to resort to treating them they way they treat others.  Which almost always causes a temper tantrum.  And adult version but still the same type of acting out. 

Have I mentioned that I'm a nanny and I am not moved by temper expressed in any form?  Its my business to be good at defusing situations, and thankfully for me it has been a lesson learned from experiences.  Hard experiences.  And yes I can look back on all of my life and be thankful for those experiences.   Because I like who I have grown up to be.  Even if the road was sometimes dark and treacherous,  scandalous, or even when the road seemed to be deteriorating beneath my feet on an impossible up hill climb.  I always saw light at the end.  I hung on and reached out to hands willing to help me up and out.  With their hard earned advice.  I always found my way out and back to an easy path because on a basic level I am an optimistic person.  And I have faith in myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.  But that too was learned from tying.  Trying scary things that I never believed I'd be strong enough to do.  Like leaving home for the first time, having and raising children, divorce, surviving my parents deaths, moving to a new place and starting over--not just once but many times.  And I've had some very scary things thrust onto me, things I didn't choose that I also survived, like rapes, illness and lost loves. 

So having lived a full life, and knowing the fun's not over yet, I feel like I have learned some lessons, and I also feel its an obligation to pass on what I know to others that I love.  I welcome their stories and experiences, and don't understand why they wouldn't welcome mine.  But I find, with age, they do not.  So I've decided to just shut up.  I've decided that the negative people out there have won.  And I'm frankly tired of trying to help people.  So from now on my important advice will be kept for the ones who ask for it.  My knowledge of human experience will be for the ones that want to know, and you know what, they are all under 10 years old.  And they look at the world with the eyes of a child, and people as well.  They look at them the way I looked at my friends.  Knowing they would never hurt me and that they trust me and my love as I trust them.  How foolish I've been to think adults would be like children.  Like I am.  But you see, that's one thing life taught me.  You must look at the world with a child's trusting and honest eyes.  Or you will be deceived and hurt by adults who only want and never give. 

My name is Jill and it means ever youthful.  Perhaps that's why I survived, I'll always be young at heart and I highly recommend it.  Stop making yourself depressed with problems you can't solve, and solve the ones you can.  You'll be surprised how quickly everything around you changes when you love yourself the way a child does.  When you trust your loved ones the way a child does instead of thinking the worst of people you have chosen to be close to.  I hope your holiday is filled with childrens laughter and I hope it comes from your own hearts.


Sunday, November 29, 2015


What a wonderful Thanksgiving I had this year!  At first it looked as if it might be a little sad, no kids - they had to work, no Mr. Hopeful or  Mr. Practical, or She of Little Combat Boots, or That Guy, but they all have family obligations.  But there was one bright spot in an otherwise very lonely five days off--The Poet In My Heart was once again this year, available.  And when she heard my plans of taking myself out to eat at a five star restaurant and spoiling myself all day, well she couldn't resist bringing her small son with her to the Windy City and joining me. 

It was a fast moving fun filled mini tour of some of my favorite places to chill in the city.  Since we had her son along and we had very little time, they only got to witness a couple of places and the very tip of the iceberg of shops at Lincoln Square.  There is so much to see, and do, we will never run out of fun here.  And since this is the second year in a row that we have spent Thanksgiving together, thanks to the wonderful waitstaff at my English Pub on Wednesday night, we are now calling it Friendsgiving and celebrating together every year.  Old traditional at her place, new traditional at mine. 

She loved my English Pub, and we fed ourselves with the fish and chips and traditional english beers and ciders.  The ambiance there is that of a relaxing wealthy friends living room, with all dark woods and private corners.  The bar is welcoming and there is even a reading room in the back.  My kind of place.  The rest of the night was spent gabbing together in my internest, which you really have to see to believe.  It felt so good to catch up in person.  I miss hearing her voice and laughing together. 

Then on Thanksgiving, with tummies rumbling, we arrived at Eddie V's an hour early to our reservation, hoping to be seated, as we had a very hungry little one.  And of course they did.  Beautiful place, outstanding service, and a scrumptious menu.  If you've never gone to an Eddie V's I highly recommend it.  The dinning area was dimly lit but expertly so.  With the ability to see the entire room but your focus remained on the table and your company.  Cream linens and dark woods and cool white Christmas lights were the accessory.  Our server was an expert in his field, I have never been so spoiled and so richly treated, and I've dined as some pretty expensive restaurants in both LA and New York.  But this young man knew how to direct his staff, and make our dining experience seem like he was just there for us.  Now I saw him with other tables, but I was not wanting for a thing.  And his timing was perfection.  Never once did he ask me a question with my mouth full, he anticipated with grace and real care.  AND all this on a HOLIDAY.  When I'm sure he had places to be and probably couldn't wait to get there. But you would have never known it.  A real professional.  With all that, the star was meant to be the food, and it was.  We had come just for the chief's special Thanksgiving meal, Sliced Turkey with Brioche Stuffing, Pan Gravy with Mirepoix Brunoise, Baby French Green Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Glazed Acorn Squash, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes.  We were stuffed and saved at least one normal sized serving each for later.  Also opting out of the pumpkin pie with praline sauce, we went for the dessert chief's house special, HOT "BANANAS FOSTER" BUTTER CAKE, Butter Pecan Ice Cream.  Now it was hot because they set it ON FIRE table side.  You should have seen her son's eyes when he lit it up.  And it was a traditional southern butter cake, so moist, so good.  The Poet In My Heart declared it was better than sex. And I smiled, thinking of him, and not necessarily agreeing.  But it was a damn good dessert.  

Unfortunately once we finished and got home, my upper respiratory infection that was getting a little be better, decided to get really bad very quickly.  We cut our visit a little short so I would rest my voice.  Perhaps it was due to being out in the rain, perhaps it was just working so hard the last two weeks while being sick, that it finally just got to me.  But I lost my voice.  Completely.  And it stayed gone all day Friday, and Saturday.  It is now starting to come back, little by little. and thankfully all the rest of my symptoms are down to a low roar.  Cough is almost gone and still sniffly but no pressure or real congestion.  I hope to feel even better tomorrow, and don't have to return to work until Tuesday.  Anything I have to do can wait another day, rest is what I need and what I can give myself.  

Here's hoping you all were able to be with your friends on Friendsgiving, weather those people are blood or not, they are your family.  Cheers

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Communications and Opinions

Its true, I love to talk.  I love to exchange ideas, and discuss everything with my best and closest.  From the weather to 'Did you hear what he did now?' to world events and event the big three that always start arguments, sex, religion and politics.  Now I'm not one of those who is always right.  Yes, I'm confident, and yes a confident woman is almost always looked at as either a bitch or a know it all.  And I've come to grips with always being misunderstood with men in this area.  Women get me much better, but even then, because as women we've all run into the smiling back stabber, we don't trust.  And I've been the smiling back stabber too.  But that's ancient history. 

What I'm discovering harder and harder to find is other like minded individuals that can have an intelligent conversation, either in person or on line, about anything, and not get offended and stop talking.  Now I don't know whats wrong with me.  Maybe I just don't get as angry as the next guy, although I do have a temper.  I know I take things too personally sometimes, so it can't be that.  So maybe it's that I just assume that everyone else is like me.  That they want to hear my opinion as much as I want to hear theirs.  Just to get to know them.  Find out if we're like minded.  If we aren't, move along.  I'm not trying to change peoples mind because I don't knuckle under to your opinion if it differs from mine.  I'm also not trying to change your opinion if mine is different, just get the equal time to state it.  Are the generations alive on the planet now so coddled that they can't have a disagreement between friends and remain friends?  It makes me wonder. 

Now none of this is happening to me right now, but it has in the past and I watch my social medias.  I watch friends posting things that are heartfelt, always I assume things are from the heart. Or why post them?  Even humor is from the heart.  Anyway I'll see random friends unfriending others over differences of opinion and I wonder, why?  Why does it have to go to that extent.  Are we that afraid to hear someones opinion?  Are we that afraid that our minds might be changed?  So what if they are?  Isn't change good?  Isn't growth good? 

Social media has gotten to the point where everyone is in such a hurry that we forget to actually meet each other.  Most men that reach out to me go immediately to sexual innuendo or outright demands for pictures.  WOW.  Just wow.  I mean even if we are friends of friends, that doesn't give you the right to ask me that.  And what happened to meeting a person first?  I'm reminded of that classic scene in Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life where the sex education class is being asked how to get a woman going and one student suggests rubbing the clitoris, and John Cleese says, "Whats wrong with a kiss boy?!  It seems that in todays society men think it's ok to approach a woman on line, like this.  And why is that?  I can only imagine it's because we let them. 

Everytime I get one that reaches out to me, and keep in mind I'm not listed on any dating sites because I believe it's worse there, and they can't even type out a complete sentence with real words, I sigh.  What's happening to our language on line?  Too many short cuts.  Too many misunderstandings.  And 9 times out of 10 its because they can't do it.  They are so young they don't know how to actually communicate in the written word.  When it's someone that's my age I just have to shake my head, or SMH...which is also smack my head...see, I got you.  misunderstanding.

I think I miss the era when women were introduced into society, and men were taught how to court a woman with respect.  Where a courtship lasted longer than one or two conversations on line.  Where you actually met through people you both trusted and were genuine to each other with sexual tensions being allowed to build and getting to know each other intellectually was just as exciting as the physical, if not more.  Reminds me of the great love of my life.  We met slowly, through friends, and it was one of the most romantic meetings ever.  We gave ourselves a chance to talk, and dance, and share some meals together before ripping each others clothes off. 


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Can You Really Follow Your Own Advice?

I should feel blessed but most of the time I just find something to worry about.  I believe this is a learned behavior from watching my mother worry about everything.  All the time.  She was great at putting her fears into me, and this is something I saw because I was pretty good at doing this to others that I loved.  My children as well, however I still love them.  :)  But with relationships its very unfair to put your fears into them.  You should approach relationships as individual as the people involved. 

I know you think you do.  I think I do too.  But we don't.  Not if we've been hurt even once in our lives.  And we all have at least that.  Because when we've been hurt, we learn from that experience.  And we try not to make the same mistake again, so we are armed.  We are gun-shy.  We are defensive.  And we tend to make the new relationship pay for all the things the past relationships did to us.  It can express itself in many different ways.  Anger, paranoia, silence, sarcasm, nagging, jealousy, and sometimes quiet agreement.  That last one was a specialty of my moms, "Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves." She was fond of saying.  Bitter and cynical, but true. 

When you let someone else talk they will inevitably tell you everything you need to know about them.  Who they are, what they stand for, turn ons, turn offs, all of that, sure.  But they will also show you how they treat others and what they really think by how they talk about others.  But here is where we stop really listening, and let our egos somehow step in and tell us,  "Sure he cheats on her, but he would never do that to me." Or how about this one, "She says the worst things about him, but I know I can trust her with my secrets." Or this classic, "He hit her but I'm sure she'd deserved it, he'd never raise a hand to me, I'd never let him." And when we start to believe this is when we are making a mistake.  Assuming that they will treat us differently than others in their lives, because somehow we are more special to them.  This is a fallacy. 

My mom also used to say this about paranoia, "You can only be paranoid about behavior that you can imagine happening.  Therefore if you aren't capable of the same behavior, the idea never crosses your mind."  Wow.  That was eye opening.  I think she's right on one level.  Abuse is the behavior that you might not be capable of repeating once done to you.  Although there are theories that abusive husbands/wives were beaten as kids, same with childhood rape and pedophiles.  But not all.  I'm a survivor of abuse and not abusing.  Some of us get help and love and the right environment after a traumatic abuse and it stops the pattern.  Others, like me repress it until adulthood or strong enough to remember it.  In either case, these people usually are not repeaters of abuse. 

It really is a shame that we can't see our own lives and troubles as clearly as we can see others.  If we could just follow our own advice we'd be happier and healthier individuals.  Personally I believe it's harder to do than quitting smoking.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

How To Stop Your Depression and Anxiety

I've got three friends, that I know of, going through disappointment in their lives right now.   Two have been experiencing long term dissatisfaction, and the third is experiencing a new disillusionment but not an unfamiliar one.  All of these setbacks are in relationships where love is the culprit.  Sad to say this is a feeling I'm quite familiar with.  I've been disenchanted so much in my life by men that 'loved me' and that I 'loved', that I'm not sure what it feels like anymore not to expect the worst of people. 

This is my own fault because I'm responsible for my own feelings, no one else.  While I'm not blaming them for being who they are or were, I'm blaming myself more for not seeing them with all their flaws.  I suppose that's what love does, hides all our warts and makes us appealing.  If love wasn't blind perhaps the human race would never have been fruitful and multiplied. 

But that's the real kicker isn't?  When someone lets us down, it's really not that person that has done the deed.  It's us.  WE have let ourselves down.  We do this because we still have hope that the next great love (or friendship) will be different, or that the current love we are committed to will change, or see the light, if that's easier to stomach.

Because, I hate to break it to you sunshine, but people don't really change.  Except with time, and then it's usually for the worse.  See there I go again expecting the worst.  When I myself would like to think I've changed for the better.  Perhaps that's not true.  Perhaps all the hurt I've thrown upon myself, for whatever reasons that I felt I deserved it, has left me bitter and unable to trust for a reason. 

They say that the best way to fix that is to fall in love again, to have another leap of faith and just jump right back on that horse.  I've done that.  It doesn't work either.  At least not for me.  I wasn't ready to accept the love offered to me after my first disappointment, nor after my third, and consequently became regret for the men who only wanted to love me.  Not change me.  After my fourth self inflicted frustration, I felt so angry that I'd allowed anyone in again, I fell into the arms of a deep depression coupled with its favorite main squeeze, anxiety.   It makes me wonder if we ever really forgive the past.  Maybe we just walk away, forever with one eye watching our path for the other shoe to drop.  Perhaps some hurts can be so painful that we just don't know how to forgive. 

Forgetting seems like the logical solution, however, how does one forget that kind of pain?  How can we really move on from our heart being sulky and our minds in darkness?

I'll tell you how.  It's actually easier than you think.  But you have to be strong.  The first thing you have to do is forgive yourself.  And that's the hardest thing to do, even though it seems like it would be the easiest.  Its not.  No matter how much you thought the other person that let you down, wouldn't; that's nothing to understanding that you did it to yourself.  YOU are the one that let yourself down.  By putting too much stock into someone else to be responsible for your happiness.  That's right.  You have to fall in love with yourself again, and be truly happy with your own company, to really love.  Because if you believe that you would die if your love left you, then you are not loving  You are gathering possessions.  Understand that you will be just as happy as you are now with someone or without them.  That's the secret to avoiding depression and curbing anxiety.  Well it's a start anyway.  It's how I eventually got off my meds and found contentment in my life and in me as a human.  Am I perfect?  Of course not.  Do I still have things I'm trying hard to control about myself?  Sure.  Do I make the same mistakes in trust?  Yes.  But the difference now is that I'm not destroyed when disappointed.  Now when 'the love of my life' leaves me, I hold open the door for him. 

You see I don't want someone out of duty or commitment.  I want a companion that wants to be with me, for as long as they want to, and no longer.  I think this is a gift of growing older, and one I wish I had as a young woman.  If I hadn't...well you can go crazy saying things that start like that...lets try this instead.  Experience is the greatest teacher, and can help you keep your chin up and see the world as it really is.  YOURS. 

This is your life, please learn to live it for you, before it's too late.  Before you look back on it and see nothing that you wanted to do or experience.  It's taken me years to get here.  Years of putting myself second, or third or fourth or fifth, in my own life.  And I'm not talking about raising a family here, children should always come first, but sometimes it does feel like you are sacrificing so much for someone who will grow up and leave you.  Sooner than you can imagine.  Want to know a secret?  It's so worth it.  And the rewards of seeing your grown children living life and being happy is proof that you did the right thing.  And it makes my point.  You're as happy with them in your lives as you are to watch them leave the nest.  Because you love them honestly and unconditionally.  This is the mistake we make when choosing love instead of allowing love to choose us.  I used to say things like, "I'd choose better if you just blindfolded me and lined me up facing a group of men."  or  "Maybe you should choose for me."  Can you imagine having that kind of fear of failure?  Well I don't say that anymore.  Now I just live my life with myself as my best constant companion.  And if love falls all over me again, I'll accept it with open arms and include them in my journey.  (sorry for that musical pun, but I couldn't resist.)


Sunday, November 1, 2015


As an adult I'm finding it much easier to find the people of like minds and temperaments.  And I'm also finding it much easier to walk away from people that cause me stress or don't 'get me'.  I think in my youth I tried much harder for people to 'get me', and it caused me to try to 'save them' or change them.  Which they didn't desire or need.  But I was doing this because I thought I needed them.  I tried to make my tribe instead of finding it.  It seemed so much easier than actually going out and trying to make friends.  But it's wrong.  The last five years has taught me that no matter the amount of desire for a person or pleading with them to 'see the light' it just can't be done.  As the old song goes, 'People are people..." 

But I think the real reason I feel so content and happy with my solo life, is that I finally enjoy my own company.  It had always been a fear for me, a life without a tribe.  My tribe is long distance, scattered all over America, and I stay in touch often on line.  Since I know and love these people in real time, the virtual time means more than say a 'facebook friend'.  Making friends in person is scary for me.  I do much better on line.  I think. 

With that being said, I did have a lot of fun last night at my Neighborhood English Pub The Red Lion Inn - Lincoln Square - Chicago.  There was only one regular and he was coming as I was calling it a night.  But the owner and the bartender and waitstaff were once again very friendly.  And it's like my friend Benny Sweat said, "I love this place, its like being in someones really nice living room."  And the family vibe is strong there.  I always feel like I'm coming home.  Ghostbusters was on the telly, and in the back room with the Doctor Who stuff, was a Victorian crystal ball reading, a Tarot card reading and an actual Victorian Seance.  Was a very fun and scary themed night. With just the right amount of theatrics.  I met another new couple from the neighborhood and another single gal just stopping in for food to go.  Nothing really to report, except that I had a good time. 

It might not sound like much to you if you don't know me, but I have a really hard time leaving my apartment on my days off.  I try to schedule all my errands then so I have to leave otherwise I'd just stay in and write or game.  And too much solitude, no matter now enjoyable, is not good for me.  So going out alone on Halloween is one time of the year I can overcome my shyness at being around people I don't know.  Because I'm in costume.  Maybe I should just dress up in a costume every time I want to go out?  That might solve it. 


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Temper Tantrums of Male Drivers

I've started to notice something here in Chicago that was not obvious to me in the other small towns and cities that I've lived in.  And it's how exhausting driving in the city has become for me.  I don't own a car, I use public transportation, not because I don't enjoy driving, but because it's cheaper.  And I honestly can't afford a car here, not with the parking and insurance rates, and gas.  Not to mention upkeep.  But in my job I do drive Beatle Boy to school and pick him up every day.

It doesn't even matter what time I'm driving, in Chicago they always drive like it's rush hour and they are thirty minutes late.  I'm amazed at the stupidity of the other drivers every day.  Every single day I hold my breath as people who supposedly got their drivers licenses, play with fate and take stupid chances.  Cutting me off is a daily favorite.  Both men and women do it to me, and I hate it when people cut me off.  So of course, I honk.  And I really lay on the horn.  I want them to SEE me in their rear view.  See me shake my head at them because they KNOW they are breaking the law and being stupid.

Now when it's a woman, I've noticed she ignores me.  Which is fine, I'm a woman, and I know she knows what she did.  Even if she won't acknowledge it.  Some women even try to communicate with a shrug.  I assume that means 'Opps', but it could mean 'Fuck you I'm ahead of you'.  Either doesn't really matter to me, because I got my point across, with my loud, blaring horn.  'I saw you and you suck, dumbass!'

No, what really pisses me off is the men.  Every time they hear my horn they argue that it's my fault for not letting them in, with no blinker and an 'You owe me and I'm going to do what I want' attitude.  See I'm a strong woman in life and behind the wheel.  I don't let a man do whatever he wants because he's a spoiled little boy.  Especially behind the wheel of a killing machine.  But what gets me every time, is they not only argue it's my fault they are stupid and tried to cut me off and now are stuck with their ass half in and half out of traffic;  but they resort, every time to personal insults.  I try not to use personal comments, like my favorite, "Grow a dick." Don't get me wrong, I think of them, I just don't say them.  Because I don't want them to pull out a gun and shoot me over a traffic law.  But men aren't scared that I might pull out a gun and with my crazy clown hair, decide to shoot them.   They feel completely within their rights to immediately go to the first thing they see that they think will bother me and make fun of it.  And why is that?  Why do men, when you are an unescorted woman, resort to commenting about my hair colors, or age instead of what is really bothering them?  My skill.  If I'd had a man riding shotgun, they wouldn't say a word.  Because in their mind, I'm controlled.  I have a man telling me what to do.  How frustrating!  Why are single women so threatening to men?

When I honk, I'm not commenting on their  hair, or lack of it, or weight or age.  I'm commenting on their lack of skill.  And they can't handle that.  No man can.  So knowing they are wrong but not wanting to appear weak, or horrors, admit they made a mistake in judgement, they mime in their rear view to cut my hair.  Or some frantic waving of the arms which makes them just look like a cock in a fight.  What does my hair have to do with anything?  It used to infuriate me.  But I find the same men will complement me on my hair at the bus or train stop, or grocery store, bank, pretty much anywhere.  And that's interesting to me.  And I'm an uncontrolled woman.  (no man on my arm)  Which is usually the most threatening to the male.  One, after we ended up side by side, actually rolled down the window to try to publicly humiliate me.  I kept saying, "I don't care, you don't have the right of way."  I've started laughing and pointing now when they try their comments, along with the shaking of my head.  I have a very 'mean librarian face' when I want it.  And BOY does it illicit comments about my 'clown hair'.  I know they jerk off to me later so who is the real clown?


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Worried vs Angry

I've taken a bold step in my subconscious.  He used to be the first thought I had every morning and the last thought I had every night.  He still is, except it isn't thoughts of love and fondness and memories anymore.  It's thoughts of him with her, and how angry I am at him.  No.  Not at him, at his choices.  I must be much more angry at that now that I've got some space to clear my head.  That and his actions.

Why do we get so angry with people we love when they disappoint us? I mean, if we really love them, we shouldn't want to control their actions, nor should we want them to be anything but happy.  And if being with someone else makes them happy, then we need to step aside and walk away.

Which is what I have done with several men in my life that say they love me. 

Curious, isn't it?  The word love.  It can mean so many different things to us.  And we might say it all the time, but it means a different kind of love or different intensity to everyone we say it to.  No love is exactly the same.  You always love someone the most, and that's the person you choose to spend your life with.  Not your children.  Not your best friends.  Now you can argue all you want about loving more than one person, but I will argue back that there is still the one you love the most.  And that is the one you choose.

Remember, you are always doing exactly what you want with your life.  Or you'd change it.  Some of us are martyrs, some of us enjoy the pain and some of us are only happy with conflict because that's how we grew up.  Abused, or surrounded by arguing adults that called their marriage love.  Children get confused and end up choosing what they see.  Almost every time.  Its very difficult to break the pattern of what mommy and daddy show us.  For example, I broke my abuse pattern and didn't abuse my children sexually.  I believe that was easy for me because it wasn't a parent that abused me, but family members.  But I was not able to break the broken home pattern that my mother showed me with her life.  It felt normal to me to have conflict and be the only parent.  It was what I knew.  I wasn't happy unless there was some kind of drama. 

Of course that was the past, now I am completely happy without drama, because I've taken the time to force myself to be alone to heal.  To understand what real happiness is.  To learn to be truly content with my own company and not need anyone else to 'complete' me.  For I am complete.  I am me. 

What I thought I wanted was to love Mr. Practical, and have him be the companion in my life, and be one to him.  With time, his choice has proven the right one for me.  Ironic, isn't it?  That I'm happier without him than he is with her and his life choices?  Then it became Mr. Hopeful that came back into my life and his needs overshadowed my own.  Once again I tried to be someone I wasn't because I loved him.  And I wanted him to be happy.  He gave me every reason to believe he wasn't.  Except changing his life.  They both did.  Both are still very unhappy with parts of their lives.  Major parts.  Parts that with me would be different.  But I'm not worth choosing.  Not to them.  And while somehow along the way I learned to separate the love of friendship with the love of passionate partners, I can be friends with them both.  But they have to want this too. 

So I wait to see what they will choose.  I don't wait alone, nor do I wait wasting my days anymore hoping they will contact me.  Nor have I done that very unhealthy habit of waiting, since I moved to Chicago.  But I have to admit that when they do, I am happy that our friendship remains. 

My issue now is conquering this anger.  And not letting it burst out upon anyone.  Even the ones I feel deserve it.  Happily I can admit that I'm not angry at Mr. Charisma any longer.  I don't hate him.  I don't think of him at all.  Its an after thought that I even mention him here.  Only as a measuring device.  At least with Mr. Practical and Mr. Hopeful I still care enough to be angry or worried or happy.  And I must admit that I'm not angry at Mr. Practical, worried is more the correct term there.  But Mr. Hopeful, I thought was a stronger man than he has showed me.  And so perhaps I'm angry at myself for not seeing him as who he has become, with time, and the curve balls that life has thrown him.  I'm much more adaptable and when life throws me curve balls I not only hit them out of the park, but once I'm safe at home, I prepare for the next one. 


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Angry - The Eighth Dwarf

I'm frustrated.  I'm at a loss for words.  I'm angry.  I hate Angry.  Angry doesn't let me think straight.  Angry speeds along with thoughts that no human mouth could articulate.  I'm one of the lucky ones, I have both types of Angry.  (I think I just created a new dwarf - Angry) 

I have the type of Angry that throws things across the room, lets call him Rage.  Last time I did that was when I was 34.  Rage seems to be sleeping.  But I also have the type that is very quiet and very patient, lets call him Revenge.  That's the part to be afraid of.  That's the angry that if allowed to grow I will reap a bitter harvest. 

Fortunately I know this, so it's highly unlikely that I'll let it gain control over me.  But if I did.  It's the kind of anger that destroys relationships and explodes an already dangerous situation.  Revenge is never the way to go.  I know, I've let it gain control in the past, and told myself it was for their own good.  (insert insane evil laughter here)  But true evil never sees they are evil, they always believe they are doing good.  That they are saving someone, or its for the greater good.  That's evil I can understand.  Because I've felt it.  Felt that I knew better, in all my wisdom.  What a crock of shit. 

How can anyone else know whats best for you?  HOW? 

Only you can say how you feel.  Only you can know when you are Happy.  Or Grumpy.  Or any of the other dwarfs.  But let someone in.  Let someone love you and all of a sudden, POW.  They know.  They know what's best for you.  They try to change you into what they want you to be, instead of loving who they met.  Who you are.  Ever been there?  I have.  I thought I was done picking that guy after all my marriages, but Mr. Charisma slunk and slithered his way in.  (insert more evil laughter)  And he was just suppose to be fun.  Just suppose to keep me busy until Mr. Hopeful found his way to me.  Well.  I'm angry.  I've given up on Mr. Hopeful ever finding his way to me.  And that's good.  That's been a long time coming.  A VERY LONG TIME.  But as I've always tried to explain, the heart wants what the heart wants.  It's not very bright.  The heart.  The heart could be Dopey, and sometimes Bashful.  Because the heart loves unconditionally. 

That stupid organ!  When will it learn.  But that's the brain.  That's Doc.  Saying what you know you don't want to know, but you know it already.  Like, if he loves you he'd be with you.  GOD I hate Doc.  Even if he's right.  So today I give power to the new eighth dwarf Angry, and I'm going to let him go out into the world and just be free, like a butterfly.  Because I'm getting over what I believe now to have been the flu, since I'm on day 22 (with 6 well days in there somewhere)  So I'm going to lay back and be Sleepy and Sneezy while I watch Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Dark Matter, and Rita. 


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Can of Worms OPENED. Perception of GUNS

We all see things differently.  This is a scientific fact, our brains process what we see differently.  So it follows that through that process what we feel is different and governed by what we have processed.  But what helps us make those connections in our brains?  Our experience.  And all of our experience is different.  I believe, for the most part, as humans, we can agree on this.  But that is where it unfortunately ends, and why we have so many conflicts in our day to day life with other humans on almost every subject.  When we stand up for our rights, or our feelings are in question on a topic, we can forget that we feel this way only because of OUR PERSONAL experience.

But what about the other guy?  That's right, that other guy spouting complete nonsense about religion, or sex or politics.  What about that guys opinion?  His experience.  His perception.  Doesn't it count?  Even if its contrary to our own?  Of course it does.  That's why, we, at our best discuss, or argue and sometimes at our worse, we rage.  And unfortunately when we rage, sometimes, we take our opinions to the point of life or death.  At the end of a gun in a crowded school room, or military base, or shopping mall,  or airplane.  We have started to believe that if we can't change your mind about your opinion well, then we'll just kill you.  This is a violence that is obviously brought about by extreme negative perceptions and I would imagine great despair and depression.  A feeling of helplessness and in some cases a feeling of overwhelming power.  Power to change the world, perhaps to their perception of a better place.  This is wrong of course, and we are helpless as we watch these unbalanced and perhaps temporarily lost individuals, grapple with their minds as they slowly go insane.  For what sane person could be on the end of that gun, trying to force their perceptions upon others.  Their feelings of right and wrong, or their rage.  What sane person would use a gun in this manner?  None would.  And yet, somehow, this unbalanced and desperate person, has acquired such a means of destruction.  And in most states this is accomplished quite easily, and with little checking of proper identification.  How can we regulate gun control if there is no real gun control?  I don't want to ban guns.  I believe that if you feel you need one to hunt or protect your family you should be able to have one, if properly trained in how to use it, keep it clean, and truly guard the right to have it.  By keeping it away from the untrained, like children, or the unbalanced.  And I believe that most of us that own guns do just this.  But that can't be the whole story.

Because there are still those out there, with guns, that don't care, or have given up on life.  They might just take themselves out, but they might decide that you cutting them off during rush hour traffic, is enough of a difference in perception to end your life.  Or they might decide that if you don't believe in the same god as they do that you are evil and should die.  Or they might decide that because you made fun of their way of dress or sexual partner that the world would be better off without you. 

When people try to discuss this topic of "how do we stop all the mass murder in our country", there is a lot of heat.  And the gun owners immediately think that we want to take away their rights and change the constitution.  Well, that's not true, not completely.  We do need to change the constitution on this issue, just like we changed it for women to vote, for anyone of any color or religion to vote, even for young people aged 18 to vote, and also for the limitation of the presidential term of office.  In the last 200 years our constitution has been amended 27 times.  Its a 'living document' designed to live and grown as our nation grows.  When people argue that we want to change it.  Its true we do.  But it needs to be changed so more innocent people with a different perception, don't have to die, because of one persons rage.  Because of one persons perception.  I'm all for the discussion of that perception, I'll listen and even try to change my mind before I try to change yours.  But I don't feel I should have to do this at the end of a gun.  Nor would I ever use a gun to bring my perception to the table.  But so far, I'm still sane. 

What about that other guy?

Isn't it worth it to make it more difficult to obtain a gun to keep our children and families safe?

Isn't that what guarding the privilege of having a gun is about?

I don't understand why this is even an issue.  It's a no brainer to me.  Less guns on the street less gun deaths.   Less mass shootings from quite frankly, insane people.  Not one of the shooters was pronounced sane.  No one said, "oh that guy was just trying to make a really good point and when no one listened he just shot them all."  They were all insane.  They had all cracked.   Had enough.  And had access to guns.  Access.  This is all I want to limit. 

Can we just, as humans, sit down without the NRA, and talk about this?  Can we just get the lobbies to for once stay out of it, and let us decide as humans?  This is why congress can't get anything done.  Lobbies.  It's either the NRA or the Big Three or Big's always something that bars our elected officials from passing the laws that I hope we want.

If my nation of fellow American's do not want what is really best for humans, I'm afraid I'll have to leave the nation of my birth for a country that believes that life is more important than money.  Please feel free to comment as always, but I beg you to think.  Just think and feel, as a human with a limited life span and great power over the earth.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Test For Echo Part Two

Day eight!  I hate the common cold.  It's almost everything the flu is without being flat on your back.  But by the end of the day, you feel like you need to be flat on your back.  Its a rainy and cloudy day in Chicago this morning, and I was so hoping it would be clear for the harvest moon, lunar eclipse tonight.  Hopefully this will clear up by then.  One of the best things about all this technology we have is someone will get great pictures of it and post them tomorrow.  Maybe even without Photoshop. 

One of the worst things is that we are all becoming much more physically alone while we amass more and more electronic relationships.  Without all this technology I wouldn't be able to stay in touch with all my loved ones and friends that I hold dear, but sometimes, I wish it wasn't so easy to stay in touch.  I miss that random phone call from friends wanting to just hang out and be together talking, or in today's vernacular 'chat'.  The internet and social media has replaced the evening dropping by of friends, just to be social.  Just to keep in touch and see what's new.  It has made it much too easy to have two lives or three, or more. 

Having it all.  A life you live every day with your favorite people. Sometimes those are your family and sometimes not.  And then the others in your life on the internet.  The ones that came in a close second when you were picking and choosing where you would live.  Now some of these people are just as important as the ones around you.  In my case, most of my internet contact are more important than the people I see daily, but that's not true of many of you.  Some are the lives you wish you could have chosen.  The ones that got away.  The safety nets.  This reality is a sad statement on how we are evolving. 

Before the internet, where we can store our secret lives and people we wish we could be near, we had to make actual life choices.  Choices that took you down a road where you knew you'd never see or talk to that person again.   And I think, then, the choices we made were more honest.  Certainly more final.  Some of those roads I walked away from have found me again in the world wide web.  And it's interesting to see how their lives unfolded without me by their sides, as I once was.  Its also very reassuring to reconnect with lost loves and old friend and see that the real reason you liked each other in the first place is still there.  Of course there is a down side to this too, some of the ones that have found me are not the same, or didn't grow in the right direction for me to feel that connection still.  They are either too bitter and cynical or just don't have the same political, religious, or sexual ideas that we shared in the past.  Such is life.  We grow and change and once we've taught all we can to another soul we move on.  It's why some of your friends change throughout your life.  You are still teaching and learning.

But then there are some friends that come and they just wont leave! EVER!  These are the ones that really know you and the ones you continue to learn from and grow together.  The ones that stand by you no matter how depressing you get about yourself; they are there to lift you up as you are when they start to doubt life and change.  These are ones that know your life, that check in weekly or daily or whenever life gives them a chance.  The ones that would pop in if the internet weren't around.  The ones that would have chosen you to be near.  If they could.  The ones that know, life would not be the same without you in it.  These are the ones, you need to keep in your life.  Not just because you need them but, pay attention now this is the important part, THEY NEED YOU.  That's right.  Internet relationships are just as real and carry just as much of our hearts and minds as the ones who we can reach out and touch.  Its how we are evolving, and changing.  And there's no stopping it now.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Too Sick To Write

What a great time with Ginger Snap yesterday and Friday night.  He came over to spend the night with his grandma, and we ate junk food and started construction on the Lego Death Star. We stayed up until 10:30, which is the equivilant of an all nighter for a seven year old, and worked on it again all day Saturday until it was time to go to his house, and watch him and his little brother for a few hours so Second Daughter and Second Son could have some adult time at a wedding.  All in all it was a great weekend until, while on my way home from their house, I started to have a scratchy throat and couldn't stop sneezing.

You guessed it.  So sick this morning.  I hope I can kick it before work tomorrow.  I need groceries and should do laundry, although if that had to wait a day it could, but food cannot.  Maybe I can have them delivered.  We shall check the funding and see.  :)

I should edit Act Two but I think in this state it wouldn't be worth keeping, but I might still attempt it if I can't sleep.  I was having so much fun or so busy the last few days that I missed Mr. Hopeful three separate times that he tried to reach out to me.  Well two for sure and one I almost missed but he couldn't really talk at our usual weekly time anyway this week.  But it made me feel good to know I was in his thoughts and that he tried again.  It made me feel good to be busy too, though.  I think, sometimes, that a great deal of my social life is waiting to chat with him. 

I really wish I felt better.  I also wish I had access to BBC for new Doctor Who.  Makes being sick worse somehow knowing I have to wait a year for it to get to Netflix.  Where are the fan boy links when you need them.  The SAFE ones.  LOL


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Wonder Woman's 40th Surprise Party

The first draft of the play is finished.  And yesterday was spent formatting and editing the first act.  And I must say that I'm pretty pleased with my ability not only to write the damn thing in two weeks, which was my goal.  But set enough fires under Mr. Practical and Poet In My Heart to get them to read it and get the feed back I needed to make that goal.  I couldn't have finished that fast without them.  Today after uploading pictures from last nights surprise party for Wonder Woman, I will attack the second act. 

The surprise party was a mixture of old school rock, and all things about her.  Things that reminded us of her.  So we dressed up as comic book, and Dr. Who characters and things that she does or is.  One friend came as a mime and another as a reporter and a third as a zoo representative with the new otter, all things that she loves.  There were a couple of doctors to keep my River Song entertained.  And a very creative Poseidon and Dionysus, a Clark Kent, and Buffy although she must have done her job well, no vampires that we could see, and several cut out masks from mostly Dr. Who and the Princess Bride for people to hold.  So there ended up being several Doctors, a weeping angle, Amy Pond, well you get the idea.  The room was decorated with large paper drawing of the Fire Swamp with a danger R.O.U.S's this way, and a cardboard TARDIS which we all got pictures of ourselves in front of with the birthday girl before we left.  I was greedy and had a friend take some pictures of me before the party really got going,  Just to be sure I got some.  I think I took more pictures than anyone else.  Go figure.  But I hope at least all the birthday shots get posted.  There were some good ones of us all.

She was very surprised by all of us gathering for her 40th, but the real surprise came when we had her open her present.  We all pitched in on it but it was made by Second Daughter who couldn't make the party and she did a wonderful job.  Especially since she couldn't have her come over for fittings.  Her eyes nearly popped out of her head at the complete Wonder Woman costume she was holding.  She had mentioned to her boy friend that she's always wanted one.  And he not only made that happen but the party of her best friends as well.  I was so happy to be included.  The actress who played Bette Milder said to me as I left, "You had a good time?  See you made so many friends all by your ownself.  You're all grown up."  She was referring to how nervous I told her I was to be at an event with all of Second Daughter's friends without her.  It was a genuine remark and one I cherished coming from her.  She happens to be one of the writers who agreed to read my play.  And I didn't even have to ask her about it.  She came to me and said, " I saw on the 'internets' that you finished.  I can't wait to read it.  How cool was that to remember on her special night.  One of the other writers was there early helping to set up, and while he didn't mention anything to me, I did to him and he was impressed I finished but didn't remind me he'd read it. I think I'll have Wonder Woman read it first.   
Better get these birthday pictures posted.


Sunday, September 6, 2015


I love surprises.  Well, the good ones.  And this one came at the perfect time.  I had been feeling kind of down and forgotten during my vacation.  Mostly because an old friend of mine was in town but couldn't make the time to see me. That kind of thing always hurts, but it couldn't be helped.  But then a surprise...

The first surprise this holiday weekend, was finally getting to see Ginger Snap and Sammy Bo Baggins on Friday night.  Second Daughter and I took them for ice cream and I finally got to catch up on Ginger Snap's summer away.  My surprise was that he was kind of bored waiting around for his dad to make some time to see him. (his reason for being there, but anyway)  He decided he would allow himself to start watching Doctor Who.  All by himself from my example as his nanny and grandma.  I'm glad he took something of me with him, and if it was the summer of Doctor Who, well I can think of a lot worse things a young boy could do with a summer being watched by his grandparents.

The second surprise was I finished Act One of the play I'm writing.  Well, I should say the first draft of it.  But it's got a life of it's own now and is half way done.  So after I sent it off to The Poet In My Heart to get her ok, I took myself out to a surprise brunch.  Just on the spur of the moment.  And it was nice.  Feeling accomplished I went back home and had my pretty typical vacation day.  Gaming.  Writing.  Watching Dr. Who.  Just hanging out with myself and sometimes catching an episode with Mr. Practical long distance. Its been a very quiet vacation.

The third surprise was out of the blue, Benny Sweat of the Sweat Boys was in town on Sweat Boys secret business, and last night as I was finishing watching the tear jerking season two ending of Dr. Who, (Doomsday...poor Rose and the Doctor)  he texted me and wanted to meet me for a drink.  He had told me he was going to be in town and if he had time he would look me up.  Right.  We all know how that usually works.  Like all other friends I've had visit my city in the last year for comic con or concerts or vacations, and never call or show up for that drink.  But not Benny Sweat.  He called, and I convinced him to come to me and see my favorite English Pub.  It's not a showy bar, nor is it loud.  And it was perfect, he said it was just what he needed after all the exhausting but exciting business trip.  And it was great to catch up to him with The Blues Brothers and Animal House playing in the background to the regulars on the television.  The music last night was the sound tracks for these shows instead of their normal jazz and I was glad he enjoyed himself at my favorite bar.  Catching up with Benny about our shared good news and successes was just what The Doctor ordered for me; and while my weekly conversation with Mr. Hopeful cheered me up and started to set my mind straight from its negative narration, by reminding me how much I am missed and not forgotten; catching up in the flesh with an old friend was healing on the level I needed.  And this old friend is kind of a perfect one to see my new place first and my favorite bar.  Because he crosses over into many of my little clicks of friends.  He leaves town tomorrow, and I know I wont see him again this visit, but I hope to see him and his wife the next time my city calls.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Not Once

Not once
Did he try
Not a picture
Or goodbye

It's the same old song
But I like the way he sings it
When nothing changes
Your heart rearranges
Its bits into something feigning wholness

Not once
Did he try
Not a picture
Or goodbye

I know it is my choice to wait
On a chance meeting or a date
But with him being here
You'd think I'd be more dear
I know I'm worth the risk

Not once
Did he try
Not a picture
Or goodbye

I check my messages for a sign
And hope his heart is still linked with mine
And when he finally contacts me
I know I'll smile and forget my rage
My disappointed heart is still a cage

Sunday, August 23, 2015

I Wear My Sunglasses At Night

Today's blog is canceled due to the fact that I have photophobia due to either a scratch on my eye from rubbing it too hard yesterday morning.  (I have lens implants from surgery) OR viral pink eye (no discharge) or allergic pink eye (which I have every symptom for and don't for the others)  In either case the glare of the lap top blog page is too white and too bright on the lowest setting for me to continue.   For those of you that are already worried, it doesn't hurt as much as yesterday and its not really pink only a little bloodshot.  This is why I think I may have damaged a lens or scratched my eye.  I'm on vacation on Wednesday afternoon and if it's not better by then I will go in and see someone without having to pay for the emergency room fees, which I can't afford. 

Thank goodness for sun glasses.  I not only wear them outside but inside when the sun comes up.  HEY, maybe I'm a vampire. 

Updates to follow if necessary. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Now THAT was a party!

Sherlock Holmes and his lovely wife Ms. Watson invited me again this year to their annual Air Show party.  Last year when I went, I felt more like I had been invited because I was living with Second Daughter and Second Son, being their live in nanny, it seemed right to include me.  I may have been wrong there.  We had met at a wedding, four years ago, we just hadn't had any opportunity to get to be friends on our own.  But now I live here, and this year I was invited on my own.  So I went.  It is always a grand party.  They live on the 15th floor of a high rise right on the very expensive shore of Lake Michigan.  The panoramic view that they have of the lake, beaches, parks and skyline is breathtaking by itself.  I could look out those windows all day and night and be enthralled by the cities beauty.  But add to that, all the drink combinations you can imagine, great foods on a continuous buffet of never ending snacks, wonderfully intelligent and witty conversations with a scope of people from the arts industry to law, and the Blue Angels among other great pilots, and you have a combination for a memorable time.  This party started at 10 am and I wasn't the last to leave at 8 pm.  And I only left because I figured if I stayed until after dark I might not be able to get home without passing out. 

I had a wonderful time but drank way too much, in retrospect I should have slowed down, but it was more keeping up than leading the pack.  Admittedly I'm out of practice for this kind of marathon drinking.  Catching up with people I had met through Second Daughter and Second Son was great.  Some of these people I had run into at a wake earlier this year, birthday parties, and at a few plays here and there throughout the year, but for the most part this is the event where I see them all at once.  And I met someone new and made a new friend that lives in my neighborhood.  An actress that is performing with Mr. Holmes in an upcoming production.  I hope we will be able to get to know each other more.  We talked a lot at the even and have a bit in common.  And Ms. Watson gave me her cell number as I left so that we can do more together.  This made me very happy, as she and her husband are huge Dr. Who fans and I'd love to have someone to watch the new season with.  Or at least discuss it.  I hope I will be brave and call on both of these intelligent and fun women for my adult time in Chicago. 

See its always been hard for me to make the first move.  But I think I have to learn that, and I think that is what Chicago is going to teach me.  How to really reach out. put myself out there, and make friends.  And not just accept my husband or boyfriends friends as mine.  Or wait to be approached, which is how its always happened to me in the past.  I think its time for me to reach out to people I find interesting and make them my friends.  Now where did I put all that extra confidence I've been saving up? 


Sunday, August 9, 2015

To Write Or Not To Write, That Is The Question.

It must be getting close to another change in the seasons...its a little darker every morning now, and I'm starting to feel the gypsy wanderlust, before the wind shifts.  I love Autumn.  It's without a doubt my favorite time of year.  Summer is too hot and Winter is too cold, and Spring is too wet, but Autumn, when we're lucky, is glorious.  Hoodies and sweaters, warm days and cool nights with the windows open.  Yes, even in the city because I'm on the third floor.

This summer I got nothing done that I wanted to.  I didn't start writing again...yet.  Although I do have an idea now that I think I just have to start before I'm going to see it's real purpose.  I don't know if I can write it without the story in my head first, but maybe I can. We will see what kind of crap I spit up on to the blank page later today. 

As I flip through my Facebook friends it also seems like everyone is losing weight and I'm not.  And I wanted to.  I planned it over cookies and wine.  I thought about it over ice cream and rum.  At least I know where my calories are coming from.  My clothes aren't tight yet, but as John Bender in the Breakfast Club would say, "Well, not at present but I could see you really pushing maximum density."  Yes I'm being hard on myself but I am not liking what I see in pictures so its past time to do something.  Just gotta finish this ice cream in my freezer first.  And drink all this rum.  In one respect I guess since all writers are drunks, might be a good combination for starting this new play. 

What is it about Summer that makes me so lazy?  Is it just the heat? Or is it the heat coupled with my very thin wallet?  It's very difficult to have a good time in the Summer in a city like Chicago.  Pretty much everything is expensive and the parks are, well, lets just say they are not like really being outside in the woods.  Not like the Great White North of Wisconsin.  And public transportation can't even get me to Six Flags.  So it's not gonna get me to a real woody area. I think I miss hikking in Hixon Park the most.  So many good memories there with myself and my thoughts.  Some even with Mr. Hopeful or She of Little Combat Boots.  I wish Chicago had mountains close by like Colorado Springs did.  Then I might be able to find some much needed nature.  I will have to go on an adventure soon and find some or I might go into hermit city mode and never leave my studio other than to work.  That would not be the best idea, unless of course I'm writing.  You know what this is?  All this lamenting nature is just another excuse and distraction to actually writing.   And between us, I think that's what my soul really needs right now.  To write.

But what to write?  Should I finally finish the last draft of the fantasy novel that has been shelved for over two years now?  Or should I get this play pounded out?  My muse nods beside me when I mention the play.  Wow I haven't seen her in a long time.  She looks like me circa 1994, only with much cooler hair, and all the Stevie Nicks stuff I've been able to collect since then.  Well not all of it.  LOL  but a great deal.  So somewhere between Death in Sandman and Stevie in the 70's.  Oh and she has wings.  My muse is a fairy.  And she changes heights depending on how serious she is to be heard.  For a years she's been about the size of my Iphone.  Now she's my size so I think I should try to write today.  No one likes a giant fairy sitting on their bed, eating their cookies, and judging her wine choices.

I better go before she eats all the lemon poppy seed cake too. 


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

My experiment worked!  I finally went into the English Pub a block down the alley from my apartment, and despite my fear it was so worth it.  The outside is not much, but then neither was my favorite bar back home.  And it's off the beaten path, but close enough to activity to stay in business, and that appeals to me as well.  The fact that I can walk to it in a minute is also a very freeing feeling.  Even drunk I think I could make it home safe, down an alley, in Chicago.  Because it's my alley.  I've walked it a million times as a shortcut to Second Daughter and Second Son's apartment; so I know it, well. 

But the inside of this Pub is what sold me.  When I walked in the first things to hit my senses were Jurassic Park playing on the small TV high in the corner, a group of very colorful people arguing Star Wars movies, and soft jazz playing from a hidden place I never located.  I knew I was home, before Sinatra started singing Lovely, and the waitress said hello.  Id never watched Jurassic Park, muted with subtitles and Frank singing, but I kinda think that's the only way to watch it now.  And the Star Wars arguments were very difficult to not shout out answers.  I bit my tongue and told the bartender that "Going over there and giving them a laundry list on why they are wrong is not the way to make friends."  and he said, "NOW you tell me."  Everyone that worked there had a quick wit.  I think I found where my peeps hang out.

The next things were the thick wooden tables and leather back chairs arranged in twos and fours around the center.  Three high tables with higher wooden chairs surrounded them, and a cozy booth, almost completely walled off on the opposite corner by the window.  That wall was lined with booths and tables to split or combine and more of the comfy chairs.  But the real charm was the bar itself and all the British paraphernalia on the walls.  At first I wasn't sure where to sit, but I bravely made my way to the bar and decided to eat there.  I wanted to send a signal that I was approachable and you can't do that at a table for one. 

Everything English, (and one breakfront for the Scotts!) surrounded me.  Beautiful framed pictures and posters from rock royalty of the Beatles and Pink Floyd to the real royals of Queen Victoria and Prince Phillip.  Pirates were beside explorers.  And Shakespeare made more than one appearance.  Posters advertising places in England, hobbies like rugby and soccer.  But the most impressive piece was the life-size red telephone booth.  Inside it they had a fancy lamp, which was on, of course and a table with an old, black, cradle style, dial telephone, placed lovingly on a lace doily.  If only it were Tardis blue, I did ask, "How much for the fake Tardis?" and the owner lamented about his search for a real one, and his frustration that if there were ever a great selling item it would be a life size Tardis.  We discussed our mutual search and failure and my parting line, "If you paint this blue, I'll buy it,"was received with warm smiles and nods.  The bar was lined with whiskey, scotch, gin and bourbon, and the beer choices were endless both cold and the traditional warm.  I sampled a pale ale on tap, warm.  Which was good, but I'm too American, I like my beer cold, so I settled for Samual Smith IPA from India. Which was awesome and went really well with my fish and chips.

The owner and his wife were delightful and they invited me back on Friday for all I can eat fish and chips.  I expect to meet more regulars then.  I did meet one and he was very interesting, and worked at the Lincoln library which is full of all sorts of civil war and Lincoln info.  He knows a lot about that era but was kind enough not to brag on it.  He also hoped to see me again when I left.  The wait staff and bartender were very nice.  One of them had just celebrated her birthday last night at the bar and it was packed, and she was hung over.  They gracefully allowed me to join in the jibs, as the regulars did, when she complained about her head.  Everyone seemed very nice and I was treated like I had been coming there all year not just one night.  She mentioned the hipsters were drinking Malort.  The bartender nor I had ever tried it so we sampled it.  It was the most disgusting thing we had ever tried.  It truly tasted like bug spray, bitter, bitter bug spray.   Fucking hipsters will drink anything and call it cool.  Google it, there's an actual article "The New Malort: The Worst Drink To Ever Happen."  And I agree.  They have a second room to eat in too and a reading room in the back full of books for sale.  I meant to go back there and check it out but I was having so much fun talking with everyone that I am saving that for my next experience on Friday night.

I can't wait to show this bar off to old friends and family,  that might come and visit.  It really is a hidden gem.   Oh and it's call The Red Lion in Lincoln Square.  In case you want to google map it and check out it's website.  If you're ever in Chicago, look it up.  I'll be the one at the bar with blue hair. 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Signals and a Test For Echo

I've got that feeling again.  That waiting for the other shoe to drop feeling.  When I concentrate on it it terrifies me, for like most of you I'm only a paycheck away from being homeless.  I think I'm overreacting.  If I were going to lose my job over standing up for my daughter and trying to help her a month ago, I think they would have given me notice then or outright fired me.  Perhaps I'm just too cautious.  A nanny in their neighborhood lost her job.  I don't know the details and I'm very curious because I saw this nanny almost every day at the park when I took Beatles Boy and Flower Girl. 

One day last week I saw the nanny on the street corner of the townhouses as I was walking to my train.  She looked embarrassed and hurried as a man I'd never seen before had his hand out, waiting somewhat impatiently, for her to remove a key from her ring of keys.  I walked on by, pretending not to notice.  I didn't want to add to her embarrassment, but I felt bad that I didn't say something.  Even a smile or a wave goodbye.  Then a few days later, I saw him again at the park with the little girl and another much younger nanny.  She looked so like the little girl if I hadn't met the mother before I would have assumed she was the wife and mom.  Noticing the child, I asked the man if the nanny was sick today, and he said "No.  Something happened and she no longer works for us."  I said I was sorry for the family and introduced myself and let him know we were one door down from them and of course he then recognized the children.  And was happy to meet me. 

I'm sure I'm overreacting.  I know my family and I discussed notice when I was hired as one of the things that they felt strongly about on both sides, as they were left high and dry with no notice by their last nanny.  I think it's why they were so afraid when I wanted to help Di in what I considered an emergency.  They saw a signal from me that scared them and reminded them of the past.  And I'm sure that whatever this other nanny did, I'm not capable of doing that.  Something that would require a dismissal with no notice.  The only times I've been suddenly fired from a job involved high corporate drama, or otherwise known as corporate take overs. 

Signals that remind people of the past.  That's huge.  And I feel like its always an issue with us as humans.  We remember the fire that burned us and we fear to touch it again.  We don't want to disturb its embers for fear of a flare up, and another decade of guilt and hurt and unbearable jealousy.  Emotions that can define us and ones we never wish will.  But when the heart is broken by a love, accepting that love again can be impossible.  It's like the old test with a piece of paper.  Rip it up and then apologize.  It's not the same, and never will be.  You can tape it and glue it back together but its still not like it was before the rending...before the destruction.  This is what happens in relationships when mistakes are made or hearts broken.  And depending on the importance of the relationship it can lead to divorce, unemployment, and even shunning from your family members.  No one wants that, no matter what the reason for the rending. 

But....sometimes, I have found, that shredding up the paper and starting over with a new one is much better.  Sometimes the new paper even if it looks just like the other one, holds the ink better, is easier to write on, and the words flow out of me.  Something about a blank piece of paper.  It holds so many opportunities.  Sometimes I stare at it in frustration, sometimes it holds the ink and the script flows out of me.  It's the same with people.  You have to find the ones that it's easy with, and keep them close.  Those are the ones you don't dare rip.  Those are the ones we write very carefully with pencil so we can erase and try again. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

What Depression Taught Me

Admitting there is a problem is the first step.

There's a problem.

There.  I took a step. 

Now what?

The advice comes.  From every direction.  Some you ask for some you don't and most is wrong, no matter how well meaning.

Then you sit.  And listen. 

You think, probably too much.

You refuse 'outside' or 'social' activities.

You drink.  Or smoke.  Or whatever you do to escape.  (I play video games, and sometimes drink)

Nothing feels 'right'.

Memories invade.

Suddenly you feel alone, and disjointed, out of phase and a huge failure at life and question all the decisions you have made.  Instead of being happy with your life and where you are.  Who you are.

You remember who you were when you thought you were happy.  And you try to recreate the past.  This never works.

You buck up and try to make friends only to have no one show up.  Or be disappointed that the initial 'connection' wasn't really there.  People wear too many masks.

You decide you can only count on yourself.  And resign yourself to being alone and learning how to really enjoy your own company.

You go to plays, movies, eat out once in awhile at a nice place.  You do your errands and play your on line games, and live your life, sometimes surrounded by the wrong people and sometimes alone, but you are living a life.

See, there is no room for feeling depressed or sorry for yourself. YOU ARE ALIVE.



And the only thing that really matters is how you adjust to change.  Which is the only thing that you can count on.  Things change.  Nothing stays the same.  So if you don't like where you are now, hold on, you wont be there long.  And if you do, hold on tight, so you can stand tall through the changes.



BELIEVE IN YOU.  You are one of a kind and special and there is NO ONE else like you HERE.  NO ONE.   Remember this.  And walk tall.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Take Yourself A Friend - RUSH

I got the Chicago Blues.  And I'm actually getting over them, I should say I had them last week.  I don't know what it is, but lately I've been feeling more lonely and alone in the windy city than even when I first moved here.  And I'm not alone.  I have Second Daughter and her husband Second Son and their kids Ginger Snap and Sammy Bo Baggins.  But they are a family and tend to do things together with their down time.  Of course First Daughter and First Son are always just a call away but again, they are not here.  I still have my best girlfriends peppered around the country, The Poet in My Heart, and She of Little Combat Boots, and The Woman To Blame, but they are all in separate cities.  And I still have 2/3rds of the A Team although they have all been demoted to just friends unless single, Mr. Hopeful and Mr. Practical.  And I know if its important I can always talk to That Guy.  And I value each and every one of these very close friendships, but sometimes its not enough.  The distance between us all always comes crashing down around me when our chat times end.  And I wonder if I'll ever find the time and courage to put myself really out there.  I did stretch my dating muscles not long ago but that didn't go well for him, although I felt ok doing it, I still felt like I was cheating on Mr. Hopeful.  Money is also an issue right now, so it's hard to go out and have a drink or do a meet up when your broke.  I'm not an outdoor girl except for hikking and the hikking in the city is just not the same.  And this summer has been too cold to go to the beach yet.

Its not that I find it hard to make friends, its just that I've always relied on introductions to meet people.  Friends of friends.  But here, I've not found my niche yet.  My people.  And I know that lies with me.  I haven't gone to any comic stores or sci-fi events or any of the meet ups on writing or reading that I'm signed up for.  They either meet when I'm working or entry fees are too much that week.  And from what I hear most of them are retired people anyway unless stated that the club is for a certain age group.  And while I could pass, I'd hate to meet someone that I like and have them realize I started out our friendship with a lie.  And in the city its so much more dangerous to just talk to a stranger, even if it's only a train ride of time.  And those people you never see again, anyway. 

I hope money wont always be an issue for me, but I assume it will be.  I know I'll pay off my debt and acquire more, its the way my life has been, and I don't see it really changing.  Unless I win the lottery, but of course I have to actually PLAY to win and, I'm not a gambler. 

So since, I'm a nanny, I'm not going to meet anyone at work, which has worked in the past.  Nor do I go to church or have a favorite bar, and I'm not likely to meet a good friend in either of those places as I'm not a big believer or a big drinker.  Its almost like I need a neon sign that blinks, NERDS WANTED.  And see if anyone bites.  I find the majority of the people here distant. Polite when it suits them or if they are intimidated and rude when not, but I wouldn't say friendly.  But I think that's any large metropolis. 

Memory serves me well, and I'm not feeling depressed or adrift, but I wanted to put it out there that I'm very grateful for the friends I have, even if they are far away.  For without them I might not have any adult communication in my life at all.  Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself.  Maybe its my coming birthday.  Maybe its the last things Mr. Selfish said to me about ending up alone.  Maybe its missing my First Daughter.  Maybe its about the the dynamics change at work.  Or maybe its all of these things and I've been strong too long and just need a good cry.  I notice that heartfelt stories and movies make me cry a lot again. Hell I even teared up watching the ComicCon video on the new Star Wars movie just for seeing Harrison Ford in the Falcon again.  Maybe I'm just getting old and reflecting on my life too much.  Maybe it's karma.  Maybe its my shyness kicking in.  But I feel more an more like a forced hermit on the weekends instead of a choice to be a hermit.  Maybe I just need a drink. 

No.  I think RUSH has it right.  I just need a friend.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Is There Something In The Water?

I have a huge respect for trying to do the right thing, Karma sucks and the fourth of July is my date for paying back Karma.  Back in the day, which for me is the mid 1980's, with the help of Mr. Selfish, my third husband, I made a life choice that destroyed two lives.  One was a young man that just wanted to marry me, Guezzo, and the second was my second husband, Darth Vader.  Now thankfully I paid back the Karma due Darth and he is now very happy in his second marriage, but Guezzo, no one knows what happened to him.  If he finally drank himself to death or if he's happy living the American Dream away from all the ones he has great reason to hate.  That's July 4th for me, a memory of breaking his heart over fireworks and running off with Mr. Selfish who would in turn, in nine years break my heart in much the same way by falling in love with a younger woman.  Destroying our family. 

But wait there's more.

July second is also a banner date in time for it was the last time I saw Mr. Hopeful.  Now I don't mean saw like in the grocery store, I mean saw, as in being together and being able to express all those wonderful feelings we have for each other.  But that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away as well.  But it doesn't make my July 4th any easier.  It bookends July 3rd quite nicely.  The last happy day with Guezzo. 

So lets just say this whole holiday is usually a bust for me and a weekend where I enjoy my hermit solitude of reflection.  Where I heavily weigh the costs of my rash decision making in my past. 

But this year there must be something in the water, something that is only effecting men.  Because this year, it seems a lot of my past mistakes are bubbling back to the surface to remind me how much karma I still have to pay.  Or maybe they are chances to right past wrongs. Lets see how I did. 

Last month Mr. Confident tried to get me to hook up to him the day before he posted a save the date for his upcomming marriage.  I told him basically to stuff it.  But much nicer.  My standard, "Yes, only a drink unless your single." Line which shuts him up.  Score one for mending karma, I said no. 

Then right before that Mr. Practical, contacts me with a 'once in a lifetime opportunity' to try to be friends.  Just friends, like we were before the 'greatest kiss of all time' five years ago.  And after setting up many boundries that I wanted as much as he, for I do miss his friendship, I said yes.  But if he flirts with me or tries anything he doesn't feel comfortable saying with his wife in the room, then I'm done again.  And will back off to save their marriage.  Score another one for mending karma, I agreed to the relationship we always should have had.

Then on July 3rd this year, Mr. Selfish hits on me.  WTF?!  Mr. Shelfish, who never talks to me anymore and hasn't in years.  I think the last good conversation we had face to face was when First Daughter went off to college. That's eight years ago.  And he doesn't know me nor has he been in my life as even a friend in 21 years.  Hits on me!  On July 3rd of all dates!  Now I know he was drinking and he mentioned a lot about time and how we'll both end up alone and isn't being with someone better than that, and that Mr. Hopeful has nothing on our history, and now much he could pleasure me even at our ages.  WOW. What a sweet talker!  I think Satan said it best when his response to Mr. Selfish trying anything with me, was, "He never knew what he wanted except to be waited on, and he's a psychopathic destroyer."  Even First Daughter said I owned her dad nothing, and First Son said he sounds lonely.  Well he may be right, but welcome to your Karma, Mr. Selfish.  My response to this insulting settling for who was once the love of his life, was this:  I was nice for First Daughter's sake, I asked questions about what was really wrong, and how he was handling the death of his father six months ago, I told him my heart lay in someone else's caring hands, and that he should remember how that felt when it was directed at him, and he had the balls to say he'd leave this thread open in case I ever wanted it.  Not likely.  The next morning when he tried to apologize I told him he got a free pass for being someone I've known all my life, but that I hoped he wasn't serious about any of it, because I would never trust my heart to him again.   Score another one for mending Karma, I said no and kept my voice strong rather than going back to old patterns in the tapestry that were not good for me.  For when I was his wife I was invisible, with no voice of my own, and no thought to what my choices did to others.  I lost a lot of 'me' married to him and it's taken me many decades to find again.  Some important things I regained only after the great pain of Mr. Charisma and the triggers. 

And then there is Mr. Hopeful who is the only person that made me laugh about the entire thing, on a holiday that I'd much rather wallow in grief and loss.  When he heard what Mr. Selfish did, he said only this, "You're irresistible." 

In two words he showed his heart and how he sees me with an explanation that should explain it all away.  And he made me smile fondly as I sat from my third story window and watched the neighborhood fire works of Chicago.  By my vantage I was able to see three different shows in my PJ's tucked into my 'inter-nest'.  It was a happy 4th in the end and I didn't wallow even though I was alone. I was too insulted by Mr. Selfish to wallow; and unlike Mr. Selfish, I'm alright with ending up alone.  I like me.  Score another one for mending Karma and not needing anyone to complete me or validate what I feel or who I am.