Monday, January 30, 2006

Aries' Preliminary Birthday List

Holy Guacamole.

Aries came in this morning while I was working on my computer (at 6:30 a.m.) and announced she had created her birthday list. Her birthday isn't until April 10th but given the following list, it appears I'll need time to save up some cash:

(Please note I have typed the list exactly as I received it)

Cingular Picher Phone
A puppy
D.S. Games
An EMPTEY book
A laptop
Make up
Mariners CHEERLEADING outfit
NEW Paint and stuff for rm.
ICE skates and a coustum
Do Rag Hat
London Hat
Trendy Hat
A singhed Mariner Ball
Lava Lamp

Well, if nothing else, I've taught her to shoot for the stars. Given the list she provided, I have just a few small questions.

A nine year old with a cell phone?! Am I just not with the program or does it seem a bit too early to be providing cellular service? I know Verizon makes this little phone with only four buttons on it that you can program but obviously it's not a picture phone. She can't keep her room clean and I'm supposed to "trust" her with a cell phone? Hell, she had $15 in her wallet that was in her backpack and when I asked her how much she had left she shrugged and started explaining that she had given some of it away to friends.

What the hell is she thinking? Does money grow on trees where she lives? I mean seriously just giving money away, why I would never.... yeah, I better stop there. (smile) She's apparently carrying around a few of my traits.

A puppy. Lest she forget the Shona ordeal? The dog that pissed on my expensive bed. The mattress that I had to pay $1279 to replace? Aries has ovaries of steel to even mention getting another dog right now. Ovaries of steel...yeah, I better stop there, too!

What do you think an empty book means?

A laptop? Shit, I built her a computer that's nicer than mine. Laptop?! dDes she plan on doing a lot of traveling? Perhaps I should buy her a Louis Vuitton briefcase to go with her laptop. And how about a pair of Manolo Blahnik's to complete her ensemble.

Make up? I don't think so. A.) She's so beautiful she'll never need it and B.) No. No means No. Or I could go out on a limb and buy her a flashy miniskirt to go with her Manolo's so that when she hits the street she can start making good money right out of the gate.

Ice skates. This one baffles me. She's never been to an ice skating rink and suddenly in her mind she's ready for her own skates AND an outfit? Do I have a Tara Lipinski on my hands and I just don't know it? To quote one of my favorite comedians, Kathleen Madigan, "you don't wanna peak that early [winning the Gold at 14]. You might as well go ahead and shoot the heroine right into your eyeball and go directly to rehab."

Do-rag. I get this. But a do-rag hat? My kid is so damn cute that do-rags look phenominal on her. But as my friend Pony has so eloquently pointed out, "us white people call them bandanas." Don't guess I'll be taking Pony with me on that shopping trip.

Likewise, I am uncertain what a London Hat is. Perhaps I'll have to stop surfing boy porn and K9 long enough to figure out what she's talking about.

An autographed Mariner baseball. Aries, if there's an autographed Mariner baseball in this house it WON'T belong to you. I love you, but you'll never have one before I do. Not ever. Especially not one signed by Edgar Martinez. Quit frankly, I'm surprised she didn't list who she wanted the signatures for. Edgar and Ichiro would have been the two she requested. Keep dreamin' little one. Good luck with that.

The new bed I was planning on getting her. First, however, she's going to have to clean her room so it will frickin FIT in there. Her room scares even me.

I'm thinking since my birthday is before hers, I should provide her with a list. Of course that list won't do much good until she gets all the hooker garb she's requested for her birthday so she can make some money. What I want to know is what happened to days of Barbie dolls and playing dress up. Apparently dress up has taken on a new form!

Hey, at least she's thinking ahead. It's going to take me the next two months to figure this list out!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Life is good; Lessons are plenty, Grasshopper


Did you hear my sigh of relief? Was it not loud enough for you? I can do it again!!!


This is the best day ever.

Allow me to elaborate. Friday night I dropped Aries off at her Dad's and headed to Pacific City. Once I picked up the keys to the rental house and let myself in, I stood in the center of the house and took in the absolute silence. It penetrated my soul.

It was a silence so loud it hurt my ears. I realized on Friday night how much I miss true silence. Living in Portland and in a house with an eight year old who generally has the TV running even if only for background noise, I was inundated with the reality that true silence always seems out of reach. I will be remedying that from here on out.

Once I settled in, I drove to the local tavern for a cocktail. I drank a Margarita made with Cuervo (ew ew ew) and watched the locals shoot pool. I had to laugh at the drunken ignorance I witnessed and realized how silly me and My Boys must look when we're all participating in the tomfoolery that comprises a typical night out. It was a straight version of CC's sans porn. I didn't stay beyond the one drink.

I returned to the house and felt absolutely elated at the silence. I was in the best mood I had been in in two months. I opened the windows that faced the ocean, closed my eyes and just listened to the power and grace. The Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West welcomed me. It was as though they had been waiting all this time and couldn't wait to embrace me.

I donned my sweats and kicked back on the overstuffed chair. I sat there and smiled uncontrollably. I closed my eyes and breathed - in and out - in and out as deeply as possible. With each exhale I expelled the ugliness that has saturated my home and my life since K9 began his stay. I felt liberated.

Liberated until my phone rang. Yes, I forgot to turn off my cell. I saw it was K9 and answered it. He was checking to find out if I had made it safely. A nice gesture considering how things left off when he had left for work earlier that day.

As most of you who read me know, I base everything on intuition. K9 told Hot Toddy and I that he did a spread for Playgirl in early November. That he had flown to L.A. for the shoot. Thing about his story was that it never sat well with me. He never discussed anything about the photo shoot. I knew in my gut he was lying.

Fast forward through the next couple of months, I had come to realize that K9 would bend the truth to fit whatever the situation called for. I cannot count the times that I caught him lying about something. I never bothered to confront him as I had no emotional investment. However.... On Thursday of last week I discovered that the "photo shoot" that he claimed to have done was, in fact, a gay-for-pay porn.

When he discovered via my cookies that I knew what he had done, he blew a cork. And how. His attitude was instantly ugly. He screamed profanities at me while he blamed me for knowing the truth. When he asked how I figured it out, I was honest. I told him that his story about Playgirl never felt right to me and that I did computer investigations for a living. There were other contributing factors but the fact that he was instantly SO ugly to someone who had housed and fed him for six weeks was the last straw.

When I left town on Friday night, I knew he would be moving out of my house this morning. I chose to not sit here with my stomach in knots exposed to someone whose attitude was so ugly. And I'm glad I did.

K9 and I spoke several times Friday night. Every call more ugly and angry than the last (on his part anyway). I kept telling him to stop and reminded him that he was a guest in my house and had no right to speak to me that way. I'd hang up, he'd call again.

The unfortunate thing about all these phone calls was that he was yelling and cussing at me so loudly that Hot Toddy and Brown Eyes heard every syllable of the conversation all the way downstairs. It was bad. Toddy said he was so pissed off at K9's behavior that he almost marched upstairs to tell him to leave. Would have been fine with me.

I finally turned my phone off realizing that talking to K9 was like reasoning with a madman. As I hung up the phone for what I knew would be the last time, I laughed out loud as I did the happy dance on the way to the livingroom. I caught him dead to rights in a lie. There was no denying it. For reasons that I'll not go into here, I felt he should have been honest with me about something that happened a mere two weeks prior to his staying here. He felt differently about it.

When I went to sleep that night, I felt relieved, safe, peaceful. I was able to sleep deeply and dream of things that felt good. Okay, mostly related to sex with faceless people but it was good sex.

Sometime in the early morning hours around 1:30 a.m., the storm that was expected hit with a vengeance. High winds, heavy rain, lightening. I was awakened by the flash of lightening and thought the roof was being blown off by the storm. I'm so used to being in the city that when the lightening struck over the beach, it lit up the entire sky. I stood mesmerized...and hoping it wouldn't hit my Mustang.

When I awoke, I was more rested than I had felt in ages. I awoke happy with a song in my heart and a bounce in my step. I spent the day watching the storms roll in and watching movies. I ate oranges and grapefruits. I made tostadas for lunch. I "danced with myself" every damn time I felt like it (thanks juju for the, well, you know what).

My friend Ren the Rockstar drove out to the coast to have dinner with me. I ate shrimp enchiladas and drank a couple of Margaritas. I talked and laughed with my friend. It was so great. I slept like a baby Saturday night as well. I awoke this morning and finished a book I had been reading. My life was unencumbered and I was loving every minute of it.

I got a call from Toddy this morning around 11:30 congratulating me on getting my house back. He informed me that K9 had packed his shit and left my house. I was so happy I walked through the rental house pumping my fist and shouting. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. It was all about me and my happy dance. Suddenly I couldn't wait to get home.

I packed up my things and headed back to Portland. I couldn't wait to drive my new car back home. I met Toddy at CC's this afternoon. He and I sat and talked. He, too, was elated that K9 was gone. He was so appalled at the way K9 spoke to me that he and Brown Eyes were actually trying to avoid him. K9's ugliness had officially penetrated each room of my house.

I talked to Sweet Face, one of the bartenders at CCs, about my sitch. When I told him I came to to celebrate the fact that bipolar K9 was finally out of my house, he bought me my first Margarita. He consoled me and reminded me that it was nice that I tried to help him. Hell, he even said we could have a DVD release party in K9's honor of his latest endeavor.

The Toddtender showed up and there were a few other guys in there that I'm friends with. I was reminded today both figuratively and literally (by Sweet Face - one of the bartenders) why I love going to CC's so much. They look out for me (and my chosen family) in there. They aren't just bartenders in some gay bar. They are friends who always have our backs.

I picked up Aries tonight and walked into a quiet house. I sat on my front porch with Toddy and Brown Eyes and laughed and talked and felt like my old self again. I still don't regret helping K9. Our paths crossed for a reason. It didn't work out the way I thought it would, but that's because I didn't stand strongly enough behind my boundaries. K9 out-assholed me. Well, me and whoever he got paid to do while he was in L.A. - bah ha ha!!!

Anyhoo, it was a costly experience and I've learned many lessons from this. Next time I'll be more cautious. From the wise words of Master Po when asked if he'd walk the path with Grasshopper: "I can only point the way, Grasshopper. You must walk the path yourself." Each trek down the path empowers me to make better decisions.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Time for Solitude

I'm sorry I haven't posted anything since my rant. I've received several phone calls from friends (blog and otherwise) concerned - especially since I hadn't followed up with another post.

I am doing better. I can't thank those of you who commented or sent me an email enough for being so supportive. Especially you boys: Brian, Mush, Gurustu and Dantallion. There are certain people in blogdom for which I have the utmost respect and admiration. When I think about the fact that you four took the time to be so heartfelt with me, it moves me. Thank you for caring so much about someone you've never met. Or seen. I really do need to get some pics on my site.

Anyhoo, things with me still aren't exactly where I'd like them to be but the journey getting there is proving to be one of enlightenment. I had a long talk last night with my best friend, The Toaster Oven. I have missed our talks. At least when we worked together we conversed more. Sounds funny considering we live together but he's been busy and I've been...well, not my best self as of late.

Our conversation was one wherein I received the agreeing support I needed; the mutual feeling of being aghast at certain situations regarding K9; I received the validation I needed that I have handled the K9 situation as best I could; we shared examples of how our boundaries could have been better - mine with K9 and his with Thor (gd hindsight on both counts).

Hot Toddy was a good enough friend to point out that my caretaking can be too much. He said so with an honest heart and I was able to hear him. I know I have things on which to work. I know that my attempt to help K9 was done so with the purest intentions and the way he has treated me in return has nothing to do with me. I'd like to say it's made me gun shy about helping anyone else, but I'll help out my fellow man again. It's just who I am.

K9 is leaving this weekend to go back to Denver. He needs to be gone now. It's been two months and given a different set of circumstances I may not have felt so pressed to be done with doling out my generosity like Pez pellets. But given my current situation with losing my job a month ago, etc., I am not my best self right now. And that's okay. I don't have to be my best self all the time.

It was K9 who asked me for the loan. It's what triggered my last post. I sat at my laptop writing with tears streaming down my face and the Kleenex box nearby. He knows my current financial situation as I had made it abundantly clear yet he asked anyway. After a promise to pay back the money immediately, I agreed. I should have stuck to my guns. I should have trusted my intuition. But I wanted to have faith he'd do the right thing and I ignored it.

I found out Sunday night that the agreement we had was "not [his] understanding" and he thought I was gifting him the cash. That's when I lost it. I'm trying to have faith that he'll do the right thing, but if I end up never seeing one dime of that cash then I guess it was worth it to get him out of my house. Unfortunately, however, he'll make me out to be the heavy in the whole situation.

I've asked Brown Eyes to disappear next week for a few days. I need my household back. Just me and Aries and Toddy. And peace. I need to get grounded again following the whirlwind of someone else's chaos. Brown Eyes said he'd be happy to accommodate and he has no idea how much I appreciate it.

I'm taking Aries to her Dad's this weekend and I'm heading to the Coast. Alone. I have my ritual things packed. I have a couple of good books. One spiritual; one fiction. I'm not drinking this weekend. I'm not smoking this weekend. It's my plan to finally put my Marlboro Ultra Light 100's down and step away from the addiction. I don't smoke that much but it's enough for me to feel burnt out by it all.

It's going to be a cleansing weekend. I won't be here when K9 packs his shit and heads out of town. It was a double-edged sword really. Stay here on a kidless weekend and endure 48 more hours of potential chaos or go. I'm choosing to go. I need to for me. If he steals anything from me then I guess he needs it worse than I do.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Can Anyone Hear Me?

There is still so much to discuss, yet I find I have but one thing I am capable of blogging tonight.

I find myself submerged deep in frustration tonight. I can feel the heat from the frustration soaking my core from the inside out. It's hot. It's agitating.

I try everyday to live my life like a compassionate human being. I try to be aware of others and their needs. It isn't something I set out to do like some martyr on a mission. It's more about the fact that I can feel what's going on for other people and to ignore it is like looking up at the sky on a bright summer day with the sun directly overhead and trying to avoid looking at it.

For whatever reason right now my path is such that I am destined to help people. And I'm tired. I don't want to be, but I am. The thing about being friends with me is that (I am borrowing this observation from a friend) when you're friends with me I hold you up everytime you need it. It isn't a grand gesture - it just happens.

It's the true meaning of friendship.

The thing about my friendship and me is that you don't even realize I'm holding you up until I reach out to hold up someone else. I don't mind that I'm like this. On the contrary, I'd have it no other way; but when am I held?

At what point is someone there to hold me up when I need it?

I have so much shit going on in my life right now that I don't fucking know which way is up. And I'm alone. I'm so busy holding everyone else up that my god damned arms are tired. My heart is tired. My soul aches.

All I've done all week is fucking cook and do dishes 19 times a fucking day. The laundry is behind; Auburn Aries' rooms are a pig sty; I'm behind in my bills; even sitting here at my writing desk I look around at paperwork that is everywhere in stacks. My shit is falling behind while I help keep everyone else's shit together.

Hell, I even had a friend ask to borrow money the other day even though this person knows I've lost my job and have not signed the separation agreement which kicks off my severance package yet and that my income has ceased. With the promise of immediate repayment, I agreed (I know, don't yell at me - you can't beat me up anymore than I've already done myself). In all honesty, it's the lending of money trying to help someone else out that ignited all of this emotion tonight.

I'm scared. Where the hell is everybody when Auburn Pisces is scared? Is anyone listening?

I honestly cannot believe that I've managed to hold it together like I have. Okay, right now doesn't count because I cannot consider this outburst as holding it together. I know it's likely that I'll read this tomorrow and need to print a correction for losing my cool. But for now, this is all there is.

I've helped K9 to the point that I don't know what else I can do for him. The thing there is I've stopped trying to help him find a solution. It's his solution to find and I am not a part of it. But his energy, his pull on my energy still exists. At what point do you turn your back and say enough?

Someone in our blog family commented in my blog sometime around the PMS blog (I hesitate to research who it was because my laptop has been temperamental lately and I'd prefer to stay in this window) that it always happens that you extend your home to someone only to end up being the one to have to tell them to leave and then you end up the heavy in the whole situation because you had to draw a line in the sand. How right on the money was THAT comment?!

My dear friend, Brown Eyes, is staying with us for a couple of weeks due to a change in his situation. And Brown Eyes, this isn't directed at you. You know I would help you anytime you need it. But the energy drain from K9 has left me feeling like I have nothing left tonight. I beg you not to take this personally and I'm asking you to trust me when I say this to you.

There is so much activity in my house, so much needed by everyone else that I'm neglecting myself. Hot Toddy's been hiding out downstairs all day long and the bummer is I really needed him today but could not have gotten 15 minutes alone with him to talk even if I wanted it - which I did very much.

On March 5th I will turn 43 years old. Last year Hot Toddy, The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz threw me a fantastic birthday party in The Vortex. This year I was thinking about gathering the family together to have cocktails somewhere so we could all laugh and be together. But then I thought about the alcohol factor and how tired I am of being surrounded by that and knowing the potential exists that I could end up being a caretaker o' the hammered that I don't think I want to get together this year.

Then I thought about gathering The Fam at the coast in a rental house for the weekend - I love the coast so much and the thought of everyone gathered in my favorite place thrilled me. However, I think all I want to do it head to the coast to my favorite little rental house on the beach - alone. Do a ritual or 10. Watch a movie or not. Read a book or sleep all damn day. No phone, no human contact, no one's needs but my own.

Hell, I deserve to at least give myself what it is I really want - and right now all I want is peace and quiet.

Let me close by saying that I know I have people out there who care about me and who check on me. Ren..your friendship never goes unnoticed. Young know how I feel about you - I wish you were still in my life the way you used to be. I know Toddy and Pony and MizKarma and Juju and Hot Momma are all right there. I'm just having a rough day and needed to vent. Times like this I miss having a partner in my life. Someone who truly knows me and understands me and will let me be my worst, scared, teary self with them without ever having to doubt their love. Oddly enough, however, I don't want that right now either. Go figure.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mustang Aub

The night before I lost my job, I bought this smokin' ass Mustang.

Kind of a double-edged sword isn't it? Buying a car like this one and losing your job the next day.

All I can say to that is, Eh....

There's a bit of a story behind the Stang. I received a call from my sister, Skinny Girl, on Christmas morning telling me that her husband had bought her a Mustang as a gift for Christmas. She didn't mean that he took her to pick it out. He actually went to the dealership and selected the car, had the value of her Jeep Wrangler assessed unbeknownst to her while she was at work, brought the car home and hid it for three days in their neighbors garage (my sister never noticed the neighbors were parking on the street).

On Christmas morning, Ken had moved the car into their back driveway and handed her a little box with a set of keys in it. Nice, huh?! That kind of stuff only happens in commercials. She called to tell me the story to which all I could reply was, "SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

I couldn't believe it for two reasons: 1.) that she has a partner in her life that would do that. I will never be with a partner (regardless of the gender) long enough to have anyone do that for me. I was jealous.

Reason #2.) That she got the car I wanted!!! Let me clear one thing up... I am a Chevy girl at heart. Always will be. It's part of the list of fun questions I ask potential partners - Chevy or Ford, Democrat or Republican, etc. But when Ford changed the body style of the Mustangs to look like the old Mach 1, I was sold.

Fast forward four days and Auburn Aries and I were out rattin' around and I asked her if she wanted to go test drive the new Mustangs. I honestly didn't walk in there expecting to buy the car (okay, maybe a little I did). Mostly I just wanted to see how much [ahem] moxie it had (what is it with me and moxie?).

The saleswoman told me she would drive the car out of the lot and then we would trade places. With a puzzled look on my face I asked her if she was buying the car. She said no - at which point I promptly told her it would be I who drove the car off the lot. And that I did.

I first test drove the V6. Unbelievable. Aries was sitting in the back seat shouting "WE NEED TO OWN THIS CAR. I LOVE THIS CAR!!!"

Then I drove the GT. Oh my hell. The GT has so much power it literally throws you back against the seat even more than the V6 does. I drove GT like it was meant to be driven. I'm certain I scared the poor saleswoman. I pulled back into the dealership with images flashing through my mind of being pulled over, speeding tickets and never getting to open the car up the way it was meant to be driven.

I decided to buy the V6. Being a single parent with a $2k mortgage in an economy that feels like its never going to recover, spending $30k on a car seemed a bit frivolous. I was proud of myself during the negotiation process. I felt like my Dad - not taking any shit or rolling over on features I wanted or price. I made several calls to Ken to make sure I was on the right track. He helped me out on specifics.

I left there with my 2006 Vista Blue Mustang, V6, 17" alloy wheels with low profile performance tires, 6 disk CD/mp3 player with a 12" Alpine subwoofer in the trunk. I had the windows tinted last week. The car is too damn cool.

For years I 've wanted a blue car. When I was with Aries' Dad, he determined the color of the cars I bought mostly because he was better at being an asshole than I was. Then when I was with Grouchy Girl, she picked the color of the Camry (again she being a bigger bitch than I was, with her fit-throwing "I won't ride in that car if you buy that color.").

But now...I'm driving what I want in the color I want and the car hauls ass. Literally. Pony is jealous of my purchase (sorry, Pony) and when I gave Hot Toddy a ride to the airport, I actually scared him. It's just a huge injustice to not let my Pony do what it was built to do - which is perform like a Champion.

Monday, January 09, 2006

My ovaries were bigger than his dick.

Tis I...Auburn Pisces.

I haven't disappeared. K9 crashed my personal laptop several weeks ago and it's taken until yesterday to get it back online (thank you, Pony). I ordinarily would just post at work if my home system is down but alas, I have lost my job.

I left work on the 21st of December and hadn't planned on returning from my vacation until January 3rd. Auburn Aries was on her two week Christmas break and I usually spend a week of it with her.

I received a phone call from my boss the Thursday before I was to return to work. He said he wanted to talk to me about something.

Ahole: I need to talk to you about something. This is a really difficult conversation to have. We've decided to terminate your employment effective January 13th.

AP: [Hard to form words when your jaw is on the floor. I thought my stomach was going to fall out my butt]. Terminate my employment?

Ahole: With new direction the company is [blah blah blah] we've had to make some adjustments and [blah blah] budget cuts.

AP: Why my position? [we just hired four new employees on our team - I have tenure gawd damn it.]

Ahole: Well, quite honestly you were the most expendable. I knew about the reduction in force a month ago. I'm sorry.

AP: [Nice... I give six years of my life to this effing shithole company only to find my contribution and presence was just simply not needed anymore]. So just like that, I'm done? You couldn't have given me a heads up a month ago when I specifically asked you if my job was in jeopardy and you said yes and then proceeded to give me guidance on how to fix it? You couldn't just tell me there was RIF coming?

Ahole: I'm sorry. You don't need to return to work. Because of the level of access you have, your access was revoked prior to my making this phone call. We'll need your access badges, key fob, and any other company property you have. Contact the HR Department about a severance package. I'm just sick about this. I know what this does to you emotionally.

AP: Emotionally? Emotion has nothing to do with it, Ahole. You just dumped a financial bomb in my lap. I'm a single parent with a $2,000 mortgage and I just bought a new car last night!

Moral to the story is... My boss CALLED me while I was on my VACATION to TERMINATE MY EMPLOYMENT and then advised me he was NOT going to allow me access to my work laptop to retrieve any personal files that had accumulated over the course of six years. Isn't that special?!

The funny thing is Ahole thinks I'm ignorant enough to not see through his bullshit. For every time I confronted him; for every time he told me I was too assertive as an IT professional; for every time he told me I needed to soften the moxie; for the time I called him on his shit when he told me I should put my lifestyle and other things back under the covers; for every time we had a one-on-one and he seemed nervous to be around me, I guess I was too much for him.

He's got what he wants now...a team of yes men who don't rock the boat.

They're giving me a 12 week severance package assuming I'll sign a separation agreement stating I won't sue the company or hold them liable for anything. Once I meet with an attorney, I may do just that...sign it and be done with it. It's a blessing and I already know it.

More on the car and other current events tomorrow. There's so much to catch you up on!