Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The craziness inside

Why do the holidays have to be so difficult?

Is it the fact that I've lost my Mom and my brother inside three years? Is is that money seems so fucking tight right now and has for the past year and a half? Is it that Auburn Aries still believes in Santa and I have to live up to her expectations? Is it the new relationship I am smack in the middle of that I'm still trying to figure out?

It's interesting dating someone that is completely out of the ordinary. He's someone so tenderhearted that I worry about hurting him. I know he would never hurt me or Aries. Dating another Pisces is very interesting. I'm enjoying it but there is a certain clinginess due to circumstances beyond his control and I have to ask myself if I'm ready for this.

I worry that he's more in love with me than I am him.

I'm in Seattle in class and it's just started back up. More later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Open wide and say Ahhhhh

A couple of weeks ago I had to take Auburn Aries to the doctor for what I suspected what Strep throat. I thought it would be best to get a culture done just to make sure it was treated if that was the case.

While sitting the little room waiting, Aries looks over at me and says:

AA: I know how to spell Chlamydia.

AP: [flashes to a certain scene in Mean Girls and subsequently wonders why a 10 year old knows this not-so-fun fact] You do?

AA: Yes. It's c.h.l.a.m.y.d.i.a.

AP: Well, that's good, Honey. Just don't get Chlamydia, okay?

AA: Okay Mommie.

After seeing the doctor and deciding to go ahead and take the throat culture even though she doesn't suspect it was Strep, the nurse returns to take the culture. It took a little bit of convincing Auburn Aries that the throat culture was necessary.


AP: Yes, Baby, she is. She's just gonna touch it to your tonsils and make sure everything is okay.

AA: I've seen CSI, Mom. They don't just touch that thing to your throat. They drag it around and dig a little!!!

AP: Well that's true but this isn't CSI and you aren't dead. So open your mouth.

Aries finally did open her mouth and the nurse did drag it around a little. I about died laughing at the look on Aries face as though had she just drank sour milk.

AA: It's not funny Mom... [gags a little then coughs] It feels like I just swallowed metal.

AP: Like a glass of metal shards?

AA: Yep, just like that.

Who says having kid isn't fun??

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Math homework is hard

Auburn Aries is at her Dad's this weekend. I have very much been looking forward to the break. With Samhain upon us and the purchasing of a costume and the trip to the corn maze traipsing around in the mud and the subsequent trick or treating, I've been exhausted.

I was awakened this morning by a call from someone special (more on him another time) but found I couldn't fall back asleep. I curled up on the couch under a blanket and was enjoying the peace and quiet and reflecting on the week when I noticed on the coffee table a math worksheet Aries had completed.

It was chock full math riddles:

If you count by this number, you will say 100, but you will not say 10.
If you count by this number, you will say 200, but you will not say 40.
If you count by this number, you will say 300, but you will not say 75.
Find several factor pairs for the multiple of 100 you chose and list them below.

I read through her paper and was able to see the areas where she had penciled her thoughts. It was cool to see her work. I review her work but it's usually in the context of making sure it's completed and not necessarily to see that which I saw today. It literally made me laugh out loud.

The final task on the worksheet read:

Write about the strategies you used to find the factor pairs.

Aries' response:

I counted in my head, re-read what I wrote and counted on my fingers and toes. And checked with my Mom.

I was reminded that she's ten and half years old. She's growing up so fast and is extremely tall and very mature for her age ~ sometimes I forget that her mind is still young. It took about 2.5 seconds for me to miss her.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

100 Things About Me

1. I was born the 13th of 14 children. I have 10 brothers and three sisters.

2. My parents named me after the lady who owned the liquor store. She was apparently their best friend.

3. I am a natural redhead but the last few years and it's gotten progressively darker.

4. I now color my hair back to red because I detest people referring to me as a brunette (not that there's anything wrong with it).

5. My Dad got me my first bike at the dump. It had a banana seat and tall handle bars - though one of the handlebars was broken off . There was only a 4 or 5" stump sticking out. I loved that bike.

6. My Dad beat my ass once when my sister's rocking chair arm touched my rocking chair and I called her a booger and he thought I said fucker. I was only five years old. I did not know what the word fucker meant.

7. My family has always said I march to the beat of a different drummer. They're right. My older sister doesn't like me because of it. My younger sister adores me because of it.

8. My Mom made the best homemade biscuits in the world.

9. I knew I liked women when I was on a flight to Texas to see my grandparents.  I sat next to a woman who I couldn't take my eyes off of. I was 12.

10. I once saw a picture of a woman in Playboy who looked exactly like her.

11. My first female sexual experience was with two different women in the same week. I lied to each and told them they were the first because I didn't want to hurt anyone.

12. I am actually bi but love, for me, can come from either sex.  I don't need both.  I can be happy with either.

13. To this day I wonder what my life would be like if I had really been supported when I discovered my sexual orientation.

14. Life growing up was difficult hiding so much of myself and having no one who understood me. I never understood why love was conditional.

15. My Dad had a small 20-acre ranch we called the Ponderosa when I grew up. He had 75 head of cattle - each one had a name.

16. My younger sister is who I am the closest too in my whole family.

17. We laugh just alike and we've never had a fight.

18. She now lives in Missouri and I miss her every day.

19. In 1980, my Dad sold a bull named Wobbles at the livestock auction for the down payment on my first car.

20. I once threw a half-eaten burrito from Taco Bell at my younger sister.

21. I once tried to throw a pass with a bag of Cheetos in a grocery store to my Mom who was in line about to pay for the groceries. It landed squarely on the store manager's bald head.

22. My childhood was wildly difficult due to a father who drank too much and was exceedingly strict.  (that's sugar-coating it).

23. I was never able to figure out how to forgive him for hurting me nor did I understand why he did it until one day I realized he did the best he could ~ unfortunately his best wasn't good enough. It was at that point I decided to let it go.

24. Those beatings are why I'm so lenient with Auburn Aries.

25. My favorite album is Heroes by David Bowie.

26. I had a mullet in high school that resembled David Bowie's.

27. I studied dance (contemporary, ballet, pointe) for many years.

28. I was supposed to go to Japan and dance professionally but the tour was cancelled on Valentine's day in 1982.

29. I had a gig lined up to be a showgirl at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas but the moron the director of entertainment sent out to see me dance waited until the last possible day to come to the dance studio and I lost the job because I wouldn't have had time to learn the routines by that coming Monday.

30. I had no support from my family in my dancing career either. I was a great dancer.

31. My first concert was The Babies and Alice Cooper.

32. A girl from my dance company made brownies with weed in them for the concert.  I hated brownies but ate one to be polite.

33. I had never been high before and at the concert I thought I was getting a contact high inside the concert when all of a sudden everyone in our group started laughing at me.

34. I've sailed on a Hobey Cat a loved it.

35. I lived in between the beach and the bay (a minute walk to each) when I lived on my own in San Diego.

36. There really is a flash of green that occurs as the Sun drops behind the horizon.

37. Living at the beach gives you a completely different outlook on life.

38. I watched I Love Lucy five times a day growing up.

39. My Dad taught me to shoot when I was 11.

40. I also learned to drive his Massey Ferguson tractor as well as his pickup truck that same year.

41. I never felt like I fit in when I grew up. I had long legs, redhair and a fiery attitude.

42. I didn't start feeling like I fit in until after I left home.

43. I love being in my forties.

44. I have better friends now than I ever had in my lifetime.

45. I would not turn back the hands of time even if I could.

46. I love that I'm a native San Diegan.

47. I love Mexican food and Patron Margaritas.

48. Some of the best margaritas I've ever had were at Casa de Bandini in Old Town in San Diego.

49. I don't like sweets for breakfast. I prefer breakfast burritos with hot salsa.

50. I don't drink coffee.

51. I prefer Earl Grey.

52. I love organic, non-fat milk.

53. I am a Pagan. It's the only belief system that's ever fit.

54. I can't put paper in my mouth nor can I see anyone else putting paper in theirs.

55. Wooden toothpicks are out also.

56. We had horses growing up and I fell in love with riding. I never seem to do it anymore.

57. My Mom pushed me toward office skills classes in high school as a backup plan in case dancing didn't pan out. I could take shorthand at 100 wpm.

58. I now work in IT and though I enjoy it, it's not what I meant to do.

59. I have OCD in peculiar ways. For instance, I can't go up the stairs leading the left foot or I have to go back down and start over.

60. My sister, Skinny Girl, has full on OCD with just about everything in her life ~ but in ways that greatly benefit her.

61. I've only traveled internationally to various placed in Mexico.

62. I had a male lover who was an artist who told me I would fit in well in Europe.

63. I say exactly what I think and don't consider that it might freak people out. I doubt that personality trait will ever change.

64. I love Harley Davidson's and if I didn't have a child, would own one of my own. I have to be around for her and don't want to increase the odds of dying because someone didn't see me on a bike.

65. I never changed schools growing up except for the transition from elementary to middle to high school.

66. Laughter goes a long way with me. Lying to me terminates friendships and relationships.

67. I've been in polyamorous relationships.

68. I paint my toenails even in the winter.

69. An ex-girlfriend had a star named after my Mom after she died. It sounds like a corny thing to do but the framed artwork of the Pisces Constellation hangs in my home office and it makes me feel close to my Mom.

70. An even closer friend made a donation to the Alzheimer's Foundation in my Mom's name. When she gave me the gift I thought it was a joke until I read the entire card. I went from laughter to tears in just seconds.

71. Every year I go to the Oregon coast with my chosen family and I love that we have this tradition.

72. I love watching really great comedians.

73. I always figured if being a professional dancer didn't work out, I'd be a lawyer or a cop.

74. I have never withheld sex as punishment.  I would in turn only be punishing myself by not getting it.

75. Sex truly does get better with age.

76. I prefer dogs and have not owned a cat since I was a kid.

77. I have a lot of books I haven't read but will get to them eventually.

78. I never slept well until I bought my Carrington Chase latex bed.  Now I adore sleeping in on the weekends.

79. I spent the first half of my life in relationships. I've spent the last several years single and appreciate more than ever sleeping alone in the middle of the bed.

80. Men from the south with that built in politeness of calling me ma'am, turn me on.

81. Even though I've never been to Montana, it's someplace I think I'd like to retire. Though I don't know if I could be away from the ocean since I've lived near it my entire life.

82. I miss the strength that men bring to my life. I miss feeling safe in a man's arms.

83. I think arrogance is ugly.

84. I hate that I don't have a good set of pliers.

85. I suck at taking care of myself first and it's the first rule you should follow.

86. Sometimes I forget to take my cell phone with me when I leave the house and even though I initially freak out because I left it, I'm always pleased at the silence.

87. I love philosophical conversations but never seem to have enough of them.

88. I fear what it will do to my daughter if I'm taken from this earth too soon.

89. I got married at 19 to a great man but didn't know how to be in a healthy relationship.  I treated him poorly and wish now I had done right by him.

90. We have been dear friends for the last 25 years and I'm grateful we've both grown enough to appreciate each other.

91. I love watching college football and major league baseball. I enjoy watching other sports too, but sometimes not as much.

92. I love the person I've become. What I once perceived as weakness I have come to realize were, in fact, the differences that set me apart from others.

93. I love going to the coast alone and usually go once a quarter but haven't done it much in the last year.

94. I miss it.

95. I love the times I've taken Auburn Aries to the coast with me and we've just chilled out.

96. I snore.

97. I love it when it's windy.

98. I never carry an umbrella and I've never minded getting caught in the rain. It's just hair and I'll eventually dry off.

99. I miss waking up to sunny mornings like when I lived in San Diego. It just starts your day off better when the sun is shining.

100. I think everyone should believe in magic(k).

Monday, September 03, 2007

An Update (thanks to MzOuiser)

I received an email from MzOuiser a couple of days ago. I was reminded that I have blog friends out there who enjoyed reading my posts each day and who miss me. I've been so wrapped up in my own world that often times it's felt like there was too much going on to take the time to sit down and write. In one simple email she touched upon several things that hit home.

So here's a brief update which I hope will get me somewhat caught up so that I will begin to write again.

Auburn Aries:
My little girl is doing GREAT. She's so beautiful that there are times I look at her and I can't believe she's mine. She's ten and a half years old now and 5'5" tall. Most days she's still too smart for MY own good but that's better than the opposite I guess. It just means that when she hits her teen years, I'd better just keep my seatbelt on. In fact, I should upgrade to one of those eight point harnesses like they use in Nascar.

I am working downtown again and do not miss the 90 minute commute I had to Company South. Though I have to tell you it takes me half that time to get the 11 miles to the office! I work with fantastic people at Company International. I started out doing project architecture for a while and that was really cool. Now I'm getting back into systems engineering on Solaris which is a skillset I have to blow the dust off of. I missed doing Unix stuff but I've never missed doing Solaris work. Blech. AIX is my poison. (And Toddy, I know you don't know what I'm talking about - just ignore that last part.)

Hot Toddy:
Hot Toddy and I are still close friends though we don't see each other quite as much as we used to. As you know from his blog, he's been busy with weddings and trips and softball and The Toddtender and, and, and... He and Pony and I are still tight as ever. Toddy still never misses a beat and can have me on the floor about to pee my pants in two seconds.

Pony has, over the past couple of years, proven to be my safe port during some intense personal storms. I've struggled and he's been there to pick me up. Next to my sister, Skinny Girl, he probably knows more about me than anyone. The best thing is neither he nor Toddy have judged me through my difficult times. The sign of true friends.

Still have it, still LOVE it.

Sugar Bear:
The dog I thought I'd hate. Aries' little Chihuahua is now a whopping four and a half pounds. I didn't think I was going to like having a little dog in the house, but it's pretty awesome. I've only ever had large dogs and didn't realize how loving a small dog could be. I was prepared to hurt Golden Boy for giving us that puppy but as it turns out I owe him a debt of gratitude.

I've struggled. I've deal twith my depression and recently have been diagnosed with associated OCD and ADHD. Though I'm on the upswing, my depression got so bad after several big events last year that I lost my motivation. I've had trouble getting it back. I finally feel like the clouds are lifting.

I didn't get the house listed by July like I had hoped. I couldn't seem to get it in pristine enough condition to show it. And it's hard to ask for help with stuff like that. A person is supposed to be able to care for things like that on their own.

What I've come to realize is that depression is very real. And losing motivation like I did is not uncommon. Whereas I was very concerned about taking antidepressants and now Strattera - just the thought of having to take meds made me feel weak like I should be able to deal with it on my own.

The reality of that is this: if I had diabetes I wouldn't think I could fix that on my own. I would need the insulin to get better. My brain for whatever reason misfires and I need a little help staying on track. I feel more like the old me every day which is great. Saturday was the first time in the last two years I've felt really fucking good. So I'll keep doing what I'm doing and work on my shit. It's all I can do.

So I'm still plugging away on getting the house packed. The more I pack the more there is but I'll deal with it.

I'm still single - have been for a long time now. Oh, I still have my friends with benefits when I need them, but for now, I just need to take care of me. Me and my baby girl.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ponder this...

Where the hell does the bread tie go when you take it off a brand new loaf of bread?

I actually took off the plastic closure and made mental note not to lose it and by the time I removed two slices of bread for a sandwich, it had disappeared. Gone.

Not only that, but the same EXACT thing happened to the English muffin package earlier that morning when I made Auburn Aries breakfast!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dago Girl Missing

It's official... I think I now consider Oregon home. Temperatures reached 102 degrees yesterday. I know that's not a lot compared to Vegas and Death Valley but for Portland, that's pretty effing hot.

I realized yesterday that even though it takes me months to get used to winter and only a day or two to get used to summer heat, I no longer particularly care for it as hot as it was yesterday and today. It was extremely muggy today - the day I decided to wear my Eddie Bauer jeans...of course.

Is it possible I've turned into a big wienie when it comes to 100 degree heat?

I started seeing a therapist again today. I haven't seen one in a couple of years - since Thor lived here. I've been dreaming about him a lot lately. When I told Auburn Aries that I had been dreaming about him, she said I should call and make sure everything was alright. I let her do the honors of leaving the message. I mean, who could seriously ignore a voice that sweet on the phone?

Apparently he could because we never got a call back.

I've decided to sell my house and move into something smaller and I find myself struggling to actually get things packed up even though there is a POD in my driveway. It's not just that either. I seem to be lacking motivation in several areas of my life and need to get to the bottom of it.

Living with depression adds another layer of things to contemplate and deal with and unless I continue to add the tools in my mental and emotional toolbox to deal with it, it takes over my life.

I started seeing a new therapist and really like her. In just a couple hours time, she helped me see more clearly why I've tried to hold onto the house the last couple of years. This big house represents a relationship that I was head over heels for; a relationship that I thought was for the long haul and a future that I thought would take place here.

I ended up buying a house that was more than I could deal with because, well, I didn't think I was going to be keeping it up on my own yet here I am. It's left me questioning true love and relationships and commitment. In as much as those reasons alone should logically be enough to sell this house, I am reminded that once again I do not make logical decisions. I am the Piscean who makes emotional decisions and this is a big one.

At this point, I've made the decision - I just need to act on it, pack this place up and start showing it. Why then do I drag my feet?

My new therapist and I had a long discussion about depression and how it is a very real biological and physiological sickness. She likened it to having pneumonia. If I were sick with pneumonia I wouldn't be able to get up and pack up the house and if I tried, it would lengthen the duration of the illness.

She said that until I get to a place where I start feeling better, wishing it were so and wishing these things around the house would get done aren't going to make it so.

So hopefully I'll be able to whittle on what's going on for me emotionally and I'll begin digging myself out of the mud in which I have become mired. It's a long hard road and if anyone had told me five years ago I'd be one of the lucky ones with depression, I'd have accused them of lying. It's just too bad there's such negative connotations associated with it because it would certainly be nice to know I'm not alone.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Big change...and a Young Stud

Things they are a changin'.

I don't know what seems to be going on in my world. It's a mix I have yet to decipher. On the one hand, my new job is going great. I'm a Sr. Systems Engineer with an emphasis on project architecture and management. I'm being introduced to some things I've not done before which is fantastic.

On the other hand, things in my personal life feel split apart.

The Professor is moving out of Portland. The college where he teaches can't seem to pull their head of out their collective asses enough to offer him tenure. This is a man who is bright, articulate, well-read, street-wise, interested in life, open-minded...the list goes on and on. Yet the powers that be can't see the importance of keeping him and their apparent lack of intelligence is going to send him back home.

I am so devastated by the fact that he's leaving that I tear up at the thought of him leaving. I'm always alone and reflecting on the family when it hits me that he'll no longer be close by. He's become such an important part of us that I cannot imagine him not just being down just down the road.

It's indicative of change that I'm not sure I'm prepared for yet.

I've decided to sell my house. I've teetered with this decision for the last couple of years and have finally realized it's time to move on. The funny thing is as unhappy as I've been with this house (bought it because Daddy D loved it), I found myself standing on the front porch, margarita in hand and feeling sad about the memories that me and Aries have created here that we'll be saying good-bye to. Well, not good-bye but you know what I mean.

I remember the first year I hung lights and Fairy Godmother came over to help me. It was cold and seemed like it took forever and I'm such a damn girl about doing shit like that that I was wholly dependant on FG to guide me through it. It was that same night that my front door decided to stick and we couldn't get back into the house. FG and I ended up busting the door down trying to get in.

We made it back in, but she had to grab finishing nails (yes, I had some) and a hammer to nail the door trim back up. We really busted the door in. I'll never forget the look on Auburn Aries sweet little face when we stood at the sidewalk and looked at the house all lit up. Now I bust out the lights in about an hour by myself and I do it before the neighbors and make them look bad!

I thought about decorating for Christmas with Auburn Aries; I thought about Thor living here and when Toddy fell in love with him and how many laughs (and cocktails) we all shared. I don't know when I've seen more kisses shared. I thought about Young Stud and the time he spent here and me always making sure he had his favorite Whiskey. I thought Toddy living here shouting up the stairs "It's 5 o'clock somewhere, it's cocktail hour." "Okay, Hot, I'll get the shaker." I thought of the comedy we'd watch and tears we shared and support we gave one another.

I thought about the time I spent here with Lorin, that heartbreakingly beautiful creature who I thought was going to be my lifetime commitment only to find out she had a problem with my daughter. She was the one, at least I thought so anyway. It's heartbreaking to find out you're not going to be able to work it out because you have a child. It's not like I could put her back!

I reflected on the dinner parties with The Boys and Pony flicking his olives out of his enchiladas; and Super Bowl parties and when Pua came to visit and stayed for almost a all just came flooding back.

I was talking to my friend Hippy about how even though I knew selling the house was the right thing to do that I felt melancholy about moving again. Then he gave it to me but good:

"What emotion?!!! This isn't an emotional decision. It's a financial and economic decision. You can keep your memories but snap out of it. Get this shit done and move on."

He's a wise man. As a Pisces I often let emotion get the better of me in my decision-making.

On a different note, Auburn Aries came to me two nights ago:

AA: Can we go shopping tomorrow?

AP: Sure, Babe, what do you need?

AA: I need "cup" bras.

AP: "Cup bras?"

AA: Yeah, cause my boobs need cups now not sports bras.

AP: [falls to the floor clutching her chest and kicking her feet screaming "no, no, no, you were just in diapers!!!!"] Sure, Baby, we can do that.

We ended up going to Target to buy cup bras and she found the little A cup bras she liked. The little snot actually turned to me and said, "I'll go in the dressing room by myself and you can wait out here."

Ah IF. I responded, "NO, this is a right of passage for a Mom and I'm going in with you."

We bought three colors and she's dancing around the house feeling more comfortable and confident than ever. I, on the other hand, had my hair colored again and am looking for a good anti-aging cream for my laugh lines.

On a lighter note, I have a man in my life who I don't see nearly enough anymore. We have over the last few years remained close though life pulls us in different directions. Young Stud has a birthday coming next month. And if I'm not mistaken it's on 07-07-07. This is the last time we'll see 07-07-07 in our lifetime and I hope sincerely, with all my heart, that he makes this birthday the most special ever.

I know that if I have anything to say about it, it'll be memorable. Though it may not be in the multitude of ways I'd like to make it special, I will make sure to remind him that he is, indeed, in my heart and will be forever. I love you, Young Stud.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Auburn Aries and Sugar Bear

This is my baby whooping it up on her 10th birthday. We were in Chili's having dinner - and yes I had to endure the "baby back ribs" song as sung by Fat Bastard over and over again - she decided to drink every cocktail in the drink menu!

For my birthday, Golden Boy gave me one of his Chihuahua pups (the female). It was a generous gift and one that I thought long and hard about before accepting.

Auburn Aries has always wanted a puppy but I was hesitant to give her one considering she can't keep her room clean. I suck at tough love so she gets away with it.

When Golden Boy's dog became preggers, I had the duration of her pregnancy to decide whether AA was up for it. Who am I kidding, to decide whether or not I was up for it. As you will see from the adorable picture below, I graciously accepted Golden Boy's gift and Auburn Aries became the happiest little girl ever.

The picture is a little blurry, but you get the general idea. Her name is Sugar Bear and she weighed 13 ounces when we brought her home. She fit in the palm of Auburn Aries' hand.

When Golden Boy put Sugar Bear in Aries' hands, she cradled her up against her neck and through tears kept saying, "my very own puppy. i can't believe i got my very own dog."

All I could do was look at Golden Boy and know I did the right thing.

His was a most generous gift.

In as much as I wasn't all for a puppy in the house, let alone a tiny one like her, I have come to realize that it brings a certain life and energy into a home that's not like anything else.

Yes, there's the occassional tootsie roll found off in a corner on the floor. And yes, her baby teeth cut like an Exacto blade. Overall though, it's been one of the best things I could have given to Auburn Aries.

Thank you, Golden Boy, for reminding me that I needn't live my life in a vacuum. You could have let me know, however, that I was going to be using mine a lot more. Who knew a Kleenex could be shredded that small?

Tell it like it is, baby.

Auburn Aries and I were watching television a few days ago when an promo came on for Tori Spelling's reality bullshit tv show, Tori and Dean, Inn Love (BLECH, insert vomit noises here).

AA watches the promo and right before it's over says, "My gawd, that woman has a long head. She looks like a drag queen."

I couldn't stop laughing.

While in a meeting at my new job with my manager and several other IT professionals, the topic of a specific project came up to which my new boss replied, "The people that wrote those scripts are mildly retarded."

And I couldn't stop laughing then either. I'm sitting in my first meeting on my second day and I had the giggles so hard my shoulders were shaking.

Some things will never change. I find the simplest form of unexpected humor the funniest of all.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


A hug makes an ideal gift. One size fits all and exchanges are encouraged.

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday. This person is a relatively new friend. He's someone I worked with at Company South. He and I were discussing friendships. I was explaining to him that the people with whom I choose to surround myself are very dear to me. I told him that I don't really have people around who I don't particularly care for. Of course there are acquaintances - people you meet in passing or that you see every now and again but they don't have a place in my life like my true friends do.

I explained to him that they are all friends that I would do anything to help. They are the kind of friends that I would get up in the middle of the night and help in a moment's notice. They are the people that I hug and kiss hello when I see them and I tell them I love them when I say good-bye.

I told him about how I've lost three brothers and both parents and that I know how quickly things can change. I want every one of the people I care about to know that they are important to me.

I was moved yesterday when I received a call from Young Stud. He was calling to check on me to see if I was okay knowing my job at Company South had ended. When I looked down at my cell and saw it was him calling, a huge smile found its way across my face. When I heard the sound of his voice, everything else just melted away and the only two people who were important at that juncture were he and I.

Young Stud is special to me in a way that some of my other Boys aren't. Those reasons are strictly for Young Stud and I to share. As I was saying good-bye to him on the phone, it hit me how much I want him to know that he is very, very special to me. I realized the power of telling someone you love them and how when you speak those words, no other words are necessary.

So when you are with a good friend today, give them a kiss and a hug when you say hello. Let them know they are important to you. Who knows, it may come at a time when they're feeling all is lost and your hug may see them through another day.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Funny things I've heard

A few weeks ago I was in CC's (big surprise, right) and heard a couple of things that still make me laugh.

The first one:

Pony: ..Yeah, I can come by your house and pick you up.

Friend of Choppers: Every time you come by my house in that big fucking truck, the vibration of your diesel motor knocks all my Cher dolls down.

(see what I mean.)

The second one:

Vidal: Hmmm, should I gamble before I go home or just go home?

Daddy H: Yeah, um, I'm gonna go play some video crack before I go home. It's for my kids college education. Then I'll go home and have a turkey pot pie.

('nuff said)

The third one:

Hippy: My wife tried to cook a prime rib once. She fucking killed that thing. She over cooked it until it was about this big. It was something only the damn dog could eat. She tried to tell me that you're supposed to cook it that long. I told her she shouldn't use the smoke alarm as a timer.

AP: [laughing really hard] Was it that fucked up?

Hippy: Oh yeah, it was THAT fucked up. We were sitting in the livingroom later that night with the dog in the room. She looked over and asked why the hell the dog kept licking his ass. I said, "Oh, I don't know, to get rid of the taste?"

(this one killed me.)

And the best one for last:

Pony, Hot Toddy and I were all having cocktails a couple of nights ago. We were watching the boy porn when the camera went wide for a shot of the bottom gettin' drilled. We were all watching intently when all of a sudden there on the screen was a guy with horseshoe hair.

Now don't get us wrong, nothing wrong with men who are losing their hair. In the porn world, however, most men are chiseled with six pack abs and either a full head of golden locks or a shaved head.

Pony: They shouldn't let men with male pattern baldness do porn. It's not hot. Only if it's shaved is it hot.

HT: Yeah, Hair Club for Men porn.

AP: [Laughs hysterically and runs for a trick sheet on which to make notes].

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Good-bye Company South

Yesterday was my last day at Company South. It was a year ago that I accepted a position as an SSL VPN administrator.

I accepted the position after being laid off from Company X for three and a half months. It was farther than I wanted to commute (60 miles each way); was a Windows environment (I do Unix and IT Security); and was for a State Agency (the occassional bureaucratic bullshit).

I did, however, realize almost immediately that working with this particular group of people was refreshing. They were all grown-ups. They were all parents or grandparents and understood the importance of work/life balance. They all came in to do their jobs. They weren't surfing the web all day. They would take their few minutes of participating in the commeraderie and then go back to work. It was unlike any place I had ever worked before.

I made friends with my coworkers. They had more than earned my respect. Whereas as at former companies there was always someone who was an asshole who no one particularly cared for, at Company South, that was pretty non-existant.

My contract was supposed to last until July with an additional two year extension, but budget-time rolled around and they ended up pulling my contract.

I hated my commute. I didn't mind driving back and forth in my Mustang, I just didn't like the three hours a day I lost. I didn't like that Auburn Aries missed school events because there was no one else to take her when I couldn't be there. It's hard to get your kidless friends to help you out in those situations - regardless of how important it was to Auburn Aries. That kind of stuff is just too inconvenient. That's reality.

I ended up not going to the gym nearly as much because at the end of the my 12 hours away from home, three hours of which was spent in traffic, I was too gawd damn tired to drag my ass over there. We ate out more, ate later and gained weight. I spent more time with the people I worked with than I did my kid.

Every day posed some new traffic twist that drove me crazy...a stall here, an accident there, new freeway construction, useless traffic reports. There is a long list of why commuting sucks and I won't miss it.

There were seven very good reasons why working at Company South made it all worth while. Those reasons were Steve, Judy, Terry, Bruce, Karina, Kenny and Tim. This small group of people embraced me and my idiosyncracies. They laughed at my stories about Auburn Aries. They listened to my stories of Gayland and didn't bat an eye. Steve, the straightest man alive, could have passed for a Bear and I teased him about it. I even gave him Mardi Gras beads with Bears all over it. He took it in stride.

I learned a lot from them. They are genuinely good, grounded people and I'm proud to call them friends.

It was hard to walk out the door yesterday. Every time someone said anything remotely kind to me, I teared up. Everyone there seemed to really like me and was sad I was leaving as well.

As I drove out of town, I thought about how I wouldn't have to fill-up three times a week anymore but somehow that thought didn't help the images of all of us laughing and cutting up together. It didn't squelch the tightening in my stomach when I thought about not being able to take anymore smoke breaks with Steve, Tim and Kenny - my bruthahs from anothah muthah.

It's another chapter in my life that I've experienced that has enhanced who I am as a person. The closing of one and the beginning of another. The next group of people I work with may be amazing people, but my friends at Company South raised the bar on both personal and professional expectation and they'll be a hard act to follow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"It beats catchin' herpes from a drag queen..."

Once upon a time a High Priestess came to visit a family of Auburn-haired girls who lived in the Northwest. The elder Auburn was turning 44 and had planned on spending a weekend at the Coast with her family, so the High Priestess brought her guava jelly and coconut syrup Warm Cookies with a Whiskey Chaser mental notebook and joined in on the fun.

The smaller Auburn was so excited to see her "Aunt" that she could hardly contain herself. The days and nights were filled with laughter and love and talks and great dinners. The High Priestess hadn't had a cocktail in many weeks so when Auburn Pisces twisted 'em up, the High Priestess grew increasingly happy as the evenings wore on.

At a Mexican restaurant the Auburn's refer to as "The Uzsh" (short for Usual), the High Priestess became quick friends with the server who decided to name a dish after her. He said he would call it "The Pula." Apparently there was something lost in the Hawaiian to Mexican translation.

The next day Auburn's and the Priestess decided they were all going to get pierced together, sisters in pain and extra holes. First there was the time spent in Claire's for Auburn Aries' double earlobe piercings. This portion of the adventure took a long, long time. Auburn Aries was very brave and Auburn Pisces was very proud of her.

Next the three friends were off to a piercer so Auburn Pisces could get her ear cartilage pierced and the High Priestess could get fourth (and fifth) holes since three on one side and four on the other were not nearly enough! All went well though the piercer was very chatty.

It was after the two elder's piercings that little Auburn Aries realized she still had not spent her gift card at Claire's so we went back there again. It was at this juncture Auburn Pisces decided she could not frequent another Claire's for a long, long time.

The grown up weekend at the coast proved to be a fantastic weekend. Auburn Pisces got there first and was able to wash away the stresses of life in total solitude just her and the ocean. Sometimes there's nothing better.

The High Priestess went from being surrounded by the beauty of the Butte a stone's throw from Auburn Pisces' deck (only if you have a really strong arm and are a good thrower), to the uncrowded, peaceful Oregon Coast. Auburn Pisces watched the High Priestess face the Powers of the West as she called upon and received all that she needed. Auburn Pisces could hear the High Priestesses thoughts as she took everything in. It was a memory Auburn Pisces will never forget.

Golden Boy had a tough time keeping the muddler away from the High Priestess. It didn't seem to matter how many times the High Priestess was told a muddler is not a sex toy, she was always caught sneaking to the bar (a.k.a. kitchen counter) and trying to make off with the muddler. This made Auburn Pisces very sad because the muddler, which was a gift from Golden Boy, was critical in the way Golden Boy and JR would masterfully create her margaritas.

Everyone at the beach run shared many laughs over the weekend. One of which was the story of the High Priestess trying to be hoisted into Pony's huge-ass, 4x4, lifted, 35" tire, big mo fo truck after drinking even Auburn Pisces' margaritas at CC's. Hot Toddy went to great lengths to help his friend with the little legs try to get into a truck that was half a foot taller than her. Auburn Pisces almost missed the visuals of such an effort because she was soberly taking in the people and atmosphere - she could have driven if she needed to - just sayin'.

On Saturday morning the family was sitting around the breakfast table when the subject of lost and found at CC's came up. It was then that Auburn Pisces told Golden Boy any time one of her lost MAC lipsticks turned up in lost and found she wanted them back. Golden Boy tried to explain to Auburn Pisces that you really don't want lipstick back that's been in the lost and found.

Auburn Pisces tried to argue back by pointing out that no one wears her light shade of lipstick and no one would want it.

Golden Boy appeared surprised Auburn Pisces didn't get his point. "You don't want it back" he snapped, "it's better than getting herpes from a drag queen!!!" Auburn Pisces knew that Golden Boy was right and decided no lost lipstick was worth it.

There was also the afternoon run to the casino in which Auburn Pisces wanted no part. She really just wanted to hang back and get some ocean time but Vidal and JR were insistent. The High Priestess and Golden Boy wouldn't let up either. Reluctantly Auburn Pisces conceded and headed into Lincoln City with the gang.

Little did Auburn know that while she was gone Hot Toddy baked her a birthday cake and then sauteed onions to cover the cake smell. The gang surprised Auburn Pisces and sang Happy Birthday to her and gave her a card filled with thoughts of love that made Auburn Pisces cry...really hard. Never before had Auburn been so touched by her family.

All in all it was another great weekend at the coast for the everyone. Whether someone was throwing up in their handbag or throwing lighters at a sliding glass door because the music had stopped or whether it was because a big surprise or two was shared - or whether or not you talked to the stars on a ride home or ended up covered by a blanket and pillow on the bathroom floor because that's as far as one could go - or even if you got really hot and cooled off with the ocean breeze against your naked breasts in front two of your Boys, it was a week that will not ever be forgotten.

Auburn Pisces is blessed by those she has chosen to surround her.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Special Friends Day

Today was Special Friends Day at Auburn Aries elementary school. Just to share a little of my morning, their teacher had created an interview sheet as something to do while we were visiting. Aries had a good time with this one, though I suspect I've simply verified her thoughts that I'm *gasp* old...

AA: What was it like when you were my age.
AP: Things were a lot slower. It seemed easier to stop and smell the roses.
AA: But I can smell 'em now.
AP: Exactly.
AA: Mom. Whatever.

AA: What was the style when you were my age?
AP: Bell-bottomed pants and shirts with crazy colors on them.
AA: What the heck are bell-bottoms?
AP: Pants with leg holes so big they covered your whole shoe.
AA: Ew. Gross.

AA: Were there fast food restaurants when you were a kid?
AP: How old do you think I am? Yes, there was McDonald's, Taco Bell and Jack in the Box - though they really hadn't been around very long.
AA: Did you used to get a Happy Meal?
AP: No there weren't such thing as Happy Meals, but hamburgers were a nickel. Sheesh!

AA: What music did you listen to?
AP: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
AA: What the…you're weird Mom.

AA: What was it like to not have TV, CDs, answering machines, and cell phones?
AP: We had a TV; we listened to records on a record player where a needle touches the record as it goes around for the sound to come out; we actually answered the phone when it rang; and we waited until we were at home to call someone or we stopped and used a pay phone.

AA: Did you really walk to school two miles each way in the snow?
AP: No, I walked to school in sandals because it was hot in San Diego and it wasn't miles away, it was only a few blocks away.

With my impending birthday on Monday and 44 being unavoidably within my reach, I find myself working from home torn between reaching for or letting go of my youth. Poor Aries is probably wondering why I'm not using a walker to get around. Eh, when she's 44 she'll look back and see what I see now. That's the beauty of it all.