Thursday, March 31, 2005

Hush or I'm Getting The Nipple Clamps

With Auburn Aries at her Dad’s for half of Spring Break last week, it gave me an opportunity to do things without a time frame. This is a nice feature of adulthood. I forget how lovely it is until I break a rule or two. Sometimes it makes me sad that I gave up so much of me to be Mom. Other times, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I left my house to run a couple of quick errands Saturday morning when Hot Toddy called me at 10 a.m. and invited me to join him for breakfast. His treat.

With no time constraints and no responsibilities to anyone other than to myself, I headed to The Vortex.

With breakfast and Bloody Marys behind us, we stopped briefly by The Vortex so The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz could join us as we headed downtown.

I found it comical to watch Toddy being served a Maker’s Mark, neat, somewhere other than C.C. Slaughter’s. I think Saturday afternoon was another of those occasions where Todd realized just how spoiled he really is.

The bartender grabbed a small bucket and poured precisely one shot of Maker’s Mark into the glass. I watched as HTTO abhorrently focused his attention on the drink that sat before him on the bar. Apparently the bartender had mistaken him for a novice.

Slowly and deliberately he lifted his head looking toward me in total and utter disgust until he made eye contact. It was as though he was moving in slow motion.

“I’m going to have to go to C.C.’s to get drunk when I leave here” he avowed.

First no Patron, now this. Sometimes reality sucks.

Because Todd pays the mortgage on the Maker’s Mark installment plan at C.C.’s, they tend to take really good care of him there. In this other establishment, not so much. In this particular bar on a rainy Saturday afternoon he was just another 6’6” blonde haired, blue-eyed man. Ho hum.

At one point during the afternoon I walked to Spartacus Leathers to purchase some nipple clamps, clit clamps and weights; an errand I had been meaning to take care of for weeks. Upon returning to the bar, The Handsome Prince asked me about my purchase. While showing the boys my new play things, I realized that Toddy was sinking down on his bar stool and was dialing his cell phone.

Apparently I was freaking him out. He was calling our dear friend, Pua, seeking comfort from my world of kink. I had to laugh when he realized it was comfort she would not give!

Toddy was able to get even with me though. Later that evening after we feasted and napped preparing for our next trek out for the evening, we had some time to kill so he and The Handsome Prince taught me Canasta.

They were very patient with me through the first game. I even went out first which was very exciting.

And then it started.

In game two, my dear friend Hot Toddy started singing 60’s tunes during my turn. I don’t mean just singing these tunes, I mean belting them out loud enough for the neighborhood to hear. Songs, mostly hits, by The Beach Boys and The Supremes. He sang Shop Around; Please Mr. Postman; Baby Love; I Get Around; and random show tunes.

While THP was taking his turn, Todd was thinking of the next song. The minute it was my turn he’d break into the most dramatic performance of his life. I begged him to stop, to no avail. I warned him to stop. Nothing. I tried to block him out with my selective hearing, again, nothing. It was throwing me off and I couldn’t get on track, the little bastard.

Early in the game I picked up the discard stack and neglected to use the top card. Damn attention whores. I was legitimately distracted and it threw my whole strategy off. Now I had to use this useless 6 of spades and break up my groove. All that planning was now mixed up. Christ why doesn’t he shut the hell up already?! I felt like Elaine Benes stuck on the subway trying to maintain a stoic look while screaming inside. “SHUT. UP. SHUT-UP. SHUT UUUUUP!!!!!”

“Todd, I’m going to kick your ass if you don’t knock it off,” I threatened. He laughed.

He tried blaming it on coincidence that he happened to be singing during my turn. Does he think I’m new? I was SO onto his game.

My turns comes up again and now not only is HTTO singing but The Handsome Prince has joined in and is either harmonizing wherever possible or belting it out just as strongly as Todd.

The lung power of these two men was unbelievable. They’re smokers for cryin’ out loud. How can they possibly keep singing like that. I found myself praying for a collapsed lung. A brain aneurism. Anything.

“Assholes, the both of you!” I shouted. We all laughed.

Personally, I think they were just jealous because I did so well my first time playing. And I’m just certain that if The Math Whiz hadn’t come out when he did and rattle the game, I would have beat their asses again. Screw that 6 of spades, I would have made a come back, I’m certain of it!

In retrospect, I should have threatened to hook the clamps and chains I had purchased earlier in the day to the protruding parts of Todd's body. That would have shut him up!

Hindsight's a bitch.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Scary Dreams and Play Things

I don’t feel well today. I’ve been seriously hoarse for two days. I was up all night coughing my head off. I have a headache from the coughing. As far as my health, I feel like I’ve been pulled through a knothole backwards.

I was going to take the day off and have a mental health day. A “me” day. Now that’s turned into a sick day. Bummer.

In addition to not feeling well and coughing all night, I had bad dreams all night. First I dreamt that a strange man had stolen the gold wedding band with diamonds that I wear on my right thumb. It was my brother Jim’s ring. He’s the brother who died in January. His wife gave me his ring on the day of his funeral and I always wear it.

Then in my pursuit to try and get the ring back, he turned into a big fat liar about whether or not he had it (I guess expecting a thief to be honest was too much to ask). At one point in the dream, I started having sex with him - you know, keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer - to try and locate the ring and steal it back.

When I still couldn’t get the ring back, I was going to call my biker friend Harley to have he and his boys take care of it for me but Harley was otherwise engaged with his new girlfriend and couldn’t be bothered.

Exasperated, I left wherever I was at to go pick up Auburn Aries from school and got there just in time to see someone kidnapping her. Rather than get into my 2003 Toyota Camry, I jumped into the closest car I could which was this old Rambler than seemed to barely move.

I managed to follow them and snatch Aries back but the car was so slow that I was almost caught in my pursuit…by Ms Karma. Yep, she was working with the bad guys. Here I was in the middle of rescuing my baby only to realize one of my best friends was in on it.

I drove until I found some policemen and approached them with Aries right beside me. When they turned to address me, I realized it was the bad guys again. They had tricked me.

I don’t know how it ended. I just know that in the next scene Aries and I were walking across this beautiful foot bridge over a river somewhere in Europe. Who the hells knows.

The upside of this craziness is I attended the Pure Rome Ants party at Hot Toddy’s last night. It was great fun. Juju did a phenomenal job and presents her wares like a seasoned pro. Not a seasoned pro like a hooker but a seasoned professional who is comfortable with the line of products she sells and believes in them.

She made everyone feel comfortable. I was the only woman in a room full of gay men. My life doesn’t suck. I adore everyone who was there and it was so wonderful to see them all again. It was great fun to watch the guys express fun interest about the product line and ask questions you wouldn’t normally hear. Things like, “will that stain my sheets.” Or, “Do you have one of these that doesn’t look like a vagina?”

I was also proud of those who chose to willing participate by asking if they could sample this product or that one. Imagine half a dozen men all walking around slowly wiggling their hips because of the sensation achieved from the magical goo they put on “the twins” which Juju’s reference for a guys balls. God I love her. She’s so damn cute. That Metro is one lucky bastard.

All of the guys appeared to be just as open with each other as women are when they’re together. I love being one of the guys. It’s not good for my sex life but then, who needs a sex life after last night’s party!

Juju totally hooked me up. Maybe that’s why I feel so run down today. I was up until the wee hours test driving the...uh…and then the...uh… Never mind.

Anyhoo, I awoke this morning looking at my purchases and realized I probably didn’t need some of the things I purchased. But that’s what happens when you mix Margaritas and a sex toy party and Auburn Pisces. My resistance drops to zero, especially when the sales exec is as hot as Juju.

I was supposed to hook up with Pony last night after the party but it ran so late it was all I could do to get home and get to bed. It was after midnight when I walked in my door. Hopefully he’ll give me a rain check and let me buy him that beer (or twelve) that I think I owe him.

I’m off to hit the couch and recoup. It’s like my Dad used to say, “there ain’t nothing that ails ya that a shot of Kentucky Bourbon won’t cure.” I’m thinking I might have to test drive that theory.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Crystal Ball(s)

I’m kidless. I don’t know what to do with myself. Auburn Aries’ Dad gets her for half of Spring Break and as such we made the swap yesterday evening. In as much as being a single parent is a difficult but rewarding job, I always look forward to my time alone. I get to be a grown up without dependencies for a little while.

Does anybody wanna do anything with me?

Truth is, by the third day I really start missing her. Missing, is that little voice asking if she can have a doll, Every. Single. Time I go to the store. Missing, is that sleepy-eyed little girl wandering toward me with her eyes half open to give me a morning hug; wrapping her warm little arms around my neck and resting her head on my shoulder. Missing, is her laughter that makes my heart complete.

Eh, who am I kidding. Though those things are true, very true, I was actually able to go out last night and have a couple of Patron Margaritas with a friend without having to hurry home to make sure my underage babysitter could be home by 10:00.

I set my alarm for 5 a.m. instead of 4:15 and slept in.

After I finished my make-up this morning, I got dressed and walked out the door. No discussions about what Aries was going to wear. No decisions about what she wanted for lunch. The sense that I was forgetting something haunted me like What Lies Beneath with Harrison Ford and that smokin’ piece of ass Michelle Pfeiffer – both of which I’d do - but I overcame it.

I forged ahead and made my way to the office. I got here before Ebonics Boy and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

And now, as my special treat I’m going to head over to Hot Toddy’s casa after work and get a little Vortex time before the Pure Rome Ants party given by the lovely Juju. It’s dildo time and I’m thinking I need to add something new to my repertoire. I mean, I am single and not getting laid right now. Is that not the saddest news EVER?

Interestingly enough, I’ve never purchased new “hardwear” (get it, hard-ware, bah ha ha) at a party with a room full of gay men. It’s going to be fun to see what everyone likes. The dildo will tell all. It's going to be better than a crystal ball, I'm just sure of it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Between Camilla

I’m a morning person. I like the fact that it’s a new day. I’ve never been one to sleep in. Sleeping in means I’ve wasted part of the day. It’s quiet and peaceful in the morning. I enjoy having a cup of Chai while putting on my make-up and watching the news. I won’t usually watch the news if Auburn Aries is home. If I do, I end up having to answer questions like, Why did someone kill that man? What’s rape? Why are there bad people in the world?

Any generic answer to these questions gets revisited until she gets the whole explanation and I’m not prepared to go into such detail. Not now anyway.

The early morning hours are the only peace and quiet I get in a day. Auburn Aries is still sleeping. Once she’s up the dynamic changes dramatically until she goes to bed and by then I’m exhausted.

My alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m. every day. Most days I slide out of bed around 4:30 and get on my treadmill for 30 minutes. I turn on the tube and turn on closed captioning so that I will have something to concentrate on besides how bored I am on the treadmill.

Hot Toddy blogged once about the quirky text you find in closed captioning. I have, for many mornings now stepped off the treadmill mid-workout and jotted these things down. I’ll actually be laughing out loud at some of the silly things I read. I read them later simply because they make me laugh.

I’ve left that list at home and in all honesty it probably isn’t worth writing about as it’s been done before. However, there was one thing this morning that I thought was worthy of sharing.

CNN did a segment on Prince Charles and that whore Camilla. They spoke of the two of them getting married (kinda traded down there, didn’tcha Chuck?!). They were reporting how she could potentially become the Queen of England once Charles takes the British throne and becomes King. They talked about how unless there was legislation stating otherwise, that could be the case.

The segment ended stating that “Camilla says she’s happy not to be called Between.”

A little late for that now isn’t it... If it weren’t for your raggity ass crowding the marriage of Princess Di to that ugly bastard, she might still be alive gracing all of us with her beauty and selfless acts of kindness.

Queen Camilla. Yeah, and pigs might fly outta my ass. She’s gross. Yuck.

And while I’m on a useless rant, one of my coworkers says “reconnize.” It’s RECOGNIZE you idiot. Of course, he’s also the one that in a meeting will say “now, Auburn Pisces, keep me honest here…” when answering a question in which he is uncertain of the answer. Noooo. I won’t keep you honest. Make you look like an idiot, maybe. Help you appear like you know what you’re talking about…that’s not going to happen.

And then there’s the word “edjumacate” that he uses with frequency. “You know, I don’t know how to do this process and I was hoping you could edjumacate me on it.” Well, rainman, maybe you don’t know how to do the process because you weren’t bright enough to learn the English language well enough to comprehend simple directions.

Some people’s kids. Can’t work with ‘em, can’t kill ‘em and leave ‘em by the roadside when you’re done with ‘em.

Monday, March 21, 2005

First Date Drama, Make it Stop

I consider myself an attractive woman. I have a lot to bring to a relationship. Though there are character defects qualities which I would like to improve like the occasional short temper, the double-Piscean emotion (can’t help this one), overall, I’ve got it going on even if I do say so myself. Everyone is a work in process and I work everyday to try and improve myself as a human being.

Friday night I had my first day in seven months. I shot an email off to a friend that I knew became recently single. This person and I got to know each other in the last year through various fund raisers here in Portland. She was part of the circle of people with whom I spent time. Not to be confused with “The Circle of Trust” friends. She was always very nice to me. Whenever Daddy D pulled some bonehead move like inadvertently ignoring me at a function, this gal would get my drinks, pull out my chair, engage in conversation, etc. She was a proper butch and I like that in a woman.

We had a couple of drinks and then a wonderful dinner. We laughed and talked like two people who were getting to know each other for the first time. It was very nice. She is friends with Daddy D and Daddy’s next ex. And she is still very close to her own ex-girlfriend with whom I am also friends. None of these people came up in our conversation Friday night and I was relieved.

Now what’s true about this particular evening is that, in all honesty, I was simply looking to get laid. I’m not ready for a relationship. I need to make sure I have Daddy D completely out of my system. I don’t want someone new to have to deal with that in the event I still have work to do in that area. I even mentioned this to my date over the course of the evening.

Her response to my comment was to say that she didn’t know if she was ready for sex. Hmm, not ready for sex. That’s weird. What is there to not be ready about? How does that work, not being ready? A strong breeze or the sound of a Jake brake and I’ll be dancing with myself in no time. What, not ready.

Anyway, we headed over to my house after the date. She hung for a while and we watched The L Word on Demand, I gave her a kiss goodnight and then she took off. I had no intentions of slipping her a five second frenchy, however, when I leaned toward her to give her a kiss goodnight she did this hesitant, nervous motion with her upper body as though she was going to get in trouble if she kissed me.

I dismissed it all and figured I’d have to whore around go on a date with someone else. I like the thought of dating again. And I like the thought of commitment-free sex.

She stopped back by on Saturday morning and helped me with a couple of things at the house. We visited some more, she left and we texted throughout part of the afternoon. Then she asked what my perception of her interest in me was. I explained to her that I didn’t think she was interested but that we would probably have a good time hanging out and doing things together once in a while.

She flattered me by saying that she had a constant battle going on between her heart, her mind and her body throughout the evening. This made me feel really good. Right up until I asked her what prompted the battle. It was at this point that she explained that she is friends with Daddy D et al and she didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize those friendships.

What… Jeopardize those friendships...

She said she didn’t want to become part of the rumor mill.

What fucking rumor mill? I reminded her that my personal life was just that…my personal life.

She explained that she didn’t want to catch anyone off guard by having them find out we had gone on a date and how relieved she was when they knew about the dinner and didn’t seem to care.

“How did they find out?”

“Oh, I told them.”

WHAM.. Any interest I had in sleeping with this woman slammed shut like the door to Brian Kinney’s loft in Queer as Folk.

I was outraged. How dare this woman seek approval from Daddy D (and company) to have dinner with me. What the fuck did she mean, didn’t want to jeopardize THOSE friendships? What about the friendship she had with me?! I couldn’t believe it. In order for her to be “okay” she needed to know she wasn’t going to upset the apple cart by dating me?

I explained to her, in no uncertain terms, how upset the whole situation made me. How she pulled Daddy D right back into the middle of my personal life without even thinking about how I’d feel about it.

I cut the conversation short explaining that I didn’t like the way I was feeling and how what she had done wasn’t okay with me.

It was a punch in the gut. I shut down. I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling like I was never going to get out from the shadows of my relationship with Daddy. I was never going to find someone I could date that didn’t know her and our history together. I finally took the steps to “get out there” again and it wasn’t my decision to go on a date… it was me going on a date with Daddy D’s permission. Yuck. Dammit.

I didn’t take my date’s calls or texts the rest of the afternoon on Saturday. Nor did I take them Sunday morning. I finally talked to her in the afternoon at which point she explained that she had time to think about everything and that she was sorry about everything. Said she realized how one thing had nothing to do with the other. Said she understood how I felt having pulled Daddy D right back into the middle of my business.

She then proceeded to tell me that she would keep things separate. She wouldn’t tell me anything about them (like I’d ask) and she wouldn’t tell them anything about me. There are two things wrong with that. 1.) She filled her ex in on the date the minute she saw her and if she chooses to tell them nothing then she’s lying by omission (not that I want the opposite to happen either); and 2.) by knowing everything about my life and everything about theirs, it literally puts her in the middle and gives her all of the power. I don't want any distribution of power with regard to my life being handled by anyone but me.

I guess this whole first date thing didn’t work out so well. It immediately turned into drama that I didn’t need. I guess for now, the Auburn Pisces dating pool will remain empty. Hopefully, someone else will come along soon. I feel ready to date and I’m looking forward to it. Finally. Despite the drama.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Auburn Aries. No! You Can't Have Her!

Auburn Aries nailed her speech. I thought about her all day long on Friday and wanted to talk to her so badly. Her energy felt as though things were okay, but it’s hard to tell with a seven year old sometimes.

She said that all the other kids had to go into the hallway and practice…and she didn’t.

She said that she spoke loudly enough for everyone to hear all the way in the back of the classroom.

She said that she never got nervous and didn’t end up needing to picture everyone in their underwear.

She said when she asked the kids to raise their hands if they knew anyone from Costa Rica, four people raised their hands. Auburn Aries included her hand being raised in this particular inquiry because “The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz are from Costa Rica.” I tried to explain that they are not from there, but she must not have had her listening ears on. Apparently because THP vacations there and TMW is his boyfriend, they are, by default, Costa Rican.

She said she was the only kid in the classroom who used colored poster board – well, “except for the other kids that went before [her], but they didn’t count.” (Her poster board was bright blue. And when I inquired about the kids before her and their colors, “they used white or black and those aren’t colors”).

When her classmates rated her on a scale of 1 – 6, 6 being the best…they gave her a 6.

Oh, did I say 6? Because I meant 6. A 6! Did you hear me? Auburn Aries nailed it. She stuck the landing. It was 6’s all around. Hootydamnhoo to that!!

We ran by the house on our way out of town to meet her Dad. On the white board on the fridge it read “Speech due March 11.” While I was standing in the kitchen messing around with something, AAries had changed the writing to read:

“Speech was great!”

I’m never erasing that. Not ever. I mean it!

Fast forward through a weekend where The Toaster Oven no longer has time for his best friend because there’s a boy in his life *sigh* How quickly they forget... Damn you, Present! Eh, who am I kidding, he's a slut. If not The Present, it'll be some other boy!

Anyway, I picked up Auburn Aries Sunday night at 6 p.m. and as I open the door to my ex’s truck, she’s blathering a mile a minute about riding her bike. Aries still has her training wheels on her bike at home. She’s so afraid of falling down, she avoids riding it like the plague.

“Let me get out and show you how I ride my bike." I halfway expected to see some kind of mime imitation of bike riding. I thought it’d be good for a giggle. I stood patiently as she climbed up in the back of Dad’s truck.

Unbeknownst to me, they had actually brought her bicycle.

I was asked to walk far, far away and wait. I did.

There in Safeway's parking lot was my ex-husband bent over whispering in Aries ear. He gave her a gentle push and off she went. Her face lit up the evening sky. She was doing it! She was riding her bike!

All I could do was stand there in awe looking at this little girl who is the light of my life riding her bike toward me. I stood frozen, both hands covering my mouth, excitement coursing through my belly and cried.

I have never been so proud of her as I was at that moment.

She was giggling and excited and looking directly into my eyes for every drop of approval she could find. She also knew I’d be standing there crying like a big baby. She loves my tears of joy when I'm proud of her. As do I! She rode right up to me, braked and awaited the biggest hug in the world.

She just kept riding back and forth between me and her Dad. She didn’t want to get off of her bike. It was awesome.

First the speech and now this. I stood there overwhelmed and realized that this was the best day ever.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Joys of Motherhood

I impressed myself last night. I was thinking about me and impressed myself. Of course it was one of those deals where sometimes what impresses you also makes you wonder what the hell you were thinking.

My week has consisted of:

Auburn Aries had swim class. I hustle my ass from work clear out to the burbs where we live and pick her up from school. We rush home so that she can change and run back out the door to class. We don’t actually get home until 8 p.m., 30 minutes before her bedtime and she still hasn’t eaten dinner.

In an attempt to weed through her schoolwork which all seemed like it was sent home at once, I found an assignment she had for a speech that was due the next day. Not just any speech, but a speech on Costa Rica. One that included a poster board with pictures and maps, etc.

While silently freaking out at the lack of a timeline and expressing aggravated disappointment toward her in my mind because she didn’t tell me about it until the last minute (and even then I didn’t find out from her), I immediately decided I was going to have to send a note to her teacher asking for an extension.

After AAries gets dressed for school we practice her spelling words for her test.

During the day, I started searching the web for Costa Rica fun facts that would pique the interest of her classmates. Okay, pique may be a bit strong but I didn’t want her report to be dry.

Tuesday afternoon, spoke to her teacher who indicated they would be giving reports through Friday. Then headed for C.C.’s for an hour.

Tuesday evening Aries and I continue to search the web and print off information.

Buy the poster board and select her topics and start forming her speech.

Put the poster board together. Cutting, gluing, giving advice. I help guide her while she writes her speech on index cards. Listen to her practice 9,000 times. Try to impress upon her that the speech wasn’t quite long enough. Listen to her tell me it is and that it’s no big deal.

Leave the house at 8:10 p.m. once we finish, so that we can run to Sears to buy her some summer clothes which are on-sale until Saturday but she’ll be at her Dad’s.

Power shop from 8:30 – 9:00. Check out at 9:05 hoping the sales clerk who just got out of diapers still has a sense of humor about missing her own bedtime. Race home because it’s past Aries bedtime. Get her to bed by 9:30 (she’ll be draggin’ ass in the morning).

Sit down on the couch at 9:42 with still a messy kitchen to clean and laundry to do so she has clothes to wear while at her Dad’s this weekend. (Never send new clothes to Dad’s house. Ever. Everything will come back shrunk or tinged blue).

Walk her into the school so that I can help carry everything in. Give her a kiss and a smile and tell her good luck.

Now, this may not seem like a lot to do. However, I stayed slammed with kid stuff all week while juggling my full-time job, cooking dinner during all this nightly chaos, managing her schedule, baths, bedtimes, attitude, packing lunches, arguing over what she’s not going to wear to school (she’s tall so short skirts don’t work for her – well, not without she has on spandex shorts or something under them which isn’t “cool”).

I realized this week, just how difficult being a parent is. I’ve always known it but this week we were truly slammed. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a child with a handicap or a child who thrashes about and throws fits or that has special needs – those parents are way more slammed than I.

But I did realize, once again, that being a parent isn’t for sissies. While other people are enjoying romantic dinners or having sex or out having drinks with friends, I’m home trying to create a consistent, loving world for my daughter always trying to be her rock.

I wouldn’t change it for anything in this world. I sometimes think that if I knew about all of this stuff ahead of time, I probably wouldn't have had a kid. I just have to remember to forgive myself if the clutter on the coffee table or the kitchen counter isn’t all cleaned up or when the dishes sit in the sink overnight.

It’s been a packed week and I’m ready for Auburn Aries to go to her Dad’s freeing me up to enjoy some time in The Vortex tonight with “my boys.” I have a special chair waiting for me in Margaritaville. Hot Toddy, make sure there’s plenty of ice.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there was a boy, a tall boy named Hot Toddy’s Toaster Oven. Hot Toddy had a friend, Auburn Pisces. She, too, was tall but she was also stacked and had black hair and was a Scorpio. Okay, not so much on the last three things! Otherwise her name wouldn’t be Auburn Pisces. Anyway.

Hot Toddy lived in an enchanted place called C.C. Slaughter’s The Vortex. Toddy wanted to have a party for Auburn to celebrate her birthday because it was very, very important to him. Okay, actually Auburn wanted to have a birthday party in The Vortex and wouldn’t let up until Hot Toddy conceded.

They spent many hours at C.C.’s creating a guest list on beautiful parchment a cocktail napkin. They talked about what fun they would have celebrating Aub’s birthday until one day Hot Toddy’s partners-in-crime, The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz, decided they were going out of town for the weekend and wouldn’t be around for Aub’s birthday party.

Auburn Pisces was sad and she cried and cried. Her tender heart was broken. It wouldn’t be the same and she knew it. Okay, mainly because The Handsome Prince was also The Handsome Chef in the house and without him it’d be all about macaroni and cheese instead of homemade rolled tacos and stuffed mushroom caps. And without The Math Whiz, Aub would end up the Party Host bar slave and have to be the social glue assuring everyone was taken care of.

Finally after gentle encouragement bitching until they couldn’t stand it, THP and TMW decided to stay in town and share in Aub’s birthday celebration.

Hot Toddy’s Toaster Oven called Auburn Pisces on the eve of her birthday to find out what kind of cake Aub wanted. With a lump in her throat and memories of her deceased Mom embracing her soul, she choked out the words “Betty Crocker Cherry Chip Cake.” Every memory of every birthday, no matter how shitty, danced through Auburn’s mind. It will be like Mom is still here with me, saving the day with her cake made with love.

“Cherry Chip Cake!” Toddy exclaimed. “How white trash is that?!”

WHAM! It was the thud heard ‘round the world. Auburn’s heart hit the floor. Her dad, brother, best friend just called her white trash. Or just called her Mom white trash. Aub speechless.

The next morning, Hot Toddy called Aub with tears in his eyes. Apparently The Hot Prince (Aub’s NEW best friend) told Toddy how he crapped all over Aub’s memories of her sweet mother. Hot Toddy was kind and thoughtful and clarified his words. Once again, everything was right with the world (Auburn Pisces was never mad or upset because she knows HTTO would never hurt her).

The next day, Auburn Pisces entered The Vortex with her new Kathleen Madigan CDs and DVD in her hand - a birthday gift to herself. It was Margarita time and the time for laughter was upon them. The boys bought Aub a new shaker to make her Margaritas in. Aub loved her new gift.

Hot Toddy had hung some new art up on the wall in Aub’s honor. Okay, maybe “art” is a bit strong. It was a poster made by Hot Toddy. He drew it of Auburn Pisces, for Auburn Pisces. Aub laughed when she saw it but couldn’t help but thank Hot Toddy for drawing her with big boobs. That was nice.

Friends showed up to celebrate Auburn Pisces’ birthday drink booze and eat great food. Ms Karma was there and brought the Patron Silver (Aub's favorite). The “gift” Toddy would unwrap later in the evening in the confines of his bedroom was in attendance. He gave Auburn a new Seattle Mariners mug and other Mariner goodies since Auburn is a diehard Mariner fan. Aub was thrilled.

And Hot Toddy’s gift – perhaps the biggest of all (besides the new website design certificate he gave her from his BoB awards and the comedy DVDs he gave Aub) was the “costume” change he had to make in order to give her his gifts.

There, entering The Vortex as though he ruled the free world, donning an authentic MLB shirt with the word “Mariners” emblazoned across the chest, was Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven.

Now, Aub’s seen a lot of things in her day. She’s an open-minded person. But to see her best friend standing there in a Mariners shirt when she knows he enjoys discussing baseball as much as he does automobiles, was a HUGE statement about how much he cares. Okay, it might have been to make up for the cake incident. But at this point, it really didn't matter...

Hot Toddy promised to wear his new shirt every Friday during Mariner season when Aub wore hers. This, my friends, is the sign of a true-blue friend.

In a five second span, Aub thought to herself, What will he do if someone asks him if he’s a fan? Or if he saw the game? Or how he thinks the M’s are doing? Or if he likes the new Manager? Or if Edgar will be missed? Not to mention all the stats that true fans start rattling off. I mean, Aub would know, she actually studies the stats all season.

It was at this point that Aub knew perhaps Hot Toddy wearing that shirt at work every Friday might not be such a great idea. But seeing him in it was the most unexpected and thoughtful gift of all.

There was plenty of laughter, beginning with the Kathleen Madigan CDs, wonderful food, great Margaritas, a kiss and a hug from Tim the Hot Bartender (man, he's got nice lips) and a lot of love. There was (literally) sunshine on Auburn Pisces birthday, and in more ways than one.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

And THEN Guess What Happened

Finally, I’m here. A week is way too long to go without posting. Where to begin…


I did end up snitching off that little bitch swim teacher to the owner. He pulled her away from the younger kids and put her with level six swimmers. The owner said he spoke to all of the instructors about the impact their words have, etc.

Personally, I just wanted to smack that mouthy little bitch in the mouth. (street-Auburn Pisces is in the building).

Auburn Aries passed her swim test advancing to level three on Monday night!!! She tested in perfect form. It was hard to sit in the bleachers and not watch her every move. She looks to me for approval constantly and as such I think it diminishes her own strength.

Fairy Godmother joined me so that we could engage in intense, meaningful conversation while facing each other. We needed to appear way too busy to pay attention. Mostly we talked about how I would like to start whoring around with all kinds of women just because. Everybody else is getting laid, why shouldn’t I be?! She pointed out that would never work because my standards are too high. Morals...geez.

Aries was VERY excited when she passed her test. Her smile lit up the building and her eyes danced with excitement. Once they got the testing out of the way, she immediately started on level three training. She has to push away from the wall, kicking her feet propelling her 15 feet away from the wall toward her teacher. She didn’t seem to have a problem with this at all. I was so happy for her I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed.

Suddenly she looked like a little swimmer. And acting like it.

The husband that never was:

Sixteen years ago I met a man. A Harley-owning biker, a motorcycle club president (heretofore referred to as Harley), who caught my attention like no other man had. I had been in the Northwest one month, fresh off the beaches of San Diego.

We were selecting music on a jukebox in a tavern and started talking to one another. He was so beautiful (and still is). He invited me to Sturgis which I immediately accepted. Then he told me he had been seeing someone for a while. I back-peddled and ultimately thought it best if I didn’t go.

Harley and I launched a friendship that would be unlike any I had ever had with a man. Having had a history of dating bikers, I felt right at home. He was my family and I was his.

Harley and I ended up working for the same mechanical contractor in southwest Washington. We saw each other every day. We would talk for what felt like hours on end – though it never probably exceeded an hour at a time.

Each of us wanted the other but knew it couldn’t happen. Not then anyway.

Harley and I joked of how we blew it by me not going to Sturgis with him. We spoke of how different our lives would have been if I had just gone. We spoke of our love for each other. We looked out for each other. He was the man of my dreams. Loving him was simple and pure and uncomplicated. I loved the way he kissed me good-bye every time he left.

Harley used to come by my house(s) in Portland. We made love. He taught me to build a fire in my wood stove. He helped me with “guy” things around the house when I needed it. The rules didn’t apply when it came to Harley. He was my secret. My love. I spoke to no one about what he and I shared.

We talked about the “what ifs.” What if he got divorced? (I ended up marrying Aries’ Dad amidst all of this and as such,) What if I got divorced? Would we be together? Could we do it? He loved that I was a “good woman” and looked out for him. I loved that I always felt protected by he and his strong-armed band of bikers. Bikers are the tightest family there is.

16 years passed. We always had each other.

I called Harley yesterday to wish him a belated birthday. He’s been working a job in Idaho and I haven’t been able to see him in the last year. After the usual flirtatious initial conversation, he said it…

“I’m getting a divorce.”

My ears rang. My body was instantly covered with goose bumps. My heart skipped a beat and then I could feel it beating in my throat as though I had run a marathon. “Are you kidding me?” I blurted. I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled. It didn’t matter that in the last seven years, I’ve identified as a lesbian. The rules didn’t apply to Harley.

My mind raced with images of us taking off on road trips on his Harley; of us laying on a blanket under a shade tree talking for hours and just being together; being together with no time constraints. And then he said the next mind blowing thing.

“Yeah, I met an Idaho girl and realized I didn’t have to stay married and be miserable anymore.” He tried to talk to me about the difficulties he’s having with his wife over the divorce but I couldn’t engage.

My heart hit the floor. The tingle I felt initially now turned into a stinging sensation under my skin.

“You’ve met someone? What do you mean?”

I couldn’t talk to him anymore. I needed to hang up and told him so. He was trying to salvage the conversation. “It’s always been about timing with you and I hasn’t it?” Timing. Yeah, fuck timing. I’ve been single since last summer. I’ve spoken to him since then. He never said anything about this.

He said he told his wife in November that they were through. The best friend in me felt hurt. Why didn’t he call and talk to me about this if he was hurting. This is life altering stuff he's going through. They've been together like, 17 years. The “girlfriend” in me was crushed. You’ve met someone? What about me? 16 years of love and admiration and nothing? Just like that, we’re not going to get our chance?

I started to cry.

There was a large part of my heart that belonged to him all those years. It was the part that was protected and made of steel. No one could penetrate it. I knew that part of my heart would never be hurt by him. Not ever. I trusted him implicitly.

He asked me what was wrong and I decline to share. Again he asked and finally with tears streaming down my face and my voice cracking I shared my feelings with him. His response was to tell me that “nothing is for certain” and that if he “ends up in a ditch over the whole thing, he’ll call me.”

What the fuck does that mean?

I quickly said good-bye and hung up the phone, shocked. From the point he told me he’d met someone else, all I could hear was Daddy D’s voice. They were Harley’s words but it became increasingly difficult to decipher the hurt. It all felt the same. My wounded heart hasn't quite healed from her hurting me and now he's doing it, too.

I drove to work unable to get my emotions under control. Twice in less than a year I’ve experienced lost love. Twice in less than a year it was by two people who I thought would never hurt me.

I was friends with Daddy D five years before we became a couple, and she walked away from our relationship without even the courtesy of a conversation about what went wrong or what we’d have to work on or even an apology. It was like I never even mattered to her.

I’ve been friends with Harley over a decade and a half and he walked away from what might have been; walked away without so much as a conversation. It was like none of it mattered to him, either.

I spent yesterday devastated. I wondered why I was so unlucky in love. I was numb. I had a good conversation with one of my best friends who lives in SW Washington and she did everything she could to help me find some peace. She knows him as well. She has no idea how much she helps me. I awoke this morning knowing that I can’t spend time contemplating this. It is what it is and I can't control it.

I deserve better and I will wait until “better” comes my way.


Saturday I will turn 42 years old. 42. Sounds better than 41. I intend to spend my day with friends that I love. We will laugh and horse around and just hang out. It will be perfect.

Hot Toddy and I tried to figure out a way to get sweet Pua up here for my birthday. But those damn airlines won’t give you the killer deal unless you have a 14 day advance. Dirty Bastards.

I’m pretty excited about my birthday this year for some reason. It’s been a rough year. I’m thinking that it’s my turn now and turning 42 ought to be a good way to get started.

Sorry about the long post. Had to word-vomit so I could move on.