still alive…

Honest, I am. It’s just life’s been rather busy since I became the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. And in preparation of that momentous occasion, my body decided to reject all toxins, which caused my sinuses and lungs to become congested and my voice to temporarily vacate the premises.

In other words, I turned 42 years old a week and a half ago, I got sick right before my birthday and lost my voice for a few days (it’s still a bit rough, over a week after I got it back). And I’ve been busy. And traveling to Indio for a “Girls Weekend” away and Phoenix for a friend’s wedding. And upping my sci-fi geek cred by finally seeing Soylent Green and Westworld (Slaughterhouse Five and Fahrenheit 451 are on the ticket for tomorrow night), as well as seeing tons more movies. And spending lots of time with CuteFilmNerd when I have been in town and missing him terribly when I haven’t. And falling in love. And…

Oh yeah, guess what? CuteFilmNerd and I have told each other that we love each other. It was scary as hell to admit, because 1) last guy that I loved kinda dumped me, even though I know now that it was for the best, for many reasons, and 2) the last time that I said, “I love you,” for the first time to a guy, I went and had my first major anxiety attack, even though I didn’t know what it was at the time. Truth to tell, there’s still a part of me that’s terrified. I think that part’s going to be there for at least a little while longer, because that’s just the way I roll, dawg. When those words first crossed my mind, I looked them over – actually tore them apart and put them back together repeatedly – for a while to make sure that I wasn’t transferring feelings from HSTeacher to CuteFilmNerd. Then, once I was sure that wasn’t the case, it took me awhile to actually utter the words. Every time I tried they caught in my throat because I was terrified that CuteFilmNerd wouldn’t return the sentiment or would say that he just couldn’t go there. It’s happened with previous boyfriends, so it certainly wasn’t outside the realm of possibility, especially considering we’ve each been dealing with our own little issues.

But I finally spit out the words, “I love you,” as we held one another in bed one weekday morning (with some prefacing words, of course), and he responded that he loved me too, pulling me close and holding me even tighter. And we’ve said those words multiple times since then, so this lovely relationship is still continuing apace, despite the occasional bump in the road that our respective issues and illnesses (I gave him my cold, unfortunately) have thrown up in our way. And look, Ma, no anxiety attacks!

Things are good. Busy and occasionally frustrating, but good. And I have the feeling they’ll just get better.

Leap of Faith - Post Secret

ugh…

Over the last week and a half, I’ve been going back to my old online matchmaking haunts and changing my status back to Single, adding this caveat on them: I’m newly single after an 18 month relationship. I’m not yet ready to dive into the dating pool, but I might think about checking it out from the deck for the moment. The site where I met HSTeacher I include that I met my former boyfriend there (and I’m starting to think that I should leave that site, as I can see his freshly changed profile and he can see mine – let’s just say that he doesn’t have the same caveat, though so far he just says he’s looking for fun. I guess things are different when you’re the break-upper, huh?  And I guess maybe we didn’t have all that much fun.). And the thought that rises above the others?

Ugh. I can’t believe I’m going to have to go through this crap again.

I thought I was done with dating. I thought I had finally found the right guy for me and no longer had to put myself in that shark pool again. It appears that I was wrong, in so many ways. And the thought of wading back in fills me with dread.

It doesn’t help that it’s still hard for me. That, while I’m no longer crying every day, I still feel a little stabby-stabby in the chest and I never know when I’ll be overcome with a case of the weepies.

(Just a couple of moments ago, for instance, as I started this entry.)

I’ve never been one who really enjoyed dating. I didn’t really date – in the commonly accepted perception of the word – until my early 30s. Until then I had either already known the men with whom I fell into relationships or, in one special case, met at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, went on a couple of dates and boom – six month relationship. I’m still good friends with that guy.

After FG (I can’t really call him The Ex any more, now that I have a more recent ex) left me, and after I picked up and glued together most of the pieces from that shattered dream, I dated off and on over the course of nine years. In some cases I dated one guy for about a month before one of us realized it wasn’t working out. Once I dated two guys simultaneously for a month. And then there was that whole CuteNerdBoy debacle, where we briefly dated in 1997-1998, not to mention the few months in 2003 that I wasn’t sure if we were dating or not because I wasn’t getting clear signals from him. And while the dating and the occasional one night stand were fun, neither are something I’m crazy about doing again.

Mind you, that’s not the primary reason I wish that HSTeacher and I hadn’t split up. I really do love him and, as I wrote earlier, thought I had finally found The Guy.

But the whole dating thing? Right now, I’m just thinking…ugh.

crap…

You know what really sucks?

(Aside from the whole, “My boyfriend broke up with me and I’m all heart-broken and shit,” part, that is.)

That I’m in the mood to write and all I can think of to write about is the breakup and my feelings. A big part of me doesn’t want to do that because, well, how long can a girl go to that writing well? A long time, which I’m well aware of, but I don’t know that I want to. At least not publicly. Because I’m someone who hates to cry in public and that’s what writing non-stop about the break-up would amount to for me.

It’s weird being back at work, though (I was off work yesterday). My cube-mate knows about the break-up, but no one else does. My world has hit a major snag in its rotating, but a person wouldn’t know that from seeing me at work. Oh, there would be clues, of course: taking down his photos from my cubicle walls; the fact that I’m a little quieter than usual, though I am still joking a little bit when talking with others. But, as is the case and should be the case, the rest of the world is spinning the way it always has. I’m feeling a weird disconnect right now. I know I’ll get back in line with the world at some point, and I know it’ll be awhile before that happens, but I’m still not liking this disconnection.

I do want to say, however, that my friends are once again proving themselves to be the most kick-ass friends in the universe. Thanks, guys, I love you all.

musical interlude…

http://widgets.vodpod.com/w/video_embed/ExternalVideo.479057
from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

Ben Folds with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra – Smoke –
Lyrics

not enough…

We did the best we could to work it out, but in the end it wasn’t enough. We talked about seeing a counselor to help us find an alternative that neither one of us was seeing, but we never got that far.

There are no bad guys in this scenario, except for the sociopath that he’s still legally married to, despite the years-long separation and his attempts to break loose without alienating his kids. He’s involved in a huge, huge mess that, by its very nature, intruded into our relationship. He’s tried to do the best he could, but it’s not enough.

Initially we thought that our differences could be bridged, but we were wrong.

He still wants to be friends, but I don’t know yet if I can do that. The feelings are still too raw. My heart still feels all too freshly pulverized. Tears fall without warning. My voice cracks and I can’t speak.

Things were leaning in this direction for several months, but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still long for his touch, that on some level I don’t wish it were still yesterday, when he was still holding me and stroking my hair as I sobbed in his arms. Because at least then I was still with him.

The anger and harsh words, the stress and the pain over the last few months have been tough, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still love him.

He says he loves me too. I believe him. But in the end…

…it’s not enough.

valentine’s thoughts…

As is the case with far too many things in my life, I have conflicting feelings about Valentine’s Day.

There is a part of me – a larger part than many realize exists – that wants to just tell Valentine’s Day to go fuck off. The reasons why are myriad: any real meaning – whether historical or romantic – has been commercialized and marketed to the point where it’s become nothing more than a sanitized, shrink-wrapped, saccharine celebration of “perfect love”; its now overwrought “meaning” dictates a certain way that men must present this “perfect love” to their mates, especially if their mates are of the female persuasion – anything less than chocolates and flowers and wine and jewelry and candlelight and the men are found to be wanting in their love for their women; and, perhaps not all that least, my ex’s birthday is Valentine’s Day, which faintly colors everything associated with the day – while I don’t hate him, there is still a fine thread of bitterness that runs through my thoughts of him, as I’m someone who has a lot of trouble forgiving those whom I feel have done me wrong, no matter how hard I may try.

And yet…

I am, in my deepest heart of hearts, an unremitting and unapologetic romantic.

I don’t know why. Perhaps this is one area in my make-up that is seriously driven by my astrological influences. Not to get too far into it, but I’m a Taurus, ruled by Venus, and I have a hell of a lot of water signs in my chart. For those who know a thing or two about astrology, y’all know how emotional that can make a girl.

(For those who are atheists or have a super-scientific bent [and you know who you are], stop your snickering and indulge me, m’k?)

Or maybe, in this respect, I am by nature a serious girly-girl, no matter how I may fight against it. I love flowers. I love chocolate. I love jewelry and music and candlelight and cards and all of the other hokey trappings of what our society has defined as romantic love. I’ve got a traditional streak that runs deep in me that my rebellious side can’t seem to overcome.

Or maybe I just want to say, “Fuck you,” to my ex and reclaim the day as rightfully mine, declaring that no one can take this hokey, over-commercialized day from me, dammit. I’ve gone through far too many Valentine’s Days without a valentine. Now that I have one – for the second year in a row – I want it to be a day for us, with no ghosts intruding. Even though I honestly believe that we don’t need a designated day to demonstrate our love and that our love doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be ours.

Or maybe it’s all of the above. My mind, as usual, wars with my heart when it comes to this issue. Neither seems to realize that this is a war that cannot be won. A truce must be struck.

Karl Elvis is right. HSTeacher is right. Love isn’t about pretty pieces of paper. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about pre-packaged sentiments, much as my unwavering romantic heart thinks it might be. If it’s to be about anything, it should be about sweaty, messy love with all of its imperfections. It should be about passionate companionship, whether that takes the form of hanging out in the same room while nerding out on separate computers, rubbing your loved one’s shoulders and neck and back to help relieve the stress of a bad week or engaging in screaming, grunting, tear-down-the walls sex that keeps your neighbors up as you call each other’s names out into the night.

Still, if that passionate companionship is accompanied by chocolate or flowers or cards, well, my Venus ruled heart won’t turn them away.

(Happy Valentine’s Day, HSTeacher. I love you.)

so fast…

It’s hard to believe that today marks a year since I first met HSTeacher. It was a blind date, of sorts – we both had profiles on OKCupid. He had originally emailed me on OkCupid while I was in the midst of working on congressional campaign. I didn’t see the note because, if it wasn’t campaign related, it wasn’t on my radar. About a month or so later he emailed me again, a few weeks after the primary election. Since my candidate didn’t win, I had a little time to respond. After a few emails and a couple of phone calls, we agreed to meet at a Starbucks near my place in late afternoon, since he was on summer vacation and I was unemployed (but interviewing madly). He showed up in his convertible with a bike on a rack in the rear, because he had told me over the phone that he was just going to get rid of it, so if I wanted to put money into it (the seat was torn up and the tires needed work), it was mine.

The coffee date turned into a dinner date and, nine hours after first laying eyes on one another, we walked back to his car, whereupon he took my hand and held it. I was surprised, but touched. He dropped me off at my apartment with a nice, gentlemanly little kiss.

After so many first dates last year, I didn’t hold out hope, but before I knew it we were in an actual relationship. And, for the most part, it’s been an excellent one.

Happy anniversary, honey. I love you.

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what teachers make

I take it back – THIS is made of complete and total fucking awesome.

Are there bad teachers? Of course. But good/great/fantastic teachers – like my honey – are the amongst the Best. People. Ever.

(Tip o’ the hat to Christopher Naze for this video.)

update: 4:57pm pdt

We’re still hanging in there. It’s been a long and exhausting day. We managed to get out of the building and into a HumVee about three hours ago, thanks to HSTeacher. I don’t know how he got it or where he learned to drive one – he’s not inclined to say more than necessary right now, but I’m so ecstatic to see him, for many reasons. Still, it’s the first time I’ve ever been happy to see a Hummer on the streets of Los Angeles. He managed to grab some weapons, too. The man is just incredible. And another first for me: I’m glad that I’ve handled guns in the past. I was never very good, but they just might come in handy.

We’ve made it to a more secure area, about forty-five minutes away. Well, most of us. One of the secretaries was snatched by her former boss as we dashed out the back door. I started towards them, but HSTeacher grabbed me and pulled me stumbling back to the HumVee. The smart thing to do, I know, but it doesn’t make losing our compatriot any easier. So now we’re down to three, plus my honey and his kids. He was able to get them before heading out to find me. He’s not saying how. I get the feeling he’s seen worse things than I have, but now is not the time talk about it.

It’s amazing that we can get a wi-fi signal here, intermittent though it may be. My trusty iBook is proving to be a life saver, possibly in the literal sense.

We’ve fortified the small building we’re in and are all sitting with guns and crowbars and the like. We also have all the food and water I had hoarded before. I think we’ll be okay for a while.