Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wile E. Coyote

Just as I’d forgotton about the magazine article, Rhode Island Monthly has hit the stands with their glossy covered “Best Doctors in Rhode Island” issue, with not a blurb, but a full page spread replete with giant picture of... me. And a bad picture at that. Even the few friends that have seen it have admitted, yeah, that is a really bad picture. I look wan, tired, and having a very bad hair day. I read the article once, there is one unfinished quote that leaves me a tiny bit uncomfortable, but all in all, it’s such a sweet, generous piece. None the less, I’ve read it once and that is that.

Just as I was feeling awkward about it, I got an email from a woman who said she was sitting in her doctors office today, reading the article while wearing a LuckyBird Studio necklace, which is my business name, and she too had just gone through breast cancer and was compelled to contact me. That alone, makes me glad I did it. To have connected with someone through a magazine page was a really cool feeling and I hope she will take me up on my offer to come to the studio for tea, because my story is told, I’d like to hear someone elses. Without a doubt there is a kinship among those that have heard the words “you have cancer”.

It’s been a year and a half since I finished treatment and two years since my surgery. While I still wrestle with the physical after effects, it seems like so much longer past, while at the same time, I can barely remember the simplicity of before, hazy, a bad dream. I feel like I can finally start my new life, my post-bad-marriage-life and I’m excited. So excited it makes me nervous, because my track record is poor. So many times I’ve thought that I’ve used up my quota of bad luck, but then when I get too comfy, the giant anvil falls from directly above a lá Wile E. Coyote. Maybe I’ve got to learn to dodge instead of standing still and letting it land squarely on my head, or maybe, at last, I really have used up my quota.

My next appointment with my oncologist is in July, I feel like I can only breathe freely until then, when hopefully he’ll give me another five month pass. Five more months, life in tiny increments is not enough, but it is what I get. I have never wanted to do more, never felt so energized, I can’t nearly fit in all the experiences I want to have in five months. I have to hope that the mind/body connection will see me through. That the happier I am, the more protected from harm I’ll be. We all grow cancer cells occasionally, but our bodies are built to remediate them. I think I had marriage cancer, childhood trauma cancer, it all built up and my system was just too stressed or maxed out to notice or bother with what was going on. I just have to hold on to the idea that a happy body, happy heart is as powerful as I need it to be. Trip planning is good too, because if I plan a trip in advance, surely, it is etched in stone and the universe won't let me lose my deposit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Centered, Cultured and Cultivated

I slept with the window open last night, it was heavenly. Last night seems a long time ago, in this cold, blustery, flustery storm that is making all of my old windows rattle. Most of the windows in the house need new cords so that they’ll open and close without a struggle and won’t need books propping them up so they don’t spontaneously crash down, cat squashing, limb crushing or wood splintering. Another thing I wish I’d pushed to have remediated while I had a co-owner with cash flow. I stopped asking for things to get done a long time ago because I just dreaded the dead pan “is that really necessary?” or “can we really afford that?” Yes, yes, we probably could have. Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t just say “yes, yes, that is really necessary.” I don’t know why I’m so conflict averse when I grew up surrounded by so much conflict, well maybe that’s why, and maybe I was just defeated, deflated. I like getting things done, you know what floats my boat, what really turns me on? Guys that get shit done. If I were a man, maybe that’s what my OkCupid profile would say, “I get shit done.” I have a friend who laments the lack of women in his life and attributes it to his theory that women only like men who treat them badly, women like assholes and he’s too nice. I don’t think that’s it... maybe younger women like that distant, elusive, selfish type, maybe I did once, but hell, we grow up. Nothing is more exciting to me than sweetness and thoughtfulness. Someone who’s actually interested in my day, that would make me swoon. Someone who is smart and creative and funny and sweet, thoughtful and kind, I’m placing my order for that on right away, I hope I get free 2-day shipping, OkCupid isn’t coming through.

My garage door entered the afterlife after all the springs and cables burst the other day. After wedging it open, the door is so clearly rotted, shredding, and falling apart it doesn’t make sense to fix it and I’m not spending my sparse cash on a garage door, no thank you, that is way too depressing a purchase. I’m just going to staple up a tarp and call it a day. I suppose if someone wants to steal my broom and rakes there’s nothing I can do to stop them. And, I do love using my staple gun, so I don’t mind. After wrenching the door open last weekend from where it's not planning on closing, I finally got some yardwork done and the tall one was great about helping and did things in a much more adult way. We had a lot of limbs down that needed to be cut up and carted out to the curb and instead of tossing two into a yard waste bin and saying it was full because they were criss-crossed, I saw packed bins filled with vertical sticks and my heart breathed a sigh of relief. Progress.

Yesterday, the 13-year old got frustrated with homework, I don’t really blame him, the assignment was stupid and annoying and from my point of view pretty useless, but none the less, the laws of life dictate that little boys and girls must do their homework. He’s been coping really well with homework this year, we’ve had our moments, but suddenly, he regressed, five, eight years and was grabbing furniture cushions and throwing them around. Unacceptable and I told him to go up to his room to calm down. He usually won’t go, but he stomped up there and I let him cool down. When I went up to check, he was asleep in bed, half covered in a blanket, dresser drawers on the floor and an entire roll of toilet paper strewn across his room. A for effort, it was quite a sight, that boy gets shit done. I thought he’d sleep through the night, but he got up, chilled out and practiced the trumpet. It was really strange, such a sudden and powerful regression, I haven’t seen a fit like that in some time and it makes me realize I should be appreciative of how easy life has become. I have a trash can full of vertical sticks and fits are way outside the norm.

The trumpet teacher showed up for boy’s first lesson, messy and dishelveled, wearing a Doctor Who sweatshirt among other geeky accessories and when I opened the door and saw her I wanted to cry. I greeted her with “oh my god, you’re one of us, come in.” And it all went famously from there. I have been witness to actual voluntary practicing and now I can’t get the elephant march from the Jungle Book out of my head.

I can’t believe there is no school for six days straight. Boys will go to their dads for one of them, the rest they’re with me... how is that not reflected in the child support guidelines? I’m wrestling with the same paradox and I have to stop, it is what it is and being perpetually annoyed serves no purpose.

I know a lot of people have met folks on dating sites, but I don’t think it’s for me. I’ve found the conversations I’ve had unsettlingly disjointed and empty and there’s just too much flotsam to shuffle through. I don’t have the time or dedication to spend hours pouring over profiles, there’s too much real life out there. I've found the process alienating and I get more fulfillment from cleaning out my attic and plotting my next project, party or trip. I'm going to leave the dating sites behind, and anyone who is in a decent relationship, rejoice, work hard, be creative, otherwise, you’ll be spending your late nights reading profiles like the following. At least it's entertaining, although I find his "safe passion rule" a bit extreme, although, mercifully, he isn't looking for that "one special lady to wine and dine."

Centered, cultured, cultivatad but a bit edgy &wild, stable, dedicated, peaceful & happy.

I love education, but more importantly: inspiration, or delicious quality excitement. The seduction of mind AND body.

My "follow your bliss" formula: Creative bold expressive sensuous teasing
Letting go preconceived notions.
The Safe Passion Rule: No coitus or oral, but complete honest exchange of feelings & desires... open up the mind; celebrate the body; divine hotness! No holding back.

NOW is a time of randy experimentation & exploration. "Wham bam thank you ma'm" or "Whir blur thank you sir" is pointless. Let's cultivate boldness & butterflies! Enjoy surrendering & sharing our thoughts, feelings & fantasies without fear. Let's create our own paths; not be shackled by self-imposed boring prisons. "TRUST yourself! Then you will know how to live!" (Goethe)

"Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife!"
(from The Psalm of Life by Longfellow)
What I’m doing with my life
My work is a bit too esoteric & unique for discussion here now :)
Self employed since 1985. I'm trained as a writer and ran my own publishing company. Also a certified physical fitness specialist - very advanced with 35 years professional experience & owned several fitness businesses. Certified in nutrition & experienced in epdimiology. Certified chef; owned & operated a gourmet school.
Currently own another unique established business of own creation.

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."- Henry David Thoreau

"Who rises late must trot all day" - American Proverb

"Men {and women} sometimes stumble over the truth but they pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened" -W Churchill

"I have endeavored to show that medicine is not only not necessary but injurious to all mankind" - Gandhi

"Medicine is designed to amuse the patient while nature cures the disease"- Voltalire
I’m really good at Inspiration.

And I give great massage. hey... even got my own table.
The first things people usually notice about me
They say my Smile, eyes, butt, voice, stature & charisma.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Breaking Bad.
From Omar Khayam, Emerson.... to T Colin Campbell, Joseph Campbell...isaac Asimov...The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, The Art of Sexual Magic by Margot Anand, DH Lawrence, so many more.

The Princess Bride, Tommy,The Big Lebowski, Being There, Phenomenon, Manon of the Spring, Jean De Florette, Seven Beauties, Leap of Faith, Princess Bride, Get Shorty, Reacher, Zohan, Austin Powers,. Star Trek NOT Star Wars. (Star Wars was LAME to someone who had already read ALL the best sci-fi by age 11).

I love Sinatra to Zeppelin & more not heard of.
Tom Barabas, Roul DiBlasio, Pink Floyd, Johhny Cougar Melencamp, classics, ambient space & progressive pieces.Took classical piano lessons nine years as child.

Food: I eat to enhance my life & great enjoyment of it. Not merely gourmand taste or emotional need.
I have long since matured off the perpetual pacifier advancing gracefully to more lasting & fulfilling pleasures than "wine & cheese" or "creme lattes".

As a result I have not suffered even the slightest cold or flu symptom for 12 years in a row. No drugs, pills powders or mumbo jumbo "natural doctor" gimmicks. And so much more...
The six things I could never do without My mom, my friends, my dad (lives in my heart), my passion, my imagination, & tolerance.

Oh. & my super duper deluxe 3D robotic massage chair.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how lucky & blessed I am to be alive.
On a typical Friday night I am
Relaxing at my house after inviting my incredibly youthful & terrific mom over for dinner and a movie.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I was a 130 lb. weakling; beat up almost daily & made fun of & called skinny & "gay" in high school since I moved to LI from a Manhattan private school, and was "smarter" by several years comparison. After sevearl years of self transformation I became a stripper per the encouragement of a female-friend and against my "better nerd judgement".
I’m looking for
Girls who like guys
Ages 40–99
Near me
For new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating
You should message me if
The obvious: you like what you see & read.
You like to be inspired.
You like an exciting non traditional guy.
You value the mind & physical body equally. And of course you are sexy & cute!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I spent the day working on the semi-massive project that is cleaning out my attic. I have a plan, a master plan that I’m motivated to finally pursue since opening last months heating bill. I have a drafty old house sans shred of insulation. I’ll never replace the beauful, old, thick glass windows, but some changes need to be made. I have two nice finished rooms in the attic, but they’re not usable at all in summer because it becomes an inferno that is no match for any fan or air conditioning unit. First I need to have three spots rewired to eliminate the knob and tube wiring. I’ll put a ceiling fan in each room and then insulate up there. I’ve talked to countless people who’ve insulated their attics and they say they can feel the difference the first day and that it’s cooler in the summer and the whole house stays warmer in the winter. I’m down for that.

To prepare, the crawl space closets need to be cleaned out and since I’m doing that, I’ve decided to clear out the space entirely. After that work is done, one room can be a guest room and the other can house a ping-pong table because it’s come to my attention that they’re available in four pieces instead of two and hence the parts will fit up the narrow staircase. Either the tall one can move up to the third floor entirely, or I can use the bedroom as an Air BnB room and make some extra money. I live quite near a hospital, so I think that’s my niche. Out of towners visiting loved ones in the hospital, they can pay me and I’ll take wonderful care of them.

It makes no sense to pay property taxes on a house that I’m not fully using and I am making peace with the fact that I can’t move because logistics are everything, and if I want boy to come home on school vacations and bring friends with him, I need to preserve his familiar space.

Despite there being exactly zero documented cases of house fires caused by knob and tube wiring and insulation, it is illegal to insulate while it’s there. So unfortunately, the knob and tube up there finally has to go.

While dragging things about, I found two boxes filled with letters received over twenty five years. People used to write long letters because of course, there wasn’t email and long distance calls were expensive. Anyone else remember those itemized phone bills that room-mates would have to go through line by line, to see who’s calls were who’s? I was reading a letter from a friend that referenced our mutual friend Susan and another woman Erika. I have no recollection of an Erika so I figured that was someone they both knew. But the next letter I pulled out was to me, from Erika. Apparently I’d just stayed with her in a basement somewhere. I have no recollection of Erika. Then I pulled out a typed note from a guy who I was clearly good friends with at a job. He mentioned the name of the company and a co-worker that we apparently both detested. He was respponding, it appeared to a letter from me, and clearly we were close. His full name was on the envelope and it rings not a single bell. We trust our brains to be the repository of our story, the guardian of our history, our reality. This might be a mistake, I know that my brain, at least, is keeping inferior track of things.

At first I wanted to throw the boxes straight into the trash, nothing has been added to those boxes in many, many years, but ultimately, I couldn’t do it and now I have puzzle after puzzle and many more letters to go through. Nonetheless, I filled my trash and recycling bin, as well as my neighbors and took several bags to Savers. Progress was made, but there is still much to be done.

Dinner has been eaten, red wine consumed, and there is chocolate cake in the fridge for the stroke of 9:00p.m. and the premier of Game of Thrones, be still my heart. I can’t believe that next season boy will be watching at college and I’ll be watching at home. We’ll have to touch base afterwards, we’ve watched every episode together and he won’t let anyone come over and watch with us, it’s our thing. He might have to take a leave of absence from college for GoT season (not). Recapping episodes might be the only reason he calls home, thank you HBO. I never thought I could be this excited about a t.v. show. I've missed you mother of dragons and it will be nice to see you too Jon Snow and of course I wonder what Arya's been up to... valor morghulis.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Senior Citizens

I’m so grateful to the friend that heeded my request on facebook for a dinner date tonight... Saturday night. When my kids first started going to their father’s every other weekend, I was so burnt out, I didn’t have the energy to miss them, I was grateful to just be able to sit still. Now, however, I’ve found myself spiraling down into a dark blue mood when I’m cooped up at home on a quiet Saturday night. Even if I make myself a nice meal and hunker down with a movie, I spiral. It’s happened enough times that I realize I have to do something about it. Status quo is a no go. If I go out to dinner with a friend, or eat take out at a friends studio or work, or join a family for dinner, I go home happy and can hunker down and enjoy a movie, but I need that 2 hour change of scenery, I need that two hours of company, of compansionship, of connection to the world outside my house, so I’m trying to be proactive.

It’s difficult when most of your friends are part of a nuclear family, they’re doing their family-thang on Saturday night. I understand that, but I am acutely aware, all of a sudden, that I’m not one of them anymore, I’m orbiting the sun on a different ring a different plane. Really, I always was, I was just pretending not to be, because there wasn’t any cozy, nuclear family thing going on here, I was a single mom, long before I was a single mom.

I just had some yummy Mexican food and two great big margaritas, and since I don’t drink much, I’m entirely buzzed and making lots of typos, but I love the feel of the familiar keys beneath my finger tips, that soothing tippity tap. Love. Comfort.

Despite my boys being at their dad’s for the weekend, shortly after I got home from work today, the tall one showed up with some friends to handle a serious project. Every spring there is a dodgeball tournament at school between the classes, not history vs. calculus, but freshman, vs. sophomore, etc. Every year, the same kid does the t-shirts in his grade and every year they are very clever and well done. The tall one’s class of ‘14 was the Soph No Mores, the D’juniors Unchained and now they are the Senior Citizens. They came over to spray paint purple Superman logos on gray t-shirts and write with gold glitter goop, “Senior Citizens” and the back says ‘14. One of the football players, on to engineering school soon is exceptional at this, his hand lettering is incredible. I complimented him on his natural feel for symmetry and spacing. Really impressive. All the t-shirts are hanging on my dining room curtain rod, on actual hangars, clearly my own son was not in charge, I’m not sure he is familiar with hangers.

I’m having two simultaneous, dysfunctional conversations with men on OkCupid. One of them answered almost every question, not only with the same exact answers as mine, but with the same type of commentary and he’s not a christian, and it’s very important to him, he doesn’t mind flags on fire, and lives not far away. But he is a few (only a few) years younger and has very young children... 2 1/2 - 8 or so, and so I feel like I’m a grandma when I’m talking about his kids. “Oh I remembered when they were sick all the time... I remember that age...” And it occurs to me that he must have separated when his wife was pregnant or with young child and that is hard for me to fathom. The similarity in both conversations is that I respond in paragraphs and they respond in fragments, a whole sentence or two if I’m lucky. I feel like I pull back the layers but they don’t, which I’m comfortable in saying, is not a turn on. I finally have the self-confidence to not so much want to please and impress someone, as to have them impress me, and thus far... I’m not so impressed.

Wow, I can’t believe how buzzed I am after two drinks, you see, silly men, I’m a cheap date, you don’t know what you’re missing. Tomorrow I have an awesome date lined up. The tall one is coming home in the afternoon to help me clean out the attic, then we are going to a particular pizza place because he says I would really like it and then... dun, dun, dun... The Game of Thrones season premier. That is a perfect date if you ask me. I saw a preview for GoT and first I was thrilled and then I was sad because I didn’t want it to start because I didn’t want it to end. Tall one gets out of school practically a month early because seniors don’t have to take finals, and we’ve decided to check our ALL the local breakfast places, damn, I can’t think of anything better. Then he’ll pack up and go to counselor at camp and then he’ll come home, unpack and repack for college. I’m so happy and relieved I’m not devastated by that. I’m just excited, so excited, proud and happy for him. I’m so looking forward to our relationship evolving and knowing each other as adults. I’m so excited for all the promise and opportunities in front of him. True love is a beautiful, beautiful thing. So are margaritas and mexican food.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Whine Tour

O.K., the whine tour is over, as is the pity party. Maybe I have to sink that low to get my head out of my own ass. Blech, I was making myself nauseous with that last post, enough! I have not woken from a car accident to learn I’m a paraplegic, or a quadraplegic. I don’t have Lou Gehrig’s disease, my house is not in foreclosure, my proverbial dog hasn’t died.

I’m single. A lot of people are single. I’ve had cancer and stuff hurts, a lot of people have had cancer and lot’s of people have stuff that hurts. So I’m not the Prom Queen, well, I never was and really wouldn’t feel comfortable in those shoes. So I am done with Facebook and the pictures of people who’s parties seem so fun, and OKcupid can shoot it’s arrows wherever it pleases. I’m not going to keep pouring over self-summaries and sending witty, charming emails to people too lazy or apathetic to respond.

I live in a comfortable house in a comfortable neighborhood with my comfortable kids and comfortable friends. It’s not picture perfect, screw picture perfect. I’m a little upset that Frozen has dethroned Toy Story as the highest grossing animation, but I’m gonna let it go, let it go.

I have my boy’s last HS baseball season coming up. I’ll sit in a chair and enjoy the days, even if I can’t focus on the game, because after all these years, I still can’t focus on a baseball game. I’ll enjoy watching the comradery of the players that have been together for so long, swinging their swan songs. I’ll clean off my porch and spend evenings out there chatting with my guys and eating bowls of cherries and fresh peas in the pod. I’ll put a stack on singles out so whoever wants to can chase the ice cream truck at will.

I have a graduation coming up, a cum laude ceremony, much welcoming college mail to read, art supplies to buy for film sets, happy summer day camp pick up times. Graduation parties to plan, little dudes award ceremony at PPAC. The knowledge that even though I had to plan it, pay for it and clean up after it, oh, and need to get thank you notes for, little dude is still talking about how perfect and special his birthday was and how happy that makes him, cause yeah, he really does talk like that. He’s like his mama, we have big, descriptive hearts.

I’m going to launch my irresponsible plan to spend my Roth IRA on five years of twice yearly trips. It wouldn’t have made a dent in supporting me in my old age (and we’re still talking budget trips), but if I wind up experiencing old age, that will be gift enough and I’ll worry about how to survive then. Right now I want to do more than survive, I want to live and that means getting on a plane for an adventure twice a year with lot’s of smaller adventures in between. If you know anyone with a condo to loan, near a dive shop, anywhere, let me know.