Thursday, February 26, 2009

Surprised? Yes, Maybe A Little Take -3-

Heavy rain, fog, and snow in forecast

Moving on . . .

In keeping with the quest, I’ve been working to keep my caloric intake low. I’ve also been working to keep my body moving. That generally proves to be my biggest, what with weather related, knee & foot pain related, emotional issues and time crunches. But, I forge ahead.

Thanks to my mom, I experienced a burst of motivation. But, unfortunately that burst was short-lived due to the mother of all mothers, nature and her biiitchy sister, Flo.

What Flo does to me, beyond the water weighty bloat is drive me to food and drink. Not so much chocolate and other sweets (of course if I see ‘em, I’m eatin ‘em) but more the fatty, salty, greasy variety of food. Big, fat, juicy, burgers and mounds and mounds of hot, crispy, salty fries call my name, every day. "Deborah, come…eat us". Cold beer and colder martinis complete the crave craze. I resist the pleas, mostly.

So, it may not surprise anyone that I gained weight over the last week. I’m still at a net loss, but not where I’d hoped to be by this point in the quest.

Hi-ever, I am zooming into the next four weeks, rocket jet fuel propelling to the half-way point with a bigger bang. I have even thought of taking a class. I have done classes with our local park district, but . . . a room full of mirrors, other women (sometimes men), and a teacher exhorting me to “get lower” usually invigorates the klutz factor and well, it isn’t pretty, or safe. Anyhooooo, I saw an article on Zumba, which is apparently big now. And since I’m generally better at dancing (& dancing was part of the original plan) than the more traditional jumping and lunging, I figured win-win.

I looked for a Zumba class that was both schedule & budget friendly. Failing to find one that fit both bills, I’ve decided to do my own brand of Zumba. Home-grown Zumba, if you will with a little northern shimmy thrown in for additional seasoning. Or get a DVD.

Given my tendency toward klutz, it could prove . . . interesting. But at least I’ll be in my own bedroom (executive decsion, xx-ing out living room dancing) and can stumble onto the semi-firm mattress. Unless, I stumble in the other direct . .

Ok, ok think positive, no stumbling. On with progress and down with weight!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Surprised? Yes, Maybe A Little -Take 2-

I’m a Lesbian. I’m a lesbian. I’m a lesbian. I’m a lesbian. I AM A L E S B I A N.

Surprised? No, of course you’re not. I came out…here on my blog, after coming out to my son and daughter. Those who know me from the blog and the few who have met me in person have only known me as such. (Oh, there were a few months where my status was…not specified, but it was such a short time, it is nearly forgotten).

I came out here. I “dated” on-line and told you some of those tales. I met and dated seriously for nearly two years my lady love and told you some of those tales. I AM A LESBIAN.

That IS my identity here.

That IS my identity in my home I’m a lesbian.

But, beyond that, my status is . . . not specified.

I’ve been feeling the need to put a face on my lesbian status, to give that status a live, in real-time, voice. I’ve been feeling the need to let those who know me as otherwise, know my truth and nothing but the truth.

I am emboldened by my reading, blogging, support of those who’ve commented (& subsequent emails) not to mention, the fantastic support of the lovely ladies I’ve met face-to-face. And certainly knowing and loving Neta has provided yet another level to that courage. But, having had zero connection to any facet of “the family” here in my own backyard, so to speak, on that level I feel . . . alone.

(Note to QM: IF mom had asked, I would have answered, truthfully, honestly).

You’re probably saying, “But Deborah, you are so strong, so confident, so lesbian”, how could this be?

I FEEL strong, confident and certainly lesbian, especially here, on-line. I also FEEL strong, confident and certainly lesbian when I’m in like company. But, as I said, I have had zero connection to any facet of “the family” here in my corner of the world.

In a sense, I am alone. And, I’m basically shy.

However, to remedy that alone feeling I’ve scurried up the gumption to attend a Women Like Me meeting at our local GLBT Association, this past weekend.

There, I met 13 women, like me who are married, separated, divorced and/or coming OUT later in life. Thirteen women who are all working to give real-time voice to their truth and to live that truth, openly, honestly and in every corner of their lives.

One of the 13 women I met at the meeting is a woman I’d met before under other circumstances. She is in her fifties and has just come out to her husband and children. She and I met through D, who is not aware of this woman’s truth. She asked me not to reveal as she’s not quite ready.

I understood. I agreed. I am no longer alone.

And soon enough I’ll be living openly, honestly in every corner of my world.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Surprised? Yes, Maybe A Little -Take 1-

For a little while now, I’ve wanted to check out the Windy City Rollers, the local roller derby teams. One thing or another has kept me from the matches these past couple of years. I have to admit that I wasn't all that comfortable about the neighborhood where the matches were being held, so the excuses were easy find. However, the venue was changed for the 2009 season. The matches are being played in a public transportation / ‘we’re all about diversity’ friendly neighborhood.

So, I planned to attend Friday’s match. I invited my daughter along as usual. She was not as nearly as excited about the prospect, but she agreed. We went to Friday's bout.

Though it was not quite the roller derby I remember from my youth, nor did I fall in love with a roller derby queen, we still had a blast. She got hit on by a guy who was, as my mother would say, “drunk as a skunk”. He was enthralled by her funky N*ikes. He seemed to be by himself and like us, virgins to the “talk derby to me” crowd.

I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased to find a wide cross-section of very knowledgeable and vocal fans enjoying the bouts. M called the next day and during our conversation he revealed that he has a friend who skates. He couldn’t remember her “skate” or team name. I’ll have to show him the roster to see if that jogs his memory.

The house was nearly packed and the atmosphere was charged. We had a blast. I don’t know about D, but I certainly will be going to more of the matches.

Talk derby to me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Year Ago

I remember like it were yesterday, of course I have a blog post to jump start that memory. For the record, my prediction was wrong. Diamond did not shred Hills to smithereens. She generally ignores her unless someone presses the issue. Diamond is particularly particular about her toys, or rather toy. There is only one, a squeaky soccer ball, that garners any real attention. So much so, it rarely squeaks anymore. But, back to the point, a year ago . . .

My daughter was excited to cast her vote on Super Tuesday and even more so in November. Today, her president proposes, negotiates, parents with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

We didn't have Buttah (who has just celebrated his 2nd birthday) the cat. I was not thrilled with my daughter's act of defiance bringing Buttah into our small space in last summer. But I couldn't be more thrilled to have him here today. He's brought many hours of joy and huggy goodness. He, like the rest of us is watching his waistline (well, he isn't but he are) and is a tad cranky about the new feeding plan, but all is forgiven quickly enough.

The biggest change today over a year ago is I don't have a girlfriend. I am no longer in the throes of romance, the joys of anticipation, or the glow of . . . love. Oh, I'm still in love and I love her still, but as the nature of our relationship has changed, so too has our interaction. I miss her.

I am tired, yet energetic. I am driven to complete work-related tasks, yet feel scatterbrained and lost. I am positive and upbeat, yet weepy and low. I am, in the words of my lovely daughter, "a hot mess", or feel like it anyway.

My daughter, her ribbing aside (actually, part of her charm) has been a tower of strength. It could not have been easy for her to see me crumble. She hasn't seen it often and I think, not ever since she's been an adult. She's been great. She suggested we go speed-dating, "you know, just for fun...and material." (Daughter is an occasional contributor to a friend's cable access talk/variety show).

I'm working to maintain as I have goals to achieve and a life to live. I'm still tinkering with the details on just how that progresses from this point forward. But thanks to daughter, the kindness of a few friends, laughter, and even tears, forward, the star of this story, is within reach.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Took Stock

So, I get this letter from the investment firm holding my shrunken retirement funds. The letter informs that my advisor has left the firm and joined another. The letter goes on to relate how the urge to flee the firm to follow a preferred advisor is understandable, but may not be the best course of action.

Stop. Think. They warn.

I did, for all of 30 maybe 45 seconds. I am cuttin’ and runnin’ but not after my advisor (especially since there was no head’s up re: the departure) I’m cuttin’ and runnin’ primarily because the letter announcing my advisor’s departure and re-up with another firm identified her as a him.

My confidence in the firm shot to hell in a hand-basket with that gaffe. Two days later I received another letter announcing the assignment of the new advisor. His introduction did little to change my mind.

Buh- Bye.

It’s actually decent timing as I’ve been re-evaluating much these past few weeks, so thanks

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Week Ago, Yesterday

My maternity leave started at the end of January. The hope was to have a month to prepare for the delivery expected at the end of February. About 5:00 a.m. the morning of the 8th, it was clear I wouldn’t get that month.

The pains started around 3 a.m. My husband was getting ready for work, trying not to wake me, not knowing that I was already awake. The pains high and wide, radiating over and around the top portion of my body, were not acute enough to mention, but insistent enough to keep me awake and uncomfortable. I let him leave without a word about what I was experiencing.

I initially thought I was experiencing was a severe attack of gas.

A couple of hours of tossing, turning, trips to the bathroom, marked with more frequent and acutely painful episodes, I began to prepare for my trip to the hospital, for it was clear, this was not gas. My only hope now, was that the pains would subside enough to delay the ambulance call. I didn’t want to ride to the hospital in the dark. I don’t know why this was important to me, but it was.

Though this was my first labor and I was alone, I didn’t feel anxious or afraid. I felt determined to wait for daybreak. I like to believe my relative calm kept the pains at bay. More likely, I was just lucky.

I made the call at first light. The ambulance arrived about 10 minutes later. The ride to the hospital took 6 or 7 minutes. I’d called my mother and husband during the 10 minute wait, instructing them to join me at the hospital.

My mother appeared while I was still in the labor room, staying behind while they wheeled me to the delivery room some time later.

Once in the delivery room, the doctor and nurses seemed to ignore me, scattering about the room attending to various things. After a few moments I started screaming, “The baby’s coming, it’s coming, NOW!!” several times over. As one, they arrived at my side in time to catch the baby just as it plopped out of me.

In my mind’s eye it was a very close call, but in actuality, not.

The birth of a male child for 10:04 A.M.

Twenty-seven years, one week ago, yesterday.

pictured: the birthday man and his little sister following a celebratory brunch

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chillin Cat

Me and Buttah are completely simpatico these days. He is quite often doing exactly what I'm feeling.

My most favorite of his moves is when he's sauntering about and then suddenly he's splayed over the floor as if every bone in his body decided to melt, dropping him on the spot.

Thankfully I'm not walking behind him at these times as this melting and melding to the floor comes without any warning.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Quaint Scent

Before I start, thank you all for the kind words.
An upstairs neighbor has a teen daughter. As memory serves, where there is a teen girl, you'll likely find a teen boy.
Teen daughter is not allowed to entertain her teen boy friend in the upstairs neighbor's apartment when mom is away, or at all for all I know.
Thus, the entertaining has been taking place in the vestibule, daily when school is in session, timed to assure full entertainment before mom arrives home. Well, as full as a public vestibule will allow.
They are often still entertaining when I arrive home.
I had forgotten the oh so ripe scent of teen boy. A teen boy right after school, practice, flirting, cuddling with teen girl in vestibule.
Getthemailquick. Getthemailquick. Getthemailquick.
Oh, boy.

Friday, February 06, 2009

A Different Chill In My Bones

The brand new parka offers no defense. The many layers of clothing are not helping much either. The sneaking suspicion is not even the higher temps forecast for the coming weekend are going do little to warm me. I can’t shake the chill.

Movement, maybe keeping busy will help.

The chill started a couple days ago. Beginning with, “Sweetie, sorry . . .”

It continued, “I care deeply about you and always will, but . . .”

Everything after but, became a blur including, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Chill settled in around my shoulders and hasn't released me.

I’ve read and re-read the missive and those that followed. I’ve talked with Neta and it’s clear she doesn’t want or rather, can’t be in an intimate, romantic relationship any longer. I have no choice but to accept her decision.

We have talked and will talk more. We will try to forge ahead with a friendship. We may become much better friends than we were lovers, or rather the lovers we were growing to become.
In our time together, given that we were 500 miles apart, there were many things that we hadn’t done as a couple. We’d had the opportunity to celebrate only a few “firsts” in our nearly two years.

There were many more “firsts” penciled on my list. Saying, “Neta was my girlfriend” wasn’t one of them. Thinking of and referring to Neta as my former girlfriend will be, surreal.

Maybe more hot tea will help this chill, though I rather doubt that it will.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Four Hundred and Sixty (C)

You remember four hundred and sixty, now A. Then there was four hundred and sixty (B).

Today I'm having . . . feelings. Get hooked on a feeling.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Four Hundred and Sixty (B)

Remember some days ago, the post titled 460? Turns out, post 460 was not really post 460. There were two drafts and drafts count in the total, so, this is post 460B (460 being re-named 460A) and then we’ll have post 460C, thus will end the 460 cycle.

I saw this here, at Sassy's, her place and surprisingly, here. I’m sure it’s been elsewhere too, as these things tend to get around. I’m participating because I needed to round out the 460s and killing time between the SuPeR commercials. So, I give you, Getting to Know More of MeMe:

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? I thought my daughter was right about my eyebrows.
2. How much cash do you have on you? Oh, I don’t know, probably about 5 singles and maybe 8 quarters.
3. What’s a word that rhymes with Door? Floor. Cracked, ack!
4. Favorite planet? I never gave it a thought, hmmm…Jupiter, I guess.
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? Probably my daughter’s boyfriend, but I’m sure she was using his phone.
6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? Whatever it is the daughter downloaded, having deemed whatever stock tone I was using, dorky.
7. What shirt are you wearing? Well, these days it’s shirts. A black tank and a black tee emblazoned with: Pessimism Never Works
8. Do you label yourself? 100 % human made material
9. Name the brand of shoes you’re currently wearing? Lands End clogs.
10. Bright or dark room? Bright. Even at night, even for sleeping, I prefer some light over pitch darkness.
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? I saw it in 4 places and I think all 4 women are smart and bold, each in their own unique and quite entertaining ways.
12. What does your watch look like? Though I don’t wear it much anymore, it’s black with a fabric band and digital face that scrolls. People have said, “cool watch” but it has begun to irritate, so I don’t wear it much. There are clocks everywhere.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Odd, but sleeping. Odd because until about 3 weeks ago, sleeping did not come very easily for me. But recently? Better. Good, that.
14. What did your last text message received on your cell say? “Mom, um ddog is 20 lbs!!!She went up not down!
15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Sheeeesh, we’re stinky with them here. Near home base, the nearest is about 4 blocks west. Near work, there about 4 within a mile radius, that I’ve come across, so far.
16. What is a word that you say a lot? Hello
17. Who told you he/she loved you last? Neta
18. Last furry thing you touched? Diamond. Or Buttah. They vie equally for attention.
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? A multi-vitamin and a very small dose water pill for hypertension comprise my daily intake. Now and again a headache will get bad enough to move me to a pain reliever. That’s it. Ever.
20. How many rolls of file do you need developed? Need? No rolls, but I do intend to print a shot or two from a memory card to send to N.
21. Favorite age you have been so far? I like right now, though I think it will only get better. Especially when a certain aunt stops visiting.
22. Your worst enemy? Distance
23. What is your current desktop picture? a pic of son and daughter.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone? Karma’s a biiiitch!
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? Is this a trick question? Show Me The Money!!!
26. Do you like someone? As a matter of fact, yes.
27. What is the last song you listened to? “Make Yours A Happy Home”
28. What time of day were you born? 11:50 A.M. It was a Saturday.
29. Favorite number? Well, I don’t really have one, but if I were, it would probably be 3 as the number 3 has been part of my address (home & work) and phone numbers for the past 25, 26 years or so. Despite having moved (home & work (once) several times in that time period.
30. Where did you live in 1987? Illinois, in a suburb of Chicago on a street by the same name.
31. Are you jealous of anyone? Well, no one in particular. I do tend envy those folks who don’t battle weighty issues.
32. Is anyone jealous of you? I doubt it.
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Home and then work.
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Depends. If food product or beverage, I chalk it up to fate and thank it for doing me a favor, for clearly I didn’t need whatever I was trying to purchase. If a washer/dryer at the laundry, I go to the attendant to ask for a refund. If there isn’t an attendant I say, “shit” and stomp off to find some quarters, somewhere.
35. Do you consider yourself kind? Sure, I’d like to think so anyway. I'm sure there are times when I don't react kindly.
36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Had to?
Why would I have to get a tattoo? If I had to, it would be on my right shoulder. But, ain’t happenin’ cap'n.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Oooooh may I have two? Spanish and Italian. 10 years ago the answer would have been Spanish and French. 10 years from now, maybe Spanish and Greek. In either case, I should get Spanish. Done.
38. Would you move for the person you loved? In a heart…well, truthfully, perhaps, likely. Yes?
39. Are you touchy feely? So-So, depends on the person, circumstances etc. I think I am selectively touchy and electively feely.
40. What is your life motto? These dishes will not wash them…oh, motto, not mantra. Uhm, Do unto others, yadda x 3
41. Name three things you have on you at all times? Kidney, liver, pancreas.
42. What is your favorite town/city? Well, I’d say Chicago as it is the city of my birth and where I’ve spent most of my life (as a resident or employee), but I don’t think I’ve visited enough places to name Chicago as a favorite, it is just the most familiar and growing more and more in my estimation every day.
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? Fed quarters into washers and a dryer.
44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? Last week. I write (and mail) two to three letters a month.
45. Can you change the oil on a car? Probably. I haven’t, but I probably could.
46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? Monster cramps and needed to get off the phone, before she got ‘bitchy’.
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? On my mother’s side, as far back as my great-grandmother. I don’t know much at all about my maternal grandfather’s family. I have a booklet outlining my father’s family, but I haven’t read it, yet.
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? Hmmmmm, I think it was an award ceremony, M was nominated for an award. I wore dressy black slacks, white shirt and a speckled black/white (nearly grey) blazer and black boots. I even put gloss on my lips. Faaaancy.
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Now that you ask, no. How cool is that?
50. Have you been burned by love? You know, I thought I had been, but it turns out it was just gas.