Monday, June 17, 2013

TMI Tuesday: How do you like____

How do you like:

1. Your eggs cooked?
Scrambled with milk and cheese mixed in.

2. Your sandwich cut? In half, down the middle of the square or on the diagonal?
I really don't think about it.  I guess I tend to cut in down the middle into two rectangles.

3. Your coffee?
don't like coffee

4. Your tea?
strong. what I like in it depends on the type and if it's hot or cold

5. Your ice-cream served–cup, cone or condom?
I'm not really one much for enjoying ice cream cones, unless I pay extra for the good kind.  Scooped in a bowl works just fine for me.

6. Your hair–long or short? Up or down? Straight or curly? Permed or natural?
Hair-- on the shorter side, OFF my face and neck.  Convenient and manageable.  These days it's fully natural, but sometimes it gets helped with a round brush with the hair dryer.

7. To have sex? In what position?
wondering when the sex questions would surface.  not in the mood to go in depth this week.  check back another time.  :)

Bonus: How do you like your lovers?
honest, loyal, and desiring lots of intellectual foreplay

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Closeted Heterosexual

I've made a decision.  Well, more than that, I've already acted upon it.  As far as my neighbors are concerned, I am a woman who is very happy with her long-term girlfriend.  No, friends, I have not found a significant other.  Let me back up a bit.

I've lived in my apartment complex for 10 months and will be renewing my lease shortly.  It's a very convenient location, in my budget, and a well cared for property.  Many of the neighbors are friendly, or at least polite.  A good portion of the children are well monitored and well behaved (though there are days I want to smack either the parents or the younglings)  In that time, several men have flirted with me and/or asked me out.  More often than not, their attentions have been rude in addition to being unwanted.

Rude how?  Well, first there's the man who pulled up alongside me in his car and told me he was "digging the no-bra look" while I was out walking my dog one afternoon.  It was a rare day off last October; I had just gotten up from a nap on a beautiful warm afternoon, and hadn't bothered getting fully dressed to take my Labrador retriever out for all of 15 minutes so she could relieve herself.  I wasn't embarrassed, but definitely uncomfortable and didn't know how to respond.  What made that particular experience even tackier was the presence of two child seats and girl toddler toys in the back of the dark green explorer.  I'm sure he would want someone approaching his little girl[s] the same way.  A few times since he has honked at me when I've been out walking J.

Another car incident: the man last month who was 50 if he was a day, yelling out his window at me as I crossed the street asking if I had a boyfriend because if not, he wants to "get to know me better".  Let me add here that I'm 34, and on any average day I look anywhere from 5-8 years younger than that.  Then there are the men who, when we formally introduce ourselves and shake hands, don't want to give me my hand back.  Then I'm faced with the decision of waiting it out, asking for my hand back, or taking it back forcibly.  That has happened three times, and each time the individual in question has held onto my hand for a good minute.

A few weeks ago another neighbor flirted with me.  I flirted back a little.  I wasn't interested in him, but I'm not sure how to respond when this happens.  Reciprocating even weakly seems the polite thing to do.  Of course, that might give the impression that I'm interested, which doesn't help me any.  I'm discovering I'm not comfortable interacting with these men, but more on that later.  A few days afterwards he met me outside and gave me his phone number, asking me to call him.  He at least had the decency to say he would like to take me out.  I had the feeling he had been watching/waiting for me, because he came outside as we approached the building.  If you live on the bottom cul-du sac (consisting of 12 units with 7 apartments apiece) you know where the white lady with the large white dog lives.  We stand out, in part because I am a minority in this area.  My building also has one of the few laundry facilities, so more people are in and around my building than other parts of the campus.  It's entirely possible he WAS doing laundry, but it felt contrived.  Anyway, he figured out what unit we are in and a few days later there was a note outside my front door.  Again with his phone number, also his name this time, and him saying that he hopes to get 'that phone call' soon.

THAT creeped me out.  I actually locked the door every time I came back inside the next few days, which I NEVER do during daylight hours.  When I picked up the note, the energetic ooze hit my system like bad food.  I've imprisoned the paper in a plastic bottle (plastic has absolutely NO natural energy, and is thus majikally null. Makes it excellent for containing nastiness) until I can dispose of it safely.

Thankfully he hasn't bothered me since.  The only thing that has kept me from feeling out and out threatened during these incidents is that my dog has been with me each time.  If something escalated, I know J would have defended me.  We have started reviewing certain commands recently.  Specifically, the subtle hand signal that signals her to growl or bark depending on the level of discomfort she senses from me.

Then last night, a man I speak with frequently started being more obvious about his hints.  I didn't even think about my decision, it was already firm in my mind.  And to be honest it's been kicking around in the back of my head for awhile.  He asked if I lived with my girlfriend.  Most likely he was referring to my female roommate.  I clarified that I lived with my roommate and then proceeded to lie, saying my girlfriend lives south and I see her one to three times per week when she comes in to town for work related things.  He said, "So you don't have a boyfriend?"  I responded, "No, I don't need a boyfriend.  I have a girlfriend."

He got the hint.

To be fair, this particular neighbor has never made me uncomfortable or felt predatory.  He's around outside a lot and I don't think he has a job.  All hours, as early as 7am and as late as midnight.  Always with his shorts hanging down and always in a white, sleeveless undershirt.  I have a large dog who goes out a minimum of 3x/day with me.  Much more often when I'm home for the day and it's nice weather.  She and I both like to be outside, and if she doesn't have to hold her bladder/bowels on days I'm home, I don't like to make her.  I run into him a lot because he's home and lives in the adjacent building.  We make small talk.

But my point-- I'm pretty sure that for that particular individual, he is what might be described a scrub.  He doesn't work and has several kids, who aren't with him full time.  For those two reasons alone, he isn't date material.

I've come to the conclusion these not so classy individuals in my neighborhood think I'm an easy target.  A woman with low self-esteem happy to take whatever breadcrumbs thrown her way.  Why?  First, I'm an overweight white woman.  Say what we will about stereotyping, there is a decent group of large white women who date skinnier black men.  Also, I live in a poorer neighborhood.  Poorer women tend to have less education and opportunities in general.  Next, there are periods of time when I am home a LOT.  Breaks from school and the like.  When I'm home, I'm outside with J weather permitting.  Walking around or just sitting enjoying the weather.  Gaia has given us a lot of unseasonably warmth in Metro Saint Louis the last 8 months.

But lastly, and probably most significantly, I am very clothing casual when home.  I would wear less if doing so didn't make my roommate uncomfortable.  One of the first things I do when I get home for the day is remove shoes and bra.  I don't even don a bra on days I never leave the house.  (and by house I mean the apartment campus)  On those days I wear house clothes, which usually consists of older ratty clothes and/or pj bottoms.  Also, I often change into house clothes when I get home for the day.  That way my nicer things last longer and I can often get at least one more wear out of a top, sometimes two to three wears out of a pair of pants before laundering them.  First thing in the morning and/or last thing in the evening (non-winter weather) I will take Joanie outside in my nightgown.  Shoes?  Forget it.  I'm fully covered and really don't care that much.

So it stands to reason that when I'm outside I often look like what might be termed poor white trash.  For these reasons, I'm theorizing that I've been labeled a woman with little to no self-respect. 

Yet another reason I'm more of a country/small town girl, I can GO outside half dressed (at least in my own backyard) and barefooted if I want and no one cares, looks surprised, or automatically assumes I'm uneducated or hard-up.  Or if they do care, they ignore it and keep their mouth shut. 

I'm also realizing that my lack of clothing (especially pants) makes me feel more vulnerable when these men approach me.  And, of course, I am!  I know this logically.  One reason I am infinitely more emotionally comfortable in pants/shorts than a skirt is because it's easier to rape a woman in a skirt.  That's not paranoia but a logistical fact.  I do enjoy long skirts, truly, and have some nice skirts and dresses (most of which I can't fit into at present), but I'm selective about when I wear them.

For now, though, it is just more convenient for me to wear pants all the time.  I don't own a car so as a Metro girl I'm running around who knows where how often.  Good, flat, footwear so I can run to make a connection if I need to.  In pants I don't have to worry as much about how I'm sitting, climbing in and out of the bus (TALL steps there, folks) or bending over in general.  The fact that it might make me physically safer, and makes me more comfortable emotionally are just happy bonuses.  And I've mentioned my preference for convenience in regards to my wardrobe many times on this blog.

Circling back to my emotional discomfort-- I'm having difficulty saying I'm not interested.  Or disengaging from these men and I'm not entirely sure why.  I'm reminded of when I was abroad in Northern Spain at age 19.  Thin, curvy, attractive American blonde.  I STOOD OUT.  Partially because I obviously screamed foreign student with my clothes (cargo pants, t-shirt, light-weight canvas hiking jacket and backpack), but also because my hair was VERY blonde in those days.  And very long.  A high ponytail fell all the way to my shoulder blades.  During my three weeks in Oviedo, I saw only two other blonde women.

On several occasions when going into churches to look at the art and architecture, men standing at the doors accosted me.  The typical translation was "Hey, Blondie, wanna fuck?"  I would smile nervously and quickly walk past.  Whether or not they thought I understood wasn't the point, although they may not have been that explicit if they did.  Were that to happen now, I'd give a nasty retort.  The Spanish equivalent of 'do you kiss your mother with that mouth'?

I'm trying to figure out where this passivity has come from.  At 19 I wasn't in touch with my sexuality or power as a female in any way, shape, or form.  These days I sometimes go through periods of near a-sexuality, but meek?  ME?!  Being uncomfortable is one thing, not standing up for myself is another.

For awhile I thought maybe I was uncomfortable because most (all but one, in fact) of these men are black.  I grew up in an all white town and have had exactly one date with a black man.  The entire time I was uncomfortable, thinking people were looking at us.  Which of course they WEREN'T.  But it was so outside my previous realm of experience.  And I admit it took me awhile to feel 'normal' around a lot of black people when I moved to Metro Saint Louis.  It's not that I didn't know several, successful black adults growing up.  Our parents made sure of that.  Apparently at age 5 I thought all physicians were old, white men.  Somehow my mother scraped together money for an unnecessary eye exam with the new optometrist she had just seen.  A young, black female.  From there on, all of our medical professionals were people of color, except my teenage PCP who was a white female.  My parents didn't want us being poisoned by small mind mentality.  My grandparents have several bi-racial couples in their circle of close friends that I grew up seeing at holidays and celebrations, and my parents each have a few good friends who have been over for dinner and family activities.

I think the difference there, though, was they were family friends.  I knew them that way, and they were all working professionals like my parents/grandparents.  That made them like 'us'.  (Which of course they ARE).  I watched the Cosby show growing up, loving every minute of it, and learned that the Cosby family was just like mine.  As an adult I really appreciate the racial diversity of all the kids' friends.  So it's not that I saw black people differently, it's that my socialization was limited.  Plus the latent prejudices among some members of my home town and how much of my media access presented them as other.

When I started working with a lot of black women three years ago, I realized and knew my privilege as an educated, middle-class, white female.  I was afraid of saying the wrong thing and being offensive!  There wasn't just the cultural difference of black and white there, but urban and rural.  With time I got over it.  I haven't owned a vehicle for three years.  Mass transit, particularly in my part of town, is predominantly used by black people.  I've gotten over my fear of saying the wrong thing.

But I've figured it out.  It's not that those men (all but one) were black, it's that they are PREDATORY.  I don't know why this obvious fact took so long to surface.  An epiphany that shouldn't have needed to occur.  Let's look at the facts: my neighborhood is probably 90% black.  Not just African-American, there's a healthy amount of African immigrants here, too.  I'm fine being a minority.  Most of the people here that I interact with on a regular basis are kind, hardworking individuals.  They have jobs and families.  One gentleman always calls me young-lady (60 if he's a day) and I don't take offense.  I know it's generational and cultural for him, but I ALSO know that for him it's a sign of respect.  Young lady.  I've noticed he doesn't necessarily address several other women in my age range (or younger) that way.  Plus, young lady!  I'm at an age where I appreciate that now. 

Understanding it doesn't help me with asserting my self-worth when these asshats act inappropriately though.  Becoming a closet heterosexual might be seen as a cop-out.  It's been called to my attention by more than one friend that claiming to be a lesbian with a girlfriend might not solve the issue.  From an assertion standpoint it certainly doesn't.  If another man decides to press the issue though, asking if he can watch, or saying something about needing a real man or whatever, I have a few ready responses.

IE-- can I come, watch, et al:

"Why on earth would I even bring something like that up to her [my girlfriend]?  And why would you say that to me?! It's disrespectful.  She has no interest in dick and I CERTAINLY don't have any interest in yours."

My cousin, Cleo, who grew up in Detroit added this piece of wisdom: "If you really want to shame a black man, ask him if his grandmama knows he speaks to a lady like that". 

I'll keep that in mind.  But for now I've chosen to be a closet heterosexual in my neighborhood.  It did the trick last night.  And I'll probably put a pair of shorts on under my nightgown for awhile.  At least until I find my spine.

***side note-- I love the idea of the terminology, being a closeted heterosexual.  I got the idea from an Iowa politician many years ago.  I've tried finding his name/the speech online and can't! :(  In the 1990's a white, male state rep in Iowa gave a speech on the Iowa House floor.  In it he came out as a heterosexual.  Using that metaphor.  It was very moving and very well done, bravely holding bigots in the state of Iowa accountable for their fear and hatred.  If I can find it, I'll post a link.  Or you if find it, please sent it my way.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Monday, December 31, 2012

TMI Tuesday: Sex Games (not!)


I'm afraid I reveal my inexperience this week, or perhaps my boring life, when confessing that none of this week's questions apply to me.  Including the bonus question.


therefore, I shall respond to other questions I've found on older TMI posts.  Specifically, the questions from
July 24 of this year.  Don't want to leave you hanging altogether.  ;)

Let's go to bed.  Tell us about your bed.

1. What size (King, queen, full, twin)?
      I'm back to a full after many years on a queen.  The bedroom at my new place is pretty small, and even with a full it's a tight fit.  Thankfully my frame goes from full size to king size so I didn't have to buy a new frame.

 2. What mattress construction (conventional springs, air bed, water bed, Tempurpedic-type)?
      Pillowtop.  Never had that type before, but it's nice and comfortable and gives lots of support underneath.  I think it also retains my body heat to an extent.  I keep kicking off covers, despite sleeping nude or with very little clothing.  And I'm also sweating. 

 3. What type furniture (just a frame, headboard/footboard, canopy, trundle, etc)? Describe.
      Right now nothing.  But I do have a headboard/foodboard frame that matches my dresser in storage.  I plan on bringing it from my parents' storage space here to my place when I come back from visiting.  I may not attach it though.  I'll lose a few more inches of space.  Plus my new bed is REALLY tall.  May not be much headboard left.  Certainly no footboard.  Hmmm, maybe just attach the headboard.  Will keep my pillows from making between the wall and the mattress.

 4. If your bed has headboard/footboard or bedposts, have you ever been tied to them? Ever tied anyone to them? For what purpose?
      Nope.  But when I had long[er] hair, I found the posts to be VERY convenient.  I'd put hair ties and scrunchies around them.  Looked tacky, but a lot easier to keep track of hair bands, which were always disappearing.


5. What kind of sheets (cotton, linen, silk, flannel)?
      Think I'm on cotton-poly blend right now again.  I've done 100% cotton.  I can handle the wrinkling, but as they shrink it becomes more and more difficult to get the fitted sheet on the bed.  Silk and flannel are more expensive, and I usually don't have need for that kind of warmth.  And, of course, thinking I'd never go back to a full sized bed, I finally gave away all those sets this spring.  LOL
      But those wouldn't have fit anyway.  With the pillowtop I need much longer fitted sheets.  Right now I'm using a lot of semi-mismatched flat sheets.  I like to try to change my sheets more than once a week, so it's good to have extra.  And it's faster to tuck flat sheets around a mattress than it is to use a fitted sheets.  Also coming in handy with the tall pillow top.

6. What kind of blankets (cotton, wool, thermal, electric)?

      I have an electric blanket, but I don't seem to need it right now. I put it UNDER me between the mattress pads and the undersheet.  Usually two of those so that the heat isn't too intense against my sensitive skin, and so that the bumps of the electric blanket are less noticeable.  The heat from below helps keep me from getting stiff.  I'm seriously too young to have joints this old.
      Right now for blankets I'm only using the light comforter my mom made for me almost 20 years ago.  It's seen better days but is still in pretty good shape. I also have a gorgeous, queen sized, off white blanket that came from my great aunt's house.  It came to be by happenstance several years ago.  It's very pretty, lightweight and full of lovely energy.  I have plenty of twin sized blankets I can use if extra cold, or give to guests to use. 

7. What’s on top (bedspread, duvet,…)?
      Just the comforter, sometimes the aforementioned bedspread.

8. What kind of pillow (down, foam, fiberfill)?
      Well not down or foam, so I guess fiberfill of some kind.  I've had the same pillows for several years.  Some a very long time at this point.  There's always a liner the pillowcase to keep them cleaner, and I wash them in a huge machine at the laundromat every so often.

Bonus:  Fill in the blank and answer question.

If _____ comes over, will you let them fuck you on your bed? Yes or no.

Nolens Volens--- HELL YES.  Although he's pretty tall, so we might have to get a tad creative.

Jack & Jill
--- not really enough room for all of us.  So probably two people would play at a time while the third watched.  Or one person would help the other two from the floor.  ;) to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

TMI Tuesday: Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas & Happy TMI Tuesday!

1. What is the best thing you received for Christmas?
well, other than the really neat story you can read here (number 13), I did think of something.  When I was 20? my mother and grandmother bought be a GORGEOUS saphire and diamond ring set in white gold.  I think of it as a family ring because of it.  One day it may go to my daughter.  If I don't have any daughters of my own, I know what niece it's going to.  Actually, she may get it anyway lol

2. What is the best gift you gave for Christmas?
My dad is a train person.  One year I found this really neat, silver sculpted train engine welded onto an old railroad spike.  He LOVED it.  Best/most appropriate thing I think I've ever found for a loved one.

3. What is your Christmas wish?


4. What are you plans for New Year’s Eve?

New Year's Eve I'll be on the road north with my mom to spend a few days with her and my dad.  I'll probably be in bed by ten pm.  So nothing special.

: The end of the world aka the Mayan apocalypse did not occur on 12/21/2012. Nonetheless people across the world prepared for the doomsday event. How did you prepare for the end of the world?

I didn't.  I knew the world wasn't ending.  At least not in the sense everyone was fearing.  New Year, new era.  The solstice is already the beginning of MY new year as a pagan.  I went about my normal business, ran some errands, and continued sanctifying water to make tea for sabbat circle on Saturday night.  And took a few quiet moments to acknowledge that it was the solstice.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Meme

apparently this meme has been circulating, unbeknownst to me.  Lo and Behold, when I checked out Jack & Jill this morning, I found the holiday cheer. 

And I certainly can't let them have ALL the fun!  ;)

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Being that I HATE eggnog, I'll go with hot chocolate.  Although I'm really more of a hot tea girl anymore.  It takes too long to make real hot chocolate, and the instant versions of my youth just don't live up to my adult palette.  I do enjoy the occasional hot cider, but wait for it to cool a bit.  It's too strong for me otherwise.  And winter is just too cold in the Midwest to enjoy chilled cider.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set the under the tree?

When I was growing up Santa always wrapped presents, and stuffed them pretty full in the INCREDIBLE handmade stockings my mother put together for each of us.  If the holiday decorations are out when I go home next week (which I doubt) I'll snap a picture for everyone.

3. Colored lights on the tree/house or white?

When it comes to outdoor decorations my main requirement is CONSISTENCY!!!!  Don't have some solid, some blinking and some chasing.  Do NOT have white on one tree, blue on another, and multicolored on the house.  Or even worse, when you run out of the same strand on the same tree or bush and switch to something completely different.  Talk about an eyesore.  And then there are the people who set up Santa on one side of the yard and the nativity on the other with everything else in between.

REALLY people?  Can we say TACKY?!?!?  So in this aspect, I'm a snob.

Didn't have a lot of outdoor decorations growing up.  My father didn't want to brave the cold to deal with it, and my mother being too busy herself didn't push the matter.  I admire people who take the time to do something tasteful.

As for the indoor tree, we always had colored lights growing up and all kinds of ornaments.  Stopped having live trees when I was very young because my brothers both have mold allergies.  Plus there's the yearly work and expense.  Some day I hope to have my own live tree.  I LOVE the smell.  Hate to kill a tree, though.  Maybe if I got a big enough planter I could have a medium sized fir that lived outside during the warm months of the year and moved inside for the Yuletide.  Would be a challenge, but probably worth it.

For my very first tree, though, when I finally have one of my own, I'm thinking white lights with glass/crystal silver decorations.  Probably some blue thrown in there.  Simple, classy.  And if i want more color I can always add it another time.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?


5. When do you put your decorations up?

Growing up we tended to do the decorating the day after Thanksgiving, with the Messiah and various Christmas albums playing loudly in the background.  I personally haven't decorated in several years, thought I did get out some colored candles that I put up around the tv on Thursday, and draped red pillowcases to look a bit like a tablecloth.  Then I went outside and got pine tree trimmings that the tree guys missed last week.  Bound some and put it on the front door and arranged some around the tv.  It was nice to get a LITTLE holiday cheer in there.

I finally found the living room (in general) and got the post semester heavy duty cleaning/vacuuming done.  Only felt right to add some nice touches.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Excluding dessert actually leaves a lot of possibilities.  It might not count as holiday dish, but my grandmother makes these special butter rolls from scratch.  You can feel your arteries hardening from the lard, but it's SO worth it.  Christmas at her house always meant huge meals every night.  Typically ham one night and a big thing of beef another.  But, like Jack, I LOVE pig!!!!!  Give me some ham and I'm a very happy girl.

While it's VERY rare, I do enjoy lamb and this year I'll be having duck with my friends.  That's their Christmas dinner tradition and I'm looking forward to it.  Occasionally my mom makes beef stroganoff or swiss steak for the holidays, both of which I love, but typically growing up it was ham.  But swiss steak has more recently become the staple for Easter dinner and other fancy dinners at my parents house.  SOOOOOO not complaining.

But as to sweets-- another holiday treat: growing up a lady in our congregation always made this homemade sticky cinnamon raisin bread.  She left a few loaves on our car every Christmas Eve.  Gotta take care of pastor ya know.  ;)  I did it with her one year so kind of learned how to do it.  With homemade sugar frosting.  That was breakfast and pretty much munch all day food on Christmas Day in my house.

and LASTLY-- homemade scrolls and rosettes of the Norwegian variety.  Lard and sugar and flour.  OMG delicious.  I never learned how to make them with Grandma, and I don't think I'll get the opportunity.  I can't get there to visit really and she's pretty frail.  She did teach my cousin, Jackie, though and Jackie tells me they aren't too difficult.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

hmmmm, not sure I really have one.  Christmas at the grandparents was always fun but stressful in some ways.  And my parents did a good job of getting me good presents.  The older I've gotten the more difficult I am to shop for.  Well, maybe not NOW but certainly teens and early twenties.  Though I have a really good story.  You can read about it in number 13.  Which is cool since 13 in one of my go-to numbers.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

Pretty sure I came to the realization early and gradually re: logic.  No chimney so Santa came in the back door.  Don't think that anyone actually told me.  Maybe.  But it meant more presents so who was I to complain?  ;)

9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?

Yes, we always did.  The main reason for that, though, may have been my younger brother, Josh.  He has autism so the wait was always FAR more difficult for him that me or my other brother.  To this day he doesn't have the best sense of time, though he's gotten better.  We put everything on the calendar and he's able to see it and count down days.  And thanks to perseveration, we all kinda suffered with him.

We didn't do everything on Christmas Eve, though.  Some were saved for Christmas Day, in addition to Santa's gifts.  After church Christmas Eve we would come home and change out of our church clothes.  Then when Papa came home and got settled we would sit and listen to him read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 and pray.  It was important for my parents that my brothers and I know and recognize that Christ was the gift and presents were auxiliary fun.

10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him?

Pretty sure they were always chocolate chip.  And we left carrots out for the Easter Bunny, which one of my parents would nibble at on the sides to mimic rabbit marks.  :)

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?

Loved it as a kid.  Meant playing outside in it and sometimes snow days.  We had more than one blizzard that cancelled snow in the 80s in Illinois.  Then when I was expected to help shovel.....  and then the joys of driving in it.....  I had an accident in snow and ice when I was 21? 22? thanks to a jerk pulling around and cutting me off because apparently me being cautious was too much for him.  I came very close to going down a steep, 30 foot embankment.  The car spun out and I connected with the last three feet of guardrail.  Impacted left rear quarter.  Front end would have seriously injured me.  Rear right panel would have ignited the gas tank.  Gave us all QUITE a scare.  So I have to be VERY zen to drive in certain types of weather now.

I'm not a big fan of White Christmas's.  We were often driving Christmas Day, so I'm cognizant that people I care about (as well as Tom, Dick, and Harry) are often traveling, too.  I want people to be safe.

12. Can you ice skate?

Not really.  When a few times in grade school or junior high.  I could mostly stay up, but never really relaxed or developed an aptitude for it.  I'm fine on roller skates, but can't do roller blades.  They're pretty similar to ice skates as I understand. 

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

I don't know if this is my favorite gift, but I certainly remember it VERY well.  I was in 7th grade, and like a typical gregarious girl was learning to be a phone person.  This was before decent cordless phones, and I'd mostly have to stand in the kitchen or sit in a crappy chair.  Uncomfortable and NOT privacy.  My father spent a day drilling holes, splicing wires, etc, and ran a phone jack into my bedroom.  My room was above the garage so he didn't have to get into the floor or walls.

Anyway, he hid the phone under my bed and I was none the wiser.  As presents were done, my father told me, VERY sternly, to go to my room until I "was called".  This was also when you could dial your own phone number to make your landline ring.  And that's exactly what he did. 

I'm yelling, WHERE IS IT WHERE IS IT, searching, trying to find the receiver.  Shows you how well I kept my room clean in those days.  (and I must admit that in some ways my housekeeping hasn't improved.  But CLUTTER is DIFFERENT than filth :p)

Overall it was pretty cool.  :)

Anymore I tend to ask for things I need.  My sophomore year of college I had my grandparents get me really big large dictionary and accompanying thesaurus.  The next year a filing cabinet.  One year at my request my parents bought my contacts.  Socks, underwear, shampoo (the good stuff is pretty expensive), a much wanted haircut....  For many years now my grandparents have given money.  So I try to buy one thing I WANT.  One year it was my back tattoos.  Didn't tell them that, though.  ;)  The rest goes to bills or things I need.  This year it went towards a special class I wanted to take.  I had to withdraw due to illness but thankfully someone took my spot and reimbursed me.  Then it went to bills.  :\  ah well.  Gotta keep my cell phone running.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
ummmmmmm, having a good option of where to go/ what to do?  I can always go home, but since I left the church things are kinda sticky.  When I DO go to church I would very much like to take communion.  I miss the ritual of it and the energetic connection to Source I feel. 

BUT I don't want to give my parents the wrong idea.  And I'm worried they or my other brother (a devout, born-again Roman Catholic) would see it as sacrilegious.  Which would then cause issues.  And as I believe I mentioned in TMI two weeks ago, I don't really get a lot out of Christmas Eve service anymore.  Going home also means dealing with my youngest brother (the born-again Roman Catholic) and we really don't get along.  Lots of water under that bridge and we are very different people.  I know he's trying, but I dislike walking on eggshells.  Plus my parents' house means sleeping on the floor.  AND since I don't currently own a car, it means being stuck there.  Can't leave for home if I need/want.  And thanks to a legal fubar I'm not allowed to drive my parents' cars.  Can't go see friends.

Visiting with certain extended family is very unpleasant.  But if I want to see grandparents that often means dealing it the California side of the family.  Again, walking on eggshells and sleeping on the floor.  Or in a hotel, and I REALLY don't rest well in strange places.  Now the Kentucy branch is FABULOUS and I wish I could see them more often.

Staying home, alone, is very lonely and difficult some years.  But I've found it's less stressful for me then going to my parents'.  One school friend did call me last week to be sure I had plans.  She knew i was alone on Thanksgiving and didn't want that for me on Christmas.  It was GREATLY appreciated.  More than one school friend expressed dismay that I was alone last Thanksgiving and told me I'd be spending it with them this year.

Needless to say they forgot.  I don't think this girlfriend will, though.  She's older and sees the world differently.

For Thanksgiving or Christmas I could do to my volunteer gig as a guest (as opposed to worker).  I tried one Thanksgiving and didn't like it.  WAY too crowded, lots of people I didn't know, and i didn't care for the food which was served cafeteria style.  So I felt guilty about wasting it.  The following year I tried Christmas and found it very depressing.  I had become one of those people with 'nowhere' to go.  I'd stayed in town instead of going to family.  Kinda sucky, but the right decision.  lonely and depressed for two days is far better than miserable and trying not to ruin the holiday for my parents.

And at that time I still had a vehicle.  Holiday schedule for mass transit means a VERY long time on the bus.

I did try volunteering one year, and it hurt too much.  Holiday season is a VERY BAD TIME to be empathic.  and I am HIGHLY empathic.  I avoid malls and crowded places in general, and only hit the grocery store as needed from about a week before Thanksgiving to a few days into the new year.

So, now that I've been a real downer the SHORT answer is:  the most important thing for me about the holidays is to have GOOD options of where to go/what to do.  Something enjoyable.  Then making the choice to stay home in quiet wouldn't be a lesser of evils, but a choice for me.

I'm with one of my 'sisters' and her husband through late Wednesday.  We really aren't DOING anything.  Just being together like my typical visits, though we will have a nice Christmas dinner.  It's inconvenient for them because their dogs are aggressive towards my dog, and they all have to be kept separated.  But they know holidays kinda suck for me and wanted me to have somewhere mostly relaxing to me.

Is is greatly appreciated.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

I refer you back to number 6. 

16.What is your favorite holiday tradition?

N/A  the traditions I grew up with only apply when I'm with family.  I just realized I never listened to the Messiah this year.  Though I did listen to one or two holiday albums last week.  Weird.  During the ending credits of "This Week with George Stephanopoulis" yesterday morning on ABC they played the Hallelujah Chorus.  I sang the alto line and that felt good.  Truly my favorite thing about the holidays is being able to sing.  In parts.  With skilled musicians.  I do LOVE holidays at my grandmother's church with my extended family.  The church part that is.  An all wooden sanctuary with incredible acoustics, and 20-35 people all singing harmony.  Though a few of us get delegated to melody.  We're louder than everyone else.  ;)  Oftentimes people will stop singing and just listen to us.  We all have talent, and have all had some kind of musical training.  Be it an instrument or vocal lessons.  That's one really cool thing about my family.

17. What tops your tree?

N/A.  My mom has a nice light thing for the top of the large tree,  but it's probably been a good ten years since the tall tree was out.  only reason we get the little tree out is for Josh.  It's just too much work.  Now that my parents have both (recently) retired, that might change next year.  we'll see.  My preference is something lit on top of the tree, as opposed to a plain star or an angel.

18. What do you prefer… giving or receiving?

I don't know if I have a preference one way or the other.  It's certainly nice to receive.  I certainly dislike when in the last several years my parents have had gifts for me (bday, Christmas, etc) and I haven't had any for them.  I feel crappy.  They know money is perennially tight, but I still hate it.  I make sure I call to wish them happy birthday and happy mother's/father's day.

EVERYONE gets something for the holidays and their birthday, even if it's just a card.  I leanred yaers ago from my mother to shop year round and hoard gifts.  Take advantage of sales, of when you see something appropriate, and not worry about trying to have money to spend all at once.  Now, most friends and the neices/nephews don't get their presents until the next time I see them.  They may get one thing or several things.  Usually with the kids it's several things.  And several of them are still pretty young, so cheap happens more often.  Books from garage sales, that kind of thing.

The nieces/nephews always get bday cards and holiday cards.  And when I can swing it Valentines Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  But I feel cards are important.  First of all, few people take the time anymore!!!  And it's a nice way to remind someone you care and they're in your thoughts on occasion.  I do REAL, old fashioned cards.  Not the family photo in an envelope that goes out to everyone.  Cards with messages in them, that I then add to as opposed to just signing "love, Pagan Princess."  Cards that get stamped and sent out.  When you're young, mail is FUN!  And I think as an adult getting mail that ISN'T junk or a bill is a nice surprise.

I don't begrudge people who JUST don't have time or money to send out cards.  And I get the 'save a tree' of e-cards, I really do.  But I feel it's horribly impersonal, and for some people LAZY, to not send holiday cards anymore.  If you feel it's important, you make the time.  I feel it's important.  I sent out 70 holiday cards this year, plus another 30 that were hand delivered.  Those I care about, or who at one point were important in my life, appreciate being remembered.  And I feel good having done it for them.  Give and receive.  Win-win.

19. What is your favorite christmas carol?

Don't really have a favorite.  I generally enjoy Christmas music.  I sang quite a few interesting things in madrigals in high school, many I truly loved and haven't found outside the genre of madrigal singing.  I'd love to have a recording of many of those.  I can tell you my LEAST favorite Christmas carol-- the little drummer boy.  Junior year of madrigals as we performed that one Saturday night, the guy gave the pitch incorrectly.  a FULL STEP too high.  And it was uncomfortably high for the sopranos and tenors to begin with.  Sounded horrific.  But we had to muscle through.  Went from being a song that was ok, to one I disliked singing because it goes on forever and keeps getting higher, to something I absolutely abhor.

And again, I admit to having a snobbish streak.  When it comes to music, especially of the traditional / religeous variety ...... popular artists tend to UTTERLY RUIN a lot of carols, and sometimes butcher the secular ones as well.  Walking around the grocery store during the holidays often hurts my ears.

20. Candy canes…yum or yuck?

I like peppermint, but canes tend to get messy.

21.Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

 I have re-gifted things, certainly.  Or parts of things.  Usually if it's something I have no use for, or have had awhile and don't use.  Has it ever been a CHRISTMAS present?  I don't know.  Possibly.  My eldest niece and goddaughter have been getting jewelry from when I was younger in the last year or so.

22.Favorite Christmas movie?

I don't really have one, though the Muppet version of A Christmas Carol is pretty fun.  I'm not the biggest Dickens fan, at least not if I have to read it.  I think "A Christmas Story" is stupid and don't really care for It's a Wonderful Life  (let the hate emails begin, lol)  I'm just not a "Christmas Movie" person.  Miracle on 34th Street does have some very nice bits to it, I'll admit.  I enjoy White Christmas because of the singing and dancing.  LOVE Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen.  My mom and I went to Miss Congeniality on Christmas Day whatever year it came out.  That was a great way to spend the afternoon.  :D  But if I'm gonna pick a 'favorite Christmas' show, I'll say the Doctor Who holiday special.  ;)

23. Do you have a nativity scene?

No.  Never got around to purchasing one in my early 20s when I was still a practicing Lutheran.  Couldn't find one that really spoke to me.  My mother has a beautiful, antique creshe.  All wood with moss and hay.  Maybe one day I'll inherit it.  I would display that with love and pride.

24.What is the most annoying thing about this time of year?
Very bad holiday music and having all the Christmas merchandise out from October on.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

TMI Tuesday: The Sexiest Thing

1.  What is the sexiest thing you've done in the last two months?

uhh, nothing much.  Unless you count the man I've dominated a few times.  For ME that is less about sex and more about enjoying the power.  About sex for him though.

2.  What is the sexiest thing you've worn in the last 30 days.

again, N/A.  My unmentionables are pretty plain and functional, and I haven't had anyone to pull out something sexy for.  I probably don't own anything "sexy".  But I tend to sleep naked, and I do hang out mostly undressed around the house.

3.  What is the sexiest thing you've watched in the last 30 days.

Ok, THIS one I can answer.  The Dark Knight Rises.  Anne Hathaway in a cat suit.  DAMN!  That girl has legs!  And a pretty fabulous figure in general.  Christian Bale without a shirt is rather enjoyable, too.

4.  What is the sexiest thing you've heard in the last two weeks?

Sadly this is again N/A.  Although, NV's  blog the last two weeks has been pretty fucking hot!  (fans self)

5.  What is the sexiest thing you've said in the last 24 hours?

I sent a joke/picture text to a friend.  It said: "You can stay but your clothes must go"

Bonus:  Tell us or show us something sexy

I do, I really do  :D

How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TMI Tuesday-- 'Tis the Season


1. During the December holiday season, Do you
a. Go away to join other family?
b. Have holiday fun with immediate family?
c. Get to be alone with a lover?
d. Enjoy the peace and quiet and down-time of being with yourself?

None of the above, really.  Time with my family over the holidays is usually VERY stressful for me emotionally.  It is easier for me to stay put and( most of the time) be alone/lonely than deal with the crud of being with certain family members.  In many years past I volunteered to work.  For certain forms of services (first responders and direct care, specifically) you don't get holidays.  Sometimes you don't get holiday pay, but someone has to do it.  Working would help me be less sad/lonely.  Plus, many of my co-workers had children or other family things, making it even more difficult for them to balance responsibilities.  I could feel good about helping them out, and when I'd need time off they'd willingly cover for it.

Not being Christian in some ways is VERY helpful. :)  I'll work your holidays, you work mine.  It balances out.  This is the first holiday season (including Thanksgiving the other week) that I haven't had to work in a VERY long time.  Thankfully I have a local spiritual community and have made some friends there in the last two years, so there is a place I am welcome where I can celebrate Yule sabbat.  And then I'll celebrate the holy day (winter solstice) privately in my own way.  Which is the day before we're scheduled to meet for Circle this month. 

My holy day is the day the world is ending.  Might as well go out with a bang!  ;)

I do enjoy having peace and quiet and down-time to myself, but being back in school the holidays do tend to stretch a bit.  Kind of hard not to get in a rut or get depressed.  One good thing of not going to my parents' or grandmother's though, no danger of over-eating on all kinds of goodies. This year I will most likely be visiting my god-daughter and her family over New Year's and am looking forward to that.  I haven't seen her in a year and it will be nice to visit.  Plus, one less holiday where I don't have to worry about 'what I'm going to do'.

2. What is your favorite holiday tradition or thing that you like to do every holiday season?

I don't know that I have one, not since I've ventured out on my own permanently.  (Living in an apartment near campus in my early 20s SO doesn't count)  Growing up, we would often start holiday decorating the day after Thanksgiving.  That is also when we'd turn on the holiday music.  The Messiah was probably on every day, or almost every day, in my parents' household growing up.  My family is very musical and we sing parts.  Quite a lot of skill and joy in that.  And polyphonic Handel is HARD, folks.  ;)  We have lots of wonderful, older recordings.  Before contemporary artists started ruining the religious music.  ick

I haven't yet broken out the holiday music, though I think I may change that today.  It's been difficult for me to get in the mood with the unusually warm several weeks we've had in Saint Louis.  (NOT complaining about that), but it just doesn't feel like Christmas. 

Turning on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir .........

Before opening presents in my parents' house, we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and pray.  For a few years it bugged me, it felt oppressive as I was stretching from my parents' faith and moving my own, new way.  But now the ritual of it sooths me.  A reminder of simpler times, and happier Christmases.

I like to try to go to Christmas Eve service for the music, but more often than not the last few years I've found it boring.  It IS the same readings year after year after year.  And oftentimes I take exception to what the minister is saying.  The miraculous story often gets lost or layered with the reverend's interpretation of how God thinks we should behave.  I just want to sing!

It probably is time for me to start my own traditions, just for me.

3. You are walking down the street and a sexy person is standing with a sign that says “Kiss Me” and mistletoe hanging above their head. 1. Would you kiss that person? YES or NO 2. Why or why not?

Yes, I would.  Why not?  I don't kiss, or get kissed, very often.  A few friends with nice hugs and pecks on the cheek but I don't see them often.  Physical is affection is fun, so I'll happily take some!  I wouldn't French him/her or anything like that, though.  You don't know where s/he has been.  Especially walking around with that sign!  ;)

4. Santa made up his list and he has checked it twice. Turns out you are on the “naughty” list. What is the naughty thing you did that put you on that list?
Well, from a serious perspective I have damaged some relationships this year.  Budding ones that are now defunct.  But that hurts me far more than it does others.  Violated a friend's trust, and won't be forgiving myself for that one anytime soon.  Though it's getting better.

From a fun perspective........  well, I've played TNH a few times this fall.  :D  I've sent dirty pictures of myself to one particular friend.  And did quite a bit of naughty sexting and roll-play via IM this year.  I'll happily stay on the naughty list if I can enjoy those activities again this coming year.  :-*

If you aren't playing TNH and already have a naughty blog and/or exhibition streak, you SHOULD be playing.  It's a lot of fun........

5. For being naughty you have been locked in a room where you will be forced to learn about holiday cheer. You will have to watch 24 hours of a holiday movie, which movie would you choose to watch? (pick just one)
a. A Christmas Story
b. It’s a Wonderful Life
c. White Christmas
d. A Christmas Carol (original 1938 version or the 1992 Muppet version)

WOW.  ok, that's cruel and unusual.  I don't like A Christmas Story OR It's a Wonderful Life.  So 24 hours of that would suck.  I enjoy White Christmas very much for the singing and dancing (and Danny Kaye is one of my all time favorites), so that might just ruin the movie for me.  I enjoy the 92 Muppet Christmas Carol, but again, 24 hours?

I guess I'd pick the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol.  It's decently close to Dickens, and he certainly layered a lot of meaning into all his works.  I'm sure I'd be utterly sick of it after 24 hours but I'd be more familiar with it, and the movies I enjoy wouldn't be ruined for me.  Nor would I be forced to endure options A or B.

MEAN Santa!  =(

Bonus: The holidays can be a hectic time of year, so much so that romance might take a back seat to festivities and such. Give us YOUR sexy tip for keeping away the “chill” and “heating up” the holiday season.

I don't have any particularly 'sexy' tips for keeping away the chill, but ladies if you live in colder climes just don't shave your legs.  I don't in cold weather, and my body thanks me for it.  Especially these last two years being a metro girl!  If a partner has a problem with it then too bad!  We could negotiate, but there's NO WAY in a cold Midwestern winter I'm keeping my legs shaved smooth.  I would suggest using a regular electric trimmer to prune the forest down to shrub length every now and then though.  Long leg hair sometimes tangles in jeans and other warm pants.  That can be disconcerting or even uncomfortable.  You'll get pulled.  A good pair of darker colored tights, and no one will see the hair.

If you're like me and don't like wearing a lot of clothes to bed, you can have a good pair of socks on and not have to layer on the pj's as much.  Warm feel make a world of difference.  Personally, I love to be snuggled under the warm covers with the room just a tad on the chilly side.  Shirt, socks, and nothing else.  If the room isn't TOO cold, then just the socks.  :D  Not always doable for comfort and health, though.

oh-- and for joint pain/stiffness, etc, I highly recommend the new electric/heated mattress pads.  Warmth from below (instead of just piling on covers or using a traditional electric blanket) keeps me limber.  I don't creak when I get up for the day, and don't need a good 15-20 minutes to be able to move normally.

How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!