Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We Are Family

As I've gotten older I've started referring to certain of my friends as my sisters.  "They're family," I'll explain when I'm describing them to someone else.  Our familiarity and shared history set them apart from newer friends, even those I clicked with instantly and fell in love with for life.  My family understands me and can often support me better than the family I arrived to via parental fertilization and a well-timed trip down the maternal canal.  You can't substitute anything for years of knowing each other.  Time marinates friendship until it's seasoned and robust.  Time is friendship's greatest friend.

There's a friend I've had since high school, one of many I've recently reconnected with.  We must be getting old because many of us are coming together now closer than we ever were in high school, cliques and social pecking orders long forgotten.  My friend Jack and I can trace our friendship to tenth grade marching band.  [Editor's note: January's reference of high school marching band in no way implies or should be construed as a statement that she was in marching band or in any way was or ever claimed to be a band geek.]  I'm pretty sure he was at my sweet sixteen, and I definitely remember his 18th birthday party - I met his cousin.  We ended up dating.  I was a dithering, hormonal idiot - but that's a discourse for another time.  Jack and I always flirted, but then, what guy didn't I flirt with?  See remark on hormones, above.  We lost touch some time after college and then reconnected at our ten year reunion.  He was married with a baby.  We were in touch for a bit but there was a nagging feeling in me that I couldn't give him what he wanted...  We never discussed it and lost touch again.

Facebook brought us back in touch a few years ago, and by this time he was divorced and living with his girlfriend.  He very enthusiastically picked up our friendship again and again I ended up putting distance between us, sensing he wanted something more and not feeling comfortable about it.  Living with your girlfriend is about as verboten as being married.  End of Friendship, Part II.

Our 20th reunion was held in August and again we reconnected.  He was still with the girlfriend though talked of it coming to an end.  It was good seeing him - he was one of many lovely connections I made that night.  We picked up our friendship again and started occasionally talking on the phone.  He broke up with his girlfriend and moved out on his own, as he'd spoken of.  I told him of blowing him off ten years earlier and apologized for it.  He told me he'd always had a crush on me, and I appreciated his honesty.  And I was flattered.  Our conversations took on more depth and frequency, and we've been texting and speaking every day.  It's nice.  Here's a man who knows me, likes me, and isn't trying to get into my pants [Editor's note: Yes he is.  But not before it's time, and not instead of getting to know January.  The way she figures it, by the time he is ready to get in her pants, she will have torn his off and thrown them out the window - so she's cool with his time frame].  We've made no promises to each other, and both of us have things to tend to in the immediate future that precede getting into a relationship.  But I've really been enjoying it.  Jack is like a brother to me.  Family.  But with this brother, we can kiss and stuff and not get that oogie feeling or be arrested for our affection.  All the dirty thoughts I can imagine are perfectly legal and welcome.  Pretty cool.

This Fall's been a bear with a lot of change and upheaval in my life.  But hanging with Jack, even on the phone, has been smooth and easy.  What a beautiful thing.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I awoke this morning at 4:27 so certain that my alarm was about to go off that upon seeing the clock I said "Oh, my!" in surprise.  Exhaustion hit me like a tidal wave last night and I collapsed into bed around ten.  I have no idea why I woke up so early, but I couldn't fall back to sleep so I went with it.  I checked my emails... turned on my lights... and got up and made a coffee (decaf, of course.  No sleepy head to be cleared).  I called my parents to wish them a happy anniversary.  I made my lunch.  And I'm about a half hour ahead of schedule for the shower.  Oh, to wake up like this every morning!  Most days it is a challenge to get out of bed.  My world in there is warm, stress-free and peaceful.  Working a full-time job as I have been has removed a bit of my daily excitement, though also removed some of my stress.  Having a paycheck is highly underrated.

This week I've been in school of sorts.  It's the School of Acceptance and I am in the thick of it, longing for summer break.  A sinus infection laid me up for several days, including Monday and Tuesday, so I missed work.  In my absence they got a temp (mind you, I am a temp of a full-time, long-term variety).  When I returned... they kept her.  And she kept my seat.  And my computer.  She is still there and is expected to stay through next week too.  And I?  I am wondering what the fuck.  At first I was panicky that they wanted to replace me.  But those insecurities were likely unfounded, as I have been treated warmly per usual and have continued to work as I regularly do.  Now it's just a matter of "what is going on?  Who is supposed to sit where?  Why do we have this other woman working with us?"  And to round out the picture, let me tell ya... she's a control freak and I hate being around control freaks.  So I've certainly got my assignment cut out for me.  I have no control over any of this anyway, so why not just go with it?  Right?

I'm working hard for the "A" here, people!  I don't even want an "A-", I won't settle for less than success.  It's going to drive me crazy if I have to endure this crappy experience and I don't glean anything from it.  In the very least, we deserve to benefit from our pain, don't you agree?

One foot in front of the next.  Time to wake up.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Like a Butter Knife

I'm having a dull moment. Just thought it best to get that out in the open right off the bat. I noticed my Twitter description ends in "Never a dull moment" and thought... well, yeah. Except these days.

These days I'm working full-time, just like I'd wanted. Granted, I'm a temp, not perm. But it's full-time and the money's decent and I work with great people – what more could a girl ask for, right? I'll tell you what: STIMULATION. Mind-blowing, neuron-stretching soul stimulation. I am in a very dull place in time. I'm actually rather calm about it, knowing this is a 'time between,' so to speak... but I wish it was otherwise.

I've been dreaming of returning to NYC. I spend slow time at work cruising the Brooklyn real estate websites. Turns out the rental market has increased in price since I left but the sales side of things hasn't that I can tell. Who knew? Just imagine if I had money equal in amount to what I owe to my credit card. I could practically make a down payment. Kooky! Instead I'm grateful for the job I have that is helping me pay down the debt, as frustrated as I can be by it in my day to day.

That's all I got for now. I do have some more run of the mill January adventures to share at some point, but I don't really have it in me right now to snarkily remark on the shock one experiences when hooking up with a guy one has known for 23 years, only to realize the faux fur throw he's got over his shoulders is actually... his shoulders. But perhaps one day soon I will.

As the Queen says, Ta Ta for now.

- January posted this using BlogPress from her mobile phone. Smartypants.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Catherine We Hardly Knew Ya

I was killing time on my lunch break today web surfing.  One article lead to another and another and before you know it, BAM my world has been turned upside down by new found knowledge.  Do you know how Catherine the Great died?

Think you know, huh?  Something about a horse?

Pish!  Catherine didn't die getting it on with a horse.  Poor unfortunate soul - what an awful rumor to have persist about you centuries after your death.  Catherine died having a poo.  Catherine the great expired while have a bowel movement, having a stroke and falling off the toilet.  Ha!  You'd think that would be a scandalous enough end to have circulating so long after expiration.  Alas, it seems Catherine's infamous sexual appetite would only be quenched in death by the rumor of an ultimate screw.  Bestiality never sounded so... deadly.

Someone should make a PSA about taking safe poos.  Now there's something that is hazardous to your health.

You can learn a lot of things on the web.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflections on the Anniversary of 9/11

I can't believe it's been ten years.  Ten years ago tonight the world was still plugging along safe as can be, blissfully ignorant... Ten years ago tonight people kissed their kids goodnight and then went to bed for the last time.  Can it be ten years since the New York skyline looked correct?  Since I could wander around lower Manhattan without losing my way thanks to the twin beacons that stood as a compass for all?  'Which way is downtown?' 'Ah, there they are.  It's that way.'  I still get that confused and look skyward for some guidance, unsuccessfully as it is, these days.

Ten years ago I was living in New York City.  A New Yorker, I was born just outside of the city and grew up along with the Towers in the seventies.  They were such a part of What Was New York, as much as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge.  They are deeply rooted in my childhood along with Big Wheel and Sit 'n Spin, Brady Bunch reruns and The Wizard of Oz playing on our small black and white every year.  Tearing them down as the terrorists did was a blow to our country, for sure.  And it knocked New York over, briefly.  We're a resilient bunch, and the tone in the city for months to follow was a more congenial one.  People made eye contact more.  The tone at first was somber, but after the shock wore off a bit we did get back to our lives, minus the innocence.  That was gone for good.

There are too many memories for me associated with the tragedy that occurred ten years ago tomorrow.  For now, I will instead think about ten years ago tonight.  My friends were still alive.  I believed I'd never be personally touched by such monstrous evil - it didn't even cross my mind.  Ignorance was indeed blissful.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

See You in September

After a leisurely Summer spent lounging on the Mediterranean with Leo and Marty (they're scamps, those two), I will be returning to my regularly scheduled blogging in September.  TTFN!

[Editor's Note:  January spent her Summer sweltering in a small one-bedroom in the valley, temping for arguably less than minimum wage, and food shopping every day to enjoy free air conditioning.  She did not spend any time in the Mediterranean with anyone named Leo or Marty.  All statements made above are creative works of the author's imagination and should be treated as such.]

January's Note:  My Editor has no sense of adventure!

...I Can Still Remember

Part II

So here’s the thing about me in high school: I kissed a lot of boys.  And when I say kissed, I mean kissed.  That’s not some euphemism for the horizontal tango.  My friend Jolie and I were practically in a race to see who could kiss more guys.  Actually, scratch that – we did compete against one another to see who could kiss more guys in one night once.  That was quite a party.  But generally (and with the wisdom of time on my side) I can say that I sought attention and affection and wrapping that up in the cute body of a horny teenager, well, there were plenty of horny boys happy to oblige.  Some of them have long vanished into the cavernous recesses of my mind.  Others I’ve stayed in touch with and some I had a falling out with back in the day and never got past it.  Jacob Miller was one of them.

Jacob was one of a group of guys I spent a lot of time with the summer before our senior year.  That was a fun summer.  Someone’s parents were always out of town and there were many late nights and sleepovers, many long conversations and much to be learned hanging with the boys.  I remember feeling like a fly on the wall sometimes.  There were more boys than girls in our group and the conversations they’d have sometimes couldn’t have been much more enlightening than if they’d actually been in the locker room.  This was a very smart group of guys too.  Jacob was really intelligent.  When we clicked in to each other we’d spend hours on the phone at night talking.  He had one of those books of a thousand questions and we’d ask and answer, ask and answer, discussing and dissecting, laughing and flirting.  Jacob has a very penetrating gaze.  When we hung out en masse he’d eye me from across the room like he was reading every last thought in my head.  He was very confident.  I found him riveting.  And one night after much circling we finally got together.  A long walk, a lot of making out and enough groping to empower a young man’s ego, I suppose, as I later found out he’d told all of our guy friends – the whole group of them – the details about what went on.  One of them let me know.  I was mortified and crushed, feeling very betrayed.   I blew him off and never spoke with him again.

Jacob was at our 10 year reunion.  I remember him staring at me from across the room.

I walked into the reunion Saturday night and low and behold, who should be hanging out right by the front door but Jacob.  Smiling, drink in hand.  Staring at me.

I’ve thought of Jacob numerous times over the years, especially once Facebook starting showing me his comments on our friends’ status updates.  In the early years after high school I imagined myself confronting him, throwing a drink in his face or slapping him.  “How could you?” I’d level at him.  “You may have gotten in to Harvard buddy but oh, you’ll never, ever get into my shirt again!”  Every time I pictured this though he would just be standing there, smiling at me.  Staring.

Determined not to spend the next 20 years haunted by this anger, I decided to speak with him.  But first I had another glass of wine.

“Hi, Jacob.  How are you?  Where are you living?  What are you up to these days?”  I thought it best to hit him up with a bunch of diversionary questions right off the bat.  We made small talk for a bit and then I laid it on him.  “Jacob, remember what went on between us?  Remember that night?”   Yes, he said.  You were spectacular.  And he stared at me.

Oh God, I’m thinking.  Did he just say spectacular?  What was that?  Did a 38 year-old man really recall his 17 year-old self – no, recall my 17 year-old self as spectacular?  You know, I never knew.  I never knew my worth.  I looked for it everywhere except inside myself, which is where it was all along.  It took this visit with that former 17 year-old boy for me to really get that.  This was… amazing.

I went on to tell Jacob that I had found out that he’d told the guys everything back then and he apologized to me.  That’s horrible, he said.  I’m sorry.  You were spectacular and I’m sorry I did that.  Well shit, if he said spectacular one more time I was going to cry or kiss him, and seeing as he’s married now with kids it would have likely been the former.  Instead I just said “I’m glad we talked.  Thanks,” smiled, clinked my glass to his, and walked off to chat with some others.  Crazy, huh?  If you had told me 20 years ago…

I had other heart-to-hearts that night, though none as unexpected as that one!  20 years without talking and then, peace.  I bonded big time with the former soccer star in our class.  These days he looks like a shaggy haired Colin Farrell.  I didn’t recognize him at first but his smile is as warm as ever.  He’s such a love.  I think after so many years, after so much of our lives pass by and so many classmates die (sad, but true, and I found out about more over this weekend), you are left with one of two choices.  One is to be bitter at what has or hasn’t happened in your life.  The other is to accept and love – your life and those around you.  I chose the latter and had quite an incredible night this past Saturday, not really in 1991.  And way better than 2001.  It was a perfect night in 2011 and I’m not going to forget it any time soon.

A Long, Long Time Ago...

We broke through the clouds and I found us suddenly in another land; clouds carpeted the floor and the light on the end of our wing became our own little moon, lighting our path.  All of New York City below us had disappeared and there was nothing but endless carpeting as far as I could see.  It was very serene…

Part I

I’m staring at my laptop wondering where to begin.  Really I’d just like a couple Tylenol and some water, followed by closing my eyes and sleeping the rest of the flight.  This has been an incredible trip.  Most trips have some hiccup along the way, but this one maintained its level of excellence from start (getting picked up at the airport by my friend instead of working my way into the city on the train) to finish (last minute shopping successful enough that I had to unzip the reserve space on my carry-on and check it.  So worth it).  I’m on the plane flying back to Los Angeles after spending one long weekend flying back in time to the year 1991.  I had my 20th high school reunion on Saturday night in my old hometown.  I can’t remember the last time I was there.  My parents moved some time around 1998 and I don’t think I’d been there since.  Some people never left – either they still live there, live there again, or their parents live there so they never really went away.  Me though, I left.  3000-plus miles away in sunny California is pretty darn far, space and time-wise.

Jolie picked me up at the airport and we headed into Manhattan excitedly chatting about who we thought would be at the reunion.  We dropped my bags at her apartment and headed out for dinner around 11 pm.  How continental, I thought.  The parade of young and fashionables was incredible!  Honestly, I’d forgotten how stylish New York is!  I instantly felt old and dumpy and I didn’t care.  Another thing about New York: there will always be someone looking better than you and you will always look better than someone else.  Jolie and I watched the mini-dresses walk by guessing whose was really just a shirt.  If these were trannies we’d have known the Gentiles from the Jews.  As it was I felt my eyes burning.  If I’d wanted to see that much female cheek I’d get a job as the Loehmann’s dressing room attendant.

Why don’t they have mini-kilts?  I could handle a Scottish cheek or two…

Saturday afternoon we headed out to my hometown, crawling our way through traffic on the LIE.  We rolled into town in good time to shower at Jolie’s sister’s and head to the reunion.  Spontaneously I asked her to turn up my old road.  We wound up the street, remarking how much nicer it looked than when we lived there.  Much of my town is that way.  There are a lot more Mercedes driving around now than when I was a kid.  As we rounded the bed, I saw her, my old house.  She looked pretty good (except for those God-awful shutters – really people?  Round?).  She looked small though.  Jolie slowed the car for me to get a good look… and then I saw them.  There were people in my backyard, grilling.  And there was a pool where my mother’s garden used to be.  What the hell?  Where was my dad’s handmade screened-in porch?  Jolie offered to stop and turned to look at me for my response, but what she got instead was a big sob and tears.  I started really crying.  My face heated up and I couldn’t catch the tears fast enough.  How the hell was I going to go back to my childhood and live my life over without mistakes when there were people camped out in my house?  (And don’t they know that yard is too small for a pool?!)  Oh, Oh I was not prepared for this.  Jolie continued driving and I looked at my old neighbor’s houses for some sign, any sign that it wasn’t too late.  But there were no signs.  My neighbors don’t even live there any more.  It is gone for good.

At that point in time I started getting nervous about the reunion.  My sure footing seemed gone and I was at a loss how to stand strong in myself.   Jolie was now comforting me, our roles completely reversed.  I was not prepared for the nerves that sprung up.  I think it was too much, the anticipation of presenting my current self and the presentation at that moment of my tender former self.  It overwhelmed me.

We got to her sister’s, showered and got ready.  We drove to the reunion and I breathed through the nerves.  We were some of the first to arrive.  I headed for the bar, got a glass of wine and remarked on who was there.  Some of the old guys I spent a lot of time with before heading to college were in a circle talking.  I made my way over and began to reconnect…

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flight 20

I'm sitting in the airport killing time because my flight has been delayed four hours. This gives me plenty o'time to think about my trip. I'm going to New York City and then returning to my hometown for my 20 year high school reunion. Twenty years!! The flurry of text messages and emails asking classmates if they're going has begun. I dug out my old year book last night (darn, that thing is heavy!) and my overwhelming impression, after how ridiculously we dressed, is how young we look. Never have I been so grateful for good genes, limited sun exposure and being single. I'm leaving the lines for the old haggard folk. Go ahead, ID me. I dare ya!

- January posted this using BlogPress from her mobile phone. Smartypants.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Girls

My breasts don't so much as look you in the eye to greet you anymore as say "Hey, wanna hang out?" so I was surprised when a male friend recently was shocked to find out my bras are padded, underwired and lift me to within an inch of my eyeballs.  Or chin.  Whatever.  Point is,  he was surprised (and maybe a tad disappointed?) that the beautiful melons stretching out my t-shirt had been enhanced.  Enhanced.  He said it like it was a dirty word.  I learned years ago that a girl's best friends are her chicken cutlets.  My sister's second wedding?  The one held a month after my engagement ended, where I held in tears on the alter while she said her vows... again...?  HELL YES The Girls were enhanced that night.  I needed to feel good and damn it if a little push and lift in my bra didn't do the trick.  Waist cinched - breast heaving - several Cosmopolitans before we made it from the pictures into the reception ensured it was a good night... or at least, a good looking one.  To me.  I was drunk.  I looked delectable.

So yeah, The Girls aren't as naturally social as they were some years ago.  But those perky little things you see on twenty-somethings everywhere, barely concealed by cute tank tops and running bras?

Can they do this?  [Editor's note: this portion of January's blog has been censured for content.]  No?

I didn't think so.

Well, The Alternative is Worse

This aging stuff sucks.  I'm just going to lay it out here at the top, let you know where I'm coming from.  I'd like to roll the clock back about 15 years and take better advantage of the 5,478 days that have passed since I was young.  I'd like to know my womb is a springy, abundant nest ripe for fertilization and that I have many years yet in which to select a worthy fertilizer.  The world would still be my oyster.  Time is the enemy of the aging and everybody knows it.  I wish...  I wish...

I wish our hair stayed whatever color we wanted it to be.  Like, if we wanted it red, we squeezed our eyes closed and envisioned tomatoes, rusted car doors and copper pennies.  I'd wear different colors depending on my mood, but silver or gray would likely not be in my repertoire.  I'd save those colors for Halloween or stage plays when I was playing an older character.  Sadly, no such luck... my hair is a golden brown, save for the dull pieces of gray that have recently started camping out on my crown.  What's left of my crown, that is.  It started thinning out some years ago.  Were I a Franciscan monk I would be excited - keeping my head clear for God would be that much easier.

I wish our joints stayed supple and limber until we were 100.  I'd walk 10 miles a day, in flip flops no less.  My back wouldn't start to compress less than a mile in.  That dull ache that appears until I'm off my feet would never come.  I'd be such an accomplished walker, being on my feet for hours would be no feat at all.

I wish the messed up relationships early in our lives slid out of our memories like the three items on my grocery list invariably do if I don't write them down.  I'd have long ago forgotten how my brother hated me, how his insecurities and God knows what else caused him to be so mean to me, having the hideous effect of making me believe no man could love me.  A lifetime later and hours spent on a couch have convinced me this isn't true, but changing patterns set long ago has continued to challenge me.

And of course I'd keep my womb as springy as it probably was those 5,478 days ago.  I think the reason women start getting antsy about our clock is because we know it's going to stop ticking at some point.  We just aren't aware of it in our 20's.  Why should we be?  But start hanging out in the upper 30's, oh yes.  Oh yes we hear the clock.  We know it's now or never.  We start perspiring at the thought of putting off a family a few more years, even if we're having fun in the now and don't have Pampers burning a hole in our shopping carts.  This fertility stuff stinks, that's for sure.  I wish I could just bottle it to be used at a later date.  Like, a quick trip to Kmart to pick it up.  Blue light special on Fertilized Wombs, aisle 5.  Pick up our blue light special while you can, ladies.

I have no idea what my future holds.  That's half the trouble of aging.  When you're young you may not know what's coming but the possibilities are still infinite, so it's less jarring.  As an old lady [Editor's note: January insisted on including this obviously self-pitying epitet despite its inaccuracy.  The term 'old lady' is generally disallowed from this blog.  The editorial decision to allow it here was made because January has been whining so much it was the only thing to quiet her down.]

Oh God, I really am getting pathetic.

So let's recap:  Aging sucks.  Natural hair dye is good.  Fertility should be available in big box stores.  Any questions?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Les Fridays

It's Friday night.  The neighbor starts texting me.  We go back and forth for about 10 minutes during which time he says he's home watching TV.  Then he invites me to come watch TV with him and I tell him I will in a little while after I [insert excuse].  I do my [insert activity], then walk the two doors down to his apartment and plop down on the loveseat, perpendicular to the couch where he plants himself.  We pick a movie, he tries several times to get me to sit on the couch with him (I stay on the loveseat), and we begin watching.

About three minutes into the movie he begins touching me, extending his arm awkwardly to my knee/lap, stroking it.  I place my hand somewhere between his hand and my crotch - because invariably, his stroking hand will start roaming north.  His damn roving hand distracts me from the movie and I, exasperated, finally say something bordering between blunt and cute along the lines of "Get your hand off me you idiot, and JUST STOP TOUCHING ME" only it comes out more like "Your hand is distracting me; I can't enjoy the film!  Tee hee hee."

I throw the tee hees in there to try and soften the blow.

It works, for about three minutes.  Then he starts again with the hand on my knee/lap.

Somewhere around the three-quarter mark in the film, he asks me how my feet are.  I lie and say they're fine.  He picks one up and starts massaging it, kneading it expertly as only a former masseur can do.  He's a former masseur.  I am butter in his hands.

He gets up to retrieve some lotion and at this point the foot rub becomes orgasmic.  And by orgasmic I mean, were anything other than clitoral stimulation capable of bringing me to orgasm, this would be it.  Well, this a few other things I'll not go into here.  In any case - you get the point: Best.  Foot Rub.  Ever.

The film hasn't even ended when he starts asking me for a bisou.  Just one, he says.  Just a little bisou, come on, come on.  Give me a bisou.  I tell him "Knock it off jerk, I'm trying to watch a movie here.  Can you not freaking keep trying to kiss me?" only it comes out something like "Philippe, non! Je ne veux pas t'embrasser.  Regardons le film... tee hee hee."

I use French to soften the message.  I don't want to kiss, let's watch the film.  But I'm not dicking around here; kissing this man is like bringing my lips in for a car wash and coming out with a Detail Supreme.  My lips, teeth, tongue and the southern portion of my face get cleaned.  I'm pretty sure if I do it often enough the paint's gonna come off the finish.  So I try to keep it to a minimum.

The credits start rolling as he leans over again.  "Give me a kiss.  Give me some bisous.  Come on.  Let me have some.  Just one.  Just one bisou."  By this point I'm worn down, exasperated, relaxed from the orgasmic foot rub, and just not wanting to fight anymore.  But the memory of big, sloppy lips making their way all over my mouth is strong.  "Philippe, tu me fais folle.  Je te donne UN bisou," I say, hoping my cutesy offer of one kiss while simultaneously telling him he drives me crazy will make it quick and simple.  Alas, the tactic fails me miserably and I have to tell him to stop kissing me.

I'm going to leave, I say.  Good night Philippe.  No, I don't want to hug you.  Really, having you press your semi-erect member against me while you lick my face, ear or neck ain't doing it for me.  Goodnight!!

Call me, he says.  Call me.

Out I go.  It's a long 10 second walk home.

I sometimes wonder if I'm living in purgatory, heaven being somewhere where French men kiss me hotly on the neck without leaving a trail of saliva, hell being a round room with no door and a big set of wet lips chasing me around and around and around.  God save me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

That Summer in Manhattan

The early days of living in New York City were by all reaches of my memory a bit magical.  I lived in a large apartment with enough other young women to field a basketball team.  Or given that most of us were actresses, you might better think of us as Six Characters in Search of an Author.  Those were heady days.  College friends filled the neighborhood and the rest of the city held friends in the making.  Nights were spent drinking at a selection of choice bars, usually in the same order beginning with our local and ending far enough away that justifying cab fare at 4:00 am was easy.  Life was as easy as it can be before careers and the pressure to find a mate settled in.  When you're single at 23 you take it as an edict to meet as many attractive men as possible, kissing some, dancing with others, flirting with the friends of a few.

I did have a few boyfriends during that time, men that I kissed, danced with and flirted with their friends - but dated exclusively and happily.  Walking through Manhattan holding hands with a man you like feels like you're playing out a scene in a movie.  In fact, one summer evening I did just that...

The fellow I was dating was tall, a bit thick around the middle, very smart and also a touch arrogant.  I remember when we met - it was on a July night at Midsummer Night Swing in Lincoln Center.  He had been seeing a friend of mine, though she told me she wasn't crazy about him and was going to break it off.  He and I laid eyes on each other and it was all over.  With her blessing, we had our first date that weekend... our romance the perfect summer event.   One evening we were taking a walk and ended up at Carl Schurz Park, watching the East River flow by, smelling the air get thicker in anticipation of a storm.  It started to sprinkle so we started the walk home.  The sprinkles turned rapidly into large drops and suddenly the sky opened up.  East 89th Street turned into a shower.  Warm, furious summer rain poured down on us.  We tried running for a minute, but it really was hopeless.  Laughing, we stopped in the middle of the road and pulled in to each other in a passionate embrace.  Even remembering it these fifteen years later I am struck by the passion, the water running down our cheeks, our arms, our toes, doing nothing to cool down the heat.  This was my most cinematic of personal scenes and Hollywood could do no better.

So if George Lucas was the auteur of That Summer in Manhattan, Judd Apatow would pen the sequel.  Taking place fifteen years later it would find January still single and making her way through a city on a coast 3000 miles away.  She would be a blogger, writing of her adventures with men and her difficulty in accepting getting older.  One day she would remember the young man, her former co-star.  She would Google him.  And she would find that he too is now living in this city.  Over time though, this formerly struggling journalist would have ascended the throne of a large publication.  He would also have gotten married to a Jewish woman, converted for her, had a bris in his 30's, and changed his last name to hers.  That's right, he would now go by John Wussy-Smith, the bachelor, foreskinned days of John Smith long gone.  He would be as arrogant as ever (and retained his spare tire) and January, realizing she had dodged quite a bullet those fifteen years ago, would raise her glass to offer a toast to the happy couple.  She would then blog about the great cinema they made that summer but not without mocking the man.  Perhaps the sequel would be called I'd Have Let You Keep Your Balls

Perhaps in the sequel January would find a partner of her own.  I'd like that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Nose Knows

My freshman year of college there was this senior who lurked around my dorm room a lot.  He was cute, all five feet of him.  His sandy blond hair fell across his eyes like a curtain tucked halfway up a window.  For some unknown reason, he liked me.  OK, maybe it was known.  Might have had something to do with my cute smile.  Or my charming naivete.  Or the kiss we shared over by the bathrooms during that frat party... one for the record books.  The party was being held at a beach and the sounds and smells of that night are etched in my memory... the water lapping onto the shore... the aroma of dried seaweed... the crunch of the sand and broken shells under our feet... and his smell, a combination of sweat and Drakkar Noir.  I remember him pressing his face into my neck while my eyes practically rolled back in my head from the intoxicating scent.  At that moment I would have done anything he wanted, I was so completely aroused.  Foot traffic to the loo, however, kept our embrace short and sweet.

In the years since, there has occasionally been another melange of scents equally as seductive.  I'm a fool for a man who smells great.  Little Known Way Into January's Pants # 14: Smell Good.  Hell, we are animals, after all.  Isn't that the whole evolutionary idea behind pheromones?  Man smells good.  Woman opens legs.  Human race continues.

But sometimes I've caught wind of a guy's fragrance and been immediately turned off.  What is this smell that has such a potent anti-aphrodisiacal affect?  I call it Eau de Frère, or My Brother's Scent.  It's something like a combination of dirty socks, methane and sweat.  Nothing will bring me out of a blush-inducing haze faster than smelling my brother or any man resembling his odor.  I could be as horny as a hooker at a Chippendales show yet I'd turn down Nathan Fillion if he smelled like my brother.

I might offer to shower with Nathan first.  You know, just to see if I could wash off the scent.  If he asked nicely.

I believe the point in all this evolutionary hoo-ha is to diversify my gene pool.  I really don't care, so long as I get a great-smelling man.  Great smelling and intelligent.  Great smelling, intelligent, and witty.  Plus kind of outgoing but not more than me.  Also preferably taller than that senior at the frat party.  Not too much to ask, right?

But seriously on the olfactory arousal.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Update From Inside the Hole

I've been avoiding this post for a week.  Not to insult my blog.  But opening up to anyone much less everyone has been the last thing I've wanted to do.  A week ago I joined the ranks of the unemployed (optimistically referred to as the future employed but I don't have my usual abundance of optimism in stock this week so you'll understand if I'm nothing but direct as I report from the bottom of this hole).  I'm at a loss.  What's happening with my life?  How will I pay my bills?  Am I doing the right thing, pursuing a full-time job?  Am I dishonoring the gifts God has given me, abandoning them (even temporarily) for security?  Am I messing up?

I feel like staying in my pj's until 4:15 pm is messing up.  Not showering for two days, this might be messing up.  And seeking full-time employment at a financial firm, something I'm attempting to do (among other high-paying industries) when I am at heart a creative soul, well... that is probably really, really messing up.  It's not like I'm doing it for fun.  I got bills to pay!  I'm telling myself if I get a really high-paying job I can kick out this debt in a year.  But I'm wondering how much of my soul will whither during that time.  I'm concurrently job hunting in the more creative fields, knowing that they don't pay as much but also that I'd enjoy those jobs more.  Of course - I'd simply like to perform, to be a performer and nothing more.  How I wish I had a benefactor who'd like to pay me to pursue my performance career.  Someone to wipe out my debt and offer me a stipend that would cover my basic bills... Ah, yes.  A sugar daddy.  If only I was as comfortable sleeping with men for money as I am for thrills.  Damn you, selective morals.

I've got a trip coming up next week back east to see some family.  All the usual suspects will be there, God help me.  I'm sort of looking forward to the change of scenery for the snark factor though.  It's tough being snarky, cheeky or generally sassy-minded when you're feeling blue.  And without my sass, where am I?

I already covered that.  I believe the (silent) answer was I don't know.

Editor's Note:  January will return with her usual chipper 'tude some time this week.  For those of you wishing for a jolt of it before then, check out her posts under 'January s'Amuse', or 'Full Contact Sport (Men)'.  For those of you who find this post entertaining... Get help you, you sick puppy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Keep on Movin'

Oh God, it's true you should be careful what you wish for.  My mind is far more powerful than I admit.  The way things are looking, I ought right now to wish a tall, dark and handsome man appear at my door and take me to Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  Why?  Well, I've always had a think for brunets.  And I love Cheesecake's Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp.  Woof!  Everyone should try it at least once in his life.

I've been living alone for about ten years (save for the year my ex-fiance lived with me.  I'm not counting that though.  He was short).  The other day I just said to a friend that I'd been really thinking about what's the most important priority in my vast collection of current priorities and the answer was: debt reduction.  So not sexy, I know.  But there it is.  I figure I can win the lottery (I don't usually play though, so my odds aren't very good), find a sugar daddy (any takers?  Anyone?), reduce my spending (sigh...) or get a better paying job.  I'm seeking a better job.  And lo and behold, a way to reduce spending has fallen in my lap.  A friend is buying a house and she invited me to come be a roommate.  The house is great, the company's lovely and the rent is cheaper.  Looks like I got what I asked for, right?

But, ah... there's the whole packing thing.  I detest packing.  And by detest I mean, I would rather have my eyelashes plucked out with a scalding hot Tweezerman than pack up my home.  Usually when I move into a place I stay a while.  In Brooklyn it was over four years... my last home was three and a half... and this place I've only been for a bit over a year.  Surely this is too soon to be pulling up my roots and heading five miles north (further into the valley for God's sake).  I've only begun to nestle in here.  I haven't even slept with a neighbor yet!  Though in all truth I could have.  And may still.  But only if he gets his kissing game up to par.

In my new home I'd have a pool and a backyard... I can see myself eating breakfast on the back patio, pink laptop at hand, tweeting of the warm hues of the day's rising sun, or of how men should never wear too much cologne... you know, whatever important notes fill my mind at the top of the day.  It could be monumental.  Maybe the extra 15 minutes I'd need to drive to LA proper would be worth lounging at the pool and then washing my bathing suit for free instead of hoarding quarters and driving to the laundromat.  I could finally start parking at meters again.  I've had to hike blocks from a free parking spot to a restaurant since I couldn't spare a quarter for the meter.  Do you understand what kind of freedom that would mean??

I think at this time my mind is made up: I'll hire professional packers to box up my current place and then outsource someone to unpack my things in the new place... I'll probably leave town for a few days while it goes down, maybe get my groove on down in Puerto Vallerta.  Or wait, where did Stella go to get hers back?  Maybe I'll go there.  Actually, maybe I should go get my groove ahead of the move, and bring back my new friend to do the packing and unpacking!  The possibilities are endless.  I just need to start.

But first maybe I'll have a piece of chocolate.  My life's about to be turned upside down.  I may as well enjoy this moment while it lasts.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekends are Made for This

I had to get out of my house and have a change of scenery. I woke up with The Funk (and not the George Clinton kind; that would have been awesome). I say that I live in Los Angeles, and I do, but admittedly no longer in LA proper. I'm now in the valley - make that The Valley, as in, gag me. The closest thing I've ever been to a true valley girl though is wearing neon scrunchy socks over my leggings. Please don't tell anyone about that. Got to maintain my street cred. It's a good place to relax, The Valley. But apparently for a girl with champagne tastes and Hollywood dreams it can be uninspiring.

Excluding the adventure that was last weekend (see my two previous posts, The Life of the Party and Naughty or Nice) my weekends usually consist of one of two patterns. One, I'm triple booked on Saturday, double booked on Sunday, and I usually make time to unload the dishwasher at some point. Two, I may or may not have specific plans with friends and instead I'm left with lots of... time. Of late I've filled my time with Twitter, that devil of online seduction. (Have you seen my feed? @JanuaryOlio? I'm fun! Quick! Entertaining!) I'm also having a problem with moderation of the online usage. It has become like crack to me and I can't put it down. Oy. Like I need another addiction, as if porn and chocolate aren't enough?

So I'm sitting in a coffee shop, an actual café-type location, not one of those mega chains that draw you in with their promises of tasty joe and wireless internet. This place has the type of patron who believes said mega chains are the work of communist satanists, not necessarily in that order. I won't lie: it's my first time here and I'm a little frightened. Is it actually possible to pierce that part of your body? Didn't it hurt? I'm fairly certain those dreads violate at least four sections of the health code. 'Scuse me, sir? I mean, uh, ma'am?

Right about now is when I take a big slug of this fairly delightful fair-trade and avert my eyes lest the women who just walked in catches them and burns me to a crisp with her glare.

Situation averted.

I can't, however, fend off certain glaring forever, and I'm beginning to think there might be something to the mega chain. Comfort. Wifi. Hair that remains unsinged for another day. Ah, I'm finished with my coffee now anyway. There's a park across the street; I think I'll go walk around. I see someone has set up a bouncy house for their party today. Maybe if I kick off my shoes they'll let me jump a while.

- January posted this using BlogPress from her mobile phone. Smartypants.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Naughty or Nice

I survived the weekend.  I laughed, I cried, it was better than an enema (but not by much).  Last night I was recounting stories from the front line and my friend said to me suspiciously "You had no idea it was going to be like that?"  *Sigh.*  No.  Ignorance ain't just a river in Egypt, or whatever that saying is.

So in final recap, I saw three penises (or is it penii?  I prefer the latter.  Keeps it anatomical in nature and not as sensational as penises, which sounds like a stutterer tripped while telling you about his extensive pen collection) this weekend.  Not one of the penii was in a private viewing, mind you.  And all three were attached to very drunk men.  I watched girls grope and kiss each other in front of guys 3 or 4 times (not counting the blond-on-blond make-out session on the boat Sunday, from which there was no escaping).  I was molested by one very drunk shotgirl hussy on the boat ("Oh, you get it EVERY time!" she said, in reply to my "Umm, I didn't know you were going to do this... I only wanted a shot..." as she straddled my lap and put her nearly naked bits in my face).  I'd like to mention she was not an attractive hussy, either, so there go any college fantasies about buxom lipstick lesbians.  Not that I had any.  I'm just hypothesizing.

Said shotgirl hussy later fingered herself in front of everyone on the boat (for quite a long time, really.  Quite a champion, that one) when the drunker guy she was trying to hook up with was too incapacitated to do the work himself.  This coming (no pun intended) after his third near death experience of the weekend, when he fell in between the boats and smacked his head.  The first two were the night before when he stumbled into the pool, narrowly missing hitting his head on the side... and then when he passed out in the hot tub and started sinking under, too unaware to wake himself up... His friends pulled him out each time.  But you get the picture: the weekend was a mess!  Where did I fit in?

I didn't.  I no longer have any illusions about being part of the crowd.  The peeps I'm most comfortable with are sensitive and caring (and also snarky bitches, of course)... I thought to myself what these friends and I would have done had they been my companions all weekend.  We'd probably have shared some Malbec, cooked fantastic meals and told embarrassing and funny stories to each other, saving the masturbation for the privacy of our bedrooms.  Hey, if you can't love yourself, who's going to?  The silent sound of one-handed applause playing across the warm night air would have been enough to make any person happy for their contented friend.

One girlfriend hooked up with a fella the first evening and was at his side for the rest of the trip.  I clung to my other girlfriend, turning to her strong, sober presence to get me through the chaos.  This lasted until about midway through Sunday night's pajama party, when bachelor number three finally piqued her interest.  At that time, I and my heavy flannel pj's took myself into my bedroom, got under the covers and prayed that no drunk man would mistake my door for the loo, lest I find it necessary to karate-chop his chestnuts.  I'd have done it, too.  Tired, cranky January doesn't pull any punches but she just might nail you in the nuts if you piss her off.  Lucky for me, and them, I drifted to sleep, earplugs blocking out all but the dull thud-thud-thud of the house music.  We were leaving in the morning: it felt like Christmas Eve.  I know several people from this weekend were getting big, black lumps of coal.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Life of the Party

The drive took 6 hours including a lunch stop, two pee breaks and one near-accident.  And by near I mean, the invisible car on my left almost hit us when I went to change lanes at 80 miles an hour.  Not good.  Grateful how that turned out.  The adrenaline brought me as close to Hershey squirts as I've been since I was 20 months.

But finally we did arrive and were greeted in the driveway by three guys on their way to the supermarket.  They helped us carry in our bags and one of them made a disparaging remark about me having brought my laptop.  Hello, read books?  Write?  Use a laptop for anything more than porn?

OK, that last one was a hypocritical remark.  Let's strike it from the record.

So we arrived and put our bags in our room and then joined the guys outside.  All six of them, three of whom had last names that ended in o - Roberto, Carlo and Dino.  Yes, Dino.  They wore gold Jesus pieces and their longboard bathing suits hung low enough on their asses to show who worked out and who rocked the muffin top.  [Editor's note: No one rocks a muffin top.  No one.]

The activity d'apres-midi was drinking.  Suddenly, flashbacks to college came flooding over me: drinking games around the table at 2 on a Saturday afternoon.  Drinking games at 2 on a Saturday night.  Drinking games when we were bored, excited, sad and happy.  They were shot-gunning beers.  I remembered the first time I shot-gunned a whole beer.  I was in high school.  These guys had been at it all day.  Sorry... I thought this weekend was a bunch of professional guys getting together on the lake for the long holiday weekend?  I mesh well with professional guys.  They're smart, ambitious and don't generally chant "Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!!!!" as commonly as a greeting.  This was a different breed of guy here at the lake house: The 30-Something Suspended Responsibility Guy.  This is a guy who gets a good job out of college and from 9-5 during the week gives off the appearance of a responsible, successful man.  On the weekend he reverts to the swill-chugging beer-ponging ways of his youth and he has no idea that this might be immature or a sign of delayed adolescence.  He hooks up with girls as much as he can and loses her number when she seems to like him too much. 

OK, again with the hypocritical remarks.  I may have hooked up with some of these guys once.  Or twice.  OK, maybe last week.  But not today, not tonight or this weekend.  I want more, remember?  I want it all, that's what I recall.  Not only that, but I've had more, so I know what it is that makes me happy and what I can have again:  Man.  Maturity.  Not so much on the alcohol.  Not really the life of the party.  Solid, caring and calm - that's the guy for me.  [Editor's note: January did not write "hot," but all she does during our daily pow wows is talk about hot guys.  He's hot, they're hot, look how hot that dude is.  Therefore, we respectfully amend January's list.]

You know you're full of shit when your editor calls you out on it publicly.  *sigh*

I'm sitting now on my bed.  "Eye of the Tiger" is pumping through the speakers in the house.  Apparently the 80's are an awesome decade if you were born in them.  I feel similarly about the 70's.  Bellbottoms rock!  Sitting by yourself in your bedroom during a party while the rest of the participants are hanging out on the back patio in their bathing suits, drinking, is a sure mark of anti-social behavior, but I don't care!  I stopped trying to be popular years ago and enjoy the peace of mind it brought me.  Living up to my own expectations feels great and also beats others' expectations.  I'm half tempted to just turn the light off and go to sleep...

However, Borat is here and damn it if I don't laugh when I just see him.  He and his cousin are guests this weekend.  I have no idea what his birth name is but he looks and sounds like Borat and he's even wearing the neon-green thong bathing suit that the guy wore in the film.  Plus they're Serbian so his accent is pretty spot on.  Anyway, if I miss a single pool trick this guy does in that neon-green bathing suit I will not forgive myself... Back to the party I go.  God I wish I still drank coffee.  With a bit more energy I might be the life of the party.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Young, Foolish and Willing

When I was young and foolish and living the life of an eternally hopeful yet poor actor in New York City, I did an independent film in which I played the best friend, the snarky bitch.  Go figure.  The experience was exciting and I enjoyed every moment of it the way you enjoy riding your bike before you learn how to drive.  That our crew consisted of three and a half people didn't faze me a bit.  The cinematographer was a recovering drunk who would never recover memories of the dozens of 'Dead shows he followed.  There was a PA I don't remember much about, save for his severe case of dandruff and habit of running outside at every chance to grab a smoke.   The half crew member was a makeup artist who appeared on set the first day, never to be seen again.  But the director/actor/writer/composer/producer was a fella who'd go on to bigger, better things after the film wrapped... me.

It started so sweetly... doesn't everything, when you're young and foolish and enjoying the intoxication of summer?  We'd meet in Central Park and sit watching the eclectic mix go by.  We talked about everything those days.  Will was a staunch conservative in the soul of an artist.  I was smart, Will was brilliant.  I was creative, Will was a creative genius.  I wore red thong panties - Will was both repulsed and drawn in by that.  I think my liberal, creative sloppiness came so easily to me that Will was in awe of it.  He came from a wealthy, conservative family holding more shares of the New York Stock Exchange than I had socks in my drawer.  (And trust me, I never did laundry back then.  An abundance of undergarments was compulsory.)

One night a couple of months into our friendship we were hanging out at his apartment late, laying on opposite ends of the couch while Will did the one thing more certain to cause me to drop my pants than a four-course meal at a five-star restaurant: he rubbed my feet within an inch of reason.  Thoroughly relaxed and not wanting to tangle with the MTA at that hour of the night for my trek home, I happily accepted his offer to crash at his place.

The freedoms of singlehood.  Ahh...

So to bed we went, chatting and laughing and laughing some more.  At this point the scene took on a cinematic quality:

Scene: Interior, bedroom.  Man and woman lay together in bed, lit only by street light creeping in through the shudders.  Woman rolls her head back in laughter.  Man strokes her cheek gently, and unexpectedly leans in and...

...and he kissed me.  I couldn't have been more surprised if Hillary Rodham Clinton had jumped out of the closet at that moment and told us she was going to run for president.  I was so surprised; I had become such good friends with him that I didn't stop and think about being more.  And then it happened.

The rest of that evening is a blur, though I remember Will taking great pleasure over the years in reminding me that my talents as a flautist that night [Editor's note: January was not playing the flute] caused him to cry out for Jesus, something that hadn't happened before or since.  What followed that night were several weeks of dating and deep feelings on my end... and then he left.  Will had been planning all along to move out of New York, and as the summer rolled to an end, so did our affair.  A promised visit planned for a few months later disappeared and in time it was clear Will had moved on, both literally and figuratively.

The years that followed held several Will reunions, usually when he was back in the city tending to business; the once creative dreamer had now grown into the man destined to chair the board at his father's company.  Gone were the stories we'd share about hockey and jazz and theater and Ireland.  Now when he visited I noticed an uneasiness about him, a forced seriousness.  His business suits expressed it best: they were ill fitting, hanging too long at the wrists and loose at the waist.  For all the money he had, you'd think he'd have found a good tailor.  And his kisses, something I once adored and melted into, had become sterile and boring.  He was no longer the cheeky free spirit I had brought to the Lord that night those years before and our relationship began a descent that hit bottom almost five years ago.  Newly transplanted in Los Angeles, I was making a trip back to NYC and we planned to rendezvous in the city for a few days.  He bailed out on me at the last minute, offering no apology or explanation.  I never saw him again.  I did hear from him for several more years...  He liked to keep me abreast of his successes from afar.  I got an invitation to an event (3,000 miles away) at which he was being honored.  Then one day a package arrived, inside which I found an autographed copy of the book he'd just published.  "To January, with whom I had the deepest religious experience of my life.  Forever yours, Will."

Forever mine?  Really, Will?  When were you ever mine?  Oh please, William, get on with it.  Must you really keep bringing up that night?  For the record, I distinctly remember you sounding like the little boy soloist in Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu.  Every time you bring up the specifics you minimize what the experience was for me: magical.  I fell into you hard, deep and fast.  You may have been not have been but I, I was willing.

So it's been years since I've been in touch with Will.  I moved from the address he used to have.  I haven't heard from him... but still, I think of him from time to time.  And I might admit to the occasional cyber-stalk.  Just a little.  I mean, he's easy to find.  He's now a regular on political talk shows and also writes a viewpoint column for a major newspaper.  He still looks like he's wearing his father's suit.  But today I had the grand idea to search on Twitter, and lo and behold - there he was.  He has both a regular account and a fictionalized one for the book he wrote those years ago.  And in the latter I found... my Will.  He posts pictures of himself with his dogs... in his home... smiling, relaxed, in his bathrobe for God's sake.  It's almost enough to make me want to reach out to him.

Almost.  Really, really I don't want to hear about Jesus anymore.  I'm no longer willing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Roaring 30's

This past weekend was meant to be one in which I caught up on a lot of things that need catching. It seems like I never have time for this owing to the volume of activity with which I've filled my life. I suppose I'm grateful to have this be an option... I could be attending Little League games or shuttling someone around from class to class instead of reclining in a warm, salty tub, Malbec in hand, John Mayer piping over the Bose. [Editor's note: January has never taken a bath while sipping good Argentinian wine. She has however showered while Mr. Mayer crooned about her Wonderland.]

The other night I was getting ready to go to a party, John Mayer on the stereo, and was heartily complimenting myself on how good I looked when I stopped mid-swoon and gasped: there was a gray hair, a damn gray hair, wiry and poking its ugly head out from under its beautiful brunette neighbors.  Not the first such occurrence, I reluctantly admit, but it's crushing every time.  Suddenly I went from hot mama ready for action to cute mom ready for bed - and I don't have kids!  I've never been so easily handed a loss by such a tiny, earth-toned color.  Even beige could have kicked my ass after finding that hair.

There was a time in my 20's when I'd get ready to go out at night with hyper anticipation.  Well, the cups of coffee I would down while I was drying my hair probably had something to do with the hyper.  I don't even drink coffee anymore.  I gave up caffeine.  God, when did I turn into my parents?  Anyway, I laid down on my bed for a short while and assessed the situation.  I wasn't tired, just defeated.  Other than that awful hair, I looked pretty good.  And with my eyes closed I barely noticed any lines around them.  I got up, finished my makeup and headed out in my flapper dress to the party, a roaring 20's costume fete.  I may not be young anymore but who says I need to whimper?  I'm all about my roaring 30's.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Quietly Desperate

Trying to get out a blog post when you don't know what you're going to write is like birthing a baby at 36 weeks: you can do it, and it may turn out absolutely fine, but boy is it something you'd rather not do.  You wish you could leave it in there another couple weeks to fatten up.

My life right now feels like I'm 36 weeks preggers (but I don't anticipate delivering early).  I've got something growing, something wonderful cooking in the oven but I can't see what it looks like; I only feel it moving around, stirring things up inside me.  That and it gives me gas.  I am generally very aware of these kind of changes arriving in my life.  I'm attuned to the need for a new direction and so far I've done very well when following it.  Moving to Los Angeles, that was something I felt coming for years.  (Yeah, can you imagine being pregnant for years?  Not comfortable.)  The change in course made itself felt inside me for a long time before I Janned-up and acted on it.  Until I did, I lead what Thoreau called a life of quiet desperation.  To live unfulfilled, stuck in a moment in time and unable or unwilling to grow beyond it is not the way life is intended to be.  It's uncomfortable, constricting and depressing.  I wanted to live here for years but sat in the fear of what such a huge change represented.  I sat in New York miserable with my life.  When a direction inside you makes itself known and you ignore it you become spiritually out of alignment.  The best chiropractic adjustment, received automatically when you act upon the inner-knowledge, allows everything in your life to flow.  The life energy inside once again pulses and pours through the dry river beds of creativity within.  You allow life to happen once again.

I've been at my "day job" darn near about 36 weeks.  I put that in quotes because that is what it was suppose to be - a temporary, flexible opportunity that would allow me the convenience I needed to nurture my real career in performing.  36 weeks later I am still there, darn near comfortable in my desperation simply because it's familiar and convenient.  But my life energy is at a trickle!  I miss feeling its cool, rapid flow coursing through me.

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." - Henry David Thoreau 

I must sing my song now, loud and joyfully.  I must allow my life-energy to again course furiously through my being!  I welcome this baby to come, whatever it is.  Perhaps it needs a few more weeks to fatten up, and I'll allow it that.  But I'm going to focus all my energy on birthing it.  I have a feeling it's beautiful.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Morning After

This morning started off shakey.  I woke up a tad wobbly, my brain still foggy and the room tilting ever so.  I felt like I was still drunk.  I struggled to clear out the cobwebs in my brain and remembered I didn't drink at all last night, but the night was a late one and clearly my brain has no chance of clarity when I stay up clear past my bedtime.  Getting old isn't for the faint of heart.

I spent last evening out with a man I know.  We have a good mutual friend and I actually knew him many years ago when we all lived in the same city on the other coast.  He's tall, broad, warm, kind and a real thinker - someone I easily relate with.  Plus I could get lost in his eyes.  We reconnected recently over our shared love of French and now see each other weekly at a French conversation group.  I know, how damn cliche can I get?  Well how's this: I wore a scarf around my neck last night in a sign of solidarity with my soul country.  Vive La France!

Anyway, after the group we sat talking for hours and eventually left the restaurant and headed to another one closer to home for a late-night bite.  But for the relocation during the evening, the night was like many others between us.  We talk for hours, saying good-bye when we're ready to fall asleep on the spot.  Last night though, something was bothering him and he didn't want to discuss it, but talked around it enough that I think I know what's going on: his ex-girlfriend is pregnant.  They broke up a couple of months ago.  And you know what I think about this?  That the gods of love are yet again dicking with me, as this will be the third time in the last year that this has happened to a guy I was getting close with!  THE THIRD.  What does that make me, the goddess of fertility-past?  Like, Hang out with January, she'll impregnate your old lover just with a wink of her eye!  Or Got fertility problems?  Break up!  Try a little January this April.  You'll be parents by November!  Seriously.  And what's with these other ladies getting back with the man I've decided I might like to impregnate me one day?

I am over it.

Someone get me some sperm, stat.  Kindly attach a really eligible man to it please.  Turkey baster optional.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Metrosexuals Need Not Apply

I like men to be men.  While there is a certain something to be said for non-fugly toenails and unchewed fingertips, leave the mani-pedis to me, fellas.  Get yourself outside and work up a sweat chopping wood.  Come back in, shower off and come lay those big man paws on me while you plant one on my mouth.  Unless you missed my opening sentence above, in which case take your shiny little fingertips and use them to open that door over there.  Enjoy your trip back to Metroville while I relax with the Brawny man.

[Editor's Note: When Googling "The Brawny Man," do not search past the third section of images... the further you go, the more suspect the images become. Apparently "brawny" translates to "homosexual weight-lifter" in some Eastern European languages.]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lost Nugget From the Vault

[Editor's Note:  This little nugget was hidden among old posts, written in January 2010 and apparently never published.  Imagine that.  Reading it proves that old saying is true: the more things change, the more some people stay the exact special same.]

In the past two days I have been asked on two and possibly very soon three dates. What's my secret? A new dress? A make-up make-over? A list of new come-on lines I've been trying out?

No. Pheremones. Aunt Flo may be a bitch but Lord, does she bring the boys with her!

The Write Stuff

I've spoken a few times recently with writers, people just like me with whom I happened to get into a conversation.  Bloggers.  But people blogging for a living, like, at an established website or freelancing successfully.  And I've thought to myself, really?  What do they have that I don't have?  I mean, aside from a paycheck that says "Professional Writer."  They have more discipline than I do, that's what.

"Write every day."  That is the one universal piece of advice I get.  Write every day, whether you want to or not.  You will get better and it will better flow from you.  I know this is true!  The very same thing can be said of art or athletics or music: practice every day, even a little, and the results compound over time.  Yet I remain an irregular writer, perhaps a lazy one.  I write when I have a fire in my belly, something absolutely burning inside me to get out!  And I tap away on the keyboard, each digit pressing a key like a high note in a symphony, perfectly in tune with the other keys.  I may write good songs... but where is my concerto?  Where is my Ninth Symphony?  Can't I make a joyful ode?
I am reminded that Beethoven was 53 or 54 by the time he completed the Ninth, and he'd been playing music since he was a very small child.  He was, what, thirteen when he was first published?  Shoot, by those measures I'm a genius!  What with the internet in all its practical glory, I am already published!  And I've not even been writing this blog for two years.

Wow, I'm feeling better about this writing thing.  Clearly a submission to The Atlantic is in order.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dlo 2.0

Prepare yourself: the following information is going to shock you.  You may want to take a seat.

My parents are now both on Facebook.  We have achieved Dlo 2.0.

At first they were tentative... My father reluctantly joined; he didn't want too much of his personal time to be sucked into the computer.  I think he may actually believe his computer monitor has metaphysical properties that might one day actually suck him in if and when he exceeds his allotted web-cruising time.  My mother joined months ago, but didn't do much with her account at first.  Now all that has changed, with the rise of the geriatric population on Facebook.  Both Mom and Dad have found many friends, former classmates and co-workers to connect with.  My mom seems to really like it.  I mean, she likes it a lot.  As in, Likes everything on it.  My mom clicks "Like" to every post she reads, from what I can tell.  At first I thought to mention proper web etiquette and suggest that perhaps Liking everything wasn't exactly an efficient or honest use of the button.  But I resisted, and in fact her perennial Liking has grown on me.  After 38 years of trying to please my mother, I have finally gotten it right.  She Likes everything I do!

Thank you, Facebook.  Here's to the aiding of family relations.  I Like!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Tragedy in Two Lips

Imagine the perfect evening... a fine-mannered waiter crossing your private dining room, silver tray, glasses and wine in hand... and as he approaches your table, he trips on his shoelace and there goes the 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, splattered all over the beautiful marble floors. So close. Could have been a great evening! Alas, some things are just never gonna be.

Like a bad kisser becoming a good one. Ain't gonna happen.

My neighbor Philippe thinks it could happen. I think at 40 years old, there's a snowball's chance in Satan's pizza oven he'll ever be more than an insipid tongue-prodder. I know what you're thinking. "Teach him! You can show him how to be a good kisser. It's such a small thing." After all, he is lovely. He's kind, fun to hang out with and easy on the eyes. But that's where it stops - once my lips have been penetrated by his tongue, the cold reality that this man doesn't have a clue what he's doing and likely would jab me like a jackhammer were we to turn our vertical flirtation into a horizontal event hits me like a big, frozen icicle. He can't kiss for beans. I'm turned off immediately. I don't find the bulge growing in his pants to be anything more than an annoyance and I want out of there tout suite.

May some other woman conquer this insurmountable challenge. These lips have better places to explore.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It Puts the Lotion on Its Skin

I know you remember that line. From Silence of the Lambs - remember? Buffalo Bill has his latest victim in the pit and he's lowered a bucket with lotion for her to run all over her soon to be filleted plus-sized body. Ick, gives me the willies just thinking about it! Alas it's all I can think about with the peculiarities of a former friend. Or should I say, future former friend. He's not taking the break-up very well and I'm running all kinds of scenarios through my head... like, I'm Ronald Regan and he's John Hinckley and everything's moving in slow motion while Secret Service men knock me to the ground, shouting "Gun!"

This particular friend came from a bible study this particular heathen used to attend. He was always odd but well-intended, and while awkward and possessing poor social skills, once he got over his discomfort around you (God forbid he be around people) he could be funny and caring. He did have a lot of anger - it would bubble up on occasion, always carefully, tightly contained. It was like you could see the steam coming out but he never let the lid off the pot. I think in my naivete I figured some good old fashion friendship and support would help him. He became a movie buddy. We'd connect every so often and go to a screening together. And once, when he had no place to stay before his next apartment came up, he crashed with me for a couple of weeks.

Some kind of scandal arose at the bible study a few months back surrounding him and his seeming refusal to accept the end of friendship with a young woman at the study (are we seeing a pattern emerge here?) and he eventually was asked to leave it. By that time I had felt the flames of eternal hellfire licking at my heels too frequently to continue with the study, lest I infect my more Christian brethren with my sinful ways, so I never caught all of the drama. But I did hear from him that he was asked not to attend. I heard it every time we talked. Every time he called, whether we spoke or he left me a voicemail, the message started off something like this "Yeah, so I got some interesting stuff to tell you..." As in, I've got more angry gossip stuff to spread all over you and drag you down into my self-angry hellhole with me, bwaa ha haa.

The other day I ran into his former roommate and we chatted about the study drama and our mutual friend.  Former roommate confided in me that my future former friend is a (closeted) transvestite, something the roommate stumbled upon by accident. Closeted, for sure. You think I'm a sinning heathen? Slap a woman's dress on a Christian man and you've got one FastPass to Hell, coming right up! So he's a transvestite. Rock on, baby! Do your thing. Be the most beautiful woman you can be, hairy legs and all. But to hide it from me - to be secretive and deny that you're doing it, even when I, a very open-minded and trustworthy friend shared deeply personal stories with you... that doesn't sit comfortably with me. And then I thought about his anger, the rage I often sensed was just below the surface, and I started getting freaked out. Anger, awkward social interactions, secretive, deeply rooted issues... more than I can handle in a "friend" who will not address or admit to his rage. He's got a timer just ticking away inside and given my new found understanding of the depth of his issues, I just thought... Not me. You're not making an all-weather wrap out of me, 'Bill. I'm out.

Finally the other day came the voicemail from him I knew would arrive one day, the angry, I-don't-know-why-you're-blowing-me-off message, with the end tag "If I don't hear from you I won't call again" ...followed by an email today saying "Just want to make sure you got my phone message? If not, call me. If so, you can just ignore this email."

I don't want to engage him any further. How do you tell the rational truth to an irrational person? "You have a lot of anger issues and I'm concerned everything that's been building since you were a boy in a very abusive home is going to come up one day soon and explode. You'd benefit from professional psychological help. What do you say?" Yeah. And then he hands you the bottle and tells you to start spreading the lotion.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm Dating Benjamin Buttons

Sometimes it's easy to think that I am neurotic, paranoid and wildly insecure when it comes to relationships. But then someone I'm casually dating will have a freak-out moment whereby he stresses that he's very busy with work and life and not sure if he's ready for a relationship right now, despite being attracted to me, thinking I'm the bees' knees, etc., and inside I'm going "You know we're dating other people, right? That I went out with someone else last night? That we've never been exclusive??" while outside I just smile and say, "I really hadn't thought about it - I just enjoy spending time with you" prompting a big sigh of relief and a "Oh good, we're on the same page."

And thus, man becomes boy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Men Are From Mars

I'm on a date tonight, date number two with Seth, a date that took over two weeks to put together because Seth's been so busy at work doing depositions and preparing for a big case yadda yadda. We get together tonight somewhat last minute, since no other time during the week was available and tomorrow I've got other plans. Since this is a Friday night, I'm thinking, heck. We should have a drink! I sure could use one after an abysmal work week. When I suggest this to Seth, he says, "I was thinking Starbucks. I'm really not familiar with the bar scene."

This was the camel's really heavy straw number one.

But I say, sure, let's do Starbucks (again! Date number one was at the very same Starbucks!) We meet and I enjoy a good solid 25 minutes of Seth talking... about... everything in the world... and nothing of personal value relating to him or me. No second-date "So where'd you go to college?" or "Ever do anything kooky you wish you could take back? Really, a tattoo of Hello Kitty ?! Where??" This is a very intelligent man, to be sure. A former professor, on our last date we discussed his former subject - film - at length, and it was an enjoyable evening! This time, not so much. Our date started with an awkward hug that illuminated for me a lack of chemistry between us.

This was straw number two.

So we - or rather, he - talk for an hour and half or so. He's obviously tired from the week (as am I); I can tell this by his large open-mouth yawn. I stifle mine. Seems the polite thing to do. And finally he says "Are you really tired? You seem really tired." I reply that I am and do not add "I've been lulled to sleep by your incessant chatter." We wrap up shortly thereafter. We walk together to our cars and I simply say "Well, goodnight!" and go to give him a hug. He catches me off guard with a peck on the lips. I make it quick and get in my car.

Really, Seth? You hug like a man bound permanently in a backwards white buckled jacket and have made no progress in making a personal connection with me... but you're giving me a goodbye kiss on the lips?

Men are weird. Or rather, Seth is from Saturn.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not a Match

Loser. Tool. Socially awkward and destined not to be happy with a normal girl.

Any of these would describe the guy I just spent 37 painful minutes on the phone with. Harsh, you might say? No. I'm being kind; we were on the phone for 41 minutes. I'm being kind about the first four.

Social networking and online dating have become such an everyday part of our lives that the concept of me talking on the phone with a guy I've never met, in lieu of a first cup of coffee, or a walk around town or even, if I was feeling daring, a drink together, isn't really that daring at all. For me, perhaps it is. I don't date online that much! But in this case it happened. It happened sans emailing, sans texting, sans any other communication - the fella and I shared a wink, followed by him asking me to talk on the phone, so we did. And it was painful. 40 minutes of a mild jerk with mildly creepy things to say to me, including that my bangs turned him on and that I look like no one he's ever seen and would I like to now compliment him? Would I now like to share a couple of compliments about him?

Is he freakin' mentally retarded??

Yes. I believe he was. As such, when I told him I felt no chemistry with him he incredulously retorted "None? You feel none?!"


Good night, Mr. Nottamatch. And please don't call.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What Did You Say?

Tonight I invited a guy to see a screening of The Social Network. Excellent movie, by the way. Fascinating performances. Anyway, I have with the guy a casual friendship made long ago on set and kept up via the previously mentioned social network. I had an extra ticket to the screening and we'd just chatted via said network last night, so I asked if he wanted to go with me and voila, there it is. After the movie we went to a diner he recommended and there shared what truly were the world's best pancakes.

Before I get to the closer here, I'll clarify what you're probably wondering... I'm not sure if I'm into him. Therefore it's pretty safe to say I'm not into him. I am into his brain, and I've always enjoyed conversing with him. But you know what did it for me tonight? His scent. It did... nothing for me. No pheromones pushing me to press my arm against his or linger an extra moment when we hugged as we greeted one another. His cologne was nice. But his scent, meh.

So we finish our pancakes and walk out to our cars and as we're standing next to mine there's a brief pause in the conversation, which I'm secretly hoping will precipitate the "good night!" exchange so I can go home to bed. And he says... "Would you like some company tonight?"


I just stared at him for a moment while my head replayed the message and my neurons tripped over each other trying to process what he meant. 'Cause when a man asks if you'd like company, that usually means the kind best kept in a sweaty horizontal tango... and I was not having that with him, not tonight and probably not in the future.

"Oh! No, I'm really tired!"

He back-stepped a little and said "I'm having such a good time hanging out with you, just didn't want the evening to end" to which I gracefully replied "Well let's do it again, then!" and strategically pulled out my car keys, preempting what would have been an awkward goodbye at best. I unlocked my door and got in unabetted, driving off in a groggy, unexcited haze.

Tonight instead I have the company of my dear friend Ted. He's exactly the company I want to keep at this hour: cute, dark and silent.