Without Resolve

Dec 31, 2008 at 4:43 PM
I don't do new year's resolutions.

Do you?

Clarity : Fog

Dec 30, 2008 at 1:22 PM
I woke early this morning. Well, early by local time. I'm still on Costa Rica time, and so, for me alone, early was late.

The new house feels like a mansion with its cathedral ceilings, HUGE beams and its large echoing walls. It's just a converted barn, but it was a BIG effing barn in the first place. So I feel rather lordly. This house feels like a magical mountaintop aerie to me. I am sure that it will eventually feel humdrum and normal, but I can't quite imagine that happening yet. And since I can still see my old house, down in it's snug little sunless valley, from my mountaintop.

Or at least I can see some of its corrogated iron roof, white and sparkly from up here. From up here, there is no rust, there is no sign that that house has any problems. From up here, the woods has no splinters, nowhere to snag your foot on a root, nothing but beauty and form.

I sat on my piano bench in front of my beat up old piano and thought about returning here. I looked at the piano as I did so. I do most of my best thinking while playing the piano. My piano especially, as it has so many tricks. It was in a high school before I owned it, and I received a terribly ugly thing. I've stripped the institutional green and white paint from it, which were probably full of asbestos and lead. I found an old family heirloom bench to use with it. The bench is for an organ, so it's an inch or two off; incorrect for the piano. But it doesn't matter to me. I simply need a place to put my butt while I play. I disappear into the music so far, I could be sitting on a bed of nails and I'd never know it.

Many of the tops to the keys, when I got the piano, had simply been lost with age. They lifted off when the school left the piano out in the weather. Anyhow, by some miracle, every single key still plays, and the notes are more or less correct.

I used to get splinters from the raw, unpolished, angry wood of the plain key, I needed new tops for them. Adam came through, found me ivory bits from off an old piano no longer around.

So, I've replaced the keys that lifted with old worn-out ivory pieces from that other long gone piano. Some of the keys are the white plastic mock-ivory, and some are yellow, real ivory, marbled and smoother.

The replaced keys are colder to the touch, and I rubbed them absently and randomly, finding them by touch alone, occassionally making a "tink" sound. I like to note the slight, miniscule difference in length between my new and old keys.

Despite its flaws, I have a rare fondness for this rather odd piano. Especially now that I'm back. I was never able to find a single keyboard of any kind while in Costa Rica. I was going APE from lack of piano.

So I am absently rubbing piano keys, enjoying the affinity I have for my beat up, ancient piano, but not quite ready to play yet, when I look up over the back of my piano, and I find that the sun is rising. There are low clouds, not quite touching the ground, not quite rising out of the trees.

I'd swear that this fog was sentient, as it had curled itself around hills and trees with a complexity and beauty unheard of in nature. Or at least it seemed so. The bits I could see through it were so pretty, and the green popped. One thing about the sun here. It's 66% weaker here than it is in Costa Rica, but it sure can pop the color green out at you.

I wondered at the fog, at the early morning edgeless ethereal white, as the sun continued to draw streaks of halo-soft light through the swirling mists.

Truly magnificent.

You cannot wonder at how music came to exist, at how humanity came to assume that there are greater forces at work than are known to us, when you watch the sun rise on a valley from a hilltop.

It was time to play Bach's Preludeums. It seemed fitting that the music which began Classical music, the earliest pieces for piano, would begin my day along with the dawn.

Dirt Rich, Cash Poor, Love Rich, People Poor

Dec 27, 2008 at 7:40 PM
I am back on the ranch.

While I was gone, my parents moved me into a different house on the ranch, and went to the trouble to care for my dog, my plants and to decorate my new house for Christmas.

They went to the trouble to make my house a home, to make up my bed, to put my thigns in places in the new house, and to work on making it a home, so I had something to come home to.

THere was a dying fire in the woodstove when I arrivde, and there was wood stacked and ready.

My things were in shelves and my living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom were at least halfway put together.

There were two miniature Christmas trees put together in various places in my new house.

I cried a little.

I am LOVED.


After the traveling, I am dirt poor. Or actually, I'm DIRT rich and CASH poor. I brought my little sister back to the ranch with me, and she's currently sleeping down at the lower house. Everyone who arrives on the ranch sleeps for several days. It's so darn quiet, that your body uses the absolute silence to re-charge. It's inevitable that I will aso run into a sleep cocoon at some point, and you'll wonder what happened for a few days, because I won't be blogging.

And then I'll come out of it, and Dad will be here, and my step-mom Marie will be here, and not very many other people.

And this is why cities are not for me: There are VERY few people here, but every single one of them matters to me.

Only THESE people could have dragged my ass back from Costa Rica. I was THIS CLOSE to never, ever coming back.

Maybe I'm crazy, but the rain and wind feels wonderful. HOME feels wonderful.

You Made My Christmas, Airport Security Lady

Dec 25, 2008 at 7:48 PM
Getting my bags checked in, not so fun.

Standing in the security line:

SECURITY LADY: "Identification and boarding passes, please."

Me: "Here you go."

SL: "This picture looks older than you."

Me: "I got a tan. That picture was three years ago. But I have a tan right now."

SL: "Hey, (Random Other Security Guy comes over.) Does this look like her?"

ROSG: "Yeah, but she looks younger now."

Me: "I guess I've been taking care of myself. I was just in Costa Rica. Sun and fish."

SL: "Lucky You. Have a nice flight."

My tan and my taking care of myself has resulted in looking YOUNGER than my three year old license picture.

I'm GIDDY. Positively GIDDY.

Surreality

Dec 24, 2008 at 10:24 AM
It is so odd to me not to be walking on Brasilito Beach. I fell completely in love with a place that is both inconvenient and impractical to love.

I will be returning to Costa Rica again shortly, I know. But meanwhile, I will be arranging my life around being more mobile, around the transitive existence that I always gravitate toward in the end. I am mercury, and none of my friends quite know what to make of it. I hate being in the same place. But for the time being, Costa Rica really does feel more like home than anywhere else short of the ranch.

I will be organizing and producing and planning.

There is nothing else to do. I don't feel very attached to my life right now, and I think it's possible that this disattached state is a bad one to remain in, but highly useful for the time being. I can throw myself into any existence and make it what I will of it while I am less serious and less attached and less fixedly certain that things are a particular way.

There is something about Costa Rica, about the Gold Coast. About Guanacaste. It feels like HOME in a powerful, undeniable way. I learned the language, I made friends, I felt happier than I have EVER felt in my life.

I will return there, I am certain.

For every second since I've left, my thoughts remain at least partially there, walking the pitted streets, and I notice the lack of sea breeze. I can hear the surf pushing and pulling me still when I sleep, I smell the beach in my mind. I feel the sun on me even though I'm nowhere near it. I can look up and see that brilliant full moon above the cocodrillo-shaped mountain and the Catalinas. I am still THERE to a very large degree.

I have been teaching Libby useless Spanish words she doesn't need or care about too much.

But I must pull myself together into the here and now.

Tomorrow I fly home to the biggest snow storm in 40 years, and I start a hard winter. It is time to turn myself North, and focus on where I am RIGHT NOW. And where I will be for the next several months. What will I be doing next week, next month? I will be planning. I will use this harsh winter as refueling time, as time to gather. I will try not to get upset about the change to being very cold from being very warm. It's just another difference between here and there.

In about two months, the first daffodils will poke themselves up from harsh, hard ground, and will make the gorgeous bouquets that I love to place on my dining room table.

In a few weeks, I will be all moved into the new house.

In a few days, I will be smelling the amazing smell of pitch and cedar burning in my stove. It is one of life's best simple pleasures.

In March, I will take many many walks in the woods and I will smell Spring's first buds long before they actually form, while they still reek of promise from beneath black silty soil.

I will gather my thoughts, my plans, my goals, just as nature does each Winter, and emerge stronger and better, as I have for the last several winters in the woods.

Do you know what I would really love? To be able to be both places. To live in Costa Rica half the time and home on the ranch the other half. I know it's odd, but winter is when I want to be on the ranch. And Spring.

If you don't know winter well, and cannot emerge with the feel of a brand new existence after a cold harsh winter, there is a part of you that never resets, on some deeply primal human level.

Perhaps that could be worked out... Summers down South and Winters up North. I would be the opposite of a snowbird.

With kids

Dec 22, 2008 at 11:29 PM
No time to talk.

I'm with my kids.

I missed them more than words.

So here is a picture of us, sitting on the couch about an hour ago.



Time to go sit with them some more.

Romance

Dec 18, 2008 at 6:53 PM
Tonight, in the last twenty minutes:

I have been serenaded by a four part Mariachi band while standing on the hotel balcony at sundown.

Asked to be the new lover of a fishing boat captain named Alex.

Asked for my heart to stay free of attachment until April, when I return, by the amazingly handsome man I went surfing with last week.

Told that I am the sexiest woman on earth and to please give him (unknown gorgeous man) a kiss.

And given a beautiful shell by a blushing 18 year old boy who says I am mui linda, clapped his hands over his heart and ran away. All the people here know I am obsessed with spiral shaped shells. This one is a beauty.

I swear I must be reeking pheremones or something. They were all so handsome. No crunk ugly people tonight.

-----------

Every day I walk to conchal, and pick up seashells I love and more trash.

I walk up to the security guard at the beach, tell him I have trash today ("Mucho basuro oi"). He says "every day" ("todo las dias") and I say "Claro" (understood).

Then I ask him if there is good water today. He says, yes, and I say thanks.

I took pictures today of many things I've discussed. I can't get them off my camera just yet, but when I do, I'll upload them.

Amaranth and Blueberries - or "My Left Butt Cheek Hurts"

at 10:03 AM
Thank God for Shelley. She is the only person who noticed I wasn't drunk, I was having an allergic reaction to the Tequila. God bless her.

Oh but there's more.

It's a long story involving hormigas, allergies, a systemic strep infection I didn't know I had, tequila, another allergic reaction, my kidney and a very handsome doctor telling me "We need to put a few shots in your butt." and "No more alcohol for you due to the strain on your kidney."

The good news is, today, after juggling pill bottles for some rather powerful medications for a full 24 hours, I am starting to feel well again.

Feels good to feel human again.

Except that the double shot that the doctor put into the left butt cheek muscle is seriously killing me today.

If ants are intelligent, can't I just sue the collective anthill that I stood on for the pain inflicted, plus damages, through and including the aching left butt cheek? Or could I expect a countersuit for leaving my chair leg situated over their primary egress point?


--------------------

I went to some naturopathic allergist doctor once for allergy testing and the only foods I was NOT somewhat agressively allergic to at the time were

AMARANTH
BLUEBERRIES

And that was it.

Guess how much I hate Amaranth?

So I have basically ignored any formal list and just started a trial and error methodology.

I may need to rethink that standard operating basis in light of the whole "I want to travel the world and try new stuff" think.

I wonder where I can find Amaranth and blueberries in Costa Rica?

Repost

Dec 16, 2008 at 1:28 PM
You create your own tomorrow. If you choose to fill that tomorrow (in your postulate, considerations, goals and purposes) with doubt, and you choose to fill your life with assignations of responsibility to others, to unknown or all-powerful forces (like fate, luck, God, your horoscope, your mom, the economy, the housing market, etc), you will get what you have put there. There are no unknown forces. There are no secrets, there are no mysteries. Everything that you need to handle is already right there in your own life already.

Surfing

Dec 15, 2008 at 3:45 PM
After going out every day for a week, I've discovered that I'm not a surfer. I may be able to be one someday in the future, but I'm really not one now.

I AM, however, a fall-off-the-fucking-board-backwarder or perhaps it's a dive backward-into-raging-angry-surfer. I KNOW I can conquer this. If Fernando can do it, I sure can.

I'm finally starting to heal, ant-bite-wise.

Shelley's folks showed up again, and tell me I'm half the size I was before.

I'm still on the "sweet cold coca-cola out of the bottle and fresh cevice (local raw fish with lemon and veggies meal - LOVE IT)" diet which has been working for me so well. Plus RIDICULOUS amounts of exercise. Plus lots of sun, wind, sand, rain, weather.

The world is stimulating and beautiful here. I feel more alive and I think that's part of why I'm so much healthier.

That and the constant compliments. Maybe we should start a compliment trading diet program in the states. Basically, you get your own beautiful male chef who cooks you juts the most clean, simple, wonderful raw foods, while telling you how gorgeous you are three times a day every day until you drop the weight.

We don't tell the women that the compliments are part of the diet.

But it mostly does come down to a sense of self-worth, self-image. It really is a big part of why we hold onto weight. And I think it was that for ME.

What happens when my connection to you is severed

Dec 13, 2008 at 1:34 PM
Last night the internet went down RIGHT after the hotel desk closed up and went home. Couldn't work, couldn't blog.

So naturally I did what any girl would do, and went out for a wild night on the town wth my best party friend EVER, Brian.

My hormiga bites were better enough (I thought), and it was Friday night, and there was a beautiful full moon.

I went to Tamarindo, which is famous for being a party place, and is a surf town. It has hot and cold running hunks-o-man in every variety, except they are all fashion model thin. So are the women. Think twiggy with muscles. And I'm a pretty hefty piece of meat in comparison. My ass was certainly the biggest one in the place, even at my size 8-10.

It seriously didn't help my self worth any. But rather than sit in the corner by myself, especially when the music was not Salsa or Cumbia or Reggaeton, but good old fashioned CLUB music like back home, I said FUCKITALLTOHELLANDGONE and I started dancing, intending to dance up a storm anyway. All the pretty girls who wouldn't mind being photographed under a microscope in a bikini, well they can go do their thing, 'cause I'm SHORE doing mine.

I was at the monkey bar, which is up steps to the top of a big hill (ridiculously not handicapped friendly - it's like you're visiting the yogi at the top of the mountain to get there) and the view of Tamarindo was fantastic, a huge crescent shaped white sand beach in front of me. I was dancing while watching the waves break from over the balcony, way way below, and I looked up, and I saw a beautiful STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS corona around the full moon. It was perfect and strong and luminous.


I was totally in my own world. I disappear into a place of zen when I dance. All that exists in the world for me is the music, me and the inevitable motion. I don't think about anything else. Except that beautiful moon.

Still dancing, and totally getting into it. Kept looking up at that perfect moon.

This is why I don't need drugs, don't do them, don't want to. I can totally get to THAT PLACE without any help. Plus it's not fucking me up and it's real, intense, and way way higher quality to simply find your own happy mega universe place and go there and have fun.

I looked around and realized I was getting a LOT of attention. I guess some of those surfer boys don't mind a girl with a big butt. Besides, none of those surfer girls seemed able to dance as well as I'd'a thunk, since they are all so very, very, very, very fit. Maybe more yoga is in order. Or they need to loosen up. I dunno.

Anyway, I got hit on plenty, every time I took a break, by some really hot guys, which was seriously surprising considering they are mostly fashion model hunky and about ten years younger than me. No more feeling awkward about the fact that I weigh the same as them. And I've got 40 pounds and 10 years on most of the girls. Whatever.

The entire party of EVERYONE moved to the other club down the street with even better music.

I lost Brian somewhere along the way. God knows.

After a bit, a disarmingly sweet looking and acceptably handsome - but normal nonsurfer - guy with UNBELIEVABLY white teeth and dark skin was acceptable to dance with. He was the only one who didn't look stoned or high or simply stupid. So, we started dancing. I had a LOT of fun.

He's obviously a sweetie pie - although still a dog like most of y'all - and I felt bad that I planned to disappoint his expectations. My dancing may be uber sexy, but it's just dancing. I don't think running off with EVERY guy I find cute here would be very good for my long term health.

Eventually, I found Brian again, and shocked the boy I was dancing with by doing a total makeover into responsible grown up. He looked truly terrified to discover that the sure-thing-sexy-mamacita who he was dancing with turned around and PRESTO CHANGO, magically turned back into the normal, all business, responsible, designated driver version of me.

I went home alone of course. Except Brian, who got dropped off happy, boracho, and all danced out) and that was my night.

And this morning, I took a double dose of everything for my hormiga bites. They were back to being bad off.

Stupid girl. (But I had fun.)

Money

Dec 12, 2008 at 2:34 PM
All week, I've been trying to pull out cash from the local ATM. I bid in a silent auction to help out the school here, and I bid $15.00 for a T-shirt and belt that my sister would totally love for Christmas, made out of seashells. No money in the cajero (atm )EVER.

Today was the last day to pay for my bid. I won it, so I needed to pay.

Well, it took me two hours today to find an ATM in this province that had any money in it and could talk to my bank.

I pulled out enough for the week, finally, in Tamarindo. First I went to Conchal, then to Flamingo, then to Villareal (I think) and then to Tamarindo.

Thank God I know my way around.

By the time I made it back to the school, they were closed.

But, the upside is, at least I haven't been bitten by anything today.

Hormigas

Dec 11, 2008 at 6:45 PM
Ants here are not ants. They are vicious horrible creatures hidden in the body of an ant.

The bites I'm dealing with right now (with ooddles of prescription strength brightly colored crud) are seriously not from ants.

The local word for ants is hormigas.

Shelley told me that her daughter refuses to believe ants and hormigas are the same thing.

Now I see why.

I am down for the count right now, typing while lying with my legs elevated; all from hormigas.

These ants seem harmless. They look like the little tiny sugar ants in your kitchen. I wasn't the least bit scared of them. But now I've got 15 bites and a massive case of OMG-I-hurt.

The good news is the fever broke.

Talk to you tomorrow as I continue to tackle the universe of the unknown one allergic reaction at a time.

Overcoming a brush with the briny deep

Dec 10, 2008 at 12:24 PM
I nearly died on Monday. Surfing. (I know monday is a workday, but there was a power outage, and so I used the time for other things.)

OK. So on Saturday I get a surf lesson. It's at Playa Grande, a great surf beach, but it was a calm day with easy waves. And I was on a styrofoam learners board big enough to float ANYONE.

I did great. I stood up three times. I totally LOVED the experience.

Then I rented a board on Sunday, and it was different. It was huge, and heavy, and seemed like a boat to me. But it was the size recommended by my instructor. He said get one 9.5 and use that. So I did. The one I got was huge and unweildy. Plus it was missing the markings that guide me to know where my feet and body go.

I know you dont' go surfing alone, so I went out the very next day to the place at Playa Grande where my instructor had taken me, with a very good surfer. My friend from the restaurant, Fernando. Here's a picture of Fernando.



This is a bad picture, he's way cuter than this.

So anyway, cute young men aside, there I am at Playa Grande, watching surfable waves, maybe four or five feet tall, and I have paddled out onto the water when the rip tide sucks me out too far. I'm paddling back on my completely uncontrollable board (boat) when a HUGE 16 foot wave comes from NOWHERE, grabs me and the board conks me on the back, pushing all the air out of my lungs. I pearl (forced dive) and my board heads up and out of the surf. The wave rolls and rolls me and then sucks me under, and I'm pushed into the bottom and I am under water for probably 20 seconds - with ZERO air in my lungs. They are so empty they are trying to force me to breathe in against my judgement. I push up after the pressure stops and eventually break the surface and grab a single lungful of air when another wave immediately breaks directly onto me and I'm thrown to the bottom again. Aftetr five seconds, my lungs are on fire, and I repeat the process a few more times, as I start swimming to shore like a mad woman between waves after I break surface. I then find the calmest shallows I can, and do the Robinson Crusoe drag to get out of the water. I'm almost out of the water, and I don't care to move for a few minutes. I decide to simply practice lying on my board without tipping, but this monster board is totally impossible to manuever. I don't have the body strength for it.

So my board does what it wants, which is to get sucked out to sea from the very shallow water I was in, at TERRIFICLY high speed, by a terrifyingly strong rip tide. I can't stop myself even by planting my feet. The water's going like rapids here all of the sudden with no warning. Great. I'm already totally exhausted, and I'm trying to paddle out of the rip (to the side, never against it) when another wave grabs me and flips me off my board yet again, holds me against the bottom for another five seconds during which my board has successfully surfed to shore without me.

Great. The BOARD is better at surfing than I am.

I climb out, literally pass out on the sand, and revel in being alive while my body does absolutely nothing.

An indeterminate measure of time later, Fernando comes over all fresh, happy and fucking GORGEOUS, shining in the sun with his dreads dripping (damn his flirtaceous eyes) to tell me he caught two great waves and is ready to go. He easily picks up my whale of a board, and I get to carry his tiny little itsy bitsy board back.

We eat some food (Salchipapas - fried strips of mystery meat and french fries with mayonaisse and salsa tomato - It's GREAT), drink Aloe Vera juice. Then he flirts with me more by drenching us both with water from a tap (He's a total flirt but I'm getting used to that and he belongs to Mindy and I must try to be good) and then we head back, after which I discover that you literally CAN make yourself too tired to stand up.

The upside is that I figured out that Playa Grande is a terribly dangerous beach - the waves are relatively huge and unpredictable and as a beginner I need a placid, rolling, easy wave. Plus I need an incoming tide. And a board I can handle.

So yesterday, I traded for a smaller board, one I could maneuver without needing a rudder. It's 7.something. I asked over and over for the most obviously stupidly easy beginner's board they had. "Please pretend I know NOTHING and rent me that."

Yes, I've had lessons, but pretend I know NOTHING, please.

And yesterday, there was a perfect surf for a beginner at Brasilito beach. Outgoing breeze, incoming waves, really small but big enough to coast to shore on, simple, easy, easy easy.

Even though. I couldn't set foot in the water with my board. I was planted like a tree on the beach, with my stomache all curled up. I found myself terrified, all wrapped up in what happened at Playa Grande.

I took a few deep breaths. I walked around outside the water, put my feet in the surf. I found my personal next step, which was playing with waves again.

I made myself put the board down and simply body surf for a few minutes. I made myself float in the water and wait for good waves and body surf into shore on them.

So, today, the next gradient was to make myself confront my fear of my board. I lay down on it and breathed for a minute.

I like this board, it's way easier to control. I have a much harder time balancing, but a much easier time controling it. I'll learn the balance. I need the control first.

I successfully paddled out twice and caught tiny little nothings and rode them to shore as though I were body surfing, but with my board under me.

Even that was exhausting. Even with that little nothing, in perfectly calm seas, I was nervous. And I was tired. My body decided surfing was a godawfully bad idea and I had to tell it who was boss.

Refusing to tackle something you're afraid of, and deciding that you are not good enough or skilled enough for something, well I'm not willing to start doing that about ANYTHING.

I'm simply not going to skip any gradients again - even though it was an accident that I ended up way over my head.

I'm making sure I learn what I need to - like the tidal conditions and wind conditions that are right. Proper study and practice are needed.

I'm told after the fact that even very skilled surfers die at Playa Grande a few times a year.

I am VERY lucky.

Babies and Memories

Dec 9, 2008 at 11:23 AM






The staff here at the hotel have babies. They have been bringing their kiddos over to meet me and I get to talk to some very cute, adorable little children.

Makes me miss mine.

I have a thousand pictures of my whippersnappers. At least.

What I realized after I won the camera was that the people bring their children to meet you here because they don't have pictures to carry around because - among the many other things they don't have, they don't have cameras.

Or access to cameras.

Well, as you know, I now have a camera that was a total blue-lightning-bolt unexpected surprise.

So last night, I went to the house of the girlfriend of the desk clerk, William. And I took a picture of him, him with his baby, his girlfriend, her older boys, and I'm told there simply are nearly no other photos of these people around. I'm told there are no photographs of these three children anywhere.

Amazing, impossible. How does a child make it to 5 without a photo snapped?

Think how precious these pictures would be to you, if you had no others.
And here is the one of me, that William took while I met his little baby boy.




I know these weren't the pictures you were expecting. I'll try to get some of those too.

I win things

Dec 7, 2008 at 9:36 PM
I won a camera in a lottery. Yay! You'll have pictures of Costa Rica soon.

Deed Ripples

Dec 4, 2008 at 3:33 PM
Shelley told me about the ATVs killing turtle eggs.

I got angry about ATVs on the beach. You remember this from my two previous posts about it.

Katherine (6) asked me why I was mad about driving on the beach, and I told her about the turtle egg problem.

Katherine chewed on that for a week and decided to make a sign about it. She made three, two of which were incredibly great representations of the ATV/turtle egg problem. Better than any of my ideas.

One had a baby turtle lying on its back with Xes for eyes, and an ATV above it.

One had a mommy turtle out in the water, crying about her dead babies and an ATV on the beach.

Another was the baby turtle on its back again.

Katherine decided to bring her signs to school this morning and show them in front of the whole class and post them there. She told all the kids to tell their parents to stop driving on the beach.

Apparently, there were people visiting the school who are considering funding a better building for the school. Hopefully the next ripple is that those people do come through for the wonderful school here and build a better school building.

I am SOOOO happy about this. And I love Katherine even more.

Remarkable Poise

Dec 3, 2008 at 10:38 AM
I'm in the restaurant. I'm wearing a flattering bathing suit and short shorts.

A gorgeous blond man with brilliant grey eyes is watching me as I sit at the bar, slowly working my way through a banana naturales, and I slink out of my chair, carefully being all yoga and pretty.

I flip my hair. I know I look awesome because I'm tan and shiny right now. And since it's completely a new experience for me to be the tan, shiny girl, I'm allowed to revel in it, and I have been doing so. Oh, have I. I LOVE looking this good. I've lost so much weight and I can't help wanting to slink around in my prettiest clothes.

He watches my ass as I sway out of the restaurant toward the stairs to the rooms. (Internal dialogue: I am a delicate flower. Stepping lightly. Swing those hips. Doing great. Is he still looking? Oh, yeah. He's hot! Keep walking pretty, girl.)

I start ascending my stairs. I hear him say "Mmmm" in that way guys do when they are appreciative of the visual favor you are doing for them.

Suddenly, my foot catches on a step. I stumble forward and crumple up and a leg goes backward, so a shoe goes flying off behind me and lands on a young waiter. He's named Jonathan and is always so poised and polished. I've thrown him off.

I fall down in hysterics on the stairs, in my big-guffaw last-hurrah totally-losing-control laugh. My legs are crumpled up under me in a totally unflattering manner and I can't stop laughing.

That's what I get, huh?

Beach baby sexpot I am not. I'm sticking to what I know.

Poll Results

Dec 2, 2008 at 12:50 AM

Draw your own conclusions about the sanity or intelligence of my readers.

By which I don't mean you.

Unless of course I do mean you.

(stares intently)

(nods)

(shakes head)

(nods)

...

Swimming in the Rain

Nov 30, 2008 at 10:32 PM
I am feeling under the weather, but my daily exercise has been a swim in the ocean, so today I took no day off from that. It's been helping my health.

---------

Today the sky is grey. The sand on the beach is reflecting the grey sky back at it, giving the illusion of walking on a sparkling endless vista that wanders off at 30 degree downward angles to me in whatever direction I look.

The breeze is whipping in light grey little frothy waves that land on my toes just barely before evanescing into the sand dollar breathing holes.

At low tide, all my patterns are there.

I'm walking by placing my heel on the ground and rolling my foot forward. I feel at one with nature, and when that happens, the Native American in me comes out. Hence the rolling foot.

It starts raining. Beautiful grey drops fall from a blue grey sky the color of my eyes. Somehow when the grey comes here, it is still backdropped by blue. You can FEEL it.

The water is warm. I wade lightly out into the water and allow the gentle undulation of shore-bound water to wash me out to sea and back again. The water is far warmer than the breeze or the rain. I stand up, walk to the edge of the shallow part, and jump in. Feels comfortable and I swim laps for a bit. Cozy, sweet. Light and clear enough that when I put my head under, I can see clearly for meters and meters, without goggles.

I swim round under the surface for a while, enjoying the beautiful sway of a rolling tidal shelf of pearly shells and bits of rock.

I return to the surface and find myself pointed out to sea. I hadn't realized.

While I am under the surface watching the ocean, the breeze has gone. We are left with only the ocean swells, gently swaying a shining steely blue in mock of the sky, and the soft, sparkling shatter of thousands of perfect cirles of water falling to join up with the ocean.

My breath is taken away. I am so exhilerated that I feel the sudden urge to lie back, and laugh. So I do.

I float on my back and allow the rain to fall on my body and face. I laugh again and climb out to go back to it.

It was a very satisfying morning.

This blog is helping me avoid the real world

Nov 29, 2008 at 9:56 AM
So here I am posting more blog posts in a month than ever before, and I honestly know that half the interesting things that are happening to me and that I do, I am thinking about how to post them here.

Kinda sad.

I wanna live life without categorizing everything I think into whether it's blog-worthy or not. And starting to write personal-life copy in my head. (I do that enough for WORK.)

So next month, after NaBloPoMo, you're gonna hear from me less often, but when I feel that intense urge to tell you something. It's usually about two or three times a week.

Falling Soldiers

Nov 28, 2008 at 2:51 PM
Repost from Psych Search. (Find out about Psych Search.)

------------------

Soldiers being killed by psychiatric drugs quickly becoming epidemic

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Addendum: I had the whole article posted, but I'd rather link to my Daddy's post of it now.

Candy from Strangers

at 1:17 AM
Here in Costa Rica, I've had to turn down more sex and drugs than could possibly be consumed by a shipful of sailors. I know it will disappoint some of my avid readers, but I am a little harder to get than that. My type, when I describe it to you -- which I will in detail any time you ask -- will not contain the words "crunk stumbling short guy" and I will NOT describe bringing him back to my room. I've been told horror stories about this being a common means by local thieves to get into the room so I can be "sin computadora" or "sin dinero" for the rest of my trip.

There are lots of con-men here who somehow can't dream bigger than my webcam. Apparently. Or so I'm told. Repeatedly. By every drunk gringa over the age of 40. Or maybe it's just a big plot to keep me away from those men, to keep me from finding true love with a crunk stumbling short hairless guy with an American name.

I actually had to turn down both sex and drugs from one person at the same time. I was walking to the Soda, and I'm minding my own business and walking with my usual leasurely stride. But apparently I looked like a woman on a mission to buy some blow and to get me some.

This guy (short. check. crunk. check. hairless. check. trying to look sexy. check.) wanted to sell me blow and have sex with me and he just had to tell me both things at once. (you wanna drog-as or sex with me?) What??

You wanna have sex?

Uhm. No thanks, man. Just walking here.

You wanna have sex or buy drog-as. Which want? Come on. You buy.

Someone apparently failed to tell me that I had so few options left.

No really. Maybe he should have decided which one he was going to try to talk to me about before he came up and started selling me his body and his drugs. He looked drunk enough to maybe get them confused? (Like he was gonna try to sniff his dingaling up his nose and vice versa.)

But you gotta hand it to him, the guy had some cajones trying to sell me both at once. (Maybe if he'd thrown in a free toaster I'd have gone for it?)

Another thing. All of this with a policia standing RIGHT ... THERE.

Policemen don't DO anything, they just stand there looking bored and suspicious of you. And they talk amongst themselves. If you ever see one. And they're all weilding guns they obviously don't know the first thing about. They'd probably have to hit you over the head with those monster automatic rifles if they ever had to use them.

There are armed guards carrying shotguns at every supermarket, too. Wacky.

Oh! And one other thing.

All the younger people have names like "William" or "Giovanni" or "Nicole" or "Janet" or "Charlie" -- apparently there is a law against giving your child a hispanic name, that was only put in place in the last 20 years.

Except my night guard. His name is "Gusto" which is a very happy name.

Oh! And one more thing.

Cars can drive on pretty much everything. You city people have no idea. Costa Rican Gringos will drive on anything. A - NY - THING. At ridiculous life-threatening speeds. And right down the middle. Maybe that's because it costs less than $3.00 to repair a tire here. And because open containers in the car are normal here. Yes I mean beer. I saw a cop with an open beer in his hand climbing back onto his motorscooter.

Random things:

All cops wear flak vests, and all the time.

The buses are Mercedes Benz and HUGE but the cars are tiny.

Fishermen have great legs. I noticed this. Probably from having to balance and work so hard. Better than mine. It makes me oddly jealous.

I am not attracted to drunk strangers. Go figure.

I am not attracted to drunk and stoned old white men in columbian drug lord shirts. (You know what I mean, the standard issue white linen beach shirt.)

No one here can allow a woman to be alone. Here is how the conversation I've had twenty times lately goes:

Random Guy: Hello, beautiful.
Desi: Hello.
RG: You are beautiful. Do you have a husband?
D: No.
RG: Lovely. Do you have a boy friend?
D: No.
RG: OK. I come home with you. I keep you safe. No worries. I will love you. You are so beautiful. I want to make good, happy. Understand?
D: No gracias. I'm OK. I like being alone.
RG: No, is wrong. Why be alone? I will take care of you.
D: Really, no thank you. I'm fine.
RG: (Shrugs like I'm wasting a prime opportunity. Sucks air in through his teeth. Looks down at my boobs like they're a piece of his property he's proud of. Nods thoughtfully. And then sometimes he says...) I love you so much, you are so beautiful.

And I say thanks and walk away.

Apparently no one can believe I'm not taking them up on the offer. Because they'll try again tomorrow.

I still don't know how to say a lot in Spanish but I've learned a ridiculous number of ways to say beautiful:
juapa, hermosa, bonita, linda, and a few others I'm not able to remember right now.

It's kind of flattering until he walks away and hits on the lady next to me like FIVE seconds later. And then I realize why they're all doing this.

I'm the only girl here seemingly not attracted to this treatment.

What I'm Actually thankful for

Nov 26, 2008 at 11:33 PM
There are no words for how much I miss my kids when they're not with me.

I can hear them singing me "Sweet Betsey from Pike" in the back of my mind right now. Somehow the Kareoke across the street reminded me of it.

Today, I met some new people, as usual. Costs Rica is a land of transient beauties, flitting in and out of places. It has a great number of very lonely, very pretty people.

These people make mock, skating the surface thoughts through polite discourse and I instead bring up real items, find out real thoughts, ask pointed honest questions.
It brings these people into present time, into the moment, and around to a more honest, happy kind of talking. I don't like being facetious or coming up with campy droll inuendos. I want true communication, and sometimes it makes for great friends. Like Kat and Shelley, who are the same way. And sometimes it results in people being truly weirded out. I'm not all buggy eyed or anything, I'm just being me.

And eventually somehow I always end up in silly anecdotes about kids. I've learned funny baby stories about a whole heck of a lot of people here.

It always renews my faith in others how SOOO many of us love our children THIS much.

I can't wait to bring my little livewires with me next time. They brighten up lives everywhere they go, and this will be no exception.

I've already made my girls so real, simply from blabbing about them all the time, that they have a playdate for the first weekend after I bring them next year with several children from the local school. Two little adorable french girls, and my nieces, plus a few friends of theirs.

I love children. Three is nothing better in the entire world than a happy child. Children live the way we all should, jumping feet first into everything, putting their whole selves into every action, meaning every emotion down to the very core of their being.

Everyone should live this way. It's messy, it's terribly harder to live a calm, plateau'ed existence in it, but it is so ALIVE.

It is always wonderful to see the little kids playing in the surf here.

But soon I'll need my own kids again. At least they are with their daddy, who actually rocks as a parent. I have nothing bad to say about him here.

Argh. Ugh. I can't wait to see my kids again.

Oh I have so many problems problems problems

Nov 25, 2008 at 7:21 PM
Where do you buy darker tan colored foundation in a fishing village?

I know. Feel sorry for me.

What I'm Thankful For

at 5:49 PM
Shelley took a good look at me. She points and says "Your boobs look bigger today."

I looked down and what do you know, they do. A lot.

Turns out that all the yoga and swimming (and bo staff, and walking, and rock climbing, horse back riding, etc etc) I'm doing is removing the fat roll from just below my boobs that was making them look smaller than they are.

Sweet.

Then I remember the next stage in this "getting into shape" thing after I lose the stomache, which is that the boobs start shrinking.

:(

Yes, I really do care. Call me shallow if you want, but I'd rather stay fat than lose the boobs.

Argh. Decisions decisions decisions.

Oh well, plastic surgery is cheap here. I'm sticking to the outdoorsy stuff.

The Job

Nov 24, 2008 at 7:04 AM
I love this movie.



Thanks, Dad, for pointing it out to me.

It lightheartedly discusses a problem that is literally an explosive devisive conflict within the States. You can get into screaming matches about this.

Our laws on the books about immigration and labor are so conflicted, pragmatic, unfair, unkind, and unconstitutional as to be criminal.

And the process that comes about because of this, making people who have come here for a better life HAVE to be illegal for one reason or another, usually ridiculous time delays, is heartbreaking.

I believe that we should go back to our old system: Hop off the boat, get to work, build a life.

Otherwise my ancestors would NEVER have been allowed in.

Besides, the statistics about this say that new bodies of destitute immigrants arrive as an underclass, then become a self-segregated working class, then they saturate with the middle class as the incomes rise and the language barrier dissolves, and will eventually reach the upper class as well. Usually within only a few generations. But it is critical to not hamper the process.

To leave them alone to decide where to live for themselves, and to not give serious restrictions on survival. Such as unpopular and impossible to enforce immigration and labor laws.

All I know about this argument is that no one is happy with the current set-up.

Usually when I have seen someone who is pro-closing-the-Mexican-border, and I ask why (because I love legitimately understanding an alternate viewpoint), it has so far always turned out they are bigoted against hispanics. Or they say that adding more people to a workforce will depress jobs.

And that's antipathetic to how true economic growth occurs. From what I've seen, it never has happened yet, without extreme outside political suppression.

Bigotry and a lack of faith in the human desire to thrive are - neither of them - a good enough reason for setting public policy.

If anyone feels differently on this, please let me know.

NaBloPoMo is a Serious Challenge for me

Nov 23, 2008 at 5:57 PM
I don't know how to post only one post a day. I've got future dated posts coming out the tuchus right now. But I'm not emailing or anything, mostly just posting here. Everything I want to say to anyone, I put here.

I shor do hope some of my family members are reading.

I swear, I'm really not a cat person, they just keep choosing me

at 3:00 PM
All right everyone. The moment you've all been waiting for has finally arrived.

Time for some stupid thing about cats!

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

A Yoga Moment

Nov 22, 2008 at 8:29 PM
So I'm in Yoga class. We're in a semi circle and our mats are pretty and the sun is just coming up high enough to warm everything up. It's a beautiful day at the beach. The pagoda overlooks the slowly moving glassy sea as the waves wash gently up and make a soft, enjoyable background noise. The breeze is perfect.

The yoga teacher's got some new age music playing. And there is the sound of a distant child laughing. It's a great day for yoga.

She tells me to find my focus point. My focus is doing great. I'm getting into every position really well, and this is effortless and fun today.

She tells me to twist my leg over and get my knee on the ground. And keep my shoulders down. I'm doing it, I'm totally in this pose just great and i'm in the zone. My focus is doing great.

She tells me to move my gaze over my other shoulder, at the sea, And so I do so, sweepingly rolling my gaze and my head simultaneously.

And the guy who is next to me has also got one leg twisted over, and is wearing short shorts.

It's really hard to stay focused and maintain the correct yoga frame of mind when you are looking straight at a stranger's balls.

I close my eyes and try to focus on the pose. All I get is the same image on the backs of my eyelids.

Great.

My Fave Toy

at 4:23 PM
The lowly stick gets into the hall of fame.

A Lovely Demise

at 11:49 AM
Right now there is a tree slowly sinking into the sand on the beach. The sand, in its inevitable way, is swallowing the tree whole. In a few years, mas o menos, after it's been forgotten, it will arise again from beneath the sand. Slowly it will effortlessly defy gravity and ooze itself up from out of the sand, honed and polished into a unique piece of art. But not a tree anymore. I love that.

Meanwhile, the branches are sticking up into the sky, twisting into odd shapes, reminding me of Bernini's statue of Apollo and Daphne.

Very beautiful. Especially with ten kids chasing each other around it and laughing. Even better.

There is another tree further down the beach - in the direction that the sand and the tide will eventually pull the new tree as well, that has completed the cycle and is now shrugging one shoulder up out of the sand further down the beach. It looks like that beautiful scene about the birth of the Sandman in "Spiderman 3" (which I thought was well worth the ticket price all by itself, and was utterly unexpected in a comic book movie).

Anyway, I love to sit on the shrugging shoulder, with the tide coming in over my feet. It feels like I have my own roost on which to sit and peruse the ocean. Makes me feel regal. Like it was created especially for me. Especially since it is right where I used to sit and look out anyway. It just pushed up out of the sand last week. Exactly when I needed it to.

Lovely.

Voltaire

Nov 21, 2008 at 5:28 PM
I love this guy.

Thanks @Shelley for passing this on:

It's the birthday of Voltaire, the man who helped spark the Enlightenment in France, born François-Marie Arouet in Paris (1694). He was a well-known playwright and poet. He spent most of his late life in exile, and he wrote most of his work from England. In the last year of his life, 1778, he was allowed to return home to Paris. More than 300 people came to visit him his first day in the city, including Benjamin Franklin.

Voltaire wrote, "God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."

And, "To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."

And, "Let us read and let us dance ... two amusements that will never do any harm to the world."

--------------

No one should be afraid to be revolutionary and think freely. I think Voltaire embodied that. I love reading his works. Even when I disagree.

Unless you're like my momma and you're totally fluent, you'll need a good translation. So go up to the snootiest person in the used bookstore and ask them for the best translation, because a rotten translation ruins most french works, especially Montaigne and Voltaire, whose subtlety is their grace.

If that person doesn't know, they're not the snootiest person there. She's probably hiding in the back room, avoiding mere humans.

Ich Leibe meine religion.

at 5:16 PM
Thank God.

Ich liebe die Freiheit.

Danken Sie Gott.

(Thanks to @Brian for pointing this out to me by email within minutes. That man is on TOP of things!! Always helps to have friends out there.)

Just thought I'd spread the good news for my friends and family that the German government has backed off in its persecution of my church, Scientology. Yay!

Primordial Ooze

at 11:36 AM
I realized that I never really told you guys about how that whatever-sting I got worked out. You know, the one that I didn't know I got until my foot swelled up like a beachball followed by my leg. Etc.

After the third day, I thought I was better and it was over. The swelling was minimal. So, I stopped taking the inhibitors.

Boy, was I WRONG.

I sweated out the last of the poison from whatever kind of sea creature in might have been, in the middle of the night. It hit me so hard it woke me right up (and you're talking about a girl who has slept through two earthquakes, a tornado and a hurricane, here).

It felt like an adrenaline rush of pure, unfettered, thoughtless fear rushing through my bloodstream, and I was thinking - what the HECK am I afraid of?

Then I realized I totally wasn't afraid. It was the reaction.

I think it was the bottled poison fear of the creature I had somehow threatened that I felt. I sweated out more than I've ever sweated in such a short time. It was totally creepy.

It felt so strange, that toxin, like a genetic call to the most ancient version of fear. That dull ache that I'd been sitting with for three days and now the pulsing sweaty, fearful, emotion that came with it felt so generally WRONG.

So INCOMPATIBLE with me. FOREIGN.

After I realized what it was, I just sort of sat there and marveled at it. Truly I must be a little bit like one of those jungle show people. ("Is she really going to poke the boa with that stick to see what it does?")

So I sat there paying attention to the fear and noticing that whatever got me must have been pretty darn WoW. I got off lucky, huh?

So when I got up the next day, I wanted to make totally sure that I had got ALL of it out of my system, and I did an hour of yoga followed by an hour of bo staff work, followed by more swimming. I SWEATED.

I had to make sure that the poison was completely out of my system. That twitchy primordial little critter was NOT going to put me down.

-----

After all that, I got stung by another creature! Beats me what it was. All I know is my arm HURT. Sharp pain that was sustained for a few minutes. Felt hot. For all I know it was a sea-ant. (It actually might have been an ant, caught in the water somehow.) Beats me. Anyway, I freaked OUT. I had no idea I could jump completely out of the water. Bodies can do some pretty amazing stuff when they feel threatened.

And I went back home. Or hotel or whatever.

And not in the "look I'm walking along the shore like a bathing suit model" kind of way. More of a "Look I'm freaking out like I'm running from bees" kind of way.

So this time I was so NOT going to go through anything like that earlier three days. As soon as I got back, I set aside all personal feelings of embarrassment and I did, you know, what you're supposed to do. Onto my arm.

So, yeah, uhmmmm. Anyway, my arm's fine. Worked like a charm.

Either that or it was just some harmless sea creature telling me I was in its way.

financial crisis = gross criminal negligence

Nov 20, 2008 at 4:35 AM
Wanna know why our financial crisis exists?

Read this fascinating insider view.

My jaw is DROPPING.

Dropped.

I'm effing unbelieving. Totally can't believe it.

Did I mention it is completely totally unbelievable? Shit.

(9 pages, but so worth it.)

P.S. See comments: There is ANOTHER amazing insider view, from inside the real estate crisis specifically. Thanks to Ann for pointing it out. I read it. Crikey.

Antipsychotic Use in Children gets Bad Marks from FDA

Nov 19, 2008 at 11:57 AM
Check it.

Use of Antipsychotics in Children Is Criticized - rightly.

Did you know that the vast majority of the people we depend on for a safe and happy future, such as soldiers, medicos, even a ridiculously high number of our children, are being drugged out of their gourds? The VAST majority of kids in foster care. How is it even possible that the majority of foster children are crazy while the rest of America's kids are not so crazy? Might it have to do with automatic government dollars?

Consider what kind of person it takes to hand out drugs like candy without physical diagnoses, without long term one-on-one counseling, without checking health, nutrition or environmental factors, and without caring about the eventual UNAVOIDABLE side effects. You stay on one of these drugs long enough, at LEAST one side effect WILL start manifesting.

Disgusting.

And that is one reason I'm so anti-psychiatry. I truly believe that your average Baptist Minister, Scientology Minister, Islamic Imam, Swami, Guru, Mormon Pastor, Sen-tse, Yogi, Catholic Priest, is a thousand times better equipped to help you find order in a chaotic world, to help you find your path, simply because at least each of these people will probably personally know you, will care about the outcome, doesn't stand to profit from your failure, and believes in the human soul, essence, chi, spirit, thetan (however you call it in your religion).

I believe that psychiatry is the anti-religion, the psychiatrist has lost track of his own soul, and those who trust this huge megalocorp of soul-suckers are wayward sheep.

However you want to call it. Drugging away the ability to cope with a problem, bringing a person down to the level of his problems rather than raising him up out of them and helping him tackle them. Is. Disgusting. Intolerable.

Why I'm not Anti-gay

Nov 18, 2008 at 7:29 PM
Hi - Sorry to bust in on blog secret day (you're probably looking for this post), but I have been getting a LOT of flack from people - usually by email or through MySpace - because of my post about gay rights.

OK, I get it.

From other people who like me are considered right-wingers: I am a leftist-ish commie propoganda stooge and they are disappointed. Very. From other people who like me are considered anti-psychiatry: I'm on the side of the psychiatrists! What the hell am I doing? From other people who like me are considered very religious people: How could I side with the morally loose?

So here are my explanations.

For the people i know who are right wing:

I don't make decisions based on a political spectrum. A spectrum, in the case of politics, doesn't really exist. I believe that it is nothing more than a tool for the lazy so they don't have to find their own opinion on a small number of very confusing issues, and can just lean back on the accepted view of things based on the majority of other issues they feel one way or another about.

I don't even think rights are a political issue. They are a humanitarian issue and I believe in human beings. VERY VERY much.

Government is for locking up truly criminal people and building roads. Basically their job is making it EASY to communicate and travel, letting us do what we want for a living and getting the awful people we can't easily manage out of the way so we can prosper.

Politics is how the government distracts you from what is actually happening. It's the dog and pony show. I ignore it completely. Do you actually READ the bills going through the house or senate? I do. And not until I have read them do I decide what I think about it. I do'nt listen to articles about them. Ever. Sometimes I'll ask people I love what they think, but that's because I already know that I have found their viewpoint useful.

It is OUR job to help, love, assist, allow others on their way to being free happy people. It is our job to not stop others, but help them.

Which brings me to the anti-psychs. Yes, I hate psychiatric abuse. I hate that an industry with far worse statistics (for actually helping people be saner and happier) than religion has, STILL manages to have, a .total. strangehold on mental health. And that they spend billions drugging children. Kids for pete sakes. Still growing their brains and bodies. I think most of that stuff is poor nutrition and bad environment. As an ex-teacher I still think this.

And guess what? I came to that decision from personal experience. Not from religious or political propoganda or writings or the agreement of my fellows.

I reach independent decisions.

Thus I don't care what viewpoint the psychiatrists have. Maybe I'm not against this because it's marriage. I'm not pro gay-anonymous-sex-clubs, pro-loose-morals or pro-promiscuity. I'm pro-gay-marriage. I don't equate the two. I dont' find the connection you're making. I just don't. I have personally known a few gay couples in LTRs and I think they were not harming anyone.

So why ban it?

Political ideologies and ideologies of any kind are totally arbitrary additions to reality. Constructs around which we can wrap ourselves for security so that we don't have to think our own thoughts or see things as they really truly are.

Confront.

Back to the point: I don't believe in forcing a moral code on anyone else, especially at a governmental level. See earlier text about government.

As far as those of you who feel that our religion mandates any one view on this, let me remind you of the two rules for happy living.

And I live pretty happy.

And I don't mind if ANY other group of people in the world also want to live happy. Even if I would never choose their path for my own moral, personal or religious reasons. And marriage is basically a declaration of an intention to never be morally loose in your relationships again. So I don't get that particular view.

So please stop asking me about why I'm so leftist/pro-psych/unethical.

I'm not. I am simply making a decision based on the data I have personally found to be true. You made yours. Leave mine alone. Why are you trying to change my mind? Are you afraid that I might tip some imaginary balance? Let me have my viewpoint - even though it is worlds away from yours.

I don't need your permission to survive, to think the way I do, nor do I need to be liked or admired by you for this.

Shhhh! (It's blog secret day.)

at 4:55 AM
I'm participating in a "secret swap" for bloggers this year called "Blog Secret". I have an unknown guest blogger. I don't get to choose who I host the secret of and vice versa. I don't know who wrote this.

I would like to urge you, after you've read the below, to follow this "blog secret" link which is also in my sidebar and peruse a sampling of the other participants. What is too dishy for your own blog?

Here goes... Please leave comments for my guest blogger.

------------------

Everyone has their secrets and like everyone else I've kept mine to myself, until now... I can't tell this secret on my blog because I will be judged for it and its not something I am willing to share with everyone who reads my blog. I'm not writing this to justify what I've done. I'm not writing this for someone else to say "its ok, it was a mistake, I've been there too" it wasn't a mistake; I knew what I was doing, what I am doing. The reason I am writing this is to get it out there, to finally tell my secret.



After high school, I worked at a local resort nestled into the hillside, at one of the golf courses actually. While not in the job description from HR, my main duties were to look pretty, maybe flirt a little, smile a lot, and always make sure the golfers were treated well having anything they desired whether that be a cold beer, a preferred tee time, or their lucky golf cart. I met a lot of wealthy men working there--men who were CEO's, vice presidents, or owners of their own company. They were all alike for the most part there at the resort for a big meeting or retreat, having a weekend with the boys, or some such thing. They all wore expensive jewelry, had custom clubs, preferred top shelf liquor, and tossed Benjamin Franklins around like they were $1 bills. It wasn't unusual for them to tip us $100 or $200 a day for just being in the clubhouse and making sure the beer was cold. It was an easy job, perfect for college age kids.



One slow night a guy came in, he was in his thirties and he was alone. He didn't have his clubs with him nor did he look like he just walked off the course. This wasn't unusual, our clubhouse had a bar that was sometimes patronized by guests of the hotel who didn't want to deal with a lot of other hotel guests, it was far more private and out of the way. I served him up a cold one and made small talk. He was there for a conference and really liked the area. After a few more beers and a nearly empty bar we spent the rest of the evening just talking. When it was time to close up, he thanked me for the conversation and left. I closed up and didn't think twice about him.



He came back for the next three nights. Over conversations became more in-depth and more personal. On the third night after my shift, I joined him for dinner away from the resort. It was exhilarating! I was having dinner and incredible conversation with a man almost old enough to be my father and I was enjoying every minute of it. The rush of emotions was indescribable. Our connection was so profound that I couldn't help but be drawn to him both physically and emotionally. After spending the evening over dinner, we went back to his room for drinks, both knowing that I would be spending the night even though it wasn't verbally discussed. I also knew that he was married and had three children, but I that didn't deter me. When you are young on the verge of adulthood, one night flings are a right of passage. I figured he would go back home and I would never hear from him again. I was wrong. Before I knew what had happened our one night fling turned into a full blown affair.



He called the golf course a few days after he arrived home, we exchanged email address and he told me I could call his office number. Over the course of the next few months I fell for him, hard. He flew in again and we spent a wonderful weekend in a nearby city—dining at fancy restaurants, staying at a 4 star hotel and having some of the best sex I have ever had. Our attraction to each other grew immensely and soon we were spending three or four days a month together. Someway, somehow we found a way to be together. All the other times we exchanged emails, phone calls, and cards through the mail. We had a great respect for each other. I knew that I was free to end things at any time. It was clear that he had no intentions of ending things with his wife and I was ok with that.



To say that I didn't know what I was doing would be wrong. I knew very well what I was doing, sleeping with another woman's husband. To make matters worse, I fell in love. I gave him a piece of my heart, something that I had never done so fully with anyone else. At first I was ashamed. I wasn't raised to be the other woman. I was raised to have more dignity and respect for myself. Eventually I learned to live with what I was doing and I came to terms with it. We all have to live our own lives, even if those lives aren't what others would deem appropriate. He told me he loved me and I believed him. There were fancy gifts, expensive vacations, trips all across the country, but nothing meant more to me than him and just having him with me. Yes, I dated and slept with other men my own age along the way but none of them compared to him. Months turned into years. Sometimes due to something going on with one of his children there would be a few months before we would see each other, but that only made our physical and emotional connection stronger, deeper and more intensifying.



Its been several years and he still holds a very large piece of my heart. We still see each other several times a year. I've stopped trying to justify what we've done and just let it be. Que sera, sera sort of thinking, I guess. I don't think of myself as the other woman anymore, even though I suppose I still am. Again, he's not the only man I've been with or fallen in love with. But he is the one I have fallen the hardest for and love the most. There is something I have with him that is undeniable. We have an incredibly close friendship. I've watched his children grow up into young adults through his pictures and stores of them. I don't know his wife and if she knows about me, it's never been mentioned. I am a strong, intelligent woman. I am also not sorry for the life I have lived. I knew from the first night that he would never leave his wife and that I was free to walk away at any time. I am not jaded, nor do I think that we will ever have a life together as a normal couple. I don't play the "what if" game. I live a full life filled with friends and family. I don't sit around waiting for him to call. When he does I am always happy to hear from him and when we are together I am with a man who loves me, respects me, and a man who knows that those feelings are returned. I don't know what the future will hold for us. I don't put my life on hold for him, I just enjoy what we have together and I have no doubt he will always be in my life--maybe not as a lover, but most certainly as a friend.

Tomorrow is secret day

Nov 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM
Tomorrow I will be participating in BlogSecret. It is a "secret swap" program for bloggers. I loved this idea. Too late to sign up now. But I've future posted my unknown-other-blogger's secret and very much look forward to reading your comments for her tomorrow.

Yes, those of you who have known me forever may be very surprised to imagine I could have a secret. But a girl needs a bit of mystery, or so they say, and there are sometimes things I do find too private for posting on my own blog.

Those of us who are signed up for blog secret have -- in exchange for the cathartic of speaking freely where we would not normally do so -- a duty, if we so choose, to remember to visit other's secrets and post comments whereever we feel compelled to. This will help, I think, to make this social experiment work better for all of us.

That's what I'm planning on doing, at least. Not for voyueristic aims, but for helping fulfill the circle, finish the blog secret chapter right.

Today, the beach is beautiful

Nov 16, 2008 at 2:30 PM
Yet more trash picking up. This is my standard thing now. Go for a walk, pick up a bag worth of trash, throw it away.

Thre isn't a stitch of trash on the beach today, and that's me, Shelley and the girls' doing.

I actually got some of the locals started, too. Mostly to flirt with me. Shelley says that following me onto the beach and handing me trash is their way of giving me a bouquet of orchids.

In all her time here, she's never seen this before. Never seen anyone pick up what they so casually drop as they walk. It's generally considered demeaning work here, picking up trash. (I asked a few locals and they agreed. It's just not done. I ask why and they say "I don't know.")

So, apparently, what these men are doing just NEVER happens. I've apparently got a gang of ticos that are smitten with me now, because when I do this, a few guys are now following me around, grinning at me and handing me trash. I say Gracias and they call me beautiful. Then I say, "La playa es bonita a hora, Ci?" (Isn't the beach pretty now?)

Fervent nods, while looking at my boobs.

It's a start. I like to set a good example. Even if I have to do it boobs-first.

Maybe if I can get a whole team of pretty gringo girls to come to Costa Rica and clean up the beaches in full view of the locals, we could start a trend? Flirting shamelessly while dragging bags of used beer cups, syringes and dead flipflops, bending over provocatively while slowly grabbing a plastic bottle top from out of the surf...

Hmm. An organized group that first gets the attention and then says, "See? Isn't it better this way?"

But what would we call them?

Bikini brigade? Slags with Bags? The Tico Tease Team?

OK, I'm still working on the name.

Package THIS

at 1:35 PM
Hallelujah! My prayers are ANSWERED. (Although with all that cursing in there, I'm not sure who answered.)

Packages You Won't Need a Saw to Open

Thank you Michael Appleton at The New York Times for making my day brighter with this amazing news!

Woo hoo! I have usually spent DAYS after every decent haul for my kids just opening the effing presents, finding bits of twist tie and cable tie and sharp edge cut bits of hard clear plastic.

It would be absolute heaven never to have to do this again.

So, no matter what I invite you to, buy your presents for it at Amazon. Seriously, you give me that plastic packaging crap again, I am not responsible for what I do.


AUNT: "Here, kiddos, I bought you a colored pencil art set."

MY KIDS: "Aw, Yay, Thanks!"

ME: "Is that wrapped in hard-heatwelded plastic? You BITCH! How could you do this to me? How many times have I been there for you??

AUNT: "And this Bratz doll."

ME: "Aaaaa!" (I run weeping from the room, hysterically flailing my arms.)


And here's the big question?

How the hell do you open up the package on a pair of scissors? If I HAD a pair of scissors, I wouldn't have had to go BUY one.

Last time I faced this problem, the packaging around my new pair of scissors had been heatwelded not once but THREE TIMES. And felt like it must have been made out of kevlar. Does it really need THREE layers of permanent closure? Does it really need me to have to go fetch my vice grips to apply to the wiresnips I'm trying to cut it with? Does it really need to endure 7 Gs of torque force? Does the packaging really need to be stronger than the scissors inside of it?

I went out to the tool kit, AGAIN, and grabbed a straight edge razor and screamed furiously at the packaging while hacking away at it in a manner that it has been out of date for humans to act like since before we moved out of the caves.

Guess what? When I finally got that plastic case open, it was wrapped in another thinner one. Dear Sweet Jeesum, I'm not trying to make sure it can safely make it through the atmosphere for space flight, I just want to make paper dolls for my KIDS.

I don't think I've ever successfully removed office supplies from their packaging without getting what I call a mega-paper-cut. It's like a papercut, but it has a tiny plastic splinter in it. And it smarts way more.

If and when the people who make all that crap at the Office Supply stores finally realize that they've gone a little overboard, and change their packaging, then I will know that all is right in the world.

Bird on a Wire

Nov 15, 2008 at 10:20 PM
And I thought that electricity was essential to my job.



I guess it's BECAUSE electricity is essential to all of us that he even has this job. Unbelievable. Would you do this for a living?

THIS is the kind of trust in science that I'm not sure I could ever develop.

But, on another note, at least now they know what they need to do about the epidemic of lightning struck golfers - issue faraday cage suits before they step onto the green.

Oh yeah, and hoverboards.

Now THAT makes golf sound fun.

Turtle Vigilante-ism

at 1:13 PM

THose of you who remember my recent post about turtle eggs and ATVs need to put your heads together.

The ATVs are illegal on the beach, specifically to protect these endangered turtles. And I think fewer turistas would rent ATVs and zoooom along the beach if they knew this.

No one tells them. Only locals know it.

So I want to make a beach sign. I can go to a local print shop and have it made up, one for each entrance to the beach. Just help me come up with a pictogram. I'll try to allow images in comments if I can.

Or explain it. I need a quick simple pictogram that is not in any one language - this place gets tourists from everywhere - that can be read in less than a second and says basically "Hey You, get the hell off the turtle eggs!" that I can place beside the ubiquitous circle and slash with an ATV inside it.

Please I just want these guys to all KNOW what they are doing. Then I can get mad in earnest when I see this happening.

Happy Birthday Daddy

Nov 14, 2008 at 2:57 PM
You are a HUGE PART of the reasons why I :

BLOG
LOVE
THINK
HOPE
TRUST
RISK
ADMIRE
LIVE


And I can't thank you enough for that.

I love you.

The Nature of Tragedy

at 9:21 AM
If any of you remember all the way back to last week, you'll see this post "moment of silence",and you may have wondered WTF I was talking about. Here's why.

My godson is dead.

Most of the time when people run away from their lives and are apparently hellbent for death, and they reach an early demise, all sins are washed away and the sainted version of the person is left. But refusing to recognize truth is no way to mend.

He wanted love from those he couldn't get it from, and wasted the love from those he got it from freely.

Learn something from this. Your own choices lead you -- where are you going? Who do you choose to value?


If you're on drugs, stop. Stop now, because there is no such thing as a sort-of junkie. You can't dabble in that stuff. Stop now. Stop now. Get your act together before you go the way of this good kid. And thousands who were not like him, but who ended their lives like he did.

It is an awful, awful thing he did to himself. He was given a lot of opportunities to stop, to get help, to change environment, to be given the love and support he needed. And he wasted them all. Kept playing russian roulette with his life.

Yes, I'm going to say it. He caused his own death. No doubt about it. No one else is responsible, even with mistakes made. It was a selfish thing to do. His littlest brother will never know him. His mother will be permanently sad. It sucks all around, and he totally chose the sucky path. I watched him choose it, even when he was clean. I watched him making awful choices.

But, despite this, I will always remember the precocious thoughtful boy with the camera who cogently conversed with me about art. Who smiled real smiles and seemed so WISE. This later stuff, never mind. What EVER.

Kiddo, I know who you really are. You know I do. I can see you cracking that grin right now. Come on, you know it's true. You rock, kiddo.

I sure hope you have an easier time trusting and loving others in the next life, Zaners.



I'm glad I knew you.

Superior Scribbling

Nov 13, 2008 at 5:53 PM
I've won an award! Thanks, Red. I think your blog is my favorite brand new discovery. If I'd gotten this award from anyone else, you'd have been on my list.



Who do I think uses their blog to the most effective end as a vehicle for good writing without agenda or marketing?

First the rules:
Must name five others. Payment for the award. Post the scribbler award and link to the post about it. Then you add your link to mr linky here.

Here are my SUPERIOR SCRIBBLERS:

Kat Stuff - One of the best people I can think of, and I love her blog. She is a fellow free-thinking complete human being. She walks against the river, thinks against the grain, and all that, and is currently in hiding in LA as just another innocuous mommie. Sneaky, Kat.


Jen - Cheaper Than Therapy - I love hearing about this fiesty mama's life. It's my secret addiction. Shhh.

Someday We Will Sleep Again - Evocative, funny. Depite her sleep patterns. I like the way this one thinks. Go read the "best of" list. Especially the ones you don't want to click on.

Ann at Ann Again... and again - Wit and wisdom and an enjoyment of life. I just like reading her stuff.

Quirky Jessi - I am a shameless LURKER. I like the combination of images and words; both evoke. Nice.

People I can't add because of whatever:

Honorable mention for the inactive blogger: My Daddy. You got me started in this... Please start posting some of that stuff again on BlogNoMichi.

Shelley is stuck in MySpaceland. Hint hint Shelley. If you can't read it, too bad. She still rocks way too much not to put her here. She may be able to direct you where to look for her published works if you comment on it.

P.S. Since my link insertion feature's busted (along with the future posting function) every single link above was hand-coded. Now you KNOW I love you.

P.P.S. Here are the rules (and results) that accompany the award:
* Every superior scribbler must name 5 other super scribblers. (see below!)
* Link back to the author and the name of the blog that gave you the award. Sparkling Red over at No More Casual Non-Chalance gave me this Superior Scribbler Award. I love the art that is the award.
* Display the award and link to this post, which explains the award. (check)
* Visit that same post add your name via Mr. Linky List, so the award creators can keep track of who the superest scribblers are.

Sad Sad Sad

at 3:59 PM
I went for a walk today to rid myself of these here blues.

The sky was dull and grey, agreeing with me.

Then the clouds burst apart and disappeared into nothing and I cheered up.

BUT...

A small crab was using a piece of a cheap beer cup as shelter.

ATV tracks ran up and down the beach. I saw literally hundreds of ATVs on the beach yesterday. Going at TOP speed, crushing anything and everything in their rush to see every beach on this coast. All my beautiful patterns in the sand destroyed. You can blame ATVs for the loss of the turtle population. Three times I saw a clutch of turtle eggs that had been destroyed by ATVs.

And Shelley points out to me that if that mommy turtle wants to even get to the beach, she's going to have to get past PACKS of waveriders.

Yes, the off season is officially over.

It's sobering.

Even reserved beaches get ATV traffic. And ATVs are illegal on the beach here. But illegal is a flexible thing here. If you have money.

There need to be more reserved beaches and better enforcement (and a change to the "it can be bribed away" mentality) if the turtle population is still going to exist in another 50 years. Technically the Conchal beach next door should not be able to call itself a reserve. It may be called "Reserva Conchal" but that is not a real reserva (reserve), more like a gilded lily. You shouldn't be able to call something a "reserve" and put a hotel and housing and golf courses and spas on it.

Maybe a "private reserve" or something.

Makes me a wistful and furious to see this perfect place trashed so.

Seemingly Obvious Life Lesson #1

at 2:53 PM
Don't Waste People (unless necessary)

Take good care of the people you feel strongly about. Help them and make sure they know you care. Provide stable, happy love that doesn't require reciprocation to exist, bend a willing ear, do good acts toward them, and they will be better because of it.

It is something I try to do. It has always shocked me to find others who, well... not so much.

Get It Straight People

Nov 12, 2008 at 6:22 PM
If You're my Kids, Stop Reading, Now. I mean it.

Recently gay marriage was banned in the state of California. I was immediately disgusted.

I started life believing gay was wrong. But as an adult, I've become strongly Libertarian. Thanks to my father, (who I am not saying has a stand on this issue, I don't represent anyone but me with this post) and I believe in change, in equality, and in libertarian freedom.

I took a good look at sexual orientation after I had already reached adulthood - at well past 20, I'm ashamed to say - and I decided for myself that a person is a person, and love is never objectionable.

And looking to my religious beliefs, I find only a strong statement about not being promiscuous. And when I thought it through, I realized that the only thing objectionable to me is promiscuity.

And equating a sexual preference with promiscuous is idiocy. gay does not = promiscuous. Get it, straight people.

That's my belief now. If you're promiscuous, you're spreading disease. Or breaking hearts. Or contributing to the fall of humanity. You're not being true to your heart.

But being gay is NOT being promiscuous. How on earth did any religion ever get the idea that they were necessarily one and the same?

Why is it a crime to openly love and to want to marry the person you love?

And I would like to point out that our moral code does not say anything about the gender of your partner.

And most of the most ancient religious texts don't care what you do with your life, as long as you aren't breaking the golden rule, in whatever variation you find it in that religion.

So quit bugging good people who want to be married, California. I was born in that state, but I am not sure I ever want to go back there now. Disgusting.

And now the only reason I didn't want my kids to read this post. (Mommies don't flip the bird in view of their kids.) More about why I'm posting this picture, here.



BTW, I still don't have a camera, but my new friend Brian helped me take this picture because I'm effing PISSED and wanted to take part in this organized protest and emailed it to me with his camera.

Photo Taken Against My Will

Nov 11, 2008 at 11:33 AM
Start the bidding wars, another rare photo has been taken of the increasingly hard to spot creature, the Desi Finch or Desiloobeedoo Notathomenomore.

Along with the exotic Shelley Bird, or Shelleyanneagain Snarkatallofus which is often mistaken for a Cherry Warbler (Offerrocker Whattheheckisup), these two can be seen in this photograph acting out a social ritual usually reserved for the more brightly plumed of their species, which consists of a strange shuffling of the feet into a carefully chosen location and then a prolonged uncomfortable baring of the teeth at glassy flashing boxes of metal.

Yoga

Nov 10, 2008 at 7:59 PM
I successfully made it through and into every single yoga position in class this morning. That rocks. First time ever.

Moment of Silence

Nov 9, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Cats + Treadmill = Funny

Nov 8, 2008 at 9:20 AM
Still laughing.

(Safe video to watch. Nothing bad happens to the cats.)

Pictures and Posts

Nov 7, 2008 at 8:50 PM
I love turning my life into words. It is a new art for me and one that only started when I became a blogger. Sure, I wrote, but not publicly. I prefer the pictures when they are made of a thousand words.

But, many of the people I most love to read the blogs of are closed off from details. I've learned to live in this new, different horizon, in this guarded world of half-friendships with people I truly love but can never know very well.

Maybe you are saving yourselves for your real blog. Maybe you have good reasons, like a stalker, or you have a crazy ex you're hiding from. I don't know, but you have code names for your loved ones. You use psuedonyms and alternates and petnames and knicknames.

It feels like a blacked out secret document released through the Freedom of Information Act on some people's blogs.

"J went to town today with The Boy. They bought tickets to see our fave band on stage when they come here next week."

(Who's J? What boy? What's the fave band? What city?)

I understand why. I really do. But it seems antipathetic to that idea to then be fine with posting photos. Photos are so intensely personal to me.

It's not as though I am a throwback to the days of pygmies refusing to have their photos taken because they thought the camera stole your soul.

I simply recognize that these two distinct media serve different ends. And a blog that won't give details like names but will show me the gap in your teeth and let me into your home, visually -- well, that doesn't make much sense to me.

I been GOT

Nov 6, 2008 at 5:36 PM
I've been bitten stung or maybe just touched by a stingray or a pufferfish or a sea urchin or something. We don't know what got me. All we know is my legs are HUGE. I have CANKLES! My precious beautiful tiny ankles are destroyed! I have CANKLES!(Temporarily.)

It makes a great conversation piece, like a tattoo, only impermanent:

"Hey did you see the news today about... OH MY GOD. WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED!!"

Im on something to keep my legs under control, and keep it from spreading upward like it was yesterday.

So, who cares about containing the poison to my legs. What ever. I have CANKLES! And puffy feet.

(No seriously, I'm doing OK, I'm getting better. Should be OK by tomorrow. I'm definitely past the worst of it.)

Proof that Anyone Can Find Love

Nov 5, 2008 at 4:17 PM


Someone loves this dog enough to give it a diamond collar. Kind of gives me hope.

Maybe I just need to let my tongue loll out to the side like that.

-------
BTW, Happy Guy Fawkes Day.

Possibilities

at 1:40 PM
My children are a genetic mixed bag - their ancestors come from 11 different parts of the world - and I like the new high water mark being set for equality.

It is important to me that my girls are judged only on their merit as people when they grow up -- as any of us should be. I hope that this does help make that easier for them.

I don't like the man's policies too much, but he seems to have a good head on his shoulders.

As a libertarian, I'd like to keep my freedoms. I hope that we do keep them. If he can manage to be President without taking any more of our freedoms, I'll be happy.

Neither of the two major parties seem to be able to leave my rights well enough alone. So I tend to vote for PEOPLE now.

I hope that this person does a good job of being president, without regard for parties. And I think the rest of America hopes that right now, too.

I hope he is virtuous.

The instant result I'm seeing is rejuvenation of hope in my fellow countrymen (or absolute misery, depending on who you talk to). Hope in America is always a good thing. I wonder if it will hold or fade?