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.
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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.
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Soldiers being killed by psychiatric drugs quickly becoming epidemic
Addendum: I had the whole article posted, but I'd rather link to my Daddy's post of it now.
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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.
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.
RG: You are beautiful. Do you have a husband?
RG: Lovely. Do you have a boy friend?
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.
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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.
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I know. Feel sorry for me.
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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.
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.
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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.
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I shor do hope some of my family members are reading.
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Time for some stupid thing about cats!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
| 6 comments |
Read this fascinating insider view.
My jaw is DROPPING.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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And I can't thank you enough for that.
I love you.
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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.
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.
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The sky was dull and grey, agreeing with me.
Then the clouds burst apart and disappeared into nothing and I cheered up.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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(Safe video to watch. Nothing bad happens to the cats.)
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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.
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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.)
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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.
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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?
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Apathy gains no momentum.
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The most recent perfume that she made is called Beach House - I'm not sure it's on the website, but I LOVE It. It smells lovely and so perfectly right for this trip that she gave me a large bottle of it before I left. It reminded me of something but I couldn't recall what.
Katherine, Shelley's youngest, smelled it last night and said "it reminds me of a perfume I smelled in the 80s, before I was my mother's child." I mentioned it to Shelley and she smelled it and it turned out that Shelley knew what scent she was talking about. It smells a lot like "Charlie".
I smelled it again, and Shelley was right! So was Katherine.
I don't honestly see how anyone can not have stumbled across evidence of past lives. I have met a LOT of children under the age of 5 that freely discuss bits of their last life if no stigma has been placed on it.
Maybe parents simply think their children are "telling stories".
Addendum: Before she packed it in for the evening, Katherine decided to wear some of the perfume. She emptied the entire bottle onto herself and proudly came over to tell me to smell her. That kid has no concept of boundaries, but she does have good taste. She's always wrecked my most expensive perfumes and makeup. Skips over the Maybeline compact, goes right for the mineral makeup. Skips right over the Oil of Olay, goes straight for my neem oil serum.
Gotta love it.
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But it's a pretty laid back place without much crime. There is robbery and there are car accidents and that's pretty much it. If there is other crime, it goes unlamented.
Plus, everything is kind of smaller here. It's Disney that way. Feels kind of like Pirates of the Carribean when I go to Tamarindo. How can something so much like that be real? Plus all things are measured in smaller measurement here.
It makes things seem a little surreal.
Anyhow, I was thinking about this last night on my way home from Shelley's house.
Then the motorcyclist in front of me slammed on his brakes and as I deftly escaped punishing a drunk and stupid motorist with death, I realized how very real it actually is. Smaller or not. It's very real.
I need to keep my wits about me, and not be lulled into a turista's cozy dreamworld. Especially not since i'm going to be driving around.
Costa Rica's real and interesting and I'm still learning the rules. But it's challenging and amazing to be in a place where I don't already know all the ground rules.
Some people who live here use that freedom badly. THey assume that they have license to do whatever they want. Drink, drug themselves silly, drive drunk, and act like asses.
I think that is a horrible waste of a free land. I hope more people who wish to live free responsibly move here.
Pretty much all the gringos in Tamarindo are ex-surfers or others with that laidback consequence-free additude.
I think the newer immigrants may be different. I think they might be entering a new stage in Costa Rica's immigration. Yesterday I met a guy clacking away in the restaurant next door on his computer. His name is Ryan, and he moved here as a real estate developer after Florida fell apart on him. Sad, but works for him. There are lots of projects here, and he loves it. He's staying. I wonder how many other people will consider leaving the country to come here... Esecially after the election or if the economy gets worse (which ever way either one goes).
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Yes, sirree it is.
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So the question is:
Should I celebrate or mourn?
I am now at the age that was the exact middle of the "average life expectancy" numbers for females when I was born. I think the average life expectancy may have quadrupled (along with the size of the average human body) over the last 30 years, but it is still a bit sobering.
I looked back at my life and reckoned it - looked honestly. And I have done pretty well.
I made mistakes, but fewer than I might have.
I lost great loves, but I also had them in the first place.
I have not accomplished what I might have, but the final bell has not yet rung, and the side trips I took were rewarding and productive.
So, I decided not to mourn. I will celebrate instead.
Why not savor life anyway?
Why not take the chance that is created by having a birthday to unabashedly savor my life? Pull it in, swish it around and see what new memories I draw up from the well now that I have so many.
This is part of growing old gracefully. Self peace.
I admire it when I see it.
Of course I gripe on my blog. But you rarely hear about it when I find my center again and recognize that something simply is. You mostly hear me bitch. For instance, I've come to terms with the silver hairs I seem to be growing now. I have come to terms with my oddly saggy cheeks (and I do mean face). I have come to terms with my changed curves.
And I love my life. I really do. I treasure it.
Might as well celebrate it today. That's what it's for.
I simply wish I had more of you around to do so with. But in time, next time I see you, I won't want to be discussing my body's age, but rather our news, trivia and tidbits. So maybe I'm glad I'm not surrounded by you all. I would not want to have to be "al about me" when I haven't seen so many of you in so long.
But you shoudl know that whil I am havign a birthday and today is all about me, I am also wishing I could be closer to those I love in order to give them hugs, encouragement and admiration.
But I wish that every day.
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