Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Marilyn Monroe Moment

Just walked to get a smoothie since I still can't chew. Walking back, had the shake in one hand and my wallet in the other. Slow people in front of me, walked over a subway grate, and up goes my skirt to my waist! And I couldn't get it down with my hands because I didn't want to dump the smoothie. Damn funny. I'm wearing my Halloween underwear too - has a black cat on the front and back, and the back also has a castle and a full moon, and the words "I'm the cat's meow!". !!! Lordy.

I feel like a true blogger now - had a funny moment, gotta go blog it! :-)

Outta my way...

Do NOT jaywalk in front of me when I'm on my way to a 2 hour dentist appointment. I don't mind jaywalkers at all (I do it all the time except in California, where you can get a ticket), as long as they know they are jaywalking and will run if they've mis-judged the amount of time they have to cross the street. It's the people who think they own the street, just because they are PEDESTRIANS and have no steel around them, and saunter with a look of disdain. In my mind it's like a game of Frogger for those sorts, and I will not slow down and will barely swerve to avoid. Sometimes if, for example, I'm on my way to a two hour dentist appointment, I'll speed up a little. And take my hand off the wheel to honk. And aim towards them just to freak them out a little.

So, I'm going to go drool now... (I had two fillings replaced and one new one done, in three separate areas of my mouth.)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jump #2 / Just call me Denise

So, like I thought, I went for another jump. On Saturday. Though the weather was at first looking iffy, I decided to drive the 1.5 hours.

My day started off with a guy asking me, as I was getting stuff out of my car, if was so-and-so’s mother. I just looked at him and said, no, and you did so NOT make my day. He tried to dig himself out of the hole by saying that she looked really young. I just laughed. The rest of the day any time he would see me he’d kind of look sheepish.

No matter what level of student you are, the first thing they do in the day is have you practice what you do when your chute opens. The people who are newer or haven’t been there in a couple weeks like me go through many scenarios, while the others go through fewer. This was the first time I had done this in a group with higher level students, so I learned quite a few new things about different possible scenarios and what you should do in those situations. Dangers I hadn’t yet thought of… though the instructor said in his thousands of jumps he only had to go to his reserve once, and because he had always practiced what to do, instinctive muscle memory made it all turn out fine.

So since this was a category B jump, I had much much less training to go through, and then I was placed on the second plane load. The difference in the second jump is that you are learning to be aware of your leg position and the impact it has. What you have to do is go through a cycle of looking at your altimeter, then checking your arch, then straightening your legs out, and then bringing them back in.

Fast forward to being on the plane. So, on this second jump you still have a person on either side of you holding on. Did the whole ready, set, arch. And off you go. My problem is that I had (and am getting rid of) the idea that you really need to bring your legs in to have a good arch. That is not the case. I kept getting signals to straighten my legs and never did it quite enough. I also thought one of those signals was telling me to do my practice touches again (I’m not the best at finding the pilot chute pull either), so by the time I started the new exercise it was 9,000 or 8,000 feet.

So I did the straighten legs, and the way cool thing is that when you straighten your legs there’s more force/drag against them, and it makes you fly forward like superman! Dragging along the people holding onto you. Zoom… And the exercises really did the job. When I went back into my arch after the two cycles I was able to do, I was much much better.

So, very quickly it’s 6,000 feet, and I have to pull. One thing I learned in the morning was the concept of staying in your arch after you pull since it takes a little bit for the chute to go up, and that really seemed to make a difference. Another thing that made a huge difference was eating a bunch of ginger chews before I left. I had no nausea when my chute opened. Yay! And this time I saw the landing area, so that was good. And although I had a radio, I never heard my name called, and so I had thought they had forgotten me. It wasn’t until I was about to land that I realized the whole time he had been calling me Denise. But I’ll get back to that.

So, not hearing my name, and being told before I left to only listen when I heard my name, and thinking that noone is talking to me, I tried to figure it out on my own. I knew where I had to go, but misgauged how long it would take me to get there at the right altitude, because the wind was blowing the complete opposite direction from the last time. What was really strange is that I was looking for other jumpers/chutes, and I could only see the shadow of one near the landing area. Not the actual person/chute, perhaps because it was so hazy. And btw, it’s a much better experience when you aren’t feeling queasy. I got to look around and do a few little turns, so that was good.

So, I knew I wasn’t going to make the landing area, and I started looking for where I should land. So, headed towards the soccer field. There are light posts on either side, but enough space to land, as long as you avoid the soccer posts/nets. Once I heard the person say soccer field, I finally figured out he was talking to me, not some other Denise (which is not my name, obviously). So this is like 100 feet off the ground. Thanks bud! But I really only listened to him at the very end (last 10 feet) because he was telling me to go straight down the middle of the field, but I was afraid I’d hit one of the goals. And I landed fine. When I got inside, and handed over my helmet and radio, I said to him, um, my name is X. He said, oh, guess that explains why you weren’t responding. It was fine though. (And one of the instructors later said they never had a radio… so I guess I was learning old school style…)

So, in my debrief, I heard about what comes next. Um, I might need to go one more time. My husband doesn’t really care too much, though he says if I continue I should get a special life insurance policy so he gets some money if I go splat – though he insists that the way it will work is that I’ll bounce and then splat, but I gotta research that.`

It's very strange. I had friends say to me that I am an adrenaline junkie because of this. But I'm not. I just find it really really interesting. I tried to liken it to golf today - where it seems so simple but there's really a lot of complex factors to do it right. Yes, I know there's a major difference between jumping out of a plane and hitting a ball on a golf course. Maybe it is more like climbing - people think adrenaline junkies do that also, but it's really a very peaceful sport - requires focus and knowledge and correct movement. It's fairly zen. I'll think about it and see if I can explain it better later.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

So, today, the 28th, is my dad's birthday (and the only reason I remember that is because I called to ask my mom). He would have been 78. The photo is from my sister's wedding. She was wearing my mom's dress, which I tried on when I was getting married but had too big bones. I did not inherit my dad's ears, thankfully. My poor niece did.

So, speaking of Johnny Clegg and Savuka, his album was playing when I got the call that my dad died. One song reminds me of that time:

Inside him a boy looks up to his father
for a sign or an approving eye
oh, it's funny how those once so close but now gone
can still so affect our lives

And that's certainly true of my dad. One of the more major things I got from him was my attitude towards 'important' people. I won't bow and scrape to anyone just because they are in an important position. (Of course I'm not stupid either.) People need to respect others no matter what position they are in. Hmm... I'm not saying this right. I'll see if I can remember it later...

So who's moving to Wisconsin?

Accused Grave Robbers Dodge Sex Charges

Wisconsin Court Tosses Sexual Assault Charges Against Accused Grave Robbers

By RYAN J. FOLEY Associated Press Writer
MADISON, Wis. Jul 26, 2007 (AP)

Three men who dug up a young woman's corpse to have sex with it after seeing her obituary photo cannot be charged with attempted sexual assault because Wisconsin has no law against necrophilia, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

A judge was correct to dismiss the charges against twin brothers Nicholas and Alexander Grunke and Dustin Radke, all 21, because lawmakers never intended to criminalize sex with a corpse, the District 4 Court of Appeals said in a 3-0 ruling.

Sigh, my brother loves to send me strange things related to Wisconsin, since my husband is originally from there.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Can Never Be

The refrain from a song by Johnny Clegg and Savuka has been going through my head for over a week.

I can never be what you want
I can never be what you want me to be
I have sailed this impossible ocean
I have sailed this crazy sea
I can never be what you want
whatever you want me to be

My husband wondered this aloud last week - whether he could ever really be what I want him to be. It is a very good question. One deep down I may know the answer to, but am not ready yet to embrace. Though I should not think that way, since I will be going back next Thursday night. Both of us are anxious about it. He because he's afraid I'll leave again. Me because I'm afraid I won't leave again if it just won't work. Arg! [image of a head circling around on a body] Is it ever really possible to start anew, for real? I'm trying to fish and not cut bait. Or shit and not get off the pot. To wipe the slate clean. But man, it's tough. The past does not disappear. Oh, we'll see. I can't ponder this anymore right now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tootsie Rolls, Raisinettes, and Medjool Dates

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to eat a full size Tootsie Roll again. The dog I am dog sitting, Brilla, poops in almost the exact shape of full size Tootsie Rolls. Sometimes even with the little divisions. I do not like picking up dog poop. Especially twice a day. She's a sweet dog, but dog poop sucks.

I once took a rock climbing class with a great instructor. I was learning how to trad climb, and so we did an overnight at a semi-local place that there was easy climbing with lots of places to place gear. Around the fire at night the group had a great time. The instructor told the story of one time when he was doing the class he somehow went ahead (or asked someone else to go ahead) and put down some Raisenettes. Which, by the way, when you are out in the woods, look exactly like deer poop. And when they came across them, he exclaimed in delight, bent down, picked up some and ate them, and shocked the hell out of his group. I thought that was great.

And the final story in this series relates to medjool dates. I really like them a lot, and they are great to carry around as a snack. So, once when my nephew was small (5?, 4?) we were out somewhere, I think at the beach. I was hungry so I pulled out a date. He was looking at me, so I showed it quickly to him, said 'doo-doo' and took a bite. The look of pure shock/horror on his face was amazing. It took him a little while to recuperate from that one. Bad aunt... :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Regret #1 / Living with Herpes

So, this weekend amongst all the sex talk, I was asked questions about living with herpes. It's amazing how little people know. And I had also been thinking about the regrets I do have in my life, so I figured I'd combine the two and tell about my experience.

What is my regret? That when F had sex with me and didn't tell me until the NEXT time we had sex that he had herpes, that I didn't kick him in the balls and send him packing. He, though, is one of these men that have a radar for women that they can control. At the time I was this o so wonderful combination of a headstrong woman with almost no self esteem. I had been laid off, had been working 10 jobs (almost literally) to make ends meet, and had had a boyfriend dump me because it was the best thing FOR ME. Oh lordy.

He acted like it was no big deal. He said his previous girlfriend had never gotten it (come to find out later that they actually never ever talked about it so he had no friggin idea whether or not she had it). And I believed him. I didn't even do ANY research! OK, so that is another regret - that I went against all my normal instincts and did not do research. I believed he would always know when he was active.

So, anyway, pretty soon after that he literally almost died. He had a box inserted in his chest, and when he came back from the hospital there was a pity fuck. (Oh well, there goes my pg rating). And from that pity fuck I got herpes, because, you see, there can be times when someone might not know they are active and can pass it on. In his instance, who knows, he perhaps knew, but did it anyway as yet another way to bind me to him.

The night I realized I had it, I told him to come over. The fucker didn't want to admit that I had it! I had sores all over my crotch, and I didn't have it!? Then, he says it's no big deal because it has no real impact on people - it's just an inconvenience. (from this relationship I learned how to yell)

The next day I called my doctor and left a message, and received no call back. I sat sobbing on the living room floor because my world had just changed, and I had herpes, and noone seemed to care!

I think I went and did some research, and found out many things. You can not know you are active and pass it on. You can not even know you have it and pass it on. That for women it can be a big deal, because it can mean you will not be able to deliver a child vaginally. And while some people can have very few outbreaks, other have many many more. But indeed it is not life threatening. The initial outbreak is always the worst, to the point that you can lose your ability to urinate.

Mistake reading that. Mind over matter, or just that I have a weak body. It is such a strange feeling to not be able to pee. Just won't come out. When I called my primary care doctor, again I didn't get a response. So, me with little money had to call my gyn to go in and get catheterized. I had to walk around with a catheter for a week I think.

When I took it out I may have been able to pee a few times (standing up, slightly bent over, in the shower), and then I couldn't again. I went to the emergency room because it was a weekend, and of course I was not a life or death emergency, and the waiting room was full, so I sat there. In come two paramedics that I knew (I had volunteered at the local firehouse), and they asked why I was there. I told them and they offered to transport me to an emergency room that they knew was not busy, which was soooo nice. They did it, and I was catheterized again.

I don't remember now the next sequence of events, but of course eventually I could pee again. And of course it turned out that I was one of those people that got outbreaks frequently. In the early times it was because I had so much stress in my life being with him. It took me a long time to leave him, because of my tendency to persevere and also to sometimes not set my standards high enough. But eventually I did.

And then my life with herpes being around OTHERS. :-) I went to one support group early on and it wasn't really helpful for me. I didn't want to think of myself as tainted and thus unable to date 'normal' people. (there are people with herpes who think they can only date other people with herpes). What I did want and did get was educated, and buy the very excellent book that the American Social Health Association puts out on herpes, because when I dated others, I wanted them to be educated. I had relationships with non-herpeed men, and dated one guy who had oral herpes (who got it by going down on a woman who did not tell him she had herpes). I told people that I had it (but did not wear a scarlet letter H), and one friend said she had it too - she got it shortly after marrying her husband, but her husband insisted he did not have herpes, which caused quite a few problems early in their marriage. And she was not unfaithful - it could have laid dormant in her from an early relationship, or he could truly have not known he had it.

Very early on I decided to take drugs daily to suppress the herpes, which work really well. It has the potential to do bad things to your kidneys, so you have to get them checked regularly. I only went off drugs when I knew I wouldn't be having sex for a long time...

So what is it like when I get an outbreak? I rarely, even if off drugs, get a severe outbreak, meaning getting sores. A severe outbreak for me feels more like I have paper cuts in my crotch. Yeah, not pleasant, but not horrible either. A mild outbreak just makes me itchy. Since it's a type of pox, it sits in my nervous system (read about chicken pox and you will see it's the same), so sometimes my leg feels kind of like it's gone to sleep, or just achy.

What does it mean overall for my sex life? Well, condoms rule, though condoms don't protect from every part of me, so therefore there's still a risk. (condoms don't bother me too much since I've not been able to use bc pills since my early 20's, so I relied a lot on them anyway) And well, it's been a lonnnnnnnng time since anyone's gone down on me (though there is the possibility of dental dams or even saran wrap, it hasn't happened). And it means no hanging out cuddling after orgasm (man's) since he has to go wash with soap and water (soap and water do get rid of the virus and it seemed like a good idea to me, and noone I've been with has gotten herpes so maybe it works...). And it means if my husband and I didn't work out, I couldn't go around banging every guy on the street because I have to be honest about it, and it's a big decision if the person does not have it. It's a risk, a calculated, informed risk, but a risk nonetheless since there's a few percentage chance that even though I take drugs I could have asymptomatic shedding.

The thing is, people don't think about herpes. Yet it's out there, and there's no vaccine, and no cure (why should they find a cure when it's such a booming drug business controlling it?). So many people have it. And some don't even know. So anyone who's having sex with multiple partners can get it. Or be passing it on and not know it. Or know it.

So, there you go.

Definition of Regrets

re·gret (r-grt)
v. re·gret·ted, re·gret·ting, re·grets
1. To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about.
2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn.
To feel regret.
1. A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone.
2. A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different.
3. regrets A courteous expression of regret, especially at having to decline an invitation.
[Middle English regretten, to lament, from Old French regreter : re-, re- + -greter, to weep (perhaps of Germanic origin).]

I realized, thinking about this blog, that I'll never have NO regrets. Especially if you think of the sense of loss and longing. And I have a few regrets from my first 40 years with respect to #2 noun definition above. I'll write about them as the time comes...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Report from Girls Weekend

I made it back alive, and before I fall into the black hole that is the Harry Potter book, thought I would write a few words.

I think the cardinal rule is that whenever three or more women are gathered who know each other fairly well, there's going to be explicit talk about sex. It's doubly true when one woman has had a fairly long dry spell and needs to shout out to the rooftops about the great sex she's having (alas, not me). It's triply true when there's much alcohol involved. It's perhaps unfortunate for neighboring rooms when said women leave the door open and the screen open, for all the world to hear. But what fun! It was a great end to an evening that started with N* trying to open a bottle of champagne in the BYOB restaurant, and have it explode away from her, to bring quiet to the restaurant and peals of laughter from us.

We were kind of a crude bunch, with me perhaps leading the way. One of the women was saying how she exercises a lot - will run 10 miles for example - and just doesn't lose weight. I told her God was saying fook you. Run 10 miles, bend over for God, keep running... (Oh, I'm going to hell.)

Not too much else exciting to report, except that I will never buy spray on sunscreen again. Being the frugal(bordering on cheap) person that I am, I did not put on a thick enough layer, and thus if a child were to draw me wearing the red dress of recent post, she would only need a red crayon and that's it. OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little since if it were that bad I'd be in the hospital, but boy o boy, am I red.

Oh, forgot to report about the feather pillow fight in white lingerie followed by a seltzer/spritzer fight...will do that later. :-)

Off to Harry Potter....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Go ahead, make my day

I was all set to write an introspective post, since I've spent a few days at home with my husband (while my friend with the dog whose place I've been housesitting at has been home between trips), but then I got into the gym. This trainer who's been saying hello to me for a couple months comes up to me, asks my name, introduces himself, and says "I just wanted to let you know, you always look good, don't get me wrong, but yesterday with that red dress, it looked like it was made for you. You looked great." I smiled, thanked him, showered and changed, and said as I was leaving "thanks for making my day", and he said, "no problem, thanks for making MY day."

So, I'll just bask in that today. I guess I was a sight riding my bike around at lunchtime with the red dress.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rest of the Quote / CWA

They're teaching self esteem in school these days.
If everyone grows up with self esteem, who's going to dance in our strip clubs?
What’s going to happen to our porno industry?
These woman don’t just grow on trees.
It takes a lot of drunk daddies missing a lot of dance recitals before you decide to blow a goat on the internet for $50.
and if that disappears, where does that leave me on a Friday night with my new high speed connection?

I KNOW it's horrible, but I think it's damn funny too. In the same 'song' there's a riff on viagra and marijuana.

On the same show I heard a song by CWA, which I hadn't heard since living in LA in the early 90's. Back then I heard one of their songs on the regular radio, which is amazing, considering CWA stands for C*nts with Attitude (a take on NWA - the * is NOT an 'a' or 'e', or 'i' or 'o', or 'y' for that matter). The key line in the song I heard recently is 'I f**ked your girlfriend and she is done with boys'. The one I heard in LA explicitly described a sex scene in a women's bathroom.

Anyway, for anyone who's interested, you can find the MP3 of the show here. CWA is at 2:39:50 and the other one is at 2:50:47. It's the July 10 show.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Better Living Through Drugs

I used to be chemical-free. I was a healthy young lass, who had migranes and found that I needed to abstain from caffeine and too much sugar to help keep the migranes away (along with regular exercise and enough sleep). The only drug I took was aspirin. And then, over time, I had to cave and start ingesting chemicals. The first one was high blood pressure medication. I was already eating well and exercising, and my blood pressure was at that cut-off point that you need to take drugs, so I had to start taking them. Then I got herpes, and found that I really needed the drugs to keep it at bay in the beginning. Then my allergies got worse and I experienced my first sinus headache, which made me want to cry, so I started with sudafed and then claritin when needed. Then I became severely depressed, and needed drugs to help me get out of the deep deep hole.

And then, Jan. 2 of this year I ran to work with a backpack and got the most severe sudden migrane I have ever gotten. And for 4-5 days in a row I got a similar though less severe headache. I was a wreck - scared to do any strange movement - because my usual methods of getting rid of migranes did not work with these new ones. I went through months of various doctors and tests, finally to hear from a neurologist that, oh, well, sometimes people suddenly start getting exercise-induced migranes - we're not sure why it happens, but it does and it can also go away at any time. I was so sick and tired of being afraid to exercise that I accepted some samples of Relpax, which you take when you first start feeling a migrane. I did all I used to and didn't need to use the drug - yay! So it seemed like it was all in my head (pardon the pun).

But then I started getting one of 'those' migranes last Sunday (the day after my hard climbing), tried it, and it was a miracle drug. I used my second and last pill last night - seems skydiving is considered exercise! (My back IS actually sore - even though I stretched the morning of). And it worked again. So now I do NOTHING until I get a prescription for some more. Give me drugs! I want drugs!

Monday, July 16, 2007

You never forget your first time / Leap of Faith / How does the Gnome DO it?!

So, rather than a pithy intro to this, it's a longer one (as is the whole post). It's for all of those who might care about the continuing storrrry of a woman separated from her husband. (I'm really getting old - I don't remember the reference for that.) Anyhoo, so at the end of last weekend, my husband and I had verbally mutually agreed to live by these terms we had both written up for moving forward (slate is wiped clean, will communicate more, will have fun, etc., though much more articulately written). So I wrote him friendly emails Monday, blah blah. I heard little to nothing from him either via email or by phone until Thursday morning. I think by Tuesday evening, I in my head said fook you, I'm not keeping my weekend free for you. And since I mentioned earlier that I was interested in flying again, I decided to go skydiving this past weekend. If a gnome could do it, so could I...

I kind of knew what I was getting into because around 10 years ago I went tandem. I thought at the time that was fine for me, in part because the guy I was attached to almost made me vomit with flying the chute at sharp angles. And it's so expensive. But then I saw the buzzards flying recently, and I remembered what it was like to fly when I went hanggliding, and decided that I needed to skydive again, but this time with me 'totally' in control. I was actually more interested in the part after the chute opens, but of course, I wanted to learn it all, and duh, you need to also.

So driving there, I played relaxing music but when I saw the airport, I wondered what the hell I was doing. There were 4 other students in my class - two women and two men. The two woman paid up front for the entire certification ($3,000-ish), and the guys and I just paid for the first level. We and our heirs signed all the requisite forms, and we got started. I thought it was a little funny that the first instructor we had uses a wheelchair. Here's what can happen to you boys and girls! But that was just a mild passing thought, as he, like all the other instructors conveyed information in a clear and repetitive way. (Repetition is the key to learning in a one day course!)

Once we finished the class at 1:30-2:00 ish, we sat around and waited. If you are doing Accelerated Free Fall as this class was, you can't jump when winds are above 15 mph, and it was gusting regularly to that, and several huge dust devils had sprung up earlier. So you get to sit and watch the tandem jumpers go up and come down with huge smiles on their faces, and watch the videographers scream down from the sky to land running, watch the parachute packers pack chutes, watch the videographer spin in circles out back to record footage for the videos, watch the skydive teams practice exiting the 'plane' and then go do tricks up high, shooting out like fireworks to separate from each other enough to open chutes... All of that is very interesting, but after 3.5-4 hours, you just want to get the damn thing over with!

So, it ended up that the winds weren't going to die down, and I left to come back the next morning. I was first on the roster - wee ha! And so I had to do the juggling I always have to do when climbing - eat enough to maintain myself, but not too much so that I barf if I feel queasy. Drink enough to be hydrated, but not so much that I'll have to pee 10 minutes later. And wait until the last possible second to pee. So, got all my gear, got suited up, and headed to the plane to jump on my own. NOT. You have two people surrounding you the entire time approaching the plane to when you pull your chute.

I was impressed with the numerous safety checks throughout the whole process up to the jump. A necessary thing when doing things like climbing and scuba diving, but also very reassuring. The plane I was in had two benches and people straddle the bench one in front of the other - sandwiched. I thought it most appropriate that there was a sticker on the wall near me - the universal symbol of 'do not do this' (circle with a line through it) over a person-like figure with gas coming out of its butt. In the morning I can follow this pretty easily, but woe to those around me after lunch and in the evening. (Better living through Beano.)

I liked how they get you used to looking at your altimeter on the way up. 'Tell me when it's 3,000 feet, etc.' And they tried to show me where the landing zone was from the airplane... But anyway, at 13,500 the door opens and people start pouring out. Thankfully I know how to get into the zone or else I may have been petrified. And thankfully I could ignore one of the guys' earlier comments that they as a team had finally worked out their kinks jumping with such students as me, so if anything went wrong it would be my fault. Just kidding...

Anyway, so you stand there, check in and out, and then 'ready''set' JUMP. Holy crap. What a weird sensation. It felt like I was going feet first and I have no idea how I got into the arch you need to freefall - I guess that's why there are two guys on either side? It certainly is a leap of faith that the two instructors will get you through it all. Mistake #1 was not looking up enough when I jumped, so I didn't arch quite enough. I checked my altimeter like you are supposed to, told altitude left and right, and then started my butt checks (actually, you're reaching for the chute handle so you know where it is). Then I get a signal in my face and I know it means something but I can't process it quickly enough - and I get another signal which means to do three good butt checks and I'm still trying to process the first signal! And falling falling falling falling.... So anyway, I straightened my legs with some assistance (first signal), did three butt checks (second signal), checked altimeter and it was already at 7,000 feet!

A pause in the story to say when they do class on the ground, and you are going through the whole process to the point of pulling the chute, they make it seem like you can go reallllly slowly (relatively), and have a couple thousand feet to hang out. HA! THAT'S CRAP! In reality, if it's not a perfect perfect jump, before you know it you have to pull the chute out.

Anyway I think I had a few seconds to look down and see the ground coming up - so weird! - and then it was 6,000 feet when you keep looking at the altimeter, and then 5,500 when you have to pull. I still had a little problem finding the pull thingie (the practice fanny packs have the cord much higher than the one on my chute, so my muscle memory messed me up) so I had to be guided and then it was out and I was 'stopped'.

My chute opened up fine and then I had to deal with queasiness while I tried to find the landing area. They have an arial view of the drop zone and they go over the most likely landing pattern and the landmarks, and I saw NOTHING of that. Well, turns out I was facing the wrong direction. The guy on the ground guided me via radio and I followed the pattern almost perfectly. It's amazing how fast you are still falling - I thought there's no way I'd be down far enough to land where I was supposed to, but 1,000 feet, and 600 feet, and 300 feet came quickly. And an almost perfect landing - woo hoo! It's not that quiet with the chute - it's flapping in the breeze and stuff, so definitely not the same experience as hanggliding. But interesting nonetheless.

So, they said I did a good job, and all I could think of was what I could have done better. I said I wanted it to be perfect, which I did. But in reality, that cannot happen, and you have to flow with the mistakes...and learn from them. So, I may need to go one more time...

Oh, I kind of busted one of the guys' bubble on the ground. He, being the addicted skydiver that he is, said that he tells his students that it's the best experience you will ever have, and people agree, don't you? Well, I told him that it actually ranked pretty equally with hanggliding. Should I not have told the truth? I felt a little bad, but it was the truth.

But, I must admit, I lied to my mom. I'm certainly going to hell. But it was for a good reason! I talked to her Saturday morning to help distract myself, and she asked if I was going climbing, and I said yes. OK, well have a great time! I think it's pretty damn funny though that she's all fine with me going rock climbing, another dangerous sport.

So, that was most of my weekend. I think I remember every single little detail of the jump, and though you may think I wrote down every single little detail, I didn't. I've already been writing over an hour, and it's time to do some work!

Oh, but wait, the Gnome - how the hell can a short stumpy Gnome skydive well?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sat. night and Kickin' back with some Act

Act Restoring Mouthwash Anticavity, that is. Now you can get drunk while you restore minerals to soft spots, strengthen enamel to prevent tooth decay, and kill bad breath germs. With clean burst (TM) icy cool mint to freshen! A whopping 11 percent alcohol.

Hmmm... is this how blogs make money? Great plug for that product!

Friday, July 13, 2007

What do you thinks this woman does for a living?

Choose one: (Acknowledging help from comments)
- Mattress tester
- Infomercial queen
- Sells KY Jelly
- Knits baby clothes
- Teaches
- Manager of McDonald's in the Bronx
- Skydiver


So, I had to write this down too... In the latter part of a dream last night, a friend was leaving my house, and there was commotion outside. I went outside, and in the front of this house (where I spent my high school years), the front yard is tiered and pretty steep. So these hooligans were pushing boxes of my stuff down the hill like they were sleds. I rushed in amongst them and grabbed the one I could reach to drag her inside and call the cops. It was Avril Lavigne, but I didn't care. I was still going to call the cops.

BTW, she wasn't very strong...

Email from Mom

I am going to see if Farmers Market is open tomorrow. I hope so, have been waiting for it to start. Saw an article on cooking sweet corn. I will try it when I get some. The trick is to cook the ears for two minutes. Heat the water to a rolling boil, then add the ears slowly enough that the boiling doesn't stop. And don't add salt to the water--that makes the corn tough and diminishes flavor. I've always done it for three minutes. Going to try this way next time I get some corn. (The ears will be sweet and juicy) We shall see if one minute makes a difference. Don't know if you have corn out there yet but try this way when you do.
More later, Love and hugs, Mom

Sometimes it's hard to believe I am the daughter of this woman. And sometimes I am way too much like her. The curse of every child.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fook Fook Fook

So, I went climbing last weekend. Did a 5.10 crack that I have done many times and was never able to do, but did it this time. It was great. (Following, but still...). But it was really strenuous and I really wanted to make it so at the cruz I was grunting "Fook Fook Fook" and "Fook me" (too lazy to use asterisks and don't want an X rating on my blog). My swearing is coming back.

There was a time when I had the most horrendous potty mouth. When I first started climbing I would litter the air around me with swear words. Children would get an education their parents would not want them to have (though I did TRY and control myself if I knew there were children around.) I was an angry young woman, and the rock was my enemy - something to be conquered. I am not one to give up easily, so I would swear all the way up something difficult.

It wasn't just climbing either. I would do it anywhere. Sometimes in places where you really didn't want to be doing that or saying a particular phrase - my catchphrase was 'fook me'. I visited a friend in Rural, Nowhere and we went to a bar with pool tables and bikers and mullets and such. He and I played pool, and as I am also very competitive, if I did a bad shot, I would exclaim 'Fook me'. I think I said it twice and my friend wisely said, 'um, you might not want to say that here because someone might take it as an invitation or a command' - I looked around the bar and realized I did not want that so I switched to another swear word.

Over time I lost some of my anger and also realized I didn't want to have a potty mouth, so I switched to dagnabit and something else that I can't remember, and holy crap. In part it was because my husband never swore and so I wanted to be a good girl for him. So it worries me a little that the swearing is coming back. I'm sure there's some anger, and with respect to my husband's needs, I don't really give a shit. But I gotta stop it because I want to stop it, and I do... dammit. :-)

And, by the way, the rock is not my enemy. It is my friend and teacher. But more on that later.

For those who embrace their potty-mouth-ness.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lion photo

Two posts in one day. Well, not really. I wrote the last one high on rice crispie cakes late in the evening (I'm blogging in Syowa time).

So, the lion. For many reasons it is me. But I also wanted to show off one of the best pieces of quilting I've done. Yuppers. I made that. My godmother had hinted she wanted a quilt for her 50th birthday several years back and so I complied. It took me one and a half years (with a 6 month space of doing nothing on it) and a new sewing machine but I did it... I found a black and white photo in a book, sketched it onto a pad, figured out which pieces should be separate material, created a grid to blow it up proportionately, labeled every piece, cut out the pieces, found material suitable for every piece, sewed it together bit by bit, found a discarded fake pearl for the eyeball, and quilted the thing.

I get it when my godmother dies. (Darn, I forgot to write that on the quilt, but I did tell her and she did promise me...)

As with any quilt, it's not perfect. The head of the lion is the best.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Albums that are great as whole - List 2

OK, this is not my list, but rather M*'s, and he could not commit to his top five, so this is his list. He couldn't even get to top 10.

Abbey Road- the Beatles
White Album - the Beatles
Tommy - the Who
Wont Get Fooled Again - the Who
Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - Genesis
On The Road To Freedom - Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre
Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd
Paul Simon - Paul Simon
Tea For The Tillerman - Cat Stevens
Rock & Roll Music To The World - Ten Years After
Let It Bleed - Rolling Stones
Sticky Fingers - Rolling Stones
Layla - Derek & The Dominoes
The Joshua Tree - U2
Gasoline Alley - Rod Stewart
Blaze Of Glory - Joe Jackson
Aqualung - Jethro Tull
American Beauty - Grateful Dead
Hero And Heroine - The Strawbs
Lola vs Powerman and the Moneygoround - Kinks
Arthur - Kinks
After The Gold Rush - Neil Young
Learning To Crawl - Pretenders
A Salty Dog - Procol Harum
Late For The Sky - Jackson Browne
August And Everything After - Counting Crows
Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
Girlfriend - Matthew Sweet
Relish - Joan Osborne
Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls
Automatic For The People - REM
Communique' - Dire Straits
Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven - Love and Rockets

Quote and Question for the day

Quote: If everyone grows up with self esteem, who's going to dance in our strip clubs?
[taken from a song played on WFMU on the morning show with DJ BillyJam on this day - within the last half hour of the show]

Question: Why does CVS think that I want to buy Rogaine?

Monday, July 9, 2007


I realize more and more how much Remus there is in me. I can't seem to comment on other people's blogs because I worry about what that person or other people will think of my comment! How absurd. It just seems that there are blog cliques - or maybe those are just the ones I'm reading. I've always been leery of cliques because they seem to develop a mind of their own after sucking your mind/body/soul into it. And I may be susceptible (sp?) to that. I had a group of friends in high school and one person developed the name Claque for us, sort of the anti-clique. I like to think we did a fairly good job of being open-minded and yet having fun. Who knows if that was really the case - whether we were fooling ourselves.

And looking around at blogs, I want to read an analysis of blogs. Personal vs. professional ones, male vs. female, topic vs. feelings.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Aim to Please

OK, so are women genetically programmed to want to please, or is it just me? The old nature vs. nurture thing. There's a reason I was Remus in the quiz - because I do try to adapt myself to please others, especially men. It slapped me in the face all day yesterday (boy were my cheeks red). As part of our work together, my husband's homework was to figure out what his needs and wants are. We got together on Independence Day and talked. And saw fireworks. Did not create any though (both good and bad).

So anyway, on Thursday I was a jumble of emotions because even as early as Wednesday night I was forgetting my needs and concentrating on his - willing to throw mine out with the bathwater. Crap crap crap is what it is. So I was angry at myself, angry at him, and since all good therapists say that anger is just a secondary emotion, I should say I was scared, hurt, confused, and likely more. Arg. Thankfully I had a double dose of therapy yesterday - my own, and the couples therapy. Wee ha - better living through therapy. And I need to keep it in mind for all my relationships.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


You scored as Remus Lupin, You are a wise and caring wizard and a good, loyal friend to boot. However sometimes in an effort to be liked by others you can let things slide by, which ordinarily you would protest about.

Remus Lupin


Albus Dumbledore


Hermione Granger


Harry Potter


Severus Snape


Ron Weasley


Sirius Black


Ginny Weasley


Draco Malfoy


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with QuizFarm.com

All Wise and Powerful Oprah

"Letting go hurts. But staying, once you've decided the relationship is really over, means being buried alive. Face your decision with courage, kindness, and a galloping leap of faith. Joy is waiting."

Being in limbo sucks. I was and am confident in my decision to leave. But it's the limbo that is now driving me nuts. It's seeing if he has the ability to step up to my plate. Keeping in mind that I have to do some stepping to his too. Just waiting to see if the plates are close to each other or can be close to each other. Seeing if a leap of faith towards the relationship is possible. Or whether I live with the leap away.

And here I thought the whole concept of jumping/leaping when describing my leaving was so original! But it's a very common and clear image, not surprisingly.

It's independence day...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Little Newt

He has a mini-me up in his address line!

Who Makes you Snort?

So, as part of my effort to keep myself occupied while I'm separated from my husband and also to take action on my desire to bring more music and laughter into my life, I went climbing Friday night with two guy friends (one very happily married and one a lifelong commitment-phobe - I somehow feel I have to explain that I'm not trolling for men). Both of them love music (I'll share M*'s list of albums that are great as a whole later) and both make me snort with laughter (though mostly when they are a team, rather than individually) and give my stomach and face great laughter exercise.

Apparently they were talking last weekend about who makes them snort (ok, that's my wording - I think their words were gut-busting laughter) and who snorts at their jokes and whether or not it's possible to find a life partner who also makes you snort/snorts at you. D*, the happily married one, thinks not. He thinks you have to go outside the marriage/partnership to find that. M* (never married and likely never will be) is searching for the combination of someone you can snort with AND have sex with. I'm not sure. It's the ideal, certainly, and I had something close to that once (who broke up with me and later died), but how often do people find it?

THEY think it's partly a gender thing. That women are too uptight/self conscious to partake in gut-busting laughter AND help create it in others. The two exceptions were myself and D* (who I hold on a pedestal when it comes to creating snorts, so I was quite quite honored to be placed in her league). And then, being men, they said the women also have to be semi-decent looking and that's what makes it so tough. (grrr...). So, something to contemplate.

Of course, as soon as they said that, I felt self conscious and felt like I had to entertain... Ack! But I got over it.

It also felt nice that the next day they called me up out of the blue and invited me over to watch the 40-year old virgin since M* hadn't seen it. Does it say something about me that I LOVE the extra bit about You Know How I Know You're Gay? Four older brothers might have had an impact, but they were NOT like that at all. So who knows. Perhaps I'm a guy in female clothing.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Four and Twenty Buzzards

Except not in a pie, but in the sky.

Yesterday, driving out of town, saw a mess of buzzards on the side of the road. They had found a dead deer and were having their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Much later in the day, after being out all day, driving back to town, I saw an amazing sight. A column of buzzards circling from the ground up into the sky, in a perfectly round column. They had found an updraft and were circling tightly, gliding round and round, up and up. If I didn't have other people in the car, I would have pulled off to just watch. I think they were the same buzzards as the morning, with bellies full, just taking advantage of the updraft. Perhaps letting others know there was food there? I don't know the habits of buzzards...might have to look it up.

Reminds me that I should go out and float again. I went hanggliding in Brazil several years ago (tandem) and it was the best experience of my life - or at least close to it. Floating on air, very little sound...amazing.