28 December 2011

looking back, looking forward

I love FutureMe. Exactly a year later, my letter from 27 December 2010 showed up in my in-box yesterday. I suppose it is my resolutions, my time capsule of sorts. Sometimes I am surprised by the things I truly knew back then, if only I acted on that knowledge sooner. Hope springs eternal, right? 

What will I write to myself for next year? 

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27 Dec 2010

Dear FutureMe,

I was remiss in writing my annual letter at the beginning of the year. Life-sucking Vampire project ate up so much of this year. But it also provided me a lot of satisfaction, great press, and wonderful experience.

2010. Suppose I should begin at the beginning. Life-sucking Vampire project was frustrating, fighting the egos of Those Who Shall Not Be Named and Super Dad's desire to keep everyone happy. Super Dad finally saw the light and implemented my house cleaning plan.

Super Dad and I enjoyed working together. He would wave his hand in front of me every time that a man checked me out. I remember racing elevators to the 12th floor after a Starbuck's run. We railed through the front door of the suite. That moment made me realize that my fun side - thought to be long lost during the dark years - is alive and well.

Our nightly dinners took a turn at the Hula Hut, when Super Dad kissed me at the end of the night. The brightness of the situation dulled once his pain returned in July and rendered him out of commission.

The last time I saw Super Dad was Memorial Day weekend. Seven months ago. I don't know where this is going to, if anywhere. He sent me a very lovey romantic Christmas card.

Then The Southern Gentleman is out there in the atmosphere. He made a trip out here in May - in between my ATL trips. I continue to lose faith in him and the life we planned together oh so long ago.

You saw Machu Picchu and Tunisia. Lulu went on Prozac.

Enough nastoglia. On to the year ahead!

For 2011, here are the things for you to focus on and report back to me on in exactly one year: 
* Blog at least three times a week.
* Eat regularly since that is key to weight loss. Continue focusing on the super foods and you will have made it there. 
* Open your heart to love. You deserve love. I can already feel the shift starting because you are looking at your body with much less disgust. Self-Love is key. 
* Continue to travel into bold, uncharted territory. I think the Himalayas and Chile are on tap for 2011. 
* Job. That is so up in the air right now. Austin continues to push you to the next level. You can do it! 
* Continue to enjoy life here in Austin. No matter where the day takes you, Austin has been such a wonderful teacher. Love big! 
* Get back on your spiritual path. You feel the call for meditation. Follow it. Open your soul. Big things are here for you; just waiting so get back on the road, baby! 
* Learn French for your return to Tunisia. You will parle frances.

You are only improving with each year. Be open. Live Fearlessly. Love. Love. Love. Do good. Follow the path that tugs at your soul. 2011 is gonna be grand! Momentous! Indeed. Make me proud like only you can.

Until then.... love you more than anything! xoxo

26 December 2011

lovely christmas

For once I had a lovely Christmas. As I always dread holidays, I have come to enjoy my freedom down here in Austin to celebrate as my heart sees fit. Whether I want to be with friends or stay home on my couch - it is my call. I love that freedom.

Yesterday morning was spent cooking and then heading over to share brunch with a few of the girls. It was lighthearted and filled with mimosa and laughter. The Courier and I exchanged a few text messages during the tail end of brunch.

After getting home, I decided to go for a run. Trying a new route, I clocked 4.7 miles. It was cold but I can feel my endurance increasing. I can feel each run get a bit easier and that is terribly exciting.

As I was getting cleaned up post-run, a message came across inquiring if the red had been opened. Affirming it would be, The Courier then responded he'd be over shortly. And poof! at 6:30 the doorbell rang. Comfortably curled on the couch with our wine, we spoke for hours about a wide spectrum of subjects. At some point we spoke of travel and I showed The Courier one of the travel brochures. I laughingly explained to The Courier that the travel books are my porn filled with so many places to go, things to see, worlds to explore. He put his arms around me holding me tightly to him with his chin resting on my shoulder as we flipped through the pages together.

I am enjoying my time with The Courier so very much.

23 December 2011

another wonderful night

Last night I shared yet another wonderful evening with The Courier. We had a glass of wine before leaving for the party. He told me I looked beautiful, my dress was great. It was wonderful to hear the sincerity in his voice. 

Heading to the party, we laughed about the fact that neither of us remembers the whole evening from the last party. To avoid a repeat, we'd both made a point of eating prior to last night's engagement. The good part is we could laugh at the previous party. The Courier asked if it would be the same crowd. I explained there would be some repeats but some newbies too that are typically fun. 

Arriving at the party later meant we had to park at the top of the killer hill. A fun walk in each direction. The Courier was sweet and carried my party food contributions. It is those small gestures that turn me on. Surprisingly, the overall party turnout was lighter than anticipated. We put down my dishes, said hello to people as we navigated from the sweets table to the appetizer table. One of the gals who fell in love with The Courier lit up when she saw him. I think he was a bit tickled at that. As libations are a must, we tried the sangria and went on to find the host and hostess.

We had some nibbles. We laughed. We chatted up a few people. I truly enjoy The Courier's company. When the band began to play, he put his arms around my waist and held me tightly near him. A few times he kissed my shoulder blade. It was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Of course, the snoops eyeballed our every move. We were not over the top in any way; we were simply happy together.

While the band took a break, we went outside on the deck to finish our wine and were thoroughly entertained by the geek squad sitting out there ranting about all things uber geeky. We then collected our coats, said goodbye to the hostess, collected our serve-ware and headed up that big hill back to the car. 

Back at the house, we settled onto the couch and sipped a glass of malbec. We talked of our dearly departed dogs and ex-spouses. The Courier seemed rather curious about my marriage. Later we headed off to bed. He had to go to work this morning, so we were up well before the sun. Oh, I had such a wonderful evening.

It is terrible. For awhile, I have wanted to leave Austin. The get-out-of-Austin clock has started ticking and I don't want to leave. Not now; not while I am loving it down here.

19 December 2011

new perspectives

Last week, I, the non-baker, participated in a marathon Christmas cookie baking session. Surprisingly, my overall neglected kitchen skills came back quickly. In fact, I was one of the more experienced, which I find down right shocking. Hours upon hours of baking resulted in the hostess sending me home with cookies specifically for The Courier. 

I relayed this to The Courier and didn't get much of a reaction from him. As I am navigating this whole Courier landscape rather lightheartedly, I simply let it go. A few days later I received a text message from him inquiring if there were any cookies left. This lead to a fun exchange about the cookies, a few experiencing tragic accidents that lead him to ask if he needed to come rescue them. 

I was multitasking during this and at that moment, I determined exactly where this was headed. I sat on the fence. What is this... a booty call? Do I want a booty call or not? What do I want? 

I sat in that question for a short while. The findings included that I am a 37 year old woman who is very capable of making my own decisions; decisions that are correct for me. My realization is that I want to shed my mother's archaic ideas of love, sex, and relationships that have been smashed down my throat from an early age. The time has come for me to change the tape. Am I always going to get it right? No, but that's the point. 

And so I consented to The Courier coming over. I was pleasantly surprised that even though he's only been to my house once, he got here without asking for my address again. I like boys who pay attention and retain. I had been watching Jackass 3 because I needed a distraction from a few of my other multitasking activities. Imagine The Courier's surprise that I would be watching such a movie but we laughed at the various antics. Of course, we had to enjoy champagne while watching the movie because that's how I roll.

We had fun, caught up on life. Talked about Lulu because she is everywhere and even made a lasting impression on him. It wasn't what I would label as a booty call. Did we end up in bed at the end of the evening? Yes, we did. But I had no reservations or qualms about it. I attribute my comfort level to the fact that The Courier is different because we have known each other for awhile, so it isn't this whole brand-new, getting to know someone situation.

We have a party to attend later this week. I am truly looking forward to seeing him again.

15 December 2011

bittersweet birthday

Happy birthday, Lulu. My dear little girl. Today I celebrate that your sweet, gentle soul came into this world ten years ago.

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i carry your heart with me  by e e cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

13 December 2011

dead to him

Ah, we must discuss the ridiculousness of last night's conversation with Super Dad.

So I found out from a friend on Sunday that my "date" and I were a little kissy at the party. I am half surprised but yet half not because we all know Patsy without food and plenty of liquor can lead to things.

Clearly others cannot laugh about some innocent drunk kissing.

So I called Super Dad last night because I too am a stubborn Italian half-breed and also because I now know why he was bent out of shape. Much to my surprise he picked up the phone and barked "what do you want?"

He was very stoic and his ears were closed. His stubborn mind made up and he was not listening to anything. I told him I learned on Sunday why he was upset (and quite frankly between you and me, I don't remember that part). I was honest. He was shut down. He claims I made it clear to everyone, in fact, I flaunted the fact I was with someone, and that he "certainly hopes that this man is worth it".

I corrected him on that assumption - remember bringing a man was his idea - and I wanted to make it clear to everyone that I was "with" someone. Why? Because I am so fucking sick and tired of Ass Grabber and Ass Grabber Jr making aggressive moves on me and in fact I did take it too far with the aid of my fall back behavior of nervousness and forgetting to eat due to said nerves equals Patsy drinking more than she should. My shy nervousness at uncomfortable situations makes that happen - not an excuse, as I explained to him, but a reaction I am trying to learn to control.

I asked him how he could live any sort of life if his sole answer is to radically cut out anyone and everyone from his life that committed a perceived wrong. I told him that regardless I would never stop caring about him and would always wonder how he was doing. He told me that he had cared about me a great deal but that I shouldn't worry because I would find someone else to care about me. As if that was the point of this whole thing!?!

I asked him straight out if there could be any form of fruitful negotiation and he emphatically stated no. He told me that if I was seeing someone else I should have just told him; clearly he'd filled in his own story line. I asked him how he could listen to Ass Grabber's stories to which he replied that he hadn't heard from Ass Grabber but that others had made phone calls to tell him of the show I put on. Honestly, I don't believe that.... I truly believe it was Ass Grabber because supposedly no one has his phone number and secondly who else at the office would give a flying fuck... maybe one chick but that is purely from a place of jealousy too.

I called him out on his Italian stubbornness and asked him if he thinks shutting important people out of his life on a whim is worth being alone. With that he said, I made my choice, that he had truly cared about me but I made my choice and he can't trust liars.

My goal was not to "get back together" but to maintain civility; after all, we are good friends. That isn't going to happen because he hung up on me when he was done tolerating me. But then again, we already knew the way the story would end.

Wackiness my dears, pure and simple wackiness....

12 December 2011

week four

Today marks four weeks since Lulu left. I am amazed at how quickly time is marching forward and how much I want time to reverse... back to the days of...
  • Lulu waking me up at 3:30 AM to go to the bathroom
  • going on our runs
  • putting herself to bed but coming out to check on me, asking me but more often than not demanding I come to bed too
  • tossing her stuffed animals down the cement floor so she could run and slide to fetch them; she loved sliding across the floor
  • bringing home restaurant treats such as french fries, tortilla chips, and rice that I would order specifically for Lulu
  • tucking her into bed each night
  • reassuring her I will be home by 5 PM
  • our daily hug-a-hound moments
  • watching her frolic in the yard
  • seeing the wonder in her eyes
  • feeling her deep love for me oozing out of her every pore
During our last months together, Lulu and I would watch the Friday night webcasts of Oprah's LifeClass. On Fridays, the topic was always "Joy Rising". It should not come as a surprise that Lulu was my joy rising. Knowing that, this week is going to be especially difficult because not only is it a month since my Lu left, Thursday is her 10th birthday.

popping up on the radar

I swear the man has radar!

Without fail, each and every time I am happy or there is new male prospect, he miraculously resurrects and promptly dials my number. Then he proceeds to talk at great length even though he regularly says he dislikes speaking on the phone.

It is none other than The Southern Gentleman who applied his mad Patsy sonar skills yesterday.  Before I would have been over the moon, but not so much anymore. His up-down routine has gotten so very, very old. I am simply amused by his sophisticated tracking system.

He spoke about Lulu a fair amount. Once he found out I was staying in the lone star state for the holidays, The Southern Gentleman started talking about him coming here post-Christmas since the mourning mother needs "cheering up". As our conversation progressed and his wheels began to turn, The Southern Gentleman suggested we meet up somewhere for 4 -5 days. I agreed to entertain the idea. He said he'd figure some things out and call me the following week.

Honestly a getaway would be good for me. I think not being alone for that time away would also be good. At the end of the day, The Southern Gentleman and I are friends.

09 December 2011

the best laid plans

The last few days have been eventful around here. For one thing, I did not cry about Lulu yesterday. While that was a huge milestone for me, my Lulu was sidestepped by the events of Wednesday that bled into yesterday.

I had a holiday party to attend and was dreading it. When I spoke to Super Dad about it, he told me to ask one of my male friends to go with me (remember this key point). I thought about it and agreed. This would be a great way to stop the unwanted advances of a small handful of dirty old men. I asked The Courier if he'd join me and he agreed.

As the party neared, I was excited. Excited I wouldn't have to face the party alone. Excited that a man wanted to go with me. I haven't been excited like this in a long time. A long time. 

The day finally arrives and The Courier and I went to the party. As we walked through the door, he was hanging back. I reached back to grab The Courier's hand to bring him up next to me. Dirty Old Man #1 immediately eyes this and does not speak to me. Touchdown! 

We worked our way through the room. Enjoyed our cocktails, enjoyed each other. I had such a wonderful time. I truly enjoyed being with The Courier. It was wonderful to be with a man. Especially one who is into me. We were a bit tipsy and headed back to his place. From there, my long drought came to an end and it was great. 

My great night changed course at 11 AM yesterday when I received the following text message from Super Dad, "Do me a big favor Patsy, don't call me or bother with me again!!!" From there, Super Dad proceed to hang up on me when I tried call him. Seriously, WTF?! I know without a doubt, Dirty Old Man #1 called Super Dad to report that I had a man with me. Why? Because Dirty Old Man #1 was upset and he had to vent because he had been really trying to woo me (unsuccessfully) since July.

When I honestly look back at the landscape of Super Dad and I, our relationship, and I use that term loosely, was done in May 2010. We haven't seen each other in eons. Phone calls alone do not cut it and even those have significantly waned too. Lord knows I have ranted enough about it here. Super Dad and I are simply friends, really good friends.

Clearly, we are not on the same page. After all, bringing a male friend to keep the unwanted male attention corralled was Super Dad's idea. Not being an active part of my life was also Super Dad's conscious decision. I don't think punishing me and acting like a twelve year old boy is the answer. 

Oh well. That chapter is closed. 

I don't regret a single moment of being with The Courier. In fact, I was thrilled to hear from him this morning. I don't remember the last time I was happy like this and I fully intend on enjoying it.

05 December 2011

a tale of a tail

"Just because you're hurt doesn't mean you're broken."

My lesson for this evening: one should not watch A Dolphin's Tale while mourning a three-legged greyhound girl.

Naively thinking a "feel-good" Disney movie would be the cure to my three week post-Lulu departure blues, I was blatantly slapped in the face with our situation. As I watched the movie unfold, my internal tape kept playing "this is Lulu and me".

The little girl in the movie was crying like a baby just as I was when news of the amputation struck. Similarly I quickly learned the only limitations three-legged Lulu the Amazing would ever know are the limits placed on her by my ego, so I forcibly shoved my ego aside and replaced limitations with unending possibilities. Just as Winter the Dolphin learned to swim with a prosthetic tail, we here in Wanderlust land learned that a greyhound can get on with three legs just like a four-legger can.

As I sobbed through the movie, I also had several realizations. Firstly, if a fish (my biology degree has me grounded in the fact that a dolphin is a mammal... all that live baby and oxygen drivel) can land a major motion picture, surely a doe-eyed pathetic greyhound is ready for the Hollywood spotlight, especially since her mother has been playing paparazzi since the beginning. But secondly, I realized I had my very own personal Winter the Dolphin story and very, very few people get to experience and learn from such amazing creatures as my Lulu or a "fish". I got a rare glimpse into bravery, strength, and true love; unconditional abound.

So while I miss my dear Lulu terribly, I have the awareness that she was a miracle, a radiating miracle. I was blessed enough to be her mama and to give her the love and devotion to help let Lulu's miracle shine. And shine brightly, indeed, my sweet girl did.

I learned so very much from my girl. From the moment Lulu first licked my hand at the racer rescue to our last moments, our hearts were intertwined, our devotion palpable, our love never-ending. Lulu was a rare gift and now it all makes sense as to why three weeks later my heart continues to mourn for such a sweet, kind girl.

04 December 2011

princess birthday party

Mid-October when Lulu was doing better I decided that I would commit to a birthday party for her. We would celebrate her courage and bravery as she marked her tenth year. It was a big, important birthday, so I send out evites for today.

Sadly, today we still celebrated but our birthday hound was not physically here. Today, I remembered Lulu with her favorite aunties. It felt odd not to be looking for Lu before opening the front door. I only cried once when one of the girls gave me a birthday she'd made for Lulu prior.

As we talked about her, I realized that unconsciously I bought several of Lulu's favorite foods, such as shrimp, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, various cheeses and crackers. My girl had a refined palate. She also enjoyed roasted asparagus, green peppers, green chile. Lu was a vegetable eater as well as a carnivore. Boy, that little girl loved tomatoes a slight bit more than steak.

Lu's actual birthday is in eleven days. Tomorrow is three weeks since she went to heaven. So close but yet so far.