Solitude

Nadine has a hot tub.

She conveniently turns it on when she knows I’m coming over because:

  1. She knows I can’t resist a nice hot tub and
  2. She knows I ESPECIALLY can’t resist a CLOTHING-OPTIONAL hot tub

I always climb in to soak but before you can give two shakes of a dog’s tail, I’m out again.

Why?

Because hot tubbing alone is no fun.

I’m left to my own thoughts which invariably turn into a jumble of feelings, not always pleasant.

Nadine has a theory that I’m uncomfortable with being by myself.

And this may be true.

I’m always surrounded by people.

I was raised with the equivalent of a twin sister.

We were ALWAYS together growing up.

I got married at twenty two and moved in with my spouse.

I had kids at twenty five and you know they were the Velcro babies everyone talks about.

I couldn’t shower or use the bathroom without being interrupted.

So if I’m not accustomed to being by myself, it’s because I’ve grown into a very social creature.

I’ve always loved people, especially the ones I’m surrounded by.

And if I’m not good at being by myself, if that’s the worst thing about me, then I’m not doing too bad.

 

NOTE:  Please excuse the clove cigarette.  I was young and stupid.  Smoking is bad for you.  Don’t do it.

Gypsy

My experience with coronavirus goes back decades.

I adopted a grey and white kitten I named Gypsy from a shelter who was infected with a strain of feline coronavirus.

My ex-husband and I discovered that there was a problem when she was struggling to breathe.

We rushed her to the hospital where the vet removed two large syringes full of wheat colored fluid from her lungs.

The virus caused her blood vessels to become permeable to the fluid in her blood (but not the red or white blood cells) and she was slowly drowning in her own fluids.

In the end, we had to humanely put her to sleep to end her suffering.

Therefore when I got my first Covid-19 vaccine this week, I was thinking of Gypsy and watching her struggle to breathe.

Neither one of my sisters, who are nurses, are vaccinated.

There is a little concern over the rapid development and deployment of the vaccine.

I received the Pfizer vaccine.

For me, it’s just another baby step toward returning to life as normal. . .

Whatever normal might look like after Covid.

Back Scratch

The key to my heart isn’t a well-cooked meal.

It’s not even a good glass of wine.

No.

The key to my heart is a good back scratch.

Indeed.

Take your massage and add some nice scrubby, scratchy mitts and run them all over my back and I’m in heaven.

Guys, they think massages are where it’s at.

But I’m here to tell you a good back scratch beats all.

My son Duncan has inherited my love of back scratches.

He comes into my room sometimes three or four times a day to get a back scratch.

The good thing about back scratches is that they only need to last about 30 seconds, so for those of you who have the attention span of a gnat, you’re in good shape here.

If you ask me what the perfect day is, it involves a drive along the ocean during sunset, a good bottle of wine, a juicy burger and a BACK SCRATCH.

‘Nuf said.

Lumberjack is a Lumberjill

I wrote this post a month ago after I saw this TikTok video and had what you might call a lesbian awakening*:

 

I called up Tejas with a very important question to ask him.

Me:  Tejas do you think I might be gay?

Tejas:  [laughing]

Me:  I’m serious.  Have I ever given off a gay vibe to you?  Have you ever once thought, ‘Michelle might be gay?’

Tejas:  There was the one time you got kissed by a woman on the playa. . .

Me:  I’ll explain.  Lately, I’ve felt so lackluster about men.  I’m wondering is it because I’m gay?

Tejas:  No. You’re not gay.  You’re one of those women who appreciates men more than others.  You prefer the company of men to women.  Tell me how many girlfriends do you have?

Me:  Plenty.  There’s Barbara.  And Michelle.  And my sister.  And my cousin Jennifer.

Tejas:  But none of those are romantic relationships.

Me:  No.  I’m just wondering if it’s possible for women to begin to look more appealing.

Tejas:  But you like masculine men.

Me:  I’ve met some pretty ‘masculine’ women.

I’m not making light of the LGBTQ experience, which I am fully immersed in as the parent of an LGBTQ child.

I’m genuinely questioning my own direction when it comes to pursuing relationships.

I just haven’t had much luck with men.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been mainstreamed into believing in my own heterosexuality.

I spend all my time dating men when I should be relaxing the entrance criteria.

As Tejas pointed out, it’s not like I don’t have the opportunity to go ahead and check it out for myself.

Maybe the reason I haven’t found my lumberjack is that she’s a lumberjill.

 

*Note:  After I saw THIS VIDEO, I’ve since decided that I’m pretty straight.  But kudos to women for being so. damn. sexy.

Memory Lane

Part of my children’s story gets told through photos in a treasured iPhoto Library tucked away on an external hard drive appropriately nicknamed “J” drive.

Every time I want to look at photos from their youth, I can’t help but be swept up by the flood of memories the pictures evoke.

Cameras and video capture became commonplace in mobile phone technology just in time to capture me falling in love back in 2007-2009.

It’s the closest I ever came to making a 2-parent family unit post-divorce and therefore is hard for me to look at.

The upside of documenting a love story from start to finish is that so many beautiful moments were captured – from the time we spontaneously came across Labyrinth playing in a Santa Cruz movie theater to the bonfire on the beach with glow-in-the-dark frisbees to that stunning trip to the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The downside of capturing a love story from start to finish is that you relive it every time you delve into old family photos.

But when you come across stunners, like these, it’s hard to feel too bad:

Love Letters

This Valentine’s Day, I’m inspired to write love letters.

I know, I know, I HATE this holiday!

Why participate at all?

I guess on some level recognizing the love in my life resonates with me even if the holiday reminds me I’ve been single for fucking ever.

I was thinking this year I would write love letters to my family.

Tell them how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

Really personalize each letter.

Let my family and birth family know how much I love them.

Because they really are AMAZING people and I’m lucky to have them in my life.

And then I’d start in on my friends.

Because Lord knows that friends can be as close as family sometimes, if not closer.

I’ve got a lot of friends who support me who I’d like to send a love letter too.

What started me down this path, you ask?

Well I was on Facebook the other day watching people post public comments criticizing two people I love very much and I thought to myself that the only way to combat that kind of trash talk is to shower my friends and family with love.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Age like Christie Brinkley

I went to a party this week and talked to a bunch of people.

As is typical for me, I tended to hang out with my friends instead of meeting new people, which is the WHOLE POINT of a party.

[No wonder I’m single.]

While I was there, an older woman approached me and gave me a lovely compliment.

She told me I had great skin.

I thanked her and told her my secret: SUNBLOCK and YOUTH.

I grew up in California.

I remember being a teenager and slathering myself with baby oil while laying out in the backyard.

But ever since I worked in a spa in my 20s, I’ve religiously applied sunblock every day.

I don’t avoid the sun though.

I go to Burning Man, after all.

It’s nothing but sun and dust.

When it comes to my youthful appearance, I like to quote Carrie Fisher:

It’s just a matter of time until I look older.

I miss my 19-year old EVERYTHING!

And although I’m quite pleased with what my DNA has made me into, it’s impossible to ignore that I’m not going to age like Christie Brinkley.

My spirit animal may be a koala

2019 was a tame year for me.

Granted, I went to Burning Man.

But the closest I got to real adventure was swapping sexy photos with an Australian guy who is cycling the globe.

Now THAT’S adventure.

Nights under the stars.

Days filled with sunshine and exercise.

I’ll bet he can eat 10,000 calories a day and not gain weight because of all the exercise he is getting.

He reminds me of another Aussie friend, Charlie.

Charlie used to get blindfolded and taken into the Australian Outback where he’d be left with a thermos of water and some energy bars and he had to find his way back to civilization.

He once went on a retreat by himself to the Outback where he could do nothing, not listen to music, not read a book.

He spent his time thinking, which to me seems like torture, but to him was a welcome change.

Out of all the men I’ve dated, I find it interesting that the most  adventurous men I’ve met are all Australian.

It’s just further proof that I need to get my ass on a plane to Australia and enjoy a little time down under, watching the toilets swirl the other direction.

All this is just to say that Australia is calling my name and I’ve received her message loud and clear.

My spirit animal may just be a koala.

Belly dancing – 1, Michelle – 0

red bellyI took a belly dancing lesson from a Stanford Medical student.

I’m not kidding…. Alma is a phenomenal professional belly dancer AND a medical student at Stanford AT THE SAME TIME.

I know. It blows the mind.

In any case, she warmed us up by having us roll all over the wall, arms moving up and down, caressing the wall.

Then we got down to business.

Apparently, belly dancing is accomplished through amazing glute work.

We sat on the floor and practiced isolating and clenching our glute muscles – first the left, then the right, then both together.

I confess, even though I have an ample size derriere, I had a difficult time isolating my two glute muscles.

They both wanted to clench at the same time.

I became frustrated. I thought this was about shaking my hips. I can do that. What’s the big deal with all these butt muscles?

In the end, I felt like I needed A LOT more practice and just in general a lot more dancing experience.

I want to be graceful and poetic, not jerky and disjointed.

As it stands, you are unlikely to see me in a belly dancing outfit, dancing my ass off for anyone other than a significant other. I’m just not skilled enough at this time.

So the score was Belly dancing – 1, Michelle – 0.

IMG_8138 IMG_8139

 

The Tortoise and the Hare

I’ve been watching a show with Jerry Seinfeld called “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and invariably he shows up to take out another comedian for coffee in some sort of fancy sports car.

Lucky man, to marry his passion for automobiles to his career in comedy.

So Jerry Seinfeld goes to take out another comedian and he shows off what his car can do.

And there are two types of people when it comes to fast cars:

  1. Speed freaks
  2. Safety advocates

Most people, when smushed into a small race car of decades old origins, complain.

But when that tin can goes hurtling down the highway at high speed, two things happen.

A speed freak will get giddy and enjoy the ride despite the fact that there are likely no airbags to save them from death.

A safety advocate gets quiet and tense, knowing there are no airbags and one wrong move means death.

There’s no in between folks.

You either enjoy it or you don’t.

I have a friend who collects cars.

I suspect he’d fall into the SPEED FREAK category, like Seinfeld.

Me?

I’m a safety advocate.

Slow and steady wins the race.