Saturday, November 25, 2006

Off to Mexico

Friend of mine says "get outta town, get your swerve on, girl." I tell him "but my husband's going." Sigh. Back early December. Don't want to leave, don't want to stay. Maybe walks on the beach and hikes up to the ruins will revive me. Hope y'all are revived and that you survived the food addict's national holiday in good shape.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Life is so intrusive

How is a girl to get anything done for herself with life always getting in the way? Sometimes I feel like such a baby because I go and go and go and then I start feeling a little weary of it all. Start thinking of that sun-filled upstairs single room in the old Victorian rooming house in some unnamed southern town in the Smokies. Imagine my four hour a day coffee shop waitress job, how divine it would be to work a bit and be done with it, have no one else to deal with or take care of. Just free and quiet and by myself in heaven.

Whaaa whaaaah. Ugh. I am whining because I have to go to Mazatlan in a week. Family members will be arriving all of this week in preparation for Thanksgiving. The boys at the shop are useless without pretty constant direction. I hate to fly. We're behind at work and no real time, as crazy as it sounds, in the next eight days to catch up. And I have not been to the gym because of all this stuff. It's frustrating. Somehow I have to turn all of this around and get grateful.

My gratitude list: personal health, husband's survival and stable health, wonderful family, great business, sweet nest of a home, precious animals, good finances, good friends, the sun is shining, I'm eating healthy even if I can't get to the gym today, I could help a stranger and did. Suggestions, anyone, beyond read and reread?

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Friday, November 17, 2006

My hero is a gay hooker

Mike Jones is my hero. I admire his courage, his strength of conviction, his honesty.

Mike Jones used to be a hooker. I don't hold that against him because the only difference between us is that he had the sense to charge. Having been single in the '70s, I was a very popular girl. I had a blast and I don't regret it, but it's not who I am today.

Mike may have had a problem with meth. I can't possibly hold that against him, as I used more than my share of that powerful drug in my misspent youth, and I know how seductive it can be.

I'm a 49 year old relatively proper (vastly reformed) married woman, owner of a successful small business in the upper south. I don't drink, smoke, do drugs or whore around. I've had the support of my family throughout my life, even the times when I was so off the rails as to be unrecognizable to them.

So why is Mike Jones, the gay prostitute who outed the hypocritical homophobic Ted Haggard my hero? Mike is my hero because, at great personal risk he provided a distraction from the Republican machine that has derailed so many elections.

Mike's story of his ongoing relationship with Ted Haggard ~ the head of an enormous church and a monstrous evangelical association, who reviled gays while engaging in homosexual acts, who used drugs while preaching purity ~ prevented the American public from once more swallowing the pro-war propaganda we've been fed for the last four years.

It was a story so shocking, it could not have been derailed by even one of those terror alerts Karl Rove is always pulling out of his ass to scare us into submission. By telling his story, by standing up, Mike encouraged the rest of us to stand up and do what needed to be done in Congress.

Mike took a risk. He told his story in northern Colorado ~ not far from where Matthew Shepard was beaten nearly to death, then left to die alone on a fence in Wyoming. People think folks in the south are homophobic, but we've got nothing on some of those idiots out west. Mike knew he would be reviled for his past, for the drugs, and he spoke up anyway.

I am not sure I have that kind of courage: I hope so, would want to, but in the end? I don't know if I have the kind of courage it takes to put everything at risk for a principle. The principle is honesty and Mike spoke up. For that, he is my hero.

If you want to help Mike, another of my heroes who writes so eloquently of the worst years of the "gay plague," Joe at Joe.My.God has a great post and complete details about a Paypal account that's been opened for Mike Jones. Mike is alone, without resources, but check out Joe's post. He says it better than I can. I sent $$ yesterday, along with my thanks. Mike's email for Paypal is It felt great to be able to help, and anything does help ~ $10, $20, $30, $50, $100, anything at all.

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Fifth Day

My fifth day did not involve the gym, as it's my longest and busiest day at work. I finished up at 9:00 last night and it was too late. Howevah, I did take the long route through the warehouse over and over at a pretty fast clip, I did walk, and I lifted as much heavy stuff as I could, knocking my help out of the way and leaving them baffled as to why a middle aged broad would want to heave that buffet onto a skate alone when there are three strapping guys standing nearby.

Today's the beginning of my weekend and I am looking forward(!) to a leisurely afternoon at the gym. Yea!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Four days! Four four four four FOUR days in a row after a workout-drought of over four weeks.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And another . . .

Did. Not. Want. To. Go. Tonight. Went anyway. Felt great. MissTrixie asked about my routine and before I lapsed, it was 5-6 days of cardio, which is generally the elliptical for 30-45 minutes, possibly some biking, or a one hour total body class that is marvelous. Three days a week I do a full weight workout, upper and lower body takes about 1-1/4 hours. Weights have always been my favorite thing. I'm looking at the spinning class, but haven't made a decision to try it. Looks intimidating.

Have to push the cardio ~ so dull ~ but the necessary cardio workout doesn't get much better than running on the elliptical with kickass music and the memory of having nearly had a heart attack doing three minutes on the thing a little over a year ago.
Three days in a row!! I am so happy!!


Monday, November 13, 2006

One more

Another night at the gym! Yippee!!


Big news

Wow! Amazing realization yesterday . . . working out hard at the gym makes it easier to eat healthy. Who knew ~ ha!

I went to the gym I went to the gym I went to the gym! It has been over a month since I've done anything beyond walking and it felt fabulous. Muscle strength and endurance sure go away quickly, but I know I can get back to where I was in short order. Yea!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

One perfect day

A glorious day in my hometown yesterday, spent in the company of family in honor of my father's 89th birthday. It was cool and the blue of the sky was so intense it was breathtaking. Ponca City is full of trees and the colors of the leaves against the cerulean sky are sufficient to convince me that the Creator is an incomparable artist.

We went to a Veteran's Day parade! A parade!! I haven't been to one in 30 years or more. Daddy is a veteran of World War II and it was so moving to stand with him while the old planes flew overhead, while the vets passed, waving, in their classic cars, while the Army band played those American classics that will bring tears to the eyes of even the most sophisticated and cynical. I am neither of those things, being far too emotional to hold on to sophistication, and fighting vigorously against cynicism in all its forms. Something in my heart and soul opened up and it almost seemed as if there were a connection, truly, between those who sacrificed so much for our freedom and the intense gratitude I feel for their incomprehensible selflessness. Could they possibly sense that? I hope so.

I have said before and was reminded again that a life of days filled with laughter and love, with moments of being moved to tears by gratitude or affection or sadness, is the best kind of life. I am so easily distracted from these basics, and then when I am standing beside my father, when he turns to me and smiles as ancient planes swoop low, shaking the earth, when the small town crowd cheers and applauds, when the band plays and it all comes together into this crescendo of perfection . . . I get tears in my eyes and I think remember this! remember this moment, this feeling, this time, don't ever forget how this feels, this sweet moment in this glorious life. Remember him. Don't ever forget this day, his loving brown eyes, the look of delight on his face, the feel of his warm hand in my own on this one perfect day.

Tears in my eyes again, writing this. My tears are, for me, the measure of reality, of finding a way past the tougher surface of a life down into what matters. What matters is the love I have for this man. It matters that I could spend a day with him and hug him and love him and let him know it and feel it. It was a good day yesterday ~ he was a little forgetful, but wholly present. That is a treasure, an incalculable and unexpected gift. I am so, so grateful.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Big Ass Belle again

When I left off writing at Notes On My Life to start focusing on my health, it was in part because I'd become so despondent over our political climate that I couldn't focus on anything else.

I started this blog as a means of accountability. I know that accountability works and is a necessary part of my recovery as a food addict. So here I am being accountable again.

It is a pattern in my life to set aside the maintenance of me to pursue other things: work, the health needs of others, other folks' crises, disasters of one kind of another, work, work and, most often, work.

Once again, I've repeated this tired and destructive pattern. It started with my mother-in-law's estate sale and then continued as we neared the mid-term elections with too much focus on a new employee's difficult living situations and my anxiety over the outcome of the vote.

I asked my husband the other day why he thinks it is that I have this almost insurmountable need to help. It's true that many, many people in the world could use a little help, but it's really not necessary that Little Miss Fix-It jump into every untenable situation to provide a solution. It's not. I did make a career of helping, but. I. retired. It's so hard to remember that. I'm not a child abuse investigator anymore. I sell antiques. Got to get it through this noggin.

So Little Miss Big Ass Fix-It is turning around once again to take a look at herself and what she needs. She needs to eliminate some of the "too much" crap going on at work. She requires regular doses of quiet time. She needs time with puppies sleeping on her lap. She needs to get back to the gym, and she needs to take enough time to be able to eat healthy.

Can I fix myself? I've done it before. I'm not broken, but I need a tune-up. I also need Help and will ask for that. We'll see what happens.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

But it's not all good . . .

So much emotion and tension and energy caught up in the reclamation of America. It's hard to come down, but as I'm coming in for a soft landing, I am reminded that despite sweeping changes in the House and Senate, my gay friends still cannot marry their lifetime loves. Straight woman that I am, I can only try to imagine how that must feel. I'm blanked out on words, so I'm repeating in honor of the GLBT community this bit I wrote last summer. It bears repeating and with it I am expressing my hope that one day, one day soon, love will win out.

I talked with my friend today and he told me he had recently suffered a bout of depression. It finally lifted, and he was again able to find pleasure in simple things, in the life he has made with a woman, in his new grandchild, his daughters.

When I talk to him, I can't help but feel sad that he had to give up an essential part of himself in order to have the things he wants. My friend is almost 60 years old. He grew up a southern boy in the wilds of Louisiana. He knew he was gay from a young age, yet he yearned to have children and surely felt a pressure to conform to the normalcy of a small southern town in the '50s.

He did all the right things, excelled at school, was a cheerleader in college, met an Indian princess and fell in love, as best he could, when he was longing in his secret heart to find his prince. He wanted children and he's a marvelous daddy. His daughters adore him and the new grandbaby is all he's ever wanted. Almost.

He adores his princess, too, and their relationship is filled with warmth and respect and a kind of love. But there's something to be said for being true to oneself. Maybe there's everything to be said for being true to oneself. Maybe without that, there really is no kind of life, even if it looks really wonderful.

In all respects, my friend's life is wonderful. He has everything anyone could want, and yet he finds himself depressed and I am saddened by something in his eyes, an unutterable sorrow, even on the best of days.

With the Cheney/Rove/Bush effort to once again rally the wingnuts on the right to vote by waving the red flag of gay marriage, I think of my friend and we talk about this choice he made, the only choice he really could make at that time and in that place.

Would he have made another marriage at such a tender age if he could have? Would he have married his prince? Would adopted children have satisfied the longing he has to be a parent? Would his eyes then sparkle and be filled with the same joy I see when we are laughing and being crazy and acting out and telling stories of southern life, when he seems to be most at ease, at peace, and before he remembers that he's someone else, not himself, not truly.

Almost sixty years of denying something as basic as his sexuality. I can't even imagine it. I don't even know how one finds that kind of strength and commitment. Maybe it's simply a transaction: I give up this to get that. But what if he could have had it all? What if he could have had his prince and his children, his beloved grandson and a life of being at home with himself, able to relax his vigilance and just let go. On his own, with me, with others who know, he's a different kind of man: fully alive, magical in his humor and liveliness and as charismatic as anyone I've ever met.

When I talked to my friend today, I found myself wishing, wishing that he had married his prince instead of his princess, that their children had two daddies and the new grandbaby two grandpas. What's wrong with that? How can anything really be wrong with that? It's just love, along with commitment and honor and the selflessness that's inherent in anyone who feels so strongly about kids. The greatest Commandments are to love God and to love one another (and yes, heathen that I am, I had to look that up just to be sure). Despite what we're told, it seems that even in Heaven's view, there is nothing wrong with that. Love is everything and in this life, wouldn't my friend's love for his prince have been
just as worthy a thing as the love he has for his princess?

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Cleaning house

Who'd have thought it possible there would be a clean sweep in the House and Senate? I am stunned and delighted and full of hope.

My housekeeper's coming today and it occurs to me that this afternoon my house will be gleaming and gorgeous and spotless top to bottom. Everything will be polished and plumped and fluffed, ready for another week. In a couple of days, some of the plump and fluff will be gone. Some of the polish dimmed a bit by fingerprints, dust. By the time she reappears in a week, it will be looking a little rough, a little messy, with clutter here and there and the occasional horror courtesy of some box-lot auction I couldn't resist.

We've swept congress and now it is up to us, the American people, to keep it polished and plumped and fluffed. Whether or not you've ever been involved in politics, please consider taking some kind of action now, even if it's just to get your name on the list of your local party headquarters.

An excellent bipartisan website for paying attention to our employees in congress is The Sunlight Foundation. Check it out and you may be as enchanted as I am with this grassroots effort to participate in effective action to make Congress transparent and accountable.

And I just have to say it one more time: Hallelujah!!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The emperor of the United States of America has received a resounding smackdown from the owners of this country. No, it was not a presidential election, but the rout in the House and significant gains in the Senate will send a message to the Bush-Cheney-Rove axis of evil that they are not the sole owners of this country and the US is still, despite their best efforts, a democracy. Something different, at long last. Still hoping for Montana and Virginia at this early hour.

Now, how do we stop the wholly biased mainstream media from spinning this into a republican win? I am as concerned about bias in the media as I have been about the election results. We must find a way to force the lapdogs in the press to do their jobs, which is to report the news from a neutral stance and to inform the public so that we may hold accountable our employees in Washington.

Hallelujah ~ what a relief.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

God help us

God, goddess, allah, buddha, someone please help us today. VOTE. Please vote.


Sunday, November 05, 2006


If you are not registered to vote, shame on you. If you are registered and don't, I will never, never understand. Vote. It's the only thing we have left to do.


Friday, November 03, 2006

I can't think

or write and I'm depressed, holding my breath until next Tuesday. I am hoping, hoping, praying for a change. Please vote, regardless of your political affiliation. Having seen HBO's documentary on the Diebold (and others') voting machines, I am not hopeful that our democracy will survive. But let's all vote, no matter what. It's an obligation, a responsibility. Please vote.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And in honor of the divine, new Project: Gay

A little story about my very first drag queen meet-up, innocent (relatively so) 18 year old in the big city:

Miss Jenna of Houston, dead now for 20 years and such a loss.


Wonder Woman!

And Wonder Boys, writing at the spanking new and fabulous blog Project: Gay. Tom and Lorenzo are divine and have provided pithy commentary and laughs at Project RunGay for the last several months. For wit and style and glamour, visit these funny men at their new venture.