Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dodging bullets and other tales of romance

Over the years I have gone through angst and sorrow over love (or its facsimile). These episodes ran the gamut from crushes that went on far too long to unrequited to pretend-requited and without fail I felt that if I did not end up with this person my broken heart would kill me. Or I would kill myself.

Whatever the chemical psychic pull of 'love' might be one thing it tends to do is blind you to reality, or at least to the reality of the other person and whether or not you really are right for each other or if you're just filling some ancient void that actually needs 'filling' from another source - yourself.

I have been guilty of that old (and very valid) cliche: Love is Blind on nearly every occasion. I have suffered the pains of hell because things did not work out the way I thought they should. But on every count it seems that no matter how much I've run myself over the coals for being an idiot for loving someone who didn't love me, pretended to love me, or any gradient in between it seems I tortured myself over a big fat nothing.

The truth is everyone who I've 'loved and lost' turned out to be the biggest blessings one could hope for. The truth is I have dodged a bullet (in love) more times than one could hope for and I cannot believe my luck. Not that it ever felt like luck at the time, no siree. But in retrospect I breathe sigh after sigh after Godzilla-sized sigh of relief that I did NOT get what I wanted in those relationships. Clearly I have done some Matrix-style bullet dodging in my life without even knowing I was doing it. Go me!

The seemingly 'great loves of my life' have turned out to all have been... how do we put this kindly... um, okay no way to do that: Losers. I'm talking alcoholics, depressives who will not seek help, manipulators, adulturers, trapped in the past, conceited (? hello???) and closeted homosexuals. OH BABY, have I had some wacky luck with the menfolk. There were of course a couple that were perfectly wonderful - needless to say I broke up with them. I don't believe it was an attempt to punish myself though so much as being able to see that we were really not compatible in any real way. Which sorta blows for me because, you know, otherwise really nice guys. Ah well. But the topic here are the ones I agonized about. The ones I KNEW were perfect for me but who were in fact completely poisonous to me and I was utterly blind to it.

Seeing how these 'great loves' have turned out since we parted ways I truly am astounded that I thought each of them were so amazing - at the time. WHAT a dope! I do blame at least 80% of that cloudy tunnel vision on the fact that I was never quite 'right' in my brain chemistry. I let relationships - sick and twisted as they might have been - continue on for far, far too long. Wasted years over men because I had no ability to see past my emotions. One of the perks of having my seratonin levels balanced is the ability to actually see what I'm dealing with - in all aspects of my life. Seeing reality has made getting out of bad situations quickly far easier.

I know, with total certainty, that had I ended up with any of the men I 'couldn't live without' that I would have ended up killing myself, either slowly through drinking too much or quickly with a razor blade. Of that I'm positive. And I gotta tell ya, the poor ladies who did end up with these guys - they have all my pity.

I've never been a huge Rolling Stones fan - don't get me wrong, I like 'em just fine, just not something I listen to with great regularity. But in one instance they caught a lyric that really does sum it all up.
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need
Even if what you need is simply not to be with the one you think you want.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Basil took a walk... yes Virginia there IS a Santa Claus

The irony of walking other people's dogs when my own dog refuses to leave a 20 foot radius in front of our building is much fuel for my own self-deprecating humor. It's very much 'the cobbler's children have no shoes'... except that walking Basil is not something I don't have time for, or don't want to do. In fact I began walking other people's dogs because Basil refused to go for walks with me. It made me sad.

Today he made me as happy as if I'd just met Cesar Milan. Happier. Because today Basil walked with me.

I honestly do not remember when he last walked with me - it's been that long. From time to time he has deigned to cross the street to say hello to the lovely Mr. & Mrs. Chow who run a cleaner's, or to go almost all the way down our block (because he didn't realize how far we were going!) But a real walk, a walk that involved leaving the block, crossing an avenue and circling back? Please. Mr. Basil don't do THAT sort of nonsense. Until today.

I saw my yummy Mexican Dog Whisperer hero deal with a situation like Basil's once. A dog who would 'put on the breaks' at a certain point on his block and would walk no farther. Of course, Cesar fixed the problem. I watched the segment over and over and then applied the principles to Basil - and truly, it worked. But it only worked for about a week. Then Basil pulled rank and that was that.

Today I just... well, I'm not sure what happened to day. It's gorgeous out, Basil didn't seem anxious to run back in and I decided to push the envelope (or the leash) a little and it WORKED. There was no fighting, no tugging, no pulling and best of all, no tail between his legs. He walked like a ... dare I say it? He walked like a 'regular' dog! For more than 20 minutes!

I worry about his joints hurting, but he didn't seem to be in any sort of discomfort and he actually seemed happy to be walking. I cannot express how thrilled I am about this. It may not seem like such a huge deal, but anyone who knows this dog knows it is HUGE.

Will he do it again later? Or even tomorrow? I can only hope, and try again. But for now I am reveling in the thrill of having walked my OWN dog. I couldn't be prouder.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Got Faith?

When I was a child my faith in all things supernatural, ethereal and religious (read Catholic) was pristine, unwavering and absolute. I was the queen of the Wonder Bread catechism - (you know, making Eucharist out of Wonder Bread because it was so full of nothing you could squash it into a flat "host" just like they used at my church! Builds strong bodies (and souls!) 12 ways! wheee!)

But I lost my faith in god when I was eight. My hamster died. I begged with all my 8 year old heart for god to give him back to me - 'he' didn't and that was the start of my doubts. Seems simplistic to those who maintain their faith throughout their lives, with much greater losses, but for me, that event was the crack in the foundation that eventually brought down the house. But I have nothing if not a belief in things being possible - even then and I continued to believe fully and without reserve in other things, like Santa Claus, and that there must indeed be something greater than us.

I no longer believe in the doctrines I was raised with but I think ... I hope... that there is something greater. I don't often discuss my own spiritual beliefs because to me that's intensely private, although I LOVE to talk religion because it still fascinates me. But that's the thing see, there's your personal faith and then there's religion. Faith - that's yours. It belongs to you and it is in you and informs (hopefully) the way you act towards your fellow creatures here on this planet where things are concrete not ethereal. But shouldn't that faith be a building block towards a better world rather than a tool for power mongering and inducing fear or distrust in your fellows? I think it should. I think that's what Jesus was talking about in the bible that is so often quoted by certain groups to chastise and denigrate other people who do not follow their party line.

I guess that's what people do though. They choose to use what they can to push their own views onto others. Because you know, those are the ONLY views that are right. Uh huh. Yeah.

If I may: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I do believe, please correct me if I'm wrong, that that particular quote is supposed to come from the lips of one Jesus of Nazarath. A fellow who quite frankly has my respect, while his so called followers do not. Not all, of course, I mean the ones who bastardize his teachings to suit themselves. It's called the Golden Rule because it pretty much epitomizes, to my understanding, all you really need to be a good person and live a good life. And isn't that what all religions boil down to? Be good. Be good to others and the rest will take care of itself. Trouble is that's just not enough for some people and they feel they have to MAKE everyone believe what they believe. Even to the point that it controls our government.

If I may, yet again: Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s. Again from that kooky, peace-loving Jesus. Am I completely off-base to see that quote as a direct separation of church and state? Hmmmm. Always bothers me to see a gift shop in a church. I'm looking at you St. Patrick's Cathedral. And it always bothers me to see government run with a religious bent.

This country was founded on greed and acquisition. Oh yeah, and theft. Beads for land, small pox... a very nice history. It was also, in part, settled by people who were desperate to practice their religious beliefs without persecution - of course they were the first to persecute anyone who didn't buy into their faith: witchhunts anyone? But at least the ideal of freedom of religion was there... you know, to a degree.

I don't know where I'm going with this, just spouting off as usual. Something about Easter brings it all up in me. I guess it's the acquisition of other religion's festivals, hello bunnies, eggs and Passover and calling them uniquely Christian. I make no excuses for my own issues with the Catholic church and Christianity - I have many. Oddly enough many of them have to do with wavering on dogma. Ironic, no? Especially since my other issues are with dogma in general. Aiiieeee. Confusing much? Perhaps I should have studied Theology in school instead of theater.

I suppose my anger at religious institutions and the "I'm right, and you're going to hell if you don't agree with me" attitude is that I lost my faith. I'm angry that I don't have that any more. I'm angry and I'm very sad about it too. I'd love to have the unwavering faith I had as a child. I'd love to have that spiritual crutch of a dogma that I could follow blindly knowing it was the right way. But it's gone. Pffft. So I'm left to those basics that I do believe, that DO make sense. That one simple sentence Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's not always as easy as it might seem, but it's something to strive for, it's something to have faith in.

Friday, April 03, 2009


With only 24 hours in a day and me needing something closer to 37 I've found a lot of things not getting done. These are things I've told friends I'd do for them - fully intending to - and then in the seemingly endless additions to the To-Do list have not gotten done. Please note my guilt about not getting these things done is huge.. yet I still continue to not get them done. What IS that? Fear primarily.

I've probably mentioned before that when I'm fearful of doing something, being somewhere, just plain fearful, I tend to go to sleep. It's a weird interpretation of the fight or flight mechanism. My version: no fight, no flight, big nap. Sure it would have gotten me eaten by a dinosaur.... but wait, did humans co-exist with dinosaurs? Hmmm. I'd best double-check my bible on that one. Any way, using napping instead of fighting or 'flighting' wouldn't have worked in more primitive times, but here in my cozy little apartment... or occasionally on the subway... I have found it works for me. Of course I don't get done the things that I'm frightened of doing (my fear? Fucking it up.) but it does help tip back the balance lost from my usual insomnia, so it's good for something at least.

So I've been sleeping well the past few weeks using the combination of herbal remedies, tons of dog walks and fear of doing things I said I'd do. Boy, it really does take a village to get Joy some ZZZZs.

It hasn't been all sleeping and dogs however. I have truly been busy-busy in all sorts of wacky fun ways. In no particular order:

I did an interview for a spot on Televisa (Mexico's Top News outlet) about unusual jobs in the U.S.

I have boarded three dogs in the past three weeks.

I pulled up the cracked and hideous tiles on my kitchen floor, repaired the sub flooring, trekked home two incredibly heavy boxes of tiles (one more to go) and laid them out. BTW the floor now looks gorgeous even though it's only 90% finished.


Made an ill-conceived and embarrassing attempt to deliver a sick friend a care package. Let's not even go there.

Reading books for the Blind and Dyslexic every weekend.

Went to my aunt's funeral on the dreaded land of my birth: Long Island. She was last of my father's siblings, and a really lovely lady who I wish I had known better.

Got a facial and a full body sugar scrub (there was a Spa Day sale and I couldn't resist).

Knitting for the homeless.

Finally using the gift certificate for a massage that Gary gave me for Christmas. Hellllo.

Went to the theater for the first time in months and actually saw a good show! Then went for drinks which, can I tell you?, I haven't gone to a bar just for actual drinks in so long that I do not even remember the last time. Met an extremely good-looking (and smart) guy who did not seem repelled by me (yay!!) was not 12 years old (yay!!) is straight (dear god YAY!) and who, naturally has not called me (*sigh* oh well... 3 outta 4 ain't bad.)

After 10 years of bitching about it I finally flipped my refrigerator door so that it opens in the right direction... this involved buying my very own ratchet set. Yes, I can get really excited about a ratchet set AND a facial. Both are good fun! I am woman: hear me roar, watch me make home repairs and PLEASE don't interrupt my mani/pedi!

Ran into a friend on the street in front of my apartment and ended up having her come up and help me get rid of some of my extra wine and laughing our asses off.

And with all this going on I have my friend obligations that I've already bollocksed up and looming large is the fun fun FUN of doing my taxes!

All this was a very long-winded way of saying: I haven't been blogging much because I've been a little busy.

I'm hoping that starting next week I may have a little more free time, or will have at least gotten adjusted to being really swamped and find a way to find a few minutes to blog. The past few weeks I've just been sort of slammed with new schedules, serious running around, and a mind burdened with the thousands of things I want to do and it's just made it hard to think clearly. But next week... next week will be calmer.

I think.