Friday, December 28, 2007

"You didn't tell me that your parents lived in serial killer country."

So my parents have met Ms. K. It's rather strange to think that two very separate parts of my life have merged like a brief planetary alignment. The event happened Christmas night when Ms. K arrived at my parents' house in "serial killer country."

"You must not love me anymore," she said over the phone, only minutes away from arrival. In the background I could hear the computerized voice of her GPS system telling her where to turn. "You didn't tell me that your parents lived in serial killer country. You lured me out here to kill me in the woods."

I imagined at that moment that Ms. K must have been negotiating the dark and winding turns that mark the desolate path to my parents' house. I imagined that the only light would have been from her headlights, the full moon, and the distant glow of homes decked out in Christmas lights. "I warned you! Didn't I tell you that they lived in the sticks?"

"Yeah but you didn't tell me that I would fear for my life. You didn't grow up here did you??"

"No, I'm from the suburbs."

"This is Blair Witch country!"

"Funny, it was filmed in Maryland . . . ."

"You're not helping!"

When Ms. K finally arrived, my stuff was already by the door ready to go. It was nearly 11 pm and most of my extended family had either left for home or had gone to bed. My father introduced himself and shook her hand like it was a business meeting. My mother warmly said hello from behind the island in the kitchen. I was nervous and anxious to get going. While my father instructed Ms. K on the best route to drive to Brooklyn, she was silently checking out my mom for a glimpse of how I might look in my late 50s. The meeting took all of two or so minutes.

When then loaded up the car and said our goodbyes. When I offered to drive Ms. K's car, everyone shared a chuckle over my inability to drive a stick shift. Okay good, I thought, at least Ms. K and my parents can find common ground by making fun of me.

Monday, December 24, 2007

"It's hard out here for a pimp."

It wasn't just the comments on my last post that wondered if my mother truly understood that I meant girlfriend with a capital G. Ms. K was also rather suspicious and pointed to the fact that my mother had offered her the fold out couch instead of the bed that I was sleeping in. But c'mon, I thought. My mom's an intelligent lady, right?

I mean it only briefly occurred to me that maybe she had become one of the Pod People because the conversation went off without much incident. How could she not know that I meant "my girlfriend?" When I woke up this morning, my father still snoring from the other room, I discovered her watching Hustle & Flow. Then I really began to wonder if she was one of the Pod People.

But then I realized that perhaps our conversation hadn't been so successful when she asked if I had heard from my "friend" as we drove to lunch. I thought she meant Laura, who is back again on my shit list for telling me she would check up on my cats yesterday but never calling to say she did so nor responding to my text. "No your friend from Pennsylvania," my mother interrupted when I started on my diatribe about Laura dropping the ball.

Oh. My "friend." Jesus fucking Christ, do I have to have this conversation all over again?

I could have clarified the matter then (I should have fucking clarified the matter the night before), but instead I decided to silently fume in the back seat of the car, fume over lunch, fume in the liquor store, and fume in the grocery store. It was an old tactic that I had perfected in my teen aged years and apparently I was still quite good at it.

When I got home I talked to Ms. K on the phone for an hour or so, managed to calm down, and listened to the sound of her wrapping presents. Afterwards I went into my parents' bedroom where my mother was alone watching television and wrapping a gift for her sister.

"You know I meant my girlfriend girlfriend was coming down to get me," I said, staring at my hands as I petted my parents' cat.

"Oh I didn't know."

"But I said my girlfriend," I mumbled like a disaffected teenager.

"But I didn't know what you meant. I have girlfriends too."

I sighed and suddenly it was like it was 1994 when I was miserable and used to lock myself in my bedroom for hours on end.

And then she said, "Rouge, it's all right. We just want you to be happy. Are you going to stop moping?"


"Well stop moping around. So are you going to tell us anything about her?"

After I explained to my mom that Ms. K is a devastatingly pretty genius, I felt a little deflated for having gotten worked up TWICE for nothing. But I guess this counts as a Christmas Miracle and if my mom is telling the truth, all she wants is for me to be happy and that's the best Christmas present of all.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"That's it. You want them happy."

My horoscope for today:

"One of your oldest relationships is reaching an important turning point. This is the time to admit that it's now or never, and make the choice you have been afraid to make. You need to look out for yourself in this scenario, and realize that your role in the partnership is not just to do what they expect you to do all the time. Where is your piece of the pie? You can choose to have a last conversation on the topic, or you can choose to just let go and move on."

Balls. Could my horoscope be talking about my mother and how I have been planning to rectify our relationship by re-coming out to her? Now or never?? Balls.

Okay, I can do this, I told myself. How hard can it be for me to just say the words I have a girlfriend. Or something to that effect. Quick like a Band-Aid!

My stomach felt queasy, but that could have been the food poisoning I had yesterday. How could I casually insert that into a conversation? Especially since Ms. K had been thinking of picking me up in Maryland to take me back to Brooklyn?

My mother and I have a shall we say special relationship. I briefly lost my nerve yesterday when our Brooklyn based reunion started off rocky (I ended up crying in my bathroom. And it wasn't just the food poisoning.) But now that I was back in Maryland would I still have it in me to do what I needed to do?

I saw my opportunity over a mother-daughter shopping trip figuring that I could either (a) tell her in the car yet risk a car crash or (b) tell her in a public place so she couldn't lose her shit. Right. A PLAN!

But then she started buying me stuff and I hesitated because I really wanted those sheets that she said she'd get me. Okay, I'd tell her in the car! Kismet struck as we were leaving the store when she said, "I don't know how you're going to fit all this stuff in your suitcase to take back to New York."

"It won't be a problem," I stammered, my tongue feeling strange in my mouth as I prepared to say what I have been scared of for ten years.

"Why is that?" she asked.

"Because my . . . girlfriend might be picking me up either Tuesday night or Wednesday."

My heart began to race as the words hung between us. And then my mother responded with:

"Oh it would be a big help if she would pick you up!"

Wait. What just happened here? Did my mom just casually roll over the fact that I just said I had a girlfriend? Where were the hysterics of years past? Was she happy that Ms. K was coming because she wouldn't have to drive me to the bus on the 26th?

"Who is this?" my mother continued.

"Her name is Ms. K."

"Where is she coming from?"

"Pennsylvania." My voice sounded strange coming out of my mouth.

"She can always stay Tuesday night. There's the fold out couch and the air mattress."

Um, who are you and what have you done with my mother?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"No going twosies in the house!"

Ah, the holidays. I'm a mess per usual. I've only bought one thing for Christmas (an etching for my mother) and I'm quickly running out of time at a rate that seems to be matching my dwindling bank account. I have a massive pile of laundry to do and my parents are arriving in two days to stay with me briefly before whisking me off to Cow Country, Maryland. But since it's looking increasingly like Ms. K and I will be forgoing Vermont for alternate plans, at least I don't have to figure out who's going to feed my cats while I'm gone. Instead we can hang in The Brooklyn, lay in my bed together with cups of coffee, and talk about Stuff.

One of our topics of conversation revolves around the fact that I'm a cat person (but not this kind) and she's a dog person. I have two cats that constantly leave me covered in white fur and various furniture shredded; Ms. K has a golden retriever who is apparently "devastatingly handsome."

"So how long do cats live?" Ms. K asked innocently.

"Oh I don't know. Fifteen years? Sometimes 20. I once had a professor in college who had a cat who was older than me at the time."

I got a wide eye stare of incredulity. "Can't you just teach them to be dogs instead of cats?"

It was my turn to stare at her incredulously.

"Just teach them to bark," she continued, "walk them outside instead of using the cat box, feed them on schedules, and give them baths. None of this thing where they lick themselves."

"Have you ever tried giving a bath to a cat??!"

Clearly not.

What this highlights is that there are clearly some differences in our personalities, differences that can be overcome, but somebody is going to have to realize that cats + water = not good.

Instead we agreed that my cats are transitioning to dogs, but will remain pre-op. These are the compromises one makes for love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Just so you know, my mental image is of you, crouching in terror, with a board strapped to your feet, and a Marie Antoinette wig on your head."

Because this is blog post number 500 and who wants some sort of introspective drivel, here's me on the slopes having wiped out on the snowboard. Marie Antoinette is here to protect the innocent or rather what's left of my dignity.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"If you're going to blog about this, you have to paint an accurate picture."

I consider myself an open minded person, ready to try new things, and challenge myself with activities that might be outside of my comfort zone. With foods I'm adventurous and I will gamely go new places because it's worth the experience. When Ms. K and I got to talking about snowboarding once, I confessed that I had never skied or snowboarded before.

"Never?" she asked incredulously. Ms. K had once been an avid snowboarder and was quite good.

Never. But I'll try. I have good balance on the subway! How hard could it be?

What we didn't account for was the fact that I would discover snowboarding to be the most fear inducing activity I have ever taken part in. With my feet strapped unnaturally onto the board, I immediately began slipping in a undesirable direction. As soon as gravity took hold, so did terror. Let me tell you how much my body enjoyed moving 50 miles and hour down an icy decline with only various layers of clothing and body fat to protect me.

Zero percent.

I really wanted to like snowboarding. Ms. K even said that I was starting to get the hang of it, but when my body smacked into hard earth for the fourth time, I crouched there near tears, too terrified to move, and thinking that I would have paid anyone any amount of money to not be on that slope again. For all that effort I only went down the bunny slope once, too scared and sore to attempt again.

So there. I totally punked out. After a calming dose of nicotine, I went to the beginners hill, looked down its gentle white slope for a second chance, and feared for my life.

Ms. K is starting to think that going to Killington, Vermont is a bad idea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Knock knock."

Because some of you out there appreciate that I'm mildly freakish and decided that the way I was going solve my financial crisis was by gaining employment from two New York City astrologers, then maybe you will also appreciate that I'm keeping a close eye on the monumental Jupiter-Pluto conjunction transiting my first house today. But most of my clever readers probably care more about what's going on in my non-astro life.

My friend Ms. Mouthy Femme recently wrote:

"My adorable blogger friend, Rouge, posted an entry the other day about how she wondered whether her finding love made her blog . . . obsolete. I didn't comment, but wanted to say that being in a close romantic relationship, we dredge up baggage even more intriguing than we do when we're single, which makes for good reading . . ."

Dredge up baggage? Check.

It's no secret that I don't have the best of relationship with my family owing to my disastrous coming process 10 years ago. While my mother and I in particular have come to some sort of balance in our relationship, we don't talk about the G-word. Except for that awkward mention after last Christmas -- the same cluster fuck of a holiday where I had planned to re-come out to my mom only to find her not in the most agreeable mood. Now that Christmas is once again upon us, I had been thinking if I should try the coming out process again. The difference between this year and last year is that I have girlfriend that I care deeply for.

Whether it's in a couple of weeks or later, by phone or in person, I'm eventually going to have to bite the bullet and resolve one of the biggest unresolved areas of my life. Although Ms. K doesn't want it to be on her behalf and although this resolution stems from a fight we had about Christmas plans, it's something that I need to do.

Friday, December 07, 2007

"We are delayed due to train traffic ahead! Please be patient."

Stuck on the Manhattan Bridge for 40 minutes a few days ago, confined to a rush hour Q train that refused to move owing to "signal problems," I had time to think about things. My iPod battery was drained and I had nothing to read except for subway ads. Yes, I had quite a bit of time to think. With an easy night time view of Lower Manhattan, I was reminded yet again why I love this city -- despite dangling precariously over the East River at the mercy of a sometimes infuriating transportation system. It's been three years since I moved here from Washington, DC and I have absolutely no regrets.

I also thought about how this blog has gone through some transformations in the three years, first as a chronicler of my time as a fledgling New Yorker and then as a balls out Lesbian Takes on Brooklyn and Manhattan. Now my blog is . . . what? Hmmm. What do you all think? Have I somehow strayed from from my raison d'etre? Do I need to start getting my gay on again? Perhaps this blog, much like my life, has shifted into its next stage of development.

So where am I? Stuck on a Q train between two points in my life? No, not stuck. I'm definitely moving. Ms. K and I have been seeing each other for five months now -- long enough to start thinking long term while avoiding any Lesbian dating clichés. (I feel bad for not writing about the transformation here in this blog) She's still in Pennsylvania and I in Brooklyn, but for now it is what it is. We know each other well enough to be able to catalogue our mutual likes and dislikes and tally up our identifying marks. I am particularly fond of the string of three freckles near her heart, an Orion's belt of pigment small enough that I can cover it with a thumb.

I guess if there is any lesson to be learned from this blog is that it's absolutely possible to have a sane, stable Lesbian relationship. Praise be to OFAG, but there's something to be said about the saying that you get what you're looking for when you stop looking for it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Because you picked a good cradle to rob."

I sometimes joke with Ms. K (who incidentally wants a new blog name) that I feel like a cradle robber. I'm 29. She's 22.

"You're not really a cradle robber. You have to be at least ten years older."

Okay, that takes some of my anxieties away.

"Here's the thing about you being a cradle robber," she continues. "I'm not some crappy 22 year old. It's not like I live in my parents' basement and drink Keystone Lite and make you buy me things. I take you to Vermont to snowboard and own a house and buy you stuff and tell you that you're pretty."

As I type out her comments, she seems frustrated and gives me a look, that scrunched up brow look that I've come to know.

"I don't like that quote," she says, looking over my shoulder. "It makes me sound like an arrogant douche bag."

"I don't think you're an arrogant douche bag. I think you're lovely."

"But your blog readers aren't going to think that."

We're in bed with the laptop. I've taken the day off of work, a cat is curled up with us, and it's snowing outside. We had been planning on how we're going to celebrate Hanukkah later and how we're going to need to go to the store to get latke making supplies.

"Who's your favorite shiksa?"

"You are," she says with a smile. "Why don't tell your blog readers why you like being a cradle robber."

"I forget that you're 22. For reals."

"Because you picked a good cradle to rob."

"My rising sign is Sagittarius. Moon in Gemini."

Ms. K chastised me again for not updating my blog. Incidentally it was over dinner again in Ditmas Park. This time I had no excuses. Well, some. I have been working up updating my portfolio and looking for side work, which, strangely, materialized as a steady side job working for two New York astrologers and their highly trafficked website. Swear to God. It's funny the job postings you find on Craigslist.

(Didn't I joke in my last post that I could work as an astrology consultant?)

Anyway, that should save me from destitution for a while. No bleak Dickensian future for me! Oh no. I will be an astrologer to the stars. (Shameless plug: For a nominal fee I'll read your astrology chart! All you international readers should take advantage of the plunging Dollar!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"You can do better."

"You need to update your blog," Ms. K said over dinner in Ditmas Park a couple days ago.

"But I did today!"

She whipped out her iPhone and connected to Post No Bills, the image of which was fractured by the many tiny slivers in her screen (nb: iPhones crack when you drop them). After a quick skim of the page she declared that I could to do better.

"But it was my birthday," I sputtered, "and then it was Thanksgiving! There wasn't any time to update my blog with all the turkey eating."

She looked incredulous.

Perhaps the lady doth protest too much after all. I really could have done better but I have been unmotivated and caught in a post-holiday depression. The recent theme of decadence has given way to austerity as I take a look at my sad finances and figure out how I am going to pay my bills. I already canceled the cable and figured out how to make a week's worth of meals consist of Thanksgiving leftovers. Then I realized that I couldn't do without my cell phone or my internet, so that stays. I contacted some of my freelance clients, but stuff like that takes time to develop much less get paid. I even considered bartending, but I only have experience drinking the drinks, not pouring them for money.

So here are some scenarios where all my financial problems are solved:

* I am contacted by a heretofore unknown rich relative who wants to fund my moderately extravagant lifestyle.

* I am hired by numerous people who recognize my brilliance and want to financially compensate me for it, whether it be design, feng shui or astrology consulting, writing, or programming.

* I whore out my Gold Star for a lucrative sum. I could take applications from rich Saudi men.

* I sell a kidney.

* I win the lottery.

Incidentally my mom wrote me to ask what I wanted for Christmas. While I can't let her know that I am facing destitution and a bleak future that would have given Charles Dickens pause, I did ask for champagne glasses, clothes, and a rug for my bedroom. What I really need is, in addition to cash, a box to store my sex toys in. But that's another thing I can't share with mom.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"I didn't think I'd be fisting a turkey."

The bourbon gravy didn't quite happen. I made some rookie mistakes. I served Thanksgiving dinner on my coffee table, but fuck me if I didn't make the best turkey ever!

Yeah, last Thursday was Thanksgiving. I spent it with my gay + gay friendly friends, which is far better than spending it with family. And good friends are what I have to be thankful for.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Yay! It's a Party About Me!"

Thank you all for birthday wishes. It was definitely the Best Birthday Ever™ and I even dressed up, although my attempts to look like Marie Antoinette on the cheap looked more Harlequin romance cover than 18th century.

Some highlights:

* Getting laid. I think this was the first time I got laid on my birthday since 1998. Fo' reals.

* The birthday cake Ms. K made for me that consisted of Guinness, "a box of butter", chocolate, and other ingredients.

* The alternative birthday cake that Dennise fondly referred to as "donut mountain." Ingredients included Entenmann's donuts held together by cookie dough topped with chocolate frosting, sprinkles, whipped cream, and crushed wafers. Not so much a highlight than a conversation piece. But surprisingly delicious at 3 am whilst drunk.

* Having my house filled with a couple dozen friends of mine, including blogging friends of mine.

* Presents!

* Corset wearing guests!

* The random gay Scottish guy who came with a friend of a friend. He mercifully forgave me with a smile when I tipsily called him Irish, to which I pleaded with apologies that I was not normally such a stupid American. He was like my own personal Alan Cumming and he stayed till the very end of the party.

* Spontaneously running around and singing Hava Nagila. I really don't know what prompted this, but I blame the 4 Calvados sidecars that I had already had by that point. Ms. K thought I was making fun of her people but then I explained that it was something I did, which includes yelling mazal tov when ever someone drops a glass or breaks something.

* The chocolate covered bacon that my friend Meegs made. Not as terrible as it sounds, but Meegs did say that it "was one of the most disgusting things [she] ever made."

* Maire showing up with case (that's 12 bottles) of prosecco. I think we blew through it all by 1 am.

* Getting paddled by Bird and her girl 29 times + one for good luck.

While this birthday was the Best Birthday™, I realized that I barely got to talk to anyone because I was too busy running around being a hostess to 20+ people. I guess there's something to be said about small intimate affairs, right? Perhaps something to aim for when I hit the big 3-0 next year.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Do I have to wear a costume and wig?"

When Beth drunkenly called me from Paris on Wednesday it was to tell me a happy early birthday and to tell me that she had just submitted her final dissertation edits, so very soon she'll be Dr. Beth with a PhD from Cambridge doing her post-doc in Paris. Not bad at all. Looks like we both have something to celebrate!

Since she is living in France, she approves highly of my inadvertently French birthday theme. I think I have my dress sorted and figured out how to make my hair a la Marie Antoinette. Ms. K is still a bit mystified as to why I have to dress up in costume for my birthday, but I explained by saying that I am secretly a drag queen stuck in a Lesbian's body and that for one year every year she's allowed to run rampant. I think Ms. K okay with that.

Now bring on the champagne, bitches!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Decadence - first I have to look it up and see what it means. You know us southerners."

Warning: Those who are generally grossed out by meat, observe kosher or halal dietary rules, or just object to odd combinations of food might want to skip this entry.

Right. Are we all assembled? Ready?

I love pork. I mean like really really love pork. This probably makes me a very bad lesbian. When I was a vegetarian the only thing I missed was pork. Good god, how I missed it. When I gave up meat for Lent earlier this year all I could dream about was a post Easter binge at Momofuku Ssam Bar, the mere thought of which was like seeing a porky oasis at the end of a terrible desert.

You know another thing I like? Chocolate. Perhaps you see where this blog entry is going. What I'm advocating is a sort of culinary crossing of the streams -- you think it will be bad, but it ends up being oh so good.

My 29th birthday is this Saturday and I've devised a cunning plan to celebrate it involving a singular theme -- decadence. Think Marie Antoinette. Think glitter. Think rich food. I've been spending the last couple of days trying to think of a menu that inspires decadence. And what could be more decadent than chocolate covered bacon?

It has to be good, right?

In an email exchange between a friend of mine, we weighed the pros and cons of chocolate covered bacon and learned that apparently we were not as clever as we thought. While not as strange a combination as tuna and waffles, pork + chocolate has a long history together stretching back to sixteenth century Mexico. And then there's this modern example of chocolate covered bacon. Personally I'd leave the sprinkles off.

I'm not sure if my friend is going to make her own version for my party, but I can't wait to be her guinea pig. Until then I have numerous French themed hors d'oeuvres to prepare (in honor of Marie Antoinette), not to mention French inspired cocktails -- "French Martini" punch, calvados sidecar, and plenty of champagne.

Here's my somewhat complete menu:

* Stuffed crepe purses with caramelized banana

* Spiced nuts

* Popovers

* Roasted fennel and carrots

* Aioli

* Pear clafoutis

* Cheeses

* Birthday cake


"I'm happy that I'm going to see you today, because you are very, very pretty, and I heart you."

I've decided that I'm crazy about Ms. K. It is both frightening and exhilarating the way I want her around all the time and I've come to crave her smell, which is an intoxicating mixture of Chanel Allure, cigarettes, and pheromones. The pleasure centers of my brain light up when I bury my face into crook of her neck leading me to be grateful for millions of years worth of evolution that has hardwired the brain towards one simple premise: good smelling woman + sex = continuance of the species. Neurotransmitters crackle and my blood pressure stirs. While I'm not in danger of getting pregnant, I am seriously enjoying the rewarding brain chemicals in the meantime. Go evolution!

Seriously, she makes all the crappy people I dated worth it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

". . . by the grace of nature, not industry."

Yesterday I started to write these words:

There's something about the sense of satisfaction that one feels when a part life begins to go right that inevitably shines a shaky, reluctant light upon the less successful areas. In the midst of enjoying Ms. K very, very much I can't help but see the string of things that need my attention. Some are mundane and others part of the big picture. From the bathroom faucet that slowly leaks and the closet organized to the freelance jobs desperately needed and the career skill set improved.

Even as I wrote these words I felt a reluctance to declare anything a mission accomplished for what is really an ongoing evolution, but really it's because I'm that superstitious. Things between Ms. K and I are delicate. For every Best Day Ever™ there is a frustrated email or text exchange that spans the gulf between two people who want to be together more but cannot for reasons far out of their control. These are sobering reasons that go beyond a simple difference of location, the severity (or rather the possibility) of which I learned last Friday.

My roommate (and colleague) Libby had been with me on a 6 train heading downtown not too long after I learned what I did. I was just trying to keep it together and not cry on the train, explaining things to her that I cannot explain here in this blog. In many ways Libby is my sounding board, which ranks her as one of my very dearest friends. The tenor of our conversation broke only negotiate rush hour train riders and the occasional joke of the stiff drink that awaited the end of our journey.

As we approached the end of the line at City Hall, the train had thinned out so much that only a few riders were left. I was close enough to see a seated woman reading Atonement by Ian McEwan, which more astute blog readers will remember as my favorite book of all time. Although I felt an instant kinship with the woman, I also remembered with sadness that my blog post about my love of Atonement was one of the things that brought Ms. K together for she too is a fan of the book. But then I was struck by the randomness by seeing it on the subway -- not exactly a popular book nor a breezy read. There was something profound in its presence at that exact moment and I saw it as an omen, a sign from the beyond. But what sort of sign? A good sign? Wait, the book is about the awful consequences that come from one stupid mistake and that can't be a good sign. But what if it's just the Universe's way of waving a hand at me and saying Hey, I'm here. Have some faith. It'll all work out.

And that's how I resolved to interpret the sign long after the subway doors opened and the remaining passengers of the 6 train dispersed into the subway station to points unknown.

When I woke up this morning (yes, with my new apnea mask on), I was reminded of the initial sentiment I was trying to express in yesterday's unfinished thought, that of constant self improvement. I think a lot of my recent reflection comes from two upcoming anniversaries -- that of my arrival in New York three years ago and that of my birth twenty-nine years ago. This past year has been life altering in ways that I could never talk about on this blog but I can liken to being repeatedly buffeted by cosmic forces with their own agenda. While I realize that there are some things simply out of my control, there are plenty of things that are.

Snuggled in bed with a cat draped over my stomach I turned the last pages of Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, a book that I have taken so long to finish that it's become a joke between Ms. K and I. Satisfied with one down and another started, I took a break for coffee and to finish this blog entry, Elliot Smith blaring over iTunes. Now I'm off to plunge my energy into the things I can change, but still keeping an eye out for those good omens, a sign from the Universe that it will all work out.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Fo shizzle."

Wednesday was the Best Day Ever™. Why? Here's a play-by-play.

* Ms. K came up from PA and stayed with me. I took off of work.

* Copious amounts of hot lesbian sex.

* Homemade chocolate croissants courtesy of Ms. K, which ended up in me getting covered in chocolate.

* Not getting dressed till 2 pm.

* Co-showering.

* Dashing off to Manhattan to the Museum of Modern Art, Ms. K's favorite museum, where we could both be modern art nerds. There were high-fives for making it out of the house during daylight hours.

* Walking hand in hand around Midtown, keeping each other warm, and kissing in front of all the mid-western tourists.

* Going shopping at Bloomingdale's, where I helped Ms. K try on jeans. She helped by finding it necessary to instigate some dressing room sex.

* Going to Superfine in DUMBO where we drank the Best Cocktail Ever™, the apple brandy sidecar, and ate good food.

* Going home to play Strip Scrabble. I lost. She won. But I guess when you play Strip Scrabble everyone turns out a winner.

Yes, I think that was the Best Day Ever™.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

"Apnea masks are hot."

56.4 seconds.

That is the longest duration of time that I went without breathing during my overnight stay at the sleep clinic a few weeks ago. The findings recently came in the mail recounting other similar scary facts, but not breathing almost a whole minute is surely the scariest. I had a total number of 155 "apneic events" with a mean duration of 26 seconds. Not good.

My apnea mask came yesterday just in time for Halloween. I used it last night and not only did I oversleep this morning, but I now feel as if I slept upside down all night long. I guess this is my body's way of reacting to being fully oxygenated?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"I love you."

There are moments in time when I wish my life was a movie. Sometimes I would fast-forward past the scary parts, but mostly I would pause, rewind, and press play so that I could see that look in her eyes again as she slowly backs away from me, taking a sharp intake of breath before saying I love you for the first time. I would relive her fingers slipping from mine before she pushes off into the stream of pedestrians on Lexington Avenue, back turning but her scent lingering.

Unlike the mind, the scene would never degrade. And then I would play the moment all over again.

"Somebody just touched me."

My story takes us back to the summer of 2006. I was on a first date with a woman who had responded to my dating manifesto on Craigslist. While not exactly a home run of a OFAG candidate, my date and I had a good time nonetheless, first starting at Cocoa Bar in Park Slope followed by a couple of beers at The Gate, the later of which was expectedly packed with weekend revelers. We found space to sit off the back of the bar on vinyl padded benches in a tiny, narrow room where people could play darts.

For a while we had company in the form of a guy and girl at the end of the bench. The room was small enough that probably only a couple of meters separated my date and I from the other two. But after a while they left and it was just the two of us. My date sat on my left and there was nobody on my right.

I should mention that although it was late -- probably 1 or 2 am -- and the fact that I had had a few glasses of wine and a beer, I had managed to sober up.

My date and I had been talking about something, probably the upcoming Sufjan Stevens concert at Town Hall, when I felt someone run their hand slowly down my right leg.

I jumped and immediately whipped my head to the right to see who the hell was groping me because they needed to step off.

No one was there.

It wasn't my date who had gotten frisky with me. She was sitting to my right and I had been looking at her as we talked, my back to the length of the bench and the dart board. And no, there was no way anyone could have gotten in and out of the room because my date was in full view of the entrance.

"Somebody just touched me," I said in shock. "On my right leg."

"I never saw anyone over there."

Spooky . . .

Monday, October 29, 2007

"And I said no no no."

I'm getting too old for drama, especially the lesbian variety. The Halloween party I went to ended up in near fisticuffs with me having to separate Holly's 22 year old roommate, dressed as Amy Winehouse incidentally, and my drunk 35 year old friend Carm. I was dressed as Mrs. White from the movie Clue and while it was a far cry from last year's serving wench look, I still looked hot -- too hot to be playing adult when things took a turn for the dramatic.

Anyway I learned a couple of things:

* Apparently dressing as Amy Winehouse for Halloween is en vogue for 2007 (photos, photos). There were two at the party on Saturday. And apparently Amy gets around too. She was spotted at a party in the DC area.

* Never get in the middle of two drunk girls fighting, especially when one is dressed as Amy Winehouse. She'll fight dirty and crazy.

* I'm too good for Holly, especially after meeting her "boyfriend" at the party for the very first time. I was a little nervous at finally meeting the infamous J, but when he walked in the door I started laughing. I win. I win hands down compared to him. And I felt smug that given the chance to meet him, however awkward, I looked fucking hot. Take that!

* It was me with the candlestick in the kitchen. It was a bloody mess.

And that, my friends, is all I wish to ever blog about Holly ever again.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"I feel like I've been asleep forever . . ."

Ever since Holly and I ended our little experiment at dating, which in all fairness can't be likened to real dating, I've been unconsciously phasing her out as a friend. Now I'm starting to realize this is partially because I needed space and partially because she's one of those people where you have to work at having her in your life and it's not like she brings a lot to the table when she is around. My words might sound harsh but time has granted me some perspective, mostly in the form of Oh my God what the fuck was I smoking??

In her absence I've moved on and made some of the best friends of my life, friends whom I hope will be in my life for a very long time. And I've also seen what a real relationship can be when someone is fully emotionally present even if not always physically.

When Holly asked to have dinner with me the other day I had to offer Friday as an alternative because Ms. K was going to be in town. There was a touch of nostalgia because there was a time when we were always meeting up for beer and dinner in the East Village. We went to a couple of our old haunts -- Brick Lane and Burp Castle (hmm, what an odd juxtaposition of names) -- and spent the evening catching up.

"It only feels like a few weeks ago that we went to Galapagos for Halloween," she said, our table full of curries and samosas to feed our growing intoxication.

"Holly, that was 2005."

"I know. It really feels like only a few weeks ago. I feel like I've been asleep forever and everybody has moved on with their lives."

Was she including me in this statement? She should because I've certainly moved on from 2005.

We chit chatted some more, drank our Kingfisher beers, and got ridiculously stuffed on dahl makhani, during which she referred to a boyfriend by the name of J.

J? Wait. That's the same name as her married boss.

"You're seeing him again?" I asked, eyebrows raised over the perch of my glasses in a way that Ms. K has come to dislike. "Isn't he married??"

"Only technically."

Good God.

You know when you have those moments in your life when you realize just how far you've come and just how far someone hasn't? Yeah, that was one of those moments.

I laughed out loud, my voice cutting through the sound diners and Indian music. I wasn't meaning to be cruel, but there was a air of the absurd to her admitting that after all this time and whatnot she was still caught up in the negative cycle of dating/fucking/whatever her "married" boss. I even think I laughed when Holly admitted that the boss wanted to get married when the divorce was final.

Comedy gold.

"Just so you know," she said, eyes full of emotion, "that when we were dating there definitely wasn't anything going on between J and I."

I laughed again. Don't worry, Holly. There wasn't anything going on between you and I either, mainly because you admitted on more than one occasion that you were still in love with J.

I sat back, patted my full belly, and thanked Christ for letting me get off the Carousel of Stupidity™. I even wanted to call Ms. K then and there and thank her for being super awesome.

Later Holly and I got a beer and things didn't feel so much like old times as they did at the start of dinner. I felt a little weird, especially when she introduced me to Random Bar Patron as her best friend. My reaction, albeit internal, was If I represent the high point or rather one of the most valuable relationships in your life then you have some serious work to do my friend. And to that I felt nothing but pity.

It's nice to move on.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Doesn't your family already know that you're gay??"

I'm not especially close to my parents, a relationship that was further estranged by my forced coming out ten years ago. Since moving to New York I see them once or twice a year and normally it's just a phone call every few weeks to let them know that I'm still alive. Then there's the fact that I have no relationship with my only sibling.

While these facts might shock Ms. K, who is very close to both her mother and brother, for me it is what it is. My familial relationships are complicated and I'm not sure if they will be anything else. My point is that I have no idea what my parents think about my sexuality. I don't know because we don't talk about it. They could secretly be totally fingers crossed waiting for me to announce my engagement to a man. Or they could secretly be PFLAG members. I just don't know because I'm too pussy to ask.

Right. So I did something interesting on Wednesday.

My cousin Amy, who lives in Hawaii and who I haven't seen in a few years, gave me only two hours notice that she was going to be in the city and wanted to have dinner that night. Oh, wait. I already have plans, I warned. Maybe I could combine my plans?

What I didn't tell my cousin was that I was supposed to have dinner with Ms. K. This presented me with a bit of a conundrum. Do I come out to my cousin or do I do the whole this is my friend routine?

I opted for the former strategy. Except passive aggressive.

When we all met up for dinner I introduced Ms. K as my girlfriend. Then I waited for a flicker of recognition, something to show that the news had registered.

But nothing happened and Amy chatted on as if hadn't said anything the least bit scandalous. Did she already know or was it a non issue?

I relaxed and took secret pleasure in the knowledge that Amy would be staying with my parents in a few days. Would she mention that she had dinner with me and "my girlfriend"? I imagined the news like a drop of ink slowly diffusing through a glass of water.

Ms. K took everything in stride, especially the news that she was going to have dinner with my cousin who may or may not know that I am gay, but she was bewildered by my coming out tactic.

"Doesn't your family already know that you're gay??" she later asked.

"Yes. In theory. But the genius is that I've injected the situation with fresh verve. Then maybe the issue will be forced."

In my head I likened my tactic to setting forth events into motion, two catalysts that could either explode or foster something altogether new -- I'm hoping for the later. I'll just have to wait till Christmas to see how my experiment played out. What do I have to lose?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Your blog post concerns me. I want you to breathe all the time."

Ms. K doesn't quite like the name Operation Pimp My Body and its connotations, but I like the double entendre. And because I'm working the whole OPMB angle, I went to the gynecologist for the first time in six years. Six. Why so long? Because the last time I went I had a traumatizing experience. I know, poor excuse to be so caviler with my health, but look how proactive I'm suddenly being?

The Apnea people called today to let me know that they have written me prescription for a CPAP machine and mask. Now all that has to happen is for my health care to cover it and somebody to set up an appointment to deliver it, which reminds me that having health care rocks. Seriously.

And despite having an iron lung in the bedroom I'm very much looking forward to having a good night's rest. I'll paint and decorate my bedroom with a soothing aquatic theme and pretend that every night I'm scuba diving through the deepest depths.

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Wait. What did you say?"

The problem with living like a libertine is that eventually the devil catches up with you. Mind you my boozy debauchery is endearingly light compared to others, but nonetheless there are biological ramifications that I am slowly becoming aware of. Yes, I'm talking to you, Ms. Beer Belly.

It's a hard reality when you realize that you can't remember what it felt like to be properly rested and when low energy and hangovers become the norm. Today I finally got the call from the sleep clinic to let me know that my test results were ready. Straining to understand through the doctor's thick accent, the extent of my sleep apnea became clear. Actually it is quite severe.

"Do you drive?" asked the doctor.

"No, I don't drive." Small lie since I've driven Ms. K's car, but people who drive in New York City are a rarity.

"We advise that people with this severe a case of sleep apnea refrain from driving because they have a higher chance of falling asleep while driving."


"I will write a prescription for you and someone will call you in seven days to set up an appointment to deliver your CPAP mask for a fitting."

Seven days? SEVEN DAYS?! You just told me that I have "severe" sleep apnea, which by my trusty internet research tells me that I stop breathing 30 or more times an hour. These pauses in breathing can be for 10 seconds or more, the point in which oxygen levels in the blood start to decrease and all sorts of bad things can happen. So now I have to wait another seven days before I can start having a normal, restful sleep again?? I'm not exactly hearting this delay. Nor is my oxygen deprived brain. Poor, poor brain.

So with this news and the fact that I'm staring down that last year of my 20s, I'm beginning to realize that, perhaps, my rock star days are waning. Yes, time to take better care of myself because, you know, I've been in need of some singular focus in my life now that OFAG is over. Even before I got my test results today I had been thinking that it's time to put some work into me. Yesterday's lunchtime pedicure wasn't a bad start, and as the man at the pedicure station massaged my feet, I thought this isn't that bad. I should get people to massage me more often.

I was even further inspired when leafed through a battered copy of Vanity Fair and read of Christopher Hitchens's attempt to shock & awe his way back to a healthy regimen. Despite the fact that Hitchens is a neocon apologist douchebag, I liked his highly literate and witty observations on the deconstruction of his bad habits and the lengths to temper them with good ones. He started out his regimen with a trip to a Four Seasons spa. However I will have to start mine with a sleep apnea mask. In seven days.

Is this the start of Operation Pimp My Body?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"OMG It's Columbus Day!!!"

Christmas came early to Post No Bills in the form of $200 worth of sex toys from Babeland courtesy of Ms. K. Since she is Jewish, we agreed that instead of my Christmas analogy, we would stick to calling it more of an interfaith sex toy celebration. Our interfaith celebration, which included this, this, this, and this, lasted till 3 am.

Praise the lord!

PS: The links are kinda NSFW.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Mark my words, you will become a super genius once you start getting proper rest."

New York Magazine's recent feature on the biological impact of sleep deprivation was well timed for obvious reasons. Mind you the article focused mostly on the relation of sleep and the cognitive development of children, but this really struck a chord with me:

"While the neurocognitive sleep discoveries are impressive, there’s equally groundbreaking research on how sleep affects metabolism. Five years ago, already aware of an association between sleep apnea and diabetes, Dr. Eve Van Cauter at the University of Chicago discovered a 'neuroendocrine cascade' that links sleep to obesity.

"Sleep loss increases the hormone ghrelin, which signals hunger, and decreases its metabolic opposite, leptin, which suppresses appetite. Sleep loss also elevates the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is lipogenic, meaning it stimulates your body to make fat. Human growth hormone is also disrupted. Normally secreted as a big pulse at the beginning of sleep, growth hormone is essential for the breakdown of fat."

Curious. I've gained weight recently, which I attributed to stress (stress always equals weight gain for me). And since diabetes runs in my family, I'm scared shitless of getting it. But could my recent weight gain correlate to The Apnea or is it more complicated than that?

At best what I can look forward once I get my apnea mask is a better night's sleep. And if more sleep equals better cognitive functions, then I can expect to be a "super genius" as Dennise has theorized. But I can also look forward to more energy and less of that pesky neuroendocrine cascade. And that, my friends, would be awesome.

Friday, October 12, 2007

"Don't worry, I won't take it as an official diagnosis."

As I previously mentioned, it has been speculated by more than one person that I have The Apnea. Begrudgingly I went to my doctor who then referred me to a sleep clinic in Hells Kitchen. So on Wednesday night, carrying my overnight bag, Ms. K escorted me to the clinic for my overnight stay.

Not knowing what to expect, I was a little nervous. Would the clinic be this grim laboratory like place, all linoleum and florescent lights, that I was expected to sleep in? The reality was more like a hotel that happened to have a doctors office in it. The staff was super nice and answered all my questions as they put electrodes onto my scalp, strapped my chest with a monitor, and stuck EKGs to me. On my right index finger they slid another device to monitor my blood oxygen levels via a laser.

I had my technician take pictures.

The room they had me in was austere but clean. The bed firm but comfortable. Dressed in my pyjammas, my technician helped me into bed with the warning that if I stopped breathing during the night of my monitored sleep that she would wake me up to put a special mask on me to help correct it. Then she turned off the lights sometime around 10:30 pm.

Bed time! Except with cameras, lasers, tubes up my nose, and wires. Lots of wires.

Sure enough my technician woke me around 12:45 am or rather I woke up to discover her by my bed fiddling with the various devices there.

"Was I breathing?" I asked groggily.

"No, you weren't breathing." Her tone was sweet, as if to say awww, you weren't breathing.

Then came the Apnea Mask, a strange device that fits over the nose and hooks to a machine about the size of a VCR. A tube forces pressurized air into the nose via a plastic tube, the sensation of which can be likened to having a heavy fan blowing air into the nasal cavity. Sexy.

"Do you want me to take a picture of you with the mask on?" my technician asked helpfully.

"No, that's okay. I have a feeling I'll have one of my own soon enough."

It took me some time to get used to, but I eventually fell into a deep sleep after I figured out how to breathe -- deep enough that I didn't wake till my technician turned on the lights around 6:15 am. As I groggily sat on the bed, she unhooked the many wires and electrodes from my body.

"Thanks," I yawned. "Now I feel less like a robot. So what did you see last night?"

"I'm not supposed to tell you because I'm not a doctor, but --"

"Don't worry, I won't take it as an official diagnosis."

"-- you immediately fell into Stage 3 sleep, which meant to me that your body had been really craving that level of sleep. The first two hours before I put the mask on you weren't really breathing and the body couldn't get past the first two stages of REM sleep."

Poor poor body. Not getting the sleep that it needs. Apparently I'll get my official results in 7 days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Any woman who doesn’t love an ample-bosomed serving wench is, clearly, crazy."

Most of the great conversations in my life have been over a meal or a drink with some of my very closest of friends. Often I think we must look like a down-market version of the characters from Sex and the City -- whip-smart urban women flowing easily from topics of sex to spirituality. We endlessly hash out what it means to find love in this vast metropolis and rally with all our strength when it seems that one of us is faltering.

There was something about yesterday that seemed to be underscored with weight. Maybe it's the ongoing negative atmosphere at work, but a couple of my very dearest friends/colleagues went to the Tibet House for a beginner's meditation class. With thoughts of refreshing ourselves and recharging out psychic batteries, we welcomed the peace. My mood yesterday already had been one of reflection, analyzing how far I've come in the last year, but I found it hard to turn my mind off and focus on my breathing.

Afterwards we sought out dinner, coming upon a strange little relic of a restaurant in the West Village -- the kind of place that still thinks it's 1962 with red jacketed waiters who look like they've worked there all their lives. After two bottles of rioja and an order of paella, our conversations became deeply revelatory and I had the sense that our friendship, while already close, had cemented into something more.

Its a wonderful achievement to have very close friends, especially since I've only been in this city for nearly three years and I remember when I once had zero friends here. Finding good friends is almost as hard as finding a girlfriend, which I suppose has silently been OFAG's opposite -- something that could have been called Operation Find A Friend. Now I have them. Score.

Another achievement is that I've managed to acquire myself something of a girlfriend. The next few days will mark the three month point since meeting Ms. K. How did this happen?? I'm still gobsmacked that she's completely the opposite from the nonsense I've dated in the past. Case in point: this photo.

Last Halloween I dressed up as a serving wench. I looked hot. REALLY hot. Some of you may remember I was dating Holly at the time -- a sort of experiment that can be likened to seeing what happens when you bang your head against a brick wall. Repeatedly. The nadir of this experiment came sometime around the moment I realized that despite looking extremely hot, Holly was clearly not interested. I was crushed.

Ms. K has since seen the photo of me in my serving wench costume, tits hoisted up to my chin courtesy of a tightly laced corset. Her reaction was "where is this costume and why aren't you wearing it all time time?" See? Already I'm miles ahead of where I was a year ago. Score. And I get flowers too!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

"You have a package here."

My heart sank when I saw the dark patch on the foot of my duvet this morning. Then I discovered its mate further in the tangle of sheet and duvet, a massive wet area that could only mean that one of my cats had peed on my bed again. And fuck me if I hadn't only ten minutes before cleaned out their box and put in fresh litter. I wanted to cry.

Damn you cats, damn you.

Tears of defeat soon subsided to rage as I angrily stripped my bed -- the kind of anger that weighs heavy on the body and that is only good for smashing and killing. I eyed my cats Jasper and Theo when I was done with my dirty work. They huddled together under the coffee table watching me for any sudden movements. Who peed on my bed?? I demanded. No answer. Theo looked the guiltiest. I grumbled an empty threat of stuffing and mounting him before seeking out the Spray & Wash from the kitchen.

The rage took a while to subside. I was late to work and the look I gave all my coworkers was a hearty don't fuck with me. Then I lost myself in a cup of coffee, two Advils, a spirited G-chat conversation, and my iTunes.

Around 1 pm I got a phone call on my work line. The extension flashed that it was the front desk calling. "You have a package here," the receptionist said.

What? A package? I wasn't expecting a package. How strange.

The route it takes me to walk to reception means that the desk is in full view as I approach. Instead of some nondescript cardboard box or envelope awaiting me, I was met with the sight of a rectangular base of cellophane and tissue paper cradling two dozen roses of reds, oranges, pinks, and vermilions.

Were they for me? Were the cats trying to apologize?? I stared at the card in shock, blushing as red as the flowers. Yes, they were definitely for me. There was no mistaking my name typed on the rectangle of paper dangling from a brown bow.

"Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you. XO"

Woah. Someone sent me flowers. Ms. K sent me flowers. But wait, I never get flowers. I am like the girl who always gets picked last for team sports only. But now it's like I got an enviable top draft. Me? Me?? I got a little teary eyed. The receptionist smirked at me as I gathered them in my arms, blushing deeply.

This is the first time in my life a lover has sent me flowers. Seriously. As my best friend Dennise put it:

"Wow, she doesn't want you to die AND she sends you flowers. I think my bones may be taking a shine to her . . ."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Like super centerfold hot."

One of the more interesting outcomes of having someone sleep in my bed is the speculation that I just might have sleep apnea. What is sleep apnea? Well it's when, while sleeping, the body pauses breathing only to restart with a gasp. Obviously continual breathing is preferred, especially since sleep apnea can over time lead to such fun things as congestive heart failure. And if one is extra lucky, the body sometimes just stops breathing all together. I'm aiming to avoid this.

Ms. K isn't the first person to tell me that I may have sleep apnea. In fact it was back in January while staying with my friend Fals in her tiny London studio that she told me that I had been gasping in my sleep. And then there's the fact that my brother has been diagnosed with having sleep apnea, so I already have a genetic predisposition.

Having been told repeatedly by Ms. K to get myself checked out "for realsies" as she would say, you'd think that I'd rush off to my doctor. But I have dragged my heels on going because I'm not enthused about having to go to a sleep clinic and having to wear one of these while I sleep for god knows how long.

What a pain in the fucking ass. And not sexy. I don't want to wear a mask when I sleep.

"I really don't think the apnea is good, it's scary to constantly hear you stop breathing like that. Because you know breathing is awesome."

Okay, if you put it that way . . .

Promising Ms. K that I would do so, I finally called my doctor yesterday and set up an appointment with him for Friday morning. Then I suppose I'll be sent to a sleep clinic where they will film me to see if I indeed have the apnea. Awesome. I guess it's cute that Ms. K has been so adamant in making sure that I continue breathing.

Yeah, you need to tell him that you think that you have sleep apnea. Because I really, really think that you do. Or if you don't think you have the apnea (even though you do), tell him that I think you have the apnea. I'm the boss of this. And I think that you would look amazingly hot in a sleep apnea mask. Like super centerfold hot. So let's not let fear of having to wear a mask be a deterrent to getting the apnea fixed, okay?

Centerfold hot? Okay, I guess there's a fetish for everything . . .

Monday, October 01, 2007

"Because you know breathing is awesome."

September was a hard month for me. Not for any known pressures but rather for internal reasons that are difficult to pinpoint, internal reasons that have left me listless and withdrawn. My blog writing even decreased 50% compared to August. WTF?

But wait, Rouge. Don't you now have a hot ladyfriend with whom you participate in frequent, hot girl-on-girl action? Why so down?? Get yourself together, woman, and celebrate!

I know! I am trying! Emotions are funny things, especially since I'm so analytical with them. I get unnerved when I can't figure out why I'm feeling a certain way. Is it because of work and the fact that it has been blowing? Is it because I don't see Ms. K very often? Is it because there's no food in my fridge accept for eggs and some condiments? Why have I been feeling this way??

Whine. Whine. Whine.

Then I had an epiphany yesterday morning. I am subconsciously scared, scared of repeating my past history with girls, scared about letting love into my life for fear of getting hurt again. I've also been reserved with my feelings for Ms. K because she lives in Pennsylvania. I live in Brooklyn. Long distance relationships suck, but they suck more when you're in love with someone who is not around. N'est-ce pas?

Here's my plan. I stop overthinking. Just simply be. Simplify. Breathe.

I think it will work.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"You are the best thing ever, you should add that to your resume or put it on a business card."

Ms. K has decided that I'm awesome and a half. Was I lacking in awesomeness before? Or had I managed to supersede the awesomeness barrier? What caused this sudden uptick in affection?

When you put it like that, you make it sound like awesome is an insult. I don't know, it isn't that I didn't think you were awesome and a half before, but every time I see you, I like you more and I add to my personal list of reasons that you're the best thing ever. So I decided that you were awesome and a half :)

I have to admit that having my awesomeness praised by a ladyfriend is a new thing for me. Not that I ever doubted my stunning qualities (okay, I might have been a little down on myself at times), but these attributes have been grossly overlooked in the past. I mean, much to Ms. K's sputtering disbelief, I was once single for 3.5 years. And when I say single I mean nothing. Nada. No making out with hot girls and certainly no naked time with hot girls. When that period of forced celibacy was over, the parade of women I dated was middling. Mediocre. Emotionally retarded! Oh how I sighed. The people I even dated previous to my long stretch of celibacy weren't exactly prize winners either. And they certainly never thought I was awesome and a half. Or even awesome.

The point is that unfortunately this means that I have been conditioned to think that dating = awful. That if someone likes me there must be something wrong with them. It's a bleak outlook that I'm slowly overcoming with Ms. K. Thankfully she doesn't think I'm a sped with my whole guarded, mixed signal, cold in the streets routine. In fact she thinks I'm awesome and a half.

So here's my rhetorical question of the day:

WTF?! Why has it taken so long for awesome people to recognize that I am awesome? I'm 28 years old for Chrissakes!

"I was an invisible witness to this scene."

My dream started off with three men, one of whom was slowly sinking into an leaf filled ornamental pond, blood flowing from a bullet hole to his head that formed a ragged circle of dark against pale skin. The other two men, dressed in 1970s tweeds with hats on their heads against the fog and damp, seemed like a pair of unlikely assassins. Older in age, they looked shocked by their barbarism and while one held the murder weapon, nonplussed, the other reached into the pond as if to save the man, to change the unchangable. But he was dead before he even reached the water.

I was an invisible witness to this scene. I made no judgments about these two men and their killing. I was aware of certain things, such as that I was in the past -- 1970s Germany to be exact -- evidenced not just by the clothing of the men but by the cars visible from below the park's elevated perch. The damp autumn air was heavy with mist and the clouds hung low at this altitude.

Floating away, I had no control over my movements as I descended down the slope towards a line of houses below. One in particular drew me like a magnet, a two story home made of white stucco with a low dark roof with a paved area to the side large enough for a car or two to pull into. Inside the house I came to inhabit the body of a 13 year old German boy -- except it was my conscious inside of him. The transition into his body was jarring, especially when his older brother came into the kitchen and asked me something in German.

Once upon a time, having studied the language for four years in high school, I used to be reasonably fluent in German. But since forgetting most of it, my understanding of his question was spotty and my response barely passing. I panicked and squeaked something in both German and English.

The brother, Matthias I think was his name, was warm and forgiving. I immediately liked him and wished he was my real brother. He seemed to have a genuine familial concern as he gathered me in his room to make sure I was okay because I was acting strange. Then the scene shifted to the outside again where I watched the father of the boys pull his dark blue colored car to the side of the stucco house. That's when I woke up never knowing what sort of connection there was between the 13 year old boy and the murder of a man.

The other night I dreamt I won Top Chef.

Friday, September 21, 2007

"Am I an awful person?"

I have a secret. Or maybe it's a confession, a confession that feels like a betrayal of my two X chromosomes, a bazillion years of genetic selection, and a good amount of cultural programming. If I was feeling particularly crafty, I'd confess it a la PostSecret. But instead this blog will do.

I feel righteously smug when I see a woman gush about her kids and husband. I want to mock her for being a stupid breeder.

Am I an awful person? Am I wrong that there's a part of me deep down inside that feels smarter and more superior for having escaped the trap of heteronormality? That I am repulsed -- repulsed! -- when a woman says that the most important thing she has done in life was have kids. Or maybe just thankful that I wasn't born fifty or even a hundred years previous where I would have had to accept the only role that society allowed for me?

It's true. I'm not the most maternal person. When I was a teenager, no one really asked me to babysit, and when I was growing up I never had any burning desire to get married and have children -- and I always felt a little broken for not wanting to do so.

Maybe that's my real secret?

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Rarely is a person so pro-active, conscious, and good humored about bringing a healthy partner into their life."

The death of OFAG came not too long before Ms. K.

I'm not sure of its final moments, but they quietly arrived sometime in June when I was pushing myself out again into the dating world. Although my actions hinted otherwise, I was realizing that my motivations for starting OFAG had drastically changed. For the first time in my adult life I was okay with being single.

Who knew that such an outward push would ultimately turn inward? That the path of OFAG, ironically, would lead to such an epiphany? And who knew that it would inspire people?

"Rouge, dear, OFAG was nothing short of an inspiration. For those of us in the latter part of our twenties (and beyond) it is all too tempting to trust that our perfect mate will miraculously appear out of thin air. Rarely is a person so pro-active, conscious, and good humored about bringing a healthy partner into their life."

All along I've felt that OFAG would lend itself neatly to book form, but even as I got out there and experienced one disappointment after another I never quite knew how OFAG would end. Surely it wouldn't be as clean cut or saccharine as me and a long sought after fantasy girlfriend skipping happily through the streets of New York. No, I sensed its ending would be more complex, yet still convey that satisfying feeling of finality.

The death of OFAG was notable for the way in which it did not die -- not by antipathy or by cliché. Though terribly tempted at times, I did not give up in frustration, and I should feel a special sense of accomplishment for not having shacked up with someone after the second date.

Maybe OFAG had to die in order for me to actually meet a girl who wanted to date me longer than four seconds? What is it that they say about meeting someone? That it never happens when you're actually looking? Or maybe it wouldn't happen till I knew what it was that made a healthy partner?

So now that OFAG is over where does that leave me? Well I've been seeing someone, Ms. K, for the past couple of months, who is notable because she has distinguished herself from every crappy girl I've dated in the past. But I'm trying not to over think things. I'm just trying to be, yet still remember all my hard earned lessons. Take things slooooooow, Sinclair said to me today. Wise words indeed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"This isn't even half over and I've already been psychologically damaged."

This is a story of an iPhone named Alice, an iPhone that belongs to Ms. K, and how through a series of twists and turns I narrowly avoided the soul searing image of watching live geriatric sex.

I'll allow you a moment to compose yourself. It's a wondrous story.

Alice the iPhone has a mischievous streak, a prankster spirit exhibited in her ability to dial people that Ms. K doesn't want to talk to and mis-send people texts that are meant for others. Sometimes her pranks are innocuous -- such as the time that Alice sent me a text meant for Ms. K's friend -- but other times Alice sows discord with glee -- such as the time I received a text that I thought was Ms. K lamely brushing me off. The confusion was later cleared up with it was revealed that the text was not meant for me.

Alice is a bad iPhone.

When I got a series of jumbled texts last Sunday, they were clearly not meant for me.

"I forget it's either Tues or Weds. It's an actual demonstration. I'm not sure why he wants to go. Strapless strap-on meaning like a feeldoe or some such"

"Yeah, it's included in the price. I actually have a couple of them. Goodtimes especially coupled with the g-spot gel, but they require some flexibility"

"rious Kegel strength. But if he's paying, whatever. I'm intrigued as to what is actually going to be demonstrated."

I texted her back letting her know that Alice was up to her usual tricks and, uh, what was this about g-spot gel, demonstrations, and owning a couple of something?? Must know!

What commenced, via text no less, was what my friend Sinclair calls the Kink Conversation -- the point in the sexual relationship between two people when a partner asks, So, what do you like? What's your kink? I had wanted to ask this question of Ms. K a couple of times, but had invariably pussed out. Ah, but leave it to Alice the iPhone to broach the subject.

Alice is a good iPhone.

Turns out the demonstration was a small seminar in how to engage in pegging (mildly NSFW link) by using a strapless strap-on. (Since the vast majority of you all are [presumably] gay and [hopefully] savvy, it's not necessary for me to go into the mechanics of the strapless strap-on use and pegging. I'll allow Goggle to satisfy your curious minds if you require more information.) Being a good friend, Ms. K had agreed to accompany her straight friend who wanted to learn more about pegging so he could be a good lover and submit to his girlfriend's kink. Ms. K even suggested that I attend too not because of the pegging but because it was more a demonstration on how to use the strapless strap-on. I considered this a possibility since I'm generally game for anything, but then I learned that the seminar was $500 (!!) per person and started at 3 pm on a workday. Ms. K seemed less worried about the price and more worried about whether there was any space for me. No no, I protested, $500 was a completely ridiculous sum to spend on such a thing. That and I can't take off work to go to a sex toy demonstration. Then I found out that my protestations were moot since the seminar was booked up.

Fast forward to Wednesday. Ms. K texted me that she was off to the demonstration and would be playing show and tell with me later that evening with the items she brought back. Awesome, I thought. But an hour and a half later Ms. K texted me again.

"This isn't even half over and I've already been psychologically damaged."

Oh no, I texted back, not worth the money?

"That would depend on how you feel about being four feet away from a guy in his early hundreds being fucked like a champ by his wife who is also in the hundred range. If that's your thing, it's worth the money."

I laughed, but probably not quite gripping the gravity of the situation.

"You laugh, I now have to wash my eyes out with Clorox."

Followed quickly by . . .

"Fucking live geriatric porn."

When Ms. K and I later met up for a drink in Prospect Heights, she was visibly distressed. "I should have know something was wrong when twelve of us entered some old couple's apartment in the Upper West Side." Turns out for the price of $500 in New York City, one can watch two people old enough to be on social security demonstrate the joys of using a strapless strap-on. If that isn't enough, you do get a gift bag filled with about $100 worth of lubes, warming gels, a vibrator, and a strapless strap-on.

For some reason I found this hilarious. I laughed and laughed till tears formed in my eyes. One shells out half a grand think that they are going to see hot people demonstrating sex toys and instead they get geriatric porn. I silently thanked the gods that I hadn't taken off work to see such a thing. I even did the math in my head -- $500 x 12 people = $6,000 - $1,200 for the gift bags = $4,800 earned for a 3 hour seminar.

Clearly I'm in the wrong line of work.

"Where did your friend hear about this thing if he didn't know that it would be demonstrated by two people in their 80s?" I asked, wiping my eyes and trying to make a serious face.

"Somewhere on the internet."

Right. A cautionary tale? Yes. One should be deeply suspicious of anything advertised on the internet. The downside for me was that the image geriatric sex was wrenched deep into Ms. K's brain by the time we left the bar for my bedroom. Let's just say it cast a pall over what was an enjoyable show and tell session with the gift bag items.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity."

This is what Ms. K said to me as we sat in the back garden of a Cobble Hill restaurant last Tuesday evening. "I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity." We had been talking about life, the direction our nascent relationship was taking, and the tough position of being scrutinized by fellow blog readers.

"I understand," I offered sympathetically, "that it must be hard being a passive witness in a story that you're a character in. Why don't you add comments to my blog posts?"

"Besides the fact that I can't comment on your blog with the iPhone, I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity. Do you not want me to read? Because I can stop reading," she conceded. "Or you can write like I'm not reading."

He words weren't bitter, but honest. We had spent the last couple of days together -- our longest stretch to date -- and it was nice to sit there in the fading late summer light under a pergola while having an honest conversation. Of course I still wanted her to read my blog; I'd feel like an asshole for telling her to stop. But the truth of the matter is that I haven't written as much as I would have normally because she is reading.

The thing is that I'm starting to develop feelings for Ms. K. I guess it was inevitable -- we have been seeing each other for almost a couple of months -- but I have tried hard to remain aloof and walled. Maybe this makes me sound like a jackass, but I have secretly relished being in the position of power because I have never been in this position before. I've also wanted to protect my heart since I have a bad habit of meeting people who run roughshod all over it.

This is new territory for me, everyone. To date someone for more than a month? To date someone who is seemingly not retarded? To date someone who seems genuinely into me and is emotionally available? Needless to say my brain isn't quite sure what to do. Isn't this the point where she disappears on me or drops some bombshell on me or tells me that she only wants to be friends?

What kind of got my brain thinking of the possibilities of Ms. K and I was our conversation -- or rather her question -- as to how I would feel if she were dating other people. Though she didn't mean it this way, I read her remark at first as something like, I like you, but I also like keeping my options open. Or worse, I like dating multiple people because that's how I roll. Instead she meant it, I think, as a way to gauge my feelings. How would you feel if I was dating someone else?

After the confusion was cleared up, I had a hard time answering the question -- hard because I wasn't ready to own up to my feelings. She was calling me on my aloofness and my mix signals and the Scorpio in me was squirming under the spotlight. But after a few days thinking about her question, I am starting to realize that I would have a problem if she was dating other people.

Damn, there goes my heart.

"Is this body for real?"

It's been a while since I've regaled you all with tales of men trying to pick me up, but it was a bumper weekend.

Picture it. A Brooklyn bound Q train. 1:50 am Sunday morning on my way back from the Modest Mouse concert at McCarren Park Pool. A man, whose name I later discovered as Chris, sat down next to me after boarding at the DeKalb Street station. I could tell that he was checking me out, but I was tired and really didn't feel like engaging him in conversation so I stared intently out the window. My, don't those darkened tunnels look pretty.

"You're very beautiful," he said, although we're not making eye contact.

"Thanks," I murmured.

"I just got off work."

Silence. I continued to stare out the window. One must nip these things in the bud.

As I got up to leave at Prospect Park, he left me with a plea of "Stay beautiful." Okay, not so creepy.

The next day, after a couple of margaritas at my local bar, my roommate Libby and I stopped by the Dominican grocery store to pick up some mixers for the continued drinking we were planning for the evening. Perhaps it was the salsa music playing overhead or perhaps it was because I was taught to dance to Latin music by a former Colombian friend of mine, but the music made my Anglo hips, loosened by two margaritas, jerk to the salsa beat, absently so as I moved between shelves of tamarind juice and other exotic items. And when I say move I mean I really started to get into it thinking my roommate was right behind me and would enjoy the margarita induced silliness.

When I turned around to confirm her presence, I instead saw a five foot five heavyset Hispanic man who looked old enough to be my father. And he was dancing with me.

"Is this body for real, mami?" he gasped as his stubby hands appraised my curves.

I let out a nervous laugh and my eyes searched the length of the aisle for any sign of my roommate. My new friend, Señor Papi, even slipped an arm around my waist, cajoling my body to move to the rhythm of the music.

"Help," I called out weakly as I was met with a torrent of praise.

"Is this body for real?"

Then he grabbed my ass. It was a good natured grabbing, but still a Bad Touch. Woah.

"Okay, no mas," I told Señor Papi firmly. He bowed apologetically and began to gravel with a level of reverence that one normally reserved for royalty. I grabbed a bottle of guava juice and made a break for the check out line where I found Libby. Mostly I found the incident humorous.

The trifecta of Man Love came this morning when lo and behold I again saw Chris again. He was coming up the stairs of the Prospect Park station and he stopped when he saw me, eyes registering a familiar presence. It took me a moment to realize that he had been the guy sitting next to me only the night before.

"I thought I was seeing a ghost," he proclaimed and gestured towards me as if he was trying to remember where he knew me from. "I saw you on the train. Late night, right?"

"Yes, that was me."

"What's your name?"


"Hi, I'm Chris. I just wanted to let you know that you got it going on from head to toe."


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"I don't care how cute you or your remarks are, there will be no burqas of any kind."

I've had a hard time picking back up with the narrative of my life over the past couple of weeks. Perhaps it was work drama that has distracted me or the waning days of summer, but the half formed entries in my head just never seemed to make it onto the web. Having wanted to write some pithy summarization, I have opted for the highlights instead.

* Because of trauma at work, I have been drinking with coworkers. A lot. I've consumed more prosecco or tequila than I care to admit and I discovered that Superfine in DUMBO is my new favorite bar.

* After plans fell through to go to North Carolina for Labor Day Weekend, Ms. K came up from Pennsylvania and taught me how to drive stick shift in a Sears parking lot. Only stalling a half dozen times, we drove to the beach -- Jacob Riis Beach in the Rockaways -- both Monday and Tuesday. Our next plan is to drive back to Ft. Tilden and go biking before it gets too cold. Because, you know, I'm a professional stick shift driver now.

* From the above bullet point you can surmise that Ms. K is still in my life and it occurs to me that we've been seeing each other a month and a half. And it also occurs to me that this is the longest I've dated someone -- I'm not counting Holly since it wasn't a real relationship -- since January 2003. I should probably concoct a more in-depth entry about this, especially the long overdue entry that I've been meaning to write about OFAG.

* I really liked the comments on this entry. I could have easily written a couple of entries in response to some of the comments, but alas I was either drunk or lazy.

Friday, August 31, 2007

"Unimaginative plotting yields protracted bridges of tedium riveted together with predictability."

Why is it a universal truth that lesbian movies are generally shit? Okay, well there are some exceptions (Fire, Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet, Aimee and Jaguar, But I'm a Cheerleader), but seriously. Imagine Me & You? Not awful, but fairly pedestrian. Saving Face? Warm hearted but forgettable. Girl Play? Oh so bad. Christ, even the L Word teeters dangerously close to mediocrity and even crosses that line occasionally.

I'm all worked up because I'm only 30 minutes into Gray Matters and I want to gouge my eyes out. Gouge. My. Eyes. Out. Or at least beat my sofa cushions in frustration. The writing is banal, the story line unimaginative, and the acting is generally so very bad. But I paid $4.95 for it and goddammmit I'm going to get my money's worth.

Why oh why can't there be a whip smart, juicy dialogue laden script out there about a woman finding love in the city? Oh wait. I think it's called Operation Find The Lesbians: The Movie.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Hello. I am the designer."

I'm not in the habit of ordering $200 worth of Iranian caviar at a Manhattan vodka bar, but the Uzbeki man who sat next to me told me I should.

Let's call him Mr. Investment Banker. We had been celebrating the launch of the Russian business magazine that I have been freelancing on and even though one of my employers had encouraged me to order whatever I wanted, I felt that a bottle of prosecco was probably a safe bet. Maybe even some $20 domestic caviar. No, Mr. Investment Banker insisted, I should order the Iranian caviar.

I protested the extravagance of such a cost, but secretly wanted the chance to try sturgeon from the Caspian Sea.

You order it, I countered.

He offered up his expense account to cover the cost. No, you should definitely order, he said.

That's when I selected one ounce of caviar for the grand total of $200. I could have ordered the $400 one, but didn't want to push my luck. I felt reckless. I felt drunk on the bottle of prosecco I had nearly finished. The foodie in me reveled in the rare opportunity. The caviar arrived in a small container nestled in a block of ice. Served with blintzes and sour cream, the taste was amazing and I figured I would probably never have the opportunity again.

I have no idea how the bill was sorted out because I stumbled out of the restaurant sometime around midnight after smoking a very ill advised cigarette. When I got back to Brooklyn I ate some ice cream and watched Romeo + Juliet till 1 am.

Apparently this is how I roll. On a work night.

Monday, August 27, 2007

"It's a terror of knowing what this world is about."

Sorry I haven't been around much, dear readers. My work has decided implode, which has cut into my will to blog. I've had to go through all the stages of grief as beloved colleagues have suddenly left. So yeah. Perhaps tomorrow? I have been too busy secretly crying at my desk.

But let's look at things that make me unbearably happy!

David Bowie.
Flight of the Conchords.
Flight of the Conchords parodying David Bowie.
Oh yeah, and cats.