Friday, February 29, 2008

"February 29th only occurs once every four years because Chuck Norris wills it to be so."

So it's Leap Day, that special time every four years when February gets an extra day, like a present! While I'm not sure if this is an auspicious day or a calendrical oddity, it does remind me where I was the last time February had 29 days.

I was 25 years old during the last Leap Day, although my story starts a couple months before in December of 2003. Despite having grown up outside of Washington, DC, a mere four hour car ride from New York, I had never been to the city. A friend of mine was celebrating her 30th birthday one weekend and so I seized upon the opportunity to finally visit. Unfortunately for me my first introduction was a blizzard and I quite literally got stuck in the city. With transportation all fucked, I called my boss and said I wasn't making it into work on Monday, went out to a Upper West Side pub, got shit-faced celebrating my friend's birthday, and crashed another night on her couch.

What I finally took home from that trip, besides an awesome hangover, was the overpowering sense that I belonged in New York. I remember emerging from the subway somewhere around Bryant Park and seeing the city covered in layers of snow. Everything was so improbably still and with the skyscrapers lit against the night sky I felt that powerful initial tug -- the sense that when I died, my life flashing before me, this would be one of the moments that stuck out. It was one of the most incredible feelings I have ever felt.

A couple months later I was in England visiting friends around the time of the Leap Day, taking a train out to Cambridge to stay with Beth and Nils, both of whom had been getting their PhDs at the time. I hadn't seen Beth in many months and I remember settling down in a coffee shop in the city centre to go over each other lives. She updated me of her progress at Cambridge and I animatedly explained how I had recently gotten back from a trip to New York City and that I was so in love with the city that I wanted to move there.

It was then that the hard reality of what I had to do with my life slid into focus -- not a day dream, but a serious intent of uprooting to a new city. I was terrified by the implications; Beth and Nils were excited by my bold proposition.

I finally made it to New York (and of course started this blog) the following November. It wasn't an easy transition, but I could at least feel proud of such a monumental achievement. If there is anything to be learned about the Leap Day is that maybe, perhaps, it's a day when everything slides into place like two previously out of focus lenses. May the day bring clarity to you all.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Uh oh. Looks like your Ocho isn't working."

Don't worry, people. I'm not moving to London and neither is Ms. K. The exchange rate is currently 2:1 favoring the pound, not to mention that the dollar is at an all time low against the Euro. Moving to a place that would magically make my money worth only half its stateside value would be beyond redonkulous. Oh and did I mention that I'm broke? Even if there was money to spend I would have to have that much more in order to afford gallivanting around the UK. So yeah, inflation blows. Time to start investing in pesos.

The thing about that crazy pervasive feeling that I'm going to be traveling soon is that it doesn't fit within the current paradigm. Hello, I'm broke. One needs money to travel -- or at least a credit card or wealthy benefactor and I have none of those things. But I'm intrigued that I had a vision of Ms. K and I at an airport only for us to end up at Newark Airport a couple weeks later -- even if it was just to pick people up. What. Does. It. Mean??

In other news I love Ms. K. I love waking up next to her. I love her smell. I love that she challenges me. I love that she has facilitated the hottest sex I've ever had. I know I haven't blogged much about the evolution of our relationship since there's been so much difficult personal stuff happening off-line, but it's hard to believe that it's been more than seven months since we started seeing each other. And it was almost eight months ago that Ms. K read my dating manifesto and responded via email.

For those who feel like reminiscing, here are a couple of flashbacks.

* Rouge has a date with a blog reader.

* Rouge gives it up on the first date.

* Rouge and Ms. K survive a tornado.

* Rouge gets flowers.

* Rouge and Ms. K have the Best Day Ever™.

* Ms. K meets Rouge's parents.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Who am I to argue with fate?"

I found myself unexpectedly with Ms. K at Newark Airport last night. Long story -- I don't normally hang out at the airport -- but we were there to keep her mother company as she waited to pick up a couple of people to bring back to Pennsylvania. As we wandered around the empty terminal, bereft of a non-shuttered bar to pass the time, I remembered that I had recently predicted that Ms. K and I would be in an airport soon.

Fuck me, but I had hoped it would be a sign that we would be going to Aruba . . . not picking up a couple of wayward Pennsylvanians.

Maybe there's still hope. Maybe this still means that my financial situation will be changing and Ms. K will be walking the canals of Amsterdam this year. Or maybe the Universe is playing a funny joke.

Speaking of my recent travel predictions, Ms. K needs a new job -- a new job in New York stat -- and has been looking in earnest for two months now. A couple of days ago she was offered a job . . . in London. Hmmm, that would be a bitch of a commute, right? Wasn't it not too long ago that my former roommates now living in England were joking that I too would be moving to London for love?

Ha ha, Universe. I get the joke. Again, I'll renew my passport just in case.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just a tip of the hat to my friend Rachel Hyman -- bartender extraordinaire and artist -- who has some of her paintings up at the NY Studio Gallery in Chelsea till March 1, 2008. If you can't make it to her show in New York, you can check out her paintings here. Or you can find out which beer best pairs with the flavor of your problems with her ongoing Ask The Bartender advice column.

"Also glad to hear you're feeling more yourself . . ."

An overheard conversation reminded me that my passport will be expiring in seven months. It's hard to believe that it's been nearly ten years since I got it, a time when I was still in college and October 2008 sounded like a lifetime away. Since then I've gotten a lot of Heathrow immigration stamps in my passport along with marks for Italy, Austria, France, Czech Republic, Holland, and Germany. Ten years sure flew by.

Not that I have any money to travel -- I cannot even begin to stress how broke I am right now -- but, inexplicably, I keep feeling possessed with the feeling that I'm going to be traveling soon. In my mind I see airports and hear the cacophony of European train stations. I see Ms. K and I in Amsterdam. I see us on a plane. I see a relationship marked by exploration. It doesn't make sense, but I keep seeing these things as if I somehow forgot that I had a journey planned all along.

Is it a metaphor? Is it literal? I feel like this is definitely happening in 2008, so I guess we'll see how the future plays out. In the meantime I'll be getting my passport renewed just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"You'll let someone pee on you, but you won't let someone make a sex tape?"

Sorry for the Debbie Downer of a blog post previously. That's what you get for reading someone's fairly unfiltered thoughts -- yes, the highs and the lows. So caveat lector and all that jazz but don't worry, I'm slowly emerging from my cave and reconnecting with humanity.

That said, I spent most of Saturday watching, ahem, bootleg streams of L Word since I've failed to keep up with the latest season. If you don't mind the Chinese subtitles, it's not a bad way to watch television. I'm not sure how I feel about Season 5, but I'm strangely enjoying the batshit crazy version Jenny Schecter. Now with stalker/personal assistant/indentured servant!

In other entertainment news, Ms. K and I watched Juno over the holiday weekend (Snap, Ms. Snarker). I had a couple of free movie passes and have been saving them for a worthy movie (it was!), however I just realized that Be Kind Rewind opens this Friday. No offense, Ellen Page, but I'm kinda sold on the idea of Jack Black and Mos Def doing DIY remakes of Ghostbusters and other various movies. It has to be funny, right?

Oh and I might not be a finalist for Lesbian Blog of the Year Award, but my friend Sinclair is and so is my blog crusher Dorothy Surrenders. Please vote for them!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Though it may or may not be evident from this blog, I've been in hiding, eschewing social contact and retreating inward to myself. I am unsure what my friends think, but I can assure them that I have not been caught in the Relationship Vortex™, rather taking stock of my life.

Generally I feel like I'm a mess. I see rubble around me and the ashes of my life. I feel like a ghost. Slowly I've consciously or unconsciously dismantled the relationships in my life, the ones I fought so hard to build after moving to New York. But one of the few friends still present in my every day life reminds me that I am not a mess and that of the destruction in my life lately is giving me a chance to rebuild a stronger foundation.

With the recent Chinese New Year I have taken the idea of a new beginning -- a do over since January was a bit rough. The New York Times did a wonderful piece (and an audio slideshow) on a tucked away Buddhist temple in Chinatown and their preparations for the new year. Every square inch of the temple, in accordance with tradition, was lovingly washed -- from the ten heads of a Bodhisattva statue to more mundane objects. But what really resonated with me was this paragraph:

At the close of the afternoon chant, one of the nuns deposits some rice or water on a pedestal outside as a symbolic offering for the invisible spirits that they believe wander the streets of New York.

Because some lost souls did not lead good lives, the nuns explained, they are agonizingly stuck between this life and the next. So each night, at precisely 8:30, the nuns take turns striking a large gong with a wooden mallet and reciting a “hell-breaking mantra” to release them from their pain.

Maybe it's the point I am at in my life or the fact that I recently finished Luc Sante's Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York, but I longed for a gong strike in my life so I can start new and rebuild.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"But you are going to be my real dessert :)"

Although it's not yet Valentine's Day, Ms. K and I are celebrating it early since she'll be working on Thursday night. We will be cooking dinner among other activities and keeping it low key at home. Ms. K has a menu planned of pork tenderloin, risotto, and vegetables. I'll be making the molten chocolate cake is planed along with lots of fizzy booze. A night with my lady along with food and drink? What more can a girl ask for on Fake Valentine's Day.

My V Day plans remind me of holidays previous with other lovers and the fact that this will be the first time I have celebrated the holiday not single since 2002. Yes, that means I've spent five consecutive holidays tortured and alone. But better to be alone than ever experience these highly entertaining Valentine's Days again:

1998: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend stole (STOLE!!) a 1936 first edition of Gone With the Wind from our college library because she knew I was into collecting first editions books. Yes, that was her idea of a gift however well intentioned. I was so embarrassed -- especially since she damaged it by removing any physical signs of its previous ownership -- that I didn't know what to do with it. I couldn't return it. That should have been a bright neon red flag.

2003: I spent a super awkward dinner with my ex-girlfriend, with whom I had broken up with less than a month before. We were both invited to a V Day dinner at a mutual friend's house. Not sure why I thought that was a good idea.

2004: I kindly invited a friend over for dinner so we could commiserate together. I ended up cooking a beautiful meal of soufflé, salad, and dessert with champagne. She contributed nothing and didn't say thank you.

2007: Fake Girlfriend wanted to meet up for dinner. Unfortunately she had to eat and run before heading back to the office and chose the midpoint between her office and the court case she had been trying out on Long Island. Unfortunately this was the TGI Fridays in Penn Station. I politely declined and went home alone to drink myself into a red wine induced stupor.

This year HAS to be better, right?

Monday, February 11, 2008

". . . you should blog about naked ladies, or the unfortunate prices of vibrating dildos, or something else more in your area of expertise."

Yawn. It's Monday. I had a couple of blog entries swirling around the brain over the weekend as I took care of a very sick Ms. K, but they're still caught in the ether between the hemispheres of my brain. My roommate Libby really wants me to blog about this monstrosity of a link, but all I could come up with was, "As if I needed further reason to be gay . . . ."

Then there's this link on the New York Times that I caught late last week about Goldman Sachs's new policy to cover employee sex change operations sex reassignment surgeries as part of their medical care plan. This paragraph stood out in particular:

"Goldman employees can undergo the procedure, which normally costs anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000, and have it paid for entirely by their medical insurance."

To which I thought, alarmed, What sort of back alley Tijuana sex change costs $5,000?????????!!!!!!!!!

There you go. Something to ponder.

But if you need something else to jump start your Monday, why oh why does the Leo vibrating dildo vary so much in cost across the interweb??
Vixen Creations ($50.00)
Eden Fantasys ($53.99)
Babeland ($70.00)

C'mon, Babeland! Time to start a price war. I've got a strict budget to adhere to and y'all need to help a sister out.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"You are ready for the streets. No you are not punking out of bikes."

The conversation started over email.

Ms. K: "Maybe we . . . could go for a bike ride in the city on Sunday, since it has been well over a year since I have ridden a bike in the city, and I'm a little out of shape."

Me: "You want to bike ride in the city with me?!"

Ms. K: "Yes! Why you don't want to? I will plan out a nice scenic route."

Me: "A scenic route where? Through Times Square?"

Ms. K: "Ha ha. No, for real. Don't make foolish of me. Maybe the Hudson River path? Do you want to come with me? Please?"

Me: "Okay, if it's a nice leisurely path where I'm not going to die then I'm down for it. Will we drive there with the bikes or take them on the subway?"

Ms. K: "Lazy little lady! We will ride the bikes over the Brooklyn Bridge. And then we will go on the path."

Dear readers, I am super out of shape. I mean I walk a lot like any New Yorker, but when I watched 28 Weeks Later recently with my roommate, I decided then and there that if I were chased by flesh eating zombies I would lose. I would be torn to shreds because I'm out of shape. And that would be the end of me. Darwin style.

So when Ms. K proposed a jaunty 15 mile bike ride, I shot her idea down as silly because while I'm interested in bike riding activities, it's a bit ambitious to think that someone who hasn't been on a bike in years would suddenly be able to ride such a distance. "How about we ride bikes around Prospect Park instead?"

My compromise fell on deaf ears and even some pouting.

Okay, I thought. I'll suck it up. I need a stress outlet, right? And what could be more stress relieving than a jaunty bike ride to Manhattan? But I at least prepared Ms. K for the inevitability that I would probably make it as far as Park Slope before my body quit on me -- especially since I've been sick with a chest cold.

I have to say I did better than expected. Mind you I enforced a lot of stopping, but when I finally rode my bike over the Brooklyn Bridge I felt a strange sense of exhilaration, the same sense that I got when I walked over the Manhattan Bridge back during the strike. I also felt the power of traversing the span between boroughs on a structure that has tethered two islands together since 1883 -- back when Brooklyn was its own city and when the bridge was the tallest structure on the horizon. Yes, YES! I thought. I can bike ride to Manhattan! I rule!

Exhilaration later wore off when my body started to not like 9 miles of bike riding. Ms. K didn't give me too much shit when I suggested we take the subway back.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"You look hot in Vicks vapor rub."

Where have I been? No, not in a mikvah. I've been sick for the second time in a month, like crazy sick. Thankfully not in the emergency room again.

To answer the commenter about which exact harness I got, I can't seem to find the exact one on even though I got it at the store. It's a typical black leather one -- nothing fancy. And to the other commenter who pointed out that you can get a cell phone reception in the Spring Street station, touché! Yeah I've totally gotten a random signal while waiting for the 6 train.

In other news I started therapy for the first time in my life. I felt a little awkward going, but I'm concerned that the way I handle stress in my life is not working and the way I process emotions needs a paradigm shift . . . because it's making me sick. I've become very aware that there appears to be a mind/body connection with me and when I internalize my stress, as I have been doing, I end up in the emergency room. Obviously that can't continue.

When my therapist asked what I did to relieve stress, I honestly couldn't think of an answer. That scared me. There was a time when I came home, flounced on my couch, and watched Law & Order reruns, but since getting rid of cable I don't even have that anymore.

While this is not in keeping with my more sex, less financial ruin goal of 2008, I think it's time to resurrect last October's Operation Pimp My Body . . . . except maybe call it Operation Love My Body. Now I just need to figure out an outlet for my stress and learn to take fucking better care of myself.