Friday, July 21, 2006

Rant on men, sort of: be honest, not nice!

I have thought for years that my feminist streak has died down if not completely vanished. I have thought for years that the “feminist bitch” (my nickname in college) that was me 10 years ago has transformed herself into this beautiful, grown up human being that now is open to diversity, and open to people just being richly different and enjoying it, a being that is able to forgive even the most hurtful of crimes, and tries to look for the good in the world!
Well, that’s all true, until some moron pisses me off and lies to me. Not once, not twice, not three times, and not about just one thing… Lies about life, and me, and him, and love and honesty itself. For YEARS! Yes, I do feel stupid, for not seeing it sooner, but of course it’s so much easier to blame the culprit. And hate him for, once again, insulting my intelligence! Now, please note that I said “I hate him”, not “them”, therefore I try (at least) not to generalize. Try to!
So, here I am back in my “feminist” corner, telling myself once again that the bottom line of life is “men are pigs” (or at least the ONE that crossed my path). For a couple of days I moped in that corner; cried, and yelled, and kicked, and screamed over nothing, of course, but spilt milk. And I know this is cheesy, but I also believe these days those people who say “women can fake orgasms, but men fake whole relationships”; I believe them, because I have seen it. At least one man can. Trust me!
After the whining was over and the tear-well has dried out, of course I did what any respectable Aries would do: stood up, brushed off, and moved right on. No, life is too short to be down for too long, especially for people who are not men enough to be themselves. Especially for those! I would not give the satisfaction!
I know, his defense would be (not that I asked or care to do it): “I was being nice. I didn’t want to rock the boat. I didn’t want to have a fight, a confrontation”. Well, I got news for you, Mr. Man: thank you very much for asking, or for your "thoughtfulness", but I don’t need a “nice man”; what I need is an “honest man”. Even if you’re an ass, wear it on your sleeve, like, well, …“a man”. Why do you want to go down into eternity as a liar, is beyond me?! Also, why waste years of your life trying to cover up?! That again is mind-boggling to me! Is your life really that cheap?!
You know, rudeness is not a crime, but lying is. Take a hint! And respect yourself enough not to waste your time, and others’ with a lie. If nothing else, it will make you lose all the respect you want from people. So, is that really worth it?!
My mom used to say: “remember that lies have small feet; they never walk too far” – so, sooner or later you’ll be busted, and I would have no interest in even chatting with you about the weather. After all, you’ll even try to convince me it’s snowing in the Sahara Desert, right?! Who knows?! Not me, ‘cause I am going to let you waste someone else’s years, from now on!
Life is precious and it’s the only guarantee we have. I will make a definite commitment not to waste it on people that don’t deserve it. The slightest gut feeling I’ll get that will warn me against someone, I might not give them the benefit of a doubt like I have tried to. I have tried for years to be more forgiving, but I guess it’s just not who I am. And some people are just not worth it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


The other day I was asked what happened to the hiatus in my writing. I used to say that I was not be able to write when I was happy. Misery always pulled me out of my heart and prompted me to spill my guts. I guess it was asking for compassion…or something… I have been writing indeed, in my notepads and journal, every chance I get, between work and home, in my car at a stop light, before bed, in the morning, over coffee. I cannot live and not write, I don’t think. But the pc is a different matter. That takes time and free hours.
So, why no time? And what have I been doing with my days? I guess I can use a cliché and say I just have been “busy living”. I guess existing, and moving from rainy day to hot day connecting to people and balancing my check book. I guess. Some trips here and there, for a weekend, or for a day; a lot of keeping in touch with people; working and getting exhausted from working; not even reading, which bugs me; not even shopping. Just being. And a lot of thinking, lately, too. A lot! I have indeed been going out more, and trying to observe the world around me more.
I feel, if I have to make a judgment of what I find out there, that I am hanging between 2 generations now, and I don’t feel like I belong to either of them. I am not 20 something anymore, but I am not quite 40 yet either… I think most of the time I feel closer to the 40 some year old than the 20 some’s and that is strange: I was 20 at some point. I know what THAT’s about!! I am out there, with friends and friends of friends and co-workers, and I cannot relate at all to the 20 some year olds, although I am closer in age to them than the 40 some crowd. Their ‘cluelessness’ and immaturity make me smile, at best. Their compulsive use of cell phones and i-pods annoys every pore of my body, most of the time! I don’t find the patience for that. Heck, I have no patience for the news cast anymore. I feel like technology and electronics, with the exception of the cd player, while cooking at night or on a car ride, eat at my brain cells like cancer.
So, lately, I s’ppose, I have been out and about, in public places, trying to figure out where I belong, to what I belong. I have also been trying to widen my life with new-ness: new people, music, goods, wines, life choices, books, and fields of interest. I was not going to be “attached” this year. This was my year of a break, where I can regroup, reinvent and move on. Attached or not, I am still trying to do that, and so far I am having fun with it. Of course, through it all, I needed to come back to my purple mat, because nothing is ever built on a shaky foundation. So, that’s where it all starts for me this year. And the rest will take care of itself.
No, I am not breaking from writing because I am happy; I am breaking from writing, at least on my pc, from not having enough hours in a day to do it all. And as I have said, I am not a big fan of technology (just don’t tell my boss that!!), so you won’t see me carrying a laptop around like it’s my life support. If only I could get a secretary to type in my notepad, you’d see I’ve been quite prolific, in fact.
As for happiness, I think I have decided a long time ago, that completely independent of the outside factors, it’s an innate attitude; so, as long as I live it’ll be here; just like my cholesterol…

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

On dogs, cats, health, being happy and other annoying facts of life

I never thought I liked dogs. I always thought that there are at least three major reasons why I would always hate them, in fact: they smell, they lick and they bark! Of course, there is the need to wash them, board them when you go to Europe, and of course, how can we forget: they need walking, too! How inconvenient on a rainy day when all you want to do is nap?! The lack of independence, the high maintenance… all of it - I thought I’d hate it… But then I met Dakota, and everything changed! He is an extremely high maintenance dog, mind you, needy as an 80 year old man, bed ridden and with Alzheimer’s! Everything revolves around HIM, and him alone. But he taught me how to read his body and how to take the licks as a sign of love, the stench as a new flavor of life, the barking as a bonding attempt of him telling me about his day, and the high vet bills as a sign that he is indeed human!
And the rest is history: I cannot say no to dogs anymore. I think for the rest of my life, I will call any dog that enters my life Dakota! He will always be my one and only, the one who opened my eyes to a whole new universe.
Now, I find myself on that boring side of half of the population that woo’s and aaah’s about the furry-noisy-stinky 4 legged “people”. I am still on the fence, very much so, since my love for cats has not faded one bit. I just see myself as richer and with a more expanded outlook on all things life. I shut no door nor eye to the dogs anymore.
This past weekend, I went for a long hike, with a new 4 legged friend of mine, Floyd, and his endurance, and even gratefulness on the trail made my heart melt! He didn’t ask for much, if anything at all. Tongue to the ground, feet to the trail, he stopped pulling at the leash after about 2 miles. Almost 100 degrees and another 2 miles more later, back at the car, without so much as a whine, or even a bark, he collapsed in the back seat, on the blanket, and I swear he fell asleep smiling. I just wanted to kiss his muzzle and drown in that stinky breath!
At home, I was happy to return to the clean, crisp smell of my cats. Quiet and elegant, they know how to step not to disturb me from my nap, or where to lay just so, so as to get enough sun for their comfort, but to give me enough visual pleasure for an entire lazy summer afternoon. At home, I soak in their beauty, elegance, and I am reminded, with their every gesture, how much I love freedom!
So, on days when my heart is racing, and my docs are sending me grim reports, and my dear family is sick or in need, and the bank account is on the negative, and the people I am surrounded with are so difficult, and … hard, and demanding, and more whiny than a menopausal woman, and not worth a damn, I return to these pools of peace, to the Floyds, and Dakotas, and Gypsys, and Feros and Kitties of the day, and I breathe and I find my breath one more time; for at least another day.
On another note: are you bothered by the things you used to do with no problem when you were younger and now feel like an idiot even attempting to do them, much less not being able to carry them through?! What happened with hiking for a whole day in 100 heat without complaining? Or having beers throughout the hot days, and partying till dawn? Or spending a whole night chatting or watching a movie marathon with your friends, only to be up and about and ready to face the new day freshly in the morning?! What happened with 2 AM bedtime?! Long gone for me… and by God, what am I going to do when I am 40?! So, so disappointing!
Whatever happened to my calves over the years I wonder?! A 4 mile hike and they’re dead! Need crutches for another week to get around; a crane to pick me up from a chair.
I wish some days they would invent a way to bottle up the feeling I have after an hour and a half meet with the (yoga) mat! That invigorating feeling of joy, and beauty, and life worth living, and love of my own self, that beatitude of health and energy, that rush after a good practice followed by a deep savasana … THAT joy…bottled up, so I can have a sip after a 4 mile hike and feel like I can so move on!
The peace and calm I feel after a good pranayama practice, I want to feel when in the doctor’s office and they tell you your pressure is too high and by Gosh they tried it all and they don’t know what’s next! You want to just breathe and not feel your heart pounding. You want that feeling, because you know that that feeling will carry you on, through the high BP! I guess it’s good that you know where to find it, though, and this way you will never throw away your mat! All the rest of the clutter will be eventually thrown away when you move, but not that mat.
Someone asked me the other day, a novice in yoga, a “tester” with the yoga thought , I’d say, “why they need a mat”?! Well, for that: it’s a spiritual delineator! It keeps you mentally as well as physically away from this poisonous world we live in every day. It sends the message to your brain that all things worldly have to stop, and a new era or frame of mind rather has to start. It offers the visual escape into the “sacred” space. It’s the visual oasis in this dry world we live in. Something palpable to remind us the breathe and slow down.
And thanks to oases like these, despite of all the penury of good things in the day, the aches and pains, the heat and the human mental stink, I choose to always be happy. Or joyful. I choose to smile when I smell the dogs, and smile when the cats scratch or meow in the middle of my nap, waking me up; and smile when the heart is racing … It’s all going to be good. I am here now, and alive, and there is so much to see behind every door! Behind every bend in the road… So many reasons to smile. So many dumb people, you can’t help but crack up! So much good food, and good times! So much music, and so many purple mats! So many stinky muzzles, and so many pulled leashes, and long, sharp cat nails to be cut. They just all make me smile. Always. So many reasons to be stubborn enough to live long, and choose to live happily, too.
And this is JUST the beginning, a mere sliver of the huge cake of life… Enjoy …