Rooster for breakfast

We are traveling. It’s an anniversary/ Valentine’s tradtion for us and this year is a big one. 5 years of mostly bliss.

This morning was a wee less than blissful. By morning I mean 2 AM.

We are in Knoxville, TN on our way to Lexington, KY to watch her beloved Wildcats play at Rupp Arena today. Last night I feel asleep and it was silent. I woke up to a stange sound. I thought it was a child maybe in the room above ours. It seemed muffled, and it had a strange tone with short bursts followed by odd quiet before it started again. Each period lasted seconds between intervals. Like an annoying chime or alarm.

I didn’t open my eyes, I just laid still and listened for footsteps. Surely someone would sooth this fussing baby. No foot steps above or beside us. The sound and silence intervals continued. I woke up enough to really process what was happening. It was a rooster. Not only was this bird making noise somewhere in or around the hotel it was doing it in the middle of the night.

Surely this was a toy or someone’s cell phone. Soon it will stop. It better stop. I will make it stop.

Lets be real here. I wouldn’t. I barely got up to check the time and stumble to the bathroom.

I laid half asleep, half awake and totally annoyed listening to this cockadoodle prankster. I rolled over and stared at my sleeping wife, she was totally unaware there was a nuisance nearby. I laid there pondering whether to wake her and ask if she heard it too. Decidedly she couldn’t as she was snoring away. Seemed rude to wake her on our mini vaca just to make her listen to the rooster with me. If we were home I would have shaken her awake and demanded she listen and harass her about whether she could hear it too, whether it was live or a toy and whether I should go hunt it down and murder it.

I do things like that. Remember how I said “5 years of mostly bliss” ? Yeah.

At some point I slept in short bursts but woke every time the damn rooster started again. At about 6AM my sweetheart innocently woke up to car door slamming outside. She finally heard it.

Like it just started.

Like it hadn’t been going on for 4 hours now. Like I didn’t know.

Like I had been asleep all night like she had.

Guess what she did immediately?

She woke me up telling me she heard a bird. A rooster, she thought. I wanted to smother her with the feather pillows.

She showered, dressed and walked outside to see the rooster in a tree. Just sitting there. Right outside our room watching people flip it the bird and cuss it. My darling was apparently the only person this side of town to sleep last night. She’s amused everyone else wants to cause the thing bodily harm. Myself included.

Just when everyone is finally up the damn thing LEFT. It just disappeared. I don’t how rooster tastes for breakfast and I guess I won’t know anytime soon since we have to get on the road to Kentucky.

*before I get hate mail I am an animal lover. I don’t want harm to come to the rogue rooster but I do love me some wings.

Vacation planning – AKA slow torture

It’s that time of year again.

I am planning the “big” vacation. Not our mountain weekend trips or mini last-minute romantic escapes. This is the big one, where we coordinate days off, convince the kids they will love the destination and then convince ourselves we will love spending a week in close proximity  … all together in one place …. for a week.

For a family that stays as busy as we do, formally getting together for anything longer than dinner is like herding kittens in a yarn store. Nobody has the same sleeping habits, food preferences, hobbies, athletic ability or desire to leave the confines of their bedroom and personal electronics. Did I mention the kids are pre-teen & teen-aged? Good times.

This is how things generally go:

2 minutes from home – “I need to pee”

10 minutes from home – “I’m bored”

30 minutes from home – “I’m hungry”

5 minutes after pulling into the parking lot of the hotel we intend to stay at – “I think I forgot to pack underwear”

30 seconds from opening the door to our room – collective bags drop and everyone falls into the beds for napping

Then there are activities:

“Let’s go to the pool!”  … blank stare “but we have never explored this area, there are bike trails, museums, shops, historical monuments ….” blank stares, holding swimsuits. Same swimwear they always wear .. to the pool we can go to back home … for FREE.

“Let’s go visit this lighthouse! We can climb to the top and take family photos and read all about the people who lived and worked here a long time ago!” My families typical response? “Can you just take a picture, from the car, so we can go get ice cream? We passed the shop just back there.”

“Mountain trails?  uhhh … hiking? That sounds like it will be hot and there will be bugs. Is there even wi-fi?” Where did I go wrong with these kids?

“The sun is in my eyes.” … “where are your sunglasses?” … “I lost them.” We bought them this morning!

Shivering in July sun …”The water is too cold”

“I don’t like sand.” Just spent 2 hours digging a giant hole … in the sand.

“I want to go to the room, I’m bored” 100 people on the beach, books, snacks, football, waves perfect for boogie boards, random friendly dogs. Definitely nothing going on here. Nothing at all.

or my favorite – random activities from the hotel booklet things we either didn’t budget for or would cause at least one of the family members to have a panic attack. It seems the kids know just how to push my mom buttons… “Skydiving!” No.

I’m on the hunt now for someplace affordable, where nobody will be left out, or bored, or too frightened to enjoy the experience. Where there will be places to eat that everyone likes and in an area family friendly enough to be safe but not resemble a nursery rhyme.

Maybe a stay-cation is in order. Somehow I don’t think we will all agree on that either.

 

 

 

 

 

Real marriage advice – life, love and not speaking to each other

It has taken me awhile but I think I have learned a little about relationships, marriages in particular. It can be such a beautiful thing, hand in hand with the intention of growing old together, raising your children and retiring to rocking chairs on the front porch. Then there are days where you can barely stand the sound your phone makes when they send you yet another text message, to which you will also be ignoring.

I have put together 7 age old ridiculous tips and some alternative real life advice from an actual married person.  Actual advice for us long term ball and chain type couples; the gay, the straight, the somewhere in between  … because we all at some point need to step back and just laugh at ourselves.

Never go to bed angry.  Seriously? Who is this helping if you stay up way past your working adult bedtime?

SHUT THE HELL UP AND GO TO BED. Your co-workers will thank me for this tip in the morning. You can hash out whose turn it is to clean the bathroom another time.

Always compliment your lover. I only agree with half of this. Do not throw around over used, thoughtless words you think she wants to hear.  She doesn’t. She will stop buying into your lip service pretty quick. That is no good for her self esteem. All you are doing is encouraging your partner to not believe anything you say. Ever.

Always be sincere. If she is looking hella hot in that dress, by all means tell her so.

**I use the pronoun “she” here but this applies to everyone. Keeping in mind this is  written by a woman who is married to a woman … I use the feminine for everything. This advice could easily be just as good for that gorgeous hunk of a man in your life.

Be reasonable in your expectations. I don’t even know what this means. What exactly is a reasonable expectation? This varies wildly. If you were raised outside of the jungle you know how to behave in society and with other people. Don’t stress about what you are expected to do as long as you aren’t being an asshole.

Real advice: No really. Just don’t be an asshole. The only expectation should be that you are kind to one another and expect that no day is ever the exact same as the one before. Roll with it together.

Trust each other. This is a hard one for me personally. Do I trust she won’t leave one day with our dogs in the passenger seat and a trail of dust behind her? Sure. Do I trust she won’t drink the last of the wine or eat all the fancy ice cream? No.

Real advice: Don’t cheat on her or eat all her ice cream. Done.

Figure out your finances before you tie the knot. Uhh, we have been married awhile and we still havn’t figured this out.

Real advice: You are on your own here. I have no advice. We make the money, we spend the money.

Be affectionate as much as possible. For the sake of everyone around you, please, we beg of you do not do this. It is rude and we will tell you to get a damn room.

Real advice: In the confines of your home or around a private corner in public places by all means grab a quick feel or smooch like teenagers. All is well and good until you are holding up the line at Target looking deeply into each others eyes.

Handle your disagreements in a healthy way. We all know that couple that breaks up and makes up all the freakin’ time. Stop it. Don’t break dishes, don’t drive off squealing tires, don’t call names and never, ever tell them you don’t love them. There is no glue to mend that kind of thing and spray paint and ribbons are not a fancy fix all. No matter what you read on Pinterest.

Real advice: Be honest, take time if you need it before you respond, use your best inside voice. We learned about not throwing tantrums and using inside voices in preschool yet sometimes we forget as grown adults.

The very best advice I have ever been given was to learn from successful couples who have amazing, healthy, happy marriages. Learn from those who know they are not perfect but they keep working on it anyway, those people are the successful ones.

Most of all be willing to laugh at yourself. It’s a lot better than being laughed at.

Leave me your best marriage advice in the comments below, I would love to hear your best “real” advice!

 wpid-wp-1432838209051.jpeg

Corporate ink stains – a tattood journey

Professionally speaking I must consider every action, my words are carefully calculated and my decisions are timed in general accordance with boosting the bottom line.

Personally however I live life on the edge. I make most of my decisions on the fly. I tornado into situations I probably shouldn’t, trapeze over pending doom without a blink and stumble into society with enough sarcasm sprinkled swear words to start a whole new language. That may be a slight exaggeration but you get the point.

While I look like a successfully employed woman, under my corporate skin is a delicately flawed masterpiece.

I love tattoos, I love the statement and sentiment and the art. I love how personal each is, how much goes into each and the emotion behind each story.

I love everything about them. Except the stigma in today’s professional environment.

This is an art form, in most cases well considered and powerfully meaningful.

Capture452

Historically people from all walks of life have been adorned with permanent ink. Royalty, warriors, sportsmen and poets. Ancestors of all nationalities, ages, and trades.

I am working on some new large pieces right now which speak to my soul. I also have several smaller works on my body, all of which I can easily cover. I am ready to cover for any situation which it is socially expected for me to do so. However, the temptation is great to get “just a little one” where it is easily visible in daily life. More visible than the ones already outside of the confines of my basic wardrobe. Just a little larger than the tiny open heart behind my ear, a little more obvious than the roman numerals of my wedding date across my foot.

Something a little more daring, a little more bold.

A bit more of a middle finger to the corporate world. A little declaration of my independence, a tiny flag flying in the face of conformity.

The love of my life for instance made a choice, much earlier than the choice to love me, to get a tattoo in a highly visible area. An ink stain handicap if you will – which is all society cares to see. It sits there defiantly on her hand just waiting to tell her truth, her unique story.

She is kind and smart and strong. She is a hard worker and a team player. She is articulate and personable.

Regardless of all of these things – in a corporate world she is simply a highly visible tattoo.

A closed door.

A rejection notice.

A “no” for any career with appearance requirements.

My desire to be unique, to express myself as an individual is stifled. Should I chose to follow my urge to expand my tattoo canvas I am a rebel. Not in such a way to be recognized as an individual but lumped together with real hardened societal taboos. The kind of harmful, dark and immoral sort of rejects you are kepttumblr_mg5rxmDtZW1rbraxfo1_500 safe from in your daily life.

Regardless of my offerings, talents and contributions, to be permanently inked in visible space is to reduce my chances of professional growth. Reduced chances by immeasurable calculations over the lifetime of my career. Considering I am forever  from retirement and have a half life yet to live I must tread a little more carefully.

I have to be very mindful not to make one of my impromptu life decisions which can not be easily reversed. My brain barely wraps around this rationalization and I must continually remind myself I would like to someday afford to retire to a beach. Painted toes in the sand and faded tattoos telling tales of my youth, the arrogance that comes with it and the love that compelled me to get them in the first place.

Until then I will wrap my art, continue on with my 9-5 and dream of the day when I can be free. I will display my inked skin without fear or rejection.

I will still be a rebel when I’m finished here, just on slightly different adventure with a few more tattoos and a way better tan.

 

 

Making changes. Hopping trains and hoping for the best.

There are days like any other, predictable and comfortable. Like waking on your own on a Saturday morning, with no hangover despite copious amounts of consumed wine the night before. Eyelids slowly opening to see a breakfast tray beside you, adorned with a single rose and a neatly folded napkin,  your lover waiting patiently to spoon feed you bits of syrup soaked pancake.

Then there are days so miserable and pathetic that you want to cut off all your hair, throw your phone in a nearby body of water (a toilet works), flip your wife the bird and hope all those days at the treadmill afford you the strength to chase down a moving train and hop aboard … bound for wherever hobos go in old movies.

I’m not saying I’m having a really, really bad day but there might be scissors and some pink  Nike shoes in my backpack.

Unfortunately for me I don’t own a breakfast tray, I don’t remember buying napkins at the grocery last time I went and I haven’t had pancakes since the last time Denny’s served them to me while I was wearing sunglasses.

Inside. At 10 am.

Because if you drink that much wine you will have a hang over … just like the last time. Dummy.

So here I sit, on  a Monday, procrastinating. Contemplating returning that text that will undoubtedly start a fight.

Considering dumping my phone in the ladies room but will undoubtedly regret it later.

Scanning Pinterest for ideas about how to make a hobo hanky on a stick that will match my escape outfit.

*FYI that stick is called a “bindle” … thanks eHow for clearing that up for me. http://www.ehow.com/how_8193614_make-hobo-bag-stick.html

A girl has to be stylish even when fleeing from reality. I think I will pass on the hair cutting but I do need a change. Sleep and pancakes would probably be a good start. If that doesn’t work my next blog may just be from the train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychic readings and a guy named David

Last weekend I visited a local metaphysical shop, which I love, for a million and one reasons.

There happened to be a fair of some sort happening for the Halloween celebration. Super talented folks were waiting to tell fortunes, communicate with the dead, braid your hair, offer chair massages, and among other things, read your tarot cards.

All kinds of healers and spiritually blessed, talented folks.  Just a list of people willing to assist you with whatever you need for a meager cash fee.

I opted for the tarot card reading, hoping for fun but not expecting too much.

I was not disappointed.

Well I was maybe a little. I was hoping for winning lottery numbers or the reader to go into a trance so my deceased loved ones could send me a message. Didn’t happen. Maybe next time.

I asked about my career for the theme of my reading. Seemed harmless enough.

He shuffled the cards and before putting them down asked me who “David” was. I don’t know any Dave or David or Davie or anything of the sort.

I started to get nervous. Maybe this guy is crazy.

Probably was crazy.

He spread the cards in a traditional pattern and pretty much told me exactly what I already knew. This was great, life is good. career good.

So that was quick.

He then asked if I had other questions.
I did.
We talked about my wife.
We talked about money.
We talked about how my wife spends all our money.
We laughed. (she didn’t laugh when I told her about it)

We talked about how I have a creative thing I should be doing in life that I don’t devote enough time to.

To be fair we all have a thing … but I really do have something I am aware that I put aside when I get busy and I wish I had more time to devote to.
You guessed it. This blog.
I do enjoy writing for fun but have zero time for it.
He said that eventually I would do this “thing I create” for a living. That it would make me more money and give me more success than my real job.

We shall see.

It was nearing the end of my time and he asked if I had any other questions.
I did.
I asked who this David was. He said I didn’t yet know him but in time this gentleman would be the bridge to making what I create my actual job. That I should be making this “creative thing” with my hands now and building the blocks to bridge later.

Interesting.

Maybe he meant something else entirely. Considering I am not an artist, musician or afghan knitter, this is all I have.

So … David.
Or Dave.
Or whatever you prefer I call you, if you are reading and think you can make my worthless talent an actual thing … give me a call.
Or email.
Or Facebook me.
Or whatever successful creative bridge builder types do.

In the meantime I will be over here writing for fun.

When I can.  Cause I still need a real job.
Hoping for my big break.
A big paycheck.
Or something like that.

Call me, Dave. I will be waiting.

Legally wed (almost) a year. Here is the recap …

It was this time last year that our home state made our marriage legal. We were so excited, it was like a second wedding day. Sorta like that … but without rain, stress, arguments or blisters. Good times.

So in the spirit of a (sort of) one year wedding anniversary I compiled the top 10 best of best things that happened this last year, our first full year of being legally married in our home state.

  1. We survived new car envy. She bought I convertible, I got jealous. We now share our vehicles. Whats mine is mine. What is yours is now mine too. I’m pretty sure it was in the vows.96a9c5c0cecad209aedb00bb45a2dffa
  2. The kids went away for the summer and we managed to focus a little time on us. Every relationship needs a little space alone to develop. Ours developed into missing the kids after a couple month extended honeymoon. Whatever works.Summer-of-Love
  3. We went to the beach, several times. There is nothing like feeling the sand between your toes. Or the sand hitting you in the face as it swirls around the car, coming off your beach gear. That’s what happens when you shove the sandy gear into the back of that super cute, top down convertible you HAD to take for the trip.  11137193_1011165278894072_8677361988249007150_n
  4. We watched fireworks for the 4th, from our mountain spot, all by ourselves. It was kinda romantic and super beautiful. The other fireworks throughout the year on the mountain, likely scaring the neighbors into calling for backup, maybe not so much romantic as horrifying. We are trying to keep our arguments to ourselves now. Sorry y’all. 11403087_1036972702979996_7696834849185982622_n
  5. We learned to budget. Just kidding, no we didn’t. We bought a new car and went to the beach a few times. We can’t seem to save any money. I have no idea why. Saving Money
  6. She learned to cook. Well, not really cook, but she can grill like nobody’s business. Thinking about our 1 year anniversary steak dinner she magically produced is making me hungry, 3 months later. sunset-2
  7. I changed my last time to hers. Finally. She ran out and changed the name on the mailbox … I am still learning to sign it. Or to recolonize it when called. fa38b4ca80e150dc2a1e9445abc452b4
  8. We made new friends. Together. Couple friends. That isn’t easy considering we are so different. It is almost like getting a raise, the one you don’t think it will ever happen. All of a sudden you are eating more than soup from a can, in your one room apartment, while talking to your cat before bedtime at 8pm. It’s a big wide world out there when you have couple friends to go explore it with. friends_cast_004a
  9. We found new things to explore together. Places to go, things to do, food to eat and fancy new beer to try. Again, a big deal because when we first met we didn’t have much more in common than mutual lust. No shame. None. 3190410_13213875_lz
  10. Last but certainly most important: Nobody was seriously injured or died. I’m not kidding, it was a close call a few times. Marriage is hard, apparently so is smothering your beloved with a pillow. wpid-wp-1432838209051.jpeg

1st anniversary, that’s paper right?

It’s almost that time!

Remember the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland freaking out about the time? Yeah. Put that bunny in a red curly wig and a sundress and that’s me.

Alice2010-whiterabbit
Just add a red curly hair.

It’s almost our first anniversary.

Seriously.

One whole year since we became wife and wife.

A whole freaking year of ups and downs and all arounds. We danced around the “for richer or poorer” and all those traditional vows whether we said them or not. It hasn’t been easy but it has gone fast and if I could do it all over again I would. Except slower, and I would have started blogging about way sooner. All the good and the bad and unbelievable love.

All the things marriage is. It all came around in our very first year.

Now it’s time we celebrate that we lasted this long. It’s just an anniversary but it’s a big one. People will be cashing in on the bets they placed 12 months ago kinda big. Giggle if you will, the odds for a big payout were probably great if we made it. We love hard and we fight like someone will have to stop breathing before it can be over. Ok, not really, but it has been close.

She will be expecting something super romantic and I will be expecting something sweet and heart-felt. What neither of us is expecting is to run out of time and it’s ticking on.

We never do anything small. If you have followed my blog to date you may have glimpsed what married life is like on the inside. Gift giving is a major task. We go big around here.

I’ve requested the advice of co-workers and I’ve googled “first anniversary” and nothing jumped out. Just paper stuff. Sometimes really expensive paper stuff. I am all about some sentimental names on canvas but that isn’t her and therefor isn’t us. Tricky territory. This anniversary thing is almost worse than the ridiculous wedding markup. If it says wedding or anniversary you’re going to pay triple. True story.

I tried to search “first gay anniversary” thinking that might bring me to something unique but personable but still nothing. Well nothing G rated and appropriate for sharing. I did get some ideas though. We will see what she thinks after I present her the anniversary gift of all gifts. If she hates it I will keep those search results for a plan B. Always good to have a plan B.
kpbktick tock tick tock … running out of time.

and ideas.

running out of what little sanity I was holding onto.

I can’t get a re-do on the very first celebratory year of marriage. It almost feels like getting married again. I’m so nervous. Not “what if I don’t fit in my wedding dress” nervous. I can still eat pizza. The kind of nervous that compels me to wonder what happens if this doesn’t turn out as beautiful and magical as I planned. That kind of nervous.

Pinterest-Badge-Red-png
Time waster. I love it still.

I’ve looked at Pinterest and still nothing.  Unless I want to spend a day making paper dolls of each of us with materials I will need to hunt down in a craft store.

The problem is I am neither crafty nor patient enough for anything on Pinterest.

and it makes me hungry.

Has anyone ever actually browsed pins and not been bombarded by super fanciful flower adorned cupcakes and exotically named smoothie drinks? each served in cute mason jars sorted by size and color? sitting neatly on a handmade shelf of reclaimed wood?

Seriously.

I’ve got no time for funny pictures of kittens and recipes I will never make.

I need an idea. I need to get creative.

Maybe a giant glued together construction paper card with glitter and pop up hearts like a toddler’s first book about dinosaurs. That sounds like a lot of work though.

Back to the drawing board. By which I mean the internet.

Date Day! Our “not so romantic” adventure to Triple Falls

Today was date day! A real date day not just the wine and dine kind of date (or in our case the beer, wings and game type). The kind of date you look forward to in advance, with a plan and romance and time just for each other.

We decided on a hike to a near by water fall area and a little picnic on a side trail somewhere along the way. We would bring sandwiches and those little single bottles of wine. It would be just us and it would absolutely epic.

24413_109604315720332_4330626_n
Triple Falls DuPont State Forest

Only our big date day didn’t go exactly as we had discussed. Nobody brought the sandwiches, nobody bought the wine. We didn’t even decide which falls to go to ahead of time. The weather wasn’t quite warm enough yet in the day but we still had the convertible top down. We had such good intentions.

Then this happened:

Her: (for the 5th time) ” I need directions, I don’t know where I’m going”

Me: “then maybe you should pull the ******* car over and put the top on. I’m freezing my ass off and I’m trying to find the directions!”  Have you ever tried to read your phone with the open sky glaring down on it? You can’t see a damn thing. I was doing my best, it just so happened that I expressed it poorly and in a loud, possibly hysterical tone.

Her: “Then maybe we should just go home then.”

Me: “Fine.”  Well, that escalated quickly.

It didn’t take long for us to warm up and tempers to cool off. We laughed at each other and headed on to our destination.

Once we arrived we realized everyone and their dog had the same idea. We were not going to be alone. Even if we had remembered the tiny bottles of wine we would not have enjoyed them in solitude.

11134065_1102243246456429_5540835405063627031_o
Hiking in DuPont Spring 2015

There were couples, singles, families and kids of all ages. There were dog walkers and gangs of old folks with walking sticks. There were booty shorts and similarly questionable hiking attire plus backpacks a plenty. I am absolutely sure one group even brought the entire Ancestry Family Tree. There were parents and grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws and outlaws. Inside one particular group there was also a heavily guarded picnic basket. For a moment I considered ditching my date and joining the clan. We had after all forgotten our sandwiches. and a girls gotta eat.

Then there were all the lesbian couples. I’m not kidding. It was like we missed the note that said “Les Meet! Friday hikers start here!” There were so many. It was like we out numbered the heteros. I’ve hiked these areas a few times and I’ve never noticed this phenomenon. I would have noticed.

It wouldn’t be a big deal except there is this special way lesbian couples of my general age group great one another in passing. I like to compare it to when dog owners with the same breed meet up. Each eyes the other and quickly confirms that their bitch is obviously superior. Clearly. This is confirmed with a mutual nod and smile. It’s a little strange but true.

Even with all the head nodding, kid avoiding and old folk passing it was a great hike. We had a good time and we laughed like we did when everything was still brand new. We even made a sandwich and beer stop after the hike was over. Who needs wine for romance anyway.

At the end of the day we were happy to have had the time together, and that is exactly what a great date should be. It isn’t about what you did, but more who you did it with. I’m already looking forward to next time.

*head nod, smile*